Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Angels of Death: The Male Nurses

Killer Shaman

Ahmad Suraji was an Indonesian shaman, or sorcerer, who was locally respected for his powers of supernatural healing and granting wishes. In 1997, the 45-year-old shaman was arrested after an investigation turned up the bodies of several missing women on Suraji's sugar cane plantation. Police officers found 26 skeletons of females which they believed were the remains of some of Suraji's victims.

The victims were mainly prostitutes who came to the shaman with wishes to be made more beautiful. Although they had not been patients, they had been vulnerable to his exploitation of their belief that Suraji had powers of healing and enhancement. In fact, the eldest of his three wives, Tumimi, was convicted as well, charged with being his accomplice.

Suraji confessed to the 42 murders, saying that he had actually planned to kill even more — 72 in all. He claimed that in 1986 his late father, from whom he believed he had inherited his supernatural powers, had contacted him during a dream and ordered him to do so as part of a black magic ritual. In order to improve his shamanic skills, he admitted that after strangling the women, he drank their saliva.

He showed no remorse for his actions throughout the trial. On April 28, 1998, a judge found Suraji guilty of all the murders and ordered him to be put to death. His wife was sentenced to death as well, by firing squad.

Ahmad Suraji was executed is Djakarta on July 9, 2008.

We're Following
Slender Man stabbing, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Gilberto Valle 'Cannibal Cop'