PENSACOLA, Fl. (WKRG) – Sheriff deputies suspect witchcraft was a motivating factor in the savage murders of a mother and her two sons in Pensacola last week.
Voncile Smith, 77, and her two sons, Richard Thomas Smith, 49, and John William Smith, 47, were found dead on Friday morning.
The three bodies were discovered by deputies conducting a welfare check at their home.
WARNING: DISTURBING DETAILS BELOW
At a press conference on Tuesday, the sheriff’s office released graphic details on how the three bodies were discovered.
According to authorities, all three bodies were found beaten with claw hammers. All three had their throats slit, and Richard Smith was found with a gunshot wound to the head.
Authorities have evidence that led them to believe witchcraft was somehow involved in their deaths, saying it was a ritualistic act. Investigators noted that their murders occurred on the night of a blue moon, which is heavily referenced in witchcraft lore.
Investigators said they spoke to a person of interest in the case, but didn’t release a name or photo. All they confirmed was that the person of interest is a white male with ties to witchcraft.
The murders aren’t believed to be financially motivated either. The Smith family had a safe containing $7,000 in their home, but the suspect didn’t take anything of value in the aftermath of the crime, authorities said.
Deputies also noted that the Smith family was reclusive. They lived in the same house for 27 years, rarely speaking to any of their neighbors.