America's 1980s Obsession With Satanic Child Abuse
If we asked you what the most expensive and drawn-out trial in U.S. history was, what would you answer? O.J. Simpson? Michael Jackson? Actually, it was the 1983 trial of a kindergarten teacher accused of gaining demonic superpowers by molesting children. Yes, that was a real thing that we, as a culture, decided merited court time, and yes, it happened in an era where we had spaceships, not the plague.
An era where all the forensic evidence and top-notch investigative journalism
in the world can't hold a candle to a kid pointing at Mr. Duck's no-no place.
The McMartin Preschool trial was a $15 million farce that began when a student's mother (who later turned out to be a paranoid schizophrenic) accused teacher Ray Buckey of molesting his students as part of regular satanic rituals, during which he was said to dress up like a witch, sacrifice animals, drink blood, and literally fly around the room. Reports are hazy about whether these occurrences happened before or after nap time.
NBC / Retro Report
Proof that Brian Williams wasn't the first NBC anchor to report total lies.
Nobody was ever convicted of a crime, even after authorities demolished the school in search of secret tunnels and altars dedicated to Balphagore, The Demon Prince Of Coloring. This was not an isolated incident in American history, either -- society went nuts for the "satanic panic." Reports began to flood in that teachers all over the country were exploiting children at Satan's command. One teacher, Margaret Michaels, was thrown in prison for abusing children in devil rituals, only to have the sentence overturned six years later after society collectively calmed down.
Darren McCollester/Getty Images News/Getty Images
This was years after some kid randomly said "he did it" to
a picture of Chuck Norris, aka the unfunniest Chuck Norris joke of all.