Gang Investigators and Satanic Panic

“Satanism, Witchcraft, Goth Culture (Vampirism), The Afro-Caribbean Religions and the crimes associated with them”

From Delmarva Now:

ACCOMAC — The Virginia Gang Investors Association will host a training seminar April 30 on the subject of “Occult and Ritual crimes” at the Accomac Elks Club.

The speaker will be Don Rimer, who has been involved in many high profile cases involving this subject matter.

Rimer will discuss several topics including, New case studies, Satanism, Witchcraft, Goth, Animal abuse, Fantasy role playing, Death/metal music, etc.

Actually, that should be the Virginia Gang Investigators Association; according to their website:

This presentation will encompass the speakers knowledge of several occult groups, specifically: Satanism, Witchcraft, Goth Culture (Vampirism), The Afro-Caribbean Religions and the crimes associated with them. While differences exist among these groups, it is the common denominators of homicide, suicide, self mutilation, grave robbery, animal abuse, blood/death metal music and fantasy role playing games. Examples of each of these, case studies and video interviews will be presented. The history of the occult will also be explored. The categories of generational, religious, self styled and teenage dabbler will be explained. Since the beginning of time every culture and society, has had a form of occulted belief. Satanism is centuries old, and like most pagan religious, predates Christianity. It survives and prospers because its mysterious and elaborate rite are filled with secrets, sins and sex.

The VGIA presided over by a former police officer who has been blessed with the wonderful name of Randy Crank. He has been running seminars for some time; in 2005 the AP reported that

The Gang Investigators Association, which holds about 10 rural seminars each year, has focused on MS-13 and the Bloods, who have been actively recruiting across the state, Crank said.
At the recent seminar, officials listened to rap music in the morning session and learned about Satanism that afternoon.

There were “70 law enforcement officers, juvenile justice employees and others” present. Crank also appears in a couple of Virginian-Pilot articles from the early 1990s that are pay-per-view; one bears the title “‘Yeah, I worship Satan’, Teen Tells Police“. He pops up again in the Newport Daily Press in 2000:

[Randy Crank] said it’s not unusual to have white suburban teens in a gang or group. He said that kids in street gangs, no matter what race, often came from broken homes – but that gang members also came from two-parent families. Gangs come in all forms, he said, from the street gang to upper-middle-class white teens who are into Gothic themes, witchcraft and Satanism.

But what of Don Rimer, the VIGA’s upcoming speaker? Kerr Cuhulain (H/T Jason Pitzl-Waters)  has the low-down:

In the summer of 2002 I became aware of a police officer going about lecturing the public and law enforcement on “occult crime”: Don Rimer. At that time Rimer was the Spokesperson and Media Relations officer for the Virginia Beach Police Department in Oklahoma. He is a member of the Oklahoma Gang Investigators Association (OGIA) . The OGIA web site ( lists Rimer’s credentials as follows: “Don Rimer is… an inter-nationally recognized authority on ritual crime and the occult. He serves as both an Investigator and consultant to agencies throughout the United States. Since 1986, Mr. Rimer has spoken to more than one thousand schools, churches, civic groups and professional organizations. More recently, he served as a consultant to the Governor’s Task Force on Ritual Crime. In addition, he has contributed to or has been featured in numerous books, publications, and both national and worldwide television broadcasts. In 1999, He signed a contract with a major Hollywood motion picture company to produce a series of documentary films on the occult.”

…Jill Medicineheart, an Officers of Avalon member from Ohio, recalls attending one of Rimer’s seminars in 1992 or 1993. Jill reports that she and her ex-significant other wanted to check out Rimer as they understood that he would be speaking about how he thought that participating in Fantasy Role Playing Games leads to Satanism. Jill’s ex played D&D. Jill reports that 50% of the people in the room at the mental health center where the talk was held were “professionals”. Jill said that to her it was obvious that Rimer was a born-again Christian and a “crackpot”. Jill recalls that Rimer “thought that Dungeons and Dragons… lead people to the occult and Satanism”.

Rimer putports to be careful of the differences between Paganism and Satanism, but Cuhulain is sceptical. He also notes that Rimer has a bibliographic handout of resources, which includes several well-known bogus “Satanic survivor” fundamentalist paperbacks (of the sort I blogged here). Last year, his focus was on the “vampire lifestyle”. The website of trhe Oklahoma Gang Investigators Association promotes a document by Rimer entitled Ritual Crime & The Occult (the New Youth Subculture); here we learn that he is actually the Chaplain for the VGIA. It ends with the warning that “When You Ignore Evil, You May Become A Servant of Evil”.

Both the OGIA and the VGIA are part of a wider organisation called the National Alliance of Gang Investigators Association, based in Florida. According to this document, the president in 2007 was a certain Rusty Keeble, although the website of the Florida Gang Investigators Association suggests there has been a falling-out since then. Keeble runs a separate foundation.

(Hat tip: Bulldada Newsblog)