Vivian & Serena Miranda

1 death

In a strange twist of religious distortion, Charity Miranda -- a teenage cheerleader recently voted "most likely to succeed' at her school -- was allegedly suffocated to death with a plastic bag by her mother and older sister in a ritual to free her of demonic possesion.

Apparently both mother and older daughter -- Serena -- became involved in Santeria a year before embarking in their lethal ritual. However Charity -- a bubbly "all-American girl" -- resisted their pressure to join, telling friends that she was horrified by the change in her staid, white, upper-middle-class mother. According to police, the lethal mom linked Charity's resistance to Santeria with the presence in her mind of "demons', which she tried to exorcise on several occasions. Unable to flush out the evil buggers, Mommy Dearest decided that she had to resort to murder.

The day of the killing Mom and Serena approached Charity after she answered her friends e-mails. Without beating around the bush, they pinned her down, placed a plastic bag over her head, and suffocated her to death. A third sister, Elizabeth, was in the house at the time of the killing, but it is believed she did not take part in it. When police arrived they found Mommy and Serena chanting and swaying as if in a trance, from which they snapped right out once they were handcuffed and hauled to jail.

Neighbours, relatives and friends were in a state of shock, unable to understand how the two could have been accused of such a crime. A woman who described herself as a close friend of Mrs Miranda said: "Vivian is a wonderful mother. Her children are her life. This is something out of a horror story."