Blood Fetishism and the Travis White Murder

 Originally published at Red Alerts in 2009.

The Pagan Temple has a post up rightfully pointing out that the reporting on the Travis White Murder includes the assuredly erroneous assumption that because a couple of the six people charged in the crime and its cover up “claim to be Vampires” that Witchcraft (and in some people’s minds Wicca though the two are actually separate and distinct practices as any honest Wiccan will tell you) is somehow involved. I’ve found little evidence that any sort of Witchcraft was involved but there are references that the murderers, ranging in age from 14-years-old to a 27-year-old man, met playing a Vampire Role-Playing Game game which they discussed online at MySpace.

Reports like this one seem to conflate Witchcraft and “Vampirism” as alike and both playing a part in the crime:

The problem of course is that aside from their morbid interests there is little enough to go on to claim that Witchcraft was involved at all. I frankly doubt the murderers were affiliated with gangs either. But I think I might disagree with The Pagan Temple in the assessment that “vampirism” or more correctly blood fetishism, isn’t part of the crime.

I first came across the idea of blood fetishism in books like Olga Hoyt’s Lust for Blood and Something in the Blood by Jeff Guin and Andy Grieser which were little more than ethnographies of people who fetishized blood letting and blood consumption, often using Gothic punk style vampire mythology to create a sub-culture where their paraphilia can be indulged. Blood fetishism is often sexual, or the product of sexual dysfunction, and is not the purview of goths only.

This profile fits in with what we know of the story. The initiator of the murder was a 14-year-old girl who was being shared as a lover by two of the accused. This is clearly an unusual arraignment, given that it was apparently known and accepted by both her paramours. She claimed she had been raped by the victim, a charge she later recanted, and lured Travis White to her home where her two friends, 27-year-old Brian Golsby and 21-year-old Kasey Dodson spent hours beating, stabbing and cutting the victim. Friends of the group stopped by during the attack, reporting that the heard the victims piteous screams but claim they did nothing. They later helped dispose of White’s body.

The blood fetishist is a sadist, attracted to the vampire image because of the inherent sado-masochism of the vampire/victim relationship where the victim wants to be hurt by the vampire. As Hoyt and Guinn illustrate, the blood fetishist is not often a stereotypical “goth” though they are of course attracted to the same themes and entertainment. Â blood fetishists seek others who share their interest, either “donors” who are predated by the fetishist or other fetishists themselves, and in this case the core actors of the group have seemingly organized themselves into a group using the role-playing game they played (most likely White Wolf’s Vampire games) as a template.

The murder itself involved sadism most people aren’t used to hearing about, and which again supports the idea of this crime being committed by blood fetishists. The brutality is hard to speak of, suffice to say they victim was attacked with a bat, crescent wrench and a knife. He was struck at least 31 times by the blunt objects, stabbed 27 times (until the knife broke) and had “gang symbols” carved in his stomach. It would have been a blood soaked affair indeed. I should clarify that I am not claiming the assailants drank the blood of the victim, but there is an element of “blood play” here, a reveling in the bloodletting few of us could stomach.

As more information is released I would not be surprised however to hear of blood drinking. The police are coy about why they place so much emphasis on the supposed vampirism of those on trial, but simply wearing similar necklaces doesn’t usually make the news. One news report claims the two murderers were “acting as vampires” during the killing, which sans literal vampirizing of the victim would be a strange phrase to insert into a murder story the mourning family might read.

In the same vein, while the group are certainly not Wiccans, ritual blood letting, ala Alfonso de Jesus Constanzo isn’t something I’d rule out with this group. Whether it’s fair if that happened to call it Witchcraft would depend on your definition and understanding of both practices.


2 Responses to “Blood Fetishism and the Travis White Murder”

  1. Loup on September 28th, 2011 11:07 am

    start up the meat grinder. feed these people in feet first and they can play with their own blood and guts until they are consumed. people are the worst thing this planet has ever had to endor.

  2. Jason on October 19th, 2011 3:36 pm

    or “endure”

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