It’s one of the most bizarre and disturbing unsolved murder cases in recent memory: the disappearance and macabre discovery of 16-year-old Jeannette DePalma of Springfield Township, New Jersey, in the late Summer of 1972.
The circumstances of DePalma’s death are strange enough to begin with – according to local police, her body was discovered six weeks after she disappeared, when a nearby resident’s dog brought home a grisly trophy: a decomposed human arm. This led investigators to the top of a cliff overlooking an abandoned quarry in nearby Watchung Reservation – an eerie site locals had previously nicknamed “The Devil’s Teeth.”
But it gets much more unsettling when we delve into the circumstances of DePalma’s burial site, which some witnesses have described as more of a crude altar, strewn with occult objects and animal corpses… leading many to believe she was the victim of a ritual sacrifice.
Details of this incident – including suggestions of a Satanic cult known only as “The Witches” operating in the region; a possible link to a mass murder in Westfield, NJ (also the site of the mysterious “Watcher” incident covered in our second episode), and even an alleged police coverup – became the subject of the bestselling 2015 true-crime book Death on the Devil’s Teeth.
It’s also the subject of today’s new UNSOLVED case file – in which we collect evidence gathered through police reports, anonymous witness testimonies, and materials obtained by multiple reporters from Weird New Jersey magazine.
Check out the episode above, and as always, be sure to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any legitimate leads that you or someone you know might provide to help crack this decades-old mystery…