Maine · Newspaper clippings · Religion

Man murders young girl in oven during exorcism

October 27, 1984
Auburn, Maine
John Lane, allegedly under the impression his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter was a demon, locks her in an oven and burns her to death

Lane claimed that he believed Angela Palmer was a demon, that she changed color and appearance, and called herself Lucifer. Lane also claimed he believed Angela’s mother Cynthia was possessed by demons.

Lane beat Angela before forcing her into the home’s electric oven, wedging a chair against the door as she cried “let me out, Daddy, let me out!” During this time Cynthia was in another room going through a drug overdose and oblivious to her daughter’s murder, a fact that would eventually acquit her during trial. She died in 2005.

Emergency responders arrived at the home after reports of smoke and a burning smell were called in and found Angela’s remains in the oven. Angela’s 5-year-old sister was in the home as well, though she was not physically harmed. Reports of Angela’s screams were not made as Lane had been blaring religious music for hours, drowning out any other sounds from the home. Additionally, crosses were painted on the walls of the home. Lane also reportedly told witnesses “It’s all right. Lucifer’s gone now. Angela’s OK” while holding a Bible.

Lane attempted an insanity defense with the demonic claims. He defense was not accepted and he is currently in prison and awaiting an appeal, citing his mental illness as the reason for using an inept lawyer.

Angela Palmer

From the Statesman Journal, Salem OR, Oct. 30 1984

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