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Murderer Monday: “The Black Magic Killer”

“I was trying to get to it as fast as possible, I took my own initiative to kill.”

This is only going to be a short one, but one I have found the most interesting it is the only one I have researched that features the use of ‘witchcraft’, and is probably widely unknown.


Ahmad Suradji was an Indonesian serial killer who admitted to murdering 42 girls and women between 1986 and 1997. A cattle breeder born in 1949, his victims had a huge age range from 11-40 (sources say different). He is known as “The Sorcerer” because he claimed he had a dream where his father’s ghost told him to kill 70 women and drink their saliva, and that this would make him a mystic healer. He specified that his father never told him to kill these women, but he took it upon himself to do so as waiting to encounter 70 women would take too long. He was known for experimenting with sorcery, so was approached by women asking for spiritual advice on how to become more beautiful or richer as many Indonesians believed in such practises. He never had to go out seeking his victims. The police later claimed that many of his victims were also prostitutes who sought his help to become more attractive to men. He had three wives and spent years pretending to be a shaman who could heal any kind of disease. He had a very good relationship with his neighbours, helping them out and donating to charity, who in turn recommended his services to any woman they knew. Unbeknownst to them, leading them to their deaths. Their deaths were not free either, before he began the “rituals” he charged them the equivalent of $200-$400.

He successfully got away with his murders for the 11 years, luring women to be healed in a sugarcane field near his home. A spokesman later said,”He pretended to be a shaman who could heal any kind of disease. If someone asked to be healed, both their possessions and their lives were taken.” I can only assume that due to the lack of technology in Western Indonesia, women were not reported missing and search efforts were not as powerful as in the UK. It is also suggested by some that these women were embarrassed to tell people where they were going, so their plans were never known. Ahmad convinced his living victims that it was part of the ritual to let him bury them in the ground up to their waists, then he strangled with a cable in a horrific manner. He drank their saliva (somehow), then reburied them with all of their heads facing his home which he believed would give him extra power.


In April 1997, a 21 year old woman asked a 15 year old rickshaw driver to take her to “Datuk”, the name Ahmad went by because of the type of spiritual healing he pretended to offer. Three days later, her decomposing body was found in a field and dug up. The 15 year old boy reported to police that he had dropped a woman off at Ahmad’s house, and upon police visit he denied all knowledge. Despite his protests, police found her handbag, dress and bracelet in his home. During his arrest and interrogation, he gradually confessed to 42 murders. An excavation process began on the sugarcane field, and many of the bodies were so decomposed they were unrecognisable. His three wives, who were also his sisters, were also arrested for conspiring with him, assisting with the murders and helping to hide the bodies. Tumini, one wife, was tried as his accomplice and was sentenced to death which was eventually reduced to life imprisonment.

The trial began in December 1997 and although he maintained his innocence throughout, he was sentenced to death by firing squad and executed in July 2008. His last wish was to see his first wife one last time, and this wish was granted.

Ultimately, Ahmad failed at his goal. Or did he? To this day there are many missing and unaccounted women that disappeared during the time he was active. Perhaps he did reach his goal of 70. Guess it wasn’t that short of a post at all!


“The black magic came from God. I don’t have it anymore, I have repented. I hope I have a chance to live.”


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