See the original story here.
In a Sioux City Journal story published today, reporter Molly Montag sheds some light on accused child murderer Larry Harris's background. He has a history of emotional instability, self-harm, and suicide attempts. He was evidently curious about both Wicca, which he claimed to be practicing, and LaVeyan Satanism. Needless to say, these completely separate belief systems are being conflated by prosecutors and the public (and may have been conflated by Harris himself), though they have virtually no elements in common. It would be impossible to fully and responsibly practice both unless you are, well, insane.
Harris's attorney is going for an insanity defense.
The comments made on the article are disappointing. Rather than recognizing that Harris seems to be a deeply disturbed, confused person, readers are chalking his crime up to the occult:
"I do not mean to be mean-spirited but this is what happens when you play around and dabble in the occult or read the Satanic Bible. This is probably why his spell backfired. It is playing with fire. I feel badly for this man, but also for the mother, family and that the two girls died a violent, brutal, death. "
"Witchraft and wicca is evil."
No, this is not what happens when you dabble in the occult. You will not turn into a crazed child-killer by reading The Satanic Bible or practicing Wicca. Someone as disturbed as Larry Harris would have killed his stepdaughters with or without "spells".