By now, you've probably heard of Miranda Barbour, self-professed teen murderess: The 19-year-old claims to have killed more than 20 people across the country, all for her two loves: Satan and her hubby. Is it a chilling super-killer's confession, or is it bullshit? Here's what we know:
1) Miranda Barbour and her husband are in jail for allegedly killing a middle-aged man near their Pennsylvania home.
Barbour and her husband, Elytte Barbour, 22, face the death penalty for the murder of 42-year-old Troy LeFerrara in Sunbury, outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Police allege (and the Barbours do not dispute) that the couple wanted to celebrate their three-week wedding anniversary by killing someone, so they put an ad on Craigslist offering sex for money. They reportedly told police that "Miranda Barbour stabbed LaFerrara in the front seat of her car while her husband held a cord around his neck."
According to a braggy interview she gave over the weekend to a local journalist from the Sunbury Daily Item, Barbour agreed to sex with LaFerrara for $100. "I lied to him and told him I just turned 16," she claims. "He told me that it was OK. If he would have said no, that he wasn't going to go through with the arrangement, I would have let him go."
Barbour also says she was ready to plead guilty to the murder, but her court-appointed public defender insisted that she plead not guilty.
2) Miranda Barbour says she's killed more than 22 people and fewer than 100.
That Daily Item interview is the reason we're all talking about her now. In it, Barbour claims she "stopped keeping count" of her victims after the 22nd. They are supposedly strewn from Alaska, where Miranda grew up; to North Carolina, where the Barbours were married last year; to Texas, California, and Pennsylvania. "I can pinpoint on a map where you can find them," she told the paper. The local police have said they're taking the confession very seriously; the FBI hasn't commented.
3) She claims to have started killing as a member of a Satanic cult in Alaska.
This is where things get weird and probably factually muddied. According to the Daily Item, a still-young Miranda Barbour joined some Satanists in Alaska, and got a taste for murder there:
Barbour said she went with the leader of the satanic cult to meet a man who owed the cult leader money.
"It was in an alley and he (the cult leader) shot him," she said, declining to identify the cult leader.
"Then he said to me that it was my turn to shoot him. I hate guns. I don't use guns. I couldn't do it, so he came behind me and he took his hands and put them on top of mine and we pulled the trigger. And then from there I just continued to kill."
While in the satanic cult, Miranda became pregnant. The cult did not want her to have the baby, so, she said, members tied her to a bed, gave her drugs and she had an "in-house abortion."
However, her mother on Saturday said that when Miranda told her about the abortion, she took her daughter to a doctor who said there were no signs of an ended pregnancy.
She goes on to claim that she spent three years killing for Satan there in Alaska, an experience that culminates in one of the most absurd sentences ever written in English: "She left Alaska as a high-ranking official in the satanic world, leaving the father of her second pregnancy, a man named Forest, the No. 2 leader in their cult, who was murdered."
Murdered by Barbour? Or in her absence? Can his existence even be confirmed? Was he demonstrably her baby's father? (She has a one-year-old daughter that is currently in protective services.) And most importantly: Do Satanist cults have ranks?
4) She has not compared herself to the star of TV's Dexter, but the media sure has.
Lots of journalists have been quick to draw a parallel between Barbour and fictional serial murderer Dexter Morgan, thanks to this quote from the Daily Item story: "She said she felt no remorse for her victims and said she killed only 'bad people,' a belief she traced through a troubled childhood."
Comparing her to the police forensics specialist with a compulsion but a moral pang of guilt for his constant work seems to give the 19-year-old Barbour a lot of moral and intellectual credit, as well as to grant truth to her grand confession. It's not clear that we're there just yet, by any stretch.
5) Yes, that's right, she blames her childhood.
Did you catch that in the quote above? Her mother confirms that Miranda Barbour was sexually abused by an uncle, who went to jail for 14 years. "It was bad," Barbour's mother said. "I never let (her) stay anywhere except for my sister's house, and I was devastated when I found out."
According to the Daily Item:
She said she was sexually molested at age 4 and was introduced to murder at 13, literally in the hands of a man who led her to satanism — beliefs that she said she held at the time of the LaFerrara homicide.
"I feel it is time to get all of this out," she said. "I don't care if people believe me. I just want to get it out."