JEWISH RITUAL MURDER by ARNOLD S. LEESE
Dedicated without permission to
Mr. OLIVER LOCKER-LAMPSON, M.P. AND Hon. Mr. JUSTICE GREAVES-LORD.
LONDON: The I.F.L. Printing & Publishing Co., 30, Craven Street, W.C.2. – 1938.
"Soul had they none, nor lineage;
"Nor wit, nor headmen,
"Nor crafts, nor letters,
"Nor e'en a glimpse of God." – British Edda.
"Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning..." – St. John, viii, 44.
"In order to destroy the prestige of heroism for political crime, we shall send it for trial in the category of thieving, murder, and every abominable and filthy crime. Public opinion will then confuse in its conception this category of crime with the disgrace attaching to every other and will brand it with the same contempt." – Protocol 19, Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
"If I am killing a rat with a stick and have him in a corner, I am not
indignant if he tries to bite me and squeals and gibbers with rage.My job
is, not to get angry, but to keep cool, to attend to my footwork and to
keep on hitting him where it will do the most good." – A. S. Leese, speaking
at Reception, 17th Feb., 1937, on his return from prison.
Picture Postcard widely circulated in Poland showing ritual murder of Agnes Hruza, age 19. Jew named Hilsner was found guilty of this crime. (Date 1899, Story in Chapter 10).
1. Human Sacrifice And Semitic Tradition
2. The Racial Urge
3. Human Sacrifice And The Jewish Religion
4. The Motive And Nature Of Jewish Ritual Murder
5. "A Relic Of The Days Of Witchcraft And Black Magic"
6. "It Couldn't Happen Now"
7. Jewish Ritual Murder In England Before The Expulsion, 1290
8. Well Authenticated Cases In Early And Mediæval Times, 1190 To 1510
9. Well Authenticated Cases In Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries 10. Well Authenticated Cases In Nineteenth Century
11. Well Authenticated Cases In The Present Century
12. The Jewish Defence 13.Evidence Of Converted Jews
14. Cases Confirmed By Constituted Authority
15. The Attitude Of The Catholic Church Towards Jewish Ritual Murder
16. The Attitude Of The Protestant Church Towards Jewish Ritual Murder
17. Other Cases Worthy Of Credence
18. Two Queer Happenings
19. What Of These?
20. Irrelevant Meditations
Bibliography Of Works Supporting The Blood Accusation
ON 15th July, 1936, Mr. Oliver Locker-Lampson, M.P., a childhood friend of the Rothschild family, asked in the House of Commons whether the Attorney-General proposed to institute legal proceedings against the authors or publishers of The Fascist, the issue of that paper for July containing allegations against the Jews of the practice of ritual murder. The Attorney-General replied that the matter was under consideration.
As an ultimate result of this "consideration," I was sentenced to six months' imprisonment among criminals on 21st September, 1936, the Judge in the case being a 31st Degree Mason of the Scottish Rite. But it is important to note that the conviction was obtained, not on the ritual murder issue alone, which was not relied upon by the Prosecution for the purpose of silencing me, but on the whole contents of the July Fascist, and particularly on words used by me with reference to the disposal of the Jews.
Under the law of libel, the truth of my statements with reference to Ritual Murder could not be used as an argument in my defence; it was deemed sufficient under the law that the statements had been written, and that they "rendered His Majesty's subjects of Jewish faith liable to suspicion, affront and boycott" and so amounted to a Public Mischief.
I came to Court very fully prepared, if the truth of my statements was challenged, to justify the statements I had made in The Fascist, and was even ready to demand that "Rex," the prosecutor, should produce from the Public Records Office certain Close and Patent Rolls of the State wherein Jewish Ritual Murder is recorded as an established fact in this country! But I was forbidden by the Judge to use this line of defence; it did not matter who else had charged the Jews with ritual murder, or how often, or what historic facts proved it, or how many convictions there had been under proper juridical authority; thus, when I asked Inspector Kitchener, the only witness who appeared against me, "When you brought this case, were you under the impression that Ritual Murder was a thing of the past?" and he replied "Yes," the Judge intervened with the remark "The truth of a libel is no defense, I must point out again."
Again, the Attorney-General, who was acting as Prosecuting Counsel, interrupted another question of mine to the same witness, by the remark: "In my submission, it is correctly laid down that the defendant is in no case allowed to prove the truth of a seditious libel as a justification for having published it." The Judge then said, "That is the law as I understand it." He made it clear to me that to proceed further in such a line of defence would be contempt of court, as the "truth" of the "libel" was "irrelevant" to the issue of the trial! Such may be the law, but it is not justice!
The last thing the Judæo-Masonic Hidden Hand wanted was the truth about Ritual Murder!
Since I came out of prison on 6th February, 1937, I have, until recently, been too busy to write on the subject of Ritual Murder; but finding that there are, even among anti-Jewish workers, people who, never having investigated the matter for themselves, still imagine that Jewish Ritual Murder not only has not existed and does not exist, but is a fiction invented by crazy anti-Jewish fanatics, and as such, exploited by me, in my campaign against the Jews, it becomes necessary for me to take steps to defend my own reputation as a man of good faith by compiling and publishing this book.
What the court procedure prevented me from doing in my own defence, I do now in these pages, and I have no anxiety concerning the conclusions at which my readers will arrive on the matter.
The subject of Ritual Murder has always been one that the Jewish Money Power, which controls this country as well as most others, has taken all possible steps to suppress. The reason is that Ritual Murder was the dynamite which finally blew the Jew out of England in 1290, out of Spain in 1492, and out of Germany in our time. The Jews know it; and I know it too!
But there is no British law, and no 11th Commandment, which makes Ritual Murder by Jews a forbidden topic in this country. Sir Richard Burton's book about it was published shortly after his death near the end of the last century; Strack's book, defending the Jews against the accusation, was translated and published in England in 1909; whilst the Jew, C. Roth, published his Ritual Murder Libel and the Jew in 1935. In France, as in Germany, there is free speech on the subject.
I challenge and defy the Judæo-Masonic Power, which rules this country, by publishing the present work in 1938, not only in my own defence, but in the public interest to break the attack on Free Speech that is rapidly developing wherever any criticism of the past or present conduct of Jews is concerned, an attack which relies for its success upon the ridiculous charge that a breach of the peace is likely if the truth about them is spoken! I do so in order that the Jews shall not escape simply through the power of Money and Masonry from bearing the burden of a charge which, in my opinion, has been proved against some of them through the ages. My object is, and always has been, in spite of what my Masonic Judge had to say about it, to alter "a matter of State established," namely the status of Jews in this country on an equality with Britons, a condition which is imperilling our civilization, and to enlighten the public on their true nature as beings possessing instincts utterly incompatible with our own, so that they may be removed, legally and peacefully, to a National Home in which they will be required to live together. In this aim, I keep troth with the greatest of English kings, Edward I, who expelled the Jews from these shores in 1290.
The maintenance of Free Speech demands that Jewish Ritual Murder shall be a subject for open discussion, like Suttee and Thuggee and the sacrifices of Aztec Mexico, all of which were ritual murders which, like the Jewish variety, would be practised to-day if the Aryan had not interfered to prevent them. If the world thinks that I have not, in this book, proved my case, let it laugh! I can bear it! But can the Jews? The Jewish Chronicle (25th September, 1936) complained after my trial was over that there had been no opportunity for the Jews to refute the charge of Ritual Murder. Well, they have one now!
ARNOLD LEESE. 1st March, 1938.
In compiling this work I have received the most valuable assistance from certain members of the Imperial Fascist League, who require no thanks for that help. I should like to acknowledge the guidance I have received in private letters from Mr. G., of Bristol, and from the work, Le Crime Rituel chez les Juifs, by Mr. A. Monniot; also from the articles contained in Mr. A. Arcand's now defunct paper, Le Miroir, of Montreal.
For a full account of the trial of Arnold Leese in 1936 on six trumped-up charges of "libel" against the Jews, see The Fascist for September, 1936, and May, 1937, obtainable from the Imperial Fascist League, 30, Craven Street, W.C.2, for 3d. post free.
MY IRRELEVANT DEFENCE:
JEWISH RITUAL MURDER.
========== Chapter I. ==========
HUMAN SACRIFICE A SEMITIC TRADITION.
IT is incontestable that the ancient "Semites" manifested a peculiar leaning towards the practice of bloody sacrifices to their gods.
Typical is the Jewish story of Abraham offering to slay with a knife his first-born, Isaac, as an offering to Yahweh who had commanded him so to do. More typical still is the Semitic idea that his god would require such a murder to be done.
In Excavations at Gezer, R. A. S. Macalister tells us that the bodies of sacrificed young children were found in all semitic strata; this work describes the remains of these victims of which pictures are given.
Isaiah charges the Jews with "enflaming themselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks" (lvii, 5). There are many other Old Testament references to the practice of sacrificing children to Moloch.
Says the Rev. J. Kitto in the Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature, 1895, "their altars smoked with human blood from the time of Abraham to the fall of the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel."
G. A. Dorsey writes in Civilization (Hamish Hamilton): "Historically their temple at Jerusalem, like a Hindu or Aztec temple, was a shambles – one sacrifice after another."
The Jewish Encyclopædia (1904, Vol. VIII, p. 653) says: "The fact, therefore, now generally accepted by critical scholars, is that in the last days of the kingdom human sacrifices were offered to Yhwh as King or Counsellor of the Nation and that the Prophets disapproved of it ...."
Jesus Himself speaking to the Pharisees (St. John, viii, 44) charges them with being hereditary murderers, which term can have no other meaning than ritual murderers. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do; he was a murderer from the beginning." This is in the Book on which "witnesses" are sworn when they give evidence against "anti-semites" who expose the murder of Christian children by Jews!
"Rabbinism was but an unfolding of Pharisaism, the full and swelling stream of corrupt doctrines, views and practices, of which the rivulets run up to the days of Christ and stretch back to those of Ezra until they are lost in the fountain-head, the Religious Philosophy of a debased Zoroastrianism."(Rev. J. Kitto, Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature.)
The trail of the tradition, then, is complete and leads to Rabbinism.
========== Chapter II. ==========
THE RACIAL URGE.
SOME people say that it is the Talmud that made the Jew what he is. I take another view. I say that it is the Jew that made the Talmud.
I believe that the urge for human sacrifice comes not through religion but through race; the idea is, I think, an original one, and came to me from observation on one race in particular, that known as the Armenoid or Hither Asiatic race, which I consider has a decided instinct towards sadism.
It is, I believe, the strong Armenoid or Hither Asiatic strain which exists in the Jewish Nation upon which we have to lay the responsibility for many unpleasant Jewish traits and practices, among them Ritual Murder.
The Jews are a nation without a home, not a race; they are a mixture of races, and the racial constituent which is most frequently to be found among them is the Armenoid, or, as it is sometimes called, Hither Asiatic. The other races which have contributed most to the Jewish types, whether Ashkenazim or Sephardim, are the Mongoloid, Negroid, Oriental and (White) Alpine.
The Armenoid race seems to have concentrated in Asia Minor, where it predominates not only in Jews, but in Armenians, and affects the blood of many "Turks," "Syrians," "Georgians" and even Kurds. From this Asiatic centre, a veritable plague of Armenoid blood has spread in every direction.
Northward, in the early centuries A.D., it advanced through the Khazar Empire which flourished about 730 A.D., the ruler becoming a converted Jew and forcing his people to do the same. Southward, the race spread over the territories of Arabia, Egypt, the Sahara and Southern Algeria. Westward, it has poisoned the populations of the Balkan States and Greece, Crete, Southern Italy, Sicily and Spain. Eastward, it has penetrated into Afghanistan and the Punjab.
Through the Jewish nation, as everyone knows, it has contaminated almost every country in the world.
The Armenoid Race has the following physical characters: Height and build, medium; head short from back to front, with large and fleshy nose turned down towards the tip. The lips are rather prominent. The hair is black and curly, the skin is of the swarthy colour, and the eyes are black or brown. It is a marked feature of this race that the skull goes straight up at the back; in other words, the Armenoid has "no back to his head." There is also a tendency for the eyebrows to "meet" over the nose. The chin is usually poorly developed.
In temperaments the Armenoid is the reverse of candid. He excels in low cunning, as his expression often denotes. He is good at business because of his flair for detailed meanness, and his knowledge of the lowest aspects of human nature. He is not usually endowed with much courage, but deliberate cruelty is only too often manifested in his nature. The spirit of revenge, and the nursing of hatred against anyone who opposes him, is very marked in people of the Armenoid type.
Every nation which contains a considerable proportion of people of Armenoid Race soon establishes for itself a reputation for cruelty, treachery, dishonesty and delight in power for the sake of power. That is why such nations never flourish for long in their own territory. They are not allowed to by their neighbours.
I hold that it is not primarily the Jewish Religion which makes the Jewish Nation hated all the world over; it is the strong dose of Armenoid racial blood in their veins. The Afghan is just as cruel, an Armenoid Muslim; the Abyssinian just as treacherous, an Armenoid Christian; the Armenian just as mean, another Armenoid Christian.
A characteristic of the religions which appeal to Armenoid people (Jews, Mahommedans and Yezedis) is that the initiation ceremonial usually involves some sort of mutilation, such as circumcision. The religious laws governing the slaughter of animals for food are framed and practised without consideration for the unnecessary pain inflicted on the animals by the methods prescribed.
The ancient Assyrians were Armenoids by race, and were notorious for their wanton cruelty.
Wherever the Hither Asiatic or Armenoid Race predominates, there is organised cruelty to prisoners of war; in Afghanistan, the women come out after a battle to search for the enemy wounded on whom they practise horrible mutilations; in Southern Algeria, there is a similar practice against French wounded, whilst recent operations in Abyssinia prove that there is a craving for the same sort of thing. The Turks of Armenoid race seem to revel in cold-blooded cruelty, whilst the Bolshevik Jews of Russia, Hungary, Spain and elsewhere have established the twentieth century as being as barbarous as the twelfth . . . simply because of the racial instincts possessed by imported Armenoids.
According to the Jewish Encyclopædia, 1903, Vol. IV, p. 99, when performing the operation of circumcision on children, the mohel (operator) "takes some wine in his mouth and applies his lips to the part involved in the operation, and exerts suction, after which he expels the mixture of wine and blood into a receptacle provided."
Surely this "religious rite" stamps the Armenoid as something basically different from ourselves?
All is Race; there is no other truth.
The Aryan mind grasps with difficulty the idea that any human race can have an instinct towards sadistic sacrifice, for the Aryan has himself no such instinct. The Englishman does not realise that the Jew, the Afghan, and the Armenian are differently constituted from himself, and it is his own good-nature which has largely been responsible for the Judaisation of mind which he himself has acquired by allowing Jews to control him for so long.
I am convinced that it is to the Race rather than to the Talmud or the Kabbala that we must look before we can understand the urge for Ritual Murder and the love of torture which crops up in individuals in all countries into which the Hither Asiatic or Armenoid Race has penetrated.
========== Chapter III. ==========
HUMAN SACRIFICE AND THE JEWISH RELIGION.
I AM not a student of the Talmud. I have no intention of becoming one. For the same reason, I shall not become a student of Occultism or of Drainage Systems. I smell the bad smells and remain aloof.
Nevertheless, because the advocates of Jewry use a certain line of argument in denying that there has ever been any such thing as Ritual Murder of Christians by Jews, I am obliged to quote a few unimpeachable authorities on the subject.
This "argument" is that the Jewish religious law not only does not sanction the practice of Ritual Murder, but forbids the consumption of blood altogether. It is an argument that has been used throughout the ages, and is used now, and has even been the foundation for the verdict "Not Guilty," in cases where Jews have been on trial for ritual murder!
It was the argument used by the Sultan of Turkey when, for money bribes, he issued a firman (1840) saying that the Ritual Murder Accusations against Jews were calumnies. (Described in later chapters in more detail).
But it is known that there have always been two methods of instruction among the Jews: one Exoteric, which openly taught the Laws of Moses and the Rabbinical traditions; the other Esoteric, or mysteries confided only to certain persons bound to secrecy. This latter, the Esoteric teaching, is associated with Occultism and what is known as Black Magic, and the Mystical Cabbala is its source, for certain rites and ceremonies blood is necessary; and secret rites exist which are known only to the few.
Even if the written Jewish Laws do not sanction the practice it does not prove that Jews have not done Murder in accordance with some Occult Ritual. Let a Jew speak for us here: –
Bernard Lazare, a Jew who was stated (Jewish Encyclopædia, 1904, Vol. VII, p. 650) to be "without any religious convictions," wrote what he himself described as "an impartial study of the history and sociology of the Jews," calling his book L'Antisemitisme; in the 1934 edition of this, Vol. II, p. 215, he writes, after mentioning the accusations against the Jews of Ritual Murder:
"To this general belief are added the suspicions, often justified, against the Jews addicted to magical practices. Actually, in the Middle Ages, the Jew was considered by the people as the magician par excellence; one finds many formula of exorcism in the Talmud, and the Talmudic and Cabbalistic demonology is very complicated. Now one knows the position that blood always occupies in the operations of sorcery. In Chaldean magic it had a very great importance.... Now, it is very probable, even certain, that Jewish magicians must have sacrificed children; hence the origin of the legend of ritual sacrifice."
It is well known, as will be shown in Chapter VI, that Occult Rituals exist in which all sorts of abominable practices are carried out, and that they arise from the Jewish Cabbala.
How ridiculous then is the "argument" that because the Mosaic Laws and the Talmud do not demand Ritual Murder, and even forbid the use of blood, Isaac Abrahams cannot be guilty of any sort of Ritual Murder!
Take an analogous case. The Eighth Commandment forbids stealing. Have you ever heard that fact brought up in the defence of a Christian on trial for that crime? Can you imagine prisoner's counsel arguing that John Smith could not have stolen a purse from William Brown because the Christian religion forbids such a thing? More, can you imagine counsel getting away with such an argument? But that is what the Jews have often succeeded in doing.
So stupid is this hysterical shriek, "Our Laws do not permit it," that I, as a scientific investigator, would be willing to concede it as a fact, without further investigation of the Jewish laws, that Ritual Murder is contrary to these laws. I would concede it because the point is of no importance whatever to my case against the Jew. If the point were established what difference does it make to the verdict of the Trent affair, the Damascus affair, or to the scores of cases I am going to bring before you in later chapters?
Another point. Is it likely that we should find clear sanction for such a crime as Ritual Murder in the Jewish Laws? Why, if such a thing were to be found, I venture to say that not a Jew would be left alive, so great would be the popular indignation against the Jewish nation. We should treat them exactly as Sir W. H. Sleeman treated the Thugs, the ritual murderers of India, when he stamped them out of existence as hereditary criminals in the last century.
Dr. Erich Bischoff, the chief German authority on Jewish law and religion, claims to have laid his finger on a passage authorising Ritual Murder in the Thikunne Zohar (Edition Berdiwetsch, 88 b), a book of cabbalistic theosophy. The passage runs:
"Furthermore, there is a commandment pertaining to the killing of strangers, who are like beasts. This killing has to be done in the lawful method. Those who do not ascribe themselves to the Jewish religious law must be offered up as sacrifices to the High God."
Dr. Bischoff may be right. I venture no opinion.
Nevertheless, the Jewish Laws do tell us something; without any direct sanctioning of Ritual Murder, they show us without any possibility of doubt, that the Jew is normally at war spiritually with the rest of mankind, and upon this argument I base my statement that Jewish Laws show ample foundation for the scientific investigator to take the view that there is nothing improbable in the reality of Jewish Ritual Murder.
I am not going to take the same line as other anti-Jewish investigators have done about this matter; I am not going to quote any Mosaic Laws nor any Talmudic tenets. I am simply going to quote the great explorer and orientalist, Sir Richard Burton, a Briton who made it his business to study the Talmud closely and recorded his conclusions on the relations it revealed as existing between Jew and Gentile. I quote now from his The Jew, the Gypsy and El Islam, edited by W. H. Wilkins, and published by Messrs. Hutchinson in 1898.
Page 73."The most important and pregnant tenet of modern Jewish belief is that the Ger, or stranger, in fact all those who do not belong to their religion, are brute beasts, having no more rights than the fauna of the field."
I have long known this to be the Key of International Politics; and it shows that what would be Murder to an Aryan is only Slaughter to a Talmudic Jew.
Page 81."The Talmud declares that there are two kinds of blood pleasing to the Lord, viz: (1) that of the Paschal holocaust; (2) that of circumcision."
(The Paschal holocaust is the Easter sacrifice.)
I suppose every nation has the God it deserves and admires. What sort of a people is this whose God finds the blood obtained from mutilations of human genital organs as "pleasing"?
Sir Richard Burton comments:
Page 115."Obviously such cruel and vindictive teaching as that recounted in the previous chapter must bear fruit in crime and atrocities."
The Jewish Schulchan Aruch, which codified the teachings of the Talmud, goes much further in sanctioning shameful practices against the Gentile; I do not quote it because my object is not to excite retaliation, but to mark down the Jews as having been responsible, either collectively or individually, for ritual murders. I want the Gentile to take steps to remove the Jews from our midst by expulsion to a National Home of their own, and by legal means.
There is good reason to think that it is the "Chassidim" sect to which most recent Jewish Ritual Murders can be traced; the Chassidim is sometimes considered to be a modern sect which arose in Poland only in the 18th century; but the Jewish Encyclopædia (1905), Vol. IX, p. 661, says that the Pharisees were originally identical with the Chassidim; the Chassidim are fanatical to a degree, and soaked in mysticism.
========== Chapter IV. ==========
THE MOTIVE AND NATURE OF JEWISH RITUAL MURDER.
THE motive of Ritual Murder of Christians by Jews is almost certainly hate. It is in fact the same motive that Disraeli admitted to be the cause of revolutionary activities against Gentile governments; to use his words (from Life of Lord George Bentinck, 1852):"The people of God co-operate with atheists; the most skilful accumulators of property ally themselves with Communists; the peculiar and chosen Race touch the hand of all the scum and low castes of Europe; and all this because they wish to destroy that ungrateful Christendom which owes to them even its name, and whose tyranny they can no longer endure."
Hatred of Christianity is a tradition among the Jews: just as hate of England is a sort of perverted religion among an inferior class of Irishmen. It must be remembered that the Hymn of Hate which was debited to the Germans during the war was actually written by the Jew Lissauer.
One of the principal Jewish feast-days is that of Purim. This feast is an orgy of hate against Haman, the story of whom is found in the Book of Esther of the Old Testament. The story, which is probably a myth, is that Xerxes, King of Persia, became enamoured of a Jewess, Esther, and made her Queen in place of his rightful wife. Haman, the King's minister, complained to him of the conduct of the Jews who, he said, did not keep the laws, and obtained from the King an order to slay them. Esther pleaded with the King and prevailed upon him to summon Haman to a banquet. There, Queen Esther further prevailed upon the King to spare the Jews and hang Haman on a gallows prepared for the execution of her guardian. Instead of the Jews being destroyed, their enemies were slaughtered, including Haman's ten sons, who were hanged.
This feast is often celebrated by an exhibition of gluttony, intoxication, and curses on the memory of Haman; and even to this day in London, the Jewish bakers make cakes in the shape of human ears which are eaten by the Jews on this day, and are called "Haman's Ears," revealing once again the inherent hate and barbarism of the Jew in our midst.
The two principal feast-days associated with Ritual Murder have been (1) Purim, and (2) Passover, the latter at Easter and the former about one month before it. When a Ritual Murder occurred at Purim, it was usually that of an adult Christian who was murdered for his blood; it is said that the blood was dried and the powder mixed into triangular cakes for eating; it is possible that the dried blood of a Purim murder might sometimes be used for the following Passover.
When a Ritual Murder was done at Passover, it was usually that of a child under seven years old, as perfect a specimen as possible, who was not only bled white, but crucified, sometimes circumcised and crowned with thorns, tortured, beaten, stabbed, and sometimes finished off by wounding in the side in imitation of the murder of Christ. The blood taken from the child was mixed either in the powdered state or otherwise into the Passover bread.
Another festival at which it is thought that Ritual Murder has sometimes been indulged in is Chanucah, which occurs in December, commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem under the Maccabees in B.C. 165.
Examples of Purim murders are those of Damascus, Rhodes, Xanten, Polna, Gladbeck and Paderborn.
Although hate is the principal motive, superstitious traditions are also involved, one being the association of blood-sacrifices with the idea of atonement; some Jews have confessed that Jewry cannot be saved or return to Zion unless every year the blood of a Christian is obtained for the purpose of ritual consumption.
Political murders, such as the Jewish murder of the Tsar and his family and of other Russians, have sometimes been accompanied by features suggestive of ritual, but I do not wish to complicate this book by guessing at the meaning of signs left symbolically by the murderers.