Blood Fetishism and the Travis White Murder

The Pagan Temple has a post up rightfully pointing out that the reporting on the Travis White Murder includes the assuredly erroneous assumption that because a couple of the six people charged in the crime and its cover up “claim to be Vampires” that Witchcraft (and in some people’s minds Wicca though the two are actually separate and distinct practices as any honest Wiccan will tell you) is somehow involved. I’ve found little evidence that any sort of Witchcraft was involved but there are references that the murderers, ranging in age from 14-years-old to a 27-year-old man, met playing a Vampire Role-Playing Game game which they discussed online at MySpace.

Reports like this seem to conflate Witchcraft and “Vampirism” as alike and both playing a part in the crime:


The problem of course is that aside from their morbid interests there is little enough to go on to claim that Witchcraft was involved at all. I frankly doubt the murderers were affiliated with gangs either. But I think I might disagree with The Pagan Temple in the assessment that “vampirism” or more correctly blood fetishism, isn’t part of the crime.

I first came across the idea of blood fetishism in books like Olga Hoyt’s Lust for Blood and Something in the Blood by Jeff Guin and Andy Grieser which were little more than ethnographies of people who fetishized blood letting and blood consumption, often using Gothic punk style vampire mythology to create a sub-culture where their paraphilia can be indulged. Blood fetishism is often sexual, or the product of sexual dysfunction, and is not the purview of goths only.

This profile fits in with what we know of the story. The initiator of the murder was a 14-year-old girl who was being shared as a lover by two of the accused. This is clearly an unusual arraignment, given that it was apparently known and accepted by both her paramours. She claimed she had been raped by the victim, a charge she later recanted, and lured Travis White to her home where her two friends, 27-year-old Brian Golsby and 21-year-old Kasey Dodson spent hours beating, stabbing and cutting the victim. Friends of the group stopped by during the attack, reporting that the heard the victims piteous screams but claim they did nothing. They later helped dispose of White’s body.

The blood fetishist is a sadist, attracted to the vampire image because of the inherent sado-masochism of the vampire/victim relationship where the victim wants to be hurt by the vampire. As Hoyt and Guinn illustrate, the blood fetishist is not often a stereotypical “goth” though they are of course attracted to the same themes and entertainment.  Blood fetishists seek others who share their interest, either “donors” who are predated by the fetishist or other fetishists themselves, and in this case the core actors of the group have seemingly organized themselves into a group using the role-playing game they played (most likely White Wolf’s Vampire games) as a template.

The murder itself involved sadism most people aren’t used to hearing about, and which again supports the idea of this crime being committed by blood fetishists. The brutality is hard to speak of, suffice to say they victim was attacked with a bat, crescent wrench and a knife. He was struck at least 31 times by the blunt objects, stabbed 27 times (until the knife broke) and had “gang symbols carved in his stomach. It would have been a blood soaked affair indeed. I should clarify that I am not claiming the assailants drank the blood of the victim, but there is an element of “blood play” here, a reveling in the bloodletting few of us could stomach.

As more information is released I would not be surprised however to hear of blood drinking. The police are coy about why they place so much emphasis on the supposed vampirism of those on trial, but simply wearing similar necklaces doesn’t usually make the news. One news report claims the two murderers were “acting as vampires” during the killing, which sans literal vampirizing the victim would be a strange phrase to insert into a murder story the mourning family might read.

In the same vein, while the group are certainly not Wiccans, ritual blood letting, ala Alfonso de Jesus Constanzo isn’t something I’d rule out with this group. Whether it’s fair if that happened to call it Witchcraft would depend on your definition and understanding of both practices.

7 thoughts on “Blood Fetishism and the Travis White Murder

  1. Very well thought-out and insightful post, which I have to admit is better than my own somewhat over-reactive and emotional rant. Good point about the vampire role-playing. I’ll be looking more into that possibly for a hopefully more restrained and objective follow-up

    I wasn’t aware there was a YouTube video pertaining to this. I’ll check that out later with my Chrome browser, which is the only thing that works for YouTube on my computer.

    Again, great work.

  2. For the sake of argument…even if these bastards were some form of occultists their crime is due to their own depravity not the occult. Probably more influenced by the latest vampire craze sweeping the country.

    Most of our prisons are filled with people who claim to adhere to the Christian and Muslim faiths then Wiccans. That doesn’t make their crimes Christian or Muslim crimes anymore then you can blame Wicca for these clowns.

  3. True. I think blood fetishism is only linked to the occult by fetishists interest in dressing up their paraphilia to make it more palatable (no pun intended) than if they simply cut people and played with the blood.

  4. To think that these fetishist were anything close to a wiccan is an insult on the level that you could say they were catholic because they drank blood. Anyone that can say this knows nothing of the rules of wicca such as Blessed Be they that cause no harm to others, and causing no harm to others do as ye will. Catch that, no harm to others if you do the rule of threes can and will catch up with you and bring an obvious end to it. Unlike here, where being caught is kind of an escape from the concequences of the rule of three at least until prison.

  5. Pingback: Blood Fetishists Attack Juggalo in Chandler, Arizona : Greenville Dragnet

  6. To say that just because someone may of drank or played in the victuims blood does not mean they are “vampires” or think they are.
    To Modern Day “Vampyres” blood is sacred and most of them deal in energy work and feeding and there are rare ones who dabble in sanguine feeding (blood feeding) and usually even then do not do it but only for sacred reasons.
    Why doesnt someone focus on the more important part of where the hell is this 14yr old girls mother?! Why is this girls mother allowing her daughter to have sex and not only to have sex but to have sex with two people who are incredibly older then her?! Where was the mother while this murder was going on?! Also were those men charged with being pedophiles also and marked as sex offenders?!
    How about people focus on the fact at hand that a poorly raised and supervised CHILD and her CHILD MOLESTER lovers killed a man, WHO WAS ATTEMPTING TO BE A PEDOPHILE, in the CHILD’S UNSUPERVISED HOME WHILE THE MOTHER WAS OFF DOING GOOD KNOWS WHAT INSTEAD OF RAISING HER CHILD?!
    I mean fucking really I think the mother should be brought up on charges as well of child neglect/abuse and the men involved should be regester and treated as sex offenders ON TOP OF the murder charges and the others involved who knew of the relationship with the men and the CHILD should be charged as accessories to child abuse and neglect as well for not reports the CHILD MOLESTATION!!!
    Stop trying to focus blame on what people choose as a religious preference and its like damning people for being christain or catholic or jewish! Its wrong and I believe a violation of peoples rights as well!
    Look at the facts and the BIG picture and not focusing on here say!

  7. A) That’s not what i said, please read the essay before commenting on it.

    B) I’ve met dozens of “vampires” in the 90s (surely modern day still) and later doing research and I can assure you that they have a wide range of religious beliefs and thoughts concerning blood.

    C) No political blogger one has fought against child molesters more than me. And I point out the sickness of this relationship.

    D) Blood fetishism is a psychological condition, not a religious preferences. Being a “Vampire” is not a religion.

    I agree that the men involved are pedophiles, and have pointed out before that pedophiles are inherently sadists. However there is no “treatment’ for pedophiles, only justice.

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