Who Is The Infamous Pazuzu Algarad & What Is He Known For?
Meet the accused suburban Satanist who allegedly sacrificed animals, boasted about cannibalism, and killed himself while awaiting trial for murder.
On October 28, 2015, prison guards reportedly discovered self-proclaimed "Satanist" and accused murderer Pazuzu Illah Algarad dead in his cell. Algarad was reportedly found bleeding from a deep wound on one of his arms. He'd been scheduled to appear in court the next day. He was 36 .
Algarad's "apparent suicide" may have been the end for him, but for the public, fascination over reports about his alleged involvement in bizarre sex practices, heavy narcotics, and violent occult rituals was just beginning.
Even the dead man's name generated morbid interest. He reportedly had it legally changed from John Lawson to Pazuzu Algarad in tribute to "the Assyrian king of demons" mentioned in the movie "The Exorcist." On top of that, Algarad was heavily tattooed with Satanic-like imagery and had filed his teeth into spikes.
Specific claims about Algarad's alleged behaviors included, as the Daily Beast reported, "cutting himself and his buddies, drinking the blood of birds, doing copious drugs, performing ritual sacrifices of rabbits, staging nude orgies, and letting people do whatever they pleased to his abode."
Police alleged Algarad's libertine lifestyle included murder, as well.
On October 5, 2014 — almost a year to the day before he died — authorities arrested Algarad and his then-24-year-old girlfriend, Amber Burch. The handcuffs came out after officers reportedly discovered skeletal remains buried in the couple's backyard in Clemmons, North Carolina.
Deputies with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said the remains were those of Tommy Welch, 31; and Joshua Wetzler, 32. The two men had been missing since 2009.
According to arrest warrants, Algarad allegedly shot Wetzler to death in July 2009 and Burch helped him bury the body. The warrants further claim Burch fatally shot Welch in October 2009 and Algarad helped her dispose of his body.
An alleged friend of the couple, Krystal Matlock, 28, was charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. The warrants allege she helped Burch bury Wetzler.
After taking Algarad and Burch into custody, authorities released a video allegedly shot inside the couple's home, prompting media reports to dub it a "house of horrors."
The nine-and-a-half-minute clip depicts a filth-encased, garbage-strewn, "uninhabitable" residence where the words "Evil Will Triumph" appear spray-painted over a doorway amid other Satanic-looking graffiti.
An accompanying report, filed by Code Officer Ken Nelson of the Forsyth County Housing and Community Development Department, describes the house as containing, "broken glass and sharp instruments everywhere … hundreds of flies, dead and alive … decayed animal parts and remains," and "animal cages with carcasses." The report also notes a "dried blood-like substance" on walls.
Well before being arrested in 2014, police said Algarad had a rap sheet. In 2010, he was charged with accessory after the fact for allowing the assailant in a shooting death of a man named Joseph Chandler to stay at the house.
In that case, authorities accused Algarad of misdirecting investigators and allowing the suspect to hide out in his home.
Psychiatrists who allegedly interviewed Algarad at the time reported, "He admitted that he bathed no more than once a year and had not brushed his teeth in years. He felt such actions stripped … the body of its defenses in warding off infection and illness."
State records indicate Algarad was released on probation following that case.
In a 2014 interview with the HuffPost, a woman named Bianca Heath said she stayed at Algarad's home for a month in 2005. Heath claimed Algarad spoke proudly to her about killing and eating two prostitutes, after which he allegedly claimed he burned their bodies and buried their remains .
Heath stated in the interview: "Paz told everyone. But I never believed him. I'm sure no one else believed him either. He laughed about the skeletal remains when telling the story on why he did what he did … I never once saw the skeleton bodies. I honestly thought he was lying; now I'm not sure what to believe."
Speaking to The Winston-Salem Journal in 2014, an unnamed female friend of Burch's claimed she heard Algarad boast of killing sex workers. She said he claimed to get a drug-like rush from eating the "still-beating heart" of a sacrificial animal.
The anonymous friend also claimed Algarad remained naked during the duration of her visit and acted in a manner she interpreted as "very sexual, very provocative."
The friend further described feces being piled up all over Algarad's home and said, "I'm pretty sure I witnessed him peeing in the corner."
In April 2015, Algarad's "house of horrors" was reportedly demolished while neighbors cheered.
On March 9, 2017, Amber Burch pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, armed robbery, and accessory after the fact to murder. She received a sentence of up to a minimum of 30 years and eight months in prison with a maximum of 39 years and two months.
Five weeks later, on June 5, Krystal Matlock pleaded guilty to conspiracy to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. She was ordered to serve a minimum of three years and two months with a maximum of four years and 10 months.
Read more: People, People (2), My Fox8, My Fox8 (2), Journal Now, Journal Now (2), Journal Now (3), Yes Weekly, Mooresville Tribune, Daily Beast, KPIX 5, New York Daily News, WFMY , WFMY (2), Greensboro.com, NC Dept. of Public Safety, HuffPost, Fox46 Charlotte, CBS17, WXII-12, Des Moines Register, Lad Bible