|The Devil's Teeth.|
It was a case that shook a small New Jersey suburb to its core.
On August 7th, 1972, sixteen-year-old Jeannette DePalma walked out of her home in the sleepy township of Springfield, and into the realm of urban legend. She had planned to hitchhike to a friend’s house before an afternoon shift at work. She would never make it.
Six weeks after seemingly vanishing into thin air, the body of Jeannette DePalma was found after a local dog brought the teenager’s decomposed arm back to its owner. A search party discovered the rest of her remains high atop of a cliff inside an abandoned quarry. For decades, this eerie outcropping of roch had been known to locals as the Devil’s Teeth.
The local police tried to diffuse this situation by quietly suggesting to others that girl must have been partying with friends in the woods, and overdosed. The fact that Jeannette’s body was so badly decomposed made the determination of a cause of death uncertain. According to the first-responders who climbed the Devil’s Teeth, Jeannette body was found surrounded by occult objects, suggesting that a ritual sacrifice had taken place.
Rumors of witchcraft and Satanism were splashed across the headlines of every local paper in the county. News of Jeannette’s supposed Satanic murder traveled as far as Iowa. The terrified citizens of Springfield began to demand answers. How could something like this happen in such a nice, middle-class community? The DePalma family suggested to reporters that Jeannette could have been targeted by Satanists or modern-day witches due to her activity within her church. However, Jeannette’s parish of choice - an Evangelical center located in the urban city of Elizabeth – quickly distanced themselves from the dead teenager; denying any significant involvement in her life.
While the police and the public were becoming mired in these bizarre subplots, connections to other events in the area were going overlooked – including the deaths of several other young women nearby.
As time passed, the DePalma case vanished from the headlines, and the terrified residents of Springfield seemed more than happy to forget the event, despite the fact that no arrests were ever made.