Sister Margaret’s wounds created a sick Satanic symbol.

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Sister Margaret was stabbed 31 times. (Photo: PA Photos)

The day before Easter, on 5 April 1980, Sister Margaret set off early to clean the chapel at Mercy Hospital. But at 8.20am, a fellow nun entered the chapel – and screamed.

For under a wooden cross on the wall, lay Sister Margaret. She was covered in blood and surrounded by candles.

She’d been throttled and stripped partially naked, her underwear pulled down. She’d been brutally stabbed 31 times in her neck and chest, the wounds forming the shape of an inverted cross. A sick, Satanic symbol.

Her attacker had even ‘anointed’ Sister Margaret’s forehead like in the Catholic last rites – but using her own blood. The cruellest mockery.

PA Photos

PA Photos

The murder horrified the small town of Toledo, Ohio. ‘Sister Margaret was a good woman and a friend to everyone,’ Mercy Hospital’s priest, Father Gerald Robinson, choked.

But just two weeks later, Father Robinson, then 44, became chief suspect. Why?

‘He became a suspect when no independent person could account for where he was – and then he lied to me,’ remembered the lead detective. But Father Robinson insisted that he hadn’t left his room that morning.

Father Gerald Robinson

Father Robinson. (Photo: PA Photos)

The police already knew that Father Robinson and Sister Margaret had argued bitterly the night before about the length of his Good Friday service.

Then, the priest revealed something.

The real killer had already confessed to him!

By Catholic rules, he was banned from revealing more.

Police were deeply suspicious, especially when Father Robinson admitted he’d lied about the confession. They searched his room. And found an 8in letter opener shaped like a small sword.

The murder weapon. (Photo: PA Photos)

The murder weapon. (Photo: PA Photos)

Just the right shape to cause the stab wounds on the dead nun….

Police gave him two lie detector tests. But he passed both! So the hunt for the killer went cold.

Father Robinson was left to minister in Toledo for the next 20 years.

Then, in 2003, police received a letter from a woman who claimed to have suffered sex abuse as a child. She described being regularly raped in Toledo churches by a group of priests, amid terrifying Satanic ceremonies.

She then claimed she’d seen them killing and sacrificing a small child. And she said one of the priests was Father Robinson.

There was no proof, but it made cops reopen the decades-old murder case.

And this time, three witnesses admitted they’d seen Father Robinson near the chapel on the morning of Sister Margaret’s death.

The priest was charged with murder. Father Robinson denied it.

In court, an exorcise and occult expert testified that the killer must have had extensive knowledge of religious ritual and symbolism – and determined to mock Sister Margaret, the church and God with an occult killing in such a sacred spot.

Defence experts pointed out that DNA under Sister Margaret’s fingernails and on her underwear did not match Father Robinson’s.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. The verdict
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