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Pennsylvania Woman Claims To Have Killed At Least 22 People

Miranda Barbour, who has told a newspaper that she's killed at least 22 people.
Miranda Barbour, who has told a newspaper that she's killed at least 22 people.

This is among the day's more disturbing stories:

A 19-year-old woman who's already a suspect in one murder has told a central Pennsylvania newspaper that she's a satanist who has been killing people since she was 13.

Miranda Barbour claims that after her 22nd victim, "I stopped counting."

The Daily Item of Sunbury, Pa., reports that during a jailhouse interview on Friday, Barbour "offered scant details of her [alleged] participation in slayings in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina and California." But the newspaper adds that:

"City police confirmed Saturday they had been working, prior to her revelations Friday night, with investigators from other states and the FBI about Miranda Barbour's possible connection to other killings. The majority of her murders, she said, took place in Alaska."

As Pennsylvania's WNEP-TV says, Barbour and her 22-year-old husband, Elytte, "are accused of luring Troy LaFerrara, 42, through an ad on Craigslist, then stabbing him to death, just so they could kill someone together. LaFerrara's body was found in Sunbury on November 12 of last year."

Elytte Barbour also is in jail awaiting trial.

Daily Item reporter Francis Scarcella tells WNEP that his interview with Miranda Barbour came about after she "sent me a letter and said she wanted to speak." He adds that: "She said she has done this before. I said, 'What's the actual number?' She said under 100. ... She was very meek, very mild. She was very low-voiced. She never hesitated once. She never gave the impression this was a rehearsal. ... I said, 'Miranda, as you sit here do you have any remorse?' She said, 'None.' "

In his newspaper account, Scarcella writes that:

"Sunbury police Chief Steve Mazzeo said authorities are aware of Miranda's claims of murders, are taking them very seriously. ... 'From information we gathered and from information gathered from her interview we are seriously concerned and have been in contact with the proper authorities' [Mazzeo said]."

Scarcella also reports that Miranda Barbour said she was "telling [him] because it is time for me to be honest and I feel I need to be honest."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.