A Houston teenager, Edward O’Neal Jr., 18, has been charged with the murder of a 16-year-old friend. Some suspect the murder was a satanic act, after O’ Neal Jr.’s parents told TV reporters that their son is a “devil worshiper.”
O’Neal Jr. was arrested in early February for stabbing his friend, Ryan Roberts, to death and disposing the body close to an overpass. He is currently in the Harris County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
Prosecutors said that O’Neal Jr. confessed to the murder three times on his own free-will. He attempted to commit suicide twice, two days after Robert’s body had been discovered.
Officials started to investigate O’Neal Jr. after Robert’s mother, Christina, reported that her son had gone missing on Jan. 15 when he did not come home from school.
Christina claimed a cousin of O’Neal’s came to her and said he confessed to the murder. The cousin then told Christina how her son was killed and where his body could be found.
Police report that Christina told authorities on Jan. 18th that she had reason to believe her son’s body could be found in a wooded area close to their apartment complex. His body wasn’t found there. The next day, however, Ryan’s remains were found close to railroad tracks under Houston’s South Loop Freeway.
Christina reports that O’Neal Jr. and Ryan were close friends. He even lived in their home temporarily and helped search for Ryan at their house.
“He sat there and said that he hit my son in the back, stabbed my son multiple times in the side,” Christina Roberts told sources. “My son was screaming and begging for his life and then the final blow was to the neck,” she added.
O’Neal Jr. later admitted to worshiping Satan, claiming he did not kill his friend, even though police noted he already confessed. O’ Neal Jr. pressed that Roberts was murdered by another close friend who was jealous of their relationship. He claimed that he was at the park with Roberts, a friend and a friend’s girlfriend on the day of the murder. It was there that the supposed jealous friend stabbed Roberts.
O’Neal Jr. said he fled the scene of the crime and did not tell anyone about the incident out of fear for his life. When O’Neal Jr. was questioned by law enforcement, he seemed anxious.
A motivation behind Roberts death remains unknown but Christina suspects her son’s death was part of a satanic ritual. The suspect’s father, Edward O’Neal Sr., helped his son check into Ben Taub’s psychiatric a month earlier. The father said his son had a history with mental illness and devil worshiping.
“Oh I know that he’s worshiping the devil and stuff,” said O’Neal Sr. “He didn’t tell me nothing. He didn’t say nothing about doing nothing. He’s mentally retarded.”
O’Neal Sr. also told sources that his son drew demonic pictures and would carve satanic symbols into his body. A woman claiming to be O’Neal Jr.’s mother said he made devil art and killed household pets.
“I didn’t raise him like that, as a child he was born and raised in the church home,” she said. “He doesn’t believe in God, he believes in the devil,” she added.
Christina Roberts, on the other hand, believes that O’Neal Jr. is neither insane nor possessed.
“He’s trying to play like he’s crazy,” she told KHOU. “He’s far from it. He know [sic] right from wrong.”
Click 2 Houston broadcasted images from an abandoned home where neighbors claimed O’Neal Jr. practiced satanism. The words “Back to Hell Satan in Jesus Name !!!” with a drawing of a cross with “Jesus!” at the center were scribbled on the walls. A hexagram also appeared to be carved into a concrete floor.