Investigations launched into former Alaskan's claims she killed 22 people

mtheriault@adn.comFebruary 17, 2014 

A jailhouse interview given by a former Alaska teen who says she's a satanist serial killer has launched a frenzy of media coverage as police investigate her claims.

So far, law enforcement agencies have said little about whether they think Miranda Dean Barbour, 19, is telling the truth about having killed dozens of people in Alaska and three other states. The district attorney prosecuting her for the November slaying of an electrical engineer in Pennsylvania says he's skeptical of her story.

On Friday, Barbour told a Sunbury, Pa., newspaper that she had been killing since she joined a satanic cult in Alaska at the age of 13.

In the interview, she claimed to have killed at least 22 people in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina and California over the past six years.

The article went online Saturday night.

Media organizations from all over the world quickly jumped on the story.

As of Monday evening, hundreds of stories were online, including some focusing on Barbour's claim of membership in a secret satanic cult operating in Alaska.

No evidence has surfaced so far that one exists.

Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said Monday she has fielded queries from local, national and international media outlets about Alaska's link to the Barbour case.

"Everyone has been calling and asking," she said.

So far, the Alaska State Troopers will say only that troopers "received the information and will work with other authorities as appropriate and follow up any leads that may present themselves," according to Peters.

Calls to the FBI's Anchorage spokesman, special agent Kevin Donovan, went unanswered Sunday and Monday. Someone answering the phone at the bureau Monday said no comment would be available until after the Presidents Day federal holiday.

The FBI in Philadelphia simply said it had " been in contact" with Sunbury police about Barbour and would "offer any assistance requested in the case."

Meanwhile, the district attorney prosecuting Barbour told a local newspaper that he is wary of Barbour's statements.

"I am skeptical of her claims. We have been in contact with other law enforcement agencies where she has lived and haven't received any information verifying what she said," Northumberland Country District Attorney Tony Rosini is quoted as telling the News Item, a newspaper out of Shamokin, Pa.

Barbour and her husband are charged with luring a 42-year-old electrical engineer to a Pennsylvania mall parking lot with the promise of sex brokered via Craigslist and then stabbing him to death.

Police said the victim's cellphone records led them to Barbour and her husband, Elytte Barbour, who is also charged with murder.

Public records show that Barbour, then known by her maiden name of Miranda Dean, lived at addresses in North Pole and Palmer over the past decade and attended high school in Palmer.

She left the state in 2011 to move to North Carolina, according to her interview with another newspaper, the Sunbury Daily Item.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.

 

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