(Investigator 161, 2015
Women are still getting burned for witchcraft and other reasons. Joan
of Arc (1412-1431) who suffered that fate in 1431 was neither the
first nor the last.
In this article we'll begin with New Guinea. After that we'll consult a
Google Search on the phrase "Burn Woman".
The Weekend Australian reported: "Amnesty International has
renewed calls for an end to sorcery-related violence in Papua New
Guinea following a report that six women were tortured with hot irons
in an Easter ‘sacrifice.’" (April 6-7, 2013, p11)
Callick (2013) mentions: "The shocking death…of Kepari Lanieta, 20…the
mother of an eight-month-old baby." Laniet was burned alive.
When a relative or tribal member dies in the New Guinea Highlands,
locals want to know why. But most Highlanders are uneducated and
untrained in scientific explanations. They believe, however, in spirits
and believe that human sorcerers and witches can manipulate spirits.
Therefore when tragedy strikes they suspect foul play by a witch or
That is what happened to Lanieta. A six-year-old boy died in a Mount
Hagen hospital and his relatives blamed her and accused her of being a
Neill (2013) writes: "PNG women are among the world’s most disempowered
and abused… Studies quoted by the World Bank suggest more than half of
PNG women have been raped, while two-thirds have suffered domestic
In 2013 the PNG government introduced the death penalty for sorcery
related killings in a bid to deter crimes against women.
Callick (2013) writes: "Killing a person who is accused of sorcery also
now becomes a capital offence. The Sorcery Act of 1971, under which
suspicion of sorcery mitigated the seriousness of violent crime, was
Further hope for PNG women is the rapid increase in female magistrates
— a mere ten in 2007; 900 in 2013. They preside at many of PNG's 1600
BURN WOMAN HEADLINES
A Google search on the phrase "Burn Woman" produced a variety of
headlines and burn situations. These are listed below with details for
some of the headlines included:
Girl Sticks to Spiritual Tale
1 November 1928 Cornell Daily Sun
Lake Blue: Sticking steadfastly to a fantastic story of self-immolation
as her life ebbed away in a Lake Forest Hospital, a 30-year-old woman
tonight provided for the authorities an unfathomable mystery by her
almost unbelievable tale of attempting to burn herself alive in the
furnace of the Lake Bluff Village Hall to prove to herself her
The woman, Miss Elfrieda Knaak, attractive book agent and Sunday School
instructor and former University student and school teacher, was found
yesterday in the basement of the Lake Bluff police station, her
clothing burned and her arms and legs charred to the bone.
Her weird story of thrusting her legs into the live coals of the police
station furnace to prove her faith in the spiritual has been doubted
from the first by skeptical authorities and doctors who believe that no
human being voluntarily could withstand such torture as she described.
But tonight Miss Knaak, knowing she was to die at any hour, still stood
by her story.
Dastardly Attempt to Burn Woman Alive
16 July 1932 The Mail
SYDNEY. Ruby Ellis, aged 36…a married woman, was rushed to the Royal
Prince Alfred Hospital tonight, following a dastardly attempt to burn
According to the police Mrs Ellis and her husband had a violent
argument with a man who had sublet a room in the same house. The woman
then dropped to the floor in a faint.
Her husband, who has only one arm, left the room to get her water. When
he returned he found his wife…in flames. Nearby was an empty bottle of
Mr. Ellis clutched his wife with one arm and dragged her into the
street, a veritable human torch… The sickening smell of scorched flesh
caused the crowd who had gathered to recoil from the horrifying sight…
Drug Dealers Burn Woman - Los Angeles Times
21 March 1988
An Oakland woman was listed in stable condition after being doused with
gasoline and set afire by drug dealers
Attempt to burn woman alive, cop suspended
1 September 2007
Jaunpur: A woman was allegedly set on fire, following a property
dispute in Meerganj area here today.
Villagers burn woman accused of being a witch
30 May 2008
Bhubaneswar, India: An Indian woman accused of witchcraft was beaten,
gagged and burnt to death in a remote eastern village…
Felony counts now filed in attempt to
20 June 2008
A man accused of trying to set a woman on fire outside Tucson Police
Department headquarters has been arrested...
Husband, in-laws burn woman – Indian
25 October 2008
A woman, who was into five months of her marriage, was allegedly set on
fire by her husband and in laws.
Supreme Court says those who burn woman
1 Jun 2009 New Delhi
The Supreme Court on Monday came out with a strong verdict that, those
who burn women to death for dowry should be hanged...
"You have burnt a woman to death by pouring kerosene. How can you do
such a barbaric act? It is an uncivilised act. You should be hanged for
the crime," a vacation Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and Justice
Deepak Verma observed.
A spurt in the number of dowry cases in which husbands and in-laws burn
women to death are regularly reported from various parts of the country…
The apex court passed the observation while referring to Mahender Kumar
Gulati, a convict in a bride burning case who has been refused bail.
Gulati's wife, Rajani, in her dying declaration had accused her
husband, his elder brother Prem Kumar Gulati and sister in-law Rajani…
Too hot to handle: Swimmers burn woman
19 June 2011
A US sun worshipper claims she landed in the hospital with third-degree
burns on her bust after the underwire in her two-piece bathing suit
became overheated … on a 32C afternoon…
Man Dies While Trying To Burn Woman's Body
15 September 2011
Officials in Fulton County, Georgia say a man was killed last month by
an explosion touched off when he tried to burn the body of his
ex-girlfriend. Investigators say Sarone Bridges strangled 34-year-old
Beverly Bland before the fire.
Woman Burned, Beaten After Meeting Couple
15 March 2012
Authorities say four people beat a woman and set her on fire after
luring her to Philadelphia on a chat line.
In-laws burn woman alive for not bearing a son
11 April 2012 Express Tribune
€65,000 for burn woman who can't wear
23 May 2012
A WOMAN has been awarded €65,000 after a court heard she cannot wear
high heels because a hot water bottle split open in her bed scalding
Police foil bid to burn woman alive – The Hindu
1 June 2012
Teen tried to burn woman
16 August 2012
London Free Press
The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) Gas
21 October 2012
A WOMAN has been burnt after two large gas cylinders caught fire behind
a western Sydney corner store.
Four persons booked for bid to burn woman
2 November 2012
Icy Burn: Woman Divorces Husband After He
Hot on Her Vibrator
3 January 2013
Mob 'tries to burn woman alive' after village council calls her a witch
14 January 2013
Members of a village council in rural India have been accused of trying
to burn a woman alive after issuing a decree that she was a witch.
The incident in Junijhar village, Rajastan, is the latest in a string
of controversies involving village councils known as Khap Panchayats.
Woman burns up after trying to burn a
4 February 2013
This took place in the southern part of India where a few women wanted
to protest for the hijab. They tried to burn it but in a surreal way
she burned up instead.
Husband, mother-in-law burn woman's
in bid to abort baby
6 March 2013
Southern militants shoot and burn woman alive
10 February 2014
The militants left a message by her charred body which reads "this is a
reward for our three children killed by your people…"
Attempt to burn woman alive - Setopati
8 March 2014
Najarana Khatun, aged around twenty-six, wife of Gudu Ansari of
Rajbiraj municipality-7 was set ablaze in an attempt to burn her alive…
She was rushed to hospital and admitted for treatment. Almost 90 per
cent of her body was burnt, doctors said.
Man convicted of trying to burn woman
29 May 2014
Men Tie And Burn Woman To Death For
6 November 2014
A woman has been tied to a stake, shot with arrows and burned alive in
Paraguay after being accused of witchcraft.
Bombs burn woman at Barisal
21 January 2015
A woman has been burnt by petrol bombs hurled at a bus in Jhalakathi.
Husband and in-laws Hang and Burn Woman
16 February 2015
A mother of a 3-month-old baby was hanged and burnt to death by her
husband and in-laws for not meeting their demand of more dowry...
Callick, R. The Weekend Australian, February 9-10, 2013, p. 11.
Callick, R. The Australian, May 29, 2013, p8
Neill, Rosemary Ladies dispense tough justice, The Weekend
Australian, June 29-30, 2013, p. 24