A mother and her two adult sons were the reported victims of what is suspected to have been a ritualistic killing on July 28 in Florida. The bodies were found Friday, and local police have noted that the date the murders occurred coincides with a blue moon, which occur infrequently.

As of Tuesday afternoon, investigators had spoken to a person of interest, according to the Pensacola News Journal, and they are described as a white male. The three individuals died of blunt force trauma; all three were hit with a claw hammer and were found with their throats slit. One had a gun shot in their neck as well. Escambia County Sheriff, Thelbert "David" Morgan, said that the man suspected of the murders was known to have practiced witchcraft.



The bodies of Voncile Smith, 77, and her two adult sons, Richard Thomas Smith, 49, and John William Smith, 47, were found during a welfare check last week. Richard Thomas Smith reportedly worked for the Department of Homeland Security. There were no signs of forced entry into the home, which is bordered in the back by woods.

If blue moons, which occur when a fourth moon appears during a three-month-long season, can be the inspiration for murder and witchcraft, they may also serve a cathartic purpose for families struggling with murdered loved ones. Last week, after an 8-year-old Santa Cruz, California, girl was found dead in a recycling bin, the girls mother invited the community to celebrate her daughter's life by howling at the blue moon.

In that case, a 15-year-old is accused of luring the young girl from a courtyard into his family's apartment where he killed her. He disposed of her body in a recycling bin nearby and is currently facing adult murder charges. He is also facing kidnapping and rape charges.