Fascination with the occult Pearl High School, Pearl, Miss., June 10, 1998--Wearing a bullet-resistant vest, Luke Woodham is escorted to the courthouse in Hattiesburg, Miss., for a hearing on charges that he shot and killed two students and wounded seven with a hunting rifle on Oct. 1, 1997. He was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, and another life sentence for stabbing his mother to death before the school rampage. His lawyers had argued that he was insane. After the sentencing, Woodham called his crime "sick and evil," and said, If they could have given the death penalty in this case, I deserve it." During the trial, Woodham, ignoring his lawyers advice, testified that the murders were the result of heartbreak over losing his girlfriend, Christina Menefee, the 16-year-old whom he killed in the shooting spree. He also blamed his fascination with occult rituals. He told jurors that, after the breakup, he fell under the influence of a 19-year-old whom he described as both a mentor and a tormentor, the person who introduced him to the occult. "He told me I had to kill my mom," Woodham said. "He told me I had to get the gun and the car and go to school and get my revenge on Christy and cause a reign of terror."
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