AN: I'm posting this here, but I encourage you to visit the blog because the conversation in the comments was so interesting and emotional. One of the victim's friends found my blog and wanted to give some input. "It all seemed so harmless," she said.

Readers: It's been brought to my attention that some of the details in the news story I originally reposted here had some inaccuracies, I'm not denying the mistake by changing it, but I am updating this post. One of the inaccuracies involved the victim's gender. What I'm reading is that Lucille was born a man, but identified as a woman. So, 'she' would have been correct, though I can understand the reporting error. Furthermore, these articles all refer to voodoo, although it seems likely that they're actually referring to Haitian Vodou. Finally, I suggested that drugs may have been involved. Admittedly, this is unfairly jumping the gun. (for more on that see the comments). What led to this woman's death isn't clear yet, but I'll be sure to update when they become clearer. Thanks for reading.



Looks like this is the second northeast 'voodoo' incident this summer. Is that enough to call it an epidemic?


GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP -- Authorities are investigating how an Arkansas woman died in what they call a voodoo cleansing ritual in a southern New Jersey townhouse.

Prosecutors said 21-year-old Lucille Hamilton of Little Rock was found unresponsive in the Gloucester Township home early Sunday. Camden County prosecutor's spokesman Jason Laughlin said an autopsy performed Sunday did not reveal the cause of death.

Medical examiners are waiting to see if toxicology results will help.

Six other people, including children, were also found at the home. All were checked at Virtua Hospital in Berlin Township and released.

No one answered the door at the home on Monday afternoon. Neighbors said voodoo rituals are performed at the home regularly on weekends.

In the comments, I was made aware that the ritual they're referring to is likely Lave Tet, which can (but doesn't always) involve 'magical' substances that may either be ingested or rubbed across open wounds. It seems possible to me that Lucille suffered an allergic reaction to the unknown substance. Of course, at this point it could be an unrelated condition that just happened to claim her life during this religious ceremony, like a heart attack.

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