|Cannibal Child Killer Nathaniel Bar-Jonah
October 2, 2002 - Confessed annibal killer Nathaniel Bar-Jonah, accused of butchering a 10-year-old boy and feeding him to neighbors, won't face murder and kidnapping charges because the alleged victim's mother believes her son is still alive. Zachary Ramsay's mother, Rachel Howard, said she was prepared to testify she did not believe Nathaniel Bar-Jonah had killed her son in 1996, prompting prosecutors to drop their case. "I did not want Bar-Jonah to be convicted of a crime that I did not believe he did," Howard said.
Hher belief is based on several things, including a videotape she says shows her son at age 12. She said police did not believe the boy in the video was her son. Bar-Jonah, 45, already serving a 130-year prison sentence in Montana for kidnapping and sexual assault in a separate case, was accused of abducting Zachary while he walked to school. The boy's body was never found, and authorities have said evidence suggests Bar-Jonah killed the boy and disposed of his body in meals served to unsuspecting neighbors.
Searches of Bar-Jonah's house nearly three years ago turned up lists of children's names, including Zachary, and encrypted letters in which Bar-Jonah wrote about such dishes as "little boy stew," "little boy pot pies" and "lunch is served on the patio with roasted child."
Bar-Jonah was convicted earlier this year of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old Great Falls boy, and hanging the boy's 8-year-old cousin from a kitchen ceiling. Those assaults occurred in 1998 and 1999. Bar-Jonah has appealed the verdict. Bar-Jonah spent 11 years in a Massachusetts mental hospital after one attack in which authorities said he tried to kill two boys. Before that, he had forced an 8-year-old boy into his car and choked him with his belt. Shortly after his release, he assaulted another boy. Under a 1991 plea agreement with Massachusetts prosecutors, Bar-Jonah was allowed to move to Montana with his mother. Montana authorities were outraged to learn of the deal after Bar-Jonah's arrest.
February 21, 2002 - In his trial for molesting three children in Grat Falls, Montana, Defense attorneys for pedophile-killer Nathaniel Bar-Jonah tried to downplay testimony from three boys who said they were molested by him. According to the attorneys the youngsters were coerced by police. However, an FBI especialist -- while admitting that detectives may have made mistakes -- said the witnesses were not lying. One of the boys said that Bar-Jonah, who was his neighbor, put a rope around his neck and hanged him from a kitchen ceiling. The others testified about sleepovers at his house and how the man had touched them sexually.
The oldest victim -- who is now a teenager -- acknowledged to defense attorney Gregory Jackson that he visited Bar-Jonah in the Cascade County jail and sent him a letter in 2000 -- at Bar-Jonah's request -- praising him as a friend. "Nathan, you treated me really nice," the letter read. "You never harmed me in any way. I really miss you, big guy. You were like the dad I never had." Jackson suggested that police and FBI interviews of the teen-ager, his then-5-year-old brother and an 8-year-old cousin influenced the boys to make the accusations. Cascade County Attorney Brant Light told the jury that Bar-Jonah patiently spent months befriending the boys only so he could victimize them. "This is a man who, at age 42, had only one ambition -- to pursue young boys and molest them," he said.
In what seems to be the first cannibal-murder case of 2001 and police in Great Falls, Montana arrested child molester and sexual sadist Nathaniel Bar-Jonah for the murder of 10-year-old Zachary Ramsay, who disappeared in 1996. Montana authorities have never recovered Ramsay's body and now believe Bar-Jonah ate the remains and also fed them to unwitting friends. They also suspect Bar-Jonah could be a serial killer after finding an unidentified child's bones in his garage and have enlisted the FBI's help in finding victims in other areas, including the Massachusetts.
Police said they found the names of four former Webster boys on a handwritten list seized from accused murderer and pedophile Nathaniel Bar-Jonah's Montana home. Police say that 27 of the 54 names on the list may be those of Massachusetts children whom Bar-Jonah knew when he grew up in the town of Webster (as David P. Brown) in the 1960s and 1970s. Included on the list are names of three boys whom Bar-Jonah was convicted of abducting in 1975 and 1977. Webster police Officer John Bolduc said he recognized several other names on the list despite misspellings. Bolduc's department received the list from police in G reat Falls, Montana, where Bar-Jonah is jailed on murder charges.
Evidence also shows Bar-Jonah traveled to Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington. The FBI is working with authorities in those states and others to review missing children reports.
Bar-Jonah was convicted in 1977 of kidnapping and trying to kill two Shrewsbury boys. He was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in jail before being deemed sexually dangerous and shipped to the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater. According to Bar-Jonah himself it was his Lord and savior who shepered his release from the center in July 1991.
"I've seen God take a hopeless situation like when all avenues were closed it seemed and I'd never, ever be released," Bar-Jonah wrote in the rambling he sent to the Great Falls Tribune. "Yet God told me I would and I believed Him even though the evidence of my release was not there. Then totally out of left field I got 2 - Yes, 2 - Christian psychiatrists who believed in me. That was a miracle in it self (sic) to find 2 Christians in that profession in Massachusetts. The state had a lot of evidence on their side, yet the judge sided with me."
American police are searching in Canada for other possible child victims of cannibal killer Nathaniel Bar-Jonah. "We can put him crossing the border several times and we are working that angle," police Sergeant John Cameron, the lead investigator on the case, said from Great Falls, Montana. "Alberta and Saskatchewan are the two places I think we were able to place him in, somewhere in the mid-'90s."
Bar-Jonah told the mother of 10-year-old Zachary Ramsay he had "hunted, killed, butchered and wrapped the meat" of her child. Prosecutors said he also served and ate burgers containing human flesh at a barbecue for his mother and a friend. A police search of Bar-Jonah's home revealed hundreds of cryptic notes written by him with headings such as: "Lunch is served on the patio with roasted child," and "Barbecue bee sum young guy." Police also found a meat grinder with hair inside along with numerous displayed newspaper clippings on Zachary's disappearance.
There was a large piece of plywood that was smeared with a wide indelible stain despite being repeatedly scrubbed with bleach. Lab tests indicated the board was struck several times with a sharp instrument. There were also the names of thousands of children.
"There are lists of children that you can just turn page after page after page after page," said Brant Light, the lead prosecutor on the case. Also found were 3,500 pictures of youngsters. "He had notebooks where there's pictures of children cut out of annual school books and newspapers with their names underneath -- just like collecting baseball cards," Mr. Light said.
Police also found stun guns, stun batons, police badges, police patches, and a realistic toy revolver. When police arrested Bar-Jonah in December 1999, he was dressed in a navy nylon jacket, circling an elementary school and was allegedly carrying a stun gun, a toy pistol, a fake police badge and pepper spray.