A prostitute testified Tuesday that alleged pimp and devil's...

March 10, 1981
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FITCHBURG, Mass. -- A prostitute testified Tuesday that alleged pimp and devil's cult leader Carl Drew, whom she called a 'nice guy,' described to her during a drug-clouded tryst some of the details of the ritualistic murder of another prostitute.

Drew, 25, is on trial for the murder of Karen Marsden, 20, of Fall River, in February 1980 and has been indicted in the October 1979 killing of Doreen Levesque, 19, of New Bedford.

Drew allegedly headed a satanist cult among prostitutes and pimps in the Fall River area, according to testimony in the Worcester Superior Court trial now in its second week.

Both murdered prostitutes were believed involved in the cult.

Miss Marsden was beaten to death with a rock before her throat was slit, her body mutilated and her head torn from her neck during a ritual in which her soul was offered to Satan, according to testimony.

Lea Johnson, 24, an admitted prostitute and the last witness called Tuesday by prosecutor David Waxler, said she moved in with Drew shortly after moving to Fall River in the spring of 1980.

Miss Johnson said Drew one night described -- while both were on drugs -- how he cut off Miss Marsden's finger at the time of the murder to get a diamond ring the victim was wearing.

'He wanted her to feel pain,' said Miss Johnson. 'He said it was done because she wanted to leave the cult. She wanted out. He didn't say much of anything else except I remember he told me the cops would never find her body.

'Drew told me the cops were going to come down on him for these murders. Carl and I were high the night he told me about it. We were in bed. We were doing mescaline and THC.'

Mescaline is a hallucinogenic derivative of the peyote mushroom; THC -- tetrahydrocannabinol -- is the active ingredient in marijuana.

Miss Johnson testified that when she first met Drew she thought he was a 'nice guy. I still think he's a nice guy.'

Earlier Tuesday, the state's star witness, Robin Murphy, 17, finished two days' testimony saying she participated in Miss Marsden's murder while in a trance-like state similar to the 'out of body' experiences she had at several cult meetings led by Drew. She also said whe was present at Miss Levesque's murder.

Another witness, Carol Fletcher, 24, of Fall River, said she was present during Miss Marsden's killing but did not participate. She said she saw Drew 'take something out of his pocket, but I looked away. I went back to the car.'

The defense introduced a letter allegedly written to a female lover by Miss Murphy from Framingham State Prison, where she has been serving time since pleading guilty to second degree murder in the case in exchange for turning state's evidence.

In the letter, Miss Murphy complained about the information given to police by Miss Fletcher and contradicted some of her own testimony.

'She's (Miss Fletcher) saying everything. She's trying to get Carl and me life in prison,' Miss Murphy wrote. 'I don't care what Carl has ever done, she doesn't have to lie about him.

'If she lies on the stand, that's perjury. That's five years. She'll be taken care of if she gets up here (to Framingham prison). Everybody up here hates a rat,' the letter said.

'Carol worked for me and she's (angry) because I wouldn't take her to bed,' Miss Murphy wrote. 'She's saying that Carl belongs to a satanic cult. That's bull----.'

Miss Murphy testified Monday that Drew broke Miss Marsden's neck, ordered her to slit the woman's throat, then tore the head from the body with his bare hands.

After the murder, Miss Murphy said she went to Miss Fletcher's home where she 'ate some chicken, drank a beer and smoked a joint.'

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