HALIFAX -- A grisly tale spilled easily from the lips of James Odo, as he told a wide-eyed jury about being guilty of murders for which he was found innocent and of sacrificing young hitchikers in worship of Satan.
Odo, 36, of Halifax, was in court Friday in a more recent, unrelated case, for which he was charged with the first degree murder of five-year-old Darlene Davidson, the daughter of a woman friend. He has admitted to the murder.
Odo was found innocent in 1975 of first degree murder in the death of Anthony Cluett, 13, of Halifax, found bludgeoned and butchered in 1974.
Defense attorney Brian Bailey put his client on the stand to back up a plea of insanity in the Davidson murder.
Chief prosecutor John Scott asked Odo if he had murdered Cluett.
'I lied in 1974 to beat the charge, but I should have been doing life for it,' Odo answered.
'Did you kill Anthony Cluett?' asked Scott.
'If you want to put it that way,' replied Odo.
Odo said he made up a story about the Cluett murder, placing blame on two others suspects, while he was at the Nova Scotia Hospital, a mental institution in the neighboring city of Dartmouth.
The two other suspects later committed suicide.
When asked by Scott why he had lied about the Cluett murder, Odo said he did so because 'It saved me from doing life.'
'Where was the story concocted?' the prosecutor asked.
'In the nuthouse,' said Odo.
'So you're not crazy after all?' Scott asked.
'Who says I'm crazy?' Odo replied.
Odo went on to say he had been involved with a group of Satan worshippers in Montreal and had helped with the sacrifice killings of some young hitchikers.
Cluett's body, mutilated by knife wounds, was found in Point Pleasant Park in Halifax in 1974.
Odo was charged in June with the first-degree murder of Miss Davidson, whose partially-clad body was found in a wooded area by police June. 3. Police have not disclosed the cause of death or whether the child was sexually molested.
Miss Davidson and a seven-year-old companion, Chastity Beals, disappeared after a visit to a local circus with a family friend.
Police at the time said Davidson's mother, Margaret Morgan, had given permission for Odo to take the two children to the circus. Morgan and Odo had lived together for about nine months, prior to separating.
Davidson's body, nude from the waist down, was found two days after her disappearance during a city-wide police search. Miss Beals was found unharmed.
The court was told that Odo was unhappy with the break-up of his relationship with Davidson's mother.
Jurors were asked by the judge to bring in their verdict in the murder of Miss Davidson Tuesday.