SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- A couple claiming to be Moslem 'warriors' disgusted with the American way of life have admitted killing three people 'for religious reasons,' it was disclosed today.
Michael Carson, 38, and his wife, Suzan, 41, made the statements Wednesday in a jailhouse interview with a San Francisco Chroni:le reporter and a reporter from KGO-television in San Francisco. The story of the interview was published in today's edition of the Chroni:le.
The couple said they stabbed Keryn Barnes, 23, in an apartment they shared in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury District in March 1981, shot Clark Stephens with whom they worked on a marijuana farm in Humboldt County in 1982 and killed Jon C. Hillyar, 30, a hitchhiker, in rural Sonoma County in January.
'Suzan ordered each killing,' Carson said. They are being held on one charge of murder in the Hillyar case.
Carson's wife said Ms. Barnes had 'faked' a conversion to the Moslem religion. In fact, Mrs. Carson said, the victim was draining her of her health and powers while Ms. Barnes herself was blooming with health and prettiness.
Carson said the men were targeted for death after has wife was 'sexually attacked' by Stephens and 'sexually abused' by Hillyar.
Present during the five-hour interview were San Francisco homicide inspectors Frank Falzon and Carl Klotz, a Sonoma County Sheriff's detective and an investigator from the San Francisco District Attorney's office.
Carson and his wife said they were Moslem 'warriors' and -- while traveling in Europe, the American Southwest and California -- they developed strong feelings of pacifism, the practice of yoga and vegetarianism and converted to a self-adopted form of the Moslem religion.
Carson described his wife as 'a yogi and a mystic with knowledge of past, present and future.'
He said the victims were killed for 'religious reasons.' He added, 'Witchcraft, homosexuality and abortion are causes for death.'
The couple said during the rambling interview that they feared for the future of the United States. They repeatedly told of their 'disgust' with the American way of life.
The interview with the two reporters came after the Carsons sent a note to Chroni:le columnist Herb Caen complaining they were in the Sonoma County Jail and had received 'no publicity in the more important press.'
'We insist on pre-trial publicity,' Carson told the two reporters and added he and his wife had not been allowed to express their religious opinions during their preliminary hearing for the Hillyar slaying last week.
Carson said his wife 'got orders' in her mind to slay Ms. Barnes while the couple was returning to California from a trip to Arizona.
'Each time Suzan said it (that Ms. Barnes should be killed) the thunder would :lap,' Carson said.
Carson said he hit Ms. Barnes' on the head 'as hard as I could three times' with a skillet. When she appeared to be still alive, he said, he stabbed her twice in the neck with a paring knife.
Carson said he shot Stephens near Alderpoint because he was 'a demon.' He added he and his wife burned the body and buried it under chicken fertilizer.
Carson said Hillyar was a 'witch.' He said he tried to shoot him but Hillyar grabbed his .38-caliber pistol and the two struggled for 10 minutes.
Finally, Carson said, he got the gun back and shot Hillyar.
The Carsons were taken into custody shortly after the slaying of Hillyar.