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Boy of 14 saw horror movie 10 he's on trial for the killing that shook a nation; 'He stabbed victim, 7, and boiled his flesh'.

A Hollywood horror movie drove a teenager to kill a seven-year-old boy and boil his flesh.

The film Warlock, starring English heart-throb Julian Sands, warped the diseased mind of 14-year-old Sandy Charles.

In the movie, Sands stars as a male witch transported from the 1600s to Los Angeles where he takes part in Satanic rituals.

Sick Charles was so fascinated by the movie that he recreated it and lured seven-year-old Johnathan Thimpsen into the woods and killed him.

A shocked court in Canada heard last week how Charles and an eight-year-old accomplice stabbed Johnathan with a knife and then battered him to death with a rock and bottle.

But the killing alone was not enough to satisfy Charles's sickening bloodlust.

Following a revolting pagan ritual shown in Warlock, the lanky teenager then stripped and boiled flesh from the body of his tiny victim to make a potion that would let him "fly".

"There's a strong spirit in my room that gave me these thoughts," Charles told police.

"I was going to commit suicide until this thing popped into my head. I started thinking about killing someone else. Something wanted me to."

Defence lawyer Barry Singer told the court in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, that Charles is not guilty because he suffers a mental illness.

And Singer claims that the movie Warlock, which also featured the British star Richard E Grant, held a powerful influence over Charles's twisted mind.

"In the movie, the idea was that if you cut the fat off a virgin, unbaptised child, then boiled it down and drank it. That would give you the power to fly," said Singer.

"Sandy was suffering from the delusion that if he did these things, it would give him the power to fly. The movie just gave him the know-how to do it."

Charles's mother Jean said that her son was a good student with a passion for science fiction movies and had seen Warlock at least 10 times.

Mrs Charles told the judge that her a son had admitted to her that he did physically carry out his terrible crime - but claimed that he was not in control of his actions.

"He said he couldn't stop himself," Mrs Charles said.

"He said it was like a dream. He said he didn't want to do it, but it was like it wasn't him doing it."

Charles faces 25 years in prison if the judge finds him guilty. But his young accomplice - identified in court only by the initial M - is not being charged because of his age.

The murder happened in the tiny Indian town of La Ronge, 450 miles north of the US border.

Before the trial Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Dave Hoefl refused to give details of the killing in case it sparked "mass hysteria".

He said: "When you take a look at a 14-year-old doing this to a seven- year-old, there has to be a reason.

"There is a reason. We just have to decide whether it's in the public interest to know that reason right now.

"I'm not sure whether the community is ready for this or not - and in reality, I don't even think the province is ready for it."

But the details finally emerged as Crown prosecutor Robin Ritter told how Charles and his eight-year-old friend randomly selected young Johnathan as their victim.

They lured the youngster into the woods on the pretext of playing a game.

Charles pounced on the unsuspecting youngster, stabbing him at least four times in the throat, body and face with a paring knife.

When the blade became embedded in Johnathan's eye, Charles crushed the little boy's skull with a rock and a beer bottle.

Then he copied Warlock, pulled out his mother's carving knife and cut 15 strips of flesh and fat from the now lifeless body of the innocent child.

Prosecutor Ritter told the judge that Charles then returned home, placed the strips in a soup can covered with foil, put the can on the stove and cooked the flesh to reduce the fat to liquid.

Three days after his death, Johnathan's butchered body was discovered in the woods.

The corpse was found by his cousin, who was part of search party formed by local townsfolk.

Two days later, Charles was arrested and charged with the murder. A Cree Indian funeral service was held for Johnathan and he was buried in a tribal cemetery.

"Johnathan was just a perfect little angel," said Mrs J D Lloyd, who runs a day-care centre for children in La Ronge.

"He was very quiet and well-behaved. A tragedy like this should never be allowed to happen anywhere in the world."

Alison Ballentyne, who works as an addictions counsellor in La Ronge, said: "We're going to have to endure some real pain as a community. We're all in some small way going to have to share some of the responsibility for what has happened."

The film Warlock, released in 1990, marked the Hollywood debut of Richard E Grant.

He said: "Never before, or since, for that matter, have I been cast in a big macho role when I get to kill people. It was fun."
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Burton, Alex
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jun 30, 1996
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