Johannesburg - Kirsty Theologo thought that she was going to a party with friends she trusted on the night of October 21, 2011.
She brought another girl along.
She had a drink.
She trusted her friends when they told her they needed to stop by a petrol station to get sweets, then again when they said there had been a change of plans and that they would be going into the “mountains of Linmeyer” instead.
The “party” turned out to be a satanic ritual in which Kirsty was drugged, bound, drenched in petrol and burnt so severely that she died later in hospital.
Her friend, now 16, survived. She can’t be named due to her age.
Lindon Wagner, Robin Harwood, Harvey Isha and Courtney Daniels are on trial at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court for her murder.
Two other men - Lester Moody and Jeremy King - made plea bargains and have each been sentenced to 17 years in prison, five of which were suspended.
Moody testified on Tuesday, relaying the story of how Kirsty came to be sacrificed to the devil in the hope that the four accused could receive “power, wisdom, fame and money” in return for “drinking her blood, eating her flesh and burning her with fire”.
Wearing a gold cross around his neck, Moody admitted that he had explored Satanism, despite beinga pastor’s son who was forced to attend church every Sunday.
He confirmed that Kirsty’s murder had been planned weeks in advance, and modelled after a passage from the New Testament’s Book of Revelation, which deals with the immolation of an apocalyptic vision known as the “mother of harlots” or the “whore of Babylon”. (Revelations 17: 16: The ten horns you saw and the beast will hate the prostitute; they will take away everything she has and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and destroy her with fire.)
The idea to cast Kirsty in the role of the biblical prostitute arose about three weeks before the night of the murder, as the accused were gathered at Wagner’s flat.
Moody recalled that he, Wagner and King were playing a game in the kitchen called matchmaker, a soothsaying game in which matches burning through tissue paper signalled “yes, no or maybe” to questions posed by the group.
When the men asked whether Kirsty was the prostitute in the Bible, the flame indicated “yes”. They then decided she had to be sacrificed.
“Everything changed from that night”, Moody said. “It became a sort of soul-selling.”
He added that Kirsty herself had asked to take part in the satanic ritual on three separate occasions. Twice under the influence of drugs and, once while sober, Kirsty had reportedly said she wanted the others to strip her naked, drink her blood, eat her flesh and burn her.
Kirsty’s friend who survived the 2011 ritual as well as her mother Sylvia were in court on Tuesday.
Sobbing quietly throughout Moody’s testimony, Sylvia repeatedly whispered: “My baby, my baby.”
It was the first time she was hearing all the graphic details of what happened to her daughter.
“All I can say is that we were all teenagers once, and we said stupid things. But I’ll never know if she was serious because I never got a chance to ask,” Sylvia said outside court regarding Moody’s suggestion that Kirsty had wanted to die.
Moody said Wagner naturally fell into the role of organising Kirsty’s murder, assigning the other accused items to bring to the scene of the crime and luring Kirsty out of her house.
Before their meeting in Linmeyer, the group assembled a knife, rope, candles, cups, alcohol and brake fluid for drugging the two girls. After Kirsty and her friend arrived, Wagner allegedly told Isha to buy petrol, and the group hiked to Linmeyer.
Kirsty and her friend - the only two people not dressed entirely in black - lost consciousness due to the brake fluid that had been secretly added to their drinks.
The two victims were then bound and left to one side while the accused created a “satanic star” in the ground and lit candles at each of its five points, Moody testified.
When Kirsty’s friend testified last week, she recalled waking up to screams and seeing her on fire.
Moody’s testimony was to continue on Wednesday, followed by King’s.