Krystal Matlock, Pazuzu Algarad, Amber Burch
Forsyth County Jail
10/10/2014 AT 07:00 PM EDT
Or at least one very devoted and misled fan. Pazuzu Illah, Algarad, 35, was arrested October 5 following the discovery of skeletal remains in shallow graves in his backyard. He has been charged with murder and accessory after the fact, as has Amber Nicole Burch 24, (described as Algarad’s wife on Facebook) and 28-year-old Krystal Nicole Matlock, who has only been charged as an accessory.
Born John Alexander Lawson in San Francisco, California, Algarad dropped out of high school and changed his name to reflect a new identity he was carving for himself. He adopted the name of Pazuzu – the demon at the center of The Exorcist – and cultivated a personality that was “a combination of Charles Manson, Anton LeVay and Alistair Crowley,” according to Camel City Dispatch. He began claiming Iraqi descent (friending real Middle Eastern jihadists on Facebook) , and reportedly filed his teeth into points with a Dremel tool.
For people around Clemmons, Algarad was the local boogeyman. The house on Knob Hill (belonging to Algarad’s mother, who lived with him and Burch and is legally blind) featured a front door ominously painted black and festooned with upside-down crosses, Arabic script (that apparently read “The House of Devils”) and a long diatribe against police. A message board post from 2013 described it as “disgusting,” refuse – human and animal – littering the floor and an overpowering odor.
One source told Camel City Dispatch that Algarad’s home was filled with “Hot Topic Satan stuff” and that “There was something about him that just made me feel terrible … Just his presence made me feel uneasy.” Another source described Lawson’s Satanic activities: Mutual blood-letting in local cemeteries, attempted arson of several churches and animal sacrifices, the latter of which was confirmed by law enforcement.
Algarad’s crimes ventured into the more prosaic, as well: In 2010, he was accused of choking his mother, who told police she was afraid of him and didn’t want to press charges, according to The Winston-Salem Journal. Also in 2010, Algarad was charged in connection with the shooting death of 30-year-old Joseph Emmrick Chandler, whose body was found at a local park near the Yadkin River, dead of a gunshot wound. He was convicted in 2012 as an accessory after the fact, according to multiple reports and was on probation from that conviction when the bodies were found Sunday.
Police would not specify what led investigators to the house Sunday. Court documents in the Chandler case reveal that Algarad “showed signs of paranoid schizophrenia, agoraphobia and manic depression” when examined.
Bianca Heath, who claimed to have lived with Algarad for a month in 2005, told the Huffington Post that he had mentioned the graves to her. “Paz told everyone. But I never believed him. I’m sure no one else believed him either. He laughed about the skeletal remains when telling the story on why he did what he did.”
“The story,” Heath says, “is that Algarad picked up two prostitutes at two separate locations, killed them and ate them, before burning some of the remains and burying the rest.”
On October 7, a housing code enforcement office visited Algarad’s home, encountering conditions similar to the kind described above – the odor was so overpowering at times, the inspector was forced to wear a mask. Fittingly, considering the crimes that are alleged to have been committed there, it was declared “unfit for human habitation.”