'Black Jesus' murder: Leader of 6,000-strong cannibal rape cult hacked to death by villagers in Papua New Guinea jungle after killing yet again

Stephen Tari called himself 'the true Christ' and had previously been accused of raping, murdering and eating young girls

The leader of a vicious cannibal rape cult has been hacked to death in the jungles of Papua New Guinea after he escaped from prison and murdered a local woman.

Preacher Stephen Tari, whose 6,000-strong sect called him “the true Christ” and refereed to themselves as “flower girls” or “disciples”, had been serving a lengthy jail term after being convicted of a brutal rape three years ago.

The 40-year-old, who had previously been accused of raping, murdering and eating three girls in front of their traumatised mothers, was one of 48 prisoners to break-out of a remote jungle prison six months ago.

The charismatic cult leader, who wore white robes and is said to have regularly drunk the blood of his “flower girls”, quickly returned to his home village of Gal after the escape, but could only manage six months before killing yet again.

After he killed one woman and attempted to murder another, the inhabitants of the village, which is in Madang province, are said to have finally snapped, surrounding Tari and one of his henchmen and hacking the pair to death.

It has not yet been established if the murdered woman was killed as part of a blood sacrifice, but it is considered likely as Tari was said to have been attempting to resurrect his cult following the spell in prison.

Speaking to Papua New Guinea’s Post Courier newspaper, local police commander Chief Superintendent Sylvester Kalaut said Gal was an incredibly remote village - at least a four-hour walk from the nearest town and accessible only by miles-upon-miles of treacherous jungle tracks.

He added that the isolated environment was hampering the murder investigations, and that an official cause of death for both Tari and the unnamed woman was yet to be established.

Superintendent Kalaut went on to say that any of Tari’s followers who remain on the run should give themselves up immediately if they don’t want to suffer the same fate, as villagers are intent on wiping out all links to the cannibal cult.

In 2007 angry locals were able to capture Tari, tying him to logs and beating him before eventually handing him over to police In 2007 angry locals were able to capture Tari, tying him to logs and beating him before eventually handing him over to police

Tari, or Black Jesus as he often called himself, rose to international notoriety after his lectures from a rock in a jungle clearing began to attract thousands. He reportedly told his “disciples” they would receive gifts from God if they joined his cult.

But Tari quickly fell out of favour with those who refused to worship him as a resurrected Jesus after he began luring “flower girls” into his hut, where he would allegedly kill them by cutting their throats. He is said to have later drunk the girls’ blood in front of their grieving mothers.

With the police unable to capture him due to his barely accessible power-base and the sheer numbers of followers willing to hide him from the authorities, it was left to Gal’s inhabitants to track Tari down.

In 2007 angry locals were able to capture Tari, tying him to logs and beating him before eventually handing him over to police. That incident led to Tari’s conviction and imprisonment on rape charges.

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