Banker’s son on trial accused of drowning alcoholic father in ‘baptism-style exorcism to rid him of a demon’

Jack Callahan told police officers his father had been possessed by a demon called ‘Dirty Dan’

Holly Evans
Thursday 18 April 2024 13:16 BST
Jack Callahan, 22, is accused of drowning in his father in an apparent exorcism
Jack Callahan, 22, is accused of drowning in his father in an apparent exorcism (WHDH)

A successful banker was drowned in a pond in an “exorcism” by his son, who believed his father was possessed by a demon, a court has heard.

Jack Callahan, 22, has denied the murder of Scott Callahan, 57, whose body was found floating in water around 30 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, in June 2021.

Jack Callahan told police that he had plunged his father’s head underwater in a bid to rid him of a demon called ‘Dirty Dan’, telling officers: “I left him there to decide, you can come to heaven with me or hell. I think he chose hell.”

His father Scott was found by police floating in a pond outside Duxbury, (CBS Boston)

At the time of his death, Scott Callahan had been receiving treatment for an alcohol addiction at a centre in Hopkinton before he had checked himself out, and travelled to a bar in Boston.

His son had travelled in an Uber to collect him and return him to the family home in Duxbury, but asked the driver to pull over for him to smoke a cigarette when they were near the pond. The younger Callahan then claimed his father had begun to attack him by repeatedly punching him.

“He went on to state that in this incident at the pond, he believed he was baptising his father,” Assistant District Attorney Shanan Buckingham said at Callahan’s 2021 arraignment.

“He described that he was holding his father in the pond on his back like a baby, that he continually dunked the father’s head in the water about four to eight times, that when the father started to cough and choke, he would lift his head up,” Buckingham said.

“And then when the father started to fight and strike him, he would push the head back into the water.

He claimed to have ‘blacked out’ and believed his father was being possessed by a demon (WHDH)

“He did so until his father was no longer struggling and floating.”

Jack’s mother contacted the police after he arrived home in soaking wet clothes and informed her that his father was missing.

Callahan was “distraught” when speaking to paramedics and informed them that he had “blacked out” officials said, before directing police to Crooker Memorial Park where they discovered Scott Callahan in the pond.

Despite resuscitation efforts, he was pronounced dead in hospital with his son arrested the following day.

Callahan’s attorney Kevin Reddington had previously asked the judge for the then-teenager to be sent to hospital for a mental health evaluation, warning that he was a danger to himself.

He has pleaded not guilty to his father’s murder, with the trial in Massachusetts due to last 10 days.

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