Tim Maroney said it pretty well:
"Judge every case on its own merits. If the cases are incredible,
lack any substantiating evidence, are used for personal gain, are
insulting to a religious group, and are not used to try to bring
the malefactors to justice, then we are perfectly justified in
considering them false. If they come up to a minimum standard
of evidence, however, we should take them seriously, and ivestigate
them in hopes of proving their truth or falsehood. The fact is that
none of these lecture-circuit books *does* come up to a minimum
standard of evidence, so I have no hesitation in calling them all
"The drug dealers in Matamoros didn't call themselves Satanists, and
they got their ritual out of a disgusting parody of the Palo Moyembe
tradition that appeared in a horror movie. Sean Sellers said he blew
off the head of the 7-11 Clerk for flirting with his girlfriend when
he was arrested; he called it Satanic only after his "conversion" to
Christianity in jail, and there was nothing ritual about the killing.
Pete Roland told the person who he and two friends beat to death with
baseball bats that they were doing it "because it's fun"; again, the
"Satanism" was something he added later while in jail, and the killing
was not in any way ritual. Not only is there not any organized Satanic
group behind these things, the killings were not at all "Satanic" --
that's something that was added later, either by the press or by people
seeking to displace responsibility to Satan and evade the worst
consequences of their criminality."
\/ o\ It is not enough to have the courage of your convictions,
/\__/ but you must have the strength to challenge them.
"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies."