KEANSBURG, NJ – The remains of decapitated chickens and a pig with its throat slit were discovered this week on the beach.  The killings may be the result of ritual sacrifice, according to Chief Victor “Buddy” Amato, the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s chief humane law enforcement officer.  

Chief Amato was contacted by Keansburg Police Tuesday, around 4 p.m., about three chickens found on the beach to the right of the fishing pier.  Their heads had been removed.  “There were at least three (chickens).  They were close to the water, so there may have been more that washed away,” Amato said.   

On Wednesday at 3 p.m., Amato discovered a pig with it’s throat slit “just up the dunes” from where the chickens were found.   He also discovered nearby a small altar with candles.



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“It was a ritual killing,” Amato said.  “I don’t know if it was Santaria, or Vodoo, or God knows what.”  Anytime an animal is purposely killed without the intention of consuming it, that would constitute animal cruelty, according to Amato.  He said it is common to find sacrificed animals near water; a creek, a lake, or the bay.  It is difficult to catch the perpetrators in the act since most activity occurs in the evening, he said.  He often finds animals that he suspects are to be used in ritual killing because of poor housing conditions and will charge the owner for improper housing of the animal.  

Anyone with information can call Chief Amato at 732-312-7153.  All information will remain confidential.


Authorities are investigating the killings as animal cruelty. 


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...