"This inmate is innocent. There has never been any credible evidence
that he led a satanic cult that murdered 25 babies. There has never been
any credible evidence that he abused his children. Paul Ingram is simply
the victim of Washington State‚s most successful witch-hunt." Tom Grant 10
Paul R. Ingram of Olympia WA was charged and convicted on 6 counts of
3rd degree child rape involving his two daughters. He pleaded guilty to all
counts, and received a 20 year sentence. He attempted
to reverse his plea, but was unable to do so. Ingram appealed to the Washington
State Supreme Court for permission to withdraw his guilty plea; his appeal was
rejected. He unsuccessfully applied for a pardon. He was finally released from
prison on 2003-APR-8, after having served. Many investigators believe that he is
not guilty of any of the counts; further, they believe that the child rape never
The 1988 charges against Ingram caused an absolute sensation among people who follow ritual abuse
cases. This was the first known instance of a person actually pleading guilty to
Satanic Ritual Abuse. Ingram was a sheriff's deputy in Olympia, WA, and
local official in the Republican party.
At the time of the accusations, Ingram's older daughter, Ericka, was 21 years of
age; her sister, Julie, was 18.
Ericka had made an accusation which had arisen from discussions at a church
camp. She had accused a man of attempted rape in 1983, but the police
investigation revealed that he had only given Ericka a ride and had put his hand
on her knee. In 1988, she attended a Pentecostal youth retreat for teenage women called Heart to
Heart. A woman with prophetic and discernment powers told her that she had
been sexually abused by her father. Ericka had no memories of such abuse, but
went into counseling with a therapist who used Recovered Memory Therapy to attempt to restore abuse memories that had been
repressed. She was able to recover memories of Satanic Ritual Abuse involving
her father which started when she was about 5 and continued until one year
previously. Later she remembered that the abuse continued until just before
she left home. She recalled that she had caught a sexually transmitted
disease from her father and had been treated for it by two doctors: one in
California and the other in Olympia.
In 1985, Julie had claimed to have been sexually abused by a neighbor. The
prosecutor dropped the charges because of inconsistencies in Julie's stories. In
1988, she disclosed long term abuse by her father. The sisters accused their father and his "poker buddies" who played a
game every week at the Ingram home. One of the buddies was a vehicle mechanic
who worked for the state; the others were mostly fellow police officers.
Both sisters left home. Paul was then arrested and interrogated by his
fellow police officers.
Ingram attended the Church of Living Water. They taught two religious
concepts that were to cause him incredible problems later:
That Satan can cause a person to commit terrible acts, and then wipe
their memory clean afterwards.
That any memories that he recovered would be accurate. God would prevent him from recovering false memories.
Over time, with the use of sleep deprivation and interview techniques
verging on hypnosis, the interrogators convinced Ingram that he suffered from
multiple personality and had repressed the memories of the abuse. He believed
that he had brought up his daughters to always tell the truth. He
concluded that he must be guilty, but that Satan had wiped the memory from
his mind. During the interrogation, he confessed how he might have done these terrible crimes, but maintained that he had no
memory of having actually done them.
At various times during the interrogation, he recovered images of killing
a cat and murdering a prostitute.
Various sources report that:
His daughters recalled that her mother Sandy had taken a relatively passive
role in the abuse.
Erica allegedly recalled details of Satanic ceremonies in which
6 to 8 month old babies or fetuses were sacrificed. She remembered being being forced to have
sex with animals while her mother joined in. She believes that she was present at 850 Satanic
rituals which included about 25 infant sacrifices. She recalls becoming pregnant,
being tied down to the table, aborted with a coat hanger. She recovered a memory
of watching the
Satanists chop up the fetus and eat it. But she was unable to remember any of
the words to the Satanic chants, or even whether she stood or sat during the
almost 1000 rituals.
Julie and Erica both recalled having become pregnant and
having abortions. They claimed that they had scars all over their body from
the years of abuse.
Julie accused one of her father's friends, Jim Rabie of
abusing her. She was unable to recall any tattoos or scars on his body. But
Jim has a "rope like, 3 inch [wide] keloidal [large, red] scar" across
his chest - the result of a massive electrical shock that nearly killed him
20 years previously. Julie said that she never changed clothes in the school
locker room and always wore a T-shirt over her bathing suit, because she was
so self-conscious about her scars. A medical exam showed no evidence of
abortions and no marks on either daughter except for Ericka's small scar
which was caused by an operation to remove an ovarian cyst (some sources say
Julie had told her mother that the father's assaults had ended five
years earlier. After having been informed about the statute of
limitations, she changed her story, and told police that the last assault
was three years previous.
Ericka had originally said that the abuse ended in 1975. But she later
told police that she had caught the STD from her father in 1987.
Paul confessed to cutting the bleeding heart out of a live cat, to
killing a prostitute in Seattle in 1983, and to being involved in the Green River killings. The Green River Task Force studied Paul‚s
statement, but found nothing that matched the facts of the case. 10
The sisters drew maps of Ingram's back yard where they remembered the
bodies of the sacrificed victims were buried. The police excavated the
yard but found no evidence of bodies or of disturbed earth. 10
At one point, a forensic archaeologist, Dr. Mark Papworth, said to
Undersheriff Neil McClanahan that there was no evidence:
"On this one
occasion I said, 'Neil, there‚s no evidence. None at all. Zero.' And he
said to me. 'If you were the devil would you leave any evidence?' and, I,
my hair stood on end and I realized at that point there was no talking to
him beyond that and I excused myself." 10
The prosecutors hired Dr. Richard Ofshe to help them with the case. Dr. Ofshe
is a world-class memory researcher, and a specialist in the tactics of
coercion. He has studied Chinese Communist brainwashing techniques and
recruitment methods of political groups and religious sects. He began to
suspect that Ingram was delusional. Ofshe designed a test: he confirmed with
Ingram's son and two daughters that at no time had their father forced them
to have sex with each other. He asked their father whether he had done such
an act. He also denied it. Dr. Ofshe then asked him to go back to his cell
and think about it. Ingram did this. He entered a trance-like state,
generated a detailed scenario about how he might have forced his children to
have sex with each other, composed a multi-page
confession, and signed it. 8This convinced Dr. Ofshe that Ingram was delusional.
There is a second independent proof that Ingram's recollections were not
real memories. When he described one of the abuse scenes, an interrogator
asked him what time the rape took place. In his mind, he "zeroed in" on one
of the perpetrator's arms and read the time off of his watch dial. Data
simply cannot be obtained from old memories in this way. (Recall an
event last year where many people were present; now try to zero in on
someone's watch and read the time). Ingram's "memories" were simply
fantasies created to satisfy the interrogators; they were unrelated to real
The prosecution wisely decided to ignore all of the Satanic evidence and simply
charge Ingram with 6 charges of rape. Including the Satanic abuse would probably
cause the prosecution credibility problems. Ingram entered a plea of guilty in
order to minimize his daughters' pain. He was convinced that he must have
abused them as they described, even though his memories were unclear. He did not
want to force them to go through the emotional strain of a trial.
The prosecution proudly proclaimed that they had uncovered "the first
ritual abuse investigation that has been confirmed by an adult offender
involved directly with the offenses in the nation's history".
and Ray Risch, two of his poker friends, were released from jail after having
been incarcerated for 158 days. Charges against them were dropped. The reason
given was that Ingram's two daughters were too traumatized to testify. Years afterwards, the men
still lived in Olympia, and many of the townsfolk considered them to be guilty. Jim Rabie had a business in which he supplied lobbying
services in support of law enforcement; it went bankrupt.
Unfortunately, by the time that Dr. Ofshe issued his report which showed
that these memories were false, Ingram had already confessed to the crimes.
When Ingram finally figured out that his "memories" were of events that did
not happen, he attempted to reverse his plea. But laws in Washington state
prevent a person from changing a guilty plea.
Paul Ingram has written several letters to his church: the Church of
Living Water. He asked them to meet with members of the Ingram
Organization which is trying to have him released from prison. He allegedly had
not received a reply.
In 1994, Lawrence Wright wrote a riveting series of articles about the
Ingram case in the New Yorker magazine; these were subsequently
published in book form. 1 He received an award from Northwestern University for his reporting. Carol Burns, a resident of Olympia WA has created a
documentary videotape about the case. 2 The Washington State Pardons Board heard a submission from Ingram,
his son, memory experts Dr. Elizabeth Loftus & Dr. Richard Ofshe, the Sheriff
of Thurston County, Gary Edwards, and author Lawrence Wright. He remained in prison in Delaware
for 14 years. Being a former police officer, he would not have been safe if he
were incarcerated in a Washington State prison.
The Board's decision was delivered on 1996-DEC-13th in Olympia, WA. The 5
member panel voted: 2 against recommending parole, one for parole and one
abstention. The Chairperson did not reveal her vote.
his time in prison teaching literacy to other prisoners, and revamping the Delaware
correctional facilities' computer systems.
During the summer of 1999, Paul's father died. He was not allowed to attend the
His mother died on 2003-JAN-2.
He was released on 2003-APR-8, at the age of 57, and relocated to Spokane, WA.
He has been offered jobs in Maine, Colorado and Oregon. But because Paul is a
sex offender, other states are unwilling to take him. The Spokane Police Department issued a news release which assumed that
Paul Ingram was guilty of the charges against him. 9 They
referred to him as a "Level III offender" -- the most dangerous
kind. They stated that:
Department of Corrections has determined Ingram is not amenable to
treatment....He will be supervised by the Department of Corrections for the next
12 months....Because of his history, Ingram is considered to be a high risk to
The police sponsored a neighborhood meeting on APR-15, "in
response to resident concerns..." Dan Brailey, founder of the Ingram
Organization, attended the meeting. He said that he was "floored by
people and their emotions." He said that one woman was worried because
Ingram had been a law enforcement officer. She asked the group what would
prevent Ingram from putting on a McGruff outfit and luring children into his
house. The police have published his approximate
location, thus almost guaranteeing harassment by a frightened public. He cannot
travel without first obtaining permission. He must meet with an officer from the
sex offender unit five to ten times a month, and enroll in a sex offender
Station KXLY, the local ABC affiliate, has given Ingram positive coverage and pressed for an investigation of his case. Mark Fuhrman, a well known retired police detective, devoted one of his two hour radio shows to the Ingram case, during
which he interviewed Dr. Ofshe, Dan Brailey, and a co-defendant Jim Rabie.
Fuhrman also doubts Ingram's guilt.
Carol Burns, "Crimes of Imagination". This is a documentary
videotape that uses extensive excerpts from the audio tapes made during
Paul Ingram's interrogation. Cost for the tape and annotated transcript
is US$32.00. Available from Carol Burns, 4311 Cooper Pt. Rd. NW, Olympia, WA
Debbie Nathan & Michael Snendeker, "Satan's Silence",
New York NY (1995), P. 170
Mark Pendergrast, "Victims of Memory", 2nd Edition, Upper Access
Books, Hinesburg VT (1996)