Syracuse, NY Muslim Marcell Washington, formerly known as underground rapper Swagga Cell, was confused by this three-year-old son’s behavior. Not understanding children, he didn’t comprehend his son’s rambunctiousness, which is typical for a three-year-old. Of course, being the Muslim that he is, Washington didn’t immediately look for a logical explanation for his son’s juvenile energy. Instead, he immediately jumped to the conclusion that his son was possessed by the devil, called the Shaitan in Islam.
Washington had told family members that he had been hearing “whispers,” and told a religious elder that he believed the Shaitan was inside his son. When forcing the boy to pray didn’t convince Washington that his son was free of diabolic influence, he decided to try a bizarre form of exorcism.
Unlike other Islamic ritual exorcisms I’ve written about on here, this one didn’t involve kicking the toddler until he was unconscious. However, it did involve Washington asking his son if he worshiped Allah alone. When his son said “no,” likely not knowing what the question meant, Washington submerged his son in a bathtub. The boy thrashed frantically for the first couple minutes, fighting for air. However, it was to no avail, as Washington believed that the boy’s panicked flailing was the Shaitan trying to stay in its host. The child’s torso went limp as Washington continued holding his head under the water. After ten minutes, Washington pulled his son’s body out of the bathtub.
Washington then moved the corpse, which he believed was still alive, into the bedroom. He wrapped the dead child in a towel and saw foam coming out of its mouth. He turned the corpse on its side to allow the foam to drain, thinking it was a bizarre side effect of spiritual purging. I’ll leave the obvious “foamer” jokes out this time. Washington then calmly cut his hair before returning to the corpse and seeing it didn’t have a pulse. “I didn’t think [my son] was dead because the pulse of the Shaitan is very hard to track,” he told police. He then left the house and turned himself in a while later with the assistance of a relative.
Washington was arrested and told police he felt he hadn’t done anything wrong. He said he would rather have his son die than live with the Shaitan inside of him. What he didn’t realize was that it wasn’t up to him to decide how his son should live – or whether or not his son should live. It is believed Washington has some form of schizophrenia or a related disorder, so he may be able to submit an insanity plea. He will likely be confined to a mental hospital where he can talk to his imaginary friend Allah all day.