As globalization continues to spread one of the consequences of this is exposure to differing political and religious views, in addition to this there will be increased exposure to transnational crime or types of crimes that are virtually unheard of in the United States.
During the 1980s there was a so called “Satanic Panic” or the belief that satanic groups were kidnapping children to be raped and murdered by satanic groups across the United States. To date, law enforcement has found no evidence to support the belief that any sort of ritual murders of human sacrifice had ever taken place in the United States during the period in question. Common belief is that law enforcement authorities never found any evidence of “Satanic” murders because they were not occurring. It is true, it is highly unlikely that human sacrifice was taking place in the United States during the 1980s and I do not mean to imply that I believe that human sacrifice is occurring in the United States now. It is unlikely that this activity is occurring at this point.
Having made those point, there are other cultures across the world that have engaged in human sacrifice in the past and continue to practice sacrifice, in addition there are traditional forms of religious worship(such as Voodoo and Santeria) that require sacrifice as part of normal religious devotion. As the world is becoming a smaller place due to globalization it is likely that at some point U.S. citizens will come into contact with followers of these traditions and/or followers of these traditions will immigrate to the United States and continue to practice their traditional forms of worship that involved sacrifice. It is important to note at this point that I am not pushing the panic button. I do not believe there are roving bands of Satanists that are seeking to abduct children and use them as sacrificial offerings. The entire point of the research report is to raise awareness of potential consequences of globalization and the immigration of individuals from rural civilizations into Europe and the United States.
A few words on research:
There were several road blocks encountered while gathering research for this report. A primary road block was in the area of sources. Sadly, valid research is lacking in this area which led us to have to rely on Wikipedia for a variety of research that went into this report. We hope that this issue will be over looked when judging the quality of the information contained here.
A History of Human Sacrifice:
Human sacrifice is defined as “the act of killing one or more human beings, usually as an offering to a deity, as part of a religious ritual (ritual killing). Its typology closely parallels the various practices of ritual slaughter of animals and of religious sacrifice in general. Human sacrifice has been practiced in various cultures throughout history. Victims were typically ritually killed in a manner that was supposed to please or appease gods, spirits or the decease.” (Human sacrifice, 2013, October 22) Historically sacrifice was used to appease the gods to ensure that health crops grew, that there would be enough rain to sustain crop growth, success in a hunt or success in battle. During periods before the establishment of religion, societies believed that god was part of everything and was responsible for the seasons and the ability to hunt for food to sustain tribes. It was believed that one method used to maintain the happiness of the gods was through a human sacrifice. “The evidence for human sacrifice in this period of the Iron Age is most prolific in Denmark, Germany and Holland, where many bodies have been found completely preserved in peat bogs. Some were hanged or strangled, the noose still around their neck, and others were bludgeoned on the head or had their throat slit.” (Parker-Pearson, 2011, February 28) Victims of sacrifice were found in locations that had some sort of special significance to the culture for example victims were found in “special places, where people had made offerings to an afterworld. It seems clear that these were not murders, but deliberate, socially sanctioned, killings.” (Parker-Pearson, 2011, February 28) If these victims had been killed as a sort of punishment it is unlikely that the victims would have been found in locations that had some sort of religious and/or special significance to the civilization in question.
Research tends to indicate that human sacrifice was a practice among human’s ancient ancestors as a form of god worship. “The idea of human sacrifice has its roots in deep prehistory,  in the evolution of human behavior. Mythological, it is closely connected, or even fundamentally identical with animal sacrifice. Walter Burkert has argued for such a fundamental identity of animal and human sacrifice in the connection of a hunting hypothesis which traces the emergence of human religious behavior to the beginning of behavioral modernity in the Upper Paleolithic (roughly 50,000 years ago).” (Human sacrifice, 2013, October 22) The killing of a human being as part of a religious ritual was part of pre-historic religious ritual and as such can still be found among more traditional religions to this day. Although animals have been substituted for human victims. “Human sacrifice was practiced at least 5,000 years ago among the early agricultural societies of Europe. Danish farmers sacrificed their stone axes and flint tools, their amber jewelry and their food, by depositing them in pots, together with human offerings, in bogs. Probably the earliest case in the world is that of two girls found at Sigersdal near Copenhagen, killed about 3500 BC. One was about 16 while the other, who was about 18, still had a cord around her neck.” (Parker-Pearson, 2011, February 28) Given the fact that sacrifice was such as important part of pre-historic religious practice it is somewhat surprising that sacrifice is not a more prominent part of modern religious practice and it should not be surprising to discover that the activity is still taking place, even if they are isolated incidences. The idea behind human sacrifice was “require (d) the exchange of a life - willingly or not - in return for supernatural assistance or for a greater cause.” (Parker-Pearson, 2011, February 28) Sacrifice was seen as an offering to a specific deity. In return for this offering the deity would grant the wish(es) of the followers or those that offered the sacrifice. These wishes could be anything from a successful hunt to success in battle and just about everything in between.
It is also important to understand that sacrifice was not just a feature of strange civilizations that lived in Europe and the Middle East during pre-history but was also a feature of many Native American traditions. “The ancient civilizations of the Americas are also well known for their human sacrifices. Aztec priests believed that the sacrifices they performed in the temples on top of pyramids - cutting out the still-beating heart of their victims with the blood flowing down the steps of the pyramid - were necessary to keep the sun on its daily path.” (Parker-Pearson, 2011, February 28) While there is no contemporary evidence to indicate that human sacrifice is still occurring in the Americas that do not indicate that it has never occurred. It has occurred and is possible that the practice is still occurring among the indigenous populations of Latin America. If this is the case, as more individuals from that region immigrate to the United States it is likely that if the practice is still occurring that it will continue to occur among these groups in the United States.
There is evidence that human sacrifice still continues today in isolated parts of the world, and researchers have known cases where it is practiced by shamans on behalf of people - including cocaine traffickers - seeking to avert natural disasters or to improve their wealth.
Earlier this year in London, an archaeologist was brought in as an expert by the Metropolitan Police to help them identify a southern-African style ritual killing thought to be a human sacrifice (Parker-Pearson, 2011, February 28).
This information is not meant to serve as a scare tactic but simply a method of raising awareness of issues that may arise as more interaction takes place among different civilizations. It is also important that those working with the public such as teachers, medical staff and law enforcement have some idea as to the nature of human sacrifice to successfully execute their duties.
A specific type of human sacrifice is known as Muti or medicine murder.
A medicine murder is the killing of a human being in order to excise body parts to use as medicine. It is not human sacrifice in a religious sense because the motivation is not the death of a human, but the creation of an item or items from their corpus for use in traditional medicine. Its practice in the format described below occurs primarily in sub-equatorial Africa.
Medicine murder in southern Africa has been documented in some small detail in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, although it is a difficult subject to investigate because of its controversial standing in customary practices and laws. Very few research and discussion documents have been devoted to this subject. Three concerning Lesotho were published in 1951, 2000 and 2005 regarding the same events in the 1940s and 1950s; one concerning Swaziland was published in 1993 covering the 1970s and 1980s; and a commission of enquiry held in South Africa in 1995 covering medicine murder and witchcraft in the 1980s and 1990s. (Medicine murder, 2013, September 15)
Information on Muti murder is limited due to the fact that it is occurring in developing nations that do not have reliable crime reporting information. Based on this there is potential that the activity is much more prevalent that currently believed.
It is also difficult to find any sort of research that sheds light on the nature of Muti murder. The best information we could find is as follows:
Medicine murder is often termed ritual murder or muthi / muti murder, although there is evidence to suggest that the degree of ritual involved in the making of medicine is only a small element of the practice overall. The objective of medicine murder is to create traditional medicine based partly on human flesh. Social anthropological ethnographies have documented anecdotes of medicine murder in southern Africa since the 1800s, and research has shown that incidences of medicine murder increase in times of political and economic stress. The practice is commonly associated with witchcraft, although ethnographic evidence suggests that this has not always been the case, and that it may have been accorded local-level political sanction. Medicine murder is difficult to describe concisely, as it has changed over time, involving an ever-greater variety of perpetrator, victim, method and motive. Most detailed information about the minutiae of medicine murder is derived from state witnesses in trials, court records and third-party anecdote. The phenomenon is widely acknowledged to occur in southern Africa, although no country has issued an accurate and up to date record of the frequency with which it takes place. This is not only because of the secrecy of the practice, given its controversial status, but also because of difficulties in classifying subcategories of murder. Medicine murder has been a topic of urban legends in South Africa, but this does not diminish its status as a practice that has resulted in legal trials and convictions of perpetrators. (Medicine murder, 2013, September 15).
From what little information there is about Muti murder it would appear to be similar nature of organ harvesting, a practice that is common in Europe. The idea behind organ harvesting is to take health organs and sell them on the medical black market to individuals that required an organ transplant but were unable to obtain one in a traditional legal manor. Muti murder is the killing of an individual to harvest the parts needed to make traditional medicines. Due to the similarities of organ harvesting and Muti murder it is possible that this activity is occurring in developed nations but is not recognized as such.
However there is one case that indicates that this practice is slowly spreading out from Sub-Sarrhan Africa. That is the so called Adam Murder or Thames Torso Murder.
Human sacrifice or Muti murders have not yet occurred in the United States (to the best of our knowledge). However, these types of murders have occurred in other developed nations indicating that with globalization and the ease of movements from one nation to other nations crimes seen in developing nations will spread to other areas. “He was drugged with a ‘black-magic’ potion and sacrificed before being thrown into the Thames, where his torso washed up next to the Globe Theatre in September 2001.” (Greenwood, & Kisiel, 2011, March 29) The victim in this case remained unidentified “But they always struggled to formally identify the boy, who they called Adam, despite travelling to the West African state to try to trace his family.” (Greenwood, & Kisiel, 2011, March 29)
New information has come to light that may assist with identification of Adam as well as point investigators toward the perpetrators of this crime.
Now Nigerian Joyce Osiagede, the only person to be arrested in Britain as part of the inquiry, has claimed that the boy in this picture is Adam. She said his real name is Ikpomwosa.
In an interview with ITV’s London Tonight, Mrs Osiagede said she looked after the boy in Germany for a year before travelling to Britain without him in 2001.
She claimed she handed the boy over to a man known as Bawa who later told her that he was dead and threatened to kill her unless she kept silent. (Greenwood, & Kisiel, 2011, March 29k)
If this is the case, Adam was brought to the United Kingdome for the specific purpose of being used in as a human sacrifice or as a victim of Muti murder. This is an important development as it indicated that traditional beliefs (that require sacrificial victims) are spreading to more developed nations. This indicates that law enforcement now needs to have at least some understanding of these traditional belief structures as any knowledge will assist in the apprehension of offenders.
In July 2002, a Nigerian woman arrived in the UK from Germany, claiming to have fled from a Yoruba cult that practiced ritual murders. She claimed that they attempted to kill her son, and that she knew Adam was murdered in London by his parents. However, police searching her flat found orange shorts with the same clothing label as those found on Adam. 
Surveillance of the woman's associates brought the police to another Nigerian, a man named Kingsley Ojo. Searching of Ojo's house found a series of ritual items, however none of the DNA on the items matched Adam's DNA. Ojo was charged with child trafficking offences and jailed for four years in 2004 (Adam (murder victim)., 2013, September 15)
The case of Adam is interesting for several reasons. First, if the Nigerian woman is to be believed, there was a Yoruba cult operating in Germany that was trafficking victims to the United Kingdom. Human trafficking has never been directly related to human sacrifice. However, the fact that some sacrificial victims may also have been the victim of human trafficking would explain why no evidence of human sacrifice has come to light. Without victims there is no crime and if the victims have been the victim of human trafficking it is likely that there are no victims found because no one knows that they are missing or should be searched for. The other interesting development is the idea that a cult of followers of traditional African religion could be operating in two major European developed nations that of the United Kingdom and Germany. While the Adam case was the only case thus far to make these connections this does not mean that the activity is not occurring it simply means that this is the first time that the activity has been detected. However, it also indicated that the activity is actually rare and therefore not likely to occur on a regular basis.
Given the fact that the Adam murder has taken place it has become important that law enforcement authorities pay more attention to possible occult crimes in the future.
Adam (murder victim). (2013, September 15). Wikipedia. Retrieved October 25, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_(murder_victim)
Greenwood, C., & Kisiel, R. (2011, March 29). Was this boy the torso in the Thames? Five-year-old 'victim of voodoo ritual' named by former suspect . Mail Online. Retrieved October 25, 2013, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1370917/Torso-Thames-identified-Victim-voodoo-ritual-named-5-year-old-Adam.html
Human sacrifice. (2013, October 22). Wikipedia. Retrieved October 25, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice
Medicine murder. (2013, September 15). Wikipedia. Retrieved October 25, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine_murder
Parker-Pearson, M. (2011, February 28). The Practice of Human Sacrifice. BBC News. Retrieved October 25, 2013, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/british_pr