Female Teacher Beheaded and Three Others Tortured by Papua New Guinea Villagers Who Believed Them to Be Witches

Helen Collis, Daily Mail (London), June 10, 2013

A teacher has been tortured and beheaded by her neighbours in a Papua New Guinea village because they say she was a witch responsible for the death of a sick villager.

The angry mob brandishing guns, machetes and axes surrounded her house and pulled Helen Rumbali, her sister and two nieces away. They then burnt down the house.

They say a swarm of fire flies led them from the deceased person’s grave to her house–sure evidence they say that she was a sorcerer and was practicing black magic.

Helen’s older sister and younger nieces were slashed with knives, then released after negotiations with police. But the mob went on to torture the former teacher, in her 40s, and then publicly cut off her head.

The sickening and heinous act is one of many horrific similar stories coming out from the island, often considered a paradise in the Pacific.

In February a young woman was stripped by angry armed villages, tied up and burnt alive. Her crime? Allegedly more black magic.

The beautiful tropical island, which was only discovered by the western world in the 1930s, is a complex mix of ancient tribes and western industrial influences, from the gold rush period and more recently, mining.

But for tribes people still living by ancient social rules, violence, as opposed to dialogue, is the most common means of problem solving.

Speaking to the Mail Online, Dr Nina Rajani, a former Medicines Sans Frontières volunteer who worked in a hospital clinic in Papua New Guinea, said violence was so bad, she was unable to leave her house at night.

‘Violence is a huge problem out there. Almost every case that came to the hospital A&E department was to do with violence. Whenever there was a disagreement it wasn’t verbal, it was always physical; that’s how they dealt with things because it’s a tribal culture.’

Brighton-based GP, Dr Rajani, who helped run a clinic for victims of domestic and sexual violence, said she was aware of the strong belief in sorcery, which was systemic in the local society.

She said: ‘The guard to our house told me his brother and his brother’s friend had been killed by a lightening bolt while playing rugby in a big field.

‘He said all the people in the village had gone on a witch hunt to find out who in the village had caused the lightening bolt to kill his brother – they said it was sorcery.’

This was typical of village behaviour in the highlands of Papua New Guinea – far from the idyllic and more developed southern tourist resorts. The idea of ‘pay-back’ is and engrained principle in the local culture.

But with the introduction of western consumption, and products such as televisions and branded clothes, there is now even more for the tribes to fight over.

While there is a genuine belief among many of the tribes, particularly in the highlands, in sorcery and black magic, experts claim sorcery is used as an excuse for jealousy.

Helen Hakena, chairwoman of the North Bougainville Human Rights Committee, which is based in the area Rumbali was killed, told ABC News: ‘Jealousy is causing a lot of hatred… People who are so jealous of those who are doing well in life, they resort to what our people believe in, sorcery, to kill them, to stop them continuing their own development.’

According to reports, Rumbali’s house stood out since it was ‘permanent’, or built of wood. Her
husband and son had government jobs and the family had tertiary educations and high social standing.

She said this was ‘definitely a case of jealousy’ because of her family’s position in the village.

Attacks of such nature have been reported by the hundreds, according to the United Nations, and are often carried out with impunity.

For 42 years, the country’s Sorcery Act allowed for a belief in black magic to be used as a partial legal defense for killing someone suspected of inflicting harm through sorcery.

Only last month, the government repealed the law in response to the recent violence.

But black magic alone appears not to be the main cause of such violence; neighbouring Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands also have a strong belief in sorcery, but without the same levels of violence.

It appears Papua New Guinea’s relative wealth, and subsequent faster economic growth, are to blame.

The country has a wealth of mineral resources and natural gas, which has propelled PNG from a   long-stagnant economy into one of the world’s fastest growing over the past decade. Economic growth has increased on average almost 7 per cent annually from 2007 to 2010.

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  • Well, it looks like we will be getting some accused witches as asylum seekers.
    I have a feeling they aint gonna look like her.

    • Manaphy

      They’ll probably look like Michelle Obama

      • The__Bobster
        • What really disgusts me more than this picture is that the only republicans who seem to have the guts to talk bad about this hag are the women. I mean, has any Bush ever said anything bad about the Clintons? Ever?

        • Manaphy

          Yeah, why don’t we just deport Hilary to Papua New Guinea. I’m sure that the Guineans would approve of the Hag’s political positions, including most recently, support of Gay Marriage.

        • me

          God, a picture like that should come with a warning….yikes!

      • me

        Like this….

        • me

          Or maybe this…..

  • Jefferson

    Even though Papua New Guinea shares a border with the Southeast Asian country known as Indonesia, Papua New Guineans on average act more like Bantus than they do like Asians. Not only that, but from a phenotype standpoint they look more like Bantus than they do like Southeast Asians.

    That is why Southeast Asians like Indonesians and Filipinos do not consider Papua New Guineans to be racially part of their family, even though Papua New Guinea is geographically located in Southeast Asia.

  • White Mom in WDC

    Black people and/or third world people create communities or countries that are run by governments who mirror the innate covetousness and jealousy of the black/ brown third world people.

  • The__Bobster

    Repeat the mantra: All cultures should be respected. No culture is better than any other one.

  • AutomaticSlim

    Papua New Guinea is a great example of a place where Europeans had/have no business going. Stone age blacks who practiced cannibalism. And when White missionaries and researchers are killed there, they are “stunned”. The worst were the religious missionaries who made it their duty to stop the cannibalism, as if it were any concern of theirs. These blacks were on their own island cannibalizing their own kind and not bothering anyone else. Was it really that hard to just let them be?

  • AutomaticSlim
  • hastings88

    Papuans should be considered their own human sub-species (race), now genetically proven to be slightly mixed with Denisovans, an even earlier form of human. They are not simply “black” African and certainly not related to other East Asians, like the Indonesians. I always found them very interesting–a window on the hunter-gatherers who left Africa 50-100,000 years ago. They have not progressed much intellectually or technologically since then, demonstrating the cultures and behaviors of truly ancient homo sapiens. Westerners who have visited and lived among them, once accepted, have found them hospitable and friendly. Even with some scandals about them emerging lately, they never seemed to me as criminally violent as black Africans. They don’t seem to steal, for example, and have a crude code of honor. Blacks are much less bound by rules.

  • hastings88

    “It appears Papua New Guinea’s relative wealth, and subsequent faster economic growth, are to blame.”

    Ok, so now it’s wealth, not poverty that causes violence! LOL!

    • me

      Anything but the measure of their character and culture….

  • Tinfoil A22hat


    I bet fireworks really f*** them up.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    It appears that for the black in general, the propensity to place blame on another, or others, for every bad thing that happens, is not limited to Africa. So here in the good ol’ USA, is it any wonder that half a century into AA and “civil rights” (or as referred to in that old classic, “Deathrace 2000”, “minority privilege”), that all blacks and their sickening enablers can come up with to explain failure is…


    Or “disparate impact” as it’s known judicially…

  • Lop_Eared_Galoot

    And here is the most important reason as motive for this ‘dreadful’ article appearing at all in the liberal MSM-

    RYOT NOTE: We were taken by this fact: ‘United Nations has documented hundreds of cases of sorcery-related violence in Papua New Guinea in recent years and many more cases in remote areas are thought to have gone unreported. It found the attacks are often carried out with impunity.’ If this is one example of a spectrum of human rights issues in Papua New Guinea, then help is obviously needed. Luckily, Amnesty International is on-grounds in Papua New Guinea, helping to aid in the fostering of cultural equality and education. With that and the repealing of the ‘Black Magic Act’, progress is occurring step-by-step. Click the gray box, donate and Become the News!


    Social enablers get rich by highlighting the depravities of the world and then asking you to pay for their elimination through ‘cultural equality and education’. The reality being that if the nation was so rich in mineral resources and petrogas that they sustained between 7 and 9 percent growth through the last decade of economic bottom falling, then each and every native of the island should be well on their way to an entitlement lifestyle where ‘living in a fixed house’ was a given.

    Look at the roughly one thousand a year that Alaskan residents get-


    And imagine what that kind of wealth would do in PNG where the Kina trades at 45 cents on the Dollar.

    Before you tell me that these blacks are staring at a slashed open naked white woman, sitting helpless and blindfolded before them, because they are ‘jealous of her wealth’.
    No. Sorry. Not going to let that one slide.
    There are indeed ‘other reasons’ for this at play than simple jealousy over social status. Races live in eternal competition with each other as evolutionary psychology over geneflow strategies insist on a genetic algorithm basis of Selection. Humiliation of the other side is a natural condition. Regardless of sociopathic delusions over witchcraft.

    • me

      Yup. People are like ants….black ants fighting fire ants fighting brown ants etc. They’re all ants, but they eliminate rival ant types for control over territory. It’s natural.

  • me

    The official ‘religion’ of the continent of Africa, the country of New Guinea, and the country of Haiti is voodoo. It seems when there is a population of primitive savages, they seem to migrate to voodoo instead of Christianity. (Although there is the religion of Santeria, which combines Catholicism with voodoo–but that’s mostly in South and Central America.) These people really believe in the dark powers of voodoo, and the power of an individual to ‘hex’ someone to death. Especially women. It reminds me of the witch burnings in Europe. There’s definitely a racial thing going on with voodoo, though. There’s the ‘white devil’ and the ‘John Frum’ white savior. The practitioners of voodoo also use albinos in their sacrificial rituals, because albinos have ‘powerful magic’…like Western Europeans?
    I don’t know why Western Europeans and European Americans keep going into these countries. All of the money, time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears Whites have wasted on these low IQ, ignorant, hostile third world savages over the past centuries–all for naught! You can’t ‘fix’ them. We should just leave them alone…

  • me

    Lol! Hannibal Lector went to Papua, New Guinea at the end of the movie, “Silence Of The Lambs”. Thomas Harris has a funny and sick sense of humor….

  • me

    Zombies? Heck yes! We’re SURROUNDED by zombies. And they vote, run businesses, run corporations, run schools, run churches, and run the government. We should be very worried about our zombie problem because they only eat white meat….