A barbiturate addict and native of Southern California, born in 1950, by the age of 20 Hurd had organized a small Satanic cult in Orange County, recruiting three teenage boys and a 31-year-old woman as his devoted followers. From time to time, as cash ran short, they lived like trolls, in highway culverts, dropping pills and raiding garbage cans for food. When they grew tired of chanting and dismembering small animals, they looked around for larger game, a greater "kick," and found it in the form of human sacrifice. On two consecutive nights, in June 1970, the cultists murdered a gas station attendant and a teacher, mutilating their victims after death in honor of Lucifer. Their second victim, 31-year-old Florence Brown, was stopped at the intersection of Interstate 5 and Sand Canyon Boulevard when the killers piled into her station wagon on June 4, abducting her to an orange grove near the campus of U.C. Irvine. There, Brown was stabbed repeatedly with a long knife, her right arm severed, heart and lungs removed as sacrificial offerings. The pitiful remains were found by hikers on June 17, in a shallow grave near the village of El Cariso, a half-mile east of the Orange County line. So grisly were the mutilations that a sheriff's officer advised the press, "We have some kind of nut on our hands." Upon arrest, Hurd told authorities that he had planned to use Brown's car to visit San Francisco and meet the presiding "Head Devil." Hurd's attorney rejected any connection to Anton LaVey's Church of Satan, a sentiment LaVey was quick to echo from his base in San Francisco, but it made no difference in the end. Diagnosed as legally insane, Hurd was confined to Atascadero State Hospital, where he continues to report the periodic visits of "Father Satan." His teenage disciples were referred to the California juvenile system for "rehabilitation."