On August 14, 1985, police in Houston were summoned to the Rest Haven Cemetery, where the custodian had found a young man's mutilated body. Identified as 19-year-old Dennis Medler, the victim had been savagely tortured before death, beaten and slashed with knives, one eye gouged from its socket, his hair burned down to the scalp and his teeth hammered out. Death apparently had been produced by strangulation and/or loss of blood. The victim had no record with police, but an investigation soon revealed that he was known to pal around with local teenage Satanists . The mutilation of his body - and his murder in a cemetery - smacked of ritual, and deputies pursued the lead, interrogating members of the cult whom they were able to identify. One girl informed detectives that her boyfriend was responsible for killing another victim, 16-year-old Wayne Schubert, shot to death some time before the Medler slaying. She reported that the killer showed her Schubert's bullet-riddled body, in his pickup truck, one afternoon when he dropped by her house to visit. He had seemed particularly proud of his achievement, which presumably endeared him to the Prince of Darkness. Around the same time, police interviewed a 25-year-old motorist who had survived a brutal slashing at the hands of teenage hitchhikers. Under questioning, one of the repentant suspects fingered his companion, the slasher, as a Satanist and follower of "high priest" Harold Smith, a 19-year-old loser who achieved new status with his peers by means of mumbo-jumbo. Smith allegedly had driven the informant to a Houston flat where 25-year-old Ronald Monahan lay dead on the floor, his stabbing initially dismissed by police as a simple burglary gone sour. A witness to the Medler slaying, the informant named three other cultists who participated in the crime with Smith. Before police could bag their suspects, a fourth murder was added to the list, a young "Jane Doe" found shot to death outside of Houston. Her death was theoretically linked to the cult by tattoos - including an inverted pentagram and the numerals "666" discovered on her body by authorities. No charges have been filed in that case, though police believe the girl may have intended to defect, her death insuring silence to protect the cult. In January 1986 authorities arrested Smith, two other teenage boys and a 16-year-old girl, charging all four with the murder of Dennis Medler. Jurors deliberated for 45 minutes before convicting Smith of first-degree murder, on August 13, 1986, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment, with an additional $10,000 fine.