A mother into witchcraft allegedly stabbed her 8-year-old daughter at least 50 times
and disemboweled her and her Infant son while sending a morbid voice text to her
fiancé: ‘Don’t be sad, but the house will be bloody when you get home.’
Sarah Ganoe, 35, sent the message on Monday to John Howard, who rushed home in
Virginia to find their two children cut open, according to police records obtained
by WVEC. ‘Upon entry, John Howard observed a large amount of blood in numerous
bedrooms,’ a probable cause affidavit states.
‘He then located Sarah Ganoe (and the children) lying on the bed in the master bedroom.’
Sarah’s daughter Winter Ganoe and the couple’s 10-month-old son Zell Howard both
had ‘an evisceration to abdomen’, according to the affidavit.
Each of the two children, police wrote in the graphic affidavit, suffered from “an
evisceration to [their] abdomen.”
The infant was pronounced dead on the scene after failed attempts to revive him by
paramedics. The older child survived and is currently in critical but stable condition,
according to local ABC affiliate WVEC.
Winter Ganoe had “at least fifty stab wounds throughout her body,” the affidavit states.
The outlet also reported that Winter Ganoe is apparently on the autism spectrum,
according to her grandmother, and that police have been called to the Ganoe/Howard
residence before for “domestic-type” incidents, according to the Newport News Police
According to the affidavit, Sarah Ganoe “had superficial stab wounds” when authorities
arrived as well as “one bite mark to her right forearm.” She allegedly told police the latter
was due to Winter Ganoe “biting her in an attempt to get free.”
“After being medically cleared, she was transported to Newport News Police
Headquarters and interviewed,” the document authored by Newport News Police
Detective Brittany Beggs notes. “Post Miranda, Sarah Ganoe admitted to stabbing her
two children, Zell Howard and Winter Ganoe, multiple times with a knife.
She had bruising to her hand and right arm that she stated was caused by ‘hammering’
the knife during the stabbing.”
According to the Hampton Roads Daily Press, the knife in question was a pocketknife
with a 2.5 inch blade.
“Any loss of life is difficult, but it’s especially challenging when it involves innocent
children,” Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said during a Tuesday press conference.
“I cannot be more impressed with the professionalism and compassion demonstrated by
Newport News police personnel, starting with the dispatchers who took the call to the
officers, detectives, and forensic technicians who handled and processed a horrific crime
Ganoe was reportedly arraigned on Wednesday after being charged with one count of
second-degree murder, two counts of felony child abuse, two counts of stabbing in
commission of a felony and one count of aggravated malicious wounding.
A motive in the killing and maiming has yet to be established. But speculation quickly
turned to the alleged practice of the occult.
Local NBC affiliate WAVY interviewed a neighbor of Ganoe’s who claimed that she told
him “she liked to dip into witchcraft a little bit.”
“I mean for there to be multiple stab wounds on both kids, it was very heartbreaking,”
the neighbor, Clay Connell added. “No child deserves anything like that.”