In March, 1988 People Magazine covered the (former) Lt. Michael Nelson, a plainclothes officer, who was investigating a streak of empty graves through Hendricks County. The story followed him searching a Brownsburg graveyard that had an adult corpse totally removed. There were also two children’s graves which were disturbed and just down the road there was a pile of dog bones and candle drippings discovered.
These kinds of findings, to Nelson’s mind, could only mean one thing: Satanists.
Michael Nelson, who retired from the Marion County Sheriff's Department in 2004, is currently a courtroom videographer and producer with QN Productions.
Although Nelson never had enough proof to make an arrest or identify the Satanists in question, he still believes that the graves were disturbed by a satanic group.
The case started when he received a report of an empty grave in the outskirts of the town of Plainfield. Some people were quick to chalk it up to a grave robber looking for jewels, but grave robbers typically don’t take corpses and coffins.
Nelson started investigating the area and discovered there was a string of disturbed graves running all through Hendricks County from just above Monrovia, to Danville, to Brownsburg. There were signs that occult rituals had taken place.
Of course, satanic symbolism is typically something that bored high schoolers are known to graffiti on rural roadsides. The town of Mooresville has a “Graffiti Road” where satanic and illuminati imagery has been spray painted all over the road that leads up to the so-called “Satanic Church.” Read more about that here.
”I think it was a combination of both, there probably were some serious [Satanists] involved, and there were some high school kids. You can’t determine with the high schools whether it is serious or not serious," said Nelson.
Nelson investigated the “Satanic Church” but decided it was an old wives tale.
As the investigation continued it garnered more and more publicity. People Magazine did a story on the satanic activity in Indiana, local and national news covered it, and some TV programs. After the coverage, Nelson was pulled off the case.
“The bad part about it was, at the time, it was starting to get some serious publicity. It didn’t fare with the ‘fathers’ of Hendricks county and they passed it on to the Sheriff and the Sheriff stopped the investigation,” Nelson said.
Nelson was sent back out on the streets in his uniform as a regular officer and Hendricks County’s Satanists were no longer pursued.
Although no Satanists were found throughout the investigation, Nelson knows there are cults that operate around the state.
“It’s not only in Hendricks County it’s all the rural counties,” Nelson said. “There is so much area that it’s hard to patrol them, and they are isolated, that’s what they fare well in.”