Jesus Made Her Do It

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby, was arrested and charged with kidnapping and killing a California girl whose lifeless body was found stuffed in a suitcase.

Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman says 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby, the granddaughter of Pastor Clifford Lawless of the Clover Road Baptist Church,  was arrested Friday night after voluntarily going to police for questioning in the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

Sandra’s body was found inside a suitcase in an irrigation pond on April 6.

Huckaby previously told a local newspaper that Sandra visited her home March 27, the day she disappeared. Huckaby also said she had left her suitcase in the driveway that day, and that it was missing.

Huckaby taught Sunday school at her grandfather’s church.

This entry was posted in Blogs Against Theocracy, Jesus Freaks, Religious Nutcases and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Jesus Made Her Do It

  1. feminazi says:

    There are so many of these cases reported on TV news of children going missing and later found dead that I can’t keep all of them straight or in order. I don’t get it. Why would anyone harm a child?

  2. Robbie says:

    And I thought sexual predators were the only things we had to worry about when it came to teachers.

  3. RealWorldRadical says:

    We should all probably wait to make guesses on this one. There are thousands of possible scenarios. For instance, the woman’s daughter was reportedly friends with the girl. If Huckaby feared her daughter might be found at fault in the girls death, she might have sought to hide the death to save her own daughter. Or she might have mental illness, or herself have accidentally run over a child playing in the road, and feared for her kids if she went to jail. We just don’t know.

  4. No Nonsense says:

    I’m with you on this “RealWorldRadical”— something about this story is a bit off to me

  5. JollyRoger says:

    I just put together a Facebook quiz on God-directed killers the other day. Shoulda waited a little while…

  6. Brigadoon says:

    How tragic. Another religious loon murdering an innocent child then rushing out to teach Bible study in Grandpappy’s church. What a bitch.

  7. John DeVito says:

    When people mock the beliefs of others it is evidence that their own beliefs don’t really carry any weight, and they are afraid that on close examination they will be unable to defend. Your mockery shows your inclination to attack people of faith to make yourself feel superior. Yours are the typical schoolyard politics of pulling others down because you are too lazy to do something good with yourself.

    Nowhere does she say that Jesus told her to do anything, and that adds things like “liar” to your resume.

    You are truly a shallow and pathetic person.

  8. JollyRoger says:

    Sorry DeMento, we’ve all seen projection before, and it doesn’t work on us. We know who says one thing and does another, and most of them are Bible-thumpers. Presumably just like you, since you are actually confessing via projecting.

  9. ungtss says:

    I thought this blog was leftist. Why would a good leftist assume (without evidence) that a person is guilty of murder simply because they are arrested? Isn’t that we have a legal system with rights for the accused? Because cops make mistakes?

    But if the accused is religious, I guess all the rules are off. Guilty!

  10. John DeVito opines: Your mockery shows your inclination to attack people of faith to make yourself feel superior.

    Jolly Roger is correct.

    In strict Freudian psychological terms, you Sir, are engaging in what is known as ‘projection.’

    People of faith, have this nasty tendency to feel superior (and empowered) over people who don’t share your views. History is rife with all sort of horrors perpetrated against humanity in the name of God, Jesus and faith.

  11. Ungtss,

    If you were remotely familiar with this Blog you would know how vehemently critical I am of the police and their Constitutional abuses.

    This happens to be Blog Against Theocracy weekend and I found it more than a little ironic that the grand daughter of a respected preacher was arrested for the slaughter of female child. If that irony is lost on you, then you are hopeless.

  12. ungtss says:

    If that’s true, then why are the secular leftists on this blog the ones jumping to conclusions about the guilt of a person without bothering to examine any evidence?

  13. ungtss says:

    Why’s it ironic?

  14. ungtss says:

    I think brigadoon’s comment was the most telling. “How tragic. Another religious loon murdering an innocent child then rushing out to teach Bible study in Grandpappy’s church. What a bitch.” On what evidence? Arrest alone. Nice.

  15. Ungtss,

    Your question is best posed to the Tracy, CA Police Department, who found probable cause to arrest and charge Melissa Huckaby with the kidnapping and murder of 8 year old Sandra Cantu.

    If Huckaby is tried and found guilty, I will expect a post from you saying something along the lines of “Gee, Christopher, she was guilty of murdering a child after all.”

  16. You don’t know the meaning of, “Ironic?”

    Are you joking?

  17. ungtss says:

    My question isn’t anything he could answer. My question is, “Why are you alleged leftists-who-hate-police-abuses prattling on about how guilty and horrible she is, when you know absolutely nothing about the case except that she was arrested? Why does suspension of judgment not apply to you in this case?

  18. ungtss says:

    I know the definition of “Ironic.” I don’t see any irony in this case. Please elaborate on what’s ironic to you.

  19. JollyRoger says:


    (1.) The woman, herself, has made a statement I highly doubt the Tracy authorities dreamed up and fed to her under threat of beating. Our reactions are natural, much as our reactions to Charlie Manson’s statements were natural well before he was convicted of the murders he was accused of.

    (2.) I went through a few posts on your blog, and I’m sorry I did. You have issues.

  20. ungtss says:

    1) What statement? That the child visited her on the day she disappeared?
    2) You have no credibility as to my “issues” until you explain why you’re assuming she’s guilty without evidence?

  21. ungtss says:

    There’s a big difference between actually being a Leftist and simply hating the Right.

  22. Ungtss,

    You really don’t find it ironic that the grand daughter of a well respected preacher and a Sunday school teacher, was arrested and charged with the murder of an 8 year old girl? Is your brain really that mushy?

    And no, I don’t “hate” the right, just because they’re rightwing wrong, I simply have no use for you. Huge distinction.

  23. Aunt Peg says:


    The Easter trolls have arrived! My goodness.

  24. ungtss says:

    No, I don’t think it’s ironic that a sunday teacher was arrested.

    1) I’ve seen people calling themselves Christians kill, and I’ve seen people calling themselves atheists kill. Don’t make a bit of difference — people are people.

    2) I’ve also seen people falsely accused of crimes. All we have now is a visit to her house on the day she disappeared, and a suitcase. If I were a child-molester/murderer, would I use my own suitcase? Maybe, if I were stupid. But I might just as easily stalk the girl, follow her where she went, and stole something from one of the houses to stash the body in. It’s extremely weak, circumstantial evidence. Cops don’t get that, though. They need to make an arrest to look like they’re doing their job. I was a cop for a while. I know.

  25. ungtss says:

    And no, I don’t “hate” the right, just because they’re rightwing wrong,

    Then again I’m asking you. Why are all of you concluding this woman is guilty as charged, despite the absence of any meaningful evidence, if not because she’s a Sunday School teacher and so that would be “ironic?”

  26. Prairiedog says:

    This is how our system of justice works.

    The police, when confronted with probable cause, make an arrest and the evidence is presented to a D.A., who either throws out the arrest warrant, or, may refer the case to a grand jury to determine if the evidence is sufficient to go to trial.

    Then the case is argued and a jury is instructed to decide the evidence on its merits: guilt or innocence.

    The information Melissa Huckaby presented to the officers had to be fairly solid because murder charges aren’t taken lightly. These cases fascinate because I can never imagine what it is a person that allows them to harm a child.

  27. ungtss says:

    I have less faith in the cops than you do. I’ve worked among and with them for years, and I know that the vast majority of cops do not understand what probable cause means. They feel an extraordinarily strong pressure to make an arrest, and are not the smartest people in the world. A little circumstantial evidence and a “hunch” are often enough. There are hundreds of death-row acquittals to back me up. And remember the Duke LaCrosse team a couple years back?

  28. Matteo says:

    The murder of 8 year old Sandra Cantu was a very brutal and angry crime. We have been following the developments for several days. Here’s what the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting.

    Suspect in Tracy slaying is churchgoing mom

    She was a loving mother to her ailing child, she taught Bible study at her grandfather’s church, and her 5-year-old daughter played a lot with 8-year-old Sandra Cantu and other kids on the block.

    Until Saturday, that was the main impression neighbors and family had of 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby.

    What they apparently never suspected was that the brown-haired single mother with the quiet smile might kill an 8-year-old girl, then stuff the body in a suitcase and hide it in a pond – but that’s just what Tracy police say Huckaby did.

    “She must have had a double life, because she seemed sweet and the Bible study kids love her,” said Carlos Martinez, who lives in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park near Huckaby. “This is a total shock.”

    Huckaby’s relatives said they were bewildered at the concept that the churchgoing woman they’ve seen get down on her knees to play with children and lead them in singing religious songs such as “Deep and Wide” would do what police say she has.

    “I’ve never seen her truly scold her daughter,” said Cynthia Browning of Manteca (San Joaquin County), Huckaby’s great-aunt. “She is soft-spoken. I trust my grandchildren with her. I don’t believe she could do this.”

    Huckaby lives with her grandparents because she suffers from severe allergies and wanted relatives’ help to be able to have more time “to take better care of her daughter, who is super-thin and gets sick a lot,” Browning said. She was named “class mother” of her daughter’s preschool, friends said.

    Along the way, however, Huckaby has had legal problems.

    She was convicted in 2006 in Los Angeles County of property theft, and was due in court Friday to be sentenced for a local January felony burglary conviction, according to court records. In 2002, the Sutter Tracy Community Hospital won a $10,000 civil judgment against her for owed bills; she declared bankruptcy the next year.

    “She is a good churchgoing girl, but she has had her challenges,” said her great-aunt.

    Neighbors said the only thing that struck them as odd about Huckaby was that instead of sending her child over to other kids’ houses to play, she always insisted on playmates coming to her house. Huckaby wasn’t overly chummy with everyone on the street, they said, but always cordial when approached.

    The house, neighbors said, is a neat, inviting place where Huckaby and her daughter live with her grandparents, 77-year-old Lane Lawless – pastor of the nearby Clover Road Baptist Church, where Huckaby teaches – and Connie Lawless, a former elected member of the local Republican Central Committee. In this trim park of beige-toned mobile homes, nothing stuck out as unusual about the place. The family – including her parents, who live in Southern California and sing in their church choirs – is respected.

    “Look, her grandfather is a preacher; there are some good influences in that family,” said Dwight Porsche of Tracy. “This makes no sense at all. I mean, who would do that to a baby?”

    Huckaby’s only occupation was the Bible study job, relatives said. The Baptist church has a small membership, and Sandra’s family said they were not involved with the church.

    After Sandra disappeared March 27, Huckaby attended a community vigil to offer condolences, but evidently was not heavily involved in the 10-day search effort. After the girl’s body was discovered Monday, she spent several days at the Tracy hospital in intensive care for various ailments, her great-aunt said.

    “This just makes no sense at all,” said neighbor Maria Ramirez, shaking her head sadly. “I’m so surprised. Such nice people, such bad things to happen.”

  29. ungtss says:

    Still no evidence linking her with the offense. Maybe she’s guilty — I don’t know. But it scares me to think the “leftists” of the world trust the judgment of cops implicitly. At least when the accused is a Sunday School teacher, that is.

  30. proudprogressive says:

    As a retired mental health care provider – it cannot be understated how often the mentality ill manifest fixed false beliefs (delusions) or conditions which fluctuate from lucidity being reality based to hearing voices..

    because of the practices of many religious *faiths (based on non empirical evidence hence *faith itself can be an extreme for those whose mental state is fragile or have an unlying predispositon for serious mental illness.

    Interesting and sad this poor soul got hospitalized immediately after charges for various “ailments” – it also needs to be noted that some mental illnesses also carry a statistically significant amount of somatic complaints –

    The cases are legion – sadly horridly sad, mothers under the of delusions being commanded to kill their own children.

    I further worry that the rise of evangelicalism as a whole , and its extreme proliferation as a faith in this country , the wide varieties of sects A(with their match book preachers, to the mega churches ) are many us as an entire culture – mentally ill. Dogmatic concrete thinking is also symtomatic of some mental illnesses. , failure to allow in new information i.e. people who don’t believe in science or reading anything else other than Xtian authors. – its ill.

    Deep faith encourages doubt, most theologians prefer to look far beyond the simpleton views of scriptures of any faith as something to be taken literally. (a sign of concrete thinking ) – but prefer to contemplate the metaphors , and take it for its meaning in time and place – not cherry pick – most of todays “religious” people (not all) are more interesting in going through the motions of religion rather than understanding the liberation , the peace , the beautitudes or the call to love. Hypocrits for the most part.

    oh and lefties , even athiests don’t dislike the religious – this one just wishes it was out of our public policies and a private matter. In other words believe whatever the hell you want – but don’t advertise it or try to turn this country into a Theocracy ! We have freedom to believe what we ourselves choose, and not have to accept the faith of others – If religious organizations of any faith, continue to meddle in politics they need to be TAXED.

    sigh…my comment is my post against Theocracy

  31. RealWorldRadical says:

    I’m a secular leftist, but I’m with DeVito here. Just because you want to believe it’s religion’s fault, doesn’t make it so. The knee-jerk reaction to assume all religion is evil is as annoying to me as those who assume all atheism is evil.

    No idea what this woman said yet, but even if she claims god made her do it that’s more likely either a cover for another crime (a prelude to an insanity plea) or a sign of mental illness. Sure there’s a correlation between schizophrenia and mental illness. There’s also a correlation between mild schizophrenia and creative abilities. The world is full of correlations, which don’t make religion inherently evil.

    That doesn’t mean that framing your enemy as loons may not help — just at least be honest with yourselves as you do it. I for one will not engage. If I can’t defeat them another way, I may have to learn to live with them. And I may have to learn to live with the idea that most people have a psychology that requires something akin to religion. The fact that I don’t need it doesn’t mean others don’t. The fact that a bit of sunlight does me good doesn’t mean that I’ll drag my albino neighbor out assuming the same does well for her.

    Unfortunately what’s good for the goose is good for the gander is a often a myth. We live in a world of competing interests, and the 1960s lie that our leftist predecessors developed…that we’re all in this together…has hurt as much as it’s helped. No, I don’t say absolutely that the lie was bad. The lie that “rape is a crime of violence–it’s not about sex” served a purpose, but I’d say it’s done. The story that “anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse” was a useful exaggeration. But pressing on with these fairly tales after their purpose is served will screw us all.

    So let’s kick this one to the curb. We’re not all in this together. We are NOT saving everyone by getting rid of religion. At best we think it is better for most people. As an absolute we are sure it is best for us. But if you have to believe what’s best for you is best for everyone, just step back a minute and at least admit you’ve let go of any pretense of intellectual objectivity. The irony of which is that you are now the same as the religious folk you scorn.

  32. ungtss says:

    ProudProgressive: There’s no evidence that this woman is mentally ill. Being wrongly accused of murder can also cause stress which leads to somatic illness.

    RWR: Right on. Failure to recognize that others honestly see the world differently than you do, attacking them for their different approach to life, and giving them the choice between conversion to your beliefs and marginalization, are the defining marks of religious bigotry. Unfortunately, some members of all belief systems are prone to fall into that trap.

  33. Nan Yun says:

    I remember reading once that a measurement of a countries evolution is gauged by the safety of their women and children. If this is true, America isn’t very evolved.

  34. Tiny Dancer says:

    How many times have we heard some horrendous crime story and the neighbors say, “He seemed like such a nice, quiet person……”

    You just never know who is living next door to you.

  35. Gleneagle says:

    The real subtext of the poster who refuses to accept the findings of the Tracy Pee Dee is, he wanted the suspect to fit his preconceived image of who would kidnap and murder an 8 year old child and the MO just had to be a white, male, pedophile.

    Unfortunately, you may WANT the suspect to fit this description but this isn’t who the Tracy Pee Dee arrested. Give it a rest, please. Dial back on the faux outrage and accept the reality that the suspect is a female deviant and a religious freak.

    So the anticipated witch for the alleged white, male, pedophile will have to be cancelled.

  36. Brigadoon says:

    Of course women can do awful things to children. I remember that bird brain about 10 years ago who drowned her two, beautiful grade school age boys because her boyfriend didn’t want kids. Evil is evil and has nothing to do with gender.

  37. ungtss says:

    So there you have it. “She’s guilty because the cops arrested her, and anybody who doesn’t believe it already is just a [fill-in-the-blank] lover.”

    I’ve learned something profound and scary. There are leftists out there who believe whatever the cops say, without evidence. I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me, given how socialist states operate.

  38. gage says:

    Was it Nietsche who said [paraphrasing] “In our pursuit of monsters, let us take care that we do not become monsters ourselves”?

    ungtss is arguing a principle that is critical to our system of justice. It’s good when people remind people of the importance of such principle. Thanks, ungtss, and you are absolutely right, we do not place the burden of proof upon the accused in this nation and until they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

  39. gage says:

    …and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

  40. Stephan Iversonn says:

    “So there you have it. “She’s guilty because the cops arrested her, and anybody who doesn’t believe it already is just a [fill-in-the-blank] lover.””

    I’ve read all the comments on this thread and no one ever said this. No one.

    Why would you pen a fraudulent quote? Just to be an contrarian and cause ill-will on this thread?

    This is a news story. A news story reported virtually around the nation.

    It’s clear, you have some sort of agenda because the title says, “Jesus Made Her do It.”

    If the title said, “Democrats Made Her do It,” or, “Leftists Made Her do It,” I am certain there would not be 14 comments that say virtually the same things.

    You’re very lucky, Ungtss that you haven’t been banned to this point.

  41. RealWorldRadical says:

    Yeah, the “Jesus made her do it” thing was bugging me to. And believe me, I’m no theist, and I firmly think religion should be open to criticism exactly the same as political beliefs. BUT there are valid and invalid criticisms, and to assume there was anything in Christianity that made this woman do whatever she did (and we’ve no idea at this point what she really did) is really just made up slander against those who believe this stuff — no matter how illogical some of it may be.

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