The Pazuzu Algarad House grabbed eyeballs when the murders came to light in 2014 with the discovery of skeletal remains in the backyard. A self-proclaimed Satanist, the name of Pazuzu Algarad continues to inspire dread. The man who engaged in widespread animal sacrifices and merciless murders had a lot more going on in his “House of Horrors” that only members of his cult were aware of.
Adapted into a five-part series titled “The Devil You Know”, the documentary attempts to uncover the satanic slayings in the small town of Clemmons, all orchestrated by Pazuzu Algarad.
A Mysterious Childhood
Pazuzu Algarad was born on August 12, 1978 as John Alexander Lawson in San Francisco, California to Cynthia and Timothy Lawson. After separating from her husband, Cynthia along with John moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Very little is known about Algarad’s family and childhood, given that he fabricated details of his life. This included tracing his roots to Iraq to claiming that he was the son of a high-priest.
Of questionable behaviour since childhood, people who knew Algarad closely described him as “strange” – of an overly sensitive nature that bordered on mental illness. He indulged in harming animals as a child, which at a later date would manifest as gruesome and countless animal sacrifices.
As a teenager, Algarad suffered from mental disorders, the symptoms of schizophrenia and agoraphobia being the most marked. Cynthia Lawson tried to make available psychiatric help for her young son. However, the shortage of money put a stop to this much-needed medical assistance, further worsening his condition. Heavy alcohol consumption and substance abuse were the other two vices Algarad picked up as a teenager.
John Lawson was soon influenced by and obsessed with Satanic beliefs. He declared that his faith had endowed him with magical powers that enabled him to control the weather. Lawson later took on the name “Pazuzu Illah Algarad” in 2002 based on the character of the demon in The Exorcist. He cited religion as the main reason for a change in name.
A Self-proclaimed Satanist
Pazuzu Algarad was a cold-blooded murderer.
There was a marked increase in the instances of violence with age. The first was his attack on his mother, Cynthia Lawson, when he held her in a chokehold at their shared residence in Clemmons. He was convicted for the same and was put under probation as a juvenile, only to be released after 12 months.
The new creed he popularised brought together tenets of Islam and Satanism. He wanted people to fear Satan. He also banked on the fears and dangers of terrorism which was portrayed as have strong links with Islam.
A look into the Pazuzu Algarad house would have caused the strongest hearts to shudder. Filled with symbols of satanic worship, the house was completely inhabitable. The walls were plastered with satanic images, pentagrams and messages and smeared with blood, of animals and humans. The walls bore inscriptions in diverse languages, mostly Arabic which loosely translated to “house of devil worshippers”. The front door features a picture of a skull and crossbones.
Chief among the horrifying activities going on within the Pazuzu Algarad house was the infliction of self harm. Pazuzu exploited his female followers sexually. Inmates drank the blood of birds and animals. They engaged in animal sacrifices to appease Satan; the carcasses of which were left littered and to rot across the home. Carcasses were found rotting in animal cages as well as shards of glass lay scattered on the floor.
Human remains were later discovered in the backyard of Algarad’s Clemmons house. Not only this, Algarad defecated in the house, rarely going outside to take a dump. There were swarms of flies feeding on the dead and decaying matter in the house.
It goes without saying that the home reeked, giving neighbours another reason to stay away from the Pazuzu Algarad house. The house was piled with garbage and faecal matter. The stench emanating from the house was also a major put off.
The Pazuzu Algarad house was demolished in April 2015, after it was declared unfit for human habitation.
A Social Outcast
Pazuzu Algarad was weird not only in behaviour but also appearance.
A scary countenance – cold piercing eyes, a split tongue, an inked face and numerous piercings – kept neighbours at a distance. Not only this, he had filed his teeth into points. The tattoos on his body included a black demon and a Nazi sign. He idealised Charles Manson, yet another Californian cult leader and serial killer.
Pazuzu never bathed or bathed only once a year. He hadn’t brushed his teeth for months. The justification for doing so was that hygiene in the form of bathing rid the body of its natural defenses against infections and illnesses.
Algarad did not operate alone. He soon gathered a large number of followers, building a kind of cult, all of whom participated in debauchery. These mostly included individuals who had, like him, had been socially ostracised and found a kindred spirit in him. These misfits and social outcasts were allowed to stay at Alagard’s home in Clemmons for as long as they wanted. They also did what they wanted inside the house.
The self-proclaimed satanist also had two fiances – Amber Burch and Krystal Matlock, both of whom were his accomplices in the murder cases. Burch was convicted of second-degree murder of Tommy Dean Welch. She also served a sentence for assaulting Alagard’s mother, when he held her in a chokehold. Matlock, on the other hand, was found guilty of assisting with the burial of Josh Wetzler.
A Tragic End
Pazuzu Algarad was sentenced to prison for the murder of Josh Welzter. He was transferred to Central Prison in Raleigh for purposes of safekeeping.
He committed suicide and was found dead in his prison cell on October 28, 2015. His death was caused due to a wound to the upper arm, which caused him to bleed out.