By Melissa Fossum
By Lauren Wise
By New Times
By Amanda Savage
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Troy Farah
By New Times
Furious, De Souza turned back to her voodoo roots, praying morning, noon, and night to the fearsome Candomblé god of disease, Obaluaiye. One night, she says, he appeared to her in a dream and urged her in a voice like thunder to seek revenge. The rest apparently was stunningly easy for a woman who grew up practicing a form of witchcraft.
"It's called sympathetic magic, the oldest known to man," she relates. "An initiate in Candomblé, macumba, or just plain ol' Haitian voodoo need only believe that a doll or object is the person in question. Photographs from the victim, as well as nail and hair clippings, focus one's energies. I had collected these from Jacko as mementos. There was no intent to harm him until he crossed me."
As for the dead puppy, De Souza explained that real evil must accompany desired evil, and that she had to sacrifice a life dear to her in order to rob Jacko of his. The dog was hers, a 4½-month-old pup she'd brought home from the pound and dubbed Cerberus, for the canine that guards the gates of Hades in Greek mythology. She sliced his neck and held him as he jerked, allowing his warm blood to spill into the bowls beneath her feet. She drank from one to set the ritual in motion, turning with blood-stained hands to the voodoo doll.
The same day that De Souza plunged several pins into that doll's chest, Jackson, it's reported, died of cardiac failure at the age of 50. Speculation has since centered on a private physician and rumors that Jackson had been injected with a drug such as Demerol.
"So what if he had?" laughs the Sedona sorceress. "If you believe in cause and effect, and if such an injection did occur, what caused that unknown hand to overdose the, quote unquote, King of Pop, and weaken his heart to the point he was kaput at the age of 50? Ha! Do you think this is a joke?
"I sent Michael Jackson to the underworld as surely as God made green apples. And if any of my other patients get the brilliant idea to skip out on their payments, they too will learn the pain of my wrath."
She goes on, cackling, "Even though I'm a murderess, this is a crime they will never be able to charge me with. Imagine [the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office] trying to make a jury believe a sorceress killed Jacko. The DA would be laughed out of office."
Then, turning as serious as the proverbial heart attack, she states, "But I killed him as sure as you're sitting here."
Local clients, such as Suns forward Amar'e Stoudemire, whose detached retina's being treated by De Souza with a poultice made of beryl water, should take heed, she says. Recently traded basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal came to her for help with his free throws. She promises that fans will see a marked improvement when Shaq hits the floor for the Cleveland Cavaliers next season. Shaq, it seems, pays his bills on time.
Regarding Stoudemire, she notes that he missed his last session, which he apparently called off to attend a ceremony at Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office making the laid-up power forward a "special deputy."
Arpaio, too, has sought out De Souza's help. He'd heard about her from singer Glen Campbell, who'd asked her to help him stop drinking after he had to spend a day or two in one of Arpaio's jails. (Arpaio had allowed Campbell to stay in a jail facility known as the "Mesa Hilton," rather than forcing the singer of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" to suffer the indignities of Tent City.)
De Souza was asked what Arpaio was seeing her for, and she replied: "His fading mental facilities. You know, he's a babbling 77!" But, as with the late President Reagan, she believes there's no hope for "America's toughest sheriff." Referring to the numbers puzzle that seniors use to improve their memories, De Souza says, "I told him to start playing sudoku. And to take as much ginkgo biloba as he can handle. He's so far gone that I wouldn't waste an ounce of cubic zirconium on him."
To recoup her losses in treating Jackson, De Souza says, she'll be selling the very crystals and stones she used to massage Jackson's nether regions. Problem is, she's not sure how she should go about it.
"I've heard of eBay, but then I'll have to buy a computer and learn how to use it," she frets. "There isn't any way you could help me with it, dearie, could you?"