Do Do That Voodoo That You Do So Well

When his son started dating a girl that Raymond Bradshaw didn’t like, the CIA clerk went to a nearby cemetery, collected dirt from a grave site, and placed it in a bag to try to destroy the relationship. Bradshaw, you see, is an avid dabbler in black magic.

His wife, Cheryl McLaughlin, a school teacher and Catholic-church employee, wasn’t on board with his practicing the dark arts, and secretly hoped for some supernatural arbitration of the kind she favored:

“I kept believing God would intervene and there would be a conversion [of Bradshaw senior],” she said. “But I think that was wishful thinking.”

She found out just how perceptive an observation that was when, about two years ago, she came home

 …to find candles flickering in her living room, with slips of paper under each that read: “make her stay” or “make her love me.”

A year later, in summer 2012, [her husband] was seen lighting paper on the grill, chanting and spreading ashes around the back yard.


Unbeknownst to Cheryl, Ray Bradshaw had progressed from trying to keep her to trying to kill her — with voodoo.

Prosecutors said Bradshaw … hired a purported African voodoo priest he met online and paid that person $500 to cast a spell that would kill McLaughlin, ensuring that she didn’t divorce him and seek alimony.

I know it’s hard to believe, but the spell didn’t work. So Bradshaw turned to a more conventional method of disposal (I use ‘conventional’ in a Tony Soprano kind of way):

When the magic spells failed, prosecutors said, Bradshaw, 64, approached his 16-year-old nephew, bought a gun and offered to pay him $2,500 to kill McLaughlin.

Yay, rationality! However,

The nephew instead told his mother, who alerted police.

The bloodthirsty husband was arrested, and he eventually pleaded guilty to one felony count of solicitation of murder. That’s right, one felony count — I’ll bet that attempted murder-by-voodoo is nowhere to be found in the U.S. penal code. Such an oversight.

Yesterday, Ray Bradshaw was sentenced to four years in prison, where I suppose he might resume his efforts to kill his estranged wife by sending black-magic cooties her way. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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