Teacher Beheaded for Witchcraft; ‘A Swarm of Fireflies’ Said She’d Caused a Neighbor’s Death

Fireflies. They’re the new breadcrumbs.

A female teacher was publicly tortured and beheaded by a mob of villagers in Papua New Guinea after she was accused of using sorcery against a neighbor, the Associated Press reported Monday.

The villagers — wielding guns, machetes and axes — pulled Helen Rumbali out of her house, along with her sister and two nieces. They then burned down the house, the AP reported.


The assailants accused the 40-something schoolteacher of witchcraft, saying she was responsible for the death of a sick villager. They said a swarm of fire flies led them from the deceased person’s grave to Ms. Rumbali’s house, the AP reported.

After being slashed repeatedly with knives, the woman’s older sister and two teenage nieces were released following negotiations with police. Ms. Rumbali was publicly beheaded.