June 12, 1987. Flagstaff, Arizona. After finishing her shift at the Flagstaff Medical Center, 40-year old Navajo woman Sarah Saganitso never returns home and her nude body is found in a nearby wooded area the following day. Her exact cause of death is asphyxiation via suffocation and there appear to be bite marks around her left breast. Nearly two months later, a suspect named George Abney is charged with the murder after making a confession, but he maintains that it was coerced. At trial, Abney’s defence team alleges that the crime is a ritualistic killing linked to witchcraft which may have been committed by a Navajo “skin-walker” and the jury ends up finding Abney “not guilty”. Was George Abney actually responsible for the murder of Sarah Saganitso? Or was the real killer a practitioner of Navajo witchcraft? On this week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold”, we explore a bizarre case which may be the only documented murder trial in which the crime was blamed on a “skin-walker”.
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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.
All music is composed by Vince Nitro.