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Quark, Strangeness and Charm

Druids & human sacrifice

Followed by a newsmontage on Satanism

Fear of ritual murder kept the British pagan 'rabble' in order

Halloween & Human Sacrifice

by Karleen E. Page

"All those who hate Me love death." (Proverbs 8:36)

There is a debate among scholars as to whether human sacrifices were performed during Druid/Celtic celebrations of Halloween. Of course modern druids will say that they were not. They say that the only evidence that this custom was practiced is a reference in an ancient Roman document by Julius Caesar (see below). We do know that human sacrifice was practiced in this part of the world in ancient times because of several "bog men", mummies preserved in the peat bogs that show signs of ritual killing. Of course, there would be no remains of any humans that were sacrificed in the fire. At any rate, the word "bonfire" comes from a compound of the Middle English words bon (bone) and fir (fire) ... meaning a fire kindled upon bones.

Merle Severy, "The Celts," National Geographic (May 1977), pages 625-626, describes "the eve of Samhain... the start of the Celtic new year:

"According to the Dinshenchas, a medieval collection of "the lore of prominent places," firstborn children were sacrificed before a great idol to ensure fertility of cattle and crops. Samhain eve was a night of dread and danger. At this juncture of the old year and the new, our world and the otherworld opened up to each other. The dead returned, ghosts and demons were abroad, and the future could be seen.. . . Behind such Halloween games as bobbing for apples lie Celtic divination arts to discern who would marry, thrive, or die in the coming year. Behind the masks and mischief, the jack-o'lanterns and food offerings, lurk the fear of malevolent spirits and the rites to propitiate them."

Page 601 gives additional insight:

"Tacitus tells us of the bloodstained Druid altars of Anglesey in Wales."

Julius Caesar on Celtic Sacrifices

The whole nation of the Gauls is greatly devoted to ritual observances, and for that reason those who are smitten with the more grievous maladies and who are engaged in the perils of battle either sacrifice human victims or vow so to do, employing the druids as ministers for such sacrifices. They believe, in effect, that, unless for a man's life a man's life be paid, the majesty of the immortal gods may not be appeased; and in public, as in private life they observe an ordinance of sacrifices of the same kind. Others use figures of immense size whose limbs, woven out of twigs, they fill with living men and set on fire, and the men perish in a sheet of flame. They believe that the execution of those who have been caught in the act of theft or robbery or some crime is more pleasing to the immortal gods; but when the supply of such fails they resort to the execution even of the innocent.

The classical author Diodorus Siculus also reported scenes of human sacrifice [by the Druids].

'When they attempt divination upon important matters they practice a strange and incredible custom, for they kill a man by a knife-stab in the region above his midriff.' After the sacrificial victim fell dead...'they foretell the future by the convulsions of his limbs and the pouring of his blood." [Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books), pages 17-19.]
"The 1984 discovery of a sacrificial victim in Cheshire, England, helps validate the reality of ritualistic human sacrifice. The well-preserved young man had apparently belonged to an elite social class in the second century BC. After two sharp blows to the head, he had been strangled. Then, like the countless sacrifices to Aztec and Mayan gods, his body had been drained of the human blood needed to please and appease their god(s)."

Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books), page 10.]

The LORD your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same." You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods. See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it. Deuteronomy 12:29-32

See also: The Golden Bough - by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer

Satanism - news montage

Thames torso boy was sacrificed

Thais flock to magic guru

SPOTLIGHT ON - February 2nd 2002.............

Tour of Britain's bizarre underworld

Self-styled vampire reveals British link

Vampire couple jailed for satanic murder

Satanic killers tell of blood drinking rites

Murder Throws Spotlight on Rise in Satanism

Satanic killers grin as they are locked away

Met honours men who trapped satanic killer

Thames torso boy was sacrificed

Police suspect the victim was a West African child slave, after forensic evidence points to a ritual killing, report Martin Bright and Paul Harris

Martin Bright and Paul Harris,6903,726271,00.html

Sunday June 2, 2002 - The Observer

A young boy whose mutilated torso was discovered floating in the River Thames last September was the victim of a gruesome West African 'religious' sacrifice intended to bring good luck, and was trafficked into the country expressly for the killing.

Genetic tests on the boy - who was found with his head and limbs removed and wearing only a pair of orange shorts - point to a West African origin, probably Nigeria or a nearby country such as Togo or Benin.

Further analysis of stomach contents and bone chemistry show the child, whom police have named Adam, could not have been brought up in London. Detectives are now working on the horrifying theory that he was bought as a child slave in West Africa and smuggled to Britain solely to be killed.

Experts on African religion consulted by Scotland Yard believe Adam may have been sacrificed to one of the 400 'Orisha' or ancestor gods of the Yoruba people, Nigeria's second-largest ethnic group. Oshun, a Yoruba river goddess is associated with orange, the colour of the shorts, which were placed on Adam's body 24 hours after he was killed as a bizarre addition to the ritual. The body was then stored for a further 24 hours before being offered to the Thames.

The cultural clues fit neatly with the forensics as the Yoruba are found in Benin, Togo and Ghana as well as Nigeria. Thousands of Yoruba slaves were also taken to the Caribbean, where elements of their religion formed the basis of voodoo rituals.

A close examination of the cuts where the head and limbs were sliced from the body shows that they were carried out by an expert using extremely sharp knives specially prepared for the purpose. In a horrific operation reminiscent of animal sacrifice, the flesh around the limbs and neck was first cut down to the bones, which were then slashed with a single blow from an implement much like a butcher's meat cleaver. Adam would have been stretched out horizontally or upside down during the sacrifice and kept in position while the blood was drained from the body.

Officers working on the case believe that the level of expertise involved could show the perpetrators imported a magician or priest to carry out the ritual. They also believe the amputated body parts will have been kept as powerful magical trophies.

Richard Hoskins, a lecturer in the Study of Religions at Bath Spa University, who has studied ritual killings across Africa, said: 'This looks like a deviant variety of a West African religion. Someone would have done it to gain power. But the vast majority of Africans would find this abhorrent.'

In an unprecedented missing-person investigation, the police have even tracked down the origins of the orange shorts, which were made exclusively in China for German Woolworth stores. Police believe Adam may have arrived in England from Germany, a common route for people traffickers.

Police are now awaiting final results of the forensic tests, which should identify a specific country or ethnic group, before moving their investigation to Africa. Scotland Yard officers working on the case then plan to launch appeals to the parents of missing children in Adam's country of origin..

Commander Andy Baker of the Metropolitan Police, who is heading the investigation said: 'All we have is the trunk of a little boy and a very small pair of shorts. But when the work on the forensics identifies his home, we will go to that country and make direct contact with the government involved.'

Investigators have now discounted the theory that Adam was the victim of a so-called muti killing, where body parts are taken to be used in medicine. It is a practice widespread in areas of South Africa, and detectives travelled to Johannesburg to speak to experts. But all the evidence is now pointing to West Africa as holding the answers to the riddle of Adam's slaughter. It now seems clear it was not body parts his killers were after.

Expert forensic analysis of mitochondrial DNA - the first time such a test has been used in a criminal investigation - shows that Adam was almost certainly West African. Other gruesome evidence is the fact that Adam's genitals were left on his body. In muti murders the genitals are seen as powerful medicine; not so in West Africa where the 'luck' of an individual is believed to lie in the blood. Adam's blood was drained from his body after he was killed, but his genitals were undamaged. A further clue lies in the fact that Adam, who was between four and seven years old, was also circumcised. In southern Africa circumcision happens as a passage to adulthood. In West Africa it occurs shortly after birth.

The case has prompted a continent-wide alert that African ritual killings have been imported to Europe. Last Monday an international conference was held in the Dutch city of The Hague to discuss the phenomenon, and several countries' police forces are investigating deaths involving mutilations. Even Police believe that rich West Africans imported Adam from West Africa, probably using a specialist witch doctor for the task. The witch doctor would have procured the boy in West Africa, perhaps paying a fee to his family, a fee who may have expected him to be put to work abroad. He would then have been 'trafficked' to Europe.

Adam was well-treated before he was killed.. Traces of a common over-the-counter cough medicine were found in his stomach, indicating someone wanted him in good health for the day of his execution.

Could it happen again? Whatever business Adam's killers wanted to bless has already started. It is unlikely his killers will strike again. 'If another one happens then it is likely to be a different group of people involved. The ones who killed Adam are already satisfied with what they have done,' said Dr Hendrik Scholtz, an expert at South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand.

Temi Olusanya, the Nigerian vice-chair of the African Caribbean Development Association said Adam's murder had deeply shocked the West African community. 'This is a crime that cannot be tolerated in African religions. Murder is murder and we should work together to find the people who did this,' he said.,6903,726271,00.html

Thais flock to magic guru

The Observer - 7th April 2002 - p24

A school in rural Thailand for black magic has attracted hundreds of students who want to learn love potions, verses to ward off ghosts and body tattoos that can stop bullets.

'I want to pass on all of my knowledge to new generations,' said self-styled guru Harn Raksajit. 'Black magic is an intellectual heritage from our ancestors, but it is about to die because of modern science.'

Tour of Britain's bizarre underworld

Vikram Dodd,4273,4347556,00.html

Friday February 1, 2002 - Guardian

Manuela Ruda's obsession with Satanism brought her to Britain where her tour of this nation's bizarre underbelly took her to the Isle of Skye.

There she met Tom Leppard, in his 60s, who lives in a cave and with whom she corresponded while awaiting her trial.

Mr Leppard said she had told him what she had done, but not the reason why.

He told Sky News: "I said you can't just hate, you've got to have something to hate. You can't hate this, or hate that without a reason. And she never answered the question."

Ruda told German police they had visited the UK twice, touring Scotland for five months in 1996 and in February 1997 visiting London.

Manuela said: "I was in England and Scotland, met people and vampires in London. We went out at night, to cemeteries, in ruins and in the woods.

The so-called Leopard Man of Skye has told in the past how Ruda visited him four times in August 2000 as he worked in a Kyleakin hotel bar and said she seemed fascinated by his way of life. A colourful eccentric, Mr Leppard is in the Guinness Book of Records for having his body covered in a leopard tattoo.

Satanism in this country is secretive and underground, and there is no hard evidence pointing to the number of Satanists.

Iain Taylor, of the Evangelical Alliance, puts it in the thousands, although critics accuse evangelists of hyping up the threat as it suits their own agenda.

One estimate puts the number of committed Satanists in Britain at just 100.

Mr Taylor said: "There is increasing anecdotal evidence of people becoming involved in satanism, especially children."

Two years ago a UK branch of the American Church of Satan was set up, merging groups trying to recruit Satanists here, such as the Church of the Nine Angels and the UK Temple of Set.

Satanism has been linked in the media to allegations of sexual abuse, claims that led social services to seize children in high- profile cases such as those in Ayrshire, Rochdale and Orkney.

The allegations were found to be baseless.,4273,4347556,00.html

Self-styled vampire reveals British link,4273,4347554,00.html

Friday February 1, 2002 - Guardian

A 23-year-old Satanist jailed yesterday in Germany for a gruesome, ritual Satanic killing, said that she became a vampire in London.

In testimony which exposes the bizarre world of Britain's underground occult groups, Manuela Ruda said that she swapped the "mortal" world for a life of blood-drinking and devil worship after working in a club in London which she said was frequented by "vampires and human beings".

Ruda, who said she had sold her soul to the devil, recalled nightly visits to cemeteries, ruins and woods during her time in Britain.

She has also revealed that she toured Scotland where she visited Tom Leppard - the so-called Leopard Man of Skye who is covered head to toe with a leopard tattoo.

Ruda and her husband, Daniel, were found guilty at a court in Bochum, western Germany, of killing a 33-year-old man by hitting him with a hammer and stabbing him 66 times. After they had killed him, the couple drank his blood.,4273,4347554,00.html

Vampire couple jailed for satanic murder

By Justin Rowlatt in Bochum

01 February 2002

A couple who claimed to be vampires and killed a man by stabbing him more than 60 times in a satanic ritual were convicted of murder yesterday.

Daniel Ruda, 26, a former car-parts salesman, and his wife, Manuela, 23, were sentenced to 15 years and 13 years respectively in a secure psychiatric hospital, but the judge in the western German town of Bochum said the possibility that they could kill again meant they might never be released.

The pair had confessed to killing the man in their apartment surrounded by human skulls, cemetery lights, scalpels and incense ­ because the Devil ordered them to do so.

It was a particularly gruesome killing. The victim, Frank Hackerts 33, who was apparently chosen by the Rudas as their victim because of his love of the Beatles, was hit over the head with a hammer, stabbed 66 times and had a pentagram carved into his chest. The Rudas say they then drank his blood and slept together in a coffin they kept at their flat.

Manuela Ruda told the court: "We were not alone ­ there was a presence there, a powerful force." She said her husband had "terrible, glowing eyes" as he stood up before delivering the first hammer blow.

Manuela claimed she was first drawn to satanism during a visit to Britain. She told the court she drifted into the "gothic" scene after the Devil contacted her when she was 14. At 16, bored by her life in the small German town of Witten, she travelled to the Scottish Highlands where she worked in a hotel for a few months and enjoyed the emptiness, the cemeteries and gloomy atmosphere of the low clouds, she said. She spent time living in a cave on the Isle of Skye with Tom Leppard, a heavily tattooed 62-year-old man .

In London she worked in a gothic club in Islington where she claims to have joined a group who attended "bite parties" and worshipped the Devil. "We drank blood from living people," she told police. "We slept on graves. One time we dug a grave and I slept in it, just to see what it would feel like."

Manuela met Daniel Ruda after she returned to Germany and answered a lonely hearts advertisement in a heavy metal magazine. It read: "Black-haired vampire seeks princess of darkness who despises everything and everybody and has bidden farewell to life."

Throughout the trial the couple showed no remorse for the killing, maintaining that they had done Frank Hackerts a favour because he is now "beside Satan, the best place that he could be".

In the courtroom in Bochum the Rudas put on a daily show of defiantly provocative behaviour, including rude gestures, rolling their eyes manically and sticking their tongues out.

They claimed that because they were following the orders of the Devil, they could not be held responsible for murder. "If I kill a person with my car and half his bloody head is left on my bumpers, it is not the car that goes to jail," Daniel Ruda told the court, "it is the driver who is evil. I have nothing to repent, because I did nothing."

Psychiatric experts told the court that the couple were suffering from "severe narcissistic personality disturbances". As a result, the prosecution rejected calls for life sentences, arguing that the couple were mentally ill and could not be held wholly responsible for their actions. They are "not the monsters" depicted in the media, the prosecution said.

Passing sentence, Judge Arnjo Kerstingtombroke said: "This case was not about satanism but about a crime committed by two people with severe disorders. Nothing mystical or cult-like happened here; just simple, base murder."

He said the Rudas were not insane and had been fit enough to be tried, but that their pschiatric disorders were sufficient to stop him from handing down life sentences ­ the standard punishment for premeditated killing. The judge also said so much fan mail had been sent to the Rudas during the case that he was worried about the "limitless stupidity" of many members of the public.

Both defendants sat quietly as the sentence was read out, Daniel staring at his victim's mother, Manuela chewing gum. The victim's father, Hermann Hackerts, was also in court, as he had been throughout the trial. He said: "At the beginning I did not want to go to the trial but now I'm glad that we sat eye to eye. Now I understand that they are bad people, but people not devils, and absolutely unsound of mind."

On Channel 4 News, Daniel Ruda's lawyer, Hans Reinhardt, said he believed the couple's claim of demonic possession was a cover. "I think he [Daniel] pretends to be an instrument of Satan because he is the sort of person who says, 'I am the best, I am the greatest'," Mr Reinhardt said.

Daniel's motive may have been celebrity, his lawyer said. "He says, 'I want to get on stage, I want that everybody knows me ... I want to be as famous as Charles Manson and so I have to kill someone'," Mr Reinhardt said.

Satanic killers tell of blood drinking rites

By Hannah Cleaver in Berlin

(Filed: 18/01/2002)

A WOMAN who says she and her husband killed a German friend with 66 knife wounds on orders from the devil has claimed that she became a satanist in Britain.

German police say any evidence pointing to possible crimes or an illegal satanic ring in Britain will be sent to the relevant authorities.

Manuela Ruda and her husband, Daniel, have admitted killing their friend, Frank Haagen, "for Satan". She said she got a taste for vampirism and the occult while in London and Scotland.

She appeared at the regional court in Bochum in full gothic garb, her head partly shaved to reveal an upside down crucifix and a target tattooed on her skull.

Mrs Ruda, 23, gave a chilling account of drinking blood from volunteers contacted on the internet. She said: "I was in England and Scotland, met people and vampires in London. We went out at night, to cemeteries, in ruins and in the woods.

"We drank blood together, from willing donors. You can't drink from the arteries, no-one is allowed that. I had implanted pegs put in the teeth which were pulled out and were replaced with fangs.

"I also slept on graves and even allowed myself to be buried in a grave to test the feeling. I signed over my soul to Satan two and a half years ago."

The couple have denied responsibility for killing Mr Haagen, 33, although both have admitted committing the crime.

Mrs Ruda told the court: "It was not murder. We are not murderers. It was the execution of an order. Satan ordered us to. We had to comply. It was not something bad. It simply had to be. We wanted to make sure that the victim suffered well."

Her husband compared himself and his wife to a vehicle involved in a fatal accident. "The car would not be charged," he said. "The driver is the bad guy. I have nothing to regret because I haven't done anything."

Mrs Ruda said she and her 26-year-old husband lured their victim to their flat. When they arrived a "strange force" and "other beings" were present.

"We were sitting on the couch the whole time, then my husband stood up," she said. "He had terrible, glowing eyes and hit out with the hammer.

"Frank stood up and said something, or wanted to say something. The knife was glowing and a voice told me: 'Stab him in the heart.'

"He then sank down. I saw a light flickering around him. That was the sign that his soul was going down. We said a satanic prayer.

"We were then exhausted, and alone, wanted to die ourselves. But the visitation was too short. We could no longer kill ourselves."

After killing Mr Haagen the couple cut an occult star on his stomach, drank his blood from a bowl and had sex in an oak coffin in which Mrs Ruda usually slept.

The couple were arrested in their flat, the walls of which were covered in satanic slogans and hung with an array of knives, axes and machetes.

Mr Haagen's mutilated and partially-decomposed body was found next to the coffin in the living room.

Dieter Justinsky, the public prosecutor, said: "I have never, ever seen such a picture of cruelty and depravity before. They simply had a lust for murder.

"Both believed in Satan, they worshipped him. A death list found in the flat contained the names of future victims. They drank his blood, slept in coffins and believed they would achieve immortality as vampires."

Several witnesses have testified that the couple suffered from personality disorders. They could both face long terms at secure psychiatric institutions.

The Rudas told police that they went to Britain twice, spending five months in Scotland in 1996 and visiting London in February 1997. The gothic phenomenon, an off-shoot of the punk scene, emerged in the late 1970s.

A spokesman for Bochum police said last night that any information relating to crimes in Britain would be passed to the relevant authorities.

The case continues.

Murder Throws Spotlight on Rise in Satanism

By David Crossland

Thursday January 31 9:58 AM ET

BOCHUM, Germany (Reuters) - A bizarre murder by two Devil worshippers has highlighted a rise in Satanism in Germany, where one expert estimates there are up to 7,000 followers, many of them also adhering to Nazi ideology.

Daniel and Manuela Ruda, a married couple who were being sentenced on Thursday, confessed to killing a friend with a hammer and 66 knife stabs last July, saying the Devil had ordered them to kill.

Both have severe psychological disorders, psychiatrists told the court in the western town of Bochum.

Accounts of Manuela's bloodsucking habit and the ritual in which she and her husband killed their victim -- carving a pentagram, the sign of the devil, into his chest and leaving a scalpel protruding from his stomach -- have fascinated Germany and focused attention on Satanism.

``If you study Internet chat pages you can see that the Rudas enjoy cult status with kids,'' said Ingolf Christiansen, author of a book on Satanism and commissioner for ideological issues at the Lutheran Protestant Church in Hanover.

Christiansen said Satanism was more widespread in Britain and the United States than in Germany, where he estimates there are between 3,000 and 7,000 followers.

``That's a conservative estimate. I see a rising tendency. The Internet is helping to spread it. It is driven by increasing brutalization in all areas and a corresponding loss of values.''

Satanism -- which has no official structure and means different things to different people -- typically involves worshipping Satan, the Devil, and a travesty of Christian practices and symbols.

Many adherents see it as a form of social Darwinism rejecting religious norms and promoting the right of the strong to dominate the weak.

Its practice often involves ceremonies with sex and sacrifice to tap dark primal forces. Most Satanists reject moral codes, saying an individual must determine what is good or bad.

Modern forms of Satanism draw on a host of traditions, from ancient Egyptian mythology to Celtic cults and Haitian Voodoo.

Satanic killers grin as they are locked away

Allan Hall in Bochum, Germany

Daniel Ruda sticks out his tongue in court yesterday after being sentenced to 15 years for the bizarre murder of a friend who was stabbed 66 times and hit with a hammer

TWO German devil-worshippers were sentenced to be detained in secure psychiatric hospitals yesterday for the ritual killing of a man they claimed to have sacrificed to Satan.

Manuela and Daniel Ruda chewed gum, flashed mocking grins and gave the devil's sign of a closed fist with extended thumb and little finger when their month-long trial ended.

The married couple showed the same lack of respect for Doris Hackert, the mother of their 33-year-old victim, and her husband Hermann as they did to the court during the trial. They had poked out their tongues, snarled at the judge and abused journalists and witnesses.

There was uproar in the court when Judge Arno Kersting-Tombroke sentenced Manuela to 13 years in a secure mental facility and Daniel to 15 years, despite the prosecution's request for a maximum security prison.

The judge described them as "deeply disturbed individuals", but believed that psychiatric help rather than prison was what they needed.

The trial produced numerous sordid references to sacrifices, both animal and human, and drew into sharp focus a growing and disturbing interest in the occult in Germany and Britain.

The Rudas had a fascination for the dark side that developed into an obsession with death and ultimately led to the killing of Frank Hackert, an unassuming car parts salesman, on an oak coffin before an altar of skulls.

The occult is growing in Germany with an estimated 6,000 devil worshippers, most of them linked by the Internet.

Manuela, who ran away from school at 16, claimed to have learned vampirism and animal sacrifices at underground clubs in London and Edinburgh. During the trial, Manuela told of filing her teeth down to razor sharpness and of drinking men's blood in exchange for sex.

Manuela, now 23, met Daniel Ruda when he advertised in a heavy metal magazine: "Prince of Darkness seeks vampire who hates everyone and everything."

She married Daniel (27) last June and they killed Mr Hackert the following month.

Manuela said: "We had to kill - we couldn't go to hell unless we did."

Met honours men who trapped satanic killer

by Keith Poole and Humfrey Hunter

Three men who disarmed a devil-worshipper after he stabbed one boy to death and was attacking another are being honoured today by the police.

Sheikh Salim, Anwar Ali Khan and Simon Weissand intervened as Edward Crowley launched a knife attack on Roberto Pineiro-Villar, 15, as his half brother Diego, 12, lay dying.

Mr Salim, 28, and Mr Khan, 26, wrestled Crowley to the ground and Mr Weissand, 34, helped pin the killer down after running from his flat overlooking the scene in Covent Garden.

Crowley, now 54, a disciple of satanist Aleister Crowley, was jailed for life last February for murdering Diego.

The trio will receive an award from the Metropolitan Police for their courage. The Mayor of Camden, Roger Robinson, will present a certificate of commendation at Camden town hall.

Frank Dobson, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, said: "They risked their lives for the sake of a total stranger. Like many people, I do not know if I would have had the courage to do it, and that is why they really deserve the honour."

Mr Khan and Mr Salim were working as waiters in the Sartaj Balti House when Crowley struck outside on Sunday 7 May, two years ago. Mr Salim told the Evening Standard before receiving the award: "I could not run away, I had to do something.

"At first I saw a man chase someone and grab him. I thought it was a domestic dispute as, from behind, the boy looked a bit like a woman. It looked like he was being punched but I thought that's a funny way to punch someone. The man just wasn't stopping.

"I went over and said, 'That's enough now, leave off.' He tried to stab me but missed. I grabbed him and felt something warm, looked at my sleeve and it was covered in blood. He turned towards me and then Anwar came running, shouting, 'He's got a knife!' and he saved me. We both grabbed him and wrestled him down. The boy was lying there motionless and the other kid was screaming with agony.

"All the time I was thinking if I had got there a minute or two earlier I might have saved both. The best thing was when his mum came and thanked me for saving her son's life. I was speechless. She had lost one son and was thanking me. I just hugged her."

Traumatised by the attack, Mr Salim moved away from London for six months and had counselling. He has never returned to the scene, though he has come back to London and works as a supervisor at a Bayswater restaurant.

Mr Khan, who still works at the Sartaj, said: "I think I did what anyone else would do but I still find it hard knowing so many people just stood and watched. A few weeks after it happened I went abroad just to get away from it. Time does heal it, though."

Foreign exchange broker Mr Weissand said he hoped the award would encourage others to do the same: "If more people are rewarded then more will be encouraged to react."

Crowley, born Henry Alan Bibby, changed his name to that of the infamous satanist. A paranoid schizophrenic, he developed a warped obsession for Diego after befriending the "polite and kind" schoolboy in Phoenix Gardens, Covent Garden.