Leopard man shuns society for hut on
Isle of Skye

A tattooed hermit known as
the Leopard Man of Skye lives in a hut made of sticks and stones and bathes
in a river.

    Tom Leppard
dropped out of society years ago after spending £5,500 to have his
body covered in spots. Once a week, the ex-soldier goes by canoe to buy
supplies and pick up his pension.

    Mr Leppard
told Grampian Television: “I spent too long in the forces, 28 years. I
couldn’t mix with ordinary people. I decided I wanted to be the biggest
of something, the only one of something. It had to be a tattoo, one tattoo.
This is one tattoo.”

    Mr Leppard,
who also has a set of fangs, is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records
as the most tattooed man on earth.

    He says
he would be plagued by “interfering busybodies” and children throwing stones
at his window if he went back to civilisation.

Blood-drinking devil worshippers face
life for ritual Satanic killing

Murder trial reveals sinister link
to British vampire groups

John Hooper in Berlin

Friday February 1, 2002

The Guardian

A young married couple who
admitted to a ritual Satanic killing were yesterday told they could spend
the rest of their lives in a secure psychiatric unit after a trial which
has raised the spectre of bizarre underground occult groups in Britain.

Ruda, aged 23, who told a German court she had become a vampire in London,
and her husband, Daniel, aged 26, were given prison sentences of 13 and
15 years respectively after admitting to the hacking to death of a friend
in their flat in Witten, in the Ruhr valley.

    The victim,
a 33-year-old colleague of Daniel’s, Frank Hackert, was targeted as suitable
prey for his mild temperament and love of The Beatles, and was lured to
their apartment where he was attacked repeatedly with a hammer.

Ruda told the court: “Then my knife started to glow and I heard the command
to stab him in the heart.”

    The couple
stabbed Hackert 66 times, carving an occult pentagram on his chest and
collecting his blood in a bowl and then drinking it.

police broke into the flat they found a scalpel still embedded in his stomach
with his body lying beneath a banner saying “When Satan Lives”.

also found imitation human skulls and a coffin in which Manuela slept during
the day.

    The judge
in the case, which has led to disturbing scenes in court, coupled their
jail terms with an order that they be held indefinitely for psychiatric

of the two self-styled devil worshippers showed the slightest emotion as
the sentences were read out to a courtroom dotted with supporters and admirers
of the bizarre couple, many dressed in black and holding roses.

the trial in the western town of Bochum, the couple had remained defiant,
making rude gestures, rolling their eyes maniacally, sticking their tongues
out and flashing smiles at journalists.

had told the court how, after working in the Scottish Highlands, she had
headed for north London where she se cured a job in a gothic club. It is
here she made her first forays into the world of bloodsucking. In the words
of her lugubriously bizarre testimony, it was frequented “by both vampires
and human beings”.

to Germany she began to give substance to her sinister fantasies. She started
to mix with people who went to graveyards at night where they would “have
a perfectly normal chat and drink some blood”. The blood came from donors
contacted on the internet.

    She also
learned how to suck blood from another person’s neck without penetrating
the artery. And she had two of her teeth removed and replaced with long
animal fangs.

    A psychologist
said she appeared to have been unable to develop any feeling of self-worth.
Born into a working-class family, she was selected to attend a gymnasium,
the German equivalent of a grammar school, intended to groom its pupils
for university. But she dropped out at the age of 14, at about the same
time as she tried to kill herself with an overdose.

she was on the stand, Manuela’s lawyer asked her if she had actually signed
over her soul to the devil. “That was two-and-a-half years ago, on the
night before Halloween,” she replied, adding in quasi-Biblical language:
“That was when I placed myself in, and swore myself, to, the service of
our Lord, his will to perform.”

    Her Lord,
though, was Satan, and he had come to play a big role too in the life of
Daniel, the car parts salesman she met through an advert he placed in a
heavy metal magazine in August 2000. “Pitch-black vampire seeks princess
of darkness who hates everything and everyone,” he wrote.

    She and
her husband were arrested after being spotted at a petrol station after
a nationwide manhunt. Police found a list in their flat of their intended
future victims. There were 16 names on it.

in verbal testimony, and Daniel, in a statement read to the court, both
denied murder on the grounds that they were acting on a command from a
higher authority. “I got the order to sacrifice a human for Satan,” Daniel


Tour of Britain’s bizarre underworld

Vikram Dodd

Friday February 1, 2002

The 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.”

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

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.

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

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

    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.


Categories: Uncategorized

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.