Thanks for posting the L.A. Times article. Robert D. Hicks, a criminal- justice analyst who advises Virginia law enforcement agencies, has just authored a new book entitled "In Pursuit of Satan--- The Police and the Occult". It is available from Prometheus Books, 700 East Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY 14215. I don't recall the price. It is more than 400 pages and extensively footnoted. Conclusion? No proof of anything like a conspiracy or even much if any real Satanic crime. Urban myths and rebellious teenagers, as well as mistaken interpretations of perfectly normal events (such as animal remains) and a few psychos who pick up on people's fears, account for everything. The kinds of people who propagate the myths are sometimes innocent do-gooders, who have often been mislead by overzealous fundies, dishonest cult seminar hosts out to make a buck, and sad mental cases (e.g., with multiple personality disorder).
Robert Hicks also contributed to an excellent book published several years ago entitled "Satanism in America--- How the Devil Got Much More Than His Due". It's available from Gaia Press, P.O. Box 466, El Cerrito, CA 94530-0466. Telephone 415/527-9414.