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Teen Charged In Drowning Death Of Father After Alleged Botched Exorcism

Jack Callahan, 19, told police he was “baptizing” his father because he saw a “demon” in his eyes. 

By Dorian Geiger
5 Horrific Family Homicides (by the Children)

A Massachusetts teen who claimed he drowned his father in a pond because he saw a “demon” in the man’s eyes, has pleaded not guilty. 

Jack Callahan, 19, told investigators he’d submerged his father's head underwater “several times,” killing him, in an attempt to rid 57-year-old Scott Callahan of a supernatural force, including a demon named “Dirty Dan.”  

On June 28, police were dispatched to a home in Duxbury, Massachusetts after receiving reports that Callahan was acting “erratically” and that his father was missing. Responding officers found Jack Callahan “hyperventilating” and “distraught.”

Scott Callahan was later discovered unresponsive in Island Creek Pond. Emergency responders attempted life-saving measures on the Massachusetts man before rushing him to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth where he was pronounced dead. A preliminary autopsy revealed Scott Callahan had “water-logged lungs.” He also suffered broken blood vessels in his eyes and an abrasion on his head. A cause and manner of death are pending, according to medical examiners. 

Jack Callahan G

Jack Callahan was arrested and charged with one count of murder.

A day earlier, the father and son had taken a rideshare from Boston to Crocker Park in Duxbury, officials said. Prosecutors alleged Scott and Jack Callahan were picked up by an Uber at a Boston hotel. Scott Callahan, who suffered from a past brain injury and other health problems, was reportedly intoxicated. 

After arriving, the pair allegedly got into a physical altercation.

Jack Callahan ultimately told detectives he dunked his father in the pond in an attempt to exorcise what he reportedly believed was a demon he called “Dirty Dan.” 

“Jack Callahan allegedly began submerging his father under the water several times claiming he was ‘baptizing’ his father because he saw the ‘demon’ in his eyes,” Plymouth County Prosecutor Timothy J. Cruz said in a press release.

Callahan allegedly held his father’s head underwater until he “no longer fought back,” or “floated,” prosecutors said.

“He described that he was holding his father in the pond on his back like a baby, that he continually dunked the father’s head in the water about four to eight times, that when the father started to cough and choke, he would lift his head up, and then when the father started to fight and strike him, he pushed the head back down into the water,” Plymouth County District Attorney Shanan Buckingham also said, Boston.com reported.

Jack Callahan suffers from “some substance abuse issues and ongoing mental health issues that had recently surfaced," Buckingham said.

No additional information was released by investigators. 

Trooper James D. DeAngelis, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts State Police, declined to immediately comment on the active investigation on Thursday, referring questions about the case to prosecutors. 

Callahan was arraigned in Plymouth District Court on June 29. He’s pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail. His defense attorney, Kevin Reddington, didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 12. A judge ordered that Callahan must undergo a competency evaluation ahead of his next hearing.