The last sweeping Tumblr meme of 2015 was Boneghazi, which involved a now-deleted account called littlefuckinmonster being accused of "stealing human bones from cemeteries in Louisiana." Tumblr users went wild over the accusations, posted a lot of skeleton jokes, and it was forgotten in (presumably) a holiday haze.
But there's an update! The New Orleans Advocate brings us news that Ender Darling, the self-described witch behind the alleged bone theft, had their New Orleans home raided by cops in January. Tumblr users (and the Louisiana Attorney General's office) had linked Darling to the thefts through a post Darling made in a Facebook group where she asked if anyone would be interested in buying bones she recovered from New Orleans's Holt Cemetery.
The house in New Orleans was raided on January 28, but Darling made little of the raid in a phone interview:
Darling, who does not identify as a man or woman, played down the early-morning raid, describing it as an overblown “waste of time.”
It’s unclear whether Darling or others will be charged in connection with the Jan. 28 search. So far, Darling and the other occupants of the home have received only summonses for marijuana possession.
While no bone-related summonses were issued, the paper also reports that some bones were recovered from the house:
However, court records obtained by The New Orleans Advocate show the authorities recovered at least 11 bones and four teeth from a “fishbowl type” container inside the South Solomon Street house.
“I had them on an altar,” Darling, who has since moved to Florida, said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It was just a bunch of little shards of bones and pieces of teeth I had picked up off the ground. I said (to the agents), ‘Here you go. There’s probably human bones in there, but I know better than to give you that answer.’ ”
State investigators also conducted what sounds like a fairly extensive investigation into Darling: they subpoenaed "all correspondence from Darling’s Facebook profiles, a request that yielded more than 12,000 pages of information." A group of investigators also spent time surveilling the house for six days the month of the raid.
The Advocate also learned what Darling used the bones for:
Darling uses human bones for “energy work” — not merely curses but also healing rituals — a purpose the witch said is far better than having the remains merely “laying on the ground” after a heavy rain.
As Jezebel's Anna Merlan points out, New Orleans cemeteries are in dire need of repair, and it's possible to help with that. Also, as I mentioned when Boneghazi first flared up, issues of race and class are lost in the shuffle of news about a witch and bone theft. Holt Cemetery is a predominantly African-American grave site, with plots that have been passed down generation to generation, and handmade grave markers.
But hey, why not focus on the meme, right?
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org