It was summertime. While I was living on Corn Nuts, Coke Slurpees and whiffle ball, he was a 17-year-old kid, living on PCP and acid, Lucifer and Black Sabbath. I sat on the curb outside the local 7/11 staring at the wild-eyed kid in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine and he stared right back, scaring the shit out of me.
Ricky Kasso was his name and performing Satanic rituals in the woods was his game. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and Google his name and that same image will be staring back at you from your computer screen.
It was the stuff of Tipper Gore and the PMRC’s (Parents Music Resource Center) wet dreams. Kasso was a metal-head who loved taking drugs and listening to AC/DC, Judas Priest, and Ozzy Osbourne. His favorite reading material? You guessed it… Anton LaVey’s book, The Satanic Bible.
Spurred by a drug deal gone bad, Kasso and a two of his reprobate cohorts (Jimmy Troiano and Albert Quinones) lured high school classmate Gary Lauwers to a wooded area in Northport, Long Island. High on PCP, Kasso bites Lauwers in the neck, then stabs him in the chest. Over the course of three hours, Lauwers is tortured and commanded to say, “I love you, Satan.” When he responds by saying, “I love my mother,” Kasso ups the torture ante, ultimately killing Lauwers.
Like any good sociopath, he not only brags about the killing to kids at school, but also describes it as a human sacrifice and that Satan had commanded him to kill. When met with disbelieve, Kasso went so far as to take doubters into the woods to view Lauwers’ decomposing body. (Wonder if “River’s Edge” was based loosely on this?) Two weeks go by before local police receive an anonymous tip about the body in the woods. Kasso and the other two boys are brought in for questioning, with Kasso confessing to the crime. Forty-eight hours later, Ricky Kasso, the self-professed “Acid King” hangs himself in his jail cell.
Ripe for an after school special treatment, the crime had it all: Bored suburban teens, drugs, rock and roll, Satan and of course, murder.
“The Acid King” – Ricky Kasso: 80’s teen killer
Satan In The Suburbs – Interview With Jimmy Troiano
Satan In The Suburbs Ricky Kasso Serial Killers Documentary
Todd McGovern is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY.