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Sheriff’s Office Calls off Library Witch Hunt

March 9, 1988

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) _ The sheriff’s office ended its witch hunt, dropping efforts to obtain a list of library patrons who check out books on the occult.

Assistant District Attorney Dexter Ryland said Tuesday he had advised the library against releasing the list, and the sheriff’s office withdrew its subpoena for the information.

The Rapides Parish sheriff’s office wanted the list to get information on serious followers of satanic cults because such beliefs often are connected with narcotics trafficking, said Chief Deputy Tommy Hollingsworth.

Library director Stephen Rogge said about 20 of the 150,000 books at the library deal with the occult.

″Most of it is pretty silly stuff actually, but they are entertaining and people are curious,″ Rogge said.

″I’ve read some myself,″ he said. ″But I haven’t sacrificed any animals.″

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