From Kook Science
The Samaritans were, according to a widely distributed press report in January 1890, a small sect of Christians who professed a belief that drinking blood, from either animal or human sources, has the power to cure disease. The group were said to be followers of a preacher called Silas Wilcox, numbering around a dozen followers, all resident in the Blue Valley region of Kansas City, Missouri.
The claims regarding the Samaritans came in connection with a child welfare story: it was reported that a letter had been received by W. O. Huckett, secretary of the Kansas City Humane Society, which was referred to the local Chief of Police Thomas Speer, who, in turn, sent city humane officer T. P. Marran to investigate the claims. The letter claimed that a follower of the Samaritans, John Winkle (or Winkel), had taken to drinking the blood of his two young children, Minnie (13) and John Jr. (10), in an effort to cure his consumption [tuberculosis]; the investigation by Marran was reported to have confirmed this, and the children were then to have been taken from their father's custody and placed into care of the Children's Home.
Aside from the initial reportage, however, there was seemingly no follow-up on the story; and, rather curiously, major papers local to Kansas City do not seem to have covered the group nor its supposed activities.
- "HE DRANK BLOOD. A Father Charged With Drinking the Blood of His Children.", The Wichita Star (Wichita, KS): 1, 22 Jan. 1890, https://www.newspapers.com/article/the-wichita-star-he-drank-blood-a-fathe/133220086/
For some time rumors of a new religious sect, which has found birth in the territory adjacent to the Blue in this county, have been afloat and have reached the ears of the police who have been [ta]sked for humanity's sake to interfere with their rituals. The matter was referred to the humane officials who gave no credence to the stories concerning the new sect as they were too horrible to believe. According to the reports the ritual commanding the well to do all possible good for the sick, finding foundation for this juncture in the scriptures.
A sect of human blood drinkers, only a few in number, however, is said to be the result. Those who are well allow themselves to be bled for the benefit of the ill. The district [i]n which it is said they are practising their horrible rites is included in the recent extension of the city limits. The police and humane officials therefore have the power to act.
Many complaints have been received. Officer Marran was sent out to thoroughly investigate the case reported.
He found a family of three persons, composed of John Wrinkel, who is crazy on religion, and his two children, Minnie, aged 13, and John, 10 years of age, living in a house near the new city limits. Wrinkel has been sick for some time and the neighbors aver that he bled both the children until they were actual wrecks, and drank their blood.
The children looked very bad and admitted that it was true. The neighbors were already up in arms and threatened summary [v]engeance unless the officers took immediate steps to separate the family.
- "A MAN by the name of John Wrinkle...", Ottawa Daily Republic (Ottawa, KS): 2, 23 Jan. 1890, https://www.newspapers.com/article/the-ottawa-daily-republic-a-man-by-the-n/133219155/
A man by the name of John Wrinkle whose home is in Kansas City, has discovered that the bible teaches that when a person is sick he should drink the warm blood of the people who are well. John is reported as having become sick and is said to be drawing his rations from the arms of his thirteen year old daughter and eleven year old boy. The case has been referred to the reporters on the newspapers and the officers of the Humane Society.
- "A BAND OF BLOODSUCKERS. Savage Rites of the 'Samaritans,' a New Religious Sect.", St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, MO): 2, 27 Jan. 1890, https://www.newspapers.com/article/st-louis-post-dispatch-a-band-of-bloods/133218787/
For some time rumors of the existence of a new religious sect which has gained a foothold in the territory adjacent to the Blue River, just east of Kansas City, have been afloat and they have reached the ears of the police. The secretary of the Humane Society recently received a letter from a man living in that neighborhood, telling him that if the authorities did not interfere the people would take the matter into their own hands. According to the reports the practices of the sect were founded upon the biblical injunction to do good to the sick, but this injunction had been carried to such an extent that the sect had degenerated into a band of bloodsuckers — those who were well allowed themselves to be bled for those who were ill. Officer Marran's investigation of the matter proved that the letter to Secretary Hackett had not told half of the horrible practices in vogue among the people who believed in the savage rites. About a year ago there appeared among the people of that neighborhood a man named Silas Wilcox, who went about the country preaching the doctrine of doing good for the sick. It was not long until he had a sufficient number of converts to his theories to warrant him in founding a sect which he called "Samaritans." Gradually he widened his teachings to his little band until he openly advocated the drinking of blood for all diseases, giving as authority for such action the fact that the Bible taught that the blood was life. At the home of John Wrinkle were found two emaciated children. On the bed lay Wrinkle, who was apparently in the last stages of consumption. When questioned about drinking the blood of the children, he strenuously denied having done so. The children also denied it. Their bloodless appearance, however, excited the suspicion of the officer and he compelled them to show their arms. Their limbs were in a terrible condition, being covered with scars around the inside of the elbow joint, showing plainly the effects of the bleeding. When confronted with this evidence of the truth of the accusation, Wrinkle acknowledged that he had availed himself of the opportunity and asserted that the children had willingly given their blood to restore him to health. The man was in such a condition that he could not be moved, but the children were taken from the house and placed in the Children's Home. Chief Speers is anxious to put a stop to the practices of the blood drinkers, but it appears there is no law which covers the case, and nothing can be done.
- "BLOOD DRINKING SAMARITANS. A Curious Missouri Sect Who Believe Human Blood is a Panacea For All Ailings.", Lancaster Intelligencer (Lancaster, PA): 6, 29 Jan. 1890, https://www.newspapers.com/article/lancaster-intelligencer-blood-drinking-s/133214184/
A few days ago Secretary of the Humane Society Huckett received the following letter:
Mr. Huckett — There is somethin I think ought to be called to your attenshen at once which I think is bad for a civilized community, there is John Wrinkle and his two children He has ben sick and he is crazy on religion. His little girl Minnie is 13 year old and is boy John is 11. Wrinkle has heard of people drinken blod at sloughter houses for their health and he said he believed in the bible that it preeched that the well should make sacrifises for the sick.
He did blead the little girl and boy until they are recks and he did drink the blod. It has leaked out and unless something is done by you the neighbors will take things into their own hands and that quick too. He lives on a little piece of land near the new city limits.Yours respectfully,
p.s. send some officers.
He referred the letter to Chief of Police Speers, who sent Humane Officer Marran to investigate. Officer Marran went to the place where the savage rites were said to be enacted. It is on the Blue river, just inside the new city limits. He found that the letter to the secretary had not told half of the terrible state of affairs which has obtained in the Blue Valley.
About a year ago there appeared among the people of that neighborhood a man named Silas Wilcox, who went about the country preaching the doctrine of doing good for the sick. It was not long until he had a sufficient number of adherents to his doctrines to warrant him in attempting to found a sect, which he named the Samaritans. Among the teachings he advocated was the drinking of blood for all diseases. He said that the Bible taught that blood was life. Almost daily pilgrimages were made by those who were ailing to the packing houses, and there they drank the blood of the freshly killed beeves.
Wilcox was not satisfied, however, with the blood of animals, and he advanced the doctrine that it was well to show belief in the doctrine by giving up human blood for the sick and suffering members of the band. This doctrine was gradually established, Wilcox himself being the first to profit by the horrible practice. He apparently became very sick and was unable to make the pilgrimage to the packing house. He called upon the faithful members of the band to save his life. A woman named Nancy Dixon was persuaded to allow the preacher to suck blood from her arm. The effect was marvellous, for Wilcox recovered from his alleged illness the same day. This visible manifestation of the truth of his doctrines made a great impression on his followers, and the result has been that from that day the habit has steadily increased and is now a regular practice among the Samaritans.
At the home of John Wrinkle, mentioned in the letter, were found two emaciated children. On the bed lay Wrinkle, apparently in the last stages of consumption. When questioned about drinking the blood of the children he denied having done so. The children also denied it. Their bloodless appearance, however, excited the suspicion of the officer and he compelled them to show their arms. They were covered with scars around the elbows. When confronted with this evidence Wrinkle acknowledged that he had availed himself of the opportunity and the children had willingly given their blood to restore him to health.
The man was in such a condition that he could not be removed, but the children were taken in charge by the officer and placed in the Children’s Home. Chief Speers is anxious to take steps to put a stop to the practice, but there appears to be no law which applies to the case except where children are made use of to supply the blood.
The band of Samaritans is composed of about twenty members, who hold regular weekly meetings at the houses of the different members. At these meetings the sick or ailing ask for assistance from the well, and they are detailed to give their blood according to their health and strength. When a member becomes very sick the well ones take turns in supplying him with the life giving fluid. They claim that they have a right to do this when the blood is a voluntary contribution, the same as physicians have the right to transfuse blood from one person to another.
- "ANOTHER RELIGIOUS FAD. Blood Drinkers Go Hand in Hand With Christian Science.", Sacramento Daily Union: 4, 30 Jan. 1890, https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=SDU1890022.214.171.124&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------
For some time past there have been rumors of a peculiar sect in Missouri, near here, whose methods require investigation. Finally the Humane Society took the matter up, and the officers investigating it have just made a report revealing a horrible state of affairs.
A year ago one Silas Wilcox appeared in the vicinity of Blue river, and began going about preaching the doctrine of doing good for the sick in accordance with biblical injunctions.
Silas had eleven followers, and founded a sect which was called "Samaritans." He gradually widened his teachings until he advocated drinking blood for all diseases, giving the authority of the Bible teaching that blood was life.
At the home of John Wrinkle an officer found a man lying on a bed in the last stages of consumption. Two emaciated children were in the house. Wrinkle denied that be bad been drinking the blood of the children. Their appearance, however, aroused the suspicions of the officer and he stripped them. Their limbs were in a terrible condition, their arms being covered with sores about the elbow, showing plainly his efforts at bleeding.
When confronted with this Wrinkle confessed that he had availed himself of the opportunity, and asserted that the children gave their blood voluntarily to restore him to health. The man could not be moved, but the children were brought to this city and placed in a home. The Humane Society will lay the matter before the Governor, as the Kansas City authorities are powerless.