A murdered father of three was obsessed with Satanism and cast frightening black magic spells, friends disclosed yesterday.
Now police are probing Peter Solheim’s links with the occult to find clues to his killer. His body was found drifting in the sea with unexplained multiple injuries. Druid Mr Solheim, 56, alarmed fellow worshippers when he quit the pagan sect to dabble in the occult on his own.
One sect member said: “It became clear he wanted to go into areas everyone else felt uncomfortable with.
“He started to get involved with Satanism and liked to go off and perform rituals by himself. He was always making knives and swords. We became really worried about him.
“Once, he tried to perform black magic spells on two other people. It really upset them. I don’t know what his rituals involved, but he’d always do them on his own. Eventually, he stopped coming to our gatherings.”
Divorced Mr Solheim, a parish councillor, lived with his partner Margaret in Carnkie, Cornwall. His three adult children also live in the village.
Cornwall arch-Druid Ed Prynn said: “He was a good guy and loved the pagan life.
“But he seemed to want to go his own way and went off on his own to worship. Others didn’t want to follow him. It’s meant to be a shared experience.”
Mr Solheim’s body was found off Black Head, near the Lizard. His drifting dinghy was discovered 13 miles away at Mylor Harbour, near Falmouth.
Detectives want to trace a man called Charlie who Mr Solheim, a former print worker, was to meet the day before he died two weeks ago.
A spokesman said: “Charlie could be very significant to this investigation as he may have been the last person to see Mr Solheim alive.
“We know of Mr Solheim’s interest in the occult and are investigating. His injuries are still unexplained.
“At this stage we’re unable to go into more detail as it could be crucial to our inquiry.