Miami Santeria Mystery: Who in Hell Stuck This Family Photo Inside a Live Chicken?

Freedom of religion is enshrined in our nation's founding documents. But every once in a while, someone overdoses on the Holy Spirit and goes way overboard. Like the 22-year-old Tennessee pastor who exposes his congregation to deadly snakes in the name of Jesus. Then there's the Amish sect leader who went on a terrifying hate crime spree. Or just Google "jihadi."

Here in Miami, many of the most shocking spiritual snafus involve Santería. We've seen skinned puppies, dogs nailed to crosses, decapitated animals strewn across the street, and even a human skull or two.

But perhaps none of that is as crazy -- or cruel -- as what a Parks Department employee found earlier this month: a live chicken with Santería charms sewn into its flesh. Warning: These photos are pretty freaky.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.