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Laurel Rose Willson
Born 1941-08-18
Washington state
Died 2002-04-08
Nationality American
Occupation Author
Known for Discredited author of books about satanic ritual abuse and holocaust survival

Laurel Rose Willson (August 18, 1941 – 8 April 2002) was an American woman born in Washington, whose allegations of satanic ritual abuse were published under the alias Lauren Stratford, which she would later adopt as her legal name. She still later assumed the guise of a Holocaust survivor, and adopted the alias of Laura Grabowski.

Willson was adopted as an infant by Frank Cole Willson and his wife, schoolteacher Rose Gray Willson. A gifted musician from a young age, Willson learned to play the piano, clarinet, and flute. After college, Willson worked as a public school music teacher. She later resided in Bakersfield, California for a number of years, becoming known within evangelical Christian churches there as a vocalist and pianist.

Satanic ritual abuse allegations

As Stratford, Willson wrote three books, the most famous of which was Satan's Underground, purporting to tell a true story of her upbringing as a baby breeder (for sacrifices) in a Satanic cult. Willson had also claimed to have first-hand knowledge of high-profile cases of alleged Satanic ritual abuse (including the Kern County child abuse cases, where she resided), but her claims were dismissed by investigators as unreliable and fabricated.

An investigation by the Christian magazine Cornerstone discovered Stratford's real name and family background, and that her stories of abuse were false. In interviews with Willson's family and former associates, it was revealed that Willson had a long history of mental illness and making false allegations of abuse. She repeatedly threatened suicide and practiced self-mutilation. In addition, she claimed to have given birth to three children as a result of rape; two were allegedly killed in snuff films, and the third was supposedly sacrificed in her presence at a Satanic ritual. However, Cornerstone found no evidence that she had ever been pregnant or adopted a child.

False identity as a holocaust survivor

After her books were withdrawn from sale by her publisher, Willson legally changed her name to Lauren Stratford. She would later create another false identity in 1999, with an equally horrific story to tell. Pretending to be Laura Grabowski, a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Willson collected thousands of dollars in donations intended for Holocaust survivors. As Grabowski, Willson befriended Binjamin Wilkomirski, claiming to remember him from the camps. Wilkomirski himself (real name Bruno Grosjean) was later revealed to be neither Jewish nor a Holocaust survivor, aiding in the exposure of Willson as a fraud.

References

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