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Jason Eric MASSEY

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape - Mutilator
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: July 27, 1993
Date of birth: January 7, 1973
Victims profile: James Brian King (male, 14) and Christina Benjamin (female, 13)
Method of murder: Shooting / Stabbing with knife
Location: Ellis County, Texas, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Texas on April 3, 2001
 
 
 
 
 
 
photo gallery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Summary:

13 year old was assisted by Massey in "sneaking out of the house" one night, never to return.

Girl's decomposing body was found the next day in a field shot in the back, raped, stabbed, and disemboweled, with head and hands severed.

Some body parts never recovered. The body of a 14 year old was found nearby, shot twice in the head.

Massey bragged and kept a diary about wanting to be a famous serial killer, fantasizing to others that he wanted to decapitate a girl and have sex in her neck. Kept a collection of animal skulls and jaw bones in a woods.

 
 

Texas Attorney General

Thursday, March 30, 2001

MEDIA ADVISORY - Jason Eric Massey Scheduled To Be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Jason Eric Massey who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3rd:

On Oct. 6, 1994, Massey was found guilty of the capital offense of murdering Brian King and Christina Benjamin, that occurred in Ellis County, Texas, on July 27, 1993.

A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows.

FACTS OF THE CRIME

In the early morning hours of July 27, 1993, James King was awakened by the sound of a car pulling up to his house, beeping its horn twice and driving away.

When the car passed by again, he looked out his window and observed a tan car turn off its headlights and park in front of his house. King got out of bed and went to the front door.

Looking outside, he saw his 14-year old son, Brian, approach the car on foot and talk to the people in the car. At this point, King went to the restroom. When he returned, both Brian and the car were gone.

King waited for about an hour for his son to return before going back to bed. When he got up the next morning, King found that Brian and his 13-year old stepdaughter, Christina, were not in the house.

King woke his common-law wife, Donna Benjamin, and although worried, they decided to wait to see if they would return home. When the children did not appear, James and Donna searched for them and subsequently filed a missing persons report.

Approximately 10 days earlier, Christopher Nowlin had been riding in a car with Jason Massey, who was 20 years old and lived in Canton, Texas. Nowlin convinced Massey to drive over to see Christina, a friend of Nowlin's.

Massey flirted with Christina, and she told him that she would like to "sneak out" sometime. Massey agreed, and told Christina that he would drive by her house around midnight some night and honk his horn and that she was to go to the old Fina station on I-45 and wait.

When Massey and Nowlin left Christina's house, Massey told Nowlin in sexually explicit language what he wanted to do to Christina, including killing her and cutting her up. Nowlin testified that he didn't pay much attention to what Massey said, because it was weird and Massey talked about killing girls all the time.

On July 29, 1993, law enforcement authorities found two bodies in a field near Telico, in Ellis County. The first body discovered was that of a nude female whose head and hands were missing. She had been shot in the back and parts of her body mutilated.

When the authorities began searching for the victim's missing body parts they discovered the body of a young boy, identified as Brian King. Two small caliber bullets were later removed from his brain and the cause of death was determined to be multiple gunshot wounds to the head. No other wounds were discovered on his body.

It was more difficult to identify Christina. A deep wound transected her torso like an autopsy incision, exposing her internal organs. Due to the extensive nature of her injuries and several days of decomposition in the intense summer heat, initial identification was impossible.

Eventually, the body was confirmed to be Christina's based on recent hospital records. Based on samples of fly larvae from both bodies, it was estimated that Brian and Christina had been killed between the late evening of July 26, 1993, and the morning of July 27, 1993. Bullet fragments recovered from both bodies appeared to be .22 caliber in size.

A subsequent investigation revealed that Massey's cousin owned a .22 caliber pistol that he stored at his grandmother's house before leaving on a trip. Massey took the gun unbeknownst to his cousin.

Several witnesses testified to seeing the gun on Massey's person. The Walmart sales clerk, who sold bullets for a .22 caliber gun, two knives, and handcuffs to Massey, picked him out of a line-up after his arrest.

Late in July, the owner of a local car wash observed Massey pull in about 11:30 p.m. in a tan-colored Subaru. Massey dumped items in the trash bin and started to back out, but stopped when he saw the owner watching him. He pulled his car back into a bay and started vacuuming.

Shortly after this incident, the owner recognized Massey's picture in the paper as someone who might be involved with the murders.

A search of the car wash trash bin and vacuum containers resulted in discovery of a red bandana with blond hair on it, broken car glass, and a payroll receipt from Kentucky Fried Chicken with Massey's name on it.

Police searched Massey's house and found two newspaper articles about the murders, handcuffs and a knife box.

After a search of Massey's car, the console, steering wheel, step to the car, and spots in the passenger seat tested positive for blood, as did a knife in the glove box and items in the trunk, including duct tape, tissue paper, electrical tape, a wrench, a screwdriver, a denim shirt, the head of a hammer, and a jacket. DNA testing revealed a genetic match between Christina's blood and the blood found on the car seat, duct tape and hammer.

A subsequent comparison of blond hairs found in the car, hairs on the red bandana recovered from the car wash and hairs found near Christina at the crime scene revealed a microscopic match.

Carpet fibers from Massey's car matched a fiber found on one of Brian's shoes.

In addition, hair found on Brian's pant leg was microscopically matched with Massey's. An arrest warrant was issued; when placed under arrest, Massey smiled. He was indicted for the capital offense of murder of two persons. He pled not guilty, but was convicted by a jury on Oct. 6, 1994.

PUNISHMENT EVIDENCE/PRIOR HISTORY

A State witness testified that while on a walk in the woods, he had come across a cooler containing animal skulls and jaw bones and journals encased in plastic labeled "Slayer's Book of Death," volumes 1-4.

The journals were labeled, "the thoughts of Jason Massey." A former friend testified that Massey had spoken many times about killing dogs, cats, and cows, and remarked that Massey had a fascination with setting fires.

This witness relayed that Massey had told him that he killed because of the "adrenaline rush, a high, a turn on, a love to mutilate." He also described Massey's subsequent armed robbery of a fast food restaurant and the detailed journals that Massey kept.

A State psychiatrist, Dr. Kenneth Dekleva, described his June 1991 examination of Massey. Massey's mother had brought him in for evaluation after discovering two of his journals and becoming very disturbed by their content. Dekleva's review of the journals revealed Massey's desire to begin a "sacred journey" as a serial killer.

In the journals, Massey listed the names of several girls he wanted to kill and stated that he wanted to engrave his name on society. He also wrote about his desire to lash out at society and to reap immense sorrow and suffering.

Massey described his very violent and sadistic fantasies and expressed a desire to read about criminal and police procedures to eliminate the possibility of getting caught for his intended crimes.

Dekleva testified that the most alarming thing from Massey's journal entries was the apparent shift from fantasy to more deliberate planning, including the purchasing of weapons. After his evaluation, Dekleva concluded that Massey was suffering from anti-social personality disorder and that he represented an imminent threat to others.

Dekleva, therefore, had Massey committed to the Dallas Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. Dekleva testified that there were no successful treatments for someone like Massey, that such individuals pose a lasting threat to society and are at an extraordinarily high risk of killing again and again.

Massey's ninth-grade teacher and a former seventh-grade classmate testified to Massey's extremely disturbing behavior, both stating that his comments often centered around killing. His teacher testified that Massey idolized Charles Manson, and his classmate described the threatening phone calls and letters she received from him describing dreams of killing her.

The classmate's dog had been killed and mutilated and the blood smeared on her car. In subsequent testimony it was noted that Massey had written about this incident in his journal.

The State showed that in the late spring of 1993, Massey was stopped by Ennis police. Marijuana, a Persian cat with a rope around its neck, a three-prong knife and diary that listed names with check marks next to them were found in his car.

An investigator for the Ellis County sheriff's department read to the jury portions of letters that Massey had written while he was in prison. Massey had written that he liked to read about guns, war, and police investigations. In one journal, also read to the jury, Massey stated that he was about to start his career as a serial killer and mass murderer.

Massey wrote that he wanted "to grab society by the throat and shake 'em with terror until they're awake and realize what's up so they will remember who I am, when and why I came their way." Massey also wrote that he anticipated that he would become a "murder machine." His journals became increasingly violent and set goals for vast numbers of killings.

The State also proffered testimony from Dr. Clay Griffith, a forensic psychiatrist, who having read portions of Massey's journals, letters, the recorded observations of Dr. Dekleva and the autopsy reports for the present victims, concluded that Massey would be a future danger to society and that he could not be rehabilitated.

Griffith also testified that while anti-personality disorder can abate with some individuals over time and with age, it would not in a case as severe as Massey's. FBI agent Allen Brantley, who also reviewed the case file, testified similarly.

PROCEDURAL TIME-LINE

  • March 17, 1994 - The State indicted Massey for the capital offense of murder of two persons in the same criminal transaction to which Massey later entered a plea of "not guilty."

  • October 6, 1994 - A jury found Massey "guilty" of the capital offense.

  • October 12, 1994 - Following a punishment hearing, the jury answered the special issues submitted pursuant to article 37.071 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure; an affirmative answer was given to the first special issue and a negative answer was given to the second special issue. In accordance with Texas law, the trial court assessed Massey's punishment as death.

  • October 23, 1996 - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his conviction and sentence in a published opinion.

  • June 23, 1997 - Massey filed an application for state habeas corpus relief pursuant to article 11.071 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. (At a later date, the state habeas court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law recommending that relief be denied. Thereafter, the Court of Criminal Appeals adopted the trial court's findings of fact and conclusions of law and ordered that Massey's request for state habeas relief be denied.)

  • March 6, 1998 - Massey filed a petition for habeas corpus relief in federal district court.

  • January 10, 2000 - The U.S. Magistrate recommended relief be denied.

  • February 24, 2000 - The recommendations were signed and judgment was rendered against Massey.

  • March 23, 2000 - Massey filed a motion for certificate of appealability (COA) in federal district court.

  • March 27, 2000 - The district court denied the motion.

  • March 23, 2000 - Massey filed a notice of appeal and the case was subsequently docketed in the Fifth Circuit.

  • May 26, 2000 - Massey filed a motion for COA in the Fifth Circuit.

  • September 13, 2000 - The Fifth Circuit denied COA.

  • October 2, 2000 - Massey filed a motion for rehearing in the Fifth Circuit.

  • October 17, 2000 - The motion for rehearing was denied.

  • January 16, 2001 - Massey filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • March 19, 2001 - The petition for writ of certiorari was denied.

 
 

Jason Eric Massey (January 7, 1973 April 3, 2001) was an American murderer who was executed in 2001 for the murders of two people.

Born in 1973 in Ellis County, Texas, Massey was neglected and abused by his drug addicted mother. By his teens, he was a juvenile delinquent with a lengthy criminal record, mostly for stalking and torturing animals. His mother once sent him to a psychiatrist after discovering his journals, in which he detailed his fantasies about rape and murder, his hero worship of Charles Manson, his avowed Satanism, and his strong desire to become a serial killer.

On July 26, 1993, he murdered two teenagers; 14 year old Brian King and his 13 year old step-sister Christina Benjamin in his hometown. He was quickly connected to the crime by forensic evidence and arrested, shortly after getting out of jail for animal cruelty. In October of the following year, he was found guilty of the murders and sentenced to death. While on Death Row, he claimed to have converted to Christianity.

His crime was documented on an episode of the TV series Forensic Files.

He was executed by lethal injection on April 3, 2001.

 
 

Texas Execution Information Center by David Carson

Txexecutions.org

Jason Eric Massey, 28, was executed by lethal injection on 3 April in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of two teenagers.

In July 1993, James King was awakened early one morning by the sound of a car pulling up to his house, honking its horn twice, and driving away.

A little later, when the car came by again, King looked out his window and observed a tan car turn off its headlights and park in front of his house. King got out of bed and went to the front door.

Looking outside, he saw his 14-year old son, Brian, approach the car on foot and talk to the people in the car. At this point, King went to the restroom. When he returned, both Brian and the car were gone.

King waited for about an hour for his son to return before going back to bed. When he got up the next morning, King found that Brian and his 13-year old stepdaughter, Christina, were not in the house.

King woke his common-law wife, Donna Benjamin, and although worried, they decided to wait to see if they would return home. When the children did not appear, James and Donna searched for them and subsequently filed a missing persons report.

Two days later, the kids' bodies were found in a field. Christina had been shot in the back, decapitated, and mutilated. Her head and hands were missing and not recovered. Her torso was deeply cut and her internal organs exposed.

Prosecutors described, "very long, delicate, intricate carvings" on her trunk and genitals. She was identified using recent hospital records. James was killed by two shots to the head from a small-caliber gun.

Police learned that Jason Massey, then 20, had been seen carrying a pistol by several people recently. Massey was arrested. A store clerk who sold .22-caliber bullets, handcuffs, and two knives to him picked him out of a lineup.

Shortly afterward, after Massey's picture had circulated in the newspaper, the owner of a local car wash told police he saw Massey dumping items in his trash bin at 11:30 p.m. one night. Items police recovered from the car wash trash bin and vacuum containers included a red bandanna with blond hair on it and a piece of paper with Massey's name on it.

In a search, police found handcuffs and newspaper articles about the murders in Massey's house. In his car, they found a knife and numerous blood spots, which were DNA matched to Christina Benjamin.

Hairs found in the car and on the bandanna recovered from the crime scene matched hairs found at the crime scene. Carpet fibers found on Brian's shoe matched fibers from Massey's car.

At his trial, an acquaintance of Massey named Christopher Nowlin testified that he introduced Massey to Christina Benjamin, a friend of his, and that they flirted and discussed "sneaking out" at night sometime. Nowlin said that Massey told him he planned to sexually abuse Christina, mutilate her with a knife, and kill her, but that he didn't pay much attention to this, because Massey "talked about killing girls all the time."

Other witnesses testified that Massey had spoken many times about killing dogs, cats, and cows, and that he kept detailed journals of his activities.

Another witness testified that while on a walk in the woods, he came across a cooler containing animal skulls and numerous journals labeled "the thoughts of Jason Massey."

In these journals, Massey detailed his love of killing and his plans to become a serial murderer. "My goal is 700 people in 20 years," read one entry. In another entry, Massey wrote that he had killed 41 cats, 32 dogs, and 7 cows.

A state psychiatrist who examined Massey in June 1991 found that he had a fantasy of becoming a serial killer and had listed the names of several girls he wanted to kill in his journals. He had Massey committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Reports did not indicate how long he stayed there, but he was known to be out in mid-1993, when he was stopped by police. On that occasion, a dead cat was found in his car.

According to public records, Massey was convicted of driving while intoxicated in June 1993 and was sentenced to 120 days in jail. Information about how much jail time he served, if any, was not available. The murders occurred 51 days later.

Massey pleaded not guilty to killing Christina Benjamin and Brian King. A jury found him guilty and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his conviction. All of his other appeals in state and federal courts were rejected.

At his execution, Massey confessed to his crime and apologized to the victim's family: "I do not know any of y'all and that is unfortunate, because I would like to apologize to each and every one of you individually." "I want you to know I did do it," he continued, "I'm sorry for what I have done." He added, "I know you guys want to know where the rest of her remains are. I put her remains in the Trinity River."

Next, he expressed love to individual members of his family and apologized to them "for all of the pain that I have caused." He then talked about how "God has used this to change my life" and proclaimed Jesus as Lord. In closing, he said, "Tonight I dance on the streets of gold. Let those without sin cast the first stone." His last statement finished, the lethal flow was started. Massey was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m.

 
 

Jason Massey

Associated Press

April 3 - TEXAS - Convicted murderer Jason Massey apologized profusely, revealed where he disposed the missing body parts of one of his victims and then prayerfully went to his death today for the murders of 2 siblings almost 8 years ago.

Massey, in a lengthy final statement, addressed relatives of his murder victims and his own relatives in seeking forgiveness for the double murders. "I can't imagine what I've taken from you," he said looking at relatives of Christina Benjamin, 13, and her stepbrother, James King, 14. "I want you to know I did do it. I'm sorry for what I have done," Massey said.

Massey was sent to death row for fatally shooting the teen-agers, whose bodies were found in a rural area of Ellis County 3 days after they disappeared from their home in Garrett, about 30 miles southeast of Dallas. Besides being shot, the girl's hands and head were severed.

The body parts never have been found. There also was evidence of sexual mutilation. "I want you to know that Christina did not suffer as much as you think she did," Massey continued while strapped to the death chamber gurney. "I know you guys want to know where the rest of her remains are. I put her remains in the Trinity River." Prosecutors speculated that the missing body parts were thrown in the river and were washed downstream but were never found.

Massey turned to his parents and a grandmother watching from another window nearby and also apologized to them, saying, "All of this pain has brought us closer together and all of this suffering that we have been through has brought us closer to the Lord and in the end that is what counts."

He expressed love and recited a Biblical verse, then gasped slightly as the lethal drugs began taking effect. He was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m. CDT, 8 minutes after the drug flow began.

"He fancied himself a serial killer par excellence," Clay Strange, the prosecutor who convinced a jury to send the then 20-year-old to death row in 1994, said. "He wanted to be the greatest ever."

Massey worshipped infamous killers Bundy and Manson and Henry Lee Lucas, whom he later shared shared time with on Texas' death row, and sought the attention they received. "I would have gotten better," he once warned.

It was that attitude, backed by evidence at his trial, that prompted an Ellis County jury to take only 15 minutes before deciding Massey should be put to death. "It's impossible to assign a motive to a case like this," added Strange, now an assistant district attorney in Austin. "I think he did it because it was pleasurable to him."

Evidence showed Massey knew King and Benjamin, whom he flirted with, and arranged to pick her up in his car if she would sneak out of her house the early morning hours of July 27, 1993.

He also told a friend in explicit language what he would like to do the girl. When she and her stepbrother subsequently were reported missing and their remains were found, the friend talked with police.

At Massey's trial, testimony showed the former roofer loved to kill and mutilate and kept journals he called "Slayer's Book of Death." There were at least four volumes of the journal, discovered by a hunter who found them inside a cooler hidden in bushes in a rural area.

Also inside the cooler were the heads of 31 dogs and cats, said Strange, noting that Massey kept statistics on how many people he would have to kill each month to reach 1,000. "It was just playing with numbers and it all centered around killing, generally killing people," Strange said. "But by far, his favorite targets were 11- to 13-year-old girls. "It's almost a miracle we caught him as quickly in his career as we did," he added. "He's as evil as anybody I've ever encountered. I've met a lot of people meaner, but no one more evil."

"I've changed, and people do change," Massey told the Ennis Daily News last month from death row. "As we grow, we change... I have a lot of anger about the stupid mistakes I made and at the same time I recognize anger is just an emotion." James King, whose son and stepdaughter were killed by Massey, said he was glad authorities nabbed Massey when they did and that would-be serial killer didn't have the chance to act more on his fantasies. "He's the devil," King told The Dallas Morning News. "He would have been worse than Ted Bundy... It's a shame he started with kids."

Massey's execution was the 1st of 2 scheduled for this month. David Lee Goff, 32, is set for lethal injection April 25 for a 1990 robbery-slaying in Fort Worth. Massey becomes the 6th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Texas and the 245th overall since the state resumed capital punishment on Dec. 7, 1982. Massey becomes the 23rd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 706th overall since America resumed executions on January 17, 1977.

 
 

Canadian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

CASE: In 1993 the bodies of 2 young teenagers were found in Texas. On August 3 20 year old Jason Massey was arrested and charged with the killings.

SUSPECTS: Prior to Jason's arrest, 2 men both known to him were arrested for the crime. 1 of them had a car very similar to Jason's but no further investigation took place and no forensic exam was done. Both were released without charge.

PLEA BARGAIN: To impose the Death Penalty at trial the State of Texas must first prove the accused is a danger to all around him and DP is the only suitable punishment. However, prior to going to trial, Jason was offered a Plea Bargain. The question of him being a danger did not arise. Had he accepted the Plea Bargain the DP would not have been imposed. Did the State therefore REALLY think he was that dangerous?

WITNESSES: The prosecution called as a witness 1 of the men previously arrested for the crime. Several Defense witnesses including character witnesses were not called. A witness stated that he saw the victims getting into a car similar to Jason's. He also stated he saw MORE THAN 1 OTHER PERSON in the car as they got in. Only Jason has ever been tried for these murders. Questions also arise over other witnesses.

EXPERT WITNESSES: The Prosecutions Evidence Technician was a man with a record of mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse. He had previously been taken from hospitals where he had been receiving treatment to testify at trials. No Expert Witnesses was on hand for the Defense to testify to Jason's state of mind at the time.

EVIDENCE: The attorney objected to the inadequate funding for DNA testing afforded the Defense. He was over ruled and the objection not recorded. A search warrant was implemented in such a way as to render the use of resulting "evidence" in court highly questionable. Nevertheless, the judge allowed it to be used in spite of the Defense Attorneys objections. Shocking evidence was produced at sentencing to persuade the jury to recommend the DP. It succeeded.

JUDGE: Appeared bored and disinterested throughout the proceedings.

APPEALS: in 1995 the case went to Appeal on 24 counts of trial error. These should have been grounds for a new trial, but instead was thrown out on the grounds that the trial record was inaccurate and that records were incomplete. The transcript has been independently checked by a 3rd party who says the errors do exist and should constitute reason for a new trial. This person is unable to pursue the matter but it needs urgent investigation. The funding is unavailable. It would seem that the accused could be penalized due to the failure of court employees to record his trial accurately - something he has no control over. The Appeal Court has also commented the accused was found guilty of 2 counts of Capital Murder. This is inaccurate. Only found guilty of 1 count of Capital Murder - a very basic fact to make an error on.

PUBLIC ACCESS: Trial transcripts are supposedly public documents. However when Jason's family tried to gain access to his transcript the were continually rebuffed by various delaying tactics, from weak excuses and blatant lies, to the transcripts not being ready when arranged and being kept waiting in the court house. On Oct. 30 they were kept waiting for 4 hours. During that time, the date of execution was phoned to the prison while they were in the courthouse building.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: I am led to believe that Americans charged with a crime are guaranteed "Due Process" whether guilty or innocent. This has obviously not happened in this case, nor I suspect in many others. Even now we are fighting for a re-trial.

 
 

ProDeathPenalty.com

Jason Massey was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1993 murders of two young teenagers whose bodies were found by a road worker on a rural road in Telico in Ellis County, Texas.

James Brian King, 14, had been shot in the head, and his 13-year-old stepsister Christina Benjamin had been stripped, raped, disemboweled and dismembered.

Ellis County sheriff's Lt. Royce Gothard said the girl's naked body was in the brush beside a gravel road. Her head and hands were severed and the body was covered with cuts. The boy's fully clothed body was found 100 yards away in a creek with no visible wounds, Gothard said.

The place where the bodies were found was about 15 miles from the teens' home in Garrett. Officials impounded Massey's 1982 Subaru. They collected certain forensic evidence from the truck linking Massey to the killings.

The jury took just three hours to convict Massey after hearing testimony from a former friend of Massey, 18-year-old Chris Nowlin, who told the court that Massey had said he wanted to have sex with Benjamin, then kill her and mutilate her. "I didn't pay much attention to him because he was always talking about killing girls," Nowlin testified. Nowlin said he and Massey spent much of the summer of 1993 drinking, driving around and doing LSD, marijuana and cocaine. Her body parts have never been found.

Massey had decided he was going to become the worst serial killer that Texas had ever seen. He was known to torture animals and was only nine years old when he killed his first cat. Many more dead animals followed, including dogs and even six cows.

Massey stalked a young woman, and revered killers like Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, and Henry Lee Lucas. Investigators discovered a long list of potential victims and his diaries were filled with fantasies of rape, torture, and cannibalism of female victims. He was obsessed with bringing girls under his control and having their dead bodies in his possession.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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