Saturday, June 18, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: UPDATED Former Church of God Member Kills Pastor of Another COG, Then Is Shot and Killed By Police

Edward Acquisto (today)

Another disturbed Church of God member goes on a rampage and kills another man in a cemetery and then is shot and killed by the police.

Edward Acquisto, a member from the Providence, Rhode Island congregations, shot and killed John Cloud a member from the Boston congregation. Whether or not these two men were still in COG congregations to this date is unknown, at least from the source that sent me this information.  He was apparently part of the congregation in 1995 after getting out of prison.

John Cloud, pastor of Called Out of God, lived in Kingston, a suburb of Boston, but for many years hosted God’s three annual festivals in Newport, Rhode Island, owing to the area’s Christian history. He was there on June 13 this year, as the congregation observes Pentecost on a Monday.  Church of God News

This is not Acquisto's first brush with the law:

This is the third violent death tied to Acquisto, who had received a life sentence in the 1979 rape of an ex-girlfriend in her Woonsocket apartment.
In 1978, Acquisto beat to death John Teja, a bartender in Woonsocket. He was sentenced to serve 10 years concurrent to the life sentence in the rape case.
In 1977, Acquisto was charged with attempted murder after Donald H. Shepherd was found unconscious in a pool of blood in Woonsocket. Charges were dismissed for lack of a speedy trial. After 12 years in a coma, Shepherd died of his injuries.
The Rhode Island parole board refused to release Acquisto more than a half dozen times, noting often the seriousness of the crime and parole guidelines for lifers. But in 1995 the board released him to electronic monitoring.
At least twice he had his parole revoked, once for drinking and a second time, in 1998, for shoplifting. He served an additional five years before he was released in May 2003. Acquisto had heart surgery while in prison.
Rhode Island man, 80, kills 81-year-old man in cemetery before he is gunned down by cops following car chase
See another story here: 

(late 1980's)
TIVERTON, R.I. – An 81-year-old Kingston, Mass., man was shot to death in a Rhode Island cemetery Monday night by an 80-year-old man who died an hour later in a shootout with police. 
Police said John Cloud, 81, was shot and killed in the Pocasset Hill Cemetery in Tiverton, R.I., by Edward Acquisto, 80, of Tiverton. Fall River and Tiverton police officers fatally shot Acquisto after he fired at them, police said.
Police said Acquisto and Cloud met at about 6:30 p.m. in the cemetery, where Acquisto had been seen reading a Bible in the past.   81-year-old Kingston man shot to death at R.I. cemetery

New York Daily News

Authorities say 80-year-old Edward Acquisto of Tiverton shot and killed 81-year-old John Cloud of Kingston, Massachusetts, at the Pocasset Hill Cemetery in Tiverton about 6:50 p.m. Monday. 
People who were in the cemetery at the time called 911. 
"They were visiting loved ones' grave sites and heard the commotion, heard the gunshots and called police via 911 calls," said Chief Thomas Blakey of the Tiverton Police Department. 

While a motive for the killing is still unclear, police said it was a prearranged meeting between Acquisto and Cloud. 
Tiverton man shot by police served time for manslaughter, sex assault



Byker Bob said...

Somewhere, Rod McNair is probably thinking, "See, this is what happens when an old man gets a demon!" But, that would be self-justification, and he would be wrong.

The murderer had a long history of mental instability. Statistically, the anger or ability to commit this sort of crime generally dissipates with age. It is difficult without more detail to know exactly what transpired here, but we certainly know that Armstrongism is a powerful modifier. Obviously it did not help, and was not a solution.


Connie Schmidt said...

Ex Felon in possession of a fireman. Felons cannot possess firearms.
Will be interesting to find out how he obtained it.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Acquisto never should have been let out of prison - still lethal at 80!

I knew Ed Acquisto's son - he was in the WCG and tried very hard to live by the book of Herbie but, he had a very hard life and took it out on others.

Ed Acquisto was kind of dating a church woman while incarcerated - it was weird because her ex-husband was locked up with Acquisto. She and her adult kids would go to the prison to visit both inmates. I guess she had a thing for bad boys. I heard that when the ex got sprung, after serving a long sentence for arson and insurance fraud (Mafia), he became a church member too.

I knew John Cloud too - an exceptionally kind man; very quiet, tall, stately, almost elegant. He seemed to have way more class and cash than the average COGer. I believe Cloud visited Acquisto in the slammer (many members did). I'm not exactly sure but, I think Cloud started a very small COG church of his own and focused a lot of attention on Sabbatarian history in colonial Rhode Island, with a feast site in Newport.

The entire time I lived in Rhoddy, the members talked glowingly about Acquisto but, I never heard about his evil crimes until I read this post.

Anonymous said...

“I believe Cloud visited Acquisto in the slammer (many members did).”

In New Testament times, Jesus' own apostles were sometimes arrested and thrown in prison for preaching about Jesus and for being witnesses of his resurrection. Others were also thrown in jail for their religious beliefs. Visiting them in prison would have encouraged them in their faith.

In modern times, COG members sometimes get arrested and thrown in prison for being some of the worst perverts, rapists, and murderers around. Some people like to visit them in prison and encourage them in their bad behavior. Some crazy women want to become pen-pals with incarcerated rapists and murderers, and like to think that they are doing some sort of biblical good deed. Having anything whatsoever to do with decent men who obey God's laws would not be of any interest to such women. Even if the decent men ended up in jail over their religious beliefs, they would still be of no interest to such women. But if the men are complete perverts, such women are fascinated by them and attracted to them.

Connie Schmidt said...

Cloud (the victim) had a small fellowship in the Newport RI area, and a small FOT as well. Here was his church website...

Connie Schmidt said...

Id like to know how in the HECK does a freak like Acquisto get out of jail?? EVER! ...

From News Sources...

"This is the third violent death tied to Acquisto, who had received a life sentence in the 1979 rape of an ex-girlfriend in her Woonsocket apartment.
In 1978, Acquisto beat to death John Teja, a bartender in Woonsocket. He was sentenced to serve 10 years concurrent to the life sentence in the rape case.
In 1977, Acquisto was charged with attempted murder after Donald H. Shepherd was found unconscious in a pool of blood in Woonsocket. Charges were dismissed for lack of a speedy trial. After 12 years in a coma, Shepherd died of his injuries."

Anonymous said...

Another example of the legal system protecting the criminals from their victims, rather than protecting the innocent from criminals. They should have put this man into prison, and thrown the key away. Good riddance!

Byker Bob said...

Sadly, there are people who badly need transformation from some deeply rooted flaw, perhaps came into Armstrongism looking for healing, and quite predictably, found no relief.

I didn't know either of these people. But, I feel that John Cloud perhaps never gave up on Ed Aquisto, or perhaps on God's healing. Seems like here is one lone ACOG minister who didn't simply banish a hard case, and sadly, he paid with his life. We realize the inability of Armstrongism to be a solution, but apparently Mr. Cloud still held on to that possibility.

These stories always hit a sad spot for me. About ten years ago, I learned that a friend of mine, an AC grad with whom I had worked every day at AC Press, had murdered his wife. There was nothing back in the day to indicate that such a tragic event was in his future. Those of us who knew him were left completely baffled.


Rich said...

I attended WCG in Rhode Island and rode to services with John Cloud for many years. He certainly was a very kind, intelligent, and hard working individual. Some of the fondest memories I have of John is his helping those with no money or family in the church attend the Feast. He truly cared for the least of those around him. It was very painful for me, even after all these years, to see John's blood stained clothes at the spot he died in the cemetery.
From what I heard Eddie Acquisto wanted to talk to John to see "What he was all about" and that may be a reference to John's observance of a Monday Pentecost.
John could be very opinionated and at times could place heavy theological burdens on others.
So what may have happened is a heated theological debate that somehow placed Eddie Acquisto psychologically in a hopeless catch-22 situation, and as a result he exploded and lost control.

Anonymous said...

This is such a colorful part of the country, as were the people from the Providence and Boston church areas. In many, there seemed to be a creative and wild renegade streak that felt like it ran back to the colonial patriots; many were just crazy.

As far as I can remember, Cloud was a quiet, solid leader in the Providence church.

I think it was in the late 1990's or very early 2000's that a WCG splinter group from this area hit the news for starving their children. One kid died during a trip to a wilderness area of Maine they considered sacred.

A WCG Deacon, who later became the local LCG Pastor, and his wife became foster parents for some of the surviving kids who were taken away from the cult parents who had starved their child. That was a bad call on the part of the state child protection workers but, the WCG/LCG family were deemed to be familiar to the cult kids and less of a shock to live with then a normal family.

Anonymous said...

That's how badly the COGs are aging; even their killers are geriatric heart patients.
COGland gangbangers are now in their 80's - the end can't be long now.

Anonymous said...

Very sad.
I wonder: What was Ed Aquisto's reason for killing John Cloud?
From what I've read, John Cloud was a kind and giving person.
Maybe John somehow got in Ed's crosshairs for that very reason, with Ed being mentally unstable and needing a target to lash out at.
It wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened.

It's not unusual for a person to "find religion" while in prison.
People in prison are at a low point and more susceptible to bullshit with whipped cream and a cherry on top.
Prison ministries abound, and many people have converted to varieties of Christianity and Islam while in prison.

Anonymous said...

the latest rumor circulating is that Cloud's ministry was the recipient of a sizable donation to be used for charitable purposes. The rumor further states that Acquisto wanted an accounting of where the funds went. The rumor gets even more absurd in that Acquisto may have been hired as a hit man.

Yet another rumor is that the dispute was over which day to observe Pentecost.

I have a feeling neither of the above are true.