The trouble began in April, when alleged cult members accused Barbara Rogers of being a reptile alien for eating raw steak. Three months later, she killed her boyfriend, police say.
Rogers called cops in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, early Saturday morning to report that she shot her boyfriend in the head. Rogers told police that Steven Mineo asked her to kill him after the cult accused her of being a “reptilian” and ostracized them when they left.
Mineo and Rogers were followers of Sherry Shriner, a self-proclaimed granddaughter of King David who calls herself a “Servant, Prophet, Ambassador, Daughter, and Messenger of the Most High God.” Shriner preaches that the “New World Order” is colluding with aliens and demons to take over the world; that a mystical substance called Orgone can kill zombies; and that reptilian aliens pose as humans and dump snakes down people’s throats to “scalp” their souls.
Mineo had been a disciple since at least 2004, he said in a video for his YouTube channel, where he also videos on 9/11 conspiracy theories and “Concentration Camps in America.”
Some friends challenged his beliefs in reptilians.
“I had messaged him with concerns, like ‘I want you to take a look at what she’s saying. It’s insanity,’” Laurie Alexander, one of Mineo’s friends told The Daily Beast. “I have to look at things from a biblical point of view, and biblically, what she’s saying is crazy. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that there’s some magic rock that’s going to protect us from aliens, demons, and other things. I’ve challenged him to find me the passage. He couldn’t.”
Mineo’s real fallout with Shriner began when Rogers wrote a Facebook post praising steak tartare.
“This is the best thing ever with cut up minced garlic,” Rogers wrote, according to screenshots Mineo included in his video. “I just crave raw meat all the time for some reason. I know some are grossed out by it. But its a delicacy for me.”
Shriner’s followers allegedly interpreted the post about raw steak as sign that Rogers was not human but reptile. Mineo asked Shriner why one of her followers was “accusing my wife of being a reptilian,” he wrote. (Mineo and Rogers were not actually married, despite calling each other husband and wife.) “Because she eats raw meat?” Shriner asked.
“Orgone kills them,” Mineo wrote of the mystical substance that supposedly destroys reptilians. “The heavenly father knows that she’s not a reptilian. We’ve been friends for a long time and I always supported you. Out of all due respect I do take offense to this.”
The steak tartare conflict was still raw over a month later, when Rogers wrote another Facebook post addressing the reptilian allegations against her.
“I like to try exotic foods and I will continue to do so,” she wrote. “Its fun and does not make me some inhuman entity. To think I am is quite laughable indeed.”
But the feud continued, Mineo explained in his YouTube video.
“Sherry thinks that Barbara is a reptilian because Barbara posts pictures of food on her Facebook account,” he fumed. “Disrespectful.”
The rift led Mineo and Rogers to break with the group.
“For lack of a better word, he was heartbroken, because he had followed Sherry Shriner for a number of years, and he believed the things she was saying, as crazy as they were,” Alexander said.
Mineo set out to “expose” Shriner. From May 29 to July 11, he uploaded five anti-Shriner videos including “Sherry Shriner EXPOSED By Her Own Followers!!!!” (parts one through three), “Sherry Shriner Is Extremely Desperate that she’s been exposed!” and “Sherry Shriner Supporters Are Mentally Sick.”
In the latter video, which he uploaded four days before his death, Mineo said he and Rogers had been beset with attacks from Shriner’s followers since leaving her circles.
“I used to be a supporter of Sherry Shriner, and so were a couple others, but we got kicked to the curb and now we’ve got all these lies that are being set on us: for example, FBI and high-level witches, and all this crazy stuff,” he said. “Everybody that supports her has lost their minds. Look at these people’s comments. You’ll see it. They’re no longer truthers, they are worshippers of Sherry Shriner, and they are mentally ill people.”
Alexander said the feud was taking its toll on Mineo. “Once he started putting these videos out, her followers completely and totally started attacking him,” she said. “He got to the point where it was wearing him down.”
Shriner, who did not return The Daily Beast’s requests for comment, denied allegations that she leads a cult. “Steve wasn’t involved in a cult,” she said in an episode of her radio show on Monday. “I’m not a cult and I’m not a cult leader.”
On her website, she continued her comments at length.
“They’re trying to spin it that I’m responsible for Steve’s death? No, Barb is,” she wrote. “I tried to protect Steve. I tried to warn him about Barbara Rogers and he wouldn’t listen to me. He thought I was insulting his ‘wife’... when I was just trying to protect him from her! I knew what she was! He began to realize what I said about her was true, and that’s why she killed him, to protect her lies and keep her secrets. They want to call me a cult leader? No. I’m just a humble servant and Messenger of the Most High. I’ve spent my life serving HIM and for that, I get beat up by Cain’s kids, libtards, witches, Satanists, and haters everywhere.
“I warned Steve Mineo she was a Vampire Witch Reptilian Super Soldier... and now he’s DEAD because he wouldn’t listen.”
Mineo’s death appears to be the only fact on which all parties agree.
At 2:25 a.m. on Saturday, Rogers called police to turn herself in. According to a criminal complaint reviewed by The Daily Beast, she told police that she suffered from bipolar disorder, but was not taking her medication as prescribed. She told police that Mineo had offered that night to teach her how to shoot a gun. She said he placed the gun in her hands and guided it to his head.
“The Defendant made numerous contradictory and inconsistent statements during the course of the interview,” the criminal complaint reads. “The apparent gunshot wound to his forehead appeared to have occurred at very close range, probably a contact wound, with the muzzle of the firearm pressed against the victim’s forehead.”
During an interview with police, Rogers blamed a cult for Mineo’s alleged demands.
“The Defendant related that she and the victim are members of a cult headed by a woman named ‘Sherry Shriver [SIC],’” the criminal complaint reads. “The Defendant explained that the cult centers on ‘Aliens and raptures’. Recently they became upset with Shriver. The victim believed that contrary to her appearance, Shriver was actually ‘reptilian’. The Defendant did admit that there were tensions between the couple over the issues with the cult, and that evidence of their problems with the cult could be found on Facebook.”
Rogers has been charged with criminal homicide, leaving Mineo’s friends to wonder whether he really asked her to shoot him.
“Was he suicidal? When I spoke to him on Thursday, no he wasn’t,” Alexander said. “Had he spoken about it in the past? Not saying that he wanted to kill himself, but saying ‘I’m ready for the final battle. I’m ready for this to end.’ To me that wasn’t suicidal.”
The criminal complaint suggests that Mineo didn’t fight.
“No signs of injury were observed anywhere on her person,” it says of Rogers. “Upon further questioning, the Defendant related that she killed the victim because he wanted her to kill him.”
The report condenses Mineo’s final, fraught months in a single line:
“The victim was undergoing a lot of stress through problems with the cult.”