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A Cuban-American Man And Mexican Woman Led One Of The Most Violent Satanic Cults In The 1980s

@M_D_Podcast / @traslasrejas13 / Twitter

Satanic cults with a pension for ritualistic killings have long existed in the terrified imaginations of people around the world. They exist in urban legend but rarely are they proven to be real. However, one such cult did exist in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and they would go on to claim 15 lives between 1986 and 1989. The cult was led by Cuban-American Aldofo Constanzo and Mexican Sara Aldrete. Among their victims is Mark Kilroy, an American pre-med student at the University of Texas at Austin. Kilroy was down in Mexico with friends for Spring Break when he was kidnapped and murdered by the cult in one of their final ritualistic murders. Here’s the story of the gang dubbed Los Narcosatánicos.

Sara Aldrete and Adolfo Constanzo led a bloodthirsty, drug smuggling Satanic cult in the 1980s in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

CREDIT: Mily Martell / YouTube

In 1989, Constanzo and Aldrete were 26 and 24, respectively, when police figured out that the two were behind a string of killings dating back to 1986.

Constanzo was a Cuban-American born and raised in Miami by a practicing santera.

CREDIT: Mily Martell / YouTube

Constanzo followed in his mother’s footsteps and began practicing  santería. As he got older, Constanzo dabbled with darker, more extreme forms of witchcraft and satanic worship. It wasn’t long until he began to explore a dark side of Palo Mayombe, a form of santería with roots in the Congo.

Aldrete is a Mexican national born in Matamoros who was a student at Texas Southmost College at the time of the murders.

CREDIT: Mily Martell / YouTube

Aldrete had dated Constanzo before he came out to her as gay, according to former Brownsville Deputy Sheriff George Gavito. Rolling Stone reports that it was only after meeting Aldrete that Constanzo’s violence against random people began to escalate.

Aldrete and Constanzo formed the cult that came to be called Los Narcosatánicos. They operated just across the river from Brownsville, Texas, smuggling drugs and killing people in sacrificial rituals.

CREDIT: Google Maps

According to The New York Times, Los Narcosatánicos claimed that by performing the ritualistic killings the group would be protected from the police. Members of the cult also told authorities that Constanzo, known to them as El Padrino (The Godfather), said the killings would make them invincible to bullets.

The streets of Matamoros, a popular destination for college students, proved to be a good place to find victims for the cult.

CREDIT: Mily Martell / YouTube

Many college students would venture into Matamoros for Spring Break and long weekends. The drinking age was lower than the U.S. and getting into Matamoros from Brownsville was easy to do on foot.

It was the disappearance of The University of Texas at Austin pre-med student, Mark Kilroy, that would eventually bring the cult down.

Mark Kilroy was in Matamoros in March 1989 during Spring Break. According to PEOPLE Magazine, Kilroy was staying with three friends in South Padre Island, Texas, about 20 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. On the first night of their stay, the friends made their way into Matamoros for a night of drinking and celebration. That first night ended without incident and the four friends made their way back to their lodging. March 14, 1989, their second night out in Matamoros, would be a fateful night. After drinking until 2 a.m., Kilroy and his friends started walking back to the border. Their car was parked on the U.S. side. The group walked in twos, with Kilroy and his friend, Bill Huddleston, lagging behind.

During the walk, Rolling Stone reports that Huddleston ventured off to pee, leaving Kilroy alone on the street. When he returned, Kilroy was gone. Huddleston reunited with the two other men on the trip. When they didn’t hear from Kilroy the next morning, they knew something was wrong and went to the police.

Four weeks after Kilroy went missing, Mexican authorities had a break in the case.

CREDIT: Mily Martell / YouTube

In early April, police apprehended Elio Hernandez Rivera, 22 at the time, for running through a police checkpoint with marijuana in his possession. Hernandez Rivera told the police names of different drug dealers and even led them to Rancho Santa Elena where the cult carried out their murders, according to Rolling Stone. At first, the authorities believed they were on a drug bust but after showing Hernandez Rivera a photo of Kilroy, things took a sickening turn. Hernandez Rivera confirmed that Kilroy had been to the property and was buried there.

Four cult members assisted the police in uncovering the bodies of the cult’s victims who were buried in Rancho Santa Elena.

CREDIT: Mily Martell / YouTube

In the case of Kilroy, the first thing found was his brain, which was found in a black cauldron after having been boiled in blood with a turtle, spinal column and a horseshoe. Hernandez Rivera told authorities that Constanzo, who had named him second-in-command, told the cult to abduct an Anglo for the ritual to achieve the necessary outcome. Kilroy was lured away by a man who spoke English and was pulled into a truck and driven to the ranch.

Police learned that Kilroy was killed with a single machete blow to the back of the head.

The New York Times notes that Kilroy tried to escape after 12 hours in captivity and was killed by Constanzo in retaliation for his trying to escape. Kilroy was then dismembered and used in a sacrificial ritual to further protect the cult from police and physical injury. On Rancho Santa Elena, Constanzo set up one of the buildings was set up as a shrine to the murder of his victims. In disgust, the shrine was burned by authorities.

In total, the cult claimed 15 lives from the U.S. and Mexico.

CREDIT: Mily Martell / YouTube

Most were dismembered and brutalized after their death. The discovery of the bodies sent residents of Matamoros into a panic as rumors of retaliation spread, according to Rolling Stone. There was a fear that cult members would take their revenge by abducting children for their human sacrifices, but no such abductions occurred.

Two weeks after Rancho Santa Elena was discovered and investigated, police learned about Constanzo’s Mexico City hideout. They surrounded it and a shootout ensued.

CREDIT: Mily Martell / YouTube

Once Constanzo knew that the police had surrounded his apartment building in Mexico City, he snapped. He burned money on the stove and started throwing money out of the window while shooting at passersby. Police returned fire and quickly advanced into the apartment to put an end to Los Narcosatánicos.

In his last act against police, Costanzo ordered he and his boyfriend killed.

CREDIT: Mily Martell / YouTube

Rolling Stone says Aldrete denies having any knowledge of the killings that took place at Rancho Santa Elena, only learning about them through news reports. She claims she was treated like a prisoner by cult members. Aldrete was eventually tried and convicted of several murders and drug smuggling. She was sentenced to 10 years for the drug charges and another 50 years for the murders with a possibility of being released after 25 years.


READ: Here’s How An East LA Neighborhood Brought Down One Of America’s Most Notorious Serial Killers

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Say Their Names And See Their Faces: The Black Trans Women Murdered So Far In 2019

Things That Matter

Say Their Names And See Their Faces: The Black Trans Women Murdered So Far In 2019

This isn’t news to anyone, especially if you’re in the LGBTQ+ community. In a political climate that is trying to erase trans people from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), from the military, and most recently, from protections in homeless shelters, it’s clear the government is not going to help this community in crisis. There’s no question that Black women face higher discrimination than non-Black women of color.

That means it’s on all of us–feministas, poderosas and activists of all kinds–to shine a light on this issue and take action. We honor the women who have been murdered and the women who keep the fight going. Call your representatives. Demand justice. Donate to charities that directly provide resources to trans women.

Instead of highlighting the violence these women endured, we’re highlighting what they did with their lives.

Dana Martin

@Queerty / Twitter

Dana Martin, 31, made headlines as the first transgender woman killed in 2019, and just like that, her 31 years of life were erased. She was found hot dead in her car on Jan. 10. Martin’s best friend told Out magazine that she loved Aaliyah, the movie Friday, and that, “She was a very private, sweet person. Dana didn’t bother nobody, period.”

“[She] never really said [she was trans]. [She] just did it. [She] was gone one day and the next day came and said, ‘This is me,'” another childhood friend recalls. “But all through school, Dana had always looked like a girl, has always been mistaken as a girl. There was never a time when people didn’t ask, ‘Are you a girl or a boy?’ I think it made it easier for [her] to just be like, ‘transgender is my thing.’”

Ashanti Carmon

@MsIsisKing / Twitter

Ashanti Carmon was rejected by her family, and living on the streets by the time she was 16 years old. The trans community looked after her for the next ten years of couch hopping and performing sex work. She had just moved in with her boyfriend and was looking for employment at fast food restaurants to no avail. She was back at the strip many trans women go to for sex worth when a drive-by shooter fatally shot Carmon. She was killed on March 30 while standing on K Street, a stirp in the nation’s capital known for sex workers.

Claire Legato

@hhhhggggghhh / Twitter

Legato, 21, had begun her transition a few years ago. In a Facebook post on March 19, 2017, just two years before her death, she wrote:

“As I wake up everyday.. seeing the woman I’m becoming..👸🏼 I get scared cause it’s too good to be true really..😩 idk what the future holds and I’m excited asf!”🤗 they say all good things come to an end.. but this is one thing that can never be taken away from me.. who I am.. who I’ve always been.. 😌 CLAIRE..🦄✨💕 #feelslikeimdreaming”

Legato was shot in the head on April 15 during an argument between her mother and suspected shooter John Booth.

Muhlaysia Booker

@FOX4 / Twitter

Muhlaysia Booker, 23, made news one month before her death, during what Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings described as “mob violence.” She was in a traffic accident that resulted in a mob of people viciously beating her in April. On May 19, Booker was found dead from a gunshot. A 33-year-old Dallas man has been arrested for her murder and is implicated in another murder of a trans woman in the Dallas area.

Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington

@hhhhggggghhh / Twitter

Tamika was shot and killed in Philadelphia on May 19. The death was not treated as a hate crime since they don’t believe her gender identity was the motivator for the attack. Her friend of 20 years, Deja Lynn Alvarez, shared in a Facebook post, “Your memory will live and light will shine on through us.” She was known as a “gay mother,” to all in the community.

Paris Cameron

@JennSchanzWXYZ / Twitter

Paris Cameron, 20, was living out and proud to the very end. She was last seen celebrating her life with two good friends, Timothy Blancher, 20, and Alunte Davis, 21–both black gay men. All three were gunned down and killed in Detroit. The suspected shooters were charged for the murders and authorities believe the gender identity of Cameron and sexual orientation of her friends were factors in the violent crime.

Chynal Lindsey

@_uhmchristine / Twitter

Chynal Lindsey, 26, was born and raised in Chicago but moved to Arlington, Texas in the last few years. She went to Prairie State college and was working as an in-home health care provider. The same person who killed Muhlaysia has been linked as a possible serial killer targeting Black trans women in the Dallas area.

Chanel Scurlock

@Ash_Bash23 / Twitter

Chanel Scurlock, 23, died on June 6th, the first week of Pride month in Lumberton, North Carolina. One friend posted, “You [lived] your life as you wanted. I’m proud of you for being unapologetically correct about your feelings and expectations of YOU.”

Zoe Spears

@DCist / Twitter

Zoe Spears, 23, was a client of Casa Ruby. Ruby Corado describes her as “my daughter — very bright and very full of life. Casa Ruby was her home. Right now, we just want her and her friends and the people who knew her to know that she’s loved.” Her death, so closely after Ashanti Carmon left the trans community od Washington on edge as authorities attempted to find out if the deaths were connected.

READ: Transgender Afro-Latina Layleen Polanco Was Found Dead In Prison And Her Family Is Demanding Answers

Ava DuVernay’s ‘When They See Us’ Explores The True Story Of The Injustices Against Black And Brown Boys

Entertainment

Ava DuVernay’s ‘When They See Us’ Explores The True Story Of The Injustices Against Black And Brown Boys

People love True Crime. They get their fix from documentaries, feature films, novels, TV shows, and podcasts. On May 31, True Crime fanatics will be in for a treat. A new Netflix series directed by the incomparable Ava DuVernay. “When They See Us” isn’t just a series and it’s not just a “who done it” kind of plot. The film is the real story about how the justice system robbed the lives of innocent men of color to solve a rape case. It’s a story about discrimination, a racist judicial system, and how the victims of it mirror what continues to happen in criminal justice.

“When They See Us” shows how the lives of Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Kharey Wise were torn apart after they were found guilty of raping a woman in 1989.

The story begins with a tragedy. A 28-year-old female investment banker was jogging in Central Park in Manhattan around 9 p.m. Trisha Meili, the victim who disclosed her identity in 2003, was brutally raped and left for dead. Around 1 a.m. she was found naked in the park. Medics took Meili to the hospital where she suffered from severe hypothermia, severe brain damage, hemorrhagic shock, and lost 80 percent of her blood. She also had internal bleeding and suffered skull fractures — 21 fractures in total. She remained in a coma for 12 days. When she came to, she could not remember anything about her attack.

The young men, who were all under 16 years of age, were in the park that night with another group and were taken into police custody for unruly gathering.

When police found out that the body of the woman had been discovered in the park that same night, that she had been raped and was in the hospital, detectives immediately suspected the young men as the assailants.

Without having any evidence, detectives — at least two of them were Latino — accused the five boys of the crime and lied to them by saying they had proof that they did it.

Police told the five boys that if they admitted to doing the crime, they would be released and allowed to go home.

Throughout the evening, the family of the boys was lied to about the events that were going on in the integration room. Everyone honestly thought that police were going to release them because that’s what they said they were going to do.

The only thing the boys had to do was confess to the crime. However, because the boys didn’t know what they were confessing to, or the details of the victims, the police fed them the information in order to record the confession from them in their own voice.

“When They See Us” not only explores the injustices by the New York Police department but the racist assumptions by the public and the media.

If you’re not familiar with the entire story, we won’t give any spoilers but know that this story isn’t as black and white as you may think. It’s a complex topic that goes way beyond these five boys and shows in detail how men of color are presumed guilty simply because of their social status and economic background.

The mini series premieres May 31 on Netflix. Here’s a trailer.

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