Death Cults - Dal blog di Jack Sargeant

Un estratto di Death Cults che lo stesso Sargeant ha reso pubblico sul suo profilo My Space.


The following was written for the book DEATH CULTS: MURDER MAYHEM AND MIND CONTROL that I edited for Virgin Books a few years ago (2002). I think its out of print, and I think it was a pretty good book and there are some copies available via amazon and Other contributors included Chris Barber (who I have just edited NO FOCUS the punk film book with), Mikita Brottman, Lance Sinclair, Michael Spann, and Monte Cazazza. For a true crime pulp its pretty advanced, and covers everything from Kali and the Thugs through to the Movement to Restore the 10 Commandments of God, alongside the more familiar cases.

Besides editing the book (i.e getting contributors and sorting out contents and so on) I wrote about the case below. Theres a real fascination here, which I think comes through in the writing because it touches on so many things that are utterly taboo murder, religion, serial killing, human sacrifice, possession, male rape, mutilation, necromancy, and drugs and hence fascinating for so many reasons.

Theres even footnotes at the end (which I just had to manually re-do, thanks to word / myspace incompatibility)…

Blood And Sand.
Jack Sargeant

Religion in its entirety was founded upon sacrifice.
Georges Batailles, The Tears of Eros.

It was like a human slaughterhouse.

- Cameron County Sheriff Alex Perez

There the devil did fail them,
Satanic murderers
- Tragedy in Matamoros by Suspiros de Salamanca1

The town of Matamoros lies just across the American / Mexican border, located across the Rio Grande (or Rio Bravo as the Mexicans call the river that flows along the border) south of Brownsville, Texas. Like other communities on the fragile, inevitably permeable, borders between rich first world and poor developing countries, Matamoros has an economy that is largely driven by the demands of its wealthy neighbour.
Matamoros is an interzone where two different peoples meet: comparatively rich Americans and dirt-poor Mexicans. It offers a cheap escape for partying American students during the college ritual of Spring Break when an estimated two hundred and fifty thousand students descend on the Mexican town to enjoy a respite from their studies. The town also acts as a staging post for drug smugglers, who export narcotics to the wealthy northern neighbour. If the gringos have the money, somebody will always inevitably be prepared to risk capture by the various law enforcement agencies and the border patrols in order to satisfy the demands of the marketplace.
That drug trafficking is a major trade is hardly surprising, similar illicit trades flourish across most borders. However, the events that came to light in April 1989, revealed something far more disturbing, writhing and squirming in the darkness beneath the surface of the Mexican border town.

They all started trembling
Because that satanic gang,
They are not afraid to kill.
- Tragedy in Matamoros, by Suspiros de Salamanca

On March 13th, 1989, amongst the masses of students heading south to celebrate Spring Break, were four friends: Mark Kilroy, Brent Martin, Bradley Moore, and Bill Huddleston. The group partied in the local bars and, in the early hours of the morning of the 14th, they began to head back to Texas. Twenty-one year old, University of Texas student, Kilroy did not make it across the International Gateway Bridge, separated from his friends on their walk back to the border he was never seen alive again. The student was kidnapped, thrown into a pickup truck and taken twenty miles out-of-town, to the Rancho Santa Elena. Within twenty-four hours he would be killed, savagely hacked to death in a grisly ritualised slaughter.
Marks parents - Jim and Helen Kilroy - began searching, and within days a police task force was established in Brownsville, and, despite the fact that Matamoros was beyond their jurisdiction, they assisted federales with their enquires. Sixty people had vanished in Matamoros in the first three months of 1989, but they were Mexicans, the disappearance of an American represented a threat to the local tourist driven economy. Life on the border may be cheap for Mexicans but in the stark pragmatism of contemporary politics and international economics it is not for an American. But nothing was found. Mark Kilroy appeared to have vanished into thin air.
On 1st April, 1989, Mexican federales established a roadblock, a short drive from Matamoros, searching cars for drugs. Routine police work. Nothing special. Until a pickup truck raced past them, ignoring the warning signs that demanded drivers slow down. The stunned law enforcement agents followed the vehicle to a nearby ranch - Rancho Santa Elena - but, rather than arrest the driver, who they recognized as Little Serafin Hernandez, a member of a local family of known but unconvicted drug smugglers, they opted to sit and wait. After Serafin left the ranch the two agents climbed from their car and began to explore, noticing that one of the cars among the vehicles parked at the ranch a new Chevy Suburban - was fitted with a cellular phone, and that the seats were caked with a thin layer of marijuana dust commonly associated with moving large quantities of the drug. More disturbingly, to the superstitious Mexicans they saw a statue in the car, a figure with a pointed head, its features created from seashells.
On hearing the report, Matamoros federales Comandante Juan Benitez Ayala organized his agents, telling them to watch the ranch, and initiating an investigation into the apparent wealth associated with the Hernandez family, who many believed had fallen on hard times. Then he contacted the DEA agents across the border. It appeared that a drug ring was about to be busted.
On April 9th agents made their move, raiding a Hernandez residence in Matamoros they arrested Little Serafin and another associate David Serna Martinez, shortly afterwards two other suspects were caught; Sergio Martinez and Elio Herndandez. Strangely, however, none of those arrested seemed concerned. And then Domingo Reyes Bustamante was arrested, the `caretaker of Rancho Santa Elena, he began to talk immediately, telling the agents that the gang had stored drugs at the ranch. He also told his inquisitors that he had seen a gringo at the ranch. When he was shown a photograph of Mark Kilroy the scared caretaker confirmed that this was a man that the gang had brought to the remote ranch.
Little Serafin Hernandez was interrogated again. During the lengthy interrogation the youthful drug-smuggler spilled his guts, willing to confess all to the police. The American had been tortured - Serafin stated - mutilated prior to being murdered with a heavy blow to the skull from a machete. The gang-cum-cult believed that the brutal sacrifices would ensure power, success, and protection for the initiates. The ritual guaranteed that the smugglers would be invisible to the police. They could not be harmed by bullets. They were invincible. And in return they had given their souls. Serafin knew all this to be true, he had been told so by the leader of the group, El Padrino - the Godfather - Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo.
Back at Rancho Santa Elena they began to dig, slowly unearthing a graveyard like no other. The corpse of Mark Kilroy was found, alongside several other cadavers all buried in shallow graves. By the end of the investigation at Rancho Santa Elena thirteen decomposing, mutilated male corpses were exhumed, while a further two bodies were located in a nearby orchard2. Many of the victims appeared to have been tortured prior to death; their bodys beaten, hacked, sliced and cut. Several of the corpses had been castrated, some had fingers amputated and nipples snipped off. Some had been decapitated, many showed massive head trauma, the skulls caved in, the brains removed. These were not the traditional victims of internecine drug feuds, rather they appeared to have been ritually killed to some arcane specifications.
In a grim wooden shack, a short distance from the ranch houses, the investigators discovered the sacred site for the killer cult. In the blood splattered shack the federales found sinister traces that hinted at some form of ritualised violence: a machete, part-smoked cigars, and candles forming an altar, and they found the cults magical cauldron a nganga. In this cauldron were powerful totems: the corpse of a black cat, fourteen horseshoes, railroad spikes, a roasted turtle, scorpions, twenty-one wooden sticks, traces of rotting blood, decomposing human flesh, and a human brain.
On Sunday April 23rd - the religious symbolism of the chosen day adding to the effectiveness of the ritual - scant days after the discovery, a local curandero, a healer / white witch, performed a limpia, a cleansing ritual, on both the ranch and the land on which it lay. Entering the shack in which the sacrifices occurred the curandero exorcised the dark forces: setting the wooden building on fire, destroying the residues of darkness that the locals believed lurked within3.
But the cults leader, and several followers, remained at large.

The Santa Elena Ranch,
It looks like a cemetery there.
- Tragedy in Matamoros, by Suspiros de Salamanca

In Miami on 1st November, 1962, fifteen year old Cuban immigrant Delia Aurora Gonzalez del Valle gave birth to a boy: Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo4. Delia believed that her son was blessed with magical powers and, according to Edward Humes book Buried Secrets, Constanzo was only six months old when he was first presented to the local palero (a priest in the Palo Mayombe faith) - and described as a chosen one5. It is believed that as a child Constanzo was subsequently educated in various religious traditions: Santeria, Palo Mayombe, and Catholicism (although following the events at Rancho Santa Elena his family claimed to be Catholics). Reports also suggest that in his early teenage years he experienced visions revealing the truth of Marilyn Monroes death and predicting John Hinkleys assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. To his mother these moments emphasised her sons developing magical powers. He was growing into a powerful man.
In 1984 Constanzo moved from Miami to Mexico City to work as a model and used his magical knowledge to work as a fortune-teller and advisor. It was here that he consolidated his reputation as a powerful magician; earning large sums of money casting spells amongst the glitterati of Mexico City. Setting up his home in the Zona Rosa Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo began homosexual relationships with Martin Quintana Rodriguez and Omar Francisco Orea Ochea, both of whom were seduced by the combination of Constanzos good looks, `spiritual knowledge, and magical skills. Over the following months Constanzo initiated Omar and others into his cult, instructing them in what many subsequent news reports suggest to be a twisted combination of two religions: Santeria and Palo Mayombe.

Santeria and Palo Mayombe are both syncretic religions, traditional religious beliefs brought to the Caribbean by slaves who forced to undergo baptism and embrace the Catholicism of their owners in the New World represented their old gods and spirits with the Christian saints. The two religions came from different tribal groups: Santeria emerged from the Yuruban slaves, while Palo Mayombe emerged from the Congolese slaves. The hidden aspect of both religions, the lack of single written doctrine and the emphasis on oral communication from generation to generation, all add to the apparently covert nature of these traditions, yet the secrecy associated with these faiths emerged as a response to the Catholic slave owners evangelical brutality.
While these faiths and other Afro-Caribbean beliefs are different religions, they share similar beliefs in:

blood sacrifice, spirit possession (generally interpreted positively as the manifestation of a deity in the body of a worshipper), ancestor worship, and herbal healing6.

It should be noted that the blood sacrifice these religions embrace is animal and not human sacrifice, moreover the animals sacrificed (generally chickens and goats) are rapidly killed their throats slit - and their blood is used as an offering to the gods in return for good health or in order to overcome bad luck, in many cases the animal is eaten following the ceremony7. The relationship between these faiths may appear muddied to adherents of the Abrahamic8 religions by the fact that the Afro-Caribbean religions recognize the relevance of other faiths: thus, for example, followers of Santeria may also be Christian, and sometimes followers of Santeria can also follow Palo Mayombe. In his exploration of the syncretic religions George Brandon highlights the example of a follower who embraces aspects of both Santeria and Palo Mayombe and notes that:

Yoruba-derived relga de ocha [Santeria] and Congo-Angola-derived palo mayombe are essentially the same thing to her. Both deal with the spirit9.

Thus the two religions can be complementary, but do not have to be. To some followers of these religions their essence is their mutability.
Some writers on the Matamoros case have erroneously suggested that Palo Mayombe is the dark side of Santeria10 despite the fact that it is a different religion, such statements presume to superimpose a Judeo-Christian good/evil dialectic onto faiths that have emerged from different cultures and have their own philosophical and metaphysical value systems11. This nature of the difference and contingent nature of good is best summarised in Esteban Montejos The Autobiography of a Runaway Slave in which he suggests that amongst the slaves with whom he grew up:

There was no love lost between Congolese magic-men [practitioners of Palo Mayombe] and the Congolese Christians, each of who thought they were good and the others wicked12. (My emphasis)

One of the key aspects of Palo Mayombe is the use of the nganga, the sacred cauldron that contains the spirits of the dead - often via the presence of a human skull - which need sustenance provided by ritualised sacrifice. Such cauldrons were common amongst the Congolese slaves: they prepared big pots called nganga and that was where the secret of their spells lay. All the Congolese had these pots for mayombe13. For Christians the notion that the cauldron contains a spirit that enacts the will of the palero and acts as a conduit between the material world and the world of the spirits is anathema. The ethnocentric notion that Palo Mayombe is dark almost certainly lies in the religions emphasis on the spirit and magical realm manifested through the nganga, yet it was Christians who traded in humans across the Atlantic.
Palo Mayombe like other syncretic religions offers believers a way in which they can communicate with gods and a way in which they can affect events and circumstances in the world around them. Contemporary followers of the religion normally obtain the human skull for their nganga legally through medical suppliers14. While, according to some experts, the cauldron is not to be tampered with and only those with experience should even attempt to possess one15.

Having secured a base of operations in Mexico City, Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo became increasingly ambitious and increasingly ruthless. In 1987 Constanzo began working for the drug smuggler Guillermo Calzada Sanchez using his fortune telling skills to predict the best time for the smuggling of drugs and casting protective spells. Knowing how much money could be made from smuggling Constanzo suggested that Guillermo Calzada Sanchez divide the profits evenly with him, however the offer was rejected16.
On May 7th two mutilated corpses were found in the Rio Zumpango, a male who had been castrated and bludgeoned, and a female whose throat had been slashed so deeply that her head had been almost sliced from the body and whose chest had been torn open, leaving a gaping cavity where the heart should have been. Over the following week five more bodies were subsequently pulled, bloated and stinking, from the rivers and canals of Mexico City. All were savagely mutilated. Bizarrely, for a suspected drug related homicide, two of the cadavers appeared to have had their brains removed. Eventually just three of the bodies were officially identified: El Titi, Calia Campos de Klein, and Gabriela Mondragon Vargas Guillermo Calzada Sanchezs bodyguard, secretary and maid. The other four bodies too damaged by mutilation and too rotten from time spent sunken in dirty water to be identified - were believed to be Guillermo Calzada Sanchez, his wife, his mother, and his partner. Although it was never proven that these killings were the work of the cult, it is believed that the murders were the work of Constanzo.
In July 1987 Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo began to move into the drugs trade on the Mexican / United States border, in Matamoros. The Hernandez clan had fallen on hard times, the gangs leader Saul Hernandez had been killed in January and the new leader Elio Hernandez was not making a success of smuggling and the suppliers for whom the family worked had stopped supporting the operation. Constanzo, however, had the power to help, he knew the drugs trade, and he had the magical power to protect the superstitious smugglers. All he needed was a contact.
Using a combination of manipulative seduction and magic, Constanzo impressed young Texas Southmost College student Sara Maria Aldrete Villareal, she would become according to many of the followers the godmother, and was known as La Bruja, the Sorceress, to the cult. More importantly she knew Elio Hernandez, and shortly after meeting Constanzo she introduced the two men. Everything was falling into place, the drug-smugglers had protection, and Constanzo had the leadership and power that he so craved.
The first killings at the ranch are believed to have started the following summer, in May 1988 two local men were killed, but they were simply shot and buried, and neither their deaths or their bodies were used in any rituals. The first victim to be ritually sacrificed, and whose body parts were used in the creation of the Matamoros cauldron, was a transvestite, Ramon Paz Esquivel (aka La Claudia), who was killed in Mexico City, in July 1988. La Claudias body was dismembered in a bathtub and much of the fleshy remains were left in bloody trash bags, but the transvestites fingers, genitals and brain were transported to the nganga at Rancho Santa Elena.
The sacrificial victims unearthed at Matamoros revealed that many of the victims bodies were strung up above the cauldron and the blood pouring from their wounds was allowed to flow into its depths, feeding the spirits that the cult believed lurked within that would subsequently do El Padrinos bidding. The brains and, sometimes, the hearts and lungs, of the victims were put into the nganga: creating more spirits. Some of the mutilated corpses were buried with wire inserted into their exposed vertebrae, so that when decomposition had reached a critical point - the flesh and tissue flensed by worms and maggots the segment of wire sticking above the grave could be tugged, pulling-out the corpses vertebrae in order to produce charmed talismans.

For that satanic gang
Black will be their sentence
- Tragedy in Matamoros, by Suspiros de Salamanca

Following the discovery of the ritual slaughterhouse at the Rancho Santa Elena Mexican and American authorities began searching for Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, Sara Maria Aldrete Villareal, Martin Quintana Rodriguez, Omar Francisco Orea Ochoa, and Alvaro de Leon Valdez aka El Duby: the narcosatanico as the Mexican press had (incorrectly) nicknamed them. Sightings were reported across the North American continent. None were accurate. The cult leader and his surviving inner circle had retreated to Mexico City where they rented a cheap apartment and began making their plans to escape the country.
Sara too began making plans, perhaps aware of the inevitability of discovery and capture, she wrote a note and threw it into the street:

Please call the judicial police and tell them that in this building are those that they are seeking. Give them the address, fourth floor. Tell them that a woman is being held hostage. I beg for this, because what I want most is to talk - or theyre going to kill the girl.

Although the note was picked-up, it was not handed into the police until after the case had been closed.
In the end the case was solved through the stupidity of the cult members, first they attracted attention to themselves when shopping in the supermarket opposite their hideout, attempting to pay for their groceries with a hundred-dollar-bill. Then, on seeing an `unmarked police car in the street the increasingly paranoid Constanzo opened fire from the window of the fourth floor apartment. Even as his shots strafed the street it was over. Unable to escape, and with ammunition running low, Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo decided that death was his only escape, and gang hit-man El Duby was given the task of killing both El Padrino and this lover Martin Quintana Rodriguez. The surviving cult members were taken into custody. It was May 6th.
Sara Maria Aldrete Villareal began her defence immediately, claiming she had been kidnapped by the cult, and that she had no knowledge of the grim findings unearthed at the ranch near the border. When questioned about her beliefs she insisted that she had only ever practised Santeria Cristiana Christian Santeria. After months of legal stalling the trials began. Despite her protestations Sara Maria Aldrete Villareal was found guilty of criminal association, while other members of the blood thirsty cult were convicted of crimes ranging from murder to drug smuggling.
In an unsettling twist, while investigating the crime law enforcement officials found numerous items of childrens clothing at apartments used by the cult, and although no infants corpses were ever found it has been speculated that Constanzo may have killed as many as sixteen children.
Even as the evil was exorcised from Rancho Santa Elena and Adolfo de Jesus Constanzos bullet riddled corpse was shipped back to America the cold terror fed by the cults frenzied malevolence spread like a cancer through Mexico and beyond.

The killings that transpired under the malevolent guidance of Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo were unlike those undertaken by almost all other death cults. There was no apocalyptic purpose to the cults killings, no great vision/s, instead the victims were tortured and sacrificed in order that the cult should continue their illegal trade unmolested. As a cult they were largely banal, self centred, and greedy.
The medias response to the killings was predictably hysterical, with talk shows and newspapers variously describing the cult as satanic, as followers of voodoo, as practitioners of Santeria, and, eventually, Palo Mayombe. This confusion was added to by the contrary statements from the arrested cult members who also offered differing names for the belief system which they embraced, too ill-educated and manipulated, too scared and too power hungry, to understand exactly what they were involved in. Satanic rituals, and the belief in a massive satanic underground and other similar conspiracy theories, formed the basis for numerous right-wing evangelical Fundamentalist Christian witch-hunts in the 80s and 90s. Numerous Christian groups believed that a massive Devil worshipping occult underground was operating across America, but, despite numerous accusations, no evidence was ever found to substantiate such beliefs, which lay purely in the overactive imaginations of fundamentalist zealots. Despite this lack of evidence and sometimes because of this lack of evidence the fundamentalist belief in a satanic conspiracy continued to flourish. For some Fundamentalist Christians and self-appointed cult watchdogs Matamoros represented the proof they wanted for the existence of the Satanic underground. To add to the confusion around the case some Christians suggested that the Rancho Santa Elena was the same ranch referred to in the delusional rambling confessions of serial-killer Henry Lee Lucas17 despite the chronological impossibility Lucas described an occult snuff ranch during one of his (imaginary) confessional bouts following his apprehension in 1983, long before Constanzo established himself in Matamoros18. During the media circus around the Matamoros killings several journalists linked the cults beliefs to those of an imaginary group presented in the film The Believers, directed by John Schlesinger (1987). This film follows a group of yuppies who follow a quasi-voodoo styled belief system with a suitably violent (and predictable) narrative, the film merely follows in the tradition of numerous other Hollywood movies in presenting a clichéd perspective of `malevolent aboriginal beliefs19. Edward Humes dismisses this theory in his book on the case, and certainly the cult were motivated by more than a movie. However in Across The Border Gary Provost suggests that:

Sara was helping to recruit new members of the cult. Her main recruiting tool was the film The Believers []
it helped persuade some young people, and Constanzos cult grew.20

Some students from Texas Southmost College where Sara Maria Aldrete Villareal was a student were shown the film by the devotee prior to her espousing the values of the occult. Similarly on his arrest Little Serafin reportedly told law enforcement officials that his favourite film was The Believers.
Constanzos beliefs - while appearing to be rooted in a particularly twisted interpretation of various Afro-Caribbean syncretic religions - betray a uniquely feral temperament. Historical accounts of religious sacrifice often written by supposedly benevolent Christians - describe brutal killings that were undertaken to appease savage gods. Notably, however, these victims often wanted to be sacrificed as in descriptions of ancient Aztec rituals - indeed much of the power (both to a culture and as a form of religious symbolism) of the human sacrifice comes from the consensual nature of the human offering21. This is in stark contrast to Constanzos crimes, which were entirely to satisfy his own bestial desires.
The killings undertaken by Constanzo and his disciples ultimately belong to no known or recognisable tradition, of the victims exhumed from the Matamoros soil `most had been sodomized, castrated22, further, as Sara stated during her police interviews:

Before sacrificing these people, Adolfo would remain by himself in the room of the dead with them, so he could have sex with them just before the sacrificeIt satisfied him.23

The rituals and violent fixations were Constanzos. He disguised his interests behind what, to the uneducated Mexican drug smugglers, must have been a bewildering combination of religious doctrines and the implicit threat of imminent violence, matched by the promise of magical power and massive financial rewards. His followers were largely brutal, ugly men for whom violence was a regular occurrence; a necessary part of their daily business, and Constanzo utilized this proclivity for brutality to benefit his own ends. According to evidence presented in Edward Humes book many of the followers were initially revolted by the exceptional brutality of the sacrifices, but their willingness to believe in El Padrinos magic meant that they soon became inured to the sacrificial rituals24. The extreme brutality of the killings undertaken by Constanzo, and his cult, are almost unique in their pathology, indeed in their morbid fascinations they recall the lustmord of sexual killers and the snuff fixation of those individuals for whom the corpse itself is nothing less than a fleshy-toy and a plaything. Constanzos fixation with rape, genital mutilation, and power, suggest that he shared a pathology with murderers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Fred West. Constanzos bloody-thirsty crimes recall Colin Wilsons description of the sexually sadistic serial killer an egocentric figure who can present a socially acceptable façade but who will manipulate people towards his own ends, and who, at base is a cunning methodical killer25 Thus viewed Constanzos ability to surround himself with a pack of weaker but similarly violent personalities was a recipe for certain mayhem.

Tragedy in Matamoros by Suspiros de Salamanca. The song - a corrido details the Matamoros case. Historically the corridos detail social events and describe historical events.
2 Alongside Mark Kilroy the deceased exhumed at the ranch were: Ezequiel Rodriguez Luna, Victor Saul Sauceda, Gilberto Garza Sosa, fourteen year old Jose Luis Garcia Luna, Ruben Vela Garza, Ernest Rivas Diaz, Miguel Garcia, Joaquin Manzo, Jorge Valente del Fierro Gomez. Three corpses remained unidentified, their identities annihilated. The corpses buried at the orchard were Moises Castillo and Hector de la Fuente.
3 While this may appear to be an unnecessarily superstitious response to the discovery of the cults shack it should be observed that other sites where particularly violent murders have transpired have also been destroyed, see, for example Fred & Rosemary Wests house at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, which following the police investigation was demolished. As if erasing all physical traces of the crime scene and the associated aberrant behaviour cleanses the grim atmosphere.
4 According to Gary Provost, Across The Border: The True Story of the Satanic Cult Killings In Matamoros, Mexico, (Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster Inc: New York, 1989) she was also known as `Aurora Gonzalez Constanzo and Delia Posada (p.89).
5 Edward Humes, Buried Secrets, A True Story of Serial Murder, Black Magic, and Drug-Running on the U.S Border, Dutton: New York, 1991, p.48.
6 James T. Houk Spirits, Blood and Drums: the Orisha Religion in Trinidad, Temple University Press: Philadelphia, p.53.
7 Sacrifice is also present in many other traditions including Judaism, Islam and Christianity and readers should observe the numerous sacrifices that transpire within the Old Testament of the Bible.
8 Abraham was an Old Testament patriarch who is seen as the founder of the Hebrew people in Judaism via his son Isaac, and seen as the founder of the Arab people via his son Ishmael. Abraham is thus a key figure in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

9 George Brandon, Santeria From Africa to the New World: The Dead Sell Memories, Indiana University Press: Bloomington & Indianapolis, 1993, p.176.
10 See, for example, Richard Monaco and William Burt, The Dracula Syndrome, (Headline Book Publishing: London, 1993) which states that the Palo Mayombe is the evil flip-side of Santeria and loathsome (p.189).
11It should be observed that both Santeria and Palo Mayombe have specific codes of conduct.
12 Estaban Montejo, The Autobiography of a Runaway Slave, cited in George Brandon, Santeria From Africa to the New World: The Dead Sell Memories, Indiana University Press: Bloomington & Indianapolis, 1993, p.169.
13 Estaban Montejo, The Autobiography of a Runaway Slave, cited in George Brandon, Santeria From Africa to the New World: The Dead Sell Memories, Indiana University Press: Bloomington & Indianapolis, 1993, p.169.

14Kerr Cuhulain, Matamoros Cult Killings in CultWatch Response Vol. I, Issue 6 15 See and 16 This is according to Edward Humes, Buried Secrets, A True Story of Serial Murder, Black Magic, and Drug-Running on the U.S Border, (Dutton: New York, 1991, p.109) who suggests that the Calzadas business (a fire extinguisher company) was a front for a cocaine storage centre and the family were cocaine smugglers. While other writers on the case suggest that this is only alleged, or describe the family as businessmen (Mikita Brottman, Hollywood Hex: Cursed Movies, Creation Books, 1999, p.157).

17 Lucas clearly enjoyed the grand notoriety of being a serial killer and he `confessed to over three hundred murders, although many of these confessions contained contradictory and inaccurate information.
18 See, for example, Andrew Boyds Blasphemous Rumours, Fount, Harper Collins: London, 1991 which suggests that:

Lucas said he was in possession of satanic literature. He described a ritual at a ranch which involved chanting and praying to the devil, and which ended in cannibalism: Towards the end, the victim would be killed and each of us would drink blood and eat part of the body.
More than three years elapsed before the authorities were finally to raid the ranch at Matamoros. (p.70)

Although Boyd concedes the murders may not be Satanic his style of literary slippage between fact, rumour, and imagination, and his careful exorcism of contradictory evidence (such as the `three years between Lucass confession and Matamoros largely irrelevant as Constanzo didnt move to Matamoros till a year before the cult was uncovered) means that little genuine information is presented, although the more gullible Christian reader can infer much from his vaguely conspiratorial writing.

19Similarly clichéd presentations of syncretic faiths can also be seen in 80s movies such as Angel Heart.
20 Gary Provost, Across The Border: The True Story of the Satanic Cult Killings In Matamoros, Mexico, Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster Inc: New York, 1989, p.128/129.
21 See Brenda Ralph Lewis Ritual Sacrifice: A Concise History (Sutton Publishing: Thrupp, 2001) who states that:

To be sacrificed to the Sun was, to them, a great honour, a means of achieving divinity and something else that might never have otherwise come their way translation after death to the Paradise of the Sun normally reserved for great warriors or women who had died in childbirth. On occasion, the Spaniards were able to save victims from death on the sacrificial altar, only to be utterly confounded when these same victims proved ungrateful and demanded to be sacrificed. (p.83)

Similarly early Christian martyrs willingly went to their deaths at the hands of the Romans in the arena rather than renounce their faith, an action that surely should be regarded as a form of self-sacrifice. To die for ones faith must always be a viewed as a form of religious offering: a sacrifice.

22 Edward Humes, Buried Secrets, A True Story of Serial Murder, Black Magic, and Drug-Running on the U.S Border, Dutton: New York, 1991, p.43.
23 Edward Humes, Buried Secrets, A True Story of Serial Murder, Black Magic, and Drug-Running on the U.S Border, Dutton: New York, 1991, p.351.
24 Of course the confessions of various cult members such as Omar Francisco Orea Ochoa - which detail their initial fear and reluctance to torture, dismember, and kill the cults sacrificial victims must also be seen from the context of attempting to appease the court and receive more lenient sentences.
25 Colin Wilson and Donald Seaman, The Serial Killers: A Study In The Psychology Of Violence, Virgin: London, 1998, p.65.


Georges Batailles, The Tears of Eros, City Lights Books: San Francisco, 1989.

Gavin Baddeley, Lucifer Rising: Sin, Devil Worship and Rock `n Roll, Plexus: London, 1999.

Andrew Boyds Blasphemous Rumours, Fount, Harper Collins: London, 1991.

George Brandon, Santeria From Africa to the New World: The Dead Sell Memories, Indiana University Press: Bloomington & Indianapolis, 1993.

Mikita Brottman, Hollywood Hex: Cursed Movies, Creation Books: London, 1999.

Kerr Cuhulain, `Matamoros Cult Killings in CultWatch Response Vol. I, Issue 6.

James T. Houk Spirits, Blood and Drums: the Orisha Religion in Trinidad, Temple University Press: Philadelphia, 1995.

Edward Humes, Buried Secrets, A True Story of Serial Murder, Black Magic, and Drug-Running on the U.S Border, Dutton: New York, 1991.

Arthur Lyons, Satan Wants You: The Cult of Devil Worship in America, Mysterious Press: New York,1988.

Richard Monaco and William Burt, The Dracula Syndrome, Headline Book Publishing: London, 1993.

Gary Provost, Across The Border: The True Story of the Satanic Cult Killings In Matamoros, Mexico, Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster Inc: New York, 1989.

Brenda Ralph Lewis Ritual Sacrifice: A Concise History, Sutton Publishing: Thrupp, 2001.

Colin Wilson and Donald Seaman, The Serial Killers: A Study In The Psychology Of Violence, Virgin: London, 1998.