The Matamoros Cult Murders

The Victim

Mark Kilroy

On March 14, 1989, college student Mark Kilroy disappeared between the Matamoros, Mexico and Brownsville, Texas border. Kilroy, a junior studying pre-med at the University of Texas, had been vacationing with friends during the spring break holiday when he vanished off of a crowded Mexico street that evening.

Attention was drawn to the incident when a member of Kilroy’s family, employed with the U.S. Customs Service, amassed a search for the missing student. A $15,000 reward was offered for his safe return. Over 127 suspects were interviewed to no avail. Kilroy was never seen alive again.

An Odd Series of Events

On April 1, 1989, local drug smuggler Serafin Hernandez, blew a police checkpoint. Officers quickly gave chase. During the pursuit Hernandez appeared completely oblivious to the police presence and led cops to a dilapidated ranch on an isolated patch of desert nearby.

Police arrested Hernandez, along with another dealer accompanying him, and brought them in for questioning. Hernandez poured forth details regarding operations on the ranch. He stated the land was owned and operated by a cult engaged in a form of Voodoo-witchcraft known as “Palo Mayombe”—a religion whose practice the cult’s leader engaged in for the benefit of their cartel’s operations. Hernandez spoke freely under the assumption that his cult’s “magic” would protect him from police prosecution. He explained in graphic detail how the cult carried out ritual human torture and sacrifice and that because of such practices they believed they were immune from both death and the law.

Upon excavation of the property police unearthed 15 bodies the first day. By April 11th, 14 others were found. Among them was American college student, Mark Kilroy. His brain was later discovered inside a cast-iron pot in a shed on the ranch. Multiple remains were found buried inside a mass grave, all in various stages of decomposition. Their cause of death varied from a gunshot wound to the head to multiple blows from a machete. Nearly all the victims had vital organs missing.

Unearthing a mass grave

Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo

Adolfo Constanzo

Introduced to the occult by his mother at an early age and indoctrinated into Palo Mayombe by a Haitian Palero priest in his teens, Constanzo moved to Matamoros, Mexico where he found that the quickest way to make a buck was off of people’s superstitions and belief in witchcraft.

He quickly made a name for himself within the drug trade as a powerful sorcerer who would perform black magic rituals for a hefty sum—sometimes in the thousands of dollars—in order to ensure a successful drug run or other illegal trade. He became a self-made millionaire in just a few short years by practicing magic and soon found himself shaking hands with some of the most powerful drug lords in the business.

Power drunk and money hungry, Constanzo constructed his own cult. Some of the members he recruited were surprising—a physician, a real estate agent, fashion models, and even law officers. Two of his most prominent members were Salvador Garcia Alarcon, a commander in charge of narcotics investigations, and Florentino Ventura Gutierrez, a retiree from the Mexican Federal Investigations Agency and then head of the Mexican branch of Interpol.

In order to make his magic more powerful, Constanzo claimed he required the use of a human sacrifice. He would then issue orders to his cult members to seek out victims to bring back to the ranch, upon which time Constanzo would sacrifice and harvest their remains, later burying their bodies on the ranch. Constanzo would then use the parts gathered from his victims, placing them inside an iron cauldron called an "Nganga", in order to imprison their spirits to do his bidding.

 A practitioner's Nganga
An Nganga, or Prenda as it's sometimes referred, is a cast-iron pot into which a practitioner will put the blood, urine, and entrails of either a sacrificed human or animal, along with bones, spiders, scorpions, and 28 Palo sticks. The point is to trap the spirit of the sacrifice into the pot and “feed” it with the blood and other bits. The sticks are for the manipulation of the spirit inside. The more spirits a practitioner has in his pot to control, the more powerful their magic will be.

The End

Constanzo was later cornered by police in an apartment house along with several of his followers. Instead of being taken into police custody, Constanzo ordered his personal hitman to shoot Constanzo and his followers to death. This request was successfully carried out and Constanzo’s hitman was the only suspect taken into custody.

Constanzo was alleged to have committed upwards of 40 murders during his reign as cult leader and has been classified as a serial killer regardless of his status as a cult leader.

Horror Blog

In case anyone's interested, I didn't die. I just split my efforts between this place and my horror blog (though lately that effort has been a little one-sided). So if you're interested in horror and want to follow what I write about when I'm not writing crime, make sure to check out "Shotgun Soldier". Also, I hope to get the ball rollin' on this site soon. Stay tuned!

Self Promo Plug

Disclaimer: Another shameless self-promotion post.

Got a new story up at The Flash Fiction Offensive, "Fruitcakes, Wood Chippers and Mincemeat Pie". There's a Christmas theme running through December on the site and a considerable amount of talent spinning out some great and gritty tales to amp up that holiday cheer you're suppose to be working on, so check 'em out. At the very least it'll give you a great excuse to ignore your in-laws at the dinner table in a few days.


Seasons Greetings...

...Not really. I hate this fuckin' holiday.

I just wanted to welcome you all to the "new" place. There's been a few changes here since I last updated. Sadly my own computer continues to be out of commission so I'll be using a relative's for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately this little setback has put a damper on my writing and posting efficiency but I'm working on getting things set back into motion. Bare with me.

Just wanted to mention a few quick things in this post. The first is that I've been struggling to find direction with this blog for some time. It (as well as I) have been so damn scatterbrained lately that I really had no real idea just what to do with it. But I think I've finally found it.


Surprise, surprise. How fucking obvious, right? I write it and study it academically so why the hell not. True crime. Strange crimes. Crime novels and movies. Crime detection and forensics. Flash-fiction crime stories and the lot. As stated, I'm majoring in criminal justice so as I progress and learn in the field I hope to share some of my knowledge with you in addition to maintaining a platform for my own fiction and writing.

Second off, I posted a new story here titled "Shotgun Scars"  which was inspired by true events. And lastly I just sent out a new holiday piece to the FFO. With as little reading as I've been doing online lately, I've fallen embarrassingly behind on keeping up with their site but if you haven't checked them out lately, their material never fails to impress.

'Til next time, enjoy the spiked eggnog everyone.

Noir Nation

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