“He’s dead! He’s dead!”
On 14 March 1987 four friends from the University of Texas arrived in Matomoros, a city 1000 km (621 mi) from Mexico City and 570 km (354 mi) from Houston. The quartet went on a bar crawl and during the outing 21-year-old Mark Kilroy disappeared. The Kilroy family hired an investigator to discover what had happened to their son but discovered nothing. Then, just as they were about to give up, they spoke to a policeman in the drugs squad that had recently raided Rancho Santa Elena where they had made several arrests. One of those in custody said that he had seen a “blond gringo” tied up in the back of a van at the ranch.
The police searched a shed at Rancho Santa Elena and found large amounts of cocaine and marijuana. The most disturbing thing in the shed was what appeared to be an altar covered with several bloodstains, human hair and brain matter and decorated with a goat’s head.
The ranch was home to a Satan-worshipping cult. Those arrested said that Mark Kilroy had been sacrificed to Satan to give the cult protection from the police. Every time that a large drug deal took place a young man or boy was sacrificed on the altar. Their hearts and brains were torn out and boiled for a cannibal stew before they were decapitated.
At least 15 victims were found in a grave at the ranch. A godfather, Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, and a high priestess, Sara Maria Aldrete, led the group and they had ordered the murders. Both had gone on the run by the time the police arrived.
Saturday 14 March 1987
On 5 May 1989 Constanzo, Aldrete and other members of the cult were traced to an apartment block in Mexico City. The police laid siege until Aldrete screamed, “He’s dead! He’s dead!”
In the apartment were three members of the cult but Constanzo and his gay lover were dead inside a walk-in wardrobe. Aldrete denied killing Constanzo and in August 1990 was acquitted of his murder. She was sentenced to six years in jail for criminal association. At a second hearing she was given a 62-year sentence for murder. Alvaro de Leo Valdez, a cult member, was convicted of Constanzo’s murder and sentenced to life in jail.