Mass Grave Found In Mexico BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - The bodies of a dozen people were fou

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Mass Grave Found In Mexico BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - The bodies of a dozen people were found in a mass grave at a ranch outside the Mexican border town of Matamoros, and authorities Tuesday blamed the killings on satanic rituals and human sacrifice. ``It was horrible,'' Cameron County Sheriff Alex Perez told a news conference. ``It was like a human slaughterhouse.'' Four suspects were arrested, and more arrests were expected, officials said. The suspects were involved in drug smuggling, and prayed to the devil for protection from police, authorities said. The bodies were found in a field along with evidence of voodoo or magic, said a sheriff's department spokesman. The dead included a 21-year-old University of Texas student who disappeared in the Mexican border town during his spring break vacation last month, the spokesman said. The student, Mark Kilroy, disappeared shortly after 2 a.m. on March 14 while on a drinking excursion with friends in Matamoros, a city of 180,000 people just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville. Law officers on both sides of the border were stumped, with no clues to Kilroy's disappearance despite an intensive search, the questioning of nearly 100 suspects and a $15,000 reward. The student's parents, Helen and James Kilroy of Santa Fe, Texas, arrived in Brownsville on Tuesday following disclosure of the grisly discovery. AP-NY-04-11-89 1845EDT (C) Copyright 1988, Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- American Found In Mass Grave BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Police found a mass grave just south of the Mexican border Tuesday containing the bodies of a dozen people who were the victims of human sacrifice by a satanic cult of drug smugglers, officials said. ``It was horrible,'' Cameron County Sheriff Alex Perez told a news conference in this border city. ``It was like a human slaughterhouse.'' Mexican federal police arrested four people, said sheriff's Lt. George Gavito. Gavito said the suspects were U.S. and Mexican citizens, but did not identify them further. The dead found by the federal police included 21-year-old University of Texas student Mark Kilroy, who vanished during his spring break last month while in the Mexican city of Matamoros, Gavito said. Kilroy apparently was chosen at random by drug smugglers who hoped human sacrifices would protect them from harm, Gavito said. He was taken after the cult members ``were told to pick one Anglo male that particular night,'' the lieutenant said. The cult had been involved in human sacrifices for about nine months, he said, and prayed to the devil ``so the police would not arrest them, so bullets would not kill them and so they could make more money.'' Authorities would not comment on the other victims, and would not say whether any were U.S. citizens. The 12 bodies were found Tuesday morning in a field about 20 miles west of Matamoros, along with evidence of voodoo or magic, Gavito said. ``I've been an investigator 15 years and it's one of the worst things I've ever seen,'' he said. Kilroy, a pre-medical student, vanished from a crowded Matamoros street shortly after 2 a.m. on March 14 while on a drinking foray with a group of friends in Matamoros, a city of 180,000 just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville. Law officers on both sides of the border were stumped, with no clues to Kilroy's disappearance despite an intensive search, the questioning of nearly 100 people and a $15,000 reward. The 3-foot-deep grave containing Kilroy's body was found after Mexican federal police alerted U.S. officials early Tuesday that they had obtained confessions from the suspects, officials said. At least one of the suspects admitted involvement in Kilroy's death, said Oran Neck, chief U.S. Customs agent in Brownsville. The student's parents, Helen and James Kilroy of Santa Fe, Texas, arrived in Brownsville on Tuesday following the grisly discovery. Authorities refused to talk about the evidence or pinpoint the location of the grave. The area was sealed, Gavito said. The case is being investigated by Customs, the U.S. Attorney General's Office, Mexican federal authorities and local law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border. It was the third drug-related mass killing discovered near the border in less than three weeks. AP-NY-04-11-89 2100EDT (C) Copyright 1988, Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexico Drug Cult Sacrificed 12 BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Authorities found 12 bodies in graves just south of the Mexican border Tuesday and said the victims were sacrificed by a satanic cult of drug smugglers. ``It was horrible,'' Cameron County Sheriff Alex Perez told a news conference in this border city. ``It was like a human slaughterhouse.'' Mexican Federal Judicial Police arrested four people, said sheriff's Lt. George Gavito. Gavito said the suspects were U.S. and Mexican citizens, but did not identify them further. The dead found by the federal police included 21-year-old University of Texas student Mark Kilroy, who vanished during his spring break last month while in the Mexican city of Matamoros, Gavito said. Kilroy apparently was chosen at random by drug smugglers who hoped human sacrifices would protect them from harm, Gavito said. He was taken after the cult members ``were told to pick one Anglo male that particular night,'' the lieutenant said. The cult had been involved in human sacrifices for about nine months, he said, and prayed to the devil ``so the police would not arrest them, so bullets would not kill them and so they could make more money.'' Authorities would not comment on the other victims, and would not say whether any were U.S. citizens. They declined to describe evidence found at the ranch, but displayed some small color snapshots. One picture showed a caldron containing a dark red liquid and what appeared to be bones. Another showed 12 body bags. The 12 bodies were found Tuesday morning in a field about 20 miles west of Matamoros, along with evidence of voodoo or magic, Gavito said. ``I've been an investigator 15 years and it's one of the worst things I've ever seen,'' he said. Kilroy, a pre-medical student, vanished from a crowded Matamoros street shortly after 2 a.m. on March 14 while on a drinking foray with a group of friends in Matamoros, a city of 180,000 just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville. Law officers on both sides of the border were stumped, with no clues to Kilroy's disappearance despite an intensive search, the questioning of nearly 100 people and a $15,000 reward. The 3-foot-deep grave containing Kilroy's body was found after Mexican federal police alerted U.S. officials early Tuesday that they had obtained confessions from the suspects, officials said. At least one of the suspects admitted involvement in Kilroy's death, said Oran Neck, chief U.S. Customs agent in Brownsville. The student's parents, Helen and James Kilroy of Santa Fe, Texas, arrived in Brownsville on Tuesday following the grisly discovery. Gwen Huddleston, the mother of one of the students with Kilroy the night he vanished, took the Kilroys to the airport for the trip. ``Helen (Kilroy) of course is very upset after finding out the news that it really was Mark down there,'' she told KTRK-TV in Houston later. ``They went down there in hopes that it wouldn't be, but it didn't turn out that way.'' AP-NY-04-11-89 2258EDT (C) Copyright 1988, Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12 Dead, Satanic Rite Blamed MATAMOROS, Mexico (AP) - Drug smugglers killed at least 12 people, including an American college student, in satanic rites designed to bring demonic protection to their illegal activities, officials said Wednesday. Police said they would continue digging Wednesday for two more bodies believed buried at a ranch just below the Mexican border. ``Very clearly they believed the human sacrifices and the animal sacrifices put a magical shield around them that protected them from evil or harm, even up to bullets,'' said Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox. Cameron County Sheriff Alex Perez said the scene was ``like a human slaughterhouse.'' Mexican officials said five men have been arrested in the case, but U.S. officials listed only four. Authorities on both sides of the border are seeking the alleged ringleader, Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, a Cuban in his late 40s. At least one victim was kidnapped in Brownsville within the last month, and as many as three of the dead may be American, officials said. Twelve bodies were discovered in a mass grave on Tuesday. The bodies were mutilated, and authorities said they found candles and kettles full of body parts and animal bones. Suspects in Mexican custody have told police of 14 human sacrifices, and evidence indicates there may be more, said Oran Neck, U.S. Customs chief agent in Brownsville. Contrary to officials' assertions on Tuesday, Neck said Wednesday there was no evidence of cannibalism. Constanzo apparently introduced a sort of voodoo or black magic to the area, Neck said. The ritual ``has overtones of a religious cult that has been exported out of Cuba and Haiti as `Santeria,''' Neck said, based on feathers and other evidence of rituals at the ranch and the Matamoros home of a woman sought by police. The dead included 21-year-old University of Texas student Mark Kilroy, who vanished last month in Matamoros while on spring break, Sheriff's Lt. George Gavito said. Kilroy apparently was chosen at random after the cult members ``were told to pick one Anglo male that particular night,'' Gavito said. The cult had been involved in human sacrifices for about nine months, the lieutenant said, and prayed to the devil ``so the police would not arrest them, so bullets would not kill them and so they could make more money.'' Authorities would not identify the other victims, but said all were males. Some victims were shot in the head, and others appeared to have been slain with machetes or sledgehammers, Neck said. Perez said that the cult members removed some of the victims' vertebrae to use them for necklaces, and that investigators had also found bowls and a caldron from which brains, hearts and other organs of victims were eaten. Felipe Flores, spokesman for the Mexican attorney general's office, said he knew nothing about reports of cannibalism. But he added that during the ritual killings victims' brains were cut out and put on a fire, mixed with blood, herbs, rooster's feet, goat's heads and turtles. The Mexican attorney general's office described Constanzo as a ``godfather'' to members of the voodoo-practicing sect, and said he is believed to have fled into the United States. Mattox said investigators believe the cult had 10 members. AP-NY-04-12-89 1250EDT (C) Copyright 1988, Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Man Arrested In Ritual Deaths BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - U.S. authorities have arrested one man and issued warrants for two others in the growing international investigation of a cult of drug smugglers suspected of slaughtering 15 people. Mexican officials, meanwhile, suspect a woman believed to be the cult's ``witch'' may have been killed because she knew too much about the drug operation, a newspaper reported Tuesday. Serafin Hernandez Rivera of Brownsville was arrested Monday in Houston on charges of marijuana importation, possession and conspiracy. He belongs to a family suspected of involvement in drug trafficking for at least 12 years, said Oran Neck, chief U.S. Customs agent in Brownsville. Neck said warrants also were issued for Martin Quintana and Malio Fabio, two Mexican citizens believed to have participated in the sacrificial slaying and mutilation of University of Texas student Mark Kilroy, who disappeared while vacationing along the border during spring break. The two were among six suspects who remained at large and were considered dangerous, Neck said. Hernandez is the fifth suspect to be arrested. His father, Brigido Hernandez, owns the northern Mexico ranch where human sacrifice was practiced by the cult in the belief it would bring magical protection to the group's illicit business, authorities said. The father is not accused. Serafin Hernandez's son, Serafin Hernandez Garcia Jr., and brother, Elio Hernandez Rivera, are among the four suspects in custody in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville. Formal Mexican charges were expected to be filed against them Tuesday. Saul Hernandez Rivera, brother of Hernandez Sr. and Elio Hernandez, was machine-gunned to death last year in Mexico in a drug-related execution, Neck said. Authorities continued to hunt for the reputed ``godfather'' of the cult, Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, 26. Mexican police believe Constanzo and two companions flew from McAllen to Mexico City on April 10 and then to Miami the next day, the day 12 mutiliated bodies were found on the Santa Elena ranch 20 miles west of Matamoros, said Juan Benitez Ayala, commander of the Federal Judicial Police unit in Matamoros. Police have evidence that the ``witch'' - Sara Villareal Aldrete - didn't accompany the three, Benitez told the Houston Chronicle. Her purse and other belongings were left at a Mexico City residence, where an occult altar was discovered, Benitez told the newspaper. Authorities have identified Constanzo's two companions as Quintana and Alvaro de Leon Valdez. AP-NY-04-18-89 0454EDT (C) Copyright 1988, Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cult `Witch' Ordered Killed? BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Mexican police say they believe the ``witch'' of a murderous cult of drug smugglers has been killed on orders from the group's leader, but a Texas sheriff says he suspects a ruse by the two fugitives. U.S. and Mexican authorities have sought Sara Villareal Aldrete, a 24-year-old student at a Texas college living in Mexico, since the first of 15 victims of the cult were unearthed at a ranch south of the U.S. border last week. She was at first believed to be accompanying the reputed ``padrino,'' or godfather, of the cult, Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, 26. But the Houston Chronicle and Houston Post reported that police believe he may have ordered her death. ``She may have known too much. She may have been ordered killed - maybe by the padrino. We believe she could have been killed and buried in Mexico (City),'' Juan Benitez Ayala, commander of the Federal Judicial Police in Matamoros, told the Chronicle. Mexican police believe Constanzo and two companions flew from McAllen to Mexico City on April 10 and then to Miami the next day, the day 12 mutilated bodies were found on a ranch 20 miles west of Matamoros, said Benitez. Cameron County Sheriff Alex Perez, based in this border city, said he believes Ms. Aldrete is alive, even though Mexican officials reported finding her purse, her passport and $15,000 in a Mexico City apartment. ``It just might be a put-on,'' Perez said. ``If they did find a purse or found the passport, that may have been just a trick by Sara and Constanzo to (appear) she is dead. All these crooks work that way. ... To me, she is still alive.'' U.S. authorities have arrested one man and issued warrants for two others in the growing international investigation. Mexican authorities earlier arrested four people. Investigators believe the drug smugglers committed grisly human sacrifices to protect themselves from the law. Serafin Hernandez Rivera of Brownsville was arrested Monday in Houston on charges of marijuana importation, possession and conspiracy. He belongs to a family suspected of involvement in drug trafficking for at least 12 years, said Oran Neck, chief Customs agent in Brownsville. Neck said warrants also were issued for Martin Quintana and Malio Fabio, two Mexican citizens believed to have participated in the sacrificial slaying and mutilation of University of Texas student Mark Kilroy, who disappeared while vacationing along the border during spring break. The two were among six suspects who remained at large and were considered dangerous, Neck said. Hernandez is the fifth suspect to be arrested. His father, Brigido Hernandez, owns the northern Mexico ranch where human sacrifice was practiced by the cult in the belief it would bring magical protection to the group's illicit business, authorities said. The father is not accused. AP-NY-04-18-89 1400EDT (C) Copyright 1988, Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cult Victims Drug Pushers? MATAMOROS, Mexico (AP) - Most of the 15 bodies exhumed in a rural area over the past week were those of drug traffickers and not random sacrifices of an occult-influenced drug ring, a Mexican police official said Tuesday. Juan Benitez Ayala, commander of the Federal Judicial Police in this border city, also said the investigation has shifted to Mexico City, where officials believe several murders are linked to the drug ring's fugitive ``godfather,'' 26-year-old Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo. Benitez refused to comment on statements he made to reporters Monday, when he speculated that Sara Aldrete Villarreal, 24, the cult's reported ``godmother,'' may have been killed by Constanzo because she knew too much about the organization. U.S. officials said they thought she was still alive, even though Mexican officials reported finding some of her personal effects in an apartment containing an apparent occult altar. ``It just might be a put-on,'' said Cameron County Sheriff Alex Perez in Brownsville, Texas. ``If they did find a purse or found a passport, that may have been just a trick by Sara and Constanzo to (make it appear) she is dead ... I think she is still alive.'' He said the investigation in Matamoros has shown that most of the 13 bodies unearthed at the Santa Elena Ranch 20 miles west of Matamoros on March 11, and both bodies found at a nearby cooperative farm Thursday, were those of drug smugglers. ``I have information about only four people who were sacrificed,'' Benitez said, adding that ``the great majority were drug traffickers.'' Of the 15 victims, ``some were tortured, some were only shot, and there were the young people who were sacrificed.'' University of Texas student Mark Kilroy, 21, of Santa Fe, Texas, abducted from a Matamoros street, was one of the four sacrificial victims, Benitez said. He said at least eight and possibly more of the victims were either associates or rivals of the Constanzo group. Officials have searched at least three residences in Mexico City linked to the group, Benitez said. ``There are a lot of murders in the Colonia Roma (area of Mexico City) connected to Constanzo,'' he said. Benitez said a woman arrested Sunday in Mexico City, Maria Teresa Quintana, 20, was ``totally involved'' in the occult practices of some members of the group, who sought magical protection for their smuggling. Her brother, Martin Quintana, is one of three men for whom new federal drug-related warrants were issued Monday in Brownsville. AP-NY-04-18-89 2128EDT (C) Copyright 1988, Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11 Indicted In Cult Slayings MATAMOROS, Mexico (AP) - A U.S. grand jury indicted 11 people, including the alleged ``godfather'' and ``godmother'' of a human-sacrificing cult of drug smugglers blamed for 15 deaths, on drug charges Tuesday. The alleged ``godfather,'' Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo; Sara Aldrete Villarreal, the alleged ``godmother,'' and the other nine were indicted by a federal grand jury in McAllen, Texas. They were charged with conspiracy to import marijuana, importing marijuana, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute the drug and possession with intent to distribute, authorities said. Constanzo, Aldrete and four others remained at large. Four men are in custody in Mexico and another suspect was arrested Monday in Houston. Meanwhile, a Mexican police official said most of the 15 bodies exhumed in a rural area over the past week were those of drug traffickers and not random sacrificial victims. Juan Benitez Ayala, commander of the Federal Judicial Police in this border city, said the investigation has shifted to Mexico City, where officials believe several murders are linked to Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, 26, the alleged ``godfather.'' Benitez refused to comment on statements he made to reporters Monday, when he speculated that Aldrete, 24, may have been killed by Constanzo because she knew too much about the organization. U.S. officials said they thought she was still alive, even though Mexican officials reported finding some of her personal effects in an apartment containing an apparent occult altar. ``It just might be a put-on,'' said Cameron County Sheriff Alex Perez in Brownsville, Texas. ``If they did find a purse or found a passport, that may have been just a trick by Sara and Constanzo to (make it appear) she is dead ... I think she is still alive.'' He said the investigation in Matamoros has shown that most of the 13 bodies unearthed at the Santa Elena Ranch 20 miles west of Matamoros last week and two found Sunday at a nearby cooperative farm were those of drug smugglers. ``I have information about only four people who were sacrificed,'' Benitez said, adding that ``the great majority were drug traffickers.'' Of the 15 victims, ``some were tortured, some were only shot, and there were the young people who were sacrificed.'' University of Texas student Mark Kilroy, 21, of Santa Fe, Texas, abducted from a Matamoros street, was one of the four sacrificial victims not involved in the drug business, Benitez said. He said at least eight and possibly more of the victims were either associates or rivals of the Constanzo group. Officials have searched at least three residences in Mexico City linked to the group, Benitez said. ``There are a lot of murders in the Colonia Roma (area of Mexico City) connected to Constanzo,'' he said. Benitez said a woman arrested Sunday in Mexico City, Maria Teresa Quintana, 20, was deeply involved in the occult practice of some members of the group, who sought magical protection for their smuggling. AP-NY-04-18-89 2302EDT (C) Copyright 1988, Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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