As an ex-New Yorker, it's always funny to see Mexico get all atwitter over guys like the "Cannibal," an obviously deranged killer who nevertheless had a grand total of two, possibly three corpses to his name. If you've ever taken a Greyhound bus in the States, you've probably sat next to guy with more notches than that. Even the dreaded EPR "terrorists" have only barely managed to crack double-digits in a more than decade-long killing spree. So it's worth noting that Mexico really does have a handful of Big League serial killers - though, as always, there's a twist. We go now to the Mexfiles, which does the work we're too lazy to do ourselves:
Juana Barraza Samperio is unique in the annals of crime. Serial killers are very rare in Latin America generally; female serial killers almost unheard of; and serial killers’ female victims are usually from the lower class.
Juana, the “little old lady killer” (La Mataviejitas) killed at least 29 elderly middle-class and upper middle-class women in Mexico City in 2005-2006. ...
The victims were mostly middle-class, or upper middle-class women. Usually they did have a maid, but very few people have live-ins any more. Barraza, again unusual for a serial killer, didn’t have some particuarly twisted psychotic reason for killing… it was simple greed. She’d killed the old ladies to cover up robberies.
Yes, yes, you're saying. But how can Frank inject himself into this tale? Well, a year ago last Fall, we went with a friend to visit her family in Michoacan. Her family, it turns out, were close friends of the Mataviejitas' last victim, who left behind a witness to her horrific death by strangulation - the shaggy little perro on the right. Our own perro was his usual standoffish self, so I wouldn't go so far as to say they became friends, but even he could see that the poor thing had been through a lot.
The woman who orphaned this dog was sentenced to 900 years in prison last week. Given the literal-mindedness that has marked our every interaction with Mexican officialdom, I assume her dust-covered bones will not be swept from her cell until the year 2908, which is just fine, really.