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Feb 10, 2015
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A single mother who nursed ambitions to be a professional masked wrestler has been sentenced to 759 years in jail for killing 16 elderly women in Mexico City.

Dubbed the Mataviejitas, or Little Old Lady Killer, Juana Barraza was arrested in January 2006 after she was seen hurrying from the house of her last victim, the only murder she has confessed to.

Juana Barraza

The judge heard evidence that Barraza, 50, cruised public places in search of elderly women on their own. She sometimes gained their trust and access to their homes by helping with their shopping bags and requesting cleaning work. On other occasions she pretended to be a nurse or social worker offering a free check-up or information about benefits.

The prosecution said Barraza used objects such as phone cables, tights or the stethoscope she often carried with her to strangle her victims.

Barraza was known as La Dama del Silencio or the Lady of Silence as a wrestler and occasionally wrestled in minor events on the amateur circuit. Profilers believe she killed elderly women to release the rage she harboured against her alcoholic mother, who gave her away at the age of 12 to a man who abused her.

Barraza showed little emotion as she heard the verdict. “May God forgive you and not forget me,” she said, adding that she would appeal against all but one of the convictions.

The Mataviejitas epithet was coined in 2005 when several elderly women were found strangled in their homes. Police found fingerprints and put out an artist’s impression. But with profilers suggesting the murderer was a transvestite, nobody looked twice at Barraza with her neatly cut short hair and strait-laced street clothes.

In the end it was the unexpected arrival of a lodger, just as Barraza was leaving the house where his 82-year-old landlady lay dead, that triggered her arrest.

The Victims 

2

 

1

Alicia Cota Ducoin

1 2 3

 Alicia Gonzalez Castillo

1 2

Ana Maria de los Reyes Alfaro

1 2

Ana Maria Tecante Carreto

1 2 3

Ana Maria Velazquez Diaz

1 2

Carmen Cardona Rodea

1 2

Celia Villaliz Morales

1 2

Delfina Gonzalez Castillo

1 2

Dolores Concepcion Silva Calva

1 2

Emma Armenta Aguayo

1 2

Emma Reyes Pena

1 2

Esthela Cantoral Trejo

1

2

Gloria Enedina Rizo Ramirez

1 2 3

Guadalupe Gonzalez Sanchez

1 2

Guadalupe Oliver Contreras

1 2

Guillermina Leon Oropeza

1 2

Julia Vera Duplan

1 2

Lucrecia Elsa Calvo Marroquin

1 2

Margarita Arredondo Rodriguez

1 2

Margarita Martell Vazquez

1 2

Maria de la Luz Gonzalez Anaya

1 2

Maria del Carmen Camila Gonzalez Miguel

1 2

Maria del Carmen Camila Gonzalez Miguel

1 2 3 4

Maria Guadalupe Nunez Almanza

1 2

Maria Imelda Estrada Perez

1 2

Natalia Torres Castro

1 2

Simona Bedolla Ayala

1 2

Socorro Enedina Martinez Pajares

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 Juana Barraza