Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Today in Crime History: Adolfo Constanzo’s bloodstained ritual shed burns to the ground

On April 22, 1989, nocturnal arsonists struck, burning Constanzo’s bloodstained ritual shed to the ground. Constanzo was a Mexican palo mayombe cult leader, who performed ritual torture and murder to increase his occult powers. The next morning police conducted a full-dress exorcism at the ranch, sprinkling holy water over the graves and smoldering ashes.

Today in Crime History: Bodies Found at Matamoros Drug Ranch

Adolfo Constanzo was charming, charismatic and believed to have psychic abilities. He led a cult and a drug operation, and believed that his extrasensory powers would keep both from being detected by police. On April 11, 1989, his powers failed him as police began digging up body after body at his ranch.

Adolfo Costanzo: The Godfather of Matamoros

On July 30, 1987, Sara Maria Aldrete Villareal met cult leader Constanzo, who began her seduction to the dark side. She would ultimately assume the role of "godmother" to his growing cult, demanding human sacrifice of his followers. Their violent cult went unnoticed until they abducted and killed American student in Mexico for spring break.