Thursday, September 22, 2011

Guadalupe Martinez de Bejarano, Sadistic Sexual Female Serial Killer of Girls - 1892


CHRONOLOGY:
June 17, 1878 – Catarina [Casimira] Juarez, young girl, died.
Feb. 13, 1879 – sentenced to 13 years.
1886 – Guadalupe Martinez de Bejarano pardoned.
April 14, 1891 – Crescencia Pineda, 12, murdered, hospitalized on Apr. 14; died afterwards.
1892 (?) – Guadalupe Pineda, murdered.
1892  – Sentenced to 10 years; son, Aurelio sentenced to 2 years. 

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FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): If the world has ever produced a female possessed of more fiendish instincts than the Mexican widow, Guadalupe Martinez de Bejarano, the criminal records have failed to make any mention of her. Lucrezia Borgia was regarded as a very demoness, but she practiced her horrible poisoning art upon men, and she at least gave her conscience the pitiable excuse that it was necessary for her purposes that those whom she “removed” should be put out of her way. But “La Bejarano” has not even that flimsy pretext to extenuate her awful atrocities. What she does seems to be the result of the most inexplicable perversion of the moral sense.

Her approaching trial in the City of Mexico for having caused the death of Crescencia Pineda, a girl of twelve summers, has attracted attention to some of her past misdeeds, for one of which she was convicted of murder.

The crime which first attracted attention to the doings of this monster occurred in 1887. On the 17th of June of that year a young girl, Casimira Juarez, died in one of the hospitals in the City of Mexico as a result of the injuries received at the hands of “La Bejarano.”

The history of the sufferings of the poor girl, covering a period of several months passed in the service of her tormentor, is perhaps unequaled in the annals of crime.

She was made to endure every cruelty and privation which the malignity of an ingenious fiend could suggest or inspire.

Hunger, exposure, blows, burns, scalds, pin thrusts, cuts and every other atrocity that can be inflicted without causing death were the daily lot of this unfortunate girl. 


She dared not complain. Widow Bejarano passed before her neighbors as a good soul, who had taken upon herself the task of bringing up a refractory and vicious child, who repaid her efforts with idleness and disobedience. The time came, however, when the comedy played before the scenes would no longer cover the hideous tragedy enacted behind them.

The insidious diseases which confinement, ill treatment and loathsome food had bred in the body of the poor girl reached their climax, and the health authorities ordered her removal to the hospital, where she died. The marks of blows and the scars of wounds were still fresh upon her. When first taken to the hospital, the fear and influence of her tormentor being still fresh upon her, she made evasive answers to all questions.

But kind treatment and the knowledge that death was near gave her courage to reveal the infamous causes of her condition and the author of all her sufferings.

The unfortunate child died a few days after giving the startling information. Widow Bejarano’s arrest, trial, conviction for murder and sentence of thirteen years’ imprisonment speedily followed.

When she was locked up her fellow prisoners were with difficulty restrained from tearing her limb from limb. By some inscrutable provision of the Mexican law this wretch obtained a pardon, and in 1886 walked forth, free to continue her torture of female orphans, who were her only victims.

Her approaching trial is for having caused the death of a child of twelve, whose birth out of wedlock ought to have excited at least a spark of pity. It was a repetition of the former crime, with bus the variations of time, place and subject, and perhaps some new devices of cruelty which Widow Bejarano had conceived and matured during her long confinement in jail. Among these may be cited the dragging of the child across the floor, the application of burning matches to the exposed parts of her body and her confinement for hours at a time under the flooring of the room, there to fight for her life with mice and vermin and breathe the fetid air of her damp surroundings. The conviction of “La Bejarano” is regarded as certain, and it would surprise no one to read some day that the people of Mexico had summarily meted out to this monster the punishment she so richly deserves.

[“A Female Fiend Incarnate - Widow Bejarano, Who Has Tortured Little Orphan Girls to Death.” The News (Frederick, Md.), May 14, 1892, p. 6]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): City of Mexico, Mexico, April 23. – The trial by jury of the famous Mexican female criminal, Guadalupe Martinez de Bejarano, and her son Aurelio now proceeding in this city promises to be fully sensational as one in which she took so prominent a part fourteen years ago.

The widow Bejarano, whose otherwise villainous countenance is somewhat redeemed by a lofty brow, had a strange taste for cruelty to indulge, and sought to gratify her unnatural craving by inflicting suffering on the lowliest and most defenseless of God’s children – the young orphan girls of the poor.

~ DARED NOT COMPLAIN. ~

The first crime which gave rise to the notoriety of “la Bejarano,” as she is commonly known in Mexico, occurred on the 17th of June, 1878, when a young girl, Casimira Juarez by name, died one of the hospitals in this city, from the injuries and unhuman treatment she had received at the hands of her fiendish tormenter. The details of this horrible crime known from the recital made by the victim and filled the columns of the newspapers in Mexico from day to day, and raised public indignation to a pitch which is seldom attained in this country, where sympathy is more easily aroused than any harsher sentiment.

The history of the sufferings of the poor girl, covering a period of several months passed in the service of her tormentor, is, perhaps, unequaled in the annals of crime. She was made to endure every cruelty and privation which the malignity of ingenious fiend could suggest or inspire. Hunger, exposure, blows, burns, scalds, pin thrusts, cuts and every other atrocity that can be inflicted without causing instant death, was the daily lot of this unfortunate girl. She dared not complain; her spirit was broken – if she ever had any – and the threats of every horrible retribution hung over her if she attempted to escape.

The insidious diseases which confinement, ill-treatment and loathsome food had bred in the body of the poor girl reached their climax, and the health authorities ordered her removal to the hospital where she died. The marks of blows and the scars of wounds were still fresh upon her. When first taken to the hospital, the fear and influence of her tormentor being still fresh upon her, she made evasive answers to all questions, but kind treatment and the knowledge that death was near gave her courage to reveal the infamous causes of her condition and the author of all her sufferings. The unfortunate child died a few days after giving the startling information.

Widow Bejarano was immediately arrested upon the charge of murder, and her trial, one of the most sensational in the criminal annals of Mexico, resulted in her conviction. She was sentenced to thirteen years and some months imprisonment in the penitentiary. Her crime was made the theme of a stirring Spanish novel. She was called “la mujer verdugo” female executioner, as might be said in English.

~ A MODEL CONVICT. ~

While serving her term Widow Bejarano presented by her conduct, which was exemplary and submissive in all respects, one of those striking contrasts that torment and puzzle the psychical student. Her behavior was such as to arouse in time some doubt as to whether her punishment was entirely deserved, and after the first impression of her crime had softened or passed away, came to regard her jailers as the possible victim of mistaken or exaggerated evidence. After serving eight years’ time in the penitentiary a pardon was secured, and in the year 1886 she left her place of confinement and for some years was lost to the world.

On the 14th of April, 1891, Aurelio Bejarano, her son, applied at the hospital of San Andres in this city for leave to bring a sick [girl in] for treatment. A bed was provided and the invalid was received at the hospital. She was a young girl, Crescencia Pineda by name, a child of sin, whose age was unknown, even to herself, but to all appearances was not over 12 years.

It was a repetition of the former crime, with but variations of time, place and subject, and perhaps some new devices of cruelty, which Widow Bejarano had conceived and matured during her long confinement in jail. Among these may be called the dragging of the child across the floor, the application of burning matches to the exposed parts of the body, and her confinement for hours at a time under the flooring of the room, there to fight for her life with mice and vermin, and breathe the feted air of her damp surroundings. After her death an autopsy was held, which confirmed her ante-mortum statements.

Several deep scars were found on the head after the hair had been removed, and on the left side of the body between the eighth and ninth ribs a scar in process of healing was discovered. On the right arm were large bruises, covering the entire limb from the shoulder to the wrist, and on the left forearm there was a large burn, some seven centimeters in length, and other marks, too numerous to mention, confirmed the worst suspicions.

In the preliminary examination herself [sic] and sons declared themselves innocent of any cruelty towards the girl, and tried to explain away the marks of her injuries by conflicting and improbable stories about her awkwardness in handling the pots with boiling liquids, and her propensity to fall and hurt herself in every conceivable way.

The widow herself persists in her innocence and lays great stress on the alleged fact that the unfortunate girl overturned upon herself a pot of  boiling beans, an explanation of the scalds and burns found upon her body, further stating that she was sickly and could not be properly attended by her as she was caring at the same time for her son Aurelio, who was sick with typhus.

[“A Female Fiend. – Remarkable Career of a Mexican Woman Who Loved Young Girls. – Every Form of Torment Visited Upon Helpless Orphans. – The Widow Bejarano and Her Strange Passion – Tortures Young Girls Just For the Fun if the Thing – Her Sons Partake of Her Cruel Spirit – A Celebrated Case.” St. Louis Dispatch (Mo.), Apr. 24, 1892, p. 25; date and name errors in original have been corrected]

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Wikipedia (Article 3 of 3: translated from Spanish) – Guadalupe Martinez de Bejarano (died in prison in Mexico City) was a Mexican serial killer, who in the late nineteenth century, brutally murdered 3 girls. The press of the time nicknamed her as "The Fearsome Bejarano" ("La Temible Bejarano") "The Female Executioner" or ( "La Mujer Verdugo").

Hers was one of the earliest serial murderer cases in the history of Mexico (other contemporary cases: Felipe Espinosa, Francisco Guerrero and Rodolfo Fierro), can be considered as the first female serial killer of on record in Mexico. She was, according to standard serial killer classifications, an organized killer, motivated by hedonistic sexual satisfaction, sedentary and sexual predator.

Not much is known about her private life, except that she was married to a man named Bejarano, and that she had at least one child, Aurelio Martinez Bejarano. She belonged to a higher social stratum or medium-high (determined by sensed by the modus operandi ).

She attracted her victims, young and poor girls, offering employment as a servant in her household. Only after the victim had been installed in the domicile were the true intentions of the mistress revealed. The girl would be enslaved and subjected to torture with a markedly sexual nature. Guadalupe especially enjoyed forcing the girls to sit naked on a burning brazier (roman chair); she would strip them and hang them from the ceiling by the wrists and flog them with a cattle whip. Finally the victims would be starved to death. 

Victims:

Casimira Juarez: girl killed in 1887 was the first known crime of Bejarano. She was apprehended and convicted of this crime, but the weak criminal law of the time condemned her to only a few years in prison.

Crescencia and Guadalupe Pineda: two sisters who were murdered in 1892. Bejarano had just emerged from prison after having spent only five years in for the first murder.

Police arrested Guadalupe after several complaints that people were talking about possible abducted and tortured at home. But it was too late, the sisters Pineda were dead, after months or years of abuse.


The murderess tried to put the sole blame for the crimes – the kidnapping, abuse and deaths of the girls – on the shoulders of her son. But the jury did not believe her.

Public outrage called for the death penalty to be given to "La Mujer Verdigo," but Guadalupe was given a 10-year sentence [which could be paroled to only eight months – translation unsure]. Guadalupe’s son Aurelio Bejarano was also sentenced to two years in prison as accessory, for having failed to intercede in his mother’s crimes.

Guadalupe Martinez was being held in jail in Bethlehem for women, in solitary confinement , due to the threat posed by other prisoners, who hated her for her terrible crimes. There she died of natural causes before her sentence was fulfilled.

Despite the horror of her crimes, the name of Guadalupe Bejarano Martinez has been forgotten over time, to the point of being little known today. Although at the time her case raised a stir and was an inspiration to writers and composers.

The engraver José Guadalupe Posada published several woodcut illustrations of the case, The writer and publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, meanwhile wrote the "Ballad of the fearsome Bejarano.”

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After the trial of Guadalupe Martinez Bejarano, any woman who abused a child would be called a “Bejarano” or a “New Bejarano” (“Nueva Bejarano”). Examples of this have been even three decades after the murderess's death (“Une Nueva Bejarano,” Cronista del Valle (Brownsville, Texas), August 4, 1927, p. ?]

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“El 13 de febrero de 1879 Guadalupe Martínez de Bejarano fue sentenciada a trece años de prisión por haber causado la muerte de una niña sometiéndola a horribles tormentos. Se le llamó “la mujer verdugo.” [Manuel Gutiérrez Najera, Obras IX, Periodismo y literatura artículos y ensayos, 1877-1894; Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, 2002, p. 198]

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Sources : See online « Las Bejanaros, » Escrito con Sangre (website)

Augustín Sánchez González, Un Dulce Sabor A Muerte : De La Bejarano a la Miss México un siglio de mujeres criminales, Editorial: Planeta, 2009

Augustín Sánchez González, Terribilísima : Historias de Crímenes y Horrores : en la Ciudad de México en el siglo XIX, Ediciones B México, 2006

James Alex Garza, El Lado Oscuro Del Porfiriato: Sexo, crímenes y vicios en la Ciudad de México, Aguilar, 2009

El libro rojo, Continuacion, V. I: 1868-1928, Gerardo Villadelángel Viñas, 2008

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Corrections of name and date errors in this post made on Oct. 27, 2015.

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For similar cases, see Murder-Coaching Moms

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