Real Life Crime

Juana Barraza – The Old Lady Killer

Juana Barraza is a criminal in Mexico who is also known as the old lady killer due to the murders she committed. She was sentenced to 759 years in prison for killing 42 to 48 older women.

Barraza was born in Hidalgo, which is the rural part of Mexico City, in Mexico. Her mother was said to be an alcoholic woman who even went to the extent of exchanging her daughter for three beers. As a consequence Barraza was raped multiple times while in her mother’s care. This is how she had become pregnant with her first son. She went on to have 4 children in total. However her first son died in a mugging accident. She is also known as a wrestler in Mexico, under the name ‘The Lady of Silence’ in its rough translation. She was successful and was interested in professional masked wrestling which is popular in Mexico.

image source: blog.mspp.edu

All the women that Barraza killed were between the ages 60 and above, most of them had lived alone without care. She usually strangled their throats before killing and robbing them of all their belongings. The chief investigator on the case regarded the killer as a brilliant and clever mind and suggested that the killer usually built up a relationship with the victim before killing them.

Finding and tracing Barraza was very difficult for the police, who, at one point, even suspected that there were two killers involved. They believed that the murderer was a psychopath and felt no emotion or guilt towards the murders she had committed. Rather, she felt that these women represented her mother and she was doing the world a favor by getting rid of them. She would use welfare organization as an excuse to build a connection with her victims and hence she was placed in the caregiver category of murdering women. It is said that the emotional and physical abuse that she tolerated in her childhood was one of the reasons she committed these murders. She is also said to have abused some of her victims.

While looking for the killer, the team and the police kept suspecting it was the work of a man. However, witnesses kept claiming they saw a masculine-looking woman at the scene. In 2006, the police detained a suspect leaving a victim’s home. People were shocked to know that it was a woman and a wrestler who had committed these murders. She was carrying a stethoscope, a social worker license and more as part of her pretense as a welfare worker. She also matched the profile of the killer. The fingerprint evidence that was found linked Barraza to at least 10 murders. She was then arrested and is still in prison serving her sentence.

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