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Adolfo Constanzo
Birth name: Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo
Also known as: The Godfather of Matamoros (El Padrino de Matamoros)
The Witch Doctor
Born: November 1, 1962(1962-11-01)
Miami, Florida, USA
Died: May 6, 1989 (aged 26)
Mexico City
Cause of death: Suicide
Conviction: Never convicted
Sentence: Never sentenced
Number of victims: 25+
Span of killings: 1986 – March 28, 1989
Country: Mexico
Date apprehended: Never apprehended

Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo (November 1, 1962 – May 6, 1989) was an American serial killer, drug dealer and cult leader. His nickname was El Padrino de Matamoros (The Godfather of Matamoros).


Early years

Constanzo was born in Miami, Florida, USA. His mother was a Cuban immigrant. She gave birth to Adolfo at the age of 15, and eventually had three children of different fathers. She moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, after her first husband died, and he remarried there. Constanzo was baptized Catholic and served as an altar boy, but was also influenced by his mother in the cult called Palo Mayombe. The family returned to Miami in 1972, and his stepfather died soon after leaving the family with some money. His mother soon remarried and his new stepfather was involved in the occult and drug dealing.

Constanzo and his mother were arrested numerous times for minor crimes like theft, vandalism, and "farderismo” (shoplifting, concealing goods between their clothing). He graduated from high school but was expelled from prep school. His mother believed he had psychic abilities for supposedly have foretold the attempted of the assassination of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

As a teenager, he befriended a priest of Palo Mayombe ritual, who taught him the skills to be a drug dealer.


Constanzo visited Mexico City in 1983, supporting himself as a tarot card reader. There, he recruited two younger men; Martín Quintana Rodríguez and Omar Chewe Orea Ochoa to be his servants, lovers and disciples. Constanzo returned to Miami shortly thereafter, but he moved to Mexico City in mid-1984. Over the next few years he was the leader of a full-fledged cult with drug dealers, musicians and even police officers under his command. The cult, based in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, on the U.S.-Mexico border, sold drugs, held high-priced occult ceremonies and by at latest 1987 murdered people for use in human sacrifices. These victims fell along with the cult's rivals in dealing drugs.

When an US citizen tourist, 21-year-old Mark J. Kilroy, disappeared in Matamoros during Spring Break 1989, local police, facing pressures from Texas authorities, began to search in earnest for him. They discovered Constanzo's cult quite by accident (in an unrelated drug investigation) and, after arresting some of the members, quickly discovered that they were responsible for the murder of Kilroy, whose body had been dismembered and burned.[1]

More and more of the cult's members were arrested until, on May 6, they had cornered Constanzo and four of his followers, two of whom were his male lovers, in a dilapidated Mexico City apartment. Determined not to go to prison, Constanzo ordered one of the disciples to shoot him and Quintana Rodríguez. They were both dead when the police finally broke in.[2]

One of Constanzo's most trusted leaders within his cult, Sara María Aldrete, was arrested not long after his death. She was sentenced to a total of 68 years in prison for her involvement in the cult and the murders.

Pop culture

  • Borderland, a 2007 film loosely based on Constanzo and his cult.
  • Brujería, a death metal band whose lyrics focus on Satanism, anti-Christianity, sex and drug smuggling, put a picture of a severed head in their album Matando Güeros. The head is believed to be of a victim of Adolfo Constanzo satanic cult.
  • Japanese doom metal band Church of Misery reference Constanzo in their song El Padrino (Godfather, in Spanish). It appears on their Houses of the Unholy album, each song being about a serial killer/mass murderer.


  1. ^ "Drugs, Death and the Occult Meet In Grisly Inquiry at Mexico Border". New York Times. April 13, 1989. Retrieved 2008-07-28. "Officials from two countries told a gruesome story today of drugs, ritual murder and the occult that has begun to unfold at a remote ranch in the bleak, empty countryside near the United States border. On Tuesday, the officials found the bodies of 12 people, including a 21-year-old University of Texas student who had vanished here a month ago, in eight crude graves on the ranch. Today, at news conferences here and in Brownsville, Tex., the officials said that a drug gang, seeing human sacrifice as a magical shield that would protect it from the police, was responsible for the murders." 
  2. ^ "Leader in Cult Slayings Ordered Own Death, Two Companions Say". New York Times. May 8, 1989. "The leader of a drug-smuggling cult that is believed to have killed 15 people and buried their bodies along the United States-Mexican border ordered his own killing when the police closed in on him, two of his companions said today." 

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