How A Petty Scam Ended In Bloody Human Sacrifice
Have you ever told a lie that just got way out of control? Like you had to keep upping the ante until the whole thing just blew up in your face? OK, now imagine your lie kept escalating to the point where people were literally committing human sacrifices and drinking blood.
That absolutely occurred when a couple of crooks in the 1960s hatched a stupid plan that ended in the most nightmarish shit you'll read about all year. At the end of this brief story, you'll have learned quite a bit about humanity that you'd probably have preferred not to know.
The Big-Time Lies Of Two Small-Time Crooks
The small town of Yerba Buena was silent and peaceful and chill as fuck until the Hernandez brothers rolled in. These guys were like Home Alone's Marv and Harry, petty criminals who had gone from town to town with one scam or another. Except, instead of Marv and Harry's noble pursuit of ripping off an ultra-wealthy suburb and being repeatedly foiled by Macaulay Culkin, these guys were more concerned with taking from people who really didn't have much to give. So a little further up on the scale of assholes.
This was 1962, and Yerba Buena was poor and mostly illiterate, with a population of around 50. The lobby before a Fortnite match is more crowded. The Hernandez brothers, Santos and Cayetano, knew that these people were desperate, so they told the townsfolk that they were the prophets of exiled Incan gods, and that if the villagers gave them worship and devotion, they'd be rewarded with wealth and treasures in return. This is a hard opportunity to pass up if you don't know any better or have literally negative amounts of money.
Unfortunately, a big part of the "devotion" was heading to a grotto to be sex slaves and generally being at the mercy of the pair. And this kept going for a while, too. The brothers would organize orgies and ceremonies, bathing in the "love" of their new followers. But eventually people got sick of this, because they weren't seeing much of that promised treasure. Also, orgies are a lot like cotton candy: If you have it for breakfast and lunch, you'll be sick of it by dinner. They demanded proof of either treasure or the duo's link to Incan deities, so the Hernandez Brothers called in a pinch hitter.
It Was Clearly Time To Turn A Random Woman Into A Vampire Goddess
Up north in Monterrey, Magdalena Solis was doing the prostitute thing. Aided by her pimp (who was also her brother), Magdalena was crushing the game. There's no indication that she had begun to dabble in any dark arts at this point, but who really knows? I imagine that murder in that time and place was a lot like killing someone in Red Dead Redemption -- as long as you either ran five feet away from the body or killed everyone who saw the murder, you would get away with it 100 percent of the time. It's not like they had CSI.
But it was in Monterrey that the Hernandez brothers found their Hail Mary. Knowing that the townspeople were sick of their act, they believed that if they were to return with a newer, sexier god reboot, they could buy more time to keep their little orgy power trip going. So they asked if Solis wanted to come play the part. She was game. Probably because, as we'll come to find out, she was insane.
The brothers gathered the townspeople in the orgy grotto and told them that they had something very special planned. They proceeded to put on a show, complete with a smoke bomb, for the arrival of their latest goddess, Magdalena. Or as she was now to be known, Coatlicue, the "symbol of earth as both creator and destroyer, mother of god and mortals." It's like asking what power you'd like to have, and just answering "Superman."
Dazzled by her mid-'90s wrestling entrance and sensual performance, the townsfolk were back in. A new flavor of cotton candy had been introduced, and the orgies were refreshed. But for Magdalena, she wasn't just playing the role of Coatlicue; she was becoming her. Magdalena began to believe that she was the reincarnation of this god, and the lines went from blurred to entirely erased in no time at all.
And Now Here's The Blood-Drinking Part Of The Story
Magdalena really started to settle into her new life as a goddess. She ramped up the sadistic sex acts and dabbled with a bit of blood drinking here and there. It's interesting to think about how the mind could get to that point, but I suppose I did the same thing with blue cheese. For years, I couldn't touch the stuff, but one night I got drunk, dipped a buffalo wing in it, and never looked back. So Magdalena was having, as historians call it, "a real blue cheese moment," and she was now into being a goddess who did weird sex stuff to poor people and drank blood.
But as we saw with the Hernandez brothers before, people eventually grew kind of sick of this shit. Still lacking a shred of proof, a couple of the townsfolk wanted out. Unfortunately, it wasn't that easy. Magdalena and the brothers had pretty successfully brainwashed most of their followers, and had achieved that cult milestone of being a bunch of weird people hanging out who were ready to kill anyone who wasn't down with them being a bunch of weird people hanging out.
So the rest of the group captured these two unbelievers and brought them before Magdalena. As a show of power, she ordered that they be put to death before the other members, thus beginning her rise as a full-on psychopath.
Human Sacrifices And Other Wholesome Activities Commenced
Magdalena loved the high and power that this position as "symbol of earth as both creator and destroyer" afforded her, and leaned into it. For her, orgies simply weren't going to cut it anymore. She was now thinking about getting into human sacrifice, and began asking that nonbelievers or anyone who essentially wanted to leave this increasingly toxic multiplayer video game lobby be offered up before her. And these sacrifices involved all the greatest hits: beatings, burnings, and stabbings by all members of the cult.
They would then drain the blood from the victim and pour it into a chalice. It would be mixed with chicken blood, because much like turning a whiskey neat into a whiskey ginger, Magdalena couldn't be having that shit straight if she was going to be drinking those bad boys all night. They'd also throw in some peyote for good measure, and Magdalena would chug it. She'd then pass it around to her high council and then to other members of the cult, telling them that this would grant them magical powers.
At this point, you really have to feel for the villagers here. They were stuck, and every last one of them was probably placing the chalice to their lips and doing that polite fake sip we've all done before. But Magdalena didn't stop. She continued these rituals for another six weeks, killing four more people. And by the time Magdalena's nonsense was about to finally be discovered, they had taken to cutting the hearts out of people while they were still alive.
Like when the elementary school show of Peter Pan busts out the rudimentary rope and lever system and sends terrified Timmy hurdling across the stage, Magdalena had turned it all the way the fuck up. But thankfully, the curtains were finally about to close on this nightmarish production.
Everything Ended About As Horribly As You'd Expect
Here's the thing about murder cults: They rarely end well. Magdalena's was clearly destined for this, and the endgame was triggered by a random teenage boy freaking the hell out.
In May of 1963, said teenager was walking around when he spotted the grotto. And it could have been due to the fact that there were people hanging out in the caves to begin with, or maybe it was the sounds of people having their hearts cut out while still alive that tipped him off, but young Sebastian booked it in the other direction. He ran to the nearest police station and told them all about the fuckin' n' killin' party that he'd run into.
And they kind of ... brushed it aside? One cop went back with the kid to check it out. And wouldn't ya know, they were hacked to death with goddamned machetes.
With the cops having now sent their canary into the blood-guzzling sex mine, they were finally ready to act. More arrived in Yerba Buena and busted Magdalena and her brother ... on pot charges. Which is a little bit like getting Pennywise on practicing with an expired clown license. During the ensuing crackdown, one Hernandez brother was killed by police and the other by a member of the cult. Also during the investigation, the police found the dismembered bodies of Magdalena's victims.
Many cult members were arrested for their participation in the ceremonies. Magdalena was sentenced to 50 years for her role. That actually seems a bit light for duping a whole town and then Dracula-ing them, but regardless, she went away and the cult disbanded, the spell broken.
And that, kids, was the result of a couple of nodoby knuckleheads saying, "Hey, I bet we can trick these rubes into giving us lots of sex! What's the worst that can happen?"
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