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Buried Secrets

A True Story of Serial Murder

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist comes what PUBLISHERS WEEKLY called the “definitive study” of the grizzly mass killings in Matamoros, Mexico. In the 1980’s, Adolfo Constanzo, devotee of Santeria and powerful cult leader opened shop in Mexico City as a fortune teller. He soon realized that there were greater profits in drug money than the occult, and as his status grew in the drug trade, so too did his legendary brutality. Kidnappings, torture, and murder were three weapons in his arsenal that he used to keep a vice grip on the drug trade.

Humes explores the intersections of the drug trade and politics in a way that still resonates today, also touching upon the religious elements that play into the iconic status of drug kingpins. After the ritual murder of Mark Kilroy, a student from America, Constanzo died in a shoot-out and many of his followers went to prison. This unflinching, unforgettable story is brought to vivid, terrifying life in “One of the best true-crime tales in recent time.”

“The definitive book on the most despicable yet fascinating criminal of our time.” —Ann Rule, author of THE STRANGER BESIDE ME

“Chilling... A masterful job.” —WASHINGTON POST

“Intriguing... One of the best true-crime tales in recent time." —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“A fascinating trip.... Humes has crafted a book that reaches beyond Constanzo's demented circle to explore the dimensions of modern superstition, its importance in the changing demographics of the Sun Belt and its appeal to criminals.” —LOS ANGELES TIMES

“This book and its chilling revelations will never leave you.” —SAN DIEGO TRIBUNE

“Terrific... a highly readable, authoritative account of a particularly gruesome chapter in border history.” —DALLAS MORNING NEWS

“A chilling story of murder and religious mania... this book will be in demand. Recommended.” —LIBRARY JOURNAL

“Dares to reveal the bungling and ego-driven machination of U.S. officials and their Mexican counterparts.” —MIAMI HERALD

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 04, 1991 – Although others have written of the mass killings in Matamoros, Mexico, between 1985 and 1988, Pulitzer Prize winner Humes of the Orange County Register in California offers here the definitive study. Cult leader Adolfo Constanzo, a bisexual Cuban-American devoted to the Afro-Caribbean religion of Santeria and its black-magic offshoot Palo Mayombe, set himself up as a magician and fortune teller in Mexico City in the mid-'80s. Constanzo soon attracted disciples, who obeyed him out of either fear or love, and he saw that more money was to be made from drugs than from reading cards. As his involvement with the drug trade increased, so did the torture-murders he asserted were necessary to sustain his power. The kidnapping and ritual murder of American student Mark Kilroy eventually brought about his downfall; Constanzo was killed in a shoot-out and most of his chief followers sentenced to prison. Humes provides an extensive background examining Caribbean religions and pseudo-religions, the feuds between federal and local police in Mexico and between the DEA and customs officials in the U.S., and, most intriguingly, the power of superstition south of the border. One of the best true-crime tales in recent time. Photos not seen by PW.
Buried Secrets
View in iTunes
  • $4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: True Crime
  • Published: Mar 11, 2014
  • Publisher: Diversion Books
  • Seller: Diversion Publishing Corp.
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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