The book, based on the radio section of Julia Otero’s program, reveals facts about the crimes of José Bretón, Ana Julia Quezada and the murderer of beggars in Barcelona. Women have joined both sides of crime. Many already conduct the most complex investigations, others commit 10 percent of homicides.
What goes through a mother’s head when she discovers that her son is a murderer? The answer is in ‘Territorio Negro’, the book that EL PERIÓDICO editor Luis Rendueles has just published, together with La Sexta’s head of research Manuel Marlasca .
Both have shared the Events section for thirteen years in Julia Otero’s program, on Onda Cero . Thirteen of the cases that have passed through that space shed light on the most recent criminal history and how new technologies have changed the way of acting of the murderers, but also of the investigators.
Both agree that the murderers of the 21st century kill for the reasons of “previous centuries”: money, sex, power, revenge … although there are more and more criminals who do so out of “pragmatism”, moved because “the victim hinders them” . What has changed are the tools and methods they use.
Venezuelan Candy Arrieta used the Badoo network of contacts , where she called herself “Dulce Ángel” , to attract “mature” men to a town in Zaragoza. Once there, he assaulted and robbed them with the help of his partner. One of them, a Basque businessman, was killed.mobile phone recording in a restaurant to confirm that his wife was being unfaithful, before ordering some hitmen to kill the Asturian mayor.
Despite the fact that more and more murderers with “forensic conscience” learn to circumvent police methods by devouring CSI and other television series, technological advances “are more useful to the good than to the bad.”
‘Territorio Negro’ recounts how the Civil Guard hunted down the murderer of the child Gabriel Cruz in Almería, transferring the corpse of his partner’s son, whose disappearance held all of Spain in suspense for twelve anguishing days, thanks to the microphones they had placed in car Ana Julia Quezada .
He also tells of the carelessness that betrayed the lover of Maje, the black widow of Valencia: to avoid being located at the scene of the crime, Salva turned off his mobile phone before stabbing the woman’s husband, but later they both turned it on and stayed to comment on the macabre feat .
“You have arrested a famous person”
Murderers are often vain . When Sergio Morate , the man who murdered and buried Laura del Hoyo and Marina Okarynska in Cuenca in 2015 and then fled to Romania, was arrested, he told a policeman: ” You have arrested a famous person . They brought me in the plane of the ministers.
I have been in the waiting room of the airport that uses the king “. Rendueles recounts in the book how, while Morate’s mother begged her son not to add more pain to the families of his victims, he became that “citizen zero who, as in the old song by Joaquín Sabina , becomes someone thanks to the blood that he made flow “.
This “sick pride” of criminals is often in contrast to their intelligence. Brilliant and infallible killers only exist in mediocre series and movies. The bad guys of true crime are “normal people, like any of us.” Of the criminals in the book, the most intelligent is José Bretón , who has a high IQ of 121 points (the average is around 90-100).
Bretón burned his children, Ruth and José, at the Las Quemadillas farm in Córdoba , to harm his ex-wife, he was able to talk for two hundred hours with the shadow policeman who tried to gain their trust while they were looking for the children, without reveal not a detail of the crime:He distracted him by telling him his sexual anecdotes with a prostitute and his experience in Bosnia as a military man .
The work of that agent or the expertise of the civil guards who got the rapist and murderer of Vanesa Ferrer to defeat (confess) only a few hours after finding the body of the teenager inside a chasm, in Chella (Valencia) , were key to solve the cases successfully.
“Technology helps, but the smell and skill of a police officer is still the most important thing in an investigation. In all cases there is always a moment when an agent or a guard sits in front of a criminal and that moment is crucial” Rendueles says. “It is the investigator’s job to know when to shake the hornet’s nest, when to make a suspect nervous,” adds Marlasca.
There is no perfect crime
Fortunately, “there is no perfect crime” . But the most difficult to solve is “the crime of the madman , of the person with mental problems, because it is practically impossible for the investigator to establish the relationship between the murderer and his victim, they do not even usually know each other,” says Marlasca.
Despite this, the mossos d’esquadra managed to stop the footsteps of Thiago Fernández, the serial killer of beggars who put in check a Barcelona confined in the middle of the pandemic.
“There is a gigantic abandonment of criminals with mental disorders and this case reflects it perfectly: before the crimes in Barcelona, Thiago Fernández had traveled to several European countries without anyone noticing that he was not well or did something to help him. given symptoms of his condition. Weeks before committing his murders, several residents of Les Planes complained that he had entered a store with an ax, “recalls Marlasca.
The book includes several crimes where the protagonist is a woman , as the culprit or as one of the investigators. Data from the Ministry of the Interior suggest that in recent years the number of female murderers has increased by 5% (currently women commit 10% of crimes), but also that of investigators who make history within the police forces, Rendueles and Marlasca stand out.
Policewomen are already 15 percent of the workforce. A woman was a basic part of the investigation that managed to send Breton to prison. An inspector commanded the Homicide group of the Valencia Judicial Police Brigade that detained the black widow Maje and her lover.
Gone is that uniform “with heels and a bag”that the first women in the Civil Guard had to wear at a time when they even shared the bathroom with their colleagues because they did not have one of their own, recalls Rendueles.
When Rendueles and Marlasca published their first book ‘So they are, so they kill’, Lorenzo Silva , another master of the crime novel in Spain, wrote about them a truth that, nineteen years later, the authors have achieved again with ‘Black Territory’ : find that “delicate balance” in what they tell without ever forgetting the victims.
As Silva said then: “If someone was looking for a morbid book, they have not made a good choice. I think nothing better can be said about a murder book.”