In January 1964, a young woman named Catalina Ortega arrived at the Judicial Police Office in Guanajuato, Mexico. The woman bore signs of brutal beatings and malnourishment. She also carried with her one of the most horrifying and gruesome tales ever recorded in Mexican history.

Delfina and Maria de Jesus Gonzalez, also known as Las Poquianchis, were two sisters born in El Salto de Juanacatkan, Jalisco. Their father, Isidro Torres, was known for his violent temper. He would often imprison his daughters for wearing make-up. Some accounts claim he once shot a man dead during an argument.

The sisters were raised to be cold-hearted and fear poverty. Throughout their childhood, Delfina and Maria saved money to open a saloon in San Pancho. Discontented, they began opening up brothels across several cities in the Guanajuato state.

Picking Escorts

According to initial investigations, the sisters would prowl the countryside in search of the prettiest young ladies. They would also post help-wanted ads that targeted women who hoped to make it big.

The Gonzalez sisters offered their victims employment opportunities as maids or waitresses. In some cases, Delfina and her lover, Army Captain Hermengildo Zuniga, would kidnap women.

The women were force-fed heroin or cocaine, and most were put to work at the Guadalajara and Barca de Oro brothels. Wealthy patrons frequented the bars, their money reserved for untouched girls. The others would be raped and showered with ice water as initiation.

The girls were never allowed to go outside. The things they needed, they could only buy from the Gonzalez sisters. The escorts would be sold to law enforcement officers, military personnel, politicians, and villagers. If a girl became pregnant, she would be beaten until the baby dies. If she were found ill, other escorts would beat her with sticks or logs.

Grim Discoveries

In 1964, Catalina Ortega, one of the brothel girls, managed to escape the whorehouse through a small wall opening. Delfina sent her lover, Zuniga, to capture and eliminate Ortega.

The victim fled and returned home to her mother, who accompanied her to the police station at Leon, Guanajuato. The cops immediately requested a search warrant. On January 14, the officers raided the Loma del Angel brothel.

The authorities and reporters found over a dozen dirty and malnourished women at the ranch. As police explored the area, the girls would point to spots where they would later find over 91 bodies of men, women, and unborn children.

The sisters were taken to the Irapuato City Jail, where they faced one of the century's most sensational trials during that century. They were accused of practicing Satanism by forcing the women to practice sexual acts on animals. They also accused the sisters of bribing local and state authorities. The Gonzalez sisters were eventually sentenced to 40 years in prison.


In prison, Delfina, the eldest, went mad. She died in an accident on October 7, 1968. According to reports, construction workers repairing the cell above hers accidentally dropped a bucket of cement on her head while trying to catch a woman's glimpse.

Maria finished her sentence. She dropped out of the radar after walking free. Legends say she met a 64-year-old man in prison and married him when they both got out.

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