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When two callous brothers needed help to pull off a scheme to con villagers out of cash, they turned to a young prostitute.
Never in their wildest nightmares could they have imagined the horrors that were to follow.
Before long, Magdalena Solis, fully believing she was the reincarnation of an Aztec goddess, had positioned herself in charge of the operation, leading drug-fuelled orgies as she turned villagers into sex slaves.
Dubbed the 'High Priestess of Blood', she led a cult, carrying human sacrifices which involved ripping out victims' hearts while they were still alive and drinking their drug-laced blood.
And yet, the original plan was small-time in comparison.
From just age 12, Magdalena Solis worked as a prostitute, pimped out by her brother Eleazar.
They were born in the 1930s into a poor family in the Mexican town of Monterrey.
But it wasn’t until 30 years later that Magdalena and Eleazar would cross paths with a pair of conmen who would change their lives forever – and leave a terrifying trail of destruction in their wake.
In the nearby town of Yerba Buena, dodgy brothers Santos and Cayetano Hernandez had pulled off a scam, persuading illiterate locals they were prophets of ancient Incan gods with supernatural powers.
Positioning themselves as high priests of a cult devoted to worshipping them, they had the town in an iron grip, taking money from them and forcing them in to unpaid labour, searching the mountains for ‘treasures’ left by ancient civilisations.
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But their shtick was getting stale and they they needed a new gimmick to keep people hooked – and coughing up.
They asked Magdalena to pretend to be the reincarnation of Coatlicue, the Aztec goddess of the sun, moon, and stars.
They introduced her as the new high priestess of their cult in an elaborate ceremony, making her magically appear behind a veil of smoke from cleverly hidden machines.
The smoke and light show was so intense that the townsfolk truly believed she was an ancient goddess – and it seemed Magdalena did, too.
It wasn’t long before she had totally taken over the cult, and with it she brought new ideas for how she wanted to do things.
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Her rituals became increasingly gruesome and violent, but they paled in comparison of what she did when two people tried to leave.
She declared that they were human sacrifices to appease the gods and had the other members stone them to death.
It was claimed that Magdalena then drank their blood, still warm from their twitching corpses. This was the birth of Magdalena’s most feared identity, the High Priestess of Blood.
High on her own lies, she began ordering more blood rituals and demanding regular human sacrifices.
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The cult members would be high on mind-bending drugs as ‘non believers’ were slain, their blood decanted in to a goblet for their leader to drink, and often their still beating hearts pulled out and shown to them as they took their dying breaths.
Over a period of six weeks, eight people were killed, with Magdalena telling her believers that drinking their blood gave her supernatural powers and immortality.
But her reign of terror came to an abrupt end in May 1963 after she killed a policeman and a local boy who had pleaded with him to investigate ‘vampires drinking blood’ in a nearby cave.
Officer Luis Martinez and Sebastian Guerrero, 14, would be Magdalena’s final two victims – and herald the end of the cult.
Police were unable to ignore the disappearance of one of their own, and when they got to Yerba Buena discovered a town of about 50 who were all under the control of the Aztec cult.
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In a shoot out the Hernandez brothers were both shot dead, but Magadalena and her brother were captured after being found in their home smoking cannabis.
None of the cult members would testify against her, and as prosecutors could only try the Solis siblings for two murders they were each given a 50 year sentence.
No one knows what happened to Magdalena after she was imprisoned, and she never spoke about her heinous actions.
She is believed to be still living, at the age of 91.
- Serial Killers
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