The history of Martinez’s criminal life is worthy of screening: for his cruelty, ingenuity and personal moral principles.
In 2014, the chief investigator of the California Lawrence County, Tim McWhorter (Tim McWhorter) was sitting opposite a short, friendly man named Jose Martinez. The sheriff just told grandfather of several granddaughters that he was accused of killing a young man. Martinez sat quietly: he thanked the policeman and his assistant for politeness, and then confessed – yes, he killed the “son of a bitch”, because he talked nasty things about his daughter.
McWater was still trying to recover from what he had heard when the man continued: “In my life, I killed more than 35 people.” A native of California, Martinez worked as an assassin for about 30 years, beating out the debts and execution of people across the country. He was involved in the criminal activities of Mexican cartels, although at times he killed people simply because they irritated him or spoke ill of his family.
“I should have died a long time ago”
“Black Hand” (El Mano Negra) – so the representatives of drug cartels called Martinez during his work as an assassin. He killed young and old, drug dealers and farmers, fathers and husbands – but always only men. He attacked people in at least 12 states of the United States, but mostly killed in a small and quiet district of Toulouse in California, where he was born and raised. The assassin claims that many of his victims had a bad attitude towards women and children, in addition to their basic misconduct, so he does not regret what he did.
Often Martinez dealt with people with a shot in the head with a pistol. After that, he took all the valuables out of his pockets and returned to normal life: he drove his children to Disneyland and hikes. He decided to meet with the police for the final conversation after he learned that his granddaughter was planning to be called in for questioning about the murder of a young man. Martinez decided not to hide anymore: “My family does not have to pay for all the idiotic things I’ve done.”
When he first told his story to the police, it seemed too fantastic, but the killer advised “ask people.” The investigation showed that Martinez was suspected of at least a few more murders, although he was never charged. To help the police, the killer drew a map and noted where the victims’ bodies were buried, what kind of weapons they shot and at what angle the bullet entered the body. The inability of the police to independently catch him Martinez explains simply: he was “too good”, and they were “too stupid.”
Representatives of the California Valley recognize – the killer is really smart, showed signs of sociopathy and almost never left evidence or witnesses. After collecting all the necessary information, they presented Martinez with charges of killing a farmer in Alabama, where he immediately confessed, and then in nine more murders in California.
“I’m not afraid. I should have died a long time ago. I mean, very, very long time ago, “the killer said. In prison, he behaves politely and friendly, often joking with his cellmates and guards. During a conversation with the journalist BuzzFeed, he confessed that he had studied the biography of the reporter and his editors, received their photographs and now keeps them in the cell. In his spare time, he reads criminal novels and writes love notes – one of them he dedicated to Melanie Trump.
When I was a free man, I had everything: girls, money, weapons, drugs, power, freedom, and now there is no niche. Only the camera 8 by 12 meters, where I kill time, writing love notes and thinking about the eerie things that I did.
Martinez flatly refused to disclose to investigators any information about his employers from the cartels, although the police itself is not particularly interested. Years after the arrest, detainees do not come to the former killer for consultations on various crimes, although for many years he probably learned a lot of useful information.
Become a “Black Hand”
Martinez spent part of his childhood in Mexico and from an early age began to help his stepfather on the job. In 1976, he sent the child to pick up the parcel in the Californian city of Indio – inside the box was a package of heroin. Martinez was about 14 years old, so he did not understand very well what he was contacting. A year later everything changed – he moved to the US and entered the school, but soon dropped out of school for the sake of heroin trafficking. At the age of 15 he got a car on which he carried drugs and rode with girls.
He never told the police, where he buried the bodies of the alleged perpetrators of the murder of his sister, but admitted that this incident began a new page in his life. After some time to 18-year-old Martinez appealed to a friend for help: revenge for a raped sister. Killer agreed to the case for $ 500, tracked down the alleged rapist walking with his wife, and shot him twice in the head. The man died on the spot.
When, 23 years later, Martinez confessed to what he had done, he explained his actions simply: “He raped a 16-year-old girl.” In 2015, the wife of the murdered person acted as a witness at the killer’s trial and stated that from that day on, neither she nor her son were happy.
In 1979, in a small town in the Western Sierra Madre (Mexico) at a party at a local bar gathered about 50 people. At some point, a dispute ensued between the two, they took out their pistols and started firing. Four people died during the shooting.
Three years later a friend came to Martinez and stated that among the dead there was also a distant relative of the killer. A friend promised to acquaint him with a man who can track down the alleged perpetrators. The name of this person is unknown, but Martinez calls it “Mr. X”. Together with him and three more men, they shot several people, for which the killer received 25 thousand dollars and a pager. So he entered the game.
Where empathy meets cruelty
Martinez began working for Mr. X’s: knocking out debts for him, threatening the disagreeable, or helping with other matters. For example, carry cocaine. Once in Chicago, the killer was stopped by a policeman and threatened to check his car with the dogs. In response, the criminal smiled and offered to help with the search – after that the patrol calm down and released him. Martinez was lucky: the sniffer would easily smell about 10 kilos of cocaine in the back of the car.
Work on the cartel (namely, his member and was Mr. X) brought a huge income, but the killer’s daughter claims that he was never interested in money. He gave them to his neighbors to pay rent an apartment, gave gifts to the family or helped those who needed it, the girl says.
But if in the shootout with the participation of Martinez were injured innocent, he shrugged his shoulders: “They went to the wrong place and at the wrong time.” Sometimes the criminal still showed some form of his own empathy: when Martinez’s neighbor began regularly to park in the place of his mother, he shot him. At the same time the killer understood that the family of the deceased would need a car, so later he secretly drove the car back to the house.
Martinez says that he has partly learned the work of the killer through watching films – he likes the Rambo series. During the case, as the criminal says, first of all you need not be nervous and leave evidence.
Residents of the small town of Richgrave, where Martinez and his family lived for many years, speak positively about him. Someone described him as a devoted family man helping his mother, others praised his friendliness, but someone admitted that he heard rumors about his involvement in the murders.
Almost none of the residents are surprised that Martinez could not be caught: there are practically no police officers in the city and the district, although this place became a transit for drug dealers, and at night shooting is often heard here. Sheriffs of small California districts explain that their resources are strictly limited, and criminal activity was high up to Martinez.
He was not charged with murder even when he failed the lie detector. But experts explain that the courts of California do not take into account the results of the device, and all charges must be supported with clear evidence and evidence. There were no such things in the investigation on Martinez.
Catch the killer
In 2006, Martinez followed Javier Huerta, who stole 10 kilograms of cocaine from the cartel and disappeared, believing that he would not be found. To track the victim’s actions, the killer took several days: he waited, because almost always with HUerta was his little daughter, and she, Martinez believed, should not pay for his father’s mistakes.
When Huerta went alone to work alone, Martinez kidnapped him and forced him to give back about 200 thousand dollars, 150 of which were buried in the backyard. Then the killer shot the victim and his colleague, who witnessed the abduction.
When the police discovered the bodies of the dead in the forest, and then checked the biography of Huerta, I immediately realized that drugs were involved. Detectives searched the car of the murdered and found there a cigarette goby, which was immediately sent to a DNA test. For some reason, the results of the examination of the prints did not return to the sheriff’s office, although it was this bull-calf that Martinez forgot to take off the scene of the crime.
The police remembered this evidence six years ago. Once the investigators were sorting through folders with old files in the archive and noticed that the analysis of the bull in the car of Huerta had not been carried out to the end. The detectives decided to fix this.
At the same time, he met Jose Ruiz, the lover of his daughter, who was engaged in knocking out debts. To learn the man, Martinez, as it were, accidentally met with him and offered to help with the affairs, backing up the desire to work with the cartel. Ruiz did not refuse, moreover, he soon began to complain about his girlfriend and blame her for being stupid, not knowing who was standing in front of him. Insults family Martinez did not forgive.
By this time, the detectives have already confirmed that the prints on the steers in the car of Huerta belong precisely to Martinez. When, under a fictitious pretext, he took Ruiz out into the wasteland, shot and threw his body, he made another mistake. The corpse lay in a sufficiently secluded place to be found only after some time, but nearby there were hunters who heard the shot and found the body in an hour.
When the investigators began to sort out the options, who could have killed Ruiz, the trail led them to Martinez overnight. He did not deny it and confessed to the deed. And then in the murder of Huerta and even in a dozen crimes. It’s time to confess everything, the killer explained.
Life after the conclusion
The daughter and granddaughters of Martinez continue to visit him in prison in Florida, although the family still can not believe that he worked as an assassin. It seems that he has not changed for three years in prison: he is still interested in the life of his relatives, communicating by correspondence, and rejoices at every visit.
A young girl who was a child, when Martinez shot her father, is still recovering from what happened. She asked not to mention her name, for fear of the vengeance of the killer or his accomplices. After the death of her father, the girl and her family were on the verge of poverty, only recently their situation changed for the better.
Almost all the detectives who were engaged and are engaged in the Martinez case, give it their due: they have never met such a criminal. He is called a professional, but also complement that he was very lucky. Therefore, he could not be caught for so long, the police believe.
However, some residents of small towns in California, where Martinez lived and killed, offer another explanation: in their parts, life is cheap, and the people killed by the killer simply do not take into account. Drugs and “dirty” money pass through these cities, but sometimes there is not even a police station, and police do not seek to establish contact with local residents.
As BuzzFeed writes, Martinez’s criminal activity reveals the secret side of US law enforcement agencies: kill the “right” people – in his case, farmers and drug dealers, about whom no one will say good, and maybe no one can stop you.
Jose Martinez is serving several life sentences in Florida. The state police collect evidence for a new trial in the case of several more murders. The process will begin in 2019: according to the prosecutor, in the case of the guilty verdict Martinez can be sentenced to death.