Sources: Two charged in double murder suspected in 10 other killings
By FRANK MAIN AND KIM JANSSEN Staff Reporters / firstname.lastname@example.org
Three suspects in a dozen Chicago slayings — including a weekend double murder on the North Side — worshipped a Mexican saint of death, a law enforcement source said Monday.
At least two of the suspects had Grim Reaper tattoos, the source added.
“These guys were into black magic and worship of death,” he said.
Augustin Toscano and Raul Segura-Rodriguez were charged Monday with murder and ordered held without bail. They allegedly bound the hands of three men with belts and cut their throats during a drug-related robbery Saturday night in the 5800 block of North Winthrop. Joel Diaz, 33, and another man died. A third man survived and alerted a neighbor who called 911, police said.
Minutes later, alleged getaway driver Arturo Ibarra was shot to death after a police chase. An officer was wounded in the leg during a gun battle.
The men also are suspected in 10 other murders — a quadruple murder in September, a triple murder in May and another triple slaying in April, sources said.
They worked as home remodelers but also were drug dealers who robbed and killed their customers, police said.
Ibarra and Rodriguez have Grim Reaper tattoos, and Ibarra put Grim Reaper stickers on his cars, a source said. The suspects had shrines in their homes to Santa Muerte, a sacred folk figure in Mexico considered devil worship by the Catholic church.
A police surveillance team was watching the suspects before Saturday’s killings. The officers saw the men enter a CVS store and buy duct tape and Swiffer sweeper cloths, which they used to make phony drug packets for the ripoff, prosecutors said.
Police recovered two handguns, a bloody knife with a 61/2-inch blade, six bundles of stolen cash and three duct-taped packages containing Swiffer cloths, prosecutors said.
Police believe the suspects were involved in three other multiple slayings, including:
† A quadruple murder in September. The victims were found bound and shot in the head in a garage in the 6100 block of South Kildare.
† A triple murder in April. Three men were found bound and beaten in a car in the 2300 block of West 36th. “I don’t understand how someone can kill another person,” said Magnolia Davis, whose grandson Crawford Davis, 23, was one of those victims.
† A triple murder in May. Hector “Smurf” Romero and two other men were found bound and fatally shot in a Toyota Avalon in the 4800 block of South Whipple in what police called a drug-related execution. Romero, a felon with drug and weapon convictions, briefly worked to stop gang shootings as an “interrupter” for the anti-violence group CeaseFire.
The alleged killers were “demons and lived like demons,” said Romero’s aunt, Mildred Romero, noting that the family celebrated what would have been his 29th birthday with cake and balloons on Feb. 19 and prayed for a breakthrough in the case to “come to peace.”
Toscano, 29, and Segura-Rodriguez, 36, haven’t been charged in the quadruple murder or the two triple slayings.
Ibarra’s criminal record had included an 84-month federal prison sentence for possession of nearly 2 kilograms of cocaine in 2002.