La Quintrala, A Chilean Drop Dead Gorgeous Beauty Killer

People don’t often think about women as serial killers, even less in aristocratic times. However, knowing it is a man’s world, only now do we discover women did more than first thought. How many women do YOU think got away with murder?

Only Men Can Be Serial Killers

When the general public hears the word ‘serial killer’ or a crime has been committed, more often than not, their minds will automatically go to seeing the criminal as a male. 

That is often because eighty-five percent of serial killers are male, and only fifteen percent are female. Also, women don’t seem to be in it for publicity. However, regardless of gender, one is always motivated by a reason to kill. Then again, when it comes to women, the kills are more personal compared to men. 

Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer

The Obscurity Of Female Killers

I am interested in serial killers, more precisely, the obscure ones, as people don’t talk or know about them. In that regard, I did some digging and came across a female from Chile in the sixteenth-hundreds. However, this one was never viewed as a killer because she managed to evade arrest and was never convicted.

Her nickname is La Quintrala, and she is now viewed as the epitome of a perverse and abusive woman in Chilean culture. She is as well regarded as the oppressor of Spanish rule.  

Above, Below, In-Between Aristocracy

Her real name was Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer, and people nicknamed her La Quintrala because of her flaming red locks. Catalina was a wealthy female and an aristocrat of the seventeenth century, and a Chilean landowner. 

People knew her for her cruel and abusive nature. Her cruelty showed especially towards those from a lower class than herself. She would refer to them as the scum of the earth, and those were her servants.

Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer

Being beautiful and wealthy worked for Catalina, and she took full advantage of it. Her first accusation of murder came when her father died in 1622 when she was only eighteen. 

The accusations against Catalina were of killing her father by poisoning his dinner, listed in history books as poultry. 

It was Catalina’s aunt who accused her of killing her father. She brought the charges to the authorities of the time. However, despite her aunt’s accusation, Catalina remained free due to a lack of evidence. Of course, her family’s influence also had her stay above the law.

Fatal Attraction Takes Quite A Meaning In This Story

In 1624, Catalina was married, but had an affair with a man she invited to her house in Santiago. She stabbed her lover repeatedly while in each other’s arms, but then accused one of her servants of committing the crime. Sadly, aristocracy being above peasants, the servant faced a prompt execution in the Plaza De Armas.

Another lover fell victim to Catalina’s taste for blood. Her lover was Enrique Enriquez de Guzman of the Order of Malta—a branch of the Knights Templar. Catalina beat the man almost to his death before ending his torment with a stabbing. 

Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer
Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer

However, Catalina had a reason to kill her knight in shining armour this time. She heard rumours about Enrique telling on their sexual relationship, calling her ‘loose.’ It was enough to ignite Catalina’s wrath by putting a literal end to their affair.

Catalina’s next lover was Martin de Ensenada, a Santiago knight posing as a double agent paid by her husband to spy on her. She might have bedded him, but not without cutting his ear off and killing him first. Nothing to report if there’s nobody to report.

An Heir To Many Land And Property To Bury Bodies

Catalina inherited many plots of land from her father, and now that her sister passed, she also inherited her lands. Catalina became an even more prestigious landowner and hired servants for her property. 

It is said that it was at El Ingenio that horrible things happened while Catalina’s husband lived and passed away in 1650. It turned into a land of nightmares and terror.

Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer - Belonging
Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer – Belonging

During 1660, the Royal Audience decided on the down-low to open an investigation against Catalina because of the numerous complaints. In January 1622, people accused Catalina of patricide and murder, as well as the slow torture and abuse of her servants. 

In total, Catalina was accused of forty murders, and the trial itself was a lengthy process. It became one of history’s most slow-drawn-out trials. Eventually, the trial was stalled and dismissed, and Catalina got off scot-free. This was due to her influence in the circles of the upper class. 

The Overly Overlooked Life Of Catalina

In January 1665, Catalina was alone, with her declining health growing fragile fast. Therefore, she donated money to various churches as a final testament and, most likely, for repentance. 

Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer - Will
Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer – Will

However, due to Catalina’s reputation and cruelty in life, many of her buildings remained vacant after her death. Despite public auctions of her belongings and assets, people walked away filled with superstition and fear of the evil La Quintrala.

If you want to do further research on La Quintrala or Catalina, in 1954, there was a movie released called La Quintrala directed by Hugo del Carri. It starred Ana Maria Lynch as Catalina. The movie is available to watch on Youtube.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.