June 16, 2013
He describes himself as a “debt collector” for the Mexican drug cartels, admittedly killed more than 30 people in the United States, according to investigators.
If Jose Martinez, 51, is found guilty of dozens of homicides on both coasts, would earn a place among the most lethal serial murderers in American history.
Investigators have confirmed that Martinez is responsible for a double homicide in Marion County, Florida, March homicide in Lawrence County, Alabama, and at least 10 murders in California 2006, according to officials sheriff’s office.
Martinez, a U.S. citizen, told investigators that he had committed the murders and more than a dozen others as an enforcer for several Mexican drug lords, according to Lawrence County Sheriff Captain Tim McWhorter.
McWhorter said, “He had a reputation in the drug world as the guy who will get the job done. If he was assigned to receive money, he was receiving the money. If he was assigned to kill, the kill was done”.
A trail of blood Startling admissions from the alleged killer to officials in Alabama, where investigators from all involved States converged in early June to interview the suspect, nearly four months after the Florida detectives found key evidence linking Martinez to a unsolved case of 7-year-old, according to Marion County, Florida, Det. TJ Watts.
Authorities probing the November 8, 2006 murder of two Hispanic men, in February determined that DNA from a cigarette butt discovered in a Nissan truck, where riddled bodies were found of Javier Huerta, 20, and Gustavo Rivas, 28, matched Martinez said Watts. Authorities issued an arrest warrant against him.
The following month, authorities in Alabama investigating the murder of Jose Ruiz, 32, March without revealing evidence uncovered, said that it was left by Martinez at the crime scene during his visit to that state, a state where his daughter resides, according to Captain McWhorter.
The authorities had previously suspected the boyfriend of the daughter of Martinez, Jaime Romero, but “incriminating information from anonymous sources” provided to investigators suggest Martinez pulled the trigger, McWhorter said.
By chance, Martinez was arrested by agents of the U.S. Border Patrol in early June near Yuma, Arizona, after trying to cross the border from Mexico without proper identification. Officials quickly matched criminal fingerprint data to Martinez and ordered his extradition to Alabama, where he now faces charges of murder, according to McWhorter.
At first, Martinez denied having participated in the murder of Ruiz, but eventually confessed to that killing after only an hour of questioning.
By then, McWhorter said, “the floodgates opened and began to confess multiple murders in Florida and California.”
Martinez paused, looked at him, and thanked him for being respectful, before declaring: “I’m going to tell you the truth.”
Martinez confessed to the Ruiz killing. But he was not done. He went on to confess to killing 30 men, McWhorter said. Of those, detectives so far have been able to identify 13 cases to be followed up.
In Lawrence County, investigators believe Martinez killed Ruiz out of anger after Ruiz insulted an acquaintance’s girlfriend, and Martinez’s daughter.
Martinez told investigators he worked on a contracts for a Mexican drug lord and other unidentified customers. He said many of the murders of which he confessed – including the 2006 double murder – resulted from disputes over trafficking and sales of illicit drugs.
“He is considered a bail bondsman for the cartels,” said Watts. “It’s a way you feed your family. He shows no remorse. He is cold-hearted and grim. “
The sicario describes says he began killing people at age 16, although it is unclear whether the alleged murders in that age were conducted at the request of Mexican drug cartels.
Martinez McWhorter claims that in addition to drug related hits, he killed people “involved in pedophilia or sexual abuse” as part of a personal vendetta work unrelated to Mexican cartels.
The authorities have not confirmed that none of the victims were sex offenders Martinez said McWhorter.
However, McWhorter said investigators have found that Martinez is “very specific about the details of unsolved cases.”
“He knows details that no one else knows, except the murderer. Proof is in the details, “said McWhorter.
Martinez is currently being held in the Lawrence County Jail Alabama. He is expected to plead guilty to the murder charge in that county. It is unclear when he will face charges in the Marion County, Florida
Researchers in Tulare, Calif., are investigating five unsolved homicides in which Martinez may have been the author, according to the Tulare County Sgt. Chris Douglass.
The other five murders in California may have occurred in other jurisdictions in the state, said McWhorter
Sources to write this post: Drug Central-NBC Florida