Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.










A.K.A.: "El Mataviejas" (The Old Lady Killer)
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 16
Date of murders: August 1987 - April 1988
Date of arrest: May 19, 1988
Date of birth: December 3, 1957
Victims profile: Women ranging in age from 61 to 93 years old
Method of murder: Suffocation
Location: Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Status: Sentenced to 440 years in prison in 1992. Stabbed to death by two fellow prisoners on October 25, 2002

photo gallery


José Antonio Rodríguez Vega (3 December 1957 – 24 October 2002), nicknamed El Mataviejas (The Old Lady Killer), was a Spanish serial killer who raped and killed at least 16 elderly women, ranging in age from 61 to 93 years old, in and around Santander, Cantabria, between August 1987 and April 1988.


Rodríguez Vega was born in Santander, Cantabria, Spain. Rodríguez Vega hated his mother because she had thrown him out of the house when Rodríguez Vega beat his father, who was terminally ill. In 'revenge' against his mother, Rodríguez Vega started his criminal career raping many women until 17 October 1978 when he was arrested and sentenced to a term of 27 years in prison. However, his behavior while in prison, and his ability to charm his victims into forgiving him led to a reduction in his sentence to 8 years.

Released in 1986, Rodríguez Vega's wife left him. He did not take the break up well, but eventually remarried, this time to a mentally disabled woman, who he tortured and humiliated, all the while keeping up the pretense of having an excellent marriage. He was considered to be a good person, a hardworking man and good husband to those around him.

On 19 May 1988, Rodríguez Vega was arrested while walking on the street Cobo de la Torre in Santander, where he was sharing an apartment with María de las Nieves V.P (23 years old). After being arrested, he confessed to the murders.


On 6 August 1987, Rodríguez Vega entered the home of Margarita González (82 years old), raped and suffocated her. He forced the woman to swallow her own false teeth. A few weeks later, on 30 September 1987, Carmen González Fernández (80 years old), was found dead in her home. Rodríguez Vega was accused of this murder. Soon after, in October, Rodríguez Vega killed Natividad Robledo Espinosa (66 years old), beating, raping and suffocating her.

Rodríguez Vega did not kill again until 21 January 1988, when Carmen Martínez González was found dead in her home. On 18 April 1988 he killed Julia Paz Fernández (66 years old), who was also raped and suffocated. She was found naked.

The other victims' identities were not released.

Trial and sentence

His trial began in November 1991 in Santander. At the time of his arrest, he had confessed to the murders but on trial he denied all charges against him and said that the women had died by natural causes.

Rodríguez Vega was diagnosed as a psychopath who was a fastidiously neat individual. His killing was well organized in that he would first identify a victim, then observe her until he was familiar with every aspect of her routine. He would then make contact with the victim, try to gain her trust, using his charm and looks, until he gained access to her home, often under the guise of doing work to or around her home. He was described as a cold-hearted and calculating serial killer who took mementos from each of his kills.

When he was arrested, police found a red room where he displayed his mementos, which ranged from a television to a bouquet of plastic flowers. Because of the age of his victims, some of their deaths were attributed to natural causes. The extent of his killing spree was not realized until police released a videotape of his home, showing his mementos. Families of the victims identified objects that linked Rodríguez Vega to their dead relatives.

José Antonio Rodriguez Vega was sentenced to 440 years in prison.

His death

On 24 October 2002, Rodríguez Vega was walking in the prison common grounds when two inmates attacked and brutally stabbed him, inflicting fatal wounds. Rodriguez Vega was buried the next day in a poor coffin. The burial was attended by only two gravediggers.


Jose Antonio Rodriguez Vega (16+)

Spains's most prolific killer, Jose Antonio killed at least 16 old widows in and around Santander, a coastal city in Northern Spain. A bricklayer by trade, Vera conned his way into the houses of old ladies under the pretext of doing a job for them. Once inside the killer would be "overcome by excitement" and would jump his geriatric victims.

Usually Vega would strangle them, take off their panties, fondle their genitalia, and/or rape them post mortem using brooms and other objects. Though each attack was sexually driven, no semen was found in the victims because the killer was impotent.

A fastidiously neat individual , Jose Antonio hardly left a trace of his crimes at the scene. Authorities had not even classified his first three victims as homicides until he was arrested. Jose Antonio left each of the dead ladies cozily tucked in their beds convincing many that the poor women died of old age. His crime spree started in 1986 --after serving part of a 27-year sentence for rape -- and ended with his arrest in 1988.

A cold-hearted and calculating serial killer, Vega enjoyed taking home "trophies" from each of his kills. In his burgundy draped, one-room apartment which he shared with a woman, he created a lavish altar dedicated to his fetishistic collection of mementos from each of his crimes. The extent of his killing spree was discovered when authorities broadcasted a video of Vega's home showing his collection of fetishes. Many viewers recognized several objects linking Vega to their dead relatives.

During his trial in 1991, he enjoyed the constant harassment from the public who wanted to lynch him for his crimes. Always impeccably dressed, Vega received a sentence of 440 years, which in real time in the Spanish judicial system translates to no more than 20 years. By 2008, when the accused killer turns 51, he will be free again and, most probably, will continue killing.

On October 25, 2002, the granny killer was stabbed to death by two fellow prisoners in the courtyard of Topas jail in western Salamanca province. By law, Vega, who was 44 at the time of his death, could only serve a maximum of 30 years in jail. The granny killer was due to be released in 2008.



home last updates contact