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Pablo Lucio VASQUEZ





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Drunk the boy's blood - Dismemberment
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: April 19, 1998
Date of birth: August 11, 1977
Victim profile: David Cardenas (male, 12)
Method of murder: Slit the boy's throat with a knife
Location: Hidalgo County, Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to death March 30, 1999

Name:  Vasquez, Pablo Lucio

TDCJ Number  999297
Date of Birth 
Date Received 
(when Received) - 21
Education Level (Highest Grade Completed) - 8
Date of Offense:  04/18/1998
Age (at the time of Offense) - 20
County Hidalgo
Race Hispanic
Gender Male
Hair Color Black
Height 5' 6"
Weight 174
Eye Color Brown
Native County Dawson
Native State Texas
Prior Prison Record: None

Summary of incident

On 04/18/98, during the nighttime, in Donna, Texas, the subject and co-defendant, Andy Chapa, murdered a 12-year old Hispanic male. Vasquez struck the victim in the head with a piece of pipe and a shovel. The victim's body was buried behind a residence located on Stites Road and FM 493. Vasquez took a ring and a necklace from the victim. Vasquez and the co-defendant had met the victim at a local party.


Chapa, Andy

Race and Gender of Victim

Hispanic male

Texas Department of Criminal Justice


Death penalty given in boy's death

Saturday, February 13, 1999

EDINBURG (AP) - Jurors on Friday sentenced to death a South Texas man who admitted killing a boy and drinking his blood.

Jurors deliberated for six hours Thursday and Friday before deciding that 21-year-old Pablo Lucio Vasquez should receive the death penalty for killing David Cardenas.

Vasquez was expressionless as he stood and listened to the verdict, impassive as he had been through weeks of graphic testimony and evidence.

"He deserves to die for killing my 12-year-old son," said Oralia Palacios, the mother of victim David Cardenas. "He acted like a coward. Why couldn't he find someone his own size?"

Several of Cardenas' family members, who were advised not to react audibly, were in the courtroom when the verdict was read. Cardenas' older sister, Hilda Cantu, the last relative to see Cardenas alive, clasped her hands throughout the reading of the verdict and began weeping silently when she heard Vasquez sentenced to death.

"It's a big relief," Ms. Cantu said. "It's a big weight lifted off our shoulders."

Vasquez' mother, Maria Vasquez, said her son is sorry for what he did.

"I would like to extend an apology to the (Cardenas) family," Ms. Vasquez said. "(Vasquez) was a good son. He was loved by his family and friends. I can't believe something like this would happen."

Cardenas was one of only two homicide victims in 1998 in the border town of Donna. His body was found under aluminum slabs in a vacant field on April 22. The boy had been scalped, both his arms and a foot were cut off and some of his teeth were missing.

He was killed on the night of April 17-18. Cardenas had been living with his sister Sandra Ramirez in the nearby town of Alamo and was supposed to spend the weekend at his aunt's house in Donna.

On April 17, Ms. Cantu dropped the boy off at a store with the understanding he was to meet a friend there. Cardenas ended up attending a party with Vasquez and Vasquez' 15-yearold cousin Andy Chapa.

After the party, Vasquez killed Cardenas. He struck the boy with a metal pipe, slashed his neck and drank the boy's blood, Vasquez confessed to police. Vasquez and Chapa then dragged the boy to the field and attempted to bury him, Vasquez said.

Vasquez said at one point he tried to remove the boy's head with a shovel and also took the boy's jewelry. He said the "devil" and other voices urged him on during the crime.

Robbery became the prosecution's official motive, although police speculate that the killing was linked to an occult ritual.

Ms. Ramirez did not report her brother missing until April 20 because she thought he had been with relatives the entire weekend.

The boy's death is something Donna residents can't shake.

"I've seen so many murders and gone to suicides where they practically blow their heads off but I think this case of this 12year-old boy, you just can't forget this," said Donna Police Chief Miguel Carreon. "It could have been anybody's little child. It could have been mine."

Carreon said Cardenas, Vasquez and Chapa had similar family backgrounds. Carreon believes more parental involvement in the three young men's lives could have prevented the series of events that resulted in Cardenas' death.

"Society should understand that if we don't pay attention to the way we're bringing kids up something's going to happen to them," Carreon said. "It was a wake-up call for Donna."

Since the killing, citizens have become more involved in reporting crimes, particularly gang-related crime, Carreon said. An armory was donated to the local Boys and Girls Club and Carreon regularly lectures schoolchildren about taking pride in themselves and their town.

Chapa still faces a capital murder charge. If convicted, the maximum penalty he faces will be a life prison sentence because he was a juvenile at the time of the killing. Six others are accused of helping to cover up the crime.


Confession tells of drinking victim's blood

Wednesday, January 27, 1999

EDINBURG (AP) - A South Texas man said the devil told him to kill a teen-ager and he later drank the boy's blood, according to a videotaped confession played for jurors Tuesday.

Pablo Lucio Vasquez is accused of killing and mutilating David Cardenas. The 12-year-old was partying with Vasquez and others on the night of April 17-18 when he was killed.

His body was found five days later, scalped and dismembered under some aluminum slabs in a vacant field in Donna.

"One side of my head said, `You did wrong,' " Vasquez said on the tape, which was recorded on April 23, the day after he was arrested. "The other side said, `Keep doing it. Keep doing it."'

In the tape, Vasquez said he and Andy Chapa, also accused of Cardenas' murder, were both drunk that night. Vasquez told investigators he had also had cocaine and marijuana then.

After hitting Cardenas with a metal pipe, Vasquez recalled, he slit the boy's throat with a knife. Vasquez said he then hoisted the boy on his shoulder and drank the blood that was flowing freely from Cardenas' wound.frsChaparca

"My face was covered with his blood," Vasquez said. "He was saying something. He was mumbling or something."

Vasquez told police he tried to remove the boy's head with a shovel, but denied mutilating the body. The defendant said he was sorry he killed Cardenas and that he thought of suicide after the murder.

"I wanted to kill myself, too," Vasquez said on the tape.

Robbery is the official motive in the killing since the boy's jewelry was taken. Vasquez admitted on tape to taking the boy's ring and chain.

The timing of the killing and the way the boy was killed led Donna police to speculate on a link to the occult, however.

Seven others are accused in the crime. Chapa, 15, is charged with capital murder and will stand trial as an adult. Six others, including two teen-age girls, are accused of helping to cover up the killing.



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