He fell in love with a priest and killed his own children: the story of Claudia Mijangos and the crime that shook Querétaro

Claudia Mijangos (Art Photo: Steve Allen)
Claudia Mijangos (Art Photo: Steve Allen)

On April 24, 2019, the sentence that a judge handed down to Claudia Mijangos for having murdered her three children ended.

Three decades ago a quiet city in the center of the country was shocked to learn of the case of Mijangos, which they named “The Hyena of Querétaro ”. She stabbed to death her children: two girls aged 11 and 9, and a boy aged 6.

The filicide occurred at dawn inside a house in a middle-class neighborhood in the city of Querétaro. The experts indicated that the attack against the minors lasted at least 3 hours.

Upon completion of the sentence, Claudia Mijangos regains her right to freedom. However, due to the opinion that was made on the case, she will not be able to leave the psychiatric hospital, where she spent more than half of her sentence, if there is no one who comes to sign a document where she is responsible for her, and what she can do.

“La Hiena de Querétaro” was a religious and exemplary housewife who in a psychotic outburst changed her life and that of an entire city.

This was said by the president of the Superior Court of Justice of Querétaro, José Antonio Ortega Cerbón, “30 years were determined and on April 24 his sentence ends, the imposed measure of internment in a psychiatric hospital was fulfilled.”

“What you follow is that first an analysis has to be done, regarding her mental health and what continues is that it could be handed over to a relative who takes responsibility for her, or according to the analysis if she deserves to continue being in internment, he will remain in detention but no longer as a measure imposed by the sentence, but as a preventive measure in health matters, ”explained Ortega Cerbón.

He also said that until today, no one has approached the court to carry out proceedings in the case of Mijangos.

(Photo: special)
(Photo: special)

“The Hyena of Querétaro”

On Sunday, April 24, 1989, a tragic event shocked Querétaro. Its inhabitants would learn from the media of the bloody murder of 3 minors at the hands of their mother.

Hours before, on the night of the 23rd, Claudia Mijangos had called her friend Verónica Vázquez to tell her that she heard and saw things: angels and demons who had warned her that Mazatlán had “fallen” and that “all of Querétaro was a spirit”.

Vázquez told him to calm down, that everything was fine and that the next morning he would go to visit her.

When I arrive at approximately 8 in the morning, to the house marked with 408 on Hacienda Vegil street, in the Jardines de la Hacienda neighborhood, he saw a dantesque scene.

Photo: special
Photo: special

The bloody walls warned him that something was very wrong, he walked through the house and found Alfredito’s body 6 years old. Mijangos’ youngest son was left in the middle of the stairs with a pool of blood around him.

There were handprints on the walls and pools of blood on the floor. Upon seeing the horrible scene, Vilchis called the police and the children’s father, Alfredo Castaños.

The day before, Castaños had taken his 3 children to a school kermesis, at the end of the event he had returned them to the house where they lived with their mother and he retired. For months Claudia and Alfredo were in a divorce process, so they no longer shared a house.

Photo: Diario de Querétaro
Photo: Diario de Querétaro

The experts found two more bodies in the house, that of Claudia, the 11-year-old daughter, and that of María Belén, 9.

María Belén was found in her room stabbed on numerous occasions, next to, her mother was asleep with blood on her clothes and with a knife next to her.

Upon arrival, the police woke her up and sent her to the hospital due to a state of shock that she presented. In the hospital, after hours when he woke up, ministerial agents began to ask him what had happened. She only said that she had to go to school for her children, to let her go.

Meanwhile, the authorities detained Alfredo Castaños, believing him initially responsible for the events. He stated what he knew. He had taken them the day before in the evening after the kermés to the house of his mother, Claudia Mijangos.

When he left them he argued with her once more, it was a habitual thing for a long time, he told her to come back, that they could fix things but she once again rejected him. That was all he knew of those hours when the terrible multi-homicide happened.

Castaños knew more, but did not relate it. I knew that one of the reasons they were getting divorced was because Claudia had fallen in love with another man.

Claudia, who studied administration and was a beauty queen in her native Sinaloa, had moved with Alfredo a few years ago to Querétaro. He set up an exclusive women’s clothing store in the city center with the onerous inheritance he had received due to the death of his parents, and put his children to a Catholic school, the Colegio Fray Luis de León where to date they teach the parent classes of the order of the Augustinian Recollects.

Photo: special
Photo: special

Everything was perfect. With a beautiful family, financial stability and her children growing up It seemed that life was smiling at her, that is why she wanted to return to the community, something of the good that she had.

Mijangos went to his children’s school and offered to teach ethics and catechism classes to the students, there he met Father Ramón.

Father Ramón was a “great guy”, that’s how they defined him, in addition to being young and friendly, he was very handsome. With her blue eyes and her 1.90 m tall she fell in love.

Claudia became more and more distant from her husband and it was common to find her at school, in catechism classes. Father Ramón was not indifferent either and they began a romance. Or at least that is what reports suggest, because the school never said anything about it, but neither did it deny it, only the archdiocese of Querétaro processed the change of Father Ramón after the murders.

(Photo: special)
(Photo: special)

The school director, Father Rigoberto, knew so much about this forbidden relationship that he discussed the matter with Father Ramón himself and with Claudia’s husband. Father Rigoberto recommended to Alfredo that he be the one who will have custody of the children, not their mother.

Apparently after these warnings or talks that Father Ramón had with the school principal, he no longer wanted to continue the idyll he had with Mijangos. The betrayal of vows he had made when he was ordained a priest also weighed too heavily on him.

Due to all this complication, Father Ramón decided to end the relationship. Claudia did not take it well at all. I was looking for him, I followed him, Father Rigoberto would say years later.

Claudia then began to speak of hearing voices, that they were angels telling him they had to be together. She never gave up hope of being with Father Ramón.

According to experts, this event was so strong for her that it triggered the mental health problems that she had been dragging on. Her friend Adriana says that she was always affectionate with her children, that she was very kind to people, but a few months before she showed strange attitudes, but never violent.

However, the couples therapist Claudia and Alfredo had been going to, in a desperate attempt by him to regain their marriage, he said that he had noticed violent behavior in Mijangos, but He never thought they would climb so high, as it was during therapy that the two argued and raised their voices.

Photo: Diario de Querétaro
Photo: Diario de Querétaro

The therapist recommended that they divorce because of how damaged their relationship was already. The greatest episode of violence that had occurred until then, by Claudia, was the time that, at midnight, she took Alfredo out to the patio of the house and left him there in his underwear for hours.

Claudia Mijangos then desperately sought the annulment of her marriage, but there were not enough arguments and this frustrated her. She was still very much in love with Father Ramón and did not understand why they could not be together.

On April 23 when Alfredo returned his children to the house, he and Claudia had a very strong argument. He told her that he knew about the affair he had with the father and reproached him for it, even so, he wanted to return with her.

She did not deny the affair, instead, she defended the love she had for Father Ramón. The screams were heard by the neighbors but did not intervene. Alfredo withdrew.

(Photo: special)
(Photo: special)

The next morning, inside the house there was a scene that looked like something out of a horror movie. The living room floor and the stairs leading upstairs were stained with blood, as was the hallway between the master bedroom, little Alfredo’s bedroom, the girls’ bedroom, and the bathroom.

The researchers claim that at least it hasThere were 10 liters of blood distributed around the house. The bedroom door was ajar and the picture that was presented to the eyes was terrifying.

In the corner of the bedroom, on an armchair: two kitchen knives, one 40 centimeters and the other 33 centimeters, both with clean brown wood scales. A third 31-centimeter knife was found in the bedroom of sisters Claudia María and Ana Belén, fallen on the carpet and covered in blood.

(Photo: special)
(Photo: special)

In the early morning of April 24, The voices inside the head of the former beauty queen did not stop talking to her, they told her that her children were demons that prevented her from being with Father Ramón. I will kill them.

Mijangos was questioned and did not remember what happened, she seemed to be unaware of the final fate of her children. According to the interrogation, she was delirious saying that her children were sleeping and she had to prepare breakfast, then the anguish of having to go to school for them changed.

After the investigations, the psychological problems that she presented were appreciated, so it was determined, after some studies, that At the time of the tragedy, Claudia Mijangos was in the middle of a psychotic episode.

(Photo: special)
(Photo: special)

Mijangos faced his trial in the Querétaro prison and finally on September 19, 1991 She was detained in the psychiatric annex of the Tepepan Women’s Social Readaptation Center, south of Mexico City.

The house of the “Hiena de Querétaro”, where the tragic murders occurred, for years it was the scene of satanic rituals until the house was completely bricked up.

The judge imposed the highest sentence that can be handed down in this type of case, 30 years.

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