Francisco del Junco


Francisco del Junco

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Set on fire the corpses
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: 1995 - 1996
Date of arrest: June 3, 1996
Date of birth: 1958
Victims profile: Vida Hicks, 43, Diane Helms, 44, Cheryl Lee Ray, 37, and Janice Cox, 37 (crack addicts)
Method of murder: Beating
Location: Miami, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison, 2002

On 3 June 1996, Francisco, a dishwasher in Dan Marino's American Sports Bar and Grill in the tony Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, confessed to killing and setting on fire four black crack addicts.

Police were led to Del Junco by a street woman who was beat on the head by him nine months before. The woman flagged down a patrol car when she spotted him again. Once authorities had Del Junco in custody they just talked to him -- about his childhood in Cuba, his likes and dislikes. The conversation spanned over a weekend and took interrogators and the suspected serial killer to picturesque Key Biscayne. There, looking across the aquamarine of Biscayne Bay, the 38-year-old Del Junco-- a loner who was well-liked at work but kept his distance from the few family members he had in Miami-- confessed to killing and torching four women. Police then took him to the scene of each murder, where he acted out the details of each killing.

Del Junco was charged with the slayings of Vida Hicks, 43, Diane Helms, 44, Cheryl Lee Ray, 37, and Janice Cox, 37. The victims were killed between August 1995 and March 1996 and were found beaten, burned and partially clothed in or near Miami's inner city. They were all black, but Del Junco said his killing spree was not racially motivated.

More than 500 people were interviewed in the investigation and much time was spent trying to track down a suspect known only as "Dread" (because his dreadlocked hairstyle) before arresting Del Junco, a Cuban refugee who came to Miami in the 1980 Mariel boat lift. Although authorities think they have their man, they are still looking for "Dread" who might have witnessed one of the slayings.


MO: Cuban immigrant; killed and set a fire female addicts, age 37-44.