On the paths of a mass murderer in Restoration Spain


In ‘The Crime of Malladas’, the writer Luis Roso delves into the archives and hypotheses of the massacre of five people, including two twelve-year-old girls, which took place in Cáceres in 1915

One night of a religious festival, two women, a man and two twelve-year-old girls were slaughtered with axes, leaving another four-year-old boy with serious injuries while hunting on the farm of a textile businessman who had purchased his title of nobility. It happened in Cáceres in 1915 and what happened after a migrant sharecropper found the bodies is told with narrative dexterity, with deep investigation and some speculation, in ‘The crime of Malladas. Through your dead mouth’ (Alrevés), by the writer Luis Roso.

The brutality of what happened shocked a country of massive social inequality, economic backwardness and political turmoil. A nation of illiterate day laborers, ruthless foremen, feudal oligarchs, inept and corrupt law enforcement officers, and lawsuits that attempt to unravel truths amid false evidence, such as the claim that a dying woman with a shattered skull recognized her attackers just days after the attack. event, supposedly regaining consciousness with an injection of serum. Faced with these excesses, the defense lawyer, Manuel Telo, even tried to resort to Miguel de Unamuno, to intercede for the prisoners.

With dexterity, Roso, author of black novels such as ‘Aguacero’ or ‘Todos los demonios’, builds a story in which he crosses not only the available data, but also other cases with similar processes, such as the ‘Cuenca crime’, in the that a confession was obtained under torture about the death of a man who had moved alone without telling his family. With this, or the case of a regional deputy sheriff who shot dead a rival and still gambled on his acquittal, the author frames an unsolved crime where only the presence of two vigilantes was verified in the immediate vicinity of the scene at the time of the events.

With emerging actors in the Restoration era, such as the Freemasons, the Royal Family, the Church, politicians, turn-of-the-century feminists, and other killers, the story of an injustice against five workers, who were sentenced to life imprisonment, is regenerated. imprisonment.

Born in the town where the massacre took place, Roso proves the destruction of documents related to the investigation and shows how the prosecutors – the authorities, the famous private lawyer Emilio Herreros and the Count of Malladas – came to a conclusion that was believed popularized by a jury, so the case was wrongly closed.

Source: La Verdad


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