Born: December 27, 1958
Number of victims: 11+
Date of murders: 2002 - 2006
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
One of Mexico's most prolific serial killers, Juana Barraza was a female wrestler with a deadly sideline in murder. Active between 2002 and 2006, Barraza claimed at least 11 elderly female victims, strangling them to death in their apartments after gaining entry by posing as a social worker. She would then steal cash and valuables before fleeing.
With all of Mexico City in a panic, the police refused to believe reports of a broad-shouldered woman seen near many of the crime scenes. Instead they insisted that the killer was a transvestite. And while they continued to harass the city’s transvestite population, the killings went on unabated.
The break in the case came in 2006, when Barraza was spotted leaving the house of a woman who was later found strangled with a stethoscope. When Barraza was arrested near the scene, she was found to be in possession of social benefits papers and a social worker's identification card, which she had used to gain entry to her victims' homes.
Found guilty of 11 counts of murder, Barraza was sentenced to 50 years in prison, the maximum allowed under Mexican law. Police believe she may have been responsible for as many as 40 deaths.