Juana Barraza (December 17th, 1957 - ) is a Mexican convicted serial killer and former professional wrestler best known by the nicknames La Dama del Silencio ("The Lady of Silence") and La Mataviejitas ("The Old Lady Killer") She is currently serving a 759-year prison sentence for killing eleven elderly women.
Juana Barraza was born in Epazoyucan, Hidalgo, a rural area north of Mexico City. Barraza's mother, Justa Samperio, was an alcoholic who reportedly exchanged her for three beers to a man who repeatedly raped her in his care, and by whom she became pregnant with a son. She had four children in total, although her eldest son died from injuries sustained in a mugging.
In adulthood, Barraza began working as a professional wrestler, competing under the name, La Dama del Silencio, Spanish for "The Lady of Silence." An injury early in her career derailed her goal, but regarding her gimmick, Barraza competed as a heel, as her only known promo had her stating that she was "rudo to the core." In lucha libre wrestling, a rudo is the term for a heel (villain); a female heel (villainess) is known as a ruda.
However, having still harbored hatred towards her mother, Barraza turned heel during the late 1990s and became a serial killer who hunted down elderly women all over Mexico City. She gained access to her victims by using a government list of elderly women who lived alone, and she entered their homes posing as a social worker, only to kill them and rob them. The killings went on for several years, with Barraza earning the nickname Mataviejitas ("The Old Lady Killer"). When the serial killings went public, Mexican authorities suspected a male, and even after reports came out that the killer wore women's clothing, transvestites were suspected.
On January 25th, 2006, the evil Barraza entered the home of 82-year-old Ana Maria de los Reyes Alfaro, doing so under the pretense of needing a glass of water, after which she strangled her victim to death with a stethoscope before fleeing the scene. Alfaro's ledger spotted Barraza leaving the house, and his report led to the villainess finally being arrested and charged with her many murders, but she only admitted to killing Alfaro. By her own admission, Barraza's heel turn and killing spree was motivated by her hatred of her mother, as she associated her victims with her mother and believed that she did society a favor by killing them. The authorities and the press have given various estimates as to the total number of the killer's victims, with totals ranging from 24 to 49 deaths, and there was DNA evidence of Barraza's role in at least 11 murders. In March 2008, Barraza was sentenced to 759 years in prison, and she will be eligible for parole in 2058.
- "Machismo," a Season One episode of the series, Criminal Minds, is mainly based on Barraza.