When the cloth was removed, Teresita was in an apartment, and there was another little girl there. The beggar lady cut Teresita’s hair, told her she didn’t have any parents anymore, that she was to call her ‘step-mamma’, and changed her name to Felicidad. Teresita was very young, and had no idea what was going on, so did as she was told. She was also not allowed near windows or the balcony, and must stay inside all the time.
For the next few weeks the beggar lady would go out during the day and would leave Teresita in the house with the other little girl, whose name was Angelita. There were rooms they were not allowed to enter, but one day they decided they would anyway, and in that room they found a sack full of children’s clothing. The clothes were covered in blood. A big boning knife was also in the bag, covered in blood.
One day Teresita, without really thinking, went to the window and looked out. A lady from a neighbouring property, whose name was Claudia Elias, was looking back. She looked straight at Teresita. The beggar lady quickly came over to the window. The neighbour, asked the beggar lady who the little girl was, but the beggar lady did not answer. She closed the window and drew the blinds. She pinched Teresita whenever she was naughty.
A few weeks later, on 27 February, the girls were in the apartment on their own again when the beggar lady returned, and this time she had some policemen with her. The police asked her what her name was. She told them her real name, not the made up name the beggar lady had given her, and they took her home to her mother and father.
Enriqueta Marti i Ripolles
An excuse was found to raid her house (a dispute over chickens no less) and that is when the police found Teresita and Angelita.
It was Angelita who had the most shocking story to tell. She told of how there was once a five year old boy named Pepito who also lived there. One night Angelita saw Enriqueta kill him on the kitchen table.
Little is known of Enriqueta’s life before moving to Barcelona, Spain in the early 1900s. It was known she was very attractive, and that she worked in several upper-class houses as a serving girl. It didn’t take her long to realise that she could make more money from her looks than as a servant, so went into prostitution.
Her time as a prostitute also showed her the darker, seedier side of human nature. Acting on the demands of her clients, and her own, baser instincts, she rented out a nice apartment and opened her own brothel in 1909. This brothel though was not the normal variety… her brothel was for the paedophiles of Barcelona, and was filled with children aged from five to fifteen. This brothel was entirely for the richest and fully depraved men of Barcelona.
Enriqueta’s brothel was even raided once. A case was opened up, but it was all mysteriously swept under the rug. It is assumed that someone with power, who frequented the brothel, managed to hush up the case.
Prostituting minors is one thing, and something which can never be forgiven, but what she did to those children once their time was up was another thing entirely! You see, Enriqueta saw herself as a bit of a witch doctor! Whilst servicing the rich men of the area by providing young, innocent flesh for their pleasure, she would also provide potions and poultices to the wives of these men. Potions entirely made up of children’s remains.
The Vampire of Barcelona
She reached a point where by day she was a beggar lady, out on the prowl in search of children, and by night she would put on her best dress and go out to the elite society balls and gatherings, mingling with the upper class.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Enriqueta had several apartments in Barcelona, all designed for different uses. One in particular was used as her execution chamber, and was littered with remains, jars of body parts, others of hair and blood and fat…. In another apartment, located in the most luxurious of suburbs, was where she kept her brothel.
During a raid of all of her premises, the police located at least ten bodies, prepared perfectly for their cosmetic purposes. They also found ancient books made of parchment which had handwritten ‘recipes’ for her potions, dictated in elegant calligraphy. There were also coded letters and notes which caused a lot of controversy as they detailed a list of names of very important figures in Barcelona at the time. It is believed they were clients of Enriqueta.
For her crimes, Enriqueta was dubbed “the Vampire of Barcelona”. She was imprisoned while the investigators gathered more and more evidence against her. If found guilty, she would have faced execution by the garrotte.
One year and three months after being arrested, her fellow inmates attacked her and beat her to death. Although dead, this did not give the families of the victims any closure, as the full extent of her horror went to the grave with her. She was buried in an unmarked grave in Cementerio del Sudoeste.
Put together by Ashley Hall 2013