Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Unholy Homicide, Part 2

Sister Sinner

Map of Colombia with Bogota locator
Map of Colombia with Bogota locator

On November 15, 1999, Colombian homicide detectives were dispatched to investigate the discovery of human remains found covered in plastic and cardboard boxes along the main eastern thoroughfare from Bogota.  The victim, later identified as female, had been shot repeatedly in the head, her legs were severed and her torso was badly burned.  Due to the severity of the victim's injuries, she was not readily identifiable and investigators had few clues to follow. 

It took investigators nearly five months to identify the victim as that of 30-year-old Sister Luz Amparo Granada, a nun from a convent in the Candelaria, Bogota's historic center.  As the investigation progressed, detectives learned Sister Luz Amparo was well liked within the community and that she often frequented the notorious El Cartucho slums, where she would work with drug addicts and prostitutes.  According to fellow members of her convent, Sister Luz Amparo disappeared on November 13, 1999, just two days prior to the discovery of her body.

When asked why someone might want to murder the good-hearted nun, some members of her order pointed to 47-year-old Sister Leticia Lopez, who occupied the room next door to Sister Luz Amparo's. 

According to later reports by The Daily Telegraph, Lopez had frowned on the victim's friendships with unrepentant sex workers and drug addicts.  Fellow nuns also recalled that she was adamant about washing Sister Luz Amparo's bedding following her disappearance.  One of the nuns said the sheets were soiled and blood stained, but when she questioned Lopez about it, she insisted it was nothing more then menstrual blood. 

When investigators questioned Lopez about Sister Luz Amparo's murder, she vehemently denied any knowledge or involvement in the slaying.  Nonetheless, they decided to search her room for evidence, whereupon they discovered pieces of cardboard identical to those found on the victim's remains.  Investigators also noticed Lopez's room was spotless and appeared to have been repainted in recent months.  When advised of this latest information, the public prosecutor felt there was enough evidence to hold Sister Leticia Lopez, so she was arrested and placed in jail while investigators searched for more evidence.


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