He was accused of murdering more than 20 women and strangled to death during an interrogation: the life of the “Lima dismemberer”

He was known as the ‘Dismemberer of Lima’ for a series of murders between 1985 and 1986. VIDEO: TuTogO’s Room.

Angel Diaz Balbin was known as the “lime dismemberer”. He was accused of committing a series of murders in Lima between December 1985 and January 1986, although it was never verified whether he was the one who perpetrated those crimes, despite the fact that he had led a life of crimes, because the renowned psychologist Mario Pogiwho would go down to posterity, would end his life.

Before jumping to his particular fame, this subject was also known by the press of the time as “The Vampire of Breña”. His first homicides were committed in 1976: he murdered his own aunt, Genoveva Diaz, and their underage cousins. He had also been locked up in prison after being accused of having been involved in the death of a woman, an Italian national, named Nina Barzotti.

For these homicides, he was sentenced to several years in prison and was confined in the Lurigancho prison. However, she served a nine-year prison sentence and was released on probation for her good conduct.

Ángel Díaz Balbín had already served time for the murder of his aunt and her two children.  (Shields)
Ángel Díaz Balbín had already served time for the murder of his aunt and her two children. (Shields)

Angel Diaz Balbin He was released in 1985, the year several murders began, to which Lima reacted with horror. There was no evidence that he had been the perpetrator, but his fame as an unscrupulous murderer preceded him, something that was taken into account by police investigations.

In various districts of the capital city, such as Chorrillos, Miraflores, San Borja appeared black garbage bags containing parts of the bodies of various women who had been dismembered. The first victim was a prostitute who worked on Arequipa avenue.

Witnesses told officers that the woman was last seen alive when she was accompanied by a subject matching the description of Diaz Balbin.

In December 1985, Lima was shaken by the appearance of several dismembered bodies.  Ángel Díaz Balbín would be accused of being responsible.  (The Republic)
In December 1985, Lima was shaken by the appearance of several dismembered bodies. Ángel Díaz Balbín would be accused of being responsible. (The Republic)

A few days later, a witness saw a man leave some some garbage bags with a body inside on a lonely street in Surco: he was tall, with muscles and a dark complexion. For the police, there was no doubt that he was the same person, the murderer of his relatives, the “dismemberer of Lima”: Angel Diaz Balbin. But they did not have the hard evidence to accuse him.

The authorities also considered that the murderer was a butcher or had knowledge of medicine, since the cuts of the mutilated were very fine, made by the hands of an expert.

More than 20 bodies of women appeared in Lima. Something had to be done, the citizens demanded more security from the police.

According to some witnesses, Ángel Díaz Balbín looked very similar to the character who was seen leaving black bags with corpses inside at various points in Lima.  (Shields)
According to some witnesses, Ángel Díaz Balbín looked very similar to the character who was seen leaving black bags with corpses inside at various points in Lima. (Shields)

Faced with the collective hysteria unleashed in Lima, the authorities announced the main physical characteristics of the suspect. The strategy worked. The alert reached the hands of Alfonso Diaz Velaa colonel of the now-defunct Investigative Police of Peru (PIP), who worked as a psychologist at the National Penitentiary Institute (INPE).

This officer informed his superiors that one of his inmates who had been granted probation matched the description that the witnesses had offered with the main suspect in the twenty murders that plagued Lima. The Police had hit the spot. They already knew who the killer was.

On Thursday, February 6, 1986, Angel Diaz Balbin, 26 years old, was captured by the agents. The press dubbed him “the dismemberer of Lima.” The defendant revealed that he felt “paranoid” about the interrogation, which was carried out for hours.

One of the drawings that Ángel Díaz Balbín made during the sessions with the criminal psychologists.  (Shields)
One of the drawings that Ángel Díaz Balbín made during the sessions with the criminal psychologists. (Shields)

There were five criminal psychologists who spoke with Diaz Balbin. They all came to the same conclusion: he was a potential psychopath with a lack of feelings towards other human beings.

In the drawings that he was ordered to do, there was a detail: his people did not have arms and legs; and they didn’t wear red at all.

In the same way, it was discovered that his job, when he was not killing people, was a carpenter, explaining the supposed well-made cuts. Everything indicated that he was the murdererso he only needed a simple confession to apply the weight of the law.

However, at each interrogation Diaz Balbin It showed a completely opposite facet to the one that the researchers had created: obeyed every indication to the letter. He was polite, but no one managed to get him to confess to any of his crimes. So it was impossible to accuse him of anything.

The arrival of the Mario Poggi case was the beginning of the end of the life of Ángel Díaz Balbín (Caretas)
The arrival of the Mario Poggi case was the beginning of the end of the life of Ángel Díaz Balbín (Caretas)

Faced with the impotence of the specialists, the members of the PIP decided to go to another person. It is right there where someone thought of calling the doctor Mario Pogi. A specialist who had studied criminal psychology in the Peruvian National Police (PNP) and had worked as a professor at the School of Officials of the PIP. With those credentials, the officers were sure to confirm the defendant’s pathology.

More than a couple of sessions were not enough for poggi to come to these conclusions: docile and impassive.

Then the psychologist, evidently as or more disturbed than his victim, ended the life of Díaz Balbín and celebrated with the following sentence: “I’m a hero, I saved you from a monster,” he told the two policemen who were waiting for him outside the interrogation room, where he had strangled the suspect.

Although Lima society breathed a certain air of tranquility due to the death of the alleged “lime dismemberer”, the truth is that a short time later the appearances of the bodies in black bags continued. Until one day it stopped. There was no more. The police did not take pains to look for more culprits either.

Nothing was ever heard from anyone again. “lime dismemberer”. And yes Angel Diaz Balbin Wasn’t he the killer? This question will never have an answer.

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He was accused of murdering more than 20 women and strangled to death during an interrogation: the life of the “Lima dismemberer”