The scene of the crime

We walk along staring at the ground, thinking about our own affairs, cross the paths of other passers-by, greet the neighbour or are outraged by people who don’t bother to pick up the excrement left behind by their dog. And yet we are unable to even imagine that the bakery on the corner, which we pass every day, was the scene of a horrific murder decades ago. Or that a body was hidden for months in the building that now houses one of the most fashionable bars in the city. Real cases of crimes that once kept all Palma on tenterhooks.

The last execution on the island. According to the book Crímenes y criminales en la isla de la calma, (lit. “Crimes and criminals on the island of calm”), by Jeroni F. Fullana, Pedro Tudurí was the last person to be executed by garrotting in Palma, on 20th February 1951. Tudurí was condemned to death for the cold-blooded murder, six years earlier, of the couple to whom he rented a shop in Calle Ermitaño, in which they ran a drinks business known as ‘Peninsular’. This commercial relationship was what raised the suspicions of those investigating the disappearance of Marcial Giménez and Valentina Armijo, who were believed to be spending some time outside of Mallorca - a rumour spread by the murderer himself. Tudurí arranged to meet Marcial in the dry cleaner’s in Pasaje Hort de Moranta, where he worked, and struck him with an iron bar, killing him instantly. Subsequently he decided that he must also murder Valentina, who knew the exact whereabouts of Marcial and could ruin his alibi. He got rid of the bodies by burning them in a boiler so as to not leave any trace, after chopping them up into pieces. After his arrest, the criminal confessed to having murdered another person, Bernardo Ramis.

The crime of the jeweller from the Call. In 1953, María Llop was found murdered in the jeweller’s she ran along with her mother in Calle Jaime II. She was lying on the floor soaked in her own blood with a rope tied around her neck. From the first the only suspect was a man who had been to the establishment several times, asserting that he was going to make a large purchase of jewellery before travelling to America, according to the account of the event published in the newspaper ABC. The investigators were certain that the motive behind the murder was robbery, as the cash register was empty and several items of jewellery were found scattered on the floor.

The poisoners of the La Soledad district. In the absence of divorce, try poison. This was what the protagonists of this tragic event thought, as they used poison to do away with the lovers of their husbands, their husbands themselves and even their mothers-in-law, in the early 20th century. These poisoners, who operated from the district of La Soledad, were punished, although it was difficult to prove their guilt and implication in several of the cases of murder by poisoning. The official supplier of the poison was called Magdalena Castell, and although she was condemned, she managed to elude the death sentence. This charlatan healer and fortune teller supplied her customers with a lethal mixture of barium, arsenic and flour.

Death by whistling. In the age when black market dealing was at its height in the district of Santa Catalina, several men wearing black cloaks used to hide in the sentry boxes of the walls of Es Baluard. People became more and more frightened to walk here, due to the whistles these strange figures emitted whenever somebody passed close by them. Apparently a guard caught one of them and hung him up by the neck until all the life had been wrung out of him.

The burglary of the house in Es Coll d’en Rabassa. One June afternoon in 1910 a couple were resting on the terrace of their home in the ‘Son Furió’ neighbourhood of Es Coll d’en Rabassa. When night fell, they decided to enter the house, just as some men with covered faces burst in, rupturing their tranquillity and attacking them. They were armed and when a fight started, they stabbed the husband. After they had been given all the money that was kept in the house, the thieves escaped and the wife was able to summon help. The husband died in hospital a few days later as a result of the wounds inflicted on him during the struggle. It was extremely difficult to find the culprits, but the case was linked to another crime committed in Bunyola and two suspects were condemned to life imprisonment.

The murder of Paquita Garrido. The last time Paquita Garrido, aged six, was seen, she was on the skating rink in La Soledad. That autumn afternoon of 1965 [...]


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