Mark J. Kilroy

Mark J. Kilroy was a student of University of Texas at Austin who vanished in March 1989 on the streets of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, directly south across the U.S.-Mexico border from Brownsville, Texas.

Kilroy had traveled to South Padre Island, TX for what was known as "Texas Week." This specific week got its name from the time period when the major Texas universities had the same week off for Spring Break; it had become the single busiest week of Spring Break for the community of South Padre Island.

During Texas Week, college students from across Texas would often visit Mexico during spring break due to its proximity to South Padre Island and its less stringent laws on alcohol and entry into nightclubs.[1]

On March 13, 1989, Kilroy traveled from South Padre Island to Matamoros, Mexico. The following day, Kilroy's friends notified Brownsville law enforcement authorities that he had disappeared the previous evening. Authorities on both sides of the border began a massive search for Kilroy without success.[2]

The case opened up when a Mexican national named Serafin Hernandez went through a police checkpoint without slowing down. Authorities gave chase and Mr. Hernandez led investigators to a remote homestead known as Rancho Santa Elena. Authorities arrested Serafin and four other men including the ranch's caretaker after approximately 250 pounds (110 kg) of marijuana was found in Serafin's car. While interrogating Hernandez, authorities learned that Kilroy and several others had been murdered and their bodies buried at the ranch.[2]

On April 11, 1989, investigators discovered the mutilated bodies of Kilroy and 14 other victims in shallow graves at the ranch. All the victims had been sacrificed by Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo and Sara Maria Aldrete, leaders of a cult which combined Palo Mayombe, Santeria, and Brujería practices and performed human sacrifice to feed their spirits and protect the members of the cult.[2]

In 2007, After Dark Films released the horror film, Borderland, which is loosely based on the Kilroy disappearance and murder case.


  1. "CAMPUS LIFE - Texas - Student's Killing Brings Rethinking Of Trips to Mexico". The New York Times. April 23, 1989. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 "20th Anniversary Of Mark Kilroy Death & Cult Killing's | KVEO News Center 23". March 12, 2009. Retrieved August 29, 2010.

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