-Did you say that you hadn't gotten excited killing Emilce?
Are you seriously asking me?
-Don't raise your voice to me, no, of course I didn't say that.
At one end of the table, the lawyer for the mother of Emilce C., an 18-year-old girl murdered and savagely dismembered in Valdemoro (Madrid) in 2019. At the other, Leonardo V. a thirty-year-old in whose house the remains were found of the victim, some of them preserved in brine, as "trophies", according to several of the Civil Guard investigators who participated in the case.
In an interrogation that has lasted for more than two hours, the defendant, who worked as a tattoo artist and called himself
the butcher in networks
He has dumped all the blame for the dismemberment on his ex-girlfriend Celia, also on the bench designated as a cover-up, and has assured that the death was accidental.
"I put a mask on him to fool around, I went for a drink and when I came back he didn't respond," she has assured without going into great detail.
The oral hearing of one of the most infamous crimes that has been experienced in Madrid in recent times is nearing its end.
On October 15, 2009, Emilce, the victim, went to Leonardo's house to be given anxiolytics, according to one of the last WhatsApp messages that the girl sent before she died.
Investigators believe she died around 2 a.m. when her phone went idle.
The following day, at dusk, several agents of the Civil Guard discovered a scene whose cruelty is difficult to reproduce.
After three weeks listening to investigators, neighbors, forensic experts, witnesses, family members, and psychological experts, Leonardo has given his version of events.
“When I saw that he was dead, I sat looking at the body and doing cocaine, I knew what that was going to look like and I asked myself: 'What the hell do I do now?
Then, as recorded on his cell phone, he wrote Celia a message: "I love you."
"It was to see if she was awake and she gave me support on what to do," he said.
According to her explanation, she lived with the corpse for about 12 hours and tried to burn her clothes, something that caused a great smoke that woke up the neighbors at dawn.
Investigators maintain that it was not the clothing that was burning, but rather that she had begun to dispose of body parts on the grill in the backyard of the house she had squatted on.
In a tense interrogation, Leonardo has assured that the next day he met his ex-girlfriend Celia and that it was she who told him not to worry that they were going to "get rid of" the problem.
He maintains that it was then, between half past five in the afternoon and the time of his arrest, around nine at night, when they proceeded to desecrate Emilce's body in a way that has been very painful for those present at the hearing to hear. room.
The police investigation concluded, however, that it was at dawn when Leonardo began this macabre task.
To strengthen this theory, the coroner who examined the body stated last week that just removing a single part of the body in the state in which it was found would take a minimum of two hours for someone with knowledge of anatomy.
That is the main argument that Celia's defense has used to discredit that they could have carried out all that work in such a short time.
That afternoon, it is also proven by tickets and security cameras, that Leonardo and Celia left the house several times to go buy cleaning products and see a man to whom he allegedly sold drugs.
“What happened in that house is the result of cruelty and my selfishness, because I was in a regularization process and that was going to be a problem.
I will not justify the unjustifiable.
Despite the lack of humanity, it was the only way out”, explained Leonardo, a Colombian by birth who arrived in Spain at the age of six.
Leonardo's surprising defense, in which he has put the whole idea of dismemberment on his ex-partner, has been the culmination of three weeks in sight in which very hard moments have been experienced.
The day the crime scene images were to be shown, the doors of the room were closed to the public.
Only the members of the jury, the lawyers, the defendants and the magistrate were able to contemplate the horror that the Civil Guard agents found in the house.
A house in which violence flooded every corner.
Were his actions the fruit of pure evil?
That is what the prosecutor and the accusations believe.
Can that macabre night be justified by a drug addiction and a disordered childhood?
This is what his lawyer tries to defend.
Homicide investigators found remains of the victim throughout the house with which the defendant satisfied his desire to know what it feels like to kill, according to their conclusions.
A dark decoration consisting of daggers and machetes hanging on the walls, dismembered grotesque figures, photos of shrunken heads, glass cases full of skulls, posters of serial killers such as Ted Bundy, The Rostov Butcher or BTK (bind, torture and kill, in English).
The investigators who carried out the investigation have assured in the trial that the objective, in this case, did not seem to be to hide the corpse, but rather an obsession with death and violence out of the ordinary.
"I had no fucking idea what I was doing, I had never dismembered before, one sees all this in the movies, but then when it happens to one...", Leonardo has defended himself.
Celia's version is very different.
Both agree that they began their relationship in June and that she moved into his house.
From here, the story differs.
He maintains that they were not a couple, that she came and went when she wanted.
She points out that she was subjected to him, that they were her boyfriends and that he mistreated and sexually assaulted her.
For this reason, according to Celia, the day that Leonardo met her, "scruffy and smelling bad", and told her that "he had screwed up because he had killed a girl", she believed that he was blackmailing her into leaving. scare him and not let him.
In a confusing narrative, the woman has acknowledged that she accompanied her to several shops that day for a shovel, a shopping cart, cleaning products and clothes, but that she did not believe what she confessed to her.
Minutes later, she has also indicated that,
In his first statement before the Civil Guard, much more profuse in details, he did acknowledge that he had seen blood in the bathroom that the agents later found unpolluted and even took a photo of remains in a bucket.
He also told the agents that Leonardo had explained to him that he tried to suffocate the girl with her arms and a cable, but when he failed, he stuck a knife into her.
"He could also have said that I shot him, and he would have been right in some," the defendant ironized.
When Celia recounted these facts, the Civil Guard agents cut off her statement to notify her that she was being detained and not witness.
After that, she didn't want to speak again, until today.
Interview with Celia, ex-girlfriend of the alleged murderer called the Valdemoro tattoo butcher.
Through tears, this Thursday Celia recalled the invitation that Leonardo made to her when they arrived at the house on October 16, 2019: "Go down to the basement to see my masterpiece."
There were more parts of Emilce's body.
In a moment of lucidity or perhaps terror, Celia ended up escaping from the house and went to the Civil Guard.
It was then that Leonardo wrote to him: "Don't give me away."
She “she arrived nervous, she couldn't speak at first.
I searched the database and saw that both she and Leonardo had been arrested for injuring each other," explained the agent who received her that day.
On the way to the chalet, Celia showed this civil guard the Instagram account of which she suspected that she was her victim, although she claimed not to know her in person.
The agents found Leonardo returning from throwing some remains into some blood-stained containers.
He just stood up and said:
Have you come to stop me?
-Why should we stop you?
-Because of what my ex-girlfriend told you
An officer crouched down next to him and asked what had happened.
"That I have killed a girl, she got out of hand," he replied.
Later, he asked to be able to take the dog out of the house, a huge pit bull that the agents opened the door and stood next to its owner.
Leonardo has hidden behind a tragic childhood and the abandonment of his family to justify the personality disorders he claims to suffer from, something that has not been endorsed by any expert.
Two Valdemoro social workers have detailed how they worked on his case 15 years ago, when he was a minor, and his relatives denounced his father's negligence in his care.
"He took me with prostitutes at the age of seven and told me that if not, I was not a man", he has shielded himself.
What is proven is the complicated past of his victim.
Emilce had been a victim of abuse as a minor and a victim of domestic abuse, for this reason her mother's lawyer requests that Leonardo be permanently imprisoned for review, considering the extreme vulnerability of the young woman.
This Friday the members of the jury will be given the script of the questions to which they must answer to deliver their verdict next week.
Did Leonardo kill Emilce out of a desire to know what it feels like to kill him, or was his death the result of a freak accident?
Was such cruelty necessary after his death?
Was it among his plans to take the life of another human being?
Was Celia a repentant concealer or was she terrified?
The result of a horrendous crime for which it is difficult to find an explanation arrives at the end of it.
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