Pablo Lucio Vasquez, infamously known as the “vampire killer,” is set to be executed Wednesday in Texas.
Vasquez was convicted of the murder of 12-year-old David Cardenas after the boy’s mutilated body was recovered from a shallow grave in the south Texas town of Donna in April 1998.
After he was arrested, the Texas man confessed to killing the seventh-grader by beating him to a pulp with a pipe and then cutting his throat. Vasquez also said that he tried to decapitate the little boy but had not been able to manage it.
In a videotaped statement, he had told interrogators that he killed Cardenas because the devil had asked him to do it. High on drugs and alcohol, Vasquez admitted to hearing voices in his head telling him to kill the 12-year-old. In what was probably the most hideous aspect of the murder, after unsuccessfully attempting to decapitate his young victim, Pablo lifted the boy’s body above his head and drank the dripping blood.
According to the confession, Cardenas was still alive when Vasquez drank his blood.
“My face was covered with his blood,” Vasquez had said in the videotaped confession. “[Cardenas] was saying something. He was mumbling or something.”
Although the death penalty for Vasquez appears set to be carried out, HNGN reports that his lawyer, James Keegan, has made a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court, alleging that his client was not given a fair punishment because a number of jurors, who were either against the death penalty or were not comfortable making such a judgment, were excused during the trial.
However, state lawyers have claimed that the appeal is merely a desperate attempt by Vasquez’s lawyer to save his client from being executed. Claiming that the present appeal is “nothing more than a meritless attempt to postpone his execution,” Assistant Texas Attorney General Jeremy Greenwell said Vasquez has previously employed similar tactics to get off the hook.
About 12 years ago, Keegan had launched another petition seeking that Vasquez’s death penalty verdict be reversed. Just last month, a federal judge rejected an appeal that focused on whether Vasquez was mentally ill and should be ineligible for the death penalty, according to USA Today.
Court records show that on the night of the murder, April 18, 1998, Vasquez and his 15-year-old cousin Andres Rafael Chapa had asked Cardenas, a friend of Chapa’s, to attend a party in Donna, a Texas border town where Vasquez and Chapa lived.
After they left the party, they reached a wooden shed, which is when Vasquez began hearing voices telling him to kill Cardenas, reports CBS News.
“Something just told me to drink,” Vasquez said.
“Drink what?” asked a detective.
“His blood,” Vasquez replied.
Both Pablo Lucio Vasquez and his underage cousin Andres Rafael Chapa were apprehended by the police a few days later after receiving an anonymous tip about their whereabouts. He was arrested in Conroe, a Houston suburb more than 325 miles north of Donna. Authorities had found Cardenas’ mutilated body five days later under some scraps of aluminum in a vacant field.
Chapa had pleaded guilty to the charge of murder, for which he was sentenced to a 35-year prison term.
The Associated Press sought to interview Pablo Lucio Vasquez a few days before his set execution date in an attempt to shed more light on the speculation about satanism that surrounded his case, but Vasquez declined the request.
[Image via Wikipedia Commons]