Where is Juana Barraza now? The Lady of Silence: The Mataviejitas Murders on Netflix

Known as the Mataviejita ('Little Old Lady Killer'), Juana Barraza is the subject of a new Netflix true crime documentary

A newspaper photo of Juana Barraza covering her face with her coat collar
(Image credit: Netflix)

New Netflix documentary The Lady of Silence: The Mataviejitas Murders has true crime lovers wondering where Juana Barraza is now.

The Lady of Silence focuses on a string of murders that took place in Mexico City in the early 2000s, and the unlikely suspect - Juana Barraza - who became Mexico's first female serial killer. Known as the Mataviejitas, which translates to 'Little Old Lady Killer', the details of Barraza's crimes have viewers hooked, and wanting to know what happened after she was caught and where she is now.

It's not the first time that Netflix has left TV fans asking questions around the whereabouts of some of the world's most notorious criminals, as The Lucy Blackman Case has recently provoked questions around where Joji Obara is now, while an ITV documentary has others asking where Luke Deeley is too. Elsewhere, viewers of free diving documentary The Deepest Breath want to know where Alessia Zecchini is now, after that disastrous dive.

Where is Juana Barraza now? 

Juana Barraza is currently serving her sentence in prison at the Santa Martha de Acatitla prison in Mexico City. She was sentenced to 759 years, and as Barraza was 50 years old when she was sentenced, she is likely to spend the rest of her life serving her sentence.

She reportedly works as a gym instructor at the prison and sells tacos to other inmates, and she was briefly married to Miguel Ángel, who was imprisoned in the men’s unit. Ángel sent a series of letters to Barraza for about a year, and the pair got married in 2015. However, the pair have reportedly since divorced.

How many people did Juana Barraza kill?

Barraza was charged with 30 counts of murder and found guilty of 16. At her trial, the prosecution alleged that she may have killed 40 people, but Barraza only admitted to the murder of her final victim, Ana María de los Reyes Alfaro, who she strangled with a stethoscope.

Who is Juana Barraza?

Juana Barraza is a Mexican serial killer, dubbed 'La Mataviejitas' by the media, which translates to 'The Old Lady Killer', due to all her victims being aged 60 or over.

Barraza was born in Mexico in 1957. Her father was a police officer and her mother was a sex worker, and Barraza reportedly had a traumatic childhood, which included her mother selling her to men for beers. When her mother died of cirrhosis - a type of liver damage - she moved to Mexico City where she married and had four children.

Before her first murder, Barraza was a professional masked wrestler and went by the name La Dama del Silenci, which translates to The Lady of Silence. However, after becoming desperate for money she began burgling homes and in the mid-90s devised a plan with her friend to steal from the elderly. They would dress up as nurses and rob their victims' homes.

She retired from wrestling in 2002, and continued to murder elderly women living in Mexico City.

Juana Barraza

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What did Juana Barraza do? 

Juana Barraza is a serial killer, who was responsible for a string of murders between 1998 and 2005.

It is unknown exactly when Barraza killed her first victim, but it is believed to have been María de la Luz González Anaya, a 64-year-old woman who was beaten and strangled to death at her home. 

Barraza is believed to have gained the trust of her victims, who were always elderly and living alone, by posing as a doctor or social worker.

"It was perceived by both authorities and the media as worse than other types of murder cases - not because of the number of victims or the manner in which they were killed, but because of who they were: elderly women," Susana Cervantes wrote in The Little Old Lady Killer: The Sensationalized Crimes of Mexico’s First Female Serial Killer.

The synopsis for the Netflix documentary reads, "The year 2000 marks the start of a new decade in Mexico City. A number of murders has the capital police at a stalemate: older ladies are being strangled in their own homes. The victims’ profiles are causing never-before-seen social outrage and media coverage. The Attorney General’s Office is employing all its resources and efforts to capture Mexico’s first serial killer. Witnesses describe the suspect as tall, robust, and strong, passing off as a nurse to earn the victims’ trust. In January 2006, after more than 40 murders, several failed arrests, and multiple contradictions, a woman is detained in broad daylight. Her name: Juana Barraza."

How was Juana Barraza caught?

Juana Barraza was caught in 2006 while escaping from the home of her last victim, Ana María de los Reyes Alfaro, who she had stabbed and strangled.

She was reportedly spotted by her victim's tenant, who chased her down before she was arrested. It was also reported Barraza had a list of names and addresses of elderly women, a stethoscope and a fake social worker ID in her possession at the time of her arrest.

Barraza admitted to police she would dress as a nurse or social worker and befriend her victims before gaining entrance to their homes, but she is said to have only confessed to the murder of Alfaro, despite fingerprint evidence linking her to several others. She told the police her motive was lingering resentment regarding her own mother's treatment of her.

During her trial, The Guardian reported that she said, "I only killed one little old lady. Not the others. It isn’t right to pin the others on me."

If you're looking for the details behind more true crime documentaries, we've explained what happened to Deborah Wood from Channel 4's In The Footsteps of Killers, and revealed how the Steeltown Murders culprit was caught following a BBC documentary revisiting the crimes.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.