When Magdalena Solis agreed to help a pair of crooks pull off an elaborate scam, no one suspected that she would end up believing her own lies - and demanding human sacrifices.
Born in the 1930s to a poor family in the Mexican town of Monterrey, she began working as a prostitute from the age of just 12, pimped out by her brother Eleazar.
But it wasn’t until thirty years later that she and Eleazar would cross paths with a pair of conmen who would change their lives forever.
In the nearby town of Yerba Buena, dodgy brothers Santos and Cayetano Hernandez had scammed the illiterate locals in to believing that they were prophets of ancient Incan gods and had supernatural powers.
Positioning themselves as high priests of a cult devoted to worshipping them, they had the town in an iron grip, taking money from them and forcing them in to unpaid labour, searching the mountains for ‘treasures’ left by ancient civilisations.
Eager to keep the clueless locals under their spell, they asked Magdalena to pretend to be the reincarnation of Aztec goddess Coatlicue, who was the goddess of the sun, moon, and stars.
They introduced her as the new high priestess of their cult in an elaborate ceremony, making her magically appear behind a veil of smoke from cleverly hidden machines. The impact of seeing this mysterious woman appear out of no where was so intense that the townsfolk truly believed she was an ancient goddess - and it seemed Magdalena did, too.
It wasn’t long until she had totally taken over the cult, and with it she brought new ideas for how she wanted to do things. Her rituals became increasingly gruesome and violent, but they paled in comparison of what she did when two people tried to leave.
She declared that they were human sacrifices to appease the gods and had the other members stone them to death. It was claimed that Magdalena then drank their blood, still warm from their twitching corpses.
Magdalena relished in her new identity as the High Priestess of Blood, and she began ordering more blood rituals and regular human sacrifices. The cult members would be high on mind-bending drugs as ‘non believers’ were slain, their blood decanted in to a goblet for their leader to drink, and their still beating hearts pulled out and shown to them as they took their dying breaths.
Over a period of six weeks, eight people were killed, with Magdalena telling her believers that drinking their blood gave her supernatural powers.
But her reign of terror came to an abrupt end in May 1963 after she killed a policeman and a local boy who had pleaded with him to investigate ‘vampires drinking blood’ in a nearby cave.
Officer Luis Martinez and Sebastian Guerrero, 14, would be Magdalena’s final two victims - and herald the end of the cult.
Police were unable to ignore the disappearance of one of their own, and when they got to Yerba Buena discovered a town of about 50 who were all under the control of the Aztec cult.
In a shoot out the Hernandez brothers were both shot dead, but Magadalena and her brother were captured after being found in their home smoking weed.
None of the cult members would testify against her, and as prosecutors could only try the Solis siblings for two murders they were each given a 50 year sentence.
No one knows what happened to Magdalena after she was imprisoned, and she never spoke about her heinous actions.