Case of Kansas cult killer and rapist Daniel Perez, AKA Lou Castro, featured on TV

The Wichita Eagle/March 5, 2020

By Jason Tidd

The case of Kansas cult killer and child rapist Daniel Perez was featured on a new Investigation Discovery television show Thursday night.

Perez, who was known by many names, including Lou Castro, was found guilty of 28 crimes in Sedgwick County District Court in 2015 and was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The case was on Investigation Discovery in a one-hour program, according to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office. It was the series premiere of “My Murder Story.” The episode is titled “The Devil’s Angels.”

Perez led a cult that lived at Angels Landing, a 20-acre property in the 9500 block of North Oliver in a rural area north of Wichita, near Valley Center and Kechi. He convinced his communal family that he had magical powers, including the ability to see the future. He told them he was a centuries-old angel who needed to have sex with young girls to stay alive.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s sex offender registry shows the girls who were victims of his numerous child sex crimes ranged in age from 8 to 16.

Prosecutors said his goal was to use life insurance proceeds from the deaths of his followers to live a lavish lifestyle. In his greed, he killed 26-year-old Patricia Hughes, a wife and mother who lived and died at Angels Landing. Her 2003 drowning death in a swimming pool was first classified as accidental, but the truth came out years later when one of the girls who he had convinced to lie for him went back to police.

A nine-year investigation by Detective Ron Goodwyn of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and others focused on the life and finances of “Lou Castro,” who didn’t have a job, but had what investigators called “unexplained wealth.” The detective sifted through his trash and followed him to a restaurant hoping to find a fingerprint on glasses and silverware.

They found that his group moved from state to state. Six purported accidental deaths over seven years led to millions of dollars in life insurance payouts. The life insurance payout for Hughes’ death alone exceeded $1 million.

The big break in the case came when a girl told investigators that she was 11 years old when Perez directed her to give authorities a made-up story that Hughes had fallen and drowned in the pool. In reality, she heard a splash and a scream, then saw Perez, who was wet and out of breath.

His 28 convictions are first-degree murder, eight counts of rape, eight other sex crimes, eight counts of making false writing and three counts of aggravated assault.

“I was 10 when my childhood was over,” one witness said during the sentencing hearing. “While other 10-year-olds were riding bikes or playing with dolls, I was laying naked in a bed with a pillow over my head, just waiting for it to be over.

“While other 13-year-olds were getting boyfriends and holding hands, I was holding onto my secret and losing the people I loved one by one. When other 16-year-olds were experiencing the freedom of learning how to drive and planning parties with their friends, I was planning my own death every day when I drove to school.”

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