Where is Juan Corona now? | “The Machete Murderer” who killed Migrant Workers

Juan Corona

What did Juan Corona do?

Juan Corona was a Mexican serial killer who murdered 25 migrant farm workers and buried them in peach orchards along the Feather River in Sutter County, California in 1971. 

All of Corona’s victims were middle-aged white male drifters between the ages of 47 and 64 (with the exception of three) Most of his victims had criminal records, and nearly all of them were stabbed or slashed with a knife or machete. This led to Corona being dubbed “The Machete Murderer.”

How was Juan Corona caught?

On the 19th of May 1971, a farm owner who had previously used Corona to contract field workers noticed a freshly dug hole in his peach orchard, which was filled in the following day. The body of a man who was stabbed and hacked to death was found in the hole.

In one of the graves, police found two meat receipts that had Corona’s signature on them. In 2 other graves, they found 2 crumpled Bank of America deposit slips with Corona’s name and address printed on them. Witnesses later came forward to report seeing some of Corona’s victims riding in his pickup truck. After piecing together all the circumstantial evidence, the police arrested Corona at his home in the early hours of the 26th of May 1971. They searched the property and found 2 bloodstained knives, a machete, a pistol and blood-stained clothing. They also found a work ledger with some of the names of his known victims. The prosecution referred to this ledger as the “death list” during the trial.

Turns out, Corona had been supplying workers to the ranches where the victims were discovered. He housed many of the victims who worked for him in a bunkhouse on the Sullivan Ranch, and this is where most of their bodies were found. 

Where is Juan Corona now? 

Corona was convicted of 25 counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1973. However, an appellate court overturned his conviction in 1978 on the basis of incompetent legal representation. They granted Corona a new trial, and finally, in 1982, he was found guilty again of all the charges.

Juan Corona served his life sentence in California State Prison until his death in 2019. He was 85 years of age. He suffered from dementia in his later years and was denied parole on 8 different occasions. 

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