On Investigation Discovery this week, a one-off special follows the case of Daniel Perez, aka Lou Castro or The Kansas Cult Killer.
Perez and his cult followers lived on a 20-acre property in Angel Landings in a rural area just north of Witchita, Kansas.
Perez had convinced his followers that he was an angel who could see the future and was hundreds or thousands of years old. Tragically, he was also able to persuade them that he needed sex with young girls in order to survive.
When the girls under his control resisted him, Perez used violence and rape to get his way. He also used murder as a tool for financing his increasingly lavish lifestyle.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says that Perez raped multiple women between the ages of 8 an 16.
In 2003, Perez murdered 26-year-old Patricia Hughes by drowning her in a swimming pool. Hughes was a wife and a mother, who had lived with the cult at Angels Landing. He successfully persuaded his followers to lie to the police for him, and the death was officially recorded as a suicide.
In 2006, her husband, Brian Hughes, was killed when a carjack supposedly failed, causing the vehicle he was working on to fall and crush. Two years later, his daughter Hutson, who was left in the care of Perez, was killed in a traffic accident.
Police began investigating the Kansas Cult Killer
Detectives don’t generally believe in coincidences, so they began to grow suspicious of Perez’s intentions. But was he committing murder?
When investigators started looking into the life of Perez, they noticed that despite not having a job, he appeared to have a lot of unexplained wealth. They also realized that a lot of people connected with the cult seemed to die in a series of bizarre accidents.
They learned that he was living off life insurance policies from his followers who died. He had pocketed $1 million from the death of Hughes alone.
The police noticed that every time Perez’s bank account dropped under $10,000, then somebody would die. There were six so-called ‘accidental’ deaths over a period of seven years.
Investigators got their break when one of the girls at the ranch approached the police to say Perez had told her to lie about the murder of Patricia Hughes.
Perez was finally convicted in 2015 of first-degree murder, eight counts of rape, eight other sex crimes, eight counts of making false writing, and three counts of aggravated assault. He will spend the rest of his life in prison.
More from Investigation Discovery
Follow the links to read about more crimes profiled on ID.
Beloved TV host Scott Rogers had a dark secret; he had fled England for the US after he was accused of sexually assaulting young boys at his performing arts school. When federal agents began investigating him, he was shot dead by his lover Mathew Hodgkinson in a suicide pact.
Kyron Hormann was allegedly dropped off at school by his stepmother in June 2010, in Portland, Oregon. The 7-year-old never made it into class and has never been seen since.
Kansas Cult Killer airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.