Jose Antonio Rodriguez Vega

Jose Antonio Rodriguez Vega

José Antonio Rodríguez Vega
Background information
Birth name: José Antonio Rodriguez Vega
Born: December 3, 1957(1957-12-03)
Santander, Cantabria
Died: October 24, 2002 (aged 44)
Santander, Cantabria
Cause of death: Stabbed
Number of victims: 16+
Span of killings: 1987–1988
Country: Spain
State(s): Cantabria
Date apprehended: 1988

José Antonio Rodríguez Vega was a Spanish serial killer who raped and killed at least 16 elderly women, ranging in age from 61 to 93 years old, in and around Santander, a Northern city in Cantabria, Spain between August, 1987 and April, 1988.[1]


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Vega was born in Santander, Cantabria, Spain. Vega hated his mother because she had thrown him out of the house when Vega beat his father, who was terminally ill. In ‘revenge’ against his mother, Vega started his criminal career raping many women until October 17, 1978 when he was arrested and sentenced to a term of 27 years in prison. However, his behavior while in prison, and his ability to charm his victims into forgiving him led to a reduction in his sentence to 8 years.[1] Released in 1986, Vega’s wife left him. He did not take the break up well, but eventually remarried, this time to a mentally disabled woman, who he tortured and humiliated, all the while keeping up the pretense of having an excellent marriage.[2](Spanish) He was considered to be a good person, a hardworking man and good husband to those around him.

On May 19, 1988, Vega was arrested while walking on the street Cobo de la Torre in Santander, where he was sharing an apartment with María de las Nieves V.P (23 years old). After being arrested, he confessed to the murders.


On August 6, 1987, Vega entered the home of Margarita González (82 years old), raped and suffocated her. He forced the woman to swallow her own false teeth. A few weeks later, on September 30, 1987, Carmen González Fernández (80 years old), was found dead in her home. Vega was accused of this murder. Soon after, in October, Vega killed Natividad Robledo Espinosa (66 years old), beating, raping and suffocating her.

Vega did not kill again until January 21, 1988, when Carmen Martínez González was found dead in her home. On April 18, 1988 he killed Julia Paz Fernández (66 years old), who was also raped and suffocated. She was found naked.

The other victims’ identities were not released.[3](Spanish)

Trial and sentence

His trial began in November, 1991 in Santander. At the time of his arrest, he had confessed to the murders but on trial he denied all charges against him and said that the women had died by natural causes.

Vega was diagnosed as a psychopath who was a fastidiously neat individual. His killing was well organized in that he would first identify a victim, then observe her until he was familiar with every aspect of her routine.[1] He would then make contact with the victim, try to gain her trust, using his charm and looks, until he gained access to her home, often under the guise of doing work to or around her home.[1] He was described as a cold-hearted and calculating serial killer who took mementos from each of his kills.[1] When he was arrested, police found a red room where he displayed his mementos, which ranged from a television to a bouquet of plastic flowers.[1] Because of the age of his victims, some of their deaths were attributed to natural causes.[4] The extent of his killing spree was not realized until police released a videotape of his home, showing his mementos.[4] Families of the victims identified objects that linked Vega to their dead relatives.[4]

José Antonio Rodriguez Vega was sentenced to 440 years in prison.

His death

On October 24, 2002, Vega was walking in the prison common grounds when two inmates attacked and brutally stabbed him, inflicting fatal wounds. Rodriguez Vega was buried the next day in a poor coffin. The burial was attended by only two gravediggers.[5]


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