What Mauricio Morales-Caceres did displayed a level of depravity rarely seen by investigators: Armed with a 15-inch butcher knife, he stabbed and slashed a friend 89 times, pulled out his liver and left it on the dead man’s chest.
“The defendant,” prosecutors wrote, “is maniacal and inherently dangerous.”
Mauricio is an illegal alien from El Salvador who will now get three hots and a cot, along with free health-care for the rest of his life, courtesy of USA taxpayers.
He came into the United States illegally in 2013, made his way to Montgomery County, and by 2014 was associated with MS-13, according to prosecutors.
MS-13 is an especially violent street gang, and it sure didn't take Mauricio long to hook up with them. Of course, they originated in El Salvador, which is why the number "503" is so popular with them - it's the country code for calling El Salvador. And oddly enough, the area code for Portland and much of the rest of Oregon.
I had a brief experience with "immigrants" from El Salvador a few years ago; my parents and I were having dinner on the outdoor deck of a restaurant in Ft. Myers Beach, overlooking the water, when a small group of Salvadorans arrived and took seats at a table next to the railing, a few feet away from us. They ordered drinks, and shortly after being served, two of them got into an argument. One guy jumped up and smashed a bottle of beer over the head of the other guy. Blood, broken glass, and beer were kind of all over that section of the deck. Other diners were stunned.
Much to my consternation, the attacker and a woman decided that they would just casually exit. Really?
Much to my mother's consternation, I rose from the table and blocked their exit. The woman actually said that they didn't want any trouble, and I replied that they should have thought of that earlier. The guy yelled that he'd do me like he'd done the other guy. Oh, really?
I asked him if he could swim, pointing out that it was about a 20-foot drop to the water, and that I was prepared to make that happen. At this point, the two were a little confused, so I suggested that they return to their table and wait for the arrival of the nice policemen. And they did.
Mom was mortified, of course. Dad darned near choked himself laughing. A bunch of deputies from Lee County Sheriff's office showed up a few moments later, and naturally, during the course of witness interviews, I was pointed out as the guy who ended everything. So I had to talk to the cops.
"Where ya from?"
"What'cha doing here?"
Having dinner with Mom and Dad, over there.
"Okay, so what do you do for a living?"
Um. Megaherbivores, mostly; that's really sort of my specialty.
"Mega-what? What the hell's that?"
Um. Well, elephants, rhinos, that sort of thing. I mean, if the animal's big, gray, and relatively lethal, I'm pretty happy.
"Really? Little guy like you? Those weigh thousands of pounds! Where you work again?"
Um. USA, Europe, Asia. It sort of depends.
"Wow. So I reckon that little Salvadoran guy we got cuffed over there didn't seem like much of a problem."
Well, he said he'd bust a bottle over my head like he did to your victim, but I didn't see one near by.
"So what did you do then?"
Um. Well, I offered him a swimming lesson, but noted that it's a long way down to the water, so I suggested that he might want to just go sit back down with his lady friend and wait for a few minutes until you guys got here. They decided to do that.
The deputy laughed and got some of the others over to regale them with the story. They all had a good time, and I ended up getting a bunch of "high-fives" from them before they hauled the perp off to the pokey.
Other diners applauded as I finished dinner. Mom, of course, was mortified. I'm an idiot, could have been killed, and so forth.
As I mentioned to her, I have been reasonably successful at reading animal behavior. This incident was no different. Let them walk out? No. Not an option.
I think that everyone else was just too stunned to do anything.