Headpress, the U.K. publishing house based in London, recently signed true-crime author John Lee Brook to pen a tell-all book about Mexican cartels and occult figure Santa Muerte. It is rumored that Mr. Brook, the author of the bestselling Blood In Blood Out: The Violent Empire of the Aryan Brotherhood, has made personal contact with cartel members, who have agreed to relate the grisly details surrounding death worship. A recluse, Brock travels back and forth from Montana to San Francisco,
In Tony Scott’s 2004 action film Man on Fire, a journalist explains: “It’s Santa Muerte. Death worship. There’s a curse on you.” Santisma Muerte is the cult of Holy Death, a corruption (some would say perversion) of the cult of the Blessed Virgin in Mexican Catholicism. The movie offers a glance into a real-life facet of Mexican organized crime. Because of the underground nature of organized crime, it transcends the boundaries of conventional business and emerges as a distinct subculture.
The Santa Muerte cult is most properly described as a set of ritual practices offered on behalf a supernatural personification of death. The personification is female for two reasons: because the Spanish word for death, "muerte," is feminine and because this personification is a sort of counterpart to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The cult appears to be closely associated with crime, criminals, and those whose lives are directly affected by crime. Criminals, especially the Mexican drug cartels, identify with Santa Muerte and call upon the saint for protection and power, even when committing crimes. They adorn themselves with her paraphernalia and render her the respect worth of a deity.
The forthcoming book is eagerly anticipated by true-crime aficionados around the world. And sources indicate the movie rights to the book have already been optioned, with a screenplay in progress, though there is no confirmation.