Arrest of El Chapo’s son sparks riots in Mexico
Fox News’ Alexandria Hoff provides details on the Sinaloa Cartel’s violent response as officials report seven security force members have been killed in the riots.
A prolific child serial killer sentenced in England, hundreds of dead bodies recovered from a Christian cult in Kenya, and a violent takedown of El Chapo’s son in Mexico were among some of the most notable crime stories from around the world this year.
Four Americans were kidnapped in Mexico by cartels shortly after crossing the U.S. border; a German gunman carried out a mass shooting attack at a Jehovah’s Witnesses center in Hamburg.
Here are five world crime stories in 2023.
Raid to arrest El Chapo’s son leaves 30 dead
Mexican authorities in Culiacan, Sinaloa, engaged in a bloody battle to capture Ovidio Guzmán — the son of notorious Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán.
Intense fighting between suspected Sinaloa drug cartel gunmen and Mexican troops erupted on Jan. 5, 2023 in Culiacan, Sinaloa, during an operation to capture Ovidio Guzmán, the son of notorious Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán. ((AP Photo/Martin Urista))
The intense fighting between suspected Sinaloa drug cartel gunmen and Mexican troops erupted on Jan. 5, 2023. Both sides engaged in open gunfire, the military sent in Black Hawk helicopters to attack a convoy of cartel vehicles, and cartel members allegedly attacked military and civilian aircraft at the city’s international airport. Other members attempted to kidnap doctors at local hospitals to treat wounded fighters.
The battle killed 30 people, including 10 military personnel and one Culiacan police officer. At least 17 police officers and 35 military personnel were wounded in the running shoot-outs.
MEXICAN AUTHORITIES SAY 10 MILITARY PERSONNEL, 19 CARTEL MEMBERS KILLED IN RAID TO ARREST EL CHAPO’S SON
Guzmán was a leader of a Sinaloa faction he called “Los Menores” or “the Juniors,” who are also known as “Los Chapitos,” for the sons of El Chapo. He, along with his brothers, allegedly continued managing their father’s business and steered the cartel into synthetic drugs like methamphetamine and the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.
Authorities attempted to capture Guzmán three years earlier until aborting the mission, which set off a wave of violence in Culiacan that ultimately led to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordering the military to release him from captivity.
Ovidio Guzmán is shown being detained in Culiacan, Mexico, on Oct. 17, 2019. (CEPROPIE via AP File)
In 2018, U.S. authorities indicted Guzmán on drug trafficking charges. But it wasn’t until September of this year that Guzmán was extradited to the U.S. after being taken out of a Mexican prison.
U.S. authorities held Guzmán in custody in Chicago and charged him with conspiring to distribute cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico and elsewhere to be imported into the U.S. He later pleaded not guilty to a nine-count indictment that spanned from 2008 to 2021.
Two of four Americans killed in Mexico after being kidnapped by cartels
Two months after Mexican authorities arrested Guzmán, the country again made international news when four American citizens were kidnapped in Mexico.
Washington McGee, Eric Williams, Shaeed Woodard, and Zindell Brown were kidnapped on March 3 after they had reportedly traveled from Brownsville, Texas, to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, to accompany one of the travelers planning to receive tummy tuck surgery. But the trip took a turn for the worse when the Americans found themselves in the crossfire of rival cartels shortly after crossing the U.S. border.
TWO OF THE FOUR AMERICANS KIDNAPPED IN MEXICO ARE DEAD, TWO ALIVE: REPORT
A member of the Mexican security forces stands next to a white minivan with North Carolina plates and several bullet holes at the crime scene where gunmen kidnapped four U.S. citizens who crossed into Mexico from Texas on March 3, 2023. (AP Photo)
Investigators reportedly believe the four may have been mistaken for Haitian drug smugglers.
An eyewitness, who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation, told the Associated Press she saw a white minivan collide with another vehicle before hearing gunfire when armed men approached the vehicle.
Chaotic scenes documented from the violent incident show armed men dragging one person across the pavement and forcing a woman into the bed of a white truck. Two more men who appeared to be wounded were also dragged and loaded into the same vehicle.
Woodard and Brown were both killed, and McGee and Williams have since been repatriated back to the United States.
Mass shooter kills seven, including unborn child, at Jehovah’s Witness hall in Germany
A German gunman killed six people as well as an unborn child at a Jehovah’s Witnesses center in Hamburg, Germany, in March just before taking his own life after the mass shooting.
German authorities identified the gunman only as Phillip F., a 35-year-old male who reportedly fired over 100 rounds in the solo attack during a March 9 service in the house of worship. He was reportedly a former member of the religious group who expressed “ill feelings” towards the community, according to the BBC.
GERMAN SHOOTING: 7 DEAD INCLUDING ONE UNBORN CHILD AT JEHOVAH’S WITNESS MEETING
A German gunman killed six people as well as an unborn child at a Jehovah’s Witnesses center in Hamburg, Germany, just before taking his own life after the mass shooting on March 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
The victims included four men, two women, and an unborn female child, authorities reportedly said at a news conference at the time of the incident. The shooter wounded eight other people — four of whom suffered serious injuries — and a pregnant woman who lost her unborn daughter.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses said in a statement reported by Reuters that the religious group was “deeply affected by the horrific attack on its members of the faith in a Kingdom Hall in Hamburg after a service.” According to officials, approximately 50 people were attending an event at the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in the Alsterdorf district of the city when the shooting started.
Dozens of dead bodies recovered in Christian cult in Kenya
Kenyan police recovered hundreds of bodies who were thought to be involved in a Christian cult that allegedly believed they would meet Jesus Christ if they starved themselves to death.
More than 400 bodies connected to the self-proclaimed Good News International Church were found in mass grave sites this year in a forested area across the coastal county of Kilifi, according to the Associated Press.
KENYA DOOMSDAY CULT LEADER FOUND GUILTY OF ILLEGAL FILMING, BUT YET TO BE CHARGED OVER MASS DEATHS
More than 400 bodies connected to the self-proclaimed Good News International Church were found in mass grave sites this year in a forested area across the coastal county of Kilifi.
Pastor Paul Mackenzie, the leader of the religious group, was arrested in April after authorities followed a lead that suggested the existence of a grave site containing dozens of his follower’s bodies.
Mackenzie has not been formally charged with the deaths but remains in custody to allow authorities to complete their investigation and search for dozens of people still missing.
Pastor Paul Mackenzie, the leader of the religious group, was arrested in April after authorities followed a lead that suggested the existence of a grave site containing dozens of his follower’s bodies. (AP Photo)
The cult leader was found guilty in November on separate charges of operating a studio and distributing films without a license through his Times Television without the approval of the Kenya Film Classification Board, according to the Associated Press.
President William Ruto reportedly discredited Mackenzie’s teachings as a spurious religion and authorized federal agencies to investigate the group.
“Mr. Mackenzie … pretends and postures as a pastor when in fact he is a terrible criminal,” Ruto said earlier this year, according to Reuters. He added, “People who want to use religion to advance weird, unacceptable ideology in the Republic of Kenya that is causing unnecessary loss of life.”
Prolific child serial killer sentenced
A nurse who enjoyed “playing God” was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in August for murdering 7 babies in a British hospital neonatal unit.
Lucy Letby, 33, was also convicted of trying to kill six other babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit in the United Kingdom during a yearlong killing spree between June 2015 and June 2016. During her trial, prosecutors described Letby as a “devious,” “calculating,” and “cold-blooded” killer for allegedly murdering a total of 17 babies — all but one who were premature.
‘COLD-BLOODED’ NURSE LUCY LETBY FOUND GUILTY OF MURDERING 7 BABIES AT HOSPITAL NEONATAL UNIT
Lucy Letby, 33, was also convicted of trying to kill six other babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit in the United Kingdom during a yearlong killing spree between June 2015 and June 2016. (UK Crown Prosecution Service/Cheshire Constabulary)
Letby was accused of injecting insulin, milk, or air into the victim’s bodies, leading to their sudden collapse. Prosecutors also accused her of physically assaulting one baby, which caused a liver injury.
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She denied the 22 charges against her — seven counts of murder and 15 counts of attempted murder — but was convicted on 13 charges after the jury had deliberated for more than 99 hours. Letby was found not guilty of two attempted murder charges, and the jury was undecided on further attempted murder charges relating to four babies.
Letby maintains her innocence. She is reportedly scheduled to face a retrial for an attempted murder charge in June 2024.
Fox News’ Ian Leonard and Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.