Believe it or Not: Things you need to know about Daniel Perez, Cult Leader ‘Lou Castro’.
Facts about Daniel Perez, Cult Leader ‘Lou Castro’:
Daniel Perez, also known as Lou Castro, was sentenced to life in prison for murder and the rape of children in his cult, known as the Angel’s Landing commune.
Perez, now 60, is behind bars at the Lansing Correctional Facility, according to his Kansas Sex Offender Registry. He was found guilty of 28 crimes in Sedgwick County District Court in Kansas in 2015. He was convicted of first-degree murder, eight counts of rape, eight other sex crimes, eight counts of making false writing and three counts of aggravated assault.
The story of the rural Kansas compound, its survivors and Daniel Perez is being told on a new episode of Dateline, which airs on NBC Friday, August 7, 2020 at 9/8C.
Here’s what you need to know:
Daniel Perez Is Serving a Life Sentence in the Lansing County Correctional Facility for First-Degree Murder & Sexually Abusing Children
Daniel Perez was convicted of 20 counts of sexual abuse of children, with victims ranging in age from only 8 years old to 16, according to his sex offender registry in Kansas. His charges include rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, sexual exploitation of a child, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and murder. The murder victim, Patricia Hughes, was a 26-year-old wife and mother who lived at Angel’s Landing.
One of the survivors, Sara, told Oxygen that when Perez raped her repeatedly, he would say he was “fixing” her.
“There was nothing I could do,” she said “I remember saying, ‘Am I fixed now?’”
His sex offender registry indicates he began abusing children in 2001, and the abuse spanned more than a decade, ending in 2015. He is required to register for life, although he is serving a life sentence for his crimes.
Here is his Megan’s Law Registry:
Daniel Perez’s cult was motivated by greed, officials learned through their nine-year investigation. Prosecutors said at Perez’s trial that he aimed to use life insurance proceeds from the deaths of his followers to live a lavish lifestyle, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Hughes’ death, at first, was ruled accidental. Years later, the truth of the murder surfaced when one of the girls went back to police, even though Castro had initially convinced her to lie for him. This led to the big break in the case. She told police she was 11 years old when Perez told her to lie to police, saying Hughes had fallen and drowned in the pool. The girl said in truth, she heard a splash and a scream. Then, she saw Perez, wet and out of breath.
Investigators would later learn Hughes was collecting millions of dollars in life insurance payouts, and that six deaths ruled as accidents were connected to the cult. He collected more than $1 million in life insurance payouts from Hughes’ death alone.
Among those was Hughes’ husband, Brian. He died in a freak accident at the autobody shop where he worked in March 2006. He had become depressed and was talking to Perez more often, Sara told Oxygen.
“[Perez] was telling him, ‘One day you’ll get your chance to go to the other side,’” she said.
Daniel Perez Has a Job in Prison & Had a Minor Disciplinary Offense in 2018
Daniel Perez, also known as Lou Castro, has been incarcerated at the Lansing County Department of Corrections since April 1, 2018. In that time, Perez had one disciplinary violation, according to his prison record. On September 5, 2018, officials said he violated a published order, considered a class 3 offense, which is the least serious type of offense, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.
Here is his prison record:
“Unsanitary practices is an example of a Class III offense,” the state Department of Corrections said. “The penalty for a Class III offense may be any, all or any combination of the following:
“Restriction to inmate’s own cell, not to exceed three days;
restriction from privileges, not to exceed 20 days;
extra work for up to two hours per day, not to exceed 10 days;
a fine not to exceed $10.00;
an oral or written reprimand.”
Perez is also working a job in prison, according to his prison record. It does not specify what type of job he is working.