by Luis R. Shepherd
The Weird tale of the Goatsucker
By David Adams
cSt. Petersburg Times, published March 21, 1996
Miami- When police arrived at the crime scene they had never seen
such carnage. Lifeless victims - 69 in all - lay strewn across the yards of two
families in Sweetwater, a heavily Hispanic neighborhood in south
Miami. But it was a Miami massacre with a difference - a case perhaps for
Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.
The victims were all animals - goats, chickens, geese and ducks.
Who - or what - could have done such a dastardly thing?
The killer, say police and a local zoologist, was a large dog.
Wrong, say local residents. It was the chupacabras, the Caribbean's
very own Bigfoot, except this creature is a vampire-like predator
whose name literally means "Goatsucker" in Spanish.
Don't be surprised if you haven't heard of the chupacabras.
Until this month it had never been seen or heard of outside Puerto
Rico, the U.S. island commonwealth of 4-million people. For the past
six months, the hideous bloodsucking beast with an oval-head and
bulging red-eyes - part reptile, part insect, part UFO alien -
allegedly has been terrorizing the island's central mountains.
But after the slaughter in Sweetwater, the chupacabras has firmly
established a place in the annals of Miami make-believe.
It may sound like something out of Star Trek, but it has gripped
more than just the imagination of Hispanic Miami. For those who
believe in the chupacabras, the fear is real. In some cases the
attack on livestock has caused serious economic loss.
One Sweetwater woman claims to have seen it, and there have been
alleged chupacabras attacks in other parts of Miami. The beast has
developed a large following in Latino communities across the United
States, from New Jersey to California.
Authorities are taking the killings seriously - up to a point. A
specialist has investigated the deaths, and a county commissioner
has called for a police inquest.
"It's mushroomed way out of proportion," says Ron Magill, assistant
curator at MetroDade zoo. "I'm sitting here literally in shock."
Chupacabras has aroused great interest, and discussion - some of it
less than serious - on the Internet, where it has its own home page,
complete with sketches created by a Princeton University history
"This has turned out to be a new kind of folklore," said the student,
Hector Armstrong, a native of Puerto Rico. There is even talk of a
video-game spinoff, he says.
It already has become big business: There are T-shirts, a chupacabras
sandwich, live morning radio and a Spanish pop song with a chorus that
roughly translated goes like this: "Gotta have fun and party. In case
the Goatsucker gonna get me."
Last week English-language radio got in on the act when the popular
station Y-100 ran a week-long "search of the elusive chupacabras!"
offering a $1,000 prize for a real photo of the creature.
The station made its own mock effort, sending a reporter into the
Sweetwater woods dressed in a goat costume.
The chupacabras coverage was a hit.
One of Latin America's most watched Spanish-language TV chat shows,
Cristina, which is recorded in Miami where it has a large audience,
gave credence to the "chupacabras phenomenon" with an hour-long
program on it Monday.
On the show was Jose "Chemo" Soto, the mayor of Canovanas, a town
in Puerto Rico where the chupacabras supposedly has claimed more
than 100 victims. Soto, who is running for re-election, offered
viewers this grim warning: "Whatever it is, it's highly intelligent.
Today it is attacking animals, but tomorrow it may attack people."
A former police detective, Soto is known to locals as "Chemo
(Indiana) Jones," for his quest to capture the mysterious creature.
Using caged goats as bait, Soto leads a weekly monster hunt of local
volunteers who patrol the town's surrounding hills - so far to no avail.
Also interviewed on Cristina: a vet from Puerto Rico - nicknamed Dr.
Chupacabras - who claims the wounds he has examined on alleged victims
of the beast are "totally abnormal" fang-like punctures.
thers on the program included an extraterrestrial philosopher and a
writer on UFOs, who believe the chupacabras was sent from another
planet to Puerto Rico.
According to Jorge Martin, publisher of Evidencia, a magazine on UFO
research, aliens are drawn to Puerto Rico by the Arecibo Observatory,
the world's largest radio-radar telescope.
The killings, whatever their cause, are a serious problem that has
frightened many people in Puerto Rico and Miami.
This has been fueled by a number of eyewitness accounts from seemingly
credible people. At least 15 Canovanas residents claim to have had a
close encounter with the monster.
"I was looking off the balcony one night, and I saw it step out of a
bright light in the back yard," said Michael Negron, a 25-year-old
"It was about 3 or 4 feet tall with skin like that of a dinosaur. It
had bright red eyes the size of hens' eggs, long fangs and multi-
colored spikes down its head and back."
The creature reportedly disembowelled the family goat, draining the
blood from its neck.
Some theories - and eyewitness accounts - are harder to believe than
others. Consider the latest sighting in the Puerto Rican town of
Caguas, where the chupacabras allegedly entered a bedroom window and
mauled a stuffed teddy bear, leaving a "puddle of slime."
Critics say the hysteria has been whipped up by sensationalist media
that are eager to promote the legend as part of a sales or rating
drive. Puerto Rico is a fertile market for such bizarre tales, due
to widespread Afro-Caribbean cultural and religious beliefs that
involve animal sacrifices and blood rituals.
Officials say folk monster tales are hard to combat with rational
Just ask Magill, the Miami zoologist. When he attended the Sweetwater
slaying, he pointed out to residents what he believes to be
incontrovertible proof the killer was a large dog, maybe 50 pounds in
weight, or more.
"They were just totally not listening," he said.
On inspection he found the bite marks were "classic canine punctures
As for the vampire theory, "Contrary to the popular belief, all the
animals were full of blood."
He demonstrated this on one dead goat. "I took a knife and cut into
the carotid artery and blood came out of the carcass."
He also showed where he believes a dog dug its way under the garden
"It was a classic dog digging. You could see all the dirt pushed back
and dog hair on the bottom of the fence." Magill was able to identify
footprints as being that of a dog.
Residents wanted to know why none of the animals had been eaten. Again
he points to what he calls the "classic m.o." of dog attacks. "Dogs
don't kill for food, they kill for fun. It's a thrill."
For Magill the scene was a deja vu experience. Two years earlier, dogs
killed 15 antelopes at the zoo in the same fashion.
But Magill says all his explanations were for naught. Local residents
were enthralled by heavy media attention that day.
An older woman came out of the house and turning to a group of TV
cameras demonstrated how she had confronted the chupacabras.
"It stood up on two legs and was hunched over like this with big arms
and looked at me with these red eyes," the woman said.
"I just said, "Oh jeez, here we go,' " says a discouraged Magill.
"As soon as she did that every news media camera zoomed in on her. That
was the footage they played over and over again."
Part Cuban, and fluent in Spanish, Magill understands the cultural
sensitivity of older people in the Hispanic community over their
religious and cultural beliefs.
He even believes in UFOs and extraterrestrial life forms.
"I'm not one of those pure scientists who say "No, we are the only
ones with the truth and all that stuff is ludicrous,' " he says.
"It's just in this case that was not it."
Copyright 1996 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.
The Chupacabra in Miami
From our un-official on-site reporters
Within this past week about six different animals
were found dead on South Florida farm land, sucked of all their blood and
left with those distinguishing Chupacabra marks on their body. The
authorities are saying it is the work of a cult, or some Santeria sacrifices,
all in all some lady claims to have seen two life forms fly out of the sky
and kill her animals. She described them as having big black eyes,
fangs, a pair of huge wings, a spine of thorn-like objects on it's back and a
long tail with a hook at the end with which she watched it grab her animals
and suck their blood [ web-editor's comments: Cool!!] . I also heard that that some local farmers have been
putting out cattle at night on purpose, as to try and catch the Chupacabra.
This is the third mutilation in one month here in Miami , just watch in the
news Primer Impacto somewhere in the vicinity of the N.W where 24 chickens
and two goats were mutilated almost exactly like the ones in Puerto Rico
with the two incisions near the right upper neck with no trace of blood. Today's
attack was the first one to be witnessed by somebody here in Miami after
last week's attack near little havana,where a man found his chickens dead
inside a cage. The lady that saw the creature, who did not state her name, , saw a shadow trough the window , which she
thought to be strange, then
said it was not a person and didn't know if it was a gorilla but that it had walked kind
of strange and was maroon in color. She saw it walk through some plantain
plants and then disappear. More info. soon!!
by Julio Berrios
We are very much afraid this little monster is visiting us,here in the miami
Area. Today we go the second report that 46 domestic animals were killed in their
Locked pen. We think el chupacabras is a pet of the real aliens and that
He is not the main chupa but a mere robot. It exists and is being covered by the authorities.
Please feel fre to e-mail us to