The True And Terrible Death of Junny Rios-Martinez
How a known child molester posed as a surf magazine journalist to kidnap and murder an 11-year-old Florida boy.
Twenty seven years ago my father pulled me aside, handed me a newspaper clipping, and delivered a lecture about the nature of humanity.
I didn’t think much of it at the time. Just another boring paternal moment as I was entering an age where I didn’t want or need his wisdom, nor his advice.
At eleven years old I was almost a teenager. Damn near an adult.
But it stuck with me, however vaguely. Became a hazy memory buried in my head, half-remembered, then less.
A few years ago, pieces of the story struggled their way to the surface of my consciousness. A murky recollection. Maybe fiction. Maybe real.
Did I dream it? Had it happened at all?
I asked my father. He didn’t recall.
The man who knows everything, Matt Warshaw, didn’t know what I was talking about.
I’ve written about it a few times in the hope that someone would read and jog my memory. Help me wrap my fingers around the blurry half-fact buried deep within my brain.
Nothing, anywhere. Until I recently stumbled across a mention online.
This was it.
The story’s far more than I remembered. A truly shocking tale, in the truest sense of that word: shocking. Dark, dreadful, worth being remembered, now probably impossible to forget.
This that story, pieced together from court records, along with a few external sources, researched, reported, assembled, and edited, more than written.
It is not an easy listen.
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