I spend many of my days researching, and I often come across strange and fascinating tales that don’t quite fit in my books. Thus, Friday story time is born. Because, really, does a great story need a reason?
In 1560, Lope de Aguirre joined an expedition down the Amazon River in search of El Dorado, the fabled city of gold. A year into the journey, his group faced disease, food shortages, and hostile locals.
Lope grew paranoid. He convinced other expedition members that the leader, Pedro de Ursúa, was corrupt. After the group rebelled and killed Ursúa, Lope murdered the replacement leader. He took control of the expedition, slaughtering anyone who opposed him – including several priests.
Next, Lope rebelled against the Spanish crown and declared himself a prince. He started raiding local towns and villages. When he was about to be captured, Aguirre killed his own daughter so she wouldn’t be forced to live among enemies. He was eventually executed by Spanish soldiers.
There. How’s that for a little gruesomeness to start your summer weekend? See you next week!