The 18 months leading up to the Dadeland Mall Massacre set the tone for what was to come. If the Dadeland Mall Massacre was the tipping point that took Miami and Dade County into Cocaine Cowboy overdrive, the writing was on the wall when it happened. Coke was officially big business and South Florida was the centerpiece of all the action. Looking back on the year and a half before the Dadeland Mall murders, you can see a disturbing pattern developing, a level of routine reckless and wanton violence and depraved behavior that slowly grew the crime rate through the 1970s until a rapid increase in homicide rate in 1978 and 1979 tied directly to the drug business put the numbers at the verge of the epidemic proportions it would soon reach the following decade.
The Pre Cocaine Cowboys Era Hit List (January 1978 – July 1979);
January 11, 1978 – Armando Garcia and Silvestro Cardenas are found shot to death in a remote field in Dade County.
January 31, 1978 – Roberto Hernandez’s dead body is dumped in a fashionable Miami neighborhood after a drug deal goes bad.
February 1, 1978 – Oscar Perez is found shotgunned to death on the greens of the Miami Springs Golf Course just weeks removed from his release from prison.
February 11, 1978 – George Weber is found shot in the back of the head in the trunk of a car in Rock-Pit Lake in South Dade.
March 3, 1978 – Alberto Estevez is found shot to death in a field in west Dade County over $10,000 drug debt.
March 21, 1978 – Carlos Juarez and Edelberto Sandoval are both found shot in the back of the head in a South Dade citrus grove.
March 28, 1978 – Italian organized crime associate Jack Cohen is found shot to death at the Rio Mar Shipping Terminal.
April 17, 1978 – Ester Rios, the maid for Miami drug boss German Jimenez Panesso, is strangled to death in a home invasion of Panesso’s mansion.
April 23, 1978 – Jaime Suescun is beaten and tortured to death as vengeance for the Panesso robbery and Ester Rios murder.
May 31, 1978 – Guadalupe Paul Gonzales and Geraldine Schafer are shot to death in their apartment.
June 9, 1978 – Jose Sanchez’s dead body dumped on North Dade County roadside, shot in chest.
June 12, 1978 – Nelson Lopez and his girlfriend Jackie Bain are shot to death inside their posh condominium on Biscayne Bay while they slept.
June 27, 1978 – Manuel Antonio Rodriguez is found in a Southwest Dade County canal shot in the back of the head and wrapped in plastic.
July 7, 1978 – Anna de LaTorre is found shot to death in her Southwest Dade County apartment. Her boyfriend was a Colombian narco czar.
July 18, 1978 – Julio Chavez is killed during a drug deal gone wrong inside his apartment with a crew of misfits out of Washington D.C.
July 18, 1978 – Ronald and Christine Wright are discovered hotgunned to death in trunk of car on northwest Dade County, killed for trying to rob Colombian drug crew.
August 5, 1978 – Carlos Arteoga and Angel Lubriel are shot to death in a contract hit.
September 11, 1978 – Julio Echeverry is killed in his apartment in Southeast Dade County by a Colombian drug crew.
September 13, 1978 – Calixto Izquierdo is driven off the road after leaving a shopping center and killed in front of his family for the belief that he was an informer.
September 15, 1978 – Juan Gutierrez is gunned down outside his Miami home over the belief that he was a snitch.
September 18, 1978 – Juan Valencia is shot to death and thrown out of a moving car.
October 10, 1978 – Walter Arbogast was found shot to death in South Dade County canal in a drug dispute.
October 12, 1978 – Maria Hernandez was killed by a Cuban drug crew in South Dade County. He’s found floating in same canal as Arbogast. She was prostitute used to entertain customers.
October 26, 1978 – Loren Needles is killed in a drive-by shooting while he was completing a drug transaction.
October 29, 1978 – Jesus Rivera was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean near Soldier Key, shackled and wrapped in a sleeping bag.
November 8, 1978 – Oscar Caravajal is found shot to death in a remote rural area of Southwest Dade County after rivals staged a takeover of his business.
November 23, 1978 – Jerry Spivey is strangled to death and thrown into south Dade County canal after being involved in a series of drug rip offs.
November 29, 1978 – New Jersey-resident Domingo Herrera is found shot to death in a trash dump in Northwest Dade County after being involved in a series of drug rip offs.
December 1, 1978 – An unidentified victim is found floating in a canal in southwest Dade County, half of his body eaten by an alligator.
December 12, 1978 – Armando Fiallo and his girlfriend Susan Ramirez are shot to death in their South Beach residence.
December 25, 1978 – Antonio Vargas is found shot to death in a field in Southwest Dade County.
December 31, 1978 – Manuel De la Cruz is found stabbed to death in his Northeast Miami residence hours after an altercation at a party.
January 7, 1979 – Diario DeJesus Flores is found shot to death near a landing strip at Richmond Air Field in South Dade County.
January 9, 1979 – Shawn Crowder is shot to death execution style in a wooded area of northeast Miami.
January 18, 1979 – Ruben Echeverria and Julio Aruza are found shot to death and left inside a giant cardboard box in a remote area of Western Dade County,
February 6, 1978 – Hamid Marrero is killed as he ate at a Cuban restaurant.
February 16, 1979 – Virginia resident Barbie Holt is found shot to death in a field in Southwest Dade County after the drug dealers she had fallen in with in Miami felt she knew too much.
February 18, 1979 – Jose Benedit is killed inside his office at the bar he owned and then dumped in the alley behind the building.
February 18, 1979 – Jose Arzeopita is gunned down inside a Latin disco.
February 22, 1979 – Rafeal Sosa is shot to death inside a Latin disco, killed as vengeance for Sosa’s involvement in the murder of a popular piano player who was connected to a powerful drug crew.
February 27, 1979 –Joe Perchetti is shot to death, allegedly as a result of a family dispute involving the drug trade.
March 3, 1979 – Steve Alvarez is found shot in the back of the head lying on the floor of his South Dade County residence. Alvarez was last seen en route to a meeting to collect a drug debt.
March 9, 1979 – Antonio Lopez is found in the trunk of a car in a restaurant parking lot.
March 13, 1979 – Anthony Mangiametti is slain in the parking lot of a West Dade County residence.
March 17, 1979 – Emilio and Aristedes Diaz are killed driving in Emilio’s Cadillac in a drive-by shooting after leaving a meeting a disco on Biscayne Boulevard.
March 21, 1979 – Rudy Billings is killed in a drug-deal rip-off .
March 24, 1979 – Jose Gutierrez is killed in a home invasion.
March 27, 1979 – Bernie Diaz is shot to death inside his Coral Gables office.
April 3, 1979 – Domingo Vior is shot to death as he walked into a Southwest Dade County grocery store.
April 3, 1979 – Danny Quintana is shot in the back of the head in the bathroom of a Miami bar.
April 8, 1979 – Angelo Colon is shot to death in the bathroom of The Sportsman’s Bar.
April 28, 1979 – Oscar Alvarez is shot to death in Southwest Dade County, just three months after his release from prison.
April 30, 1979 – Eliezer Gonzales is killed in a drive-by shooting after leaving a nightclub.
May 19, 1979 – Oscar Penagos Rios is shot to death and dumped in a ditch in Miami Springs.
May 25, 1979 – Jorge O’Campo and Vincente Vidal are shot to death inside a Key Biscayne apartment in drug deal gone bad.
May 27, 1979 – Gerardo Arraque is shot in the back of the head and dumped in Coral Gables.
May 29, 1979 – Jesus Hernandez is slain in a drive-by shooting in Southwest Dade County.
June 15, 1979 – Enrique Gato is killed in a shootout in Little Havana.
July 8, 1979 – Jesus De La Vega is found shot to death in a wooded area in Southwest Dade County,
July 11, 1979 – The Dadeland Mall Massacre: German Jimenez Panesso and Juan Carlos Hernandez are machine gunned to death inside the Crown Liquors store in the swanky Dadeland Mall.
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