How Did Griselda Blanco Die? Who Killed Her?

Netflix’s biographical drama series ‘Griselda’ ends without depicting Griselda Blanco’s shocking and mysterious death. In the series, Griselda surrenders to the authorities after she realizes that Rafa Salazar and his men have set out to kill her. She then gets imprisoned in the United States for several years. In reality, Griselda was deported to Colombia after the conclusion of her sentence. She was killed on September 3, 2012, in Medellín, where she lived a major part of her life before moving to Miami, Florida, to become the “Godmother” of the city’s drug scene. Even after a decade has passed since her murder, the ambiguity revolves around it remains!

Griselda’s Death

On September 3, 2012, Griselda, who had been leading a quiet and reserved life in Medellín, Colombia, went to a butcher shop in the city with her daughter-in-law to buy meat. She was sitting on a stool in the store when, around 3 PM, two men arrived at the place on a motorbike. One of the men, wearing a helmet, entered the store and located Griselda, only to pull out his revolver and shoot her twice in the head. Griselda’s pregnant daughter-in-law, who was waiting in a car nearby, came to her and placed a bible on her. By the time authorities arrived at the scene, she was lying in a pool of blood in the store.

Griselda was then transported to a hospital but it was too late. She died in the emergency room in the hospital. Griselda is buried in the Jardines de Montesacro cemetery in Itagüí, Colombia, which is renowned as the resting place of the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar. She was sent off by a crowd that also comprised neighborhood kids from Antioquia, the suburb where she reportedly worked as a prostitute and drug dealer. “Auntie, don’t leave us,” mourners said while passing around a bottle of aguardiente. Towards her late life, Griselda was religious. “She [Griselda] found religion in later years. At the same time, you can’t bring a Bible to a gunfight,” her former lover Charles Cosby told the Miami Herald after her death.

Ever since getting deported from the United States, Griselda led a low-profile life. However, she wasn’t struggling financially. “Poor? Listen to this: you and I are poor. She [Griselda] went around driving her Mazdita [a black Mazda 6] and collecting the money from the leases on the properties she still owned. She was also selling a building for 1,500 million pesos,” a police officer said about Griselda’s last days, as per El País.

Griselda’s Murderers

To this day, the mystery behind Griselda’s murder remains unsolved. The mastermind behind the crime was never captured by the police in Colombia. The killer’s decision to murder Griselda by surprisingly showing up on a motorcycle might not be accidental. It was something she “invented” and relied on during the late 1970s and early 1980s in Miami, while she was controlling the cocaine scene of southern Florida. According to former Miami homicide detective Nelson Andreu, Griselda had several enemies.

Andreu was one of the officers who investigated Griselda while she was in Miami. “It’s surprising to all of us that she had not been killed sooner because she made a lot of enemies. When you kill so many and hurt so many people like she did, it’s only a matter of time before they find you and try to even the score,” the former officer said about the murderers. According to a witness to the crime, the murder is linked to her past. “He [the killer] was a professional. It was vengeance from the past,” the person told the Miami Herald.

Bob Palombo, a former DEA agent who played a significant role in bringing Griselda down in Miami, deemed the murder as an act of revenge. “Griselda got a bad rap. We’ve all done things. Don’t judge her from what you hear in the media. I believe the number of murders she’s rumored to have ordered is accurate. At the same time, how many years ago was that? We all make mistakes. [But] in that line of work, all debts are settled,” he told the Miami Herald.

The witness shared the same belief and added that Griselda outlived most of her enemies. “Because of her legal past — she spent a lot of time in prison — they let her live for a long time. Out of these people, who is left? Very few,” he added. Alfred Spellman, who chronicled Griselda’s life in the documentary film series ‘Cocaine Cowboys,’ is not surprised that the murder case is not solved. “If this was a homicide case in America, the list of suspects would be infinite. It would be the toughest case to solve: so many people wanted her dead,” he told the Miami Herald.

Bruce Bagley, who wrote ‘Drug Trafficking in the Americas,’ made it clear that Griselda’s quiet life didn’t mean that she didn’t have any enemies. “It’s some kind of poetic justice that she met an end that she delivered to so many others. Here is a woman who made a lot of enemies on her rise and was responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of people. She might have retired to Colombia and wasn’t anything like the kind of player she was in her early days, but she had lingering enemies almost everywhere you look. What goes around comes around,” he told The Guardian.

Read More: Is June Hawkins Inspired by a Real Miami Detective? Where is She Now?