Joseph Cuellar: Ex-Military Official Now Prefers to Lead a Quiet Life

While there’s no denying the whole case of Danny Casolaro’s 1991 demise is shrouded in doubts as well as mystery, Joseph “Joe” Cuellar is arguably the most significant individual tied to it. That’s because, as carefully chronicled in Netflix’s ‘American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders,’ he’s a highly likely suspect if the journalist was indeed slain inside his hotel room on August 10, 1991.

Who is Joe Cuellar?

It was reportedly in 1991 itself when Joe first came across Danny at a local pub called Sign of the Whale, only for them to immediately click despite the latter being there with a close friend. “It was a kind of regular hangout…,” this friend Lynn Knowles conceded in the original. “He came in and spotted a guy at the bar in military uniform. Danny being Danny, he started talking to him…, [learning] his name was Joe and he’d just gotten back from Desert Storm that very day.” Turns out the latter already knew much about this writer’s research on his most recent project — a possible international scandal — considering he was military intelligence himself.

Danny and Joe thus exchanged numbers too, especially owing to the fact the latter had ties in several federal agencies and the former was always looking to land many, many more sources. Lynn even asked him whether he was in the army or the CIA owing to the extent of his knowledge, just for him to respond, “It’s sometimes hard to tell… My friends say I drink too much; it’s because there are things you have to do [in this line of work] that you don’t want to do.” It hence comes as no surprise this duo had actually maintained communication in the weeks to go by, only for their bond to ultimately end with the former’s dozen wrist slashes.

Therefore, of course, Joe was among the first to be interviewed by officials, only for him to claim he was in Panema at the time of Danny’s demise. However, in the same police files compiled by detectives, he’d given another alibi – that he was in Washington DC when the journalist bled to death inside his Sheraton Hotel bathtub. Nevertheless, his double claims weren’t followed up on and neither was the fact a witness had seen someone looking a lot like him enter Danny’s room using a key card mere hours before his body was found. They fact they were in Martinsburg, West Virginia, also enabled Joe to possibly commit the crime and then make his way to Washington for work to have an alibi.

Where is Joseph Cuellar Now?

It has never been clear why Joe initially lied about being in Panama at the time of Danny’s demise, and neither have the questions surrounding their first encounter – was it really chance, or was the former on a mission? The fact he specialized in psychological warfare in the army doesn’t help in curbing these doubts either, especially with his son Jeff also asserting in the docuseries that his father possessed a specific skill set that he could make anyone believe what he wanted them to believe. Coming to Joe’s current standing, this proud family man as well as likely Independent International Affairs Professional seemingly prefers to stay well away from the limelight, so we unfortunately don’t know much else about him.

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