May 29, 2020

5° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Winnipeg Free Press


Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

'I’m not going to let you go that easy': Wife warned Adam Anhang on day of his murder, trial told

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/9/2018 (626 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — Twelve hours before he was murdered in 2005, Winnipeg native Adam Anhang told his wife he was filing for divorce, and she responded: "Just try. I’m not going to let you go that easy." The exchange came during a heated marriage counselling session.

That same night, Anhang, a 32-year-old millionaire, was stabbed and beaten to death on the streets of Old San Juan, in the presence of his wife, Aurea Vazquez-Rijos. The killer was a local man who has already confessed to a contract killing. He told police he was promised $3 million if he killed Anhang.

Vazquez-Rijos has been charged with ordering the murder-for-hire, in a conspiracy with her sister Marcia and a boyfriend, Jose Ferrer Sosa.

Monday’s dramatic testimony in a San Juan courtroom came from clinical psychologist Alexandra Ramos, who held five counselling sessions with Anhang and Vazquez-Rijos in September 2005 — the last month of Anhang’s life.

Aurea Vazquez Rijos


Aurea Vazquez Rijos

It’s taken this long for the case to come to court because of a series of local police blunders, the conviction of the wrong man, and Vazquez-Rijos’ flight to Europe before she was indicted. She has given birth to three children in the interval, including a girl while she was imprisoned in Spain before she was extradited back to Puerto Rico.

Sitting in the court Monday was Adam’s father Abe, who has been tracking the accused’s movements and legal maneuvers for 13 years.

Ramos, the marriage counsellor, said she first met with Anhang in September 2005, and it was clear that the six-month-old marriage was falling apart. Anhang was "distressed" about the fact that his family did not know he was married, that he and Aurea were quarrelling about money, that she hadn’t fulfilled her promise to convert to Judaism, and that he was unhappy with the terms of their pre-nuptial agreement. Under the agreement, she would receive $8 million of his $24 million estate in the event of his death.

At subsequent sessions, the fractured state of the marriage became more apparent. Vazquez-Rios told that counsellor that her husband was stricken by "insecurity and jealousy." She accused him of cheating on her in the first year of their relationship. She said Anhang had consulted a psychic who told him he would die in 2005, and she worried that he may have contracted AIDS. "It’s ridiculous," she said about his fears.

Ramos testified that Anhang had a proposal about how to fix the relationship. They would get a divorce, revise their pre-nuptial agreement, attend counselling, she would convert to Judaism, and they would then remarry. Vazquez-Rijos laughed off the idea, Ramos said. That’s when she made the remark about Anhang not getting off "so easy."

Adam Anhang


Adam Anhang

In 2008, she was indicted for murder-for-hire after the capture of Alex Pabon, nicknamed El Loco, a known underworld figure. He confessed, and said he’d been promised $3 million by Vazquez-Rijos, her sister Marcia and Jose Ferrer Sosa for the hit. The bounty was never paid.

Meanwhile, Vazquez-Rijos had relocated to Italy where she worked as a travel agent. She resisted extradition for several years before she was arrested in Madrid in an FBI sting operation.

Another witness, Morayma Carradero, told the court of a bizarre conversation she had with Vazquez-Rijos at a San Juan social function in August 2005 — a month before the killing. Carradero said the accused told her "she was dreaming about loneliness, death, knives, and weird things" as a result of "emotional mistreatment" at the hands of Anhang.

Finally, the office manager for Adam Anhang’s local corporation testified that on the morning after Anhang’s murder, she saw his wife’s sister Marcia leaving Anhang’s apartment with boxes containing his belongings, including his pet cats. Glorivil Rosario Garcia said that when she walked into his apartment, "it was in total disarray, like somebody had gone through all the belongings." A family friend also attempted to drive away in Anhang’s Porsche Cayenne before he was stopped by police.

Adam and Aurea had been living apart for some time.

The trial is expected to continue for another four to six weeks.

Marcia Vazquez Rijos arrives at the federal court of Old San Juan to face trial for allegedly conspiring with her boyfriend Jose Ferrer Sosa and her sister Aurea Vazquez Rijos, in the 2005 murder of former Winnipegger Adam Anhang.


Marcia Vazquez Rijos arrives at the federal court of Old San Juan to face trial for allegedly conspiring with her boyfriend Jose Ferrer Sosa and her sister Aurea Vazquez Rijos, in the 2005 murder of former Winnipegger Adam Anhang.

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.