The First Portuguese Satanic Double Murder
The gruesome account of the parenticide that shocked Portugal and an interview with the murderer
The newspapers called it the Ílhavo Crime because it was perpetrated in that County from the Aveiro district, Portugal. Tó Jó, António Jorge’s stage name, was only 20 years old, but he was already the leader of a Death Metal band called Agonizing Terror.
According to a friend, Tó Jó was a good student at Ílhavo High School and an uncharismatic introverted. He didn’t talk to anyone except his girlfriend Sara, and he didn’t show the slightest tendency for violence; he never got involved in a fight at school. Music, and mostly Death Metal, became a way to shake his shyness and make new friends.
Tó Jó never complained about his parents to his friends; his life seemed calm and quiet. António Jorge was born into a well-to-do family; his father was a medical doctor at the Ílhavo Health Center, and his mother a housewife.
The verses that Tó Jó wrote for the lyrics of his songs spoke of death and despair, but no one could have imagined that “the doctor’s son” would one day murder his father and mother with more than thirty stab wounds on an eclipse night, at the family home, in Vale D’Ílhavo.
Tó Jó lived an ordinary life with his girlfriend when they decided to form a Death Metal band and get married during a trip to Portugal’s capital, Lisbon.
It was 1993, and Portugal was a paradise for alternative music. Everyday rock and metal bands were sprouting by leaps and bounds in the garages of Ílhavo. At that time, Agonizing Terror was rehearsing in a chicken coop at their girlfriend’s parents’ house. Sara, a year younger, was the drummer, David was the guitarist, and Marco was the bassist.
After marrying Sara, Tó Jó moved to a house in São Bernardo, on the outskirts of Ílhavo, with his in-laws and brother-in-law. Tó Jó, with his long hair and strange clothes, would end up working as an accountant in a metallurgical company. His co-workers described him as very hard-working and peaceful.
During the investigation, the Portuguese Criminal Police (Polícia Judiciária aka PJ) found in the murder victims’ cars Tó Jó’s lyrics to the Agonizing Terror songs, raising suspicions about a crime with satanic contours, and Tó Jó became the main suspect of the brutal double homicide.
All his friends knew about Tó Jó’s disagreements with his father. But these must not have been too radical because, although he no longer lived at home, the young man still received pocket money and had dinner with his parents a few days before leaving for vacation. He was in São Pedro de Moel with his wife when he returned to Ílhavo to commit the crime.
The car had been removed from his parents’ garage that had no door because the house was under construction. There was evidence that Tó Jó tried to hide the crime by cleaning the blood that had dripped from his mother’s body onto the backyard's cement floor. He also tried to burn the bodies to destroy any pieces of evidence by setting magnesium firefighters on fire inside the mouths of his victims.
This fact led the police to change the investigation course, and instead of a crime with material or passionate motives, the police linked the case to a crime with satanic overtones. Tó Jó only confessed after being confronted with the hypothesis that the double homicide had no material motives and was part of a “group liturgy,” as the PJ called it.
In his possession were also religious texts, which led the PJ to continue the investigation to understand whether there were links to some satanic sect. That’s how PJ found out that this was no hate crime. With his confession, the Crime Police confirmed that this was the first satanic crime registered in Portugal.
Interview with a Murderer
Tó Jó himself revealed the details of the crime that shocked Portugal in an interview conducted by investigative reporter Felícia Cabrita for Portuguese TV channel SIC, on 5 August 2001, at the Coimbra Prison facilities where he was incarcerated.
Tó Jó talked about the crime and revealed Sara’s participation in the whole process. From the proposal of the murder to the planning and carrying out of the crime to the escape and consequent arrest To Jó gives details of the involvement of his former companion, to whom he attributes the moral authorship of the crime.
“There’s a day when Sara comes up with an astonishing, absurd conversation that left me not knowing what to think (…) Sara’s obsession with that idea, with having to kill my parents, of course the idea came up in her head.”
Tó Jó goes on explaining:
To Sara, to my Sara nothing was denied, I couldn’t, how could I do that (…) There’s a moment when I can’t take it anymore and I give in to her will. This is also very important. It’s that there’s not only the accepting, I refused many times, only that there is a moment when I end up giving in (…) From then on I couldn’t go back either because I had told Sara: ‘Okay’. When I said yes, Sara was thrilled…”
Planning the crime
In this phase of the interview, Tó Jó recounts the entire planning phase of the murder, the various chances of carrying it out, and the definitive plan.
“My parents went on vacation and before they went there was already the idea (…) We went to S. João da Madeira for a weekend, we rented a room, some things were bought, we tried that, it was all a time of preparation.”
Hearing Tó Jó explain the plan, we understand how this wasn’t a crime of passion:
“At this stage, it was already established that everything would take place with a knife. Later it was necessary to buy that and then we went to Coimbra, far from Aveiro.” It was August 1999 (…) we knew that my vacations would start after my parents came and it was also foreseen that all that would be done when we were due for vacations so that there would be no suspicion that it could be us, that it could be me.”
During the interview, Tó Jó wants us to believe that he was utterly under Sara’s spell: “There was even the possibility that Sara would go with me, that Sara would participate (…) However, that hypothesis came to be put aside because I couldn’t imagine Sara… maybe to protect her…”
Carrying out the murder
Tó Jó describes all the steps, from leaving S. Pedro de Moel, returning to Ílhavo, to the violent scenes that led to the murder of his father and mother, in somewhat different situations.
“I arrive at my parents’ house around half past midnight maybe. And I would have to follow as a rule what was set in stone. I had a letter written by Sara that had a double function. The first was for me to give my parents an explanation of my presence there… the other was for my parents to read it and that way they wouldn’t be looking at me, so they wouldn’t suspect what was going to happen next.
After the initial attack, the parents ran away, leading to a more complex situation than the one Tó Jó had foreseen. At this stage, Tó Jó is keen to emphasize one aspect: “There is one crucial thing. It’s that my parents, even after it started, never had any aggressive, violent movement against me… They never hit me. They just tried to defend themselves.”
Tó Jó ended up killing his father inside the house with 33 stab wounds, and his mother was killed near the gate as she was running for her life.
Return to S. Pedro de Moel
Tó Jó explains how he had planed the aftermath to the crime: “Everything was outlined with Sara to the smallest detail, including my return (…) I would then have to take a route only that would be done in case things went the other way Sara and I were expecting because I could only leave the house at dawn…”
“When I got to the car next to Sara … she asked me what was going on because she had been waiting for me for a long time (…) It was more than evident, the state I was in … Not only my hands (with cuts) but even stains that I still had on me.”
Crime Police investigation
When they returned to Ílhavo, they had to pretend they knew nothing about the event, and the news was given by Sara’s parents: “When I got to my parents-in-law, my father-in-law hugged me, giving me the news.” Later, they were summoned by the Criminal Police (PJ) to go to Tó Jó’s parents’ house and help with the investigation.
“I knew then that the truth would come out, that everything would be discovered, and so Sara and I had previously spoken that if I came to speak, to say what had happened I would only speak about myself. I would be locked up, no matter how many years, but one day Sara and I would be able to live together again, to be able to be together which is what we always wanted…”
The Ílhavo crime took place on the night of August 11 to 12, 1999. Tó Jó’s father had 34 stab wounds and a deeper blow to the neck that almost beheaded him. His mother had been stabbed at least a dozen times.
On December 20, 1999, the first trial session was held in the Ílhavo Court. The sentence was read out on April 17, 2001. Tó-Jó was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed by the Portuguese Penal Code, for two counts of aggravated murder.
The court found that the defendant's acts on the night of August 11 to 12, 1999, which resulted in the brutal murder of his parents, were proven. The judges' panel described this crime as having been committed with “unbearable brutality” and with “ruthlessness beyond description. Tó-Jó’s wife, Sara Matos, was eventually acquitted for lack of concrete evidence implicating their participation in or knowledge of the double murder in Vale de Ílhavo. However, the court “seriously” admitted the hypothesis of convicting the murderer’s wife.
Tó Jó was sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed by Portuguese law, 25 years. He was inmate 112 of wing E of the Coimbra Prison, where he became a jail band member. Tó Jó was released from prison on parole on the morning of 7 March 2012. “He is a new man, changed,” according to his lawyer.
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