was killed as an act of family revenge by Jesus Herrera, the last surviving son of Villa's
former general Jose de la Luz Herrera. In 1914, Jose de la Luz Herrera and his family
betrayed Villa and joined Carranza. Villa then made it a goal to exterminate the Herrera
clan. After Villa retired, Jesus Herrera was determined to use his family's wealth to seek
revenge on Villa. In 1922, a secret war began between Herrera and Villa and lasted over
a year. According to Villa, Herrera had bribed a number of men, including some of his
One of Villa's bodyguards, Ramon Contreras, was also badly wounded but managed to
kill at least one of the assassins before he himself managed to escape; he would be the
only person who accompanied Villa during this assassination who managed to survive.
Two other bodyguards, Claro Huertado and Villa's main personal bodyguard Rafael
Madreno, who were with him also died, as did his personal secretary Daniel Tamayo
and his high ranking Colonel Miguel Trillo, who served as his chauffeur. Villa is
sometimes reported to have died saying: "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said
something." However, there is no contemporary evidence he survived his shooting even
momentarily, and his biographer, Katz, confirms that Villa died instantly; Time
Magazine also reported in 1951 that both Villa and his aide (Tamayo) were killed
instantly. The next day, Villa's funeral was held and thousands of his grieving
supporters in Parral followed his casket to his burial site while Villa's men and his
closest friends remained at the hacienda in the Canitullo armed and ready for an attack
by the government troops. The six surviving assassins hid out in the desert and were
soon captured, but only two of them served a few months in jail, and the rest were
commissioned into the military.
Shortly after his death, two theories emerged about why he was killed. One was that he
negotiated with Villa for his retirement. Part of the peace agreement was that Villa
would receive a hacienda in Chihuahua.
In exchange for his retirement, Villa was given a 25,000 acre hacienda in Canutillo, just
outside of Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua, by the national government. This was in
addition to the Quinta Luz estate that he owned with his wife, María Luz Corral de Villa,
in Chihuahua, Chihuahua. The last remaining 200 guerrillas and veterans of Villa's milita
who still maintained a loyalty to him would reside with him in his new hacienda as well
and the Mexican government also granted them a pension that totalled 500,000 gold
pesos. The 50 guerrillas who still remained in Villa's small cavalry would also be
allowed to serve as Villa's personal bodyguards.
On Friday, 20 July 1923, Villa was killed while visiting Parral. Usually accompanied by
his entourage of Dorados (his bodyguards) Pancho Villa frequently made trips from his
ranch to Parral for banking and other errands.
This day, however, Villa had gone into the town without them, taking only a few
associates with him. He went to pick up a consignment of gold from the local bank
soon rose to a position of leadership through his bravery and ruthlessness. He earned
good money as a bandit, and gave some if it back to the poor, which earned him a
reputation as a sort of Robin Hood.
The Mexican Revolution broke out in 1910 when Francisco I. Madero, who had lost a
crooked election to dictator Porfirio Díaz, declared himself president and called for the
people of Mexico to take up arms. Arango, who had changed his name to Pancho Villa
(after his grandfather) by then, was one who answered the call. He brought his bandit
force with him and soon became one of the most powerful men in the north as his
army swelled. When Madero returned to Mexico from exile in the United States in
1911, Villa was one who welcomed him. Villa knew he was no politician but he saw
promise in Madero and vowed to take him to Mexico City.
The corrupt regime of Porfirio Díaz was still entrenched in power, however. Villa soon
gathered an army around him, including an elite cavalry unit. Around this time he earned
the nickname “the Centaur of the North” because of his riding skill. Along with fellow
warlord Pascual Orozco, Villa controlled the north of Mexico, defeating federal
garrisons and capturing towns. Díaz might have been able to handle Villa and Orozco,
|On March 16, 1916,
Pancho Villa led a
raiding party that
New Mexico. They
came away with very
little, but Villa's intent
was for political, not
Mexico was politically
|If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the Forensic Genealogy book.
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
1. Pancho Villa
2. Theories vary: Mexican Presidents Obregon and Calles
are prime suspects behind the murder.
3. The Museum of the Revolution in Chichuahua, Mexico
|1. What revolutionary hero was killed while being driven in this car?
2. Who was supposedly behind the assassination?
3. What organization claims to have his only authentic death mask?
|Idea contributed by Angel Esparza.
|Click here ONLY if you want a hint.
|Congratulation to Our Winners!
Shirley Hamblin Tom Tollefsen
Jim Kiser Audrey Nicholson
Gina Hudson Donna Jolley
Mike Dalton Judy Bradley
Diane Legere George Wright
Carol Farrant Ellen Welkere
Marilyn Hamill Ben Hollister
Sally Garrison Peter Norton
Betty Chambers Janice M. Sellers
Audrey Nicholson Margaret Waterman
Daniel E. Jolley Claudio Trapote
Margaret Paxton Angel Esparza
Robert W. Austin Alex Prociv
Robert and Donald McKenna
Quiz Poets Laureate
|Comments from Our Readers
|I googled "revolutionary hero assassinated car" and the first 3 hits were about Pancho
Villa. Shirley Hamblin
Another fun one! Isn't there a movie out on the Mexican Revolution? Have to see it
now after reading about Pancho! Diane Legere
Since it was very unlikely that a hero of the American Revolution was killed while being
driven in car, the other possibles were Pancho Villa (Mexico) or Michael Collins (Irish).
I looked up Pancho Villa on Wikipedia and found the above information (and the photo
By the way, according to Wikipedia, Villa's skull was stolen from his grave in
I did click on the hint. I had some problems with 'Charles Dickens'. I was pretty sure
he didn't drive that car. After I had found the answer, I went back and clicked on the
hint again. Only then did I see the photo of the Chihuahua. I was looking for a text
clue. Sigh! Carol Farrant
He should have been driving this. Marilyn Hamill
or had Boilerplate with him like in 1916:
Pretty easy one by Googling "revolutionary hero assassinated car death mask". The car
has the old Dodge emblem (Star of David) which ties in with the black Dodge Roadster
that Villa was driving when assasinated. Info from
www.bobbrooke.com/panchovilla.htm. Cute hint!!! (Looked at it
afterwards) Ben Hollister
One of the rare quizzes that I knew (most of) the answers the moment I saw the
picture and/or read the first question. Antonio Banderas and his appearance in
the movie" And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself" gets the credit for "giving" me
the answers to this quiz. A quick trip to Wikipedia confirmed everything.
Thanks for another great quiz! Sally Garrison
N.B. Thanks, and always keep in mind the old saying: "El que vive por la espada,
muere por la espada." - Q. Gen.
LOL...Yes, I got lucky this week. Y, palabras mas verdaderas nunca fueron dichas.
Pancho deberia haber recordado esa frase. Sally Garrison
I'm not sure how I knew, but I knew instantly that it was Villa's car. Saves a lot of
work! Peter Norton
I clicked on the "hint" but the link was broken and I did not need it. I first went for Che
Guavera (sp?) but the wrong decade. Google the authentic "death mask" did the trick.
HA! I just checked out [the hint]. CLEVER AND WITTY! Shirley Hamblin
|Boilerplate Saved Villa's Life in 1916.
|divided between the U.S.-backed Carrancistas (who were in power)
and the Villistas (who were rebelling against them). Pancho's hope
was to trigger a U.S. military intervention in Mexico that would rally
peasant support behind the Villistas. Villa's plan worked: days later,
President Wilson sent into Mexico a U.S. Army Punitive Expedition
under the command of General Pershing.
Pershing's orders were to capture Villa and/or destroy his forces, and
he was prepared to use the latest technology at his disposal. Included
in his requisition were the newly formed 1st Aero Squadron,
Vickers-Maxim machine guns, and what the general refered to as
"Roosevelt's mule": Boilerplate. Pershing first saw the mechanical
man in action during the assault on San Juan Heights in the
Spanish-American War, and was impressed with its abilities.
As seen in the above photo, Boilerplate was attached to the all-black
10th Cavalry (of San Juan fame), under Colonel Brown, for the
purpose of long-range reconnaissance. Flying columns of the 10th
pushed down into the Santa Maria Valley, toward El Valle.
On March 19, Boilerplate was scouting along the general campaign
route, nearly 80 miles south of Colonel Brown's position, and entered
Pancho Villa and his
"Suddenly there was a
Someone cried out that
an American soldier had
been captured just north
|of town. This soldier was being led to the hotel where Villa was
headquartered. I went outside to see for myself, and a stranger sight I
have never witnessed in my life. This American was not a man at all,
nor did it seem possible this being could ever be held by any jail, for
he was made entirely of metal and stood a head taller than anyone
around him. A large blanket was fastened around his shoulders, so
that from a distance he appeared as an ordinary peasant. I learned
later that lookouts north of the town had tried to stop this metal figure
with rifle fire as he approached. The bullets were like mosquitoes to
this giant, who, instead of retaliating against the attackers, simply
asked to see their leader. Thus he was led down the main street by
the lookouts, accumulating spectators as they made their way to the
The unusual meeting lasted for two hours. When it was over, Villa
gave the order for his men to leave Namiquipa and head south.
Whether Boilerplate gave intelligence on maneuvers of the 10th
|Cavalry is unclear, but Villa was informed
by a scout that 200 Carrancista soldiers
were closing in on his position.
After riding a few miles, Pancho realized
that his troops outnumbered his opponent
two to one, and they turned about to
engage the enemy. After a fierce firefight,
the Villistas defeated the Carrancistas. The
following day, Pancho and his men
marched out of town with 100 new horses
and a pair of machine guns.
Boilerplate remained in Namiquipa. Two
days later it was reunited with its assigned
|unit when the 10th Cavalry arrived in town. "Roosevelt's mule"
informed Col. Brown of Villa's intent to attack Guerrero, nearly 100
miles to the south. Between these two towns were a maze of canyons
and mountains that topped 11,200 feet. And Pancho had a 50-hour
Col. Dodd and the 7th Cavalry (of Custer fame) were also bearing
down on Guerrero, a Carrancista stronghold. But it was Boilerplate
that reached the town before any U.S. forces. On the 28th of March,
the mechanical man found itself in the middle of a firefight between
Villistas and Carrancistas.
At this point Boilerplate inadvertently became a lynchpin in history.
During one of Villa's charges on an enemy position, a machine gunner
had a clear shot at Villa. Boilerplate positioned himself between the
fusillade and its intended target. Out of a dozen rounds fired, only one
hit Pancho in the leg. The mechanical man had prevented the death of
The Villistas took Guerrero, but Pancho left town on a stretcher that
evening, He could not chance being captued by the Americans. The
next day, U.S. Cavalry forces arrived; in the subsequent battle, they
took the town and killed nearly 50 Villistas. Pancho hid out in the
mountains, recuperating and reorganizing.
Boilerplate provided no further intelligence about Villa's movements
and was sent back to the U.S. General Pershing never caught Villa,
and was eventually ordered to leave Mexico. The Carrancistas were
ousted from power in 1920; their successors granted Villa a pardon.
Three years later, Pancho was shot in a quarrel over money.
Pancho Villa is one of only two foreign militia since 1812 to attack
the United States and get away with it.
I wonder what he would look like in a sombrero. - Q. Gen.
|A Hidden Clue - How Alex Solved the Puzzle
|In order to obtain this information I
started off by identifying the
automobile by searching "automobile,
star of david logo" After identifying
that it was a Dodge, I searched,
"revolutionary, dodge, assassination"
That led me to Pancho Villa. Thanks!
That was a lot of fun!
|Quiz Number 353 27 May 2012
It took multiple assassins
To end his earthly stay,
As a hero to some and killer to many,
He died in a most effective way.
Sitting in a Black Dodge Roadster,
Several assassins blasted away,
Cutting short his cruel life
In a most final way.
His death mask is proof of his demise,
Can easily be seen by all.
Just visit the El Paso Museum,of History,
To review the results of his fall
Although a Native of Mexico,
He came to America for his plundering and fun
So use this history as a Life Lesson,
"Don't Mess with Texas!," son.
Robert Edward McKenna
Quiz Poet Laureate
Pancho the thug met his demise
In a not unexpected way
He went to town to visit the bank
On a otherwise ordinary day.
The Powers that Be called away the police
No bodyguards were in the estrada
Should he have just heeded the words of his mom-
El que vive por la espada muere por la espada.
Colleen Fitzpatrick PhD
Understudy of Robert Edward McKenna
Quiz Poet Laureate
Pancho Villa was a Mexican revolutionary leader
who advocated for the poor and wanted agrarian
reform. Though he was a killer, a bandit, and a
revolutionary leader, many remember him as a
folk hero. Pancho Villa was also responsible for a
raid on Columbus, New Mexico in 1916, which
was the first attack on U.S. soil since 1812.
Pancho Villa was born Doroteo Arango to a family
of impoverished sharecroppers who worked land
belonging to the wealthy and powerful López
Negrete family in the state of Durango. According
to legend, when young Doroteo caught one of the
López Negrete clan trying to rape his sister
Martina, he shot him in the foot and fled to the
mountains. There he joined a band of outlaws and
but he also had to worry about the guerrilla forces of
Emiliano Zapata in the south, and before too long it
was evident that Díaz could not defeat the enemies
arrayed against him. He left the country in April of
1911, and Madero entered the capital in June,
From October 1910 to May 1911, Pancho Villa was
a very effective revolutionary leader. However, in
May 1911, Villa resigned from command because of
differences he had with another commander, Pascual
On May 29, 1911, Villa married Maria Luz Corral a
woman whom he met when he and his army rode
into San Andres and asked for monetary
contributions.He tried to settle down to a quiet life.
Unfortunately, though Madero had become president,
political unrest again appeared in Mexico.
Orozco, angered by being left out of what he considered his rightful place in the new
government, challenged Madero by starting a new rebellion in the spring of 1912. Villa
gathered troops and worked with General Victoriano Huerta to support Madero. In June
1912, Huerta accused Villa of stealing a horse and ordered him to be executed. A
reprieve from Madero came for Villa at the very last minute but Villa was still remitted
to prison. Villa remained in prison from June 1912 to December 27, 1912, when he
By the time Villa escaped from prison, Huerta had switched from a Madero supporter to
a Madero adversary. On February 22, 1913, Huerta killed Madero and claimed the
presidency for himself. Villa then allied himself with Venustiano Carranza to fight
Pancho Villa was extremely successful, winning battle after battle during the next
several years. Since Pancho Villa conquered Chihuahua and other northern areas, spent
much of his time reallocating land and stabilizing the economy.
In the summer of 1914, Villa and Carranza split and became enemies. For the next
several years, Mexico continues to be embroiled in a civil war between the factions of
Pancho Villa and Venustiano Carranza.
The United States took sides in the battle
and supported Carranza. On March 9,
1916, Villa attacked the town of
Columbus, New Mexico. His attack was
the first on American soil since 1812. The
U.S. sent several thousand soldiers across
the border to hunt for Pancho Villa.
Though they spent over a year searching,
they never caught him.
On May 20, 1920, Carranza was
assassinated and Adolfo De la Huerta
became the interim president of Mexico.
De la Huerta wanted peace in Mexico so
Generals Obregon, Villa and Pershing pose
after meeting at Ft Bliss, TX (Immediately
behind Gen Pershing is his aide, 1st Lt
George S. Patton, Jr.).
with which to pay his Canutillo ranch
staff. While driving back through the city
in his black 1919 Dodge roadster, Villa
passed by a school and a pumpkinseed
vendor ran toward Villa's car and shouted
Viva Villa! – a signal for a group of seven
riflemen who then appeared in the middle
of the road and fired over 40 shots into
the automobile. In the fusillade of shots,
Villa was hit by 9 Dumdum bullets in his
head and upper chest, killing him instantly.
He was found in the driver seat of the car,
with one hand reaching for his gun.
own former generals, to kill him and was
The other theory that emerged was that
Villa was killed for political reasons. At the
time of his death, Villa had taken an
interest in running for President of Mexico
and would have presented a significant
challenge to his rival potential candidate
Plutarco Elias Calles.
While it has never been completely proven
|General Pancho Villa
in the entrance of Ojinaga
Villa as he appeared in the
United States press during the
who was responsible for the assassination, most historians attribute Villa's death to a
well planned conspiracy, most likely initiated by Plutarco Elías Calles and Joaquin
Amaro with at least tacit approval of the then president of Mexico, Obregon. At the
time, a state legislator from Durango, Jesus Salas Barraza, whom Villa once whipped
during a quarrel over a woman, claimed sole responsibility for the plot. Barraza admitted
that he told his friend Gabriel Chavez, who worked as a dealer for General Motors, that
he would kill Villa if he were paid 50,000 pesos. Chavez, who wasn't wealthy and didn't
have 50,000 pesos on hand, then collected money from enemies of Villa and managed
to collect a total of 100,000 pesos for Barraza and his other co-conspirators. Barraza
also admitted that he and his co-conspirators watched Villa's daily car-rides and paid the
pumpkinseed vendor at the scene of Villa's assassination to shout "Viva Villa!" either
once if Villa was sitting in the front part of the car or twice if he was sitting in the back.
Villa and his wife Maria Luz Corral had only one child, a daughter who died within a
few years after birth. An alleged son of Pancho Villa, the Lieutenant Colonel Octavio
Villa Coss, was reportedly killed by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra, a legendary drug lord
from the Gulf Cartel, in 1960. While Villa had engaged in several marriage ceremonies
with many of his mistresses, Corral was his only legal wife. Corral would also take care
of the children Villa fathered through his various extramarital affairs. At the time of his
death, Corral and five different women each claimed to be his widow.
|Pancho Villa Mausoleum in Chihuahua
courtesy Angel Esparza