Murders A-Z

3 People Convicted For BDSM Torture and Murder of Midwestern Woman Living In California

A "sex dungeon" was found in the home of the murderers.

Murders A-Z is a collection of true crime stories that take an in-depth look at both little-known and infamous murders throughout history.

An all-American girl from Missouri, 22-year-old Brittany Killgore’s life ended tragically after being tortured by three roommates who lived as “master,” “mistress,” and “slave.” The trio—including Louis Ray Perez, Dorothy Maraglino and Jessica Lopez--had a “sex dungeon” that contained “bondage type sex apparatuses, toys and tools” in their Fallbrook home, which is north of San Diego.

Brittany, whose story is told on Oxygen’s “In Ice Cold Blood,” had moved to San Diego after marrying a military man, Cory Killgore. In San Diego, their marriage fell apart, and while Cory was deployed to Afghanistan, Brittany filed for divorce. She was packing to head home when she got a knock on the door from Louis Perez, the boyfriend of Dorothy Maraglino, whom she had recently befriended.

If she had packed a few days earlier, she might still be alive.

Perez, the “master” of the BDSM trio, was a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps, and asked her to go on a dinner cruise in the San Diego harbor. She initially declined, not wanting to ruffle feathers with his girlfriend.

But Perez offered to help Brittany move if she accompanied him on the cruise. After talking to his girlfriend, who was okay with the meet-up, Brittany agreed to join him. When the two ended up missing the cruise, they allegedly decided to go to a local bar.

Later that evening, Brittany sent her friend a text message that simply said: “Help.”

Brittany’s friend followed up to see if she was okay, and Brittany responded: “Yes, i love this party.”

This set off alarm bells to the friend, who noted that Brittany always used the word “yeah” rather than “yes” in text messages. Brittany was reported missing to police. Her friends told police to look into Louis Perez, who claimed he left Brittany at the club after witnessing her talking to other men.

Detectives soon noticed there was mud on the wheel wells of Perez’s truck. “If you do get mud in your wheel wells, it’s because you’re usually doing some type of off road driving,” an investigator told “In Ice Cold Blood.” Perez blamed the mud on going to collect firewood.

Investigators discovered stolen firearms inside Perez’s truck, according to “In Ice Cold Blood.” Perez claimed that the firearms were given to him via the Marine Corps and that he didn’t realize they were stolen, but police arrested him on felony charges of “possessing an assault weapon and possessing stolen property,” according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

These charges would end up being the least of Perez’s problems.

Investigators discovered the “sex dungeon” after paying a visit to Perez’s girlfriend. They also discovered she was the “mistress” and her roommate, Jessica Lopez, the “slave,” in a BDSM threesome.

While Brittany was missing, her mother, Michelle, received a call from her phone. “I answered the phone and my heart dumped because it wasn’t her,” Michelle told “In Ice Cold Blood.” Turns out a homeless person had found Brittany’s phone on the street and was calling her contacts. Brittany's mother implored the transient person to give the phone to a nearby police officer.

Though Perez had claimed that Brittany was downtown that evening, her phone location data indicated that she was in Fallbrook-- near the trio’s home-- at 9:30pm.

When investigators went back to the Fallbrook residence, Dorothy Maraglino and Jessica Lopez were gone—as were many of their belongings. Maraglino, police discovered, had rented a nearby hotel, and when they entered they saw a bloody and cut-up Jessica Lopez, who had left a note in the bathroom titled “Pigs Read This.” The note attempted to exonerate Louis Perez and Dorothy Maraglino from wrongdoing, with Jessica writing that she had killed Brittany Killgore and her body had been dumped near Lake Skinner. 

Investigators weren’t so sure about the truthfulness of the note.

Knowing that Lopez lived as a BDSM slave to Perez and Maraglino, they had to take their lifestyle roles into account when considering whether the note was written by the force of others or under Lopez’s own free will.

After police discovered Brittany’s body in the Lake Skinner area, it became apparent she had been violated and mutilated, and had endured hours of torture prior to her death. According to CBS News, Lopez said that she “shot the victim with a stun gun, wrapped a rope around [her] neck, buried her face in a pillow and strangled her.” She also attempted to “chop her up” by using power tools.

On October 21, 2015, Louis Perez, Dorothy Maraglino and Jessica Lopez were all three convicted with first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole, according to The Los Angeles Times.

According to CBS News, there was no indication that Brittany had been aware of the trio’s sexual fetishes, and prosecutors called her an ‘innocent victim.”

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