Blood in the Divan
• The book has been a Bestseller in Venezuela over the last decade.
• The book was made into a TV show in Latin America.
• The book was turned into an award-winning theater play in Spanish.
The body of Roxana Vargas, a 19-year-old journalism student, is found on the outskirts of Caracas. Her disappearance had been reported by her humble family with whom she had communicated before she disappeared. Ana Teresa, Roxana’s mother, was immediately suspicious of her psychiatrist with whom her daughter had started a love affair some time ago. It wasn’t just any psychiatrist: the suspect was Edmundo Chirinos, a famous character, loved and admired by different sectors of Venezuelan society.
Edmundo Chirinos was a celebrity. He had been the psychiatrist of President Hugo Chávez and his wife, Marisabel, rector of the most important university in Venezuela, presidential candidate and came to occupy relevant positions in the pro-Chávez administration.
Hardly anyone took Ana Teresa’s accusations seriously. Only a tenacious policeman and a rigorous forensic expert-led investigation that pushed the official investigations.
The investigations opened the floodgates to the life of a monster who had abused hundreds of patients for decades. Chirinos had taken advantage of his condition as a psychiatrist and applied treatments that numbed them so that he could rape them. In the basement of his office, he had built a space to sedate up to six women of any age simultaneously. In his residence were found 1200 photos and videos with images of intimate moments with different people, some of great relevance in society. Despite the fact that corrupt police accomplices had warned him of an imminent house search, he did not have time to destroy the evidence.
Chirinos went to trial being confident in his prestige and political support, but along the way, he had exposed his twisted mind to a journalist’s tape recorder, and despite the interference of power, it was impossible for Chirinos to escape a 20-year prison sentence. However, that’s not where the tragedy ends.