Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Lonely Hearts Killers

Raymond Fernandez

Raymond Martinez Fernandez was born on the island of Hawaii on December 17, 1914. His parents were of Spanish descent and proud people who were disappointed in Raymond's frail and sickly appearance. His father especially was not fond of Raymond and wished for a stronger son. When Raymond was only three, the family moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut. In 1932, Raymond decided to go to Spain to live and work on an uncle's farm. There, at the age of 20, he married a local woman named Encarnacion Robles and set up house. By then, Raymond had left behind the awkward weakness of his youth and evolved into a handsome, well-built young man. He had a calm, gentle manner and was well liked in the village of Orgiva.

When the Second World War began, Raymond served with Spain's merchant marine. But he soon found service with the British government as a spy and apparently achieved certain notoriety in the intelligence gathering community. Little is known of his wartime activities but the Defense Security Office in Gibraltar once said that he "was entirely loyal to the Allied cause and carried out his duties which were sometimes difficult and dangerous, extremely well."

In late 1945, after the war was over, Fernandez decided to return to America to find work and then send for Encarnacion and his newborn son. He managed to get passage on a freighter that was headed for the island of Curacao in the Dutch West Indies. While on board the ship, Raymond was the victim of life altering event. As he attempted to come up to the deck, an open steel hatch cover fell directly on the top of his head. The injury caused a severe indentation on his skull and may have damaged his brain in an irreversible way. When the ship docked in December 1945, he was placed into the hospital where he remained until March 1946.

Upon his release from the hospital, Raymond had undergone a personality transformation. Before the accident he was an ordinary young man who was socially adept, open with people and courteous in manner. But after the accident, Raymond became distant, moody and quick to anger. He did not smile as easily and when he spoke, he often rambled. Personality disorders that result from head injury are well documented and research suggests that the level of disorder hinges upon the severity and location of the injury. In Fernandez's case, the injury, which fractured his skull, was located in the frontal lobe region that regulates the learning, reasoning and logical segments of brain function. There was no doubt: Raymond Fernandez was a changed man.

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