A husband killed his witchcraft-fearing wife before taking his own life after claiming he was the victim of a ‘zombie attack’, an inquest heard.
The bodies of Lorraine and Jesus Matos Sanchez were discovered at their home in Leicestershire in November after neighbours heard screaming.
Jesus, 31, who believed his wife was having an affair and feared his marriage was falling apart, strangled and stabbed the 27-year-old before he hanged himself.
He left a handwritten note reading: ‘She tried to kill me first in a frenzied zombie attack and I have acted in self defence.’
When she was a teenager, Mrs Matos Sanchez appeared in court in 2009 accused of attempting to murder her mother, who she had stabbed as she slept.
Then aged just 18, Mrs Matos Sanchez was cleared of attempted murder and convicted of the lesser charge of unlawful wounding after telling jurors the spirit of her dead grandmother had appeared at the end of her bed.
Jesus Matos Sanchez, 31, left a suicide note saying he strangled his wife Lorraine, 27
Mrs Matos Sanchez, then 18, stabbed nurse Sisbsisiwe Mbulawa five times in a ‘trance-like state’ at their home in Glenfield, Leicestershire.
But she was spared jail for unlawful wounding when a judge accepted her strong beliefs in witchcraft made her think she had been taken over by spirits.
Mrs Matos Sanchez believed the spirits could one day return to possess her, Leeds Crown Court was told at the time.
Psychiatrists said she was not suffering from any mental illness and the jury agreed that she knew what she was doing.
But the A Level student, who was born in Zimbabwe, walked free after being given a 12-month suspended prison sentence.
In 2009, Mrs Matos Sanchez stabbed her own mother as she slept
At inquests into their deaths yesterday, a coroner heard how there was no obvious evidence of a frenzied fight or any previous history of domestic violence between the couple.
The only visible injuries found on Mrs Matos Sanchez, who was found face down on a bed, were a small hand scratch and a broken acrylic fingernail.
Two unused knives were discovered by police in front and rear bedrooms.
Senior coroner Catherine Mason said: ‘Just because there was no evidence of a frenzied attack doesn’t mean there wasn’t one.’
The bodies of the couple, who belonged to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, were found on November 27 last year.
Three days earlier, Mr Matos Sanchez had sent texts to his wife’s work colleagues impersonating her.
The security guard, who was from the Caribbean, admitted in his farewell note: ‘I can’t live with myself. I have called her workplace and lied that she’s not coming in. I’ve got to go now.’
He feared his wife of three years was having an affair and that his marriage was falling apart, the inquest heard.
In his note he blamed an unnamed man for ‘destroying’ their relationship. Mrs Matos Sanchez’s mobile phone has never been analysed by police because of a six-month backlog of devices awaiting forensic work in crime labs.
The bodies of the couple, who belonged to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, were found on November 27 last year at their home
But DC Natasha Batstone, from Leicestershire Police, said the man had signed a statement denying involvement.
She said: ‘That person has been spoken to and that person has been ruled out. He has given a signed statement where he denies any affair with Lorraine. There’s no other evidence at the scene to suggest otherwise.
‘The only other thing we could have done is look at her phone which we have not been able to do.’
DC Batstone said there was no obvious motive for the tragedy or what triggered it.
She added: ‘It was highlighted from some witnesses that there had been difficulties in the marriage and they had been sleeping apart.
‘[Mrs Matos Sanchez] was concerned about financial problems but nothing more. ‘She had voiced some concerns about her husband with regard to his mental state.’
Coroner Catherine Mason said there was not enough evidence to support conclusions of either unlawful killing or lawful self-defence.
Recording a narrative verdict into the death of Mrs Matos Sanchez, the coroner said: ‘She has died as a result of the actions of a third party.
‘It is not possible to say with certainty or with probability why the actions were taken or what led to them.’
The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide in the separate inquest of Mr Matos Sanchez, adding: ‘The police aren’t able to say to me exactly why he took this action, except that he did so by his own hand.’
Neighbours said Mrs Matos Sanchez lost her mother to cancer around five years ago.
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