Inside the Dentist's Murder That Rattled Uptown Dallas

Brenda Delgado orchestrated the killing of her ex's new love
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2020 10:05 AM CST
Inside the Murder-for-Hire That Rattled Uptown Dallas
This undated handout photo provided by the FBI shows Brenda Delgado, now serving life without parole.   (FBI via AP, File)

In 2015, a gunman fatally shot 35-year-old pediatric dentist Kendra Hatcher in a Dallas parking garage and took her purse. The murder and robbery shook the Uptown neighborhood where Hatcher had lived among other well-to-do young adults, writes Skip Hollandsworth at Texas Monthly. Young women were suddenly leery about strolling at night. Hatcher had a serious boyfriend named Ricky Paniagua, a doctor who'd come to Texas to complete his residence in dermatology. The night Hatcher was killed, he texted a close friend with the news, a woman named Brenda Delgado. They'd once been in a relationship, but it ended amicably, at least in Paniagua's view. Delgado offered comfort and support and even offering to bring groceries to his place. As the story explains, however, it turned out to be Delgado who'd orchestrated the killing.

"What exactly had flipped inside Brenda?" wonders Hollandsworth. "Was she afflicted with something called obsessive love disorder—an actual term that some psychologists use to describe someone who is fixated on possessing another person?" It's clear that Delgado never got over the breakup. She stalked Paniagua online and tracked his whereabouts, all the while maintaining a friendly demeanor with him when she "accidentally" ran into him. Eventually, she paid a new acquaintance to help her with the plot to kill Hatcher, and the two of them paid a gunman for the actual shooting. It didn't take long for the amateurs' scheme to be exposed, thanks to incriminating texts and surveillance camera images. Delgado is serving life without parole, the woman who helped her struck a deal for lesser time, and the gunman was sentenced to death. (Read the full story.)

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