A Deadly Obsession

This is the true story of Aurora Rodriguez Carballeira and her daughter Hildegart. On June 9, 1933, Aurora fired four shots and killed her daughter Hildergart (19) while she was sleeping.

Hildegart and her mother Aurora.

But let’s start from the beginning. Aurora Rodriguez Carballeira was born in Ferrol, A Coruña, Spain. She was the third daughter of an eccentric, prominent lawyer who had a vast library on utopian social order topics and eugenics (racist genetics). She did not received a conventional education as she never attended school but was homeschooled by her father whom she worshipped. She was so influenced by her father ideas that when he passed away she decided to create her own life project and proclaimed herself as the Messiah of Mankind. When Aurora was 15, her sister Pepita became a single mother and left the baby boy with the family before moving to Madrid. Young Aurora passionately devoted herself to educate the boy to become a gifted pianist. This was her first attempt to shape the life of a human being successfully as the boy later became “The Spanish Mozart”.

Pepito Arreola, Aurora’s nephew.

But her sister came back and took the boy to Paris. Aurora was devastated ” I felt like my soul left with the boy and shaped his own soul.” She then decided to implement her Plan B and have her own child. She wanted to get pregnant without passion or love so she started looking for the ideal candidate: healthy, intelligent, without prejudice; someone who understood her experiment and would not file for paternity rights. Finally she selected Alberto Pallás, a nice, open, well educated man with a sense of adventure. They had three encounters and as soon as she became pregnant she moved to Madrid.

Aurora and her lawyer during her trial.

Hildegart was born in Madrid in 1914 and became her mother’s experiment since birth. She spoke six languages at six, she finished law school at 17, became politically involved with the Socialist Party, published several books and corresponded with many European personalities like H.G. Wells who offered her to be his secretary in London. All this activities triggered her mother’s paranoia who saw Hildergat was drifting away from her influence and her plans. That’s when she decided to kill her. The coldness she showed after being arrested is reflected in some of her statements: “The sculptor, after finding the tiniest imperfection in his work, destroys it”. The murder had been “my sublime piece of work”, according to her own words.

Aurora was sentenced to twenty-six years in prison but was eventually transferred to the mental institution of Cienpozuelos where she spent the rest of her life until she died of cancer in 1955.

If you are interested in this true story I would recommend the book by Almudena Grandes “La Madre de Frankenstein” (Frankenstein’s Mother). She tells the story of Aurora based on the records obtained in Cienpozuelos, the mental hospital where she spent her final years. Here is a summary in English: https://literaryrambles.wordpress.com/2020/02/04/snippet-almudena-grandes-frankensteins-mother/

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