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Monday, April 8, 2013

Murdered prostitute said to haunt old Sanger bar where she was killed

On May 16, 1993 one of the worst massacres in the history of Fresno County occurred on the outskirts of the town of Sanger at a little bar called Carrillo's Club. It was after 2:00 am and the bar had just closed when two men armed with semi-automatic weapons entered the bar and opened fire on. When it was over a total of seven people were dead including the owner, his mother, his half-brother, a friend, and three employees. For years the murders remained unsolved until an inmate that was already serving time for another murder in Fresno County, a Johnnie Malarkey, admitted the being one of the two gunmen (the other, a Allen Helfin, committed suicide in 1998). Upon his admission the case was closed and he is currently serving several life imprisonments for the crimes he committed.

The murders aren't the only sordid history that Carrillo's Club was a part of. For years the place was rumored to be a hub for drug trafficking and prostitution and was well known for being a scene of rapes, stabbings, and numerous shootings. Given the fact that it was on the outskirts of Sanger it fell into a grey area of jurisdiction between the city and Fresno County as to who had authority over it. The murders were the finally grisly act in a place steeped in a history or illicit activity.

Even though the bar is no longer around, it seems one of its former patrons ghostly form has been seen near the old location. Many witnesses have seen the ghost of a young woman walking down the road in the direction of Fresno. She's usually only seen for an instant before she disappears. Interesting enough it's thought she isn't one of the victims from the 1993 shootings, but was a prostitute that was murdered there years ago. For whatever reason she continues to walk down the road, perhaps still trying to get home.


Anonymous said...

The Carillo Club was actually annexed to the City of Fresno before 1993, but it had a right to continue operating under the use permit issued by Fresno County. After the Rodney King riots in LA, state law changed and now local agencies (and their police departments) can keep a much tighter rein on establishments that sell alcohol.

Anonymous said...

Yea I herd of this story so many times because my family was the one that owed that place and had died

Unknown said...

All late but my dad was killed there as well. His name was Alfredo Carrillo.

Anonymous said...

Reopen carillos!

Anonymous said...

Much has been uncovered regarding this case and ties to longstanding police corruption including drug and human trafficking. People on both sides of the "law", and politicians as well, would hang out and meet up here frequently in order to cut backroom deals for everything from mob style hits, drug running, prostitution, etc., you name it, they all hand their hands in it. At some point people began to feel that the owner was starting to become jaded with how his club and community connections were being used (or, aying devils advocate here, perhaps he wasn't getting a fair slice of the pie) and it was rumored that he was going to take the corrupt happenings up the ladder to the FBI etc., and it was either one of these mafia type gangs or the police (or possibly both) that put a hit on him and covered it up. The stories surrounding the owners family members working toward becoming a respected and feared part of the Armenian crime family in the valley have been met with mixed results since nobody knows the original intent behind setting up a safehouse type, open secret nightclub where corrupt civic leaders and law enforcement could freely make dealings with crime bosses/families without prying eyes, nor substantive evidence becoming a factor was very alluring to all parties involved.
I invite you to start this rabbit hole with a simple Google search looking into Mark Arax and his independent investigations into police corruption possibly leading to the murder of his father, rather than a simple "Botched Robbery" at a place that was known to have strong ties both with corrupt Fresno police and officials, as well as the criminal underbelly including underpinnings of a feud between big shots within both Fresno County and the City of Fresno.