American Monster is investigating the murders of Barbara Pacheco and her friend James Wiggs, who were gunned down by Barbara’s estranged husband, Aldo Pacheco, at her home in Midland, Texas.
In January 2006, Barbara was going through a bitter divorce and custody battle with her husband, Aldo. Barbara had a protective order against Aldo after he kidnapped her in May 2005. He had taken her to a motel room, but she managed to escape and contacted the police.
On January 16, Aldo approached the home where Barbara lived with their four children armed with a shotgun. The killer encountered Barbara’s friend and school teacher colleague, James Wiggs, who he killed with a single shot.
Aldo later claimed that it was self-defense because Wiggs was about to rush at him with some soda cans.
The estranged husband then crashed his car into the garage and forced his way into the house, where he gunned down his former wife.
Barbara had already dialed 911 requesting an ambulance after Wiggs was shot. The recording of the call was later played in a courtroom; Barbara could be heard shouting “No, no” and screaming as a gunshot rang out.
Aldo Pacheco held son hostage after killing Barbara Pacheco and James Wiggs
Aldo then entered into an hours-long standoff with police as he held his two-year-old son hostage. Thankfully, the three other children were not home at the time.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
Eventually, Aldo released the toddler and then shot himself in the face. He survived the wound and was subsequently arrested.
Aldo claimed self-defense in killing Wiggs and said he only took the shotgun into the house because he feared Barbara’s relatives might attack him. He insisted he only wanted to see his kids.
The prosecution called him a cold-blooded killer who had executed his victims. In a letter to a friend from prison, he wrote, “They’re not laughing now.”
The attorneys also pointed to Aldo’s lack of remorse and how he appeared to blame Barbara for what happened.
The prosecution decided not to pursue the death penalty, citing the lack of a previous criminal record as a reason for leniency.
Aldo Pacheco sentenced to life for Barbara Pacheco and James Wiggs murders
In November 2006, Aldo Pacheco was found guilty of capital murder and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Barbara’s aunt, Eva Luna, received custody of the four children. At the sentencing, Luna said, “We will live with this thing the rest of our lives, the rest of the kids’ lives. Our promise is that [Barbara’s] memory will live on in these kids the rest of their lives.”
American Monster airs Sundays at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.