Who Was Griselda Blanco? 7 Things You Should Know About La Madrina

The stories of Latino drug lords have shown to be incredibly popular in recent years. With television shows like Narcos and Queen of the South, it's no wonder that HBO's production behind the story of Griselda Blanco is coming up.

The Colombian cocaine trafficker went by many nicknames, but was commonly known as La Madrina.

"I've been fascinated by the life of this corrupt and complicated woman for many years," said Jennifer Lopez, who will be playing Blanco in HBO's movie. "The idea of teaming with HBO felt like the perfect fit for finally bringing Griselda's story to life." 

While we're super excited to see our girl J.Lo in this undoubtedly amazing film, it could be a while until we get a sneak peak at it — it's currently still in production. Until then, get the down low on some of the information behind this infamous personality who ruled the drug scene in the '70s and early '80s.

READ: Jennifer Lopez Tapped to Play Griselda Blanco In New HBO Film

1. Griselda Blanco: The Beginnings

Although Blanco claimed Medellín as her hometown (same hometown as Pablo Escobar), she was born just outside of Cartagena, Colombia in 1943. 

The town was supposedly so poor and murder stricken that kids in the area would dig graves for fun. Legend has it she made her first kill at 11 years old. Her and two of her friends kidnapped a wealthy 10-year-old boy in order to get a ransom. When the boy’s family did not budge, her friends handed her a gun and dared her to shoot him. She shot him in between the eyes.


2. Griselda Blanco: The "Black Widow"

She’s murdered every man she’s ever been with, earning her the nickname of “Black Widow.” 

At the age of 13, Blanco met her first husband, Carlos Trujillo. She was impressed by his criminal prowess; he was a street hustler who specialized in making false documents and importing undocumented immigrants into the U.S. She murdered him over a business dispute a few years after divorcing him. She then married Alberto Bravo, a cocaine pusher, who she killed in a nightclub parking lot in the late '70s. Her third husband was Dario Sepulveda, who she had killed by her group of thugs in 1983. 

3. Griselda Blanco: The Murderer

She was responsible for 40 to 240 murders.

In the late '70s, Blanco went on a killing spree to eliminate her competition in the drug industry. If you purchased drugs from her and didn’t pay her back on time, she’d kill you. If she bought drugs from you and didn’t feel like paying, she’d kill you. She’d also have her assassins kill everyone in the vicinity, including women and children.

4. Griselda Blanco: The Hollywood Obsession

She had an obsession with Hollywood.


Blanco was into the flashy, luxurious lifestyle that classic Hollywood movies portrayed. She was especially inspired by the "The Godfather." She named her fourth and youngest son after the main character, Michael Corleone. Tony Montana's character in Scarface is also said to be inspired by Blanco.

5. Griselda Blanco: The Demise

She was caught and arrested in early 1985.

Blanco was hiding in Irvine, California when she was busted, facing over a decade behind bars without bail. News reporters called this the "demise of the 'Queen of Cocaine.'"

6. Griselda Blanco: In Jail

She attempted to kidnap JFK Jr. while she was in jail, but her boyfriend ratted her out.

During Blanco's time in jail, she was dating a young dealer named Charles Cosby. She told him all about her elaborate scheme to have her thugs on the outside kidnap JFK Jr., with her release being ransom. As soon as he found out, he immediately distanced himself form her and told the FBI of her intentions. 

7. Griselda Blanco: The Death of La Madrina

She was assassinated in Medellín in 2012.

After finishing out her sentence, Blanco was deported to Colombia and was gunned down by two motorcyclists outside of a butcher shop. The irony of this was that Blanco was known for innovating this trend, advising the hitmen she hired to use motorcycles.