Perez, now 62, is behind bars at the Lansing Correctional Facility, according to the Kansas Sex Offender Registry. He was found guilty of 28 crimes in Sedgwick County District Court in Kansas in 2015. He was convicted of first-degree murder, eight counts of rape, eight other sex crimes, eight counts of making false writing and three counts of aggravated assault.
The story of the rural Kansas compound, its survivors and Daniel Perez was told on an episode of “Dateline” that originally aired August 7, 2020, on NBC.
Here’s what you need to know:
Daniel Perez Is Serving a Life Sentence in the Lansing County Correctional Facility for First-Degree Murder & Sexually Abusing Children
Daniel Perez was convicted of 20 counts of sexual abuse of children, with his victims ranging in age from 8 to 16, according to the sex offender registry in Kansas. His charges included rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, sexual exploitation of a child, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and murder. The murder victim, Patricia Hughes, was a 26-year-old wife and mother who lived at Angel’s Landing.
One of the survivors, Sara, told Oxygen in 2020 that when Perez raped her repeatedly, he would say he was “fixing” her.
“There was nothing I could do,” she said. “I remember saying, ‘Am I fixed now?'”
His sex offender registry indicates he began abusing children in 2001, and the abuse spanned more than a decade, ending in 2015. He is required to register for life even though he is serving a life sentence for his crimes.
Here is his Megan’s Law Registry:
Daniel Perez’s cult was motivated by greed, officials learned through their nine-year investigation. Prosecutors said at Perez’s trial that he aimed to use life insurance proceeds from the deaths of his followers to live a lavish lifestyle, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Hughes’ death was ruled accidental at first. Years later, details surrounding her death surfaced when one of the girls in the cult brought them to police, even though Castro had initially persuaded her to lie for him. This led to the big break in the case. She told police she was 11 years old when Perez told her to lie to them, saying Hughes had fallen and drowned in the pool. The girl said she actually heard a splash and a scream and then saw Perez wet and out of breath.
Investigators would later learn Hughes was collecting millions of dollars in life insurance payouts, and that six deaths ruled as accidents were connected to the cult. He collected more than $1 million in life insurance payouts from Hughes’ death alone.
Among the deaths was Hughes’ husband, Brian, who died in a freak accident at the auto body shop where he worked in March 2006. He had become depressed and was talking to Perez more often, Sara told Oxygen.
“[Perez] was telling him, ‘One day you’ll get your chance to go to the other side,'” she said.
Daniel Perez Has a Job in Prison & Had a Minor Disciplinary Offense in 2018
Daniel Perez, also known as Lou Castro, has been incarcerated at the Lansing County Department of Corrections since April 1, 2018. In that time, Perez had one disciplinary violation, according to his prison record. On September 5, 2018, officials said he violated a published order, considered a class 3 offense, which is the least serious type of offense, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.
Here is his prison record:
“Unsanitary practices is an example of a Class III offense,” the state Department of Corrections said. “The penalty for a Class III offense may be any, all or any combination of the following:
“Restriction to inmate’s own cell, not to exceed three days; restriction from privileges, not to exceed 20 days; extra work for up to two hours per day, not to exceed 10 days; a fine not to exceed $10.00; restitution; or an oral or written reprimand.”
Perez is also working a job in prison, according to his prison record. It does not specify what type of job he is working.