Luis Vigoreaux : biography
Murder and aftermath
On the morning of January 17, 1983, Vigoreaux didn’t show up to work at the radio station or at WAPA-TV, causing his co-workers to worry. When his Mercedes-Benz was found with a burned body inside, it was taken to the medical examiner’s office, where it was confirmed it was Vigoreaux.
His death launched a wave of rumors and speculations, and led to one of the biggest trials in Puerto Rico’s history. His wife, Lydia Echevarría, was accused formally of his murder, along with Papo Newman and David López-Watts. Allegedly, Echevarría had become jealous of a relationship Vigoreaux had started with actress Nadia Castillo, and had paid Newman and López-Watts to either beat him or murder him. Vigoreaux’s body was found gagged, stabbed, and burned inside the car’s trunk.
Echevarría has maintained her innocence, but she was convicted to a life sentence in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. Newman and López-Watts received similar sentences. However, Echevarría and López-Watts only served roughly 15 years in jail. In January 2000, Governor Pedro Rosselló granted Echevarría a pardon, which was largely criticized by the people.
At the time of his death, Vigoreaux was about to begin another game show, A Millón, which eventually became one of the most popular shows in Puerto Rican television history, under the hosting of Hector Marcano and produced by Vigoreaux’s son, Luisito Vigoreaux.
Brief change to Channel 11 and return to WAPA
Vigoreaux later jumped to Channel 11, then named the Perez-Perry Network. He bought the Teatro Nuevo San Juan, from where he started transmitting his new show. But this show was not as successful, and soon Vigoreaux found himself off the air.
In 1980, Vigoreaux went back to WAPA-TV and all his shows were re-scheduled. He also became the show host of that station’s lunch hour variety show, El Show Del Mediodia, and began playing the role of Pedro Navaja in a play La Verdadera Historia de Pedro Navaja. He would act in that play many times, as well as in a play named Angeles Caidos.
In addition, he returned to the radio with a program named Buenos Dias, on radio station WBMJ-AM and worked, for a short period of time, as a television reporter for Noticentro 4.