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Why the MS-13 Gang Is so Violent

WASHINGTON—The vicious nature of MS-13 gang killings came to the fore again last week with the release of court documents detailing a grisly murder in Maryland.

Ten MS-13 members stabbed a victim more than 100 times, decapitated and dismembered him, and ripped his heart out before throwing him into a grave in Wheaton Regional Park, documents say.

Gang members had lured the victim to the park to kill him, an informant told police. The informant said he was part of the killing and led detectives to the gravesite on Sept. 5. The informant “further described the circumstances of the murder and detailed the choking, stabbing, decapitating, and dismembering the victim’s body before dumping it in the pre-dug hole,” according to the court document.

This incident only adds to MS-13’s “long litany of homicides and heinous crimes,” said Robert J. Bunker, an adjunct research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.

In April, four young men were brutally murdered in the wooded area of a local park on Long Island, New York. The victims, aged between 16 and 20, all suffered significant bodily trauma from sharp instruments, consistent with MS-13’s modus operandi of using machetes and knives to kill, according to local police.