Did Griselda Blanco actually kill all 3 of her husbands?

  • The Netflix series "Griselda" depicts Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco's rise and fall.

  • The real Blanco had three husbands. Two were featured in the show.

  • Here's what happened to all of Blanco's husbands in real life.

Netflix's latest hit series "Griselda," starring a physically transformed Sofia Vergara as the title character, opens on a wounded woman fleeing her abusive husband. Or so we think.

The first few minutes of the episode "Lady Comes to Town" see Vergara's Griselda Blanco, panicked and frazzled, bandaging up an abdomen wound with a maxi pad and some Band-Aids before hustling her three confused sons out the door and onto a plane to Miami. One of the boys asks where Alberto is, and Griselda answers that she and Alberto are getting a divorce.

Later, as Blanco and her sons are settling in to her old friend Carmen's spare room in Miami, Blanco references something that her estranged husband did to her.

It's only in the final minutes of the episode that viewers learn some key information: that Alberto made Griselda sleep with his brother to pay off his drug-dealing debt, that Alberto is actually dead, and that it was Griselda who killed him.

Though it seems too wild to be true, Alberto's fate in the series is actually based in reality. Here's what happened to Alberto Bravo — and Blanco's other two husbands — in real life.

Blanco had three sons with her first husband, Carlos Trujillo

Jose Velazquez as Uber, Orlando Pineda as Dixon, and Martin Fajardo as Ozzy in "Griselda"
Blanco's three oldest sons Uber, Dixon, and Ozzy in "Griselda."Elizabeth Morris/Netflix

Carlos Trujillo, Blanco's first husband, doesn't factor into the new Netflix series. He's long gone by the time the show picks up, with Blanco fleeing Colombia after the death of her second husband, Alberto Bravo.

The real Blanco married Trujillo when she was a teenager. Vice reports that Blanco met Trujillo, a document forger and pimp, in Medellín, Colombia, when she was 13. The two were divorced by the late 1960s after having three sons; Blanco reportedly had Trujillo murdered over a "business dispute" in the 1970s. Blanco was never charged with the crime.

Blanco's second husband, Alberto Bravo, was shot and killed

Alberto Ammann as Alberto Bravo in "Griselda."
Blanco's second husband Alberto Bravo appears in the first episode of the Netflix series.Netflix

Blanco and her second husband, Alberto Bravo, built their drug empire together in New York.

According to Maxim, Blanco and Bravo met shortly after Trujillo's death. Bravo, according to that report, was already dealing drugs in Medellín when the two got together. They moved to Queens, New York, and began building up their cartel, at first importing small amounts of cocaine and then eventually moving millions of dollars worth of the drug each month. The cartel, at that time, was known as the Alberto Bravo organization, and Blanco wasn't mentioned by name in a New York Times writeup of the cartel's activities.

But the authorities were closing in on Blanco and Bravo, and by 1975 Blanco, Bravo, and over 30 of their underlings were indicted on federal drug conspiracy charges as a result of an investigation known as "Operation Banshee." Sometime after fleeing the charges in New York, Blanco and Bravo had a confrontation in the parking lot of a nightclub in Bogotá, mirrored in the premiere of the Netflix series, that resulted in Bravo's death.

Though the show seemingly invents the idea that Bravo asked Blanco to sleep with his brother and Blanco obliged, contributing to the fury she felt when she killed him, the murder was apparently over a business disagreement in real life. According to Maxim, Blanco suspected that Bravo was responsible for stealing millions that were missing in drug profits.

There was a shootout, during which Blanco reportedly sustained a non-fatal gunshot wound to the stomach. Bravo, on the other hand, was shot in the face and died.

Max Mermelstein, an associate of Blanco's, said that Blanco told him she'd "personally killed" Bravo.

"She told me that she was standing at the open window of Bravo's parked car and he said something that made her mad," Mermelstein told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in 1989. "So she reached over, stuck the muzzle of her gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Just like that. And I believe her."

At that point, after the deaths of two of her husbands, Blanco was in control of the drug empire and earned the nickname "Black Widow." Blanco was never charged with Bravo's death.

Blanco's third husband, Darío Sepúlveda, was assassinated

Sofia Vergara as Griselda, Alberto Guerra as Dario in "Griselda"
Sofia Vergara as Griselda and Alberto Guerra as Dario in "Griselda."Netflix

Blanco's third husband, Dario Sepulveda, is a major character in the Netflix series, and their tumultuous relationship is a big storyline. The two shared Blanco's youngest and only surviving son, Michael Corleone Blanco.

In real life, Blanco and Sepulveda married in 1978. It's not known how they actually met — there's no indication that Sepulveda was initially contracted to murder Blanco before turning and killing his boss, Bravo's brother Fernando, instead, as episode two of the Netflix series depicts.

Blanco and Sepulveda's relationship ultimately fractured after she confronted him over his infidelity, her one-time associate Max Mermelstein told the Sun Sentinel, and an argument over Sepulveda's desire to send their son Michael to school. The break-up resulted in Sepulveda taking Michael back to Colombia, where he believed the boy could be protected from Blanco.

Instead, in 1983, a then 5-year-old Michael and Sepulveda were approached by men dressed as police officers in Medellín, and Sepulveda was shot dead in front of his son.

"The cops asked Dario to get out of the car. He got out and they handcuffed him, but he started to run. The cops opened fire and shot Dario right in front of the kid," Mermelstein said. "Little Michael was screaming and ran over to embrace his father, but by the time he got there Dario was dead. The execution was done on the orders of Michael's mother."

After Sepulveda's death, Michael was returned to his mother's custody and he lived with Blanco up until her 1985 arrest in Irvine, California. Blanco was never charged in relation to Sepulveda's death.

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