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Kendra Hatcher’s Death: How the Dentist Died

Ricky Paniagua Kendra Hatcher


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Brenda Delgado (left) and Ricky Paniagua with Kendra Hatcher (right)

Kendra Hatcher was a pediatric dentist who was killed in a murder-for-her plot devised by her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, Brenda Delgado, in Dallas in 2015.

Delgado, 31, recruited two acquaintances, Kristopher Love and Crystal Cortes, to carry out the killing after her ex-boyfriend, Dr. Ricardo “Ricky” Paniagua, told her in an email he was in a new relationship, and it was going well. Hatcher was 35.

Dateline NBC is diving into the case on a new episode, which airs Friday, November 13, 2020 at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Here’s what you need to know:


Delgado Hired a Small-Time Marijuana Dealer & a Single Mom to Help Her Carry Out Her Murder Plot

Love, who was convicted of pulling the trigger on Hatcher, and Cortes, who was recruited as the getaway driver, were people Delgado “barely knew” when she asked them to help her kill Hatcher, according to a profile by Texas Monthly. Love was a small-time marijuana dealer and Cortes was “a down-on-her-luck single mother.”

Cortes was offered $500 to serve as the getaway driver. When asked why she was willing to take $500 to be involved in a murder, she gave the Texas Monthly reporter “a blank look.”

“I was broke,” she said. “And I had a son to support.”

Love, on the other hand, wanted start-up money for a prostitution ring, Texas Monthly reported. Delgado concocted a story that she had connections to a drug cartel, and she said he would pay him $3,000 in a combination of drugs and cash.

The night of Hatcher’s murder, Paniagua texted Delgado to tell her his devastating news. She texted him back the next morning, offering to bring him groceries or help with anything he needed.

A juror who served on the case puzzled over the murder in a piece written for the Dallas Observer.

“I still don’t understand what makes people do such stupid, cruel things,” wrote Casey Miller. “How does a 23-year-old Dallas woman get talked into planning and completing a murder with someone she has known for one month? When does a dental hygienist student in her 30s become so self-absorbed that she must have the new girlfriend of her ex “eliminated” so they can be reunited and live happily ever after? Why does a train-wreck stoner with three kids of his own think cash, a bag of weed and some cocaine is an even trade for shooting a stranger in the back of the head, execution style?”


Hatcher Was Shot in the Back of the Head & Her Purse Was Stolen to Make

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