The decline of Marco Estell: the soap opera idol implicated in a heinous suicide and massacre


After spending several years away from the media, the name of Marco Estell has returned to the news in recent hours. following the arrest of his son in Mar del Plata, after an ex-partner reported him for “coercive threats, theft and arson”.

It’s a new chapter in the story of the star man who shone on the small screen between 1978 and 1999, but who has always been hand in hand with scandals and has been consistently overshadowed by tragedy.

Marco Estell was born on December 6, 1957, became a television star in the 80s and 90s and today, at 65, he is a man of whom we know practically nothing.

The son of 80s idol Marco Estell was arrested this week by his ex in a gender-based violence case.

The first great love, the first scandal

the gallant fell in love with Graciela Cimer when the two recorded the novel It’s Not A Game To Be Lived in 1985. She, blonde and with large, clear eyes, had risen to fame as a girl when she played the character of Etelvina, Jacinta Pichimahuida’s rich and mean student.

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Mark and Grace.  The popular couple's romance ended in tragedy.
Mark and Grace. The popular couple’s romance ended in tragedy.

The first blow the popular couple landed was an alleged infidelity, when Estell was linked to actress Mariquita Gallegos. Despite this, they were able to move on, but it wasn’t long before a new rumor set them in check again. The name of the “rumor” at the time was Nancy Herrera, the last partner of comedian Alberto Olmedo. Any assumptions. No protagonist spoke, ever.

But the final blow for this romance came after four years of lack of work. Three months pregnant, Cimer fell into a depression from which she could not escape. She first attempted suicide by taking barbiturates. July 2, 1989 he jumped from the first floor from the house where he lived with Estell in Avellaneda, and he committed suicide.

After the death of the 26-year-old actress, the father attacked his ex-son-in-law and denounced Estell for abusing and beating her. The case was prosecuted and in 1993 the situation of the actor was even worse: the Court of Lomas de Zamora appointed the doctor Arraya Hernández as responsible for the prescription of “depressants” to the actress and Marco for the have provided.

Rumors of his infidelity surrounded the couple.
Rumors of his infidelity surrounded the couple.

Villegas massacre: six victims and 22 bullets

The complex plot reached Estell again in the early days of May 1992 when the La Payanca massacre, in General Villegas, was committed. Three family members and three workers were brutally murdered and the actor was implicated because at the time he was in a relationship with the sole survivor sextuple homicide.

The lights in the house had been on for several days, but the usual movement of the inhabitants was not noticeable. On the other hand the free range cattle and a crossed tractor in the middle of one of the walls, they caught the attention of neighbors and someone called the police.

the stench which struck the troops as soon as they set foot in the room was the prelude to the macabre scenario which they would discover later. The body of María Esther Acheriteguy, the owner of the property, was the first they encountered. The 46-year-old woman had a bullet in the ribs and another in the head. The beating visible to the naked eye and the blood on the wall gave a clear example of the brutality of the attack she suffered before she was killed.

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His son, José Luis Gianolio, 22, had his skull smashed with iron and two bullets, one of which was in the neck. In a shed they found the third victim, Francisco Luna, a man in the street that from time to time he did odd jobs in the ranch grounds in exchange for a place to sleep. They had also beaten and shot him. Near him were the bodies of two murdered catsput together with the crossed tails forming an X.

It was already May 10, 1992 when they found the other three victims of the slaughter. Alfredo Raúl Forte, husband of María Esther, had been beaten and shot near the door. Next to him were the bodies of two peons. Eduardo Gallo was shot in the arm and in the eye. The other, Hugo Reid, tried to flee when the massacre broke out, but before he could do so he was shot twice in the head. The man, who was a carpenter, was carrying a bag with three music cassettes, clothes and a knife that he had borrowed and had to return.

The only family member who survived the sextuple homicide was Claudia Gianoglioanother daughter of the owner of the farm, who at the time of the facts no longer lived there but was with her companion, soap opera actor Marco Estell.


“It’s a very confusing case. All lines of investigation have been explored. All we know is that there is six victims and who died of 22 bullets… The truth is that it does not bring much…”. Thus, disoriented, expressed the judge who was in charge of the case, Guillermo Martín, three weeks after the facts.

Claudia Gianoglio, the sole survivor of the massacre, with her partner Marco Estell.
Claudia Gianoglio, the sole survivor of the massacre, with her partner Marco Estell.

There were many assumptions. There was talk of an alleged theft of some 50,000 pesos that the owner of the field had recently taken from a bank, of revenge against her companion and even of a airstrip used by drug traffickers. But no clue was closed and even later it was learned that the credit that María Esther had allegedly collected and paid for the economic motive theory was not even true.

The possibility of a theft was also ruled out later since, although everything had been turned upside down, the curtains torn and the mattresses lacerated, the owner kept gold earrings and rings. It was then that some began to cast their eyes with some suspicion on the living girl and her partner and the subject of the legacy.

The only survivor and the “merry widower” who was left without cameras

The first suspicions fell on Marco Estell and his partner because they would be the new heirs family property and, moreover, he already had a negative public image after the death of Graciela Cimer.

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As the investigation progressed, they ended up excluding him as the perpetrator of the massacre because they did not find “the means and the opportunity committing a crime of this caliber.

The truth is that at that time, what little remained of the luminosity that previous years had illuminated Estell finished disappearing after the fight that the actor had with Alejandro Romay “the television czar”, one of the most important media and artistic entrepreneurs, and with Luis Gayo Paz, writer and artistic godfather of the actor.

Three decades without answers

“The Massacre of La Payanca” has become this bad memory that the inhabitants of General Villegas still try to shake off today without success. Is that the case can never be closed and after 30 years, it’s still an open wound.

No new clues emerged, no repentant appeared, there was no trial or conviction. A brutal slaughter that had no end like the novels.


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