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Portuguese Journalist Told Friend He Was 'Afraid' Hours Before His Murder

By Irene Plagianos | October 10, 2012 5:11pm

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — Hours before he was castrated and murdered in his Midtown hotel room last year, Portuguese journalist Carlos Castro told his best friend he was afraid of his lover who told him "he wasn't gay anymore," according to testimony in a salacious murder trial.

Castro's longtime friend Wanda Pires testified Castro told her that he and alleged killer Renato Saeabra, 22, had been "fighting all night."

Pires, told a jury Tuesday that Castro, 65, and his new boyfriend Seabra, also from Portugal, had enjoyed a happy, busy visit to New York City — a trip filled with shopping, shows and expensive dinners — but on the morning of Castro's Jan. 7, 2011 murder her friend sounded distraught.

"He said they'd been fighting all night...he said he was afraid," Pires testified. Seabra also told Castro "he wasn't gay anymore," she added.

Because of the bizarre behavior, Castro told Pires he was cutting their trip short — and then he was breaking up with the aspiring model he'd met on Facebook a few months earlier. But Seabra, who just a few days earlier had told Pires at dinner that Castro was "the best thing that ever happened to him," was furious about their impending split.

Pires said she begged Castro to leave the hotel and meet her for lunch, but he said Seabra had gone out, he'd do some work, he'd "be okay" and that he'd call her later — but he never did.

Worried, Pires called her friend an hour later, but he didn't pick up. She proceeded to call him more than 30 times — and later went to the InterContinental  hotel on West 44th Street, near Eighth Avenue with her daughter.

Within ten minutes, they saw Seabra in the lobby, "all dressed up" with a suit and tie. He seemed surprised to see them, said Pires, but was calm and told them: "Carlos is not coming out of that room anymore." He walked out without answering Pires repeated question: "where were you two all day?

She was later informed that officers found Castro bloodied, beaten and castrated in his hotel room.

Seabra, accused of bashing his lover's head with a computer screen, stomping on his face, strangling him and castrating him with a corkscrew, calmly told police of his gruesome actions soon after the murder, according to court records. He told cops he was "making the world a better place" by killing Castro, and castrated him to rid the "virus" of homosexuality. His testicles were "demons" that needed to be cutt out, to make "everything right with the world."

But Seabra's lawyer's did not shy away from the gory and disturbing detailsduring the  murder trial's opening statements Friday.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is insanity,” said Seabra's lawyer Rubin Sinins Friday, describing how Seabra wore his slain lover's testicles on his wrists, after brutally carving them out.

"He explained that this was for his protection, and he could also harness the power — harness the power! — of Carlos Castro’s testicles," Sinins said.

Seabra's team is mounting an insanity defense, arguing that the young underwear model snapped, and had his first psychotic episode that terrible day in January.

Seabra calmy took a shower after the attack, put on a nice suit, slit his wrists, then proceeded to walk the streets of New York "to continue God’s mission," said Sinins. Seabra believed murdering Castro was "the right thing to do," because of his "manic break," said Sinins.

Prosecutors, however, argue that Seabra killed Castro in a fit of rage, afraid that his boyfriend, a prominent Portuguese journalist who lavished him with expensive gifts and was helping him with his modeling career, was breaking up with him.

The trial continues tomorrow.