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  • Chris McAndrew

The Lives of the Dead - Famous and Interesting Graves - Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery Miami, Florida

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

Derek Medina and Jennifer Alfonso fought a lot during their marriage. At one point they even got divorced. She got an apartment of her own and things seemed to be going good for Jennifer. But one day Derek got back in touch, came over, the two hung out and next thing you know they were at the courthouse the next day getting married again.

They enjoyed the supernatural including traveling to other cities to go on ghost tours at cemeteries. They even had installed security cameras at various places inside their home to see if they could spot a ghost or some sort of spirit in the house.

Unfortunately the fighting didn’t stop, and on August 8, 2013 Derek was supposed to wake Jennifer up, but he didn’t so they were fighting. The indoor security camera footage showed she went downstairs to the kitchen to get breakfast ready for her 10-year-old daughter who was in her room upstairs. Derek showed up in the kitchen a bit later, and they continued to fight. At that point began hitting him. He went back upstairs and came back into the kitchen, this time with a gun. She grabbed a knife out of the drawer, he took it away from her, placed it back into the drawer then shot her eight times emptying the gun.

He left and came back carrying his phone, but instead of calling the police he took a picture of her dead body on the floor and posted it to his Facebook page as well as tagging it to her Facebook page. Above the picture he wrote RIP Jennifer Alfonso.

Derek was found guilty of second degree murder, and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Jennifer had told friends shortly before being murdered that she was planning to divorce him again. She was just 26-years-old when she died.

We will always love you.

Christian Aguilar was a shy teenager from Miami who graduated from Doral Academy Preparatory School before heading off to college at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He was studying to be a biomedical engineer and in 2012 was dating a young lady by the name of Erika Friman.

On September 20th of that year he went to hang out with a friend, then went missing. That evening Erika became concerned because the two had plans to go out. She called Christian’s parents, and then the police to report him missing.

A massive search for Christian got underway and went on for 22 days. Then on October 12th in a wooded area about 60 miles away from Gainesville a group of hunters found Christian’s body. He was face down with his wrist, ankles and neck bound in duct tape. He was identified by dental records.

During the search for Christian police figured out the person he met up with the day he went missing was a young man by the name of Pedro Bravo. They had been friends since 8th grade. The last known sighting of Christian was at a Best Buy in Gainesville with Pedro.

They also found out Pedro used to date Erika. She had broken up with him at the end of their senior year of high school saying she didn’t want to continue the relationship long distance since she was moving to Gainesville to attend Sante Fe Community College.

During her freshman year in 2012 she started dating Christian, but she didn’t tell Pedro about it. She was afraid it would make him angry. Eventually though he figured it out and computer history records show he began searching for how much sleeping medication would kill someone, how to come up with an alibi and other murder related searches.

It wasn’t long before he also showed up in Gainesville and actually enrolled at Sante Fe Community College as well so he could keep a close eye on what Christian and Erika were up to.

Investigators searched Pedro’s car and found blood. Then when they searched his apartment they found Christian’s backpack as well as receipts for duct tape and a shovel sleeping aids and a knife that had been purchased a few days before the murder.

Prosecutors at trial said Pedro mixed sleeping pills into a sports drink bottle which he gave Christian to drink. His cellmate said he admitted to him to coming up with an excuse to get into the back seat of the vehicle at which point he used a belt to strangle Christian. He told the cellmate he watched the clock in his car for thirteen minutes while holding the strap tight around Christian’s neck using the back seat to brace himself. At one point a Walmart security guard even walked by, but that didn’t cause him to let go.

He had already researched online where to bury the body. So he headed off into the night to bury his friend. He was later sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

November 16, 1993 - September 20, 2012. The problems of today will soon be buried by the sands of time, Live up to your potential. Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.

On August 2nd, 2011 27-year-old Laymet Albelo was at a beauty store called Celeste and Company Boutique in Miami. The owner of the store was a 33-year-old by the name of Celeste Gaitan who was close to six months pregnant at the time. The two were sitting together on a bench in front of the store chatting when a 72-year-old man by the name of Pedro Ruiz who happens to be the father of salsa singer Rey Ruiz pulled up to park in front of them in his red Chevy Tahoe. He was trying to hit the brake, but instead he pushed down hard on the gas and drove his suv right into the two women killing them both instantly. Gaitan was dead at the scene, but medics rushed her to the hospital to try and save the unborn baby. Sadly their efforts were in vain, and the baby died at the hospital.

Pedro was offered a deal to pay a $5,000 fine and have his license revoked forever in exchange for no jail time. We’re not sure if he took the deal. Laws in Miami have since been changed because of this incident. Now all newly built shopping centers in Miami Dade have to have a barrier, known as an anti-ram feature, installed in between the parking lot and front of the stores. Abelo’s father Juan was the one who pushed for the change with the local committee in charge of these things.

When Joe Robbie was 49-years-old he was doing pretty good for himself as a trial lawyer, but he wanted more out of his life. So he helped put together a group of investors to buy the AFL expansion franchise in Miami. He only put up $100,000 of his own money out of the total of seven and a half million dollar expansion fee. Since he was a lawyer he was able to draw up all the paperwork and get control of the team for himself for 20 years. So he moved from Minnesota to Miami and started working on the Dolphins.

In 1969 he made a great move for the new franchise when he traded a first round draft pick with the Baltimore Colts to get Coach Don Shula to be the new head coach of the Dolphins for the 1970 season. In 1969 the Dolphins went 3-10-1 then in Shula’s first season the team went 10-4. Two years later the Dophins went 17-0 which is still the only perfect season for any team in the history of the NFL. The Dolphins went to five Super Bowls and won two in the first 15 years Shula was coach.

Over time Robbie was able to borrow money from banks and use money he made off the team to start buying out other investors. By the end of 1985 he had managed to get sole ownership of the team.

Eventually Robbie decided the team needed renovations on the Orange Bowl where they played. He kept asking the city to pay for the renovations, but he was turned down every time. Finally when Miami made a bid to host its sixth Super Bowl in 1984 Robbie went to the owner’s meeting and told them he would not support the bid. He said the Orange Bowl wasn’t worthy of hosting another Super Bowl.

After that he took a huge gamble deciding to build a stadium himself with money he was able to raise by selling luxury suites, club seats and selling things he owned such as his soccer team and his private plane. He also put up all of his possessions, including the team, as collateral for the financing. Eventually Joe Robbie Stadium was built which is now known as Hard Rock Stadium.

Robbie was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in the Navy in World War 2. At one point he served in the South Dakota state legislature and even ran for governor in South Dakota and for a US House seat in Minnesota losing both campaigns. He died on January 7th, 1990 after being ill for a while.

In 1941 Eddie Arcaro won his first U.S. Triple Crown while riding a horse named Whirlaway. Then in 1948 he won his second U.S. Triple Crown while riding a horse named Citation. To this day he is still the only rider to have won two Triple Crowns and he is considered to be the greatest jockey in the history of horse racing. Six different years he was the leading rider in the money.

Trainer Ben Jones said, “Eddie was special. He was a real athlete. With his coordination, his power, and his judgment at the end of a race, he was the best. He also was very good to work with. He’d follow orders and made it a real team effort.”

In 1958 he was inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame, then on November 18 of 1961, when he was 45-years-old he rode in his final race. After that he was a tv commentator. He died on November 14, 1997 at the age of 81.

Christian A. Lengyel’s obituary says he joined Jesus Christ in everlasting life on Wednesday, December 11th, 2002 after a courageous battle with Hodgkin's Disease. First diagnosed in 2000 Christian accepted his assignment without reservation or anger. Each step of the way he fought to overcome his illness with resolve and a determination that solidified his stature as an angel on earth. All who knew him during his earthly life were inspired by his “can do” attitude.

He was a Life Scout with Boy Scout troop 575 in Miami. Christian, you were always our inspiration, the beacon of light that made us feel anything was possible. The Kingdom of God is now yours forever. Our cherished memories of you always make us smile. We celebrate your life and the time we had together knowing you are safe in Heaven. God indeed is my Savior. I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord. Mom, Dad, Erick, and William.

Dr. Mario Llaneras died on Friday, June 28, 2002 at the age of 40. He was heading to the hospital for an emergency call along with another heart surgeon by the name of James Dygert who was 32-years-old. They both died at the scene after the car they were traveling in ran off the road and split in half. In his 30’s Mario was named chief of cardiovascular surgery at Mercy Hospital in Miami. His obituary says Mario was a pioneer in the field of minimally invasive cardiac surgery (surgery performed through smaller incisions with less trauma to patients), including "off pump" cardiovascular surgery or "beating heart surgery" (where heart surgery is performed without having to place the patient on the heart lung machine)

Jessica Longuiera was only 21-years-old when she died on March 14 of 2005.

Jackie Gleason was the most famous tv star of his time and also one of the most famous movie stars of his time as well. When he was 33-years-old he was the star of the tv show The Life of Riley playing the character of Chester A. Riley. At 36 he was the star of the Jackie Gleason Show which ran for three years. Then he played in his most famous role as Ralph Cramden the bus driver on the show The Honeymooners. He fought with his wife on the show Alice in every episode and by the end they would make up.

He was also in the movie The Hustler and played Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit series.

He was also known for his ways as a partier. He could apparently drink every actor he ever hung out with under the table and smoked four or more packs of Marlboro cigarettes every day. He loved red meat, he loved desserts, and he didn’t love vegetables or working out even though his house in Miami had a large workout room that was better equipped than most actual commercial gyms. A doctor once called his lifestyle so self-destructive that is amazing he lived to be as old as 71.

On June 24, 1987 he passed away at his home from colon cancer. At his Memorial mass Bishop Norbert Dorsey said, “Throughout his professional life Jackie kept the heart of a child. A whimsicalness that cheered up a sad and tired world.” Etched in the marble stairway at his grave is the inscription “And Away We Go”, his famous catchphrase from the Jackie Gleason Show and the Honeymooners.

Jackie Gleason is buried at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery in Miami, Florida, and we'll take a look at his grave. There are also other interesting graves here including the grave of Jennifer Alfonso who was murdered by her husband Derek Medina who then took a picture of her and posted it on Facebook. We'll find her grave and many others including Joe Robbie's grave. He was the first owner of the Miami Dolphins. We cordially invite you to come along. Support our channel - Buy some exclusive McAndrew Travels merchandise - For business inquiries please contact Find us on the web:

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