4 Matadors Who Died Bizarre Deaths in Bull Fights

About four matadors who died bizarre deaths in bull fights, history and accounts of the deaths.


Barnaby Conrad, onetime bullfighter, is the bestselling author of several books, including Fun While It Lasted.

1. JOSE DE LOS SANTOS (Spanish, 1806-1847)

Running in panic from a bull in the Valencia ring, he dived over the fence and was skewered on his own sword.

2. EL CANO (Spanish, 1814-1852)

Recovering in the hospital from a minor goring suffered in the Madrid ring, he had a quarrel with his wife, leaped from his bed to hit her, suffered a hemorrhage, and died.

3. JUAN ANLLO, "NACIONAL II" (Spanish, 1898-1925)

On a busman's holiday, this matador went to a corrida and got into an argument about the performance with a fellow spectator, who hit him over the head with a bottle, killing him instantly.

4. BERNARDO GAVINO (Spanish, 1812-1886)

This Spaniard, fighting in Mexico, was gored and died at the age of 74!

Barnaby Conrad adds: "While hundreds of bullfighters have died in the arena, of the approximately 325 major matadors since 1700, only 52 have been killed in the arena. It can be deduced that it might be unlucky for a matador to call himself Pepete (a diminutive of Jose) since the only three so nicknamed died in the arena."

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