‘Dispatches from the House of Death’ Is a Journey into the Dark Heart of the ‘War for Drugs’ — Get the Book Now

Bill Conroy
8 min readAug 2, 2023


By Bill Conroy

My nonfiction book offering a behind-the-scenes tour of the “war for drugs” is now available in print form through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. A Kindle e-book version will be available soon via Amazon.

Support journalism and the pursuit of the truth, with all its ugly warts, and order a copy now. For the price of a couple fancy cups of coffee at your favorite caffeine-bean pusher outlet (with tip) you can own your very own copy of “Dispatches from the House of Death — A Juarez Cartel informant, a DEA whistleblower, mass murder and a coverup on the edge of the Empire.” The book will last much longer…..

I love the book’s cover. Thank you to artist/designer/musician Mark Marshall! This is a case where you can judge the book by its cover. It will live up to the promise.

And now, this is where I beg for your support. No one will have an opportunity to read the book if they don’t know it exists. Whatever you can do to spread the word is appreciated greatly. Share away………

Link to book at Amazon
[Again, the e-book will be available soon]

Link to book at Barnes & Noble

Additional content related to the book as well as the by-chapter source references can be found at houseofdeath.org

What it’s about: Dispatches from the House of Death tells the all-too true story of how and why a U.S.-paid Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) informant, who had a leading role with the infamous Juarez Cartel, was allowed to participate in mass murder in Mexico — with the knowledge of his U.S. law enforcement handlers and prosecutors.

In the course of the carnage, a DEA agent operating in Juarez as well as his family are nearly assassinated, resulting in the evacuation of all DEA personnel from Juarez. When a DEA supervisor seeks to expose the informant’s role in the bloodshed, he is silenced by his superiors while an effort is launched by ICE to deport the informant back to Mexico and certain death. In the end, the entire bloody affair is whitewashed away in a coverup born of callous self-interest and indifference that reaches to the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Excerpts from the book:

… DEA commander and House of Death whistleblower Sandalio Gonzalez said to me when I first started reporting on this drug-war horror story…. “If this had been a city on the Canadian border, these murders would not have happened. Our government would not allow Canadian citizens to be tortured and murdered. But, in the House of Death case, they did let it happen, because it was El Paso and Juarez and a bunch of Mexicans that they don’t give a shit about.”

… Fernando and I got out of the truck, him with his camera and me with a chill up my spine. This was it, the house that had consumed so much of my life’s energy, the house where 12 corpses were found buried in the backyard; the house where human beings were tortured and murdered by Mexican cops on the payroll of a narco-trafficker, all with the help of a U.S. government informant, all to make a drug case that never went to trial; the house that spawned a major coverup by the U.S. government. It seemed too small to be that big.

Editorial Reviews

“This book reads like a murder mystery because it is. The mystery, which Bill Conroy explores with great determination, is why the U.S. government allowed murders implicating law enforcement to go unrepented and unpunished.” — Bill Lueders, journalist and author, former editor of The Progressive.

“Bill Conroy is an indefatigable journalist, a reporter pit bull who, once he gets his teeth into a story, refuses to let go until the truth comes out. He literally does know where the bodies are buried because he has doggedly reported on the United States’ failed drug policy for two decades, and now he brings it all together in this important book.” — Megan Kamerick, KUNM public radio news director; independent producer

“For Bill Conroy of narconews.com, who stood his watch when others turned away and pretended none of this had happened.” — author and journalist Charles Bowden, a dedication from his book Dreamland: The Way Out of Juárez

“It is a giant of a story. There is simply no way to understand the ‘war on drugs’ without reading this book.” — Al Giordano, author, journalist, and the founder and publisher of The Narco News Bulletin [narconews.com]

“Bill Conroy for years has launched himself at this story without fear. He did not shy away from the sword (the government). He is like “el mesquite verde, no se rajo”. He went above and beyond his call of duty.” — Cele Castillo, former DEA agent, author and Chicano artist

“The so-called “War on Drugs” is the longest and yet least understood conflict in the Americas and veteran journalist Bill Conroy is one of the most incisive reporters to tackle this crucial subject. His groundbreaking reporting on the “House of Death” scandal is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand both the hypocrisy at the root of U.S. policy in Mexico and the absolute horror of its consequences south of the border.” — Nicholas Schou, veteran investigative reporter; former editor in chief at OC Weekly; and author of Kill the Messenger, Orange Sunshine, The Weed Runners and Spooked.

“Bill Conroy’s book, Dispatches from the House of Death, explores the shocking and unbelievable true story of an informant on ICE’s payroll who was involved in mass murder in Juarez, Mexico, with the knowledge and sanction of officials from ICE and DOJ. Conroy expertly unpacks the subsequent cover-up and follows the trail of victims, perpetrators, and law enforcers involved in the heinous crimes. As someone who has lived, researched and knows Mexico inside out, I found Conroy’s account both gripping and enlightening. I couldn’t put this book down!” — Nati del Paso, author of Women of Fire and Snow, and the Jaguar’s Calling.

“Bill Conroy’s exposing the truth about the so-called war on drugs placed his life and family in jeopardy — not to mention the government’s use of intimidation in an attempt to control his reporting. His honestly in reporting impressed me. In my tenure of almost 30 years in federal law enforcement, I have never met a reporter who was more interested in the truth than enhancing his career.” — Ruben Gonzalez, former Associate Special Agent in Charge, U. S. Department of Homeland Security/Office of Investigations, Houston

“The struggle for justice is universally considered a lofty, worthwhile goal to be pursued ethically and morally in service of the rule of law. Bill Conroy’s Dispatches from the House of Death exposes the murderous underbelly of America’s war on drugs, where ambition corrupts the rule of law and the American officials charged with pursuing it. It takes integrity of the kind Bill Conroy exercises to shine the light of truth on a failed policy and its devastating impacts.” — Vito De la Cruz, Civil Rights attorney

“Bill Conroy exists in that rarified air of those individuals who are willing to do whatever it takes to follow the truth wherever it leads. This book is not just a bombshell of a story, it is also a timely reminder that investigative journalism is vital to any nation that seeks to hold itself accountable.” — Heather McCuen, writer and social strategist

“Bill Conroy is among the highly valued investigative journalists. His diligence, integrity and insight come through in this book.” — Richard Berg, past president of Chicago Teamster Local 743 and host of the Fight Back! Radio podcast

“Bill Conroy is a true investigative journalist in the tradition of Charles Bowden and Gary Webb — a man of courage, insight, persistence and eloquence. Dispatches from the House of Death tells a gripping and meticulously documented story about the violence and corruption at the heart of the “war on drugs” in the United States and Mexico. It is vital and deeply unsettling reading for anyone who wants to understand the realities and consequences of our nation’s drug policies and border policies.” — Seán Padraig O’Donoghue, writer, teacher and author of The Forest Reminds Us of Who We Are and Courting the Wild Queen

“Bill Conroy meticulously presents a grizzly scene, the House of Death, that shows the war on drugs is like most wars: forged by people who seek to gain political or monetary capital and who do not care about those who perish as a result. In this heart-wrenching portrait of American indifference, Conroy asks and answers the questions that those who should have cared refused to.” — R.V. Gundur, author of Trying to Make it: The Enterprises, Gangs, and People of the American Drug Trade

“Absolutely no one captures the folly of the decades-long War on Drugs as thoroughly as Bill Conroy. The story of The House of Death has to be read to be believed. It’s also a master class on investigative journalism and why the world still needs it.” — Gregory Berger, journalist, comedian and Mexican TV personality

“Bill Conroy’s book urges all human beings to take a stand against the corruption spread by the drug trade and a failed war on drugs. The book is going to light fires under all good men and women, law enforcement agencies, and policymakers to wake up and play their responsible roles and reverse this cancerous societal problem. The book is definitely a gift to humanity.” — Mkhuseli “Khusta” Jack, deputy executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and a past leader in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement

“In his book Dispatches from the House of Death, Bill Conroy tells the story of an ICE informant who assisted a drug cartel with torture and murders at the ‘House of Death’ — and how the U.S. government sought to whitewash that truth. Conroy brings the reader with him to that time and place and provides a clear view not only of the local dynamics on both sides of the border but also demonstrates how an exemplary journalist operates in the field. Conroy’s years of experience covering U.S. operatives in Latin America have made him a keen analyst. His book reveals why the U.S.-led war on drugs is such an abysmal failure: racism.” — Natalia Viana, executive director of Agência Pública, Brazil ‘s largest investigative journalism outlet

“Just as the writer Virgil sent Aeneas into the underworld with the Sibyl of Cumae by his side, if you’re going to Hell, you should always have a guide who knows the territory. In Dispatches from the House of Death, our guide Bill Conroy takes us down into one of the darkest places on earth, the nightmare world of Mexican drug smuggling — with its unending violence, constantly mutating alliances and corruption so deep that U.S. officials protected an informant who participated in murder after murder at ‘The House of Death.’ — Richard Bell, investigative reporter, editor and co-author of Nukespeak: The Selling of Nuclear Technology from the Manhattan Project to Fukushima



Bill Conroy

Bill Conroy is an independent investigative journalist. For more information, check out billconroy.pressfolios.com.