The Crime of Ruth Thalía, murdered for telling the truth on TV

Of humble origins but with great aspirations to be someone important and not repeat the patterns of poverty of her family, Ruth Thalía Sayas, never imagined that sitting in the “red chair of the truth” on a TV show would lead her to her tomb in the hands of her ex-boyfriend.

It was 2012 and a young woman full of wishes, ambitions, and desire for progress appeared in a new tv program at that time where she would be the star. Ruth Thalía Sayas was only 19 years old when she told the truth that would later become her torment. She studied Accounting and Finance at the Technological University of Peru UTP, and was the daughter of migrants from Huancavelica, Vilma Sanches (folklore singer), and Leoncio Sayas (folklore musician).

But Not everything in the life of Ruth was perfect, the young woman dated Brayan Romero, a young motorcycle taxi driver “ Motociclista”, the family did not approve of him, they said he was lazy, did not like to study, and was a drinker.

A red chair, a polygraph, an interrogation, and a lot of money were the perfect ingredients to seduce the young woman to recount and share personal passages from her life and expose them on Peruvian national television.



The TV show was a sensation, it what the first show of this kind (Reality TV) in Peru, the show was called  “The Value of Truth” EL VALOR DE LA VERDAD, a remake of the reality show from the UK “Nothing but the Truth”.

For the Premier of this program, Ruth Thalía, her parents, and her boyfriend, Bryan Romero Leiva, were invited. 

The dynamics of this space were to answer a questionnaire, which had been previously consulted to the young woman and corroborated, through a polygraph to validate their “truth”. She only had to answer: true or false. each level would have a price and the grand prize could be 50 thousand soles. Of the 50 questions, 21 were chosen with the only intention to know more of her personal life 

Why are you here, to tell the truth, or for the money?” was the first thing that the presenter Beto Ortiz asked her upon entering the famous television set, and she, with an innocent, fearful, but determined smile, answered that she did it because that night he wanted to tell her truth.

Time passed and the questions became more and more uncomfortable. One of them was if she was ashamed of her family’s behavior, Ruth Thalía answered yes;

Another question was if she was with Bryan until someone better arrived, and the young woman replied yes. 

She even confessed she was an exotic dancer at a nightclub, and she got money in exchange for intimate services.

When the program ended, she obtained 15 thousand soles (about 4 thousand dollars) in addition to breaking her family’s  and boyfriend’s heart.


Ruth Thalía continued with her life, working, studying, and living with her parents in the same humbled place, but in Bryan’s mind, revenge was plotted, since he never forgave her for making him  “fool” on national tv.

Bryan when to different media to say that Sayas’s testimony was “prefabricated” and false. In the report, Bryan Romero says that he lied when he said that he was still his boyfriend of Ruth Sayas for money. He even asked for money from the tv show for what he suffered, saying that he will go to other tv shows to talk about this story, but he sign up for a discretion contract before the show.

9/11/2012 – NIGHT OF THE CRIME

Ruth Thalia disappears. Weeks before, she had denounced Romero for violently breaking into her house to steal a laptop, a cell phone, and about a thousand soles.


Sayas’s father reports that his daughter is missing and says that, according to what he had been told, Romero would have called her that day. Her mother, Vilma Sánchez, blamed Bryan as the main suspect.

began a tireless search for the 19-year-old girl. His parents, desperate, went to all the television channels

9/22/2012 – CONFESSION

Bryan Romero presented to the call of the police. The police, as well as the family, suspected that he was involved in the disappearance of Ruth Sayas. During his interrogation, he entered into contradictions and he ended up confessing. “I have murdered her!” he exclaimed.

At 6 p.m., the police took Romero to a vacant lot in Jicamarca, to the exact place where he buried his victim’s body, at 9 p.m., the body was recognized by his father, Leoncio Sayas Antezana. After eleven days missing, the lifeless body of the young woman was found in a hole 6 meters deep.

From that moment it was clear to the police that the murderer had acted with the support of another person They already had data on the participation of Bryan’s uncle, Redy Leiva Cerrón, and a 14-year-old teenager who would have helped them move the body.

The autopsy revealed that Ruth Thalía’s death was due to mechanical asphyxiation by strangulation and she had injuries all over her body from blows.Her entire face was disfigured. In addition to this, she had a fractured clavicle and spine. There is no doubt that they had attacked her until her last breath.

It was also known that the young woman’s liver was completely inflamed due to the toxic substances she had ingested moments before her death. Blood was found in the room of the murderer Brayan Romero.


The 14-year-old teenager involved in the murder confirmed to the police that he was hired by Bryan Romero to notify him about the arrival of the young woman in the neighborhood where they lived. The minor also recounted that he witnessed how Sayas’s murderers removed the victim’s body from the house of Mery Leiva, Romero’s mother, In exchange, he received S/.50 and a cell phone.


Bryan Romero and Redy Leiva were transferred to the Piedras Gordas I prison, in Ancón.

The Public Ministry requested a life sentence against the two, They must pay a civil reparation of S/.700 thousand in favor of the victim’s family. Both defendants appeal for annulment.

Nov 2021

The life sentence was reduced to only 33 and 30 years in prison. 2042 – 2045

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