HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 10
Page: 3 of 14
Text: A | A | A
All Chapter 10 Footnotes

The victim's white Sigmor smock, beige pull-over top, and bra were soaked through with blood, and her body was "covered" with it.47 She had evidently pulled the knife from her wound48 and dropped it, bloody and slick with flesh, below the cash drawer.49 After that, the victim transferred large quantities of blood to the gas pump console, cash drawer and counter top near the cash drawer.50

On the 911 tape, she was overheard trying to give to the assailant the money,51 and from the location of the murder weapon under the drawer—and the thick blood caked on the drawer and cascading down the pump console—you could see that the earliest and some of the worst bleeding had occurred right where the money was kept.52 The loose bills strewn about nearby were stained with it.53

Baker had heard the store clerk banging on the window,54 and the employee who cleaned up found bloody palm prints on the window above the cash drawer.55 Detective Escobedo and her assistant evidently missed the palm prints on the darkened window at night.56

When the attacker saw Baker heading for the door, he threw the blood-soaked victim to the floor and fled.57

Detective Escobedo found "blood smeared on the door handle on the inside of the door," which must have come from the hands of either the killer or his victim.58

Garza was sure that the victim's hands were blood-soaked as she fought off the attacker. She'd pulled the bloody knife out of her chest, and there was blood on the front door-handle and frame where she'd opened it.59 Her clothes also were soaked in blood, and every surface she'd touched bore streaks and smudges of it, thigh, waist, and chest high.60 From all this, Garza reasoned, the killer must have gotten blood on his hands,61 shirt,62 and pants, as well as under his fingernails63 when he wrestled with the victim and threw her to the floor.64

image

Figure 23: Detail of blood spatter on the floor and nearby surfaces; blood soaked into Wanda Lopez's right sandal and dripped on cash found at the scene; and smudges of blood on surfaces she or the assailant touched. In the foreground at bottom right are sodas stacked three cases high, with blood splatter on the top layer.

* * * * *

Crime Scene Photograph 25500035, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983) (showing medics working on Wanda Lopez at the crime scene and revealing extensive blood-staining on her shirt);

Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, Statement to Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983) at 41 ("I approached the lady coming out the front door. She had blood all over her.");

see Steven Fowler, Corpus Christi Police Sergeant, Supplementary Report (Feb. 4, 1983) at 1 ("As we arrived, I observed the clerk lying on her . . . side in front of the door. She was covered with blood, and there was also blood on the sidewalk and door.");

Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Supplementary Report (Feb. 5, 1983) (noting that Escobedo had obtained the beige pull over top, bra, and white Sigmor smock "worn by the victim at the time of the incident," which were "heavily stained with blood"; "I observed that there was a female laying on the ground directly to the left of the door of the Sigmor service station. She was on the ground. I could tell that she was bleeding, she was wearing brown slacks and a white top. She was barefooted, there was blood on the soles of her feet. . . . I also saw that there was some blood smeared on the door.");

Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, Pretrial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. June 20, 1983) at 29 ("She just kind of come against me, and then fell back into the building and started sliding down the side of the window right by the front door, and I seen the blood . . . .");

Kevan Baker, Witness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 18, 1983) at 274–75, 297–98 (describing appearance of Wanda Lopez immediately after the attack: "Q. Did you see blood on her. A. Yes, lots.")

See supra Chapter 4, note 61 and accompanying text.

Joel Infante, Corpus Christi Police Identification Technician, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 21, 1983) at 204–05 (describing condition of knife found at the scene: "The—the blade of the knife was—was very wet, it had some kind of substance on it, blood and some kind of pulp or something that came out from [witness does not finish the sentence].");

Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 18, 1983) at 305–06 ("This is the knife I retrieved [at the crime scene] on February the 4th, 1983. . . . At the time that I first observed this knife, it was open and it had some type of substance on it. To me it appeared to be some type of fatty substance, tissue on it.").

Crime Scene Photograph 25500006, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 255000010, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500013, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500031, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983); (all showing substantial amounts of blood deposited on the gas pump console, cash drawer and adjacent counter top);

see Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 00:54:52–00:58:30 ("(holds up another photograph) Then you have you[r] counter, which you can see smudges of blood on the counter. . . . And, of course, you've got your 5-dollar bill, but then you've got your cash register open which has a lot of blood.").

See supra Chapter 1, note 70 and accompanying text; infra Chapter 13, note 154 and accompanying text; see also supra Chapter 4, notes 56–58 and accompanying text.

Crime Scene Photograph 25500006, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500010, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500013, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500016, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500031, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983) (all showing substantial amounts of blood deposited on the gas pump console, cash drawer and adjacent counter top immediately above where the large open folding knife was found).

Crime Scene Photograph 25500013, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500016, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500031, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983) (all showing blood stains on money left at crime scene);

see Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Supplementary Report (Feb. 5, 1983) ("A five dollar bill was also found to be laying on the floor underneath the cash register tray, it was observed to have a blood stain on it.");

Kevan Baker, Witness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 18, 1983) at 284:

Q. Okay. When you walked inside there, did you notice anything?

A. I noticed blood and money and stuff all over the place is the best way to put it.

Q. Did you notice money all over the place?

A. Yes, sir, that's the best way to put it.

Q. Was it on the floor or counter or—

A. Well, I guess my impression of all over the place was on the floor and blood.

Q. So when you're talking about money, you're talking about bills rather than change?

A. Yes, sir, bills and paper towels and blood.

See also Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:52:58–00:54:52 ("And there is also a 5-dollar bill or something that's here on the floor that—and other photographs a lot closer—have blood on them. The cash register itself has got another piece of money. I don't know whether this money was processed for fingerprints or anything else. There was enough blood on here that if a subject was to grab part of this money, it would have some type of smudged fingerprint on it.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:32:34–01:33:49 ("[T]hey didn't let him wash his hands or nothing, that's the first thing they should have checked: his fingernails for blood. There was too much blood in the place, even blood on the money that was in the place. Something would have revealed, that if he handled money with blood, it would have transferred over to his hands somewhere or another.").

See supra Chapter 2, notes 13–14 and accompanying text.

See supra Chapter 4, notes 59–114 and accompanying text.

Joel Infante, Corpus Christi Police Identification Technician, Field Investigation Report (Feb. 4, 1983) at 1–3 (omitting handprints on the window from the list of features at the crime scene observed by himself and Detective Escobedo);

Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Supplementary Report (Feb. 5, 1983).

Kevan Baker, Witness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, Pretrial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. June 20, 1983) at 27–28, 36, 37 ("[T]he gentleman was trying to pull the girl into the back room and as I started walking toward the door, the gentleman threw her on the floor"; Baker "turned" and "started towards the door"; "as I was walking toward the door, the Defendant or the—the girl in this case was throwed to the floor and the Defendant met me at the door.");

Kevan Baker, Witness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 18, 1983) at 270, 280 ("The gentleman had the lady—apparently knew I was there and trying hard to get her into the back of the store and as I turned and saw them and started walking toward the door, he threw her down and proceeded to meet me at the door"; "I walked toward the door and he threw her to the floor and met me at the door").

Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Supplementary Report (Feb. 5, 1983) ("I also observed that there was blood smeared on the door handle on the inside of the door, and on the lower left hand side of the door there was blood smeared on the door frame.").

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:54:43–01:55:30:

Q. And again, assessing this crime scene, again, based on your experience as an investigator, would you have an expectation that there would have been a transfer of evidence from the victim to the perpetrator of this crime?

A. Definitely, definitely. There would have been blood somewhere on that person's body, their clothing. There would have been blood on the shoes. If that person would have been at that particular crime scene with as much blood as there was there, yes, definitely, that would have linked that person to that crime.

Crime Scene Photograph 25500006, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500013, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500024, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500028, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500033, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983) (all showing smears of blood, waist-high in some places, on vertical surfaces touched by the victim or the assailant);

see Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Supplementary Report (Feb. 5, 1983):

There was an area approximately 32 inches to the left of the door which had a large pool of thick blood and substance on the ground. From here I observed that there was blood smeared about 23 inches up from the ground on the metal molding, to the right of this area was more blood smears, which was approximately 24 inches from the ground on the metal molding, to the right of this area, still approaching the door, was another area which had blood smears on the glass, this was measured at approximately 43 inches from the ground level. The sidewalk measures approximately 34 inches in width, and there was blood smeared in different areas of the side walk in and around the ground immediately outside of the door. . . . I also observed that there was blood smeared on the door handle on the inside of the door, and on the lower left hand side of the door there was blood smeared on the door frame. I saw that there was a trail of blood, and foot prints in blood, leading from behind the counter, heading toward the door. . . . The trail led back behind the check out counter where the whole area was in total disarray and more blood was found in the area.

See also Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:54:52–00:57:00, 01:04:42–01:06:20 ("Then you have you[r] counter, which you can see smudges of blood on the counter. Again, if somebody is struggling with somebody or fighting with somebody [he or she will transfer blood to the attacker]"; "But it all leads to the front door. The front door: there's one photograph that you see a lot of blood on the door itself. (holds up another photograph) And this one you do see blood right here on the bottom part of where the handle is.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:32:34–01:33:49 ("[T]hey didn't let him wash his hands or nothing, that's the first thing they should have checked: his fingernails for blood. There was too much blood in the place, even blood on the money that was in the place. Something would have revealed that if he handled money with blood, it would have transferred over to his hands somewhere or another.")

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:29:47–01:29:58 ("[I]f a person with a white shirt would have been at this crime scene it would have been a transfer of blood somewhere or another to that white shirt.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:32:34–01:33:49:

But the people that arrested this guy and the investigator in charge of the case, that's the first thing they should have been looking for, for any type of evidence on this man's hands that would relate. If there was that much blood, definitely the offender would have had some type of blood stains in between his fingernails. . . . [T]hey didn't let him wash his hands or nothing, that's the first thing they should have checked: his fingernails for blood. There was too much blood in the place, even blood on the money that was in the place. Something would have revealed, that if he handled money with blood, it would have transferred over to his hands somewhere or another.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:27:53–01:28:10 ("[B]ut if any money came from that crime scene, there should have been some speck of blood on 149 dollars.");

see Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:54:43–01:55:30:

Q. And again, assessing this crime scene, again, based on your experience as an investigator, would you have an expectation that there would have been a transfer of evidence from the victim to the perpetrator of this crime?

A. Definitely, definitely. There would have been blood somewhere on that person's body, their clothing. There would have been blood on the shoes. If that person would have been at that particular crime scene with as much blood as there was there, yes, definitely, that would have linked that person to that crime.

See also Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 06:58:58–07:02:25:

DeLuna . . . didn't have any blood on him. And, you know, what kind of police work is that? I mean, I've been around enough murder cases, been around enough blood to make anybody vomit. And you stab somebody in an artery or something and people start bleeding like a stuck pig. And it squirts. And it, it-it—You get blood on you. It's hard not to. And I find that somewhat suspect [that there was no blood on DeLuna]. Additionally, I think this case was wrapped up within an hour or two. And it was at night when [Detectives] Eddie [Garza] and Paul [Rivera] weren't working, yeah. If Eddie and Paul were there, they might have viewed it differently. . . . But if I had said to him [Detective Rivera], "Where's the blood, dude." You know, he'd think on that, and he'd come back, he might come back a week later and say, "there wasn't any blood on his shoes, I wouldn't look at him [as a suspect]."

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 07:06:14–07:09:12:

And if there's blood and people get blood on their hands there's going to be fingerprints all over the place, so you're going to be looking for prints. You're going to be looking too . . . for footprints. I mean, just think of the characteristics of tennis shoes, the characteristics of any shoes! Oh, my god, if any of the stuff was being handled, it just, it begs, doesn't it, to have a lot of forensic people there, to have a lot of photographs, to have a lot of fingerprint work. If there isn't, clearly something is seriously, seriously lacking, because if there was a struggle, these people were rolling in it, and, you know, you'd be screaming bloody murder in terms of, that's exactly what happened, isn't it. It's a bloody murder. And you'd be looking for that, certainly on the man that was caught. You'd be looking for blood. If there wasn't, you'd start to wonder, wouldn't you? I mean, that to me, that's the one thing that troubles me about this case is that I don't believe that DeLuna had much blood on him, if any. Well, he didn't go take a bath! And they found him, what? Within half an hour? Well, doesn't that leave one to question what the heck is going on?

Chapter 10
Page: 3 of 14