HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 17
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Later, sitting in his living room, Carlos admitted to Dina and Cindy that he had killed Dahlia Sauceda in her van in front of her little girl,31 and he told them about another woman he stabbed at a Shamrock filling station.32 In both cases, he said, the cops blamed someone else—"Jesse" something for Dahlia and Hernandez's "tocayo Carlos" for the Shamrock lady. Hernandez laughed about what'd happened to both young men.33

Poor and uneducated with four kids to raise on her own,34 Dina balanced what she thought was right and what was necessary in her own pragmatic way. When Carlos's evils were in plain sight, she resisted them. Otherwise, she took a quiet pride in her equal footing with a man others feared and took advantage of his free babysitting to help her hold down a day and a night job. The balance broke down when Carlos wanted her to have sex with him or no one else and she refused.35 One night, after she had insisted on seeing a man named Gilbert Limon and resisted Carlos's advances, he went after her with his knife.

* * * * *

While talking to the investigators, Dina almost choked on the name Carlos Hernandez36 and struggled to express herself in her self-taught second-language. But mid-way through the conversation, struggling without success to keep from crying, she pulled together the story of her changing relationship with Carlos Hernandez and her altered view of the man himself. "Tell me about Carlos Hernandez," an investigator asked. "What was your relationship with him? Tell me about who he was?"37

"At first I thought he was a good person," Dina said, "because he was good to the kids. And then after I met Carlos's girlfriend, who was Cindy, it was different. He was bad. He was real abusive with Cindy."38

But Dina really started to see Hernandez differently when she heard him laughing about the two women he'd killed—how he'd carved an X in one of their backs and thought about killing her baby daughter, too.39 And how he "put the knife" on the other woman at the Shamrock and let his stupid tocayo take the fall.40

"[A]fter I met him for a while," Dina continued, "he stabbed me too. I never thought it would happen to me. You know, I never—[Pause.] I don't want to start crying. He did it to me, I was just lucky. My little boy saved me."41 Through tears she could no longer hold back, Dina explained:

Q. What did Carlos Hernandez do to you?

A. He stabbed me in my stomach.

Q. Do you still carry those scars with you today?

A. They're here. [Lifts up shirt to reveal scar.] And my fingers. I don't have no feelings on this one and this one. If it wasn't for my little boys I would have been dead too. He already had me on my back. . . .

Q. What was [he] going to do to you when he had you on your back?

A. [He said] he was going to put an X on my back like the way he did Dahlia.

Q. Did he tell you other things that he was going to do to you?

A. That he was going to rape me. Said that if I wasn't going to be his, that I wasn't going to be for nobody else. That he always gets what he wants. That's why he did the other girls.42

During the remainder of the interview, Dina elaborated as best she could on Carlos Hernandez's confession to the gas station killing, and on her own violent encounter with her former friend. Although Hernandez spoke more frequently about Dahlia and her baby's fortunate near miss,43 he told Dina enough about the woman at the Shamrock and about his "tocayo" who got the blame to reveal what had happened. Hernandez made sure in other ways that Dina would never forget what he did to her—and what more he had intended to do.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:26:31, 03:35:40–3:38:48 ("[Carlos] was always bragging about things that he did, like stabbing people. He talked about two girls that he did. One of them was Dahlia. . . . [H]e put an X on her back. And that he had, Carlos killed her in front of her little girl. And that he thought about doing the little girl too, but he didn't."; "Carlos was always bragging about things he did in the past. Like, when he hurt this girl called Dahlia. He stabbed her. And then somebody else was arrested for it."; "Q. Did he ever talk to you about killing anyone? A. Twice [meaning he discussed two victims]. Carlos mentioned about one that he did at a [convenience store].And another one on a van. He killed her in front of a little girl. A baby. . . .";

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 04:04:05–04:05:05 (describing what Carlos Hernandez told her about Dahlia Sauceda):

[T]hey [Carlos Hernandez and Dahlia Sauceda] went out, and she didn't want to be with him, so he raped her. He stabbed her. Her was gonna kill, he was thinking about killing the little girl too. And then he would talk about how he put an X on Dahlia's back, and make fun of that other guy, cause he was the one that was paying for the crime. I think the other Jesse Garza was the one that paid for that one, right? Something like that. But Carlos would make fun of Jesse too.

Peso Chavez's Notes on Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (June 14–15, 2004) at 2 :

Carlos Hernandez would be in the living room and he would make fun about how he killed the girl at the gas station and the one in the van. He would brag about how Graza and Carlos DeLuna—he would call Carlos his tocallo—were blamed for it and he was the one that had killed them. Hurting people was real funny to him and he always had a habit of saying "I put the knife on her life"—meaning he had stabbed her. And he would always brag about the "X" he carved into Dahlia's back. He bragged about how he raped and killed her and how the baby was in the van and he thought about killing the baby as well. Cindy, his girlfriend knew about this but she would never say anything about it—she loved him to[o] much.

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (July 13, 2004) at 1 ("I knew he did it to the lady in the van and I kept being friends with him.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:26:31, 03:38:47:

[Carlos] was always bragging about things that he did, like stabbing people. He talked about two girls that he did. One of them was Dahlia. . . . [H]e put an X on her back. And that he had, Carlos, killed her in front of her little girl. And that he thought about doing the little girl too, but he didn't. And then he, Carlos was always bragging about the other one that he did at the gas station, because somebody else was arrested. He would call him his 'tocayo'. And he would laugh about it, because he got away with it, and somebody was paying for something he didn't do.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 04:02:57–04:03:50:

Q. You'd mentioned that Carlos Hernandez spoke to you in detail about the lady who was killed at the gas station. Tell me . . . what Carlos Hernandez told you in detail.

A. Carlos [Hernandez] was just bragging about the way he got away with it, that he stabbed her. He was walking away all normal, like nothing happened, while Carlos DeLuna was running, going under some cars. When he got arrested, he [Hernandez] was still around, when they were taking Carlos DeLuna in.

Peso Chavez's Notes on Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (June 14–15, 2004) at 2;

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (July 13, 2004) at 1–2:

CH [Carlos Hernandez] on Shamrock incident: CH—ran the other way. CDL [Carlos DeLuna]—stupid for not running fast and for getting under cars. [Hernandez] Stabbed her. He ran, they got that other guy. Made fun because he had same name[;] he called Carlos [his tocallo.] He went up to her and put the knife on her. . . . [Carlos Hernandez said he] "Put the knife on their life." . . . What CH said re: Lopez affair: Carlos DeLuna was running under cars—being stupid. Carlos H. ran away; the other way.

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, The Secret that Wasn't, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, available at http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/eedition/chi-tx-3-story,0,761635.htmlstory:

Dina Ybanez . . . met Hernandez in 1985, and after he befriended her and her husband, he confided that he killed [Wanda] Lopez [at the Shamrock station]. "He said he was the one that did it, but that they got somebody else—his stupid tocayo—for that one," Ybanez said in an interview. "Carlos would just laugh about it because he got away with it."

Like a number of people in Corpus Christi who knew Hernandez, Ybanez said he also admitted committing the 1979 murder of Dahlia Sauceda, a local woman who was strangled and had an "X" carved into her back. Hernandez was questioned in the murder in 1979, then indicted for it in 1986, although prosecutors never took him to trial.

Ybanez said she so feared Hernandez that she never contacted police about his admissions, not even after he cut her from her navel to her sternum during a quarrel. "He said he was going to kill me like he did her," she said.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:26:31, 03:38:47, 03:35:40, 03:43:18:

[Carlos] was always bragging about things that he did, like stabbing people. He talked about two girls that he did. One of them was Dahlia. . . . [H]e put an X on her back. And that he had, Carlos, killed her in front of her little girl. And that he thought about doing the little girl too, but he didn't. And then he, Carlos was always bragging about the other one that he did at the gas station, because somebody else was arrested. He would call him his "tocayo". And he would laugh about it, because he got away with it, and somebody was paying for something he didn't do. . . . Carlos was always bragging about things he did in the past. Like, when he hurt this girl called Dahlia. He stabbed her. And then somebody else was arrested for it. . . . He was always—making fun of Carlos DeLuna, and that other one, for Dahlia. Talking about how he stabbed her and then he started running and they caught the other guy. Laughing, because his "tocayo" was going to pay for something like that, even though he didn't do it. Just because they look the same.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 04:02:57–04:03:50, 04:04:05–04:05:05 (describing what Carlos Hernandez told her about Dahlia Sauceda: "[H]e would talk about how he put an X on Dahlia's back, and make fun of that other guy, cause he was the one that was paying for the crime. I think . . . Jesse Garza was the one that paid for that one, right? Something like that. But Carlos would make fun of Jesse too.");

Peso Chavez's Notes on Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (June 14–15, 2004) at 2;

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (July 13, 2004) at 1–3 (describing what Carlos Hernandez told her about the Shamrock incident):

CH [Carlos Hernandez] on Shamrock incident: CH—ran the other way. CDL [Carlos DeLuna]—stupid for not running fast and for getting under cars. Stabbed her. He ran, they got that other guy. Made fun because he had same name[;] he called Carlos [his tocayo.] He went up to her and put the knife on her. . . . [Carlos Hernandez said he] "Put the knife on their life." . . . What CH said re: Lopez affair: Carlos DeLuna was running under cars—being stupid. Carlos H. ran away; the other way. . . . "Jesse" name [of man] who got blamed for Dahlia.

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, The Secret that Wasn't, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, available at http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/eedition/chi-tx-3-story,0,761635.htmlstory ("Dina Ybanez . . . met Hernandez in 1985, and after he befriended her and her husband, he confided that he killed [Wanda] Lopez [at the Shamrock station]. 'He said he was the one that did it, but that they got somebody else—his stupid tocayo—for that one,' Ybanez said in an interview. 'Carlos would just laugh about it because he got away with it.'").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:21:51, 03:56:14 ("A. I have six boys and a little girl. . . . Q. Can you name your boys? A. Johnny. Q. How old is Johnny [as of 2004]? A. 29. Q. OK. A. And then Andy, 27. Alex, 22. Michael, 18. Jesse, 14 [born after the events discussed here]. Little Dina, 13.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:29:38, 03:42:55–03:43:18 ("I just remember that I got off of work, and he [Carlos Hernandez] was waiting for me up there. . . . [H]e just came up to me and put a knife on my neck. And he wanted to rape me, and I didn't want to let him, but when I saw the knife on my neck I wasn't going to fight."; "Q. Did he [Carlos Hernandez] tell you other things that he was going to do to you? A. That he was going to rape me. Said that if I wasn't going to be his, that I wasn't going to be for nobody else. That he always gets what he wants. That's why he did [killed] the other girls.");

Peso Chavez's Notes on Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (June 14–15, 2004) at 1 ("Dina told me that Carlos Hernandez stabbed her with a knife and her guts came completely out—he was going to rape her. He was a very bad man.");

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (July 13, 2004) at 1, 2 ("[Carlos Hernandez] Stabbed her, carried her in back and tried to rape her. . . . DY [Dina Ybañez] came home . . . and he (CH [Carlos Hernandez]) pulled me out of the car. Put knife on my neck. Then she was still. He wanted sex.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:26:02, 03:37:29–03:38:47 (explaining why she had trouble using "Carlos Hernandez" rather than "he" in the videotaped interview, in order to make clear who she was speaking about: "I hate that name"; "All this time that I haven't been talking to you I've tried to erase it because I hate this man.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:38:47–03:43:18:

Q. Tell me about Carlos Hernandez. What was your relationship with him? Tell me about who he was.

A. Well, at first I thought he was a good person, because he was good to the kids. And then after I met Carlos's girlfriend, who was Cindy, it was different. He was bad. He was real abusive with Cindy. Carlos was always taking her money away. Carlos was always making her do things for him that she wasn't supposed to. And then Carlos started acting different. He was always drunk, dressed real sloppy, doing drugs. And he was always bragging about things that he did, like stabbing people. He talked about two girls that he did [killed]. One of them was Dahlia. I don't know her last name or anything, but he was bragging about the way he stabbed her and he was going to, or, he put an X on her back. And that he had, Carlos, killed her in front of her little girl. And that he thought about doing the little girl too, but he didn't. And then he, Carlos was always bragging about the other one that he did at the gas station, because somebody else was arrested. He would call him his "tocayo". And he would laugh about it, because he got away with it, and somebody was paying for something he didn't do. And then, after I met him for a while, he stabbed me too. I never thought it would happen to me. You know, I never— [pause] I don't want to start crying. [starts crying . . . .] [continuing] He did it to me, I was just lucky. My little boy saved me. [still crying].

Q. What did Carlos Hernandez do to you?

A. He stabbed me in my stomach.

Q. Do you still carry those scars with you today.

A. [nods] They're here. [lifts up shirt again] And my fingers. I don't have no feelings on this one and this one. If it wasn't for my little boys I would have been dead too. He already had me on my back. And they [the authorities] didn't do nothing to him.

Q. What was [he] going to do to you when he had you on your back?

A. [Hernandez said] [t]hat he was going to put an X on my back like the way he did Dahlia.

Q. Did he tell you other things that he was going to do to you?

A. That he was going to rape me. Said that if I wasn't going to be his, that I wasn't going to be for nobody else. That he always gets what he wants. That's why he did [killed] the other girls.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:38:47–03:43:18 (quoted supra note 37).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:38:47–03:43:18 (quoted supra note 37).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:38:47–03:43:18 (quoted supra note 37).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:38:47–03:43:18 (quoted supra note 37).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:38:47–03:43:18 (quoted supra note 37); see also Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, The Secret that Wasn't, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, available at http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/eedition/chi-tx-3-story,0,761635.htmlstory:

Dina Ybanez . . . met Hernandez in 1985, and after he befriended her and her husband, he confided that he killed [Wanda] Lopez [at the Shamrock station]. "He said he was the one that did it, but that they got somebody else—his stupid tocayo—for that one," Ybanez said in an interview. "Carlos would just laugh about it because he got away with it."

Like a number of people in Corpus Christi who knew Hernandez, Ybanez said he also admitted committing the 1979 murder of Dahlia Sauceda, a local woman who was strangled and had an "X" carved into her back. Hernandez was questioned in the murder in 1979, then indicted for it in 1986, although prosecutors never took him to trial.

Ybanez said she so feared Hernandez that she never contacted police about his admissions, not even after he cut her from her navel to her sternum during a quarrel. "He said he was going to kill me like he did her," she said.

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (July 13, 2004) at 1 ("Talked about Dahlia most of the time; less about shamrock.").

Chapter 17
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