HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 6
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Soon, Freddy was spending more time with Dahlia than with his wife and two boys, and Paula was angry.209 He told Dahlia it had to end, and she told him something that suddenly set her apart from the other women he messed around with: She had “a lot of money,” Freddy said.210

A couple years before, a city truck had backed into her driveway to turn around in the cul de sac where she lived, and killed her baby playing there.211 “To be honest with you,” Freddy says, “I don’t know how much she got” in her settlement with the city. “All I know was I was able to spend it.”212

The settlement explained the customized “Happy Time” van Dahlia always drove around in, with detail and large windows on the outside and carpeting, soft chairs and a sound system in the back.213

Right after Dahlia told him about her money, Freddy recalled, the two were “driving down the road . . . right here on Staples” past a used car lot. “I see this little ‘72 Mustang Mark One,” and he and Dahlia stopped to admire it.214 Dahlia “said, ‘You like that.’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ . . . She says, ‘Do you want it?’ and I say, ‘Who wouldn’t?”215 The following day she went in with a cashier’s check and bought the car for him.216

Freddy and Dahlia ran off to Houston together. While there, Dahlia supported Freddy and gave him money to send to Paula and the kids in Corpus Christi. “I just kept living that life,” Freddy recalled, “spending and having and enjoying it.” Something like that “comes once in a lifetime,” he said. “That’s the way I looked at it at the time.”217

It wasn’t too long, however, before Freddy returned to his family in Corpus Christi. His conscience got the better of him, he said.218 “My wife . . . was upset, worried, crying,” he recalled. “She said she needed me . . . . My little kids were crying, too.”219 Paula took him back.

Her brother Carlos, however—always aware that he’d taken another man out of Paula’s life—was not so forgiving. Soon after returning from Houston, Freddy was relaxing in a chair at a friend’s house when Carlos entered the room, walked directly toward him and sucker-punched him in the face, knocking him off the chair.220

Freddy bounced up, and the two wrestled their way into the kitchen, exchanging blows until Freddy lost his footing and slipped on the linoleum floor. While he was on the ground, Carlos grabbed a hot frying pan off the stove and began beating Freddy over the head with it. Freddy was on the verge of blacking out when Frankie Hernandez rushed in and broke up the fight.221 Freddy didn’t see much of his former girlfriend after that.222

* * * * *

Some months later, on the morning of November 20, 1979, a couple of boys came across a van parked in a vacant lot overrun with high weeds. The site—near the C.C. Egg Company at the intersection of Mexico and Mussett—was a third of a mile away from the rough bar where Carlos and his group hung out, and about the same distance to Fidela’s house.223

Thinking the eye-catching van might be stolen, the boys decided to check it out. In the back of the van, they found a dead body. On a soft chair nearby lay a two-year-old baby girl, asleep. The boys covered the victim’s nude body with a yellow blanket from the van and called the police.224

The lead detective on the case was Olivia Escobedo. When she arrived at the scene, she identified the victim as Dahlia Sauceda. The back of the van was a wreck, junk strewn everywhere. In the mess were several cans of Schlitz beer.225 Semen collected from the victim revealed she had recently had sex.226 What appeared to be her clothes were tossed to the side of the van.227 Near the body was a pair of men’s plaid boxer shorts.228

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 13:55:33 (“So we did that for about a month or two, and I finally knew that I wasn’t spending enough time with my family, and I told her, ‘Hey, Dahlia, this has to end, because my wife’s taking notice, and I’m spending more time over here than I’m spending at the house.’”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 13:56:40 (“When I got in the van, that’s when [Dahlia] started talking to me about her real life, not the lies she was telling me before. It seemed that something had happened at the house, her house, and one of the kids got killed and she came into a lot of money. She had a lot of money.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:19:02:

[Dahlia got her money from] a settlement from the city. Apparently they . . . Really, to be honest with you, I don’t know how much she got. I never questioned her about it. All I knew is I was able to spend it. All I know is that one of the babies was playing out in the street. Where she lived was on a dead-end street. So when the trash was coming by to pick up trash, for some reason, the trash truck backed up into her driveway. And the baby happened to be playing in the driveway and they ran over her.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005).

Crime Scene Photo P1010007, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (presenting three images of Dahlia Sauceda’s van from different angles in a parking lot);

Crime Scene Photo P1010008, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (presenting four images of Dahlia Sauceda’s van from different angles in a parking lot);

Crime Scene Photo P1010011, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (presenting four images of the interior of Dahlia Sauceda’s van, revealing plush brown carpeting and lounge chairs);

Officer R.M. Boos, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Crime Against Person Report (Nov. 20, 1979) (“[The van] is registered to Apolinan Dalia Saucedo of 1806 Cliff Maus. It is a brown and silver 1979 Dodge van, it is called a House van.”);

Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Supplementary Report in Homicide of Dahlia Sauceda (Nov. 20, 1979) at 1 (describing the crime scene, noting a “rear seat and bar,” a “bar sink” and a “captain’s chair”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Albert Peña, Lawyer for Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi (Feb. 25, 2005) at 17:40:18:

There was a young woman by the name of Dahlia Sauceda, who was the victim of the murder. And Dahlia had received money from a civil lawsuit. Her son was unfortunately killed on the front yard by an automobile that had lost control, a drunk driver. So she had come into money, and she bought a very fancy vehicle that was called a ‘Happy Time’ van. So she used to almost daily go around driving with a lot of her friends. And she would take her infant. I don’t remember how old her infant was, less than one year as I recall.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 13:59:07:

[Dahlia and I were] going down the road. In fact, we’re right here on Staples. I see this little ’72 Mustang Mark One. At that age I was fascinated by fast cars and good-looking cars and stuff like that. I saw this Mustang, I really fell in love with it. She said, “You like that.” I said, “Yeah.” She said, “Well, pull over, let’s look at it.” . . . She says, “Do you like it?” and I say, “Yeah.” She says, “Do you want it?” and I say, “Who wouldn’t? It’s a nice car.” . . . The following day she came in with a cashier’s check, bought the car for me. So that really stunned me, you know what I’m saying. She kind of really bought my love. That’s what she did. It wasn’t that I fell in love with her or loved her or anything like that, because I had my wife and kids. At that time I was, wow, crazy. One thing led to another and me and Dahlia ran off together. I shouldn’t have done that, but I did.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 13:59:07.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 13:59:07.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:00:52:

So [Dahlia and I] ended up in Houston. I took my kids for a little while, back and forth. I stayed gone for a while, from my wife, but I supported my wife while I was on the lam. My kids were well taken-care-of. She was taken-care-of. Dahlia was sending money every week through the Western Union. . . . Anyhow, I just kept living that life, that life of spending and having and enjoying it. I guess it comes once in a lifetime, that’s the way I looked at it at the time. And I thought I would enjoy it as best I could. But then, when the time came that my mind was really saying “Hey, this ain’t right. Go home.” I met this other girl up in Houston, and she’s actually the one who convinced me to come home to my family. But that’s what I needed. And that’s what I did. So when I came home, my wife accepted me, and we tried to get everything back together the way it was.

See also Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Gloria Sanchez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 2004) at 3 (“Dahlia was giving Paula [Hernandez] money to be with Paula’s man (Freddy Schilling).”);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Eddie Schilling, Nephew of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 8–9, 2004) at 2 (“Eddie remembers visiting “a lady who had a van” with his father and his father asking Eddie, “who do you want to live with[, your] mother or me?” Eddie chose to live with his mother Paula.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:00:52:

[Dahlia and I were] going down the road. In fact, we’re right here on Staples. I see this little ’72 Mustang Mark One. At that age I was fascinated by fast cars and good-looking cars and stuff like that. I saw this Mustang, I really fell in love with it. She said, “You like that.” I said, “Yeah.” She said, “Well, pull over, let’s look at it.” . . . She says, “Do you like it?” and I say, “Yeah.” She says, “Do you want it?” and I say, “Who wouldn’t? It’s a nice car.” . . . The following day she came in with a cashier’s check, bought the car for me. So that really stunned me, you know what I’m saying. She kind of really bought my love. That’s what she did. It wasn’t that I fell in love with her or loved her or anything like that, because I had my wife and kids. At that time I was, wow, crazy. One thing led to another and me and Dahlia ran off together. I shouldn’t have done that, but I did.

Freddy Schilling, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 864–65 (“My wife, she was upset, worried crying. She said she needed me [so I came back to Corpus Christi]. Yes, my little kids were crying, too, and everything.”);

see Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Gloria Sanchez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 2004) at 2 (“Paula and Freddy split up [over Dahlia Sauceda]; G’s [Gloria Sanchez’s] sister had moved out, so Paula moved in. Freddy came back. He always cam[e] back to Paula; to see the kids; the[re] were always other women, but he always came back to Paula; she always let him come back. During this period, she was back and forth, sometimes living at home, sometimes with Gloria.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:56:40 (“So while I was in the chair like this, I was nodding out, all I remember was Carlos came in and just went straight at me, boom, hit me, flipped me over off the chair.”);

see Freddy Schilling, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 870, 871, 875–76 (“When [Carlos Hernandez is] drinking, he talks a lot, [and is] just kind of violent”; describing incident when he [Freddy] was asleep and woke up to find Carlos Hernandez beating him).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:56:40–15:00:00:

So I got up and I started defending myself. We took it from one end of the house all the way down to the kitchen, just fighting . . . . Somehow we ended up in the kitchen. I’m taking him out the back door. I’m beating on him, I’m trying to get him off me. Somehow I slipped on some linoleum floor, like this. I slipped on the floor in the kitchen, my legs kind of split and I went down. I was trying to get back up. He got a frying pan that was on the stove and just started beating me with it on the head. Hit me four or five times. Actually, I started to kind of black out. I started to, I could still see what was going on and I could feel the pounding on my head from the frying pan. And my little brother-in-law, Frank, just happened to come in at that time, through the back door . . . . That’s when he grabbed Carlos and pulled him out, got him off of me . . . . I think I had just gotten back from Houston . . . . And I just felt like that angle was taken out on me because of what I had done. That he came at me in the way he did because of me coming back.

Freddy Schilling, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 873–74:

Q. The weekend of November 20, the weekend prior to November 20, the date that Dahlia was found [dead] . . . . did you have occasion to talk to Dahlia.

A. No, sir.

Q. All right, did you see Dahlia anywhere?

A. No, sir.

Q. You no longer were seeing Dahlia?

A. No, sir, I had told her to stop coming around my house because before that, you know, it was a couple of days before that my wife and her had an argument and Dahlia called her and called her a bitch . . . . I told her I didn’t want her coming around here because I was going to knock the hell out of her [Dahlia] if she came around.

Officer R.M. Boos, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Crime Against Person Report (Nov. 20, 1979)(“On 11–20–79 at approximately [sic] I received a call to go to the 1500 block of Caldwell in reference a D.O.A. Upon arrival I was directed to a vacant lot at Mexico and Mussett. Officer Garcia had arrived at the scene before I did. He showed me a van that was parked in some high weeds in the southeast section of the lot. There was a dead nude female laying on her side in the back of the van.”).

Joe Louis Duran, Witness Who Discovered Dahlia Sauceda’s Body, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 38–41:

I was walking really to work. I was minding my own business. I wouldn’t have gone to, you know, other places where I don’t have no business, but I go ahead and did because when I was in the Wreckers, we use to pick up stolen cars and everything hidden and, you know, stolen and everything, so I’m going ahead and took a risk and a chance going over there. And so when I got there, I ran into Emilio Parker, my next door neighbor. Both of us live in apartments. We both went there to the van. We both looked in there at the same time and we saw her laying down there. So then he said: “Maybe, you know, she’s dead or something.” I said: “No, she couldn’t be.” So then I looked around. I looked the other way. I saw that she had blood and everything, so then I said that she was dead. I looked over on my left and there was a little girl there. So then, I just said to go ahead and call the police real fast because it was hidden behind the grass and the policemen wouldn’t have noticed it . . . . I covered [the dead woman] with a yellow light blanket.

Sarah Cooks, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t Identification Technician, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 568, 571 (“I found papers, one sandal and several [Schlitz] beer cans . . . . I did find a knife, a kitchen knife.”).

Joseph C. Rupp, Nueces County Medical Examiner, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 691–92 (“Well, in any case where you find a dead, murdered female, you always to check to see if there’s been any sexual activity, and we took swabs which were . . . positive for prosthetic acid phosphatase which means there had been sexual intercourse in the recent past.”).

Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Supplementary Report in Homicide of Dahlia Sauceda (Nov. 20, 1979) (“There is a woman’s beige bra, strapless laying on the floor near the bar . . . . Directly in front of the bar is a pair of women’s high-heel sandals, black in color. On the right of the bar of the floor, laying between the bar and a captain’s chair is a pair of men’s cotten [sic] underwear, with a red, white, and blue design on the [sic]. On the Captain’s chair, located behind the driver’s seat is a pair of women’s panties, white in color with a multi-colored print on them . . . . A pair of blue jeans also rested crumpled on the chair.”).

Sarah Cooks, Corpus Christi Police Department Identification Technician, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 571 (“Q. When you got in the van, what did you find in the van that you took into your possession? A. I found more papers, a check stub. I processed men’s underwear. . .”);

see infra Chapter 7, notes 13–14, 25, 30, 96, 163, 175 (sources describing the plaid undershorts found in the van).

Chapter 6
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