HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 6
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Margie developed a crush on Carlos Hernandez in September of 1978, when she had just turned fifteen and was five months pregnant.27

Born on Bastille Day (July 14th), 1954, Hernandez was twenty-four at the time, a lot older than Margie. But as she told the investigators in a string of interviews a quarter century later, that was part of the allure.28

After getting pregnant, Margie had quit school and stopped going to the clubs. Every afternoon, she sat on the porch of her family’s Carrizo Street home, hoping to catch a glimpse of Carlos Hernandez on his way from work to his mother’s house cattycorner across the street.29 Carlos would tease her about not being in school and urge her to come down from the porch to talk to him.30 Margie giggled and refused, but thought Carlos was cute with his pipe-layer’s hardhat, work clothes, and a six-pack of beer always in hand.31 “What did I know about guys?” she told the investigators with a laugh.32

Thanks to a plot her mother Janie Adrian cooked up with Carlos Hernandez’s mother Fidela to get their two children together, Margie was about to learn a lot more about this guy. Janie wanted her pregnant daughter married,33 and Fidela wanted someone else to look after her least-favorite son, who was recently home from five years in prison.34

Attracted to her handsome neighbor, Margie went along with her mother’s plan.35 At first, she and Carlos just went to movies and out to eat, but things developed quickly.36 Nine years younger than Carlos and two months shy of having someone else’s child, Margie moved in with him at Fidela’s home in November of 1978.37 The arrangement lasted until July, 1979.38

At first, Carlos was sweet and charming. He “loved the fact that I was pregnant,” she said. “[H]e did everything to make sure I ate, make sure I got food, husbandly things.”39 After her son Eric was born, Carlos loved the boy as if he were his own. Carlos “knew [Eric] wasn’t his,” she recalled, “but for some odd reason, he thought he was.”40 Even after Carlos and Margie split up, Carlos would often visit Eric at Margie’s mom’s house. Fidela told Margie’s mom she “even took out a life insurance policy on Eric which is now paid off.”41

* * * * *

What passed for a honeymoon didn’t last long, however. After eight months with Carlos, Margie’s crush turned into something else entirely. Carlos had two sides, Margie told the investigators. At the flick of a switch, his sweet side would vanish, and another would replace it.42 “Carlos Hernandez had a mean side,” she explained. “A very mean bad side. He would change from one day to the next. He would . . . be ok you know [for a] couple days, and then the next day he would be all mad.” There was no way to please him.43

The mean side began to dominate. When Carlos was angry, which usually meant he was drunk, Margie was in for abuse. He beat her and threatened to kill her. Once, after the baby was born and Margie had gotten her figure back, she made the mistake of dressing up nicely and waiting on the porch for Carlos to come home. When he saw her, he cursed her for being outside the house dressed like that and came up the stairs and kicked her with his work boots.44 Then, he took her inside and raped and brutalized her for hours, threatening her with a hammer if she didn’t do exactly what he said.45 It didn’t faze him that Eric was sleeping on the other side of the bed.46

Carlos had his own terrors and seemed to want to punish Margie for them. “He hardly slept,” she recalled. “If he slept he had nightmares . . . . [R]eally bad nightmares.”47 He would scream and grab Margie by the throat, or “swing[ ] his arms and fight[ ] at nothing. He was afraid; his eyes were wide like someone was going to hurt him.” Margie tried to comfort him and asked what he was seeing. Usually, Carlos didn’t want to talk about it, but he once told her he was fighting someone in his sleep.48 Margie knew Carlos had been to prison and figured something unspeakable must have happened to him there.49

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:51:42–04:51:53 (“I was [sic] just turned 15. I was pregnant with my first son and he [Carlos Hernandez] used to, every afternoon, I used to go outside because I knew the time he would pass by. I thought he was cute, [a] guy in a hard hat. He was older than me. What did I know about guys?”).

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:51:53.

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:51:53 (“I used to go outside because I knew the time he would pass by. I thought he was cute, [a] guy in a hard hat.”).

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:52:32 (“I used to wait for him to pass by every afternoon. And he would tell me ‘Hey, what’s up? What are you doing? Why aren’t you in school yet?’ And I would say, ‘cause I’m pregnant,’ and he would say, ‘why don’t you come down here?’, and I would say ‘no’. We just started, every day it was hello, hello, hello. I just made sure I was outside.”).

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 960 (testifying that he bought a six-pack of Schlitz beer the night of Dahlia Sauceda’s murder);

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 929 (stating that he worked at Tennessee Pipeline Construction “about two years off and on”);

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:51:53 (“I thought he was cute, [a] guy in a hard hat. He was older than me. What did I know about guys?”).

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:51:53 (“I was [sic] just turned 15. I was pregnant with my first son and he [Carlos Hernandez] used to, every afternoon, I used to go outside because I knew the time he would pass by. I thought he was cute, [a] guy in a hard hat. He was older than me. What did I know about guys?”).

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:53:06 (“My mom knew his mom. My mom Janie Adrian knew Fidela Hernandez. So they started like playing match maker. I have a daughter; you have a son. They’re single. So let’s play matchmaker. So they introduced me to Carlos. I finally found out who he was. I thought he was real cute. I mean I was young.”).

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi’s Notes on Interview with Rita Hull, Friend of the Hernandez Family (Sept. 14, 2004) at 6 (“Fidela favored Javier and Carols [sic] was hurt by it. Carlos was the black sheep. When Javier died, Carlos though [sic] she would shift her attention to him but never did.”);

see infra notes 79–82, 104, 150–160 and accompanying text.

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:53:06 (“My mom knew his mom. My mom Janie Adrian knew Fidela Hernandez. So they started like playing match maker. I have a daughter; you have a son. They’re single. So let’s play matchmaker. So they introduced me to Carlos. I finally found out who he was. I thought he was real cute. I mean I was young.”).

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:53:42 (“We started kind of like dating, going to the movies, going out to eat. He always made sure I had a lot to eat because I was pregnant. And then we just kind of went a step too far, we started dating more seriously. We started living together.”).

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:53:32–04:53:37, 04:54:56 (recalling that when she met Carlos Hernandez, “I was about 15 years old and I was about 6 months pregnant [and Carlos Hernandez] was about 24 years old”); “[I]t was about November of ’78 [when I moved into the Hernandez household].”)

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:54:56, 05:09:33 (“[I]t was about November of ’78 [when I moved into the Hernandez household].”; “End of June, beginning of July [1979]. I had it, I couldn’t take it anymore [and I moved out of the Hernandez home].”).

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:54:24 (“Oh he loved the fact that I was pregnant. He just loved it, he did everything to make sure I ate, make sure I got food, husbandly things.”).

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:59:37 (“Oh he loved my son. He knew that it wasn’t his but for some reason, some odd reason he thought he was. He loved my son very much.”);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 23–24 and 27, 2004) at 2:

Janie [Adrian, mother of Margie Tapia] and her children moved to a house on Carrizo Street in 1977–1978 and remained there for 8–9 years or more. Fidela Hernandez, her sons Carlos and Javier, and her granddaughter Pricilla lived across the street. Soon after the move to the Carrizo neighborhood, Janie’s 14 year old daughter Margie, who was pregnant at the time by another man, befriended Carlos Hernandez and moved in with him and his family. While living with the Hernandez family, Margie gave birth to a son, Eric Tapia, on 01/03/1979. Both Carlos Hernandez and Fidela had been told that Eric was not Carlos Hernandez’s son but Janie believed Carlos Hernandez “thought Eric was his.” Janie says Carlos Hernandez and Fidela loved Eric and that, “‘Fidela even took out a life insurance policy on Eric which is now paid off.” Fidela had told Janie about the life insurance policy a couple of years prior while the two ate lunch in town.

James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 4, 2004) at 1 (“CH [Carlos Hernandez] would come by JA’s [Janie Adrian’s] house and ask for Eric; he thought Eric was his son. We told him that was not true. He would come and see if Eric needs help. Pampers, Carlos bought Eric a little bed.”).

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 23–24 and 27, 2004) at 2, 3–4 (“Janie says Carlos Hernandez and Fidela loved Eric and that, ‘Fidela even took out a life insurance policy on Eric which is now paid off.’ Fidela had told Janie about the life insurance policy a couple of years prior while the two ate lunch in town.”; “Janie said that Carlos Hernandez came by to check on Eric ‘all the time’ after he and Margie broke up.”; “Janie explained: ‘I used to be real close to Fidela. Last time I saw her was 2 1/2 to 3 years ago in a restaurant and she told me she had a paid off a life insurance policy on Eric. She loved Eric.’”);

James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 4, 2004) at 1 (“I heard Fidela took out insurance on the baby (Eric). Janie to[ld] Fidela: ‘You know, he doesn’t belong to Carlos.’”).

See Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 05:07:32–05:07:36 (stating that drinking caused Hernandez’s mood to swing);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 24 and 26, 2004) at 2:

Evenings [in 1978–1979, when Margie lived with Carlos Hernandez at Fidela’s house] were spent watching television. The living room was made into a bedroom where Margie and Carlos slept. Fidela had her own bedroom. Things started to change with Carlos after Margie moved in. “He (Carlos [Herandez]) was just fine and then every once in a while he would just change. He would get angry at me over nothing like the television was on the wrong channel, the fan wasn’t pointed in the right direction. Anything to be mad about. This just built up and Carlos started slapping me around.” The next day Carlos was fine, loving and caring. He would call Margie “Babe” and take her out, rub her stomach and ask how his son was doing. Carlos was fine for 2–3 weeks and then physical abuse started all over again. “He could be the sweetest guy and then just turned in an instant to a mean person.” After the physical abuse started Margie was not allowed out of the house without Carlos. Carlos went out alone and he always came home drunk and abusive.

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 05:04:17 (“Carlos Hernandez had a mean side. A very mean bad side. He would change from one day to the next. He will be okay you know [a] couple days, and then the next day he would be all mad. There was hardly any way you could please him.”).

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 24 and 26, 2004) at 3:

Things with Carlos were good until March of 1979. In March Margie got her figure back and was feeling good about herself. One day she fixed her hair, put on a pair of shorts, put Eric in the basinet and sat on the front porch and waited for Carlos to come home from work so she could greet him on the porch. Carlos arrived on Carrizo Street. As he was walking down the sidewalk and as he got to his house he noticed Margie sitting on the porch and from the street he yelled at Margie, “What the fuck are you doing outside the house?” Margie told him she was waiting for him to come home from work. Carlos climbed the stairs and started kicking Margie. He was wearing his heavy work boots. He kicked Margie through the front door into the house. Margie told Carlos she hadn’t done anything she was just sitting outside waiting for him. Once inside the house Margie said she wanted to go to her mother’s. Carlos said no, locked the front door, picked up a hammer, threw Margie on the bed in the living room, held the hammer over her head and threatened to hit her with it while he raped her. Margie told Carlos she wanted to leave him. Carlos told her if she ever left him he would kill her and she wasn’t taking his son, (Eric). From this event on, Carlos didn’t allow Margie out of the house unless he was with her.

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 05:06:08 (“He had a hammer. He had a hammer. The bed is right here; the door is right here. It was like a couch. This side that was where my son was. He was asleep. He grabbed me and he threw me on the bed. And he says you are going to do what I tell you. And he raped me. I remember that so clearly. And he said if you scream I am going to kill you.”);

Lauren Eskenazi & Sita Sovin’s Notes on Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Oct. 28, 2004) at 2 (describing the assault as having gone on for four or five hours);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 24 and 26, 2004) at 3:

Things with Carlos were good until March of 1979. In March Margie got her figure back and was feeling good about herself. One day she fixed her hair, put on a pair of shorts, put Eric in the basinet and sat on the front porch and waited for Carlos to come home from work so she could greet him on the porch. Carlos arrived on Carrizo Street. As he was walking down the sidewalk and as he got to his house he noticed Margie sitting on the porch and from the street he yelled at Margie, “What the fuck are you doing outside the house?” Margie told him she was waiting for him to come home from work. Carlos climbed the stairs and started kicking Margie. He was wearing his heavy work boots. He kicked Margie through the front door into the house. Margie told Carlos she hadn’t done anything she was just sitting outside waiting for him. Once inside the house Margie said she wanted to go to her mother’s. Carlos said no, locked the front door, picked up a hammer, threw Margie on the bed in the living room, held the hammer over her head and threatened to hit her with it while he raped her. Margie told Carlos she wanted to leave him. Carlos told her if she ever left him he would kill her and she wasn’t taking his son, (Eric). From this event on, Carlos didn’t allow Margie out of the house unless he was with her.

See Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 05:06:08 (“This side that was where my son was. He was asleep.”).

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 05:01:47:

[Hernandez] hardly slept. If he slept he had nightmares. He had really really bad nightmares. Sometimes he would wake up choking me. I don’t know what he was dreaming about. He’d be yelling and screaming, grab me by my throat. You know I would have to tell him, “Carlos it’s me wake up, wake up.” And if I could get my hand free and slap him, maybe you know, he’d open his eyes and say, “oh I’m sorry.” I’d go, “what’s wrong.” He would never say nothing. He’d say it’s nothing go back to sleep.

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 05:01:47;

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 24 and 26, 2004) at 4 (“While Margie was living with Carlos, at least 2–3 times a week, Carlos woke up with nightmares and in a sweat, sometimes swinging his arms and fighting at nothing. H[e] was afraid; his eyes were wide like someone was going to hurt him. Margie tried to comfort him and asked what he was seeing? Carlos didn’t want to talk about it but onetime told her he was fighting with one man in his sleep.”);

infra Chapter 7, notes 149–157 and accompanying text (describing Diana Gomez’s experiences with Carlos Hernandez’s night terrors).

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 05:02:21 (“I thought it was strange. I guess because he was in prison before, something happened.”).

Chapter 6
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