HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 7
Page: 9 of 18
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All Chapter 7 Footnotes

Years later, Fidela gave investigators a copy of the Caller-Times photograph from her scrapbook where she kept it as a memento of her son Carlos. Someone had drawn an "X" across Paul Rivera's face.142

image

Figure 20. Corpus Christi Caller-Times photograph of Carlos Hernandez's July 1986 arrest for the murder of Dahlia Sauceda. At left is Jesse Garza, who previously had been acquitted of the crime. The arresting officers are Detectives Paul Rivera (with an "X" drawn on his face) and Eddie Garza.

* * * * *

Another of Hernandez's girlfriends gave Rivera and Garza the evidence they needed for the arrest. Diana Gomez was in a relationship with Carlos during her wild years in the mid–1980s.143 At the time, she mainly lived on the beach, donating plasma at the blood bank and collecting aluminum cans for money.144 She needed a place to stay and found one with Carlos.145

Almost twenty years later, sitting in her tidy home on the north side of Corpus where she ran a quilt-making business, Gomez told investigators that it hadn't taken her long to see there was little future—maybe none at all—with Carlos.

Early on she'd noticed the same two Carlos Hernandezes others had observed. One was sober, attractive, and able to support himself; the other was drunk and dangerous.146 When Carlos drank, she recalled, his forehead would "crinkle," his eyes would get bloodshot, and she knew she'd better look out.147 One time they got into an argument when she wanted to stay outside and drink some more and he wanted her to come inside with him to go to sleep. He pushed her down hard, hurting her. Then he locked her out of the house, while her baby was still inside.148

At that moment, she knew she'd have to move on soon,149 and it didn't take long for Carlos to give her even more reason to do it.

* * * * *

Carlos often had night terrors that disturbed his sleep. He never wanted to talk about it with Diana, until one night he did.

Hernandez, she recalled, was tossing and turning in bed, sweating badly. She wanted to help, asking, "What's going on, what's going on, Carlos?"150 Carlos surprised her by answering.

He started out slowly, saying "he had done something wrong, something bad."151 Little by little, he told Diana what he had done and why. "And it was very scary for me," she said, "very scary for me, what he did."152 Her hope that he'd finally let her comfort him gave way to horror.

Carlos said he had murdered a girl inside a van. Her name was Dahlia. "And he told me, detail by detail . . . how he went about it"—

[H]ow he came about to get her alone, in her van, how he had had sex with her and choked her, choked her until . . . he said he saw her eyes roll back. He flipped her over and cut a cross from shoulder blade to buttock. A cross, like that, he told me that.153

Photograph of Paul Rivera and Eddie Garza Arresting Carlos Hernandez, from Acquitted Man Hopes Arrest of Another Man Will Help Clear His Name, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, July 25, 1986 (provided to senior author by Fidela Hernandez) (showing an "X" drawn over Paul Rivera's face).

Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, Statement to Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Apr. 17, 1986) (stating that she started living with Carlos Hernandez "around the last two weeks of May of 1985" and that she continued living with him "until the last day of August, 1985");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 02:43:14 ("Carlos Hernandez, yes, I met him. I'm not sure if it was at the plasma, we donate plasma, and get a little bottle and go sip it on the beach, it was just a few blocks down, and climb the hill back up and go party at the apartments of friends. I remember Carlos, my wild days.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 02:44:32 ("Donate plasma at the blood bank. We'd have to pump out about two pints of blood, one at a time, they remove the white cells, the plasma, and give us back the red cells. Yeah, we would do that about once every two weeks. We'd get about 21 dollars off of that. But then we picked up aluminum cans, and do that. I don't remember having a job then, or did I? I was probably working at Denny's, I was a fry cook at Denny's for a long time. I love flipping them eggs.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 02:43:14 ("I needed a place to stay once, headed out with a boyfriend, I think, and I ended up staying with [Hernandez]. But we didn't live together that long, we didn't live together that long.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 02:48:56 ("He looked like the demon when he was under the influence, Carlos Hernandez, in other words. It was totally the opposite of when he was sober. When Carlos Hernandez was sober it was different, he would go and do a day's job, but then at night it was like an evil person. And this was an every day thing, drinking, drinking, it was an every day thing.");

see supra note 103.; supra Chapter 6, notes 44–46, 93–98 and accompanying text.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 02:47:46–02:49:28:

Carlos Hernandez when he'd be drunk or under the influence of any drug, you could see it right here (points to forehead) this would crinkle in. I remember that. His eyes were bloodshot. Or maybe that's just the way they were. No, no they weren't. There were times I'd see clear eyes. Sober, let's say sober. Carlos Hernandez, when he was sober, was totally different from when he was under the influence of alcohol or a drug of his choice, I would say—He looked like the demon when he was under the influence, Carlos Hernandez, in other words. It was totally the opposite of when he was sober. When Carlos Hernandez was sober it was different, he would go and do a day's job, but then at night it was like an evil person. And this was an every day thing, drinking, drinking, it was an every day thing.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 02:45:46:

Well, for instance, one time I remember I stayed out drinking and he wanted to go inside already. It was an apartment complex, about four apartments to one little building, those efficiencies. And I wanted to stay outside, keep drinking, and no, he said it was bedtime. So we, I guess we argued, and he just said ok, then he pushed me out. But my baby was still indoors asleep and he locked me out, and that scared me, that scared me a lot. And he pushed me real hard, it hurt.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 02:46:35 ("I'd look out. I have to look out. It was so bad, that hey, this ain't a life for me, you know, I had to keep going.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:03:17–03:05:52:

That night he was having trouble sleeping, Carlos Hernandez. He was tossing, turning, tossing, turning, sweating. "What's going on, what's going on, Carlos?" Slowly he started telling me about not being able to sleep for I don't know how many years. But he said that he had done something wrong, something bad. And he started, little by little, telling me what he did and why he did it. And it was scary for me, very scary for me, what he did. Carlos Hernandez told me he had murdered a girl inside a van. And he told me, detail by detail, also, how he went about it. I didn't want to hear about it. I guess he had to get it off his chest, off his mind, I don't know. But he told me, Carlos Hernandez told me he had killed this girl named Dahlia, Sauceda I believe was her name. And how he came about to get her alone, in her van, how he had had sex with her and choked her, choked her until—he said he saw her eyes roll back. He flipped her over and cut a cross from shoulder blade to buttock. A cross, like that, he told me that.

And I was just shaking when he was telling me all this, saying "this can't be right, this can't be right, he's having a bad dream." No, turned out it was for real. He also told me he cut off her fat toe, her fat toe.

He also told me he cut off her fat toe for a, like, souvenir's sake. He asked me if I wanted to see it. I said, "No, I don't want to see that." He said he cleaned out the van with his underwear, all fingerprints, steering wheel, lights, everything. And I said, "That little girl?" She was asleep. He just left, left them like that, left them like that.

See supra note 150.

See supra note 150.

See supra note 150.

Chapter 7
Page: 9 of 18