HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 8
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All Chapter 8 Footnotes

It wasn't just the abuse that made Pricilla decide to run away, however. There was something else.

She was eleven or twelve at the time. It must have been 1983 or 1984. Carlos and Javier were sitting outside on the porch, talking and drinking beer. She was playing on the grass near steps that ran down the slope from the porch to the street.45

Carlos was playing with his buck knife and bragging about it to Javier. He said he'd hurt someone with a knife, stabbed her. Her name was Wanda, he said, and Javier knew her.46

"Nah, you didn't do that," Javier said. "Yes," Carlos said, he did. But he didn't think anyone would find out.47

* * * * *

In 2004, investigators also visited Beatrice Tapia, Margie's younger sister, asking about their former neighbor Carlos Hernandez. Bea hadn't seen her childhood friend Pricilla Hernandez in years, but she remembered the same terrifying conversation Pricilla had overheard.

The two girls were on the steps going up to the Hernandez porch talking to each other and listening to Carlos and Javier, who were drinking beer on the porch.48 Bea heard Carlos tell his brother that he had done something wrong, and he mentioned the name Wanda. He said he'd hurt her—he'd killed her—and he felt sorry about it.49

Carlos's admission scared Bea.50 Like Javier, she knew who Wanda was. She remembered Carlos talking about a woman by that name who worked at a gas station near Wolfy's. Carlos seemed to be sweet on this Wanda and talked about going over to the station to see her.51

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4. 2004) at 06:15:31–06:19:40:

Q. [D]id you sometimes overhear your uncles talking to each other when they were out on the porch or in the house, or drinking? . . . .

A. [J]ust him playing with his knife and bragging and saying that he had hurt somebody. . . .

Q. [W]ere you trying to listen?

A. Well, of course not. That's not what a child likes to hear. I was just always there at the wrong time when they were talking, but they would just always go outside.

Q. On the porch?

A. Right. . . .

Q. [T]ell me what that was said?

A. . . .I heard was him telling my uncle Javier. Well, he was bragging to Javier, that he had hurt somebody. And Javier didn't believe it.

Q. Did you hear a name at that time . . .

A. Yes, somebody by the name of Wanda.

Q. Did you know this Wanda?

A. I didn't know her personally. I was too young.

Q. And what did you want to do when you heard that?

A. . . . Every time I heard, I'd hear them conversate like that, I'd want to run, I'd want to block things out of my mind.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4. 2004) at 06:30:00–06:30:57 ("Q. [Y]ou said when your uncle Carlos and your uncle Javier were up on the porch, they were talking about Carlos having hurt someone. They mentioned the name Wanda. You said he had something in his hand. What was that? A. Well, Carlos had a habit of carrying a knife. A pretty big knife. It wasn't just a small little pocket knife. It was a pretty good sized, thick knife. So, that's what he had.");

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, Did One Man Die For Another Man's Crime? The Secret That Wasn't, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/eedition/chi-tx-3-story,0,761635.htmlstory ("[Pricilla Hernandez] Jaramillo's recollection is similar. 'My Uncle Carlos said that he had hurt somebody—that he had stabbed somebody,' said Jaramillo, who now lives elsewhere in Texas. Javier didn't believe it. 'Carlos said, "I did." And he named her, and Javier knew her,' Jaramillo said. 'He said the name was Wanda.'").

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, Did One Man Die For Another Man's Crime? The Secret That Wasn't, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/eedition/chi-tx-3-story,0,761635.htmlstory ("[Pricilla Hernandez] Jaramillo's recollection is similar. 'My Uncle Carlos said that he had hurt somebody—that he had stabbed somebody,' said Jaramillo, who now lives elsewhere [than Corpus] in Texas. Javier didn't believe it. 'Carlos said, "I did." And he named her, and Javier knew her,' Jaramillo said. 'He said the name was Wanda.'"); James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 3, 2004) at 2–3 ("[Carlos Hernandez] would play with his knife. He said he hurt someone. Talking, drinking Busch beer. He would brag, bragging. About hurting someone. He was violent with females; he would argue with them. He was talking to Javier about hurting a female; he was playing with a knife; saying what he did with the knife. Spanish-English. Javier: Nah, you didn't do that. [Carlos Hernandez]: Yes. . . . Javier didn't want to hear it. . . . Javier didn't want to hear. He [Carlos] didn't think anyone would find out about [it].").

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 3, 2004) at 2–3 ("[Carlos Hernandez] would play with his knife. He said he hurt someone. Talking, drinking Busch beer. He would brag, bragging. About hurting someone. He was violent with females; he would argue with them. He was talking to Javier about hurting a female; he was playing with a knife; saying what he did with the knife. Spanish-English. Javier: Nah, you didn't do that. CH: Yes. . . . Javier didn't want to hear it. . . . Javier didn't want to hear. He [Carlos] didn't think anyone would find out about [it].").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Beatrice Tapia, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 08:16:56–08:19:33, 08:25:32–08:27:06 ("[H]e [Carlos] was telling Javier that he Carlos Hernandez had hurt Wanda. But that he—We weren't really paying attention to him, but we overheard—he was talking loud enough for us to hear what, he were, they were there—Carlos Hernandez and Javier were sitting, and me and Pricilla were sitting on the steps, on the very top steps. So, we overheard that he was, that Carlos Hernandez had hurt Wanda."; Javier and Carlos Hernandez were drinking when Carlos "said that he had hurt Wanda").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Beatrice Tapia, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 08:16:56–08:19:33, 08:25:32–08:27:06 ("[H]e [Carlos] was telling Javier that he Carlos Hernandez had hurt Wanda. But that he—We weren't really paying attention to him, but we overheard—he was talking loud enough for us to hear what, he were, they were there—Carlos Hernandez and Javier were sitting, and me and Pricilla were sitting on the steps, on the very top steps. So, we overheard that he was, that Carlos Hernandez had hurt Wanda."; Javier and Carlos Hernandez were drinking when Carlos "said that he had hurt Wanda");

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, Did One Man Die For Another Man's Crime? The Secret That Wasn't, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006:

Beatrice Tapia and Pri[c]illa Jaramillo never spoke about what they knew because they wanted to forget.

Although they had not seen each other in years, they independently recalled the same chilling details from the day they heard Hernandez say he killed Lopez.

Jaramillo is Hernandez's niece, and during the 1980s she lived at his mother's home, where, she said, she was sexually abused by Hernandez.

Not long after Lopez was slain, Jaramillo, then 11, and Tapia, 16, a neighborhood friend, were sitting on the front steps, mostly talking but also listening to Hernandez and his brother Javier, who were on the porch drinking beer.

Carlos told his brother that he had killed the woman at the gas station.

"He was saying he did something wrong and said Wanda's name. He said he killed her," recalled Tapia, who still lives in Corpus Christi. "He said he felt sorry about it."

Jaramillo's recollection is similar. "My Uncle Carlos said that he had hurt somebody—that he had stabbed somebody, said Jaramillo, who now lives elsewhere in Texas. Javier didn't believe it.

"Carlos said, 'I did.' And he named her, and Javier knew her," Jaramillo said. "He said the name was Wanda."

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Beatrice Tapia, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 08:25:32–08:27:06 ("[W]hen Carlos Hernandez said that he had . . . hurt Wanda Lopez . . . I was scared . . . , and I looked at Pricilla, and I remember that Pricilla just told me [shakes head and shrugs], you know, she just like, 'don't,' [puts fingers to lips,] she just went like this [puts finger to her lips]and told me [to say] nothing.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Beatrice Tapia, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 08:16:56–08:19:33, 08:23:46–08:25:14:

I remember one time . . . Carlos Hernandez telling Javier . . . that he was going to go see Wanda, at the store, the Diamond Shamrock. . . . I would say he [Carlos] had a crush on her, that he wanted to, to date her. Because of the way he would talk about Wanda, because of the way Carlos Hernandez would talk about Wanda. . . . [One day Carlos] called her name, and Pricilla, she's a busy body, she wants to know everything, and she would tell [Carlos], "Well, who's that [he was talking about]?" And Carlos Hernandez told her, "it's Wanda Lopez."

Bruce Whitman's Notes on Interview with Beatrice Tapia, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 28, 2004) at 1:

Pricilla always asked Fidela, Carlos or Javier where they were going whenever they the left there [sic] house. Many times within "a few months" before the Wanda Lopez killing, Pricilla asked Carlos Hernandez where he was going in Bea's presence. Carlos said he was going to the Diamond Shamrock station next to Wolfy's to hang out. . . . Carlos said he was going to the Diamond Shamrock to visit with Wanda and a couple of times Carlos said he was going to the Diamond Shamrock station to hang out and to visit Wanda Lopez.

Chapter 8
Page: 3 of 9