HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 8
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Later, Bea got really scared when she heard on TV that a woman named Wanda Lopez had been stabbed to death at the Sigmor Shamrock on SPID.52

After Carlos had said what he'd done to the woman, Bea looked at Pricilla, who put her finger to her lips.53 Bea kept the secret until investigators came around twenty years later, after Carlos Hernandez had died in prison. Until then, no one had ever asked questions about Carlos Hernandez and Wanda Lopez.54

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Figure 21: The Hernandez house on South Carrizo Street where it dead-ends near Laredo Street. (Left) Steps up from Carrizo Street, where Pricilla Hernandez and Bea Tapia were sitting when they heard Carlos and Javier Hernandez talking on the porch. (Right) The porch.

* * * * *

Bea and Margie's mother, Janie Adrian, had her own memories of Carlos around the time of the Shamrock killing. Those days, she was friendly with Fidela. They went out drinking and dancing together.55

Janie told the investigators that she remembered Carlos Hernandez coming by her house one night looking for Margie. The two had broken up years before, and although Carlos still came by to see Eric, this was different. He said he really needed to talk to Margie.

Carlos pulled up in a car and honked for Janie to come over. He didn't get out of the car, but opened the door and hung halfway out of it. He was nervous and agitated. Janie told him Margie wasn't there, and he left.56

Janie recalled Carlos coming by not long before she heard on the news that Wanda Lopez had been stabbed at the Shamrock station. At the time, she didn't think much about Carlos's anxious visit. That changed, however, when she overheard Carlos talking in the empty lot behind her small apartment57—the "park," she called it—where guys from the neighborhood hung out and gabbed loudly enough for her to keep track of the goings on.58

Worried to this day that she's in trouble for not telling the police—and angry at Carlos for breaking the neighborhood code by saying things he should have kept to himself59—Janie haltingly told the investigators what she heard Hernandez say.

Misspelling the Spanish word, the investigator recorded Janie's statement in his notes:

Bragging. . . . He said it, he hurt Wanda, and he said (Janie Adrian is crying now) Carlos DeLuna took the fall. Wanda Lopez. My tocallo took the blame. When he was drinking he didn't keep his mouth shut.60

Carlos Hernandez, she later elaborated, said "he stabbed this girl." Her name was Wanda.61 His "'stupid tocayo took the blame for it.'"62

"Tocayo," Janie explained, means "namesake" or "cuate"—"twin."63 She volunteered that she had seen Carlos Hernandez and Carlos DeLuna together on Carrizo Street before. They "look the same," she said.

As Hernandez talked to the other guys, Janie recalled, he sounded proud. If he hadn't used Wanda's name, she said, he might as well have been talking about "kill[ing] a dog or something."64

It was then that she remembered the night Carlos had come by desperately looking for Margie.65 She wondered whether maybe he hadn't felt so proud then, before they got DeLuna for the crime.

Asked whether she called the police, Janie was at once indignant and defensive. That's not the type of person she is, she said. In her world, when "you hear something, you just shut up and that's it. You don't know nothing, you didn't hear nothing." No one wanted to be seen as a "stoolie."66 It was a running joke, she said, between her and Fidela. "I'm not going to make it easier" for the cops, they'd repeat to each other. "Let them do their job."67

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 me and Pricilla were sitting outside, when Carlos Hernandez said that he had hurt, Carlos Hernandez had hurt Wanda Lopez, that's when I put two and two together, when I started hearing about the news about Wanda Lopez.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Beatrice Tapia, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 08:25:32–08:27:06 ("I was scared . . . . 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 08:38:34–08:39:39 ("Q. Did, at the time that all of this happened, did anybody come around your neighborhood, a police officer, or detective or anyone, and ask questions about Carlos Hernandez? A. As I can recall and I remember, no. I don't remember speaking to anybody. I don't recall my family speaking to anybody. I don't recall nothing like that happening.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:27:55–07:28:03 ("Q. How well did you know Fidela? A. Very very good. We used to go out together. We used to hang around together.");

Bruce Whitman's Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 23–24, and 27, 2004) at 4 ("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.' Fidela and Janie often went out together when they both lived on Carrizo Street. They hung out at a bar on Staples and Kennedy and the 'Y' Bar on Comanche and Port.".);

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 4, 2004) at 3 ("Me and Fidela used to go out."; "She [Fidela] was afraid of CH. He hit her when he was drunk. He would break stuff in her (Fildela's) [sic] house.");

Bruce Whitman's Notes on Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 24 and 26, 2004) at 2 ("Fidela was not working at a job. She went out nightly to bar/lounges, including one called Marie's. Fidela frequently was accompanied by Margie's mother Janie.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:37:48–07:39:41:

[Hernandez] came looking for Margie. And he looked like very anxious, very like he really had to talk to somebody. And he parked his car, on the opposite side, say he was going in through here, he came on the other side. And the driver side was towards the street. And he just kind of like, got out, half of his body was out and half of his body was in. And he said he wanted to talk to Margie. He was wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt. And it was between 6:30–7:30; between there; it was barely getting dark. . . . He was like very nervous, like if he was either waiting for somebody after him or waiting for somebody. He wanted to talk to somebody. He wanted to talk to Margie real bad. I told him Margie wasn't at home at the time. . . . [H]e was looking around like if he thought somebody was after him.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:41:22–07:41:36 ("Q. Ok, and what was he like on that occasion? A. Nervous, very nervous.");

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 4, 2004) at 1 ("When CH [Carlos Hernandez] came by after Wanda killed: Not too dark, not daylight. Margie and CH already separated, CH looking for Margie. He was in gold car—1/2 out, 1/2 in the car. He was looking for Margie and wanted to talk to someone and say what happened. He took off. He was nervous and looking behind him. . . . That night, when Carlos came over looking for Margie, he wanted to say something—he was desperate.").

Carlos Hernandez did not always have a car. One period when he did, however, was in 1983, when he had commandeered Rosa Anzaldua's 1975 Mercury. Anzaldua was married to Hernandez in 1982 and 1983. In the latter year, after Hernandez had attacked her and her children with a baseball bat, Rosa sued for a divorce, an order of protection, and the return of her 1975 Mercury, which Carlos had taken from her, all of which were subsequently ordered by the court. See Temporary Orders, In re the Marriage of Rosa Anzaldua Hernandez and Carlos Hernandez (Nueces Cty., 347th Dist. Tex. Dec. 13, 1983) at 1–2.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:36:50–07:40:25:

Q. Miss Adrian, did there come a time when you heard a news report about a women named Wanda Lopez?

A. Yes, I sure did. The following day, I was sitting down in the, no matter of fact I was going up and down the stairs I was washing. When I came upstairs then I heard something on the news. But I never thought nothing of it. I didn't put too much attention to [it].

Q. And what did you hear had happened to Wanda Lopez over there?

A. That they had stabbed her or killed her or something like that. . . .

Q. [W]hen was the very last time before you heard that news report about Wanda Lopez that you had seen Carlos Hernandez?

A. I saw Carlos Hernandez about the day that happened, the day before it happened to Wanda. I had seen Carlos, that's the day he was there asking for Margie.

See also Bruce Whitman's Notes on Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 24 and 26, 2004) at 5 ("Janie Adrian, Margie's mother, told Margie that Fidela Hernandez said Carlos Hernandez confessed that he had murdered Dahlia Sauced[a] in 1979. Jane also told Margie she knew that Carlos Hernandez was a friend of Wanda Lopez and that on the night of the Lopez murder Carlos Hernandez was at Janie's house looking for Margie (who he had not been dating for years as of that point).").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:42:08–07:46:13:

Q. Now you described your house for us and you described that there was a park, kind of a park area with grass and trees behind your house.

A. Behind my apartment.

Q. And, what was that park used for?

A. Just, it didn't have no swings or anything, so it was just probably just for people to hang out there, to talk, to drink. . . .

Q. And describe again the places in your house where if you happen to be walking or working or doing whatever, you could look out into that place or hear [what was said there].

A. If I was coming up the stairs, underneath my apartment . . . and then there was a big old porch right here where my front door was . . . . The kitchen had a back door into the balcony that was there. . . .

Q. And which of those places if you were standing or working or doing whatever—

A. You could see it [the park] from either the kitchen, the back of the kitchen, the door, right, you could see to the park. Or the bedroom you could see to the park.

Q. And the balcony? From the balcony, you could see to the park. . . .

A. Yes, yes, it [the balcony] was over the park. . . .

Q. And how about on the stairs did you see or hear into the—

A. Why yes, we could go, while you were coming up my stairs you could hear people in the back talking.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:32:56–07:33:12, 07:46:26–07:46:50, 07:55:02–07:55:30, 07:57:43–07:58:04:

A. He [Carlos Hernandez] said things he shouldn't have said. Things that weren't, that I felt we didn't have to know. . . . Carlos Hernandez . . . [said] things he's not supposed to have said. That I thought that it was none of our business; that we didn't have to know. . . .

Q. And did you go to the police?

A. No, no, we didn't want, we weren't—I mean I'm the type of person that you hear something, that you just shut up and that's it. You don't know nothing, you didn't hear nothing. Cause we were afraid that we knew more than what we were supposed to have known.

Q. Who were you afraid of?

A. Carlos. . . .

Q. Who do you think is responsible for Wanda's death?

A. Carlos Hernandez. If it hadn't come out of his mouth, but when he used to get drunk he used to say a lot of things he not supposed to have said. And that time that he was out there that he said that Wanda, that there was a stabbing and her name was Wanda Lopez. It came into my head that how could this be, I mean he shouldn't be saying nothing like that.

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 4, 2004) at 1–2:

After awhile, they were sitting outside. CH [Carlos Hernandez] and another man outside in back in little park or grassy area behind our house on Carrizo; they were talking. I was trying to figure out what was going on. When Carlos was drinking, he would say things. Other times, he would try to hold back. That was how Carlos was. That's when he admitted it. . . . When he admitted he did it, I didn't know whether to believe him. . . . He was talking to a guy in back of the park. He needed to tell something because he cldn't keep it to himself. They had gotten into a discussion; CH was talking about CDL [Carlos DeLuna] . . . . I don't like to get into someone else's business . . . . 1st time she heard them talking outside she was upstairs on her balcony. 2nd time—in laundry room or on stairs from their [garage] up to my apartment; stairs in the back next to the park. Bragging. . . . He said it, he hurt Wanda, and he said (J.A. [Janie Adrian] is crying now) Carlos DeLuna took the fall. Wanda Lopez. My tocallo took the blame. When he was drinking he [Hernandez] didn't keep his mouth shut.

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) 07:46:13–07:47:41:

Q. Ok, now you described hearing news reports about Wanda Lopez being stabbed at the Diamond Shamrock. Did there come a time after that, when you heard something else about how Wanda Lopez died?

A. Well I heard Carlos Hernandez, once talking about a stabbing or a killing that had happened but I wasn't really sure who it was or he was talking about because he didn't say, he wouldn't say names. But when Carlos Hernandez was drunk he would say things he's not supposed to have said. That I thought that it was none of our business; that we didn't have to know. . . .

Q. What did he say about Wanda Lopez?

A. That he had stabbed her. But I wasn't really sure. I didn't want to say nothing. I was afraid if I knew something he would come, if he knew that we knew more than what we [were] supposed to have heard.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:48:47–07:50:09:

Q. And what did [Carlos Hernandez] say about this other person?

A. Taking the blame for it. . . . . Tocayo. That his tocayo had taken the blame for it. But I wasn't really sure what they were talking about, because like I said you know, I didn't like to be nosy, I didn't like to talk about anything. . . .

Q. What did Carlos Hernandez say?

A. He said that a, he stabbed this girl. But at the time, like I said, I didn't know who it was. I didn't know what he was talking about. Until I heard on the news . . .

Q. Did he use a name?

A. Yes. Wanda Lopez.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:57:43–07:58:04:

Q. Who do you think is responsible for Wanda's death?

A. Carlos Hernandez. If it hadn't come out of his mouth. But when he used to get drunk he used to say a lot of things he not supposed to have said. And that time that he was out there that he said that Wanda, that there was a stabbing and her name was Wanda Lopez. It came into my head that how could this be, I mean he shouldn't be saying nothing like that.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:59:02–07:59:48 ("Mrs. Adrian, who do you think killed Wanda Lopez? A. Carlos Hernandez. Q. Why do you think that? A. Because Carlos Hernandez had said it—the fact that he killed Wanda Lopez.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:49:33–07:49:54, 07:49:54–07:50:09, 07:47:02–07:47:41 ("Q. What did Carlos Hernandez say? A. He said that a, he stabbed this girl."; "Q. Did he use a name? A. Yes. Wanda Lopez."; "Q. What did he say about Wanda Lopez? A. That he had stabbed her.");

see also Bruce Whitman's Notes on Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Sep. 24–26, 2004) at 5 ("Janie Adrian, Margie's mother, told Margie that Fidela Hernandez said Carlos Hernandez confessed that he had murdered Dahlia Sauced[a] in 1979.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:49:01–7:49:15 ("[Carlos Hernandez said] 'Tocayo.' That his tocayo had taken the blame for it. But I wasn't really sure what they were talking about, because like I said you know, I didn't like to be nosy, I didn't like to talk about anything.");

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, Did One Man Die For Another Man's Crime? The Secret That Wasn't, Last of Three Parts, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, at 2, available at http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/eedition/chi-tx-3-story,0,761635.htmlstory:

After Hernandez died in prison in 1999, word reached Corpus Christi, and people began to talk.

Janie Adrian remembered how Hernandez bragged about stabbing Lopez, how he said Carlos De Luna, the man who shared his first name, was innocent. "He said, 'My stupid tocayo took the blame for it,'" she recalled recently.

Adrian, a neighbor of Hernandez's mother, Fidela, said she always thought someone would ask what she knew. Nobody ever did, so she never told.

"I kept it to myself," she said in her Corpus Christi home. "Maybe I could have said something then."

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:49:01–7:49:15 ("[Carlos Hernandez said] 'Tocayo.' That his tocayo had taken the blame for it. But I wasn't really sure what they were talking about, because like I said you know, I didn't like to be nosy, I didn't like to talk about anything.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:47:50–07:48:44 , 7:48:50–7:49:01 (noting that, by tocayo, Carlos Hernandez was referring to "his 'cuate'" or "his . . . camarada" (comrade) as the one who was "taking the blame");

see also Tocayo—Definition, Merriam-Webster.com, http://www.merriam-webster.com/spanish/tocayo (last visited Jan. 30, 2012) (defining "tocayo" as "namesake"); "What does the Spanish word 'tocayo' or 'tocallo' mean in English?"—Question, Yahoo! Answers, http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080517113451AA5AQ24 (last visited Jan. 30, 2012) ("Question: What does the Spanish word 'tocayo' or 'tocallo' mean in English? . . . . Answer: A twin or some who has the same name as you do!"); Cuate—Definition, Reverso Collins Spanish-English Dictionary, http://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english/cuate (last visited Jan. 30, 2012) (defining "cuate" as "twin," "mate," "pal" or "buddy").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:50:09–07:50:31 ("Q. When he was saying those things, what was [sic] his emotions? Was he sad? A. Like he was proud of it. Like if he hadn't said nothing [about who he killed] he could have killed a dog or something. Like he was proud of it.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:37:35–07:37:48 ("Q. [W]hen was the last time before that you had seen Carlos Hernandez? A. Ok it was the day before that or after that, I'm not really sure when it was. He came looking for Margie. And he looked like very anxious, very like he really had to talk to somebody.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:55:02–07:54:30 ("Q. And did you go to the police? A. No, no, we didn't want, we weren't—I mean I'm the type of person that you hear something, that you just shut up and that's it. You don't know nothing, you didn't hear nothing. Cause we were afraid that we knew more than what we were supposed to have known. Q. Who were you afraid of? A. Carlos.");

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Oct. 29, 2004) at 1 (expressing concern that she would be perceived as a "stoolie").

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 4, 2004) at 2 ("Fidela—do not make it easy for police, even if she knew things. Their [Janie Adrian's and Fidela Hernandez's] joke: 'I'm not going to make it easier' for cops. Let them do their job.");

see also Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Beatriz Castro, Friend of Fidela Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Oct. 23, 2004) at 5 (recounting conversation in which Fidela Hernandez said that while she believed CH [Carlos Hernandez] killed Dahlia Salceda [sic], she would never tell anyone even if she did know for sure.)

Chapter 8
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