A Murder in Texas
Part Two – The Investigation
Witnesses had described a Cuban or “dark skinned man,” hanging around outside the convent the night before the body of Sister Tadea was found.
The police then arrested Fernando Flores, a Cuban immigrant with dark skin and dark curly hair, who had come to the United States during the Mariel Boatlift.
Among the masses of Cuban “refugees” that arrived during the boatlift, were a great many criminals and mentally ill people that were eventually disbursed throughout the United States.
Flores was relocated to Amarillo.
A witness then picked Flores out of a photo line up as the man they saw hanging out near the convent on the night of the murder.
However, evidence collected from the crime scene and tested by the FBI, failed to prove any matches with Flores.
Hence, Flores was released and the DA publicly apologized for his pre-mature “optimism” in “solving” the case.
The police seemed to be at a dead end until they met, “Bubbles!”
Bubbles, also known as Inez, was a self proclaimed clairvoyant who lived in Amarillo.
Bubbles had a vision in which she saw the killer. Rather than contact the police, whom she claimed to have worked with previously, she called The Amarillo Daily News.
The killer was a teenage male, five feet eleven inches tall, slender, olive complexion. He had dark hair and an “Abe Lincoln” face with large nose and ears. During the attack he wore an “Afro-type” wig and his face was half-black and half-white. He was somehow associated with the name “Clyde.”
The killer lived in a small, white frame house with dirty hardwood floors. The house was located on the same street as the convent, Northeast 18th. The house faced the convent.
Bubbles, and a fellow clairvoyant Allen, figured they should see if they could find the exact house. They cruised the neighborhood and, sure enough, came across a small, white frame house at 4000 NE 19th. Lo! and Behold! There in the yard was a dog house with the name “Clyde” written on it.
About two days later the police arrested 17 year old Johnny Frank Garrett, who lived at 4000 NE 19th near the convent.
According to the police report, after the release of Fernando Flores, a patrol officer recalled seeing Garrett beating some bushes with a stick on the night of the murder. When Garrett saw the officer, he ran into his house. That behavior was so suspicious, the police decided to check his prints against those found at the scene. Of the many unidentified prints at the crime scene, Garrett’s prints matched two of them.
Pubic hairs found at the scene had the same characteristics as Garrett’s. A steak knife found in the driveway to the convent matched steak knives found in Garrett’s house. (Neither the steak knife or the bent butter knife had been used to stab the victim.)
Garrett admitted to sneaking into the convent mid-day several days earlier to steal necklaces. He used the butter knife to pry open a locked cabinet. He must have left his fingerprint on the headboard when he reached across the bed to grab a cross hanging on the wall.
Tomorrow – Part Three, The Trial