Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Angel Maturino Resendiz: The Railroad Killer


Law enforcement officials remain perplexed as to why the Railroad Killer surrendered so freely to a state that has executed more people than any other. Surely, Resendiz must know that, if convicted of any of the murders in Texas, which seems very likely, he will face the death penalty. More so, prosecutors in Harris County — where on Thursday, July 22, he was indicted for the murder of Dr. Benton — hold the national record for sending murderers to the electric chair.

Texas Ranger Carter's surrender agreement was very concise in detail. In no way was the verbiage misleading as to confuse Resendiz into believing he would be spared due punishment. One possible speculation for Resendiz' easy surrender was that he feared bounty hunters who, it was known, had gathered in Mexico to collect the reward.

An editorial in The Dallas Morning News reads thus: "Mr. Resendiz faces a long legal process. Some questions surrounding the surrender itself need to be answered — why did he not merely 'lose himself' in Mexico? Or, given Mexico's policy against extraditing alleged murderers to the United States because of the death penalty here, why did he not simply surrender to Mexican authorities? Once those questions are answered, (his) surrender may turn out to be as interesting as the manhunt itself."

In the meantime, his world of endless railroad tracks has constricted to a 60-square-foot cell at the maximum-security Harris County Jail. A cot, a toilet and a wash basin are his life's accessories. "Because of the high profile of the case, he's under administrative segregation...A deputy has constant visual observation of him," explains facility spokesperson Celeste Spaugh. Four murder charges are filed against him and he faces other possible charges in Kentucky and Illinois. Maybe, Florida, too. That state is in the process of comparing blood samplesfound in a 1997 Marion County murder — a body found beside rail tracks.

Mexico Has Questions

There may be a good reason why Angel Resendiz chose not to surrender to Mexican authorities. Perhaps, our neighbors south of the border want to talk to him, also, about some killings in Ciudad Juarez.

"We are looking at the homicides we haven't cleared that appear to fit his method," states Steve Slater, an advisor to the Chihuahua State Public Safety Department...He has family in Juarez, including his mother. He's been through here a lot. We certainly have railroad tracks and bodies found by railroad tracks, and most are women."

Before this case rounds out, Angel Maturino Resendiz may be shown to have taken part in any one of another 200 cases the FBI says fit his modus operandi. He may turn out to be one of the greatest — or perhaps a better word is infamous — serial killers of all time.

In any event, the Railroad Killer will no longer be riding any box cars, so Arlo Guthrie may return to glorifying the wheat fields of America and the clack-clack-clack of the train riding mighty iron rails of folklore.


We're Following
Slender Man stabbing, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Gilberto Valle 'Cannibal Cop'