Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Angel Maturino Resendiz: The Railroad Killer


Sometime in early June, a young Texas Ranger by the name of Drew Carter conceived the notion that perhaps Resendiz' sister, Manuela, whom Resendiz is said to idolize, might be instrumental in affecting her brother's surrender. He contacted Manuela, who lived in Albuquerque, to assess the practicality of his plan. The woman, who feared that her brother might eventually be killed by the FBI, or might kill again in the meantime, promised Carter that she would do everything humanly possible to help.

Drew Carter
Drew Carter

The FBI had traced Resendiz' whereabouts to Mexico where he had absconded not long after the double murder in Illinois. He was believed to be, at that point, hiding near the town of Ciudad Juarez.

In his easy-going, unforced rapport with Manuela, Sgt. Carter explained that he was working with the FBI and legal prosecutors in Harris County (TX) to offer the fairest deal he could to her brother, the Railroad Killer, under the circumstances. If he surrendered himself, Carter told her, Resendiz would be assured of three things: 1) his personal safety while in jail; 2) regular visiting rights so that his wife, sister and others could visit him; and 3) a psychological evaluation. In effect, Carter's weeks-long relationship-building effort created solid steps toward working a miracle — that is, getting a serial killer to turn himself in."

Carter, who had been a Texas Ranger less than a year, believed in being straightforward. Says he, "Honesty's never hard. Sincerity is something people sense. That's what I did. I was honest with the family."

On Monday, July12, Manuela received a fax from the district attorney's office in Harris County, putting into writing the agreement that Carter had stated. The offer was then passed on to another relative who acted as emissary between his sister in Albuquerque and brother Angel in Mexico. That evening, word came from Ciudad Juarez that the Railroad Killer would, based on the Carter's word, surrender. The long-awaited moment was scheduled for 9 A.M. the following morning.

Tuesday, July 13. Carter was there ahead of time, accompanied by Manuela and her pastor to act as spiritual guide. They met on a bridge connecting Zaragosa, Mexico, with El Paso.

"When I saw that face there was a little bit of excitement there because I finally said, 'This is going to happen,'" Carter recalls. He watched Resendiz alight from the truck in dirty jeans and muddy boots. As he neared him, "He stuck out his hand, I stuck out my hand, and we shook hands."

With the timidity of a true hero, Carter, who pulled off one of the greatest arrests in Texas Ranger history, refuses to take full credit for his coup; he cited the support of the FBI and other law enforcement and county representatives who helped establish the terms of agreement that convinced the dreaded Railroad Killer to cross that bridge.

Whoever gets the credit, the event pleased many and brought relief, especially to the victims' families and friends. The Dallas/Fort Worth Internet Service reports, "Several hundred people in Weimar attended a ceremony to pray and give thanks for the suspect's capture. As the sun set and a train whistle blew in the background, residents of the South Texas town hugged and cried."

But, sometimes anger dies hard. "I wish (Resendiz) the worst," says murder victim Josephine Konvicka's daughter. "He's destroyed so much of our lives."


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