The Faces of a Fugitive: He May Be a Horror Story Come to Life, a Mysterious Loner Filled with Rage. the Feds Say This Man of Many Aliases Is a Serial Killer, So Dangerous That He's Earned a Place on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. the Hunt Is On

Newsweek, July 5, 1999 | Go to article overview

The Faces of a Fugitive: He May Be a Horror Story Come to Life, a Mysterious Loner Filled with Rage. the Feds Say This Man of Many Aliases Is a Serial Killer, So Dangerous That He's Earned a Place on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. the Hunt Is On


About 3 a.m. on June 2, U.S. Border Patrol officers stopped a small Hispanic man walking along the railroad tracks near El Paso, Texas. Discovering he had no ID, they concluded he was an illegal alien and took him to a federal lockup in Santa Theresa, N.M. There, a fingerprint check quickly produced a name, Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, and a 23-year history of illegal border-crossing. The records did not show an outstanding warrant for burglary or that Resendez-Ramirez was wanted for questioning in connection with as many as four homicides. He was routinely deported to Mexico, and a golden opportunity was lost.

According to investigators, Resendez-Ramirez quickly re-entered the United States and, on June 4, killed a 73-year-old woman in Fayette County, Texas. Since then, using freight trains to get around, he has allegedly killed another woman in Texas and two people in Illinois, then vanished into the scruffy world of hobos and migrant camps. He is now the prime suspect in eight random and apparently motiveless murders--the classic pattern of a serial killer. Police describe Resendez-Ramirez as an opportunistic criminal who kills with whatever weapons are at hand--the victim's own gun, even a rock.

Last week the FBI put him on its Ten Most Wanted list and set up a Houston-based task force, called Operation Train Stop, to coordinate a nationwide dragnet. But the manhunt could take time--for like many suspected serial killers, Resendez-Ramirez is remarkably elusive. He has spent more than 20 years riding freight trains, living in homeless shelters and supporting himself as a migrant laborer. As an illegal alien, he knows how to survive in the underground economy. As a convicted felon--he has served time in three states for burglary and illegal weapons possession--he knows the criminal-justice system inside out. The FBI says he uses false Social Security numbers, false dates of birth and 30 different aliases.

The suspect's real name, NEWSWEEK has learned, is Angel Leoncio Reyes-Resendiz, and he was born on Aug. 1, 1959, in the town of Izucar de Matamoros in the state of Puebla. "Rafael Resendez-Ramirez" is just an alias--the name he gave when he was arrested as an illegal alien for the first time, back in 1976. The original Rafael Resendiz Ramirez is his uncle, a 67-year-old sugar-cane farmer in the village of San Nicolas Tolentino, also in Puebla. Interviewed by NEWSWEEK, Rafael Resendiz and his wife, Augustina, said they had informally adopted Angel as a boy of 6 or 7 and raised him until his early teens. Then, they said, he went to live with his mother and her new husband in a nearby town, Atlixco. They said they were stunned when they saw his face on television, their nephew identified as a suspected serial killer. "When he left here, he was good," said one of his aunts, Maria Rios Rivera, 75. "Now he is a murderer. We're not that kind of family." His uncle, remembering the bright little boy he once regarded as a son, said, "I'm confused. I keep asking, 'How is this possible?' "

Angel's mother, Virginia Resendiz de Maturino, told NEWSWEEK that he was always her favorite child--the "little one, my beautiful baby." But when he was 13, she said, he came home saying he had been raped by some other boys down by the river in Atlixco. "When he told me that, he cried a lot," she said. "I didn't know what to tell him. The only thing I could say was that Christ loves him." He left home at 13 and went to the United States and came home for a visit a year or two later. The next time she heard from him he was in jail, and she said he told her he had been raped in prison. Now they see each other only occasionally, she said, although she knows he has a girlfriend and a daughter in Durango. She lives in Ciudad Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, and she, too, is dismayed by the trouble he faces. "What happened, little one?" she said. "What have you done?"

The answer, if investigators are right, is murder--at least eight homicides, all of them close to railroad lines, in a pattern of escalating violence. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Faces of a Fugitive: He May Be a Horror Story Come to Life, a Mysterious Loner Filled with Rage. the Feds Say This Man of Many Aliases Is a Serial Killer, So Dangerous That He's Earned a Place on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. the Hunt Is On
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.