Voilà qui va vous intéresser : Un nouveau post que je viens de identifier sur le web et que nous vous produisons ci-dessous. La thématique est « la justice ».
Le titre (Families kept hope alive in quest for justice) est sans détour.
Annoncé sous le nom «d’anonymat
», le journaliste est connu et fiable.
La confiance est ainsi forte concernant ce texte.
The character “Red” in the 1994 prison film “The Shawshank Redemption” observed all it really takes for something to change is time and pressure.
Both were driving forces in the arrest last week of the suspected killer in a pair of 42-year-old cold cases. Tony Garcia, 68, of Oxnard, was booked without bail for the strangulation deaths of Rachel Zendejas of Camarillo and Lisa Gondek of Oxnard.
Rachel died in January 1981; Lisa, in December of that year. Both were in their early 20s. A single mom of two young daughters, Rachel was studying at Oxnard College. A Connecticut girl, Lisa fell in love with California and was establishing a life here.
Time brought advances in DNA technology, handing investigators new tools when leads went cold. It wasn’t until 2004 that genetic evidence linked Rachel and Lisa’s murders which were investigated by different agencies that hadn’t compared notes. And genetic genealogy — the same science that nailed the Golden State Killer in 2018 — led detectives to Garcia’s doorstep.
Victims’ grieving families brought the pressure. As a former Star columnist, I followed Rachel’s brother, Roy Rodriguez, and Lisa’s mother, Gloria Maynard, over the last 20 years of their heartbreaking quest for justice.
Now 64 and semi-retired, Roy is a soft-spoken gentle soul, not a guy who’d get in anyone’s face. But annually on the Jan. 18 anniversary of his sister’s murder he found the strength to ask the status of her case to a revolving roster of detectives. The day the Golden State Killer was captured in 2018, Roy walked into the Ventura County Sheriff’s cold case unit and asked that the same DNA tools be applied to Rachel and Lisa’s case. Several months later the case was reopened.
After Roy’s parents died never knowing Rachel’s assailant, his determination was renewed. “I am alive for this. It is my purpose to get this thing solved for Rachel,” he said.
When the Oxnard Police Department told Gloria in the early 2000s they were too short-staffed to further investigate Lisa’s homicide, she found a team of experienced investigators who would work the case for free. She even had famed forensic scientist Henry Lee ready to dig in. This help was declined, Gloria told me.
Garcia’s arrest answered the victims’ families’ prayers, and it also raised questions. In another similarity to the Golden State Killer, Garcia had been “hiding in plain sight,” as Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff noted.
How did Garcia walk free, even as articles about the case appeared in local news media and a reward was offered? A 1981 police sketch of a man seen dancing with Rachel the night she was raped and killed bears a strong resemblance to Garcia.
And was Lisa Gondek’s attack his last? Did others precede it? Law enforcement is open to the possibility of other victims and is asking the public to report similar crimes.
Do serial killers stop? Lisa’s body was found posed provocatively in a bathtub with fires set in her apartment to destroy evidence. Her killer likely pocketed her driver’s license — classic serial predator behavior. The crime scene suggests he was in the express lane to criminal infamy, not the off-ramp.
Roy was looking for answers at the Ventura County Hall of Justice on Thursday. He thought he’d see Garcia in the cage in Courtroom 13 where suspects make their first appearance before a judge. As Roy knows too well, justice can be stingy and slow. Instead, Garcia appeared on a Zoom screen, projected on the courtroom wall. And even then the accused killer was mostly obscured, his eyes framed in a narrow slit.
It felt good to sit next to Roy in court and to speak by phone earlier that day with Gloria Maynard, now in her 80s. I had spoken with them often over the preceding 20 years, wondering if this day would ever really come.
A long journalism career is not unlike a natural disaster. You witness the best and worst of human beings. Usually simultaneously. You cover the aftermath of sickening, senseless murders. And you get to know inspiring families who fight — against all odds and every obstacle — to bring their loved ones’ killers to justice.
Yes, time and pressure are powerful. But an equal or perhaps greater factor is hope.
With Roy and Gloria, when it seemed despair should have swamped their hope, they pulled it gasping from the depths with courage those of us who have never been tested this way could only begin to understand.
Collen Cason was a longtime columnist for the Ventura County Star and followed the families’ search for their loved ones’ killer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Colleen Cason: Families kept hope alive in quest for justice
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