You've Got Killer Mail

It wasn't that long ago that Angel Maturino Resendiz, the Railcar Killer, was being swamped with letters from journalists eager to interview him. Network news shows, national magazines, the bright lights of television were all his for the asking.

Now he's reduced to writing letters to Inside Houston magazine.

In case you haven't seen it, Inside Houston is the glossy city mag that used to be distributed free but now is trying to make it through paid subscriptions. Cover stories are usually along the lines of "Top Docs" or "Be a Tourist in Your Own City."

This month's issue features Dr. Red Duke on the cover (he being a "Top Doc"), and a story inside features a letter from Resendiz.

"By the time of his apprehension," editor Kim Hogstrom writes, "the FBI knew Maturino Resendiz well, even if the public did not. What was not known until recently, however, was that Maturino Resendiz had even more to tell. In a letter to Inside Houston magazine, Maturino Resendiz admits to slayings federal authorities had not heard of."

And he offered 10 Tips on Picking a Great Plastic Surgeon, too, she didn't add.

Actually, it's not quite clear that Maturino Resendiz admitted to new "slayings" above the 11 he has already confessed to. His letter included a chart of his alleged victims by location.

"Obviously, the chart is confusing," Hogstrom writes, "but this much is clear: The introduction of possible victims in Acapulco, California, Louisiana and Georgia was not known to the FBI before the magazine received this letter."

Maturino Resendiz's letter clearly states he killed a man in Mexico when he was a teenager, but the chart is a little less clear on how many additional murders he might be revealing.

"Georgia, Barrow County -- 1-? dead, 1 alive," his chart says. "Colton, California -- 1-? dead. Louisiana -- ? dead, 1-? alive."

That could mean three more dead, we guess, or it could mean none.

We don't mean to disparage Inside Houston too much -- the feature that included the letter wasn't bad, even if the headline (at least on the Web) was "Angel of Death: What Is There About 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' Don't You Understand?"

It's just, come on, Railcar Killer. You're getting desperate. We don't want to pick up the Greensheet and find you among the used-refrigerator ads, coming up with five more possible victims you just remembered.

Radio Sweetheart

The journalistic reputation of Channel 2's Cindy Garza is being burnished daily in an unlikely place: the morning sports-talk show on KILT-AM.

Garza has occasionally called in to the show to chat with hosts Lance Zierlein and John Granato. Apparently she was scheduled to do it one day recently, so the station gave her a call at home. What they got was a groggy Garza just waking up, purring seductively in a husky morning-after voice and giggling that "I was supposed to be awake by now."

They've been playing a recording of that relentlessly, and whenever they don't, someone calls in to request it. It's a proud addition to any reporter's audition tape.

While doing the intensive research required for producing items such as this, we studied Garza's bio on the KPRC Web site. We pass along this nugget: "In her spare time, Cindy enjoys reading, her favorite novel is Tuesdays with Morrie."

You mean Mitch Albom made all that stuff up? Now there's a scoop.

Difference of Opinion

When light-hitting San Diego Padre infielder Damian Jackson hit a broken-bat grand slam into Enron Field's Crawford Boxes July 14, the baseball world took notice.

Nine days later, with the Chicago Cubs in town for a big series, Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rogers did a piece headlined "Astros Could Be Undone by Enron."

Three days after Rogers's story ran, Houston Chronicle sports columnist John P. Lopez weighed in. "Crawford Boxes No Laughing Matter," his column was headlined. The close-in left-field boxes, he wrote, "must be redesigned, reconfigured and rethought before the league busts a gut laughing over the joke they have become…Opposing players regularly mock the Crawford arcade, calling it a joke, an embarrassment and an insult to legitimate big-league baseball, particularly considering the way balls fly out of Enron even to the deepest parts of the lot."

Well. Certainly seems like Lopez feels that those Crawford Boxes are an unmitigated blight upon the great sport of baseball.

Which is not exactly what he felt a year ago, when all of Houston media was filled with puff pieces on brand-spanking-new Enron Field.

Back then, Lopez wrote a column gleefully predicting how many more home runs would be produced by Astro sluggers like Jeff Bagwell and Moises Alou.

The "short, sweet porch in left field of the Astros' new 24-days-until-the-opening baseball playpen" is how Lopez described the Crawford Boxes back then. "A mere 315 feet down the left-field line will be the stuff of dreams for right-handed pull hitters…Who knows if Bagwell and Alou will have the kinds of years they have had, see the ball the way they have seen it and hit it as well as they have. But if they do, take a seat on the front porch and enjoy."

Enjoy it for a year or so, at any rate. Until those guys from Chicago start complaining.

Bare Necessities

It's not a sweeps month, but that isn't stopping KRIV from flexing its T-and-A muscles, according to one viewer's report.

The Fox station's July 26 prime-time broadcast featured a consumer report comparing the effectiveness of self- tanning lotions, the pale person's equivalent of that spray-can coloring that's supposed to cover bald spots.

The Fox station in St. Louis did the same thing last month; they had one of their producers and an intern serve as test subjects.

That wasn't good enough for Channel 26. Instead, they headed out to a local Hooters and got a posse of scantily clad waitresses to further the cause of science. The viewer who wrote us passed along pictures, and unless he doctored them, the investigation of self-tanning lotions involves lots of close-ups of legs and chests.

We're just glad Fox was willing to do the job.

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