Justice: Better Late Than Never for Irene Garza

I have an eighty-four year-old friend who has grieved the murder of his childhood friend for  fifty-seven years. Until Friday, December 8, 2017, justice was on hold. A jury in Hidalgo County, Texas found her murderer guilty and sentenced him to fifty-seven years in prison. The man is now a frail 85 year-old man, so it is a life sentence. This is appropriate because, he lived his life after taking hers in a heinous way.

Irene Garza was a twenty-five year-old school teacher who had challenged the racial barriers in the South Texas community in the late 1950’s and won the beauty contest, earning her the title “beauty queen.” According to my friend, she was so much more than that. He says that her personality was the most beautiful thing about her. I can see the pain he feels whenever he speaks of her. He says he spoke to her on the phone while he was in town a few days before her murder. He had to return a few days later for her funeral.

The man who killed her was a Catholic priest. She went to the church to go to confession on April 16,1960 and was never seen alive again. Her badly beaten body was found a few days later in an irrigation ditch. The autopsy showed she had been raped and smothered as well as beaten. The murderer had scratches on his face and his slide viewer was found by her body. He was always a “person of interest” in the case. In spite of his having been fined for a similar assault that the woman survived, officials decided to do nothing at the time.

Now, as Prosecutor Michael Garza (no relation to the deceased) said, “I can say this: Pigs are flying, and Irene is resting.” Justice had her day before it was too late for the man responsible to see it. May the cold arms of Justice give him no comfort. May Irene’s family and friends find what comfort there is in knowing that, however late, Justice was served.

the Death and Resurrection of Toy Boy Roy

One morning I walked into the living room and was treated to a horrifying sight. A headless body in my path brought me to a full stop. Twisted as if still in those final moments before his head tore free, the body lay in a pool of crumbled excelsior. I recognized Toy Boy Roy, the former Christmas elf, his suit of sturdy brown cloth, crumpled, with stuffing spilling from the open neck. I looked around. His head, nowhere in sight.
“You fiend!” I said to the one I knew committed the crime.

Morgan bright eyes in window
Morgan le Fey stared at me as if to say, “Give me my breakfast and you won’t suffer the same fate.”
“What did you do with his head?”
The tiny tiger looked away. She wasn’t going to make this easy.
I knew how she played with her victims. The elf’s head could be anywhere. I started looking. Nothing. I moved the body to the morgue.

Roy body
That’s when I saw Pink Monkey hanging from the sun catcher. “I saw it happen!” she shrieked in my mind. “Morgan tore his head off and used it as a ball. She chased it all over the house. It was horrible!”
“Do you know where Roy’s head is? Did you see where she put his head?”
“No. I passed out. The horror of it!” Pink wasn’t going to be of much use in this investigation. I left her hanging out with the Cardinal.

Pink monkey on cardinal
I asked the gang of miscreants waiting in the kitchen, “Did you see what happened?” They scratched their heads.
“Something happened? Breakfast isn’t served, so nothing’s happened,” grouched Biggie G. The fluffy gray thug had a point.

Biggie G
Breakfast served, I returned to my search for the gristly remains. I swept up the excelsior and dusted high and low. This murder left my house cleaner than before. It left me wondering when I would find the elf’s head. Had Morgan le Fey used her powers to transport it to another dimension as she had with other things? Only time would tell. I made another pass. Eureka! Under the dining table, Roy’s face smiled at me. I took it to the morgue.

Roy's head
Grubby with cat spit and dust, his jaunty cap needed to be glued back on where the tiger’s teeth tore it loose. Those impish eyes begged to have his face wiped clean. I washed his face and stuck his cap down. While the glue set, I assessed the damage to his body.
Other than needing more stuffing, it remained intact, a salute to the tough fabric of his suit. When he retired from his first gig and started playing with the cats, I made him a new suit, one that would withstand the fury of the felines. It did. It just lost the head. I stuffed the body with red plastic newspaper wrappers.
Next, I had to reattach the head. The powers that let Victor Frankenstein bring life to his creation sparkled through the steel needle as I stitched around the neck. Getting his head in place, I drew out the slack and secured the body to the head with several knots.
It worked. Roy could sit up on his own, once again ready to enter the ring with the cats.

Roy together again

Pink Monkey dropped to the table and hugged the resurrected elf.

Roy and Pink Monkey
Morgan never admitted to being the decapitator.

Morgan in window

Her brother, Merlin the Gray, denies any involvement in the episode.

Merlin in sink crop

The rest of them aren’t talking.