Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Grant Whitus declares that members of the pain-in-the-ass general public — or worse, the pantywaist liberal media — are in no position to second-guess the life-and-death decisions he had to make in the course of his eventful career as a SWAT team leader for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Westword has the story.
Against boarded up windows and smoke-stained white bricks rests the memorial for Karen Perez. Candles, crosses and Bible verses and a flurry of pink and red flowers decorate the ground. Stuffed bears are tucked in the branches of two trees, serving almost as pillars framing the memorial site. And what appears to be Perez’s quinceañera photo is nailed to the boarded window — the surrounding messages of love and flowery tributes contrast eerily with the deteriorated building and what happened inside.
In May, Perez’s teen boyfriend brutally raped and murdered her in one of the vacant apartments, prosecutors allege. Though the South Houston Police Department claimed they searched the abandoned lot and failed to find her body, a Texas Equusearch crew found Perez stuffed underneath a kitchen sink.
The boyfriend’s cellphone records would later prove he had threatened to kill Perez if she did not skip school with him to have sex with him that day. He recorded nearly the entire attack on his phone, as Perez pleaded with him, saying, “I don’t want to die.” (He reportedly admitted to the murder after the records surfaced).
Now, after Perez’s family and community members have demanded the vacant lot be demolished, Perez’s mother, Rocio Perez, is suing the apartment building’s owner, 1600 Avenue M LLC, claiming that, had they taken reasonable precautions to secure and monitor the building, her daughter would still be alive today. Since it’s directly across from South High School, where Perez was a freshman, attorneys argue that the owners’ lack of precautions were grossly negligent, and they should have reasonably anticipated teenagers and other trespassers partaking in dangerous criminal activity as a result.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Navarrete-Portillo was taken into custody after a horrific car crash that may have been a suicide attempt. At first, he claimed not to remember what had led him to take a machete to his wife — but on the witness stand, it came to him. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: The body was found in a truck beneath a Texas overpass — and weeks later, the head still hasn’t been found. In the meantime, Foyt disappeared, and when he resurfaced, he was many hundreds of miles from where the crime was committed. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Flores and Doolittle were both reported missing — and he was reportedly distraught and in possession of a gun. Hours later, he was found hundreds of miles away with the body of a “deceased female” in his truck. What happened is absolutely chilling. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Ebel, a member of the white supremacist 211 prison gang, was released early due to a clerical error and later is thought to have killed the head of the state’s prison system and a pizza delivery man in the wrong place at the wrong time. The case is still officially open, but documents out of Texas featuring startling testimony from Walor, who was sexually involved with at least three 211 members, and confidential informants who make startling claims. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Johnson was helping Edward Zimmerman grow marijuana for medical purposes, but they had a falling out over money. Weeks later, Zimmerman disappeared — and authorities were shocked by the condition of his remains when they were finally found. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Pointe was renting the home and neighbors regarded him as a nice, friendly guy. But then the shots rang out, and by the time the cops arrived, Pointe and one other man was dead, another was mortally wounded, and alerts were out for even more suspects. Westword has the story.