Monday, May 5, 2008

Pure Murder Killer Jose Medellin Set to Die August 5

In my opinion, the most brutal and ruthless killer in my new book, Pure Murder, was Joe Medellin.

He, along with five other boys, including his 14-year-old brother, Venancio, abducted, raped and tortured, beat, crushed, and strangled two teenage girls to their deaths in Houston, Texas back in 1993.

Jennifer Ertman, 14, and Elizabeth Pena, 16, were heading home to beat their curfew when they took a shortcut through T.C. Jester Park. They stumbled across the Medellins, Sean O'Brien, Peter Cantu, Raul Villarreal, and Efrain Perez, Jr.

When the boys finished with the girls they left their bodies out in the woods to rot in the Houston summer heat for four days.

Miraculously, the story after the murders is just as incredible. Multiple death penalties, fights outside the courtrooms, overturning of death penalties, illegal immigration issues, delayed executions, and cases heard before the Supreme Court of the United States have all taken place in the nearly fifteen years since Jennifer and Elizabeth's deaths.

Well, the case just got even weirder today.

Medellin, whose request to be removed from death row due to the Houston police department's failure to notify the Mexican consulate upon his arrest, had his argument rejected by SCOTUS this past March. Soon thereafter, the court also decided that death by lethal injection is not cruel and unusual punishment, thus, lifting the temporary nationwide moratorium on executions. Subsequently, the Texas court system wasted little time today in pronouncing Medellin's execution date for August 5.

Andy Kahan, the City of Houston's Crime Victims' Advocate, called me to let me know that the scene at Judge Caprice Cosper's courtroom was beyond absurd. He was there to support the fathers of the girls, Randy Ertman and Adolph Pena.

The three men were stunned that the equivalent of an American football team was seated next to Medellin at the defense table. In addition to Medellin's three personal attorneys, the country of Mexico had seven representatives there on his behalf as well.

But what is even more bizarre was the extra person at the table.

William "Billy" Hayes, better known as the Midnight Express guy -- you know, the one who got busted leaving Turkey with drugs who was captured, sent to a Turkish prison as an example, and repeatedly tortured -- sat near Medellin in support.

Thankfully, Judge Cosper refused to let Hayes testify on behalf of Medellin.

Just another bizarre event in one of the most unusual and tragic cases in American history.

Pure Murder will be available everywhere on June 3. Be sure to pre-order it below:


maryann's world said...

when are the rest of those monsters going to die? it has been too long now texas needs to hurry it up.

Corey Mitchell said...

Hello Maryann,

Derrick Sean O'Brien was executed in 2006. Efrain Perez and Raul Villareal had been schedued for execution in 2004, however, the Supreme Court ruled that defendants who were minors at the time of their crimes could not be executed. As a result, their sentences were reduced to LWOP. Peter Cantu's case is currently in the appellate court. Look for something to crop up on him in 2009.

ripley said...

Where will you be for Medellins execution? Will you be updating at this site? Thank you - Dianne ( Calgary Alberta Canada )

Anonymous said...

Great book, Mr. Mitchell. I couldn't put it down. I am appalled and completely disgusted with the justice system, however. Every one of those evil, disgusting, heartless monsters should die. There shouldn't be any appeals or other b.s. reasons as to why their lives should be spared. Any judge who thinks they could be functionable members of society should take them home for the weekend and see how well they behave around their daughters and THEIR families. Some people are beyond saving and aren't worth the taxpayers money to keep them breathing in prison for ten to fifteen years. UNBELIEVABLE. I pray for the families for Elizabeth and Jennifer. Thank you for telling their story.

Corey Mitchell said...

@Ripley: I plan on being inHuntsville for the execution. I will probably post here and over at In Cold Blog.

Stay tuned...

Corey Mitchell said...

@anon: Thank you for the kind words about the book and to the parents of the victims. Jose Medellin's execution is set for one week from today. We will see how justice plays out.

cyndiejean said...

I had always been opposed to the death penalty UNTIL I read your book, "Pure Murder." I believe it is destined to become a classic, just like Capote's "In Cold Blood."
As the mother of two teenage daughters, my heart wept for the Pena and Ertman families. These fiends have already lived fifteen years longer than their victims. Hopefully, these families will get justice on August 5, 2008, and Peter Cantu's sentence will shortly be carried out. As for the others, life should mean just that--life; and Medellin's younger brother should serve every bit of his 40 year sentence. Give Mr. Pena a hug for me, from his little girl in heaven