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Ángel Maturino Reséndiz (born Ángel Leoncio Reyes Recendis), a.k.a. "The Railroad Killer", was a Mexican serial killer, serial rapist, and robber active in several U.S. states, all of which he entered through stowing away on trains.


Reséndiz was born as Ángel Leoncio Reyes Recendis in Izúcar de Matamoros, Mexico on August 1, 1960, and was very physically small. His mother, Virginia Resendiz de Maturino, never married his father and frequently abused him physically. At the age of six, he was sent to live with his maternal uncle, who raped him, and was also sexually assaulted by a local pedophile. At the age of eleven, he ran away from home and spent some time living on the street, where he took up glue sniffing. At the age of 16, he tried to enter Texas but was deported. It became the first of his many entries into the United States. In 1988, he spent some time living in St. Louis, where he worked for a temp agency. In adulthood, he spent a total of 11 years in American prisons for crimes such as assault, auto theft, firearm possession, and burglary. After finishing each sentence, he would be deported back to Mexico, only to return every time. At the time of his arrest, he was married to a woman named Julieta Dominguez Reyes, with whom he had a daughter, Liria.

Murders, Capture, and Execution[]

Resendiz's FBI wanted poster

FBI "Wanted" poster.

Resendiz's arrest

Resendiz on the day he was arrested.

Reséndiz's first known murder occurred in 1986 when he killed a homeless woman and her boyfriend. In 1991, he committed his first known murder on U.S. soil, killing 33-year-old Michael White in Kentucky by beating him to death with a brick. Over the course of the following eight years, he continued traveling by train in the U.S., during which time, he killed at least a dozen people. When the crimes were connected forensically and by VICAP, a manhunt started. He was nicknamed "The Railroad Killer" because all the killings occurred near train tracks. In June of 1999, after being identified as the killer, he was placed in the Top Ten of the FBI's Most Wanted list and a reward of $50,000 (which just some days later was raised to $125,000). The same month, a Texas Ranger, Drew Carter, contacted Manuela, Reséndiz's sister who lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico and to whom he was close. He promised her that Reséndiz would be granted personal safety in jail, regular visitation rights for his family and a psychological evaluation. At the time, he had been tracked down to Mexico.

After the promised deal was put into writing, the sister convinced him to turn himself into U.S. authorities. On July 13, Reséndiz met with Drew Carter and surrendered himself. He was tried for first-degree murder with damning evidence to back the charges up, found guilty and sentenced to death. On June 27, 2006, he was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas, at the age of 45.

His last words were: "I want to ask if it is in your heart to forgive me. You don't have to. I know I allowed the Devil to rule my life. I just ask you to forgive me and ask the Lord to forgive me for allowing the devil to deceive me. I thank God for having patience in me. I don't deserve to cause you pain. You do not deserve this. I deserve what I am getting."

Modus Operandi[]

Reséndiz found his victims, all of whom were randomly picked, while travelling by stowing away on trains. They were attacked, sometimes through burglaries, near the railways and were usually bludgeoned to death with some incidental object. A few female victims were also raped, though it was usually only a secondary intent. After the murders, he would spend some time in their houses. He also took jewelry, cash, valuables and other items and gave them to his wife in Mexico. Most victims were found covered with something or obscured from view in some other way.

Known Victims[]

Resendiz's victims

Several of Resendiz's victims.

  • Unspecified date in 1986, Bexar County, Texas: An unnamed homeless woman and her boyfriend (both shot with a .38 gun)
  • July 19, 1991, Lexington, Kentucky: Michael White, 33 (bludgeoned with a brick)
  • 1997:
    • March 23, Ocala, Florida: Jesse Howell and Wendy Von Huben:
      • Jesse Howell, 19 (bludgeoned with an air hose coupling)
      • Wendy Von Huben, 16 (raped, manually strangled, and suffocated with duct tape)
    • July, Colton, California: An unidentified transient (suspected; bludgeoned with a piece of plywood)
    • August 29, Lexington, Kentucky:
      • Christopher Maier, 21 (beaten with a rock)
      • Holly Dunn Pendleton (attempted; raped, beaten with a cudgel, and left for dead)
  • 1998:
    • October 4, Hughes Springs, Texas: Leafie Mason, 81 (bludgeoned with an antique flat iron)
    • December 17, Western University Place, Texas: Claudia Benton, 39 (raped, stabbed three times, and fatally bludgeoned 19 times with a statue)
  • 1999:
    • May 2, Weimar, Texas: The Sirnics (both were bludgeoned with a sledgehammer)
      • Norman J. Sirnic, 46
      • Karen Sirnic, 47 (also sexually assaulted)
    • June 4:
      • Houston, Texas: Naomi Dominguez, 26 (bludgeoned with a pickax)
      • Fayette County, Texas: Josephine Konvicka, 73 (bludgeoned with the same pickax)
    • June 15, Gorham, Illinois: George Morber and Carolyn Frederick:
      • George Morber, Sr., 80 (shot in the back of the head with a shotgun)
      • Carolyn Frederick, 52 (sexually assaulted and bludgeoned with a tire iron)
  • Notes:
    • Reséndiz also claimed to have killed seven additional people in Mexico. Reséndiz was also a suspect in the 1998 murder of 81-year-old Fannie Whitney Byers in Carl, Georgia, but was never convicted of it since a couple was charged.
    • In addition, Robert Ressler and Candice Skrapec suspected him of being the perpetrator of numerous female homicides in Ciudad Juárez, due to his strong family ties to the area of the killings.

On Criminal Minds[]

  • Season Four
    • "Catching Out" - While Resendiz was never directly mentioned or referenced on the show, he appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Armando Salinas - Both were Mexican serial killers who had poor childhoods, were arrested for assault and burglary prior to their killings, had jobs as migrant farmers at some point, got high frequently, were drifters that travelled in train cars, operated in California (though Resendiz killed in many states), killed both single victims and couples, bludgeoned most of their victims to death with an incidental object, stayed in their victims' homes after killing them, and took valuables from them.