One summer night, Angel Resendez-Ramirez, a lean Mexican immigrant with black hair and striking green eyes, scaled the fence around rusty cross ties and prowled through California’s San Gabriel commuter rail yard. He scooted along an elevated platform as trains rumbled noisily past. But instead of jumping onto a departing train as he had done so many times before, the rail-thin drifter pulled a baseball cap over his face, tightened it with shoelaces, and raised a 22-caliber pistol. At point blank range he shot Dr. Louis Eppolito in the back of the head, execution-style. As the mortally wounded psychiatrist lay on the platform bleeding to death, Resendez-Ramirez leapt into an open boxcar and disappeared again into the night.
Dr. Eppolito was Angel Resendez-Ramirez most recent victim, but there were at least four others since April 1997 victims buried by this remorseless killer who police now believe has murdered as many as 14 people along America’s railways during the past two years. According to L.A. county detective Jay Jantzen, each of the victims has been male, in his mid-thirties to fifties: they have all been shot at point-blank range in the back of the head with a 22-caliber pistol and they have all had some sort of prior connection with law enforcement or the mental health profession.
Thirteen days after killing Dr Eppolito, Angel Resendez was captured only 50 miles from New York City where he had begun his spree five months earlier when he killed 41 year old Steven Pokorak who worked for Amtrak’s police department in Detroit on April 14, 1997. After that savage murder, Angel took off northward across Canada then cut back through Michigan where he pulled off a brief kidnapping in the city of Battle Creek and shot and killed Amtrak ticket agent Charles Carr on May 16, 1997.
From there he headed south to Chicago then wandered down into Mexico where he contacted his brother who drove him back north across the border. Wary of highway patrols, Angel Resendez began hanging out at rail yards in California where he was easy to spot beneath his baseball cap which had Cisco written on it. He was quickly dubbed “El Ciclista” or The Cyclist by Mexican railroad workers of Southern California.
Angel Resendez had more nicknames than just The Cyclist – El Killer being one of them, but this is the name most commonly used attribute it to his methodical habit of following America’s railways and slaying rail men where ever he stopped, and most of the victims were indeed either railroad employees or people associated with the transportation industry.
Resendez-Ramirez was detained in Brownsville last summer when a pistol, complete with his fingerprints, was found in his knapsack near the Mexican border. Police interrogated him about at least 17 unsolved killings that had happened in Texas and California since April 1997 but they made no effort to accuse Resendez-Ramirez of murder until after his fingerprint match came back from Washington D.C.
It is not known whether he crossed state lines because he was specifically targeting train-hoppers or was simply following through with his crime spree. Resendez committed suicide on June 27, 2000. He hanged himself with a shoelace in the shower of his death row cell at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice\’s Polunsky Unit near Livingston, Texas. Resendez used bedsheets to make a noose and hung it from an exposed pipe over the toilet. The convicted murderer covered his face with shoe polish to stop any chance of being identified by guards making their rounds.
Resendez would generally approach the victim at night, either on foot or by car, then tie his victims up with white clothesline rope. His male victims were also gagged with duct tape. Yet unlike other serial killers who keep trophies from their killings (e. g. , Jeffrey Dahmer), Resendez did not take any personal effects from the vicinity of the murder. If there was something unusual about Resendez\’s methodology, it was that he left no obvious clues at the crime scene. Clark said \”his fingerprint is never found on anything at these scenes.
There are no shell casings left behind by him that are recovered at these scenes…there are just certain things that are different about this particular killer than most serial killers. \” On the other hand, Resendez did have a tendency to stay close to his home turf in Mexico. In fact, it was only after being captured by Mexican authorities that Resendez confessed to slaying people in the United States at all, which suggests that he may not have been so coy about hiding behind his adopted countrymen if they had never apprehended him.
For while the Railroad Killer managed to elude law enforcement for years before finally getting caught, recurring evidence pointing to his Mexican citizenship and residency complicated matters greatly; even within Mexico, he managed to travel extensively under one alias or another before finally getting pinned down once and for all (and then some). Angel Maturino Resendiz is suspected of being behind one of the most intense manhunts in U. S. history. After being caught, Resendez admitted to being “The Railway Killer”, who is believed to have killed up to 16 people since 1998.
He would travel along railways, looking for victims. He use white clothesline rope and duct tape to tie his victims. There were no signs of struggle or DNA left at the crime scene by Resendez, making this case extremely difficult for law enforcement officials. No items were taken from his victims, they were simply killed and dumped on railway tracks across North America. “Angel Maturino Resendiz has been charged with two counts of capital murder here in Texas,” says FBI special agent Don Clark.
He has been charged in the murders of Mr. Jose Cavazos, an individual who was killed on June the 15th in Sullivan City, Texas, and he has also been charged in the murder of his wife’s sister, Ms. Esmerelda Garcia. ” Resendez was arrested by authorities when he tried to cross back into Mexico near El Paso in Juarez. According to Clark, it is interesting that Resendez chose to cross into Mexico via El Paso in Juarez because officials there were already searching for him for another crime that occurred in Mexico .
Authorities were able to apprehend Resendiz without incident after a local farmer spotted him climbing over a fence at about 4:45am. As police officers approached him Resendez raised his hands, said “Don’t shoot” in English, and calmly complied with their orders to lie down on the ground. He traveled along train routes looking for victims. Resendez would usually approach his victims at night, either on foot or by car. He would then tie up his victims using white clothesline rope and duct tape before leaving them on the tracks.