If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that Ángel Maturino Reséndiz is one of the worst serial killers of the retro years owing to the sheer brutality and needlessness of his actions. After all, as indicated in Netflix’s ‘Catching Killers: End of The Line – The Railroad Killer,’ he utilized blunt objects found in nearly every home to murder at least nine or as many as 23 strangers. Though the fact he brazenly relied on the railway system to find a victim whenever he felt like it is what not only earned him his moniker but also made him a monster in every sense of the term.
Who Were Angel Maturino Reséndiz’s Victims?
Although born as Ángel Leoncio Reyes Recendis on August 1, 1959, in Puebla, Mexico, the Railroad Killer never settled in the area despite the fact most of his loved ones always called it home. That’s seemingly because of the trauma he’d endured here, starting with his single mother sending him away to live with an aunt and uncle from the ages of 6 to 12 before he was assaulted. According to reports, he was 13 or 14 when he was taken advantage of by a group of older boys following a swim session at a local river, driving him to escape into the United States in 1973 itself.
The truth is Angel was a complete loner who seldom got into trouble in his homeland, yet this latter aspect changed entirely almost as soon as the 7th-grade graduate illegally crossed borders. He actually did so repeatedly by jumping on and off trains across the States, Canada, as well as Mexico, plus he was reportedly deported at least four times prior to his eventual 1999 capture. Though at no point during his custody in ICE or expulsion hearings did it come to light that he was a killer too — that he tended to commit murders in the homes near rail tracks while traveling.
The authorities knew they had a heinous serial killer on the loose thanks to the clear MO, but they didn’t make a connection to Angel under his Rafael Resendez-Ramirez alias until much later. Coming to this modus operandi; it involved The Railroad Killer using blunt objects like rocks, a pickaxe, statues, etc., to bludgeon his victims to death before lingering in their quiet residences. He usually covered these strangers’ bodies with blankets, ensured their IDs were lying face up close by, stole some of their valuables such as jewelry, and ate a snack or two before leaving.
As for who Angel’s victims were, it reportedly started with two unidentified people back in 1986 — they were supposedly a couple he’d met at a homeless shelter, just to soon shoot them for their disrespect and involvement in voodoo. Then there was the admitted hate crime against Michael White on July 19, 1991; the 22-year-old was beaten to death with a brick in the front yard of an abandoned San Antonio, Texas, home because he was gay. 19-year-old Jesse Howell as well as his 16-year-old fiancée Wendy Von Huben were next in Ocala, Florida, on March 23, 1997, owing to their alleged “anti-Christian” behavior, and this time the latter was sexually assaulted too.
California drifter Roberto Castro is suspected to be Angel’s sixth victim on July 5, 1997, yet he was never formally charged or arrested in connection to this 54-year-old’s plywood beating death. The serial killer later attacked 21-year-old college student Christopher Maier and his girlfriend Holly Dunn Pendleton with a massive rock on August 29, 1997, as they were walking along some railroad tracks in Lexington, Kentucky, but the latter thankfully survived. Then there was 87-year-old Leafie Mason in Hughes Springs, Texas, on October 4, 1998, as well as 81-year-old Fannie Byers in Carl, Georgia, on December 10, 1998, the similarities between which established his MO.
Angel’s next slaying was of 39-year-old pediatric neurologist Claudia Benton on December 17, 1998, in West University Place, Texas, followed by 46-year-old pastor Norman Sirnic and his 47-year-old wife Karen Sirnic inside their Weimar, Texas, United Church of Christ parsonage. Victim #13 is supposed to be 26-year-old Noemi Dominguez in Houston, Texas, on June 4, 1999, just for 73-year-old Josephine Konvicka in Dubina, Texas, to follow the same day — though neither of these women were raped, unlike the previous two, making it clear this was not the serial killer’s primary intent. 80-year-old George Morber Sr. of Gorham, Illinois, was then shot to death on June 15, 1999, only for 52-year-old fellow Jackson County native Carolyn Frederick to be bludgeoned with the same shotgun the same day.
How Did Angel Maturino Reséndiz Die?
It was the fingerprints recovered during the investigations for Claudia Benton’s murder that tied Angel to these railway killings, leading to an extensive search and for him to surrender on July 12, 1999. As per reports, he was actually merely suspected of having a hand in nine murders by this point, but he subsequently confessed many more in order to bring this entire chapter to a close as quickly as possible. As a result, he was found guilty of capital murder in connection to just Claudia’s 1998 homicide, for which he was ultimately sentenced to death in the state of Texas itself.
Angel did try to appeal his conviction in the ensuing years, yet to no avail, and his execution by lethal injection was soon set for June 27, 2006, in the Huntsville Unit Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. 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.” In the end, Angel, aka The Railroad Killer, was pronounced dead at 8:05 pm CDT on June 27, 2006.