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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondie in Spokane View Post
    Ex-Catholic priest, 83, appears frail and confused in first court appearance after being charged with killing beauty queen 56 years ago

    Irene Garza was last seen going to Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas

    The former Miss South Texas was heading to see priest John Feit, then 27

    She vanished and five days later, search parties found her body nearby

    Feit was sent away after her death and was always considered a suspect

    He was arrested earlier this week after a grand jury chose to indict him

    Footage has emerged of his first court appearance in which he uses a walker and says he doesn't understand why he's been arrested

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz3zw8ncC3W
    This has to be one of the worst cases of prosecutorial misconduct that I have ever ran across, imo. Prosecutorial immunity is the absolute immunity that prosecutors have in initiating a prosecution and presenting the state's case. I'm wondering if the immunity includes the failure to prosecute a slam dunk case by a prosecutor..

    I do agree with prosecutor Rene Guerra when he said, "Justice for Irene Garza, I think, was out the window many years ago."
    _________________

    Two of Mr. Feit's former clergy colleagues, for example, say he incriminated himself in individual conversations with them many years ago.

    The police records outline several factors that made him the prime suspect almost as soon as the 25-year-old woman's raped and bludgeoned remains were found in a McAllen canal, five days after her disappearance:

    * His portable photographic slide viewer lay near where Ms. Garza's body was dumped.

    * He changed his statements to investigators.

    * He had met privately with the victim at a church residence on the night she disappeared, then was repeatedly absent from work and returned with injuries to his hands.

    * He was a suspect in an assault around the same time on a young woman who resembled Ms. Garza, at another area church. Mr. Feit ultimately was convicted in that case.

    * He failed lie-detector tests regarding both attacks.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime...urder-case.ece

  2. #47
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    I don't get why Feit's colleagues, who knew he killed Irene, didn't go to the cops.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptgirl View Post
    I don't get why Feit's colleagues, who knew he killed Irene, didn't go to the cops.
    Same reason the church has historically protected ***hundreds*** of clergy who molested children and allowed them to do so again and again even while being aware of their pedophilia. Like, only god can judge us, right?

    (barf)

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptgirl View Post
    I don't get why Feit's colleagues, who knew he killed Irene, didn't go to the cops.
    Catholic church cover-up, as usual
    This is the year to locate Mark Dribin http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ht=Mark+Dribin NamUs MP#876 and Ilene Misheloff http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...lene+Misheloff NamUs MP#6410 and bring them home to their families!

    Parents watch your children. Free-range parenting leads to more child victims.

    Cruelty to humans begins with cruelty to animals.

    I believe in closure, not forgiveness. I'm also unapologetically judgemental.

    JeSuisJuif
    JeSuisCharlie


  5. #50
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by marble View Post
    Same reason the church has historically protected ***hundreds*** of clergy who molested children and allowed them to do so again and again even while being aware of their pedophilia. Like, only god can judge us, right?

    (barf)
    Years ago, in the 90's, when I was working in a nursing home, there was this older Irish guy named Patrick who was an activies director. He was pleasant, but always struck me as nervous and creepy. Years later I found out he was a former pedophile priest!!! Had I known when I worked with him, I wouldn't have hesitated to turn him in. But in my gut, I always knew he was creepy!

    OMG! I just did a Google Search, and he immediately turned up! Seems he was looking at deportation back to Ireland in 2010. Here's the article:
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Problem-priest-moved-from-Ireland-to-Bay-Area-3256441.php#photo-2405684

    and more:
    http://www.times-standard.com/articl...NEWS/130329468

    Last edited by LinasK; 02-12-2016 at 06:43 PM. Reason: add info
    This is the year to locate Mark Dribin http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ht=Mark+Dribin NamUs MP#876 and Ilene Misheloff http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...lene+Misheloff NamUs MP#6410 and bring them home to their families!

    Parents watch your children. Free-range parenting leads to more child victims.

    Cruelty to humans begins with cruelty to animals.

    I believe in closure, not forgiveness. I'm also unapologetically judgemental.

    JeSuisJuif
    JeSuisCharlie


  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptgirl View Post
    I don't get why Feit's colleagues, who knew he killed Irene, didn't go to the cops.
    It's called the Seal of Confession. Anything told to a priest during a confessional setting is considered privliged. Same as attorney/client protection.

  7. #52
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    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by LinasK View Post
    Years ago when I was working in a nursing home, there was this older Irish guy named Patrick who was an activies director. He was pleasant, but always struck me as nervous and creepy. Years later I found out he was a former pedophile priest!!! Had I known when I worked with him, I wouldn't have hesitated to turn him in. But in my gut, I always knew he was creepy!

    OMG! I just did a Google Search, and he immediately turned up! Seems he was looking at deportation back to Ireland in 2010. Here's the article:
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Problem-priest-moved-from-Ireland-to-Bay-Area-3256441.php#photo-2405684

    and more:
    http://www.times-standard.com/articl...NEWS/130329468

    Seems he was sentenced to only 18 months in prison in Ireland in 2013, so he'd be out now if he's still alive. Probably in his 80's.
    This is the year to locate Mark Dribin http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ht=Mark+Dribin NamUs MP#876 and Ilene Misheloff http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...lene+Misheloff NamUs MP#6410 and bring them home to their families!

    Parents watch your children. Free-range parenting leads to more child victims.

    Cruelty to humans begins with cruelty to animals.

    I believe in closure, not forgiveness. I'm also unapologetically judgemental.

    JeSuisJuif
    JeSuisCharlie


  8. #53
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by LinasK View Post
    And although it's not stated, I think the real reason Guerra wouldn't prosecute is that he's Catholic. Kinda like Lou Smit praying with the Ramseys. So much for separation of church and state.
    Since it's too late to edit this post, I wanted to clarify: When I said that Guerra didn't prosecute because he was Catholic, the "he" I was referring to was Guerra. It's obvious that Feit was Catholic. I meant that Guerra was so biased he wouldn't prosecute someone from his own religion, especially a priest. Whether he was in on the church coverup or not, I don't know.
    This is the year to locate Mark Dribin http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ht=Mark+Dribin NamUs MP#876 and Ilene Misheloff http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...lene+Misheloff NamUs MP#6410 and bring them home to their families!

    Parents watch your children. Free-range parenting leads to more child victims.

    Cruelty to humans begins with cruelty to animals.

    I believe in closure, not forgiveness. I'm also unapologetically judgemental.

    JeSuisJuif
    JeSuisCharlie


  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon500 View Post
    It's called the Seal of Confession. Anything told to a priest during a confessional setting is considered privliged. Same as attorney/client protection.
    but the seal of confession can be broken, if a priest knew he was a killer because he confessed then he had the moral obligation to reveal it to the police



    Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit

  10. #55
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    Obstacles Abound in Prosecution of Texas Priest in Cold Case
    By Juan A. Lozano, associated press
    HOUSTON — Feb 12, 2016, 4:58 PM ET

    [...]

    But like many cold cases, this one will pose special difficulties stemming from decades-old evidence, a lack of DNA and the long delay in bringing charges.

    "These are challenges that are not unsurmountable [sic], but they are going to be looked at very carefully by the defense," said Philip Hilder, a Houston criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor.

    [...]

    Feit's arrest Tuesday followed other investigations over the years, including a grand jury probe in 2004 that concluded there was insufficient evidence to charge him.

    [...]

    "There's no DNA or anything like that we were aware of where they can say, 'Feit did it,'" Guerra, who was district attorney for more than 30 years before losing re-election in 2014, said in a telephone interview.
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  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptgirl View Post
    I don't get why Feit's colleagues, who knew he killed Irene, didn't go to the cops.
    That's an intriguing aspect of this case. Imagine how many priests and former priests have gone to their graves bearing such a burden.

    Snipped from the 2005 Texas Monthly article:

    Nick and Josefina Garza, who would both pass away in the nineties without ever seeing anyone prosecuted for their daughter’s murder, were assured that Father Feit, whom they had suspected from the outset, would be sent to a monastery.

    “Father O’Brien
    promised the family that the church would punish him if it found that he had done wrong,” remembers Josefina’s sister Herlinda de la Viña. “He told us that the church’s punishment was greater than any sentence handed down by the courts, and we believed him. Who were we to question a priest?”

    [...]

    Forty-two years after the murder of Irene Garza, the phone rang in the homicide division of the San Antonio police department on a warm spring afternoon in April of 2002...

    He had left the priesthood long ago, the caller explained, but in 1963 he had resided at a Trappist monastery in Ava, Missouri. “I counseled another priest there who came from San Antonio,” he said. “He told me that he had attacked a young woman in a parish on Easter weekend and murdered her.

    [...]

    Tacheny did not know the victim’s name, but he recalled that she had gone to church during Holy Week to say confession. He then repeated what he claimed the priest had told him long ago: Father Feit had asked her to come to the church rectory and had heard her confession there. After the confession, he had restrained the woman—Tacheny thought that she might have been bound and gagged, but he was not certain—and he had fondled her breasts. Before he returned to the sanctuary to hear confessions, he had moved her to the rectory basement. Later that evening, or in the days that followed, he moved her to another location. Then, on Easter Sunday, he put her in a bathtub and placed a bag over her head. “He heard her saying, ‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,’” Tacheny recalled. “When he came back later on that day or early evening, he found her dead in the bathtub. And then that night, at what hour I’m not certain, he put her in the car that was available to him and removed her and said he dropped her off along the roadside where there was a canal.”

    “He didn’t show what I would consider to be compunction or sorrow or grief or anything like that,” Tacheny said, remembering his conversations with the young man. “I felt at the time rather appalled by what had come about. But that wasn’t my job to judge him.” As the interview wound to a close, the tension in Tacheny’s face slackened. He thanked Jaramillo and the other detectives for allowing him to unburden himself of the secret he had carried with him for so many years. When Jaramillo turned the tape recorder off, the former priest broke down and wept.

    [...]

    Dale Tacheny was not their only witness. That spring, they had visited Father Joseph O’Brien, who was living at a retirement home for priests run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in San Antonio. He told investigators that he had suspected Father Feit from the very start; the lacerations on his hands that Easter weekend were plainly fingernail scratches, he said. He had been suspicious enough of Father Feit that he and another priest had searched the attic and the basement of Sacred Heart on Easter Sunday, looking for any sign of Irene. Later that day, he had followed Feit when he drove back to San Juan and had lost the priest at a red light. But he did not know anything more than that, Father O’Brien assured investigators. “We felt that he was holding back information and not giving us everything he knew,” Jaramillo says. During the last round of questioning, which chief Rodriguez took part in, the priest came undone. He pounded his fists on the table and said that during the summer of 1960, when he had confronted Father Feit about whether he had killed Irene, the young priest had told him everything. And he would be willing to say so in court. But because of Guerra’s decision, the priest’s account would go unheard.

    much more at the link
    ======================================
    Even after the priests came forward, Guerra refused to prosecute the case, citing insufficient evidence, and lack of confidence in the integrity of the investigation. When Guerra caved under pressure, and the case was brought before a grand jury in 2004, the priests were not called to testify, though transcripts of their recorded statements were presented as evidence.

    "When I visited him at the Hidalgo County courthouse in January, Guerra defended his prosecutors’ decision not to call key witnesses, stating that the usual policy of his office in grand jury proceedings is to rely on their recorded statements to police."
    Last edited by bessie; 02-14-2016 at 09:51 PM.
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  12. #57
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    Confession to Murder
    Former Monk, Priest Say They Know Who Killed Irene Garza

    By Emma Perez-Trevico
    The Brownsville Herald [Brownsville TX]
    March 23, 2005

    [...]

    It wasn’t until 2002 that Tachney learned about Garza’s murder and Feit’s connection to the case, after inquiring with the San Antonio police.

    Now living in Oklahoma, Tachney is a long way from the Assumption Abbey monastery in Missouri where the Oblate fathers took Feit in 1963. Tachney said he was asked to determine if Feit had a vocation for the monastery.

    "He kept silence, got up early in the morning and did everything that the monks did and he seemed to progress, but as time was going on, he was begging to make it known that he did not want to spend his life there," Tachney recalled and described Feit as a man uneasy around women.

    "He was bothered by women with high heels who walked on hard floors. Click, click, click. That click caused him anxiety," Tachney said.
    He learned that Feit had "a propensity for attacking women from behind when he knelt behind them in church."

    [...]

    Tachney did not see Feit again but last year visited with Fr. Joseph O’Brien who worked with Feit while he was in the Valley...

    "The first thing that Father O’Brien said to me was: ‘Why are you telling all of this?’ I told him, ‘Because it is time that we undo the coverup,’" Tachney said.

    "Feit should have gone to prison. I should have gone to prison. Father O’Brien should have gone to prison," Tachney said.

    [...]

    Tachney said: "The problem was the church was covering it up. Obviously, there was a pact between major (church) superiors, and he (Feit) let me know that these people were involved."

    O’Brien, speaking to The Herald on Tuesday from San Antonio, said "there was no cover-up because there was no evidence."

    O’Brien acknowledged that he suspects Feit of Garza’s murder and always has.

    "I’ve always said that to the police, since the very start," the 72-year-old priest said.

    [...]

    O’Brien added that he did not take part in any coverup and that Feit had belonged in a monastery.

    "What were they going to do? Leave him in the community or lock him up (in a monastery)?" O’Brien said, indicating he believed the latter would keep him from doing harm.
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  13. #58
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    (l) John Feit (m) Irene Garza (r) Maria America Guerra


    'A very kind man who helped others': Brother and friends of former priest accused of murdering a 25-year-old beauty queen insist he is 'wonderful'
    By Associated Press and Wills Robinson and Kalhan Rosenblatt For Dailymail.com
    Published: 18:25 EST, 14 February 2016 | Updated: 20:09 EST, 14 February 2016

    'He'd be the last person you would suspect of anything like this,' said Stephen Zabilski, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul.

    'I can't imagine you can't talk to anyone who doesn't say wonderful things about his humility and compassion.'

    Feit, who left the priesthood to marry, joined St. Vincent de Paul's administrative office in 1983.

    Zabilski, who joined the organization in 1997, remembers him as a 'regular, humble' guy who was either in the office or working with volunteers.

    John Feit, ex-priest arrested in Irene Garza's murder, known for compassion
    February 14, 2016 11:19 AM
    By The Associated Press

    [...]

    Lynda de la Vina, Garza's cousin, was 8 years old at the time of her death. Now an economics professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, she believes the right person is in custody.

    She said Feit's time spent giving to others doesn't erase what happened.

    "You just don't escape something in your past if you've done something heinous," she said.

    Feit's brother, 92-year-old Matthias Feit, said it's not surprising that people who know him are in shock.

    "You can find several hundred people in Phoenix who would say the same thing — a very kind of man who helped others," Matthias Feit said.
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  14. #59
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  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by pukasonqo2 View Post
    but the seal of confession can be broken, if a priest knew he was a killer because he confessed then he had the moral obligation to reveal it to the police



    Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit
    I agree with you, but according to a new article:

    In the letter Tacheny also assured Detective Saider that the information he is stating is information Feit gave him was during counseling sessions and does not fall under the confessional seal.

    The above is from an article posted today which includes a recent interview with Dale Tacheny. Worth a read.

    http://www.themonitor.com/news/local...f551b86f8.html

    Also, one of the most comprehensive and well-written articles I've come across -- which I don't think has been posted here yet -- is from the Phoenix New Times, 2005 -- "Altar Ego" by Robert Nelson.

    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/altar-ego-6430571

    ETA: I see it was posted in 2013.
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