TX - Elizabeth Barraza, 29, murdered setting up garage sale, Harris Co, Jan 2019 #3

Cryptic

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Many have wondered about the long white robe the perp is wearing. Some have speculated it is a bathrobe or even Princess Leia like costume. I am wondering if it could actually be some sort of plastic tarp like shielding to keep blood/dna off perps clothing.
Similar to @ccmac33 , I would support that it is more likely a partial cos play costume.

It would not need to be Princess Leia / Star Wars per se. Rather, some cos players might participate in two or more different theme worlds. Fore example, Star Wars and Rennaisance Faire type activities.

As a side note, years ago I was interested in a young woman who participated in the Society for Creative Anachronism ( mixes historical medieval with Lord of the RIngs type fantasy type costumes). I Got..... turned down cold.

Anyways, and more to the point, she and her friends were crafty and sewed their own costumes, cast silver jewelry and built small props.

It was not unheard of for members of the group to wear partial costume around campus. None of them were blurring reality and fantasy. Rather, they liked say, "Elfin fashion" and liked showing their creations to theatre majors and other counter cultural types.

I would not be surprised if some wore partial costume on occasion with out even thinking about it and with no active intent stop by the theatre hang out spot. It could be the same with the perpertrator.
 
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SnowAngels

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Similar to @ccmac33 , I would support that it is more likely a partial cos play costume.

It would not need to be Princess Leia / Star Wars per se. Rather, some cos players might participate in two or more different theme worlds. Fore example, Star Wars and Rennaisance Faire type activities.

As a side note, years ago I was interested in a young woman who participated in the Society for Creative Anachronism ( mixes historical medieval with Lord of the RIngs type fantasy type costumes). I Got..... turned down cold.

Anyways, and more to the point, she and her friends were crafty and sewed their own costumes, cast silver jewelry and built small props.

It was not unheard of for members of the group to wear partial costume around campus. None of them were blurring reality and fantasy. Rather, they liked say, "Elfin fashion" and liked showing their creations to theatre majors and other counter cultural types.

I would not be surprised if some wore partial costume on occasion with out even thinking about it and with no active intent stop by the theatre hang out spot. It could be the same with the perpertrator.
It seems strange they would have such calculated avoidance of security cameras, yet choose to wear such an unique ensemble…for example how did they know a neighbor wouldn’t spot them? Their choice in clothing is unusual, would offer more of a risk to be able to be identified.
 

Cryptic

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It seems strange they would have such calculated avoidance of security cameras, yet choose to wear such an unique ensemble…for example how did they know a neighbor wouldn’t spot them? Their choice in clothing is unusual, would offer more of a risk to be able to be identified.
The avoidance of security cameras could also have been do to just plain luck.

That aside, I do agree that wearing distinctive clothing while committing a pre planned crime is not a good choice.

At the same time, clothing can become part of a persons identity to the point that it is worn with out thinking about it, even when it is detrimental. For example, Blood gangsters doing a drive by shooting while "flamed up" in red. Or, Out Law bikers seeking out rivals while wearing denim 'n leather- even if they took the "precaution" of being in a car.

I don't think the perpertrator had a gang mentality, or was a member of a gang. Rather, I think they might be given to wearing partial costume habitually like former romantic interest "R" was:

"Cold night? I automatically reach for my pseudo Elvin cloak. Spent alot of time on it- and my friends like it". This habit is then reinforced because her friends also wore partial costume from time to time .

For example, I remember another girl mixing purses with a hand stitched, embossed "wanderer's pouch" and a guy sporting a billowing white shirt ala Three Musketeers on occasion. (Unlike the very costume strict 501 legion, imagination mattered far more than theme accuracy in the SFCA).

Come Monday, "R" could show up in tennis shoes or.... the neat looking (but costumey) low boots bought at last year's Renaissance Faire. Both were habitual.
 
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jessarox

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I think the perp wore specific clothing that would stand out but could be easily removed. The white flowy garment could be a robe or a duster. Look up the Star Wars Snowtrooper, they wear a white duster that looks similar to what the perp was wearing IMO. I looked at a few on Etsy and they all seemed like they'd be quick and easy to remove. The white boots that the perp was wearing could have been boot covers, something that could also be removed in a minute or less.

<modsnip>
 
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stmarysmead

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Perhaps it was important for the killer to wear that costume when committing the crime. Perhaps it was a message in and of itself to the victim. I find the fact that some words were exchanged very curious as well. I have a hunch that the killer fid not just want to do yhe crime, but wanted to justify to Liz before she died, just why, in his perverted mind…she deserved to die.

IIRC, there were pretty strict rules in order to be accepted in their group, particularly about costume. could someone have been rejected on that basis? Did Liz or her husband have anything to do with deciding membership in the group? Or was everyone that wanted permitted to join?
 

Eloise

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Perhaps it was important for the killer to wear that costume when committing the crime. Perhaps it was a message in and of itself to the victim. I find the fact that some words were exchanged very curious as well. I have a hunch that the killer fid not just want to do yhe crime, but wanted to justify to Liz before she died, just why, in his perverted mind…she deserved to die.

IIRC, there were pretty strict rules in order to be accepted in their group, particularly about costume. could someone have been rejected on that basis? Did Liz or her husband have anything to do with deciding membership in the group? Or was everyone that wanted permitted to join?

I think it's more likely someone that wanted Liz but couldn't have her and didn't want anyone else to have her either, or wanted Sergio to his/herself. Rather than someone who was angry... just because angry people tend not to be silent or so careful, cold and calculated. Having spent quite some time in various nerdy pursuits I've always found the angry people to be just so loud and opinionated about their anger whether its IRL or online but as far as we know at least, there was nothing indicating any problems with anyone. I can, however, totally imagine someone who had quietly been in love with one or the other of them for quite a long time without letting anyone know about it. JMO

I don't know, of course, just speculating.
 

LiamF

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This was obviously done by somebody who seemed to have had knowledge of Sergio`s morning routine down to the minute and made sure he had left for work. Either they were being observed or this specific information was provided.
Personally, I also find it strange that the garage sale was planned at the last minute, apparently this was not normally the way Liz would plan a garage sale. Somebody seemed to have been given advance knowledge of this.
I would be interested to know what time Liz would normally leave for work in the mornings.
 

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IslandGirlTC

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I do apologize about the doorbell video link. It was from the YouTube channel of an MSM and is referenced in their article below. The footage was released to them by LE. Sheriff's office releases new video in shooting death of Tomball woman. Whether the audio is helpful or not, the video gives us another angle of the truck.

In my opinion, this is what's being said (please do not take as fact as the audio quality is bad):

0:25 - "Almost seven."
0:28 - "It's too soon."
1:12 - "Mornin'!" Many people feel this is what she said which may be but now that I think of it, the voice has an unusual tone. Keep in mind we have no reference for the sound of LBs voice
1:16 - Sounds like a gasp
1:19 - "No!"
1:21 - "Why?!"
1:25 - Sounds like she says "Ruben?"
1:27 - "It's Mark." He says it quickly (and coldly) like "Smark." IMO, if it were a hit, he might have said "it's a mark" which would fit that theory. I've heard of hits being referred to as marks. This one was the clearest of what I could make out and I feel strongly that it is a man's voice.
1:30.185 - "Don't shoot!"
Than the gunshots.

Source of YouTube video: New videos released in ambush murder of Tomball woman
 

TheInsane

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I do apologize about the doorbell video link. It was from the YouTube channel of an MSM and is referenced in their article below. The footage was released to them by LE. Sheriff's office releases new video in shooting death of Tomball woman. Whether the audio is helpful or not, the video gives us another angle of the truck.

In my opinion, this is what's being said (please do not take as fact as the audio quality is bad):

0:25 - "Almost seven."
0:28 - "It's too soon."
1:12 - "Mornin'!" Many people feel this is what she said which may be but now that I think of it, the voice has an unusual tone. Keep in mind we have no reference for the sound of LBs voice
1:16 - Sounds like a gasp
1:19 - "No!"
1:21 - "Why?!"
1:25 - Sounds like she says "Ruben?"
1:27 - "It's Mark." He says it quickly (and coldly) like "Smark." IMO, if it were a hit, he might have said "it's a mark" which would fit that theory. I've heard of hits being referred to as marks. This one was the clearest of what I could make out and I feel strongly that it is a man's voice.
1:30.185 - "Don't shoot!"
Than the gunshots.

Source of YouTube video: New videos released in ambush murder of Tomball woman
Ive listened to this thing over and over again, from many different people attempting to clean it up, I think its almost impossible to transcribe what was said. The first minute or so i believe was the radio. I dont think imo that EB or the unsub is picked up on the audio until she states good morning and i believe you hear "him" say morning. Until i 100% believed that "he" said mornin', i believed the unsub was female.
 

MachinaCollecta

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I do apologize about the doorbell video link. It was from the YouTube channel of an MSM and is referenced in their article below. The footage was released to them by LE. Sheriff's office releases new video in shooting death of Tomball woman. Whether the audio is helpful or not, the video gives us another angle of the truck.

In my opinion, this is what's being said (please do not take as fact as the audio quality is bad):

0:25 - "Almost seven."
0:28 - "It's too soon."
1:12 - "Mornin'!" Many people feel this is what she said which may be but now that I think of it, the voice has an unusual tone. Keep in mind we have no reference for the sound of LBs voice
1:16 - Sounds like a gasp
1:19 - "No!"
1:21 - "Why?!"
1:25 - Sounds like she says "Ruben?"
1:27 - "It's Mark." He says it quickly (and coldly) like "Smark." IMO, if it were a hit, he might have said "it's a mark" which would fit that theory. I've heard of hits being referred to as marks. This one was the clearest of what I could make out and I feel strongly that it is a man's voice.
1:30.185 - "Don't shoot!"
Than the gunshots.

Source of YouTube video: New videos released in ambush murder of Tomball woman

I can’t imagine any scenario in which someone who has been hired to kill a person (if we’re presuming this is indeed what happened) would reveal either who they are or who asked them to do it. She could have survived and named that person, so I don’t personally hear a name being said in there, if we take that with any sort of reasoning.

I feel I can definitely hear EB say “morning!” and I’m pretty sure I can hear the perp say “shoot you”, but again this could all just be verbal paradolia. It’s a shame the audio quality is so bad on it, but I fear that’s the best we’ll get and we can interpret it in different ways. Sadly there’s just not enough there to have an concrete conclusions. JMO.
 

IslandGirlTC

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i think this crime is related to the cosplay community.
I agree. IMO, this was personal. What appears as scoping out the house by the perp might even be part of the planning process and not necessarily hitman activity. Like measuring distance and timing for the get away. Not everyone LB came into contact with would have 100% knowledge of the neighbourhood. The gap of time between the night before and day of the murder with the truck could easily be the perp not wanting to draw attention to themself by staying in the area. I wonder if there are any truck stops in the area and if LE has checked with them.

In either scenario, there seems to be quite a bit of planning going into this. If not a hitman, someone with a planning or administrative background or someone who is just highly analytical could be involved. All opinions of course.

Ive listened to this thing over and over again, from many different people attempting to clean it up, I think its almost impossible to transcribe what was said. The first minute or so i believe was the radio. I dont think imo that EB or the unsub is picked up on the audio until she states good morning and i believe you hear "him" say morning. Until i 100% believed that "he" said mornin', i believed the unsub was female.
If we put aside what's being said, there seems to me to be two voices, one male and one female. The "mornin" sounds unusual to me in that the pitch is really high. Maybe caused by distortion. To be honest, my first thought was cell phone reception for someone unrelated in the area because of how unnatural it sounded to me. That can and does happen will electronics. But after listening intently and repeatedly, it does sound like some kind of convo going on. The male's voice is most distinct to me just before the gun goes off.

I'm not seeing anything specific about the Ring doorbell camera picking up cell phone signals but this is concerning. From NY Times - Somebody’s Watching: Hackers Breach Ring Home Security Cameras. Could someone have been watching them?
 

TheInsane

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I agree. IMO, this was personal. What appears as scoping out the house by the perp might even be part of the planning process and not necessarily hitman activity. Like measuring distance and timing for the get away. Not everyone LB came into contact with would have 100% knowledge of the neighbourhood. The gap of time between the night before and day of the murder with the truck could easily be the perp not wanting to draw attention to themself by staying in the area. I wonder if there are any truck stops in the area and if LE has checked with them.

In either scenario, there seems to be quite a bit of planning going into this. If not a hitman, someone with a planning or administrative background or someone who is just highly analytical could be involved. All opinions of course.


If we put aside what's being said, there seems to me to be two voices, one male and one female. The "mornin" sounds unusual to me in that the pitch is really high. Maybe caused by distortion. To be honest, my first thought was cell phone reception for someone unrelated in the area because of how unnatural it sounded to me. That can and does happen will electronics. But after listening intently and repeatedly, it does sound like some kind of convo going on. The male's voice is most distinct to me just before the gun goes off.

I'm not seeing anything specific about the Ring doorbell camera picking up cell phone signals but this is concerning. From NY Times - Somebody’s Watching: Hackers Breach Ring Home Security Cameras. Could someone have been watching them?
Interesting thought about the ring door bell. I think its something highly likely in this case, but interesting none the less. Seems hackers can infiltrate almost anything in this day and age.

I'm not sure i sign up for the hit man theory anymore. I think the thing i struggle with is when someone says "hitman" i assume a professional, as you see in movies, when in actuality its just a hired gun. I think there's no doubt at this point, IMO, that its a man. I'd almost be willing to say a younger man. I reside close to the area and am a truck owner myself and from first seeing the truck i instantly started to stereotype the driver. I'll probably get raked over the coals for my following comment, but its how i feel. Someone who would drive a Nissan frontier would more than likely be, and purely my opinion,
1 - Hispanic or Asian
2 - younger male or female
3 - LGBTQ friendly

There was talk that a certain someone had access to a car dealership around the time of the crime, but IMO, if a car was taken/used for the sole purpose for the commision of this crime, something like a Ford or Chevy which is MUCH more popular and far easier to blend in would have been the right play.

While I've never personally been into the whole Cosplay thing, I do have friends into it. I have been a nerd/geek/gamer most of my life and have been to conventions and had many friends in the whole genre and sub genre of the lifestyle, and I'll say this much, quite a fair share of the people I've encountered have a certain "feel" to them.
 

IslandGirlTC

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Following the theory (and it's only a theory), that their Ring camera was hacked, another source of voices being picked up could be from the hackers themselves.

"The victims of recent intrusions only found out their accounts were accessed after a voice started blaring from the speakers or their child screamed for help. Baptiste told Newsweek it was not surprising to hear the news, as web-connected devices have famously weak security."
Source: from Newsweek: Ring Camera Hack: How to Know If Your Home Camera Is Compromised

If this is true, the perp may have gotten access to the login info online. LE would be able to check if the login details were part of a data breach or not. How to do it is in the article.

"His suggestion aligned with the response to the intrusions from Ring, which blamed the wave of unauthorized access on password reuse. It denied suffering a data breach, although Buzzfeed reported yesterday that thousands of compromised Ring credentials were found online."
Source is the same Newsweek article linked above.

Although this does feel like there's something more personal going on. Anyone with the planning abilities the perp seems to have might be able to find a way to get a hold of the login details to watch them and learn the times when LB would be alone. JMO.
 

stmarysmead

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The avoidance of security cameras could also have been do to just plain luck.

That aside, I do agree that wearing distinctive clothing while committing a pre planned crime is not a good choice.

At the same time, clothing can become part of a persons identity to the point that it is worn with out thinking about it, even when it is detrimental. For example, Blood gangsters doing a drive by shooting while "flamed up" in red. Or, Out Law bikers seeking out rivals while wearing denim 'n leather- even if they took the "precaution" of being in a car.

I don't think the perpertrator had a gang mentality, or was a member of a gang. Rather, I think they might be given to wearing partial costume habitually like former romantic interest "R" was:

"Cold night? I automatically reach for my pseudo Elvin cloak. Spent alot of time on it- and my friends like it". This habit is then reinforced because her friends also wore partial costume from time to time .

For example, I remember another girl mixing purses with a hand stitched, embossed "wanderer's pouch" and a guy sporting a billowing white shirt ala Three Musketeers on occasion. (Unlike the very costume strict 501 legion, imagination mattered far more than theme accuracy in the SFCA).

Come Monday, "R" could show up in tennis shoes or.... the neat looking (but costumey) low boots bought at last year's Renaissance Faire. Both were habitual.
What person or committee had the authority within the structure of the “costume strict” 501 Legion to decide if an applicant's costume was acceptable? If an individual’s costume was considered beneath their standards, did that mean the person was completely rejected for membership?

Was either the victim or her husband on the selection committee? or just so highly regarded within that group that a killer might feel they would suffice symbolically for the entire organization that rejected him.

I do believe the killer is in costume. At that hour of the morning, a costume is a reckless choice for a killer in a busy neighborhood at a time when people are leaving for work, children leaving for school. Therefor in my opinion, it had to have had some great significance to the killer to be worn while committing the crime.

The ‘costume’ on the killer does not have the polish or authenticity of the costumes we see on ‘accepted” members. But i feel that walkimg up to the victim and speaking to her…indicates that the killer wanted her go know who he was or why she was going to be executed. He felt ‘justified.’

I am guessing here, but I think the motive was rejection. And since no affairs have ever come to light,my guess is that the ‘rejection’ involved the Cosplay group. Interesting that Liz had just been named as the Person of the Month that very month. For an unbalanced mind looking to focus its rage SOMEWHERE on a group, she might have symbolized that group to him by this award.
 

IslandGirlTC

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If an individual’s costume was considered beneath their standards, did that mean the person was completely rejected for membership?
Not completely. They can resubmit if they get rejected the first time according to their website. Although individual GMLs (Garrison Membership Liaison) could possibly be more particular about adhering to 501st League costume standards than others, imo.

Sources:
501st League FAQs
How to join 501st League
More costume guidelines

Rejection is a good theory, imo. From the sound of the above links, most members make their costumes, which seems like it requires a certain level of skill. Anyone who doesn't have good costume making skills will struggle to get approved.

Not sure if there's any publicly accessible way to check if Liz had anything to do with new membership approval.
 

jessarox

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Was either the victim or her husband on the selection committee? or just so highly regarded within that group that a killer might feel they would suffice symbolically for the entire organization that rejected him.

I'm not sure if she was, the Star Garrison forum's front page (link below) says Events Coordinator (STX) Liz Barraza (Barraza) for 2018-2019.

Star Garrison of the 501st Legion - The Front Page

You could be on the right track though. But what if it's not costume rejection, what if this person was not allowed to go to some event for some reason? Like maybe it was for a kid's event and the person failed a background check? Maybe Liz was killed because she knew something about the person and the perp was afraid that she would tell people?

I found a different 501st post that had a hospital volunteer opportunity that requires background checks: ANC - URGENT Alaska Regional Hospital

It stands to reason that the hospital that Star Garrison volunteered for would probably require one too.

Any undisclosed criminal history could have resulted in being kicked out of the 501st Legion altogether so there's a motive to keep her quiet.

Membership may be immediately and permanently revoked by the Legion Commanding Officer, Legion Executive Officer, and Legion Captain of the Guard in cases of undisclosed criminal history, conviction of violent crimes, or crime against children. All other disciplinary action follows the process outlined in the Operations Protocol.

 
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Cryptic

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What person or committee had the authority within the structure of the “costume strict” 501 Legion to decide if an applicant's costume was acceptable?
I don't know who, nor under what process costumes are reviewed for acceptability in the 501.

I have had contact with a variety of living history re-enactors in the past. One participant from a strict group in regards to historical accuracy (US Civil war) gave me the impression that the the uniform, gear, musket etc. was examined by a group of senior members with strict standard for historical accuracy.

For example, the clothing and gear had to be of historical materials, and not just have the over all look. Likewise, the prospective member needed to know alot of civil war history.

If an individual’s costume was considered beneath their standards, did that mean the person was completely rejected for membership?
I dont know.

But... I strongly suspect that an accepted costume would be mandatory to engage in any of the fun charity dress outs the group does as well as say, costumed events attended by, or hosted by the 501st.

For example, their webpage appears only to show full members and also highlights which specific costumes possessed by individual members have passed muster.

Thus, it could be possible for somebody to socialize with the group by participating in "getting interested" and "costume creation" events, they would not be allowed full participation benefits until they have an acceptable costume (apparently movie, or near movie grade).

Thus, they would miss out on alot of socialization and also miss out on the prestige (well, in the subculture) stemming from being a full member of a strict group
 
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Cryptic

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I am guessing here, but I think the motive was rejection. And since no affairs have ever come to light,my guess is that the ‘rejection’ involved the Cosplay group. Interesting that Liz had just been named as the Person of the Month that very month. For an unbalanced mind looking to focus its rage SOMEWHERE on a group, she might have symbolized that group to him by this award.
That is a very good point.

The police not only need to look for negative interaction between the victim and a red flag individual, but also take into account your possibility that Liz could have been attacked because she was seen as one of the group's figureheads.

Needless to say, that just increases the number of unbalanced possibilities. For example, there are several hundred group members in Texas alone.
 

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"A Squad Leader also has no disciplinary authority. Disciplinary issues remain the purview of the Garrison CO and the Legion Captain of the Guard."
Source: Command Survival Guide

So for example if we go with the theory that Liz found out something about a member under her command that would lead to them being kicked out of 501st Legion, she couldn't do it herself. It would have to be reported to her "higher ups."

If not new member rejection, silencing her to avoid being kicked out is a strong possibility, imo. If this was the case, what if any reportable activity could have further legal consequences for the person or persons? It's still not clear if there's more than one involved.
 
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