Things That Matter

A 25-Year-Old Mexican Woman Was Killed By Her Abusive Husband After Seeking Help 16 Times From Authorities

Two of the biggest misconceptions about domestic abuse is that a victim needs to leave their abuser or seek help in order to escape their situation. More often than not, a victim has sought out both routes without success. Leaving a situation where one person is being abused by someone they know could be close to impossible. An abuser, at times, will stop at nothing in order to keep a very tight grip on their victim. What makes this matter even worse is that the agencies that are supposed to help victims, ultimately fail them. 

A 25-year-old Mexican woman was killed by her husband even though she had contacted a women’s justice center for help 16 times prior. 

This horrific crime, which could have been prevented, occurred last year, but new details into what led to her death are only now being revealed. According to several Spanish-language news outlets, Vanesa Gaytán Ochoa reached out to the Centro de Justicia para las Mujeres in Jalisco, Mexico, at least 16 times for help. 

According to El Universal, Gaytán Ochoa reached out to the Centro de Justicia para las Mujeres Jalisco for the last time on April 13 to seek out protection from her husband, Irwin Emmanuel Ramírez Barajas only to end up being killed 12 days later. 

“The efforts to prove the degree of participation of the killer were null and void and [the Centro de Justicia para las Mujeres] didn’t even try to locate or inhibit him from carrying out illegal activities,” the Human Rights Commission said, according to El Universal. 

On the day she was killed, Gaytán Ochoa called her lawyer to tell them that her husband was after her. She was advised to go to the governor’s mansion, where a meeting about security was taking place. Gaytán Ochoa took a cab there and did not realize her husband was following her. 

Credit: Centro Reforma / YouTube

Gaytán Ochoa stood outside the governor’s mansion, and her husband drove up and hit her with his car. He got out and stabbed her to death. The entire crime was caught on a surveillance camera.

Gaytán Ochoa didn’t do a thing wrong. In fact, she took all of the proper steps a domestic abuse victim is supposed to do in order to escape their abuser. She had a restraining order against her husband, and yet he violated it time and time again. 

“When a protection order is issued, the authority undertakes to guarantee the life of the complainant,” amnesty international said in a statement last year. “This must materialize in mechanisms that ensure that state and municipal authorities have the information, resources, and personnel that allow them to fulfill the duty to safeguard the lives of women effectively.”

Gaytán Ochoa’s husband was ultimately shot and killed by a security guard at the governor’s mansion. But the damage was already done. She was dead, and now people are seeking justice in her name. [Warning: video contains graphic images.]

According to news reports, it’s unclear who is to blame whether it is the center for women or state officials, but what is certain is that Gaytán Ochoa’s requests and demands were left unanswered. 

“From the evidence in the case file, it is not observed that the staff of the public prosecutor’s office followed a clear and serious line of investigation aimed at verifying the crime and sanctioning the man responsible,” Centro de Justicia para las Mujeres Jalisco said according to El Universal. 

The sentiment on social media over her death of Gaytán Ochoa is also being placed on Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro. “The murder of Vanesa Gaytán Ochoa outside Casa Jalisco ‘is the sign of a social decomposition that hurts, offends, unworthy, that gives anger’ and we are all to blame for the social decline.”

Statistically speaking, domestic abuse shows staggering numbers. It’s often said that crimes against women are typically committed by someone they know. 

In 2016, Mexico’s female homicide rate reached 4.5 per 100,000, nearly twice that of 2012, a report by the University of San Diego shows. And that number continues to rise. From 2015 to June 2019, at least 3,080 women were murdered in Mexico

READ: Undocumented Immigrants Are Too Afraid To Report Domestic Abuse Out Of Fear Of Being Deported

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Street Vendor By The Name Of Lorenzo Pérez Murdered Execution Style — “The person who killed my dad took away a part of me”

Things That Matter

Street Vendor By The Name Of Lorenzo Pérez Murdered Execution Style — “The person who killed my dad took away a part of me”

GUILLERMO ARIAS / Getty

Like many street vendors, 45-year-old Lorenzo Pérez sold food to support his family.

Married and the father of four children ages 15, 13, 9, and 1, Perez is described by friends and family as being well known amongst neighborhood residents. He was often seen working alongside his daughter who helped him on occasion. Now, the community and family who knew Perez well are in mourning, after he was shot in broad daylight while doing his job.

Perez died after he being shot in the head in southeast Fresno on Sunday afternoon.

Fresno Police were called to the scene of a possible robbery at Alta and Pierce Avenues, near Kings Canyon and Willow around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. On the way to the scene, the police officers learned that a street vendor had been shot once in the head.

According to reports, Perez was rushed to Community Regional Medical Center where he ultimately died.

Witnesses of the murder told officers that a man had beckoned Perez to come over to him in a way that suggested he was going to purchase something from him.

According to police reports, when Perez walked up to the suspect, the man pulled out a gun and shot the vendor. He then stole a few items, which have not been identified, and flew the scene. Witnesses told police officers that they’d seen the man loitering around the area before the shooting.

A local news station reported that “Officers are now looking into surveillance footage from the area to try and identify the shooter… Through a statement, Fresno City Council President Luis Chavez announced that he will be offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the shooter’s arrest.”

“The coward that murdered our food vendor, turn yourself in and face the consequences. You’ve brought tremendous pain to a family and our city,” Chavez exclaimed in the statement.

To help the Perez family, Councilmember Esmeralda Soria set up a GoFundMe account which has already raised $141,780 out of its $125,000 goal.

Perez’s son, Isai, described his father in a recent interview as a “great man.”

“My father was a great man. He was a great father, a great husband, a great friend,” he said in an interview. “He spread love and kindness. He was about fairness, he wanted to share his happiness. He meant no harm. He didn’t deserve to go like this. The person who killed my dad took away a part of me. My dad went through everything for us. He took away my father. He took away the opportunity of me being with him in his last moments and it’s heartbreaking. I hope they find the murderer soon.”

If you have any information on the shooting please call Valley Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP.

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Retired Detective Rafael Tovar Recalls Working John Wayne Gacy Case In New Peacock Docuseries

Entertainment

Retired Detective Rafael Tovar Recalls Working John Wayne Gacy Case In New Peacock Docuseries

Peacock / YouTube

John Wayne Gacy shocked the world with is violent and terrifying crimes. The serial killer operated in the Chicago suburbs and killed at least 33 people. “John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise” digs deep into the story that true crime enthusiasts think they know.

Peacock is releasing a new true-crime docuseries “John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise.”

NBC News Studios is bringing a new true-crime docuseries to the streaming world with “John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise.” The documentary promises to take even those who know the story of John Wayne Gacy through parts of the case and serial killer that few know.

The docuseries relies on interviews from law enforcement, neighbors, victims, and family members affected by the murders. Retired Detective Rafael Tovar and Executive Producer Alexa Danner spoke with mitú about working the the case and creating the docuseries.

Tovar was the first Spanish-speaking police officer in the Chicago suburbs in 1970. Eight years later, Tovar was helping to unravel the horrific murders committed by John Wayne Gacy.

“It was a phase into the case because when we first started, we were working on a missing person report for one person, never figuring that it was going to turn out to be what it turned out to be,” Tovar recalls about the case. “It was something new every day until we started digging that’s when everything broke loose, and it became the case of a lifetime for a police officer.”

The former Des Plaines detective remembers the moment that case was going to be much more than anticipated. Around December 21, when the officers executed a second warrant on John Wayne Gacy’s suburban home, Tovar and other authorities made gruesome discoveries. Tovar remembers digging under the house with an evidence technician when they discover three left femurs. The bones were too decayed to belong to the last victim, Robert Piest.

“The John Wayne Gacy story has certainly been told multiple times over the year and I think that there is a sense that there’s a narrative out there that is known and accepted,” Alexa Danner, an executive producer on the docuseries says. “What we really found as we began to produce this documentary was that there are a lot of questions that remain about the case. There’s a lot of mystery still surrounding it.”

Danner promises that even those who think they know the John Wayne Gacy story well will learn new things about the crimes. “John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise” talks to people never interviewed before and takes a hard look at the case like never before.

The investigation into John Wayne Gacy changed law enforcement practices drastically. Procedures were adjusted to better assist with missing persons reports, especially children. Tovar also shared that John Wayne Gacy himself claimed to have had other victims.

“I was transferring him from our police lockup to the county lockup. Just in conversation, I asked him, ‘John. There are a lot of numbers going around. How many people did you kill?’ and he said, ‘Well, I’ve said this, I’ve said that, but 45 sounds like a good number.’ So I asked him, ‘Well, where are they?’ He said, ‘No. That’s your job to find out,’” Tovar recalls about that conversation. “He was the type of guy that knew that you knew something or that you were going to find out, he’d be totally honest with you. If he didn’t think that you were going to find out, he liked to play mind games with you. I believe him. Everything else he told me was true, so I believe that there are more out there.”

The show will take people through Gacy’s life before the violent attacks he became known for after his arrest. It will show people the life he had in Iowa that might have been a warning sign of things to come. The docuseries explores lingering questions about his mother’s ignorance about her son’s dealings and questions about the real body count.

Danner recalls a psychiatric report done on Gacy after his arrest that should have given everyone pause.

“It essentially said that this man would not stop behaving like this. There’s no known way to stop his behavior or change it,” Danner says. “To look back ten years before he’s arrested for all of these killing and know that he was already being assessed that way or diagnosed that way is really troubling and horrible.”

“John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise” will be available for streaming March 25 on Peacock.

READ: New Netflix Docuseries Explores The Summer The Night Stalker Terrorized Los Angeles

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