Entertainment

The San Antonio Four Were A Set Of Wrongly Convicted Lesbians Who’d Been Accused Of Devil Worship In the 90s

"Southwest of Salem"

In the ’90s, members of the LBGTQ community were finally starting to find some tolerance in mainstream culture. Most major cities around the world had a gay night scene and many small communities were being formed by lesbians and gay men. Unfortunately, LGBTQ people still encountered bigotry and homophobia regularly. From everyday altercations to murderous attacks, being gay in the ’90s was still dangerous.

That didn’t stop Elizabeth Ramirez from coming out and living her life as a gay woman. Although her hometown of San Antonio Texas was very conservative at the time, Ramirez was happily involved with her girlfriend, Kristie Mayhugh. The two were building a happy life together along with their close friends, Cassandra Rivera, and Anna Vasquez.

Unfortunately, devastating accusations would rock San Antonio and cost each women years of their freedom.

This is the story of the San Antonio Four and the horrible accusations and homophobia that led to their incarceration.

Twitter / @maurinanoe

The events that led to their imprisonment started innocently enough. The four women were staying together at the time. It was 1994 when they welcomed Ramirez’s young nieces into their home for a weeklong stay. After the visit, the girls’ father went to the police and reported a truly horrific story.

According to the father, Javier Limon, the girls had been sexually abused and tortured by the women. More than that, his accusations claimed they had been gang-raped in a Satanic ritual and “indoctrinated into a lesbian lifestyle.” The nieces were only 7 and 9 years old at the time.

The girls were interviewed several times and gave inconsistent statements with varying details. Physical examination found no major signs of sexual assault. However, prosecutors used child abuse specialist, Dr. Nancy Kellogg, to argue the opposite. In now-defunct testimony, Dr. Kellogg blamed common vaginal wear on abuse by the San Antonio women.

The San Antonio police department claimed that the women’s sexuality was not relevant to the investigation. Yet, their actions argue the opposite.

Twitter / @PopularLonerr

This case was during the Satanic Panic of the 1990s. The public was obsessed with news of Satanic rituals and cults during this time. Homosexuality was often linked to these reports of rituals and sex magic. It was also a common thought at the time that homosexuals were more likely to sexually harm children. Had the four women not been recently-outed lesbians, the police more than likely wouldn’t have pursued the complaints.

Likewise, had the women not been lesbians, the complaints probably never would’ve been made to begin with. Limon, the girls’ father, was romantically interested in Ramirez. The San Antonio man was her brother-in-law but he had expressed desire for her before. Notably, when she was just a teenager. Ramirez had rejected him before coming out. However, her happy relationship with Mayhugh probably encouraged Limon to retaliate against the women.

Sadly, the San Antonio Four were tried and found guilty. They each received between 15 to 37 years in prison for a crime that had no proof.

Twitter / @mercurymiya

It wasn’t until 2012 when any relief seemed likely for the jailed women. That year, one of Ramirez’s nieces recanted the allegations. Furthermore, she explained that her father, Limon, was to blame for the accusations. Her father, she said, threatened her and her sister as girls and continued the emotional abuse all their lives. This is what kept the San Antonio Four’s innocence a secret for so long.

In 2012, Vasquez was the first of the San Antonio Four to be released from prison. However, it was parole that released her, not her own innocence. It wouldn’t be until 2013 that the other three were released on bail while their guilt was reassessed. Later that same year, their sentences would be cut short and they would be declared innocent of all charges. The San Antonio Four were finally free.

Their struggle encouraged the documentary “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four.” Now, you can stream the truth for yourself.

Twitter / @DaRealChrisCo

“Southwest of Salem” follows the redemption of the San Antonio Four. The documentary was released in 2016 but is now available to stream on both Hulu and Amazon Prime. It has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 100% Fresh and is scored 7.1/10 on IMDd.com. The documentary also won a Peabody Award and won “Outstanding Documentary” at the 2017 GLAAD Media Awards.

“Southwest of Salem” clearly deals with difficult themes. However, it’s an important documentary to see — especially as more cases of police and prosecutor misconduct become uncovered. If we know of the atrocities that have happened in the past, we can stop them from ever happening again.

Primas Are Sharing What Makes Their Bonds Just As Special As A Sisterhood

Fierce

Primas Are Sharing What Makes Their Bonds Just As Special As A Sisterhood

@priscila_henriique / Instagram

Family is very important to the Latinidad. It isn’t just our immediate blood connections that hold powerful meaning to us, it’s also our family that has become close to us through shared experiences. Besides friends and found family, our primas can definitely be put into this group. Whether they’re related by blood or just by proximity, our primas mean so much to us. Our co-conspiritors, our best friends and the women who will always have our backs, the bond we have with our primas makes us stronger. It’s worth celebrating that.

We asked our FIERCE readers to tell us what their primas mean to them and what we got was a comments section full of a whole lot of love and heart emojis. Combined with some of our favorite internet posts, these comments remind us just how precious that bond with our primas our. This is sure to make you want to send a text to the family group chat to tell your primas how much you love them.

1. Primas equal sisterhood

Instagram / @coisasdemaaria

“In Mexico we call primas Primas-Hermanas (sister-cousin) to the ones who’s parents are siblings with our parents . In a sense an extension of sisterhood. We grew up closer than most.” — @killacarm

2. That one person who will always have your back.

Instagram / @luz_altamirano_18

“My primas were my sisters growing up and still are. We may not see each other every day or see eye to eye on everything but we have each others’ backs. ❤️”  — @its__peaches 

3. The one you can always vent to.

Instagram / @carlamariacarreiro

“Our at home therapy session. I miss those.” — @lizvaldillez

4. Primas eventually become tias.

Instagram / @priscila_henriique

“I’m an only child…not by choice. My parents were hit by a drunk driver while my mom was pregnant with my brother. My parents were saved but had complications. Like you, I am so blessed to have many cousins and Tias who added me to the pack of kids. Now as a mom myself ( 2 children) we still reach out to one another. My primas have kids in college and they are at out place all the time.Im officially mom when mom is miles away. I know they would they too would be there for my kids! The love and support continue. ❤️❤️” — @ryonmichelle

5. Your prosperity is their prosperity.

Twitter / @mayasouhaid

“My prima always helped me get jobs when I needed money to get stuff for my daughter. ❤️❤️❤️ ” — @nerdalous.13

6. They’re there for the good times and the bad.

Instagram / @babyqueilane

“Some of my cousins have been my best friends for sure! They were ride or die!” — @pryz

7. Your personal secret keeper.

Instagram / @stedejesus

“Over the years it was like having that one sis you can confide in.” — @la.dayysii

8. The ultimate Squad Goals.

Twitter / @Jufroees

Before Squad goals was a thing, our first clique was our primas. They’re always be live-long members of the crew.

9. Our permanent dance partner.

Instagram / @latinaapproved

It’s not a party without our primas. Whether it’s a quince or just a family BBQ, the party doesn’t start until we are reunited with these girls.

10. The only one who can joke with us like this.

Instagram / @wearemitu

Coming from anyone else, these would be fighting words but our primas know us that way so it’s all good.

Ultimately, our primas are everything to us.

Instagram / @biancafoliveiral

“My prima is my fuckin’ everything. Mi hermana, my best friend, my advisor, my shoulder to cry on…TODO.” — @oriettareadmai

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2o72yY8wgY&t=64s 

A New Selena Album Will Soon Be Released But This One Is Made Just For Babies

Fierce

A New Selena Album Will Soon Be Released But This One Is Made Just For Babies

Since the death of Selena Quintanilla in 1995, new generations of people have come to know of her in the various ways others have celebrated her. Some may have discovered Selena through the 1997 film starring the incomparable Jennifer Lopez or by attending the Fiest de la Flor festival. Perpahs even newbie fans discovered Selena recently through the special collection created in her honor by Forever 21. Well, in the coming months, there’s going to be another wave of Selena projects that will surely get the next generation of  Selena fans doing the washing machine dance in no time because there’s also no age limit to Selena fans either. 

They come in all sizes — even little tiny ones because it’s never too early to become a Selena fan. 

A new album of Selena classics is set to be released all in the form of lullabies. 

Courtesy of Rockabye Baby Music

The Rockabye Baby! label has released lullaby renditions of Bob Marley, The Beatles, Coldplay, Adele, and now Selena is next! The label takes the music parents love and transforms it into soothing instrumental lullabies. So instead of guitars and drums, the label uses xylophones and bells. They’re actually really beautiful and relaxing songs that are great for adults too! So how did Rockabye Baby! convert Selena cumbias and rancheras into sleepytime music?

With the passionate sounds of her popular music transformed into soothing, beautiful instrumentals, using woodblocks, glockenspiels, xylophone and more, your baby is sure to fall asleep snuggled by the soft melodies of one of the greatest Latin artists of all time. As you gaze at your sleeping angel, your heart will melt con tanto amo,” Rockabye Baby! said in a released statement.

The album, titled “Lullaby Renditions of Selena” drops on Sept. 20, and includes 12 Selena classic songs. 

Here’s a sample below. 

Here’s the entire tracklist: 

  1. Bidi Bidi Bom Bom
  2. Como La Flor
  3. Baila Esta Cumbia
  4. Amor Prohibido
  5. La Carcacha
  6. El Chico Del Apartmento 512
  7. Si Una Vez
  8. No Me Queda Más
  9. Fotos y Recuerdos
  10. Tứ, Solo Tứ
  11. I Could Fall in Love
  12. Dreaming of You

This isn’t the first time Rockabye Baby! has released a Spanish-language album. Earlier this year, they also released lullaby renditions of songs by Juanes.

Their award-winning rock lullaby series consists of more than 90 releases to date, and more than 1.8 million CDs sold and over 567 million streams. The albums are available for purchase on iTunes, Spotify, and other music streaming services. 

We’re certain this album is going to be a hit with most parents (and kids), especially because this Selena children’s book was a best-seller last year.

Credit: Instagram/@stephrpowers

Last year, the creators of Lil’ Libros released The Life of/La Vida de Selena and the book was an instant hit on Amazon.

“This is our way of saying thank you, Selena. Thank you for your music, energy, and love. The love you had for us – your community. But most importantly thank you for allowing us to dream just like you did. This is how we can thank you,” creators of Lil’ Libros’ said on Instagram after the release of their book. “By never forgetting you; by sharing your smile, music, and life with our children. By reminding them that you were us. That you loved and sang in two languages. That wherever you went you were proud of who you were and where you came from. By keeping you part of our family just like our parents did when you were here. This is for you. Thank you.”

It’s been well-proven that babies and children need music stimulation to strengthen cognitive and sensory development, and also grow a healthy sense of self.

Instagram/@rockabyebabymusic

There’s a reason why parents play music to their babies even before their born, and not just so they can listen to some cool tunes. It’s actually to help them grow and develop in a healthy way. 

A 2016 study conducted by the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, their results showed that a “series of play sessions with music improved 9-month-old babies’ brain processing of both music and new speech sounds.”

Music simply helps with babies cognitive skills, which means it is up to the adults to nurture these artist forms of development. Without music, a child’s growth could be hindered dramatically and cause irreversible damage. 

How can we be truly sure that babies will love Selena as much as we do?

It’s been certified and tested at least by one Twitter user. We can’t wait for this album!

READ: Ali Wong Is Teaching Her Daughter Spanish And Listening To Her Baby Say ‘Feliz’ Will Bring Your Heart So Much Joy