The Haunting Last Words Of Railroad Killer, Ángel Maturino Reséndiz

The railroad tracks that link the country together do more than just transport goods. Over the years, the system has been used as an unofficial (and illegal) form of transportation for those with the courage to hop on a slow-moving train. While most of these illegal riders are harmless drifters, some occasional bad apples use this system to commit dastardly crimes and a quick, unnoticeable getaway. As far as bad apples go, Ángel Maturino Reséndiz was rotten to the core.

Reséndiz was a Mexican citizen who routinely crossed over into the United States for work. According to the Justice Department, he would enter the country unlawfully only to be returned to Mexico whenever he was caught. His first deportation happened in 1976 when he was only 17 years old. The Justice Department tells of how he was deported multiple times after that first incident, often after he was arrested for various criminal offenses.

Before Reséndiz killed his first known victim in 1986, he was already working toward a lengthy criminal rap sheet (per All That's Interesting). Multiple misdemeanor charges were filed against him for trespassing at rail yards, but he was more than just a train hopper. Over the years, he was arrested and imprisoned for a variety of felonies, including car theft, burglary, assault and battery, and fraud. After his eventual arrest for multiple murders, Reséndiz was tried and sentenced to death. When his time came to sit in the execution chamber, his final words were as chilling as they were memorable.

The Railroad Killer's first known murder victim was killed in 1986

After Ángel Maturino Reséndiz was arrested in 1999, he gave chilling details about the killings he had orchestrated. Authorities had only linked him to a few at that point, but during his confession, it was apparent that police were dealing with a serial murderer.

While staying in a Texas homeless shelter in 1985, Reséndiz befriended a woman from the same lodging. The Doe Network tells us that the two were out one day on a motorcycle trip on their way to have target practice with a .38 caliber pistol. At some point during the trip, Reséndiz alleged that the woman made him angry, so he shot her multiple times. Her body was discovered on a San Antonio farm in March 1986. Her identity is still not known. 

Reséndiz also admitted that he killed the woman's boyfriend not long after. The killer accused the man of using black magic against him, prompting the slaying. Though Reséndiz told authorities that he abandoned the body along a creekbed between Uvalde and San Antonio, it has never been recovered or the victim identified.

Reséndiz drifted back and forth between the United States and Mexico, often spending time in U.S. jails and prisons. It wasn't until 1991 that he is thought to have taken his next victim. It was this year that he began to terrorize unsuspecting townsfolk who were unfortunate enough to be near or live near the railroad tracks that carried him from town to town.

Reséndiz's lone survivor helped get him sentenced to death

Ángel Maturino Reséndiz had a brutal modus operandi for carrying out his many murders — he made it a point to break into homes and bludgeon their occupants to death with whatever he found handy. Whether it was a sledgehammer or a tire iron, Reséndiz had a penchant for finding something at the ready to incapacitate his victims (per Oxygen). He would also often sexually assault his female victims.

With more than a dozen known murder victims, Reséndiz wasn't one to leave survivors. But one lone victim was able to hang on to dear life and survive her horrific ordeal with the Railroad Killer, later helping send him to the executioner. Holly Dunn and her boyfriend Christopher Maier were attacked late one night as they walked along a set of railroad tracks in Lexington, Kentucky. The two were headed to a college party when Reséndiz emerged from some bushes along the route and accosted them. Reséndiz tied the young couple up, then bashed Maier's head with a large rock. He then sexually assaulted Dunn before beating her with a blunt object (via CBS News). 

Though left for dead, Dunn survived. And while she did not testify during his murder trial, prosecutors put her on the stand last during the penalty phase. Her powerful testimony, recalling the savage violence that was inflicted on her that night, might have been enough to persuade the jury to give Reséndiz the death penalty.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

He was only put on trial for one murder

Ángel Maturino Reséndiz was linked to 15 murders but was only put on trial for the murder of Dr. Claudia Benton, a Houston area physician (via NBC News). When Dr. Benton returned home one day in 1998, she was met by Resindez, who beat and sexually assaulted her. Reséndiz stabbed her with a kitchen knife, then bludgeoned her to death with a bronze statue from the victim's bedroom.

Investigators were able to use DNA evidence from the crime scene to tie this murder in with others, giving them some indication that a serial killer was preying upon victims who lived near railroad tracks. Reséndiz's murderous behavior escalated rapidly. In the seven months after Dr. Benton's murder, six more victims would succumb to beatings or stabbings at the hands of Reséndiz. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Reséndiz's surrender to police was negotiated by his sister

Ángel Maturino Reséndiz had family that cared about him. It was this love that helped pave the way for his arrest. CNN reports that the killer's family became aware that Reséndiz was wanted for multiple murders, and they had the plan to help bring him to justice. Manuela Maturino of Albuquerque, New Mexico, reached out to Texas Ranger Drew Carter about negotiating her brother's potential surrender. After building a relationship with the concerned sibling for weeks, Carter was able to get officials to agree to certain terms: Reséndiz would surrender to Carter, but he wanted mental health treatment while incarcerated. He also wanted to ensure his safety wouldn't be compromised while waiting in jail for trial.

After a multi-state manhunt that led to Reséndiz being on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list, he surrendered himself to Carter in June 1999. CNN tells of how the fugitive walked onto a bridge that connected Zaragosa, Mexico to El Paso, Texas with Maturino and met Carter face to face. After the two men shook hands, Reséndiz allowed the Texas ranger to handcuff him and take him into police custody. 

Without the cooperation of Maturino, it's hard to say how much longer Reséndiz would have been able to keep killing. Though he was a wanted murderer on the run, he still could sneak back and forth across the border and ride the rails until he found new victims. Thankfully, the Railroad Killer was able to peacefully surrender to the law and make full admissions of his crimes.

The killer showed remorse but blamed the Devil

Ángel Maturino Reséndiz was strapped to a gurney and executed by lethal injection on June 27, 2006 (per NBC News). Prison officials allowed the condemned killer to speak his final words before the lethal cocktail of drugs was plunged into his veins. Reséndiz spoke to the small crowd of witnesses, some of whom were the loved ones of the many victims he had killed during his spree. 

His final words were remorseful but had a haunting tone to them. The news outlet reported that Reséndiz first said a prayer in a mumble that was difficult to hear. After saying "Lord, forgive me" several times, he directed his last breath of word toward those who had joined to watch him die. Looking toward the window that separated him from the onlookers, he stated

"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."

He went on, praising God for being loving. "I thank God for having patience for me, " he said. "I don't deserve to cause you pain. You did not deserve this. I deserve what I am getting." His final words now out into the world, Reséndiz laid back, and the drugs were administered. The 46-year-old serial killer was officially pronounced dead at 8:05 p.m. 

Reséndiz made another creepy comment during an interview he took part in shortly after being sent to death row. When asked about what went through his mind during the murders, he compared the experience to looking through a long tunnel. "Everything you see is in a distance," he said (via NBC News). "Everything is slow and silent."