Monday, April 29, 2002

Ohio woman says she's in love with serial killer

The Associated Press

        HOUSTON — A 50-year-old Ohio woman says she is not a “flake” because she fell in love with convicted rail-riding serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz.

        “I'm well-educated, middle class. I own my own house. I own my own truck,” said Nancy Resendiz of Cleveland, who legally changed her last name to that of the Mexican citizen with a long criminal record.

        “I don't condone anything he's done. But there is a human being in there and I just happen to love that human being,” she told the Houston Chronicle for its Sunday editions.

        Nancy Resendiz said she began writing to the convicted killer after he was sentenced to death in May 2000 for the murder of Houston-area physician Claudia Benton, who was beaten, stabbed and raped in her home just before Christmas 1998.

        Maturino Resendiz, also called the “Railroad Killer,” is linked by confessions and evidence to at least 12 other killings across the country.

        The Mexican citizen crisscrossed the United States aboard freight trains, earning his nickname during a nationwide manhunt that culminated with his surrender in July 1999.

        The couple writes each other often, and Nancy Resendiz has made five trips from Cleveland to visit Maturino Resendiz in prison in Livingston, Texas.

        “He has a very loving and caring side to him,” she said. “He's a very affectionate person. He is silly and has a sense of humor.”

        Maturino Resendiz said he is grateful for her affection.

        “When you are despised by so many people, when you have somebody who is nice to you, it's kind of nice,” he said.

        Both say they are environmentalists and love wolves and other wild animals.

        “If she was not a wild animal lover I could not have gotten close to her,” Maturino Resendiz said.

        According to the couple, the two got married in a prison visitation room nearly a year ago, but the union is not recognized by the state because they did not get a marriage license.

        Maturino Resendiz's appeals lawyer, Leslie Ribnik, said he does not know if the couple can legally get married because his client still has a common law wife in Mexico. But Maturino Resendiz disputes that.

        Ribnik said he is not sure how to react to Nancy Resendiz.

        “To listen to her, she sounds like a normal human being,” he said. “She's friendly, outgoing. She never sounds wacko. She never sounds off the wall.”

        Nancy Resendiz, who works as an accounting office receptionist and a nurse's assistant in a geriatric center, said unlike other women who have fallen in love with serial killers, she doesn't want any publicity.

        “He's my husband, my lover, my friend — my everything as far as I'm concerned,” she said.


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- Ohio woman says she's in love with serial killer
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