On June 24, 1993 14-year-old Jenny Ertman and 16-year-old Elizabeth Pena took a different way home from a friend’s apartment one summer night to beat an 11:30 p.m. curfew. They didn’t want to take the crowded public streets past an adult entertainment store, so they took a less traveled shortcut.
At that same time, five Black and Whites Gang members were initiating a new member into their gang. All these boys were under 18 years of age. After making the new member fight each of them till he passed out, they kept drinking till Jenny and Elizabeth walked by.
Jenny and Elizabeth were so brutally savaged before they were murdered by repeated strangulation by belt and then shoelace, that the police officers who finally found them were in tears. Even though their bodies were severely decayed, the coroner could still see the effects of the rapes and beatings they had suffered.
This happened in Texas. All but one boy, who was only 14, were sentenced to death. Two have been executed. Two had their sentences commuted to life in prison and now live in the general prison population. The minor boy will probably spend the rest of his life in prison as well, now that he has been transferred to the adult prison population.
Jenny would be 31 and Elizabeth would be 33. Though chances are, if they had survived the attacks on them, their lives would have likely been very difficult.
Here is a lovely site dedicated to these girls: RIP LADIES
Our society is horrified by what terrorists have done and seek to do to us in this country. It seems to me that our own home grown terrorists are far scarier. And there are so many of them, everywhere now: Local Gangs. With the drug cartels taking over Mexico and parts of Central and South America, it is getting worse, not better. Our societal awareness of this is rather like brushing off an assumedly annoying fly. Problem is – it’s not a little bitty fly any more.
Jenny and Elizabeth’s murders resulted in some changes on how Texas handles these cases. Which was a good thing. Though their parents would far rather have them home for Christmas this year.
I will go hug Seymour now. You all, carry on.