Along the Rails: A Juror’s Journey takes the reader on an emotional ride through the details of the Capital Murder trial of The State of Texas vs. Angel Maturino Resendiz, known as the infamous "Railway Killer". The author served as a juror on the 2000 high-profile trial which included horrific details of one of this nation’s grisliest serial killer crime sprees in recent memory. The writer’s jury experience, which became this book, was emotional and explosive from start to finish. The book allows the reader a rare look inside the isolated world of capital murder jury service. The details of the trial’s impact left on 12 people from diverse backgrounds are explored in all their emotional rawness.
The State of Texas vs. Angel Maturino Resendiz
Charged with the murder of Dr. Claudia Benton
My heart pumped up a bit in my throat. Oh, that case! My mind raced ahead. Who hadn’t heard about this case? Dr. Claudia Benton, a respected Pediatric Medicine Research Specialist, had been found brutally bludgeoned and stabbed to death in her home in the upscale West University Place area of Houston. The murderer had become known as the "Railroad Killer", hitching rides on passing freight trains, jumping off whenever he was struck with the need to kill his victims who all lived in proximity to railroad tracks. Dr. Benton’s home was just a few hundred yards from the freight line tracks running through Southwest Houston. The local inner city residents were astonished that something that brutal could happen in such a nice neighborhood.
After Resendiz’s arrest, he admitted to a string of previously unsolved murders of at least nine other souls. These were the most outrageous and vile crimes committed in anyone’s recent memory. Each victim was not only violently butchered, in some cases raped, but left in such grotesque condition to be found by loved ones and friends, making the crimes more unfathomable, if that was even possible. Those living in Texas, especially this area, were more than just a little knowledgeable about the case. The media had done its job. This murderer was known far and wide. I had, like a lot of the nation, watched the live TV broadcast drama of Resendiz’s surrender to the perfectly outfitted Texas Ranger on the International Bridge in El Paso. It was dramatic. Hollywood couldn’t have written or produced that moment any better.
Thomas McHenry was born in Houston, Texasand is a self professed member of the “baby boomer” generation. He attended Texas Tech University majoring in Journalism and moved back to Houston to attend college locally, changing his major to Theater Arts. It was during this time that he began a career on the stage working as a “traveling actor” with a small theater company. After several years of fulfilling his ambition of acting (and very little money), he changed course and elected to go into the travel industry. His career in the international airline industry took him to Chicago,New York, Los Angeles and ultimately back “home” to Houston. It was when he was chosen to serve as a juror on a highly-publicized capital murder trial in 2000 that he put pen to paper and began to record the dynamics of the trial as it unfolded. The result of this experience ultimately became, "Along the Rails: A Juror’s Journey”. This is his first book and he is at work on his second. He has currently re-entered the acting profession, having completed study at the Acting Corp. in Los Angeles and has appeared in over 7 feature films.He retired to mid-coast Maine in 2010, where he continues to write. He appears in the April 2013 Discovery Channel's Dicover ID episode which covers details of these crimes and subsequent trial.