Ex-Priest Guilty in Murder of TX Beauty Queen Who Never Returned from Confession

December 08, 2017Dec 08, 2017

In 1960, 25-year-old Irene Garza visited Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Texas, to go to confession. For the next five days, friends and family members of Garza could not get in contact with her. 

It was later discovered that Garza had been brutally murdered, as her body was found in a nearby canal. Eyes turned to 27-year-old visiting Priest John Feit, as he had heard Garza's confession 5 days prior. 

Now, more than 57 years later, Feit has been found guilty of the murder of Irene Garza. At the time of the incident, police questioned Feit because Garza's body was found with items belonging to the church. However, there was not enough evidence to prove anything. 

In February 2016, however, new evidence emerged in the case. Feit was arrested in Scottsdale, Arizona and was indicted in the death of Garza, who was an elementary school teacher, a former homecoming queen, and Miss All-South Texas Sweetheart.

In his November trial, Feit pleaded not guilty to the murder but was charged with assault and attempted rape before the case ended in a mistrial. His defense attorney said that there was not enough evidence to convict Feit.

However, this week's testimonies brought a turn for the prosecutors. 

Former monk Dale Tacheny, 88, testified against Feit. He said that in 1963 Feit told him about the murder of Garza. 

He said, "He put the young lady in a bathtub. As he was leaving, the young lady said, 'I cannot breathe, I cannot breathe.' Then he left."

Another witness said that in 1960 the Hidalgo County Sheriff had told church officials to try to bury the story. 

The prosecutor closed his statement, "This is a case about betrayal, murder and a cover-up. [He] was a wolf in priest's clothing."

Feit, who is now 85, was convicted on Thursday afternoon. According to People, Garza's family stood in awe and hugged each other as soon as the verdict was announced. On Friday, Feit has his sentencing trial. He faces up to a life sentence in prison. 

After 57 years, Garza's family has the closure they were looking for. We are praying for continued peace. In other recent news, a former GOP spokesman revealed he is becoming a Democrat after Trump's support of Roy Moore.

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