The state of Texas does not waste any time in executing condemned criminals. It has executed its fourth this year and the seventh in the entire United States. The state executed Rosendo Rodriguez III on Tuesday after confessing to killing and sexually molesting several women in the Lubbock area, Time reported.
Known as the “suitcase killer”, 38-year-old Rodriguez stuffed his victims into suitcases and disposed them into the trash.
“The State May Have My Body but They Never Had My Soul,” Rodriguez Said
The execution took place less than 30 minutes after Rodriguez failed with his appeals at the Supreme Court. When asked if he had anything to say before the execution, Rodriquez ranted about why Texan businesses must be boycotted to force the state to abolish the death penalty.
“The state may have my body but they never had my soul,” he added defiantly without any apology to the families of his victims who watched through a window. “I’ve fought the good fight; I have run the good race. Warden, I’m ready to join my father.”
Rodriguez was declared dead at 6:46 pm on Tuesday evening, 22 minutes after prison officials injected him with a lethal dose of pentobarbital. Several other convicts had been executed in Texas over the years.
The convicted criminal had earlier confessed to killing 29-year-old Summer Baldwin in late 2005. Baldwin had been 10 months pregnant at the time of her slaying. Her body had been clobbered and she was stuffed naked into a suitcase found in trash.
“He’s Really Good at Killing People,” Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell
With the aid of the barcode label sewn into the luggage, detectives found the suitcase was bought just the day before at a Walmart store. Further investigations revealed that the killer made the purchase with a debit card, and the store’s surveillance camera caught Rodriguez completing the purchase.
The suitcase killer equally agreed to murdering 16-year-old Joanna Rogers who had been missing for up to one year in Lubbock. Her mummified remains were discovered in a luggage abandoned on the same garbage dump where Baldwin’s body had been found.
Rodriguez’s high school girlfriend, including four other women, stepped forward at the trials to testify that he raped them severally.
“He’s really good at killing people,” Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell, who prosecuted Rodriguez said. “Very calm, very calculated. Women were terrified of him. He used his charm and good looks and status for a long time to victimize women. In this case, the right guy is getting the appropriate punishment.”