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December 23rd, 2005

Christmas 1996


I edited out the body in this photograph, but Estaban Martinez was laying in front of the Christmas tree to the right. On December 15, 1996, Linda Leon, 23 years old, and Estaban Martinez, 29 years old, were tortured then shot in the head while their three children listened from the next room.

This case was cleared by Det. Wendell Stradford and was one of the cases I covered in the book. Not that it’s any less horrible to be killed any other month, but I do wonder about their children, and if they have ever had a happy Christmas since. The oldest was 6, so perhaps it’s possible that the memories have faded enough for them to enjoy Christmas once again.

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