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Timeline: The killing of Irene Garza

By Gary Tuchman and Scott Bronstein, CNN Special Investigations Unit
updated 10:00 PM EDT, Fri May 31, 2013
On April 16, 1960 -- the day before Easter -- schoolteacher and former beauty queen Irene Garza, age 25, went to confession at her family's church in McAllen, Texas. She never came home. On Easter, her father filed a police report that his daughter was missing. Click through this gallery to see evidence and crime scenes in Garza's still unsolved death. On April 16, 1960 -- the day before Easter -- schoolteacher and former beauty queen Irene Garza, age 25, went to confession at her family's church in McAllen, Texas. She never came home. On Easter, her father filed a police report that his daughter was missing. Click through this gallery to see evidence and crime scenes in Garza's still unsolved death.
HIDE CAPTION
Beauty and the priest: Crime scene evidence
Beauty and the priest: Crime scene evidence
Disturbing clues
Her patent leather handbag
The canal
Garza's blouse
Garza's petticoat
Garza's skirt
Metallic slide photo viewer
John Feit
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
The church rectory
The crusader
Former priest Feit speaks
Prosecuter says charges wouldn't stick
'New eyes'
'I said no'
'Voice from the grave'
'I wanted justice for her'
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(CNN) -- The killing of former Texas beauty queen and schoolteacher Irene Garza has remained unsolved for more than 50 years. Investigators and the Garza family say all evidence points to a former Catholic priest named John Feit, who told CNN he did not kill Garza.

Below is a timeline of key events surrounding the case:

Garza\'s body and key evidence were found in this canal.
Garza's body and key evidence were found in this canal.

March 23, 1960: John Feit, a Roman Catholic priest, attacks Mara Guerra, a 20-year-old woman, in a church. Feit pleads no contest. He is found guilty of aggravated assault and pays a $500 fine.

April 16, 1960: McAllen, Texas, schoolteacher and former beauty queen Irene Garza, 25, visits Sacred Heart Catholic Church to offer confession on the day before Easter.

Easter Sunday, April 17, 1960: Garza's father files a police report alerting authorities about his missing daughter.

In 2002, then-Texas Ranger Lt. Rudy Jaramillo reopened the Garza case.
In 2002, then-Texas Ranger Lt. Rudy Jaramillo reopened the Garza case.

April 21, 1960: Police find Garza's body face down in a McAllen canal, along with a candelabra from Sacred Heart and a Kodak slide photograph viewer that police say belongs to Feit.

 

June 9, 1960: Feit undergoes a police lie detector test. According to the police report, "in their opinion Feit was responding in a manner that would indicate beyond doubt that he was concealing facts and had guilty knowledge."

 

Hidalgo County, Texas, district attorney Rene Guerra initially fought against bringing the case to a grand jury.
Hidalgo County, Texas, district attorney Rene Guerra initially fought against bringing the case to a grand jury.

1963: Feit is sent to a Missouri monastery for about six months where he meets then-monk DaleTacheny. Tacheny says this is when Feit admitted to him that he killed Garza.

Late 1960s: Feit leaves the priesthood.

 

2002: Feit's former friend, the Rev. Joseph O'Brien, and Tacheny come forward and reveal to authorities their stories about Feit's admissions of guilt.

2002: Police reopen the case of Garza's slaying.

2002-2004: District Attorney Rene Guerra decides against bringing the case before a grand jury.

Now living in a pleasant neighborhood in Arizona, John Feit told CNN\'s Gary Tuchman he did not kill Irene Garza.
Now living in a pleasant neighborhood in Arizona, John Feit told CNN's Gary Tuchman he did not kill Irene Garza.

2004: After pressure from Garza's family, District Attorney Guerra brings the case before a grand jury. Presentation of the case is criticized because Feit, O'Brien and Tacheny are not subpoenaed to testify. The grand jury votes not to indict Feit.

September 2005: O'Brien dies at age 77.

 

2007: Feit tells CNN's Gary Tuchman he did not kill Garza.

Sources: CNN, McAllen, Texas, Police Department, Hidalgo County District Attorney's Office

CNN's Nicole Krasavage contributed to this report.

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