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Texas town breathes sigh of relief after suspect's arrest

weimar train
Residents along the train tracks in Weimar, Texas breathed a sigh of relief after the arrest of the suspected "Railway Killer"
CNN's Tony Clark visits Weimar, Texas, a small town where people are starting to feel safe again
Windows Media 28K 80K

'Railway Killer' probe expands

Mutual trust helped Texas Ranger get his man

Criminal record of Resendez-Ramirez

July 14, 1999
Web posted at: 7:50 p.m. EDT (2350 GMT)

From CNN's Tony Clark

Weimar, Texas (CNN) -- Residents of this small Texas town gave thanks Wednesday night for the arrest of Angel Maturino Resendez, the "railway killings" suspect formerly known as Rafael Resendez-Ramirez.

Weimar residents had been living in constant fear since early May, when the Rev. Norman Sirnic and his wife were found beaten to death in their Weimar home.

Soon after, 73-year-old Josephine Konvicka was slain just miles away.

"I was scared. I was sleeping with one eye closed and one open," said Weimar resident Charlie Smith.

Allen Barta said, "Everytime the train came through, you had it on your mind that he (the railway killer) might be on that train."

28 trains a day

With trains running through the middle of town 28 times a day, concerned Weimar residents started buying guns and keeping a watch out for strangers.

The city even offered rebates on electric bills and encouraged residents to keep their outside lights on at night for security.

"We've all put new locks on our doors ... put in security systems... essentially our little town has lost its innocence," said resident Linda Rabel.

Officials hoped Wednesday's arrest would mark the first steps toward returning the community to its former self. But for many, life in Weimar changed forever last May.

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July 11, 1999
Wife of suspected serial killer brought to U.S. for FBI interview
July 7, 1999
INS blames antiquated computer for 'railway killer' foul-up
July 3, 1999
INS told about murder suspect, but freed him
July 1, 1999
INS under investigation for handling of 'railway killer' suspect
June 30, 1999

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