A Mother’s Fears as Gay-Bashing Killers Prepare for Parole

Jaime and Javier Aguirre, two of ten men who brutally murdered Paul Broussard outside a Houston-area nightclub in 1991, are due to be released on parole in days, and the victim’s mother says she fears for her family. She has asked authorities for current photos of the inmates.

311xinlinegalleryThe “Woodlands 10″ as the gang came to be known, murdered Broussard after being turned away from a Montrose nightclub. Said Broussard’s mother Nancy Rodriguez: “You should see the autopsy report. They just didn’t stab my son, they gutted him.”

Gay prison activist Ray Hill (there’s a profile on Hill here. Scroll down), a man the Houston Chronicle says once “agitated for the killers’ arrests and convictions”, has since become friends with them, says they have changed in prison, are not homophobic, and is lobbying against their scheduled deportation to Mexico, where they are from.

Said Hill: “What we have is a bunch of teenagers, drunk and stoned — chemicals played a major role in this — who came to Houston from The Woodlands…The whole theory of homophobic murder was a convenient way to get media attention. I created that illusion myself, but it probably was not true. … I know all of the boys, though, and none of them are homophobic.”

Probably not much comfort to a mother who lost her son. A third member of the Woodlands 10, Leandro Ramirez, is set for release in March.

Comments

  1. Anon1 says

    I was out in Houston the same night at the same time as Broussard. So were many of my friends. It could have been any one of us. They should be deported. Period.

    Screw them.

  2. Rey says

    It breaks my heart that the murder occured in 91 and they’re already getting out.

    A good friend of mine, Joel Larson, was murdered in 1991 in Minneapolis by a man named Jay Johnson. He is serving two life sentences most probably because about a month later he then killed a (gay) former state senator and was caught.

    Joel’s murder (and Senator Chenoweth’s) was included in the documentary “Licensed to Kill” and is especially tragic in that their murderer was a closeted, self-hating gay man raised in an ultra-religious family. He is now living as an openly gay man in prison.

  3. Big Dave says

    They killed a man and were found guilty in court. It’s very simple – lock them up and throw away the key. Let them rot in jail for life. Problem solved.

  4. RJP3 says

    Isnt it comforting to know that if an 18 year old stranger walks up to you … and guts you … kills you … leaves you dead bleeding on the street … they can be out partying on the streets again by the time they are 34 … fully grown thugs who have known nothing of adult life but murder and prison.

    Murder should mean life.

  5. David M says

    Who the hell is this Ray Hill?

    Drugs and alcohol may be a facilitator or catalyst, but the drugs and alcohol itself didn’t turn these men into murderers. They already had to have the potential within themselves beforehand.

    Hill says he used “homophobic murder” as an illusion?! Then why should we believe anything he has to say now? Moreover, he indicates unsureness even now whether what he called illusion was in fact real or not.

    So these men who gutted a gay man get to go free, with the help of a lobbying gay prison activist no less… disgusting.

  6. says

    I know Jaime and Javier. They are not homophobic or a danger to anyone. One of them is even gay himself. Their role in Paul’s death was periferial anyway. Try not to be about revenge. “An eye for an eye will eventually leave us all blind” Gandhi.

    Love,

    Ray

  7. says

    Mercy! This is just like my early days as a gay activist (1966). I am the only one here with a real name. I guess we have not come so far afterall. Check out my vita sheet on theprisonshow.org Match it, if you can.

  8. Damon says

    “I know Jaime and Javier. They are not homophobic or a danger to anyone.”

    Okay, Ray, perhaps they are not homophobic. But precisely how many people would someone have to kill before you’d consider him/her “a danger”?

    They murdered a man. Gay or straight is irrelevant. They ARE dangerous and have proven it.

    Or aren’t you familiar with the term “recidivism rate”?

    Deport them or lock them up. But by all means keep them from enjoying that which they’ve taken from another: life.

  9. Tread says

    @ Ray:

    It sounds to me as if you’ve developed at Capote-esque infatuation with the killers.

    It’s funny (weird) that you know one of them is gay. How would you know something like that? Have you slept with them? Regardless of their peripheral role in the murder they deserve to remain where they are because of what they’ve done. Who’s to say they aren’t putting on an act and are preparing to kill you as soon as they get out?

    This sure seems like a conflict of interest to me. I absolutely agree with the other posters that these men should be kept locked up or deported immediately to the far reaches of southern Mexico.

    @ Damon:

    Your last sentence is perfect.

  10. Anon1 says

    Wow, Ray, convicted murders who deny the tenor of the law with which they were convicted. How unusual. Then of course, we should forgive them, right? Because they are telliing the truth.

    Oh, and knowing my real name wouldn’t strengthen your argument, nor would it weaken mine.

  11. mark says

    “scheduled deportation” Well, These MURDEROUS THUGS are ILLEGAL ALIENS!!! A point that Andy seems to pass on by rather nonchalantly…

    Support closing the border, building a fence and send the Guard to secure it and maybe we can curb some of theses pigs from “Living the American Dream” which obviously includes gutting American citizens like catfish and getting to spend the next 10 years in a cushy American prison. There are only two options: Death Penalty or Deportation! (put them down or let them spend life in a Mexican Jail)

    But Wait, aren’t the libs always saying it would be “RACIST” to close the border, that we have to be kind and gentle to our poor neighbors to the south. And of course the death penalty is also off the table, as God Forbid we enforce American Laws! Libs NO BORDERS Utopia is the problem! Sanctuary cities like SF are partially to blame for this too!

    It’s amazing how democrat principles can bite you in the ass… or in this case slit your throat!

  12. Tread says

    @ Mark:

    It’s “‘democrat-IC’ principles”, moron.

    And yes, it’s not only racist, but a complete waste of time to build a wall fencing off Mexico. Should we build a wall to the north, too? Or are you apprehensive to do that because the Canadians look and speak (for the most part) like us?

    “Put them down…” Jesus, you are a cruel son of a bitch.

  13. soulbrotha says

    Ray,
    I don’t know the ins and outs of this case since as we all know meida coverage is almost always abbreviated and biased. But as intimate as you have been with the whole thing, I find it surprising that you aren’t supplying us with more facts to support your argument and possibly sway our opinion or at least give us pause.
    Forgiveness is a personal decision to be made by the mother of the victim. Not you, not me, not the judge, not society. His incarceration is the consequence of his actions. He took a life, he must pay the price. And just because you think that it is unfair/unjust, that should bear no weight in the matter unless you have proof to substantiate your view. And thus far, you have not provided any.

  14. Rey says

    Ray, I find your toying and teasing to be abhorrent with regard to this story.

    It is not up to you, as a gay man or as an activist, or as somebody who was instrumental in putting away these murderous thugs.

    How wonderfully poetic would it be for them to be deported to Mexico and turn up gutted and murdered in the Zona Rosa the next day?

    A boy can dream…

  15. mark says

    NO Tread… it “Democrat” as in the Democrat Party… not democratic which is a verb. Although i understand the words are used interchangeably in today’s society. You say tomato i say tomato… blah blah blah…

    YES, we should or could build a wall to the North, although research shows that most of the illegal CRIMINALS & MURDERERS you are so heartily defending are coming from the Southern border…BTW: It’s technically called “Human Trafficking” You blindly support “illegal immigration” but are two ill-informed to realize that by doing so, you keep MS-13 and countless cartels in business smuggling drugs/women/ and “workers” across the border.

    And YES, PUT THEM DOWN! you are sooo blinded by your liberal agenda you don’t see past your own hypocrisy! You can’t see past the fact that you are DEFENDING A MURDERER!!! just because you perceive me to be a threat because God forbid i am more conservative then you…

    The Truth is Paul Broussard would still be alive today if our Immigration laws had been properly enforced!

    You can’t have it both ways Tread… decisions have to be made and lines have to be drawn… Continued to support your liberal “no borders/multi-cultural world view” and things like this will continue to happen!

    IT MAY BE CRUEL…BUT IT’S THE TRUTH!

  16. says

    I came out at age 18 in 1959, in rural Texas. Most of you on this group were not even born then. I have remained out since and have seen how the world thought about queers then and see how we are considered today. I did not do the work of that change all by myself but I was in the rooms where that change was discussed and planned. If you take the time to read my vita sheet, you will see I did my part. I have had seven wonderful men in my life: four died of AIDS and two were murdered (It is all there in the vita sheet) I have lost hundreds of friends to AIDS and have known scores of gay men, lesbians and transgender friends who were murdered. When I lived in New Orleans in the early 1960’s several of us set a little money aside each pay day to help bury someone we knew who was killed or committed suicide.
    When the Houston Police detectives told me the Paul Broussard case would not be solved and the assailants never identified, I had heard that too many times to accept it so I proved HPD wrong by taking matters into my own hands and hunting those responsible down and seeing them prosecuted. In Houston there is no question about how this case was solved. If you are responsible for sending 17 year old boys to prison for much of their lives, you have the further responsibility to get to know them and help them in their rehabilitation. I did that and make no apologies for that. I have always had the hope that glbt people when we secure our equality could contribute to a better world by healing the hate and prejudice we found here as outsiders of the mainstream. I guess none of you understand the pain I feel to hear hate, revenge, bitterness and an unforgiving nature in the posts above. Maybe there is no hope of a better world after all and I have spent the last 40 years struggling toward an impossible dream. Must life always be so ugly? is there no reason to hope?
    Love,
    Ray

  17. Rey says

    Sorry, Ray – although I appreciate your strength in being an out and proud gay man for many many years, you don’t get a pass on this.

    Perhaps you are simply haunted by the role you played in getting these men convicted, but you cannot condemn anybody here who does not want to see CONVICTED MURDERERS released after several short years. (Could the fact that their victim was gay have played into the relatively short sentence for MURDER? Do you not see injustice here?)

    I too have had more than my share of lost friends due to murder, AIDS, or other factors loosely tied to their being gay and how our society accepts (or does not) homosexuality and I refuse to lighten up. I refuse to not remain angry and I refuse to let somebody who has a few years on me try to shame or guilt me into accepting his “vision” solely because he says I should.

    Perhaps you’ve gone soft. I’ve been there. There have been many times where I’ve just wanted to give up as an activist, or simply as a caring person. But when one strikes down one of my gay or lesbian brothers or sisters, I will not EVER back down. Call it revenge if you will, however I know that it is much richer than that. It is about justice and it is about shouting from the rooftops, “No, you cannot kill us. You cannot get rid of us. Try as you might, we will always be here and we will always be queer. So get fuc

  18. Tread says

    @ Mark:

    It’s the “Democratic Party”. Blinded by my liberal agenda? Defending a murderer? How, by advocating that he stay in prison to not cause more damage? Typing your statements in all caps to make your point? You must be a Little Green Snotball or Freeper. You seriously need to get on some meds for your paranoia and stop hijacking this post.

    @ Rey:

    I don’t think it has anything to do with his “going soft”. I truly believe he has developed an infatuation with these killers, ala, Truman Capote.

    @ Ray:

    Like someone said above, it is not your job to dole out forgiveness for these cretins. You do not get to forgive them and everything will be okay. Broussard’s mother is absolutely fearful that these men will come after her. They deserve to stay where they are so they can’t go out into the world and do more damage.

    And what does it say of your convictions that you turn your back on the brutal murder of Broussard and claim these men are “not homophobic or danger to anyone”? They’ve already proved they are.

  19. mark says

    Yes TREAD! You are blinded by your Liberal Agenda! Notice you make no comments about the actual context of my comments, but rather just throw ad hominem attacks at me…that’s because: THE TRUTH HURTS!

    Enforcement of our immigration laws, Respect for nations’ sovereignty and rule of law is the only things that could have saved Paul Broussard. But you’d rather call me names then address the real issue. And that is because you see the transparencies in your own argument and your poor little “world view” in crumbling around you… NO THREAD, WE CAN’T ALL JUST GET ALONG! The world doesn’t work that way… never has, never will! Close the border! Enforce Immigration!

  20. Rey says

    What bollocks.

    As if murderers are only born in Mexico…

    Anti-immigrant laws may have helped in _this_ case, but to try to use something like this to support a reactionary mean-spirited agenda is just idiotic.

  21. anon2 says

    Sorry, “Mark,” Broussard’s death was caused by a knife wound from a young white man from Houston, a U.S. citizen. Your fence wouldn’t have prevented it.

  22. Damon2 says

    Mark

    Although I agree with expelling illegal immigrants and enforcing tougher illegal immigrant laws, I’m not orthodox enough to miss your own ad hominem attacks. Your under the impression that it’s a liberal ideology that keeps a person from agreeing with you. Have you not read anything from the Libertarians and Objectivists. Their even more passionately pro-open borders.

  23. Jeff says

    The mother should be able to find a pistol anywhere in Houston and be waiting for these two thugs upon their release from prison and shoot them in the legs and arms. Wait thirty minutes while they suffer and then shoot the bastards between the eyes.

    Hasta La Vista.

  24. Tread says

    @ Mark

    Ad hominem?

    They should make a new saying:

    “The last refuge of a scoundrel is to claim ‘ad hominem’.”

    Seriously, your post has little to do with this topic, and your xenophobic, oh-my-god-the-Mexicans-will-eat-me paranoia would be too amusing, if it wasn’t so disgusting.

    I never claimed to want us to “all get along” either, but I see you’re trying to force that stereotypical all-liberals-must-say-it bullshit on me. Honestly, I’d like to see nothing more than someone hit you over the head with a club to put me out of my misery.

    Do us all a favor and drink a nice healthy glass of “shut the hell up” unless you plan on posting about the actual topic.

  25. mark says

    Damon-How can calling someone out on their “liberal agenda” be an ad hominem attack? Libs are proud of their liberal agenda. I am only pointing it out and the consequences of it.

    AND alas the pathetic Tread has know argument…and has to actually threaten me with violence, which is not the first on this site. You libs think your sooooo OPEN MINDED, till someone doesn’t march in lock step with all your crazy ideologies and watch out, it’s time to club them over the head!

    Hypocrites!

  26. Jeff says

    Ray,
    You write such schlock and then follow it with Love? I am not buying it. I call bologna.

    You’ve lost your mind. Honestly.

    While you want to protect these two horrible people, I want to make sure they suffer. Am I an asshole? Maybe.

    My best friend of 30 years was killed by a drunk driver and although I don’t harbor anger towards the killer (let’s call it like it is…killer), I don’t want to protect him or help him have a better life.

    I don’t understand your intentions and honestly think that they are a bit odd.

    But get real…life in the clink is gonna suck and although it might “change you”, they are still killers.

    Love, (in true Ray style)

    Jeff.

  27. Damon2 says

    To Mark

    Because you are moving the argument away from the actual situation and facts and to ideological pushing, name calling. In your posts, you do nothing but assume that your opponents are liberals without an inch of evidence. As I’ve told you, Libertarians, Objectivists, and even some Conservatives support open borders.

    Your merely using this situation to push your own agenda. There wasn’t even talk of open borders on this thread until you peddled in.

    The issue at hand is whether its lawful/moral for these men to be walking right now, not bullshit about open/closed borders and liberalism VS conservativism along with slapping labels on people who oppose your hijacking. You’ve hijacked a thread and there’s a label for you; troll. This is my last post to you and hopefully everyone will have a mind to ignore you also.

    To Ray Hill

    Lets not pull a Mark and throw attention away from the issue right in front of us. Whether you have your actual name posted or whatever the hell Ghandi said is of no relavance. To punish someone for wrongdoing or a crime is revenge, it’s justice. Mahatma Ghandi’s quote falls short taking in consideration his racist leanings and other contradictory failings.

  28. mark says

    Paul was killed by illegals!!! How is that off topic… you my friend can’t handle the truth of the situation when you are called out on your own shit. You support open borders, even if it means that some Americans will be murdered by some of the illegals that cross them, those consequences are OK with you, but don’t try to flower around “your truth.” It’s your hypocriscy, not mine!

    IGNORE AWAY!

  29. David says

    Oh, so true! There were illegals amongst those that attacked Paul. The fact is that thier mother, from Mexico, was married to an American. She travelled back to Mexico and was at her mothers when she gave birth. Jaime and Javier made thier entry into the U.S. in swaddling clothes, to rejoin their father… mere infants, and for reasons beyond my imagination, proper paperwork was never completed. And though it is true that they do speak Spanish, that did not come about until they learned it… in prison. Having been raised in a rather affluent part of Houston, entering prison as teens, they are facing deportation to a country of which their only knowledge comes from what their mother has told them and perhaps a vacation or two.

  30. says

    David, I don’t think we will accomplish much in this flame war. Revenge thinking has built a tolerance for hate and violence that it is all about ego and getting even. I have seen this happen to groups before. They spend their time barking at ideas that pass on their CRTs from the Internet. Those are bad habits that will not go away. None of the posters have participated in an investigation abandoned by the police; none of them have carried bed pans for people with AIDS; none of them have contributed in any meaningful way to glbt equality; they just sit and bark and feel important about being better that everyone else. They do not really have lives, just things to bitch about. Pity!
    Love,
    Ray

  31. soulbrotha says

    @ David
    Finally! Thank you for providing what Mr. Hill himself could/would not. Information that will inspire thought.

    @ray

    Mr. Hill, since you started posting you have done nothing but boast about yourself, belittle and criticize everyone else and spout off pseudo-Ghandi beseechments for tolerance which were dripping with smugness and self-importance. You have provided very little information to help us understand more about this case and your positions on it. Instead you stand on your laurels and accomplishments and look down on those who disagree with you as brainless savages.

    You have shed more light on your character than you have on this case and it’s uglier than the crime itself.
    Good day, sir.

  32. says

    Everything one does or thinks is in the context of who one is and one’s experiences. I am an old man who has seen the dangerous journey from brutal racism, sexism, homphobia, ethnic and class prejudice to hopefully a better place in history. I have helped bury hundreds of innocent, loving people because of violence, hate and ignorance. I have survived the AIDS pandemic but have lost so many friends and companions who did not. I have inherited the need to organize and struggle from my labor organizing parents. My vita sheet speeks for itself but somehow because I do not agree with continueing the cycle of revenge I am somehow arrogant? Perhaps I am more ignorant than I claim to be but I do not think that MLK, Malcom X, Gandhi, Soul Alensky and my other mentors are irrelevant and I do not think perpetual revenge accomplishes any worthy objective.
    Love,
    Ray

  33. Ray Hill says

    There is more hate/self hate and homophobia on this group that there is in a Texas KKK meeting. Why anyone would think that gay people are only motivated by their sexual desires and fantasies has to be a function of self loathing, if those who express it are themselves gay. I would not tolerate straight people saying that sort of thing in my hearing without speaking up about the hateful indications. I repeat, “This group is so driven by hate and revenge that most of those who post here tolerate a level of hate and violence unacceptable in responsible society.” Can you not see what you have become?
    Love,
    Ray

  34. Damon says

    So, Ray, I’m very curious. What do you think is the value of a human life? Or, more precisely, what should be required of someone who takes a life? If I understand your position on this, if a person feels very, very sorry for having committed a murder then he/she should be forgiven. And you think automatic forgiveness will beget more peace? You honestly–in your heart of hearts–think that people should not be punished harshly for murder? Your stance seems nothing short of promoting anarchy. Let’s lose the legal system and just forgive criminals. And what happens next, my friend?

  35. says

    The LOGO Advocate News piece was seen all over the country and I have received response from everywhere. Many people had questions but only on this group was the reactionary comments one reads above.
    In Houston in 1991, the glbt community was used to the police ignoring anti-gay violence and not really investigating cases or indetifying those who committed crimes in which we were victims. When I stepped forward and asserted we were not going to put up with that prejudicial treatment anymore, the community rallied behind me and the effort. In a few weeks we had identified the assailants and had them locked up. That was only the beginning. We then had to make sure the case would be prosecuted agressively. I was able to use my influence on the prosecutors and judge by continueing the media pressure to assure that. I was able to set the rules: everyone who touched Paul Brussard except the informant who gave us the names of the others would go to prison. Those along for the ride and the informant would get probation. Two of those with probation including the informant would violate and go to prison. All of this is in the LOGO piece and I encourage you to watch it.
    From that point, My role as an advocate for inmates and their families kicked in. I had been significantly responsible for sending seven 17 year old boys to prison for what I thought was and labled as hate crimes. If I did nothing else, there would be no end to it. Seven young men of impressionable age would be sent into a society where prejudice is rewarded. Racism, sexism, homphobia are characteristics of prison culture. We would be sending mad dogs into the institution and we would be getting rattlesnakes back. I felt that someone had to get to know these guys and introduce them to gay people in an effort to address their prejudice. Since I was well known and respected in Texas prison populations as an openly gay man who advocated for inmates and inmate families, I was obviously the person to do that.
    What I learned was the of the 10, four were gay and known to be gay by the others on the night of the assault. That was confusing but what is: is and I had to deal with that. Fifteen years later I know all those who went to prison, their families and friends.
    Your questions presumme that my decisions are based on some sort of broad principle of ignoring crime and violent danger. None of that had any effect on my thinking. I am the guy who wanted to identify and prosecute these guys in the first place. My thinking is about what is best for the safety of my community and the lives of people I now know well. In the thread above everyone seems to be expressing his opinion on that broad ideological stuff but that is not the way I look at things. I am a Democrat who always has the endorsement of the local Libertarian party in general elections and the votes of gay Republicans and support of anarchists. At age 18, I was secetary of Houston NAACP (think about how racist Houston was in 1958) and came out of the closet to my family and at highschool the same year.
    How I got to be the enemy on this group is still confusing to me.
    Love,
    Ray

  36. Rey says

    Psst, Ray…it could be your “holier than thou/more activist than thou/older and wiser than thou/more worldly than thou” schtick.

    Some gay men – especially older ones – seem to think that’s the only way they can get their point or opinion across. It actually works against you so if you’re at all concerned with polishing your message, that would be the place to start.

    And on another note, Mark the “Lib” Hater is a jackass. The only person I know who spits the word “lib” as if it were a pubic hair on his tongue is my racist, homophobic uncle who would like to rid the world of Mexicans AND fags. You seem to be in odd company, toots.

  37. bobby winn says

    I truly hope that Ray Hill is right. I would like to think that these young men knowing Ray throughout their years in prison will do something positive in/and for the gay community when they are released, because for sure they are going to be released it appears.

  38. soulbrotha says

    “My thinking is about what is best for the safety of my community and the lives of people I now know well”.

    Which community do you refer to as “my community”? Gay community? Prison community? Woodlands community? Community of your fans?
    If it is the gay community, how does fighting against the deportation of murderers protect them exactly? Wouldn’t their release back into the gay community (after all they are famous gay men now) possibly cause fear/agitation/anger in that community, with a possible attempt at retaliation?
    If it is the Woodlands community then what about Nancy Rodriguez who is also a part of that community? Have you spent equal time getting to know her and her family as well as you have gotten to know the Aguirre’s friends and family? If not then you could not possibly be thinking of the safety of the Woodlands community because this crime involves TWO families, therefore she must also be considered. Or may this IS about your community of fans, which would include the prison community.
    And finally there is the elephant, or rather coffin, in the middle of the living room. Paul Broussard. I’m sure he was a lovely boy too. But should that be disregarded because of his killers’ “repentance” and because you feel they should not be deported? There is a consequence to every action and these guys being deported is not an issue of unfairness or unforgiveness. It is consequence. And just like Nancy Rodriguez has to deal with the consequence of a dead son, so must they deal with the consequence of deportation. And if these criminals have truly become remorseful MEN, they will understand that and accept their fate.

  39. says

    Soulbrotha,
    As far as I know Nancy Rodriguez has never been to The Woodlands and I am rarely there. The only “community” defined as such in your list is the glbt community. The Agurre brothers were sentenced to 15 years which they served day for day and must be released. I have gay lawyers and political officials working to stop their deportation not because I can afford them but because they understand justice is best served by allowing the brothers to stay here. There is no serious opposition in Houston to my position but then it is no surprise here because the subject has been discussed for years. This case involves 11 families (one of Paul and one each of those charged with the offense) As discussed above this has become a national story and only on this group is there so much revenge and hatred. Can someone explain that?
    Love,
    Ray

  40. says

    “It could have been any one of us. They should be deported. Period. Screw them.”
    -Anon1 | Jan 5, 2007

    >>>When I first saw the Advocate News Special on the Logo Network, this was one of the first thoughts within my head. I began thinking: “If it has happened to Paul, it can also happen to me, and since I am still a minor(17) I am only in greater risk of being harmed by any random hateful, ignorant person.” From thinking this, and from hearing the story about what was done to Paul, I became concerned and I will confess that I did feel rage, just as any human being does, at the fact that these kinds of persecutions exist at all, and rage at the police for initially not having cared to do much about it.

    I thank Ray Hill for his determination to seek justice for the crime and for his devotion in finding all those participants involved in the attack on Paul.

    But this was not the end of the Advocate News Special…

    Immediately after, the report showed how each of the culprits recieved their prison sentences and I listened intently to the position presented by Ray Hill that those that are convicted, even for murder, also have a democratic right to be heard, defended, and a chance to mend their own character.

    I accept that murder is a one-way street. Once it is done, there is no sugar-coating or evading it. As a rational being, it is one’s duty to accept the full severity of the consequences of that action and must duly take responsibility in confronting it respectfully and with integrity to ammend whatever is possible.

    But the question here is, WHO HAS A RIGHT TO JUDGE? Does the government have a right to say that a drug-induced 18-year-old boy should be put to death or be given a life sentence for murder? If we are so set against people murdering one another, what gives us any right to murder as a form of justice?

    Now I realize that the longest prison sentence was that given to Jon Buice, of 45 years, but 45 years is also the same action of robbing an individual of their life. I wouldn’t have any problem with a person being sent to 45 years in prison, if they refused to accept for what they did, refused to apologize, and swore never to change, but THIS IS NOT THE CASE with the culprits of Paul’s murder.

    Jon Buice himself wrote a profoundly respectful letter to Paul’s family apologizing for all the horrendous pain that he caused them. Of course, this letter doesn’t fix anything, but AT LEAST JON HAD THE INTEGRITY OF FACING HIS OWN ACTION AND TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT!!! He pays for that action with every single day of his life and he has already been in prison for more than 10 years. Why don’t you stop and think what 10 years of your life means to you! Now add the immeasurable guilt of murder to every waking second of your existence and you will only have a slight glimpse of what Jon and the others have been paying for.

    Though I do not personally know Ray Hill, I respect him and all of his actions profoundly because he has always stood by his judgments and his ideals to do what is RIGHT. All you people say, “Who is Ray Hill to forgive this murderer that took nothing from him?” But the truth is that when a murder is committed, IT AFFECTS ALL OF US. Murder is a crime against mankind and thus, we are all forced to cope with the effects and the after math. My idol, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel once said, “We must take sides. Sometimes we must interfere. WHEREVER MEN AND WOMEN ARE BEING PERSECUTED, THAT PLACE MUST, AT THAT INSTANT, BECOME THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.”

    This whole trial became the center of my universe the instant when I saw the news broadcast by the Logo Network. Upon watrching it, I impulsively ran to my computer and wrote an email to Ray Hill, which I wish all of you had an opportunity of reading. I told Ray many of the same things I have told you here today:

    I told him that as a 17-year-old homosexual, I understand the fear of having my own life taken away against my will, and that anyone who commits such intolerable cruelties must be forced to face the reality of that action.

    I said that I know, for my age, my opinion may not mean much to most people, but as a rational being, I find it my duty to speak out and also assert my own beliefs and my ideals.

    I was raped at the age of seven by a man more than twice my age, and I have spent the past five years wishing I could only speak to him again in person. I, like any other victim of hate, would simply like to be certain that he remembers… and that he never forget how devastatingly he has altered my life. I do not want this man dead, nor do I want him arrested, beaten, or molested. Justice, as has been said many times, is not about “An eye for an eye”, it is about realizing that as human beings we are all intrinsically flawed in some manner. Every single one of us is only a single action away from being the most vile and contemptible person on the planet. It only takes a single hand motion to kill, a single act to rob a child of their innocence, A SINGLE WORD to break somebody’s heart.

    By responding with hate, we can only produce even more hate.

    I understand those of you on here that have been lashing out here ignorantly out of your struggles to try to understand and try to cope with the reality of this destruction we see all around us. You have every right to be angry, and to curse, and to desire revenge, but rationally, as well as morally, we must compell ourselves to be the better person and approach this situation in an objective manner. Paul’s life is gone. Many more will be taken away in the future. Our job is, not to kill off or hide those that have made mistakes and that have betrayed us, but rather to make them find a way back to righteousness in order for all of us to coexist within this world, or at least just this nation.

    I have done my part. I have sent off my own letters to Ray Hill and to Jon Buice himself in his cell. I refuse to be ignorant of reality, and refure to be another person who becomes indifferent to what these culprits have or wish to say for themselves. If they will speak, I will listen. It is the only right thing for any of us to do.


    “I know Jaime and Javier. They are not homophobic or a danger to anyone.”

    Okay, Ray, perhaps they are not homophobic. But precisely how many people would someone have to kill before you’d consider him/her “a danger”?

    They murdered a man. Gay or straight is irrelevant. They ARE dangerous and have proven it.”
    Posted by: Damon | Jan 5, 2007

    >>>Damon, the fact that these individuals were dangerous on a single night of their lives, when they were drunk and high on drugs, in no way means that they are perpetually “dangerous”. Yes, they made stupid choices, and perhaps they weren’t raised by the proper ideals, but the fact that they grossly miscalculated what they were capable of doing to an individual, does not suddenly make them serial killers. All of these men have faced their crime and are eternally ashamed of their fault.
    To tell the truth, THEY seem less dangerous to me now than YOU do as of now. About them, I know that they have spent nearly 14-15 years analyzing and repenting what happened that night, and seeking to renew their way of being. I’m certain that they have learned their lesson about the effect of alcohol and drugs, and have changed many if not all of their hateful perspectives towards minorities. You, on the other hand, I know absolutely nothing about. All I know about you is that you believe if a person screws up once, they must walk around with a Scarlet Letter on for the rest of their lives. You believe that the answer for violence is simply to either eliminate (deport) or hide and silence (lock-up) those responsible to move on ignorantly and be done with it, but if we were to follow that doctrine now only would our country probably lose more than half its population in the first decade, but it would have more prisons than tourist attractions.

    Now, I am not here to defend the culprits who are also illegal immigrants. My belief is that if you come to this country, whether it be legally or out of some vital urgency, one enters exclusively on the terms of Jean Jacques Rousseau’s “Social Contract” which states that one may participate as a component of the collective, or the state, so long as one follows said establishment’s regulations and respects its standards. Rightfully, if you legally entered a country and abbetted in the murder of an indivdidual, you fully deserve to be deported, but at least I am glad that this deportation is going to be done years after the individuals faced their full trial under a court of law.

    “@ Ray:

    It sounds to me as if you’ve developed at Capote-esque infatuation with the killers.

    It’s funny (weird) that you know one of them is gay. How would you know something like that? Have you slept with them? Regardless of their peripheral role in the murder they deserve to remain where they are because of what they’ve done. Who’s to say they aren’t putting on an act and are preparing to kill you as soon as they get out?”
    Posted by: Tread | Jan 5, 2007

    >>> This is the most IGNORANT and BIASED post (I think) within this entire thread. The fact that you suggested some of these things at all shows only how immature and unintellegent you are.

    “The Truth is Paul Broussard would still be alive today if our Immigration laws had been properly enforced!”
    Posted by: mark | Jan 5, 2007

    >>>That is only “Butterfly Effect Theory”. You might as well say that the Holocaust only occured because Hitler was denied entrance to a Jewish Institute of Fine Arts after high school.

    “So, Ray, I’m very curious. What do you think is the value of a human life? Or, more precisely, what should be required of someone who takes a life? If I understand your position on this, if a person feels very, very sorry for having committed a murder then he/she should be forgiven. And you think automatic forgiveness will beget more peace?”
    Posted by: Damon | Jan 6, 2007 9:35:09 PM

    >>>Damon,

    Ray can feel free to answer this question himself if he wishes to, but I’d like to give you my own answers to those questions, with which I know Ray generally agrees:

    “What is the value of a human life and what is required of one who takes life?”

    -Life is ULTIMATE value; it is the most precious thing that we possess and every facet of our existence revolves around the perseverence of this value through selfish, rational means, as is taught by Objectivist Philosophy.
    Of the person who takes life, Justice is required, it the manner that I have already mentioned previously:
    1.Each individual deserves a trial, 2. A judge/jury, and 3. a DEFENSE.
    Each individual has every right to present their perspective of the situation and has a right to defend the FACTS of the matter.
    As for punishment: the punishment rests essentially upon the individual who must claim full responsibility for his action. If the individual refuses to take this responsibility or accept the rightful consequences of his action, then, and ONLY THEN can the State determine the appropriate course of action, whether it be a prison sentence, volunteer service, a fine… etc.
    Each of us, as rational beings, have a conscience, and the cognitive tools necessary to recognize what is wrong from what is right. If we committed an unjust act, we know the full extent of how we must pay for it, but neither YOU nor ANY OFFICER can tell ME when MY punishment is over. If I punch my sister in the eye, I may choose to lock myself up in my room after apologizing, or I may commit suicide from the guilt of my action. The point is that one alone must pay one’s dues, in an honorable fashion, or otherwise submit to the terms and imposed whims of others. Jon Buice has accepted the full severity of his action and thus, must solely seek to vindicate that fault.

    It isn’t about “automatic forgiveness”. It is about giving people a chance to speak forthemselves and at least having the personal decency of listening and considering their apologies. It is not our responsibility to forgive. It is our responsibility to always pay attention.

    I respect Ray Hill for stating:

    “This case involves 11 families (one of Paul and one each of those charged with the offense).”
    Posted by: Ray Hill | Jan 7, 2007

    …because at least HE can see the full picture of how this situation has affected society.

    Sincerely,
    -Juan

  41. soulbrotha says

    @ Ray
    “As far as I know Nancy Rodriguez has never been to The Woodlands and I am rarely there.”

    I mistook the name of the club (The Woodlands) to be the name of the city in which the crime took place (which I now understand to be Montrose). Of course Nancy Rodriguez wouldn’t be in the “Woodlands community”. Why couldn’t you just correct me instead of being smug? Can YOU explain THAT?
    I have been seriously trying to understand this case and your reasoning on it, with little help from you. Not once I have I indicated hatred or revenge, so please do not lump me into that category.
    You say you have gay lawyers and politicians working for your cause. OK what is THEIR reasoning?
    I am under the impression that laws regarding illegal immigration is that since it is ILLEGAL (i.e. against the law) that it must be corrected legally, whether it is heartbreaking for the families or not. People are deported every day and even more so since 9-11. And they have committed no crimes other than being here illegally. And yes I know that the U.S. uses them for cheap labor, but that is a risk that those who sneak in are willing to take. And yes, the laws need to be reviewed and revised. But they are STILL illegal. So how do your lawyers justify an illegal immigrant who also commited murder, to STAY in the country when those with NO criminal history cannot?
    Yes there are 11 families involved, so does the grief of the 10 outweigh/overrule the grief of the 1?
    What facts (not emotions or beliefs) of this case am I missing?

  42. says

    SOULBROTHA,
    The Woodlands is the suburb of Houston where the assailants lived and went to school. The club where Paul had been was Heaven. Nancy was and is still living in Georga. Again this story just thrust on to this group but in Houston, we have been discussing this case and those involved for the last 15 years. Local, gay, immigration attorneys have been preparing for the release problems of the Aguirre brothers for years and local and national politicians friendly to gay causes have been expecting my call for help for years. Crime, any crime, effects all parties. It is not just the victim and the perpetrator but all the families suffer loss and hardship. In a world where it is all about revenge that could be missed but in a more compashionate world it is obvious.
    I make no apologies for searching out the assailants and bringing them to justice nor do I make any apologies for supporting their release now. I guess to understand that one would have had to experience it as I did but I hope none of you ever have to do that.
    Love,
    Ray

  43. Lethe Glenbrooke says

    This is a very challenging topic, as well as an interesting one to read, but I would like to make a few comments upon what I have seen thus far:

    I believe that any public discussion of a delicate topic should be handled with decorum and, above all, respect for other people’s opinions. You cannot change their views by insulting them, and should not do so; I have been apalled by the lack of control and basic politeness exhibited here. I cannot preach to those I do not know, but I will say that if one does not act maturely, they should not participate in a serious discussion.

    I also believe that, contrary to the title of the article above, law should operate upon justice, and not revenge. Many people would agitate for the judgment of a crime to be handed down by those who the crime affected -but no matter what your brand of politics, a democracy is a democracy, and we cannot function if we cannot see the letter as well as the spirit of the law. Revenge cannot fix the past, nor should we listen to those who wish to operate upon such a principle.

    Juan, I admire you greatly for taking the time to analyze the issue as you have; and Ray, I will thank you for taking the time to provide a more informed perspective on the events that surrounded the crime, as no other person here could claim to be qualified to do. One shouldn’t shoot the messenger for their information, nor for their past actions. The fact is that this is a crime that took place over fifteen years ago, and I would wager that very few people here took notice of it then, if they were old enough to do so.

    To close, I would say that if one wishes to debate a different topic, then it should be discussed in a forum in another place. Is this not supposed to be a discussion of the article, and not a mud-slinging bonanza ?

    -Lethe

  44. Nijushi says

    Human life is our ultimate treasure. To deny it of anyone–and I do agree that to imprison someone for life is like taking it away from them–is wrong. Especially when the party that was guilty observes and accepts their wrongs. Or even to deport them because of one mistake, seems irrational.

    And let us view the ultimate question here: do we want humans to waste away, or do we want to reform them?

    A reformed man is a stronger man, and a more valuable one; he has the ability to reform others, as well.

    And to discount the emotional appeal of the guilty party is to strip away their own humanity–would you want someone to do the same to you? Not care for your mental well-being? Wish you to rot in a dungeon because other people were to hasty to listen to you?

    Remember: every man has the ability to sense or realize their wrongs; and when that guilt is shed, they are more than likely to reform themselves.

  45. says

    “And to discount the emotional appeal of the guilty party is to strip away their own humanity”

    Nijushi:

    It isn’t even a matter of “pathos”, but rather the objective reality that an individual reserves a right to his own defense and to present his own side of the story; as well as to do everything one can to vindicate that action. Locking a person up hardly achieves this at all.

    -J.

  46. jose says

    Has anyone ever heard of the game where a group of people get in a circle. One person starts by telling the person next to them a message. Then that person tells the message to the next person. This goes on until the message reaches the person who started the message.Guess what happens to the message when it reaches back to the person who sent it? It’s get completely changed to the point where it almost does even compare to the original message.
    That is exactly what happened with this case from the beginning. Everything you have ever heard of this case is missapply facts and bits of misinformation passed on as if it were fact.I case your wondering, I have inside information on this case from begginning to end.I see as people write their reviews, they only go by what they read, whether true or false.Please know all the real facts before you make an opinion. For everyone who wrote a negitive opinion, I’m sure your the type who would say once someone has been executed and DNA shows them later to be innocent, “It’s good they killed them anyway,forget DNA”
    FYI: the to Aguirre brother were legal residents of the US, but not citizens. Under US law, if you are convicted of a felony, you can be deported. Thats the case here. So don’t hate on the immigrants.
    By the way, I can’t believe the hate I’m reading on these comments. Some have the “Kill them all and let God sort them out” idea. Thats worst than the hate of the described in the case.Can anyone say hypocrite.

  47. flcracker says

    I do find it interesting that the man partially responsible for getting these young men convicted is helping to get them released. You are certainly a much kinder person than me Ray. I am gay and I don’t believe in hate crime laws what so ever. The fact is one of these guys gutted a fellow human and the others either particpated or allowed it to happen through their cowardice and inaction. The fact the victim is gay should not matter at all. There lucky they get to live the rest of their lives. They absolutley should rot in Jail. If Mr. Brousard was my brother you can be sure these ten men would not have a long life after being released, they would just disappear one day.

    JBB

  48. jon jones says

    I have some questions for Ray Hill. You say that fifteen years later, you have gotten to know the families and friends of the assailants and they are not homophobic, these boys who killed Paul Broussard. Have you spoken at all with Nancy Rodriguez? Did you talk with her about your actions?

    It seems to me that when someone goes to prison, no matter what kind of a crime they have committed, you default into prison advocacy.

    Tell me something Ray, would you have advocated prison rights to Nancy Rodriguez, just after she saw her child, whose testicles were beaten to smithereens by these killers?

  49. david george craig says

    well, i must say, ray hill is nuts!i knew him in 1976 when i lived in houston around the time the”candy man serial murder)…i later moved to san francisco, and on castro street i met senator john craig chenoweth, a dashing loving person that cared about people..i must say it was love at first sight..we loved each other so much..i was 23, ill remember him until i die..the world can be cold..and times complicated..im wanting to fall in love, but how…this is the first time ive tried to find out about this mans murder, today! i saw it mentioned on another site…the last time i saw john alive was in 1989. i was finishing my degree

  50. david george craig says

    about seeing john craig chenoweth alive for the last time, i was completing my interior architecture degree at the university of oklahoma..john flew in from minneapolis to be there with me in may, 1989…he was sooner or later was going to join me in san francisco, to be away from the stigma of being positive…it never happened..so difficult it is now, i found myself almost throwing the picture i have of john and myself away..my dad took the photo…i never

  51. david george craig says

    johns picture with me, in norman 1989, was actually, the only thing i have to remember..but a nightmare..2 months after john’ death, my mother died, 6 months later my sister died, 10 months later my dad died, 8 months later i was in the bombing at the murrah building, how can i do it, i think of john’s beautiful white skin, his hands, his lips..his wonderful mind and humor! i’ll never love again..well maybe..

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