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The Unsolved: Jesse Garcia

          This month’s unsolved murder case comes to us out of Texas, from the so-called Golden Age of crime: the 1970’s. There isn’t a lot of information available online regarding this case, but let’s do what we can to keep Jesse’s name in the light. Was the murder a result of a confrontation at a nearby club that night, or was there something else going on in Jesse’s life that led to his untimely death? Let’s explore.

Who Was Jesse?

          I have to admit that I have next to no information regarding who Jesse was as a person before his untimely death – but I will be damned if I don’t include something here. Jesse was more than the end of his life and, just like with all cases we cover here, we need to do what we can to remember every single victim as more than the crime that happened to them. So we know Jesse was 28 at the time of his murder. He appeared to be happily married and have a decent social life. If you have any further personal details about Jesse that we could add in here to remember him by, please contact me and I will update this post.

The Murder

           On November 16, 1974, Jesse Garcia was out at a lounge called Stands near his home. As he was returning home, he was shot three times. Jesse’s wife heard the gunshots and a card door slam. She opened the front door to check on the noose and found Jesse laying on the sidewalk in front of their home, bleeding. She fled to a neighbor’s house for assistance, where the authorities were called. Emergency Medical Services arrived to attempt lifesaving measures before transporting Jesse to Baptist Hospital. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

(The only publicly available photo of Jesse.
via SAPD)

The Investigation

          There were really only two leads investigators had to follow. First, there was Jesse’s visit to Stands that night, and second was Jesse’s wife seeing a man walking swiftly away from the scene of the crime. Over the years, the investigation has not been publicized, but we do know that it has been active. Officers have reported that they have identified suspects in Jesse’s murder, but there has not been enough evidence to build a case. The San Antonio Police Department Cold Case Unit is on the case now.

Theories

          Based on what little information we have about this case, I see three possibilities for what happened here. The first theory, and perhaps the most likely, is that Jesse got into some sort of altercation before he arrived home that night. It literally could have been anything – the wrong person could take any small gesture the wrong way. Based on the timing of the outing and the fact that there is no public information regarding anyone else in Jesse’s life, this seems most likely to me. Maybe Jesse said something to someone, and that person followed him home. Hell, it could have been something as innocent as accidentally bumping into someone. If a person is unhinged with a hair trigger, anything could have set them off. Or, and this is my second theory, they mistook Jesse for someone else. They could have thought he was someone who owed them a debt, or someone involved in a rival gang, or even mistook him for someone who had slighted them in the past, and decided to follow him home and exact “justice.”
          The third theory is a bit off the wall, but I try to cover all our bases here. I can’t find any information regarding how Jesse got to and from the club that night, but if he drove, I think road rage could be a real possibility. The thing I keep getting hung up on with this case is that Jesse was shot right outside of his home – which means that his murderer either followed him there or knew his address.

Investigating Agency

          If you or anyone you know has any information regard the murder of Jesse Garcia, please contact the San Antonio Police Department Cold Case Unit at 210-207-7635. It has been over 25 years since Jesse’s murder, and nearly 5 since there has been any public movement in his case. If you know anything, speak up.

Sources

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