Cold Case File: A 7-year-old Angelina County double homicide

By Holley Nees - bio | email

Photojournalist - Brad Hill | email

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) –"We heard gunshots, and about 10 minutes later, 5 minutes later, the phone rang and it was my son-in-law and he said someone had had a wreck down the road and I called 911," said Linda Mcbroom.

"He went pretty hot, running pretty fast to the call because the nature of the call was an accident with gunshots," said Angelina County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division Sgt. Bart Riley.

However, it was no accident.  Instead, it was the last place 34-year-old Andres Gonzalez and 27-year-old Ricky Lee Goodwin would be seen alive.  The reality of what had happened along Jackson Road became clear as responders arrived.

"It was pretty much immediate," said Riley.  "I mean, whenever the first officer responded there was one vehicle, and then seeing that scene it doesn't take too much too determine something more heinous has happened here than just an accident."

"It can happen anywhere, but when it happens almost at your door, you know, it makes you stop and think," said Mcbroom.

"Something about losing that child, you don't [get] over it, you don't, and it doesn't get any easier," said Ricky Lee Goodwin's Mother Linda Goodwin as she choked back tears.  "But, you never give up on them."

Investigators found evidence that the men had possibly fallen into a death trap.

"The bullet hole was in the truck," explained the former lead investigator on the case Lt. Jimmy Casper.  "You could tell where somebody had started shooting and just worked their way down."

It looked like Gonzalez had been shot several times before he could run away.  Goodwin's body was found in his pickup truck.  He had a gunshot wound to his head, killed, apparently, before he could drive off.

"When we got there, we had the truck that was in the ditch, the front end was down, the back tire was still, you could tell where they'd dug into the pavement, and Mr. Goodwin was in the truck slumped over," explained Casper.

Fifty to 60 feet behind Goodwin, Gonzales was found dead in the roadway.

"It appears that one of the subjects involved with this double homicide knew or at least wasn't scared by the other vehicle because he had actually gotten out and it appears he went to talk with him, so he had some kind of relationship with him," said Riley.

In 2002, Riley was a patrolman for the Angelina County Sheriff's Office he remembers the night he heard officers responding to what would become his first emergency call involving a murder.  He currently works in the criminal investigation division.

He has taken up the investigation where Casper left off, the only unsolved case in Casper's file as a sheriff's deputy.

"We've used every tool we have at our disposal," said Riley.  "We've subpoenaed phone records, we talked to witnesses, we've followed up on vehicles that match the description of the suspect's vehicle at the time."

Then, about a year ago they turned to the Texas Rangers for help.

"There were a number of shell casings that were found at the scene....we're just trying to check up on the people of interest to see if there's anything that they've been involved in and at this time we haven't developed anything new," explained Texas Ranger Peter Maskunas.

Except they now believe they have a motive.

"There was no motive for the case determined at the time," said Maskunas.  "We believe now that the motive was probably narcotics-related."

However, suspected motive is not enough for this family who has waited seven long years for officers to find their loved ones' killer.

"It doesn't matter how it happened, why it happened, or anything else," said Linda Goodwin.  "He was a human being and he was my baby."

For Linda Goodwin, knowing her youngest son's killer has never been found makes her angry, but she said she's done holding a grudge.

"I wish they would find who did it," said Linda Goodwin.  "I mean, I don't even hate the guy anymore, you know, he'll get his in the long run.  He's got to answer to a higher power than us."

When an unsolved case is in the back of your mind, you hope someone comes forward.

"I just want closure for the families," said Riley.  "I mean, I know how terrible that would be to lose a loved one.  Especially in a violent act such as that."

When the double homicide first happened, they did receive some phone calls, but they just need more.  Riley said since there's no statute of limitations on murder, there's still hope of solving the case.

"[It] could be someone young when it happened, could be sitting on the front porch with his grandkids one day and have a warrant for his arrest," said Riley.

The charge, Riley said will likely be capital murder.

"As I've progressed through the ranks of the sheriff's department, I've moved closer to this case and I like to kind of think of that as a microcosm," said Riley.  "Like hopefully we're moving closer toward closure in this case."

"No, there's no closure," said Linda Goodwin as she fought back tears.  "There's none.  I don't talk about it much anymore."

For now, the waiting game continues.


If you have any information on these murders, even minor details, you can call Crime Stoppers at 639-tips, Ranger Peter Maskunas at 699-7316, or contact Sgt. Bart Riley at the Angelina County Sheriff's Office.

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