Homicide survivor ‘appalled’ by killer’s demeanor in jailhouse interview
Carol Gaxiola: Like convicted killers, homicide survivors have to endure a 'life sentence' as well -- one of unanswered questions and unbearable pain.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – More than a decade after two grisly murders in the middle of the northwest Tucson desert, the killer showed little remorse in a interview and should not have the last word. At least that’s what some KGUN9 viewers thought after we aired a jailhouse interview with 30-year-old Frankie Rodriguez.
He is serving his natural life in jail for carjacking and killing two people in 2000: 23-year-old Amanda Gerber and 21-year-old Dana Hall.
One of those viewers: Carol Gaxiola, the head of Homicide Survivors Inc. as well as a homicide survivor herself, from the murder of her daughter.
Although Rodriguez declined to talk about the murders during the interview, he did mention that he hoped to get out of jail one day – in spite of his life sentence: “Go to be regular civilians, go be a square. I’ve got nothing left to do with what brought me here, you know what I’m sayin’.”
To Gaxiola, his inability to take responsibility for his actions was like a slap in the face. Two men killed her daughter years ago – and she said seeing this attitude on another murderer is repulsive.
“When someone is highlighted as arrogant and is unable to accept responsibility for their action as Mr. Rodriguez seemed to be in this interview, it’s very very hurtful,” Gaxiola said, adding that it was an insult to many homicide survivors.
“The struggle is to find something in your life that can honor that person, make their death mean something for good. And not let the hate and the darkness and the despair steal you,” Gaxiola said.
Only Rodriguez knows why he chose to kill Gerber and Hall, but Gaxiola said their families are the ones who have to continually bear the burden of trying to understand his reasons – and suffer than more than Rodriguez will ever know.
“If they have a narcissistic or sociopath personality disorder, then of course they’re not capable of empathy. That’s the definition of sociopath,” Gaxiola said.
“My hope for him is that at some point he could come to terms with what his actions have caused. I don’t hold out a lot of hope for that.”