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Crime News Breaking News

‘Suitcase Killer’ Before His Execution: 'I've Fought The Good Fight'

Rosendo Rodriguez III was convicted of killing pregnant mother Summer Baldwin and confessed to killing 16-year-old Joanna Rogers.

By Gina Tron

A man who killed two women before disposing of their bodies in suitcases was executed by lethal injection in Texas on Tuesday evening.

Rosendo Rodriguez III, 38, also known as the “suitcase killer” was convicted of the 2005 murder of 29-year-old Summer Baldwin, who was ten weeks pregnant and a mother of four. While in prison he confessed to another killing: the death of Joanna Rogers, a 16-year-old girl whom Rodriguez met in a chatroom, according to CBS News. Rogers went missing in 2004 and her mummified remains were found in 2006. The human remains of both women were found inside two separate suitcases, both of which ended up at the San Antonio city dump. Rodriguez was additionally connected to five sexual assaults, including to that of his high school girlfriend.

Before his execution, Rodriguez was asked if he had a final statement. He responded by a speaking for seven minutes, without uttering any form of apology to the family of his victims, who were watching him through a window, according to CBS News.

"The state may have my body but they never had my soul," he said before going into an anti-death penalty rant.  "I've fought the good fight, I have run the good race. Warden, I'm ready to join my father."

Less than an hour after that statement, he was pronounced dead. Rodriguez is the fourth inmate executed in Texas in 2018, according to The Associated Press.

Relatives of the victims said an apology wouldn’t have mattered at this point.

Joe Bill Rogers, father of Rogers, told CBS News that even if Rodriguez expressed remorse, it "wouldn't have made a bit of difference. He just cared about himself, just a sociopath."

Rodriguez lived with his parents when he was arrested over a decade ago on suspicion of killing Baldwin. At the time, he claimed he killed her in self-defense, according to The Associated Press. Testimony revealed that she may have still been alive when she was put into the suitcase.

"He's really good at killing people," Prosecutor Matt Powell said on Monday. "Very calm, very calculated.”

[Photo: Texas Department of Criminal Justice]

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