West Mesa Murders Website
Frontera NorteSur readers might be interested in checking out a new website dedicated to Albuquerque’s West Mesa murders, a story this publication has covered over the years. The site tells the stories of the 11 women and girls, all working-class women of color, who disappeared from Albuquerque between 2003 and 2005; their remains were accidentally discovered by passerby in a clandestine burial ground on the city’s West Side in February 2009. The murders, called by the University of New Mexico’s Dirk Gibson “the crime of the century” in New Mexico, remain unsolved to this day.
Produced by El Paso-based author and journalist Diana Washington Valdez, the website carries Washington Valdez’s 2014 series on the West Mesa crimes. Updating the status of the mass homicide investigation, which is being handled by the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), Washington Valdez quotes APD spokesperson Sgt. Tasia Martinez.
Even readers familiar with the West Mesa story will learn something from the in-depth series, as it extensively but concisely explores the stories of 11 women and girls growing up and dying young in a world of drugs, gangs, official corruption and societal indifference. On this note, Washington Valdez discusses the cases of still-missing women in Albuquerque and New Mexico.
“The importance is we have multiple murders unsolved and we have missing women,” Washington Valdez told FNS. “Authorities haven’t explained why there are so many missing women.”
According to Washington Valdez, time gaps exist between reports of disappearances at the local level and their posting on a website administered by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. “They only post what is posted by the local police departments and the sheriff’s departments,” she said.
A veteran journalist who recently retired from a lengthy career at the El Paso Times, Washington Valdez has written books and numerous articles about the disappearances and murders of women in El Paso’s city sister of Ciudad Juarez and in her own hometown, where nine women and girls were disappeared and/or murdered in a 1987 case connected to convicted serial killer David Leonard Wood.
Washington Valdez is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the International Association of Religion Journalists, and the Journalism and Women Symposium.
The author said she plans on keeping the West Mesa murders website updated as pertinent information develops. Readers can check out the new website at:
For a list of currently missing persons in New Mexico:
Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news Center for Latin American and Border Studies New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico
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