Lubbock’s suitcase murderer

In 2005, a city of Lubbock solid waste worker discovered a suitcase containing the body of a young woman. This morbid find sent Lubbock detectives on a case compounded by the mystery of the victim’s identity. Through fingerprint records, they identified the young woman as Summer Baldwin. An autopsy showed that she had been pregnant at the time of her murder. Impressive detective work led detectives to Texas Tech student and Marine reservist Resendo Rodriguez.

After Rodriguez was in custody, investigators delved into Rodriguez’s laptop, and found that he had been chatting online with a 16-year-old girl named Joanna Rogers. Rogers had been found dead in a trash dumpster shortly after their chats online had taken place. Coincidence? Oh no. Rodriguez confessed to Rogers’ murder in exchange for having the death penalty waived for Baldwin’s murder (he backed out of this deal at the last second). Rodriguez did receive the death penalty after all, but unfortunately, we can only kill him once.

Joanna’s parents, Joe Bill and Kathy Rogers, plan to attend Rodriguez’ execution.

Rodriguez’ father, attorney Rosendo Rodriguez II, died in 2011 of a “sudden illness” (probably embarrassment). His obituary is here.

Rosendo Rodriguez began serving his death row sentence in 2008 in Livingston, Texas. He is exhausting his appeals process, so he does not have an execution date as of today. All of his appeals have been denied so far. He has developed a voracious reading habit that he describes on a webpage sponsored by a group that opposes capital punishment (it’s quite a missive, although he omits any reference to murdering young women).

Joanna Rogers

Summer Baldwin

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