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    • Murders in Laredo: A Dark Tale of Brutality and ComplexityIn Laredo, Texas, a series of brutal murders targeting women occurred in a high crime area, leaving loved ones and authorities grappling with the complexities of life in this border town.

      The streets of Laredo, Texas, were the setting for a series of brutal murders targeting women in the fall of 2018. The victims, including Melissa Ramirez, were found in a dangerous and often overlooked area of the city known for its high crime rate. Despite her past struggles with drugs and sex work, Melissa was remembered fondly by her loved ones as a kind and fun-loving person. The investigation into her murder led authorities to believe they were dealing with a ruthless and calculating killer. The case, which was reminiscent of the intriguing and often dark stories told by famous mystery writers, underscored the complexities and realities of life in this border town.

    • Persistence pays off in unsolved sex worker murdersA suspicious license plate number led investigators to a person of interest in the unsolved murder of a sex worker, highlighting the importance of pursuing all leads and collaborating with other agencies.

      The unsolved murders of sex workers can be challenging for investigators due to the nature of their work and the reluctance of their communities to cooperate. However, in the case of Melissa Ramirez, investigators in Laredo, Texas, pursued the case aggressively and received a significant lead when the residents who discovered her body jotted down the license plate number of a suspicious truck. This lead ultimately helped them identify a person of interest who was not initially suspected. Despite the challenges, the investigators' persistence and collaboration with other agencies ultimately led to progress in the case.

    • Laredo police officer Renee Arse questioned in Melissa Ramirez's murder investigationThe investigation into Melissa Ramirez's murder is ongoing, with no clear evidence linking a Laredo police officer or a customer to the crime. The police are continuing to follow leads and gather information from the community to solve the case.

      The investigation into Melissa Ramirez's murder in Laredo, Texas, led to the detention and questioning of a Laredo police officer, Renee Arse. Arse was at the scene with his truck, but there was no definitive evidence linking him to the crime. The investigation then followed a new lead about a suspicious man who had been with Melissa before her death. This man turned out to be a customer of Melissa's, but there was no concrete evidence to implicate him in the murder either. The investigation is still ongoing, and the police are continuing to follow leads and gather evidence. The case highlights the complexities and challenges of investigating a murder, especially when there is a lack of clear evidence. The investigation relied heavily on interviews and information from the community, and the police are continuing to appeal for any information that could help them solve the case.

    • A Serial Killer's Reign of Terror in LaredoIn the summer of 2018, a serial killer claimed two lives in Laredo, leaving a community in shock and fear. The victims, Melissa and Claudine, were linked by their troubled pasts and a suspected boyfriend.

      The summer of 2018 in Laredo was marked by fear as a serial killer targeting prostitutes claimed two lives within a short span. The victims, Melissa and Claudine, were found near each other, both shot with a 40-caliber handgun. The discovery of Claudine's body ten days after Melissa's came as a shock to her sister, Collette, who had no idea it was her sibling until she saw the news. The family had a complicated history, with Claudine's childhood trauma leading her to drug addiction and eventually sex work. The suspected boyfriend was a common thread in both women's lives, and Collette believed he was responsible for Claudine's murder. The community was left reeling from the violence and loss.

    • A woman's tip leads to a significant breakthrough in the caseA woman's description of a suspect's house and neighborhood provided crucial information, linking a person of interest to multiple murders.

      The investigation into Claudine Loera's murder led the authorities to a person of interest named Chon. They went to his house but he was not there. However, he eventually showed up and fled when he saw people waiting outside. After an interview, he claimed to have been with Claudine before her death. Meanwhile, a frantic woman named Erica Pena approached a Texas DPS trooper, claiming that she had been attacked by the same man. She described him as a regular customer she had met in San Bernardo. When the topic of the recent murders of Melissa and Claudine came up, Erica and the trooper grew suspicious and contacted the investigators. Erica was able to provide detailed descriptions of the man's house and neighborhood. These new leads provided a significant breakthrough in the case, suggesting that the same killer could be responsible for all three murders.

    • Authorities link Ortiz to murders of two women, search for third victimA Border Patrol agent, Juan David Ortiz, is under investigation for the murders of two women. He had previously interacted with a key witness and owned a truck matching the description of one used in the crimes. The discovery of another victim and Ortiz's status as a Border Patrol agent added complexity to the case.

      The investigation into the murders of Melissa Ramirez and Claudine Loera led the authorities to Juan David Ortiz, a man who had previously interacted with a key witness, Erica. Ortiz was described as an oil field worker and owned a white Dodge 2500 pickup truck. When the police located the truck, they found it had disabled veteran plates, suggesting Ortiz had served in the military. However, the investigation took a turn when another body was discovered and a white Dodge Ram belonging to Ortiz was spotted near the scene. The police confronted Ortiz, who attempted to evade capture, leading to a manhunt involving the SWAT team. The discovery of another victim, Geeselda Cantu, further solidified the suspicion against Ortiz. A phone call from the Border Patrol revealed that Ortiz was a Border Patrol agent, adding a new dimension to the case. The investigation was ongoing, with the community closely following the developments.

    • Border Patrol Agent's Surprising Identity Revealed After Shooting SpreeA Border Patrol agent was identified as the suspect in a series of shootings, surprising investigators. He was found hiding in a pickup truck during a chase and claimed to have taken a friend to buy drugs, but used his service weapon.

      A Border Patrol agent, who was on the run as a suspect in a series of shootings, was finally apprehended after a lengthy chase. The agents and investigators involved were surprised to discover the suspect's true identity. The search for the suspect led to a hotel parking garage, where he was found hiding in a pickup truck. Ortiz denied knowing any of the victims and repeatedly claimed that he had taken his friend to buy drugs and became angry when she overdosed. He used his service weapon, issued by the Border Patrol, during the shootings. The suspect's demeanor during interrogation was arrogant, as he seemed to be proud of having outrun the authorities. The capture of the suspect brought relief to the city of Laredo, which had been in fear of a potential serial killer.

    • Former Border Patrol agent's confession leads to series of murders and assaultsA former Border Patrol agent, Juan David Ortiz, confessed to a series of violent crimes, including murder and assault, to cover his tracks and prevent victims from exposing him. His actions led to the discovery of multiple victims and his eventual capture.

      Juan David Ortiz, a former Border Patrol agent, confessed to a series of murders and assaults, including those of Melissa Ramirez and Claudine Loera. Ortiz claimed he wanted to cover his tracks and prevent the women from exposing him. He described his actions as a form of public service, but it's believed that the power shift between him and the victims, who crossed from their world into his, may have triggered his violent response. The coincidental timing of the deaths of Melissa and Claudine, who fit the same profile, further raised suspicions. Ortiz's actions led to the discovery of other victims, including Janelle Ortiz, and he continued to kill until he was caught. The victims' families were left to deal with the aftermath, including the shock of confronting Ortiz in court. Despite Ortiz's claims of a coerced confession, a jury found him guilty of multiple counts of murder and other crimes.

    • Jury finds Ortiz guilty, bringing relief to victim's familiesDecorated border patrol agent Ortiz was sentenced to life in prison for capital murder, bringing closure to families of victims and inspiring a witness to find new purpose in law enforcement.

      The jury found Juan David Ortiz, a decorated combat medic and rising star at the border patrol, guilty of capital murder and sentenced him to life in prison with no possibility of parole. The verdict brought relief to the victim's families, while Ciara, a witness in the case, found a new sense of purpose working for the sheriff's department. Despite the gravity of the situation, Ortiz showed no emotion during the trial. For Ciara, this experience marked a positive change in her life, and she felt proud to be in a position where she could make a difference. Overall, the trial highlighted the importance of justice being served and the impact it can have on those involved.

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    Articles and books we referenced for this episode:

    Marijuana’s huge impact in Colorado, by the numbers _ FOX31 Denver Jan 4, 2018

    Despite claims, data show legalized marijuana has not increased crime rates - Colorado Politics Feb 28, 2018

    Five years in_ The effects of legalization in Colorado and Washington state - Lift News Nov 13, 2017

    Increase in harder drugs after the decriminalization of pot

    Colorado's Drug Problem Among USA's Worst, Study Says _ Westword May 31, 2017

    States Rights - constitution _ Laws.com

    Civil war about states rights

    History of DOMA

    The Role of Precedent in the United States_ How Do Precedents Lose Their Binding Effect_ - China Guiding Cases Project

    Article IV _ Constitution _ US Law _ LII _ Legal Information Institute

    Obama administration will not block state marijuana laws if distribution is regulated - The Washington Post Aug 29, 2013

    Addiction: The view from Rat Park

    Runaway World by Anthony Giddens

    The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado_ The Impact, Sept 2016 Vol 4

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    Messianic Expectation 

    prophet greater than Moses 
    king greater than David 
    priest greater than Aaron 
    servant suffering more than Israel
    sage wiser than Solomon 

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

    - Romans 15:13 

    HOPE DEFINED

    “…waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”



    - Titus 2:13 -14



    "But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."



     - 2 Peter 3:8-9





    “…having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints”



    - Ephesians 1:18 



    2. HOPE ABOUNDING



     “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. ”



    - 1 John 3:1



     “You prepare a table before me

        in the presence of my enemies;

    you anoint my head with oil;

        my cup overflows…”



    - Psalm 23:5 



    “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”



    - John 10:10



    “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”



    - Philippians 4:4: 





    “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”



    - Romans 15:4



    “I will put enmity between you and the woman,

        and between your offspring and her offspring;

    he shall bruise your head,

        and you shall bruise his heel.”



    - Genesis 3:15



    “Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.” 

    - Romans 5:18-19



    _______________________



    QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: 

    Throughout Scripture, hope is illustrated as a helmet and an anchor. Why do you think that is? 
    What area of your life do you need to be preaching to yourself, “HOPE IN GOD”? 
    Who do you know that is abounding in joy and peace? What is different about them?