Ex-Catholic Priest to Stand Trial for 1960 Murder of Beauty Queen

John Feit Priest Murder
Breitbart Texas / Ildefonso Ortiz

MCALLEN, Texas — A former Catholic priest is set to stand trial this week for the 1960 murder of a South Texas beauty queen. The former beauty queen and teacher had gone to confession at a local church before disappearing. Her body was later discovered in a canal near the church she had gone to. 

After almost 57 years, a jury will decide if ex-priest John Feit killed Irene Garza and dumped her body as part of a crime that has gone unsolved for decades. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday. That will be followed by opening arguments in the controversial trial. As Breitbart Texas reported, Feit was a priest in McAllen at the church that Garza would visit. On the day of Garza’s disappearance, the woman went to confession and never returned. Also in 1960, police arrested Feit and charged him in connection with an attempted rape of a local woman. Feit paid a $500 fine for the assault charge. 

After the scandal surrounding the murder and the attempted rape, the Catholic Church moved the priest to a monastery. Feit was not charged with the murder until years later. According to the investigations of retired reporter Emma Perez Treviño, Feit told another man-of-the-cloth about the murder and his obsession with women in high heels. With almost complete impunity, Feit retired from the church and moved to Arizona where McAllen police officers arrested him in 2016. The arrest came after a newly sworn-in Hidalgo County District Attorney decided to reopen the dormant case and moved for an extradition. Feit’s case will be heard in the Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg, Texas. 

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.  You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.


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