Savageland (2015) Movie Script

A grisly discovery
in the town of Sangre de Cristo
this morning and a number
of SDC residents are
reportedly still missing,
because as one police
spokesman put it,
the whole town is a crime scene.
You spend 30 years
patrolling this border,
you're gonna see
some horrible things.
We all thought it was a
mass murder case, you know,
a serial killer.
Our thoughts
and prayers go out
to the families of the
Sangre de Cristo victims.
of interest was detained.
We found the suspect
covered in blood.
38-Year-old Francisco Salazar,
an illegal immigrant, has been
charged with over two dozen
counts of first degree murder.
Everybody seems so
shocked about this.
Not me, because I know what
these people are capable of.
If this guy actually killed
the whole fucking town,
kill him.
Fry his ass.
A serial killer, I
mean, that was pretty
much the general consensus.
Salazar remains jailed
under high security in Hinzman.
then the photos emerged.
It changed-- it
change everything
that we thought about.
WOMAN: I don't understand.
Why did you keep
taking pictures?
Do you own a gun?
I do, and ever since I've
seen these photographs
I've been sleeping with
it under my pillow.
the area has been cordoned off
by police, sources
say authorities
have been unable to quantify
a specific body count.
In what's being described as
a likely mass murder scene,
police recovered the bodies
of over a dozen victims
in various sites
throughout the town.
Police are combing the
town's two square miles
as they begin to unearth more
clues to this shocking tragedy.
We've got a body here.
The body count
in what police are
calling the Sangre de Cristo
Massacre has risen to over 20.
Residents of nearby Hinzman
and the border communities
are encouraged to avoid
the general SDC area
and to report any
tips or suspicious
behavior to the authorities.
In all my years
of law enforcement,
I've never come across
anything like this.
God abandoned Sangre de Cristo.
There's nothing left.
It still amazes me that the
largest single-day homicide
in history of the state of
Arizona got no attention,
zero media coverage.
It's hard to imagine the
scale of the carnage.
Most bodies were
only partial remains,
scraps of bloody clothing,
limbs in the street.
Some bloody trails ran
out to a quarter mile
as if the bodies
had been dragged.
Other trails veered out
into the surrounding deserts
and just disappeared.
All of them-- men, women,
children-- gone in one night.
I've been a writer since 1995.
I've written five
different books.
I worked for a couple of years
as an investigative reporter
in Los Angeles.
We covered all the things
that "LA Times" didn't cover.
Every place is
known for something.
South Arizona, the Vanishing
Capital of the United States.
It's true.
There's been more
than a few that have
gone missing from the area.
But look what's going
on-- drug trafficking,
human trafficking, smuggling,
weapons, gang activity.
There's no place
that has more crime
than here in the borderlands.
You lose one person,
that's a tragedy.
To see a whole town wiped out--
RADIO DJ: We got lucky.
It was their town, not ours.
It's not a matter of if,
it's a matter of when.
Wake up.
Listen to me.
I've been telling
you this for years,
but you've ignored me up to now.
Well, I'm telling you, you
can't ignore me anymore.
A person of interest
was detained as he attempted
to flee across the border.
He is reportedly a
Latino man in his 30s
who was employed at
Sangre de Cristo Ranch
at the time of the murders.
Well, you know, I've seen 40
years of crime and violence.
The only man that ever scared
me was Francisco Salazar.
MAN: Francisco Salazar was an
illegal that had been living
in Sangre de Cristo
for seven years
after jumping the border from
the Nogales, Mexico, which made
him a pretty convenient fit.
Even with all the things
that go on around here,
you never expect to see
something like this.
He was raving when
we caught him.
He was raving when we put
him in that jail cell.
Once he was in there,
he didn't say too much.
23 hours after they closed
Sangre de Cristo down,
Salazar staggered
to desert Highway
67, 12 miles east of
SDC, and collapsed
at the side of the road.
The only truck to stop
was an independent rig
co-owned by Mario Schatzker Rio,
who had just got his license.
He dragged Salazar into
the cab, turned around,
and drove him west
to the nearest town
with a hospital, Hinzman.
The hospital contacted the cops.
How are you doing?
- How's the family?
- Oh, good.
How's Brad been?
understands his people,
just like his father--
a little comforting,
a wink, a little bullying, a
big hat, toothpick, his stories.
It's kind of a big show.
He never misses an
opportunity to press his case,
even if it is some cheesy
public access piece.
I was born and raised
right here in Hinzman.
I've been elected
Sheriff of Hinzman County
for seven consecutive terms.
Before that, I was a Deputy
Sheriff for 10 years.
I've devoted my entire life to
the good people of this area.
INTERVIEWER: Sheriff, how would
you profile Francisco Salazar?
If there's ever a checklist
for a serial killer,
Salazar would check every box.
He was a loner.
He came from a
low-class background.
He had anger issues.
His father abandoned
him at an early age.
You know, he was a drifter.
And I actually worked
with him for a little while.
We were part of a re-roofing
crew at the pharmacy.
He was one quiet dude.
I mean, my friend dropped
his sandwich at lunch.
Salazar takes a
fucking picture of it.
They found dead corpses of
little kids out in the desert.
A lot of folks
couldn't sleep at night.
Was this the start
of something bigger?
Salazar, he's-- he's La Raza.
So were the rest of his thugs.
Coming here to wipe us off
the map, like he did SDC.
He did odd jobs around town.
He painted houses of some
of his eventual victims.
NEWSCASTER: Judge Jack Hudson
has instituted a full media ban
with no cameras permitted
in the courtroom
and no media personnel
allowed within 200
yards of the courthouse.
This Lawrence
Ross guy, you know,
he came here with
the wrong idea.
Everybody saw
where it was going,
so of course there was
nothing but closed doors.
You know, sorry.
We did not arrest Salazar
because he was Mexican.
We arrested Salazar
because he was
covered with 15 types of blood.
Hinzman Arizona.
This is "The Gus Greer
Show," and I'm Gus Greer.
And for the next
two hours, you're
going to get the
most valuable thing
that you've ever had in your
life-- an education from me.
The Mexican, the cholo, La Raza.
It's a culture that
celebrates violence.
They glorify death
because they have nothing
else to look forward to.
I can't say the
political climate
at the time had anything to do
with the way he was treated.
I absolutely believe that
an Hispanic man who is also
an illegal immigrant
can get a fair trial
in the state of Arizona.
not forget-- Arizona
embraced the KKK
after Reconstruction.
When we're talking
about lynchings,
Arizona had almost as many as
anywhere else in the country.
Different state, different
era, same old monster--
controlling the power structure
by day, hiding behind masks
at night.
Make no mistake,
we are at war.
GUS GREER: You think
the government's
going to come in and save you?
You think they're going to start
putting troops on the border?
Action has consequences,
ladies and gentlemen.
And inaction has more
serious consequences.
You have a choice to make.
Are you going to sit there and
roll over, and let this tide
roll over you and destroy
you and your family,
or are you going to stand up?
Are you willing to
fight for what's right
and for what's yours?
When you're talking about
the history of this country,
I mean, it's an
indisputable fact--
there are very few minorities
that have gotten a fair
trial in an all-white jury.
They didn't need a trial.
Public had already
tried and convicted him
before it ever even started.
What do you get when you cross
an illegal with an octopus?
I don't know, but it
sure can pick lettuce.
A lot of lettuce.
These damn illegal
Mexicans come over
here and do all their drugs.
And he goes, that's not ours.
There's all their
killings and stuff.
You know, if you go out there
like they did in the old days
in the John Wayne
movies and hang one
where everybody
can watch, then one
day, they gonna stop doing it.
The attorney they
gave him was on his third case.
Before that, he handled
some counterfeiter
and some petty thief.
Salazar was his third case.
my due diligence.
I'm sworn to defend my client
to the best of my ability.
I think that I did that.
I sat in court.
I expected to see a monster.
I seen him.
He was just slumped over,
quiet, with a blank stare.
LAWRENCE ROSS: There was no one
else left alive to question.
He was the only survivor.
But Salazar never said a
single word during the trial.
Teeth marks-- that's something
I'm not going to get into.
How's it going, Bob?
Day three of the trial, and
I'm already sick to my stomach.
I never want to hear
another word about the freak
eating the people he murdered.
I basically believe that
if he killed these people,
I believe he should
get the death
penalty for doing what he did.
He's an outcast.
He should be put
to death on the spot.
Lethal injection.
Fry his ass.
And that was the level of
analysis in the courtroom--
a one-man serial killer army.
They could only do
forensics on seven
partial corpses that were intact
enough to be tagged and IDed.
When pressed about
identifying the other remains,
the coroner said on the stand,
how do you run DNA tests on 20
square blocks of bloody sand?
They didn't notice that the
teeth marks on the victims
didn't match Francisco's teeth.
And yet, Francisco
has bite marks.
They match the victims.
How can you botch that?
During the first trial,
I felt like I needed
to seek someone out who
understood the local culture
of the border.
Carlos Olivares,
second-generation border
patrol agent, following in
the footsteps of his father.
you grow up in this area,
you realize that there's
certain things you need to do.
There's just a protection
that needs to happen.
Spend 30 years
patrolling this border,
you're going to see
some horrible things.
We find bodies of dead
women and children,
dehydrated bodies, sometimes
just 10 feet from a hidden
stash of water bottles.
Lately, these last
few years on patrol,
I started seeing
some things that
are getting harder to
explain-- bodies that
weren't just rotted by the sun.
They had been chewed-- not by
mountain lions or buzzards.
But nobody in my line
of work talked about it.
happened in Sangre
de Cristo couldn't have been
the work of just one man.
I didn't need a law
degree to know that.
Based on the overwhelming
amount of evidence given,
we convicted Mr.
Salazar, as I remember,
in about a half hour,
which was longer than it
probably should've taken.
was the-- a easy target.
He was a person
easy to dehumanize.
To the people in Hinzman,
he was just some guy
who went from job to job.
He would work on
construction jobs.
He would do anything.
He's minimized as being just
sort of drifter-- you know,
some cash-and-carry guy who you
found on the end of a block,
and you put in the back
of a pickup, do your work,
and you forgot about
him five minutes
after you dropped him back off.
During the first trial,
I knew that Salazar
had been interviewed on camera
only once, on the evening
he'd been taken into custody.
I spent 13 months
filling out Freedom
of Information Act
requests at both the state
and federal level-- nothing.
The Arizona Open Meetings Act?
I got nothing.
Until I got this video.
Francisco interviews.
RENEE DAVIES: You said that
they were people that you knew,
but something wasn't
right about them.
They were the same
people, but they were dead.
INTERVIEWER: Why didn't you
hear about this tape before?
The tape was never
entered into evidence
in the first trial,
and it was barred
in the second one.
INTERVIEWER: You didn't give
serious thought to using
the video in his defense?
Have you seen the video?
It's not an insanity defense.
It's-- it's a suicide note.
It sounds like the ramblings
of a crazy man, sure.
But given the
evidence, his story
actually made no
more or less sense
than the official version.
RENEE DAVIES: The administrative
staff were very concerned
about him-- me
interviewing him not
being shackled to the chair,
which is a typical thing.
I wanted to get rid of as
many barriers as I could,
because I could tell that he was
pretty closed off emotionally,
and he was kind of in a
shell in his own head,
and very, very, very scared.
I said, listen, just let
him come in and sit with me,
because he was quiet.
And you know, you guys
are outside the door.
You've got cameras in here.
And-- and you have
guns outside there.
And whatever it is that
you need to do to bust
in and-- and you know,
what's he gonna-- you know,
what else could he do?
What's your name?
It took quite a while
for him to even start
to answer any questions-- his
name, or where he grew up,
or basic just, you know,
assessment stuff that we do.
[singing in spanish]
And I was wondering
if, maybe, he
was regressing back
into some childhood
memory or feeling or something.
[singing in spanish]
The level of trauma
that Francisco has seemed
to experience in his
life could easily
be compared to somebody who
has come back from being
in a combat situation.
It doesn't matter
what you do to me.
They're still out there.
who's out there?
At least they
can't get me in here.
is a guy who was facing
death, the horrors of jail.
Yet somehow he feels
safer on the inside
than he does out here.
In my professional opinion,
even though his story sounds
like it might be a little bit,
you know, crazy and out there,
I did not find anything about
him that was psychotic--
his behavior, anything
he said to me.
He was, you know, in layman's
term, completely sane.
But it didn't make any
sense, which is why I
tried for the insanity defense.
me directly in the eye,
and he was very specific
about what he was saying.
And-- and he never
changed his story.
Salazar wasn't
crazy or-- or at least
not crazy all by himself.
Crazy was what he
saw that night.
Crazy was seeing everyone
he knew massacred.
Some of them are bloody,
with blood everywhere.
It's the ravings
of a madman, right?
But do you know what
was really crazy?
I had to get help.
I took my camera--
The arrest report listed
the items on Salazar's person
when he was dropped off
by the truck driver.
One SLR 35 millimeter camera
fitted with a 70 to 200
millimeter lens
and a flash unit.
Everyone around here
knew he was a photographer.
He took pictures of everybody.
It was almost involuntary.
He just saw something, and
he took a picture of it.
And he kind of, you know,
painted a history of his life
with it.
Salazar was a
lifelong Catholic.
He believed in the power
of the resurrection.
seven years in SDC,
taking pictures of dead
things in a dead town.
Being an illegal, strike one.
A loner with a
camera, strike two.
Grace Putnam was
pretty much strike
three, especially considering
everything that happened.
Putnam lived in SDC.
Francisco was a
friend of the family.
Salazar's house was--
was jammed with these
weird and-- and
suggestive photographs
of children and had roadkill.
LEN MATHESON: Well, I've looked
at all of the earlier photos.
I've spent some time with him.
He has a photographer's
eye for sure.
The best photographer
I've ever seen?
But he definitely had
a professional eye.
The shots of the little
girl-- several of those
are delicate and beautiful.
The shots of the roadkill
are a perfect counterpoint.
You can read what you
want into anything.
That's-- that's part of what
makes us human, I suppose.
The shrinks have
a fancy word for it.
It's-- it's voyeur.
My take: pervert.
was a photographer.
Big fucking deal.
But there was
something on that tape
I couldn't put my finger on.
I had to get help.
I took my camera--
During the first
trial, I tried
to contact Schatzker
Rio, the truck
driver who picked up Salazar.
He didn't want to talk.
I left message after message.
We never got together in person.
But after the appeal
was lodged, that's
when I got this phone message.
I'm sending you something.
I found it in my
cab under the seat.
Must have been there for months.
I don't know.
I don't know what it is,
but I don't wanna know.
Now you have it.
You keep me out of this, though.
That's all I ask.
I called him, got no reply.
A couple of days later--
[police radio chatter]
A week later,
the roll arrived.
REPORTER: Excuse me, Sheriff.
Do you want to talk us
about the Salazar case,
about how the photos are
gonna affect his appeal?
What Francisco
said on the tape,
what everyone else discounted
as insane ravings-- turns out,
he documented it all.
Something primal and horrible
moved through Sangre de Cristo
that night.
And the one survivor
made a record of it.
Francisco had a camera
with him that night.
He took it with him and
recorded what he saw on one
roll of film, 36 exposures.
still in the process
of appealing his conviction.
But I can't enter these
photos as evidence.
I'd be disbarred.
All this stuff about
the photographs is BS.
Photos prove nothing-- nothing.
I-- I know many kids right here
in Hinzman who could Photoshop
you into the famous
grassy knoll in Dallas
with a smoking gun in your hand,
and you'd believe it was you.
I've been a professional
photojournalist for-- Jesus,
over 40 years now.
I've shot in 'Nam, shot
in Cambodia, pretty much
all around the world.
These are as
authentic as they get.
Usually, when somebody
is playing with film,
you can tell.
There's rough edges.
There are little things that--
that a professional can tell
when looking at photography.
You look at these pictures,
there is none of that.
These pictures are real.
judge didn't want them.
Parano didn't want them.
It doesn't matter.
The photos are not evidence.
I would tell the
local authorities
that they are wrong-- that these
are as authentic as it gets.
I'm frankly surprised
their own people haven't
looked at the photos
and been able to confirm
the truth of the pictures.
GUS GREER: I'll tell you what
those photos are-- a sick prank
played by sick freaks.
Everybody heard
about the photographs.
Nobody believed they were real.
They were trying to make
us feel sympathy for a man
that didn't deserve any.
LAWRENCE ROSS: The killing
started, at least as far
as Salazar's story
was concerned,
before he snapped
a single frame.
The only two explanations--
either the-- the guy
went out there and
staged everything,
or he's absolutely
telling the truth.
Some of them were dead.
And some of them-- hm.
He was babbling, and I
thought I was going to lose him,
which-- which I eventually did.
So I asked him to
start at the beginning.
Francisco, what
were you doing when
Danny showed up at your house?
I was putting
film in my camera.
According to Salazar,
he was loading up
his camera, getting
ready to shoot
some dead coyotes or possums.
But Danny shows up
on his doorstep,
bleeding out like a stuck pig.
RENEE DAVIES: And then you
said that he-- he came in,
and he was bleeding.
And you tried to help him.
And you laid him
down on the couch.
Is that correct?
I saw him die.
How are you sure
that he was dead?
He was dead.
I know he was dead.
The police forensic reports
backed up that the victim did
die at Salazar's house.
Danny's body was one
of the few that could
be identified, but barely.
Danny Montez was my cousin.
I thought he and
Salazar were cool.
Montez used to work in the
fields near Salazar's house.
RENEE DAVIES: This is where
it gets confusing to me.
One minute, he's alive and on
your couch, and then he's dead,
and then he's standing up,
and he's coming at you,
and you're afraid.
He was dead.
And then he came after me.
And I had to stop him.
That's what happened.
RENEE DAVIES: So when he
was telling me this story,
he was very clear and concise.
And he had seemed to, like,
let a weight off his shoulders.
And he exhaled, and he
got very calm after he
talked to me about this.
So he's very clear in the
details about what happened.
I mean, doesn't that
seem strange to you?
This is not something
I've ever heard before.
It's what happened.
It was his same body and same
face, but it wasn't Danny.
he say anything?
No words?
The boy's body was
found in the middle
of Salazar's living room.
RENEE DAVIES: You stopped him.
How did you-- how did you
stop him from attacking you?
I-- I held him.
And I hurt him.
And he stopped.
did you hurt him?
That's tough
evidence to overcome.
There's no question
that Francisco hacked
up Danny Montez to pieces.
The question is,
did he kill him?
RENEE DAVIES: So after--
after all of that happened,
then-- then what did you do?
I had to get help.
If Salazar killed
Montez, why would
he run into town to get help?
Because going south
wasn't an option.
Here is photograph
01 of the roll.
This is the start of
what Salazar saw--
what sent him back toward town.
This is what made him run.
Salazar's roll of film was
a map, from the edge of town
three miles across what was
left of Sangre de Cristo.
way, it doesn't matter
what you think the photos mean.
You can deny them.
You can look to them
for clues about what
happened to your loved one.
You can call them
a sick media joke.
You can even hope for salvation.
But it's something,
and it's coming closer.
Salazar lived about
a mile outside of town,
on the fringes.
His cabin was at the
foot of the hills.
He ran away through the
fields, toward the town.
Based on the light in
that first picture,
it was about 15
minutes to sundown.
Migrant workers
were still working.
SDC's the brown town
that actually services Hinzman.
That's where you get all
the invisible people-- all
your gardeners, all of the
service people, all your maids,
people who pick your food,
who take care of the kids.
When we were kids, we couldn't
even pronounce the damn place.
You're like "Shandray de
Caso," "Sandray de Crystal."
We just call it Savageland.
The cops found what
they said were the remains
of 11 victims out in the field.
just Savageland
living down to its reputation.
first theory was cartels.
SDC is in an area of major
cross-border drug supply lines.
Maybe drugs were passing
through and some gang wanted
to stake out a new territory.
There were a lot of
thieves with drugs.
Drugs were coming in and
the-- the cartel was coming in
and influencing the young kids.
CARLOS OLIVARES: Cartel killings
are designed to make a point.
They stack the heads up all
neat like it's an altar,
or they hang the
bodies from bridges.
It keeps people in line.
LAWRENCE ROSS: This wasn't
designed to make a point.
was random carnage.
Salazar's running for cover,
exposed, out in the open.
Coming out of the fields,
he headed into town.
He came across Ron Templeton.
Templeton was a
hunter from Hinzman.
Spent his off hours out here
searching through the area.
I used to see him all the
time out here on patrol.
I walk in the house
and expect him to be here.
It's-- it's really
hard to get used
to the idea that he's not-- he's
not in-- in-- in here anymore.
know Ron Templeton?
The police say that
you were in his truck.
Because he had a gun.
GREG DAUBMAN: Some of the
victims were from Hinzman.
Some of them were beloved
members of the community.
They were not just
SDC residents.
I mean, Ron Templeton was a
member of the Founders Club.
People loved him.
big part of just the community,
So every place I go
and everything I do,
I expect to see him.
Ron Templeton was a good man.
When he came across
Salazar, I-- I
guess that he tried to find
some good in him as well.
And that was his big mistake.
I tried to get him to come
with me to help these people,
to help my friends.
man in the truck,
did he shoot at the
people in the field?
What happened?
Nothing happened.
I didn't murder him.
The one thing that
continues to bother me
is Francisco Salazar
taking Ron down.
He's such a little man.
According to the
state's case, a 5 foot 9,
170-pound Francisco ran
bloody and screaming
toward Ron Templeton, who's 6
foot 1, 210 pounds, and armed.
Anyone who knew Ron knew
what an expert hunter he was.
He was an expert shot, too.
He never missed.
I mean, one shot is all it
took to ever kill an animal.
And for him to miss that
many times that close up--
impossible to even imagine.
This is where they
found Templeton's truck.
The blood trail that went
off into the wash, then
We never found Ron
Templeton's body.
His wife, [inaudible]
Eileen, will never get
the closure that she deserves.
57 people died here.
And the local newspaper
ran one obituary-- one
white guy from Hinzman.
Many times, I
lie awake at night,
wishing Ron had taken out
Salazar right then and there.
tell me not to ask
questions and keep quiet.
And then I think,
are they lying to me?
Are they trying to
make me feel this
is the way it happened,
just to make me be quiet
and not question?
We've lived in
this town forever.
Would they be lying to me?
Salazar runs until he
reaches the edge of town.
You've got Danny Montez dead.
11 more in the field.
That still leaves 45.
At this time,
it's about 8:00 PM.
The more he runs, the
clearer it becomes--
he's not outrunning anything.
Francisco, when you got
into town, what did you see?
What did it look like?
It was-- it was like hell.
People were running.
People were hurting each other.
At this point, it's 8:15 PM.
Francisco's making
his way through town,
trying to stay alive.
By his own account,
he has no weapon
at this point, just his camera.
LEN MATHESON: The amazing thing
about being a photographer
is, so long as you
are behind that lens,
so long as you are
shooting through that lens,
you are indestructible.
Every photographer I
know feels the same way.
While you're shooting,
you can't be hurt.
I have a stultifying
fear of heights.
I-- just looking out
of an upstairs window
scares the hell out of me.
In 'Nam, I used to
spend half of my time
hanging out of an
open helicopter door,
hanging onto a strap I
wouldn't use as a belt,
and shooting away, because
nothing could hurt me.
As long as I had that
camera in front of my face,
nothing could hurt me.
GUS GREER: You basically
have an illegal
who's running amok all over
Savageland, killing at random.
At this point,
the prosecution case
starts to get a little shaky.
Salazar would've said
something to my grandpa
and stuff would've went down.
My grandpa's not going to
go down without a fight.
The autopsy certificates would
have you believe that Salazar
was sprinting through
town, dispatching victims
with a machete and
pickax like he was
some kind of trained killer.
Salazar knew every
square inch of that town.
That's why he was able
to move so quickly
and kill without anybody
realizing what was happening.
SDC is not a big place.
Salazar was in good shape.
If he were quick
enough, he could've
covered all that ground.
And he did not want to
leave any witnesses.
What's most amazing
about these photographs
is the fact that he got
as many decent photographs
as he did out of one roll.
I mean, I can't imagine why
he would go with one roll.
I have a feeling he
probably had more
that he lost along the way,
because I've done that myself.
One roll of film
and 36 exposures,
and caught as many
perfect shots as he did.
It is either brilliant
film work or one
of the greatest accidents in
the history of photography.
know that Salazar gets
here to the one store in town.
It's a little way out
of the rest of his route
based on the photographs.
But we do know this market
had a working landline.
But if that's what he was going
for, he was shit out of luck.
If you were in New York
City and not Sangre de Cristo,
you would probably
have 15,000 shots
of what happened
there that evening
on people's cell phones.
Most people in SDC
didn't have cell phones.
They had phone cards.
Once a month, they'd
come to the market,
buy one, call home to
Mexico, say hi to mom,
confirm the wire
transfer back home.
You can't take a picture
with a phone card.
GUS GREER: We're talking about
a place where life was cheap.
Illegals arriving illegally,
doing illegal things.
People ask me, well, why
didn't the people of SDC
call the police?
Immigrants don't call police.
And when you live
in SDC, the police
are just another element,
another criminal element
to them.
Salazar was also
charged with murders that
happened at the water-tower.
But there's not a
single piece of evidence
to indicate that
Salazar was ever there.
LAWRENCE ROSS: And remember
those people we found,
you know, right next to
the small water-tower.
We know that they ran.
We know that they ran up to
the top of that water-tower.
And instead of confronting
whatever was chasing them,
they chose to jump
off the water-tower.
Now that just doesn't happen
when you have an individual.
I don't care how horrible
that individual is.
That doesn't happen.
Eight people supposedly
ran up there, trying
to get away from one man?
But instead of
trying to fight him
off on a single fire
escape, these eight people
chose to jump.
They'd rather kill
themselves and their families
instead of fight him?
me that Jose and his family
were some of the ones
who died at that tower.
And it was only two
blocks from their house.
I mean, I look at
his picture and--
Maria had such a
strong sense of faith--
a really strong sense of faith.
I don't have that faith.
I just don't have that faith.
And-- and it-- and it
hurts me, you know,
because I'm-- I'm
more angry about that.
imagine why the two of them
would-- would do
something like that.
I just-- they had to climb that.
If you think about them
standing there at that moment,
and then making that decision.
Salazar was never closer than
three blocks to that tower
that night.
The truth is, he had a
different route in mind.
From the start, he was
always heading here.
That's what he says.
It's the church.
The church mission
for the Putnam family.
As for the Putnams,
well, Francisco had been
working for them for years.
He was almost a friend.
You know, they--
they trusted him.
They gave him a key, you
know, to the building.
And yet, when I look
at the crime scene,
doors have been ripped
off their hinges.
Now why would Francisco rip
the doors off the hinges
when he had a key?
going through your mind
when you saw this?
I don't know.
I just wanted to
help my friends.
RENEE DAVIES: You worked for
a Dwayne and Judith Putnam,
didn't you?
you feel about them?
[children chattering]
They were good people.
The Putnams were here
to convert the old church
and mission offices.
They basically
started a new ministry
in a town other religious
groups had long since abandoned.
PERRY MOYES: We're proud of our
church's missionary history.
God's mission for us is to go
forth to the less fortunate
and bear witness to His word.
The Putnams were
some of my closest,
dearest friends in the
world-- truly people of God.
Dwayne and Judith's engagement
was sanctioned by our church
with great excitement.
Even though she wasn't baptized
in a church at the time,
we knew in her heart
she'd always believed.
She had great strength.
They were my friends.
Salazar had spent
the summer working
as a handyman on the
mission, doing odd jobs,
running errands for Judith,
hanging out with the two kids.
The Putnams went to that
town to fix up that facility,
to empower those people.
This family reached
out to Salazar,
and this is how he repaid them?
But Salazar was too late.
DWAYNE PUTNAM: Grace is gone.
Where is Grace?
Grace is gone.
Don't you judge me.
Only God can judge me.
Only He knows what I'm seeing.
Only He knows this abomination.
I am Abraham.
A burnt--
My lambs, my little lamb.
What'd you wish for, Grace?
I get little.
birthday girl first.
When I got there, I
knew that I was too late.
are their bodies?
the official version,
forensics, coupled with
the Putnam phone recording,
led the police to conclude
that Putnam killed his wife
and son before killing himself.
Now Putnam panicked at
seeing Salazar running wild
and snapped when he heard the
screams outside the mission.
So he killed his
family with a machete
before turning it on himself.
That's Parano's version.
RENEE DAVIES: Were they still
alive when you got there?
Only one of them.
official logic doesn't hold up.
Putnam wanted to give his
family a mercy killing so they
could all go up clean to Jesus.
That's one thing.
But why dismember
his little kids?
we had dogs searching
for the other remains.
We found nothing, or
Salazar won't be telling
us where he buried the bodies.
Dwayne Putnam thought
he was a man of God.
But he made the wrong choice.
pastor, a man of the Bible,
it must be hard to
see these photos.
They show what you might call
a inconvenient resurrection.
The only thing he
can do is deny it.
God saw what Dwayne did.
He was a murderer and a suicide.
DWAYNE PUTNAM: OK, both of you.
[children chattering]
say hi to mommy.
Hi, mommy.
was Grace Putnam?
She wasn't there.
RENEE DAVIES: Where was she?
If Grace wasn't
at the mission--
She was at school.
The school is on
the outskirts of town.
And Salazar still
has a distance to go,
through the most densely
populated area of town, where
most of the bodies were found.
of the killings
occurred on the street or just
inside the entrances to homes.
People rushed out to
see what was happening,
to protect their families.
I mean, if this
bullshit story were true,
why didn't Salazar put down his
camera and help those people?
Salazar was a handyman.
He had keys for vacant
buildings all over town.
He could cut through building
to building from one end of town
to the other, hide, look out.
most of the time,
he probably wasn't even
close to the action.
I mean, a 70 to 200
millimeter lens pulls
in all sorts of distant detail.
You know, sometimes,
you get nothing.
Sometimes, you get
something extraordinary.
Why did Francisco
take the photos?
The better question is, why not?
You are capturing
moments of time that
you are the only person--
it's-- it's a moral imperative,
You're the person
with the camera.
You're the only person
there with that option.
You take the pictures
because you must,
because somebody has
to take those pictures.
Salazar makes his
way down Main Street
and gets to the preschool.
All the children of the
people who died in that field,
they were in that preschool.
That's the thing that
messed with me the most-- what
happened at that preschool.
Well, we're not
the same as they are.
We don't kill babies.
GREG DAUBMAN: There's almost
nothing that you could
say to change people's minds.
Even planting the
possibility, the idea that you
hurt or killed children.
Went to the school.
When I got there, there was--
nine kids in the preschool
and one teacher, Lisa Reyes.
Forensics indicated
that some of the kids had
hidden behind a-- a curtain.
That's a child's natural
instinct to think,
if they make
themselves invisible,
they can save themselves
from the monster.
When I came back,
I just-- like I said,
I couldn't believe it.
I didn't want to believe it.
And to go to the funeral was
one of the hardest things.
You know, it was
a closed casket.
All the family was there.
A lot of people wish that they
would have been able to see her
before she-- you
know, I kind of,
like, keep my own last
memory of-- I don't know.
I wouldn't want to see
her in there anyways.
I remember her the way I
remember her, you know?
Perez is my daughter.
She was five years old.
She lived with
her father in SDC.
I worked in Hinzman.
I hardly got to see her
because I worked long hours.
She was wearing a-- a
purple top and pants
and white tennis shoes.
She was very picky about
what she wanted to wear.
When I left, she was three.
And I wasn't even nice to her.
I could have been nicer to her.
But she was always
bugging me, and I
just-- I feel like an asshole.
You wanna see him?
He's right here.
I mean, look at that.
Look at that smile.
You know, he was-- he was born
premature, and he was tiny.
He weighed 2 and 1/2 pounds.
And you know, he
had some problems.
He got pneumonia as a newborn.
But he had a tough,
strong heart.
I could have gone
home more, but you know,
it was a piece of shit town.
And I left when I could.
And I was just hoping,
maybe, when she got older,
we could make up for lost time.
That's-- that's
all I was thinking.
But now I don't have time.
I took this from her school.
This was the last
thing she was wearing.
DWAYNE PUTNAM: Grace is gone.
Where is Grace?
Grace is gone.
I couldn't find her.
By his own account,
Salazar couldn't even
get inside the school.
He scurried around the
back by the storeroom.
The one aspect of that roll of
film that sort of fascinates me
is why he spent so
much of the last
of it taking pictures
of that one subject,
that-- that little girl.
I wouldn't have.
It's not what I would've
done, certainly.
And I don't think most other
professional photographers
would've done it either.
She was on the other
side of the window.
She was reaching out.
I couldn't help her.
on my evaluation
of the other photographs, this
was the first time that Salazar
even used his flash unit.
The question is, why now?
I tried to stop
them with the flash.
RENEE DAVIES: With the camera?
Did it help?
Did it stop them
for a little while?
Only when-- only
when it flashed.
last photographs--
there's the one where he's
reaching through the bars,
where he is trying to
take the girl's hand
and suddenly he stops
being a historian,
stops being an observer, and
becomes an active participant.
The moment he stopped
being a photographer
and decided to do a single human
action to save somebody else--
I just held her hand.
--is the moment that
changed everything for him.
You give up being a photographer
to become a human being.
And you lose what has kept you
alive and safe through the rest
of the process.
I just held her hand.
And I sang.
[singing in spanish]
He was planning
this all along.
There's only
three possibilities.
Either he's lying, he's crazy,
or he's telling the truth.
And in my professional
opinion, he's not lying
and he's not crazy.
had his shot in court.
GREG DAUBMAN: We're appealing.
That's all we can
do at this point.
It's in the hands of
the criminal justice
system of the state of Arizona.
GUS GREER: You know,
I'm going to be glad
when this appeal goes
nowhere so this town can
start going somewhere again.
LAWRENCE ROSS: You know, if
you'd been a reporter like me
in an inner city,
you've seen murders.
I mean, you've seen
murders of every type.
I can tell you in a
second, gangland shot,
you know, personal shot,
in terms of, you know,
two different people
who know each other.
I can tell you
how a person died.
Murders have signatures.
So who had the resources, the
weapons, the political will,
the anger, the motive to carry
out the single-night massacre
of an entire town?
It's a familiar story we've seen
played out time and time again.
It's not smoke and mirrors.
It's desert, sand,
hate, and fear.
Nat Turner, the Scottsboro
Boys, the Tulsa race riots,
Zoot Suit Riots,
Camp Grant Massacre,
Operation Wetback, Rodney King.
Sangre de Cristo.
GUS GREER: This is the
community that we are.
We do take an eye for an eye,
because not only is that fair,
that's our God-given right.
And we will be watching the
border for all future Salazars.
America, my home, sweet home.
MAN: They don't
care who you are.
They don't care what you do.
They'd basically
rather shoot you
than-- than give you a dollar.
The Great Wall of America
between us and Mexico, I
don't hear them trying
to build that wall
between here and Canada.
And they're not
saying somebody--
some Canuck is coming down and
killing people up in Michigan.
There's a lot more Salazars
out there-- more Ramirez,
more Sanchezes, more Carloses.
But make no mistake-- it's
a matter of when, not if.
MAN: Basically, there's 100,000
that try to come across,
and there's only maybe
1,000 border patrol.
They ain't going
to get everybody.
GUS GREER: You know, maybe
we've just got our priorities
right here in Arizona.
A lot of our people have been
waiting a long time for this.
I'm also proud that this
state is carrying out
Salazar's sentence in half
the time it took to do
the same to Timothy McVeigh.
GUS GREER: At 12:05 AM
Arizona time-- not bleeding
liberal time, not East
Coast wine and cheese
time, not West Coast
free drugs time--
American justice was served.
No more lawyers' appeals.
No more bills.
No more three
square meals a day.
No more excuses.
And no more fear, my friends.
Francisco was the only witness
to what happened that night.
And the court killed
his photographs.
And then the state killed him.
GUS GREER: Do you know
where Salazar gets buried?
He gets buried right here,
in the state of Arizona!
He must be pretty
pleased with himself.
He snuck in here, he hid
here, he killed here,
he's executed here.
But even in death, he manages
to avoid being deported.
Except they got it all wrong.
This doesn't end with the
execution of Francisco Salazar.
Francisco Salazar's photos don't
end with Francisco Salazar.
I wish I was there.
I wish I had been the
guy behind the camera.
Why did Francisco
take the photos?
I don't know.
Maybe he thought he was going
to die like everybody else.
Why the hell not?
At least leave something behind.
Leave some record behind so
he didn't die for nothing.
There's a piece of history left.
And if you're going to go out,
go out with something of value.
Do something.
Make your death
count for something.
The photos show us the truth.
The truth is that I'm the
one who found the photos.
I'm the one who released them.
Ross found the truth,
but he couldn't see it.
He got scared.
I don't blame him.
As a journalist, I deal
in facts, not speculation.
And the facts are that Francisco
recorded whatever moved
through that town that night.
And that was the
only real evidence.
And the local will to
investigate was nonexistent.
So the photos exist in a vacuum.
think a lot of people
will sleep better at night
believing that they are
Photoshopped than believing
they are seeing something
that is actually happening.
no going back to normal.
Because normal
doesn't exist anymore.
There were no masks, no cartels,
no mob of illegals at night.
The photos do tell us something.
They're numbered.
Number one was taken
from the southern watch
in the foothills, number
36 at the schoolhouse.
When you look at the crime
scene, the police reports,
the layout of the town, you
realize that this carnage
wasn't random.
It was just so huge that nobody
could see the bigger picture.
They were always heading
in one direction.
They were heading north.
MAN: Have you ever actually
seen the border fence?
It's 20 feet high,
corrugated steel,
razor wire in some places.
Anyone with any
regard for human life
would stay the hell
away from that fence.
LEN MATHESON: Do you own a gun?
I do.
And ever since that-- I've
seen these photographs,
I've been sleeping with
it under my pillow.
This is a cruel land
where death is a certainty.
We grow up with it.
We accept it.
GUS GREER: You know
what made my morning?
Hearing that some group
of unknown patriots
found where Salazar's
grave was and dug it up.
The body's gone, my friends.
And good riddance.
after Salazar's execution,
the mutilated remains
of two campers
were found in the Tonto
National Forest, 115 miles
north of Sangre de Cristo.
Five unexplained
deaths in Sitgreaves.
Multiple attacks in Ajo,
Callente, Willcox to the east.
Hilldale was the first
town in Utah-- 12 dead.
The same patterns
emerging east to Juarez.
Up into New Mexico in
Alamogordo, five dead.
In Trevino Ranch, three
dead, nine unaccounted.
[distorted speech]
[distorted speech]
MAN: --the hell is this?
[distorted screaming]