I am a Killer (2018) s02e03 Episode Script

An Ordinary Boy

I was born in a middle-class family.
My mother did insurance claims, my father drove buses.
I was always cared for.
I was never abused.
Growing up was as average as can be.
My name is Leo Gordon Little, the third of my name.
I committed a murder.
I was sentenced to death as a result of that murder.
Reflecting back 20-odd years, as you will do when you are in prison and preparing to die, you'll reflect and you'll reminisce and you'll try to figure out what went wrong.
[man 1.]
This is a true story.
I'll start it off like that.
[man 2.]
I just wanted to rebel, I wanted to cause chaos.
I looked over at him.
We'll see who kills who, huh? [woman.]
I made the choice.
I took his life.
[man 3.]
It's something that I never intended to do, I wish I didn't do.
[man 4.]
I knew I was gonna get out of that car and murder those two men.
[man 5.]
As he kneeled in front of me, all I remember is pulling the trigger.
[man 6.]
I'd killed them both.
I'd stabbed them to death.
[faint rustling.]
I remember that I was watching the evening news and they were showing a murder that had taken place.
And they mentioned the name Leo Little.
I remember just my mouth being wide open and you know, "Not not Leo.
" That was one of my students.
You know, nothing stood out about him.
He was just a quiet young boy.
Not a horrible kid.
Not a nice kid, but a very average student.
When you go to a large high school, you can be lost.
And as I look back, that was the issue with Leo.
He was a lost young boy.
[car rumbles by.]
[birds singing.]
[distant footsteps.]
[chair scrapes on floor.]
[keys jangle.]
[indistinct voice in background.]
Around the neck? [sniffs.]
Around, or back? Yeah, there you go.
All well? [distant birds singing.]
I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas.
July 14th, 1980.
My father was a quiet but tough guy.
When I turned about nine or ten years old, my father was in the household, and he was raising us, along with my mother.
At that point, my father separated from my mother and they were later divorced officially.
My father's absence in the household definitely created a noticeable vacuum.
As a man, I reflect that, you know, I lacked the discipline.
Once you get into the teenage years, that's a tough time for a kid.
To go it alone, without any kind of guidance.
I was getting in trouble in school.
I was always the short guy.
I was always the runt, I was always picked on, but I wasn't the type of person that would just lay down.
And so I would fight back, I did get in a few fights, um sticking up for myself.
I started skipping school.
And what do you do if you're not in school all day? You get in trouble.
Most of it was minor shoplifting or, um trespassing.
That sort of thing.
And then drug use, of course.
From 13 to 17, I found a niche, but it was with a darker crowd.
It was with the guys on the streets, you know, smoking marijuana and hanging out instead of being at school.
I became interested in gangster hip-hop.
I was impressed and influenced by the aggressiveness that you know, I was kind of feeling at that time, especially, you know, in my darker times, you know.
I got sent to my father's, who lived south of San Antonio.
He enrolled me in the local country school and it just so happened, Rob, who was from the area that I lived with my mother in the northwest of San Antonio, he was from that same area, so we clicked right away.
Rob and another friend rolled me into their gang.
He was a part of what's called the Crips.
Now, this set of Crips wasn't a real big, uh, group.
Um, it was it was more pretenders.
I don't really think about it unless somebody brings it up as part of my history.
I was happy to be a part of it because as a teenager, you brag about that type of stuff.
You want to make a name for yourself, you wanna be feared, in a sense.
I was trying pretty hard drugs.
So I needed to find money.
And so I made a decision to go out and, uh to rob another person for money.
I was 17 years old at the time.
Jose Zavala was a friend.
We ran the streets together somewhat.
He became my accomplice in the crime.
That night, we were riding around the north of San Antonio as we looked for someone to rob.
Jose had to go to the restroom, so we stopped at a Maggie's restaurant.
He went inside, and as I waited outside in my car, I saw a well-kept man in a business suit come out to his car, put something in his car and shut the door.
He did not lock his door.
And so, I screwed up my courage and grabbed my gun and left Jose a note to follow that car.
It seemed best to me at that time to get in the back seat of his car and wait for him to come out.
Jose came out, got into my car, and I presume read the note and understood the plan.
A few minutes later Christopher came and got into his car.
And and I surprised him in the back seat.
My plan was to take him to an ATM machine.
However, he didn't have an ATM account, and so we drove around for a little while.
Until he spoke up and said, "If you're after money, there's a satchel in the back seat.
" And in the satchel, I found a number of bills that I think would amount to 300 or 400 dollars.
So at that point I figured out that it was over, you know.
Um All I all I had to do was take him out to a long stretch of highway, tell him to walk and ditch his car about a mile away and get into my car and make it scot-free with just the robbery.
It became apparent along the way that he was almost out of gas and we stopped at a gas station.
I think that was just a common sense kind of thing.
We drove a little bit farther than than I planned to.
And so I asked him to pull off to the side of the road.
It was the middle of January.
Pretty cold for a Texas winter.
I remember getting out into the dark country road with the flashes of the emergency lights, the cold air hitting my face.
I don't know what happened.
I honestly don't.
Um I've run it over and over and over again in my mind.
He never saw my face.
I I made sure of that.
And it was a very easy thing to do, just to leave him, jump in his car, and let him walk back to town alive.
But for some reason in my mind that split-second of lifting the the gun and as he kneeled in front of me all I remember is pulling the trigger.
I remember Jose saying, "What are you doing?" I remember a car passing.
And us making casual.
Eventually, I began helping Jose drag Christopher's body off to the far side of the road.
For all of this time that I've been locked up, these 21 years, there's not a day that I haven't thought about what I did and who I did it to.
I don't know what the Chavez family will see, what perspective they're looking at at this point in time in their life.
Um I've reconciled with my God.
And now I'd like to reconcile with the people that I've hurt the most.
I think that would be a [sighs.]
I think that would be a beautiful thing to see.
Maybe to come full circle.
I think, uh I think it's time.
[birds singing.]
I love playing 18 holes.
It is a good stress relief for me.
You can feel the air, feel the wind, get a little exercise.
Get rid of all the tension that you've built up, take it out on the ball and go home.
And not bring everything that happened during an investigation home with you.
My name is Thomas Matjeka.
[ball clunks.]
Everybody calls me Butch.
I've been a police officer now for 41 years.
And I spent almost 17 years involved in murder investigations, attempted murders, capital murders, in San Antonio.
Despite everything that I've seen, this is probably the case that's affected me more than any other.
It affected me, it affected my family, it affected my relationships at work for a period of time.
I think because of how senseless this particular murder was.
It didn't need to happen.
But it did, and it wore on me for about six months.
One of the things that we do in investigations is we look very deeply into the background of the victim, especially when we don't have anything to go on.
And Christopher, I learned, was a very, very special young man with a very special family.
He was probably the truest innocent adult victim of any murder investigation that I ever had.
I went through his apartment, I went through his life.
I went through every scrap of paper, every item he touched in his apartment, looking for something to give me a lead as to why this happened, and I found absolutely nothing.
One of the things that really haunted me was where Christopher's body was found.
We found two shell casings at the scene.
He'd obviously been shot in the back of the head.
We also found a set of drag marks where his body had been dragged from the road to, ultimately, where he was found.
He laid there for a day, uh, alive and suffering because he'd been shot.
There was an area of dirt that had been cleaned.
It's kind of like when you make a snow angel, you're moving the snow around.
Christopher laid there and his leg had gone back and forth, back and forth, and people assume that he was trying to get up, but for me, I do this when I'm at home in bed, I'm sick, I'm in pain, I move my leg to kind of take my mind off the pain.
And I think that's what Christopher was doing.
That mark there indicated that he was laying there in pain until he was found, and that that kind of took a toll on me.
The first day or two of this investigation, we were pretty depressed, because we had nothing.
And then we learned the identity of the suspect and this case came together.
Leo kind of surprised us when we went in and talked to him.
I didn't expect to find somebody this young involved in this type of a case.
When we brought him in, we told him what we had.
"I've got a witness that says that you admitted to shooting Christopher Chavez.
I've got a witness that put you in his car.
" I laid out everything that I had for him and told him, "You're caught and there's no reason to deny it.
You killed somebody during the commission of a robbery.
That's a capital offense in Texas and you're looking at the death penalty.
" He was 17 years old and back then, the death penalty applied to 17-year-olds.
It didn't faze him.
It was, "Okay, let's talk about it.
I'll tell you everything that I did.
" Leo never gave us any indication as to why this happened.
Of course, he wanted to commit a robbery, they were looking for money for drugs, that was the whole motive for this thing.
But why he decided to pull the trigger and shoot Chris, that explanation never came.
[car approaching.]
[birds singing.]
Leo was extreme on both ends.
He was the kind of guy that would, like, open the door for you.
But at the same time, he'll punch somebody in the face if they made you cry and he cared about you.
I first met Leo in high school.
He would come to our trailer out in the country and we would play video games.
We were all going through our own personal issues, so we kind of had a mutual ground by getting high and forgetting about it.
He seemed like he wanted attention from not just the girls, but the guys.
You know, he wanted respect.
He dressed like a gangster from the city.
He really did.
Gold jewelry, earring, pressed pants.
He was a self-proclaimed Crip gang member.
So he even had a nickname, we called him Lil' Crazy.
I knew Leo for no more than a year before he committed his crime.
We saw lights coming up the driveway.
He comes in the house and he has a friend with him.
One of our friends asked him, you know, "Where'd you get this car?" And that's when he started to tell us what happened.
At first, I didn't believe him.
I thought he was lying.
But then his friend had blood on his pants, so I was kind of scared, like maybe he did do something.
We had a mutual friend that lived with me and, uh, she made an anonymous call to the police station, telling them that he committed a crime.
I would have never saw it coming.
You know, I thought he was just going through a phase like the rest of us, you know? He just took it too far.
Leo don't say much.
He just watches.
That's all that he ever did.
And that tells you everything.
You got to watch the people that are quiet.
My name is Jose Zavala.
I was convicted of capital murder and given a life sentence.
I grew up in what would be considered, from an outside perspective, a gang-related, somewhat rough neighborhood.
It was pretty run down.
What you would expect from a slum, I guess.
I was doing stupid shit, stealing cars and and burglarizing houses because there was nothing else to do.
I was out there on the streets.
Pretty bad.
Leo Little was a friend of a friend.
And we all used to get high.
We'd smoke weed together, sit around listening to music, and basically, we had common ground, we shared a common ground, so it was just a natural a natural fit.
His neighborhood was it was really picturesque.
You know what I mean? People walking their dogs.
Good lawns.
A Neighborhood Watch sign on the front yard.
Yeah, that type of neighborhood.
I just thought about it like, damn, we gotta be quiet, 'cause your neighbors are gonna snitch if we get too loud.
They're gonna call the cops.
Keep it down.
I didn't know he was in a gang.
When I learned about that at trial, like, yeah You're in a gang? Don't strike me I grew up around gang members.
Don't strike me as no gang member.
Writing rap songs and stuff? Come on, man, that's what you do, write rap songs? I guess.
Man, I didn't think nothing was gonna happen that night.
I heard the gunshots, obviously I looked up and The first thing that came to my mind was, "Man, that guy, that's not like the movies.
" The movies, like, they go and they do all this jerking.
He didn't jerk.
I remember the smoke from the hair.
I remember the going back, the swaying, going to one knee, the sway, and then slumping over, real slow.
Real slow.
Right after you got head checked.
Real slow.
I'm like, "Man, we got to get rid of this damn car.
" He's like, "All right.
Follow me first, though.
" So I ended up following him, what ended up being to these these people's house.
I remember I didn't like these people because they acted black.
"Nigga this, nigga that, nigga that.
" I didn't hang around with people that was like that.
I remember having that whole feeling.
"What's here? Why are we here? We need to be going.
" Leo said, like He was he was bragging about it.
"Yeah, I smoked that nigga, I smoked him, I did that.
He's out there right now.
" Man, yeah! This is the Leo I didn't see.
This is the Leo He ain't never been like that.
Talking like this and, um, bragging and all? No.
That night, I didn't have it in my head that nothing like that was gonna happen.
I'm assuming Leo's gonna do the same thing that we did with the last one.
My name is Malachi Wurpts.
I had just moved to San Antonio.
Two o'clock in the morning, I woke up to a young man standing at the foot of my bed, shouting at me, telling me to wake up.
As he pointed his gun at me, he told me to come with him.
And as we're walking down the hallway to the parking lot, he looked at me and said, "If I go down for anything tonight, I'm not going down for robbery.
I'm going down for murder.
" He stuck the gun right into my side and told me to drive.
As we were driving out of the parking lot, I noticed there was a car following us.
He directed me to an ATM machine at a grocery store.
And he said, "If anybody tries to be a hero, I'm gonna shoot you.
I can shoot you through my coat like this.
" When we got back to the car, he just said, "We need to do one more thing.
" He directed me to drive on this highway outside of the city of San Antonio.
And we pulled off on the side of the road and his accomplice pulled his car in front of ours.
They told me to get out of the car.
And then they took off, and that's the last I saw them.
About a week later, I was watching the news and I heard a report of a young man that had been killed.
The detectives got really interested in the story.
They actually came to where I work and brought the lineup of photos.
And I immediately zoomed in on the guy who had abducted me and it turned out that that was Leo Little.
I think about Leo a lot.
I've thought about it many times over the years, and I've actually prayed for him over and over again.
And I know how easily I could have become in his position because I made bad choices when I was a teenager.
And I really feel, like a connection with him.
And I hope that he knows that I forgive him.
What I'd like to show you now is a video that we obtained in the investigation from the Diamond Shamrock gas station.
Leo directed Christopher to stop at the Diamond Shamrock, uh, to get him something to drink.
You'll see Christopher walk through the front door here.
Leo is right behind Christopher and he's got his hand in his right pocket.
We know that's where the gun is.
Notice that Leo allows Christopher to walk freely around in the store.
He's gone to the very back of the store to get Leo something to drink.
In the meantime, Leo is talking to the clerk.
Christopher puts the Coke on the counter and Leo pays for it.
You just saw Leo turn around and walk out ahead of Christopher, giving Christopher the opportunity to grab him from behind.
In talking to his family, I asked his dad, "Why didn't Christopher fight? Why didn't he say something? Why didn't he do something to end this situation?" And in talking to Mr.
Chavez, he told me that Christopher was a very devout individual, their religion is nonviolent, and Christopher believed that if, uh, he maintained that nonviolence, that everything was going to be okay.
That's his belief and that's what led him, ultimately, uh, I believe, to be killed.
Leo's not even watching Chris.
The only time he really looks at Chris in any way is when he's walking out the door, he gives a little side glance over his shoulder, just to make sure that Christopher was still there.
Leo is getting off on that power.
He was not stressed, he was not concerned, he was not fearful.
He was in complete control and dominance.
I don't know what happened.
I honestly don't.
All I remember is pulling the trigger.
If I was sitting in front of Christopher's mother and father, there would be no words that could soothe them.
They have every right to be hurt.
But what about Christ? What about reconciliation? As a minister of God, I think that there can be some hope, you know, some healing, you know.
If they can find the strength, the courage, to approach me, to find some kind of dialogue, I think that would be a [sighs.]
I think that would be a beautiful thing to see.
[Butch sighs.]
You know He's so full of crap.
It just It surprises me.
This young man knows exactly what he did.
Leo Little pulled the trigger because he wanted to, not because he doesn't know why, or some mysterious idea he had in his head or or something overtook him, or he forgot.
That's all Leo Little intended to commit murder and he did.
You know, I grew up in a Pentecostal Church.
Many years ago, before I started at the police department, I was a a licensed preacher.
I believe in salvation, I believe in Jesus Christ.
I believe in the entire message of the Gospel and preached it for a number of years.
But if you listen to what this man is saying, he doesn't have the first clue about what he's talking about because nowhere in his conversation does he mention the term "forgiveness".
He wants to talk about: "Now's the time that we come together for hope and reconciliation.
" It's not their responsibility to come together for hope and reconciliation.
It's his responsibility to ask for forgiveness, to the Chavez family, to Christopher, and to his God, and he hasn't done that once.
What he's doing now is he's setting up his parole.
That's what all this is about.
His whole persona of change is nothing but to benefit him.
There's nobody else in his mind, there's no regret, there's no remorse.
There's nothing going on in his head right now, except: "I've got to change in order to get out of prison when my first opportunity comes up.
" That's what I believe is happening here.
Yeah, I heard that Leo is a minister, or ordained priest, or something of that nature.
That's good for him.
But I feel like somebody needs to take accountability, responsibility.
I don't run to God and be like, "It makes my soul feel good.
" So you know, "If I'm good enough, you're gonna let me out.
" That don't make me a good person.
That just makes me a person that's gonna do anything for anybody else.
No, I feel like I'd be lying, on a "spiritual sense," if I do that.
I'm not gonna do that.
Leo was a kid.
You don't know why you're doing what you're doing.
You're probably thinking that's some gangster shit.
You don't know why why you did that.
Or you might.
Who knows? I'm not in your head.
I know I'm not gonna do that shit.
[gate clicks open.]
[gate closes.]
Okay [indistinct background voices.]
Leo Little pulled the trigger because he wanted to.
Not because something overtook him, or he forgot.
That's all Leo Little intended to commit murder and he did.
If I wanted to see a man die, I would have no problem in saying that.
I would have no problem.
I know people [sighs.]
desire to know these things.
But simply, I just cannot remember what I was feeling 21 years ago as a teenager.
And I know it sounds idiotic and foolish.
But when I got out the car and Christopher got on his knees, I don't know what got into me.
I swear.
I swear it.
I don't want to have any equivocation about it.
I was evil when doing that.
I was wrong in doing that.
I am to blame for doing that.
To hear it third person, I would probably judge myself too.
The first interview, you know, you always have regrets about what you say and what you don't say.
I'm very aware that, uh, civilly speaking, I'm not a good man.
Um I I carry that X on my back and I understand that.
All I want to do [sighs.]
is clean up the mess that I've made.
What he's doing now is he's setting up his parole.
He wants to talk about: "Now's the time that we come together for hope and reconciliation.
" It's his responsibility to ask for forgiveness to the Chavez family, and he hasn't done that once.
I do desire the forgiveness of the Chavez family.
There's no doubt about that.
If I failed to say that last time, if I misspoke or got too emotional during that plea, um that was my fault.
As far as my parole goes [sighs.]
deep down, there is a part of me that thinks that I deserve to die in prison.
Whether or not the good detective, uh senses that or believes that, I respect his opinion.
It's such an injustice that Christopher and his life stopped at 22.
I get that.
I understand that.
But I'm still living.
All I can do is live my life in prison.
Whether it be for the rest of my life or not, I'll live it to the honor of God, that's for sure.
I've come from death row to becoming a minister in prison, which is a very hard thing to do.
Hopefully, I have done a a decent job of showing you who I am and what I think and what I believe.
After such a horrible, horrendous mistake.
Thank you for watching.

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