Ramon Salcido: A Ruthless Killer or ?
Nothing can be said or done to defend the numerous murders Ramon Salcido did in 1989 in Sonoma County, California, not far from Santa Rosa. What happened, happened. He killed his wife, two of the three small daughters, he then went on to kill others before fleeing to Mexico in a car via back roads until reaching the border area where he ditched the car and walked across with a mass of other people. Hopped on a bus, a very crowded bus, where he could only stand, and despite the fact that his jacket had blood stains on it and a gun handle protruded out of his jacket, ont one person question him about it. Nada. Por que? Probably because people were afraid to get involved. But, they did notice it. Of course, by this time, authorities from the US and Mexico were watching for him around his home town. He knew they were. It was as if he wanted to get caught by going home.
Once on the airplane heading back to the US, he was asked why he did it, he chuckled a no answer, for he had none. On film, it appears as if he was a cold blooded killer. I mean, he laughed. He seemed to enjoyed his noteriety, it was the one time in his life that he felt important and movie star. His chuckle when asked was not because he enjoyed killing, it was a reaction that many have when they are in serious trouble. He acted smug about what he did because that is how he dealt with such things long before this point.
Unlike most who have disasters in their lives, Ramon simmered before the horrific event and then exploded in a rage. Many personal events led up to this: he lost his job that supported his family, his wife no longer honored him, his wife was planning to leave him, inter family issues heightened this stew, things like, Ramon was a jealous guy by nature, about his wife, about other guys looking at her, about her wanting to be a model, he was insecure having been a migrant worker who married a beautiful white woman who could do better elsewhere. He knew this. He had lucked out and perhaps tamed her (in a sense) by keeping her pregnant, thus, forcing her to stay at home and away from what she wanted to become.
As far as we know, Ramon had no prior arrests. He was a good employee up to a point in time, for he worked for his wages, which he thought were good, a guy with little education from Mexico. He was not illegal or a wetback. He was a likable guy obviously until events in his life went from not so bad to bad to worse. A downward spiral of events he had little control and along the way he lost his pride. As the events happened, his anger grew worse. Anger at anyone that was better than he was. There probably were family issues regarding the in-laws who lived near Santa Rosa, maybe they did not want their daughter marrying a Mexican. Maybe he never was really welcomed, maybe these issues were voiced between Ramon and his wife or between Ramon and her parents. There may have been some "bad blood" between them all under a veneer of pleasantries. This is not atypical. This would explain why Ramon deliberately drove to their home after killing his wife and kids to seek a revenge.
All of these simmering feelings existed before Ramon exploded. He was able to keep them in check like most people. Ramon crossed the line into a murderer with the help of a lot of alcohol (tequila and champagne) he consumed with his friends at a local bar. As if this was not enough, he and his friends did several lines of coke just before he left to walk home. Up to this point, all Ramon was a wasted guy drowning himself away from the financial and marriage problems on the horizon. He knew finding another job would be hard. He knew his wife was not happy and she was sick of being a "housewife" and sought a career in modeling. He knew she probably would leave him. Being possessive, this really angered him.
Then, he arrived home in the early AM, when most are asleep. He walked into their room. He was just hoping to crash and sleep the day away. Yet, his wife was not there. Timing is everything in life, and here, his wife had left early, before the kids awoke, to withdraw money from a nearby ATM. While she was there, he had returned home. As he told me, "I just lost it". Ramon's rage, which had simmered for sometime, erupted in every sense of horror. It was then, his wife returned and the confrontation occurred in the kitchen ending in a bloody mess which ended her life. When I asked him why he killed his kids, he gave no answer. He only dropped his head and fought back tears through that tough, macho veneer that protected him. He did it because he did not want anyone else to raise them, have them, they were his. Luckily, Carmina survived.
Ramon's rage in the kitchen was a reaction and barely controllable. He went into a controlled rage as evidenced by his ability to drive a car all over Sonoma County without drawing any attention to himself whatsover. Pretty remarkable because he drove on back and not so back roads and no doubt must have passed at least one police car!
Jealousy and possessiveness can be so detrimental if unchecked and personal problems only add to the explosive nature that this mix can have. Ramon, after his arrest, acted as he did because he was for the first time, in the limelight, he was a star. He was wanted. He felt important. His smirks or chuckles are just a reaction, a sort of protection from the horror he caused. It makes it easier for him to deal with it. No parent, not even Ramon, can honestly say they enjoyed killing their children. Rage causes one to do many unbelievable things.
When Carmina and her father finally met recently in San Quentin Prison, it was odd. It was a circus with cameras, media, no privacy. Ramon played as if nothing had happened. He was smiling probably because he was seeing his only daughter. Carmina expected some sort of apology. Ramon's character returned to the chuckle, smug reactions that the media's impact have on him. While an apology might help Carmina in some way, that expectation really does nothing more. It would never make things right between them. She would never really forgive her dad. There could never be any sort of "normal" relationship. So, it really is just a moot point.
Deep inside, I am sure Ramon regrets what he did. He was and maybe now, just a normal person that personal demons took control of in 1989, via possessiveness and jealousy, which events elevated into a uncontrollable rage ruining the lives of many family members.
Does he deserve to die? Yes. That is why he is on death row. Will God forgive him? I doubt it.
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