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Did Priest John Feit Kill 25-Year-old Beauty Queen Irene Garza in 1960?

Beautiful and sweet, Irene Garza had many admirers in her hometown of McAllen, Texas in 1960.

The homecoming queen, whose other titles included Miss All South Texas Sweetheart, was also a devout Catholic. So it wasn't surprising that she visited Sacred Heart Catholic Church for confession on the evening before Easter that year.



What was surprising was that she never made it home. Garza, a 25-year-old schoolteacher, was found dead five days later in an irrigation canal in town. The last person to see her alive was John Feit, a 27-year-old visiting priest, who told police he'd heard her confession that night. Two months later, when questioned about her murder along with the church attack of another woman, Feit failed a lie detector test.

Despite the alleged evidence against him, the case went cold for more than 50 years. That changed on Feb. 9, 2016, when Feit, an 83-year-old grandfather living in Phoenix, was arrested and charged with Garza's murder. Now sitting in a Texas jail, he has pleaded not guilty and his bail has been set at $750,000. Of the allegations, Feit said, "This whole thing makes no sense to me because the crime in question took place in 1960."

Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez believes it's time Garza's case is finally closed.

"We are confident that after a jury hears all the facts and the evidence, we will get past the threshold of reasonable doubt," he says.

Garza's family has never given up on justice. Relative Noemi Sigler had been especially vigilant over the decades, digging up clues and eventually enlisting the help of the Texas Rangers. Of her efforts, she says, "Nancy Drew has nothing on me."

Sigler wept when she learned that Feit had been arrested for murder. Decades ago, the thought that a priest could have been responsible for such a vicious act "was so horrendous that the family just did not speak about it," she says. "To talk about a priest was a big no-no in the 1960s."

Sigler and her family simply want to see the person responsible for Garza's murder pay for the crime. One day during the long, frustrating quest for answers in the case, she visited Garza's grave to tell her goodbye and to move on.

"But as I was sitting there, I heard a flapping and looked up to see one of the most beautiful, brilliant doves I've ever seen," she recalls. "It landed and stood there looking at me. I laughed and said, 'Okay, Irene, I get the message. I won't give up.'"

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Spain's Queen Letizia masters summer elegance in a £49.99 Zara dress

While the world’s wealthiest women covet the current AW16 couture collections shown in Paris, it’s refreshing to see that Queen Letizia of Spain has a penchant for high street fashion.

The mother-of-two accompanied her husband, King Felipe VI, to the Madrid presentation of Iberdrola Foundation scholarships, which aid young professionals in the research of biodiversity, wearing a floral Zara vintage evening dresses. The chiffon midi, which featured a soft palette of languidly arranged lilies, retailed at the Spanish high street giant for £49.99. We're sorry to report that it has now sold out. The Queen added a designer touch to her midi with a pair of Prada’s failsafe point-toe pumps and a hot pink Adolfo Dominguez clutch.

The diamond dazzlers hanging from her ears were not, as you might expect, from the royal jewellery collection, but another prudent Zara purchase, leading us to wonder whether Letizia got sucked into the Zara sale just like the rest of us.

Queen Letizia playing the poster girl for Zara

Queen Letizia playing the poster girl for Zara

The breezy pastel dress was certainly a seasonal, and budget savvy, choice for her moment amongst the scholars, but marks quite a departure from Letizia's signature style. Formerly a news anchor before her marriage to Felipe, Letizia’s largely monochrome wardrobe of sleek tailoring still emulates the formalwear associated with the profession.

The brands she religiously wears also hint at her business-like persona. Last week, her meeting with Michelle Obama saw Letizia wear a red fit-and-flare dress by Joseph Altuzzara, a designer known for his flawlessly cut dresses and jackets.

Queen Letizia and Michelle Obama

Queen Letizia and Michelle Obama

Hugo Boss separates and pencil dresses also make up her go-to wardrobe, and Letizia has repeatedly worn the brand’s versatile Rizalia flared skirt, and Dinoma dress (below) on her royal duties. Her nude and black courts, meanwhile, always hail from Prada or Spanish label Magrit, which makes bespoke pumps for the Queen.

Queen Letizia in Hugo Boss 

Queen Letizia in the Hugo Boss Dinoma Onyx dress

, and is likely the reason that every outfit has a flawless fit. She has worked consistently with couturier Felipe Varela ever since she joined the Spanish royal family. A burgundy skirt and jacket of Varela’s design has been widely talked about in the media, as Letizia has worn the two-piece four times since 2009. A monochrome, form-fitting dress suit (below) by Varela has also been celebrated for its exquisite fit and ultra-flattering silhouette.

Queen Letizia modelling the work of her head couturier

Queen Letizia modelling the work of her head couturier

Letizia's thrifty fashion sense has drawn comparison to the Duchess of Cambridge, who repeatedly rewears her Alexander McQueen tailoring, and those trusty LK Bennett courts, which are now a ubiquitous feature of her looks. And of course, like Letizia, Kate has been known to indulge in the occassional Zara spree; this year alone, she's worn a red Zara coat and Zara skinny jeans for public appearances.

So, just as Kate has started experimenting with off-beat designers and high street brands in recent years, perhaps Letizia's Zara princess prom dresses uk marks a shift towards unpredictable wardrobe choices. Watch this space...