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Former Catholic Priest Heads To Trial For Murder Of Texas Beauty Queen

Irene Garza (L), Ex-Priest John Bernard Feit (R)(Image credit: Screengrab/CBS News/Youtube)
Ex-Priest John Bernard Feit was indicted for murder in 2016. He is suspected of murdering Irene Garza in April 1960.

Ex-Priest John Bernard Feit,84, was indicted for murder in 2016. He is suspected of murdering Irene Garza, 24, a former Texas beauty queen in Spring 1960. Prosecutors believe she was murdered after attending confession. The Catholic Church reportedly pressured local authorities to backoff Feit, then a young priest, at the time of Garza's murder.

Garza, a schoolteacher and Miss All South Texas Sweetheart 1958, vanished in April 1960 after visiting Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen for confession during Holy Week. Her body was found in a canal five days after she disappeared. An autopsy revealed that she had been raped while unconscious and then beaten and suffocated, according to CBS.

Feit is suspected of murdering Garza following her confession.

Garza, a schoolteacher and Miss All South Texas Sweetheart 1958, vanished in April 1960 after visiting Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen for confession during Holy Week.

The Catholic Church pressured local authorities to backoff from investigating Feit at the time of Garza's murder.

Feit, now 84, worked as a visiting Catholic priest in the Rio Grande Valley in the early 1960s - and had been questioned by authorities in the young woman's disappearance. But ultimately at the urging of local Catholic church officials, authorities were steered away from Feit. They eventually ruled him out as a suspect and never questioned him again.

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