“Well I can’t say I’ve never been angry ’cause I have, but I have forgiven them for the pain and hurt. The hardest thing for me was the fact that I couldn’t raise my child, but I still don’t know why they have done it, when I’ve never done anything but take care of them and try to love them when no one else cared to”.
— Elizabeth Ramirez – 1/23/07
At 4 feet 9 inches tall and barely 100 pounds, Elizabeth hardly looks the “monster” prosecutors made her out to be during her trial. Although she grew up in a working-class family in one of the poorest areas of San Antonio, Elizabeth was well-adjusted and happy. One of Liz’ friend’s mother describes her as always being “mature and responsible for her age” and more concerned with other people’s welfare than her own. At school she took courses geared toward her career interest in health care, specifically nursing geriatric patients. Her first job was as a Licensed Practical Nurse working with elderly patients at the Veteran’s Affairs hospital. Elizabeth loved working at the hospital and found it fascinating, especially when the doctors would “stand her up on top of some crates” and let her watch them performing surgeries.
Pretty, petite, outgoing and athletic, Liz did not lack male attention. However, her life experiences with men had not been positive. Her biological father abandoned the family when she was seven years old. Elizabeth’s family photos all show a large group of women and children, with one or two adult males occasionally on the periphery. Men abandoning the family in difficult circumstances was a scenario that Liz had seen in her mother’s and older sister’s lives. When Liz became pregnant at 19 her boyfriend demanded she get an abortion. When she refused he walked out on her and left her with a stack of bills in the apartment. She had been injured in a traffic accident and was unable to work. Liz saw her mother’s experiences with men starting to repeat in her own life.
Prison hasn’t stopped Liz from being herself – more concerned with other people’s welfare than her own. She is active in her “community” and church, helping to organize the annual Christmas concert and forever taking some weak or elderly fellow prisoner under her wing and caring for them.
Excerpts from Elizabeth’s Letters:
“The plea bargain was offered by the DA but we decided to take it to trial and prove our innocence. Honestly, I really felt that they couldn’t convict the truth, but I was truly wrong, dead wrong at that. They even mentioned it in the sentence phrase(sic) of my trial. Until the jury decided to give me my time – 37 and-a-half years… ”cause we took it to trial and the jury sentenced us… ”
“I’ve been here 10 yrs. now in Feb.’07 for aggravated sexual assault to my nieces which I was taking care of during the summer of 1994 when supposedly everything happened. They liked to visit ’cause we went out to places and I’ve been around them there(sic) whole life. But then my brother-in-law wanted a relationship with me and I didn’t want one ’cause I loved my sister and I had morals and values that I wouldn’t cross the line with him… but when I came out pregnant he wanted to raise my son. I told him no, he had a daddy, that I wouldn’t do that and he got angry about it and told me no one would have me if he couldn’t and he meant that..That’s the reason I’m here today…he accused me and my friends of assaulting them.”
“They have nothing but there(sic) statements which is crazy… I don’t think that I would be able to do the [sex offender] program and I feel like they will refuse me parole. I’m being honest with myself since I first refused the 10 probation that they offered me. I would of never hit TDC [prison] but I refuse to admit for a crime I didn’t commit. What would that do to a life that I’m trying to live besides hurt me in the future. I can’t live like that. So I know that I need to be honest with myself above it all… This has been hard to endure over the years but my faith won’t let me loose(sic) hope one day someone will be tired from carrying the burden I hope… I just hate the pain that my son has endured through all this. It’s just not fair for him – that’s what hurts me.”
“…I miss everyone ’cause I’m not able to see and be home with them, but most of all I miss my son. I’m sad inside. I never was a mother to that child. He only knows me through a video and stories they tell him, not because he knows me in a personal relationship… or because I’ve spent time with him but because I’m shared with the thoughts that my family have of me…”
“…and it kinda has discouraged me a great deal cause I really want to get this over with and finally move on. I know we all have to suffer but when does it all stop… I didn’t live a bad life hurting people or doing drugs. I did little pranks that were harmless but not to where it would damage the chances of someone’s life. No…that’s the crazy part… but my life changed so fast… that it just overwhelmed me. How could this happen and why at times I ask myself, where did I go wrong, and do we really deserve all this. I don’t understand…
I sit here with thoughts of how to fight this but there are no answers. Was I truly created to spend almost the rest of my life behind prison walls? Just waiting for a board to say parole… or set me off for some years…”