I read the paper a lot when I was a kid and this murder always stuck out in my mind. And it was written by the great Edna Buchanan, a crime beat reporter who should have a book of all her crime reports put together. Some of them are pretty hilarious.
She did put out a book in the late 80’s-early 90’s called THE CORPSE HAD A FAMILIAR FACE, which was a auto-biography/true crime book on the shit she’s seen in Miami.
She wrote this one, and I’ve always wanted to use it someday in a screenplay.
NUDE MAN FOUND WITH CUTOFF HEAD .. SUSPECT ACCUSED OF FRIEND’S MURDER
The man twice hurled the woman’s head at the young police officer who approached him.
"I killed her. She’s the devil !" the man shouted.
"There is no end to the bizarreness of this world," veteran Miami Homicide Sgt. Mike Gonzalez said later.
"This is something not likely to happen to any policeman again in 100 years."
Dina Tormos, 18, had been stabbed "many" times with a large hunting type knife, which also was used to cut off her head, police said.
The rest of the murdered woman’s body was found in the
suspect’s apartment, several blocks from where he was arrested at Southwest 33rd Avenue and 29th Terrace, just off U.S. 1.
The suspect, Alberto Mesa, 23, was charged with first- degree murder. Hysterical and distraught, he was taken to the prison ward at Jackson Memorial Hospital and sedated.
Police said Mesa, of 2798 SW 33rd Ave., had no apparent history of mental illness or prior problems with police. Relatives did tell Homicide Detective Earl Washington and Sgt. Gonzalez that Mesa had "recently expressed an unusual interest in religion." They did not specify the religion.
Shocked family members said they last saw Mesa at 2 a.m. Nothing appeared wrong, they said.
A roommate of the dead woman told police she last saw the victim on Friday. Nothing appeared wrong, she said. Tormos, she said, had been dating Mesa for about six months.
The woman, found clad only in a T-shirt and bikini panties, was killed and her body left in a hallway inside the otherwise orderly apartment, police said.
The couple "may have been having a conflict over his interest in religion," Gonzalez said.
Carrying the severed head by the hair, in his right hand, Mesa walked to the home of a brother, at 3375 SW 29th Ter., and said he had killed someone. His relatives did not see the head, but called police because, they said, he was acting strangely.
It was 6:30 a.m. Officer Derek Aycarte, 22, arrived in his patrol car, to investigate a possible assault. He saw Mesa and what he was carrying.
Mesa shouted at the officer and hurled the head. Officer Aycarte jumped out of the way. "This is an extraordinary thing for any young officer to encounter," Gonzalez said. "He tried to calm the man, who was naked, bloody and violent. He stayed calm."
Miami Herald, The (FL) - June 27, 1982
Author: CHARLES WHITED Herald Columnist
The censors are at it again.
This fall, Miami voters will have the opportunity go to the polls to decide what, if anything, individual pay-television viewers cannot watch in the privacy of their own homes.
Mayor Maurice Ferre doesn’t want "obscene" or "indecent" material from cable television corrupting the morals of his grandchildren, or anybody else for that matter.
The city’s resolution would make it unlawful for any cable system to broadcast any "lewd, lascivious, filthy, offensive or indecent" material as defined by Florida statutes.
This business all started, you’ll recall, when Mayor Ferre, while on a trip to New York, accidentally tuned in a skin flick in his hotel room. Ferre, who must have led a sheltered life, was shocked.
As the commission voted last week to put the question to a referendum in September, Ferre tried to back off from being labeled an outright prude, saying community standards are for voters to decide. The thing is fraught with irony. Censors have been trying to put the lid on sex since Adam and Eve, without success. And in this era of proliferating hard-core entertainment, the city’s efforts seem rather pallid.
In Miami, or anyplace else in South Florida, one doesn’t have to wait for cable to buy "adult" television fare. On-TV, the noncable service, sells it for $4.95 extra per month.
I called On-TV and asked a salesperson: "Can I buy that right now in the city of Miami?"
"Certainly, sir," she replied.
Adult pay-TV programming is a matter of choice, anyhow. One pays extra for cable service. The audience has the option of tuning out what it finds objectionable. And if all else fails, there is the on-off switch.
As for deciding what children should and shouldn’t see, it seems to me that that’s the parents’ job, not the government’s.
What really troubles me about all this is not the question of smut but the larger question of censorship. Where does thought control end? And what gives Maurice Ferre -- or a majority of the voters in Miami -- the right to decide what private citizens can or cannot see, hear, read or think in the privacy of their own homes? W ith the advent of today’s rabid moralists, thought control doesn’t stop with X- rated TV. Some of them are out to purge "hidden drug messages" in rock music. Others would cleanse our library shelves of certain books, including Catcher in the Rye, Slaughterhouse Five and Soul on Ice. (One recent argument against Slaughterhouse Five was that it’s "un-American.") These censors, too, justify their bans in the name of decency and righteousness.
Any Miamian with a yen for porn doesn’t have to wait for the soft-core offerings of cable TV. You can buy a home video- cassette player and order by mail the hardest-core stuff on the market -- Deep Throat, Debbie Does Dallas, Behind the Green Door. They’re advertised in all the video magazines, which are available at most newsstands. And for lower-priced fare, Dade and Broward counties abound with XXX-rated movie theaters that show hard-core flicks. They’re advertised in the newspapers, including The Miami Herald.
There may be questions of legality concerning Miami’s proposed censorship. Mormon-dominated Utah passed a law banning pay-TV broadcasting of "any pornographic or indecent material." Six months ago a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional. He reasoned: People offended by what’s on the tube don’t have to watch it.
But the real clincher, to me, is this: Last year, I visited the Soviet Union to see for myself the most thought-controlled society on earth. At the Moscow airport, a tough customs officer found two magazines in my luggage, Time and Computer World. She
thumbed each, page by page, before passing me through. What was she looking for?
"Nude or suggestive pictures," a Soviet citizen told me later. "They are not allowed in the Soviet Union."
Miami Herald, The (FL) - October 2, 1983
Author: KEITH L. THOMAS Herald Staff Writer
If you travel down NW Seventh Avenue, it’s hard to ignore the health spas and men’s clubs that have sprouted up since the early 1970s. One passerby, left, steals a glance inside the door of A Touch of Class as she heads home. Outside the Gentleman’s Paradise, below, Wanda McCormack and her dog Goldie look at the spa while her roommate, Josephine Cecilio, complains about the spa’s patrons. Managers at The Doll House, right, and other spas refused to give their names, but insisted that everything’s legal behind the closed doors.
Flashy signs beckon:
GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS.
FOR MEN ONLY.
Welcome to NW Seventh Avenue just outside North Miami, where intimacy is bought and sold at health spas and men’s
"I call them glitter down the street," said Ed Beinkowski, a city resident and member of the Westside Property Owners Association. He drives past the spas and their garish signs every night on his way home from work.
Located in unincorporated Dade County, the spas have concerned the Westside property and business owners since they began sprouting up in the early 1970s, said Ford Pollard, president of the group.
Although the association never has taken any action against the spas, "We’ve always been concerned with the kind of people they bring into our neighborhood," Pollard said.
"None of them is in the city so we can’t really do anything about them," said Diane Brannen, a North Miami City Council member and former president of the association.
A city ordinance, which regulates adult book stores, massage parlors and X-rated movie theaters inside city limits, has kept the spas out of North Miami -- but barely.
Three spas, one only a block away from North Miami’s northern boundary at NW 135th Street, lie north of the city. Seven are south of NW 119th Street, North Miami’s southern boundary.
Police call the spas "a pain."
Detective Jonas Sears of Metro-Dade’s Organized Crime Bureau said the spas are the focus of an investigation to determine whether they are providing more than just body rubs to customers.
The spa employes and managers who consented to interviews insist they’re only selling massages.
The spas under investigation by the Organized Crime Bureau include:
* A Play House, 14625 NW Seventh Avenue
* Cloud Nine, 13806 NW Seventh Ave.
* Public Relations, 13740 NW Seventh Ave.
* Gentleman’s Paradise, 660 NW 119th St.
* Eva’s Health Club, 1284 NW 119th St.
* The 7th Heaven Men’s Club, 11754 NW Seventh Ave.
* The Doll House Health Spa, 11628 NW 119th St.
* The Gazebo, 11440 NW Seventh Ave.
* A Touch of Class, 10798 NW Seventh Ave.
* Most Beautiful Girls, 9526 NW Seventh Ave.
health clubs> won’t even talk to you if you start asking for a certain type of girl or hinting about sexual favors," Sears said. "Some of these places will."
"Prostitution is a word game," Sears said. "We have to prove knowledge and intent. A lot of these places know this."
Sears said many of the spas require that the employes sign a contract in which they promise not to participate in any sexual activity on the job.
"This way, if we bust a girl the manager of the spa can say she signed a contract and he didn’t know what she was doing," Sears said. "There is a state statute against providing a space for prostitution."
He said the offense is a third-degree felony punishable with a fine of up to $5,000 and five years in jail.
The Organized Crime Bureau has made prostitution arrests at seven of the 10 spas in the past year and half, Sears said. The cases still are pending. The arrests were at: A Play House, Gentleman’s Paradise, Eva’s Health Club, The Doll House Health Spa, The Gazebo, A Touch of Class, Most Beautiful Girls.
The most recent arrest occurred on Aug. 17. A 24-year-old woman working at The Doll House was arrested on a previously issued warrant for prostitution elsewhere, Sears said. She was convicted on that charge, he said.
Sears said the Organized Crime Bureau wants to close the spas, but can’t without proving they are a public nusiance and then getting a court order.
The managers at four of the 10 spas allowed interviews. They said that everything that’s done inside the spas is legal, but none of the four would give his name. The managers of the other six spas failed to return repeated telephone calls.
"We’ve had no problems with the police," said the manager of The Gazebo.
"We run a very nice health spa. We have a membership here," he said.
Elias Legra, who owns the building that houses Most Beautiful Girls, would only comment briefly on his tenants.
"I’ve had no problems with them," Legra said.
Andrew Alexander, a spokesman for A Touch of Class, said the spas don’t deserve bad reputations.
"The spa is for hot-oil body rubs," Alexander said. "That’s it."
"This is a place a man can come and relax," said one woman, who asked that her name and the spa’s name not be used.
"We run a nice place just like any other business on Seventh Avenue," she said. "We just specialize in body rubs."
Most of the spas have been converted from small houses and stores that used to line the avenue. Customer parking is in the rear. The buildings have few windows and two-way mirrors allowing customers to be screened before they enter.
Once inside, customers usually have a choice of a hot-oil or alcohol rub at a cost ranging from $35 to $55 for a half-hour. Some of the spas accept Visa and Mastercard. Most are open all night.
At most of the spas, customers are greeted by a smiling woman and led into a dimly lit, sparsely furnished lobby. In some, cheesecake posters hang on the walls.
An employe at one spa, A Play House gave a tour to a Herald reporter, leading him down a narrow hallway to a small, private room where massages are given.
To open a spa in Dade County, operators must get an occupational license from the county’s Tax Collection Division. The cost of the license depends on the size of the building. The 10 spas on NW Seventh Avenue pay between $44 and $450 a year for their occupational licenses, according to figures from the county’s license section.
"The women working in them don’t need a license or degree to give a body rub," Sears said.
Once the licenses are granted they change hands frequently, Sears said.
"Most of these places aren’t that new," he said. "They are just in new locations. What they do is change locations when they get tired of a certain spot."
For example, he said, The Gazebo used to be where A Touch of Class is now. A spa called the Happy Time Health Studio used to be at the Gazebo’s present location.
All of these changes took place in less than three years, Sears said.
"We don’t hurt anybody," said one of the women. "If people want to come in they come in. We don’t ask them to.
"Regardless of who talks to you or what they say it makes our businesses look bad."