Couple Dismember NA Sponsor Who Tried to Help Them Get Clean
Herbert Tracy White always wanted to help other people
Herbert Tracy White crawled out of bed, got dressed, and eagerly drove to the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles on November 28, 2010, picking up Edward and Melissa Hope Garcia, a couple he’d met days before at a Hollywood bank. At this first meeting, White told the couple to call him if they ever were serious about getting sober. They took him up on that offer very soon. Little did White know that the couple had other plans for him.
White Helps Others
As a former cocaine addict turned Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous sponsor, White understood the turmoil addicts experienced, but also knew that with the right help, life could make a complete turnaround for even the most downtrodden of addicts. He was a married man with a beautiful wife and great life, but he never gave up on other people.
White drove Edward and Melissa to the Continental Hotel. The couple checked into Room 66.
A Horrific Scene
The following day, the housekeeper knocked on the door after check-out time when the couple still had not returned the key to the office. The housekeeper opened the door when she did not get an answer. What she saw frightened her and she called the hotel manager to come to the room.
The couple had left the hotel through a fire escape. Police caught up to them a week later in an abandoned building.
The manager opened the backpack and found White’s severed arms bound by duct tape.
Underneath the bed was White’s torso, covered in puncture wounds and scratches. His body was almost completely drained of blood. The LA Lakers hat he’d worn the night before sat in the middle of the bed.
The manager called police.
Police began searching for the Garcia’s, who’d escaped the hotel through a fire escape. In the hotel room, police found two pairs of men’s underwear and a pair of women’s panties, all soaked in blood.
Garcia’s Criminal Past
When police looked into the couple’s criminal past, they were shocked to learn they’d been involved with very similar crimes in Pennsylvania, their home state. A year before, Melissa posed as a prostitute and lured a man to their apartment. When the man took off his pants, Edward came out threatening the man with a knife. The couple bound the man and lured one of his friends to their home and sliced his finger, but they managed to escape.
Edward and Melissa killed 49-year-old White in a ritualistic killing, part of a “long-held fantasy of dismembering” someone.
In court, Edward told a jury that he was under the influence of methamphetamine -supplied to him by White -on the night of the murders. He told the jury that White propositioned him, or more specifically, Melissa, which upset him. Edward admitted that it was he who killed White, but was regretful of the murder.
Edward stated that he briefly struggled with White in the hotel room until he incapacitated the man. He did not elaborate on how White was incapacitated. He said that he and Melissa then duct-raped his wrists, dragged him onto the bed, and began cutting and stabbing his face. White suffered punctures and scratches on his chest. He also suffered from two fatal stab wounds to the neck. These stabs hit the jugular vein.
Edward then used a 3 1/2 -inch blade to cut up White’s body. He skinned a piece of leg muscle from the bone.
Melissa Hope Garcia pleaded guilty to various charges, including murder. She was sentenced to 16 years, nine months in prison. Edward Garcia Jr. was sentenced to life in prison in a separate trial.
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