TX – Priest found guilty of decades old murder, SNAP responds

For immediate release Friday, December 8, 2017

Statement by Melanie Sakoda of California, Volunteer Member of SNAP’s Board of Directors (925-708-6175[email protected])

Yesterday a jury found former Catholic priest John Feit guilty of the April 1960 murder of Irene Garza, a McAllen schoolteacher and former Miss South Texas.


We here at SNAP, the Survivors Network, are grateful for this verdict. We commend all the witnesses who came forward, and we also applaud Texas authorities for deciding to prosecute this very old case. We hope that this conviction, long overdue, will bring some measure of comfort to Ms. Garza’s family and friends.

All too often in the past church officials protected clergy accused of crimes, and law enforcement looked the other way. From the evidence that was introduced at Mr. Feit’s trial, this appears to have been the case in Texas in 1960.

Thankfully, times have changed 2002, when the Boston Globe exposed this dangerous practice in the Archdiocese of Boston. We hope that the jury’s decision in this trial will inspire others who has experienced, witnessed or suspected crimes by clergy to report to law enforcement.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org


Melanie Sakoda 925-708-6175 [email protected], Joelle Casteix 949-322-7434[email protected], or Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Executive Director (314-503-0003[email protected])

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant