Pure Evil: The Ertman-Peña Murders

KTRK logo
Thursday, July 20, 2023
Pure Evil: the Ertman-Pena Murders
TEXAS TRUE CRIME: 30 years ago this summer, 14-year-old Jennifer Ertman and 16-year-old Elizabeth Pena decided to take a shortcut home through T.C. Jester Park. They walked straight into unimaginable horror.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- In daylight, Houston's T.C. Jester Park is a haven for runners and cyclists. But 30 years ago, it was a shortcut for two innocent teenage girls - and what happened to them while cutting through the park at night was unspeakable. On June 24th, 1993, Elizabeth Peña and Jennifer Ertman crossed paths with what those involved in their murder cases have called "pure evil."

"We've had bad crimes in Houston," said Don Smyth, a retired prosecutor. "But nothing compared to this."

In our latest episode of Texas True Crime, ABC13's Jessica Willey sits down with those who saw this horrific case unfold - from police, witnesses and attorneys to the girls' family members, who used their pain to advocate for change. For the first time, one of the girls' attackers also speaks from prison.

"I mean, we were all guilty," said Venancio Medellin.

"Texas True Crime: Pure Evil" is available now to stream on the ABC 13 app.

Watch Texas True Crime on your favorite streaming devices, like Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and GoogleTV. Just search "ABC13 Houston."