Friends remember spring break murder of Mark Kilroy in 1989

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Friends recount spring break murder of Mark Kilroy
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Friends recount spring break murder of Mark Kilroy in 1989, Deborah Wrigley reports.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Mark Kilroy was a University of Texas student who planned to be a doctor. In March 1989, he vanished on the streets of Matamoros, Mexico during what was known as "Texas Week."

Ryan Fenley planned to go with Kilroy on the trip. Not going, may have saved his life.

"I can't tell you to this day what made me change my mind," Fenley said.

Carl Routh did go on the trip to Mexico but didn't go out with Kilroy the night he was abducted. He still remembers the conversation he had with Kilroy hours before he disappeared.

"He said 'don't worry about it Carl, you're my friend'," Routh said. "And those are the last words he told me."

The remains of Kilroy and several others were found on a ranch near Matamoros. The loss was profound and horrifying to those who knew him. The victims had been sacrificed in a form of Santeria and their blood consumed by the drug smugglers who abducted them.

Kilroy's murder generated countless stories across the country, including books. His murder also changed spring break for a generation of college students that remembered the horrific tragedy. Fenley gives safety seminars in Kilroy's memory.

"All it takes is one time. It's a tourism safety issues," Fenley said. "Look at what happened to Natalie Holloway."

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