Tuesday, May 3


I committed to readers of "ACSOL" (indeed, I vowed) that I would continue reporting on the vicious murder of toddler Aiden Naquin, who was killed in the Houston area the night of April 12th by alleged shooter Miguel Angel Castro, while flanked by male accomplices, all thought to be members of the notorious street gang MS-13. The little boy, who would have been two years old in August, was strapped into a child's car seat in the backseat of his father's car when Miguel Castro purportedly fired five shots at point blank range through the windshield of the father's car, missing Ernest Naquin and his two daughters, all of whom ducked, but striking hapless Aiden in the head, unable as he was to move. All suspects have been arrested, charged, and are in police custody.

What isn't known, however, is whether Aiden's father, Ernest, has been subsequently charged by authorities for having allegedly sold the prescrition drug Xanax to the wife of one of the involved gang members, who in turn, along with his comrades, tried to steal the money back from the father of the toddler, the botched robbery leading to the shooting and Aiden's death.

I wrote an email yesterday morning and followed up with a second email today to two of the principal reporters for the "Houston Chronicle," who have been covering the story. Unless I have missed a recent article in the "Houston Chronicle," the last reports of this crime were published by it on April 22nd, and a "Google" search appears to confirm that. So, I wrote asking for an update on Ernest Naquin, asking if he has been charged yet or, if not, if there's an expectation that he will be. I further asked if an investigation is still underway vis-a-vis Ernest Naquin or if the investigation had been completed and the decision is now in the hands of the District Attorney.

As I write this post, it has been 31 hours since my initial email was transmitted and still no answer from either of the "Houston Chronicle" reporters. I did acknowledge in my emails that I was a Houston-area blogger, so maybe that has put them off. I am always up front about that when I endeavor to query any journalist or official about something I am writing about and oftentimes that information alone provokes resistance. I hope that's not the case here, but I'm concerned that it is.

The "Houston Chronicle" (registration required) was right when it published the following on April 22nd:

The murder of toddler Aiden Naquin, shot this month by gang members following a drug deal gone bad, prompted conflicting emotions in many Houstonians: heartbreak over a child's death; rage at his killer; disgust that a parent would place his children in danger; and a sense of powerlessness to prevent such atrocities. As it happens, gang-related crime is a type of lawlessness residents can fight.

The gang suspected of killing Aiden Naquin represents a new trend. Harris County detectives say Aiden's killer is a member of Mara Salvatrucha, or MS 13, a powerful and complex gang started by Salvadoran refugees. The murderer's allegiance to the gang is proclaimed by the MS 13-linked tattoos on his body.

Once based in Los Angeles, the gang is spreading across the United States. It is so violent that the FBI has made it a high priority, the Chronicle's Susan Bardwell reported. Yet the only reason the public knows the details about Aiden's murderer is that Harris County deputy sheriffs are not constrained by the same rules as HPD officers. HPD's silence might have some logic when it comes to small, attention-hungry neighborhood gangs. But gangs such as MS 13, the Crips or the Latin Kings are organized crime operations not in it for the publicity. Identifying their habits — the colors they wear, the graffiti they pen, the way they shave their eyebrows and tattoo their foreheads — can't make these vicious gangs more dangerous. However, it will help Houston residents to protect themselves and give law enforcement agencies essential gang-busting intelligence.

This blogger has every intention of "fighting" the proliferation of MS-13 and, by doing so, assuring in my own small way that the youngster Aiden will not have died in vain. I have been posting actively on MS-13 and on the unconscionable illegal immigration problem that has fueled the gang's rapid growth in numbers and its massive migration to 33 states. I hope Cindy Horswell and Susan Bardwell and other "Houston Chronicle" reporters covering the Aiden Naquin story and the deadly impact of MS-13 on our community will welcome the involvement of concerned area bloggers and not view us as competition or disingenuous, pajama-clad, pseudo-journalists.

If the Houston Chronicle's editors truly believe concerned citizens can make a difference than they ought to do something typically not seen in the mainstream media -- embrace bloggers and close ranks with them in helping the community.