from Devil’s Kitchen by Clark Lohr.
We have with us today Manuel Aguilar. Born in Tucson, Arizona, he is a product of a tripartite society: Anglo, Latino, and Native American. His cultural and racial heritage goes back many years before English-speaking Europeans came to dominate the Southwestern US. Aguilar is bilingual. He served for sixteen years with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and was fired over complications arising from a murder case. He currently works as a private investigator for Jeffrey Goldman, a criminal defense attorney.
You were fired over a murder case? How did that happen?
I was fired over what, at first, looked to me like a simple murder case—a decapitated head found in a county landfill. Once we’d got the dead guy ID’d, I started looking at people around the case. Those people started dying. One of them was shot to death. That’s unusual. I didn’t want to let the case go. I kept pushing the case and was involved in several shooting incidents as a result. The sheriff’s department fired me. Then my girlfriend, Reina, got me to go to work for Jeff Goldman.
What made this case hard to solve?
The case was hard to solve because there were powerful people involved who didn’t want the case solved. These people had corrupt law enforcement on their side and a bunch of sicarios, Mexican nationals, killers, who work under the radar in the US.
You mentioned your girlfriend Reina. Did she help you solve the case?
I couldn’t have done it without Reina.
Did anyone else help you?
Johnny Oaks, who’s also a PI—and Goldman. I got help from the few friends I had left in the sheriff’s department, too. There was a kid involved, a runaway teenager. She had good information and we used it. I also had a Yaqui grandmother who helped.
Did this case affect your personal life in any way?
My personal life? Yeah, it made it better, emotionally. I got hurt physically, but I came through knowing a lot more about what’s out there, the stuff you can’t see—call it the spirit world if you want to. Reina’s in my life. She’s as important to me as my job. We came through it even closer than we were before.
Thank you for being with us today. We wish you and Reina the best and appreciate what you do.
Clark Lohr comes from a Montana farm and ranch background. He is a Vietnam vet and a member of Veterans for Peace. He’s lived mostly in Tucson, Arizona since the late Sixties. Devil’s Kitchen was published by Oak Tree Press and released in June 2011. The book is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powell’s Books. Visit clarklohr.com for more information.