A “48 Hours” investigation has uncovered new details in a former priest’s 57-year journey from murder to justice. Father John Feit was shielded by church officials from prosecution in the 1960 murder of a former Texas beauty queen, and allowed to rise to a position of authority overseeing troubled priests, according to dozens of interviews and hundreds of pages of public records and documents obtained by “48 Hours.”
By “48 Hours” producer Josh Gaynor, with additional reporting by producer Lourdes Aguiar and field producer Alicia Tejada
On a late Thursday afternoon on Feb. 9, 2016, 83-year-old former Catholic priest John Bernard Feit was escorted into a holding room at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Phoenix.
Joining him were two out-of-state investigators, Rolando Villarreal with the Texas Rangers and Frank Trevino with the McAllen, Texas, Police Department.
After reading Feit his Miranda rights, Investigator Trevino presented him with an arrest warrant for a murder in Hidalgo County, Texas.
“I’ve been questioned extensively about this dating back to 1960,” Feit said, according to a transcript of the interview read in court. “So I’m disappointed but not surprised.”
It was the beginning of the end of a cold case that hung like a cloud over the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas for nearly 60 years.
Less than two years