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Arthur Wayne GOODMAN Jr.





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: His girlfriend refused to testify for him
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: March 28, 1999
Date of birth: 1980
Victims profile: His girlfriend, Sandy Witt, 20, and Penny Estrada, 21, Naomi Martinez, 23, and Erica Arispe, 21
Method of murder: Shooting (.40-caliber handgun)
Location: Abilene, Texas, USA
Status: Shot and killed by Fort Worth police officers on April 1, 1999

In March 1999, Arthur Wayne Goodman, Jr. shot his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend Sandi Witt and her three friends, Erica Arispe, 21; Naomi Martinez, 23; and Pennie Estrada, 21, who was six months pregnant.

Reporter-News archives said that the women were “systematically shot at least once in the head” at the Cedar Street duplex.

A three-day manhunt for Goodman ended when police confronted him in Fort Worth. The Abilene man goaded police while wielding a .40-caliber handgun before officers shot and killed him.

Later, coroners found a four-page confession and suicide note in Goodman’s clothing.

“I’m armed and dangerous and ready to die,” the note read.


Arthur Wayne Goodman, Jr.

On March 28, 1999, 19-year-old Arthur Goodman from Abilene, Texas, was charged with killing his girlfriend and three of her friends -- possibly because she refused to help him conceal a crime. Authorities are also looking for his 16-year-old brother, who may have been with him when the shootings occurred.

Goodman's girlfriend, Sandy Witt, 20, lived in a duplex in a high-crime area of Abelene. Detective Jay Hatcher said family and friends gave police two versions of a possible motive. In one, Ms. Witt wouldn't supply an alibi to police for an undisclosed crime in which Goodman is a suspect. In the other, Ms. Witt was planning to give police incriminating information about Goodman. Sandy's friends -- Naomi Martinez, 23; Erica Arispe, 21; and Penny Estrada, 21 -- "just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," Hatcher said. An apartment handyman, Larry Hammond, was also shot and critically wounded when he tried to help the women.

Officers also suspect Goodman in a previous shooting of a 16-year-old boy who survived. Police wouldn't say if that was the crime to which a possible motive might be linked. Hatcher said the motive in that shooting was revenge for an attack on Goodman's 16-year-old brother.

On April 1 Goodman was shot to death by police after aiming a handgun at officers. Arthur was in the back seat of a white Mercury Cougar that had been pulled over on Interstate 35 when police shot him. Three other people, including Goodman's 16-year-old brother -- were in the car at the time of the shooting. They were questioned by police and it is unclear whether they were taken into custody.


Police: Murder suspect had note admitting guilt

By David Koenig - Amarillo Globe News

April 2, 1999

FORT WORTH - Murder suspect Arthur Wayne Goodman Jr. had a premonition about his death.

Abilene police said when Goodman was shot and killed Wednesday night by Fort Worth police officers, he was carrying a note in which he expressed a death wish and confessed to killing four women on Monday.

"I want to die and don't plan on getting caught. I plan on being killed by the police. I'm armed and dangerous and ready to die," Goodman wrote, according to Abilene police Detective Jay Hatcher.

Hatcher refused to read any part of the note that mentioned Monday's carnage inside an Abilene apartment.

"He's where he wanted to be," Goodman's mother, Christina, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Arthur Goodman was killed after Fort Worth police officers saw him leave a house they were watching and followed the car.

"I feel bad because I told the cops where he was at," Christina Goodman said. "I took the detective over there Monday or Tuesday."

She said she helped police because she feared her son was suicidal.

Goodman, his 16-year-old brother, Vincent, and two women were in the car. Fort Worth police Lt. Ric Clark said Arthur Goodman was sitting next to a window in the back seat as officers approached the car after stopping it on a highway service road. Goodman pointed a handgun at the officers, and at least two of them opened fire, Clark said.

Goodman apparently never fired a shot, Clark said.

Christina Goodman said one of the women in the car, whom she referred to only as "Becky," told a different story.

"They drug my younger son out of the car. (Arthur) was sitting there, telling them to shoot him. Becky said she held his hand while they shot him," said Christina Goodman, barely controlling her sobs.

"He just wanted to die."

Abilene police had issued a capital murder warrant for Arthur Goodman after the shooting Monday in which his girlfriend, Sandy Witt, 20, and Penny Estrada, 21, Naomi Martinez, 23, and Erica Arispe, 21, were shot in the head.

A fifth victim, Larry Hammond, was wounded. He remained in serious condition at an Abilene hospital.

Police believe Goodman killed Witt because she refused to testify for him in other cases, including the shooting of 16-year-old Jimmy Estrada - no relation to Penny Estrada - on Sunday night, Hatcher said.

"He was in some trouble and was expecting his girlfriend to testify for him," Hatcher said. "She got mad at him and told him she was not going to testify for him. This erupted into an argument and the catalyst for the shootings."

Goodman was in trouble with the law at least from the time he was 16, when he was convicted of aggravated assault for ramming an occupied car with a pickup truck in which he was joyriding, according to family members who believe he was framed.

Goodman was facing trial on charges of shooting a man in the leg at an Abilene convenience store last year, in addition to being suspected of shooting Estrada in revenge for an attack on his younger brother, Hatcher said.

The detective said slugs recovered from the Abilene shooting scene were from a .40-caliber weapon and that Fort Worth police recovered a .40-caliber handgun in the car in which Goodman was killed. Hatcher said ballistics tests will be conducted on the recovered gun.



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