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Kenneth Michael Trentadue’s battered body arrived at the southern California mortuary, met by his Hispanic wife and mother of his two-month-old son (Carmen Aguilar Trentadue), and Kenneth’s mother. That he wasn’t rather in an urn was a miracle. Kenneth’s battered and bloody body had been lying in the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center (OKFTC) infirmary two weeks earlier, on August 21, 1995, dying supposedly from hanging himself. Acting Warden Marie Carter, in order to cover up the obvious murder, was desperately trying to get the body cremated. This proved to be unsuccessful as well as illegal, according to federal law.

When the body arrived at the mortuary, Kenny’s two dozen wounds were covered heavily in makeup.

As Kenny’s brother Jessie Trentadue would later relate, it was the women in Kenneth Trentadue’s life who undressed Kenny and scraped the makeup away. It was the women who decided to meticulously photograph Kenneth’s dozens of wounds. Strangely, the clothes on Kenneth were not his own. The T-shirt, pants, shoes, and socks that he was wearing while murdered conveniently disappeared. When the Medical Examiner team had arrived on the morning of August 21, 1995, Trentadue was merely clothed in a pair of boxer shorts.


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At the time of Kenneth Trentadue’s murder, he and his wife Carmen had been living an idyllic life in Mexico. Carmen, a native Mexican, had given birth to a beautiful baby son, Vito Miguel, two months earlier.

Kenneth Trentadue, after robbing banks under the alias Vance Paul Brockway, getting caught, and paying his debt to society with six years in prison, was now committed to raising a family. He and his parole officer had had an argument as to whether he should be allowed to drink beer. Kenny saw nothing wrong with it, while his parole officer thought otherwise. In the end, Kenny would stop showing up to meet with his parole officer to simply be able to drink beer, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. No one came looking for him, however.

At least until the beginning of August 1995. He had been crossing the Tijuana-San Diego border, driving into the States to work a construction job when a Border Patrol agent stopped him for appearing to be drunk. Upon a check, the Border Patrol agent found the outstanding warrant, and Kenneth Trentadue was taken to jail.

This was, however, during the time of the biggest manhunt in U.S. history.  The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City had been bombed on April 19, 1995, and the whole world was looking for the perpetrators. Timothy McVeigh had been caught, but his accomplice,  referred to as  John Doe #2, was still at large. By many witness accounts, this John Doe #2 had been seen with McVeigh when he rented the Ryder truck at Elliott’s Body Shop used in the bombing.

Unfortunately for Trentadue, he was almost an exact match of the description witnesses had given of John Doe #2, including a dragon tattoo on his left arm. Soon, U.S. Marshals would arrive to fly Trentadue via a chartered jet to Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center, where he would later be beaten to death.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.


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