Forensic challenge

Final Information on the Sleepy Lagoon Murder

After you scan this code, let it play while you begin walking over to the circulation desk if you plan to do the forensics challenge that goes with this exhibit. 

As I was saying about the Sleepy Lagoon murder, all of the girlfriends refused to testify against their accused boyfriends and for this, they were sent to reform schools as punishment.  One of the girls was Lorena Encinas.  She doted on her youngest brother, Louis.  Louis started getting into trouble at a young age and was in and out of reform schools for years during his youth.  Decades after Jose Diaz' murder, Lorena told her children that she was at the Delgadillo birthday party the night of August 1, 1942.  During the evening, her brother Louie and some others crashed the party, had a brief altercation and then left.  After leaving, Louis and his friends encountered a boy who had just left the party a few minutes prior to their arrival and "jumped him".  Lorena was questioned by police about the Diaz murder but she refused to say anything and was taken to jail to await the murder trial.  Since she was a part of the 38th Street gang she was considered an accomplice to the murder.  When called to testify at trial, she refused to cooperate because she didn't want to get Louis in trouble.  For this, she was sent to a reform school.  She had to give up her own child in order to keep Louis safe.  That's how dedicated she was to her brother not being convicted of murder.  Lorena remained at the reform school until she turned 21 in 1943.  Lorena supported Louis his whole life while he was in and out of prison.  She even raised his kids when he was in prison.  She did not reveal his secret until shortly before her own death in 1991 when she told her children.  The other women who were sent to reform school also maintained silence their entire lives and refused all requests for interviews or contact about the Sleepy Lagoon murder.  In 1942, Louis was one of the 600 Mexicans the police rounded up but they let him go and he was never charged with any crime.  The lack of any real investigation in this murder was tragic.

Jose's family never believed he received justice.  The subject of Jose didn't come up much during the murder trial even though he was the victim.  The two young men he left the birthday party with were never questioned by police.  The convictions of the 17 Mexican youths accused of Jose's murder (and their girlfriends who were sentenced to reform schools for refusing to testify against their boyfriends) were thrown out in 1944 on the grounds that they had received an unfair trial.  Even then, Jose's murder case was never reopened by police.  This murder remains officially unsolved even with Lorena's deathbed confession.

Racial Diversity
  1. Board #1- Public Enemy #1
  2. Board #3 - Going Home
  3. Challenge Stop #1- The Suitcase Challenge
  4. Board #4- Zoot Suit Riots
  5. Board #5- The Sleepy Lagoon Murder
  6. Challenge #4 - The Forensics Challenge
  7. Final Information on the Sleepy Lagoon Murder
  8. Board #6- Black Wall Street near Tulsa, Oklahoma
  9. Begin Here
  10. Challenge Stop #2- Origami Peace Cranes
  11. Challenge Stop #3 - Haiku
  12. Board #7 - In the End
  13. Board #2- German and Italian Internees
  14. Challenge #5 - Do You Have Racist Tendencies?
  15. Challenge #6- Skin Tone Sorting