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Police: Neighbors Ignored Screams; Ex-Boyfriend Charged in Slayings

April 16, 1988

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) _ The screams of a boy and three teen-age sisters as they were stabbed to death with steak knives awakened other trailer park residents, but the neighbors never called police, authorities said today. An ex-boyfriend was arrested in the killings.

Leo Narvaiz, who was spurned by one of the girls, was charged Friday with four counts of murder and one of criminal mischief. Narvaiz, 20, was under guard at a hospital where he was treated for a stab wound to his thigh and a cut to his hand.

Mary Mireles said she was awakened in her home across from the trailer park early Friday. ″I heard a lot of screams,″ she said. ″They were screaming, ‘Help’ and they were crying and screaming and I told my husband and he said, ’No, let’s not get involved.‴

″He thought they would shoot at anybody who went out to see what was going on,″ Mrs. Mireles said, adding that she thought she also heard gunshots.

Virginia Ytuarte, a resident of the mobile home park in south San Antonio, said her sister who was spending the night also heard the screams.

None of the neighbors called police, Sgt. Christopher Jackson said today.

Police received word of the stabbings at 3:27 a.m., when a girl called the 911 emergency number and said, ‴One of my sister’s boyfriends is beating us up and has killed my sister,‴ said homicide investigator Lt. Albert Ortiz.

Police traced the call and found the bodies at 3:55 a.m., Ortiz said.

At least five steak knives were used in the slayings and more could have been carried off from the five-bedroom mobile home, police said. The impact of the wounds was so great that several blades snapped off.

″It’s unbelievable. All of them were savagely stabbed. There are knives broken off in their necks,″ said Sgt. George Wilson, a 28-year member of the force. ″It’s a slaughterhouse.″

Killed were Shannon Mann, 17, who had been dating Narvaiz until last month; Jennifer Mann, 19; Martha Mann, 14; and Ernest Mann, 11.

The bodies were so mutilated that police first reported that four girls had been killed. The victims’ mother, Becky Mann, confirmed that one was a boy, and collapsed after identifying them, police said. Mrs. Mann was not home at the time of the slayings.

Officers were unable to determine if the girls had been sexually assaulted, police Lt. Weldon Stinson said.

Narvaiz and Miss Mann had a tumultuous relationship, alternating between marriage plans and threatened violence, according to police and family friends.

″They were always breaking up, but she said she loved him,″ said Yvonne Ochoa, 20, who once worked with Shannon Mann at a grocery store. ″She said that he hit her and that he also broke into her other house, but that she still wanted to marry him.″

After the couple broke up, Narvaiz threatened Miss Mann’s new boyfriend with a knife and allegedly damaged the boy’s pickup truck, police said.

″His girlfriend had broken up with him and he was unable to cope with it,″ Ortiz said.

Miss Mann’s father recently filed two complaints - one alleging a terroristic threat - against Narvaiz, Ortiz said.

Janice Pope, a friend of the girls, said the family moved in about a month ago, and that the girls were known for throwing parties for neighborhood friends.

″They loved to have fun. They just wanted some attention,″ Ms. Pope said. ″They just wanted friends.″

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