Borderline Madness Headline Animator

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Falcon Lake Pirates, the Hartley's, and Sigi

It was a nice sunny day on September 30, 2010 when Tiffany and David Hartley decided to go to Falcon Lake to "try out" their jet skis one last time before moving back to Colorado. Their plans, however, were not really to "try out" their jet skis, although that is what David told the officer that pulled them over in Rio Grande City, Tx. Their true intentions were to cross over into Mexico illegally to take pictures of an old church that sits under water in Nuevo Guerrero, Mexico. So far, that is the only part of this story that has been consistent after that tragic day in September.

The parts that have not been consistent are told by David's wife, Tiffany, a "good Samaritan" that helped Tiffany with her 911 call and is now a "witness", and the Zapata County Sheriff, Sigifredo (Sigi) Gonzalez Jr.

Tiffany tells a tale of how she and her husband, David Hartley, went to take pictures of the old church. On their way back they saw men on boats. In one story she says the men waved "as if they were friendly". In another, she says they didn't say anything but immediately set chase. She talks about being shot at, looking over her shoulder to check on her husband, only to see him fly off his jet ski. In one story, she attempts to turn back but the shots kept coming and she's forced to abandon her husband. In another she makes it back to him and the boats just leave and the gun fire seizes. In another, she's facing down the barrel of a gun as the boats make their way back to her, only for them to leave her alone and then pick up again shooting her after she decides to rush back for help. If it all sounds confusing to you, then try looking up her interviews to confirm for yourself.

Even more interesting is how the Zapata County Sheriff immediately jumped on board to take up Tiffany's side of the story. From day one, he was right there with her backing her up stating that he did not doubt her story one bit. Without any evidence, or even so much as a full investigation, the Sheriff was taking sides, even embellishing Tiffany's story before Tiffany could embellish it herself. As questions began to circulate with doubt, the Sheriff all of a sudden remembers that there is blood evidence on Tiffany's life vest. This blood evidence, however, is a tiny drop of blood that somehow managed to get on Tiffany's life vest as she wrestled to get her husband on her jet ski. Mind you, according to Tiffany, her husband was shot in the head from what she could tell, because when she retells her story, she always seems to point to a spot on her forehead as if the bullet managed to e
xit from David's forehead. One would think that there would be more than just a tiny drop of blood from a head wound. Given that they were in water, Tiffany does claim to have tried to get her wounded husband on to her jet ski. In one of her stories, she says she's holding on to her husband with one hand, and her jet ski with the other. One has to assume that she must have wrapped at least one arm around his neck or under his arms to pull him up, which means, at some point his head was very close to her body, enough to smear more than just a tiny drop of blood. The only time it might possible to get such a small amount of blood on her is if she was stupid enough to try to pull him up by his feet, and I have no doubt at some point she just might change her story to claim that that is exactly what she did.

Yet, blood evidence was not enough to calm the rumors. As a matter of fact, it was the blood evidence that drew more criticism. Such a small amount of blood for such a serious wound is hard to believe. It is then that the Sheriff remembers, yet again, that they have a witness. This witness happens to be the same man who helped Tiffany call for help. Yet, the witness only adds more fuel to the rumors. He offers nothing of interest other than to retell Tiffany's story as if he was there to witness it. Stranger still, he too embellishes more to the story than Tiffany does. He offers to e
xplain how Tiffany "heard" her husband gurgling leading one to believe that David might have still been alive when Tiffany left him. He describes the gun shot wound to David's head providing details to "brains" leaking out and there being blood every where. When he first starts telling us what he saw, he first states that he only saw a jet ski racing towards him with one boat chasing after it only to later explain how there were three boats with men waving guns and speaking in Spanish. Sorry good Samaritan eyewitness, but you weren't there to tell us what happened and how it happened...or were you?

The strangest part to this story is how everyone seems to have just accepted what we've been told. No one has put Tiffany on the spot and questioned her with hard questions. No one has pushed her to take a lie detector test, to draw out a map and a time line, to check her phone records or those of David. Nothing has been done to bring justice to a possible murder case other than blame Me
xico and make this whole incident about border security.

Anyone who's dug their nose into this story like I have will notice all the inconsistencies in it. What I'd like to know is how long did they dally at the old church? In one interview with Gayle King, Tiffany states that they had previously been to Falcon in August and had spent three or four hours going back and forth between Falcon and Me
xico, which is an odd story to hear for those of us who live here. For one, in August, the whole border areas from Falcon to McAllen, including the Mexican border, were heavily flooded. Even some parts of Falcon Lake were closed due to the flooding. On another note, the time line is important because if we're left to guess how long they took to eat, launch the boats, get to the church, etc., then her story may have a glitch in it based on the fact that her 911 call was made at about 2:30pm. From the time they were stopped in Rio Grande City to the 911 call, well, that's a very short time frame for all the details that Tiffany claims took place within those hours.

In the end, we're left to wonder what all this is really about. Is it a big conspiracy theory? If so, then who's conspiring? Is it Tiffany? Tiffany and David? Or everyone from Tiffany to the good Samaritan to the Sheriff? Tiffany's story holds no sustenance. All we know is they went, they were chased, he was shot, she believes he's dead, and the Sheriff believes her because of a tiny drop of blood evidence, yet no body or jet ski has yet to be recovered.

I will cover my opinion in my ne
xt blog and point out the different scenarios that could give reason to the fact that this is all a big conspiracy that involves everyone from Tiffany to the Sheriff of Zapata. Until then, don't let your guard down on this story. There are too many red flags in it to let this one go, and maybe, just maybe, by keeping the story alive, we may actually bring justice to those who actually deserve it, be it Tiffany, David, or for those of us who live on the border and are sick and tired of our borders being scapegoated for political reasons.


  1. Susan Murphy Milano "linked" the 9/24 arrest of a Zeta hit man and the Hartley Story on her blog. Link below:

    Link to Susan's Blog

    Arrest was made five days before the Hartley's drove to Falcon Lake. I have wondered if this Zeta hitman had information that made David run. (info that would have implicated David involved in cartel crime, given in interrogation.)


  2. Oops. Meant for this post to be on your Saturday, David H post. My browser went down and I ended up on the wrong page. (arrgh!)


Stop Demonizing Our Borders

Subscribe Now: iheart

I heart FeedBurner