I read your snippet in last week’s Chronicle
regarding the upcoming execution of Mario Swain [“Two More Executions Set for November
,” News, Nov. 2]. I wanted to tell you a little bit more about this man and his victim, Lola Nixon.
Lola was a good friend of mine. She wasn’t a gangbanger or drug mule. Ordinarily, in her daily life, she would have never come in contact with a dangerous person, much less a killer. Nor was she a prude or religious fanatic. She was simply a normal, everyday person who worked hard and enjoyed the occasional cocktail. Kind, caring, and considerate, she left a lucrative career in Dallas to move back to Longview and be near her aging mother. Lola was a college graduate with a masters in business who ran an outlet shoe store. Single, she lived by herself.
Mr. Swain was a career criminal and coward who stalked single women driving nice cars, keeping a log of their comings and goings so that he could attack and rob them when they were alone and at their most vulnerable. This was not a crime of passion, nor was Mr. Swain drunk or on drugs when he murdered my friend. He was simply a cold, calculating bastard who preyed on small women because they were weaker, and thus easier to overcome.
On the day of the murder, Lola had gone home at lunch to check on her new puppy. Apparently, she interrupted Mr. Swain burglarizing her home and he struck her from behind with a tire iron. He could have run out the back door when he heard her enter the house, but he chose to attack. After clubbing her, he could have still run off and left her dazed and bleeding, but instead the crime scene indicated he chased her throughout her home, bashing her in the head repeatedly. All she wanted to do was get away.
I’m not sure how I feel about capital punishment. Wrongful convictions occur, and we must do everything in our power to see this does not happen, but this was not the case here. Mr. Swain confessed, and all the evidence pointed to him and him alone as the sole participant.
Mr. Swain’s death will certainly not bring my dear friend back, nor will it provide any sort of justice. If true justice existed, Mr. Swain would run into a murderous NFL linebacker with a tire iron in a dark alley, so that he might know the terror my friend felt in her final moments of life. But I do know this: Mr. Swain forfeited his right to walk among us, and I, for one, will sleep better knowing that if the state does put him to death, he will never again be able to beat to death someone else’s wife, mother, or daughter.