OTR Interviews

Texas Rancher's Pictures Are Worth 1,000 Words About Death and Danger at the Border

Texas rancher's photos detail a trail of danger and dead bodies on the border


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 25, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: People who live on or near the United States border with Mexico are frightened. They all have stories to tell that explain their fear. You're about to meet a rancher, Dr. Michael Vickers. He lives 69 miles from the border, and he's seen a lot of crime on his ranch. We must warn you, though, some of the pictures he shows us are disturbing.


VAN SUSTEREN: Where is your ranch in relationship to the border?

DR. MICHAEL VICKERS, TEXAS RANCH OWNER: My ranch is actually 69 miles north of Reynoso, Mexico, of the border.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, the reason I ask is I have a rather gruesome picture. This is a skull. Where was that found, sir?

VICKERS: This is actually the skull of a woman that was murdered on my ranch. My wife came home from the grocery store one afternoon, and my dogs had drug this head up into my yard.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any idea when that was buried in your yard?

VICKERS: No idea. But we found her body the next day. She had a compound fracture of her tibia, and there's no question that she didn't walk out there with that. Somebody beat her up, probably sexually assaulted her and left her there to die.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, do you have any reason to believe that this woman was from Mexico, or come across the border?

VICKERS: We have no idea. She left no identity there. Whoever did it to her probably took her identity with them.

VAN SUSTEREN: This picture right here, where -- do know where that was taken or what that's a picture of?

VICKERS: Yes, this was a picture of a dead person tied to a tree that was found just a few -- a couple of miles south of where I live. At that particular time, we had no investigator for our sheriff's department. We don't know what the motive was or what happened to him.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know where he's from, I mean, what country...

VICKERS: No idea.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... what nationality, anything like that?

VICKERS: No idea.

VAN SUSTEREN: Just found him in the area.

VICKERS: Yes just found him.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is that a picture of?

VICKERS: This is a picture of a ranch on fire actually caused by a vehicle that was that was smuggling 21 illegal aliens, most of them from India. They were traveling at a high rate of speed. The DPS checked them at 117 miles an hour. Border patrol were in pursuit.

The vehicle left the roadway, tore out the rancher's fence, and it was so hot, it caused -- started a ranch on fire. The vehicle actually caught on fire. And border patrol were lucky to get the seven people inside the vehicle out before it blew up. This is something that we have to deal with on a frequent and regular basis.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, you say they're from India. But the people that you see coming across the border illegally here on your ranch and other ranches -- what countries are they from? What have you seen?

VICKERS: We see people from all over the world, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Give me an example. Give me some examples.

VICKERS: I had...


VICKERS: OK. We have Chinese, over past two years, one of the leading OTM groups...

VAN SUSTEREN: "OTM" meaning what?

VICKERS: "Other than Mexican." This is the connotation that the border patrol label people that are not from Mexico. A large percentage of them have been Chinese. Also here recently within the past year, India. India has become a big, big country for -- that's represented by a lot of these people that are coming in here illegally, a large number of Indians. And during our last border operation, Texas border operation back a month ago, a group was caught. We identified the group, saw them coming through a trail, got the border patrol in, in a timely fashion. They apprehended most of the group, and a large number of them were from India and China.

So those are just a couple, but they're coming from the Dominican Republic, every country in South America, Central America, Pakistan and other countries that the border patrol labels special interest countries.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, the next picture I'm going to warn the viewers they may not want to look at because this one's particularly gruesome. But tell me, now that the viewers have had a chance to look away, what is this a picture of?

VICKERS: This is a dead illegal alien that was found on private property in the area that we conduct our operations.

VAN SUSTEREN: How far from the border, about?

VICKERS: This was about 70 miles from the border.

VAN SUSTEREN: About how long ago?

VICKERS: Probably about a year ago.

VAN SUSTEREN: And how do you know this an illegal -- that this person was illegally in this country?

VICKERS: Well, this is a common pathway. This is a pathway that is frequently used by illegal aliens. I don't think there was any identification on this child. This kid I think was 12 years old. And quite frankly, a lot of children are coming down in these groups, and some of them are being left behind to fend for themselves if they can't keep up with the group. And this is probably what happened with this young man right here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tell me what these two photographs are?

VICKERS: Well...

VAN SUSTEREN: First of all, this man here -- what -- what ...

VICKERS: This guy is a drug smuggler. His picture has been taken by a special camera.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do you know he's a drug smuggler?

VICKERS: We suspect it.


VICKERS: The type of backpack that he has, the fact that it' filled the way it is, and the fact that we've seen him eight different times on four different cameras since June of last year, we're pretty sure that he's a drug smuggler.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why does this photo look sort of peculiar? Almost looks like he's in snow.

VICKERS: I'm sorry?

VAN SUSTEREN: It almost looks like he's in snow, that picture. Is it a special camera or something?

VICKERS: Yes, these are some special cameras that are actually owned by the Texas Rangers. And we have them positioned on certain trails that are frequented by human smugglers and drug smugglers. And we have another picture here of the same trail with a large group of illegal aliens that are being -- trafficking in here.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I take it that now is a trail that's monitored so that people using that get arrested?

VICKERS: This trail is monitored by the governor's command center in Austin for border security. It's monitored by the border patrol. It's monitored by our Texas border volunteers. And in most cases, we try to get the people or the drug smugglers apprehended.