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Home > Author > Norma Herrera
Norma Herrera

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Member Since: Feb, 2007

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  Norma Herrera

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Before I wrote my first manuscript, I was working as a nurse. Having about twenty years under my belt in nursing, I have also been an in-house auditor for two local banks, and have also held various managerial positions. Becoming (a first time) author; was and will be a very challenging, rewarding line of work for me. My first publication, is regarding my brother and family, which was and

Background Information

I, attended schools both in Edinburg and McAllen, Texas.  Beginning with my kindergarten in Edinburg, Texas and attended the Edinburg School District up through her sixth year, and then my family relocated to McAllen, Texas, where I began my junior high years and in 1972 received her diploma from McAllen High School.  

The fact that I became a single mother; at the age nineteen I had no choice but to started to work right after her graduation. However, I did attend college at a later date, although I  never graduated from college, I did however managed to get my nursing license and worked within the  medical field for more than 20 years.  Although helping and taking care of patients was my passion, I did opt to dedicate my full nursing skills to only one person, my ailing mother, who in the year 2000 was diagnosed with carcinoma, for the second time in her life.  Mom and I have always maintained a very close and special bond.   Since giving birth to the joy of my live, (my beautiful daughter) I have always tried to be a very family-oriented woman.   From people who have known me, the perception I always receive from them; is that of a protective, strong, dedicated, willful, and accommodating person, who without any hesitation will try to be helpful to whoever is in need of help.    But whenever I am asked the question, “What about…how some people describe you and your family’s background as being that of scum”.  I now can always smile and state that I understand the offensiveness and rudeness, of them for I now feel sadness for the lack of intellect on their part.  Of course I know that the ones who do discredit my family are usually the people who have the most to hide, ironic isn’t it?

At a very young age, when the ordeal with my brother, Leo, began, I was forced to take the role of head of my immediate family, since my father and brother Raul indicated unwillingness to help or assist Leo in his time of need.  I became Leo’s most trusted confidante and sole support.  Within this; my and Leo's true life story you will read how and why this came to be.

I, have found that through writing I get a sense of peace and gratification which have given me a reason to want to continue to write and my greatest aspirations to write about occurrences that eventually will help other people in need. 

I am strong activist, against the Death Penalty, but I must and feel that I have to clearly states that, the one crime I will never support is that of a child molester and crimes against an infant, child, children and elderly people.  For a very personal and realistic reason, I just can not comprehend why, predator that rapes and kills an infant, a small child or an elderly person is given such a light sentence and then is let go free…to continue to commit the same or even more severe offense.

            I, continue to live in Deep South Texas, with my husband and mother.  Being close to family my immediate family is the greatest comfort I now get, most of all being able to tend to my Madrecita (mother).  

            Having filled my brother’s last wish, I now feel a little comfort; but I have to admit that I will never be able to let go of the situation, one can never let go of such painful, barbaric images especially when you lived them along with the victim. Many people, even close family member have told me just to let it go, strange to hear that, but had they been in my shoes and had gone through what Leo did, I really do not think they would be so quick to give me that advise.

 Having been a rape victim myself I feel…I now know what I had always heard, “You are not to blame”, but still the emotional and physical aspects will remain with me always.  As rape victim, it very hard when you have no one to speak with, and when and if you do confide you trauma, sometimes the person you most want comfort from turns on. Your first instinct is to become with drawn and a possible recluse.  You just need to become even stronger person and be proud of yourself and continue to live your life as to it’s fullest…it will be hard, but believe me you can do it.


Birth Place
McAllen, TX Hidalgo


1. Last Words From Death Row-The Walls Unit
Publisher: Nightengale Press
Published: February, 2006

2. Book Signing: Barnes & Noble Bestsellers – April 14, 2007
Event: Last Words From Death Row-The Walls Unit
Author: Norma Herrera
Publisher: Nightengale Press

3. Asked to speak at McAllen High School, McAllen, Tx
Event: Author’s Day – Yearly Event – April, 2007
Sponsored by: Mrs. Thema Laurel - READ 180 program at Mc Allen High School, and Authors' Day is part of a grant that Mrs. Laurel wrote.

4. Asked to speak for Texas Migrant Council – Mission, Tx
Event: El Dia Del Nino – April, 2007
Sponsored by: Texas Migrant Council
Contact: Ms. Dinora Nichols

5. Book Signing: Hastings Book Store – June 30, 2007
Event: Last Words From Death Row-The Walls Unit
Author: Norma Herrera
Publisher: Nightengale Press

6. Channel 4 Eyewitness News Special – Special on Local Authors – Featuring :
Norma Herrera, author of “Last Words From Death Row- The Walls Unit”

7. University at Albany- Criminal Justice Department Research Initiative:
Invited to speak about my brother’s case and execution. News Release:
Media Advisory: Capital Punishment Focus of UAlbany School of Criminal Justice Lecture
ALBANY, N.Y. (October 16, 2007) -- The University at Albany's School of Criminal Justice will host Norma Herrera, author of Last
Words from Death Row: The Walls Unit (Nightengale Press) to discuss capital punishment and issues of criminal justice, including the
execution of her brother Leonel following the U.S. Supreme Court's 1993 decision in Herrera v. Collins.

8. University at Albany-Go to following link To see pictures of my Brothers' archive.

Additional Information

My book, I believe will be very constructive tool in an academical method, I hope that in some way my brother's torment and death will be able facilitate other innocent people, which is what Leo desired. He told me that he hoped and prayed that his death would not have been futile. In the achievement, section of this site, I did not write anything, but I do...feel that my greatest achievement in my life has be giving birth to my daughter. I was abandoned by her birth father due to my ethnic background, but I now feel he was the one who lost out. For the reason that he did not receive the enjoyment and love of the most precious gifts God gave to us, the birth of his first born...his daughter. My daughter has always told me that she is grateful and proud that I was both mother and father to her.

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