205 Chapters
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Medium 9781574410297

18: Who Killed Charles Whitman

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

their work Levin and Fox present a composite profile of a mass murderer: a white male, in his late twenties or thirties, whose motives to kill include mone~ expediency; jealousy, or lust. American mass murderers, hardly ever career criminals but sometimes with a history of property crimes, often commit their murders following lengthy periods of frustration. For some, like Charles Whitman, guns become a solution to this frustration and are seen as the "great equalizer. "2

Of course, people are classified as mass murderers only after they have committed the murders. Hence, the prevention of mass murders could only be accomplished through predicting who will become one and intervening before the crime. That requires the identification of variables found to have a cause-effect relationship with mass murder. Levin and Fox candidly admit that their profile of a mass murderer fits hundreds of thousands of individuals and that attempts to make the profile more detailed subtract from its accuracr Moreover, the more prevalent character traits of mass murderers tend to be hidden. Like other mass murderers, Charles Whitman battled feelings of powerlessness and a lack of accomplishment, a brand of impotence Whitman thought made his life not worth living."

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2: THE SOLDIER AND THE TEACHER

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

2
The Soldier and the Teacher

I

After basic training, Charlie was stationed at what was then one of the most troubled spots in the world—Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuba—beginning on 9 December 1959. At least one of his marine buddies believed that, above and beyond being in the marines, being at Guantanamo Bay placed a strain on Charlie.1 Most likely, Charlie's desperation to free himself from his father's support and control made everything else secondary—even Cuba's drift toward Communism. Yet he had entered another life of regimentation; he would still have to take orders. He may have been drawn to another form of strict authority after becoming conditioned to taking orders. More likely, a hitch in the marines resulted from an attempt at a dramatic, irrefutable rite of passage into adulthood. No one, not even C. A. Whitman, could seriously argue that a United States Marine was anything less than a man. For Charlie Whitman, taking orders probably seemed like a small price to pay.

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Medium 9781574411805

Ten—“You play the cards you’re dealt.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Ten

“You play the cards you’re dealt.”

—TDC Director, Jim Estelle, Jr.

Meanwhile, Fred Carrasco had a new reason to get nervous.

Jim Estelle recalls the arrival of some unexpected guests. “Here comes a whole half-dozen of these big

Hueys, an Army convoy of helicopters going on maneuvers out of Camp Polk, Louisiana on their way to Fort Hood. They set down at the Huntsville airport to re-fuel! That meant they were coming in a low altitude on approach. Carrasco and his people got really excited over that. They didn’t know what the hell was going on. I said to him, ‘I’m as much in the dark as you are. Trust me for a few minutes and I’ll find out.’” Estelle and one of the Texas Rangers rushed to the airport where they met an army chief warrant officer. When Estelle told him what the situation was and “he just about drained white.” With helicopters on the ground and a dozen more en route, the director told the CWO to “get on the telephone, the radio, or whatever communications you got, get back to your people, and tell them to change their route because if you keep stopping here at Huntsville, you ain’t going

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Medium 9781574410723

14 “Don’t Hurt Junior”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

14

“Don’t Hurt Junior”

“Junior ain’t never done anything wrong in all his life.”

—Addie McDuff

I

Two years after Sonya Urubek became part of the Reed Case, she testified about the different methods used by investigators in approaching the abduction. Specifically, Don Martin methodically checked out the many leads received, placing no particular emphasis on any one. Sonya was so convinced that the McDuff lead was a good one that she thought it was important to begin gathering evidence from Colleen’s possessions.

Those possessions were in large plastic bags in Lori’s attic. Lori took great care of Colleen’s things, still hoping to one day return them to her younger sister. The plastic garbage bags had the effect of sealing and preserving the evidence, making it much easier to collect things like hair samples, and greatly reducing the chance of contamination. Sonya also asked Oliver (Colleen’s boyfriend) to visit APD headquarters, where he volunteered personal evidence for comparison for what would be found on Colleen’s clothes—and possibly her remains, if they should ever be found. Shortly after the abduction, Oliver went to the store where he bought the windbreaker he had given to Colleen—the one she was pictured wearing at the ATM. He tried to buy an identical suit, but could only find one that was nearly identical. The store insisted on giving it to him.1

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Medium 9781574414974

1. They Was Just Pranks

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

1

They Was Just Pranks

“I got sent to prison because I was an asshole. They should have been able to overlook that.”

—Kenneth Allen McDuff

I

On the eastern edge of Rosebud, Linden Street heads south from Main Street toward a baseball field carved out of surrounding farmland. Small wooden houses, old but well kept, and shaded by large pecan trees, line the streets. On the east side of Linden, only the second building from Main, stands what once was the Rosebud Laundromat. A small living area connects to the rear of the laundromat where the family of John Allen “J. A.” McDuff lived. At least some of the McDuff children, including two boys named Lonzo (“Lonnie”) and Kenneth, were born in far-off Paris, Texas, and no one seems to know why the McDuffs, who lived in the Blackland Prairie before moving to Rosebud, ended up in the area.

J. A. did farm work. His wife was a hefty, domineering woman named Addie. Addie ruled. She controlled everything, including the money, the children, and J. A. “The only opinions J. A. had were Addie’s,” a longtime Rosebud resident would say.1 At least one of Kenneth’s teachers, however, knew of some who thought that at one point J. A. had made some effort to bring discipline into the lives of his two sons. In reality no one knew for sure. The family was a mystery to those around them. In Texas Monthly, Gary Cartwright wrote that the McDuffs were not the friendliest people, in fact, they were downright weird—“but they weren’t white trash either.”

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Five—“I’m scared and sick, just sick.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Five

“I’m scared and sick, just sick.”

—Betty Branch, wife of hostage, Jack Branch

In the first hour of the takeover, Carrasco instructed the hostage inmates to build a barricade inside the educational complex doorway. File cabinets, tables, and portable shelves were moved in front of the glass doors at the library entrance. Piled on the filing cabinets were boxes of books. Up against the inner side of the filing cabinets was a table, upon which two straight-back, unpadded chairs were placed, facing inward. Those were the chairs for the “honor guard”— the hostages would be seated there with a rope around their shoulders and chair backs, and across their upper legs and under the chair seat. With one wrist handcuffed to a metal filing cabinet, they would sit with their backs to the doors, serving as shields to prevent TDC sharpshooters from firing into the complex and picking off the hostage-holders.

After releasing all the inmates, Carrasco’s search intensified for Correctional Officer (CO) Bobby Heard, the twenty-seven-year-old Sam Houston State

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Medium 9781574411676

7 “Take that . . . ”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter seven

“Take that . . . ”

“The movies don’t even come close.”

—Norman* piano player for the Mike Harris Quartet

I

T

he Mike Harris Quartet had been playing soft music since

9 P.M., and by the time midnight came along, they were getting no requests or tips. “Hey, it was a Thursday night,” said Norman, the piano player. They played Duke Ellington’s C Jam Blues before taking a break just after midnight. Sherlyn, the featured singer, turned on taped music and went to the end of the bar where Mary and Dick were talking and laughing.

From the time Belachheb arrived to just after midnight, he had three or four Johnny Walker and 7Up. He roamed around the entire barroom and spoke to nearly all of the women. He even danced with a few, but he always came back to Marcell.

“Marcell was the kind of person if she was annoyed with somebody you could tell quite immediately,” Dick observed. He noticed, as did almost everyone else, that Marcell wanted less and less to do with Belachheb as the night wore on. Some of the other regulars, less than enchanted by her brusque ways, recall that she could, at times, be cruel. “I had seen her before come on to a man sitting next to her and then belittle him in front of people,” remembered a Ianni’s bartender.

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Medium 9781574412048

photo/image gallery

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781574412246

15. Garrett Takes the Stand

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF

fifteen

Garrett Takes the Stand

The next morning, James Gould, whose cousin was Gililland’s wife, took the stand. The witness stated that he was at McNew’s ranch about the first of February 1896. Gililland had come in a few days before, changed horses, got some cartridges, and left. When he returned, he was accompanied by McNew. Gould said they had told him about Fountain’s disappearance, which was the first he had heard of it.

Gould also said, “Gililland said a posse was out hunting for

Fountain and at dinner at Lee’s ranch young Fountain had become frightened and jumped up and seized his gun. Fountain was eating dinner there and had a fit, vowing vengeance on the murderers of his father.”

Gould testified to a conversation he had had while working on a fence with Gililland when Gililland “told me that old man Fountain had come from Texas in a chicken coop and prized up [pried up] hell ever since he had been in New Mexico, but he wouldn’t prize up anymore. I asked him how about killing the child and he said,

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Nine—“We die a million deaths.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Nine

“We die a million deaths.”

—Linda Woodman, hostage

At one point on Thursday, things started looking up— somewhat. Tables were set up in the center of the library forming a dining area and the hostages ate the food the TDC sent up in short-lived comfort. They had taken turns ordering food for the group. Ann

Fleming remembered “When I was trying to make up my mind about what I wanted, Carrasco asked, ‘Don’t you like Mexican food?’ and I said I love Mexican food.”1

Linda Woodman had been appointed to be

Carrasco’s secretary. “He had no reason to just choose me,” she stated. “I think I may have instigated some of that. I am a person, if I’m involved, I want to be in the know. I don’t want things going on I don’t know about.”2

She had to place his phone calls to the warden and others on the outside—such as Carrasco’s mother-inlaw, his San Antonio lawyer Gillespie, and the governor of Texas. She typed up his demands for presentation to TDC. She put a call through to Cuevas’ wife, via the sheriff’s office in Pecos, Texas. The inmate

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Conclusion: “A Bitter Cup of Suffering”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

conclusion

“A Bitter Cup of Suffering”

In his biography of Texas Ranger Ira Aten, historian Harold Preece wrote of the feud, “Corpses had dangled from pecan trees. Men were called to their doors at night and gunned to death before their families. Ranchers and cowboys were butchered on rocky roads, then dumped like the carcasses of wild goats into mountain gulches and creek bottoms.”1

Aten recalled that in 1884 the feud again threatened to erupt, this time in McCulloch County “right next door to Mason County—scarcely an omen of peace.”2 The Rangers hustled to the area, all too familiar with the passions that governed the Hill Country. Another upsurge in the feud was avoided, and in time the violent passions of the region began to cool. Age was overtaking the fighters, and death came for them all in time.

Among the Germans charged with organizing the mob, Ernst

Jordan was the first to die. Crippled for life from the gunshot wound to his leg, Jordan was unable to enjoy the active life that he once had.

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 1. A Good-Hearted Boy

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 1

A Good-Hearted Boy

The menacing clouds and threat of rain did not deter the hundreds of people flocking to the small Texas town of Giddings to see Bill Longley die. The newly constructed wooden gallows waited silently some six hundred yards northwest of the railroad depot, where passengers alit by the score from incoming trains.

Although the execution was not scheduled until later in the afternoon of this dark, ominous October day, the main street of Giddings and the surrounding prairie teemed with the growing crowd from an early hour. They came by train, by carriage, by wagon and horseback, and on foot, black and white mingling single-mindedly as they awaited the carrying out of the court’s order and the end of the self-proclaimed mankiller’s odyssey. Stories circulated about a last-minute escape attempt and there were rumors that Longley had already survived one hanging.

Bill Longley had been confined now for not quite a year and a half, fighting this day as vigorously as he had willingly defied the conventions of his time. When captured, he had boasted of killing thirty-two men, even penning his memoirs in a Giddings newspaper and relishing the sensation he created throughout the state. He adopted for himself a deadly reputation rivaling that of the much vaunted and more publicized John Wesley Hardin. After all, Hardin, when captured, was said to have killed only twenty-seven. Longley had gone to great lengths to portray himself as one of Texas’ deadliest gunmen.

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Medium 9781574414974

14. “Don’t Hurt Junior”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

14

“Don’t Hurt Junior”

“Junior ain’t never done anything wrong in all his life.”

Addie McDuff

I

Two years after Sonya Urubek became part of the Reed Case, she testified about the different methods used by investigators in approaching the abduction. Specifically, Don Martin methodically checked out the many leads received, placing no particular emphasis on any one. Sonya was so convinced that the McDuff lead was a good one that she thought it was important to begin gathering evidence from Colleen’s possessions. Those possessions were in large plastic bags in Lori’s attic. Lori took great care of Colleen’s things, still hoping to one day return them to her younger sister. The plastic garbage bags had the effect of sealing and preserving the evidence, making it much easier to collect things like hair samples, and greatly reducing the chance of contamination. Sonya also asked Oliver (Colleen’s boyfriend) to visit APD headquarters, where he volunteered personal evidence for comparison for what would be found on Colleen’s clothes—and possibly her remains, if they should ever be found. Shortly after the abduction, Oliver went to the store where he bought the windbreaker he had given to Colleen—the one she was pictured wearing at the ATM. He tried to buy an identical suit, but could only find one that was nearly identical. The store insisted on giving it to him.1

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7: THE NEAT LITTLE HOUSE AND THE SWANK APARTMENT

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

7
The Neat Little House and the Swank Apartment

I

On the front lawn of 906 Jewell Street, a single sapling struggled to reach the heights of the older trees in the neighboring yards. The front yard faced south, and from the street a narrow concrete sidewalk connected the curb to two steps leading to a small porch. From the edges, thick grass struggled to grow over the sidewalk. A screen door kept flying pests outside during suffocating summers when the front door was left open. Various shades of tan brick covered all exterior walls of the house. Inside were five small rooms; the front door led to a living room, which ted to a small dining room and finally to a kitchen facing the back yard. On the east side of the house were two small bedrooms and a bath. The back bedroom served as Charlie's study, and on its wall Charlie hung a sign; “Strength Has No Quarter.” Charlie and Kathy used the front bedroom.1

In April of 1966 Charlie and Kathy Whitman moved to 906 Jewell Street in south Austin. At the time, the tree in the front yard was a struggling sapling. Directly behind the tree is the front bedroom used by the Whitmans, where Charles murdered Kathy on 1 August 1966. The garage to the right and behind the house is where Charlie stored “a whole lot of military stuff.” Gary Lavergne.

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Nineteen—“I could have grabbed his gun.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Nineteen

“I could have grabbed his gun.”

—Father O’Brien, hostage

Once again, Carrasco demanded to talk to Estelle. “Yes or No. Are you going to send me the bulletproof vests?”1

Firmly, Estelle answered, “No. There will be no body armor. You’ve got all the firepower you need to get safe passage out in that yard and keep those hostages safe, as you have up to this point.” The hostage-taker shot back, “So, then you are saying you are not going to cooperate no more?” In a quiet, calm voice, the director replied, “We’re perfectly willing to cooperate. In fact, we want to cooperate to a greater degree than we have.” Easing up slightly, Carrasco asked, “In what sense?” Estelle replied, “In the sense that we will guarantee you safe passage from that building and full protection with not only your attorney but the public media to witness it.” Carrasco could not resist the sarcasm. “To witness what? My execution?”2

Incredibly, in the midst of all the violence,

Montemayor and Carrasco began discussing an autobiographical book telling the convicted

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