205 Chapters
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9781574412048

Chapter 10: “Shooting Each Other With Renewed Energy”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 10

“Shooting Each Other

With Renewed Energy”

On October 29 Lucia Holmes noted in her diary that “Old Man”

Miller was shot at dark.1 Writing from Fredericksburg one correspondent erroneously reported that “reliable information from Mason” told of the killing of a “Mr. Martin.”2 Two days later the same paper corrected itself, stating in part that “The Fredericksburg correspondent of the Freie Presse mentions the killing of a Mr. Mueller in Mason.”3

Gamel also recalled the man as Miller but provides no first name.

Contemporary records indicate that the man was J. P. Miller.4

Miller had been assigned the task of constructing the coffins for the men lynched in February but was never paid for his work. When

Charley Johnson was arrested, he had a “fine pearl handled 45 Colts sixshooter” that was taken from him. How Miller came into possession of the pistol is unknown, but he decided to keep it in payment for his work. When Johnson wanted the weapon back, he asked Tom

Gamel to get it for him. Miller refused, claiming that it was his payment for time and materials. Johnson worked for Gamel long enough to earn money for a new pistol, then rode to Miller’s and asked him if he had a good pistol available. Miller responded that he had had one but sold it.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574411805

Twenty-one—“I’m the executioner.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Twenty-one

July 31, 1974 • Day Eight

“I’m the executioner.”

—Fred Carrasco, hostage-taker

Week One of the Eleven Days in Hell would end at one o’clock as this eighth day and second week of horror began for the hostages.

Federico Carrasco was contacted on Wednesday morning five minutes after his eight o’clock deadline for complying with the demand for bulletproof vests.

He was called about what Ruben Montemayor called the “final offer” that Director Estelle had handed him at seven-fifteen that morning.

According to Ron Taylor, Carrasco “appeared to be sleepy or groggy”1 and he made no mention of his previous threat to blow up his hostages. The only thing he seemed to be interested in was ordering breakfast—pastry, donuts, cupcakes, orange juice, prune juice, jelly, toast and, of course, the daily newspapers.

Contact between the library and the warden’s office resumed at nine o’clock. The hostages requested clean clothes, a deck of cards, a portable radio, batteries, trash bags, ice, a jar of instant tea, lemon, sugar, coffee creamer, and coffee cups. Taylor, based

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412246

9. William B. Sayers

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF


William B. Sayers

Pinkerton operative William B. Sayers then took over the investigation, arriving in Santa Fe in the afternoon on Wednesday, April

15, 1896.1 When Sayers reached the governor’s office the next morning, he found the governor was out of town and he was asked to remain in town till his return. Miss Crane, the governor’s stenographer, informed Sayers that there was a letter missing from the governor’s table that had been written to him by Fraser. Sayers wrote to McParland asking that a copy of the letter be sent to

Thornton so he could see what if any information an outside party could gain from it.2

Crane also pointed out Tom Tucker, a Santa Fe deputy sheriff closely associated with Oliver Lee, to Sayers. Sayers watched him and hoped for a chance to speak with him, but it never came.3

Could Tucker have been responsible for the theft of the letter from the governor’s office?

While in Santa Fe, Sayers made plans to interview Ely “Slick”

Miller, the twenty-five-year-old who was serving his ten-year prison sentence courtesy of A. J. Fountain.4 The following morning, after getting a rig at the livery stable, Sayers drove out to the penitentiary and met Colonel Bergamer, who ran the prison, in his office. Upon learning that Sayers planned to be in town through the next day,

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574411805

Twenty—“Meet my demands or prepare for war.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Twenty

July 30, 1974 • Day Seven

“Meet my demands or prepare for war.”

—Fred Carrasco, hostage-taker

In Huntsville, Texas, the morning sun rose at 5:38 a.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 1974—the Seventh Day in Hell for the hostages inside the Walls Unit of the Texas

Department of Corrections. Satan himself was cracking the thermostat as the mercury bolted into triple-digit range in no time.

What had been a neat library, with row upon row of bookshelves and a clean floor, was now a quite different scene since the takeover. Tables had been overturned. The contents of supply boxes, filing cabinets, and desk drawers had been dumped on the floor. Thousands of library cards littered the floor alongside broken pieces of acoustical ceiling tiles. The book shelves were mostly empty, a variety of disposable coffee and drinking cups, and condiment squeeze bottles had been strewn about on table tops. There were empty fast food boxes; a jar of instant tea, soft drink cans, streamers of binding and duct tape, and paper plates, all scattered on just about every surface.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412246

12. Shootout at Wildy Well

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF


Shootout at Wildy Well

Shortly after the hearing, Fall temporarily left New Mexico. As a captain in Company D, New Mexico Volunteers, Fall joined the SpanishAmerican War. Although he did not go to Cuba and fight in the war, he stayed out of New Mexico for the time being.1 An interesting side note was the endorsements Fall received in his quest to be a captain in the war. One letter of endorsement that came to Governor

Otero was signed by Numa Reymond, Fred Bascom, John McFie,

John Riley, and Pat Garrett.2 Judging from all surviving documents, no one else received the number of endorsements that Fall did, and none of his were from expected Fall supporters. It was obvious that what they really wanted was to get Fall out of New Mexico.

Also leaving for the war was William Llewellyn, who was captain of Troop G in the regiment that would become known as

Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Llewellyn became a lifelong friend of

Theodore Roosevelt. During the Rough Riders’ charge up San Juan

Hill, Llewellyn contracted yellow fever and was sent to a hospital in

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574411676

1 Disconcerting Stares

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter one

Disconcerting Stares

“I want to get to that killer while the blood is still wet and while the adrenalin is still flowing.”

—Bill Parker

Retired Dallas Police Department



ill Parker had just fallen asleep. He had been out to dinner that night and had even had a couple of drinks. The phone rang right after midnight. Many times he had gotten up in the middle of the night to rush off to a murder scene. But this time was different.

The dispatcher was excited and at times hard to understand.

He told Bill that as many as a dozen people could be dead in a restaurant on the corner of Midway and Interstate 635 in the north section of Dallas.

“I’ll call you right back,” Bill said, before hanging up. He thought the best thing to do was to splash water on his face, wake up, and give the caller time to pull himself together.

“I had never heard of Ianni’s,” Bill recalled years later. But he would learn much about Ianni’s Restaurant and Club. On the night of June 29, 1984, Bill would see the club for the first time—the site of the largest mass murder in the history of Dallas, Texas.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574410297


Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

After Much Thought


During the summer of 1966 mass murder frequented the news. Truman Capote's In Cold Blood ushered in a “new journalism,” where real events were reported with fictional techniques. Capote engaged in a prolonged investigation to detail the mass murder of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, by two wanderers on 15 November 1959. Although first serialized in The New Yorker magazine in 1965, In Cold Blood was still the year's most talked about bestseller in 1966.

Mr. Herbert Clutter, an affluent wheat farmer, employed several farm hands. Floyd Wells, a former employee, later served time in the Kansas State Penitentiary where he became friends with a fellow prisoner named Richard E. Hickock, who made repeated efforts to learn as much about the Clutter family as possible. Specifically, Hickock was interested in finding out if the Clutters had a safe in their home. Wells either suggested or Hickock conjured up a nonexistent safe located in a wall behind Herb Clutter's office desk. Eventually, Hickock was paroled. Shortly afterwards he and a friend named Perry E. Smith headed for the Clutter home, where they expected to steal at least ten thousand dollars. They did not know that Herbert Clutter had a well-known reputation for not carrying cash; anyone in Holcomb could have told the pitiful fools that Herb Clutter paid for everything by check.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 9. Desperate-Looking Character

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 9

Desperate-Looking Character

Although Fuller did not mention it in his account, Longley claimed that after he left Bell County, he went southwest to Mason County, where he moved about under the alias of “William Henry.” He said that he attended a horse race at old Fort Mason, which had been abandoned by the army in 1869, and met James J. Finney, the sheriff of Mason County.1 A former blacksmith,2 Finney was first appointed county sheriff in October 1869 under the military government of Reconstruction, then elected in his own right in November 1872.3

Longley said that Finney suspected his true identity because of descriptions that the lawman had received, but the two talked, drank, and gambled for four or five days. Longley claimed that he was suspicious of the sheriff. By mere chance, according to Longley, when Finney was ready to spring his trap, Longley happened to ride up to Fredericksburg in Gillespie County. He had not been there but a few hours when Finney and another man arrived in town, talked with Longley, and invited him to a saloon to take a drink. In the saloon, Longley said, he carefully avoided getting between the two men and kept the bar counter between them, frustrating their intent to surprise and overwhelm him. He said that he accepted their invitation to meet there again later that night to play cards, but that he instead mounted up and rode southwest some twenty miles to Kerrville in Kerr County.4

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574414974

3. A Prisoner of the State

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub


A Prisoner of the State

“People in prison are vicious and crazy; this is worse than hell.”

—Kenneth Allen McDuff


On August 9, 1966, after Kenneth McDuff had committed the Broomstick Murders and was back in jail, the State of Texas revoked his parole.1

Sheriff Brady Pamplin established, at least to his own satisfaction, that Kenneth and his brother Lonnie had actively engaged in the destruction of evidence. Jo Ann, Kenneth’s date, told Pamplin that the brothers had taken something behind a barn at Lonnie’s home. Pamplin quickly secured a search warrant for Lonnie’s residence northeast of Rosebud.

The nighttime search did not yield any incriminating evidence, but Lonnie was arrested anyway for “fraudulently and illegally concealing a weapon used for murder.” Jo Ann’s statement apparently served as the probable cause for his arrest. Pending a hearing, the Justice of the Peace set his bond at $10,000. Shortly after daylight, Constable R. J. Brannon and Rosebud City Marshal Terry Fletcher returned to the residence and found charred remains of clothing in Lonnie’s driveway. Metal studs, common to western style shirts, were mixed with the ashes of burnt cloth.2

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412048

Chapter 9: “Intervention Was Necessary”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 9

“Intervention Was Necessary”

The terror that gripped Mason in the fall of 1875 is almost impossible to comprehend. On October 4 it was rumored that John Baird was in town. The rumor proved false, but it provides glimpses of rampant tales that spread fear in the community.1 At the same time, Clark and his men rode to Loyal Valley and proceeded to terrorize the community. One of the citizens harassed was John O. Meusebach. The mob stormed into his store and shots were fired that grazed his legs.

“He did not move a muscle but with a withering gaze looked directly into the faces of the attackers. After a moment his molesters dropped their eyes, turned sheepishly, and rode away.”2

Meusebach’s biographer believed that the attack was committed by the Baird faction during the feud. However, the only documented raid on Loyal Valley was perpetrated by John Clark and the Hoo

Doos. Additional insight into the incident is found in a petition to



The undersigned citizens of Loyal Valley are under the impression that you are in command of the State

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574413052

Chapter 6 A Man of Low Instinct and Habits

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF



A Man of Low

Instinct and Habits


comparison of Long­ley’s version of his adventures in the Northwest with the official record concerning Camp Stambaugh truly reveals his artful ability to mix fact with fiction in order to project the desperado image he sought. The truth does not do much for that image.

When Long­ley was captured in 1877, according to the account given by Fuller, he claimed that after the Kuykendall expedition broke up, he was broke and stranded, so he applied to the army quartermaster for a job as a teamster. He said that his job was to drive a sixmule team between Camp Brown and Fort Bridger hauling supplies and equipment. Because of the Indian threat, he said that there were usually four or five wagons in each caravan, guarded by a detachment of cavalrymen. Long­ley alleged that on September 15 (probably 1870, although no year is given), a caravan was attacked by some 130 Indians between South Pass City and the Green River on a creek that he called the Dry Sandy, which lies to the southeast of South Pass. Long­ ley said that after much shooting and yelling and the loss of one of their men, the Indians were driven off. As will be seen, Long­ley could

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574411805

Eighteen—“Get ready because we’re going to start killing!”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Eighteen

“Get ready because we’re going to start killing!”

—Fred Carrasco, hostage-taker

Henry Escamilla, less than two weeks away from his forty-first birthday, was a San Antonian serving five years on a shoplifting conviction. As a volunteer hostage, he sat almost completely silent throughout the ordeal, off by himself most of the time, wearing large dark glasses. According to Linda Woodman,

“when he did walk around, he never said a word to any of us. I had the feeling that he was more frightened than any of us.”1

To Novella Pollard who remembered him from one of her typing classes, he was an enigma. “He was a very strange person,” she recalled. “He never did talk much at all in class. In fact, for two days (of the siege)

I didn’t see him. I thought he had left. But finally, he came over to our side in the library and just sat and watched us.”2

While serving his shift at the door, Escamilla sat on the pile of book boxes stacked there and watched

Cuevas intently. The captor, who was also on guard duty, appeared to be dozing off. It was time for the inmate hostage to initiate the plan he hatched only

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574410297

14: The White Headband

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF


The White Headband

thought would surely get the attention of the sniper. Every "bang" caused McCo~ Crum and Day to grasp their rifles a little tighter and to look a little closer. "God damn! He's making a lot of noise,"

McCoy thought.' Each of them had seen what the sniper was capable of doing. Outside the Tower they had seen bodies shot from incredibly long distances; inside they had seen what Whitman had done at close range: Edna, Mark, Marguerite, Mary, and Mike.

Ramiro Martinez never hesitated. Armed only with a 38 revolver, he walked through the glass-paneled door and out onto the deck.

For the first time in over ninety minutes Charles Whitman had company-company he must have known would arrive eventually.

Although Martinez made a considerable amount of noise getting the glass-paneled door to open, Whitman may have heard nothing.

The return fire on the west side was fierce and Whitman had tuned his radio, with the volume as high as it could go, to Neal Spelce's broadcast on I(TBC. It is even possible that Whitman had lingered on the west side in order to hear some part of the radio broadcast, unknowingly allowing Martinez, Crum, and McCoy time to enter the deck undetected. The news reports Whitman would have heard by that time probably pleased him.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412048

Chapter 3: “Stock War!”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 3

“Stock War!”

Records from the early 1870s illustrate the growing animosity over cattle once the trade became profitable. Mason County’s problems began during Reconstruction. The successful removal of Franz

Kettner as Hide and Cattle Inspector for Mason County during 1872 was an early attempt to dominate the cattle trade by Ben Gooch, a rancher with widespread cattle interests. In this, Mason County was not unique in either the state or the region. As early as 1871, Llano

County stockmen petitioned the government for prohibitions on mavericking, noting in part that “We would further represent that there are many persons Killing Calves in the woods and Marking & Branding calves & yearlings who are known to own no Cattle of any description whatever.”1 In San Saba County, county officers asked Richard

Coke “for an organization of some kind of armed force” for protection against “hostile Indians & other marauding parties” who were “continually depredating” on the property and lives of the citizens.2

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574410297


Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

To Whom It May Concern


Charles Whitman began shooting from the deck at 11:48 A.M. Ninety-six minutes transpired before his shooting spree ended, enough time for major news organizations to cover some of the tragedy live. Bulletins interrupted regular programming all over the world. In Lake Worth, Florida, Charles's grandmother Whitman heard a bulletin and summoned Charles's brother Patrick to the television. Twenty years later, Patrick remembered it this way:

I went in to listen to the TV, but the news bulletin didn't come right back, so I called the station, and I asked them to repeat the news bulletin. At first they wouldn't repeat it, so I said, “My name is Patrick Whitman. Would you please repeat it.” Then I broke up and went and got my father. From then on it was turmoil. They had to sedate me.1

It probably went exactly as Charles would have hoped. Much of the world's media began to ask questions, many of them directed at C. A, Whitman of Lake Worth, Florida. The glare of publicity for the Whitman family was only beginning. Still to be discovered were the notes Charles had left at 906 Jewell Street and Penthouse Apartment #505.

See All Chapters

Load more