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Twenty-two—“I demand that an armored truck be waiting.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Twenty-two

August 1, 1974 • Day Nine

“I demand that an armored truck be waiting.”

—Fred Carrasco, hostage-taker

In eight days, newly-installed President Gerald R.

Ford would say, “The long nightmare is over.” That may have been true for many of the people of the

United States of America following the resignation of

President Richard M. Nixon. But for the ten civilian hostages in the library at the Walls Unit of the State

Prison at Huntsville, Texas, their long nightmare was far from over.

Construction of the rickety shield—that would supposedly protect them on their way out of the library, down the winding ramp, and to the armored truck that would transport them and their three captors to a destination that could only be guessed at—proceeded unabated. The rhythm grew even more frenetic as the participants, numbed by a lack of sleep from their all-night endeavors and goaded by their self-imposed prospects of freedom, abandoned their fears and hammered away at the Trojan Taco.

Carrasco, obviously pleased with the results of the previous day’s negotiation methodology, tried the ploy once more. He directed Novella Pollard to have

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16: APD

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

16
APD

I

Somehow, it seemed pathetically appropriate. Flags on the University of Texas campus had already been lowered in tribute to fifty-six-year-old retired Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Richard Bryant Pelton, who had died of a heart attack on the previous Friday. If Don Walden and Cheryl Botts still wondered why the flags were lowered, they could have read about Pelton in the Austin American-Statesman in a small article, hidden in the midst of an entire issue on the Tower sniping.1

The city of Austin and the University of Texas became the focus of world news. TASS, the official Communist Party news organ of the Soviet Union, used the occasion to highlight the problem of crime in the United States: “Murders, armed attacks, robbery, and rapes have become common in present-day America.” Richard Speck and Charles Whitman dwarfed coverage of the White House wedding of Luci Baines Johnson and Patrick Nugent. When reminded that the Speck murders in Chicago had been called the “Crime of the Century,” APD Chief Bob Miles replied, “It isn't anymore.” Reporters from all over the world interviewed witnesses, victims, and victims' families.2 Charlotte Darenshori, the secretary pinned down behind the base of a flagpole on the South Mall, remembered: “I had a call from Dan Rather wanting me to be on the afternoon news, from the networks and from newspapers everywhere. I just didn't understand the interest.”3

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 15. We Want Him

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 15

We Want Him

Bill Longley likely visited his parents in Bell County in the late fall and perhaps early winter of 1876, during which time Dick Sanders may have left him and returned home. It is also possible that in March 1877 Longley and Sanders might have been in Kerr County. From March 10 to March 20, a detachment of Texas Rangers from Company C, responding to some source of information, was sent into the county to look for them.1 The Rangers returned empty-handed. No doubt concerned that the authorities would get wind of his whereabouts in his old haunts, Longley said that he went to East Texas, and he ultimately made his way into Nacogdoches County, across the Angelina River. An educated guess would place this trip in the spring of 1877.

For whatever reason, Longley decided that he would detour around the town of Nacogdoches, rather than ride through it. Fuller, who himself was a resident of Nacogdoches, and speaking again in third person, said that the outlaw had “heard something” about Nacogdoches Sheriff Milt Mast and his deputy, Bill Burrows, and did not want to get into “fresh trouble.”2 About four or five miles west of the town, Longley stopped at the farm of George Washington Clevenger, Jr., a twenty-six-year-old who lived with his wife, Missouri Caroline, and two daughters, Ida and Nora.3 Clevenger had a brother who may have been living with him at the time, Joseph Phlemester Clevenger, who was shy of his twentieth birthday, and whom Fuller described as a “good-sized boy.”4

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Chapter 18. Same Old Rattling Bill

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 18

Same Old Rattling Bill

Longley now languished in the well-guarded Galveston County jail until Judge Turner returned to Giddings in August to open the term of the district court. Although constrained by an iron bar connecting his ankles and affixed to chains,1 he kept himself occupied with a prolific frenzy of interviews, as well as writing letters when he could obtain writing materials and postage. Much of what he was reported as saying and wrote during this period gives insight into Longley’s mindset as he sought to both justify himself and rationalize his self-created reputation, at the same time beginning to reconcile himself to his pending fate. But throughout his writings can be detected a continuing glimmer of hope that he might yet avoid the hangman.

In one interview with a Chicago reporter, Longley boasted of yet another killing that he had not previously mentioned. This involved an alleged duel with a man named Grady in Mexico, supposedly in revenge for the killing of a friend of Longley in Texas. Longley also claimed that he was at this time invited, but declined, to participate with Mexican bandits on a raid into Texas.2 As with his other claims, this one also appears to be another idle boast. Although it is possible, there was never any evidence that Longley went to Mexico.

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17: WHY DID HE DO IT?

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

17
Why Did He Do It?

Often the test of courage is not to die but to live.—Conte Vittorio Alfieri (1794–1803), Italian playwright and poet

I

Once he returned to Austin, Governor John Connally assembled a blue-ribbon commission to look into every medical aspect of the Tower incident. The commission members were giants in their respective fields. Fact-finders consisted mostly of medical school professors. Dr. R. Lee Clark, Surgeon-in-Chief of the University's M. D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, served as the chairman. The work of the eleven fact-finding members was reviewed by twenty-one other blue-ribbon physicians from throughout the United States.1 The Connally Commission (for want of a better name) established four investigative objectives:

1. To determine the events and circumstances which surrounded the actions of Charles J. Whitman on August 1, 1966.

2. To explore the findings and to make such additional examinations as might be indicated by the factual information which is available.

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Medium 9781574414974

19. The Northrup Trial

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

19

The Northrup Trial

“This was a monster that needed taking care of.”

—Mike Freeman, McLennan County Assistant District Attorney

On May 18, 1992, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Internal Affairs Investigator named John Moriarty called APD Detective Sonya Urubek at her office. Moriarty told her that he was compiling a timeline of Kenneth McDuff’s known whereabouts from the time he first entered prison in 1965 to the present. Other than informal meetings among officers, this was the first serious attempt to compile data from several law enforcement jurisdictions into a central location. The synopsis Moriarty compiled became a godsend for the dozens of detectives investigating McDuff, allowing them to safely eliminate McDuff as a suspect in a number of pending murders, rapes, and abductions.1

John Moriarty and TDCJ had been brought into the case because McDuff was an ex-con on parole. John was originally from the South Bronx in New York, but he fit in very well with the Texas posse informally assembled to track down McDuff. John Aycock, a quintessential Texas lawman, called Moriarty “a cop’s cop.” The information he supplied the posse about McDuff’s prison career greatly assisted in efforts to understand and profile the fugitive. He also had vast experience dealing with the families of ex-cons, and conducted masterful interviews with Addie and J. A. McDuff.

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Medium 9781574411676

12 “An altered state of consciousness”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter twelve

“An altered state of consciousness”

“Brain damage is fairly common.”

—Dr. John Mullen an Assistant Professor of

Neurological Surgery and Neurology

I

A

fter the defense rested, Norman Kinne lined up witnesses who had dealings with Belachheb and were ready to testify that he was perfectly sane. Oh, he was odd, and in their minds maybe a little crazy, but he was certainly someone who had enough mental capacity to know the difference between right and wrong.

The first of the witnesses was Beth.1 She was a secretary for a law firm and the person who had introduced Abdelkrim

Belachheb to Joanie. She described Belachheb as a selfish schemer who readily admitted that he needed to marry a woman who had money—an American who could help him secure permanent residency in the United States. According to Beth, he seemed to have found what he wanted in Joanie, who spent large sums of her limited income on his expensive tastes. He had nice clothes, memberships in clubs, and drank to excess in plush bars and restaurants (not to mention his custom wig). Beth even testified that

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Chapter 10. Shot Him Dead

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 10

Shot Him Dead

Between July 1873 and Christmas 1874, there is no real record of Longley’s whereabouts. We only have his story that, after being released in Austin, he killed a man in Frio County and then worked for Dr. McIver in Madison County. The 1877 account of his adventures found in the Galveston Daily News had him leaving Madison County, which is in East Texas northeast of Bryan, visiting his parents again briefly in Bell County, then riding on to old Fort Ewell on the Nueces River in LaSalle County, at the junction of the San Antonio and Laredo roads. The fort had been established in 1852, but abandoned in October 1854 when army troops there were transferred to Fort McIntosh on the Rio Grande above Laredo.1 Fort Ewell and Dog Town, forty miles northeast on the Frio River, became two principal stage stands between San Antonio and the Rio Grande. Fort Ewell was not much of a town, being principally occupied by Mexicans and a storekeeper known as Peg Leg Stuart.2

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Medium 9781574412246

9. William B. Sayers

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF

nine

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,

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Medium 9781770904958

Yellow Submarines

Mark Coakley ECW Press ePub

Yellow Submarines

“How big it got — it wasn’t supposed to be that big.”

— Robert Bleich

A year after the start of the Molson grow op, Bleich and Walker had enough free time to build their own grow op, inside an old barn in the city of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario. Glenn Day helped them construct an airtight shell in the barn. When completed, Bleich and Walker sold the grow op to a local businessman named Pierre Homard,* Bleich keeping a 10 percent ownership share. Neither Bleich nor Walker told Dolic and Freeman about this grow op, but in the summer of 2003, Bleich’s bosses found out about his activities on the side. Bleich later said he believed it was Glenn Day who told on him to Dolic and Freeman. Dolic accused Bleich of a “conflict of interest” — because he was not giving all of his loyalty to his work at the Molson grow op — and fired Bleich, who went back to what he described as “selling ounces here and there, doing my own thing.” He denied this was a “falling out” with Dolic and Freeman, saying he remained friends with both after the firing and sometimes visited the old Molson factory.

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Six—“Put down your arms and surrender safely.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Six

“Put down your arms and surrender safely.”

—TDC Director, Jim Estelle, Jr.

Montemayor’s contact with Carrasco seemed to bring progress. Carrasco assured him that if the authorities did not “charge me, the hostages will be safe.”1 A hand-written message from Estelle was sent to the library. “You have not harmed anyone,” it read.

“Neither have we. We cannot dishonor the hostages by placing them in greater danger by delivering more weapons to you . . . we cannot do more than ask you to consider the feelings of your own family and the feelings of your hostages and their family. Put down your arms and surrender safely.”2

Carrasco was told if he freed his civilian prisoners along with Heard and gave himself up, his attorney would witness his safe surrender in front of the media to make sure “we do not hurt you, injure you, brutalize you . . .”3 What they were telling him was they would give him almost anything he wanted—except exit from the prison. The mercurial Carrasco flew into a rage and negotiations fell apart. By now, Father

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3: Austin Is Different

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

everything out. Naturalized Texans soon discover that Austin, at least, is different from all that.

Charles Whitman might have fallen for the Texas stereotype, but he lived in Austin, where-as John T. Davis and J. B. Colson have written-equally stubborn influences of southern nostalgia and western idealism meet and battle. 1 Added to the mixture are rich

Latino and African-American influences with literate and articulate leaders. Throughout Austin's history, incredulous observers have been entertained by some of the nation's most memorable city council and school board meetings. Like it has in the rest of Texas, legend has infiltrated much of Austin's history. Austin has always been different.

Mirabeau Lamar, one of Texas's founding fathers, first visited the area that would become the City of Austin while on a buffalohunting trip. The beauty of the area stunned him. A four-family settlement called Waterloo had been situated there near the Balcones

Escarpment, better known as the Balcones Fault, a dramatic topographical boundary separating dark, fertile alluvial bottoms on the

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8: THE GLASS-PANELED DOOR

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

8
The Glass-Paneled Door

I

On 1 August 1966 beneath a cloudless sky, Charles Whitman drove from the neat little house on Jewell Street to the University of Texas at Austin. Weather forecasters predicted warm, humid nights and hot sunny days. Experienced Austinites knew the pattern: cumulus clouds greeted early morning commuters with spectacular golden formations, but soon intolerant and relentless sunshine melted them away. It would be hot, and if any humidity dared linger, an afternoon thermal thundershower would pelt the area until the sun returned with a vengeance to turn the fallen rain into steam rising from the streets and sidewalks. A light southerly wind, not strong enough to bring relief, accompanied the heat and humidity. When Whitman left his home for the last time, at or slightly after 11:00 A.M., the temperature had climbed to the upper nineties. Vacationers and students on semester break flocked to Barton Creek, where cold spring-fed water supplied bathers with a momentary refuge from the heat. But most Austinites could afford no such luxury and instead wearily prepared for another one of “those” days. It was hot—damn hot.1

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Thirteen—“We will assassinate everyone!”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Thirteen

“We will assassinate everyone!”

—Fred Carrasco, hostage-taker

With their intelligence-gathering system in place, the

Command Post returned to the task of formulating a plan for entering the library with an attack team, if necessary. No thought, scheme, nor concept, was rejected out of hand, no matter how far out of the box it might seem to be. Some ideas had what TDC

Director Estelle called a “Buck Rogers” quality about them.1 Under even the best-case scenarios, they knew an assault would no doubt be a blood bath. The aim was to hit hard, hit fast, with as much firepower as they could muster, and with the element of surprise.

It would have to be a massive, shocking blow, stunning the gunmen and traumatizing them before they could get off any rounds aimed at their captives.

Everyone in the Command Post knew there was no way they could hit hard enough and fast enough to save all the hostages. It was just a matter of reducing the losses, of lowering the body count. How many hostage lives could they afford to lose in order to save how many others? How many body bags would they need?

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Chapter 20. Not Upon His Doomed Neck

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 20

Not Upon His Doomed Neck

Bill Longley quickly passed from the pages of Texas newspapers, and his notoriety with him. Other gunmen, such as Hardin and Ben Thompson, stepped to the forefront of the public spotlight, their sort continuing to fascinate those who found glamour and excitement in the larger-than-life exploits of an outlaw, as opposed to the humdrum routine of school, farming, or other similar everyday callings. As with Longley, the notorious Jesse James also capitalized on the press to insure a place in history, although James took great pains to deny his nefarious deeds.

Only eight months after the hanging, however, stories were already being passed around in Dallas that the execution had been a hoax, thus commencing decades of confusion and speculation about the ultimate fate of Bill Longley. “Rich relatives supplied him with a steel corset and neck piece, which prevented the rope from choking him or pulling on his neck at all when the drop fell.” Friends were supposed to have pretended to bury the body, smuggling Longley away and “setting him up in business in California, where he now lives a pious and model young man.”1 Although the story was briefly published in 1879, it did not garner a public response from those who knew better, apparently because it seemed so absurd on its face.

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