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11: RAMIRO

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

11
Ramiro

I

Early on the morning of 1 August 1966, a handsome young Hispanic police officer named Ramiro Martinez began his day by bringing his two-year-old twin daughters, Janette and Janice, to day care. Mrs. Vernell Martinez, a native of Fredericksburg and of proud German heritage, was an employment counselor. She had already reported to work. Ramiro was scheduled to report for duty at the Austin Police Department at 3:00 P.M.

Originally from a small West Texas town called Rotan, Ramiro was the son of a share-cropper who worked on the “one third” system—one third of the harvest went to the landowner, It was a hard way to live. Cotton was king and the Martinez family was poor. While Spanish was spoken most often in the home, Ramiro and his two brothers and two sisters, like many Hispanics of the era, were encouraged to speak English. Ramiro's father and his children were bilingual. Mother Martinez, a native of Mexico, mostly spoke Spanish. At Rotan High School, Ramiro established himself as an athlete, earning all-district honorable mention as an end on the football team. Not surprisingly, the Martinez family was staunchly Catholic, and occasionally, the children had to tolerate silly jokes about their religion. The Hail Mary, the Our Father, the Rosary and other prayers like the Act of Contrition were taught at home and the children attended Catechism regularly on Sundays. The family moved from farm to farm and did not have much, but they were good, honest people.1

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Chapter 11: “I Think There Is Some Trouble at Hand”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 11

“I Think There Is Some

Trouble at Hand”

With the death of Peter Bader, John Baird and Scott Cooley had effectively completed their quest for revenge. Satisfied that justice had been meted out to those responsible for his brother’s murder, Baird began to withdraw from the feud. With him went the allies who had rallied to his cause. The Mason mob was broken, and John Clark had

fled to parts unknown. Baird had a new daughter, Edna, at home and realized that it was time to stop the conflict.1 Satisfied with the results,

Baird began preparations to leave Texas.

Even as Baird withdrew from the conflict, fate closed in on Ernst

Jordan. Since the beginning of the conflict he had gone armed.

Sometime during 1876 when the “troubles had hardly subsided”

Jordan was removing a pistol from his carriage when it slipped from his hand. The pistol dropped to the ground and discharged, the bullet shattering his knee. The accident left him bedridden during the remainder of 1876 and throughout 1877. A surgeon from San Antonio operated on the leg, but it never healed properly and required treatments for the rest of his life.2

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13: Independent Actions

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

mJ~-------- Independent Actions

ments, sent them to the ·UT Security Office a few blocks north of the Tower at 24th and San Jacinto. There Houston McCoy asked them if they had a11Y additional shotguns. They did not. He also asked if they had any directions or a plan. They did not. At the office, UT's Security Chief Allen R. Hamilton directed one of his men, Sgt. A.Y. Barr, to lead the APD team to the Tower.

From the university police station, the band of officers walk.ed through the campus to an area directly east of the Tower. From that position there appeared to be only one way to get to the Tower-a dash over an open area. McCoy wondered aloud if there was a safer way for six men to get to the Main Building. William Wilcox, a university employee, knew of a maze of tunnels connecting the buildings to allow for relative ease when maintaining the campus infrastructure-telephone, power lines and water lines. Through the tunnel connecting the Computation Center to the Main Building,

Wilcox guided McCoy's team. I

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6: After Much Thought

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

I Z I - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - After Much Thought

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,

Hickock and Smith sneaked into the home through an unlocked door (most people from Holcomb saw no need to lock doors) and terrorized the family before lulling Mr. Clutter, his wife Bonnie, and their two children Kenyon and Nancy. Each of the victims had been tied at the wrists. Mrs. Clutter and her children were murdered by shotgun blasts to the head from short range. Mr. Clutter's body was found in the basement of his home; he had been shot in the head and his throat had been slashed. 1

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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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Chapter 11 Bill Was Still Fighting

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

11

Bill Was Still Fighting

T

he Lee County sheriff mounting the search for the Long­ley brothers was James McKeown, the father of Bill’s early criminal companion, Johnson. Sheriff McKeown was elected as Lee County’s first sheriff on June 2, 1874.1 But the posse led by James McKeown never came close to the fleeing brothers, who headed north after leaving Burleson County.

Jim later recalled2 that they initially steered clear of settlements where they might be recognized. Camping out in the open each night,

Jim hunted and killed swamp rabbits to eat with the bacon and bread they had brought with them. They approached the Brazos River, heading toward Bryan, and encountered a black man with three yokes of steers that he was taking to Caldwell. The two outlaws, apparently feeling their oats, made the man “dance,” riding on after rewarding him with a half-quart of whiskey. One can only suspect what happened to the other half-quart.

Riding into Bryan, Bill stopped at a saloon to get more whiskey.

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16: APD

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

APD - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - t m

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 attack-s, 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 allover the world interviewed witnesses, victims, and victims' families." 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."

Reporters converged on Needville as well. Undoubtedly, many had to locate the hamlet on a map first. Kathy's mother stayed secluded. Mr. Leissner, struggling to hold back tears, candidly admitted his inability to explain what happened: "He [Whitman] was just as normal as anybody I ever knew, and he worked awfully hard at his grades. There was nothing wrong with him that I knew of. It's just a sad tragedy that happened to a very nice family."4 Later in the week Kathy's body returned to Needville for services at the white, wooden Methodist church she had attended as a little girl. A large crowd attended her burial at Greenlawn Memorial Parle in Rosenberg during a driving rain storm. Several classmates from her graduating class carried her body to its final resting place near a small oak tree.

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Fifteen—“You don’t treat women that way.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Fifteen

July 27, 1974 • Day Four

“You don’t treat women that way.”

— TDC Director, Jim Estelle, Jr.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, Aline House— awake because of a painful back ache from sleeping on the library floor—saw some strange goings on in the room. Even at that hour, it was not dark in the complex because the overhead lights glared twentyfour hours a day. The first thing she noticed was Rudy

Dominguez and Ignacio Cuevas, using electrical cord wrapped around the door handles, had locked shut the two staff restrooms in the library. They were afraid prison guards could enter their fortress through those rooms so they closed them off, leaving only the inmates’ restroom to serve the needs of all seventeen people. Then she saw the four extremely busy but quiet hostage inmates moving a study carrel (an enclosed, partitioned table often used for individual study in libraries) to the middle of the floor.

They were building an interior barricade to further protect themselves from their expected TDC attack.

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Medium 9781574410723

4 Freed to Kill Again

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

4

Freed to Kill Again

“You know, when you’re on parole and you been on death row, it’s hard to find a date.”

—Kenneth Allen McDuff

I

Furman v Georgia was not the only significant development affecting the prison life of Kenneth McDuff in 1972. That year, a disgruntled Texas prison inmate named David Ruiz, who was serving a twenty-five-year sentence for armed robbery, initiated a handwritten lawsuit alleging a variety of violations of his civil rights in the prison system. His complaint alleged overcrowding, poor medical care, and the use of Building Tenders as guards of other inmates. The Building Tenders kept control of their area, and in turn, received preferred treatment by guards and prison officials. Ruiz alleged that Building Tenders beat other prisoners to keep them in line.1 The Ruiz case went before United States District Judge

William Wayne Justice of Tyler. Thus began the longest and most expensive trial in the history of Texas.

Years later, during the early to mid 1980s, Judge Justice, in effect, seized the prison system from the people of Texas. His ruling concluded that the system violated inmate rights through crowding, poor medical care, using inmates as guards, brutality by professional guards, and unconstitutional grievance and discipline procedures. He ordered a complete overhaul of the prison system and set up federal monitors and

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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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2. Enter Albert B. Fall and Other Men of Note

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF

two

Enter Albert B. Fall and Other Men of Note

In November 1888, Fountain ran against Democratic newcomer

Albert B. Fall for a seat in the New Mexico State Legislature.1

Fountain won the election and went on to be chosen speaker of the house. While in the legislature, Fountain pushed for public education for both boys and girls, an unpopular idea at the time. He successfully fought to have the state’s land grant college situated in Las Cruces. (It now is New Mexico State University.) He also worked vigorously for statehood.2 The rest of Fountain’s life would be intertwined with that of his opponent in the 1888 election. The two men, Fountain as a leader of the Republicans and Fall a soonto-be leader of the Democrats, grew to despise each other.

Albert Bacon Fall was born in Frankfort, Franklin County,

Kentucky, on November 26, 1861.3 He married Emma Morgan on

May 8, 1883, and they settled in New Mexico in 1887.4 According to his service record, Fall stood five feet, ten and one-half inches tall, had a fair complexion, brown eyes, and black hair.5 Despite his limited formal education, the former miner rose quickly in the

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Seventeen—“I’m going out of here, whether it’s alive or dead.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Seventeen

July 28, 1974 • Day Five

“I’m going out of here, whether it’s alive or dead.”

—Fred Carrasco, hostage-taker

On Sunday, July 28, 1974, the NBC-TV Sunday

Evening News broadcast with Floyd Kalber anchoring from New York City, the President Nixon impeachment story got prominent billing. Four of the first five items dealt with it. Kalber also introduced stories about peace talks between Greece and Turkey, fighting in Vietnam, a new sex manual being released in the USSR, the Eleventh Annual Craftsbury

Common Old-time Fiddlers’ convention in Vermont, and how the “Texas state prison siege continues.” It was still national news.1

For those involved with the siege, the impeachment proceedings were not a major concern, and in fact received no discussion that day. Except for Ignacio Cuevas. Speaking like a self-imposed victim of social oppression, he talked about the presidency. “The only president worth anything,” he wailed, “was Kennedy and that’s why they killed him.

They kill the good people and the poor people.”2

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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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Chapter 9 Desperate-Looking Character

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

9

Desperate-Looking

Character

A

lthough 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

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15: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

15
To Whom It May Concern

I

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.

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