222 Chapters
Medium 9781574411805

Twenty-five—“It’s Over.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF


Eight hostages on the outside of the “buggy” maneuver it down the ramp while

Carrasco, his two henchmen and four civilian hostages are inside. (Photo courtesy of Robert E. Wiatt)

pressure hoses, topple it. In the resulting melee, they would disarm the desperados and save the hostages. Estelle took up a position on a small balcony on the third floor of the Walls’ Administration Building overlooking the Upper Yard, from where he could look right at the ramp.

He was, he said, “in walkie-talkie contact with Rogers. But,” he continued, “Pete being Pete, once the fire-fight started, he laid that damn radio down. He wanted two hands. So, I was out of contact. I could hear and see—but I couldn’t directly influence anything.”2

As the captives struggled to shove the box off its hang-up, Jack

Branch looked toward the doors where he saw the officers, wearing olive green-colored, camouflage ceramic body armor, and combat helmets. “I said ‘boy, we are saved now.’ I never was glad to see somebody in my life.”3 Ranger Captains Rogers and Burks, FBI agent

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Medium 9781574412048

Chapter 16: “A Shocking and Lamentable Sequel”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 16

“A Shocking and Lamentable Sequel”

As 1877 drew to a close, those involved in the feud continued to make news. Caleb Hall, having liberated himself from the jail at

Menard, was seen in Mason County in early September.1 A. G. Roberts, accused by Barler of starting the feud, was now serving as a deputy sheriff in Burnet County. In late September, he and J. J. Strickland were in San Antonio “bearing papers for the conveyance of Isbell, charged with murder in Arkansas, to the authorities of that State.”2

In Burnet, the men who had helped free Ringo and Cooley proved equally capable of liberating themselves. On September 23 James

Polk Mason and Ed Brown escaped from the Burnet jail. Some believed that the guard allowed the men to escape.3 John Baird was also in the news, having reportedly been arrested in Shackelford County by the Rangers.4 The man proved to be one Crusoe Beard who was wanted in another county.5 John C. Sparks reported in October:

On Oct. 11th Sergt. T. M. Sparks with 17 Privates

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Medium 9781770904958

The Morning after a Party

Mark Coakley ECW Press ePub

The Morning after a Party

“There were these huge steel doors that must have blocked off the marijuana from us, but everybody talked about it. All day long you would see these strange people walking in and out … The way the plant was put together, it was the perfect place for a marijuana operation. The rumors were rampant that it was a massive marijuana factory.”

— Anonymous source

Dismantling the Barrie grow op was dangerous, especially when police officers shut off the heat to the building, causing water pipes to freeze and burst, spraying water over live electrical wires. Twenty firefighters were kept on standby. There would be many more burst pipes and leaks to come — all fixed by reluctant handyman Larry McGee.

McGee had to do maintenance on the boilers twice every day. Escorted at all times by a pair of Barrie Police officers, he kept the boilers going and set up some propane space heaters to prevent more pipes from freezing. McGee also helped the police with other mechanical tasks, like fixing a broken door. Soon, he would demand a vacation, training his own replacement.

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Medium 9781574412048

Chapter 4: “The Fright Hangs Over Us”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 4

“The Fright Hangs Over Us”

1875 dawned with deceptive calm in Mason County. Even then ample opportunity remained for matters to be resolved peacefully, but no one stepped forward as a peacemaker. In later years Ranger

Daniel Webster Roberts would recall that “the men supporting civil authority, needed no arrest, and those opposing it, urged equal claims of being right, but would not submit their grievances to law.”1 This is not true. During 1874, both sides had submitted their grievances to the law. The law had failed them. In Mason County, nonresident cattlemen such as Jim Trainer were met with hostility. The German element controlled the law, as represented by John Clark, who did nothing to curb the cattle theft going on in the county by Mexican bandits, Indians, and Anglo outlaws. Likewise the law failed to protect the interests of nonresident cattlemen. A. G. Roberts had submitted his grievances to the Llano courts, and the resulting indictments and arrests served to intensify the animosities between the factions.

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Medium 9781574410297

17: Why Did He Do It?

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

Why Did He Do It?


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:


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.

3. To prepare the material for its maximal utilization in evaluating the problem for our society,

4. To make recommendations aimed at the detection and prevention of circumstances which might lead to similar incidents."

The commission looked carefully at Whitman's background, health, and overall behavior throughout his life. His elementary, high-school and university transcripts were analyzed. Teachers, classmates, family, and old and recent friends were interviewed.

The conclusions reached by the commission reinforced what nlany of Whitman's associates already knew about him and also exposed the nice facade he had developed around himself. Its portrait of Charles Whitman was that of an "intelligent, intense and driven" young man, but someone who had been encased in internal and external predicaments causing personal turmoil." The internal goal of outdoing his father in all areas, not just education, had become an unhealthy obsession, a source of anxiety he inflicted upon himself. The separation of his parents, which had been out of his control, only exacerbated his internal struggles. Margaret's move to

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