222 Slices
Medium 9781574410297

10: Houston

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF



Only seconds befo re confronting Charles

Whitman, Houston McCoy had to dodge friendly fire from police and civilians, but he stilI had flashing thoughts of his wife

Ruth and sons Stefan and Kristofer. Ruth would not find out about Houston's hero ics un til he got home late in the afternoon of I August 1966. Photos courtesy of Ruth


gested agrarian roots and hard work as a boy and young man.

McCoy hailed from Menard, Texas, a hamlet about 150 miles west of Austin near no large or even mid-size city. "If you find yourself in Menard, it's probably 'cause you want to come here," mused one resident. In 1958, Houston graduated from Menard High

School, home of the YellowJackets, and was named "Best All-Around

Boy." He spent his young adulthood attempting to leave his hometown. He enrolled in Lamar Tech (now Lamar University) in

Beaumont and attended classes there for a short time before serving a three-year hitch in the United States Army which included an assignment to Germany, where he met and then married a native

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10 For the State

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter ten

For the State

“It was not accidental; it’s not self defense.

What else can he say but ‘I was crazy.’”

—Norman Kinne

Assistant District Attorney



he genius of the American Constitution is that it was written to protect unpopular people and ideas. Freedom of the press protects unpopular print; freedom of speech protects unpopular speech. Popular ideas seldom need protection. So it is with individuals. Due process, search and seizure limitations, access to legal representation, the right to remain silent, and other rights are designed to assure that even the most reprehensible of American society, even those deemed unfit to live among us, have an opportunity to, at least nominally, defend themselves against the state.

Like democracy, civil liberty, for only the few and the popular, is an oxymoron.

Defending Abdelkrim Belachheb was a defense of Constitutional rights all Americans enjoy. Forcing the state to answer an insanity plea, and thus prove guilt, assures caution and thoughtfulness by the state whenever it brings a defendant, even those clearly guilty of committing a heinous act, to trial.

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Medium 9781574411805

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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5 Parole

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF



“I don’t know why people got so excited;

I was just standing there with my knife.”

—Kenneth McDuff


At the time of the Broomstick Murders, Bill Miller was a law enforcement officer in the Fort Worth area. He remembers vividly the horrible deaths of Robert, Marcus, and Louise at the hands of Kenneth McDuff.

Later, he had firsthand experience with the McDuffs when he assisted in the investigation of Lonnie’s murder. One day in October 1989, while at his office at the Bell County Sheriff ’s Department, he took a call from a friend who owned a convenience store:

“Guess who just came in my store? Kenneth McDuff,” said the caller.

“Well, there’s going to be problems,” Bill said.1

On October 14, 1989, only three days after Kenneth McDuff walked out of prison, a pedestrian strolling the 1500 block of East Avenue N in

Temple came upon the body of a black female lying in a field of tall grass.

She was in her twenties, about 5’6” and weighed about 115–120 pounds.

She had been beaten and strangled, no more than twenty-four hours before her body was found. Within days, she was identified as a suspected prostitute named Sarafia Parker. Texas Ranger John Aycock later located and interviewed a witness who could allegedly place Parker in a pickup truck driven by McDuff on or about October 12, 1989. On that day, Kenneth McDuff had reported to his parole officer—in Temple. No other connection between the murder of Sarafia Parker and McDuff has ever been established or made public. Although the case is still open, at least officially, and McDuff was never accused of any crime involving

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Chapter 15 We Want Him

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF



We Want Him


ill 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

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