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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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Appendix II

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix II

A key event of the Mason County War was what correspondent

David Doole termed the “Big Raid” in a letter that was published in the San Antonio Herald of August 14, 1874. This is referred to in the response published in the Burnet Bulletin of September 5, 1874 by

A. G. Roberts. Doole’s letter has not been located to date, but on

August 29, 1874, the San Antonio Daily Express published the following article. From the existing references to Doole’s correspondence, the article appears to have been drawn, with some editorial changes, from that letter. Its significance is demonstrated by the fact that both newspapers considered it important enough to publish the lengthy correspondence.



Mason County Under Arms—A Promised

Revenge and Partial Execution


[Correspondence Fredericksburg Sentinel]

MASON, TEXAS, Aug. 18, 1874

On the ninth of August, 1874, John Clark, Sheriff of Mason county, with a posse of 18 men, went after a set of cow hands of Al. Roberts, who had made a raid into Mason county and driven off 200 head of cattle.

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Fourteen—“We will kill as many people as possible.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Fourteen

“We will kill as many people as possible.”

—Fred Carrasco, hostage-taker

Federico Gomez Carrasco’s moods were hard for those in the Command Post to predict. On several occasions,

TDC Director Estelle made, or authorized lawyer

Ruben Montemayor to make, offers to Carrasco that quickly backfired. For instance, late Friday after about thirty minutes of negotiations directly between Estelle and Carrasco, an offer of transportation was made.

Estelle assumed, one way or the other, the three hostiles would need a getaway vehicle. According to

Warden Husbands, “We told Carrasco there would be a car inside the Walls waiting for his instructions.

We told him that the car would be pulled up to the ramp in front of the building, filled with gas with the motor either running or off, whatever he wished.”1

Although authorities had had expected it since day one of the siege, Carrasco had not asked for transportation in exchange for the hostages.

Estelle did not tell the hostage-takers they were being allowed to go free. They were only offered transportation. Estelle remembered, “Had they taken it up, we’d have arranged their safe conduct—but only

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Chapter 1. A Good-Hearted Boy

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 1

A Good-Hearted Boy

The menacing clouds and threat of rain did not deter the hundreds of people flocking to the small Texas town of Giddings to see Bill Longley die. The newly constructed wooden gallows waited silently some six hundred yards northwest of the railroad depot, where passengers alit by the score from incoming trains.

Although the execution was not scheduled until later in the afternoon of this dark, ominous October day, the main street of Giddings and the surrounding prairie teemed with the growing crowd from an early hour. They came by train, by carriage, by wagon and horseback, and on foot, black and white mingling single-mindedly as they awaited the carrying out of the court’s order and the end of the self-proclaimed mankiller’s odyssey. Stories circulated about a last-minute escape attempt and there were rumors that Longley had already survived one hanging.

Bill Longley had been confined now for not quite a year and a half, fighting this day as vigorously as he had willingly defied the conventions of his time. When captured, he had boasted of killing thirty-two men, even penning his memoirs in a Giddings newspaper and relishing the sensation he created throughout the state. He adopted for himself a deadly reputation rivaling that of the much vaunted and more publicized John Wesley Hardin. After all, Hardin, when captured, was said to have killed only twenty-seven. Longley had gone to great lengths to portray himself as one of Texas’ deadliest gunmen.

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Chapter 5. We Set Out in Fine Spirit

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 5

We Set Out in Fine Spirit

Whatever happened in Kansas, Longley continued northward, first to Omaha, Nebraska, then on to Cheyenne in Wyoming Territory, where he said that he joined a party of miners preparing for an “exploring expedition” into the Big Horn range of mountains.1 He was welcomed by the leaders forming the group, including a Captain Kuykendall, and on their instructions obtained necessary supplies and readied to leave immediately.2

The record backs up Longley’s account at this point. Judge W. L. Kuykendall, late in 1869, had pondered the feasibility of organizing a semi-military group of prospectors to venture into the country above the North Platte River to displace the Sioux Indians there and look for gold. Discussing the idea with others, Kuykendall placed an advertisement in the Cheyenne newspaper for a meeting at McDaniel’s Theater. Elected president of the Black Hills and Big Horn Association at the meeting by eager prospectors, Kuykendall began recruiting an expedition, and ultimately, according to him, two thousand men volunteered, each agreeing to bring with him a “repeating gun,” one thousand rounds of ammunition, and rations for six months.3 According to the Territorial Census for 1870, William Kuykendall was a thirty-two-year-old farmer from Missouri, who lived with his wife and three children in the household of lawyer James Whitehead in Cheyenne.4

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