222 Chapters
Medium 9781574411805

Twenty-five—“It’s Over.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

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

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 4. I Kept on Pumping Lead

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 4

I Kept on Pumping Lead

Longley said that he decided that the most practical way to get to Utah was by joining one of the many cattle drives headed north through the Indian Territory and terminating at the railhead at Abilene, Kansas. According to him, he rode north to near Gainesville, in Cooke County not far from the Red River, and ran upon a large herd. The boss of the herd, a man named Rector, who Longley said came from Bee County in southwest Texas, hired Longley to go along on the drive, offering him pay of a dollar a day. Rector also furnished Longley with an extra horse so that the horse Longley was riding could be turned out with the other extra horses on the drive in order to rest and gain a few pounds. Longley said that he picked out a horse and joined the trail drive as it headed into the Indian Territory.

Fuller quoted a letter from Longley that described his days with the trail drive as tedious, “following a big herd of cattle, seeing that none drop out by the wayside or are stolen and in the days of which I speak Indian thieves as well as white thieves lined the great cattle trails, ready to steal or stampede the cattle and kill the men in charge of them if necessary.”1 Longley said he was assigned to drive the chuck wagon and help the cook in preparing grub for the cowboys. On occasion, he and the mule-driven wagon would get ahead of the herd and have to wait for it to overtake him. As Fuller quoted him, he recalled one stampede:

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574414974

18. Guns and Condoms

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

18

Guns and Condoms

“How much more degraded can this get?”

—Mike McNamara

I

To this day Mike and Parnell McNamara and Bill Johnston grope for words to express how completely saddened they were by their trip to where Colleen had been killed, and by what they heard Hank Worley say that night. But rage quickly replaced sadness; and their faces of stone returned. Almost every night for the next couple of weeks, they roamed the streets of Belton, Temple, Waco, and the hamlets of the Blackland Prairie. They did not give up until there were no leads and there was absolutely nothing else to do.

“Each night at about midnight the tension got almost unbearable because you could not help but wonder if he was killing someone else at that moment. Where is he right now? What is he doing right now? Who is being tortured right now? Who is choking to death?” remembered Mike. For many nights Mike returned home during early morning hours. Even then he could not sleep. He would sit in a chair in the darkness, sometimes for two hours—thinking.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574410297

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

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574410297

9: Strange Noises

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

mJ~--------------------- Strange Noises

,va)' either. Center portions of the interior walls of the parapet, directly below the huge clocks, jutted out slightly, creating protrusions ideally suited for a dangerous game of hide-and-seek.. Except for a few ornate carvings and the faces of the huge clocks, the walls were made of smooth, pale limestone. When Don Walden and Cheryl

Botts left the deck, they surrendered it to Whitman's exclusive use; only a dying Edna Townsley occupied the interior of the twentyeighth t100r. Because Whitman had successfully secured the Tower's upper floor and deck, storming the fortress would require a serious and incredibly courageous effort. In order to delay further unwelcorned visitors, he wedged the Austin Rental Service dolly against the glass-panele<-l door on the south side.

N

The structure and design of the 28th tloor reception area and observation deck made for a dangerous gan1e of hide and seek. Whitman attempted to obstruct access to the area by placing Edna 'Townsley's desk and a chair at the top of the stairs. 'The large blank areas on the west and north sides were used for storage, and visitors had no access to the carillon and clock. As a result the only way to confront Whitman on the deck was through the south door. Texas Department of

See All Chapters

See All Chapters