98 Slices
Medium 9781574411676

1 Disconcerting Stares

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter one

Disconcerting Stares

“I want to get to that killer while the blood is still wet and while the adrenalin is still flowing.”

—Bill Parker

Retired Dallas Police Department

I

B

ill Parker had just fallen asleep. He had been out to dinner that night and had even had a couple of drinks. The phone rang right after midnight. Many times he had gotten up in the middle of the night to rush off to a murder scene. But this time was different.

The dispatcher was excited and at times hard to understand.

He told Bill that as many as a dozen people could be dead in a restaurant on the corner of Midway and Interstate 635 in the north section of Dallas.

“I’ll call you right back,” Bill said, before hanging up. He thought the best thing to do was to splash water on his face, wake up, and give the caller time to pull himself together.

“I had never heard of Ianni’s,” Bill recalled years later. But he would learn much about Ianni’s Restaurant and Club. On the night of June 29, 1984, Bill would see the club for the first time—the site of the largest mass murder in the history of Dallas, Texas.

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6 A Position for Tragedy

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter six

A Position for Tragedy

“I don’t like him. He stares at me.”

—Linda Lowe

I

L

inda Lowe was not one to sit home alone with her two cats.

She very much enjoyed patrolling the Dallas nightclub scene to listen to musicians. On different occasions she had been a member of several “all-girl” musical groups. On Tuesday, June 26, 1984, she called her brother Wade and told him that later in the week she was going to a place called Ianni’s to listen to a band. Wade later related that she was looking for talented musicians to form a new group.1 She was an outgoing person who clearly liked being around others, so she may have grown tired of playing the piano by herself.

Linda was planning to surprise Wade for his upcoming birthday by picking him up in a limo and taking him out for a nice dinner. Those who knew Linda would not have been surprised by her “very generous” and considerate nature, her mother later said.

Linda even sent her brother a Father’s Day card. The bartenders at the nightclubs, who came to know her as a person and a performer, all gushed about how “sweet and nice” she was.2 No one, it seems, had anything negative to say about her—except Abdelkrim

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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.

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5 The North Dallas Nightclub Scene

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter five

The North Dallas

Nightclub Scene

“He is violent even when he is not drinking. But when he does, it’s all over. I used to say, ‘It’s a good thing you can’t get a gun here [in Brussels].’ How did he get one in Texas?”

—Jenny, Belachheb’s first wife quoted in the Dallas Morning News

I

T

o one of the waitresses he encountered, Abdelkrim Belachheb was merely a five-foot six-inch man with a wig and crooked teeth.1 To some others, he apparently represented romance from the Mediterranean and mystery from Africa. The frequency of his sexual conquests is as much attributable to his tenacity as to his charm.

His compulsion for sexual conquests, especially of rich women, took him to the nightclubs that sprang up along the LBJ Freeway; the center of the Dallas construction boom. The wilder action was further north in Addison, where the clubs were louder and more raucous. But those establishments attracted a younger crowd— people emerging from high school and college, with good jobs and plenty of money to spend.

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Medium 9781574410723

15 Searching for a Monster

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

15

Searching for a Monster

“It was like playing

Scrabble with a chimpanzee.”

—Bill Johnston

I

ATF Special Agent Charles Meyer is a tall, lean man with an angular face and sleek, Clint Eastwood eyes. He is as good an interrogator as anyone who has ever questioned a suspect. He is so good in fact, that a frustrated Austin defense attorney once lamented in open court that

“Chuck Meyer always seemed to be there when somebody needed a little interrogating.”1

A native of San Antonio, Chuck flew helicopters for the Army in

Vietnam. After earning a degree in management and marketing, he was drawn to law enforcement. He looked into different agencies and chose the ATF for a career. Chuck Meyer is an intensely disciplined investigator. It is hard to imagine him being flustered or losing his cool. He likes to work quietly. Not only does he dislike publicity of any type, he actively avoids it. Although he has been involved in some of the highest profile cases in recent Texas history, a search through the archives of the Austin

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