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Medium 9781574414974

20. The Reed Trial

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

20

The Reed Trial

“The scary part is, those guys reproduce.”

—David Counts, Travis County Assistant District Attorney

I

Only a few days after Kenneth McDuff had been arrested in Kansas City, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office began to gather circumstantial evidence to establish that Colleen Reed was dead. Under a 1974 law, such evidence could be gathered in cases where a victim’s body was not found. Such laws are necessary. Without them, for example, murderers with access to the means of completely destroying bodies could never be prosecuted. “If the date or the method can be proven on circumstantial evidence, so can death,” explained David Counts, the young, handsome Assistant District Attorney who became the lead prosecutor of the Colleen Reed Murder Trial.1

David Counts was born in the small West Texas town of Knox City, near Abilene. He graduated from Texas Tech and got a law degree from St. Mary’s University Law School in San Antonio. He always wanted to try cases. At the time of the Reed abduction, David was Travis County’s major crimes attorney. He had already put in so much time assisting investigators in the Reed Case that it was logical for him to go ahead and prosecute it. His supervisor, another assistant district attorney named Howard “Buddy” Meyer, asked to help. The two men were genuinely fond of one another and looked forward to working together again.2

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Medium 9781574411676

12 “An altered state of consciousness”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter twelve

“An altered state of consciousness”

“Brain damage is fairly common.”

—Dr. John Mullen an Assistant Professor of

Neurological Surgery and Neurology

I

A

fter the defense rested, Norman Kinne lined up witnesses who had dealings with Belachheb and were ready to testify that he was perfectly sane. Oh, he was odd, and in their minds maybe a little crazy, but he was certainly someone who had enough mental capacity to know the difference between right and wrong.

The first of the witnesses was Beth.1 She was a secretary for a law firm and the person who had introduced Abdelkrim

Belachheb to Joanie. She described Belachheb as a selfish schemer who readily admitted that he needed to marry a woman who had money—an American who could help him secure permanent residency in the United States. According to Beth, he seemed to have found what he wanted in Joanie, who spent large sums of her limited income on his expensive tastes. He had nice clothes, memberships in clubs, and drank to excess in plush bars and restaurants (not to mention his custom wig). Beth even testified that

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Medium 9781574410297

13: INDEPENDENT ACTIONS

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

13
Independent Actions

I

In a short time, nearly all of Austin's police force had reported for duty. Some of the officers went directly to the campus. Others, including Officers George Shepard, Phillip Conner, Harold Moe, and Milton Shoquist, went to police headquarters first. There, the team was given tear gas and a walkie talkie and told to report to the campus area. Since the officers were in possession of communications equipment and tear gas, when they reached 21st and Speedway, Sergeant Marvin Ferrell, who had been directing officers to their assignments, sent them to the UT Security Office a few blocks north of the Tower at 24th and San Jacinto. There Houston McCoy asked them if they had any additional shotguns. They did not. He also asked if they had any directions or a plan. They did not. At the office, UT's Security Chief Allen R. Hamilton directed one of his men, Sgt. A. Y. Barr, to lead the APD team to the Tower.

From the university police station, the band of officers walked through the campus to an area directly east of the Tower. From that position there appeared to be only one way to get to the Tower—a dash over an open area. McCoy wondered aloud if there was a safer way for six men to get to the Main Building. William Wilcox, a university employee, knew of a maze of tunnels connecting the buildings to allow for relative ease when maintaining the campus infrastructure—telephone, power lines and water lines. Through the tunnel connecting the Computation Center to the Main Building, Wilcox guided McCoy's team.1

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Medium 9781574413052

Chapter 18 Same Old Rattling Bill

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

18

Same Old Rattling Bill

L

ong­ley now languished in the well-guarded Galveston County jail until Judge Turner returned to Giddings in August to open the term of the district court. Although constrained by an iron bar connecting his ankles and affixed to chains,1 he kept himself occupied with a prolific frenzy of interviews, as well as writing letters when he could obtain writing materials and postage. Much of what he was reported as saying and wrote during this period gives insight into Long­ley’s mindset as he sought to both justify himself and rationalize his selfcreated reputation, at the same time beginning to reconcile himself to his pending fate. But throughout his writings can be detected a continuing glimmer of hope that he might yet avoid the hangman.

In one interview with a Chicago reporter, Long­ley boasted of yet another killing that he had not previously mentioned. This involved an alleged duel with a man named Grady in Mexico, supposedly in revenge for the killing of a friend of Long­ley in Texas. Long­ley also claimed that he was at this time invited, but declined, to participate with Mexican bandits on a raid into Texas.2 As with his other claims,

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4: THE NICE FACADE

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

4
The Nice Facade

I

Charlie's involvement with Boy Scout Troop 5 of the Methodist Church and his reported membership in the Lion's Club suggest some openness to camaraderie, but he struggled to establish relationships. Members of study groups in the College of Engineering found him difficult to deal with. His life was complicated. He convinced himself that he had too much to do, and he seemed incapable of establishing priorities. A lifelong friend described him as a thinker and a planner, but he had serious problems deciding what to do with his life. In early 1964, Charlie wrote in his diary, “I would definitely like to develop an interest in electronics.…” He used the word “definitely” frequently in his notebooks and diary, yet he seldom displayed definitiveness. Perhaps Kathy's academic success and her timely graduation inspired his renewed drive towards finishing his degree program as early as possible. Or he may have interpreted her success in teaching as a blow to his ego. She provided most of the income and all of the health care coverage in their household. 1 Regardless, he took moderate to heavy course loads for the remaining semesters of his academic career.

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Medium 9781574410297

12: THE GENERAL

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

12
The General

I

The heat—they remembered the heat. Virtually all of the wounded knew that the best way to avoid another shot from Charles Whitman was to lie still and play dead, but for many the heat became unbearable. Onlookers pitied the wounded as much for the pain caused by hot pavement as for the wounds. Claire Wilson had no choice but to lie still for more than an hour as the sun beat down on her until she could be rescued. Instinctively she picked up one leg and moved it from side to side. Witnesses mentally pleaded for her to put that leg down and keep still. “We could see people moving a bit, but they never could get up and walk away.” It would have been easier if they had known that Whitman never shot anyone twice.1

From the top of the Tower, Charles Whitman not only held off an army but he also pinned it down and stayed on the attack. After the tragedy many police officers' written reports stated that they were unable to move from their positions. Whitman's rapid fire suggested a shift to a greater use of the 30-caliber carbine, an automatic rifle. Earlier he tended to use the scoped 6mm Remington, a far more accurate weapon over long distances, but one that required the manual use of a bolt action. Whitman pinned down Patrolman Jim Cooney as the officer made attempts to assist Roy Dell Schmidt, the electrician Whitman killed near University and 21st Streets. “I couldn't get to the man,” said Cooney.2

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Medium 9781574413052

Chapter 2 These Desperate Scoundrels and Out Laws

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

2

These Desperate

Scoundrels and

Out Laws

T

he Civil War ended in 1865, and Texas struggled to restore some equilibrium throughout its many communities. Young Bill Long­ ley reportedly dropped out of his schooling and acquired a six-shooter and a horse, like many other young men in those unsettled times. And thus began the confusing mixture of fact and fiction that complicates a straightforward telling of Long­ley’s short criminal career.

Some have written that in 1866, fifteen-year-old Long­ley jumped a train in order to go to Houston, where he could get his hands on a pistol. This seems a little contrived, given the ready availability of firearms. However, as the story goes, in the teeming streets of Houston, he saw firsthand how “the newly-freed Negroes had taken over the new State Police and created clashes with the white man.”

Long­ley supposedly took up with another young white man, and having nowhere to stay, they decided to bed down in an alley.

According to the story, they were confronted by a blue-uniformed black policeman swinging a lead ball on a leather thong, commonly called a mace. The officer demanded to know what they were doing and, instead of searching them, ordered them to undress. Long­ley’s

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Medium 9781574413052

Chapter 1 A Good-Hearted Boy

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 1

A Good-Hearted Boy

T

he 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

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Medium 9781782200925

CHAPTER THREE

John C. Espy Karnac Books PDF

CHAPTER THREE

Roland and Stanley

On the morning of July 5th, Bar Jonah left early and was gone until late in the afternoon. Roland and Stanley had been watching for him. When they heard his car pull into the driveway about three, Roland and Stanley went running out of Lori’s front door. Roland grabbed the banisters on each side of the stairway, lifted himself in the air and swung his feet forward, taking three steps at a time. Stanley started swinging down the banisters too, but he didn’t wait until Roland was enough out of the way and kicked him in the back of the head. Roland didn’t seem to mind though and just kept doing what Bar Jonah had once called his flying three-step. Bar Jonah had heard them jumping down the stairs, before they got to the landing. He kidded them and said it sounded like they were wearing clodhoppers because they were making so much noise. Bar Jonah said he was glad they had come down, because he was going to come up and get them if they hadn’t.

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15: To Whom It May Concern

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

mJ--------------- To Whom It May Concern bulletin didn't come right back, so I called the station, and I asked them to repeat the news bulletin. At first they wouldn't repeat it , so I said, "My name is Patrick Whitman.

Would you please repeat it." Then I broke up and went and got my father. From then on it was turmoil. They had to sedate me . I

It probably went exactly as Charles would have hoped. Much of the world's media began to ask questions, many of them directed at

C. A. Whitman of Lake Worth, Florida. The glare of publicity for the Whitman family was only beginning. Still to be discovered were the notes Charles had left at 906 Jewell Street and Penthouse Apartment #505 .

"Johnnie Mike" Whitman was still on a cross-country trip with his friend Jim Poland when his brother Charles began his killing spree . After the news of the sniping broke, the Whitman family began a search for the youngest Whitman boy, eventually locating him in Asbury Park, New Jersey, a small town along the Atlantic Coast.

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Medium 9781770904958

Dolic’s Doom

Mark Coakley ECW Press ePub

Dolic’s Doom

“Huge amounts of costs by your government and ours, lawyers all over the place, all so a bunch of nuts in Toronto could have a little cocaine and destroy their lives.”

— Texas Judge Lynn Hughes

In 2005, Drago Dolic was in Canada, talking on the telephone with an American cocaine dealer named Thoi Uc Do. Dolic was doing a lot of business with people of Vietnamese descent. He told Do that he was looking to buy 100 kilos of cocaine every month in the U.S., which Dolic’s gang would smuggle to Toronto. Dolic called himself “the big wheel” in the illegal drug trade and said he had been doing this for years. He mentioned his involvement in a huge shipment of hash that police had seized in the 1980s and boasted that the members of his gang “do the time” if caught, never ratting on him. He bragged about his “$1.5 million house.”

The two dealers agreed to do business. Dolic would send money to Do as a down payment on 30 kilograms of cocaine. (At this time, Dolic usually paid about $12,000 a kilo.) It was agreed that the loads from Do to Dolic would later increase to 100 kilos a month. Dolic gave instructions on how the cocaine was to be put in a spare tire and given to a member of his gang in Buffalo.

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Chapter 14 Plenty of Ammunition

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

14

Plenty of Ammunition

A

fter killing the Reverend Lay, Bill Long­ley left Delta County, but there is only his fanciful account of where he was for the next year, as provided in Fuller’s heavily edited Adventures of Bill

­Long­ley.

According to Long­ley, on June 13, 1876, he rode north from Delta

County and camped near the Red River as it grew dark. He hid off the main road, ate a cold meal that he had gotten at Mr. Lane’s place, then slept on his saddle blanket. The next morning he took a ferry across the river and said that the ferryman told him of several parties who had crossed the night before into the Indian Territory looking for a man who had killed a preacher. Long­ley said that the ferryman looked at him with suspicion as Long­ley asked him questions, but Long­ley said that he learned that most members of the posse believed that the fugitive was still in Texas and that they planned to set up on roads leading into the Indian Territory and waylay Long­ley when he headed north.

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Medium 9781574411676

9 “A miracle from God”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter nine

“A miracle from God”

“You gotta have some passion or you wouldn’t be worth a shit over here.”

—Jeff Shaw, Dallas County

District Attorney Investigator

I

A

s he lay in a hospital bed in stable condition in the intensive care unit at the Dedman Medical Center in Farmer’s Branch,

Texas, John McNeill admitted that he “wouldn’t have given ten cents for [his] life even when the ambulance people finally came in. [He] was in incredible pain.” During the ambulance ride he tried to relax, believing that it might help him avoid bleeding to death. The attendants kept talking to him in an attempt to keep him conscious, but John wished they would just shut up and let him try to relax on his own. At the hospital he was able to talk to the physician. He told him that he had an uncle who was a doctor.

“Would you like to wait for him?” asked the surgeon.

“No. I don’t think I have that much time,” answered John.

So the Dedman staff immediately prepped him for emergency surgery. The diagonal path of the bullet, from lower back to upper chest, meant that he faced major exploratory surgery to determine exactly what the missile had done. The doctors would also have to repair the damage and stop any bleeding to assure his survival.

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Medium 9781770904958

Into the Labyrinth

Mark Coakley ECW Press ePub

Into the Labyrinth

“Keep eye for hidden walls + secret doors.”

— An officer at the Molson building raid

At eight the next morning, a Barrie Police sergeant went to the Canadiana Room, a large area just south of the fermentation tanks, now used as the office for several DeRosa companies. The fancy-looking room had a fireplace, mahogany beams and a high ceiling; an Emergency Response officer from Bolton would later describe it as a “ritzy office.” The Canadiana Room — which looked as if it had been designed by an advertising agency — was where Molson’s guests had once been given free beer at the end of a tour.

The sergeant spoke to one of Bob DeRosa’s assistant property managers, telling him that nobody would be able to access their vehicles on the property. The assistant manager told the officer that would be a big inconvenience for the tenant trucking companies, with their “just in time” delivery schedules. The sergeant was sympathetic but would not change his position.

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7. Going to College

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

7

Going to College

“This guy is sitting by somebody’s wife and somebody’s daughter in class!”

—Parnell McNamara, Deputy United States Marshal

I

At the beginning of 1991, McDuff reported to his Temple parole officer that he was working in a warehouse in the Dallas area as a forklift operator. Six days later he asked to transfer his parole supervision to the Dallas District. But less than two weeks after that he reported to his Temple parole officer that he was back in Temple living with J. A. and Addie. Kenneth’s aging parents apparently had little energy for raising a forty-five-year-old teenager; McDuff moved into the Jean Motel in Temple during much of March. Only six weeks earlier McDuff had discovered a way that he could have access to a private room, eat three meals a day in a cafeteria, receive money for subsistence—even during holidays—and receive an education. All he had to do was go to class. Kenneth Allen McDuff was going to college.1

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