205 Chapters
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5: Oozing with Hostility

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

more infrequent. His bouts of depression were probably more troubling to Kathy; it would have been in her nature to try to keep Charlie happy. During the spring of 1966,- she began to gently guide him towards professional counseling.

Charlie believed he suffered from some physical malady Specifically, he thought something was wrong with his head; and he also feared that he was sterile. 1 Those suspicions seemed to torture his mind, but there exists no evidence of his wanting professional help.

Instead, he chose to wallow in self-doubt and personal dissatisfaction. For all his talk. about the need for others to achieve and get ahead and in spite of his harsh words for his brother Patrick.'s refusal to get help for his problems, Charlie Whitman stalled himself by his own inability to deal with self-inflicted problems. Other sources of stress would result in a complete surrender to his frustrations and anger-and in tragedy

The grades Charlie earned in his courses during the spring and fall of 1965 were significantly improved from his earlier matriculation at the University of Texas. In the spring he made three Cs, one

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Medium 9781574413052

Chapter 16 The Most Successful Outlaw

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

16

The Most Successful

Outlaw

W

hile he sat in the Lee County jail awaiting trial, Long­ley continued his letter writing. Ink, pen, and paper were provided by Sheriff Brown, and he was allowed to write to anyone he wished, provided that Brown saw the letters. He wrote his father, Campbell, telling him not to employ any counsel for him, that the state would be bound to appoint one for him because it was a death penalty case.

According to Brown, Long­ley wrote his father that he only wanted a lawyer to postpone his case for six months, and that if he could not escape in that time, he deserved to be hanged.1

Long­ley’s murder trial was initially set for August 24, 1877, and

Samuel R. Kenada was his attorney, perhaps appointed by the court because this was a capital case that could result in the death penalty upon conviction, although Long­ley later claimed that he was hired for fifty dollars. Kenada, born in Alabama around 1839, came to Texas and settled in the Evergreen community where he was both a merchant and a farmer.2 He and his family moved to Burton, about halfway between Giddings and Brenham, where he studied for the law.

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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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3: AUSTIN IS DIFFERENT

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

3
Austin is Different

I

Metropolitan Austin has always had a large representation of families who are relatively new to the area, with roots spread throughout the United States. “Native Texans” call them “naturalized Texans.” Many people relocate believing in the Texas stereotype: a state filled with cowboys, good-ole-boys, and rich oilmen; where music is country-and-western and western swing; politics are conservative and crooked; the land is dry and flat; food means meat; law enforcement is strict and effective, and if it is not, the Rangers are called to straighten everything out. Naturalized Texans soon discover that Austin, at least, is different from all that.

Charles Whitman might have fallen for the Texas stereotype, but he lived in Austin, where—as John T. Davis and J. B. Colson have written—equally stubborn influences of southern nostalgia and western idealism meet and battle.1 Added to the mixture are rich Latino and African-American influences with literate and articulate leaders. Throughout Austin's history, incredulous observers have been entertained by some of the nation's most memorable city council and school board meetings. Like it has in the rest of Texas, legend has infiltrated much of Austin's history. Austin has always been different.

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10: HOUSTON

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

10
Houston

I

“I am just a West Texas Cowboy.” Indeed!

Houston McCoy embodied the Texas stereotype: a slow West Texas drawl, an elliptically-shaped face, piercing frontier eyes that look beyond bodies into souls, selective use of soft-spoken brutally honest words, often hiding a toughness no one should mess with. A more Texan name could hardly be conjured. McCoy stood well over six feet tall, with a thin, almost boyish frame West Texans described as a “long drink of water.” His elongated musculature suggested agrarian roots and hard work as a boy and young man.

Only seconds before confronting Charles Whitman, Houston McCoy had to dodge friendly fire from police and civilians, hut he still had flashing thoughts of his wife Ruth and sons Stefan and Kristofcr. Ruth would not find out about Houston's heroics until he got home late in the afternoon of 1 August 1966 Photos courtesy of Ruth McCoy.

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 Yellow Jackets, and was named “Best Ail-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 German girl named Ruth. In the early 1960s Houston, like many young Texans, was attracted to Austin's cultural offerings. His introduction to law enforcement was routine and unromantic. He was in need of a job when he saw an ad for police recruits in the Austin American-Statesman.1

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Notes on Sources

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

t m - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Notes on Sources

Interviews

I conducted three formal interviews: one with Houston McCoy on I March I 995, in Menard, Texas; one with Ramiro Martinez on

3 April 1995, in New J3raunfels, Texas; and one with Lawrence A.

Fuess in Dallas 011 6 June 1996. All three gentlemen were interviewed as much for an update on their lives since 1966 as for their recollections of the Tower incident. I also had brief meetings with

Phillip Conner, one of the members of the McCoy Team, on 18

August 1995, at my office in Austin; Dr. Albert Lalonde on 30 June

1995, at his home in Austin; and Robert Heard and lack Keever, former Associated Press reporters, on 16 March 1996, at the 1996

South by Southwest Media Conference in Austin. Other, very brief, conversations are endnoted through the book. None of the interviews produced dramatic new information relative to the Whitman murders.

On 26 January 1995, I met Mr. C. A. Whitman at his home in

Lantana, Florida. It is my personal belief that news and history should not be purchased, so when he indicated that in the past he has received payments for interviews and pictures, I explained that I could not pay him for any information. We then had a pleasant conversation which yielded no information that had not already been published or was otherwise well-documented.

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3: Austin Is Different

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

everything out. Naturalized Texans soon discover that Austin, at least, is different from all that.

Charles Whitman might have fallen for the Texas stereotype, but he lived in Austin, where-as John T. Davis and J. B. Colson have written-equally stubborn influences of southern nostalgia and western idealism meet and battle. 1 Added to the mixture are rich

Latino and African-American influences with literate and articulate leaders. Throughout Austin's history, incredulous observers have been entertained by some of the nation's most memorable city council and school board meetings. Like it has in the rest of Texas, legend has infiltrated much of Austin's history. Austin has always been different.

Mirabeau Lamar, one of Texas's founding fathers, first visited the area that would become the City of Austin while on a buffalohunting trip. The beauty of the area stunned him. A four-family settlement called Waterloo had been situated there near the Balcones

Escarpment, better known as the Balcones Fault, a dramatic topographical boundary separating dark, fertile alluvial bottoms on the

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Medium 9781574414974

3. A Prisoner of the State

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

3

A Prisoner of the State

“People in prison are vicious and crazy; this is worse than hell.”

—Kenneth Allen McDuff

I

On August 9, 1966, after Kenneth McDuff had committed the Broomstick Murders and was back in jail, the State of Texas revoked his parole.1

Sheriff Brady Pamplin established, at least to his own satisfaction, that Kenneth and his brother Lonnie had actively engaged in the destruction of evidence. Jo Ann, Kenneth’s date, told Pamplin that the brothers had taken something behind a barn at Lonnie’s home. Pamplin quickly secured a search warrant for Lonnie’s residence northeast of Rosebud.

The nighttime search did not yield any incriminating evidence, but Lonnie was arrested anyway for “fraudulently and illegally concealing a weapon used for murder.” Jo Ann’s statement apparently served as the probable cause for his arrest. Pending a hearing, the Justice of the Peace set his bond at $10,000. Shortly after daylight, Constable R. J. Brannon and Rosebud City Marshal Terry Fletcher returned to the residence and found charred remains of clothing in Lonnie’s driveway. Metal studs, common to western style shirts, were mixed with the ashes of burnt cloth.2

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Twenty-one—“I’m the executioner.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Twenty-one

July 31, 1974 • Day Eight

“I’m the executioner.”

—Fred Carrasco, hostage-taker

Week One of the Eleven Days in Hell would end at one o’clock as this eighth day and second week of horror began for the hostages.

Federico Carrasco was contacted on Wednesday morning five minutes after his eight o’clock deadline for complying with the demand for bulletproof vests.

He was called about what Ruben Montemayor called the “final offer” that Director Estelle had handed him at seven-fifteen that morning.

According to Ron Taylor, Carrasco “appeared to be sleepy or groggy”1 and he made no mention of his previous threat to blow up his hostages. The only thing he seemed to be interested in was ordering breakfast—pastry, donuts, cupcakes, orange juice, prune juice, jelly, toast and, of course, the daily newspapers.

Contact between the library and the warden’s office resumed at nine o’clock. The hostages requested clean clothes, a deck of cards, a portable radio, batteries, trash bags, ice, a jar of instant tea, lemon, sugar, coffee creamer, and coffee cups. Taylor, based

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 8. Who in the Hell Are You?

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 8

Who in the Hell Are You?

After his 1877 arrest, Longley claimed that “after leaving the Indians, he went to Iowa and ‘knocked around’ for a month or two, and then revisited the state of Kansas.”1 There was no mention by Longley of the beautiful Dolores Gomez or any injuries received while trying to outdistance pursuing Mexican bandits, as Fuller later wrote. Very likely, Longley leisurely began his way back to Texas without intending much in the way of adventure.

Longley said that he ultimately arrived in Morris County in the east central part of Kansas, stopping at the village of Parkersville (now Parkerville) “to take stock and form his plans for the future.”2 Parkersville, some ten miles northwest of the county seat, Council Grove, was on a branch line of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway that ran from Junction City, north of there, to Parsons in the far southeastern part of the state.3 The main street of the town paralleled the railroad line, and it was likely that Longley arrived there by train.

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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

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Medium 9781574412048

Chapter 14: “A Thiefs Paradise”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 14

“A Thiefs Paradise”

By 1877 the Llano mob remained the only organized force of the original factions. While a number of Baird’s allies remained in the area, he had long since departed. Cooley was dead. Both Gladden and Ringo had remained behind to salvage what they could of their property. Gladden had a wife and daughter in Mason but was unable to get them away from the area before he was captured and imprisoned. Ringo had three younger sisters to support in California, and abandoning the Hill Country meant starting over. Their determination had cost them their freedom. Only Joe Olney remained at large, and the frustration of the mob was echoed by the Burnet Bulletin: “Several unsuccessful attempts have been made lately to catch Joe Olney, who has been hanging around his father’s in this county. The supposition now is that he has left the country.”1

The Rangers remained in Llano County, and on January 8, Henry

Hoy, charged with theft of cattle, was arrested by Private Maltimore and five other Rangers.2 To this point the Hoy family had been only peripherally involved in the feud. John Kelly was killed in 1875 while attempting to reach safety at the Hoy household. Hoy’s arrest was followed by the burning of the Mason courthouse by arsonists on

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Medium 9781574411676

15 Ad Seg

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter fifteen1

Ad Seg

“It is a place that robs a person of humanity. The depression of the place hits you in the face. It is the most miserable place that you can imagine. If you want to punish someone, put them in there and forget about them.”

—Dr. Keith Price

Warden, William Clements Unit,

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

I

T

he final “victim” of Abdelkrim Belachheb’s murders was Ianni’s

Restaurant and Club. In some ways the establishment once typified the American Dream. Joe Ianni came to the United States from Italy as a toddler, was processed through Ellis Island, and by the age of eight was in Dallas. He and his wife Totsy worked hard all their lives to build a business, earn an honest living, and leave the results of that hard work to their daughter. In less than three or four minutes, Belachheb took two generations of hard work away from a family of good and decent people.

Like many other infamous crime scenes, Ianni’s Restaurant and

Club attracted a wide range of gawkers, from the merely curious to the disturbingly weird. The task of asking some of the stranger patrons to leave fell to the bartenders, like Richard Jones, or even

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4 America

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter four

America

“He believes that there is something extremely special about him.”

—Dr. Sheldon Zigelbaum

Psychiatrist for the Defense

I

T

he tragedy of September 11, 2001, the terrorist attacks upon

New York City and Washington, D.C., focused attention on how visitors of other nations come to the United States. Some of the resulting debate included observations that it was too easy for dangerous people to penetrate American borders. Since that tragedy, pundits and many citizens voiced concern over the failings of intelligence services like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to preemptively identify visitors, legal and illegal, capable of such a monstrous crime. Included in the discussion were hard, pointed questions about the inability of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to keep track of those already within our borders.

Yet the United States clings to its heritage of openness. To close our borders is to close off ourselves to international ideas and influences. To close our borders is to reject our heritage. To close our borders is itself anti-American.

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6: AFTER MUCH THOUGHT

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

6
After Much Thought

I

During the summer of 1966 mass murder frequented the news. Truman Capote's In Cold Blood ushered in a “new journalism,” where real events were reported with fictional techniques. Capote engaged in a prolonged investigation to detail the mass murder of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, by two wanderers on 15 November 1959. Although first serialized in The New Yorker magazine in 1965, In Cold Blood was still the year's most talked about bestseller in 1966.

Mr. Herbert Clutter, an affluent wheat farmer, employed several farm hands. Floyd Wells, a former employee, later served time in the Kansas State Penitentiary where he became friends with a fellow prisoner named Richard E. Hickock, who made repeated efforts to learn as much about the Clutter family as possible. Specifically, Hickock was interested in finding out if the Clutters had a safe in their home. Wells either suggested or Hickock conjured up a nonexistent safe located in a wall behind Herb Clutter's office desk. Eventually, Hickock was paroled. Shortly afterwards he and a friend named Perry E. Smith headed for the Clutter home, where they expected to steal at least ten thousand dollars. They did not know that Herbert Clutter had a well-known reputation for not carrying cash; anyone in Holcomb could have told the pitiful fools that Herb Clutter paid for everything by check.

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