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Medium 9781574410723

19 The Northrup Trial

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

19

The Northrup Trial

“This was a monster that needed taking care of.”

—Mike Freeman, McLennan County

Assistant District Attorney

On May 18, 1992, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)

Internal Affairs Investigator named John Moriarty called APD Detective Sonya Urubek at her office. Moriarty told her that he was compiling a timeline of Kenneth McDuff ’s known whereabouts from the time he first entered prison in 1965 to the present. Other than informal meetings among officers, this was the first serious attempt to compile data from several law enforcement jurisdictions into a central location.

The synopsis Moriarty compiled became a godsend for the dozens of detectives investigating McDuff, allowing them to safely eliminate

McDuff as a suspect in a number of pending murders, rapes, and abductions.1

John Moriarty and TDCJ had been brought into the case because

McDuff was an ex-con on parole. John was originally from the South

Bronx in New York, but he fit in very well with the Texas posse informally assembled to track down McDuff. John Aycock, a quintessential

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16 Heartbreaking Stupidity

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

16

Heartbreaking Stupidity

“The truth was pushing him around the parking lot.”

— Tim Steglich

I

The Bell County Sheriff ’s Department could hardly have been more generous with Tim Steglich’s time. For months he did little more than assist the many other law enforcement agencies engaged in the pursuit of Kenneth Allen McDuff. Many leads eventually led to Belton and

Temple, and policemen like Tim and Mad Dog Owens provided valuable help. Officially, for Tim, it was a missing person’s case filed by

Addie McDuff, and as long as Kenneth was missing he had a duty to look for him. Other agencies were looking for McDuff, but for very different reasons.

On March 24, 1992, the jurisdictions with an interest in Kenneth

McDuff met at Bill Johnston’s office in Waco to share information. Don

Martin and J. W. Thompson represented the Austin Police Department.

Don briefed Tim on his interview of Beverly and mentioned that someone named Morris had directed McDuff to Beverly’s house in Del Valle.

Tim readily agreed to look for Morris. He found him the next day, but it was not an easy search. Although Morris was deathly afraid of McDuff,

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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 9781574410297

11: RAMIRO

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

11
Ramiro

I

Early on the morning of 1 August 1966, a handsome young Hispanic police officer named Ramiro Martinez began his day by bringing his two-year-old twin daughters, Janette and Janice, to day care. Mrs. Vernell Martinez, a native of Fredericksburg and of proud German heritage, was an employment counselor. She had already reported to work. Ramiro was scheduled to report for duty at the Austin Police Department at 3:00 P.M.

Originally from a small West Texas town called Rotan, Ramiro was the son of a share-cropper who worked on the “one third” system—one third of the harvest went to the landowner, It was a hard way to live. Cotton was king and the Martinez family was poor. While Spanish was spoken most often in the home, Ramiro and his two brothers and two sisters, like many Hispanics of the era, were encouraged to speak English. Ramiro's father and his children were bilingual. Mother Martinez, a native of Mexico, mostly spoke Spanish. At Rotan High School, Ramiro established himself as an athlete, earning all-district honorable mention as an end on the football team. Not surprisingly, the Martinez family was staunchly Catholic, and occasionally, the children had to tolerate silly jokes about their religion. The Hail Mary, the Our Father, the Rosary and other prayers like the Act of Contrition were taught at home and the children attended Catechism regularly on Sundays. The family moved from farm to farm and did not have much, but they were good, honest people.1

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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:

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9: STRANGE NOISES

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

9
Strange Noises

I

Once outside on the observation deck Charles Whitman began to spread out his arsenal. He placed the footlocker on the west side, approximately halfway between the northwest and southwest corners. Each side of the deck measured about fifty feet in length, forming a 200-foot perimeter from which he could shoot. Large lamps, which on special occasions cast an orange glow on the crown of the building, were bolted into the walls of the parapet. The lamps never seemed to get in the way of visitors, and unfortunately they did not get in Whitman's way 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 twenty-eighth floor. 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 unwelcomed visitors, he wedged the Austin Rental Service dolly against the glass-paneled door on the south side.

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Medium 9781574410297

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 9781574413052

Chapter 17 I Have Killed A Many Man

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

17

I Have Killed

A Many Man

A

fter Long­ley was sentenced on Tuesday, September 11, 1877,

Jim Brown discussed with Judge Turner his concerns about the security of the Lee County jail while Long­ley was awaiting the outcome of his appeal. Turner agreed that it was “not a safe jail for the confinement” of Long­ley, and ordered that he be conveyed to the Travis County jail in Austin “for safekeeping during his appeal.”1 Turner initially ordered Long­ley sent to Galveston, but crossed it out in favor of Austin.

Apparently there was no room for Long­ley in Austin where John

Wesley Hardin was currently being detained. Brown sent a telegram that evening to Sheriff Christian Jordan in Galveston: “I want to imprison Bill Long­ley with you. Answer instanter. Can you take him?”2 Jordan promptly responded that the county commissioners of

Galveston County had prohibited him from receiving prisoners from other counties until the county jail could “be placed in a more secure condition.” On the 13th, Brown again telegraphed him: “By request of many citizens I telegraph you again to take Wm. Long­ley for safekeeping. He is convicted of murder and is threatened by mob.”3

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Medium 9781574414974

11. Cowboy

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

11

Cowboy

“Something is wrong with that man.”

[Bruce] a.k.a. “One-Arm”

I

Before December of 1991, the people of Austin, Texas, did not consider going to a yogurt shop, or washing their car, a dangerous activity—and for good reason. The overall crime rate for Austin had fallen by two percent from 1990 to 1991, and although the murder rate rose by seven percent, the actual number of victims rose from only forty-six to forty-nine. Additionally, the Austin Police Department’s Homicide Detail was particularly good at solving its cases. Nationally, about sixty-six percent of homicide cases were solved; in cities with more than 250,000 people the “clearance rate” was slightly over half; in Austin, the rate was an impressive eighty-six percent. The Yogurt Shop Murders and the abduction of Colleen Reed, however, spread fear throughout the Austin metro area. “I guess the public’s attitude is developed by high visibility crimes, and certainly during the latter part of the year [1991] we had those high visibility crimes,” said Assistant Police Chief George Phifer.

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Medium 9781574414974

6. An Absence of Beauty

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

6

An Absence of Beauty

“You look out the window and wonder and say, ‘Somebody ought to neuter all these people.’”

—J. W. Thompson, Austin Police Department

I

Interstate Highway 35, the major artery for Central Texas, connects San Antonio, Austin, Belton, Temple, and Waco. Around Austin, the highway runs along the Balcones Fault, separating alluvial bottoms and agricultural lands to the east, from the rocky sediments of the Hill Country ranches to the west. In his biography of Lyndon Johnson, Robert Caro called the Hill Country “The Trap,” which accurately contrasts its mesmerizing beauty with the hardiness it took to tame the area.

San Antonio and Austin are splendid examples of the power of multiculturalism, and monuments to cooperation among diverse populations. Further north, the hamlets of the Blackland Prairie surround the larger cities of Belton, Temple, and Waco. Baylor University in Waco, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Southwestern University in nearby Georgetown, and other colleges and technical schools in the area provide splendid educational opportunities to the people who live here. The hard-working, conservative, largely religious people help contribute to and take pride in their neighborhoods and schools. Throughout the area, man-made lakes provide water, recreation, and breathtaking scenery. Central Texas is a beautiful place to live.

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7: The Neat Little House and the Swank Apartment

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

The Neat Little House and the Swank Apartment ------~m

In April of 1966 Charlie and Kathy Whitman mov ed to 906 Jewell St reet in sout h

Austin. At the time, the tree in the front ya rd was a st ruggling sapling. Dir ectly behind the tree is the front bedroom used by the Whitmans, where Charles murdered Kathy on I August 1966. Th e garage to the right and behind th e hous e is where Charlie stored "a whol e lot of military stuff. " Gmy Lavergne.

which led to a small dining room and finally to a kitchen facing the back yard. On the east side of the house were two small bedrooms and a bath. The back bedroom served as Charlie' s study, and on its wall Charlie hung a sign: "Strength Has No Quarter." Charlie and

Kathy used the front bedroom. I

The neat little house did not hold many possessions. As

Whitman's father-in-law later recalled, "there wasn't much; they were just kids .'? Resources went to pay for their college educations.

Much like everything else about Kathy Whitman, her home was orderly. The Whitmans universally impressed their neighbors, who considered them a model couple: smart, beautiful , and hardworking.

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 16. The Most Successful Outlaw

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 16

The Most Successful Outlaw

While 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. In March 1876, he underwent a thorough examination in the law by prominent attorneys Seth Shepard, C. R. Breedlove, Dan McIntyre, and J. T. Swearingen, and was admitted to the practice of law.3 Kenada advertised that he could represent clients in district, county, and justice courts, and that he gave “prompt attention to the collection of claims.”4 However, Longley could not have taken much assurance from the fact that he had an inexperienced lawyer who was likely handling his first capital murder case.

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Medium 9781574411805

Three—“There’s a man up here with a gun.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Three

“There’s a man up here with a gun.”

—Novella Pollard, hostage

Joseph John O’Brien was born June 20, 1928, behind

Chicago’s famous stockyards. The youngest of three children, with a brother and a sister, he was the first of the Irish family to be born in the United States. Their mother emigrated from Donegal and their father from

Tipperary. O’Brien left the Windy City at fourteen for

San Antonio, Texas, where he enrolled in a Catholic

Seminary. He knew he “always wanted to be a priest” and later joined the Oblate of Mary Immaculate

(O.M.I.) order and received some of his training in

San Antonio in the early 1950s. He was appointed a prison chaplain with the Texas Department of

Corrections in 1962. Prior to that he served Texas’ Rio

Grande valley where he perfected his Spanish.

Working with notorious inmates such as the wellknown Carrasco was old hat to Father O’Brien. Long before coming to Huntsville, he was chaplain at a U.S.

Government alien detention camp in McAllen, Texas.

He described it, “as a hideout camp for the CIA.”

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 15. We Want Him

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 15

We Want Him

Bill Longley likely visited his parents in Bell County in the late fall and perhaps early winter of 1876, during which time Dick Sanders may have left him and returned home. It is also possible that in March 1877 Longley and Sanders might have been in Kerr County. From March 10 to March 20, a detachment of Texas Rangers from Company C, responding to some source of information, was sent into the county to look for them.1 The Rangers returned empty-handed. No doubt concerned that the authorities would get wind of his whereabouts in his old haunts, Longley said that he went to East Texas, and he ultimately made his way into Nacogdoches County, across the Angelina River. An educated guess would place this trip in the spring of 1877.

For whatever reason, Longley decided that he would detour around the town of Nacogdoches, rather than ride through it. Fuller, who himself was a resident of Nacogdoches, and speaking again in third person, said that the outlaw had “heard something” about Nacogdoches Sheriff Milt Mast and his deputy, Bill Burrows, and did not want to get into “fresh trouble.”2 About four or five miles west of the town, Longley stopped at the farm of George Washington Clevenger, Jr., a twenty-six-year-old who lived with his wife, Missouri Caroline, and two daughters, Ida and Nora.3 Clevenger had a brother who may have been living with him at the time, Joseph Phlemester Clevenger, who was shy of his twentieth birthday, and whom Fuller described as a “good-sized boy.”4

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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

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