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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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13. The Boys

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

13

The Boys

“These guys would fight the devil on the steps of hell!”

—Gary M. Lavergne

I

The three men sometimes call themselves “The Boys.” Two of them are brothers and the third might as well be. Deputy United States Marshals Mike and Parnell McNamara are the sons of Thomas Parnell (“T. P.”) McNamara. T. P. ran the United States Marshal’s Office in Waco for thirty-seven years, a record that is now out of reach because of age requirements and mandatory retirement. So great was T. P.’s reputation as a lawman that he has been enshrined in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame—quite a feat for a U.S. Marshal. From 1902 until his death in 1947, Mike and Parnell’s great-uncle, Guy McNamara, was a McLennan County Constable, Chief of the Waco Police Department, a Deputy U.S. Marshal, and finally a full United States Marshal.1 Law enforcement is as much a part of Mike and Parnell’s genetic makeup as their blue eyes are.

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Medium 9781574410297

17: Why Did He Do It?

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

Why Did He Do It?

-----------------Em

the eleven fact-finding members was reviewed by twenty-one other blue-ribbon physicians from throughout the United States. 1 The

Connally Commission (for want of a better name) established four investigative objectives:

1

To determine the events and circumstances which surrounded the actions of Charles J. Whitman on .August

1, 1966.

2. To explore the findings and to make such additional examinations as might be indicated by the factual information which is available.

3. To prepare the material for its maximal utilization in evaluating the problem for our society,

4. To make recommendations aimed at the detection and prevention of circumstances which might lead to similar incidents."

The commission looked carefully at Whitman's background, health, and overall behavior throughout his life. His elementary, high-school and university transcripts were analyzed. Teachers, classmates, family, and old and recent friends were interviewed.

The conclusions reached by the commission reinforced what nlany of Whitman's associates already knew about him and also exposed the nice facade he had developed around himself. Its portrait of Charles Whitman was that of an "intelligent, intense and driven" young man, but someone who had been encased in internal and external predicaments causing personal turmoil." The internal goal of outdoing his father in all areas, not just education, had become an unhealthy obsession, a source of anxiety he inflicted upon himself. The separation of his parents, which had been out of his control, only exacerbated his internal struggles. Margaret's move to

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Medium 9781574410297

14: THE WHITE HEADBAND

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

14
The White Headband

Telling the story takes longer than it took to do it. I'm not talking about minutes; I'm talking about seconds.

—Houston McCoy

I

After Ramiro Martinez knocked down the dolly Whitman had wedged outside the door, the men on the twenty-eighth floor stared at the windows and listened carefully. They could hear shots coming from the northwest corner, but each of them knew that at any moment someone could appear at the window. Each of Martinez's raps on the door produced noises that the others thought would surely get the attention of the sniper. Every “bang” caused McCoy, Crum and Day to grasp their rifles a little tighter and to look a little closer. “God damn! He's making a lot of noise,” McCoy thought. 1 Each of them had seen what the sniper was capable of doing. Outside the Tower they had seen bodies shot from incredibly long distances; inside they had seen what Whitman had done at close range: Edna, Mark, Marguerite, Mary, and Mike.

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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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1. They Was Just Pranks

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

1

They Was Just Pranks

“I got sent to prison because I was an asshole. They should have been able to overlook that.”

—Kenneth Allen McDuff

I

On the eastern edge of Rosebud, Linden Street heads south from Main Street toward a baseball field carved out of surrounding farmland. Small wooden houses, old but well kept, and shaded by large pecan trees, line the streets. On the east side of Linden, only the second building from Main, stands what once was the Rosebud Laundromat. A small living area connects to the rear of the laundromat where the family of John Allen “J. A.” McDuff lived. At least some of the McDuff children, including two boys named Lonzo (“Lonnie”) and Kenneth, were born in far-off Paris, Texas, and no one seems to know why the McDuffs, who lived in the Blackland Prairie before moving to Rosebud, ended up in the area.

J. A. did farm work. His wife was a hefty, domineering woman named Addie. Addie ruled. She controlled everything, including the money, the children, and J. A. “The only opinions J. A. had were Addie’s,” a longtime Rosebud resident would say.1 At least one of Kenneth’s teachers, however, knew of some who thought that at one point J. A. had made some effort to bring discipline into the lives of his two sons. In reality no one knew for sure. The family was a mystery to those around them. In Texas Monthly, Gary Cartwright wrote that the McDuffs were not the friendliest people, in fact, they were downright weird—“but they weren’t white trash either.”

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Medium 9781574412048

Chapter 7: “A Man of Large Connexions”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 7

“A Man of Large Connexions”

In later years Tom Gamel recalled Cooley’s presence in Mason as the ex-Ranger observed the legal proceedings and began his investigation into Williamson’s murder. When the session closed, Cooley left Mason and was gone about a month although no reason for his absence has been determined. When he returned, his first call was on gunsmith Joseph Miller whom he informed that “he wanted his gun fixed” since he was about ready to use it. Cooley then informed

John Gamel “that he thought he had found the man that was responsible for Williamson’s death.”1 John Gamel immediately informed his brother of Cooley’s remarks. The brothers immediately began searching for Wohrle to warn him that Cooley was hunting him. It was a logical conclusion that took little guesswork, particularly if the claim that

Wohrle had killed Williamson’s horse had come out during court.2

Wohrle had resigned as deputy sheriff and was now earning his living as a handyman and carpenter. On August 10 he was working with Charles “Doc” Harcourt and a man identified by Gamel only as “Doc’s Little Yankee” either cleaning or digging a well. Possibly

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12. The Convenience Store

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

12

The Convenience Store

“We had a feeling that this is bad; this can’t wait.”

Bill Johnston, United States Attorney

I

Officially, Kenneth McDuff completed graduation requirements from TSTI in late February, 1992. The certificate he “earned” was mailed to J. A. and Addie. For most students, graduation means an opportunity to seek employment and build a future. For Kenneth McDuff, it probably meant an end to his state-supported lifestyle of sex and drugs. Reportedly, just a couple of days before his rendezvous with Holly, he had driven to Victoria, Texas, to interview for a job. According to Addie, he was excited at the prospect of gainful employment at the Victoria Machine Works, and then crushed to learn he was not hired. It was on February 29, 1992, according to Addie, that “Kenneth left [her home] so mad he didn’t take his glasses or his clothes.”1

And so, during the early morning hours of March 1, he might still have harbored anger over not getting a job he and his mother claimed he wanted very badly. More likely, however, his anger centered over the end of a very bad night. He had no money and could not get any because his cigarettes had been stolen from him; his Thunderbird had broken down the day after over $800 had been spent repairing it; he was coming down from an evening of smoking crack, and he had not had a woman. In a mood fashioned by such a bizarre evening, Kenneth McDuff headed towards the Quik Pak #8.

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Medium 9781574411805

Nineteen—“I could have grabbed his gun.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Nineteen

“I could have grabbed his gun.”

—Father O’Brien, hostage

Once again, Carrasco demanded to talk to Estelle. “Yes or No. Are you going to send me the bulletproof vests?”1

Firmly, Estelle answered, “No. There will be no body armor. You’ve got all the firepower you need to get safe passage out in that yard and keep those hostages safe, as you have up to this point.” The hostage-taker shot back, “So, then you are saying you are not going to cooperate no more?” In a quiet, calm voice, the director replied, “We’re perfectly willing to cooperate. In fact, we want to cooperate to a greater degree than we have.” Easing up slightly, Carrasco asked, “In what sense?” Estelle replied, “In the sense that we will guarantee you safe passage from that building and full protection with not only your attorney but the public media to witness it.” Carrasco could not resist the sarcasm. “To witness what? My execution?”2

Incredibly, in the midst of all the violence,

Montemayor and Carrasco began discussing an autobiographical book telling the convicted

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 10. Shot Him Dead

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 10

Shot Him Dead

Between July 1873 and Christmas 1874, there is no real record of Longley’s whereabouts. We only have his story that, after being released in Austin, he killed a man in Frio County and then worked for Dr. McIver in Madison County. The 1877 account of his adventures found in the Galveston Daily News had him leaving Madison County, which is in East Texas northeast of Bryan, visiting his parents again briefly in Bell County, then riding on to old Fort Ewell on the Nueces River in LaSalle County, at the junction of the San Antonio and Laredo roads. The fort had been established in 1852, but abandoned in October 1854 when army troops there were transferred to Fort McIntosh on the Rio Grande above Laredo.1 Fort Ewell and Dog Town, forty miles northeast on the Frio River, became two principal stage stands between San Antonio and the Rio Grande. Fort Ewell was not much of a town, being principally occupied by Mexicans and a storekeeper known as Peg Leg Stuart.2

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Medium 9781574412048

Chapter 2: “Enough Money to Burn a Wet Dog”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 2

“Enough Money to Burn a Wet Dog”

Texas is considered by many the original home of large-scale ranching. In part this is confirmed by the 1860 census that reported

3,533,768 domestic cattle.1 Factoring in wild cattle, the actual total was far greater. Cattleman George W. Saunders recalled: “At the close of the Civil War the soldiers came home broke and our state was in a deplorable condition. The old men, small boys and negroes had taken care of the stock on the ranges and the state was overstocked, but there was no market for their stock . . . .”2

While Texas had been left unravaged by the war, the state was impoverished. Money was in short supply, and the cattle trade was largely unprofitable.

But the year 1866 was, taking all things into consideration, one of great disaster to Southern drovers.

All of the great prospects of marketing, profitably, the immense surplus live stock of Texas, faded away, or worse, proved to those who tried branding a serious

financial loss. So the last great hope of the Southern cattle man, for an outlet and market for his livestock, proved but bitter disappointment. Never, perhaps in the history of Texas, was the business of cattle ranching at so low estate as about the close of the year

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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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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 2. These Desperate Scoundrels and Out Laws

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 2

These Desperate Scoundrels and Out Laws

The Civil War ended in 1865, and Texas struggled to restore some equilibrium throughout its many communities. Young Bill Longley 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 companion suddenly pulled a knife from under his shirt and stabbed the officer to death. Longley grabbed the officer’s Texas-manufactured “Dance” revolver and the two boys fled. Longley immediately returned to Evergreen, the proud possessor of his first firearm, or at least so the story goes.1 Unfortunately, there is no documented basis for this story and it seems a little far-fetched.

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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

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Medium 9781574413052

Chapter 10 Shot Him Dead

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

B

Chapter

10

Shot Him Dead

etween July 1873 and Christmas 1874, there is no real record of

Long­ley’s whereabouts. We only have his story that, after being released in Austin, he killed a man in Frio County and then worked for Dr. McIver in Madison County. The 1877 account of his adventures found in the Galveston Daily News had him leaving Madison

County, which is in East Texas northeast of Bryan, visiting his parents again briefly in Bell County, then riding on to old Fort Ewell on the

Nueces River in LaSalle County, at the junction of the San Antonio and Laredo roads. The fort had been established in 1852, but abandoned in October 1854 when army troops there were transferred to

Fort McIntosh on the Rio Grande above Laredo.1 Fort Ewell and Dog

Town, forty miles northeast on the Frio River, became two principal stage stands between San Antonio and the Rio Grande. Fort Ewell was not much of a town, being principally occupied by Mexicans and a storekeeper known as Peg Leg Stuart.2

Long­ley said that he was at Fort Ewell only a short time when he got into a fight with “a noted gambler named Dave Clark.” He said that he shot Clark “a couple of times” but did not kill him.3

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