222 Chapters
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Medium 9781574412246

9. William B. Sayers

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF

nine

William B. Sayers

Pinkerton operative William B. Sayers then took over the investigation, arriving in Santa Fe in the afternoon on Wednesday, April

15, 1896.1 When Sayers reached the governor’s office the next morning, he found the governor was out of town and he was asked to remain in town till his return. Miss Crane, the governor’s stenographer, informed Sayers that there was a letter missing from the governor’s table that had been written to him by Fraser. Sayers wrote to McParland asking that a copy of the letter be sent to

Thornton so he could see what if any information an outside party could gain from it.2

Crane also pointed out Tom Tucker, a Santa Fe deputy sheriff closely associated with Oliver Lee, to Sayers. Sayers watched him and hoped for a chance to speak with him, but it never came.3

Could Tucker have been responsible for the theft of the letter from the governor’s office?

While in Santa Fe, Sayers made plans to interview Ely “Slick”

Miller, the twenty-five-year-old who was serving his ten-year prison sentence courtesy of A. J. Fountain.4 The following morning, after getting a rig at the livery stable, Sayers drove out to the penitentiary and met Colonel Bergamer, who ran the prison, in his office. Upon learning that Sayers planned to be in town through the next day,

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Medium 9781574414974

15. Searching for a Monster

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

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 American-Statesman reveals a single, three-word Chuck Meyer quote: “We did great.”2

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Medium 9781770904958

Yellow Submarines

Mark Coakley ECW Press ePub

Yellow Submarines

“How big it got — it wasn’t supposed to be that big.”

— Robert Bleich

A year after the start of the Molson grow op, Bleich and Walker had enough free time to build their own grow op, inside an old barn in the city of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario. Glenn Day helped them construct an airtight shell in the barn. When completed, Bleich and Walker sold the grow op to a local businessman named Pierre Homard,* Bleich keeping a 10 percent ownership share. Neither Bleich nor Walker told Dolic and Freeman about this grow op, but in the summer of 2003, Bleich’s bosses found out about his activities on the side. Bleich later said he believed it was Glenn Day who told on him to Dolic and Freeman. Dolic accused Bleich of a “conflict of interest” — because he was not giving all of his loyalty to his work at the Molson grow op — and fired Bleich, who went back to what he described as “selling ounces here and there, doing my own thing.” He denied this was a “falling out” with Dolic and Freeman, saying he remained friends with both after the firing and sometimes visited the old Molson factory.

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Medium 9781574414974

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 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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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 11. Bill Was Still Fighting

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 11

Bill Was Still Fighting

The Lee County sheriff mounting the search for the Longley brothers was James McKeown, the father of Bill’s early criminal companion, Johnson. Sheriff McKeown was elected as Lee County’s first sheriff on June 2, 1874.1 But the posse led by James McKeown never came close to the fleeing brothers, who headed north after leaving Burleson County.

Jim later recalled2 that they initially steered clear of settlements where they might be recognized. Camping out in the open each night, Jim hunted and killed swamp rabbits to eat with the bacon and bread they had brought with them. They approached the Brazos River, heading toward Bryan, and encountered a black man with three yokes of steers that he was taking to Caldwell. The two outlaws, apparently feeling their oats, made the man “dance,” riding on after rewarding him with a half-quart of whiskey. One can only suspect what happened to the other half-quart.

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 17. I Have Killed A Many Man

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 17

I Have Killed A Many Man

After 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 9781574410297

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 9781574410723

9 The Cut

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

9

The Cut

“There’s an awful lot of weirdos out there, and you never know when you are going to meet one.”

—Richard Stroup,

McLennan County Sheriff ’s Deputy

I

Living her adult life in a culture with an absence of beauty took its toll on Brenda Kay Thompson. She looked much older than her age—thirtyseven. At 5’5” tall and weighing only 115 pounds, she was a small woman.

Her drawn and hollow-looking face made her look emaciated, almost skeletal. What were once beautiful brown eyes were instead sunken into bony sockets surrounded by a rough complexion. She looked tired. Her tragic life gave her a “worn” look common among the “older” (both in terms of age and arrests) girls at the Cut. She had several aliases, including Debbie Johnson, and Debbie Ward. A criminal background check reveals a long history of a dozen or so petty crimes ranging from small thefts settled by paying fines to more serious charges of possessions of controlled substances carrying with them five- and six-year sentences.

Additionally, she had a history of DWI and moving traffic violations, trespassing charges, and numerous counts of forgery.1

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Medium 9781574412246

10. Ed Brown

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF

ten

Ed Brown

After arriving in Socorro, William Sayers learned that Maximiano

Griego, the man Miller claimed Brown would hire to kill McDonald, was in jail at the time of the Fountain murder. This information originated from a man named Doherty, who also stated that Brown allegedly had said that he could find the bodies. Sayers reported,

“Mr. Doherty is quite positive that Brown did not kill Fountain, but he is equally certain that Brown knows all about the affair.”

From Doherty and Elfego Baca, Sayers learned that Green

Scott had left the C. N. ranch to, as he claimed, attend court in

Lincoln, and returned after the murder of Fountain. Doherty and

Baca were both in Lincoln at that time and did not see Scott there.

Baca said he spoke to Scott once about the killing and “Scott said he was glad of it and wished to God they had gotten the rest of the family.” Sayers learned that a man named Punch Williams was the main witness against Scott in a cattle rustling charge, but Williams had since disappeared and was said to have been killed by Scott.

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Medium 9781770904958

Narcs Listening to B101 and The Edge

Mark Coakley ECW Press ePub

Narcs Listening to B101 and The Edge

“Have to pay trimmers, pay people, pay the babies, pay the earth, keep paying other stuff and then another rent’s going to hit us and then before we know it, fuck, we’re fucked.”

— Jeff DaSilva

Glenn Day and Constable Jones, who was posing as Day’s runner, went to a potential grow-op site at an industrial building in Welland, near the canal and right behind a Canadian Tire, to meet Bob DeRosa.

They waited outside until a black Jeep pulled up. DeRosa was inside, with two other men he introduced as the managers of the property, one of whom he said he had known for 10 years. Day openly told the two property managers he’d just met that he wanted the place for “growing weed.”

They looked around inside the building, where people were busy working, and Day and Jones took photos. DeRosa suggested that Day set up a scrap-metal recycling company as a front. He also said he would like a cut of the grow op’s profit, “just a little bit.”

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Medium 9781770904958

The Leopard

Mark Coakley ECW Press ePub

The Leopard

“This is the first time the [Ontario Provincial Police] has ever gone to Cuba.”

— OPP Detective Inspector Andy Karski

The RCMP’s liaison officer in Cuba let local police know that Bob DeRosa was wanted for drug and weapons offences in Canada and was now probably in Cuba. In November, the liaison officer contacted the officers running Project Birmingham, telling them that DeRosa had been found in Cuba and was now under surveillance.

Bob DeRosa talked to his mother on the phone about once a week. He told her he was in Cuba to get medical treatments for his back and that the warm weather was doing him good. He’d be returning to Canada for further medical treatments, he said. During one such phone call, DeRosa mentioned the Project Birmingham arrests, saying, “Ma, don’t worry about what you hear, because what they have put in the papers, I never did all of those things — that’s it.”

He often told her affectionately, “Mother, I’ll see you soon.”

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Medium 9781574410297

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 9781574410297

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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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 14. Plenty of Ammunition

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 14

Plenty of Ammunition

After 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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