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Notes on Sources

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

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


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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Conclusion: “A Bitter Cup of Suffering”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF


“A Bitter Cup of Suffering”

In his biography of Texas Ranger Ira Aten, historian Harold Preece wrote of the feud, “Corpses had dangled from pecan trees. Men were called to their doors at night and gunned to death before their families. Ranchers and cowboys were butchered on rocky roads, then dumped like the carcasses of wild goats into mountain gulches and creek bottoms.”1

Aten recalled that in 1884 the feud again threatened to erupt, this time in McCulloch County “right next door to Mason County—scarcely an omen of peace.”2 The Rangers hustled to the area, all too familiar with the passions that governed the Hill Country. Another upsurge in the feud was avoided, and in time the violent passions of the region began to cool. Age was overtaking the fighters, and death came for them all in time.

Among the Germans charged with organizing the mob, Ernst

Jordan was the first to die. Crippled for life from the gunshot wound to his leg, Jordan was unable to enjoy the active life that he once had.

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4 America

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter four


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

—Dr. Sheldon Zigelbaum

Psychiatrist for the Defense



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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Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

After Much Thought


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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Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

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