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9. William B. Sayers

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF


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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Four—“Fred, what the hell are you doing?”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Four

“Fred, what the hell are you doing?”

—Father O’Brien, hostage

After ordering all but the most essential civilian employees out of the Walls and clearing the yards and inside compound of all inmates by returning them immediately to their cells, Warden Husbands responded to one of Fred Carrasco’s demands to “get hold of Father O’Brien, and have him come up here so we can talk to him and negotiate through him.”1

Husbands, with O’Brien already at his side, told

Carrasco the priest was on his way. However, Carrasco had conditions. The Catholic clergyman was to remove his religious collar and have his hands cuffed in front of him. Turning to the Father while Carrasco waited, the warden explained the conditions. They were no problem for O’Brien.

“Now you don’t have to go up there,” the warden advised the priest as he briefly reiterated the Texas

Department of Corrections policy regarding hostagetaking—a policy that all prison workers, as part of their job orientation, have to review and sign. 2

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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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Appendix III

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix III

The following card appeared in the Burnet Bulletin on September

5, 1874, in response to the letter from David Doole published in the

San Antonio Herald. Unlike Doole, the men involved in the incident from Burnet and Llano Counties were more concerned about their reputations at home than in spreading the news to the general population of Texas. The letter was published under the banner “A


EDITOR BULLETIN: -— In the San Antonio Herald of the 14th ult., there is a communication purporting to be from one D. Doole, which for cool deliberate misrepresentations, and uncalled for malicious slander, is unparalleled by any villifying [sic] article that ever crept into a newspaper. For studied misrepresentations in that letter of the unfortunate differences that have heretofore existed between the stockraisers of Burnet and Llano counties and some of the citizens of Mason county, and the slanderous and libelous attack that is made upon ourselves and others, calls for a reply from us, and we respectfully solicit space in your columns to vindicate ourselves by giving our versions of the matter.

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3 A Prisoner of the State

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF


A Prisoner of the State

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

—Kenneth Allen McDuff


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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