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13 The Boys

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF


The Boys

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

—Gary M. Lavergne


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.

William “Bill” Johnston, an Assistant United States Attorney, is the son of Wilson Johnston, an Assistant District Attorney of Dallas County during the heyday of District Attorney Henry Wade. Wilson Johnston was a pivotal figure in the prosecution and conviction of Jack Ruby, Lee

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14 “Don’t Hurt Junior”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF


“Don’t Hurt Junior”

“Junior ain’t never done anything wrong in all his life.”

—Addie McDuff


Two years after Sonya Urubek became part of the Reed Case, she testified about the different methods used by investigators in approaching the abduction. Specifically, Don Martin methodically checked out the many leads received, placing no particular emphasis on any one. Sonya was so convinced that the McDuff lead was a good one that she thought it was important to begin gathering evidence from Colleen’s possessions.

Those possessions were in large plastic bags in Lori’s attic. Lori took great care of Colleen’s things, still hoping to one day return them to her younger sister. The plastic garbage bags had the effect of sealing and preserving the evidence, making it much easier to collect things like hair samples, and greatly reducing the chance of contamination. Sonya also asked Oliver (Colleen’s boyfriend) to visit APD headquarters, where he volunteered personal evidence for comparison for what would be found on Colleen’s clothes—and possibly her remains, if they should ever be found. Shortly after the abduction, Oliver went to the store where he bought the windbreaker he had given to Colleen—the one she was pictured wearing at the ATM. He tried to buy an identical suit, but could only find one that was nearly identical. The store insisted on giving it to him.1

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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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Chapter 15 We Want Him

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF



We Want Him


ill 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

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20. The Reed Trial

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub


The Reed Trial

“The scary part is, those guys reproduce.”

—David Counts, Travis County Assistant District Attorney


Only a few days after Kenneth McDuff had been arrested in Kansas City, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office began to gather circumstantial evidence to establish that Colleen Reed was dead. Under a 1974 law, such evidence could be gathered in cases where a victim’s body was not found. Such laws are necessary. Without them, for example, murderers with access to the means of completely destroying bodies could never be prosecuted. “If the date or the method can be proven on circumstantial evidence, so can death,” explained David Counts, the young, handsome Assistant District Attorney who became the lead prosecutor of the Colleen Reed Murder Trial.1

David Counts was born in the small West Texas town of Knox City, near Abilene. He graduated from Texas Tech and got a law degree from St. Mary’s University Law School in San Antonio. He always wanted to try cases. At the time of the Reed abduction, David was Travis County’s major crimes attorney. He had already put in so much time assisting investigators in the Reed Case that it was logical for him to go ahead and prosecute it. His supervisor, another assistant district attorney named Howard “Buddy” Meyer, asked to help. The two men were genuinely fond of one another and looked forward to working together again.2

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