253 Slices
Medium 9781574411805

Sixteen—“I have the four aces and the joker.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Sixteen

“I have the four aces and the joker!”

—Fred Carrasco, hostage-taker

Fred Carrasco’s two-day media scheme met with

Estelle’s approval, in spite of the many things the frantic and misguided hostages told the reporters, some highly critical of him and the Texas Department of Corrections. The director felt as long as Carrasco was using the hostages for his propaganda purposes, they would be relatively safe. He was not using them for target practice. Then Cuevas instilled another huge dose of terror into the hostages. Their fear was heightened tremendously and its byproduct was a highly elevated sense of urgency in the hostages’ voices when they subsequently talked with their families and the media.

It started when Cuevas was still incensed following his animated telephone conversation with

Juanita Hernandez, his second wife and mother of the last four of his nine children, who called him from the Sheriff’s office in Pecos, Texas. Steaming over that apparent argument, the former farm laborer stormed over to Novella Pollard and Bobby Heard who were manning the barricade in front of the door. Pointing

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574410723

6 An Absence of Beauty

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF


An Absence of Beauty

“You look out the window and wonder and say,

‘Somebody ought to neuter all these people.’”

—J. W. Thompson, Austin Police Department


Interstate Highway 35, the major artery for Central Texas, connects San

Antonio, Austin, Belton, Temple, and Waco. Around Austin, the highway runs along the Balcones Fault, separating alluvial bottoms and agricultural lands to the east, from the rocky sediments of the Hill Country ranches to the west. In his biography of Lyndon Johnson, Robert Caro called the Hill Country “The Trap,” which accurately contrasts its mesmerizing beauty with the hardiness it took to tame the area.

San Antonio and Austin are splendid examples of the power of multiculturalism, and monuments to cooperation among diverse populations. Further north, the hamlets of the Blackland Prairie surround the larger cities of Belton, Temple, and Waco. Baylor University in Waco, the

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Southwestern University in nearby Georgetown, and other colleges and technical schools in the area provide splendid educational opportunities to the people who live here. The hard-working, conservative, largely religious people help contribute to and take pride in their neighborhoods and schools. Throughout the area, man-made lakes provide water, recreation, and breathtaking scenery. Central Texas is a beautiful place to live.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574411676

2 Morocco

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter two


“He simply responds to women according to the script, the code, the prescription, the values that his culture has given him regarding women.”

—Dr. Harrell Gill-King

Anthropologist and Defense Expert Witness



here is an area of northwest Africa, between the Atlas and the

Rif Ranges called the Maghreb, where at the height of its power and prestige, the mighty Roman Empire discovered it could go no farther. The Atlas Mountains form a diagonal range traversing

Morocco from the southwest to the northeast, separating Morocco’s

Atlantic coastal plains to the north and west from the expansive

Sahara Desert to the south. A smaller range, the Rif, runs parallel to the Mediterranean coast. Between the two ranges, which almost merge near the eastern urban center of Taza, a passage connects

Algeria and the rest of North Africa to the Moroccan interior and the Atlantic Ocean.

From Taza, the fan-shaped plain of the Maghreb opens westward toward the Moroccan political capital of Rabat and the business capital of Casablanca. Though geographically close to the Strait of Gibraltar, this area is surprisingly isolated. On a political map, it appears ideally situated to be a portal from the Middle East, through

See All Chapters
Medium 9781782200925


John C. Espy Karnac Books PDF



After school started Lori and Gerald were still talking about getting a new place but hadn’t done anything about it. They were three months behind on their rent and the landlord was beginning to hound them something awful, always knocking on their door wanting his money. Lori told him he’d get it when she had it.

Late on a Friday night in October, Lori, Gerald and the boys moved into a small pink house not too far from Roland’s high school. She didn’t leave a forwarding address with anyone except Bar Jonah. Usually they wrote each other about once a week. Bar Jonah didn’t get over there much at all. It was too far to drive and he didn’t have much money. He was also working more hours at Hardee’s. But he sure missed her and the boys.

Someday they were going to have to set some time aside to have a big dinner, Bar Jonah wrote.

A couple of months after school started, Bar Jonah began visiting Lincoln Elementary almost exclusively. A couple of the teachers at the other schools commented that they were surprised Bar Jonah hadn’t been coming around on patrol. He said

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574410723

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

See All Chapters

See All Slices