205 Chapters
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Medium 9781574411805

Two—“Let’s get the hell out of here.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Two

“Let’s get the hell out of here.”

—Steve Roach, inmate

The Texas Legislature created the Windham School

District in the Texas Department of Corrections in

1968. It was subject to the certification requirements and regulations of the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education. Its purpose was to provide educational and vocational opportunities for prison inmates that would help them when and if they returned to the general population. Attendance at once-a-week, six-hour classes was required for inmates having less than a fifth-grade education and it was voluntary for others. At the Walls Unit, the

Windham group of about fifteen teachers and librarians was housed on the 11,250 square-foot top floor of a rectangular, three-story building made of reinforced concrete faced with masonry bricks with steel roof trusses. It was, unintentionally, a fortress.

The 167-by-67 foot area was remodeled in 1972 from an auditorium into the educational facility. About fifty percent of the room’s interior was classroom, thirty percent was library, and the remaining twenty percent—which divided the two larger rooms—was

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Medium 9781574413052

Chapter 20 Not Upon His Doomed Neck

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

20

Not Upon His

Doomed Neck

B

ill Long­ley quickly passed from the pages of Texas newspapers, and his notoriety with him. Other gunmen, such as Hardin and

Ben Thompson, stepped to the forefront of the public spotlight, their sort continuing to fascinate those who found glamour and excitement in the larger-than-life exploits of an outlaw, as opposed to the humdrum routine of school, farming, or other similar everyday callings. As with Long­ley, the notorious Jesse James also capitalized on the press to insure a place in history, although James took great pains to deny his nefarious deeds.

Only eight months after the hanging, however, stories were already being passed around in Dallas that the execution had been a hoax, thus commencing decades of confusion and speculation about the ultimate fate of Bill Long­ley. “Rich relatives supplied him with a steel corset and neck piece, which prevented the rope from choking him or pulling on his neck at all when the drop fell.” Friends were supposed to have pretended to bury the body, smuggling Long­ley away and “setting him up in business in California, where he now lives a pious and model young man.”1 Although the story was briefly published in 1879, it did

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Medium 9781574412048

Chapter 16: “A Shocking and Lamentable Sequel”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 16

“A Shocking and Lamentable Sequel”

As 1877 drew to a close, those involved in the feud continued to make news. Caleb Hall, having liberated himself from the jail at

Menard, was seen in Mason County in early September.1 A. G. Roberts, accused by Barler of starting the feud, was now serving as a deputy sheriff in Burnet County. In late September, he and J. J. Strickland were in San Antonio “bearing papers for the conveyance of Isbell, charged with murder in Arkansas, to the authorities of that State.”2

In Burnet, the men who had helped free Ringo and Cooley proved equally capable of liberating themselves. On September 23 James

Polk Mason and Ed Brown escaped from the Burnet jail. Some believed that the guard allowed the men to escape.3 John Baird was also in the news, having reportedly been arrested in Shackelford County by the Rangers.4 The man proved to be one Crusoe Beard who was wanted in another county.5 John C. Sparks reported in October:

On Oct. 11th Sergt. T. M. Sparks with 17 Privates

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Medium 9781574412246

7. Decision in the Sheriff’s Contest

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF

seven

Decision in the Sheriff’s Contest

A decision in the sheriff’s contest came down on March 19. Judge

Bantz ruled in favor of Numa Reymond and instructed him to take office the next morning. Unfortunately, it did not appear to be a given that Garrett would be made chief deputy, and subsequently sheriff. Reymond told Garrett that he had made several promises to Oscar Lohman and others for positions on his staff and was not inclined to turn the office over to him. Reymond offered to make

Garrett a deputy sheriff and to assist him all he could in the Fountain case. Garrett did not want to listen to this and walked out.

This situation obviously frustrated Fraser as well, who was eager to see this settled so that Garrett could concentrate on the

Fountain case and accompany him on his trip of the sites. Fraser wrote, “I spent most of the day and evening trying to get this matter straightened out so that I would meet with no further delay, but when I discontinued matters were even worse than in the morning.” Llewellyn told Fraser that he and John Riley would go see

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Chapter 14 Plenty of Ammunition

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

14

Plenty of Ammunition

A

fter 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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Medium 9781574414974

1. They Was Just Pranks

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

1

They Was Just Pranks

“I got sent to prison because I was an asshole. They should have been able to overlook that.”

—Kenneth Allen McDuff

I

On the eastern edge of Rosebud, Linden Street heads south from Main Street toward a baseball field carved out of surrounding farmland. Small wooden houses, old but well kept, and shaded by large pecan trees, line the streets. On the east side of Linden, only the second building from Main, stands what once was the Rosebud Laundromat. A small living area connects to the rear of the laundromat where the family of John Allen “J. A.” McDuff lived. At least some of the McDuff children, including two boys named Lonzo (“Lonnie”) and Kenneth, were born in far-off Paris, Texas, and no one seems to know why the McDuffs, who lived in the Blackland Prairie before moving to Rosebud, ended up in the area.

J. A. did farm work. His wife was a hefty, domineering woman named Addie. Addie ruled. She controlled everything, including the money, the children, and J. A. “The only opinions J. A. had were Addie’s,” a longtime Rosebud resident would say.1 At least one of Kenneth’s teachers, however, knew of some who thought that at one point J. A. had made some effort to bring discipline into the lives of his two sons. In reality no one knew for sure. The family was a mystery to those around them. In Texas Monthly, Gary Cartwright wrote that the McDuffs were not the friendliest people, in fact, they were downright weird—“but they weren’t white trash either.”

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 20. Not Upon His Doomed Neck

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 20

Not Upon His Doomed Neck

Bill Longley quickly passed from the pages of Texas newspapers, and his notoriety with him. Other gunmen, such as Hardin and Ben Thompson, stepped to the forefront of the public spotlight, their sort continuing to fascinate those who found glamour and excitement in the larger-than-life exploits of an outlaw, as opposed to the humdrum routine of school, farming, or other similar everyday callings. As with Longley, the notorious Jesse James also capitalized on the press to insure a place in history, although James took great pains to deny his nefarious deeds.

Only eight months after the hanging, however, stories were already being passed around in Dallas that the execution had been a hoax, thus commencing decades of confusion and speculation about the ultimate fate of Bill Longley. “Rich relatives supplied him with a steel corset and neck piece, which prevented the rope from choking him or pulling on his neck at all when the drop fell.” Friends were supposed to have pretended to bury the body, smuggling Longley away and “setting him up in business in California, where he now lives a pious and model young man.”1 Although the story was briefly published in 1879, it did not garner a public response from those who knew better, apparently because it seemed so absurd on its face.

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Medium 9781574410723

3 A Prisoner of the State

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

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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Chapter 15 We Want Him

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

15

We Want Him

B

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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Medium 9781574411676

8 “I came to kill you.”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter eight

“I came to kill you.”

“I did what I did and now I have jobs to finish; I still have people I want to kill.”

—Abdelkrim Belachheb quoted by his friend Mohamed

I

A

s the red taillights of Belachheb’s white station wagon faded and disappeared to the north, seven of his victims lay on Ianni’s floor bleeding to death—or already dead. Terry Rippa was the first to return to the barroom. “And nobody was in the bar at all, and I went down and checked with John and he was conscious, and then

I walked up to the front and I did not check pulses or anything. It was quite a mess—the tables, broken glass, and the victims—and I checked on all five the best I could by observing, and they all appeared to be dead except for a few minutes later Marcell was moving.”1

With his military medical training on his mind, John McNeill thought he was going to bleed to death in a matter of minutes. But he was surprisingly alert. “That son-of-a-bitch was in Farfallo’s an hour or two before,” he told Terry.

“Just hold on,” Terry replied.

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 6. A Man of Low Instinct and Habits

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 6

A Man of Low Instinct and Habits

A comparison of Longley’s version of his adventures in the Northwest with the official record concerning Camp Stambaugh truly reveals his artful ability to mix fact with fiction in order to project the desperado image he sought. The truth does not do much for that image.

When Longley was captured in 1877, according to the account given by Fuller, he claimed that after the Kuykendall expedition broke up, he was broke and stranded, so he applied to the army quartermaster for a job as a teamster. He said that his job was to drive a sixmule team between Camp Brown and Fort Bridger hauling supplies and equipment. Because of the Indian threat, he said that there were usually four or five wagons in each caravan, guarded by a detachment of cavalrymen. Longley alleged that on September 15 (probably 1870, although no year is given), a caravan was attacked by some 130 Indians between South Pass City and the Green River on a creek that he called the Dry Sandy, which lies to the southeast of South Pass. Longley said that after much shooting and yelling and the loss of one of their men, the Indians were driven off. As will be seen, Longley could not possibly have been present at that fight, if it occurred, even as a soldier.

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Medium 9781574412048

Chapter 2: “Enough Money to Burn a Wet Dog”

David Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter 2

“Enough Money to Burn a Wet Dog”

Texas is considered by many the original home of large-scale ranching. In part this is confirmed by the 1860 census that reported

3,533,768 domestic cattle.1 Factoring in wild cattle, the actual total was far greater. Cattleman George W. Saunders recalled: “At the close of the Civil War the soldiers came home broke and our state was in a deplorable condition. The old men, small boys and negroes had taken care of the stock on the ranges and the state was overstocked, but there was no market for their stock . . . .”2

While Texas had been left unravaged by the war, the state was impoverished. Money was in short supply, and the cattle trade was largely unprofitable.

But the year 1866 was, taking all things into consideration, one of great disaster to Southern drovers.

All of the great prospects of marketing, profitably, the immense surplus live stock of Texas, faded away, or worse, proved to those who tried branding a serious

financial loss. So the last great hope of the Southern cattle man, for an outlet and market for his livestock, proved but bitter disappointment. Never, perhaps in the history of Texas, was the business of cattle ranching at so low estate as about the close of the year

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Medium 9781574414974

10. The Car Wash

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

10

The Car Wash

“Nobody should be put through that type of torture.”

Alva Hank Worley

I

Every Christmas season miles of multi-colored lights illuminate Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. From the Colorado River, which Austinites insist on calling Town Lake, to the State Capitol, the bulbs form a colorful tunnel, and at times motorists have trouble seeing traffic signals. But it does not matter; Austin drivers have little respect for traffic lights anyway. Mild weather usually greets Christmas time; hardy Austinites do not bother with winterwear like sweaters or coats. At best, light windbreakers suffice, especially during the Christmas season of 1991 when the average minimum temperature was about forty-six degrees.

The tragic murder of four teenage girls in a Yogurt Shop dominated Austin news in December of 1991. The “Yogurt Shop Murders” broke the city’s heart. Billboards with pictures of the four beautiful high school girls begged for information about what had happened. Not since Charles Whitman went on his shooting spree at the University of Texas Tower in 1966 had Austin been through such a collective traumatic event. The Austin Police Department became a hub for a multi-jurisdictional effort to solve the murders; and within the department all available resources were marshalled. To this day, the case has not been solved.

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Medium 9781574412246

6. Assistance from Fall

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF

six

Assistance from Fall

On Friday, March 13, Albert Fall called on Pat Garrett in his hotel room. When he stopped by Garrett’s room, Fraser must have been surprised to see Fall there. After Fraser and Fall had exchanged a few pleasantries about the weather, Fraser left so Garrett and Fall could continue their conversation.

Fall told Garrett that he wanted him to have a commission as a deputy sheriff, regardless of the outcome of the sheriff’s contest.

Although an obvious ploy to get on Garrett’s good side, as it seemed he would inevitably become sheriff sooner or later, the increasingly frustrated Garrett was glad for whatever help he could get. Fall promised to go to Santa Fe and throw his support behind Garrett.1

Garrett was to leave for El Paso later that day. He told Fraser before he left that he hoped to be placed in office before he went out again, so that he would have the power to act if he saw fit.

Fraser noted, “This will keep me here until he goes out, for I fail to find anyone who wants to go out with me on this trip alone as driver and guide . . . .”

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3. The Disappearance

Corey Recko University of North Texas Press PDF

three

The Disappearance

On January 12, 1896, Albert J. Fountain left for Lincoln, but he did not leave alone. The rumors of an attempt on his life worried his family. Family members, especially Fountain’s easily alarmed wife Mariana, attempted to persuade him to cancel the trip, or at least not go alone. Family recollections disagree on whether it was

Fountain’s wife Mariana or daughter Maggie who had the idea that he take his youngest son Henry. Mariana certainly pushed the idea, thinking that no attempt would be made on her husband’s life when a child was with him. She finally won out and Fountain agreed that if Henry was home from school when he left, he would take him.

Henry returned home in time and went on what must have been an exciting trip for a young boy to take with his father.1

The Fountain family received a scare the first night when

Fountain’s horses arrived back home. Later, a miner who came to town delivered a note from Colonel Fountain saying that the horses had run away. Fountain’s son Albert, along with his father-in-law

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