Tag Archives: Texas Crime

Today in Texas History – July 19

It Ain’t Really Him! . . . Or is it? - True West Magazine

From the Annals of the Outlaws –  In 1878, Texas Rangers mortally wounded Texas outlaw Sam Bass in Round Rock. Bass had been on a crime spree for about a year after joining a gang that robbed a Union Pacific train in Nebraska.  With his share of the loot, Bass formed his own gang which held up stage coaches and trains around Dallas.  A concerted effort to find the outlaw was unsuccessful until the Texas Rangers turned to some rather unethical tactics.  The Rangers took into custody for questioning the father of Bass gang member Jim Murphy.  Murphy’s father was very ill.  The Rangers withheld medical treatment sending a message to Murphy that if he did not meet with them, they would continue to hold his father without treatment.   Murphy agreed to the meeting and turned informant to save his father – revealing that Bass planned to rob the Williamson County Bank.  Once Bass’ movements were known, the trap was set.  Bass and gang were scouting the area before the robbery.  After buying tobacco at a store, they were noticed by Deputy Sheriff A. W. Grimes. When Grimes approached the men and demanded they surrender their firearms.  A gang member shot and killed Grimes.   Bass fled but was shot by Texas Rangers George Herold and Sergeant Richard Ware.  He was found in a field outside of town and died two days later.

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Today in Texas History – May 25

Investor Juan: March 2012

From the Annals of White Collar Crime – In 2006, Chairman Kenneth Lay and CEO Jeffrey Skilling, the top honchos at Enron Corporation, were convicted of conspiracy, insider trading, securities fraud and making false statements to securities regulators – actions that resulted in the collapse of the one-time energy giant.  The Enron scandal affected as many as 20,000 employees – costing many of them their life savings; it also caused massive losses to outside investors.  Lay, who seemed somewhat repentant and humbled by the extent of the accounting scandal that affected thousands of lives, would die in his luxurious Aspen home before ever seeing the inside of a prison cell.  Skilling, who remains adamant as to his lack of wrong-doing despite numerous books and articles that exposed him as the rotten center of the massive Enron fraud, also remains in federal prison and is scheduled to be released in February of 2019.  Red gives props to the Bush Department of Justice for going after these crooks.  One of the major failings of the Obama administration was the failure to even attempt to prosecute those guilty of possibly even worse crimes that resulted in the 2008 financial meltdown.

Today in Texas History – May 23

Bonnie & Clyde pistols sell for $504,000 - 2aHawaii

From the Annals of Crime – In 1934, notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed and killed by Texas Rangers in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. The bank robbers were killed by intense gunfire that left their stolen Ford Deluxe riddled with bullet holes.

Parker met Barrow in Texas when she was 19 years old while her husband was in jail for murder. Barrow was soon sent to jail for robbery where Parker smuggled a gun that helped him escape.  He was caught and returned to jail, but when paroled in 1932, he immediately hooked up with Parker, and their multi-state crime spree began.

From 1932-1934, the couple, aided by various accomplices including Clyde’s brother Buck and simple-minded Henry Methvin, robbed a string of banks and stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico and Louisiana. Although romanticized in popular culture and film, the Barrow gang were hardened criminals. It is believed that the gang was responsible for as many as 13 murders including nine police officers.

They were notorious for some close calls.  They were almost captured in 1933 during surprise raids on hideouts in Joplin and Platte City, Missouri. Buck Barrow was killed in the second raid, and his wife Blanche was arrested, but Bonnie and Clyde escaped.  Then in January 1934, they attacked the Eastham Prison Farm to help a gang member break out injuring several guards and killing one. This proved to be a crucial mistake.

Texan prison officials took the matter into hand and retained Captain Frank Hamer, a retired Texas Ranger, to track down Parker and Barrow.  Hamer found B&C in Louisiana, where Henry Methvin’s family lived.  Hamer and a group of Louisiana and Texas lawmen hid in the bushes along a country road outside Sailes, La.  Parker and Barrow would not escape this time.  As soon as they appeared, the officers opened fire, killing the couple instantly in a hail of bullets.

 

Today in Texas History – January 13

 

From the Annals of the Big Thicket  –   In 1939, Thomas Jefferson Golemon was arrested for the first time.  Known as the “Red Fox of the Big Thicket”, Golemon’s short but serious crime spree began at Corpus Christi,  where he and two others  were arrested and charged with the murder of a rig builder who had been killed in a drunken fight. Golemon was released on bond and predictably failed to show up for trial.  In July of 1939 he resurfaced in Hull where he and partner in crime Francis Alva Smith robbed the Hull State Bank making off with  $12,000.  Golemon eventually headed to Houston where he holed up with relatives one of whom gave up his location to the police.  He was delivered to the Liberty County Sheriff. By December 1939 Golemon was unbelievably out on bond again and of course failed to appear for trial.  He hid out in the Big Thicket where he robbed, kidnapped and stole from the local residents.   He was also accused of robbing and shooting a cab driver in Beaumont.  Golemon was also wrongfully accused of robbing the Kirbyville State Bank.  The search for Golemon continued until April 11, 1940, when he was cornered at his parents home in Hardin County and was killed in a barrage of gunfire.

Legalize It?

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The Texas Tribune reports that Texas Legislators have filed several bills aimed at decriminalization of Marijuana.

Less than a week after several other states approved measures weakening marijuana restrictions, some Texas lawmakers are looking to do the same. 

On Monday, the first day of bill filing for the 2017 legislative session, Lone Star State legislators submitted several proposals to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Among the bills are those that would create a specialty court for certain first-time marijuana possession offenders, reduce criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and re-classify convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana. 

Among the Texas proposals that have been filed thus far:

House Bill 58 by state Rep. James White, R-Woodville, would create a specialty court for certain first-time marijuana possession offenders based on the principle that first-time defendants are often self-correcting. The measure is intended to conserve law enforcement and corrections resources, White said in a news release.

State Rep. Joseph “Joe” Moody, D-El Paso, filed House Bill 81, which aims to replace criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana with a civil fine of up to $250. The bill also allows Texans to avoid arrest and possible jail time for possessing a small amount of marijuana. Moody authored a similar bill during the previous legislative session; it did not pass.

State Rep. Harold Dutton Jr., D-Houston, filed House Bill 82, which aims to classify a conviction for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana as a Class C misdemeanor instead of Class B. However, if a person is convicted three times, it would revert back to a Class B misdemeanor. Dutton co-authored a similar bill last session with Moody.

State Sen. José Rodríguez filed Senate Joint Resolution 17, which would allow voters to decide whether marijuana should be legalized in Texas, following the pattern of a number of states.

Senate Joint Resolution 18, also authored by Rodríguez, would allow voters to decide whether to legalize marijuana for medical use if recommended by a health care provider. “It is long past time we allow the people to decide,” Rodríguez said in a statement.

Rodríguez also filed Senate Bill 170, which would change possession of one ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil one.

Guns Don’t Kill People. People with Guns Kill People.

The Chicago Tribune relates the sad story of T.J. Antell – a concealed carry owner and former Marine – who was killed in Arlington when he attempted to intervene in a domestic dispute with his gun. The alleged shooter, Ricci Bradden, who was stationed at Fort Hood had been involved in an argument with his wife in the parking lot of a Walgreen’s.  Bradden discharged his gun twice striking the ground and hitting his wife in the ankle.  Antell rushed to his truck, retrieved his gun and attempted to stop Bradden from fleeing.  That’s when Bradden exited his vehicle and shot Antell dead. Now there is a dead father of three and a man who will be charged with murder – none of which had to happen.  Red wonders if the gun lobby’s continual rant which spins the compelling fiction that you need a gun at the ready at all times so that you can save yourself or, even better, be a real-life hero when the time comes had any part in this tragic chain of events.

Back to Prison for Bernie Tiede

Bernie Tiede, the Carthage mortician who was convicted of killing wealthy widow Marjorie Nugent in 1996, will be heading back to prison after being resentenced by a jury on Friday.  Tiede, who was the subject of the hit movie Bernie by Texas film maker Richard Linklater, was temporarily out of prison awaiting a resentencing trial after a state district judge set aside his original sentence of life in prison in 2014.  The judge had determined that Tiede’s sentencing was unfair because evidence of sexual abuse that Tiede had allegedly suffered as a child was not allowed to be presented.

Tiede had been living in Austin in Linklater’s garage apartment during part of the time he was out of prison, but will now be incarcerated again.  The new sentencing jury was apparently swayed by testimony from Nugent’s estranged family who portrayed a different portrait of the manipulative misanthrope played by Shirley Maclaine in the movie.  The state presented evidence that Tiede enjoyed a lifestyle well beyond his means thanks to the company of older, wealthy widowed women, and that he killed Nugent when because he feared exposure of his mismanagement of her money. Tiede’s attorneys said he was the victim of Nugent’s emotional abuse and that his decision to kill her  was a result of that abuse triggering the memories of being assaulted by his uncle.  However, the uncle testified and denied that he had abused Tiede as a child.

After deliberating for only a few hours, the new jury sentenced Tiede to a sentence of 99 years to life.  Tiede will not be eligible for parole for another 13 years.  He he has already served almost 17 years for his crime.