Jacob Rhyne bleeds out from a neck wound, gut shot after he was down
AUTOPSY REPORTS AN AMERICAN GOTHIC OF PAIN, SORROW
“We don’t want to distrust our law enforcement so much that we live in fear of getting shot on a lazy Sunday afternoon.” – an investigator
Waco – No one associated with the community of grieving bikers and their families touched by the tragedy of a police “shoot-out” at Twin Peaks on May 17 is surprised by the facts as they trickle out in dribs and drabs.
Calling certain items “discovery” is as ridiculous as the ethnocentric notion that Columbus “discovered” a civilization that had an advanced architecture, celestial observatories, calendars and a knowledge of complex mathematical principles. The best one can do is consider the fact that he was headed somewhere he’d never been, wound up somewhere he didn’t expect to be, and had no clear idea exactly where that was. Add in the fact that the entire expedition was financed by a woman – and what do you have? El Dorado, and a whole lot of silver, to boot.
Let’s not go there; we’re already there.
But it’s the oral history of the mothers and grandmothers, their children – the extended family – that will count in the future.
Jerry Couger, “Big Jake” Rhyne’s “grandmother by marriage” got in contact, asking, “Jim, who do you think is Red Boots?…”
A good question, it’s fair to ask when you’ve lost someone you loved, and there are pictures of a man with a rifle in hand, standing by while that loved one died from gunshot wounds of the type.
“There is a joke, sort of, once you are a part of our family you will never get out of our family. In most cases that is true.” She goes on to recite a litany of misfortune that has a common theme. The family closes ranks, even when divorce splits the houses, suicide leaves its legacy of self-murder, and disease renders its members helpless, dependent on others.
She mourns the way that family lost Jacob Rhyne to a bullet that left a quarter-inch entry wound that pierced the muscle on the left side of his neck, injured his jugular vein, then arced downward to penetrate the seventh cervical vertebrae. Witnesses who know better than to come forward say Rhyne was in the act of looking around the corner “to see what all the commotion was about” when the bullet found him. The path of a second wound makes it clear he was gut shot after he was down, the bullet entering the “abdomen 31 inches below top of head, trajectory front to back, right to left, and upward.”
A brother Cossack gave his recollection in a video, saying he and other bikers came to Jake’s rescue, moving him from where he lay prone across the parking lot at Don Carlos, carried him to a pickup truck, and tried to wheel him to a waiting ambulance before police stopped them. “He was a lot of man,” the old boy said, recalling the struggle to move the helpless giant.
“John Wilson,” a former motorcycle shop owner and President of a local Cossacks chapter, “told my granddaughter they wouldn’t let them take Jake to an ambulance, nor come get him. He said Jake lived 30 to 45 minutes. Makes me sick. I loved Jake; I was his favorite OLD woman.”
The autopsy report notes a “red abrasion and contusion” in the middle of his chest, consistent with “resuscitative efforts.”
“I have read the .223 wounds were from an AR-15 or M16. I have no doubt it was a setup. We can’t bring Jake back, but there has to be justice for murdering him. This won’t happen in McLennan County. When you see the biker that has been shot on the tailgate of a truck, that is Jake. I am all but positive the guy we are calling Red Boots shot Jake…”
A medical examiner characterized his death as a “homicide.”
State Trooper Cory Ledbetter’s (l) profile resembles Red Boots’
Reports from DPS officials and Waco Police outline what kind of setup that may have been, but first, it is well to consider the manner in which Rhyne and eight other men died.
- Jesus Delgado Rodriguez appears to have been executed while seated on a slight embankment, a bullet inscribed on its bottom as 15-8021 over the further inscription CS entering his left eye, plowing through his head and exiting under his scalp. Its path, front to back, slightly downward.
- A bullet entered Wayne Lee Campbell’s head and wound up in his “trunk,” suggesting its path was from the top down.
- Richard Matthew Jordan died when a bullet pierced his head “four and a quarter inches below the top” and a half-inch right of the posterior midline.
- Richard Vincent Kirschner , Jr., sustained two bullet wounds to his buttocks, one of which shattered his femur, the other piercing the right medial thigh. A third bullet entered the back of his left knee.
- Manuel Isaac Rodriguez died of a bullet wound to the right front of his head, the projectile lodging in the musculature of the left side of his neck behind the sixth cervical vertebrae.
- Charles Wayne Russell died when a bullet wounded him in the right side of his chest, plowed through the auricle of his heart’s atrial chamber, clipped his lung, pierced his aorta, and exited his back.
- Matthew Mark Suit caught a round in the right side of his back, the bullet wounding the sixth and seventh thoracic vertebrae.
- Daniel Raymond Boyett sustained a wound from a quarter-inch bullet in the top of his head, another in his left temple, and a third in his abdomen.
NEXT: If the “shoot-out” was a set-up, what do documents and reports generated by police tell us about preparations for what they expected would be a violent confrontation between motorcycle clubs they have termed “criminal gangs?”