Texas Commission on Law Enforcement form explaining the end of a short career in law enforcement that started with a lot of promise.
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Austin – The forms tell the story in a very reserved way, with little drama, and no emotional impact.
Records of the watchdog agency that certifies and commissions Texas Peace Officers tell the story of Wade Laurence’s career in the form language of laconic bureaucratese.
A graduate of Navarro Junior College’s Police Academy in 2007, Laurence went to work at Whitney in March of that year; after 16 months on the job there, he changed jobs as a Patrolman at the much smaller City of Covington, where he worked for 2 years, 11 months. Appointed Chief of the Department, he lasted in that position only 8 months when Texas Ranger Denny Briley, riding out of Stephenville, busted him for violation of Health and Safety Code Section 481.129, obtaining a prescription by fraud, a third degree felony.
Thus ended what could have been a promising career in the field of law enforcement.
Until the early 70’s, there was no comprehensive database of peace officers’ training, their qualifications or job history in the Lone Star State.
Covington, TX – Everybody has their story, and all these years later, lord knows, they are, one and all, keeping busy sticking to it.
Truth is, if it hadn’t been for the gold plate on that Chief’s shield, all the resultant drama that ensued from a bad yen for hydrocodone tabs and the opiate nirvana they produce would have probably amounted to nothing more than a trip to detox, some counseling, rehab – maybe – and a DEA blip on the doc’s record, dittoed by one on the pharmacist’s tally sheet – that is, the one who filled the scrips. The rest of the dope was allegedly stolen from the evidence locker, according to a female officer who blew the whistle.
“That job (Chief of the Covington, Texas, Police Department) couldn’t have possibly paid much more than – let’s say – thirty or forty thousand,” like the fella said.
Old timers describe it as a dog fight between no less than four hounds of personality type A, each with his own agenda – the kind of brawl that compelled the guys in white hats – The Texas Rangers – to leave the dioramic legend and step into the picture, their shiny silver hundred pesos pieces lighting up the starched expanse of their long-sleeved shirts.
This rural redoubt on the Johnson-Hill County line – populated at the time by 236 souls – brewed up the type of vendetta that makes possible full frontal assaults on the Palazzo in the Piazza, the place of justice where each word is inscribed for the record, all writs are signed and served, the return duly noted, by the clocks in the cupola, ticking away the time so elaborately memorialized.
Naturally, there is way too much money in this stuff.
Considereth: Is there a need for a fully-staffed, round-the-clock full service agency such as a police department – in a town of no more than 236 people?
You’re talking certified, sworn peace officers and support staff, specially equipped vehicles, computers, software, radios, weapons of war on drugs, and the list adds up and up – and up.
Is there a revenue stream to support all this?
You bet there is. It’s called municipal court, and it handles minor misdemeanor cases that chiefly reach disposition through bond forfeiture.
Is there a quota? You know, the quota so often referred to as writing the check with the citation book?
After all, every country mother’s son has a piece of the action, thanks to the Legislature in its wisdom. The funding attached to “court costs” is a staggering grab bag of fiscal jelly roll – prescribed by statute, accounted by the State Comptroller of Accounts, audited by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In fact, in every small-town corporate budget, it’s a line item, the one, the only, that yawning blank that just has to be filled in.
But, then, truth be known, there is no quota, after all. Ask any truck-driving man. He’ll tell you down in Dixie.
Like the Hollywood cop, Joseph Wambaugh, wrote in some sparkling dialogue for the silver screen, “They changed all that. Now, we get to write as many as we want.”
It’s going around. The cases of city secretaries, chiefs of police, and other city dads gone south with the swag swinging from their sacks is rampant, epidemic, a story torn from today’s headlines with perennial fervor.
Like any real estate equation, the x factor is of tripartite importance. There are only three things to consider – location, location, and location.
Covington is located on State Highway 171, a broad-shouldered, ultra-smooth razor cut of macadam bee-lining the route from Hillsboro at the I-35 East and West split to the DFW Metromess, and the railroad hub, Cleburne-on-the-Santa-Fe. A typical bridal path of the iron monsters shod with rubber wheels, it is a tempting place to put the hammer down on any busy day in the life as the cotton blossoms and sorghum stalks shoot by at terrifying speeds, the nasty little fuel-injected Japanese coffee mills whining into infinity on alcohol-laced drizzle gas of extremely low grand exorbitantly high price, taxed even higher by every bean counter in the world.
Whee! It’s what all the fighting’s about, it seems.
Naturally, THE MAN was there in full force, taking care of plenty business.
In a typical case of theatrical cruelty such as this, there’s always someone along on the snipe hunt who will wake up out in the woods, holding the bag, and realize it’s time to start scrambling before it’s way, way too late.
According to published reports, a year before the Rangers arrested Chief Wade Laurence in 2012, he was a Sergeant who aroused the suspicions of then Chief Dowell Missildine when he and Officer Kayla Richardson discovered discrepancies in the accounts of property seized as evidence.
Missildine suspected Laurence had been pilfering Oxycodone. To make the situation even more interesting, Wade had tried to persuade the Chief to fill prescriptions for the controlled substance, an opiate pain killer, on prescriptions from his doctor, Petros Chapanos, because he, Laurence, had accidentally thrown his own prescription in the trash barrel.
Such a deal.
When Officer Richardson filed her complaint, she included allegations that police were selling drugs to kids, telling them it was okay because the substances are prescription items.
One wonders if they mentioned they could get oil burner dope fiend habits, the kind that rip into the soul and body and turn the mind to jelly.
Tracy Baccus, a sewer service operator who coached juvenile sports teams, realized his players weren’t up to their usual standards. They were too stoned to make the plays, and by the time he got around to talking to media, he let the world know the town was living under what the tv news writers termed “narco-tyranny.”
A City Council member, Martha Smith, requested the minutes of the council’s meetings for the previous couple of years, and told the scribes she got a dressing down by Laurence’s girl friend, a city clerk named Courtney Childress.
Childress accused her of informing Child Protective Services investigators whom she claimed were snooping on her relations with her son.
Baccus said he was afraid of being shot; Ms. Smith said she was terrorized over the prospect of being stopped by a cop and killed for her troubles.
The on-line scribblers at “Republic” Magazine and “Cop Block” eagerly reported it all.
There’s danger on the edge of town.
The verdict by the fraternity of web crawlers, Chief Laurence “engineered” the ouster of Missildine by the City Council and took over the top job.
A year later, the Rangers had developed enough of a case to charge him with intent to obtain a controlled substance with a fraudulent prescription, a felony crime.
Six years later, the upshot of the backshot is clear to behold. Of the officers involved in the now defunct Covington Police Department, the Hill County Sheriff’s job is held down by former Covington Officer Rodney Watson, and the local Road Commissioners’ seat is now occupied by Andy Montgomery.
So, onwards and upwards with greater roles in the executive suite of public service.
As a veteran cop observed, “The one who walks away clean – that’s usually the snitch in the deal.”
NEXT: TEXAS COMMISSION ON LAW ENFORCEMENT’S RECORDS OF THE WADE LAURENCE AFFAIR, AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE…
Billy Crelia (L) and Corey Buckner walked out of jail on March 10
Hillsboro – Hill County authorities are in a tailspin over a failing inspection report by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards following a daring pre-dawn escape by two inmates of the County Jail last March 10.
Quite simply, the problem is inadequate staffing, and Hill County is non-compliant in that regard, and other criteria.
One of the escapees is a trusty awaiting transfer to Huntsville on a “blue warrant” issued by pardons and paroles officials for parole violation.
Knowledgeable observers are clamoring that trusty status is not a good recommendation as a security classification for a person who is slated to catch the chain back to the cotton patches. Confronted by newsmen on the day of the escape, the Sheriff described people facing prison stretches as “desperate” in their situation.
An inmate duo fled this kitchen dock and scaled a perimeter fence
“Correct me if I’m wrong,” wrote an experienced jail administrator who requested anonymity, “but the jail is the property of the County Judge and the Commissioners’ Court. The Sheriff just operates it.”
Hill County is one of the few in the area that operates its lockup with Sheriff’s Office staff. Many are operated by corrections contractors under agreements between the Commissioners’ Court and the corporations that contract with them.
Concerned citizens in the community blame a lack of cohesion between the politics of conservative members of the Court and Sheriff Rodney B. Watson.
“They’re supposed to have a minimum of one corrections officer for each 48 inmates.”
Hill County’s corrections operations don’t comply in each of 10 crucial areas cited by jail inspectors:
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It all comes down to budget; the name of the game is money, and the art of the possible is beholden to the bottom line, be it black or red.
Take the case of an unnamed woman who simply walked out of the 66th District Courtroom on September 10 while Judge Lee Harris was busy in chambers and was in the process of revoking her bond. In the confusion of a busy docket call, the woman simply slipped her hand through a loose handcuff shackle and hid the hardware inside the sleeve of her hooded sweatshirt, walked out of court, and got back in the car with her ride. Apparently, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesmen, the lady’s benefactor on wheels thought her rider had been released.
Bondsmen facing forfeiture of her bail worked hard to return her to custody.
Any escape from a jail triggers an automatic inspection by the Jail Standards Commission.
Billy Crelia, 38, a convicted felon who had been busted for possession of a controlled substance and jailed on a warrant that would return him to the penitentiary; his running partner, Corey Buckner, also 38, faced charges of armed robbery and evading arrest. The pair made a head count at 5 a.m. that Saturday morning in March; they then escaped the kitchen through a back door, fled through a tear in the wire fencing, and scaled another perimeter fence.
Hill County’s lockup sits behind a Chinese wall of brush on Hwy 22
The Hill County Jail is located in a building once used as a National Guard Armory, set far back from the road in scrubby growth that conceals the building from those passing by.
Tracking dogs trailed them through the woods as far as Highway 22, where the trail went cold. That led authorities to believe someone driving a vehicle picked them up at that location.
About 2:30 that afternoon, U.S. Marshals apprehended the pair at a Waco residence along with an unnamed female, according to published reports.
Jennifer Laurence describes chaos of Deputies’ home invasion
Osceola, Hill County, Tx – When the deputies came, Emma’s mother was visiting a neighbor just down the road.
The teenager had problems, and the history of dealing with traumatic stress didn’t help her cope with what was to come next, at about 9 pm on August 18, 2017.
Her mother said over the phone that she would be back within 15 minutes, and when she asked the cops to wait, they refused. They said she was harboring a fugitive, a black man named Jimmy Garrett.
“They all graduated together with my kids,” says Ms. Laurence.
In her panic, Emma thought they were saying “harming” a fugitive. Emma repeatedly asked to see the warrant, and the cops said they don’t need one.
She and a visitor, Amelia Camacho, 20, tried to cope with the statement, repeatedly voicing their objections. Ms. Camacho’s little boy, a pre-school toddler, couldn’t get back to sleep. The video contains strong language, the smirking superiority of the uniformed officers, and a depiction of the powerless rage of two young women.
Neither of the young ladies would budge in their resolve to keep the police out of the house.
But it didn’t do much good.
Within minutes, the deputies jerked the knob off the back door; two of them strolled into the kitchen area and across the living room to unlock the front door for the other two.
The ensuing drama, caught on the shaky image of a video phone, reveals the intractable attitude of the lead Deputy, Matthew Quinn, who refused to wait. He insisted on searching. He went so far as to break into Mrs. Laurence’s bedroom with a butter knife. While they broke through that door, they turned off the lights inside the home repeatedly.
At that point, Quinn and another deputy accused Emma of invading the bedroom, herself. It’s a thorny issue between mother and daughter. She s heard to say, in an angry tone, “I’m a thief.”
Within minutes, when Ms. Laurence arrived home, the situation heated up, arguments flared, and the cops refused to say anything other than they needed no warrant, and would only give their names as they stood at the open doors, allowing the heat of the August night and swarms of mosquitos to enter the home.
Indeed, all these folks do know each other. A chief growth industry, the War On Drugs has been described by legal scholars as “the national preoccupation with drug enforcement.”
Who gets to do the enforcement, and how, is a paramount concern in all kinds of communities, big and small, rural and urban, throughout the U.S.
As it turns out, the politics of the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement have a common thread in the confrontation at the trailer home just outside the Osceola Community in the 1100 block on FM 934.
Ms. Laurence’s brother, Wade, is the ex-Chief of Police of the Covington Police Department, a community located just a few miles distant.
He, former officer Rodney Watson, who is the present Sheriff of Hill County, Andy Montgomery, who presently serves as Precinct County Commissioner, and the rest of the department experienced a shake-up when state authorities deprived Chief Laurence of his certification as a peace officer over a murky legal infraction, little understood by his sister.
It was at that point that Watson joined the Sheriff’s Office, and later filed for election following a stormy term during which the incumbent Sheriff withstood accusations of sexual harassment by female staffers. He was no-billed by a Grand Jury for that offense.
Ironically, faced with this brouhaha, Sheriff Watson signed an introduction to a Citizen Complaint Form that says, “We hold ourselves to high standards of conduct and the expectation is for our employees to always perform their duties with integrity, respect and in a professional manner. I realize that sometimes we will make mistakes…”
Mistake or not, a check with the Justice Courts shows that no affidavit of probable cause is filed for the search and seizure of Jimmy Garrett, or for the search of the premises on FM 934 at Osceola on August 18, 2017.
It was a dramatic production in which entry to the driveway leading to the home was blocked by the Deputies’ cruisers, requiring anyone arriving to walk the nearly hundred yards to the front door of the home.
For all the sturm und drang resulting, the incident has produced no formal record; the staff at the Sheriff’s Office has repeatedly told Ms. Laurence there is no such available.
She renewed her request in writing in a Public Information Act Request on Wednesday afternoon, April 18. The Jail Clerk on duty assured her that the organization has 10 days to either respond, or request a review by the Open Records Division of the Attorney General’s Office.
Naturally, none of this happened in a vacuum. Ms. Laurence admitted she has served time in the penitentiary for a narcotics violation, and recalled truthfully when asked if she was not a key witness in a federal trial of a local drug dealer and one of his associates that resulted in a 25-year sentence for both offenders.
While Courts have held that warrantless search and seizure is sometimes necessary to prevent the destruction of evidence, or protect the life of a person whose condition is life-threatening, or to retrieve a possibly loaded firearm that could be discovered by a burglar, the Supreme Court has never issued any clear-cut, comprehensive instructions as to what circumstances should be sufficient for evidentiary purposes.
The requirements of documentation vary from circuit to circuit, but generally, the rule is that everyone should enjoy the same degree of freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, no matter their location in the Republic, Montana to Mississippi, Miami to Waikiki.
In all cases, the Courts require a meticulous recital of the facts in support of the decision to make a warrantless entry to premises in order to defend against a motion to suppress the evidence thus obtained, or to hold that an arrest was illegal.
Curiously, for all their adamant refusal to allow the deputies the right to enter the premises without a warrant, once they were inside, the young women readily gave their permission to search – not just once, but at the threshold of each door the cops crossed to enter bedrooms, bathrooms, and a spare room.
There are no affidavits or statements available to document any of this, according to the meticulous records kept by Ms. Laurence. These include a time-line, statements, and records of messages left for the law enforcement officials, most of which have been ignored.
The one truly perceptive record on file is the quirky and chaotic video made by a pair of frightened young women.
At one point on the video, a deputy makes an obscene gesture with his hips and arms.
It was central to the dispute over the bedroom door being locked and their entry to search there.
In her statement, Emma wrote, “They were saying the mother’s bedroom door is locked and so I told them the reason why the door is locked is because I’m a thief. They stood there and I got mad and said it’s odd that I almost got sexually harassed again and one officer thrusted his hips several times toward me and I turned around asking Amelia if she recorded this…”
One is tempted to speculate if these are the circumstances the Congress of the United States of America sought to prevent in their crafting of the Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
High-flown and lofty as the language may be, it is only worth the ink an parchment upon which it is inscribed if cops and judges are not held to the rule of law.
Austin – The cops in this town will partially disrobe you and take photos of your tats if you are riding a scooter.
That’s stone illegal, and there is a remedy for that.
Case law handed down by numerous courts holds this type of police conduct is a violation of the search and seizure provisions of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Here is a legal brief on the subject by a practicing attorney with subject matter expertise from Las Vegas, Nevada:
Legendary News Services interviewed Mr. Stubbs on these cases, and he gave us a good working knowledge of the state of the law at this time. No doubt, it could be codified into statutory law in any state. Legislators know, or should know, that if they don’t stop this at this point, it will become a standard practice used by cops against all the people – maybe their own families.
LEGENDARY – HOW MUCH TIME DID THE HOLDING IN RODRIGUEZ AS HANDED DOWN BY THE SUPREME COURT ALLOW?
STUBBS – In that case, 8 minutes. However, that’s not a firm time. Depends on the facts and circumstances. The question goes to the reasonableness of the officers.
I see, I didn’t know how to evaluate the statement of the Court: “In concluding that the de minimis intrusion here could be offset by the Government’s interest in stopping the flow of illegal drugs, the Eighth Circuit relied on Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U. S. 106 . The Court reasoned in Mimms that the government’s “legitimate and weighty” interest in officer safety outweighed the “de minimis” additional intrusion of requiring a driver, lawfully stopped, to exit a vehicle, id., at 110–111. The officer-safety interest recognized in Mimms, however, stemmed from the danger to the officer associated with the traffic stop itself. On-scene investigation into other crimes, in contrast, detours from the officer’s traffic-control mission and therefore gains no support from Mimms.” So, we can figure 8 minutes in at least one SCOTUS holding is reasonable for a license and insurance check, proof of registration, to ensure safe vehicle operation on the public roadways.
STUBBS –The purpose of exiting the vehicle is to get the suspects away from any potential weapons that might be in the vehicle. The police can also search the inside of the vehicle but not the trunk. The pat down is separate and distinct law.
There is a 2nd Circuit Case That said, 20 minutes was ok. Depends on the circumstances.
LEGENDARY – I see. Then accurate recall of circumstances and conditions are paramount in the question of evidentiary suppression. So noted. I totally thank you.
WHAT THIS MEANS IS IT IS PARAMOUNT TO HAVE AUDIO AND VIDEO RECORDING ANY SUCH STOP IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH A BASIS FOR SUPPRESSION OF ANY EVIDENCE USED IN A CRIMINAL CHARGE – AND THE FILING OF A FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT TO SEEK MONEY DAMAGES AND DECLARATORY RELIEF IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT.
Keith Stefka testified under oath he was on his way to make a reservation at the Don Carlos Restaurant when this occurred
Reyna cited evidence that has yet to be introduced in the federal trial, including transcripts of the feds’ wiretap operation against Portillo, that Reyna says helps prove his office’s theory that members of the Bandidos traveled to Waco to confront members of a rival club, the Cossacks — resulting in the shootout. – Bandidos defense lawyer
San Antonio, T-E-X-A-S – The old timers on the spit and whittle bench, veterans of the fight – the same old fight, the one that never ends – always called the women, their wives and daughters, “the war department.”
Sit and listen long enough, and you’ll get it.
Watch while they talk; listen while you watch the squirrels find pecans and then run plant them next to the sidewalks and the foundations of the houses of government, so the tree that grows will uproot and crack the craftsman’s work, and you will learn what they mean.
Hitler, with his so-called “terror system,” made a huge miscalculation.
Just like an aging Cockney from the East End of London once told me, “The German men, they really went for Hitler, in a big way, I mean.”
Asked what the hell was he talking about, he replied, “Well, it’s plain, ain’t it? The prissy little uniforms, the strut and bother of it all, the funny moustache and the gestures? They just loved him. Just couldn’t get enough. Just went MAD for the bloke, din’t they?”
I learned later that this chap served Her Majesty helping clear dud Nazi bombs as an explosive ordnance disposal man, while his home burned around him throughout the auld sod. Sad story, but, oh, so true.
Quite simply, if you tell the same lie long enough, and it causes the women to have to change the way they prefer to live, they’re gonna call you on your bluff – and then they will demand of their men that they stand up and fight back, for their honor, and for the future of their babies.
Heart and soul, body and mind, it’s written on the wind – in big, red letters glowing in the dark.
Sooner or later, the war department will send that telegram, petition, letter of lavender and lace, text message, or video that says, essentially, the same thing.
In the family of primates, all this was worked out long ago in the Garden, where the naked She told the naked He, himself, “Son of a bitch, I’m cold.” He got the message, and it’s deeply ingrained in his fiber, branded in his primal soul.
THERE IS NO HEARTH OR HOME, KTH OR KIN, COMFORT OR COLORFUL PATH UPON WHICH TO PARADE HERE. PUT UP OR SHUT UP. WE HAVE SPOKEN.
The brethren over the hill, one foot on a banana peel, the other headed for the house at dinner time, all have one thing in common.
They, too, have received their greetings, at some point. The war department hath spoken in clear and ringing tones.
Some things are ne-er forgotten, at least, not in this lifetime.
The simple truth.
When the old line, dominant 1%er club arrived wearing red and gold patches to hear the good news from their man in the legislative lobby about what the hell happened to their $17 million “motorcycle safety fund” the bean counters had collected five bucks at a time from annual motorcycle registration fees, their sworn enemies were waiting; they had taken every available seat; parked in every available parking place; and they had an employee of the local government, a heavy equipment operator who works for a McLennan County Commissioner, standing on the corner, ready to signal the moment when the balloon went up and it was time to see the elephant.
Stupidly, the power people who brought you Twin Peaks with its overtones of ritual sacrifice and collusion with the forces from the other side, ruled in the beginning, as it were, that the men could have no access to McLennan County, could discuss none of this or associate with fellow members of clubs, on pain of being returned to the hoosegow under the same $1 million bond, set by a retired Highway Patrolman.
Vast miscalculation. Huge.
This left it to the women – the War Department – to caucus, cuss, discuss, rumor and cajole, fiddle and piddle, float theories and seek opinions and advice, one to another.
I pity the fool. Be assured, this committee of ladies have none. But I digress.
So mote it be.
The sisters are on the party line in the sky, the Internet of the Worldwide Web, talking back to the night.
The night is listening.
From Grayson County, on the border with Baja Kansas, the Indian Nation of Oklahoma, home of the red man, the story is told this way.
I’d like to know the profession of the Grayson County Kinfolks president. They came up in here and patched a dozen or so young kids in their 30’s
Heard little tidbits about war with Red and Gold and how bloody it’s going to be.
Heard say this president is a US Marshal…I don’t know his name. I don’t even know what he looks like.
I did a little trolling on some of my boys’ Facebook pages.
I know at least three of the new patches pretty well. They grew up with my kids.
At this point, may I interject, she appears to be a strawberry blonde in the dialect of red on the head.
Can your boy tell you the President’s name?
I can try, but this info came from a retired old school patch. I’m thinking a Vietnam Vet, but that’s just how I took the info. I’ve got a feeler out for P name.
There follows certain scatalogical comments about the Police..
They aren’t helping, it’s for sure.
No they aren’t and if they’ve done what I’m suspecting them to have done with the Kinfolk they are plotting more and more – and getting bolder by the day.
As they say back in old Virginny, from the Tidewater to the Blue Ridge, “She won’t happy…”
And then comes the clincher, the stinger, the point of all this rant:
That some LE threw on Kinfolk patches and enticed some local badboys to join a club hoping to add fuel to their already short fuses for somehing coming up”
If they’re going to use mine to stir the shit…
Feeling they will be patching over the unforgiven brethren and forever brothers too. I don’t think our banshees will patch over, but they are friendly. I’m not sure, I also found that oddd. I know several of the photos are from a benefit turned memorial for a local.
Banshees! Who would choose that name who is not, in fact, one and the same?
They are HA supporters.
And that’s all she wrote as she stepped out the door for the weekend, planning to “mingle” and check on her kids now grown to their thirties and bursting with bad boy juice and quickly approaching middle-aged crazy.
There you have it, that same tired old story about the Angels and their plans to do big things in the Lone Star State.
San Antonio – The first thing a visitor to the John H. Wood, Jr., Courthouse is the Judge’s name emblazoned in giant letters on the huge buttressed pre-cast concrete cylinder.
The last thing one sees upon his exit is Maximum John’s solemn oil portrait, mounted at eye level, staring a person down as they walk, just to one’s left whilst treading between the velvet ropes to the automatic doors that give upon the Plaza of the Americas in Hemisfair Park, a world’s fair attraction in 1968, later converted into a convention center, sports complex, and federal judicial mall.
Wood succumbed to an assassin’s rifle bullet at his home one morning when a hit team hired by an El Paso drug lawyer facing a lifetime of prison over his drug dealing convictions acted on the vengeful order to kill him.
The building was originally a rear projection cinema theater of kaleidoscopic and panoramic mind-blowing proportions that resembled nothing so much as a cybernetic storm of images thrown against the wall at blinding speed to forecast a future of ultra-modern controls through computers, the technological innovations of the space race, and head-long confrontation of the burning issues of the day – urban decay, traffic congestion, pollution, civil unrest and outrightly riotous conditions, religious and ethnic observances of custom and ceremony – a whirlwind of blazing images that challenged the mind to a virtual media massage.
The audiences stood to view the extravaganza; they were encouraged to hold on tight to waist high railings to prevent vertigo should their sensory systems be overcome with the scattergun and rapid fire overload.
Since the entire project was meticulously managed by President Lyndon Johnson, the building contractors were most experienced in highway, bridge and dam construction. Concrete and steel forming architecture suggestive of the space race and the advent of satellite communications were the dominant themes – and their appearance, built in that hallowed year, 1967, was – well – far out. Out back of beyond and bide a wee in never never and the Village of Oz – massive, heroic, and predictive of an entire melding of North and South Americas into one cohesive hemisphere of free trade.
Yeah. For instance, the IBM pavilion featured keyboards where one typed in name, date of birth, and the physically descriptive items and was treated to a calculation of just how many seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months and years one had lived, how many times one’s heart had beat, how many breaths one had taken, and based on height and weight, how many calories had been consumed and expended by the bod.
Space, time, its description in future terms to the ordinary man needing to be brought up to speed, set in the midst of a massive military training, convalescence, and debarkation point for airmen and soldiers in need of a bright weekend spent with loved ones on their way to the war. Johnson was selling, pitching it hard, the entire enchilada. NAFTA, something that dove-tailed neatly with the next administration or two until the big wigs got it together, a borderless economy and coldly calculated present predicated on a future and a past controlled by the bean counting actuaries and their interpolation charts.
Times change. Today, it’s a grimly angular and drab no man’s land of barriers, security gates, fences, restricted parking areas, surveilled by cameras, patrolled by guards – just another part of the gulag, a way station on the prison industrial complex, cradle to grave.
The recent host city to the Final Four of March Madness in the NCAA basketball tourney, the watchword of late is, “The road ends here.”
Here, former Bandidos President Jeffrey Fay Pike and Vice President John Portillo are facing numerous counts of racketeering charges for operating an ongoing criminal enterprise involved in murder, extortion, dealing, prostitution, extortion, and a laundry list of predicate offenses committed in combination with a busload of witnesses who have entered pleas of guilt and are awaiting their allocution and sentencing for their self-admitted criminal convictions.
According to the one and only reporter who covers the proceedings, the defense counsel cross examine them under the same theme, every time. How many points are you getting in return for all this?
A sojourn of Tuesday to Friday turned this scribbler into a world-weary bureaucrat.
One interesting lead pursued and stymied by the red tape of the proverbial federal case: FBI Special Agent Schuster testified that in his estimation, the motorcycle enthusiasts of the Confederation of Clubs and Independents, and cooperating organizations such as the Legislative Strike Force of the U.S. Defenders and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists have something in common with the Fee-Bees.
They operate pretty much the same way when they go to the Hill to try to win friends and influence people. At least, that’s what folks say Schuster said.
A quick check with the District Court Deputy Clerk – a lady named Priscilla who is as nice as pie and very helpful – the Court Reporter would call and let us know how to obtain confirmation of quote.
Ms. Alee – not sure of the spelling – left a message on the Legendary Answering Machine that said Schuster testified over three days, totaling 469 pages of transcript. They will be ready at the earliest in 30 days, and at a cost of $3.65 per page, the total bill to learn what the agent said is only – I have the envelope – $1,711.85.
It’s shame it doesn’t match the drapes.
What does all this have to do with Twin Peaks?
It was at a joint meeting of the Confederation of Clubs and Independents that the massacre of 9, wounding of 20, and the mass incarceration of nearly two hundred took place, resulting in one trial that ended in a hung jury – and none of it has anything to do with the RICO case against the Bandidos or the predicate offenses thereunto appertaining, saith the judge.
How did they put it in 1968?
Oh, yeah, I remember now. “Different strokes for different folks, different ways on different days. What every big woman need and every little woman want. More man to love.” Or something like that, straight out of the ashen atmosphere of Detroit.