The Lake Murders: Women’s misgivings compelled by sisterhood

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 8.04.12 PM Anthony Melendez

 Waco, Texas – Women who are involved as victims of the brutal torture slayings of three teenagers at a lakeside park say men will never understand. Come back when you are sister, mother, daughter, grand daughter, or neice, they say. It’s a woman to woman thing.

The fact that per capita more Texans are locked up on any given day than any other nation in the world, and with more than 500 executions since 1980 leads the list of places that execute capital criminals for their ill deeds, fails to impress them. You see, if all that led to their safety and security, they would be satisfied. The truth is, they seriously believe that three of the real killers of Jill Montgomery, Raylene Rice, and Kenneth Franks are still living free in neighborhoods both in and near this central Texas city.

Two happenings occurred in rapid succession last week in this complex case that has raised doubts for more than 30 years. Both are signs that the public – including cops and prosecutors – never really bought in to the theories about who did it and why that were sold by the prosecutors and bought by juries in trials held in multiple changed venues.

The only living person convicted for the torture slayings of two young women and a boy, all in their teens, is demanding that his appeals attorney take a more aggressive stance in proving that he was never guilty of the crime for which he entered a plea for the simple reason that his trial attorneys and prosecutors promised him he would receive a short sentence and serve his time at a federal prison.

If he did not, he and the attorney handling his appeals maintain, he would have surely died with an executioner’s needle in his arm. Both his lawyers, and the cops and prosecutors said so. He believed them.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles notified Walter Reaves and the Innocence Project of Texas that their staff will conduct an investigation of his allegations of innocence laid in a clemency petition he wrote in order to make a recommendation to Governor Greg Abbott. (click here to read the petition)

And after 16 years of waiting, Anthony Melendez finally acknowledged to his lawyer that in essence he realizes DNA evidence that could exonerate him is held hostage by a testing firm that refuses to turn specimen over to another firm because it is “work product,” and the simple fact that a New York journalist who has written a book under contract with Simon & Schuster and paid for the testing is acting as a legal assistant to Reaves, subject to attorney-client privilege.

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 Frederic Dannen

Former “New Yorker” staff writer and best-selling author Frederic Dannen (“Hit Men,” Random House) is living in Mexico and claims he has not released his book-length work on the Lake Murders case to Simon & Schuster because of his involvement with the legal case.

Furthermore, abundant evidence exists that Anthony Melendez was not present at the scene of the crime on the day it occurred. His boss told lead investigator Truman Simons and the District Attorney, Vic Feazell, that he and Melendez were painting apartments a hundred miles distant in the city of Bryan on the Tuesday in August, 1982, when the killings took place. He furnished payroll records to corroborate his statement, records which clearly showed Melendez worked from Monday until Friday and lived in a motel there before returning to Waco for the weekend. The lawyer whose voice is captured on the tapes talking about an “air tight” alibi, says so.

Melendez wrote Reaves demanding that 1) he give statements to the media; 2) that he be allowed to talk to media; 3) that he be informed of the whereabouts of DNA samples to be tested; 4) that he be informed if the DNA testing has been funded. Most of all, he wants to know why the samples that could exonerate him have not  been tested after a decade and a half.

In a letter to State Senator Rodney Ellis, he says after serving time for three decades, and after being promised he would do less than 10 years in a federal facility, “I have felt so lost and helpless; I have a group of supporters, however, my attorney once again refuses to answer their questions or do anything to help me.”

In a recent letter, Reaves wrote Melendez to say if he can find another attorney he thinks can do a better job, to go ahead and hire him.

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Walter Reaves

In an interview held long ago in 1992 in a judge’s chambers on the eve of a retrial of Mohammed Muneer Deeb, who was convicted of the murder for hire of Jill Montgomery, a teenaged girl whom Simons believed was actually mistaken for another young woman Deeb allegedly wanted dead, Lt. Truman Simons protested that other Waco cops would doubt his veracity, no matter what he said. Deeb was acquitted after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that testimony offered to that effect was hearsay of a jailhouse snitch who quoted yet another jailhouse snitch not present in the courtroom.  Simons worked for Vic Feazell as a special investigator after he quit his job as a Sergeant on the Waco police force and promised the Sheriff he could clear the crimes in less than a week if he was hired as an entry level jailer. It was not a happy day for him as the lawyers hammered out where the retrial would take place. What with suppression of the hearsay testimony, the verdict of acquittal was a foregone conclusion, the upcoming trial a mere formality.

Feazell faced federal prosecution under the RICO statutes for accepting bribes to trade with members of the defense bar to share in their legal fees in exchange for dropping cases or pleading offenses down to misdemeanors. After his acquittal, he won a judgment against a Dallas television station for $40 million in punitive damages and $18 million in actual damages, later settled  out of court for a reportedly much smaller amount.

In a bizarre twist, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas offered famed Dallas criminal defense lawyer Billy Ravkind a chance to see his client Dick Kettler plead guilty to a lesser charge carrying a maximum sentence of 3 years and a $5,000 fine in a tax dispute in exchange for his testimony against Feazell and his wife Bernadette about fee sharing and bribery “to influence the disposition of criminal cases in McLennan County, Texas, any crimes arising out of that conspiracy and any tax violation except as agreed above for the years 1981 through 1984.”

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Former DA Vic Feazell and Lt. Truman Simons

In an audiofile obtained from a confidential source of a taped meeting between the DA, Melendez’ trial lawyer Jim Barlow, Truman Simons, and Melendez, the quid pro quo worked out for a guilty plea to capital murder is clearly to be heard.  In exchange for a sentence of 10 years or less to be served in a federal correctional facility, Melendez is to testify against David Wayne Spence, who was later executed for two of the killings. He allegedly completely severed Ms. Montgomery’s nipple from her breast with his teeth.

Critics say there is clear-cut and abundant evidence that someone else committed the murders, but witnesses who saw the youngsters leave with other actors are afraid to come forward, and exculpatory evidence has been mishandled, destroyed,  or withheld, according to the clemency petition.

The new Michael Morton law that took effect on January 1, 2014, has a statue of limitations that tolls on the 25th anniversary of the convictions. There is no statute of limitations on the crime of murder.

Bitter Bierce’s last trip through the batwings…

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“The Saloon,” est. 1851, 1232 Grant Ave., San Francisco

Through these batwing doors, civil war veteran Ambrose Bierce is said to have disappeared forever, according to certain folklorists of San Francisco. “The Saloon,” 1232 Grant Ave., established in 1851, is the oldest whiskey bar in continuous operation in the City. There are Sunday afternoon blues concerts in its crowded, dimly lit interior, standing room only.

It’s not really true. Bierce left his home in Washington, D.C., in 1913 and crossed the border at El Paso, headed for Chihuahua City where he joined the forces of Pancho Villa as an observer. As a Hearst newsman, he had a checkered post-war career. In one celebrated caper, he publicized in Hearst’s newspapers material about a clandestine effort to cram a bill through Congress during the middle of the night, a measure that would forgive a $130 million low interest government loan to the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads. In today’s dollars the sum is estimated to amount to billions.

Bierce’s articles foiled the plan. Angered, railroad tycoon Collis P. Huntington confronted Bierce on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, encouraging him to “name your price” in hush money – and quit publishing stories about the bill.

Bierce is said to have replied, “My price is one hundred thirty million dollars. If, when you are ready to pay, I happen to be out of town, you may hand it over to my friend, the Treasurer of the United States…”

That was in 1896. More informed historians believe he met his fate in 1913 at the height of the Mexican Revolution before a firing squad in a rural graveyard in Coahuila… His short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” is one of the most fabled tales of the War of Northern Aggression. It involves a universal theme of human horror, the fear of falling; critics believe the Alfred Hitchcock film, “Vertigo,” is based on the theme, the author of the screenplay influenced by Bierce’s tale.

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“Bitter” Ambrose Bierce, founding member of The Bohemian Club

Complaint: affidavit withheld illegally in drug case warrant

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Forty-Niner Indian Chief with backdrop of Declaration, U.S. Constitution (double click image for full-frame photo)

Waco – Sheriff Parnell McNamara withheld public information not covered by the Texas Open Records Act, (Sect. 552 Texas Government Code), according to a complaint filed with the McLennan County Criminal District Attorney.

In the 2013 drug case against David Sirbasku, a warrant of search and arrest alleged possession of a controlled substance, heroin, leading to an indictment for delivery of a controlled substance – less than one gram, and intentionally and knowingly attempting to take a controlled substance into the McLennan County Jail.

State v. Sirbasku, Cause No. 2013-1655-C1

Three days earlier, Sirbasku phoned emergency medical technicians after he found a girlfriend unresponsive in a tub of tepid bathwater, one empty syringe and one filled resting on the counter top. She was dead on arrival at a local hospital.

When Legendary Reporter R.S. Gates requested a copy of the probable cause affidavit filed with the jail magistrate, McLennan County Sheriff’s Office Records Clerk Tamma Willis demanded an opinion from the Open Records Division of the AG’s office.

Said Gates, “Tamma, the search warrant affidavit and return on Sirbasku are court documents and not subject to an Attorney General opinion.”

Ms. Willis replied, “I know. I told them, but they wanted an Attorney General Opinion.”

The resulting complaint filed with the DA’s office alleges that “Complainant believes the Texas Public Information Act provides for delegation of the release of information, but makes no provision for delegation of liability for violation of the act.”

The Legendary has requested a determination if “the Sheriff…violated the act by denying access to public information in the form of the affidavit, warrant, and return.”

The complaint is directed at a perception that the Sheriff and his clerical staff engage in an ongoing campaign of making administrative law in the absence of due process by withholding timely release of information that is not covered by the Open Records Act, and by the incessant request for opinions of the AG’s office for items that are known to be subject to prompt release under the law.

It is a matter of record that information previously released to other parties, such as mainstream media outlets, is not subject to a legal review, according to past opinions of the Attorney General.

Deputies seized a 2011 BMW and a .223 caliber AR-15 rifle based on an interview with Sirbasku in which he allegedly stated that he let people drive the car to go and get drugs.

State v. 2011 BMW, Cause No. 2013-344-3, 74th Dist. Court

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Blasting the bullet-proof window with paper bombs

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“It’s all personalities; it’s all politics; they’re all whores; and you can’t change the world…” – words of wisdom from a well-known waterfront Don.


Six Shooter Junction –  Though members of the “mainstream” media get details on crimes and investigation that reflects today’s news today, social media outlets must wade through the swampy rigamarole of endless bureaucratic hassles for the same information.

The truth is, truth as reflected in public records of public offices is held hostage by officials who refuse to acknowledge the fact that the records are merely under their custody. They don’t own the information. The records belong to We The People Of The State of Texas. When at long last the information is released, it usually has official claw marks all over it.

A case in point is as follows.

A mole in the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office has provided many items of public record previously unknown to outsiders that make clear the degree and severity of disaffection between the two top lawmen – Sheriff Parnell McNamara and former Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon, a retired Texas Ranger – that led to Cawthon’s seemingly sudden resignation at the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1.

It has come to we of The Legendary that precisely the same information has been provided to other media outlets whose editors simply choose to ignore their contents in favor of more managed news releases provided them by law enforcement simply because of their status as broadcasters and publishers who are supported by merchants who buy advertising space, and public officials who control the flow of information between elections.

Details of previously unknown information received anonymously were corroborated through public information requests, but not without a struggle. At length, through a series of eight simultaneously submitted requests, a pattern of administrative intimidation and harrassment became clear, a pattern of complaints handled through transfers, threatened resignations, and re-hiring in different capacities at similar pay grades. Though in all cases the papers received from the anonymous source are identical to those released by request, it didn’t come easily.

After Records Supervisor Tamma Willis obtained the records from various departments, charged $60 for labor, then turned the records over to a private attorney for legal review, Legendary Reporter R.S. Gates drafted a complaint to newly-elected Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The gist of his complaint is that his request made on January 1, 2015 was answered 4 days later on January 9 with the intelligence that she had turned all the information over to a private atorney:

I don’t think it is a stretch that the information was gathered and sent to the attorney (Mike Dixon) to circumvent the Texas Public Information Act by delaying access to public information…”

The complaint details the fact that though there were eight requests in all, the response was treated as if there only one, that many records were duplicated, and that though the original “ransome” of $136 was later lowered to $60, nevertheless the office did not follow request procedures detailed in the public information handbook published by the AG’s office.

“If a governmental body estimates that charges will exceed $40.00, the governmental body is required to provide the requestor with a written itemized statement of estimated charges before any work is undertaken. (Pg 53 Sec. d)”

The complaint requests the Office of the Attorney General to determine if the Sheriff should pay back the “extortion” money charged as “ransome,” and if so, that it be paid to the McLennan County Sheriff’s Officers Association because “the Sheriff failed to comply with the notification requirements of the act related to providing an estimate prior to the work being performed.”


The AG’s office ordered Willis to comply within 10 days with its requirements listed on March 6. They are:

  1. How did the Sheriff’s Office determine it required four hours of labor to produce the requested information? Please describe the process in a step by step manner, stating the time each step took…

  1. Where is the information physically located? If the information is located in two or more separate buildings, please provide a simple map showing the location of the buildings…

  1. For the 760 paper copies noted in the cost estimate, please state how many of these copies are responsive to each of the eight requests for information.

  1. For the 40 paper copies provided to the requestor, please state how many of the copies are responsive to each of the eight requests for information.

  1. Did the Sheriff’s Office provide the cost estimate to the requestor before or after locating, compiling and copying the requested information?

 To compare and contrast, it appears that the decisions made in these regards are by and large a function of community standards and political context.

The seizure of a 2011 BMW seized after a drug user died in the bathtub at a mansion located just up the road from Sheriff Parnell McNamara’s home place on Rock Creek Road, Bosqueville, was allegedly based on an interview between Lt. Mike Gates and the homeowner regarding the probable cause of one gram or less of heroin, a Schedule 1 Narcotic.

A public records request gleaned this fact from a probable cause affidavit filed in support of a warrant of search and arrest:

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Click image for original size

Willis refused, and in an appeal requested a ruling from the AG’s Office due to her allegation the matter involves an ongoing investigation. The AG’s office upheld her judgment on the matter, though she is neither a peace officer, nor a criminal prosecutor.

By comparison, extensive requests by members of Open Carry Texas for video and audio recordings involving an internal investigation of a Houston Police Officer accused of improper treatment of a suspect detained for carrying a loaded rifle on a city street were granted over police objections. The AG’s holding is that the recordings are part of an investigation that is eligible for public scrutiny.

C’est la guerre…

There is a there there

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Chinese New Year In The Year of the Goat, chasing the dragon

Gold Mountain (San Francisco) – There are few right angles in the old Swiss American Hotel, North Beach, now called the Green Tortoise Hostel, a relay station in a stage line for backpackers that stretches coast to coast with stops in Austin, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New York and Boston.

Passengers camp under the stars at scenic spots in national parks and monuments both desert and rocky top, riding an old inter-city diesel bus modified to sleep a dozen or so youthful travelers.

Most angles are either totally obtuse, or extremely acute, and the women wear the form-fitting, very revealing tights affected by yoga devotees on the lower slope of Telegraph Hill where this old building snuggles up to the hard rock cliff on the corner of Kearny and Broadway.


In the days of Barbary Coast, it was the site of the City Jail, but these days it more resembles a ship at sea with sturdy bunks built of long-nettle yellow pine in a completely wireless electronic redo of an old show biz hotel where horn men and stand-up comedic talent once shared the spotlight with painted ladies and the crowds lined up around the block as more arrived every quarter hour by jetliner.

A committee of angry junkies once threw Lenny Bruce out an upper floor window because they thought he snitched on someone, and the Hungry I and Purple Onion impresario Enrico Banducci’s sidewalk trattoria is across the corner on one of the steepest streets in the world.  The sick comic later destroyed himself in a one-man assault on the obscenity laws of this city, New York, and Chicago, though Allen Ginsberg’s publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books, triumphed in his commitment to market Ginsberg’s epic poem, “Howl,” in the late fifties . It’s all still there; the more The City changes, the more it stays the same.


These days, international travelers on techie missions throng the Green Tortoise to attend conventions such as the virtual reality design and programming that just concluded in the frighteningly modern SoMa’s (South of Market) Moscone Center, hard by the BART transbay tube station. The world of communication is no longer a telegrapher’s inear scheme, but an ever-expanding, spherical and global techno-world.

There are seminars daily on the danger of losing one’s place in this brave new world and succumbing to an avatar’s role in an all-too-real, yet virtual matrix gone mad. They take place over coffee and confusion in the old hotel’s ballroom. Said Bonnie, a young finance expert from Beijing, “One of the major trips people are on today is the terror of hackers being able to penetrate the UAV net and take over command and control of the rockets and cameras.”


Verily, most survivors of the murderous terror attack mounted by the U.S. Army psychiatrist,  Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, at first assumed that it was just another training exercise – until the high-powered bullets bit into their tissue and the blood began to fly. Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of the tale is that Hasan spent his initial enlistment at Ft. Irwin, California – The National Training Center – playing the role of an Arabic-speaking insurgent in real-time training scenarios. He had shouted “Allahu Akbar” many times before beginning a murderous simulated onslaught of gunfire, long before his medical training ever began.

Matthew Nowacki, a veteran virtual reality designer/programmer traveling out of Austin with experience at Disney,  speaks of a conditioning process that will guarantee the overweening success of the discipline in the decades to come. His name is well-known in libertarian circles throughout central Texas.

Nowacki tells of growing up with in the techno-glitter of Austin with  a personal relationship with Google. “I learned early on that Google is my friend – GIMF – in a world of information…”

He concludes his visit by predicting that soon towers, laptops, tablets and phones will become obsolete, replaced by wristwatches that will control all functions, including a virtual perception viewed through wrap-around shades.


A desk clerk plugs in his phone and pipes stereo of enhanced native drumming accompanied by techno-wizard keyboard effects, and rattles off the name of the collective who travel the world capturing the sounds.

Bonnie concludes that, since it’s often to see across the street in Chinese industrial cities, much less discern the skyline, it could be well to equip people with virtual perception equipment to make it appear that there is no such visual impairment in the atmosphere.

Here’s looking at the Year Of The Goat with an old tune about the Cat:

The Bite


Waco – There are multiple players in the drama of the murder of Juanita White, mother of David Wayne Spence, who was convicted for the murder-for-hire of the wrong girl, a young woman from the nearby county seat of Waxahachie, who just happened to show up in the right place, at precisely the right time, with a remarkable similarity to the victim prosecutors, police, and jailhouse snitches alleged was his intended for-profit prey.

A spurned lover, Mohammed Muneer Deeb, a convenience store operator who allegedly bargained for the girl’s death with a promise of half the value of a life insurance benefit on the victim, had in a separate trial been convicted on the testimony of a jailhouse snitch who gave jurors a hearsay account of how yet another jailhouse snitch related her son’s bragging about the insurance caper involved, and the brutality of the killings. In frustration, his attorney had finally entered a “running objection” to the entire line of questioning of the witness when the trial judge repeatedly overruled his objections. When the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that the testimony was hearsay and thus inadmissible, Deeb received a new trial and was acquitted in a proceeding in which the previous testimonial evidece was suppressed.

Jurors convicted Spence partly on the strength of the expert testimony of a forensic odontologist regarding physical evidence that the mark of his dentition was “consistent” that the bite marks the attacker left on the body of Jill Montgomery – along with numerous slashing defensive wounds made with a knife to her hands and arms, her torso, shoulders and back. A medical examiner’s testimony carried the intelligence that one of Jill Montgomery’s nipples had been incised from her breast, ostensibly by a human bite.

Ms. White is not the least of the players, because just before a night stalker came to her door to beat her to death, raped her, and left her for dead, she contacted the prosecutor’s office with the revelation that yet another jailhouse snitch who testified against her son for the brutal slayings of three teenagers at Lake Waco had come to her begging her forgiveness and prepared to recant his previous testimony.

The bite marks left by a savage attacker in the flesh of the victims is a brightly colored thread that runs through the tangled tales; it bears evidence of the brutality of the series of events that led to her death. After one hears all the stories, the first reaction is to scratch one’s head and ask, “Who done it?”

It is a tale of errors, etched in tears, lit by the blazes of bonfires of terror, as if Old Scratch himself played lead gaffer-for-the day in a sick and twisted Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

A New York “Times” reporter called it a “nightmare investigation,” a “New Yorker” Magazine writer reportedly paid $10,000 out of his own pocket for DNA testing to exonerate the two men who drew life sentences for her murder; both were eventually thereby exonerated, and the state paid large sums in compensation for the years they spent in Texas penitentiaries.

But that was many years after Ms.White approached then-District Attorney Vic Feazell with the story of her encounter with the snitch who testified against her son. Feazell told her the case was in the charge of Truman Simons, a former Waco Police sergeant who worked the crime scene of the triple slayings at the lake, quit his job and took a huge cut in pay to work as a jailer so he could get next to her son as he awaited his turn on the legal treadmill for a knife attack he and a party to the killings of the teenagers had perpetrated on a young boy they forcibly sodomized, and was now the gatekeeper for new evidence in the lake murders case.

Her revelation about the jailhouse snitch who recanted his story to her fell on deaf ears.

But, after her death, she attracted the full attention of a receptive listener in a Waco Police Investigator named Jan Price, now retired. Detective Price had many suspicions about the case made against Spence and two Hispanic brothers named Melendez. 

Numerous informants in the jails and on the streets alleged Simons made promises in return for information the veracity of which is suspect. There were also allegations of special favors of conjugal visits with spouses and girlfriends, treats of pizza, and the like. Price deposed that one informant who was held on a “blue warrant” from the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice made the streets easily after informing on the two suspects who were eventually exonerated, Calvin Washington, who in 1986, the time of the killing, was 25, and Joe Sidney Williams, 19.

She had a much more credible suspect in mind. Benny Carroll, who lived in the neighborhood near Ms. White’s home, had been convicted of a nearly identical beating and sexual assault of an elderly woman.

The simple truth is that Juanita White probably knew her attacker and willingly let him inside her home, else the death struggle would have probably occurred at the front door. The crime scene tells the story of an assault that took place in her bedroom, located at the rear of her residence. In her final moments of life, she had been forced face down on her bed, her undergarments forcibly removed, raped, and left to die. Her face, according to a source close to the investigation, was “a bloody mess.”

Forensic examiners usually interpret the meaning of that kind of sign that the attacker had some personal relationship with the victim, that it was attack motivated by rage.

The most chilling detail in the macabre scene: Her buttock, according to the source, bore the mark of a human bite. It’s been so many years, the person who contacted The Legendary does not remember if it was the left or right buttock.

In her deposition, the veteran detective said she feels the investigation became “seriously misdirected” after Vic Feazell decided to transfer the lead duties to Simons.

The Sunday evening after crime scene investigators cleared the scene, she deposed, a neighbor called to say that someone had broken into the house. Further investigation revealed that the burglar had gone through papers Ms. White had been collecting in her own independent “investigation” of her son’s case in the lake murders. A box of material was open on the bed in a front bedroom, the room David used when he was at home. Papers were strewn on the floor.

She also recalled that in the early days after the Juanita White killing, Truman Simons and Vic Feazell had called on her to obtain a key to the home, that they met her there and climbed into the attic, where they looked for some item neither ever mentioned to her.

After DNA evidence showed neither of the convicted suspects could have possibly committed the murder and sexual assault, and that Benny Carroll did, Price’s sworn statement carried the strenuous objection that she felt Feazell and Simons were “very concerned” to see that the public perceived the murder and rape of Ms. White had nothing to do with the lake murders.

There is always a catch when you deal with fundamental evil.

Benny Carroll committed suicide in 1990.

The entire affair took place before Spence made his date with the executioner. As he awaited his fate on Death Row and his appeals were turned down one by one, his ex-wife told an interviewer for “Texas Monthly,” he would sometimes stand in the exercise yard and scream at the heavens, “Are you real? Is my mother with you?”

Those people’s whole lives were based on lying,” said Detective Price when the magazine writer interviewed her.

A video clip of Spence’s booking for the murders of the three teenagers at the lake contains a portentous series of frames. Smiling, familiar with the deputy who is taking down the information as he fills out a form on a typewriter, Spence suddenly apprehends that the remote lens of a television news camera is pointed directly at his profile.

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Detective used internet database in sex sting case

 Waco – A detective revealed to news outlets that he used an on-line law enforcement database to pinpoint the identity of a veteran lawman in an underage prostitution sting.Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 5.16.51 PM

Deputy Joseph Scaramucci posed as a 17-year-old female to lure McLennan County Precinct 1 Deputy Constable Steve Canava, 51, to a proposed assignation for paid sexual intercourse, then used the probable cause affidavit he developed in the on-line dalliance to obtain an arrest warrant.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 4.53.52 PMCanava, a veteran Waco Police officer, is charged with the second degree felony offense of on-line solicitation of a juvenile. Authorities released him on $25,000 bond. Precinct 1 Constable Walt Strickland placed him on unpaid administrative leave following his arrest on Friday, February 27.

Ex-Sheriff takes helm as ‘industrial’ cop trainer

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Six Shooter – It’s a business; a bottom line runs through it.

The appointment of former McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch as the chief honcho at the community college law enforcement training academy signals a triumph of the concept of applying industrial principles to interlocal government functions.

Under a more ancien regime, the approach both royal and constitutional was that of a ministerial duty – a service – rather than a systemic industrial application, from investigation to warrant, arrest to trial, thence to sentencing, and so forth – to prison.

In a recent laudatory article that appeared in a local mercantile daily, Lynch is quoted extensively, using the term “industry,” as it applies to law enforcement.

It’s no surprise. As Chief Deputy, then high Sheriff, he guided the outsourcing of corrections for federal and state prisoners during a time of judicial turmoil tailor made by the U.S. Department of Justice, a tempest in a teapot the barkers out front ballyhooed as being all about “overcrowding,” while the bankers out back counted the shekels, stacked the sheaves, cut up the dough. Critical thinkers point out the fact that the pump priming left the “corrections industry” overbuilt to the extent that, on any given night, an estimated average of 22,000 empty bunks in 254 Texas county jails are vacant.

Every night, 365 nights per year, more than 300 of those empty bunks are located in the Courthouse “annex,” a recently remodeled jail the Commissioners’ Court spent more than a million dollars overhauling. The new paint job left it with everything but a fire sprinkler and alarm system, certified emergency smoke exhaust fans – and an operating permit. At any rate, at 17 inches, the height of the benches in the courtroom holding cells are two inches shy of the standards set by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards as an acceptable floor-to-buttocks ratio. CEC, Inc., billed it as a real money-maker when it had a contract to house prisoners of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau of the Department of Homeland Security.

Throughout his career, he enthusiastically advocated an emergency services training program throughout the whole enchilada – firehouse to hospital, jailhouse to courthouse – pacing a victory lap to the cop shop, all part of one big system, from turning dirt to bricks and mortar – and onward, to the District Attorney’s front door, to catch the chain, the bus, and the daily run to the cotton patch.

Behold, the solution of the new millenium to the age – old problem of how to isolate the anti-social from the hoi polloi, and, by your leave, governor, who’s going to pay for it? We give you the prison-industrial complex, at a big fine price.

To the consternation of fiscal conservatives, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The McLennan County tax rate has made two historical upticks over the past two years; as the corrections line items in the Sheriff’s Office budget tripled, even courthouse security slots at the entryway magnetometers were outsourced to local police departments. Line item contingency coffers drained away like a mixture of blood and molten gold down the pipes of some fancy little ornamental ivory tower palace custom-built to conceal a gaping rupture in a stinking sewer.

The track record is nothing, if not stark.

Harness bulls and plainclothesmen all over the lot can’t help but crow when they point out Lynch has yet to make his first felony arrest.

As a re-election candidate, Lynch sustained an ethics violation in the rarefied atmosphere of the Texas Ethics Commission’s elaborate system of classification and investigation of campaign finance complaints. Most of them wind up on the cutting room floor.

In a contractual agreement, the jail contracting corporation CEC, Inc., paid Lynch at the rate of $2,000 per month to make inspections and file monthly reports on the operations of the Jack Harwell Detention Center, a custom-built, for-profit county lockup erected on a turn-key basis by a subsidiary construction outfit no one had much chance to bid against. The winning contractor had a year to prepare its estimates; the competition had only 30 days of lead time. A public information request yielded the response from Lynch’s office that no reports, or records of any such reports, were to be found. An inquiry at the Treasurer’s Office revealed a total of $144,000 in payments for those reports.

During the confusion of closing the downtown jail at the courthouse when the contractor lost the ICE contract to house undocumented aliens, weekend overcrowding of the McLennan County Jail led to $100,000 in overtime salary payments to Sheriff’s Office corrections officers. It tripled the budget for housing prisoners because of the need to shunt prisoners from the public lockup to the private lockup next door.

During his tenure, Lynch eliminated all in-house training functions for the continuing education of certified peace officers and outsourced them to other providers. He campaigned on the slogan of providing the best Sheriff’s department money can buy.

Reached for comment, Sheriff Parnell McNamara said he intends to continue to send recruits to McLennan County Community College for their initial training to Texas Commission On Law Enforcement (TCOLE) standards.

It’s a good academy,” said McNamara. “I’m on the advisory board of the MCC Law Enforcement program. I welcome him; I look forward to working with Sheriff Lynch.”

When asked about training and continuing education of certified peace officers in his department, he replied, “We have our own in-house training on firearms and investigations.”

So it goes.

So mote it be.

Oklahoma War Dance

Col. Breshears

Antlers, Oklahoma – When Col. Floyd Breshears of the Oklahoma III%ers scheduled a sit-down with the Imam of Oklahoma City at the State Capitol on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, militia commanders nationwide warned him. Beware the FBI. And then the phone call came. Agents requested an appointment on a day of his choosing. He chose the 26th.

Breshears opposed opening the Mexican border to immigration in the spring and summer of 2014. He and approximately 200 men and women with military combat skills oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. Most of all, they oppose an imposition of Islamic Sharia law on the citizens of Oklahoma – a thorny issue the federal appeals courts rejected after it passed by 70 percent as a ballot initiative in November, 2010.

He gathered his officers, their wives and children at his place in the country this past Saturday for a pow-wow. The consciousness raising was intense. A brief video presentation might help make clear his views and the response of his followers:

OK Friday in the souk

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The Imam Imad Enchassi

Oklahoma City – Christian and Islamic cultures are likely to clash in the land of the red man.

Meet Dr. Imam Imad Enchassi of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. He will co-host Islamic Day at the State Capitol February 27 along with two Democratic Representatives from districts within the city’s boundaries.

The event is sponsored by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a controversial group that usually stages rallies and protest marches on Fridays, the sabbath eve of the Islamic week and the day for sermons and ceremonies in the public shopping districts of cities throughout the world.

CAIR is closely identified by some security analysts such as correspondents of the Council on Foreign Relations as having close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

In federal court papers now sealed, the government revealed In 2007 that CAIR was named, along with 245 others, by prosecutors in a list of unindicted co-conspirators and/or joint venturers in a Hamas funding case involving the Holy Land Foundation. 

Oklahoma three-percenter militia members, 2 Million Bikers, and other activists intend to rally at a 2 p.m. prayer service presided over by the Imam in the rotunda of the capitol building that day.

Three-percenter Commander, Col. Floyd Breshears insists the men and women of his state-wide movement will come in peace, invited by the Imam to listen and learn as the lawmakers explain the American system of lawmaking and its constitutional underpinnings based on an absence of ecclesiastic legal authority, and under the authority of the First Amendment, an unlimited amount of religious freedom for all.

In 2010, Oklahoma voters approved by 70 percent a measure to allow the Sharia courts that was first blocked by a district judge’s preliminary injunction, then ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court at Denver because it singled out one particular religion.

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Key section of a 2010 constitutional ballot question

Suhaib Webb, a former Imam at the Oklahoma City mosque, formally apologized for the actions of Alton Nolen, an ex-convict who served time for an attack on a female Oklahoma State Trooper. A convert to Islam, he beheaded one woman and stabbed another at Vaughn Foods in suburban Moore when company fired him for proselytizing the Muslim faith. The company’s chief executive officer stopped his murderous attack when he shot him. He now faces first degree murder charges.

There have been more than 23,000 Islamic attacks since 9/11 in the name of Allah and the Prophet Muhammed.


Col. Floyd Breshears, commander of Oklahoma Three Percenters