Manhunt at Menard Creek

Surrounded by snarling prison dogs, a thief drowns in a muddy slough after a two-day chase through the Big Thicket. Lawmen swear it was an accident, but the U.S. Justice Department wants to make a federal case out of it.

Long before they found Tommy Earl Haynes facedown in Menard Creek with a pack of hounds snapping at his body, it had seemed a safe bet that Haynes would never achieve a high public standing. His sister Elizabeth Martines hadn’t seen him in nearly a decade because, as she stated in a deposition, “I didn’t like to visit prisons.” The last time his legal wife, Billie Jean Haynes, had laid eyes on him was in 1983, when she observed Haynes driving a brand-new pickup and reported him to the sheriff for car theft. The only two men who ever spent much time with Haynes were two Tyler County officers who had made a virtual career out of arresting him. One of the last

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