THE MOST INFAMOUS RESIDENCE IN all of Texas suburbia sits in a small development of two-story tract homes just off Texas Highway 66 in the sleepy east Dallas County town of Rowlett. The front yard is small—a strip of grass, really, no more than half the size of a typical suburban yard. The red-brick home that lords over it brings to mind the main office-restaurant of someplace called the Colonial Motor Court on some lonely highway in West Texas.
LAST FALL, MY NIECE SARAH WAS WALKING to class near the University of Texas Tower when she heard a series of shots. Startled, she glanced at the 28-story structure looming above her. Instinctively, she ducked. She was relieved to discover that a maintenance man was firing blanks to frighten away grackles, but for a moment she thought exactly what the rest of us would have. At nineteen, she is too young to know anything about Charles Whitman other than what she has heard and read; still, she knows enough.
DALLAS FINALLY GOT ITS TRIAL OF THE CENTURY. It was a glorious farce, full of football stars, rogue cops, undercover agents posing as hit men, topless dancers arriving for court appearances in demure below-the-knee dresses, and angry lawyers debating whether African American men’s eyes are naturally bloodshot or only get that way after a night of drinking and drug use.
JUST AS HE WAS FINISHING up “Poisoning Daddy”, his tale of a Fort Worth teenager who killed her father, senior editor Skip Hollandsworth set out to interview the sibling models featured on this month’s Face page. As it happened, one of the sisters, Wende Parks, had been the teen murderess’s classmate at Mansfield High School and had lived in the same dormitory at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Are you, like, serious?” exclaims the preppily dressed Stacey High. “have you ever gotten a good look at her? Marie is, like, gorgeous! In high school she was one of the most mature girls I had ever met. I thought, ‘Wow, if I hang around her, she’ll keep me motivated, help me act a little more serious.’”
The arrest and extradition in January of reputed Mexican drug lord Juan García Abrego created something of a stampede among criminal lawyers. The McAllen office of Abrego’s longtime counselor, Roberto “Bobby Joe” Yzaguirre, was overwhelmed by sales pitches from attorneys all over the country, forceful or flattering letters and faxes explaining why they and they alone should be hired as part of the defense team. Farther north, in Houston, speculation about who would get the job was rampant.
I AM THE MOTHER OF THE MURDER victim referred to in Mimi Swartz's article "Congressman Clueless" [February 1996]. A few weeks after my son was killed, I called Mr. Stockman to request the removal of my son's name and the manipulation of the facts of his murder from Mr. Stockman's House Resolution 2393 to repeal the Brady Law, but he never got the point. He was interested only in defending the bill.
THE HORSE WAS A FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD sorrel gelding with a blaze face. As it lay there in the bloodstained meadow, with its right eye gone milky and its rear covered with gashes, the softness of its coat remained unmarred, its hindquarters still rippled, and above its sturdy back, its long mane hung in an insouciant tease. Its legs still suggested power and grace, war and play. Even beaten to death, the horse looked strangely indomitable.
FOR A QUARTER OF A CENTURY, STANLEY MARSH 3 has reigned as Texas’ merriest prankster, the Puck of the Panhandle.
IN THE EAST TEXAS TOWN OF KILGORE, KATIE’S WAS JUST ANOTHER beer joint perched next to Texas Highway 135. Inside, there were a few tables the size of hubcaps, a small pool table, a jukebox, and some Dallas Cowboys posters tacked to the plywood walls. The customers were white working-class people. Most of the men who stopped in for the $1 bottled beer were oil-field workers still trying to make a living from the dregs of what was once the largest oil field in the world. They arrived in unwashed pickup trucks.