THE MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR COLLEEN REED didn’t quite close the book on the case of serial killer Kenneth McDuff, but it was a conclusion of sorts to a gruesome chapter in our recent history.
On a remote stretch of U.S. 181, about fifty miles southeast of San Antonio, looms one of the biggest homes in Texas, the four-story, 29,000-square-foot, 34-room edifice on the estate known as Veladi Ranch. A marvel of architectural excess, the antebellum-style mansion is ringed by 28 towering Corinthian columns, three gigantic fountains, and 12,000 square feet of finished verandas.
In light of this year’s school shootings in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Springfield, Oregon, Texas parents may be wondering what the state has been doing about violence in its schools. The answer is: quite a bit. Since 1995, in response to increasingly disruptive behavior and lax discipline, the Legislature has required that the state’s more than one thousand school districts set up, or provide access to, a second, segregated learning environment.
HER PECULIAR LITTLE PERSON was all contradiction. She was sunny and nice, and she gave you the creeps. She was an innocent who was a guilty criminal. She was evil, and she was embraced by religious leaders who declared she was good. If any crime deserved the death penalty, hers did. Yet the world was outraged when Texas executed her this past February.
CONGRATULATIONS TO SKIP HOLLANDSWORTH for his heartbreaking, brilliant piece on fatherhood at its worst [“Honor Thy Father,” June 1998]. I just hope all the other Bill Butterfields read it. What a tragedy that a kid with so many attributes is fettered by a felony for doing what anyone in his shoes would have done. His father? Good riddance to an abusive, weak failure who reaped what he sowed.
FINALLY JASPER IS ALONE. THE KLAN AND THE NEW BLACK PANTHERS and the politicians and the media have left town, and the conversation around the long table at Texas Charlie’s restaurant has returned to dry weather and Viagra humor.
FRESH OUT OF JAIL, CRUISING THE BACKWOODS of his East Texas youth, Freeway Rick was hungry. For a veggie burger.
“A what?” the Dairy Queen girl said.
“A veggie burger,” Freeway Rick said. “Just like a hamburger, but without the meat.”
WHEN I FIRST wrote about the murder of River Oaks wife and mother Doris Angleton (“The Bookmaker’s Wife,” TM, November 1997), the investigation already had enough twists to fill up a mystery novel. Since then, however, the case has taken such an extraordinary turn that many Houstonians wonder if prosecutors can convict the man accused of the murder—Doris’ multimillionaire husband, Bob Angleton—when his trial begins late this month.
OUR FRIEND JAN REID has never pushed his way into the spotlight. He’s not shy exactly, and he’s too self-confident to be truly self-effacing; but he is reserved and observant, someone you are more likely to find moving around the edge of a party rather than creating a spectacle in the center. He is a large, athletic man with natural grace.
IT IS SO REFRESHING to know that lawmen who are hardworking and corruption-free still exist [“The Last Posse,” March 1998]. These men set an example in their profession. They seem so down to earth and determined. These men are truly role models.