He was a ladies' man who owned a tavern. He kept gators in a pool behind the place, into which he liked to toss small animals. He hired women to wait tables, and some of them disappeared. What happened? With Joe Ball, it was easy to believe the worst.
Indians slain by settlers and vice versa. Lynchings and shoot-outs. Poisonings and dismemberings. Assassinations and massacres. Our past three hundred years or so have been, uh, colorful. A fond look back at the murder and mayhem.
Darlie Routier has been on death row for five years now, always insisting that she didn't kill her sons Devon and Damon. And as her lawyers prepare to head into court yet again, new information about her case raises the possibility that she may have been telling the truth all along.
In 1996 the body of a cheerleader from a small town in Oklahoma was found on the Texas side of the Red River. She had been raped and shot. The brutal crime destroyed several families and the illusions of an isolated slice of the world.
It's the insanity defense that's insane.
In the mid-seventies my girlfriend was strangled by a serial killer. I eventually got on with my life, but I nver could have imagined the toll it would take.
During the 21 years I served as the district attorney for Harris County, people always attacked me for never hesitating to seek the death penalty. Here's my defense.
In 1991 I was eating lunch with a friend when a maniac opened fire at the Luby's in Killeen. We were both hit. I lived. She didn't.
What's the most unsettling thing about interviewing murderers? In many ways, they're just like you and me.
Spending 169 days in jail taught me how to use toothpaste as an acne cream, a toilet as a telephone, and a Maxi pad as a mop. Learning to keep my dignity wasn't as easy.
Around the State
USA TODAY If you’re looking for a way to make this Fourth of July memorable, then head to Big D, where “big” is the operative word. Dallas is planning the largest fireworks display in the history of the state as part of the AT&T Trinity Fest. The free celebration (tickets…
TALK TO ME Rock and roll crooner Chris Isaak, known for his signature rootsy, soul-stirring sound, is currently on tour with a new CD, Always Got Tonight, and will be making stops this month in Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Meanwhile, The Chris Isaak Show, the Showtime series in which the…
LORDS OF THE RINGS Remarkably, you’ll be able to witness a ringmaster get eaten by a lion this month. M. C. Bot, a mechanical master of ceremonies, will meet his fate via mechanical lion Max Fang in the Space Center Houston’s latest exhibit, “Robot Circus,” which features a choreographed catastrophic…
STAR POWER Sure, you can point out the Big Dipper, but did you know that it is an “asterism,” a well-known star pattern that is usually part of a constellation (in this case the constellation is Ursa Major)? If not, this month you can gain a little more knowledge about…
The 1800's had its share of criminal activity.
COLD COMFORT Soup, by definition, is comfort food. But it can also be sexy, especially in the summer, when chefs devise recipes that call for ripe fruit. Or it can be edgy, with the imaginative use of fresh herbs. It can even be bracing when it’s served chilled. Houston’s Mockingbird…
The robber who fled to a police station and other criminally stupid stories from our Bum Steer archives.
ROLL OUT THE BARREL No matter how much you know about wine, Paul Roberts probably knows more. This year, at the tender age of thirty, the wine director of Houston’s Café Annie was named a master sommelier by the American chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers. Not only is…
Pork Loin 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns 4 center-cut boneless pork loin chops, up to 1 inch thick 2 tablespoons olive oil salt to taste Mix coriander and peppercorns together and toast in a sauté pan over medium heat for 2…
LALAPALOUZA When I heard that erstwhile caterer Lou Lambert was opening a restaurant on Austin’s South Congress Avenue—a popular haute-funk shopping district—I kept my fingers crossed for a place with good value, good vibes, and good food. Lambert’s has delivered on all those fronts. Entrées are $11 to $20 (most…
There's more to Fredericksburg than antiques shoppinghonest.
Step behind the walls and take a peek at the history of the Texas State penitentiary at Huntsville.
Twas two days before Christmas, when all through the town, not a creature expected St. Nick to come round. To Cisco Santa strolled, more naughty than nice, and stirred quite a story, filled with robbery and vice.
Always Enough Thyme
Gary Tanhauser, who illustrated "Two Barmaids, Five Alligators, and the Butcher of Elmendorf," talks about how he approaches his work.
Senior editor Anne Dingus offers a list of Texas true-crime books to die for.
Texan Mark Oliver Gebel explains how his job as the animal trainer for the Ringling Brothers is, has, and always will be his life.
6 cups chicken stock 1 bouillon cube (optional, if stock needs more seasoning) 2 large avocados, cut in half (remove pits and scoop out flesh) corn tortilla squares, fried crisp for garnish (optional) chopped fresh chives for garnish (optional) Place 2 cups stock in blender, add avocado,…