Further Testimony

I have been a lawyer for almost fifty years, and your article about Carlos Jaile and Estella Ybarra [“The Juror Who Found Herself Guilty,” February 2024] reminded me of a man named Faith (whose last name I’m omitting for his privacy) who I represented in 1975. I have forgotten the names of most of my clients, which is partly due to age and partly due to representing thousands of people. But I never forgot Faith. He was convicted of robbery and aggravated assault, and he was totally innocent. No police misconduct. Just an incorrect eyewitness identification. I appreciated that your article gave credit to the prosecutors who were willing to take another look at the case. I most appreciated that you brought humanity to both the juror and the defendant.  
Alan Biederman, Meredith, New Hampshire 

Mike and the Myriapod

The Critters page featuring the Texas redheaded centipede [February 2024] was nightmarish indeed. But West Texas has grown such a creature even bigger and more awe-inspiring than the one Jesse Pye found in his friend’s San Antonio bedroom, per your story. One summer my teenage brother, Mike, was working stock on our ranch south of Midland. Suddenly he called out to ranch hands and all to look at what he’d found: a redheaded centipede that must have been at least thirteen inches long, with a body as hard as a crustacean’s. It took chopping it with a hoe to kill it. 

That ranch was known for wild things, though: the 386 rattlers the folks from the roundup took off the land the last year our family was there, the tarantulas that moved in black waves after rare summer rains, the plague of moths that blocked any view from the front screen door, the rabid bobcat that sent our kids climbing into a tree fort, yelling for help. Looking back, I suppose it took a thirteen-inch redheaded centipede to get any attention out there.  
Betty Robbins, Norman, Oklahoma

A Cliff Note

The February 2024 issue featured a cover story about rock climbing [“Rock On, Texas”] that shows and describes climbers trespassing on cliffs overlooking Lake Marble Falls owned by me and two others. The article states that a guide put the writer and others on a boat, took them to the cliffs, and showed them how to climb up and jump back into the lake. The guide did not ask for permission from me or the other landowners, who might be liable if anyone were to be injured.

I urge Texas Monthly not to encourage lawbreaking and to instead warn its readers not to climb rocks on private property without permission from the owners. 
Kirk Patterson, Marble Falls  

Editors’ note: The cliff face that our writer scaled above Lake Marble Falls was not posted as private property. Now that we know that Mr. Patterson and his fellow landowners do not welcome rock climbers, we will not be back, and our guide says he won’t either. We do strongly urge climbers to seek permission from landowners before scaling rocks or cliffs on private property. 

This article originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of Texas MonthlySubscribe today.