Monday, April 23, 2012


     The next week, after I was surprised by the intruder in south Dallas, the police office

 called and  told me they wanted me to come downtown to the main police station to

 look through their collection of mug shots.  My husband took off work

and drove me to the station. The police in charge of my case were very cordial and

brought out several books of photos. I went through them and said, "I will certainly

recognize the man when I see him because it was such a shock to look at a strange

face when I first awoke that morning."

     After looking through numerous collections of criminals' photos , I did not see

anyone that resembled the man who walked into my bedroom the week before.
      " If you can't see him in these photos, we would  like for you to give

 the description to the best of your ability to one of our men,  who is an artist," said the

 policeman in charge.

     "Sure," I said.  "I will do the best that I can."

     The artist started drawing an outline of a head. He said, "Did he have a receding

hairline or was his head full of hair that was combed back or was it real short?"

     I told him his hair did recede a little and it was not dark but light brown in color.

I couldn't say what color his eyes were.

    The artist asked me about his clothes and I told him his shirt and pants matched in

gray color like a service man would wear. That is, a serviceman who worked on

appliances or for a utilities service.

     When the artist finished the "composite picture", as they referred to it, it looked

somewhat the way I remembered seeing him. The policeman in charge of my

 investigation said that this would help in finding the intruder and you never know

what kind of crime he could be involved in and they wanted to find him. However,

 they said the picture may not look as he looks now because there was always

the possibility that he would grow a beard and let his hair grow longer. In that

case, it would be more difficult to identify him with my description.

     As we left the police station, I told my husband that I couldn't believe that

 the police spent so much time on my case where something that could have

been bad turned out to be not too significant. It was significant to me, but I

would have thought that the police in a city as big as Dallas wouldn't be as

concerned with my case.  My husband said that obviously Dallas was trying

to clean up the crime that the city had been so well known for so many years.

     The next month my husband found us a nice two bedroom brick duplex

 across town. He said his boss's daughter lived in the neighborhood and it

was clean and better than the neighborhood we first moved to. The duplex

was right off the North Central Expressway and convenient to my husband's work.

We moved in and looked forward to entertaining company for dinners and out

of town guests. There was also a nice sidewalk that circled the neighborhood.

I was able to push Susi in her stroller and walk around the neighborhood.

     It was good to feel safe again and not  have to worry about the crime that

 existed so frequently in the south part of Dallas, Oak Cliff.

     One week Faye and Duckett visited us from our hometown of Cuero.

They came to Dallas to an Oldsmobile show and  meeting. They brought their

little boy Corey, who was Susi's age to visit us. Corey and Susi had fun playing

in the backyard. When Corey's parents were gone to the meeting, I got a call

from a detective at the Police Station. He asked if I could come downtown

to a lineup.

      It so happened that another young woman had a similar experience to mine. When

she described her intruder, his appearance was near that which I described. They

staked out her house which was across town from where I saw the man. But a week

later they saw a man drive down her street real slow and they followed him and picked

him up. They told me that he would be in a lineup with several other men, that afternoon.

        "I can't possibly come down there because I'm taking care of two toddler children

and I have nowhere to leave them," I said.

     "Don't worry," the detective said, "I will bring another detective with me and we

will pick up you and the kids and drive you to the station."

     "In that case," I said, "I guess I can come."

     When the detectives picked the children and me up they told me that the detectives

that were staking out the other young woman's house had a sketch that the artist had

 drawn from my description, and her description. And the man looked like the sketch.
     That's amazing, to think they would still pursue my case and the other case that was


     I thought to myself. These guys are really trying to clean up the crime in this city.

CONTINUED ON POST FOUR, NEXT WEEK. Who do I see in the lineup?

Sunday, April 15, 2012


     One morning my husband decided to leave the car and take the bus to work. His office

was in the Adolphus Tower, downtown Dallas. He told me to stay in bed and he would

call me later. He walked out of the house and down the block to the corner to wait for the

 bus. Shortly afterwards, I don't know what made me awaken, but I did. When I looked up

 a white man was standing over my bed with a wrench in his hand. He was dressed in a

gray shirt with gray pants. He was of medium stature and had an unshaven face.
       I pulled the sheet up as high as I could over my scantily dressed body and whispered,

 "What do you want?"
     People next door were backing out of their driveway and they were as close as

one room away. But I could not have screamed  if I had to. I was almost voiceless.
     At that moment, our daughter began to stir in her bed, next to ours. When she looked

 up she began to whimper and looked like she would cry. The intruder looked at her and

 then looked at me and said, "Don't call the police or I'll be back."
     He then turned around and ran out of the bedroom and through the apartment and out

the front door. I was angry, and scared, but in a crazy moment decided to give chase to the

surprising intruder. I wrapped the sheet around my body and ran to the front door. When

I opened the front door, I saw him fleeing to a car, parked in front, two houses down. I

wanted to chase after him and get the license plate number of his car, but because I was

 not dressed in appropriate attire, with my sheet wrapped around me, I decided not

to give chase. Instead, I screamed at a couple across the street, who apparently were

leaving for work or somewhere.
      "Can you get that man's car license number?"
     They looked up at me and down toward the fleeing man who was opening his car

 door and shook their heads no. There was no attempt to see what was wrong or to inquire

about my well being. They simply stared at me and got into their car and slowly

 drove away. Welcome to Dallas, I thought.
     I  securely locked  the front door, went back to the bedroom and dressed and  then went

 back and opened the front door again and no one was in sight. At this point our daughter

Susi was crying and needed attention. But so did I. I was pretty well shaken, but didn't

 know what to do. My husband had not been gone that long and I knew it would take

him awhile to get to his office. The only person I knew to call was my mother's good

 friend, Katherine, who lived across town in University Park.

     Aunt Katherine, as I called her, told me to stay put and she would send her husband

 Fred over to stay with me and he would call the police and give them our address.

In about 30 minutes Fred arrived to stay with me. Shortly afterwards a police detective

 arrived and took notes on what had happened and wrote down the description of the

man and his car that he drove away in.

     I told Fred that I would probably never hear from the police again. I didn't have much

 information on my intruder and I was  lucky he hadn't harmed me or our daughter.

     Later that  afternoon when my husband came home he said he would notify the

landlord and tell him we were going to break our lease and move elsewhere. He said we

didn't need to risk having the surprise intruder return.
     "Yea, I said. "That's a good idea. But the big problem is explaining to my mother

why you didn't lock the door when you left the house this morning."


Thursday, April 5, 2012


It was 1958 when my husband, daughter, and I moved to Dallas, and  my mother

said,"Lock your doors,  you are moving to the big city of Dallas, where there is

much meanness."

The meanness she referred to was the highly visible and talked about crime in

Dallas that was publicized in newspapers, radio, and TV all over Texas for years.

Gangsters discovered Dallas in the post war eras. There were nighttime

assassinations and assassination attempts around the city, illegal liquor sales,

uncontrollable gambling, and hundreds of prostitutes that lingered  in the city

 over several decades. Some say it really took hold when the Dallas city council

voted in favor of an "open city" that included these vices in their preparation

for the Texas Centennial that was held in Dallas in 1936.

By the end of the 1950's, earnest attempts to stem crime changed the

criminal climate and the big city's image, somewhat. My husband assured

my mother we would be safe.

My husband's colleague in his new job drove us around Dallas and

was quick to point out areas where crime occurred with more frequency.

One location, he pointed to was Candy Barr's residence. She

was an infamous burlesque star and friend to gangsters. She was employed

at Jack Ruby's club and many people flocked to see and  film her for her

gorgeous, natural beauty, especially in its natural state. She had been arrested

numerous times. Our  driver told us it wasn't unusual to have shootings

occur in her neighborhood. Her pictures are still popular on the internet today.

Later, we found out that my husband's colleague who drove us around

Dallas was not without a criminal background, as well. He had several  aliases

and different  wives under each name. However, he soon left the company

after we arrived. The very  famous oil company family who employed my

husband and his colleague did a good job of keeping the criminal

information under wraps.

Through my studies, I have since discovered that one reason Dallas

started cleaning up her act  was because "The Greater Dallas Crime

Commission" was organized earlier, in 1952. It was organized to help bring

some stability to the city and rid it of crime.

Also, when we arrived in Dallas, the famous District Attorney,

Henry Wade had been in office eight years and would continue to hold

office twenty-eight years more. He would eventually try and successfully

convict Jack Ruby in 1964 for assassinating  Lee Harvey Oswald who was

accused of assassinating President Kennedy, in Dallas, in 1963.

But interestingly Wade did not always win his cases. He would eventually

lose his case in "Roe vs. Wade, " which culminated in the Supreme Court's

Abortion Landmark case, in 1973, which made abortion legal. But no one

seemed to blame him because he was strict on law and order. But possibly too

quick on judgment as numerous cases have since been overturned using DNA

tests, that were not available then.

We found an affordable duplex that summer after my husband finished

college at UT Austin. It was in South Dallas, Oak Cliff. We bought the minimal

amount of second-hand furniture and set up house-keeping. We had one

bedroom, so we placed our daughter's baby bed near ours. She was still

in diapers and barely walking. We only had one air conditioner and placed it

in the living room. We opened the bedroom door and placed a fan near our

beds and it kept us relatively cool in the evening. We solved the problem

by sleeping simply,  in fewer clothes.  CONTINUED NEXT POST. SEE


Monday, April 2, 2012

“Unaddressed Racism” : Alice Walker on Travyon Martin’s Killing

During confusing times like this, we need to turn to those who have the most wisdom. This is a short discussion on the killing of Travyon Martin by the famous Pulitzer Prize winner, AliceWalker. The interview is a little long, but her discussion of the killing only lasts a few minutes and it's worth it.
Please check it out.

“Unaddressed Racism” : Alice Walker on Travyon Martin’s Killing