Find a back issue

Child Porn Suspect Told Police He’s Raped More Than 100 Kids

The details emerging in this case are incredibly disturbing. And you will probably be hearing the name Randy Ray Wesson a lot in the next few months. Wesson, a 28-year-old Fort Worth man, was arrested after police linked him to an Instagram account. It appears he was living with a 17-year-old named Ricardo Lugo, who was posing as a 12-year-old and attending Hurst Hills Elementary. Police say Lugo helped recruit victims. Wesson apparently also told police that he has sexually assaulted more than 100 children — identifying a dozen by name — and possessed 42,000 images of child porn.

Full Story

Wanted: People Who Were Present for the 1966 UT Tower Shooting

This is a little far afield from our usual programming, but stick with me. A couple of us just got an email from our friend and peer Pam Colloff at Texas Monthly. You probably know her from many things. We—I guess other than Tim—are all jealous of her National Magazine Award, among many other things.

ANYWAY, Pam is working on a documentary about the 1966 UT Tower shooting. I’ll let her take it from there:

Full Story

Leading Off (11/14/14)

Feds Auditing DA’s Use of Forfeiture Funds. Craig Watkins may be on his way out, after suffering a defeat in last week’s election, but he’s still facing a federal investigation. Authorities stopped sending forfeiture money to the DA’s office in August after an auditor had a call with Watkins. “It was a contentious phone call during election season in which Mr. Watkins believed the inquiry was being driven by his opponent,” said Dallas County prosecutor Lincoln Monroe. “Craig thought it was a setup. It was not a good conversation that Craig had.” He added that the federal audit was prompted by a mix-up that will soon be rectified.

Frisco Homeowners Want Power Lines Buried. Brazos Electric is proposing a 2- to 4-mile stretch of overhead lines to increase capacity in the fast-growing city, but neighborhood residents are concerned about the impact on their home values. They want the lines placed underground, which Brazos says would cost $31.5 million, compared to $3.5 million for putting them overhead. Brazos plans to apply to the Public Utility Commission for its expansion in December, and the city and a homeowners’ group plan to challenge it.

Felony Lane Gang Strikes Again. Coppell police are looking into whether an organized group of professional thieves is responsible for a series of smash-and-grab car break-ins. The gang is known for cashing victims’ checks in the outside teller lane at various banks — which I guess is the “felony lane?”

Clayton Kershaw Hogging Baseball Awards. After winning his third Cy Young Award as the National League’s best pitcher on Wednesday, the Highland Park High School graduate and Los Angeles Dodgers hurler received Most Valuable Player honors on Thursday. He’s the first NL pitcher to take the MVP since 1968.

Mavs Score Most Lopsided Win in Team History. Dallas got off to a 45-10 lead in the first 15 minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers and finished with a 123-70 win. It’s their largest margin of victory ever.

Full Story

Ask John Neely Bryan Anything You Ever Were Too Lazy to Google

Greetings, friends, enemies, frenemies, trolls and troublemakers, hoodlums and saints, the blessed and the damned alike.

My name is John Neely Bryan. You may remember me from such things as having operated a ferry across the Trinity River ages before any of those new-fangled bridges were built, for being a log-cabin enthusiast, and also for having founded what is now the ninth-largest city in the United States of America. So, yeah, I’m kind of a big deal.

Though I have long since passed into the ether, I’ve kept a watchful eye on my beloved Dallas. The good folks at D Magazine, in their estimable wisdom, therefore knew I was best qualified to helm this new effort on their web log. In this space today and in the weeks to come, I shall address all manner of your questions and concerns. Need personal advice? Curious about some aspect of life in this city? Want a dispute adjudicated? Too lazy to Google something? Ask@dmagazine.com and ye shall receive. (Space and my patience permitting.)

Full Story

Leading Off (11/7/14)

Ebola Watch 2014 Ends Today. Friday marks the finish of the 21-day period during which the last of those locally who may have come into contact with the virus — an unidentified hospital worker who handled medical waste on Oct. 17 — is being monitored. So we’re in the clear, Dallas.

Dallas to Consider a Ban on Smoking in Parks. The Dallas Park and Recreation Board has directed city staff to draft a proposed ordinance. Dallas and Phoenix are the only two of the nation’s 10 largest cities not to have some form of similar prohibition.

McKinney Man Accused of Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme. Wait, I thought all bitcoin were a Ponzi scheme. Trendon Shavers, 32, was charged with fraud by federal authorities. At one point, Shavers allegedly possessed 7 percent of all the virtual currency in public circulation.

74-Year-Old Man Shoots, Kill Robber. Thomas Lopez opened fire on two crooks who forced their way into his Dallas apartment. One of them was fatally wounded. “I don’t care if you’re 10, 15, 20 years old, you got no business being in my apartment, stealing from me,” Lopez told WFAA (Channel 8). “I’ll end your criminal career in a minute, if I can.”

Full Story

The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail: The Dread Destroyer Has 5 Points of Armor

With the exception of the month and a half I spent in the hole over the summer, my cellmate for most of the last six months has been a white-haired old man with the regal looks and bearing of an Antonine emperor and the grizzled guile and criminal outlook of a Lyndon Johnson crony. Billy Bob Aurelius, as I’ll call him, is a Vietnam combat veteran, a private commercial pilot, and former salesman for International Harvester, among other things. Before arriving at our jail unit here in Seagoville, he’d spent 18 months in a Mexico City lock-up after police found a pistol during a search of his jet. Horrified, I asked him what those urban Mexican jails were really like.

“They’re great if you have money,” he said. “I had money.” Apparently he was given a nice private cell from which he could order out for groceries and brandy and marijuana and prostitutes. He even had a woman who came and cooked and cleaned for him, which is to say that he had a maid.

Full Story

Chris Kyle’s Accused Killer Won’t Face Death Penalty

Erath County prosecutors have decided to seek a life sentence without parole for Eddie Routh:

Routh is accused of shooting Chris Kyle, 38, and Chad Littlefield, 35, both of Midlothian, on Feb. 2, 2013, at the shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge, an upscale resort outside Glen Rose in Erath County. The lodge is about 77 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

Area police reports documented Routh’s mental problems well before the killings at the gun range.

As her son’s condition worsened, Jodi Leigh Routh contacted Kyle and asked him to help. Kyle is considered one of the deadliest snipers in U.S. military history.

By now you’ve surely heard on this blog or elsewhere about Kyle. His memoir, American Sniper, has been made into a film that will be released on Christmas.

Maybe your stomach for executing someone as so clearly mentally disturbed as Routh has been reported to be — especially someone whose mental ills may stem in part from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of serving his country — is stronger than mine, but this seems like the right call.

The trial is set to begin Feb. 9 in Stephenville.

Full Story

Leading Off (10/31/14)

Last Day of Early Voting. Dallas County Republicans got off to a strong start, but Democrats are scrambling to close the gap. In the most closely watched county race, district attorney Craig Watkins has been outspent by GOP challenger Susan Hawk. If you care about the outcome, get to the polls.

Bentley to Reunite With Nina Pham. The former Ebola patient/nurse’s dog has tested negative for the virus, and will be returned to Pham on Saturday. He’s been kept in quarantine since Pham’s apartment was decontaminated by health officials.

Last Man Seen With Missing Woman Says He’s Being Harassed. Enrique Arochi made the rounds of the local newscasts to publicly state that he had nothing to do with the disappearance of Christina Morris. Arochi was the last person spotted with Morris, who has not been seen since Labor Day weekend at the Shops at Legacy in Plano. He says he’s lost his job as a result of the police investigation into the case and that he’s being harassed by friends and family of Morris, who have been protesting outside his parents’ home.

Kissing Bugs in North Texas Carry Deadly Disease. Welcome to your new nightmare: “Little did she know then, she had just met a kissing bug. So named because it attacks exposed skin — sometimes near the mouth or eyes — while you’re sleeping. You may get swelling at the site of the bite, or you may not know what happened. But the kissing bug can carry something called Chagas disease, a potentially deadly condition, which attacks the heart. It may be decades before the damage is done. But much like mosquitoes and West Nile, not every kissing bug carries Chagas disease, sometimes called the ‘silent killer.'”

Full Story

Meet the Antigay Bully Arrested at DFW Airport in Last Week’s Viral Video

The man pictured above is identified on a police report as 27-year-old McCleish Christmas Benham. He is the man who was arrested for the assault depicted in the video that went viral on Friday, and who was not taken down by actor Paul Rudd.

Are you most surprised to learn that:

A) He was apparently drunk at the time of the incident.

or

B) His middle name is Christmas

Full Story

Whoa, Paul Rudd Was (UPDATE: Not) One of the Airport Heroes Who Took Down the Homophobe

You remember the video we posted about late Friday? When I put that item up, the video had a little more than 10,000 views. Now it’s got more than 1.7 million.

Well, turns out that one of the onlookers who rushed to the defense of the man attacked by an antigay bigot at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was Paul Rudd. The actor. You know, this guy. He was probably on a connecting flight from Kansas City.

UPDATE, 3:05 p.m.: The Internet appears to have let us all down, folks. Jezebel reports that Rudd’s publicist says it’s not him.

Full Story

VIDEO: Crowd Stops Antigay Attack at DFW Airport

The video above depicts a drunk?/drugged?/crazy? antigay bigot harassing and then physically attacking a man in a pink shirt at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. It’s dated 10/23/2014.

The crowd around the bully forces him to the ground, which might give Rudy Bush another reason to celebrate the fact that western civilization has not declined as badly as some like to portray it.  Of course, if Rudy then reads the comments on the YouTube page for the video, they might well reverse his position.

I don’t understand why this was being filmed initially. Maybe the guy had already done something to attract attention before filming began?

(H/T Raw Story)

Full Story

Brendan Higgins Issues Statement on Aspen Arrest

You’ll recall that former CBS 11 morning anchor and noted Irishman Brendan Higgins got into a bit of trouble in Aspen awhile back. Here comes an official statement about where things stand:

I have entered a deferred prosecution agreement with the City of Aspen that will ensure all the municipal court charges against me will be dropped within six months. As I said shortly after my arrest, I am deeply sorry for the negative attention this situation brought to my family, our friends, my coworkers and the hard-working authorities in Aspen. While unfortunate, this incident has provided a valuable lesson that I will not soon forget, and I dearly appreciate the many messages of support sent to my family and me over the past couple months. We are looking forward to moving on to bigger, brighter things.

Could have used an expletive or two. Maybe a metaphor about riding horses. But otherwise, it’s a fine statement.

Full Story

Nina Pham Is Ebola-Free. Is She a Hero?

News this morning is that the first Dallas nurse to contract Ebola is now free of the virus and will be discharged from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center today. This is, of course, great news.

Over on the Morning News site, Rudy Bush opines that Pham, along with the other Ebola nurse/patient, Amber Vinson, and sergeant-of-arms of the Canadian Parliament Kevin Vickers, who killed a terrorist gunman, should give us hope for western civilization:

Full Story