20 Dennise Hayslip & Darrin Cain

Dennise Hayslip was a kind woman — that’s what her son Wade Hayslip would like most people to remember. Dennis was at home in her apartment with Darren Cain when Charles Victor Thompson forced his way in and shot Darren then Dennise.

Caroline Burke wrote a great story on the double murder that was published on Heavy.com on Aug. 13, 2018. You can read it here.

Thompson started dating Dennise Hayslip, who was twelve years his senior, around June 1997 and soon moved in with her. Thompson rarely worked, but relied on Hayslip and another roommate for support. Thompson became increasingly jealous, possessive, angry, and abusive. Thompson eventually moved out, according to a federal appeals court decision in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

Hayslip began dating Darren Cain, but still occasionally saw Thompson. On April 30, 1998, Thompson was at Hayslip’s apartment when Cain called at around 2:30 a.m. Thompson told Cain “to come over there and he would beat his ass.”

When Cain arrived, Thompson answered the door with a stick. A fight ensued. Thompson lost the fight.

By that time, the police had been called. The responding officer encountered Thompson, Hayslip, and Cain standing outside. Thompson’s eye was blackened from the fight he had started.
Because no one wanted to press criminal charges, a police officer allowed Thompson to leave after threatening him with criminal trespass should he return. After the responding officer escorted him from the premises, Thompson went to get a gun.

Thompson later described to a friend, Diane Zernia, how he returned to Hayslip’s apartment and shot both Hayslip and Cain.

Thompson kicked down the door to Hayslip’s apartment and encountered Cain inside. As Cain grabbed the end of the gun, Thompson began firing. Thompson shot Cain four times, and two bullets missed. After Cain fell to the ground, Thompson reloaded the gun, put it up to Hayslip’s cheek, and said, “I can shoot you too, bitch.”

The gun fired. The bullet traveled through Hayslip’s cheek, into her tongue, and out the other side.
Thompson later claimed that he also tried to shoot himself, causing a wound on his arm.

Neighbors heard the gunshots. Shortly thereafter, Hayslip began knocking on neighbors’ doors. A neighbor found her sitting on the ground, gasping for breath as she leaned forward to prevent drowning in her own blood. When emergency responders arrived, they found Cain dead.
Hayslip was bleeding profusely. Responders took her by life flight to a hospital where she later died.
Leaving the apartment, Thompson threw his gun in a nearby creek. Thompson then went to Zernia’s house and fell asleep on a couch. When he woke up, he described the murders to Zernia.

Thompson then called his father, who picked him up and took him to the police station.

The prosecution particularly emphasized Thompson’s
confession to Zernia that he shot both victims. The main defensive argument at the guilt/innocence phase was that medical malpractice, not the gunshot through Hayslip’s mouth, was the primary cause of her death. The jury convicted Thompson of capital murder. He was sentenced to death.
On direct appeal, Thompson raised issues relating to both the guilt/innocence and punishment phases of trial. In 2001, the Court of Criminal Appeals found that the State violated Thompson’s
rights by relying in the punishment phase on the tape recording of an undercover police officer’s jailhouse conversation with him.

20 Dennise Hayslip & Darrin Cain

00:00 / 37:27

Davis sentenced to 6 months for custody interference

By Valerie Reddell

LIVINGSTON — A long nightmare finally ended for the Burman family this week when a Polk County jury found Elizabeth Annette Davis, 27, of Livingston guilty of interference with child custody on Tuesday. The trial was held in Judge Kaycee Jones’ 411th District Court. The state and Davis’s attorney Joe Roth agreed to a negotiated sentence of six months in jail.

Elizabeth Annette Davis

Davis was indicted after she took her daughter and disappeared from a Florida hotel in November 2017, where she was working as a contractor assisting with hurricane recovery.

Travis Kade Burman was called to testify about the circumstances that led up to the moment that Davis disappeared with their child. 

In response to questions by Polk County Assistant District Attorney Kirby Wills, Burman described their relationship up to the time of Davis’s department. 

Burman and Davis had lived together since 2015. They got reacquainted while Burman was playing football at Lamar University in Beaumont, but the two families had known each other for years. 

He had applied for a job with the Baytown Police — intending to follow the rest of his family into law enforcement — but was passed over in favor of an experienced officer. He was working other jobs while he planned to enter Angelina College’s law enforcement academy.

In September 2017, Davis went to work for a company that was assisting with disaster recovery after Hurricane Irma struck Florida. 

After a two week school in Dallas, then Davis was deployed to Florida. Burman and their daughter went along, with dad taking care of the child while Davis worked.

“Things went fairly smoothly,” Burman said. At least for the first several weeks. They spent their daughter’s first birthday on Miami Beach. They traveled every two or three weeks, living in motel rooms.

After about five weeks, Burman said Davis’s mother entered the picture and the relationship got rocky.

“Elizabeth’s attitude changed,” Burman said. “(Dawn Bello) is not someone I like to have around my child, and I noticed some of the same things in Elizabeth. It started to scare me.”

Bello and Davis had left before, keeping the baby away from Burman for extended periods, but Davis would return and the couple would reconcile.

When Davis disappeared in November 2017, she didn’t return. Also, Davis was six months pregnant with their second child.

Davis wanted to go to Puerto Rico and work on hurricane recovery, but Burman objected. He had already learned of negative experiences that friends and family had while serving with military humanitarian missions to the island. They described it as looking “like a nuclear bomb dropped on Puerto Rico.”

Burman said he believed it wouldn’t be possible for Davis to receive prenatal care there, and it wasn’t a safe place for their daughter. 

On Nov. 8, 2017, Davis took the baby, the dog and left in the car, Burman said.

“I stayed at the hotel,” Burman testified. “I was gonna let her have her space. I thought she would take a drive and cool down, but she disappeared. I had no vehicle. I was being a stay at home father. I was stranded. “

He told jurors he waited up virtually all night for Davis and the baby to return. He had “passed out” from exhaustion and worry after dawn.

He startled awake when a police officer knocked on the hotel room door, and feared his worry about a possible car crash was true.

The officer wasn’t there about a crash. He was serving papers ordering Burman to appear in a Florida county court.

Davis had filed a domestic abuse complaint — an action that could have ended his plan for a law enforcement career — as well as the wrath of his parents and brother who all are licensed peace officers

Court officials determined the allegation was unfounded, but he was stranded in Florida.

He wouldn’t see his baby daughter for a year, and he missed the birth of his son.

While she was in hiding, Davis changed her name and obtained a new birth certificate for the little girl.

In the affidavit she completed to get that identifying document, Davis gave a different date of birth and claimed she had given birth in a rest area alongside the highway. There was no father listed of this Florida birth certificate.

The new names for the mother-daughter duo proved a challenge to pronounce for the East Texas based witnesses, as well as the U S Marshal who rescued the children in Mobile, Alabama.

(Editor’s note: The small children involved in this trial are not being identified in compliance with the Enterprise’s policy on crime victims unable to speak for themselves.)

Burman returned to his parents home in Livingston and attended the Angelina County Law Enforcement Academy, then joined the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Burman said supervisors at PCSO asked him to explain some negative comments that Dawn Bello about him on social media.

His explanation prompted Capt. Rickie Childers to open an investigation for interfering with child custody on Oct. 11, 2018.

Tara Burman, Kade’s mother, intended to attend the academy at the same time as Kade, but she ultimately decided to focus her efforts on finding her grandchildren. 

It took months, but she ultimately tracked them down — with some assistance from a private investigator — to the hotel room on the I-65 corridor in Mobile, Alabama.

Childers notified the Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force that Davis and the child had been located. 

Inspector Beau Martell took the stand to describe how his team retrieved Burman’s toddler daughter — and the son he and his family had never seen.

Martell said he met with the hotel manager who said he had seen Elizabeth Davis at breakfast on multiple mornings. 

“The primary focus of the mission was the safety of the child,” Martell said. “One member of our team — a female marshal — was tasked with taking physical possession of the child as soon as the door was open,” Martell said. 

The rest of the team would focus on the three adults inside the room — Davis’s brother had also been identified in the room.

The marshals took up a post in a room that was diagonally across the hall from the one Davis and her family occupied.

As agents were lined up on both sides of the door, a member of the hotel staff knocked on the door with fresh towels. When one of the adults stuck out their hands for the towels, marshals grabbed their wrists and pulled them into the hallway.

The team was surprised to see two children inside the room.

Each of the adults were separated and detained for investigative purposes. Davis was arrested on an outstanding Texas warrant.

When Martell asked the adults to identify the baby, they each claimed they didn’t know the child’s legal name, telling Martell they referred to the baby by a nickname.

Martell said he did allow Bello to attempt to soothe the children who were crying in response to the marshal’s surprise appearance.

When he interviewed Davis, she repeatedly provided a different name. 

Martell said he warned Davis about the potential federal penalties for providing a false name to a federal officer, but she provided the false name a second time.

The marshal also told the jury he obtained consent to search Davis’s purse where he found a Colorado driver’s license bearing the name Erin Nicole Simon of Colorado Springs, a debit card, and a Texas driver’s license identifying her as Elizabeth Davis.

When Davis asked to take her passport with her when she was taken into custody, he found what appeared to be authentic passports for the two alternate identities she had been giving to the marshals.

While Capt. Rickie Childers was on the witness stand, he told jurors that providing false information to the Florida Department of Vital Statistics made those identifying documents as forged.

Childers was able to obtain a birth certificate that matched the fake passport obtained for Burman’s daughter.

In obtaining that new birth certificate, Davis claimed the child had been born at a roadside rest area in Florida. In fact, the baby had been born at a Beaumont hospital, where Kade Burman had been present.

The children were temporarily in the custody of the Florida Department of Health and Human Services.

After Florida case workers spoke with investigators at Texas’ Child Protective Services, both children were returned to their father.

Paternity testing performed after the children were returned to Burman determined there was a 99.99 percent probability that Burman was the baby’s father.

Jurors found Davis guilty Tuesday afternoon.

Davis has been in custody at the Polk County jail since Dec. 7, 2018, in lieu of a $100,000 bond. She will complete her six-month sentence in June.

Child custody orders signed by County Court at Law Judge Tom Brown will prevent her from having access to the children, family members say.

19 Daniel Blank

Daniel Blank

Daniel Blank is on death row at the Louisiana State Penitentiary for the horrific murder of six people in Louisiana. He targeted these weathy residents to obtain cash to support his gambling habit.

This story was also featured on “FBI Files.” Watch that episode here.

19 Daniel Blank

00:00 / 32:23

18 The Doctor is Out (of his mind)

Rape charge against doctor rocked the community

By Greg Peak

It was on a cool Wednesday morning in November 1989 when the Livingston community was rocked with the news that a prominent member of its medical community had been arrested in connection with the rape of a 37-year-old Vidor woman.

That day, Dr. William Chester “Bill” Ingram, 41, had been booked into the Polk County Jail and was later released after posting a $25,000 bond on a sexual assault charge.

The arrest occurred on Nov. 8, 1989 after the victim, a pharmaceutical sales representative, pounded on the door of a residence near Ingram’s rural home near Livingston at about 2 a.m. Described as being “in hysterics,” the woman was totally nude and complaining that she had been repeatedly raped.

Ingram was taken into custody later that morning by the Polk County Sheriff’s department, launching a legal battle that would last for the next two decades as the case wound first through the trial stage and then appeal.

The trial, which began in May 1991, was moved to Houston due to Ingram’s prominence in Polk County as well as the pre-trial publicity the case attracted. State District Judge John Martin selected his alma mater, the South Texas School of Law, as the location for the proceeding after granting Ingram’s change of venue request.

When the case went to trial, the charge of sexual assault had been replaced with aggravated kidnapping, which combined the sexual assault with a claim that the victim was held against her will at Ingram’s home.

The case pitted widely-known defense attorney Dick DeGuerin, a protégé of Percy Foreman, against special prosecutor Jan Krocker, who would later be elected as a criminal district judge in Harris County.

During the trial, the defense conceded Ingram and the woman had sexual relations at his home, but argued that it was consensual. DeGuerin told the jury it was only after the woman became concerned her husband might learn of the affair that she panicked and claimed rape.

According to testimony during the trial, the woman had called upon Ingram at his office at about 5 p.m. on Nov. 7, 1989 to discuss the over-the-counter drugs sold by her company, McNeil Consumer Products. When Ingram invited her to dinner, the woman said she agreed, hoping to further develop a professional relationship with the doctor.

The testimony indicated that when Ingram arrived at her motel to pick her up, he said he was just returning from a racquetball match and wanted to go to his home located just outside of Livingston to clean up and change.

Once at his home, the two agreed to eat supper there rather than go out, but when the woman began to feel uncomfortable and asked to be taken back to her motel, things changed. She told the jury that Ingram attacked her, drug her to his bedroom and literally pulled her clothing off her.

While she tried to fight back, the doctor overpowered her and, according to her testimony, he repeatedly raped her over the next five hours. It was only after he fell asleep that she was able to slip away from him, climb over a fence and run to a neighbor’s house for help.

During the trial, which lasted about three weeks, a total of 42 witnesses testified and more than 200 exhibits were admitted into evidence.

On June 5, 1991, the seven-man, five-woman jury deliberated for only three hours before finding Ingram guilty on an aggravated kidnapping charge. Because Ingram had asked that the judge impose the punishment should he be convicted, sentencing was delayed while a pre-sentencing investigation was conducted by the probation department.

Martin would later hand down a 40-year prison term, of which Ingram would serve 24 before being paroled and released from custody in 2016.

Although it was not mentioned during his 1991 trial, the doctor had also been indicted by a Harris County grand jury in April 1991 in connection with a March 1988 incident involving the abduction and attempted rape of another woman in Houston. The district attorney in that case elected not to prosecute Ingram because he was convicted and sentenced to prison in the Polk County abduction and rape case.

After the appeal of his conviction in the Polk County case was rejected, Ingram continued the appeal process seeking to have the Harris County indictment removed from his record. The appeals court in their 2011 ruling also rejected that request.

Texas Rape Shield Law

In this episode, we mentioned the Rape Shield Law, but didn’t explain it well. Here’s take two (courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Resource Service):

Unlike the prior Texas statute, Rule 412 prohibits the use of either reputation or opinion evidence of an alleged rape victim’s past sexual behavior. In addition, Rule 412 includes the crimes of attempted sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault under the rape shield provision. The prior statute did not specifically address attempted rape. The prior statute permitted the use of evidence of specific instances of an alleged victim’s past sexual behavior. Rule 412 prohibits the use of such evidence unless it meets three criteria. Rule 412 also creates a presumption that an alleged rape victim’s past sexual conduct is not admissible unless it meets certain exceptions. 

18 The Doctor is Out (of his mind)
Crime Behind the Pine Curtain

00:00 / 42:46

King faces execution today for Jasper dragging death

We will post updates here for this developing story.

John William King, is set to be executed today for the death of James Byrd Jr. of Jasper in 1998. Texas’ hate crime legislation is named in honor of Byrd.

Execution set for Wednesday in 1998 Jasper hate crime

John William King, one of the three men convicted of the horrific death of James Byrd Jr. of Jasper, has a date with death Wednesday. Barring any a last-minute stay, King will be strapped to a gurney in the execution chamber in the Huntsville unit and given lethal injection.

On Monday, his appeals to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Board of Pardons and Paroles were denied.

Lawrence Ruzzell Brewer was put to death in 2011 and Shawn Berry is serving a life sentence.

The Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear King’s case when the current session opened in October 2018.

Jasper police found the dismembered body of James Byrd on Huff Creek Road in Jasper early Sunday morning, June 7, 1998. His torso, legs and left are were found in front of a church. The rest of his body was found 1.5 miles down the road.

At King’s trial, a forensic pathologist found that Byrd’s injuries were consistent with being dragged by a vehicle by a chain wrapped together by a chain.

Investigators followed the blood trail down the road to an area where it appeared a fight had occurred, court records show.

Police recovered a cigarette lighter engraved with “KKK” and “Possum”; three cigarette butts, a can of “Fix-a-Flat”, a CD, a pack of Marlboro cigarette, beer bottles, a button from Byrd’s shirt, Byrd’s baseball cap and a wrench with the name “Berry” etched in it.

Byrd had been at a party on the night he was killed. He left around 1:30 or 2 a.m., walking alone.

At around 2:30 a.m., an acquaintance saw Byrd pass, riding in the back of a primer-gray pickup truck. Three white men were in the cab.

On Monday morning, a Jasper officer stopped a primer-gray pickup. The driver was Shawn Berry.

In the bed of the truck found tools matching those left at the grassy area. Dried blood splatter was found under the truck and on a tire. DNA testing proved the blood was Byrd’s. 

DNA testing of cigarette butts showed one was King’s.

Other evidence indicated the cigarette lighter belonged to King. Possum was a nickname he had in prison.

The state produced evidence showing that King developed an intense hatred of black people while in prison. He had been released a year before Byrd’s death.

King was the leader of a white-supremacist gang, the Confederate Knights of America.

He had numerous tattoos that featured images popular with white supremacy groups including the Ku Klux Klan.

HE had written letters to friends in prison indicating he planned to make a name for himself and was planning something big for July 4.

A gang expert testified that the location of Byrd’s body, near the church, was intended to spark terror among the black community in Jasper.

In a letter to the Dallas Morning News, King claimed he was innocent. He said Shawn Berry was responsible for Byrd’s death.

King said Berry had dropped off he and Brewer prior to the murder.

The state refuted that by testimony from friends of the trio as well as Byrd’s blood on one of King’s shoes.

During the mandatory appeal, King claimed ineffective assistance of counsel. He said the attorney did not offer evidence that could have provided him an alibi.

The appeals court rejected each of the points of error raised by King’s defense team.

Shawn Allen Berry is serving a life sentence in protective custody at TDCJ’s Ramsey unit. He will have a parole review in 2038. Following the punishment phase of Berry’s trial in 1999, jurors said they did not believe Berry was a continuing threat. 

While it’s likely that this ordeal is likely to come to an end for King on Wednesday, the trauma will continue for Byrd’s family, the Jasper community and East Texas will remain.

17. Lillian Knox Part 3

In 1939, Lillian’s luck ran out.  She’s indicted by a federal grand jury in Shreveport for 11 counts of mail fraud. She was accused of writing 11 phone checks for $1,792 using the alias of Helen Maulin.  Seven of those checks were on banks that didn’t exist., others were written on bogus accounts.  Each of the checks ranged between $5 and $500.

Dallas detectives are shown examining a chest in the home of murder victim Mary Knox. (The Mystery of Lady Bountiful via Master Detective Magazine)

Arthur Temple Jr. told Bowan that in the late ‘30s, she owed Temple’s companies $5,000.  She went to Arthur Temple Sr.’s office and gave him a check much larger than the $5,000 and asked him to give her the difference.  He did and the check bounced. She went to jail after the senior Temple filed charges.  Several members of the Temple family had unnerving experiences with Lillian. 
Henry Temple ran the Diboll operations. He told a story about waking up several mornings and looking outside and saw Lillian walking around his yard, waiting for him to wake up so she could ask him for money. 
In September 1939, Lillian’s youngest child took her own life in Beaumont. The 19-year-old had been deeply affected by her grandmother’s murder. Compound that grief with her distress over breaking up with a boyfriend proved to be too much. 
Lillian was unusually subdued when the appeared in court on Nov. 17, 1939. She changed her plea to guilty. The judge was sympathetic, ordering her to remain in jail for treatment and delayed sentencing. 
She was ultimately sentenced to 5 years in prison and an additional 3 years of probation. She was take to a West Virginia facility for women. 

Lillian Knox in 1939 when she entered a West Virginia women’s reformatory in West Virginia. (The Mystery of Lady Bountiful)

Lillian wrote Henry Temple from prison, asking for gifts for fellow inmates. The items were lipstick, stockings and makeup. Henry complied, mostly out of concern ro what Lillian would do to him when she got out. 
She was released from prison almost a year early, and reportedly only had one disciplinary action during her confinement. 
Now we jump forward to 1957, In March, Chicago attorney Edward J. Barrett is getting a haircut. The barber tells him about an older lady who has been in the Cook County jail for four months on a phony larceny charge.
The barber explains the his friend, Margaret Costello, was being prosecuted under her real name — Lillian Knox. 
He had another friend, Rose K. Moir, the wealthy widow of a owner of a prestigious Chicago hotel. 
Mrs. Moir lived in the hotel and used a wheelchair. She needed around the clock help. A friend of Moir’s had introduced her to Margaret (Lillian), a trained nurse.
Barrett described Margaret/Lillion sa 5-4, 160 pounds, with short straight hear, dyed henna orange, but fading to white.  She had coarse features and spoke with a country twang., but she had a commanding manner and penetrating look. 
Lillian had been arrested in NYC in October 1956 on an Illinois warrant for grand larceny. 
Lillian was accused of making off with $53,000 in bearer bonds belonging to Raise Moir., and perjury for lying in probate court about the location of the bonds. 
She had been in jail for nine months.  Lillian claimed to have received the bonds as a Christmas gift from Rose shortly before her death, but she did not open the gift until after the probate hearings. 
The jail was loud — too loud for Lillian and her lawyer to hear each other, despite being in a booth away from the other offenders. 
She began sending Barrett stacks of letters. Much of it had nothing to do with her case, but Barrett devoured it looking for details that would help her case. She dropped in and out of his life for nine years. 
Here’s what he learned about Lillian and Rose:
After leaving prison, Lillian assume the Margaret Costello alias. She had occasional nursing jobs. She was still strong enough to meet the physical demands of lifting patients.  She mostly lived in inexpensive hotels on the north side of Chicago. 
One of those hotels was owned by Lol McElroy who introduced Margaret/Lilian to Rose and the barber in the morrison hotel where Rose lived. 
Rose was in poor health, but was mentally sharp. 
In July 1952, McElroy called Margaret and said Rose had been “kidnapped” and placed in a suburban mental hospital by her longtime attorney.  Rose called McElroy pleading for help, and she called on Margaret for help. 
Margaret showed up at the lawyers office and using her well-honed powers of persuasion, gets Rose released. 
Margaret and Rose spend two weeks together, with Margaret/Lillian providing around the clock care.  Exhausted, Margaret leaves Rose with a  new practical nurse, and returns to the Castle hotel.  In four or five months, the new nurse leaves and Margaret and McElroy arrange for Rose to enter a nursing home. 
 Rose gets frequent visits from the barber, McElroy and Margaret/Lillian.
Lillian gets a cash windfall when Minton sent her a check in early 1953 for just over $11,000 with “Hemphill property” in the memo line. 
In September, Rose decides the wants to leave the nursing home and asks Marget to move into another apartment hotel with her. They remained there until Rose’s death on December 16, 1953. 
Margaret charged Rose $80 a week to stay with her, and stipulated it had to be in cash.  Rose later raised her pay to $150. 
That money may have been well-earned if there’s any truth to Lillian’s statement that Rose was demanding and incontinent. 
Rose and Margaret received a lot of visitors, including a few from Rose’s adopted son, who was now middle aged and reportedly lived on Skid Row. 
Barrett — one of Bowman’s co-authors — said he has bene on both sides of estate controversies. He believes that the prevalent scam out there was between elderly people and those that care for them. 
Rose’s attorney claimed that Margaret persuaded Rose to sign blank checks to several pre-selected stores in their neighborhood, then Margaret would purchase items Rose needed. 
When Margaret filled out the checks, she fill-in amounts much larger than the purchase and pocketed the difference — and possibly splitting the cash with the merchants. 
Among the purchases was enormous amounts of canned good, which were stacked to the ceiling in Rose’s apartment, 
It’s not surprising that several families in Hemphill began receiving huge boxes of canned goods. 
Although the shipments were a godsend for those Hemphill families, ROse’s lawyer claimed that Lilian received around a quarter million dollars between the canned goods scam and the forgeries. 
It was never clear where all that money went.
Barrett learned that Rose apparently sent Margaret and McElroy to empty her safety deposit box of stocks and bonds  in January 1954. 
When they delivered the stack of bearer bonds to Rose, she got angry and send them back to get stock certificates. 
Then Rose apparently endorsed all stock certificates in blank.  Those securities remained scatter through the apartment among the bartends of food stacked to the ceiling in every room.  She reportedly planned to tear up her will and establish a trust fund for her son. She never gave those instructions to her attorney, tho. 
In November 1954, Rose told McElroy that she gave Margaret enough to live on for the rest of her life.  Margaret also wrote to Barrett, saying that Rose have her two gifts in early Nomber. OOOne a check for $35,000, and detailed how split that money between $20,000 for herself., paid attorney’s fees, send $10,000 to her son in Brazil (but he never got it) and put $10,000 in Kentucky bonds. 
The second gift was a small box and Rose instructed Margeret not to open it until Christmas. 
Rose also reportedly showed Margaret a robe in the box, and wrapped it in brown paper. Supposedly, Lillian didn’t know that $53,000 in bearer bonds were tucked inside the robe. 
Rose died Dec. 16. 
Lillian called attorney Herman Fischer to report the death. 
Fischer found the torn-up will, and saw the cartons of food for the first time. He ordered Lillian out of th those.  She left, but took $200,000 in endorsed stocks to the funeral home.
Only three people attended Rose’s funeral. Her son isn’t one of them. 
Fischer was pointed the administrator to collect for the Moir Estate.  He pursued the missing bonds and other assed with zeal. 
Lillian (as Margaret) was summoned to court to testify about the bonds. She claimed she didn’t have any of Rose’s assets, but no one believed her. 
Then Margaret/Lillian disappeared. 
The court froze all her assets, most of while were held in assumed names. 
Eventually Fischer locates $530,000 in stocks, bonds and government notes.  Margaret eluded police for 22 months.  She adopted a new alias, Hazel Berry, and went to New York City. 
She cashes a few coupons from the bearer bonds she keeps hidden in a locker at Grand Central Station. 
Those coupons lead investigators back to her hotel room at the Woodstock hotel, where she lived with a Greek sailor who had jumped ship. 
Lillian was flown back to Chicago, handcuffed to a female officer. That officer also delivered the remaining bonds to the State Attorney’s office. 
As Barrett dove into Lillian’s defense, he spoke with Rose’s maid Ethel Turner.  She confirmed the christmas present story and said Lillian had provided excellent care for the old woman. 
Lillian’s trial was worthy of a Perry Mason episode.  When the state presented its evidence, they failed to prove that Rose still owned the bonds at the time of her death. Since prosecutors had not proved they had a case, the judge directed the jury to find Lillian not guilty.
So without putting on a single witness, Lillian walked free.  She returned to Lola McElroy’s hotel and resume using the Margaret Costello alias. 
With this legal battle Lillian disappears again.  After her stint in federal prison, she was obsessed with secrecy. 
Barrett had won a $5,000 settlement off for Lillian but he could not contact her. 
He sent letters to her sister and a friend Lillian had mentioned in their conversations. Both went unanswered. 
When Barrett appeared in court and told the judge he couldn’t locate Lillian, the judge ordered the Moir estate to up the offer to $10,000 and gave Barrett 10 days to find his client.  Barretttalked to the son of John Minton, Lillian’s former attorney in Hemphill.  Minton urged Barrett to come to Hemphill.  The two one to the home of Henrietta Green. Green was now a widow, but had once been a member of Lillian’s household staff. 
Barrett described Greens house and spartan, but clean and warm. Despite the fact that the structure was a one room with a dirt floor. 
He also saw cartons of canned goods stacked.  Ms. Green acted as a mail drop for Lillian. Hazel placed mail addressed to Lillian in preaddressed envelopes and sent them on to a Chicago address. 
Barrett found Lillian in a first-floor apartment with a middle-aged couple. Lillian was their nurse. 
In the corner, cartons of canned goods were stacked. Lillian signed the release that would allow Barrett to accept the $10,000 settlement. 
Then Lillian told Barrett she wanted to sue Chester Collins, but should couldn’t define the grounds for a lawsuit, so it wasn’t filed.. 
That inability to gather her thoughts grew into greater cogiitive issues.  When she visited her children they reported strange behavior. Hiram and his wife took turns staying up when Lillian was in their home. 
Her grandson, Mark Knox described some strange incidents during a 1963 visit at their San Antonio home.  “She locked herself in Mark’s room, eating peanut putter and watermelon. She spit the seeds, and some stuck to the wall.  Mark also said she stuffed some of the seed in a large pair of ladies’ panties and hid them behind his dresser. 
BeforeHiram died he gave a video interview.  He declined to talk about his grandmother’s death, but said he had forgiven his mother for most of her misdeeds.  One of the most painful of those was the theft of his A&M memoriabilia, including his senior boots. 
“When Geraldo Rivera was opening the Al Capone vault on TV in Chicago, I expected to find some old Knox belongings. 
ON the 80th anniversary of Lillian’s husband Hiram’s death in Hemphill, there were fear reminders of the couple that ran the multi-million dollar lumber empire.    “Lady Bountiful” died in 1966 of heart disease while living in the Kankakee State Hospital, south of Chicago. None of her family members were present and she was buried in the hospital’s weed-choked graveyard.  
There once was a numbered post marking grave # 4608, but even that had disappeared by the time  Bowman wrote his book. 

Chester Collins became one of Texas’ most famous criminal defense attorneys in the 1930s.He moved to Fort Worth in 1927 after successfully defending the Rev. J. Frank Norris, a fundamentalist Baptist preacher.Norris was charged with shooting D. C. Chipps, a friend of Fort Worth Mayor H. C. Meacham.   Collins employed some of the same methods used in Lillian Knox’s hearing in Hemphill. Norris was acquitted after jurors determined the act was self-defense.In the 1960s, Lillian told others she blamed Collins for the downfall of Knox Lumber Company. When the treasury department got after the Knoxes for taxes, she said Collins wasn’t aggressive enough in protecting their interests … “Because I quit him,” she added. “My good husband could not endure the heartache.”As she grew older, she claimed Collins had a “fine legal brain.” But she quickly added, “he tried to kill me twice.”
Eck Prud’homme worked for Temple and often acted as Lilian’s messenger boy.In the 1920s, Collins’ wife, Cloe Mantooth Collins, asked Prud’homme to deliver a message to Collins at the Knox home.He found Collins sprawled out on a feather bed on a large sleeping porch. Collins was wearing silk pajamas.Another of Collins’ friends said he was a ladies man who woe $1,200 suits.There’s no documents that show Lillian was ever married to Collins, but common law marriages were common in early East Texas.Their relationship certainly caused friction with Chloe, and she and Collins divorced.But before the split, Chloe took aim at a full-length portrait of Chester Collins that Lillian had commissioned from a Kansas city artist.She fired a series of shots from her pistol that outlined Chester’s body in the painting.Chloe died in 1958, but Chester still visited her grave. By the middle of 2000, all of Lillian’s children were dead. 

Young Willie Knox is shown with a friend before his death in 1911. Merton Knox family photo | Mystery of Lady Bountiful

  • William Hiram “Bill” Knox

Retired Air Force paratrooperDied in Houston June 14, 1986. 
• His twin brother John died in 1912  at 3 months old. 
• Lillian and Grace, another set of twins born in 1913 supposedly died in 1914, on the same day, but the details are unknown. 
L. Marcene “Mark” Knox — died in Houston in the 1980s. Served in the Army during WWII. Reportedly the military mayor of Stuttgart. 
Mary Lillian Knox aka Sister Mary Clement Knox died in a Shreveport convent Jan. 25, 1988. 
Hiram William Ambrose Knox — died July 12, 2000 in Auburn, Calif. one month short of his 90th birthday. 


Manhunt underway in Trinity

Justin Hanson is wanted for aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful possession of a firearm and evading arrest. If you see Jason, call 911. Officers consider him armed and dangerous.

UPDATE: 12:25 p.m.

Just spoke with Trinity County Chief Deputy Tommy Parks … the warrants for kidnapping and aggravated assault stem from an altercation Hanson had with his former girlfriend. Witnesses saw him force her into his vehicle. He drove her around the Glendale area and struck her several times, including one blow with a flashlight to her head that caused significant injury. Hanson then returned to a store in Trinity and went inside for a drink. Once he was out of sight, the victim jumped from the car and escaped. She reported the incident to law enforcement. Parks said Hanson uses meth frequently and is considered armed and dangerous. Call 911 if you see him.

Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace, Trinity Police Chief Steven Jones and other law enforcement officials are in the second day of a manhunt for Justin Hanson.

Wallace said in a live video posted to his Facebook page that Hanson has been binging on meth for several days.

Jones reported that Investigator Cole was checking locations in the Trinity area looking for Hanson in connection with a reported kidnapping and aggravated assault. Details on that offense were not immediately available. We will share those as soon as we learn more about that incident.

During that initial search, Jones said another male caught sight of Cole and immediately fled.

“Running at the mere sight of a police officer creates reasonable suspicion and probable cause,” Jones explained.

The fleeing man fled to a location where Hanson was hiding, Jones said. When the second suspect entered that location, Hanson took flight.

Wallace said Hanson was wearing blue jeans and a red tank top at that time. He was believed to be in the Milltown area of Trinity, but he also listed Trinlady Park Road and little Mexico as possible areas where Hanson could be hiding.

Officers found one suspect hiding behind a door in an abandoned church. Jones also recovered a handgun that officials believe was in Hanson’s possession, but they report he could have other firearms.

On Thursday, Wallace advised residents to be cautious and avoid allowing children or other vulnerable residence to be outside.

If you see Hanson or someone who appears to be Hanson, call 911. Do not attempt to detain him yourself.

Watch Wallace’s video here: https://www.facebook.com/TrinityCountySheriff/videos/2111958305693320/

Bank robber nabbed during cab ride to liquor store

LIVINGSTON — A local man is in custody after reportedly walking into First National Bank’s downtown location at 11:36 a.m. Monday and passing a note to a teller demanding money.

Thomas Stewart Holcomb, 34, of Livingston was being booked into the Polk County Jail Monday after the robbery and attempting what was described as a unique getaway.

20 Dennise Hayslip and Darren Cain

After a double murder in Tomball, two Harris County juries sentenced Charles Victor Thompson to death by lethal injection.

That sentence triggers a series of automatic appeals, and when Thompson was taken to the Harris County courthouse, he managed to walk away from the Harris County jail and elude capture for four days.

20 Dennise Hayslip and Darren Cain
Crime Behind the Pine Curtain

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