A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
To the editor: I just wanted to take a few moments to write to tell you folks how much I enjoyed your last two issues. Your main articles are what caught my eye. The “Maddog in Winter” article (Aug. 8, 2002) about Jay Milner I found quite interesting. He sounds like quite a character. He ran in the same circles as us, so I may have even met him and not known it. Also, while reading the article I noticed several mental landmarks, such as the Iconoclast underground newspaper, which was probably the area’s logical steppingstone between Dallas Notes and Buddy Magazine.
I also noticed mention of the North Dallas nightclub, The Western Place. I do actually remember Willie Nelson playing there a few times. My old band the Know 1’s used to play there occasionally, opening or backing up touring acts — B.B. King, jazz vibist Gary Burton, and Danny Flowers, who went on to write hits for Don Williams, Eric Clapton, and J.J. Cale. Mr. Milner seems to be fairly happy and a survivor. So many from that time period are bitter burnouts.
Secondly, I was really taken with the “Peter Feresten’s Fort Worth” article (Aug. 15, 2002). It certainly brought back memories of my own, especially after seeing the photo of Big Ronnie Bivens. My previous band, The Easterbunny Fuckers (after the Know 1’s) often backed up Big Ronnie, Wes Guitar, U.P. Wilson, and C.B. Scott at clubs like The Hop (now the Aardvark), Blossom’s Downstairs, Tack’s Funhouse, and the New Bluebird Inn.
One particular night comes to mind when Kim Wilson (of The Fabulous Thunderbirds), Delbert McClinton, Robert Ealey, and members of the LeRoi Brothers and The Telephones showed up for a night of supersonic jamming. It was wild!
Looking at Mr. Feresten’s pictures reminded me of the places where my old friends hung out, got drunk, got shot, got sober, or found God. I’ve probably been in some of those places mentioned. The article reminded me of our old gigs at such long-gone hideouts as Harlow, the Hungry I, the Speakeasy, the Cellar Club, the Zodiac, and the Blue Beacon Ballroom.
Whereas Robert Ealey could sometimes wear on you with his jive-talk-at-warp-5, Big Ronnie was a big ol’ teddy bear. A giant, but one of the nicest sweetest buddies you could have.
After reading about Mr. Feresten and Mr. Milner, one wants to check out more of their work. I’d encourage others to do the same. I would imagine there are a lot more stories to tell.
Well written. Well told. A job well done. Thanks for stirring up some fun and happy memories. Keep writing and keep rockin’.
To the editor: Although I am not a resident of Fort Worth, I have been reading with great interest and concern the articles in Fort Worth Weekly and the Star-Telegram concerning the Carla Walker rape and murder. The article titled “Murder and Obsession” (April 25, 2002) by Jeff Prince was particularly interesting because of the excellent interview with John Terrell, the retired Fort Worth detective who is not letting go of this case. Bravo, Mr. Terrell! And bravo, Mr. Prince, for following up on this horrible crime and the tenacious detective who, although retired, is determined to put the guilty party behind bars for the rest of his life. What puzzles me is why the Fort Worth Police Department is so determined not to take seriously Mr. Terrell’s theories concerning this case and others.
I located Mr. Terrell’s e-mail address and contacted him to express my concerns about the Carla Walker case and other unsolved cases. I was a journalist in the 1960s, and that case piques my journalistic curiosity. When I asked him why he believed so strongly that William Ted Wilhoit is guilty, he gave me 10 good reasons, including descriptions given of the attacker by various witnesses, Wilhoit’s own statements to Terrell and others, his failure to pass a polygraph test, and the fact that, shortly before the crime, he had stolen several weapons similar to the one used in the murder.
I don’t like to nag public officials, but every so often I find it necessary to get on the “soap box.” Fort Worth police have referred to Mr. Terrell as a nut case. Excuse me, but if that’s so, then one of the qualifications to work for the Fort Worth Police Department should be “must be a nut case.”
Wilhoit, in prison on an unrelated rape charge, is scheduled for release in January. That’s three months away. Please urge your police department to work with Mr. Terrell on the Walker case, and let’s keep this maniac behind bars so other young women will not suffer at his hands.
Something else that piques my curiosity is why Police Chief Ralph Mendoza is so reluctant to organize a cold-case unit. He says his department doesn’t need a separate unit to work on unsolved murders. If so, then why are there so many unsolved cases? The citizens of Fort Worth need to insist that a cold-case unit be formed. The city of 750 unsolved murders needs one team of detectives to work on current crimes and another to solve those that have been on the back burner for too many years. I read that a sergeant — one person — was transferred to the homicide division to review old cases, decide which ones should be studied again, and assign them to one of 11 detectives for review along with new cases. How can one person be expected to do this and do it well? That’s why there are 750 unsolved rapes/murders and the number will increase.
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