2 Convicts Boast to Police of Crime Wave in Texas (Published 1974) (2024)

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2 Convicts Boast to Police of Crime Wave in Texas (Published 1974) (1)

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August 28, 1974

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This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.

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STEPHENVILLE, Tex., Aug. 27 (UPI)—At the end of a Colorado‐to‐Texas wave of murder, revenge and rape, two surviving convicts were described today as having boasted to the police that they stalked, then executed two persons to settle grudges and planned to slip into Mexico to live as soldiers of fortune.

Alerted by the yelping of guard dogs at a rural home last night, a police posse trapped the trio of prison escapees, killing one and capturing two.

The authorities said one of the surviving convicts had said he was not sorry for the four days and 1,000 miles of violence. The inmate killed by the police was said to have cursed at them until he died face down in the rain and mud.

Jerry Ben Ulmer, 22 years old, a convicted murderer, and Dalton Williams, 29, guilty of armed robbery and assault, were jailed in Stephenville. The dead convict was Richard Mangum, 22, who had been sintenced for “joy riding” in a stolen car. All escaped from the Colorado State, Penitentiary at Canon City Thursday night.

The convicts, surrounded in the rolling mesquite hills by 300 law officers, had bolted from behind an unoccupied farm home. On a rural road, a stakeout of four police officers heard the baying of two dogs.

Police Opened Fire

“When the dogs started barking we jumped out of the patrol car,” Patrolman Larry Trail said, “We hit them with the spotlight and commanded them to stop. We commanded them to halt. They did not halt. We opened fire.

Mr. Magnum stumbled dead, shot in the head. Mr. Ulmer sprained an ankle and Mr. Williams was unhurt. They had ducked behind a hedge but dropped their rifles and walked toward the patrol car with their hands up.

In statements to the police, Mr. Ulmer and Mr. Williams were said to have boasted of killing T. L. Baker, 64, a rancher, at Rotan, Tex., and Lena Ott, wife of a Gordon, Tex., farmer. The rural Texans had supplied crucial evidence that led to the previous conviction of the inmates.

The two surviving convicts were charged by state officials with the Ott slaying and held in the Erath County jail. They were expected to be transferred to Dallas by United States marshals and he arraigned on Federal charges. Under the new Texcas penal code, they could be sentenced to death for commuting a murder during a prison escape.

At a sunrise news conference, Bob Glasgow, Erath County District Attorney, described how Mr. Williams stalked Mr. Baker at dawn Saturday.

“He and Jerry Ben Crawled up to a position 35 or 40 yards in the grass in front of the residence of T. L. Baker,” Mr. Glasgow said. “Mr. Baker came out of the house and Williams shot him four times with a .308 Magnum rifle, and after he shot him, he went up to the porch where he lay, looked at him and asked him if he recognized him.

“His statement was, ‘Mr. Baker, Ito you recognize me?’” the District Attorney said of Mr. Williams. “He indicated Mr. Ba ker nodded his head, and dams said, ‘I want you to knowl why I killed your I told you I was going to do it.’”

“There was a dog there, licking Mr. Baker's face,” the District Attorney said of the dying rancher. Jerry Ben Ulmer shot the dog.”

The convicts told the police that they had driven 150 miles east to Gordon and the Ott farmhouse, blasting through the door with a .12‐gauge shotgun and injuring Mr. Ott. In their statement, Mr. Williams and Mr, Ulmer said, according to the police, that they held the farm couple and their daughter at gunpoint while they ransacked the house for more weapons. They then killed Mrs. Ott, the authorities said.

During part of the spree, the district attorney said, the convicts came upon t'wo unfortunate young ladies who happened to be parked by the side of the road” near Alamagordo. N.M. The convicts forced the women to have sexual interocurse with them, Mr. Glasgow said, and threatened to kill them if they refused. The women were released later near Graham, Tex.

The two surviving convicts told the police they had escaped from the Colorado prison by putting dummies in their beds and using hacksaw blades to cut open a tool chest where they hid until dark and the guards were changed. They climbed over a rock wall and two fences to freedom, stole a car and headed south from Colorade, into New Mexico and across Texas.

They stole and abandoned various vehicles, burglarized stores and homes for guns, food and clothes and randomly fired shotguns at persons who got in their way, the police said.

“Throughout this, Jerry Ben Ulrner denied that he would be caught to this day fit wasn't for the dudes with him,” Mr. Glasgow said.

6 Held in 6 Deaths

HOUSTON, Aug. 27 (UPI)—Six members of a burglarymurder ring who showed “no remorse whatsoever” were charged today with killing at least six persons in the last two months. Two of the suspects said they committed the murders “for kicks” and were not bothered by the crimes.

In a news conference requested by four of the suspects, the men told reporters they could only be “burned once” and had turned to robbing and killing because “living don't come easy out there.”

Assistant District Attorney George Karam said capital murder charges had been filed in four of the deaths, and declared: “I can't Blink of a more deserving bunch for the'electric chair. They were pretty cold, pretty callous. They showed no remorse whatsoever. They would rob them and kill them if they got the urge. Most of the time they killed their victims to hid their identities.”

Saenz and Mr. Moya, did attend the news conference. Charged with murder were Richard Vargas, 23 years old; his sister, Emily Vargas Saenz, 20; Joe Louis, 24; Angel Fuentes, 21; Ernest Moya, 34, and Bernardino Sierra, 25, all of Houston. Two of the uspects, Mrs. Saenz and Mr. Moya, did not attend the news confeence.

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2 Convicts Boast to Police of Crime Wave in Texas (Published 1974) (2024)

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