Waco might not get away with it.
So far it has been impossible to know exactly what all it is that Waco has spent the last 83 days hiding because that’s the nature of official secrecy in an institutionally corrupt Dogpatch run by Jack S. Phogbound.
For the last 83 days Waco has been hiding something, maybe many things, about the Twin Peaks Massacre last May 17. For the last 83 days the case has been a black barrel full of question marks.
Right out of the gate, it certainly seems obvious as sunrise that the Waco Police, the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department knew what might happen in advance and either encouraged or failed to prevent an apparent ambush of a dozen or so Bandidos by some unknown number of Cossacks. Or vice versa. It is obvious that the cops knew in advance because they erected pole cameras around the crime scene before the crimes happened. And then after the crimes happened they kept the video evidence secret. And that has led to speculation that has been at best informed and at worst half baked.
One recurring version of what happened, popularized by the Washington Post and the Houston Chronicle, is that the Bandidos came in hot while the Cossacks greeted them as Samoset and Squanto greeted the Pilgrims. Then there was some shooting by somebody and nine men were killed and at least 18 were wounded. All of this bloodshed was recorded by dozens of dash cams, security cams, body cams and cell phone cams as well as the pole cams and most of that footage remains officially secret.
The Post/Chronicle version is that the Bandidos lit the Cossacks up. According to the Post/Chronicle, Cossacks named “Richie” “then Diesel, then Dog” died. An alternative version argues that between seven and a dozen Bandidos were “surrounded and attacked before they could get off their bikes or turn off their ignitions” A Bandido named Manny “Candyman” Rodriguez was “shot first as punches were thrown beside him.” In that version someone “reached over the shoulder of a Cossack” and shot Rodriguez “in the head at point blank range.” In that alternative version, unpublished by the Post or Chronicle, Rodriguez was the first man to die.
Virtually none of the forensic evidence has yet been released. So, it is impossible to know if Rodriguez, or Cossacks Richard Matthew “Richie” Jordan II, Danny “Diesel” Boyett or Charles Wayne “Dog” Russell died the way they have been reported to have died. Or if, say, the police killed them.
Immediately after the bloodbath, officials from all seven of the police forces listed above rounded up all the witnesses, seized their vehicles and their cellphones and sealed the crime scene and the area around the crime scene for days. Then the witnesses were intimidated with million dollar bonds and further punished. According to the Post/Chronicle account, Jordan’s stepfather, a Cossack officer named Owen “Big O” Reeves was invited by a Bandido to bring many hungry Cossacks to the Twin Peaks that Sunday for a peace powwow and brunch. The same account portrays Reeves as an instigator of the fight between members of the two clubs. A single source told The Aging Rebel in May that Reeves, “when in jail, attempted to say he was undercover.” There have been impossible to refute accounts that undercover lawmen and contract employees were there and in biker costume when the bloodshed started.
Of course everyone’s good name, including Reeves, could be cleared if only Waco, state and federal officials weren’t so actively engaged in suppressing and potentially destroying evidence and spinning the story to their own advantage. Nobody in Waco seems to give a damn about justice.
Defense attorneys have tried a couple of strategies to get a look at the actual evidence in the case – the many videos, the autopsies and the forensic evidence. Dallas attorney Clint Broden, for example, subpoenaed video from both the Twin Peaks restaurant and the Don Carlos restaurant on the other side of the parking lot. A Waco judge named Matt Johnson couldn’t find a reason to quash the subpoenas but he did slap Broden and his client, a Scimitar Motorcycle Club member named Matthew Clendennen, with a gag order on June 30.
The McLennan County District Attorney, Abelino “Abel” Reyna had been threatening for weeks to gag defense attorneys who made too much noise. Some lawyers became quiet as little mice but not all. When Broden refused to sit down and shut up Reyna asked his former law partner, Judge Johnson, to silence him. Since this was Waco, Johnson did. Johnson didn’t do it to ensure fair trials for the 177 defendants in the case. He did it as part of a concerted effort to continue to hide whatever it is that everybody in Waco has been hiding for almost three months. Ask Richard Nixon how that worked out for him.
Broden and the attorneys for 16 additional defendants requested what Texas calls “examining trials” for their clients. Examining trials are strategically important for defenders in Texas because they allow attorneys an early look at aome of the evidence. Prosecutors must either “discover” evidence to the accused or let him go. A judge or magistrate decides how much evidence is enough but when the examining trials start there is an excellent chance that at least some of Waco’s secrets will be revealed.
A buffoonish justice of the peace named Walter H. “Pete” Peterson illegally signed the original arrest warrants for the witnesses who were jailed after the Twin Peaks Massacre. Peterson’s conduct was so blatantly illegal that Waco hired him a lawyer But Peterson still planned to preside over all the examining trials – except Clendennen’s because Broden successfully sued to stop that.
This Morning’s News
This morning the official censorship in Waco began to falter. First an appeals court told Judge Johnson to lift the gag order on Broden and Clendennen. The higher court told Johnson he could stall for another week but then Broden and Clendennen must be allowed to talk about the case. Almost simultaneously Peterson announced that he had “changed his mind” and would no longer preside over any of the examining trials. A retired judge named James E. Morgan will decide what evidence the defense attorneys can see.
Nothing really changed today. Broden still can’t speak and 177 people have still been extrajudicially punished for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
What happened today was a reaffirmation that all of the United States of America, even Texas, even Waco is a part of a nation governed by law, not by corrupt nepotism. Implicit in the ongoing official coverup is the undeniable notion that Waco has had something to hide. As the examining trials unfold America might begin to glimpse what that is. Clint Broden can finally begin to tell the country what he thinks Waco has been hiding sometime next week.
Eventually the secrets that have been hidden and the lies that have been told might be exposed.