New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 18, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Grand jury investigates Lucas confessions
WACO (AP) - After already spending nearly four hours before a special grand jury, Henry Lee Lucas faced more scrutiny into whether his claims to hundreds of murders are true.
Jurors summoned the self-professed mass Idler behind closed doors Wednesday as Attorney General Jim Mattox tried to lay the foundation for a statewide investigation into the drifter’s confessions.
The Waco probe was prompted by Lucas’ confession to the 1981 murder of Dorothy Collins at a time when officers believed another suspect was on the verge of confessing, authorities said. Lucas was expected to return for more testimony before the grand jury today.
With Mattox’ assistance, the Mcl>ennan County grand jury is also looking into Lucas’ confession to the 1977 killing of Glen Parks.
Mattox said Wednesday that one of his greatest concerns is how Lucas knew enough facts to convince law enforcement officers that he com
mitted hundreds of slaying.
“There’s two ways you can get information about a crime,” Mattox said. “You either committed it or ... someone has been given the information.”
Mattox said that any number of law enforcement agencies could have been responsible for “tipping him off.”
Nationwide, authorities closed the books on 210 murders because of Lucas’ confessions.
Mattox declined to speculate on the number of killings that Lucas may have lied about, but he added that “I think there are a number of crimes that he has confessed to that he clearly could not have committed.
“The inconsistencies indicate that there are murderers that are still on the loose,” he said.
Lucas, 48, was quoted earlier this week as saying he committed only three of the as many as 600 murders he has claimed. He says he was trying to embarrass authorities with the exaggerations.
Bexar law officials still suspect Lucas
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Henry Lee Lucas’ recall of details surrounding six Bexar County slayings is too accurate to dismiss, sheriff’s officials say.
Authorities say they are so convinced Lucas was telling the truth about his involvement in the slayings, they plan to question him about four other unsolved Bexar County killings.
The one-eyed drifter confessed to the six slayings on a visit to San Antonio three weeks ago. He has said he is responsible for hundreds of other killings nationwide.
However, the Dallas Times Herald reported this week that Lucas now claims he killed only three people. The newspaper said Lucas claims he lied about the other slayings to make police look bad.
“Just because the newspapers print stories, there is no reason to discount one or more murders,” said Joe Davis, executive administrator to Sheriff Harlon Copeland.
On his trip to San Antonio, authorities say Lucas admitted killing Nancy Freese Dec. 17,1976;
Linda Hopwood April 27,1977; Elsa Gonzales July 31, 1977; and Kathryn O’Conner July 27,1979.
He also said he was involved in the slaying of western nightclub owner Bobbie Lee Barker and the woman’s maid Frances Machado on Sept. 23,1982.
Investigators said Lucas led them to the locations where the bodies of Ms. Hopwood, Ms. Gonzales, Ms. O’Conner, Ms. Barker and Ms. Machado were discovered. He led them to a spot in a wooded area near where the body of Ms. Freese was found.
“Everything the man said points to the fact that he was there during the times the killings occurred in Bexar County,” Davis said.
The Times Herald also reported Lucas was hitchhiking on the west coast the day before the Barker slaying.
The newspaper said Lucas was tracked next to Oklahoma City two days later.
John Wood, criminal investigations administrator for the sheriff, said the newspaper is wrong.
Houston teachers could get bonuses
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston school officials say they are working on a plan to offer bonuses of up to $10,500 to teachers in the district’s 45 low-income schools.
But a teachers’ union said district officials are “playing games” with instructors.
Superintendent Billy Reagan of the Houston Independent School District said administrators are drafting a plan to tie federal money with an existing bonus program known as the Second Mile Plan.
Under the Second Mile Plan, teachers can earn an extra $1,500 a year if they work in a low-income area or teach in a high-demand field like bilingual education.
The proposal now under consideration would increase the bonus in schools that qualify for federal aid to the disadvantaged. Some 45 Houston schools now are in that category.
Reagan refused Tuesday to disclose other details of the plan, although he said the proposal should be completed by next week.
However, Gayle Fallon, head of the American Federation of Teachers, accused the school district of
“playing games” when teacher salaries should be raised overall.
“First they say there’s no money in the budget for a raise,” Ms. Fallon said. “Now they’re going to get $10,000 bonuses for some teachers.” Any proposal would need to be approved by the Texas Education Agency, which controls disbursement of federal money to Texas schools. Houston public schools are eligible for about $17 million in federal money next year.
Meanwhile, some teachers said the bonus would be welcome.
Margaret Wisdom, executive director of the Congress of Houston Teachers, said the extra money could provide incentives for teachers to remain in the more difficult schools.
“Some of those schools are combat zones,” she said. “Money seems to be the only solution to keep them from burning out.”
But Deborah Walker said money is not what motivated her to work in a low-income school.
“It’s more challenging to teach an underprivileged child labeled a ‘can’t do,’ ” said Ms. Walker, who teaches third grade at Anson Jones Elementary on Houston’s east side.Former school records clerk sentenced in child pornography
AUSTIN (AP) — A jury has recommended a $5,000 fine and 10-year prison term for a 44-year-old former school records clerk convicted of copying and distributing child pornography.
The sentenced for David Sonen-schein was the toughest the state district court jury could have recommended for the third-degree
felony of promoting sexual performance by a child.
State District Judge Jon Wisser set formal sentencing for Sonen-schein April 29. Sonens-chein will remain free until sentencing, and if his attorneys file notice of an appeal — which they vowed to do — Sonen-schein is likely to remain free until his appeal is heard.
The jury' decided took less than an hour Wednesday to decide that Sonen-schein was guilty of duplicating child pornography for a 44-year-old Houston man convicted previously of aggravated sexual assault for molesting a 44-month-old infant.
David Woodruff of Houston testified Tuesday that he, Sonen-
schein and William Rust Norris of Austin frequently exchanged child pornography. Norris was sentenced earlier this year to IO years in prison after pleading guilty to taking pornographic pictures of a child.
Woodruff testified that Sonen-schein took him to the school district office on a Sunday to copy five magazines that he had borrowed
First woman named to staff ofA&M corps
COLLEGE STATION (AP) — A woman has been named to the the Texas AAM Corps of Cadets staff for the first time in the wake of a court decree banning the Aggie's no-women rules, school officials say.
Mandy Schubert, 19, was selected as administrative sergeant entirely on her merits — not as a token woman. Corps Commandant Donald Burton said Wednesday.
Burton said the corps is complying with a consent decree, approved in January by U.S. District Judge Ross Sterling, that requires the AAM corps to admit women to all organizations, including the all-male Texas Aggie Band But the consent decree had nothing to do with Ms. Schubert's selection, Burton said.
“Mandy's selection was not a surprise.” he said. “She had a good interv iew and she has earned a good reputation. . She’s got all the requirements for the job."
The Houston sophomore majoring in business analysis is academically among among the top 3 percent of all sophomore cadets, Burton said. She and six other sophomores were selected from a pool of about IOO applicants.
As administrative sergeant, Ms. Schubert will handle corps communications, keep minutes of corps meetings and serve as assistant for the March to the Brazos Committee, which raises money each year for charitable causes.
Ms Schubert said her father, 1959 AAM graduate Rudy Schubert, held a corps staff position and “never dreamed that women would be selected for the staff.”
But Ms. Schubert says she expects some of her fellow cadets to regard any woman’s promotion with suspicion, especially so soon after the consent decree.
“Some people will think that we’re token females,” she said “But that would have happened anyway, even w ithout the Zentgraf suit.”
Melanic Zentgraf, then an AAM cadet, filed suit against AAM in 1979, claiming that women had been barred from participation in some corps activities.
Houston woman honored for
HOUSTON (AP) — Pauline Waldrop once had so many children that she bought fabnc by the bolt to make all their diapers.
Pauline’s babies” all have grown, but now they bnng their own children to visit the 78-year-old Houston woman.
Mrs Waldrop began caring for foster children referred to her by DePelchin Children’s Center in 1963. She was “mom” for 726 children before retiring last year.
On Wednesday, she was honored by the Houston Ser-toma Cub with the agency’s Service to Mankind Award.
Most of the children — ranging in age from 3 days to teen-agers — stayed until they were put up for adoption. But in some cases the stay could have been until the infants reached the age of 3.
Two of the children who came as babies remained with her until they were 17 and joined the armed services.
“I used to buy cloth by the bolt, and we d cut it in different sizes and make diapers,” she says.
She and her husband, Clyde, began the foster home effort in 1933 because they had no children of their own. When her machinist husband died in 1942, she continued her work.
At the most crowded time, the woman’s single-story frame house in Houston was home for nine children. No adults were around to help her and the older children assisted with caring for the youngsters, she says.
Once everyone went to bed for the night, she'd boil formula for the next day and wash diapers. She made soup from vegetables she grew in a backyard garden.
DePelchin could pay her only a modest sum for her work, so some of the children wore hand-me-downs and she sewed outfits for others. But she says the children were well received by other neighborhood children and their neat appearance drew praise from members of Bethany Lutheran Church, where she took them every’ Sunday.
DePelchin spokeswoman Melanie Muskopf describes Mrs. Waldrop as the last of a breed, since state regulations now limit foster families to six children. Also, DePelchin Children’s Center has only 95 foster children currently and IOO homes eligible for foster care.
The Sertoma Club, which is an acronym for Service To Mankind, also has nominated Mrs. Waldrop for a national service award.
Hightower — Texans can learn much from Israeli irrigation
JSTIN (AP) — Texas farmers d be learning a lot about ;ation of arid lands from their eli counterparts under a new *ement between that nation and state, Agriculture Commissioner Hightower says.
srael’s a good IO, 15 years ahead s in having addressed their water Is in agriculture, so we have lething to learn there,” Mower said.
rhey have the technology.
y’re willing to share that with
he agreement was signed Wed-lay by Hightower and Abraham z-Oz, a member of Israeli’s Liament and that nation’s deputy iculture minister. he pact calls for a Texas-Israel change committee, composed of Texas and Israeli civic and icultural leaders, to work jointly projects from which both sides benefit.
Hightower said he expects the projects to include swaps of information and technology on water use, marketing, processing of farm products, energy and research data. Direct trade links also may be established through the program, he said.
Israel and parts of Texas have similar climates and similar water shortage problems, said Hightower, who visited that country last year.
The Israelis have developed drip irrigation techniques for arid areas, as well as methods for irrigating with salt water and using city wastewater for irrigation, he said.
“Water is one area that we’ve found we have a very logical connection in,” Hightower said.
“We also definitely are going to see some crop research projects. We’re going to discuss trade possibilities. We are interested in talking about grain shipments to Israel and the possibility of some beef (export)
Sonen-schein was fired from his job as a records clerk for the Austin Independent School District last summer after he was accused of using a district word processor to write a pamphlet called “How To Have Sex with Kids.” The pamphlet included detailed instructions on how to seduce and molest children.
Sonen-schem faces a separate misdemeanor obscenity charge rn connection with the pamphlet, which Austin authorities said was
distributed to pedophiles nationwide.
Terry Keel, an assistant Travis County district attorney, praised the jury ’s recommendation on punishment.
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potential in there,” he added.
Katz-Oz made a three-day tour this week of Texas agricultural areas — including Hereford, Lubbock, Littlefield, Weslaco, Harlingen, San Antonio and the LBJ Ranch at Stonewall.
He said he was impressed by what he found and predicted that Israel will be very interested in woiking with Texas agricultural researchers.
“You have here very good people, especially in the research field. I hope we will be able to learn a lot from your people in the universities and the field, too,” Katz-Oz said.
“Some of your citrus research is very, very good. We didn’t know how we were beaten in the grapefruit market in Europe. Now, I understand,” he added.
The Israeli official said his country considered the Texas connection a significant one.
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