Estes Has Recanted, Dickson Implies Austin The clock of a political time bomb may have been wound and set here Monday when Austin attorney Fagan Dickson, state finance co-chairman of the Yarborough campaign, released a written statement to the press that he understood that Billy Sol Estes had made a statement on his $50,000 charge against Yarborough that “if released would further support the F.B.I. investigation and report that cleared Senator Yarborough but be damaging to a number of others.” Two days later, for the first time Jimmy Banks in the Dallas News asserted that “Estes had signed a sworn affidavit that the amount involved was $50,000.” Banks did not say When he understood Estes to have signed such an affidavit. Dickson would not specify the basis of his understanding, would not go beyond his written statement in representing the contents of the statement he said Estes had made, and would not say to whom he understood the statement was made or in what form. Dickson said: “It is my understanding that Mr. Billie Sol Estes came to Austin last Thursday, September 24th, 1964, to make a clean breast of the charge that he gave Senator Yarborough $50,000.00 on November 6th, 1960, in Pecos, Texas. He made a full statement of the facts. His statement if released would further support’ the F.B.I. investigation and report that cleared Senator Yarborough but be damaging to a number of others, including those who met with Mr. Estes in a Dallas motel during the later part of March, 1964, to rig and pay for the lie. Those attending included a person from Dallas [here the statement states this Dallas person was closely asso ciated with another person who is named Ed.] and an Austinite, a former Democrat turned Republican, who is now campaigning for Mr. George Bush. . . . “While in Austin Mr.. Estes was prevailed upon not to give an interview at this time. I cannot reveal any more now without violating my pledge to friends who gave me the information in confidence. Fagan Dickson” From Dickson’s wording it may be inferred that there is a possibility of further disclosures and that at least part of the intention of Dickson’s statement is to convince and advise alL those concerned that Estes has recanted and has given details. The Observer placed several telephone calls to Estes’ home in Abilene, but Estes did not come to the phone and has not returned the calls. At a press conference Tuesday, Gov. John Connally said that he did not know anything about Estes having made such a statement and that if Estes had done so, no state official knew about it, to the governor’s knowledge. Connally also chose this occasion to assert that the Department of Public Safety, which he said has been investigating various facets of the Estes case, is a well respected agency and has a tradition of never getting involved in politics. The governor also said he had received a letter from Keeton asking for protection for his mother, Mrs. Margaret Crockett of Pecos. Banks in the News has reported recently that Fonville and Keeton “passed” lie detector tests given at the Department of Public Safety in Austin. The Observer asked Col. Homer Garrison, director of the D.P.S., for comment. Garrison stated categorically that nei ther he nor anyone in the D.P.S. has made any statement about the matter to Jimmy Banks. He said that if any investigation of it is in progress”and I said if,” he added with emphasisthe only way D.P.S. lie detector tests could be authorized would ment person referring a person to the D.P.S., with the law enforcement person confirming that he had done so. There are only two ways, Garrison also said, that results of a test can be given out. Generally the law enforcement source asking for the test would be given the results, but it is also possible that the person who took the test might be given the results informally, he said. D.P.S. has jurisdiction over any kind of crime, Garrison reminded the Observer. In this connection, of course, Keeton has contended that his life was threatened. \(The D.P.S. has been investigating the violent death of Henry Marshall of Franklin, a key federal official in the cotton allotment program in Texas, under highly suspicious circumstances in 1961. Garrison told the Houston Chronicle this week that Marshall was murdered and that the D.P.S. investigation is “very active” and is being Garrison did not confirm or deny Banks’ references to Keeton and Fonville having taken lie tests at the D.P.S. headquarters in Austin other than to say that no one in the D.P.S. has made any statements to Banks on that subject. R.D. Pre-Election Issue Next issue will be a pre-election issue with reports on rallies, speeches, conventions, and analyses of various things. Barbecue, Phony Barbecue, and Modern Times Baytown Cow country political barbecues form my earliest memories of public gatherings ‘attended during the tenderest days of childhood. These were held generally down in the pecan bottoms adjacent to the San Saba or Llano rivers or some other picnic area accessible by somewhat primitive transportation devices to Menard, Texas. Presumably the boyhood of Lyndon B. Johnson a few counties over was similarly highlighted. The experience burned deep in both of us. As for me, I have been a lifelong critic of phony barbecue. All the modern efforts 6 The Texas Observer to produce the West Texas specialties are automatically compared to what came off the grill those cowhands used to lay across their deep trenches where the barbecue was produced in such heavenly quality and such lavish quantity. Long before daylight the great bonfires of hickory, mesquite, pecan, oak, or gum logs would blaze into the western skies, finally relapsing into deep glowing beds of fiery coals as the great sides of beef and goat carcasses began turning to rich golden hues as they were turned and laved with long-handled dippers of tangy sauce. Rich drippings sizzled into the glowing coals and a fragrant plume of blue ascended to the leafy overhang. The woods were filled with the maddening aroma. And away from the pit a great black pot bubbled with sonof-a-gun, the cowboy stew which made a side attraction for the hot chunks of barbecued beef and the long meaty ribs which decorated every tin plate as the noonday line shuffled by.’ There were long pine tables for women and kids and townsfolk. The cowhands squatted in clumps of shade and speared their barbecue with thin-bladed pocket knives. There was a giant urn of ink-black coffee to be .drunk scalding hot out of tin cups, and bottled beer floats in tubs of ice, wherein kids could also find their root beer and Delaware punch and strawberry soda pop.
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.