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JOHN BEAUCHAMP’S RECORD ARRESTS: Drunk 18 Theft 2 Forgery 2 Traffic 2 Burglary 3 Loitering 3 Juvenile record 1 CONVICTIONS: Fined $ 17.00 Traffic warrants years, Department oorrections, Huntsville n t 2s 6v .il 5l 0 two Deart of C Forgery e Drunk 17.00 Drunk $ $ 20.00 Drunk $ 26.00 Drunk $ 20.00 Loitering $ 35.00 Drunk $ 20.00 Drunk Drunk $$ 15.00 Loitering $100.00 Drunk $ 20.00 Drunk Drunk $$ 20.00 Drunk $ 22.50 Drunk your problems. For example, I’m so much less competitive with other people now. Don’t you think so, Alison? Don’t you notice it? I can have discussions with people now without having to beat them down.” On the night of Nov. 6 I heard the cat scream outside. The scream was cut off. .I went out. She couldn’t have been hit by a car: there had been no car passing. She couldn’t have been making love: Gus was extremely pregnant again. I found her body in the garage. She had been strangled. The peeper was turning the corner at the end of the alley. I called the police. “Killed your cat?!” said the horrified police operator. “Yes, ma’am, killed my cat.” “I’ll connect you with Homicide,” she said. With the help of neighbors and police, I identified the peeper the next day. John Beauchamp, 30-year-old white male. Lives within two blocks. Thirty arrests not counting the juvenile record. Alcoholic. Two years in Huntsville. If not retarded, certainly not terribly bright. One neighbor said he had been in the State Hospital. Because the trespassing laws are so vague, peepers are arrested instead for violation of the loitering statute. But in order to arrest someone for loitering, you or the police have to catch the person on your property. I had not seen Beauchamp kill the dog. I had not seen Beauchamp kill the cat. I had seen Beauchamp on my property several times and found evidence of his presence several other times, but neither the police nor I had ever caught him there. “I’m sorry, lady,” said the cop. “You and us may know that this guy did it, but we can’t prove it. We can’t do anything about him until he hurts someone.” I wanted to say, “He has, he has, he’s hurt me!” But you can’t go around getting emotional, hysterical about these things. They were just pets, a dog and a cat, Frijoles and Gus. My brother, a valiant and very large fellow, offered to beat up Beauchamp and also gave me his gun. If I ever try to use it, I shall doubtlessly shoot my foot off. “They should lock him up,” growled my father. “That won’t do him any good, Daddy.” “I’m not thinking about what does him good. This man is dangerous. He’s a menace to society. It’s not safe to have him loose. He’s terrifying the people in this neighborhood. He should be locked up.” “He should be sent to a shrink.” “Oh, dear. How terrible,” said my mother. “Dear, you must move.” “Why should the decent people in a neighborhood have to move because of one nut? Why should they go in fear of their lives because of one nut? He should be put away.” 12 The Texas Observer A law professor friend laughed and said, “So you bleeding hearts are finally finding out what law and order is about. How do you like it?” “I mean, I used to be a real neurotic, you know? But I feel so good now I think I’m going to stop seeing him. I’m afraid I’ve started to take my shrink for a father figure, you know? But you really should try it.” Nothing we can do. Nothing we can do. Nothing we can do. AIM” -4111111 011111111WO 41111 What would it take to straighten out John Beauchamp? A .. good shrink,. Alcoholics Anonymous, vocational ,rehabilitation, family counselling, socialization, sensitivity training well nothing, really, except remaking the guy’s whole life. God, unfortunately, does not take subcontracts from HEW. In the meantime, the state offers a variety of programs, which, if you could get Beauchamp into them, might do him some good. And if the people who run those programs had enough money to work with, they could probably do him quite a bit of good. “If,” said Police Chief Robert Miles “we could catch this guy we might be able to do something.” Miles looks at Beauchamp’s record with resignation. “Drunk, drunk, drunk,” he muttered. “More than 50 percent of our calls involve drinking and drunkeness. Now if this guy is mental, a real mental, we might take to the State Hospital at once. More likely what would happen is that either his defense lawyer or the prosecution would ask for a psychiatric evaluation. If he’s a serious mental, it would take two doctors to get a commitment on him. You can appeal a commitment after two weeks and most of them are only for 60 days. Or, if he’s not a serious mental, the judge can recommend that psychiatric care be made a condition of probation.” And that takes the matter out of Miles’ hands and puts it, more or less, into Giles Garmon’s. Garmon is the widely-respected head of the Travis County Adult Probation program. Several county officials say that a city the size of Austin is lucky to have a professional as competent as Garmon. Garmon is a thoughtful enough man to be seriously concerned by what he calls “the overreach of the criminal justice system,” that is, the fact that non-criminal problems are dealt with through the system drinking and other forms of drug abuse, psychiatric cases, homosexuality a whole range of problems with which neither the police nor the criminal justice system should logically have to deal. GARMON IS a believer in residential treatment, in keeping people in the community as much as possible. “The person’s problems are in the community he can’t solve them by going away from it.” Garmon is one of the few taxpayers around who doesn’t get apoplectic about overlapping programs. “Usually people don’t have just one problem,” he said. “The redundancy, the overlapping really gives you more flexibility in the long run because if you try a lot of different approaches, something’s going to happen. It’s like Werner von Braun and the rockets during World War II. Von Braun had this problem with a new type of rocket that was firing only six out of ten times,