When he finally walked into the Plexiglass booth, his mother approached the glass and pressed her hand to it. She hasn’t touched her son since 1986. All she wanted, she kept saying, was to hug him. quietly placed his hand across from hers. She hasn’t touched her son since 1986. She’d watched him grow a foot taller, his hair turn gray, and meat setde on his bones in state prison. All she wanted, she kept saying, was to hug him. In Bell’s 1975 mug shot, his face shows a vacant stare and a strong chin. He looks numb and distant, but not angry. His right eye droops a bit lower than his left. A run-of-the-mill mug shot, except that it fails to frame the fact that Bellwith an IQ somewhere between 60 and 70is mentally retarded. After Bell saw a portrait that Lindberg had taken of himin which his features have softened considerablyhe wrote her a thank-you note. Newspaper photos, he said, made him “look like a killer.” In Lindberg’s shot, however, he saw himself in a new light. He looked, he said, “like a human being should look like.” Lindberg’s second visit to Bell found him in a subdued state. “I guess I was OK but not that much,” he wrote to Lindberg a week later. “One of my homeboy and friend I know and who been helping me with my letters writing was put to death that day.” He then tried to cheer her up: “You know at time I still be seeming you waving good-bye to me and smiling to me, I be in my cell listen to my rock music when I bee seeming waving and smiling good-bye, you muster be happy to see 10 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5110/02
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.