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S illustration by Andy Perez ADAPTATION One writer’s long, strange trip from fact to fiction. BY JESSE SUBLETT IThe double shotgun blasts were fired at such close range that wadding from the shells would be found inside the dead man’s left kidney. Sitting in his black vinyl chair at the DW Rubb massage parlor on Lavaca Street, Travis Schnautz, age 43, was a veteran Austin hood in addition to being a longtime junkie. At 6:30 in the morning, it’s possible he was nodding out and never even saw the man his wife allegedly hired to kill him. Perhaps he didn’t feel a thing. But boy, I sure did. On the morning of August 13, 1976, when the report hit the front page of the Austin AmericanStatesman, the police didn’t have a clue about Mrs. Schnautz’s apparent motive, so the coverage enumerated the reasons that detectives’ suspicions initially focused on former members of the Timmy Overton Gang, an Austin-based, white-trash mafia 30 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JULY 11, 2008