Evil Among Us
by Ken Driggs
[p.249] The Austin Taxidermy Studio continues to operate at its 1974 location just outside Oak Hill, Texas. Lem Rathbone has retired and the business is now run by his son Jimmy Byrd. They don’t easily talk about Bob Kleasen and the 1974 murders.
Richard Banks was later an assistant U.S. attorney in Houston, Texas, where he was one of the office’s more aggressive prosecutors.
David Bays and Pat Ganne still practice criminal defense law in Texas, Bays in San Antonio, and Ganne in Austin.
Tom Blackwell retired from the bench in 1982. However, as a senior judge, he presides over as many Austin trials as ever. He is also a co-author of the three criminal law volumes of West Publishing’s Texas Practice series, along with his daughter Betty Blackwell and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals former presiding judge Mike McCormick.
Richard Coons still practices psychiatry in Austin, Texas.
Charlie Craig is an Austin criminal defense lawyer with an office a few blocks from Pat Ganne’s office.
David K. Darley, Gary’s father, still lives in Simi Valley, California. Gary’s mother, Jill, died in 1994. Gary’s siblings Kelle, Clark, Todd, Beverly Duncan, and his twin sister Gay Page all live in California not far from their father.
Eddie Davis still lives in Austin, Texas, where he sculpts military history themes and is an active Mormon.
Ronald Earle was elected to his sixth four-year term as Travis County district attorney in 1996.
Vaughn Featherstone is a general authority of the LDS church, serving in the First Quorum of the Seventy since 1976.
Former Austin police investigator Doug Ferris is in the private [p.250] security business in Austin, working primarily with polygraph examinations.
Cathy and Jim Fischer, Mark’s parents, continue to be committed Mormons in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their sons Matthew and Michael live in Centerville and Provo, Utah. Their daughter Melissa and son Martin live near their parents in suburban Milwaukee.
Ed Guyon has a solo law practice in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Not long after the Kleasen trial, R. Roscoe Haley’s drinking reached a point where he could no longer function as a lawyer. In February 1976 he was arrested for receiving stolen property in a sting operation, but the charges were dismissed when it became obvious he had been entrapped. Later two clients brought complaints before the bar over his failure to return monies he held in his trust account and over his writing another client a bad check. In November 1976 Haley voluntarily resigned from the Texas bar for two years. Other complaints surfaced again in 1982; this time Haley acknowledged he was no longer capable of practicing law and surrendered his license for good.
Max Hartmann was a Texas game warden stationed in the scenic Hill Country community of Fredericksburg. In 1995 he was elected a Gillespie County justice of the peace.
Norm Henk is still a Texas game officer in Fredericksburg, Texas.
Joseph Jachimczyk retired in 1995 after thirty-five years as Harris County’s chief medical examiner. He had become a fixture in Texas criminal law and for years directed his office through growth and technological advancements. The last few years of his administration, his office was plagued with allegations of mishandled autopsies, inattention to filing reports, and unauthorized office policies.
David Jay still practices law in downtown Buffalo, New York.
Colon Jordan retired in 1991 after thirty-seven years with the Austin police department. He still lives in Austin. His son Sam now works for APD.
Hans Kindt, the LDS stake patriarch who spoke movingly at Mark Fischer’s memorial service, is now president of the Milwaukee Stake. He and his brother immigrated to Milwaukee from Germany in the [p.251] 1950s. Today he runs his own tailoring business.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’s decision in Kleasen v. State has virtually disappeared. It has almost never been cited as a precedent for any Texas search and seizure question since it was issued in 1977.
Former Texas San Antonio LDS mission president Ron Loveland was called as an Area Authority Seventy at the April 2000 general conference of the LDS church.
Richard Low is still a senior state parole officer in Buffalo, New York.
Frank McCullough continues to teach at the University of Texas in Austin. He serves in the Austin Texas Oak Hill Stake presidency of the LDS church.
Dick Murphy lives in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park where he runs a private consulting service. He was on the Buffalo police force from 1957 until moving to the district attorney’s office in 1971. In 1972 he moved from the D.A.’s office back to the Buffalo police department. In 1979 Murphy retired and became director of security for National Fuel, a public natural gas concern, for the next fifteen years.
Phil Nelson continues to serve as a Travis County assistant district attorney.
U.S. district judge Jack Roberts retired in May 1980. Newspaper accounts at the time called him “the most powerful man in central Texas.”
Phil Sanders is now a municipal judge in Austin, Texas.
Bob Smith gave up the district attorney’s office to run unsuccessfully for Travis County, Texas, 98th District Court judge in 1978. He then practiced law until he was appointed to a vacancy on the Texas Third District Court of Appeals in Austin. He was defeated when running for a full term in 1980. He died in Austin on September 27, 1990, at age sixty-eight.
Bruce Smith is now on the agriculture faculty at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Marvin O. Teague was elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 1980. There he became a respected liberal voice on the court [p.252] with considerable influence on Texas criminal law. He died of cardiac arrest in Austin on February 20, 1991, half way through his third term on the court.
Ron Valentine is still the public defender in Wayne County, New York.
Glen Wilkerson continues to practice law in Austin, Texas.
David Williams is still a senior probation officer in Wayne County, New York.