'You can just imagine the double shock'
There was music in the cafes at night, and revolution in the air - Dylan
Forney, Kaufman County, Texas – Evan Ebel did his natural time on a 4-year bit for punching a Colorado prison guard in 2008. They turned him loose in January.
Cops say he killed a pizza delivery man, then rang the doorbell at the home of Tom Clements, the Colorado prisons chief, and shot the man down in a cold rush of hot blood.
That's what they are all saying, and now they're starting to quote one another, because ballistics tests show he used the same gun to fire at cops after a chase in which he wheeled a black Cadillac over Texas highways at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
The Governor of Colorado broke down and cried real tears because the prisons chief and Ebel's daddy, Jack, are both his friends. That's what they all told each other.
Two months ago, a hit squad of masked men dressed in black shot veteran organized crime prosecutor Mark Hasse in the parking lot of the Kaufman County Courthouse in this farming community just south of Dallas, then fled in a silver-colored four-door sedan.
Mr. Hasse was for many years a key prosecutor in the Dallas DA's office, where he specialized in organized crime cases.
Deputies sat in parked cars in the driveway of Mike McClelland's home near the cotton gin town of Forney, guarding he and his wife against a similar attack, but called off their vigil after about a month.
Almost to the day two months after the January 31 attack on the prosecutor, authorities found Mr. McClelland and his wife shot to death in their home.
They aren't talking, now.
The matter is under investigation. They only say things like this.
“It is a shock,” Chief Chris Aulbaugh told The Dallas News. “It was a shock with Mark Hasse, and now you can just imagine the double shock, and until we know what happened, I really can’t confirm that it’s related, but you always have to assume until it’s proven otherwise.”
But the newsmen go on quoting one another, saying there could be some connection between the killing of a prison boss in Colorado and two hardboiled prosecutors in a Texas cotton town.
Here is what Evan Ebel's dad had to say about his son when he testified before Colorado legislators about limiting the amounts of time convicts are held in solitary confinement – a condition which, it's agreed, drives men plumb crazy over any significant period, grinds them down, makes them pitiful, harmless, easy to manage.
“What I've seen over six years is he has become increasingly...he has a high level of paranoia and (is) extremely anxious. So when he gets out to visit me, and gets out of his cell to talk to me, I mean he is so agitated that it will take an hour-and-half before we can actually talk.”