My participation in the story started with several phone calls from community leaders, men I respect. Some knew Tex in passing and were in shock when they saw Tex taken down by four police officers at a busy intersection in Branson. Some screamed brutality others promoted the perfection and flawlessness of the Branson PD (as if police officers are a subset of humans perfected by the badge) . To be intellectually honest both groups are wrong. The Branson Police Department has been overzealous at times and the true mark of police brutality is far from what we've seen. Perhaps, one day, when we're fortunate enough to have honest leaders, the policies of the police force will change. As of now, we can't truly expect basic integrity from our chief of Police, less so our Mayor whom is financially intertwined with our working press.
Branson is a mild, kind and peaceful place. Brutality, or any use of force is not a common occurrence. It's rare and not something people often see. Less of a reality is the internal workings of our justice system, even less so our mental health system that will one day seem archaic. Unlike the justice system, the medical system has no oversight and people are often treated as subhuman - unworthy of common dignity. Both use of force guidelines and medical treatment of the mentally sick require ethics we would be appalled at if they were applied to dogs. Future generations will look at our current policies in shock of our ignorance.
If I've learned anything it's this: to be treated like a dog is a privileged state - an honor few humans will ever have. Interestingly, I happen to own the cutest dog in the world. She's well behaved and everywhere we walk people want to love on her, pet her, feed her, take her home. To find someone with such compassion for a human is rare and to meet someone willing to love the unloved in such a way inspired me to dedicate time, energy and resources - which I extended beyond my capacity.
Someone cared about Tex which is why he isn't in a hospital at the moment, or in prison. I suppose Tex is lucky , luckier than most because very few people care about their fellow man - much less a homeless man.
My tenure with Tex began with a phone call and ended with the potential compromise of another person's safety. Not knowing if another was hurt eats me up inside. My job is to spread truth - even if unpopular - to afflict the comforted and comfort the afflicted. Journalism is an amazing and horrifying field. But it can change and save lives. Moreso, it can change the world by helping people reach greater understanding - it can be a catalyst for change. The goal of journalism is to give us the information we need to be free and self governed. As I've discussed in earlier posts, our Mayor's participation in media, particularly her partnership with KY3 undermines this goal.
Tex has two female handlers. The first is one of the sweetest people I've ever met. She took me to meet Tex at an apartment paid for by her employer Pat Joyce, an eccentric multi-millionaire with firsthand accounts of police corruption - two police officers perjured themselves in court and when fraudulent testimimony was
|Rudy Giuliani's Signature on Tex's Drawing|
The first handler has an autistic daughter and was appalled by the chance her own child would be treated in the way Tex was. The thought horrified her into action. She sought to understand and enable Tex. Unfortunately, the realities of Tex's existence may be greater than her best intentions.
After meeting Tex I was brought to his home. I don't consider Tex homeless because his quarters were actually pretty spectacular. He's lived in a shack which provides shelter from the elements with some unique decorations. He drew a picture of the World Trade Towers, it's actually signed by Rudy Guilliani. There is a functioning garden. One sign that stood out reminded him not to go to Country Mart. The fact he painted a large sign reminding him of his responsibility not to enter the store should inspire some compassion. I mean, he's trying - he wants to do good - but may lack the capacity. In fact, I think anybody who meets Tex would question his capacity to survive - perhaps that is a miracle on its own.
Compassion for Tex is counterbalanced by his defiant personality. He has a knack for ticking people off and if you want to see this side - ask him to to something - anything. Asking Tex to compromise proved an impossible task.
Besides logistical support I had no intention of being one of Tex's handlers. This was a huge task and even as a very qualified person - it takes a team - alone I was in over my head, something I can humbly admit in retrospect. If the second handler had acted with greater integrity this would have never been an issue. Unfortunately, like Tex, you can't control other people's action - or commitment to their promises.
|Bullet Found in front of Tex's Room|
I was only supposed to spend three days with Tex before backup came. To the handler that was supposed to take on the responsibility, there was only triviality. Having never spent prolonged time with Tex she couldn't known the toll it would take and was taking on me. I'm still recovering and in awe of what might have happened. .
Many people were outraged - they'd seen Tex - a homeless guy who chills with two dogs and an occasional cat outside an off-strip McDonalds.
One example is a press release issued by Ted Martin of the Branson Fire Department. An arsonist was reported to have started 5 fires - this is what was printed in the press release by the city of Branson. Tex spoke of 9 fires and sexual excitement derived from such activities. To date, Ted Martin believes there are 7 but there have been so many lately - Tex could be right. Tex said if the man isn't caught he'll become a full-blown serial killer. What this man may have done chills me.
The story you are reading would not be published in this manner except for the necessity required to protect the innocent. Due to an extremely arrogant and irresponsible individual I was unable to protect Tex and protect the community.
After 3 days of watching Tex I was supposed to have relief; relief never came and the handler decided it was perfectly appropriate that I spend another three days (6 straight) ensuring the presence of a man who is clearly mad. I lived with him in a small space with no outside communication (except for a cell phone) A young girl aged 17, according to Tex, was brought into a condo where Tex was being taken care of. Tex had two handlers, both female and both emotionally connected to Tex. One, which I will call "Sour Candy" , to conceal the irresponsible entered into the scene 6 days after Tex was in my care. After spending some time with Tex I realized this is an individual that needs monitoring. At first it was for Tex's protection, after it was for everyone's protection. "Sour Candy" exhibited a deep disregard for the situation, ignored security protocols and potentially allowed a young woman to be harmed. Personally, I don't know what happened to the young girl Tex brought into the condo. I was told his two handlers would be watching over Tex; they didn't, and it only took two hours for Tex to bring a guest into the condo - a young girl who to this day I haven't met.
"Sour Candy" was supposed to be my relief. A bullet was found in front of Tex's hotel room. I received a phone call and immediately left my office in a frenzy to make sure nothing happened to the "homeless autistic" man who put the community in an uproar. I stayed with Tex for three grueling days. The first day was brutal. At the top of his lungs he would scream commands in rants lasting at times for 30 minutes. He would repeat the same command in such a painful way I was obliged to comply. It was ruthless but ceded as time past.
My interpretation of Tex was that of a man reverting to an animal state. Over three days I was able to calm him considerably by bringing food into his condo every few hours. I spent two-hundred out of pocket in addition to other's contribution.. He ate incessantly while watching his favorite television - crime mysteries, serial killer documentaries and demonic pho-documentaries.
When "Sour Candy" re-entered the scene, several days after I started tending him, she was shocked at Tex's transformation - calmer - softer - and yet chose to disregard methods which were bringing Tex into a more peaceful state. "I told Tex I would bring him to the store and I am". "Sour Candy" manages 400 employees in a field where arbitrage and manipulation reap profit. It's a tough job and one that requires disregarding objection. In this case the objections were for safety and the blatant disregard created a dangerous situation - one so dangerous I could no longer help - one where innocents might have been harmed. The thought of this still haunts me.
Her attitude was accusatory and defiant - not in the harshness of Tex but in a soft firm, "I'll do what I want" - and she did - disregarding my safety and the safety of the community. There is a difference between loving someone and wanting to be loved. "Sour Candy" wanted love from the animal and showed a tremendous disrespect for her fellow man. She marched Tex to the grocery store and assured him that I had no say in anything regarding his future. When I came back I met the animal I'd met days before - angry - defiant - insulting - brutal and violent in speech. Her venture and promotion of Tex's defiance killed the very opportunity that Tex may have had of changing the scenario he's currently in. She got her way - hurt me - hurt Tex and may have hurt a young girl. I suppose it's her raunchiness that makes her good at her job. Unfortunately, she wasn't willing to take responsibility for her actions and immediately left with her beer-bellied boyfriend , a subordinate, who participated in the arrogant taunts. It was my hope that enough food would be left to provide security for Tex but the suggestion was met with self-centered response. "Why do you get to choose ?" The answer - cause neither you or your boyfriend have the juevos to stick around and do my job. The inconvienance meant nothing to her - three extra days babysitting Tex and missing 4th of July with my family.
As I was trying to talk her out of showcasing Tex at the grocery store and undermining my job of watching Tex I mentioned Tex's threat to officer. What you read in the paper isn't the true story. The truth is so dark it was censored. Tex vividly described raping officer Williams daughter and wife, dismembering and cutting them up and feeding them to his dogs. It takes a skilled and perverted mind to even coujour such imagery - in fact Officer Williams almost crashed the police car as he was listening to an extended version of how his family would be tortured. "Sour Candy" responded to this intel in a baby voice, "ahh but he thought they were going to hurt his dogs". The image of her quivering lip and disregard for human life ills me. Anyone who would put human life lower than a simple animal doesn't know God. To a Christian - a thousand dogs for a human. Only a practicing witch with deep disregard for the almighty could conceive of sacrificing a human life for an animal.
Of all Tex's names , of the many he is called, his favorite is "Worthless Bastard". And Tex is a "Worthless Bastard" with the exception of two redeeming qualities.
Tex's first redeeming quality is an idea - one he probably didn't birth himself, but a good idea nevertheless. Each family of a fallen American soldier deserves to be honored with a place of solace. A bench in the city honoring each fallen soldier is of good report according to Tex. Because Tex has taken beatings from police across the country; he's learned respect for the US Military. They are the most compassionate police officers in America and can perform a takedown in a humanitarian fashion - a skill I hope the Branson Police Department learns.
Second, Tex holds interesting ideas which flow like the poetics of Hunter S. Thompson novel.
There is a long standing tradition in these parts called Shepherd of the Hills. The concept has deep spiritual and political meaning and has inspired some of the greatest men in US History. Republican legend Ronald Reagan is one of many inspired by the legend. While the story needs modernization, the legend goes something like this:
A man from the city comes to the hills, he combines hillbilly wisdom with urban sophistication and literary style. He takes down a gang of lawmen turned evil, converts the wicked only to find it's his own sin that is covered. Everyone lives happily every after and he maneuvers between urban and rural life. He uses words at the expense of wayward polticians. He writers the histories.
All the prophets cry for justice. The most political prophet is Isiah. Some 2700 hundred years ago he delivered a sermon instructing leaders on the way of the most holy: preaching passivise philosophy to military and political leaders:
"Learn Justice and devote yourself to her ways, protect and instruct the orphan; serve the widow. This is the true religion of the almighty. In the courtroom give equal weight to the cause of the poor" (NBV)Considering the geopolitical structures of the time his advice is quite progressive, applicable to the modern age. Even the great atheist American forefather Thomas Paine succomed to his wisdom of Isaiah - justice.
If it wasn't for Pay Joyce's love of justice, a killer's cultivation could have continued. Joyce discovered a collaborative plot with public employees to thwart the cause of justice - flawed so greatly the Taney County Courts could have easily become the laughing stock of the legal community. Thanks to Joyce's courage the justice system and very integrity of our local government. There are times in Hillbilly history where justice was blinded raping every man in the community of dignity.
There are families in the community with a secret history. When they find corruption, they call in a Sheppard (there are many) . In Branson, to use Isiahic terminology, our mayor is the "filthiest rag". When corruption started becoming public, ancestors of Taney County Founders started blowing up my phone. For purposes of respect - the founders family names: Berry, Chandler, Gaylor, Maddox, Oliver, Patterson, Thompson, Branson, Cox, Hicks, McIntyre, Parnell, Price, Winch, Brudette, Fulbright, Kenney, Melton, Parrish, Sullenger, Welchel. It was a great honor to be called on to help - to participate in this great tradition.
Unless you're giving something or a female with some seriously twisted history Tex is the most annoying man in the world. He respects his fellow man none at all. I have never met a man who cared less for his fellow brothers and history. He hates mankind and prefers the company and essentially a marriage with his dog Bonnie.
In Tex's world view humans are below animals. He would kill for his dog and let his fellow man suffer. I have never met such a wicked man.
My introduction to Tex was the direct result of a calling by community leaders - otherwise I'd probably have ignored Tex. Street lurkers are a dime a dozen in Los Angeles but the lack of poverty in Branson led locals to intrigue with Tex. By default, I have none. Because so many humans love dogs more than their fellow man I know he'll always be fed - he has dogs. His dogs are his god.
Tex was taken down by Branson PD at a very public intersection. He refused to be arrested while at work. His work is sitting in front of McDonalds and allowing people to feel sorry for him. His wage is $20-$40 a day. The community needs someone like Tex - they need someone to love. We are starved of people who live in poverty - luckily our local politicians are changing this shortage. Seeing a homeless man (and he isn't) gives people the opportunity to love the unloved.
Tex is a virus carrying messages of hate. He listens to people; since Tex isn't bound by a schedule he doesn't value time. He listens and plots. Many people love him, few understand him. Tex's original charge which resulted in his arrest was simple trespassing. After listening to employees of a supermarket complain Tex decided to wage a protest.
Talking to Tex is a horrific experience. On the first day he would ramble at a rapid pace. Any interjection would result in a major ass chewing. One learns to listen - listen for hours. The torture of having to listen to Tex is counterbalanced by the fact any interjection could result in a violent verbal out pour. He'd scream if interrupted.