The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on June 28, 1998 · Page 14
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 14

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Galveston, Texas
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Sunday, June 28, 1998
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Page 14
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A14 Iin: DAILYNr\\s SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 1998 GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS Home Continued from Page AJL • of GHA, said it wasn't the mission of her agency to provide emergency housing. "Public housing and Section 8 housing are not emergency housing," Strain said. "That's .not what this facility was designed for." Charina Allen, director of Section 8 in Galveston, said the city Bad about 910 Section 8 certificates and vouchers and almost all were in use. "When I first came here, the Section 8 program was in great disarray," Strain said, explaining that only 78 percent of the city's vouchers and certificates were in use when she took the helm of the housing authority in May of last year. Since then, Strain said the GHA staff had made great efforts to get the agency's infrastructure — including Section 8 — back in working order. Only a few weeks ago, a family self- sufficiency and mobility counselor was hired. That person will administer a pro; -am aimed at getting residents out of public housing and into their own homes. Which is where Mullins already is and where she wants to stay. She said that through the years she had seen some people — able-bodied people — jump up on the Section 8 list because of who they knew. "There's no way that everyone hi the Section 8 program has gotten hi line," she said. Strain and Allen said they couldn't speak about what took place before they were in charge, but they said a system of internal checks now was in place to ensure that Section 8 was a first-come, first-served program. "Things were done manually before, but now they're done on the computer," Allen said, adding that she also conducted internal audits herself. As Mullins is left to negotiate the maze of private entities that do provide emergency assistance, she says it's not fair that she can't get anything through Section 8. "There are so many healthy women that don't pay any rent," she said. Isle mother upset about L decision By G1NA V. GOMEZ The Daily News GALVESTON — Galveston mother Patsy Bowers said she cried all day Friday at the thought that convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas would live. Bowers is the mother of 12-year-old Suzanne Bowers to whose slaying Lucas confessed in 1984. Lucas, however, was never charged with the girl's slaying. In the past few years, I've been watching and waiting for news about his death," Bowers said. "I guess I've been waiting for that eye-for-an-eye." Suzanne Bowers disappeared in May 1977 while she was walking home from her grandmother's house. Her skeletal remains were found 22 months later in a vacant field in Alta Loma. Bowers said she never left the island in the 22 months her daughter was missing for fear that she would miss something or be needed for something. "I was driving daily and nightly the routes she would have taken," Bowers said. Bowers said she understood when police and district attorney officials told her in 1984 that there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute Lucas in connection with her daughter's death, but she doesn't understand Gov. George W. Bush's decision Friday to commute Lucas' death sentence. She consoled herself and her family with the knowledge that the former drifter who confessed to an estimated 600 murders would die for one of the 10 slayings of which he was convicted, Bowers said. That's why Friday's news was so tough to take, she said. "I'm. devastated," Bowers said. "I'm outraged at the governor of Texas. He's supposed to be a representative of the people and instead he's going with this little bit of doubt." Bush announced Friday that he would follow the recommendation of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and commute Lucas' death sentence for the 1979 slaying near Georgetown of an unidentified woman dubbed "Orange Socks." The board voted 17-1 for the recommendation after two investigations raised doubts about Lucas' guilt in the slaying. The investigations'turned up cashed checks and work time sheets indicating Lucas was in Florida at the time of the slaying. There is no doubt in Bowers' mind, however, that Lucas is guilty of other murders and in the slaying of her daughter. "This doubt thing is just blowing my mind." she said. "Let them show me proof." Law enforcement officials brought Lucas to Galveston in 1984 and linked him to six unsolved murders, including that of Bowers' 12-year-old daughter. Officers who worked on the Bowers case said Lucas gave details about the girl's death that only somebody involved would have known. Lucas was able to direct investigators to the isolated site where the girl's body was found, said Texas Ranger Joe Haralson. Bowers said she sent an email to Bush on Friday pleading with him not to commute the death sentence but had received no reply. "I hope Gov. Bush can rest," she said. "I can't." Bowers said she planned to write Bush a letter telling him how she feels and asking for an explanation of his decision. Lucas Radio Continued from Page A3. bile home that had acted as the visitors center, and he retrieved it. There are no plans to return the radio to La Marque, Wiseman said. He wants to use it for broadcasting emergency traffic and evacuation information. ~1 talked to her when we were all looking for the radio," Wiseman said of McLemore, "and the impression I got was that they didn't, know where it was and didn't care. If there's revitalized interest in the city or the chamber of commerce having it, I'd like to talk to them about it." La Marque will get the radio back if the city wants it, said County Judge Jim Yarbrough. "On Nov. 2, 1995, the county entered into an agreement with city of La Marque, where the city would get the radio to provide information on county as well as certain local emergency bulletins," he said. "There's no deadline or closing door on that agreement." Until someone assumes authority of the equipment, however, it will stay where it is. "It would probably serve a Inmates are removed from Texas jail ' The Associated Press MANSFIELD - Oklahoma corrections officials removed 28 inmates from a private jail in • Texas amid an internal investigation of the facility. The inmates were taken from the Mansfield Law Enforcement Centep about 25 miles southeast of Fort Worth. The remaining 240 will return in groups of 70 starting July 15, officials said. The move is part of an overall plan to return all 1,000 Oklahoma inmates from various Texas jails by year's end, Oklahoma officials said. They will be moved as beds open in new private prisons at Sayre, Lawton and McLoud, Okla. Oklahoma officials said they are concerned about the Mansfield jail's policy, which allows inmates to work for minimum wage for private industry in return for a portion of the inmates' pay. "We've got concerns, basically because we were not aware what was going on with that," said David Miller, the department's head of population management and fiscal operations. "Since we are paying the per diem, we should be advised of everything that's going on and agree with everything that's going on. So that's where our concerns are." The state of Oklahoma has been paving $42 per inmate, per day to the Mansfield Property Finance Authority for medium-security bed space. more useful purpose by doing what he wants to do with it," said McLemore, upon hearing of the radio's location. She added, however, that she would leave the decision of whether to try to reclaim the radio to visitors center officials. Visitors center director Marge Elliott said her office was not the one to make that decision. "You'll have to talk to Jimmy Hayley," she said. "That's going to be pretty much up to him." Although his initial response to the disposition of the radio was, "We'd like it back," Hayley declined to make the radio call as well. "That's between La Marque and the county," he said. Miscommunication sparked the "loss" of the radio, Yarbrough said. "There was apparently not good coordination between us closing down the visitors center and Barren setting it back up at the outlet mall," he said. Continued from Page Al woman near Georgetown. However, Gov. George W. Bush commuted that sentence last week to life in prison. Lawmen dubbed the woman "Orange Socks" because she was clad only in a pair of orange socks when her body was found. During a period of several months in 1984 and 1985, Lucas confessed to at least 600 unsolved murders across the United States and Canada. He was found guilty of 10 of those and sentenced to death for one. Among the murders to which Lucas confessed were six in Galveston County. Haralson was part of a team of Galveston County lawmen investigating Lucas' possible involvement in those deaths, and he said it was the Bowers case that had stood the test of time in his memory. "Not that one case is more important than another, but those kids ... you kind of make them important," Haralson said. "You can't help it." In August 1984, area police began questioning Lucas about the Bowers case and other unsolved murders, after Texas Former death-row inmate Henry Lee Lucas was linked to these murder cases in Galveston County: H Suzanne Bowers, who disappeared May 21,1977, from Galveston. ® James Cox on Feb. 1, 1977, in Galveston. * Luis Leger on Nov. 25, 1977, in Gaiveston. H Roy Hallmark on Feb. 23,1980, in Gaiveston. 0 League City resident Christine Wilson, whose body was found 'near the Texas City Dike. • An unidentified man whose body was found in August 1982 in Ramingo Island in Hitchcock. Rangers developed a schedule of his travels. That timeline placed him hi Galveston County around the time the crimes were committed, Haralson said. Area investigators first traveled to Georgetown to question him. They later brought him to Galveston after his answers proved promising, Haralson said. The investigators linked Lucas to the six cases during the time he was in Galveston County. Lucas played navigator for investigators, directing them to the site where the child's body was found hi 1979, Haralson said. "It was such a twisting and turning way to that location that for him to get us there he had to have knowledge," Haralson said. "He convinced me. I don't know that I could get us back to that place right now." Investigators were disappointed when they and the district attorneys office decided not to charge Lucas hi the Bowers case — but they also were realistic, Haralson said. Investigators and prosecutors believed the likelihood that Lucas would be convicted for Bowers' slaying was slim because the only evidence they had was his confession. "In other cases where we've been successful in getting a conviction, there has always been something more than the confession," Haralsoa said. Lucas has recanted nearly all of his confessions. He has said he was coerced into making the statements and was fed information about the slayings to make it appear that he knew their details. Haralson said he could not comment on investigations in which he was not involved, but he said he could vouch for the investigations in Galveston. "Ill say that without a doubt that did not happen in this Galveston case," he said. Haralson said Lucas was clear-eyed and coherent when investigators questioned him. "When he talked about some of the things he did, he spoke rather matter-of-factly," Haralson said. All the cases investigators linked to Lucas to remain unsolved. First Assistant District Attorney Wayne Mallia on Saturday said his office was not looking at reopening any of the cases. Those cases were thoroughly investigated at the time, and it was determined that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute," Mallia said. N E W P R1C E RED U C T I O N S ! SAVE 50% misses, petites & Dillard's Woman casual sportswear Save half on a large selection of spring and summer casuals from America's favorite designer, a famous California designer and mere. Orig. 28.00-178.00, now 14.00-89.00. SAVE 25% America's favorite designer shorts & tees Misses, petites & Dillard's Woman sizes! Stripes, plaids, solids and prints in lots of color choices. Orig. 24.00-62.00, now 18.00-46.50, SAVE 33-50% iiiisses, petites & Dillard's Woman dresses Wear-now styles from famous makers. Orig. 70.00-160.00. 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