Monday, February 3, 2014

Evil Justice On Monday Mystery...

I always used to think that we folks here in Texas were pretty level headed about dispensing justice, and then I found this article over on KnowledgeNuts!

I guess the real mystery here is why it took so long for these people to be investigated and what happened to the justice they deserved?

When you read the article, you'll see that Texas dropped the ball on punishing these folks properly for what they did. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't start doing something like it all over again!

The Modern-Day Texas Slave Ranch
By Nolan Moore on Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Ellebrachts were characters ripped straight out of a low-budget horror movie. This twisted family lived in the Texas Hill Country, chopping down trees and selling the lumber. However, their business relied on slave labor. Plenty of unlucky hitchhikers ended up on their ranch, bound in chains and forced to work . . . and not all of them survived.

The Ellebracht clan lived in the woody hills of Kerr County, Texas during the 1980s, and when they drove into nearby Mountain Home, it was like the Sawyer family had come to town. Walter Ellebracht Sr. and his 33-year-old son, Junior, weren’t partial to baths, and they often walked around in their bare feet. The Ellebrachts made money chopping down trees and selling the wood to San Antonio businesses. They also sold little homemade key chains to nearby gas stations, and it was Ellebracht Sr.’s dream to become the “key chain king of the Texas Hill Country.” But to be a king, you need a lot of servants.

With the help of their foreman, Carlton Robert Caldwell, the Ellebrachts picked up hitchhikers and offered them lodging in exchange for work. It sounded like a good idea, but the drifters quickly found out once they checked in, they could never leave. The men were put to work chopping down trees, and at night, they were chained to their beds inside of a dilapidated, old bunkhouse. The Ellebrachts threatened their slaves with guns and knives, and when two men asked to leave, they were chained together and forced to dig their own graves.

While all the prisoners suffered, Anthony Bates had it the worst. Caldwell and Ellebracht Jr. took special pleasure in tormenting the one-eyed Alabamian and encouraged other slaves to take part. Bates was bound and zapped with an electric cattle prod. His tormentors shocked his genitals and tongue, all the while goading him to scream louder. Someone taped the torture sessions, and the recordings began with the disturbing announcement, “Live from the bunkhouse—it’s shock time!” Eventually, Bates was electrocuted to death, and his body was burned while the Ellebrachts played Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”

Finally, in 1984, someone escaped from the Ellebrachts and phoned the police. Authorities swarmed the ranch on April 6, and Ellebracht Sr., Junior, and Caldwell were tried for conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder. Despite witnesses, bone fragments and the taped torture sessions, the defendants got off relatively easy. Their lawyer was Richard “Racehorse” Haynes, one of the best in the state. He had a flair for theatrics and had a member of his team shock himself with a cattle prod to prove it didn’t hurt that all that badly. Haynes played the torture tapes over and over to desensitize the jury, and he pointed out that several of the prosecution’s witnesses had also taken part in the torture sessions. Thanks to his extreme tactics, and perhaps a bigoted attitude towards homeless drifters, Ellebracht Sr. was given probation, and both Junior and Caldwell were given 15 years behind bars. Neither served their full sentence, proving Texas justice isn’t always swift and harsh.

Sad to think that people as evil as this group can get away with such light punishment for their crimes, but when you consider the state of our judicial system in most places, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at all! Sure doesn't make us look too good here at home in this case, does it?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. I'm thinking that apple butter fritters are in order!

9 comments:

Chickenmom said...

Some lawyers are just as creepy as the people they defend. Apple butter fritters? Yummy!

BBC said...

I guess there is a lot of random slavery in this country, especially in housekeeping and sex trades.

JMD said...

Betcha lawyer Haynes didn't receive the "shock" in the same body locations as the unfortunate man held at the ranch. That would have proved interesting.

Just saying.

linda m said...

It is hard to believe this kind of stuff is still going on. However, somehow it doesn't surprise me. I believe there is a lot of evil stuff going on behind the scenes that we may never find out about. As for the defense lawyer, I have no use for lawyers like him. Apple Butter fritters sound good to me this morning. -5 degrees again. Darn that groundhog!

JO said...

That is a nasty bunch. I believe they old man got away with it at least the other 2 did some time but certainly not enough. It amazes me how these judges think and these sleazy lawyers should do time too and be dis bared.

Apple Fritters sound really good this morning it has turned quite chilly here again also.

Sissy said...

Horrible situation there. I agree with BBC, except no 'guessing' about it. There is no much of this going on, especially in the top echelons of the world!

I know not the first lawyer I would trust. I think the bedrock of the highway to hell consists of lawyers and other such crooks.

Apple butter fritters sound delicious. I'm on my way.

BBC said...

It's possible I wouldn't complain if a woman put me in bondage.

har har har...

Dizzy-Dick said...

In most cases, I would think the best punishment for crimes is to turn the perpetrator into a victim and see how he likes it.

herlanderwalking said...

So, in spite of recent Texan rhetoric about shooting Californians, something worse than "Hotel California" where you can "Check out any time you please, but you can never leave" actually EXISTED in TEXAS?

Color me glad I live far, far away...