Why did the state’s investigators decide on Hank’s guilt so early on, and with such little evidence and no investigation? The answer may lie in Hank’s activities prior to the murders. He was a general embarrassment to the law enforcement authorities in Texas….” , and those in Gray County in particular. Hank believes he is the victim of a frame-up operation, and argues the case convincingly.
In his own words:
“I’ve always been an outspoken advocate for the constitution, constitutional rights and prisoner’s rights. Over the years, I’ve been active through participation in inmate lawsuits on jail/prison conditions, have represented inmates at parole revocation….hearings, have advised inmates when their court appointed shysters have lied to them and discouraged those who claimed innocence from accepting plea bargains.”
“I’ve had many interviews in the Pampa newspaper on the way the prior sheriff, Jimmy Free, treated inmates in the jail and violated their rights. In short, I was an irritant to the government of Gray County and particularly to the District Attorney and sheriff’s offices.”
In another statement on the same subject:
“When I was arrested, the District Attorney had me under indictment for two felony crimes. He had previously had me arrested for a bogus burglary, but I had demanded the first examining trial in Gray County in seventeen years, before he could get me indicted and proved all his allegations false”.
“At trial, the state’s witness in the other alleged crime took the stand and admitted he was lying because he was mad at me. He was a fifteen year old juvenile who’s been in more trouble with the law than I have. I have two prior convictions, both for car theft”.
“I have one probation for aggravated assault on a police officer; which I successfully completed in three years. The evidence shows that I didn’t actually assault him. He arrested me for public intoxication, took me to the City Jail and began beating me.
When he fell on top of me, I had stuck my knee up, which hit him in the groin”.
“Anyway, the District Attorney was amassing these charges….. the theory being, that if he piled enough charges up on me, whether they had any merit or not, eventually he’d get me into a plea bargain on some charge. He was quoted as saying that he didn’t ‘give a damn if I was guilty or not,’ he was going to ‘send me to the pen [prison] for a long, long, time.’ This crime [the murder] was the perfect opportunity for him to make good on that threat and so he did.”
Read more in the Anatomy of a Murderer? section