By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
"When all your rich people from Dallas and Houston move out here, the thieves are just drawn to them. Thieves are just wired that way," Dyson says. "You used to not have to lock your door in Henderson County."
Nutt has a different explanation for the troubles at Cedar Creek Lake. When it first opened, he says, it wasn't zoned and "a lot of elderly people bought a mobile home and moved in; it was nice. Then they passed away and family members sold them off or just let them go down."
"If you really want an adventure sometime, just take you a ride around Cedar Creek Lake," Nutt says. "There are a lot of good people over there, don't get me wrong, but that's where a lot of criminals tend to flow."
In the last year, newspapers including The New York Times and Los Angeles Times have run stories about the sharp rise in cattle rustling, and, according to an article in The Dallas Morning News, more livestock is stolen in East Texas than anywhere else in the state. The News article profiled Andy Wilkins, who grew up in Blossom, Texas, about 100 miles north of Calhoun's stomping grounds. Wilkins stole about 400 cattle before he was arrested, and now he's serving two concurrent ten-year prison terms at a maximum-security prison in East Texas, sharing a cell with a convicted killer.
Theft from oil drilling sites has been another problem, and in July of this year, authorities made one of the biggest oil theft busts in the state. Grand juries returned 67 felony indictments for members of a theft ring who were stealing natural gas — which some say has surpassed crude as king in East Texas — from wells in seven counties, according to a press release from the Panola County District Attorney.
Perhaps the most famous thief from East Texas in recent times is Danny Seeders, who ran a golf ball recovery business in the 1990s but also, along with his son and several family friends, burglarized businesses throughout East Texas, mainly targeting Polk County, according to an article in D Magazine. The men would scout a grocery store, focusing on the security system, and then use an electric saw to cut a hole in the building's roof. Once inside, they'd disable the security system and crack the store's safe.
The Seeders crew was eventually arrested, after a "wild chase through the woods," the article says, and each of the men was sentenced to prison. When Danny was released seven years later, he went right back to stealing from stores. The article says that meth use by one of the thieves led to sloppy work that eventually got the crew busted again in 2005. Police estimate that before they were arrested again, the crew stole about $750,000 in four years, making them one of the biggest "business burglary rings" in the state's history.
A detective who worked the case told the magazine, "That's what's so sad about this; they could have made a good enough living [with the golf ball business], but it just wasn't in them."
Calhoun wasn't born in East Texas, but he moved there from the Dallas area when he was ten years old, after his parents split. His dad stayed in Dallas, his mom moved to Colorado and the young Calhoun was sent to live with his grandparents in Brownsboro, Texas.
The town is barely a map dot, with a population of just under 800 people today, located on the north end of Henderson County — bordered by Cedar Creek Lake to the west and Lake Palestine to the east. The oil money left Brownsboro long ago, if there ever was any, and the town is surrounded by small, decaying, clapboard houses alongside tracts of grazing cattle and horses. Cutting the town in half is a single highway, lined with a couple schools, some gas stations and a pizza parlor where you can rent videos and buy antiques.
A popular FM radio station hosts the "world famous" KMOO General Store, basically a country Craigslist with callers wanting to buy, sell or trade items that range from dump trucks to tubs of lard. One recent caller wanted to find someone to trade roosters for bunk beds.
Calhoun had troubles early on in Brownsboro, getting diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and as bipolar. "We took him to get some help," his grandfather Linnie Calhoun says. He says they put Calhoun through a lot of tests, and "they still couldn't help him."
Calhoun's name first appeared on the cops' radar in Brownsboro not long after he turned 16, with "rumblings of him wanting to fight kids" floating through the city, says Parker, who served as Brownsboro's chief of police before switching to Henderson County. The real problem, though, was Calhoun speeding along the narrow, winding back roads that surround the town in his one-ton Ford truck, "terrorizing the quiet folks." Parker or another officer would set up stings for Calhoun on the highway outside the high school, waiting for him to tear out of the parking lot.
"We'd stop him, and he'd never want to get a ticket," Parker says. "He never caused any problems."
can anyone actually look at this guys picture and not be convinced that there is something wrong with him? he is a poster boy for mental health reform. i'll say one thing in his defense, aside from the border agent's minor injuries, he didn't hurt anyone, unlike these punkass thugs that walk around with a gun shooting at anything for any reason
The world is full of jokers like this and every town has one?Seriously?How many people do you two know that have stolen light aircraft?I certainly wonder where you live lol
Every town has one? I dare you to find another. He is a modern day Butch Cassidy any y'all are just jealous due to your mundane life.
Good article my friend,
it sounuds like a film story,but it is very true.not in a town but in every lane one is there.------------------------------------------------------------------
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There must have been absolutely nothing else for the author to write about. The world is full of jokers like this. Does the clown Calhoun merit a story? Really?