BILLY SOL ESTES - A TEXAS LEGEND

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CHAPTER 1

During my life, I have talked and corresponded with some of our greatest Presidents including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson. I have also known some of our greatest personalities such as Vito Genovese, Dr. Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa. A higher power and a grand vision guided them all. I have always done what I felt was best for my fellow man. I have been called a con man and a saint. Somewhere between these lies the truth.`

In 1961, my net worth was over 400 million dollars. I had a beautiful home in Pecos, Texas; a beautiful wife, my childhood sweetheart, Patsy; five beautiful children, Pam, Jan, Dawn, Billie Jnr., and Joy. Money is no longer important to me. My family and my roots are important. My beautiful children have grown up and now I have eleven grandchildren. My saint of a wife passed away ending a partnership of 54 years a partnership that included our rise from poverty to multimillionaires, a partnership in which I was sentenced to two different prison terms a partnership that ended on Valentine's Day with Patsy's death. She was a saint because she stood by me in the best and the worst of times. My bout with prostate cancer in 1998 led to my decision to tell the true story of my life. We are all mortals and have both a dark side and light side. My dark side has over-shadowed the good things in the public's mind. My friends and family understand my private works toward integration and taking care of the poor. Some have called me a modern day Robin Hood. I want to set the record straight. I was the first person to have a televised trial. My story is a simple story.

Tapes have always played a major part in my life, as you will see later. They played the tape of the 1984 Grand Jury Hearing into the death of Henry Marshall. The existence of the tape had been rumored for some time. Grand Jury Hearings and deliberations by law are supposed to be secret. The history of this tape is an interesting sidelight on my career. I listened to the tape and remembered the day of my release in 1983 from Federal Prison in Big Spring, Texas. I had made a promise to United States Marshall Clint Peoples to tell the truth about the death of Henry Marshall. Clint Peoples called me to collect on that promise. This resulted in my return to testify before yet another Robertson County Grand Jury in Franklin, Texas on March 20 1984.

As we drove into town, I saw very little change since my first Grand Jury appearance in 1962. Then I had arrived in a convoy of white Cadillac's. Now we were in a single black Cadillac. The Town Square looked the same but there was an addition to the courthouse for a new sheriff s office. I noticed there was a new Dairy Queen and I asked to stop there for a cup of coffee. I have made many million dollar deals in Dairy Queens. I would rather eat a hamburger there than a fancy restaurant meal any time...

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