Chased on Vacation and Told of Unsolved Murders in Del Rio, Texas – a True Story
Somewhere between San Antonio and Del Rio
Don't Think It Can't Happen To You!
I just read a hub that brought back memories of being chased, memories of bad lands and worse people.
On a Two Week Vacation
Mom and Dad both had a two week vacation and, when they picked-up my two brothers and me from our grandparents. We were going to drive (Dad of course was going to drive and we were going to ride along) across the country and he had a list of places he wanted us to see, before we went to live with him and Mom in South Bend, Indiana.
Dad drove straight south to Mobile, Alabama, where we went swimming in the gulf. There were all kinds of shells and creatures in the water. My brothers and I wanted to take some home with us, so, mom got a gallon glass jar for us and we caught some creatures and what looked like a snail shell, and filled the jar with water from the gulf. Within half an hour, a creature came out of the snail shell and filled the jug smothering everything else. Dad stopped for us to dump the dead creatures, then we were on the road again.
We headed west from Mobile, Alabama, stopping to eat and stretch our legs in or near New Orleans, Louisiana, than another couple of hours we arrived at a beautiful lake with a sandy beach, we were at Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Lake Charles Louisiana
It was so hot and humid and, the car did not have air conditioning and was running hot. Dad let us go swimming in the crystal clear lake while the car cooled off; I had never seen anything like it. You could see the bottom even in four foot of water.
In the town of Lake Charles, dad had the car check for a hose leak and we went inside the restaurant attached to the Garage. My brothers finished before anyone else and wanted to go outside and play.
The car radiator hose was replaced and we got into the car, Mom did not seem to notice that my brothers had a shoe box placed between them on the seat, and they were both unusually quiet.
We had not gone but a few miles, when we heard the chirp, chirp. Mom said "ok boys! What have you got in the box?" Darrell said “But Mom, the man said we could have all we wanted.”
Mom yelled, WHAT HAVE YOU GOT IN THE BOX? Darrell reluctantly opened the box and crickets went everywhere. We stopped the car and had to take everything out to get the crickets out. Crickets eat clothing.
I don’t know how much longer it took to get to Houston, Texas but Mom and Dad were exhausted and we had only been on the road for one whole day.
Lost in Houston
Dad found a motel and after a good night’s sleep, we got up early the next morning and the boys wanted to go outside and play.
We saw a huge bug on the sidewalk, bigger than any I had ever seen before. My brothers began following it down/up the street, I ran inside to tell mom that they were chasing a bug, by the time Mom got outside my brothers were out of sight.
Dad drove around the block and we did not see them, Mom called the police from the motel. A police car came out to look for them. Dad, Mom and me went around the block again and Dad pulled up to the curb with a hedged between the sidewalk and an alley, we heard Tony crying in the alley and Darrel who was only a year older say to him, “don’t try lidda brudder, I’ll tate tear of you.” Mom, lost it, and she cried, and cried.
Dad got out of the car walked up to the hedge telling them to stay where they were and we went around and picked them up. They stayed close to Mom, Dad and me from then on.
Remember the Alamo
After Mom called the police to tell them we found my brothers, we headed west to San Antonio. Dad wanted us to visit the Alamo.
Jul 6, 2009 - Uploaded by James BoddieModel based largely on the plans in Mark Lemon, The Illustrated Alamo 1836: A Photographic Journey, State House Press.
Music by Maya Filipic - Between two Worlds, Stories from Emona I and II. Powered by JAMENDO.
Our visit to the Alamo was impressive, I think Dad read a lot about the Alamo and wanted to see it for a long time, he kept pointing out points of interest but he also wanted someone to share it with, and now he had a family. (Years later, I often heard Mom say that Dad married her so he could have the three of us for his children.)
We arrived in Del Rio one early afternoon, in the 1955 Plymouth Belvedere was overheating again. Dad found a garage with a restaurant attached. He took the car into the garage, Mom and we kids went to get something to eat and drink.
Remember the Alamo!
Needing Car Repairs
The car repair was minor.It seemed the other garage did not have the hose clamp on tight enough.
Dad had joined us in the restaurant, and the mechanic parked the car in front where we could see it, then brought the keys and handed them to Dad and struck up a conversation.
As they were talking two cars pulled up and parked next to our car. It made us very uncomfortable when the six young men were looking inside our car as they passed by and came into the restaurant.
Dad was telling the mechanic we were headed to Carlsbad, New Mexico and asked if he knew of any place where we could spend the night between the two places.The mechanic, advised Dad because it was near dusk, to stay in Del Rio till morning, because..., but stopped talking when three of the young men walked up within hearing distance, the mechanic changed the subject.
The three men ordered sandwiches to go and left in one of the cars and the other three ordered the same thing but sat down at a table near the door.
Dad paid the check and we left. Mom felt better that three of the men left and the other three were still inside, as we pulled onto the highway.
Somewhere between San Antonio and Del Rio
The Chase Was On
Just a few miles down the road, dad had turned on his head lights and there ahead of us was the car with the three young men, it was turned sideways, blocking both lanes of the two lane highway.
Dad, who never drove over the speed limit, suddenly put the gas pedal to the floor. My brothers and I got in the floor to brace for the crash, when dad slammed on the brakes and our car did a spin and headed in the opposite direction, again he stepped on the gas and we were headed back to Del Rio.
We saw lights coming toward us and again we braced for a collision and Mom said as it passed us that’s, the other car. And Dad said he could see the lights in the rearview as they turned around and were coming after us.
We had taken our cokes with us from the restaurant and they were in glass bottles. Dad told us to throw them out the window so they would break on the highway behind us, maybe that would slow them down.
Safely Back in Del Rio
We got back to Del Rio and the garage, the mechanic saw us and had us pull into the garage and he closed the doors and turned off the lights, then Dad and the mechanic watched as the two cars pulled into the parking lot, then not seeing our car, they left again the way they just came from. We stayed there for what seemed like hours, just in case they were watching the garage.
The Stories of Unsolved Murders
The mechanic then told us of numerous murders that had taken place on that deserted stretch of highway we were on. He told us how fortunate we were, that we came back.
The story in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal published Sunday, February 5, 2005, about the shooting, stabbing, rape and robbery of six family members, after five were left dead on April 16, 1968, on a mile-long stretch of U.S. Highway a part of the winding 90-mile highway between Del Rio and Sonora.
According to the article this family’s murder remains the state’s longest unsolved mass killing.This story is a reminder of how fortunate we were.
© 2013 Shyron E Shenko