this day in crime history: december 13, 2000

Texas7

On this date in 2000, seven inmates escaped from the John B. Connally Unit, a maximum security prison near Kenedy, TX. The inmates, who came to be known as the Texas Seven, overpowered corrections officers and civilian employees in the prison maintenance shop. They stole clothes, guns and a vehicle that they used to make their getaway.

After switching cars, the gang went to Pearland, TX, where they robbed a Radio Shack on December 14th. Five days later, they robbed a sporting goods store in Irving, TX. Their haul included cash, guns and ammunition. Before making their getaway, the gang was confronted by Irving Police Officer Aubrey Hawkins. Hawkins was ambushed by the gang, who shot him eleven times, then ran him over as they fled the scene of the crime. Hawkins later died of his injuries.

The gang made their way to Colorado, where they purchased a motor home and set up house at a trailer park in Woodland, CO. On January 21, 2001, the owner of the trailer park, tipped off by a friend who saw the group profiled on America’s Most Wanted, called police and reported the whereabouts of the fugitives.

A police SWAT team was deployed to the park. Officers cornered five of the men. Four of them eventually surrendered after a brief standoff. The fifth committed suicide rather than going back to prison.

Two days later, police tracked the two remaining fugitives to a hotel in Colorado Springs. After a short standoff, during which the escaped convicts gave a telephone interview to the news media, the men surrendered.

All six of the surviving escapees were tried and convicted of capital murder. Three of them have been executed. The remaining three are currently on death row at the Polunsky Unit prison in West Livingston, TX.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Texas Seven

The Dallas Morning News‘Texas 7’ escapee executed for killing Irving police officer

Irving Police – Officer Aubrey Wright Hawkins #830

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5 thoughts on “this day in crime history: december 13, 2000

  1. John D.:
    Here was a case of having an INFORMED PUBLIC assisting law-enforcement (this time via a TV show)…and it WORKED (quite well). It manages to make “the long arm of the law” a LOT longer.

    Shame on ANY city that denies access or purposely keeps information about criminals in their midst FROM the public (and yet asks for help from the citizens).

    Texas got this one right by alerting the NATION about this group.
    Good story.

    Stay safe out there.

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    • In this case, informing the public gave LE more eyes and ears than they ever could have deployed from just their own ranks. Worked out well in the end, but the events along the way were tragic.

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  2. “All six . . . Three . . . have been executed. The remaining four . . .” Product of the public schools, are we?
    I vaguely recall this case, but not the aftermath, and I laughed out loud when I got to the part about the executions. Does that make me a bad person? I don’t think so.

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    • I missed that when I was updating the post from last year. One of the guys was executed early this year.

      And yes, it makes you a bad, bad person for laughing. You should have more empathy for murdering sociopaths. They’d do the same for you. You know, if they actually were capable of anything resembling empathy.

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