“All right men, settle down,” the watch commander said as Lacy Judson walked into the briefing room.
One of the hot dogs sitting at the briefing table looked at Judson and checked his watch.
Judson was not late for briefing.
He always came into the briefing room at least thirty or forty- five seconds before the shift started,
just to piss off the Sergeant.
Lacy Judson had nineteen and a half years at the Indio Station. The Captain was the only officer with
more time at that station, but Judson had more time in the Sheriff’s Department, having spent five years
at the Banning Road Camp. He was also the oldest Deputy at that station.
Judson didn’t bother to acknowledge the younger deputies at the table. He didn’t talk to anyone with
less than three years on the department. He would often remind the hot dogs, the name he used for all
rookies that they were not entitled to an opinion until they had at least three years in the field.
Most new deputies didn’t bother to try to talk to him anyway. They assumed that he was a burn-out
that had retired on the job years ago and was just waiting for his pension. In a way they were correct.
The watch commander went over the crimes that had occurred the night before in their beat.
Deputies wrote down suspect descriptions and license plate numbers, while Judson day dreamed about
going to Cabo San Lucas.
“Let’s hit the road, and be careful out there,” the watch commander said as the deputies stood up and headed for the armory.
“Yeah, it’s a real jungle out there,” Judson said sarcastically to no one in particular, as he waited for the
other deputies to line up for their gear issue.
Judson was in no hurry to get to the field. It would still be there when he got around to going out he
The younger deputies liked to get in line as soon as they could to get a good car. No one wanted the
Three-year old Rambler Ambassador that Judson drove every day when he was on duty because it
smelled like rotten cigarillo smoke, and didn’t look like a real police car as far as they were concerned.
The hot dogs all wanted the newer Chevy units or the big Dodge Ram Chargers, if they were working
down in Thermal or the Salton Sea area.
After all of the other deputies drew their gear, Judson stepped up to the window and was handed a
shotgun, six rounds of buckshot, a hand held radio and a plastic cool seat that went on top of the regular
All this was done without exchanging a single word with the civilian employee that acted as the
equipment officer for the day shift.
When he walked out the back door into the patrol parking lot deputies were busy checking the
sirens and lights on the cars.
“Fucking hot dogs,” Judson mumbled to himself as he opened the door to the Rambler, placed the cool
seat inside, locked the shot gun in the gun rack in front of the bench seat, lit a cigarillo and drove out of
the parking lot giving the finger to the newest deputy at the station.
He didn’t bother to check the equipment out because no one except him would be caught dead in the
Unknown to the hot dogs, the Rambler was the fastest vehicle in the patrol fleet.
He didn’t turn left on Highway 111 and head out to his beat in Cathedral City. He drove down Jackson
Street and stopped at the liquor store that he stopped at every morning when he was on duty.
He nodded at the Sikh clerk behind the counter as he picked up a package of Swisher Sweet cigarillos
before going to the newspaper rack and picking up a copy of the Riverside newspaper.
He pulled out a couple of bucks and paid the clerk the same half price he paid every morning on his way
to Kitty City, the name all deputies used for Cathedral City.
Political correctness was not real big in 1980 and Kitty City was the name used by the cops in the area
because of the gay bars in Cathedral City, the town east of Palm Springs.
One of the civilian female clerks at the Indio station was championing the Equal Rights Amendment at
work until Judson looked her directly in the eyes and told her that she needed some lefts also.
He was pulling into the parking lot of his favorite donut shop when he heard his radio call sign. Judson
was annoyed even though he had not done anything yet except drive to his beat.
He was more annoyed when the voice at the other end was his third ex-wife Anita. She was actually his
favorite ex-wife, but he was glad that she had taken a job as a dispatcher over in Imperial County in
Holtville and would be gone in two weeks.
The dispatcher gave him an address in Cathedral City, after telling him to “see the woman.”
He replied “10-4” and then mumbled aloud to himself, “Come on Anita, this ain’t 1965 and you’re not on
Dragnet with Jack Webb.”
As he pulled in front of 168 Roadrunner Court the well-built woman next door gave him a nice glance at
her bikini bottomed ass as she bent over watering her flowers.
It was 7:43 in the morning and the AM radio station in Palm Springs was reporting the temperature at
Ninety-three degrees. It was expected to hit one hundred and eight by noon.
The woman knew that the patrol car was behind her, but she stayed bent over showing the deputy the
cheeks of her suntanned rear end (and it was a very nice ass, Judson had told himself) until he said
“Good morning ma’am, did you call the Sheriff’s office”?
“Wow, what a set of knockers,” Judson told himself as the twenty-six-year old lady turned to face him
and said, “Yes I did, it’s about my neighbor Tony Bolden.”
Judson stepped out of his unit with a small notebook in his hand and asked what the problem was.
“I don’t know if there really is a problem. I’ve lived next door to Mr. Bolden for two years and he has
always gone to work before seven in the morning every work day.
His Corvette has been in his driveway for two days now and I’m concerned that something may be
wrong with him.”
“Does he own another vehicle? Judson wanted to know.
“He has a big heavy duty pick-up truck, but he always leaves it at his shop over in Palm Desert.” She told
Judson asked her when she last saw her neighbor and she told him that she knew that
he was at home on Sunday morning, because she had seen him sunbathing in his backyard when she
looked over the fence and asked him if she could borrow two eggs.
He asked a few more questions and found out that Tony Bolden was a lady’s man. He didn’t spend much
time at home according to the lady in the bikini.
She said that when Tony Bolden was not at work running his roofing business, he was cruising bars in
Palm Springs picking up chicks.
He had made a couple of passes at the woman in the bikini but she wasn’t interested. She had a
boyfriend in Los Angeles that paid the rent on her house and she had no intention of losing a
Judson knew that there was no point in him trying to put the smooth moves on this babe. She was way
out of his league, so he just kept it business like.
“OK, let me check out the house and I’ll get back to you if I find anything,” Judson told her as he handed
her his business card.
Before going to the front door Judson did a quick check of the perimeter of the house. The Corvette was
parked in the driveway and he didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
As he walked through the back yard, he thought about the jerk that was making a good living going to
po-dunk police and sheriff’s departments and lecturing cops on how to do their job.
This goof- ball would stand in front of veteran officers in a kung fu stance and tell them stories about his
days as a super hero.
Judson had gone to one of those seminars in Hemet and the clown actually told real cops about how he
would always put his hand on the wall of the house, before going to the door when he was on a call.
The super hero claimed that he could feel people walking around inside the house or doing some kind of
criminal activity, simply by touching the side of the house.
Judson gave him a loud “bullshit” before walking out with a couple of other old timers, leaving the
super hero with a dumb look on his face before going into another kung fu position.
Judson was at the front door of the house knocking on the door and calling out Mr. Bolden’s name.
Something didn’t feel right, but he could not put his finger on it.
After several attempts at knocking and ringing the door bell, Judson tried the door knob. He was a little
surprised when the knob turned and for the first time while on duty in over three years he pulled his
Smith & Wesson Combat Masterpiece revolver from his holster.
He knew something was wrong when he felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up. The last time
that had happened, he had killed two bank robbers. That had been in 1972.
He turned on lights as he moved slowly through the living room and kitchen. He smelled something odd
and disgusting when he got to the hallway going towards the bedrooms.
He flipped on the light and searched the closet and under the bed in what he assumed was a guest
The strange smell was really bad when he got to the doorway of the master bedroom.
He had smelled death before and he knew that he was very close to finding Tony Bolden.
He stood still for several seconds after he switched on the lamp next to the bed. He moved slowly
around the bed and saw something or somebody slumped over on the floor, between the bed and the
He knew that he was looking at a dead body when he saw the purple bottoms of two feet. He inched his
way closer to the body and the smell was almost overwhelming at that time.
There was a body slumped over on its knees. He assumed that it was a man because of the feces
stained underwear and the wife beater undershirt.
The head and face were covered with a pillow and upon closer examination Judson found a small hole in
He looked closer and found feathers from the pillow scattered around the crime scene.
The feathers had come out when a weapon was fired at point blank range into the back of the dead
Judson carefully removed the pillow and looked at the single shot in the base of the neck that had killed
the man that he assumed was Tony Bolden.
He could see the man’s face from the side and knew that he had been dead for some time.
The face was purple like the bottom of the man’s feet, a sign that blood had flowed to the lowest point
He placed the pillow back where he had found it and went to the kitchen to use the telephone. He
picked up the receiver and dialed the business number for the sheriff’s office in Indio.
A female dispatcher answered and Judson said, “Hey Gracie it’s Lacy Judson. Don’t put this out over the
I’ve got a 187 out here at 168 Roadrunner Court and I need the homicide guys most riki-tiki.”
Judson was careful to make a mental note of everything he had touched.
He knew that the fingerprint tech had a lot of work to do and he would try to make it as easy for him as
He went out to his unit and took the pack of cigarillos from the seat of the car. He knew that most of
the homicide dicks would have cigars with them.
Judson lit a cigarillo and sat in his unit hoping that miss hot pants in the bikini didn’t come outside
until after she saw the dicks pull up, and he was he was back in the house with the boys from
Judson was getting concerned that the hot babe neighbor would see him outside in his car and come out
to ask questions.
He was watching her front door when Coy Van Meter and another detective pulled in behind his unit.
Van Meter was one of the few buddies that Judson had on the department. They went back a longways.
Van Meter was the other burn-out at the Indio station.
He had gone deep under cover with an outlaw motorcycle gang in the early seventies and had come real
close to being tortured and murdered.
Van Meter was off for two years before coming back as a detective. He spent the first six-month’s up in
Riverside at the Sheriff’s office riding the desk.
Judson got out of the car to greet the detectives. Van Mater walked up to him and shook his hand
saying, “Good to see you Lacy.”
“Good to see you also Coy.” Judson replied. He meant what he said. There were not too many men on
the department that Judson would say that to.
“You know my partner Gonzales,” Coy said as Judson held out his hand and said,
“How’s it going Rueben?
Miss hot pants next door saw the detectives arrive and she came out of her house wearing a thin
oriental house coat.
“May I speak to you Deputy Judson,” she asked as she walked towards the men.
“Can you give us a few minutes” Van Meter asked her. “I’ll send someone over soon to talk to you,” he
Coy Van Meter would be the lead detective on this case.
As the officers walked towards the house, the crime lab technician pulled up in a big white van.
Van Meter waved to him as the technician got out of the van. The crime lab tech opened the side
door of the van and pulled out two large black bags and started to walk towards the house.
Judson and the dicks were waiting inside the front door for the tech.
After he walked into the house Van Meter said “What do you have for us Lacy?
Judson walked them through the scene, covering his path to the bedroom where the body of Tony
Bolden was found.
He told them about the statement from the lady next door and how Tony Bolden was known to cruise
bars in Palm Springs looking for chicks.
She had mentioned that Tony Bolden liked to talk about all the money that he made in the roofing
“So what do you think Lacy,” Van Meter wanted to know. “You think some chick that he picked up at a
bar did this?
“I don’t know about that,” Judson told Van Meter and Gonzales, “but I suspect that this was a robbery.”
“So if you were a business owner, would you keep a lot of money around,” Van Meter asked both of
“By the looks of the place I would say that he has some money, but his tastes seem to be limited,”
Detective Gonzales offered.
Van Meter wanted to know what that meant and Gonzales pointed out the stacks of Playboy, Penthouse
and Hustler magazines on the coffee table. There was no other reading material in the house.
Van Meter and Judson made small talk while Gonzales walked the crime scene tech through the house,
pointing out areas he wanted photographed.
Van Meter had asked Judson to show them everything he had touched since he came into the house.
“You got any hunches,” Van Meter asked as Judson offered him a cigarillo before he lit another one.
“Well if I had any money and went out a lot at night, I would probably have a safe.” Judson replied.
“I wouldn’t want to have to go to the bank for spending money.”
Judson didn’t go out much. He spent most of his free time alone in his apartment in Indio drinking beer
and shots of peppermint schnapps.
He wasn’t an alcoholic he told himself, although he drank every night.
“Let’s check it out,” Van Meter said as they began to look behind pictures on the wall.
Judson walked into the bedroom closet and picked up a corner of the rug.
“Hey Coy, come in here” He called. “Found it.” He said as Van Meter looked at the floor safe.
Van Meter had the tech take pictures of the safe and dust it for prints before they touched it.
They all agreed that the safe had not been tampered with before Van Meter telephoned the office and
asked Judson’s ex-wife to send a locksmith out, to examine the safe.
The coroner’s investigator arrived with his bag in one hand and a burrito in the other hand.
He ate his burrito while he examined the body on the floor.
“Do you want to go next door and talk to the neighbor and let her know that there is a dead man in the
house, but we won’t know if it’s Tony Bolden until the coroner releases the body.” Van Meter said to
“Oh hi, I was just frying some chicken, do you want some,” Miss bikini asked when she opened the
Judson told her that he had some bad news and they sat down on the couch. She cried a little bit and
almost let the fried chicken burn before she was able to compose herself.
She didn’t have anything else she could offer that would help the investigation and she thanked Judson
for advising her of the situation before he said goodbye to her, after declining the offer for fried chicken.
Van Meter and his partner would wrap up the investigation. He told Judson again that it was good to see
him and they both agreed to meet on Wednesday night for dinner at Lupita’s, out in Coachella.
“Something always comes up,” Van Meter said when he called Judson at home and told him they would
have to make it another time for dinner.
Judson assured him that there was nothing to worry about. After he got off the phone, he walked over
to the deli a few blocks away and ordered half a baked chicken to go.
He stopped at the liquor store and picked up a six pack and a half pint of peppermint schnapps. He knew
that he wasn’t going to become an alcoholic, if he limited the drinking to beer and an occasional shooter
They finally made it over to Lupita’s two weeks later. Jose the manager always gave Van Meter the best
seat in the house.
He liked to sit in the rear of the dining room, facing the front door and Judson sat at the side of the
Neither one of them wanted to have their backs turned to the other diners. It wasn’t some kind of
superstitious thing. A lot of cops had been hurt while sitting in bars and restaurants.
With all the time both of the cops had on the department, it would not be unusual to be off duty and to
see someone that they had arrested, especially Van Meter.
There were a lot of outlaw bikers that wanted a piece of him.
The waiter brought them both a beer before he took their order. Van Meter always had the number 5
combo plate and Judson ordered the chili verde.
The food was good and the beer was cold. Life was good for two beat cops that had put in their time
Van Meter reminded Judson.
Judson took the last bite of food and Van Meter said, “Remember the time you shot that bottle of wine
the hippies were carrying?
“How could I forget, I took a three-day suspension for that stunt,” Judson said as his mind went back to
He was patrolling highway 86, southbound at Dillon Road when he saw two hippies hitch hiking on the
He didn’t care one way or the other about hitch hikers, but he didn’t like hippies. He stopped to check
them out and saw a gallon jug of wine on the ground next to their bedrolls.
He walked up on them and motioned for them to step away from the bottle. They each moved a few
feet away and in his best John Wayne voice he said “we don’t allow open containers in this county.”
He then drew his service revolver and shot one round into the bottle shattering it. He got into his squad
car and rode off into the sunset.
When he returned to the station at the end of his watch, an internal affairs detective was waiting for
He was told that a California Highway Patrol Officer had observed his little target practice from the
highway overpass a few hundred yards away.
“Yeah those were the days my friend,” Van Meter told him, “and now for some good news. I’ve got a
snitch in jail that owes me big time. He slipped a note to one of the jail deputies asking for me and I
went over this morning and had him pulled out and taken to the library.
My snitch gave me the names and descriptions of two shit-bird bandits from the Los Angeles area.
They’re a salt and pepper team and he thinks they hold out in the north shore area of the Salton Sea,
around Bombay Beach.
The white guy is named Bruce Boswell and he thinks his partner is named Demond Washington, or
Jackson. One of those presidential last names, I’m checking it out now.
The snitch put them in a bar in Rancho Mirage talking with a man that fits the description of Tony
Bolden. He saw them leave with the man the night Bolden was murdered.”
“That’s all well and dandy, but your snitch could have read all of this in the newspaper and laid this on
the salt and pepper dudes.” Judson stated.
“He has no reason to set these guys up and besides that, the lab tech pulled Bruce Boswells fingerprints
off of a drinking glass at Tony Bolden’s house.
It appears that they had a highball together before they offed the man. I didn’t have Boswells name, all
my snitch knew was that the bartender called him Bruce.”
“Good work buddy,” Judson said as he held up two fingers and signaled the bartender for another
“Is this chick mad dogging you,” Judson asked as he looked at a biker looking chick in a cut off Levi Jacket
sitting a few tables away.
“I know that bitch, I put her old man away a couple of years ago. He was the President of the local biker
gang in Thermal. You know the asshole. I can’t remember his name, but he’s the shit-bird that only has
“Oh that clown,” Judson said as he rubbed his nose with his middle finger and looked directly at the
She almost jumped out of her chair as she headed towards their table. “Fuck you,” was all she said
before Judson told her,
“Go sit your ass back down before I knock you out and arrest you for prostitution.”
“You can’t do that,” she spit out.
“Watch me big mouth,” Judson replied.
Van Meter laughed at her and said, “Ok Trixie go back to your table and shut the fuck up.”
Jose the manager came to their table and informed the biker chick that she would have to leave.
Her date tried to object and the manager told him to get out also and not to come back.
Van Meter and Judson both apologized, but Jose told them that it was not necessary.
That type of trash should not be in his restaurant anyway.
They thanked the manager for the great service and left a good tip for the waiter.
It was still early and neither one of them had a lot of friends to hang out with.
Van Meter suggested that they pick up some beer and drink it in the car.
The weather was nice and they had a lot of bullshitting to catch up on.
Judson split the bill for the beer with Van Meter before he dropped his car off at his apartment.
They took their twelve pack to a drinking spot that they both knew was safe.
They parked a few blocks away at the railroad yard across from the Chinese restaurant.
They smoked cigarillos and drank beer while they listened to each other’s war stories. They both had a
lot of stories, but Judson noticed that Van Meter never talked about his time as an undercover operator.
Judson handed Van Meter another Mickey’s and started to tell him about the goof ball from Blyth that
went to the academy with him, when he saw a Border Patrol unit pull into the railroad yard.
“Must be a train headed in,” Judson told him as the agents got out of the Border Patrol truck and
stretched their legs.
Within two minutes they heard a train whistle. Another Border Patrol unit entered the yard and took up
a position several hundred yards down the track.
The train slowed down and men started jumping off of the train and heading towards the city of Indio,
or through the tamarack trees that made a wind break for the trains.
Two other Border Patrol units were now on the scene. One unit was picking up illegal’s near the trees
and the other unit was searching for the illegal’s that were running for town.
Van Meter and Judson watched as four dirty, rough looking men jumped out of a box car and made for
the trees. They didn’t have to worry about the Border Patrol the men appeared to be Anglos.
There was an Indio city police car waiting for them on the other side of the trees. They would be cited
for trespassing on railroad property and released.
Nine of the illegal’s were caught and loaded into two Border Patrol trucks and taken to the Border Patrol
station in Indio.
After everything settled down and the train headed east, Van Meter saw a Border Patrol Agent that he
He waved the agent over to his car and said, “Hi Steve, how’s it going.”
The agent replied by saying, “Hey Coy, what are you guys doing out here.”
Steve, the agent and his partner got into the back seat and accepted a beer each from Judson.
As they sat back and enjoyed their beers, Van Meter asked them about the white guys that jumped out
of the boxcar.
“Real scary dudes,” Steve told them. “We don’t know much about them and they don’t say anything
when they get caught by us, the city police or the railroad dicks. They’re almost all ex-cons. They’re kind
of like the hell’s angels of the freight trains.
This is a new thing, but you boys better watch out for them. According to the Cotton Belt Railroad dick
that works out of Colton, there’s one outfit that travels on this line from Los Angeles to El Paso, and
another outfit travels on what they call the high line.
The high line is from Seattle east. There’s a bunch of them that hold out in Montana before the weather
It’s pretty much a western United States thing. They don’t seem to leave the southwest or northwest.
They call themselves The Freight Train Riders of America.”
Van Meter told them that he would check with the gang detail and see if they knew anything about
“They’re not tramps,” Steve warned them. “These guys are real bad actors,” he said as he finished his
Steve and his partner had to get over to Mecca and hit the cantinas, looking for wetback farm workers
and b-girls before they went home or back to the labor camps for the night.
“All right men settle down,” the watch commander said as he looked at his watch. Lacy Judson strolled
into the briefing room. He had at least thirty seconds to spare, according to his Timex watch.
“We have a BOLO from Detective Van Meter over in homicide,” the sergeant said as the deputies
prepared to write the information down in their notebooks.
Judson glanced at the hot dog sitting next to him as the hot dog wrote BE ON LOOK OUT at the top of his
He noticed that the hot dog had the date written down in the corner of his note book next to
a space that he would write his beat number in.
Judson opened his notebook and waited for the information. The watch commander said, “We have a
lead on the 187 that Judson handled a few weeks back.
Van Meter has identified one of the suspects in the Bolden murder as Bruce Boswell.
Boswell works with a partner and they shouldn’t be hard to spot. These guys are a salt and pepper team
out of Compton, over in the L.A. area.
Suspect number one is Bruce Boswell, common spelling. He is described as twenty- eight years old, male
Caucasian, brown or dark blonde hair and blue eyes. He’s five feet nine inches tall and one hundred and
Boswell has some distinguishing marks. He has a four-inch knife scar on his right forearm, the top part of
his left ear has been bitten off and he has the name Peaches tattooed on the left side of his neck.
I’m going to pass a San Quentin ID photo of him around. You guys in the south end of the county keep
your eyes open.
He and his partner, described as a male Negro, possible name Demond Jackson or Washington were
seen recently in the Bombay Beach area of the Salton Sea at that bait shop near the water.
Jackson or Washington is described as about five feet eleven inches and around one hundred and ninety
pounds. He’s around twenty-eight to thirty years old. No further description.
We have Boswell’s fingerprints from the scene, but we don’t have anything on his partner except that
they were both seen with the dead man the night of the murder.
The little old lady that runs the bait shop didn’t have any other information on the Negro, except
she said he was mean looking.”
The hot dog sitting next to Judson asked, “Is Peaches this dude’s moniker.”
Moniker, Judson thought to himself. Fucking college boys, why don’t you just say nickname or aka.
“Peaches, is his ex-stripper mom’s stage name,” the watch commander replied.
After everyone had a chance to look at the picture of Boswell, the watch commander read the license
plate numbers of stolen cars in their area and told the deputies to go to work.
“Be careful out there,” he advised them as they walked towards the equipment room.
Judson was the last man to draw his gear. He mumbled “thanks’ to the surprised civilian employee in the
gear room and the civilian responded with “You’re welcome,” before Judson headed out to the
After his stop for cigarillos and the morning newspaper, Judson headed west on highway 111 taking the
scenic and slower route to Kitty City.
Four days had gone by since the briefing on the salt and pepper bandits and it was business as usual for
He had spent one hour in the donut shop, reading the newspaper and talking to the pretty little do-nut
dolly behind the counter.
Judson thought about hitting up on her, until she mentioned that her husband was the Marine Corps
hand to hand combat instructor over at the base in Twenty-Nine Palms.
He decided instead to tap the sixty- year old ex-Vegas cocktail waitress that lived in the trailer park
behind the drive in theater. She was always good for an early morning bang.
He spent an hour with her before deciding that he really should do some police work that day.
He cruised highway 111, checking out the little shops and businesses until he got to the Texaco gas
station owned by his friend Rocky.
Judson and Rocky looked at his collectible model Texaco airplanes and Rocky told him, “I only need one
more and my set will be complete.”
“Oh yeah, which one is that,” Judson asked.
“The 1930 Travel Air Model R Mystery Ship,” Rocky said as he showed Judson a picture from an old
Rocky had to take a leak and Judson wrote the name of the model airplane in his notebook while his
buddy was in the bathroom.
Rocky would never know, but Judson planned on finding the Mystery Ship for him and giving it to him as
Judson had no way of knowing that Rocky would be dead in two months from exposure to agent orange
in the Vietnam war.
Judson didn’t want to jinx anything, but he was starting to feel that he was going to skate through his
entire shift without doing anything, and then he got a radio call.
It was one of those “see the housekeeper” calls at a gay hotel on the boulevard, also known as Highway
He wasn’t too surprised when the housekeeper turned out to be a brute in a skin tight black tank top,
black jeans and motorcycle engineer boots. The housekeepers name was Bruno.
It seems that Bruno had been verbally abused by two “bitches” from out of state. He described both of
the men that had accosted him and reported that they had defrauded an inn keeper by leaving without
paying their room bill.
The abuse occurred when one of the bitches called Bruno an “ugly fag.” Judson told the man that it
really wasn’t a crime to call a person ugly, but he would file a report on the defrauding complaint.
Bruno provided Judson with a description of the car they were driving and an Arizona license plate
Judson assured the burley housekeeper that he would issue an all-points bulletin for the two bitches as
he pretended to write notes in his notebook.
Bruno waved goodbye from the door of the hotel lobby and Judson decided to take Interstate 10 back
to Indio because he was now running late after the call at the hotel.
He was lighting a cigarillo when he heard the voice of the deputy assigned to Charles 40 call in and say
that he was following the two 187 suspects, Boswell and his partner.
They were heading north on highway 86, just passing Valery Jean. The suspects were traveling at about
ninety miles per hour since being spotted by Charles 40.
Charles 49 was leaving Mecca and he would try to intercept them along with Charles 40.
Bird Dog 1, a tiny Border Patrol fixed wing aircraft was in the area and had them in sight and he would
assist from the air.
A city police officer from the town of Coachella was available and he would try to pick up the chase
when they entered the town limits.
Judson had positioned himself on the overpass at Palm Desert and he was waiting for the chase,
if it got that far.
The watch commander wasn’t sure what to do. He had spent most of his career working in the jail and
he was seriously wishing he knew what to do now. He would just wait and see what happened next.
The dispatcher in Indio had called the Highway Patrol, but all available units were tied up in a massive
crash near Cactus City, halfway between Blyth and Indio.
A senior deputy with ten years less time in the department than Judson was rolling out of Desert Hot
Springs and the watch commander decided to let him take charge of the situation in the field.
All units in the Indio area were told to switch to another radio frequency and the Desert Hot Springs
Officer advised Charles 40 to call in the chase.
All other deputies in the chase would stay off the radio unless it was an emergency.
The bad guys left highway 86 and got onto Dillon Road headed west bound.
Bird Dog 1 confirmed that he could see two suspects in the white Chevy Camaro, an Anglo and a Negro.
Bird Dog 1 was flying low, just above the power lines.
Judson was now on Dillon Road about two miles ahead of the suspects. It wouldn’t be long before the
suspects were at his position at the speed they were traveling.
The Desert Hot Springs senior deputy would be at Judson’s position in less than one minute and a
County Marshall had set up a one man road block after the Desert Hot Springs deputy had passed his
The senior deputy saw Judson’s vehicle and brought his vehicle around and lined up next to Judson.
Judson was putting his riot helmet on and wishing he had purchased one of those new bullet proof vests
that most of the hot dogs were now wearing, when he saw the senior deputy signal to him by holding up
nine fingers, indicating that Judson switch to channel nine on the police radio.
He told Judson that they were going to do a rolling roadblock by staging their cars next to each other
and slowing the bad guys down while Charles 40 and 49 boxed the bad guys in from the rear.
“These clowns may be armed and dangerous,” Judson told the senior deputy.
The senior deputy ignored him and contacted Charles 40, 49 and the Coachella officer and told them
“Holy shit,” Charles 40, Charles 49, the Coachella Officer and Bird Dog 1 all said at almost the same time
“What the fuck,” the County Marshall told his car as he stood next to it, holding his revolver in his hand.
He was safe the chase was four miles east of him.
Bird Dog 1 took his hands off the controls long enough to take his .30 caliber paratrooper carbine out of
the rack above his head and chamber a round. He was expecting the shit to hit the fan.
“Here they come,” the senior deputy yelled into the radio as the bandits approached them at almost
one hundred miles per hour.
Charles 40 and 49 hit the brakes at the same time as the bandits and Judson and the senior deputy
gradually brought the speed down to fifty miles per hour.
Charles 40 yelled into the loudspeaker saying, “Driver of the white Camaro, stop the car now and both
occupants put your hands out of the windows where we can see them.”
The senior deputy spoke into the radio on channel nine, telling Judson “Here we go. Start slowing down
Both deputies pushed on their brake pedals as the Camaro slammed into Judson’s rear bumper. The
tires on the Ambassador and the Camaro were smoking and Bird Dog 1 had lined his little spotter plane
up for a possible rifle shot.
“Charles 40 screamed “He’s got a gun,” into the radio mike and Judson looked into his rearview mirror in
time to see Boswell aim a pistol at the back of his head.
Judson pulled the Ambassador sharply to the left, just a fraction of a second before the bullet came
through his rear window and hit the inside of his windshield eight inches from his head.
Bird Dog 1 was good. He was able to fire one round from the port window into the Camaro
breaking Boswell’s collarbone.
The fight was over. Boswell slammed on the breaks, causing Charles 40 to slam into the Camaro.
His hands were outside the window as the deputy Sheriff’s and the Coachella officer took up positions
and waited for the senior deputy to give orders.
The man later identified as Demond Washington bailed out of the Camaro and hit the ground
immediately in the spread eagle position. He knew the drill.
The cops had Bruce Boswell in handcuffs and waited for the ambulance to arrive while Bird Dog 1 sat his
little aircraft down on the road in front of all the cop cars.
Bird Dog 1 couldn’t wait until they all got back to Indio to admire his shot. He had just become a legend
in the Border Patrol with the shot from his aircraft that day.
While the cops shook hands with Bird Dog 1 and congratulated him on the shot, the watch commander
was getting his ass chewed out in the Captain’s office back in Indio.
That would be his last day in the patrol unit. He was going back to the jail as of the next day.
Watch Commanders needed to take command the Captain had advised him before threatening to take
his chevrons as well.
Chapter 4 Page 23
“The new watch commander looks like a real dickhead,” the hot dog told his buddy in the locker room
while they changed from their street clothes into their uniforms.
They got a glimpse at him on the way into the locker room. Everyone on the day shift knew that the new
watch commander was coming that day and they were dreading it. The word was out that this sergeant
was hard corps and didn’t take any shit from deputies.
The men were seated at the table when he walked into the room and said, “all right, knock off the
bullshit time to go to work.”
The rookie looked at the empty seat next to him and said, “Judson isn’t here yet Sarge.”
“It’s Sergeant Mendoza to you deputy and Deputy Judson won’t be here today, or any other day.
His transfer to the Banning Road Camp came in and he starts up there today.
And just to make sure the rumors don’t start flying about how he lost his nerve after that punk shot the
back window out of his car and he’s running scared, he put in for the transfer several weeks before the
“He wasn’t worth a shit anyway,” one of the deputies whispered to the man sitting next to him.
“I’m only going to say this once and then the subject is officially dropped,” the watch commander said as
he glared at the whispering deputy.
“Lacy Judson was doing real police work when most of you hot dogs were in diapers. He’s got more time
in the shitter than you guys have in the field.
I worked with Judson back in the day and you couldn’t ask for a better partner. I don’t know what
caused him to burn out and it’s none of your business. Now that’s the end of this subject. Let’s get on
with the briefing.”
After a refresher tour of the road camp, the custody officer told Judson that the Lieutenant wanted to
see him in his office after noon chow.
The food was still pretty good at the mess hall and Judson knew that he was going to be at the camp
until he hung it up and left the Sheriff’s Office for good.
The Lieutenant had never met Judson before, but he knew about the bank robbers he had killed and a
few other stories about Judson’s capers at the Indio station.
He told Judson to report to the day shift field boss the next day and asked if he still liked to work with
On his other tour at the camp, Judson had been in charge of the rabbit and chicken program and he
really did enjoy working with the animals as well as the inmates.
The majority of inmates at the camp were drunk drivers and wife beaters. No officers had ever been
assaulted at the camp and there had never been an escape, except for the poor slob that walked away
on Christmas Eve.
He was caught at his parent’s house the next morning sitting in front of the Christmas tree drinking
eggnog when Lacy Judson walked in and took him back into custody.
On the way to the county jail in Indio, the walk-away told Judson, “I was coming back this afternoon.”
“I know you were Jackie,” was all Judson had to say. He knew that the man was not lying.
While he was waiting for his transfer Judson had found a small apartment in Beaumont. It was a ten
minute drive from the camp.
As the weeks went by at the camp, Judson began to drink more. He usually stopped at a beer joint down
the road from the camp and had a couple of beers with off duty custody officers and occasionally with a
female custody officer that weighed a little over two hundred pounds, but had a very pretty face.
There was nothing romantic between the big girl and Judson, but it could have been if he was
The big girls name was Mindy and she had told him that she liked him one night while they drank
He had gone to her house and she showed him her pets, a de-scented skunk and a ferret that were kept
She made kind of a pass at Judson and he was able to tell her in a nice way that he was not interested.
“Too bad she told him. Winter is coming and you could use a fat girl to keep you warm.”
He stayed friends with her and the other custody officers, but started to spend more time by himself,
just like in Indio. Judson liked being a lone wolf.
He was drinking nine or ten beers a day with four or five shots of peppermint schnapps. Good thing he
could control it he told himself.
He wouldn’t want to be an alcoholic like the losers that were doing time at the road camp.
One night he drove over to Los Angeles on his day off, and hit a sleazy hotel that Van Meter had told him
about in the Armenian section of East Hollywood.
The place was a dive. It was dark and dirty looking with Armenian and Persian women hanging out
picking up tricks in the bar.
One Armenian woman in her early thirties asked if she could sit with him and Judson told her, “Only if
you understand that I’m not going to pay for sex.”
“You don’t like girls,” the big busted woman asked.
“Yeah I like them real well but I’m not spending money on them,” he advised her.
“Just buy me a drink and we can talk.”
“None of that champagne cocktail shit. You want beer or a shot of bourbon,” he wanted to know.
“Coors is fine,” she told him as she went to the bar and came back with a bottle of beer.
They talked for twenty-five minutes and then she asked him if he wanted her to stay at his table.
“Not if I have to pay for the company,” he told her.
“That’s how I make my money. Men pay me to sit with them,” she told him.
“Not this man,” he replied. She asked if he was a cop and he told her he was but he wasn’t from around
“Well nice to have met you Mr. Policeman,” she said as she stood up. Two drunken sailors had walked in
and she was going to grab them before that crazy Persian chick got to them.
The bar had a take-out license and Judson ordered two six packs of beer and a half pint of peppermint
schnapps to take to his room.
The Armenian woman was letting one of the sailors feel her breasts when Judson walked by her and
headed for the hotel elevator.
He was on beer number ten when he stood up and headed towards the bathroom. “I’m a lone wolf and
tonight’s my night to howl,” he said to the empty room as he tumbled over and crashed into the flimsy
coffee table, shattering it as he fell to the floor.
He must have knocked himself out on the way down he assumed the next morning when he awoke and
discovered that he had pissed his pants.
His head was throbbing while he soaked in the shower and tried to remember all the details from
“That’s it,” he told himself. “No more drinking for the lone wolf.”
He put on clean clothes and stuffed his wet jeans, dirty shirt and underwear into a plastic bag, courtesy
of the hotel and went to the desk to settle his bill and pay for the broken coffee table.
When he returned to work, the Lieutenant asked him to take over the midnight shift. The camp was run
mostly by custody officers that were not sworn deputies. By law one deputy sheriff was required to be
on duty for every ten custody officers on a shift.
Judson was not real big on responsibility, but he did like the Lieutenant and he agreed to take the
He had a good crew and things went well on his shift. The inmates were in bed by nine at night, except
They were allowed to stay up until eleven and watch the movie that the swing shift supervisor had
picked out for them.
They usually watched cowboy movies or comedies. The Sheriff’s Office was still using an old projector
and most of the movies were from the forties or fifties.
After lights out, custody officers sat at desks in the barracks and watched the inmates sleep. There was
not a whole lot for the officers to do except try to stay awake.
Judson kept a log book recording any incidents. He very seldom had anything to write in the book, until
the crew got up early in the morning to milk the cows and feed the chickens and rabbits that were raised
for the mess hall.
All he did at that time was record their names and the time they left, usually with a custody officer
He came on duty at midnight and made sure everything was squared away. By one in the morning he
was ready to take a ride around the camp perimeter and have a cigarillo.
Cigarillo’s had always tasted better, after a few beers or a shooter of schnapps, but he was glad he had
quit drinking for now.
Sometimes after he got off work in the morning, he would meet Mindy in town at a coffee shop and
they would talk.
She always told him how proud of him she was because he had quit drinking.
He was actually thinking about asking her to get married, but after three failed marriages he didn’t want
to break her heart.
He knew that he was a real jerk when it came to women and she deserved better.
She just needed to lose forty-five or fifty pounds and she would be a real knock-out in his opinion.
He looked at his watch. It was ten minutes after one and he was going out to make his rounds.
He told the custody officer in the barracks that he would be back in fifteen or twenty minutes.
“Keep an eye on the inmates, while I’m gone,” he said as he walked out the door.
He lit a cigarillo as he sat down in the seat, started the truck engine and began a slow cruise around the
perimeter of the compound.
There was usually nothing to worry about except the drifters that sometimes wandered too close to the
camp, looking for a safe place to sleep for the night out in the open.
He was on his second pass of the north side of the fence when he saw a shadow next to the six-foot high
He shined the spotlight on the figure just as a man sat down in the field.
“Is that you Homer,” he asked.
“Yes Sir,” a frail older man replied.
Judson got out of the truck and removed his handcuffs saying, “What are you doing on this side of the
“I just went into town to make a beer run Boss. Didn’t mean no harm, you saw me trying to go back in.”
“Damn it Homer. You know the camp rules. I’m placing you under arrest. Put your hands behind your
The old man started to cry softly as Judson helped him into the cab of the truck. “What’s gonna happen
now Boss. Do I have to go over to Indio to county jail?
“Yes but probably just until you get arraigned. I have to charge you with escape Homer. You’ll probably
be back in time for dinner tomorrow night.”
“Who’s gonna feed the rabbits when I’m gone Boss?
“Don’t worry homer, I’ll get one of the staff to take care of them until you get back,” Judson assured
The next morning Judson stopped at the coffee shop to see if Mindy was there. It was her day off.
He walked over to the table that they usually sat at and found Mindy talking to a thin butch looking
woman with short jet black hair and three piercings in each ear.
Mindy introduced her as the new custody officer on the day shift. Her name was Lisa and they had the
same days off. She was staying with Mindy until she found a place of her own.
Judson noticed that the jet black hair didn’t match her gray eyes and he didn’t care much for her
She appeared to be a man hater he thought, as he listened to her talk about all the assholes she had
worked with in Riverside at the main jail.
After one cup of coffee he bid the women officers good night and he headed for his apartment.
Chapter 5 Page 30
Judson was filling in for the day shift watch commander for two weeks while the regular watch
commander was on vacation.
It wasn’t bad, but he preferred the night shift. The day shift did give him time to hang out with his friend
He and Mindy weren’t as close as they used to be since she had come out of the closet and announced
that she and Lisa were cohabitating.
Lisa had suggested that Mindy might want to stay away from Judson since she considered him a
Judson went to the garden to check on a work crew being supervised by a new custody officer.
He spotted an inmate that he knew from the Indio area. The inmate recognized him and said “good
“Hello Butch, long time no see,” Judson replied. He had arrested Butch Lawson five times over a period
of fifteen years.
Lawson was a member of the Torres-Martinez band of Indians and neither he nor Judson had hard
feelings about the arrests.
As far as Lawson was concerned, being arrested was an occupational hazard for a career criminal and
Judson was doing his job when he busted him.
After Lawson went back to picking carrots, Judson asked the new officer how he was doing.
They chatted for a few minutes about the camp and the officer said, “I see you know one of the
Judson told him that he had known Lawson for over fifteen years. The officer asked Judson, “Did you
know that his legal name is Little Colonel?
“I learned that the first time I booked him. I took the information off his driver’s license. He’s got a first
cousin assigned to the cow barn. His legal name is Tiffany, but everybody calls him Buster.
Buster is over six feet tall and weighs almost three hundred pounds. A word to the wise, don’t ever call
him Tiffany unless you want a real fight on your hands.
It took three deputies to take Buster into custody one time and all three wound up in the emergency
room after they got him handcuffed.
We’ve got another inmate here whose legal first name is Baby Boy. He was born in a charity hospital in
Florida and there was no one there to name him, so by state law the staff put Baby Boy on his birth
I checked him in a few weeks ago and I got the information from the booking slip.
Strange world isn’t it,” Judson said as he walked away towards the chicken coop.
At lunch he met up with Mindy at the mess-hall. Her girlfriend had taken an inmate to the hospital
after an accident with a weed eater.
They were eating their meatloaf when Mindy said, “You know Lacy, I’ve known you for a while now and I
don’t know a thing about you.”
He asked what she needed to know and she told him, “You know the usual stuff, like where you came
from and where did you grew up.”
“I never knew my Dad. My Mom said he was killed in World War Two when I was a kid. My Mom and I
came from Chicago in 1943.
We were headed to California and the car broke down between Blyth and Indio.
My Mom had an aunt living in Indio and we were supposed to stay with her until my Mom got her car
She never fixed the car and she wound up running off with a truck driver that had a route from Yuma to
I lived with my great aunt and uncle until he died when I was sixteen. I tried to help my great aunt,
but she moved back to Chicago and I wanted to stay out here.
So that’s it. I’ve been in Riverside County since the car broke down.”
“That’s sad,” Mindy told him as she picked up some green beans with her fork. “Do you think you will
ever leave the county,” she asked.
“I plan to as soon as I pull the pin,” he replied before telling her that was the end of that subject.
When he returned to the camp office that afternoon to check out for the day, the Camp Commander
handed him a summons for court.
He was early for his court date and went over to the Detective Bureau to shoot the shit with Van Meter.
There wasn’t much to gossip about, except the two hot dogs that had shot themselves accidently while
practicing their quick draws.
One hot dog had shot himself in the leg while he was in the locker room and an off-duty deputy shot
himself in the leg also when he attended a party at another deputy’s house.
An off duty deputy was playing roller rink music on an organ while some drunken deputies pretended to
skate on the carpet and other deputies demonstrated their quick draw techniques.
In court Judson and Van Meter testified about the circumstances that led to the discovery of Tony
Bolden’s body in Cathedral City at 168 Roadrunner Court.
The crime scene technician testified that he lifted fingerprints later identified as belonging to Bruce
Boswell from a drinking glass at Tony Bolden’s residence.
Circumstantial evidence was all that was needed to convict Bruce Boswell of first degree murder in the
death of Tony Bolden.
The Deputy District Attorney was going to throw in robbery and burglary charges but he didn’t need to.
He added one count of attempted murder because of the shot fired at Judson by Boswell as he fled from
law enforcement officers.
He also charged Boswell with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, because he had rammed
Judson and the senior deputy’s patrol vehicles before the chase ended.
The Deputies that were assigned to Charles 40 and 49 testified as to how the chase had started and
Judson testified about having his rear window shot out after seeing Boswell aim a pistol at him, as he
looked through his rear view mirror.
The crime scene technician told the judge that the bullet fired by Boswell missed Deputy Judson’s head
by approximately eight inches.
The Deputy District Attorney didn’t need to call Bird Dog 1 to the stand to testify that he had shot
Boswell and the Judge sentenced Boswell to thirty years to life in the state prison.
Demond Washington testified against Boswell on the attempted murder charge. He was not charged
with his part in the murder of Tony Bolden or the attempted murder of Lacy Judson.
There was no evidence to put him in the scene of the crime at Bolden’s house and he was not driving
the car when they fled from the law enforcement officers.
He was in violation of his parole by associating with a known criminal (Boswell) and being at the scene of
a crime when Boswell shot at Lacy Judson. He was returned to state prison on a parole violation.
They left the court house together and Judson told Van Meter, “I may not be in the department much
Longer, I’m thinking about pulling the pin.
Do me a favor Coy and let me know if you ever hear about this shit-bird getting out of the joint early.”
“Hell Lacy, the son of a bitch just got thirty years to life. He will have to do at least twenty years.
In twenty years I’ll probably be pushing daises up out of the ground and so will you.
Whatever happens, I don’t plan on staying on much longer than five years myself.”
Judson knew that Van Meter may have been more burnt out than he was, but he also knew that Van
Meter wasn’t going to walk away without a pension.
Van Meter had told Judson that the only thing worse than being a civilian was being a civilian without a
That was when Van Meter came back from deep undercover a few years back.
Two nights later Judson was making his rounds after one in the morning. He wanted to get out of the
barracks for a few minutes and enjoy a cigarillo in the cool night air.
He was sitting in the patrol pick-up truck with the lights out, when he heard a vehicle approach the camp
gate with its lights out.
It could be someone coming to pick up a prisoner for an escape he thought as he pulled his two inch
revolver out of its holster and slipped out of the pick-up.
He left the cigarillo in the ash tray and opened the door of the truck. He didn’t have to worry about the
inside light coming on.
The patrol truck had a switch to turn off the rear lights and the cab light had been removed for prowling
in the dark.
He was on the side of a barn and the patrol truck could not be seen from the camp gate.
He walked slowly towards the gate and at the same time he saw an officer approach the gate from the
Judson suspected that something was going on with the officer. He did not appear to have a weapon
with him as he walked towards the blacked out sedan.
He heard two men talking. One was the officer and the other man stepped out of the sedan, after
kissing a woman.
Judson could see the woman when the inside light of the sedan came on as the door opened.
Judson watched as the woman drove away, turning the sedans lights on when she passed the perimeter
She was heading back towards the town of Banning.
The two men walked quietly towards the barracks and the officer spotted Judson.
Judson said, “All right you two, place your hands on your heads and don’t move,” as he walked towards
“Is that you Jones,” Judson asked as he shined his flashlight in the custody officer’s face.
“Yes Sir,” Jones replied and this is inmate Wilson with me.”
“What the fuck is going on,” Judson demanded to know.
“I know I’m in big trouble Deputy Judson, but Wilson’s lady friend is leaving for Germany tomorrow and
he won’t see her for two years so I let him go to town with her tonight.
He promised he would be back before two a.m. and he did come back Sir.
You can have my badge for this, but I’m asking you not to write up Wilson for being AWOL. I take full
responsibility for this Sir.”
“Well, at least you had the balls to admit that you screwed up Jones. I’m going to let this little incident
slide for now, but I will be watching you Mr. Jones. As for you inmate Wilson, I’m going to let Mr. Jones
take you back to your bunk and if you tell anybody about this I’ll have your ass and Mr. Jones will be
terminated. Do you read me”?
“Yes Sir,” both men replied.
“Now get out of here and don’t let me see either one of you again tonight.” Judson said as he turned
and walked back to the patrol truck.
“Shit,” Judson said to himself once he was in the cab of the truck. “I’ve done a lot worse shit than that in
Judson lit another cigarillo and turned on the AM radio. He liked to listen to some dude that broadcast
from his mobile home in Pahrump, Nevada.
It seemed that all the man wanted to talk about was UFO’s.
Chapter 6 Page 36
Nine months later Judson decided it was time to retire. There wasn’t any big retirement ceremony, the
Captain called him into his office and handed Judson a retirement badge, told him good luck and walked
him to the door.
Mindy called Coy Van Meter and she and her girlfriend met Van Meter and Judson at the Pizza hut in
Banning that evening.
Van Meter thought that it was chicken shit of the department to let Lacy Judson walk out without at
least some kind of retirement ceremony, but he knew how most deputies, custody officers and the brass
felt about Judson.
They ate pizza and drank beer with very little conversation, while Judson sipped Dr. Pepper.
Judson wasn’t a big talker when it came to war stories and Van Meter never discussed his time
undercover with the outlaw motorcycle gang.
“So what’s the plan,” Mindy asked Judson.
“Don’t have one. I’m just going to take off and maybe head for Nevada or Idaho,” he told his friends.
“Keep in touch and let us know where you land. Send an address and phone number where you can be
reached,” Van Meter told him.
“OK guys, it was fun while it lasted,” Judson told them as he stood up and said “adios amigos” and
walked out of the pizza parlor.
Two weeks later Van Meter received a letter from Judson. He gave him a general delivery address at the
McDermitt, Nevada Post Office.
Judson didn’t say much just that he had purchased a GMC pick-up truck and outfitted it with a camper.
He was drifting around the Owyhee desert between northern Nevada and southern Idaho.
Van Meter always knew that Judson traveled to a different beat, but why the hell would a guy retire
after a life time in the Mojave Desert and then go to another desert hundreds of miles away.
Hadn’t he ever heard of the beach or Mexico Van Meter wondered.
Two months after sending the general delivery address to Van Meter, Judson sent another change of
address to him.
This time it was a general delivery address in Atomic City, Idaho.
Judson said he had a small apartment over a general store and included the phone number for the
Van Meter looked at a map of Idaho and tried to figure out why his friend would be up there.
Maybe he was losing it or maybe he just wanted to be left alone Van Meter thought.
Mindy got a letter the same day from Judson and she called Van Meter to share the information.
She was also concerned that their friend was going over the deep end.
Lacy Judson had not gone over the deep end. He was a desert rat and would not live anywhere except
There was something about deserts that attracted people and made them want to stay. Once a person
had spent as many years as Judson had in the desert, it was very unlikely that they would ever move into
another part of the country.
Lacy stayed busy enough. He now had time to read books, gaze at the stars and contemplate the
meaning of life.
Besides all that he had met a good looking Shoshone woman that worked at a gas station near the
Fort Hall Indian Reservation.
He was planning on making a move on her but he was careful. She was friendly, but she did not appear
to have an interest in Judson other than being friends.
Chapter 7 Page 38
Bruce Boswell was on his third year at Folsom. For him prison was just a daily grind.
Same old shit day after day. He had done enough time to know the ropes and he had a good job in the
He would tell other inmates that he was learning a trade that he could use in the free world, but they all
knew that it was bullshit. He was a career criminal.
He worked real hard to stay out of trouble despite the fact that his cell mate was a known member of
the Nazi Low Riders.
It had been over one year since he let Snuffy the Nazi Low Rider tattoo a swastika on his right ear lobe.
He wanted the tat on the left ear lobe, but there was too much scar tissue from the three piercings in
He stayed under the radar making sure the guards didn’t validate him as a gang member.
He had not joined the Nazi Low Riders, but he was getting a good education on white supremacy from
One night when they were talking in their cell, Snuffy gave him the name of a shot caller in the Freight
Train Riders of America.
Boswell didn’t know anything about the F.T.R.A. except that they were called the Hell’s Angels of the
railroad, or bikers without bikes by the cops.
When Boswell was a teenager, bikers without bikes were called sidewalk scooter-men by guys that
owned motorcycles. Punks used to dress in blue jeans, t-shirts with packs of cigarettes rolled up in the
sleeve and engineer boots. They had the outfit, but no machine.
The F.T.R.A. was started in the 1970’s by a group of homeless Viet Nam vets.
The shot caller that Snuffy knew was called Big Red and he ran the high line on the Burlington Northern
Santa Fe lines or BNSF from Portland, Oregon to North Dakota.
Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, British Columbia had the largest hobo jungles on the west coast and
they were full of F.T.R.A. members during summer months.
F.T.R.A. members were easily recognized by the black bandannas that they wore around their necks and
they were especially aggressive towards posers and working men that rode the rails for the adventure.
Even though F.T.R.A. members were homeless, Big Red had a small shack near Miles City, Montana that
he used as a hideout for F.T.R.A. and sometimes Nazi Low Riders that were on the run from the cops.
The reason that Snuffy was passing this information on to Boswell was because he knew that Boswell
planned to escape from Folsom, as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
Chapter 8 Page 40
It had taken Lacy Judson a long time but he had finally convinced the Shoshone woman Helen to go out
on dates with him.
He was now living in twin Falls, Idaho and she had driven down to twin Falls from the reservation.
They were going across the state line to Cactus Pete’s casino in Jackpot, Nevada.
Jackpot was so far north in Nevada that it was in the same time zone as Idaho. Jackpot would not be a
town except for the two casinos and two gas stations.
Judson and Helen were both looking forward to a day trip together.
Helen was combing her long straight black hair while Judson brushed the toes of his cowboy boots.
The phone rang and Judson picked it up on the second ring. He said “Hey Coy, long time no see,
What’s going on?
“Bad news old pardner,” Van Meter told him. “Our man Bruce Boswell escaped from Folsom yesterday.
I got a call from a buddy of mine that work’s for the California Department of Justice.
He says Boswell snuck out in a bread delivery truck after morning chow.
I figured I better give you a call since Boswell made threats to kill you, according to a prison snitch.”
“What do we know about the snitch? Judson asked.
“The snitch was doing a jolt on an armed robbery beef and he was Boswell’s cellie before he got
He lives over in Hanford and I’ve got a phone number for you, if you want it.”
“Let me grab a paper and pencil,” Judson told him as he walked over to the kitchen counter.
He wrote the ex-cons name and phone number down and thanked Van Meter for the information.
“If you need any help Lacy, just let me know,” Van Meter told him. “I’m bored to death with this
“Is everything all right? Helen asked after Judson ended the phone call.
“Yeah, just my old buddy from Indio wanting to shoot the breeze,” Judson assured her.
“Come on, let’s head over to Jackpot. There’s a blackjack table with my name on it.”
Judson won two hundred dollars at the blackjack table and treated Helen to a nice steak dinner.
He filled the gas tank of her car and told her to call him when she got home that night.
He telephoned her the next morning and told her that he needed to go to California for a few days and
would call her when he got home.
He packed an overnight bag with two .38 caliber revolvers, a box of ammo and three sets of plastic flex
He added a business card portfolio and his spare clothes for the trip and headed for California at seven
The ex-con looked out the window when he saw a GMC pick-up truck with a camper pull in front of his
He watched Lacy Judson walk to his front door. He knew who Judson was before he opened the door
and invited him in.
They didn’t waste a lot of time with small talk. The ex-con asked Judson to put in a good word for him
with his parole agent and Judson placed the parole agent’s business card in his shirt pocket after he
assured the ex-con that he would speak with his agent.
The ex-con knew Bruce Boswell from Folsom and he also knew Snuffy, the Nazi Low Rider honcho.
He warned Judson to stay away from the Nazi Low Riders.
“Snuffy is connected to the FTRA, but I don’t know how tight he is with those dudes. They’re really
some dangerous mofos. I’d stay away from them if I was you,” the ex-con warned Judson.
Judson remembered the FTRA from the railroad yards in Indio, but didn’t really know much about them.
The ex-con told him everything he knew about the FTRA and it wasn’t much.
He just wanted to stay out of the joint and away from the Nazi Low Riders and the FTRA.
Judson asked a lot of questions about Boswell, Snuffy and Folsom. He thanked the ex-con for his time
and the information and headed for a motel room.
He had his camper with him, but he needed a shower and telephone.
He found a clean motel in the middle of Hanford and settled in for the evening.
He was able to catch the Cotton Belt railroad detective that he had met in Colton, California a few
years back when he phoned his office.
The railroad dick was still on duty and he was able to tell Judson a lot about the Freight Train Riders of
The railroad companies were having a lot of problems with thefts and assaults at the Colton railroad
yard and the railroad dick told Judson that most of the crime had something to do with the F.T.R.A.
The Colton railroad detective had a friend on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line that was stationed in
After an introduction on the phone, Judson thanked the detective and went back to his motel room.
He was awake and on the road before six A.M. He knew that if he drove straight through, he could be in
Portland that night.
The next morning he was at the BNSF office when the railroad police officer came to work.
Judson introduced himself to the railroad cop after showing him his retired Deputy Sheriff badge.
The railroad cop wanted to know why he was asking questions about the FTRA and Judson told him
about Boswell and his connection to the Nazi Low Riders.
The railroad copper said, “Can I give you some friendly advice old timer. If I were you I would let the
state boys handle this.”
Judson wasn’t too crazy about being called an old timer, but he let it slide.
“I’m making this personal. This punk threatened to kill me and I don’t take that lightly.”
The officer had a lot of good information about the F.T.R.A. and was genuinely concerned when Judson
told him that he planned to infiltrate the gang and find Bruce Boswell.
“I can tell you that the honcho for the high line is called Big Red. We don’t have a lot on him, just that he
doesn’t ride the line much anymore, mainly just for meetings with other shot callers from the FTRA.
He’s got some kind of a shack out in Miles City, Montana that he uses mostly as a living quarters and a
place to fence merchandise stolen from the rail yards by FTRA members.
The local boys have taken a few bad actors out of that shack over the last few years.
Here’s the most recent picture we have of him,” the cop said as he handed a thick mug shot book to
“I have to go shake down a train coming in from Los Angeles, take your time going over this book.
If I’m not back before you leave, just put the book on my desk.”
Judson thanked the officer for his time and began going through the book and making notes,
page by page.
After he left the railroad yard, Judson found an Army/Navy surplus store near the port and purchased a
pair of work boots, a pair of brown cotton work gloves, a railroad engineer style cotton cap and a
German military field jacket.
Everything that he was planning to take with him on the rails would fit easily into the Korean War back
pack that he bought also.
The pack looked and smelled old and that was what he wanted it to do.
As he walked towards the cash register he saw a display case full of knifes.
He found a bad ass Bowie knife and added it to his purchase.
He replaced his cowboy boots with the lace-up work boots, put on the cap and field jacket and went for
a long walk in the rain.
During his walk in the rain, he made sure to lean against walls and garbage cans in order to get the new
jacket and his old blue jeans as grimy as he could before he went back to his truck.
Inside his camper he changed clothes before going back out.
He found the Fraternal Order of Police lodge and went in.
He went directly to the phone booth and dialed Coy Van Meter’s number.
“What’s up hot shot,” Van Meter asked.
“If you have a few minutes, I’d like to pick your brain about going deep undercover,” Judson replied.
“You’re not planning on doing something stupid are you old buddy? Van Meter wanted to know.
“Depends on what you call stupid, Judson answered. “Now give me the scoop if you don’t mind.”
Van Meter spent the next ten minutes telling Judson about his time with the outlaw motorcycle gang
and how that deep undercover gig had almost cost him a nervous breakdown, not to mention he could
have been killed.
Judson thanked him for the information and Van Meter advised him to be careful.
“If you need a back-up partner remember I’m just a phone call away.”
“Thanks Coy, I’ll call you when and if I get what I’m looking for.”
It didn’t take him long to find an FOP member that would agree to let Judson park his rig in his back yard
for a few weeks or so.
Chapter 9 Page 45
On his third day in Portland he hit the rails. He was lucky, the railroad cop that he had met earlier
offered to show him a train that was leaving for the east that afternoon.
He gave Judson some pointers about getting on and off the train and asked him not to tell anyone that
he had helped him get on board, if he was stopped down the line by railroad dicks.
He was alone in the boxcar until early the next morning when an older tramp climbed into the box car.
The tramp moved to the other end of the boxcar and waited for Judson to speak or to tell him to
“Where you headed? Judson asked the tramp.
“It don’t matter to me none. I’m just heading east,” the old man replied.
Over the next nine hours the old man would tell Judson that he had been a railroad tramp for over
Judson didn’t have the heart to ask his age, because he suspected the tramp was possibly younger
The tramp had a lot of good information about riding the rails.
He knew that Judson was green and he ask why he was on the train.
Judson replied, “I got a divorce attorney back in Portland on my ass. I figured this would be a good way
to ditch him.”
They made small talk for another hour and then the tramp advised him to watch out for the FTRA boys.
“Meanest bastards on the line,” he told Judson.
The train started slowing down and the tramp said, “Good luck to you. This is where I get off.”
Judson watched as the tramp jumped out of the boxcar and hit the ground running.
He admired the man’s style, wondering if he could bail out like that without breaking a few bones.
He had the boxcar all to himself for the rest of the run. He saw a marker for a town in North Dakota and
decided that it was time to turn around.
He rode all the way back to Portland and decided to check out the hobo jungle east of the rail yards.
He found a tree to lean against and placed one of his revolvers under his left armpit, holding it with his
He wasn’t taking any chances. The railroad dick had told him that these FTRA boys would eat his lunch if
they caught him in the hobo jungle or on a train.
He spent the night in the hobo jungle. It was an unnerving night to say the least. Tramps, drifters,
carneys and assorted other characters drank, told stories and got into an occasional fist fight around the
campfire but Judson avoided them and tried to blend in with the tree he was under.
He kept his mouth shut and his ears open, hoping to pick up any information that he could use in his
search for Boswell.
He had decided that he would come in out of the elements every three or four days and he found a flea
bag hotel in Portland’s skid row.
He took a room for the night. There was no television or free coffee in the room, but the bed was
sort of clean.
He slept on top of the covers in his clothes. He didn’t plan on showering or changing clothes until this
caper was over.
He caught a ride out the next morning. The train was somewhere east of Spokane, Washington when
two very bad looking drifters crawled through the door of the box car he was in.
He knew from the mug shot book at the railroad police office that these two were FTRA members.
The one with the gold tooth spoke first. “What are you one of those middle aged men going through
some kind of mid-life crisis. You couldn’t afford a Corvette, is that right”? He demanded to know.
Before he could answer, the other one with the tear drop tattoo under his left eye said, “He’s probably
some kind of faggot cruising for a little strange action.”
Judson never took his eyes off of the men with the black bandannas around their necks.
He said, “I’m not looking for any trouble.”
“Too bad, because you found it anyway,” gold tooth told him.
“I want those boots,” the other man advised him.
“Sure boys, just don’t hurt me,” Judson said as he bent down reaching for his boot laces with his left
Before they knew what had happened, Judson’s right hand was in the pocket of his field jacket.
Gold tooth tried to kick him in the head, but Judson was too fast. He rolled to the side and pulled the .38
out of his pocket.
“All right assholes, the games over. I’m in a good mood today so I won’t kill you both. Now back up and
jump out of the door.”
The rider with the teardrop hesitated for a second and Judson said, “Don’t try me punk. Now hit it.”
The train had slowed down at a railroad crossing and the men went out the door, one at a time.
Judson went to the door and watched the men as they both rolled in the dirt and gravel along the side
of the tracks.
They were both yelling about getting him as Judson waved goodbye.
Chapter 10 Page 48
Judson decided to try another approach in his manhunt. At first he had a hard time convincing a taxi
driver that he was not a bum.
The taxi driver changed his mind when Judson flashed a wad of money in his face and gave him the
address where his pick-up truck was parked.
Phil heard a car door slam and looked out his window and saw Lacy Judson walking up the driveway.
He greeted Judson at the door and invited him into his house. “Hope I’m not disturbing anything,”
Judson said as they shook hands.
“No problem. I was just building a model car and I needed a break anyway. How’s it going on your
“Not bad, but I thought maybe I would come in from the cold for a few days. I think I’ll take my pick-up
and head over to Montana. I got a lead on a possible clown house and I wanted to try to birddog it if
“Sounds interesting, but would you like to use the rain room first. No offense.” Phil told him.
“Yeah, I know that I’m pretty ripe. I haven’t had a shower or changed clothes since I hit the rails.
I want to look and smell like I’ve been on the road for a long time.”
“Well that plans working real good,” Phil told him.
He had coffee and sandwiches ready when Judson came out in clean clothes. Judson didn’t shave, but he
smelled a lot better.
Phil gave Judson a plastic garbage bag for his dirty clothes. Judson did not plan to wash his road clothes
until he was finished with his search for Boswell.
They talked while they ate and he wanted to hear all about Judson’s big adventure. Retired cops always
appeared to be curious Judson thought to himself as he described his time on the railroad to Phil.
“I know a man out in eastern Montana, not far from Miles City that may be able to help you,”
he told Judson after taking a sip of his coffee.
“He used to be a repo agent. Hell of a good skip tracer. I wrote the man’s name and address down for
you, in case you want to get in touch with him. Tell him I sent you.” He said as he handed the piece of
paper to Judson.
He walked Judson to his truck, said goodbye and told him to call him if he needed a back-up. “Have gun,
will travel,” Phil said as Judson drove out of the driveway.
Judson walked into a clean and organized garage the next afternoon and was looking at an old restored
fire truck, when a man in blue jeans and a t-shirt with a silk screen picture of a hot rod on it said,
“Can I help you?
Judson introduced himself and mentioned Phil in Portland. “He said you were a good skip tracer.”
“Phil’s a good man. I still do a little skip tracing on the side, but I’m mostly into playing with hot rods and
restoring old vehicles and pedal cars. Call me Ian, Ian Van Cleef” the man told him.
“Cool name,” Judson replied as they shook hands. “Are you any relation to that old cowboy actor
Lee Van Cleef?
Ian told him no and Judson said, “I’ve got an old partner back in Indio, California named Coy Van Meter.”
“Indio, what a hell hole,” Van Cleef told him.
“Yeah, it’s not much to write home about,” Judson admitted.
“Pedal cars. Are you talking about those kids riding toys from the forties and fifties”? Judson wanted to
Ian took Judson to another part of the garage and showed him three pedal cars that he was working on.
They would be worth over five hundred dollars each when he finished restoring them.
“Wow,” Was all Judson had to say about the pedal cars.
He told Judson that he was a retired police officer from San Diego, California and asked, “So what brings
you to Montana”?
“To make a long story short, I put some dirt bag in prison a few years ago and he threatened to kill me
when he got out. He escaped about ten days ago and I got a lead on him.”
“You gonna drop the hammer on him”? Ian wanted to know.
“That would be up to him, if and when I find him,” Judson stated.
Judson went on to tell him all he knew about Big Red and his shack near Miles City.
Ian volunteered to help Judson. He knew the area around Miles City and had a buddy on the Highway
Patrol in that sector, in case they ran into a problem.
He showed Judson two magnetic door signs from a natural gas company. “I happen to have two pairs of
blue coveralls. We wear them, slap these signs on the doors of your pick-up and become
gas line inspectors.
We can sit on this Big Reds place from a spot along a fence line and no one will know the difference. I’ve
got a good long range lens for my camera and we can photograph anyone that goes in or out of the
They found a good spot about six hundred yards west of Big Reds the next morning. Several men and
two trashy looking women came and went, but none of the men matched Boswell’s description.
“Pretty good chance that this Boswell dude may have changed his appearance since he rode out of
Folsom,” Ian said.
“I thought of that also. The part that makes this harder is that all of these shit- birds look similar. They all
have that white trash neo Nazi look about them,” Judson replied.
They tried the stake out again the next afternoon, but had the same results. They had taken several
photos and went to the local drug store to develop them.
Back at the garage, the two ex-coppers looked the photos over and concluded that Boswell had not
visited Big Red while they were sitting on the shack.
“How bout a frosty” Ian asked as he went to the small stainless-steel refrigerator in the corner of the
“None for me, but I’ll take a soda pop if you have any,” Judson replied as Ian pulled a can of beer out
and handed a Coca Cola to Judson.
They drank their beverages not knowing that they had missed Boswell by three days.
He had been at Big Red’s and had headed back out west after several hours of hanging out with Big Red.
Big Red gave him the name of an FTRA contact that ran a crew over in Idaho and suggested that he hook
up with him, if he wanted to pick up some fast money ripping off the trains.
After Ian’s Third beer, Judson said “thanks for the hospitality Ian, but I need to hit the sack.”
“No problem man, just pull your rig into the garage. It’s going to get cold tonight.”
“I’ll be hitting the road tomorrow,” Judson told him.
“I’d like to go with you,” Ian stated.
“What about your shop?
“I’ll just button it up. The pedal cars can wait. I haven’t been on a good skip trace in a long time.”
It didn’t take Ian long to throw a back pack together. He had a pair of blue jeans that would be perfect
for the trip. They were covered with grease and had a few paint stains on them.
He put his nine shot .380 auto loader and his little .32 caliber derringer in the bag, after making sure
he had extra ammo for each pistol.
He tossed a Copenhagen smokeless tobacco cap on top of the backpack, after he finished putting a few
changes of underwear and socks in it.
Chapter 11 Page 52
A day and a half later they were at the railroad yard in Portland. Judson found the railroad copper that
he had met before and found out that the railroad police had busted a crew of FTRA members in the rail
yards at Spokane, Washington for theft from the railroad cars.
“Talk to Lieutenant Youngblood in Spokane, he may be able to give you a lead on your man,” the copper
told them as they headed for the Pick-up truck.
That afternoon they contacted Lt. Youngblood and Judson told him about his interest in the FTRA and
The Lieutenant told them, “We got the drop on this rip off crew and took seven of them into custody.
Six were validated gang members of the FTRA and the other one was sort of a probationary member.
We think that they hold out in a hobo jungle over the state line in Post Falls, Idaho but we don’t have
any good info on the jungle.
I made a call to the Sheriff of Kootenai County. He says there is a pretty good sized jungle over there, but
his men leave it alone as long as the tramps stay out of town and behave themselves.
Three out of the seven were from California and the rest were from Arizona and Nevada. They were all
We’re not sure what they’re doing so far north, but I made a phone call to a buddy of mine
from the academy.
He works for the Southern Pacific lines out of Yuma, Arizona and he thinks they’re moving north because
of the heat from the railroad dicks, local cops and the Border Patrol.”
The Lieutenant showed them mug shots of the seven arrestees. Boswell was not one of them.
So far Judson had nothing to go on except the information from the snitch in central California.
They talked for a few more minutes, working on a plan. Judson asked the lieutenant if it would be
possible to leave his truck at the railroad yard.
“Put this pass on your dashboard and park over there in one of the spaces marked law enforcement
vehicles only. I’ll make the pass valid for one week. Good hunting boys, I kind of wish I could tag along
but I’ve got too much paperwork to do.”
They thanked the lieutenant and started to walk towards an empty boxcar. “Nice guy for a lieutenant,”
“Yeah we had a few real assholes out in Indio. They used to give them the bowling ball test,” Judson told
him and waited for Ian to take the bait.
“OK, Ian said, “What’s the bowling ball test?
“You give the applicant a bowling ball and place him or her in a padded cell for thirty minutes.
If they don’t lose or break the ball, they get promoted to lieutenant.”
It was a short hop and they bailed out as soon as they thought they were across the state line.
They had spotted what they thought might be the hobo jungle as they rode across the line and waited in
the boondocks until dark to make their approach.
They found the hobo jungle and it was full of dangerous looking men and a few hard corps women that
hung around the FTRA.
They stayed in the shadows and ate out of tin cans. Ian was good with his Swiss Army knife and opened
cans for Judson as well as himself.
They slipped out of the jungle around two in the morning when the FTRA boys were putting down the
firewater and beer.
Things started to get rowdy and they didn’t want to blow their cover by possibly getting involved.
The next night was about the same. There was a lot of drinking, smoking pot and loud cussing.
One of the gang members had sex with the woman with the big tits in front of his buddies, and Judson
and Ian decided it was time to head back to the boonies.
On their third night in the jungle, a pick-up truck pulled into the edge of the jungle. Five “townies” as the
FTRA called locals came into the jungle on a challenge.
The townies had been drinking at a local bar when two FTRA gangsters walked in and ordered beer.
The bartender told them he didn’t want any trouble and the bigger FTRA gangster said, “We just came in
for a cold one, we ain’t looking for no trouble”.
One of the locals was wearing a kilt and had been at a Celtic festival that afternoon.
He said, “Well if you two want trouble, you came to the right place.”
The big FTRA gangster looked at the man and sized him up. The Celtic dude was buff. He had muscles
coming out of his ears, as they say.
He was wearing a tight black t-shirt with a large Celtic cross on it and brown lace up boots
with a plaid kilt.
Two other drinkers were wearing kilts also, but they were staying quiet.
The FTRA man looked at the Celtic bruiser and said, “I don’t take shit from men wearing skirts.”
“Take it outside,” the bartender yelled as he pulled a baseball bat from under the bar.
All of the patrons followed the man in the kilt to the parking lot.
The FTRA man said, “Why don’t we make this interesting. You townies put your money where your
mouth is and we all go back to our camp and get it on, without the cops being called. The best man
takes the money.”
Most of the bar patrons had enough sense to stay out of this potentially dangerous situation.
Only the three guys in kilts and two cowboys got into the pick- up truck. They offered the FTRA
gangsters a ride back to camp.
The two cowboys were in the front seat and the passenger said to the driver, “You ever been to a bum
“No, but I seen one in a movie one time. Looked pretty bad.” He told his partner.
“What do you say we drop these dudes in the kilts off and get out of there before the bikers kill
someone,” the driver said.
“Sounds good,” the passenger replied.
All eyes including Ian and Judson’s were on the pick-up as it pulled into the jungle.
The outlaws watched as three men in kilts jumped out of the truck along with the two gangsters that
had gone to town for a beer.
As soon as their feet hit the ground, the pick-up was tearing the dirt up racing out of the jungle.
The head honcho asked the two gangsters what the fuck was going on. The big outlaw told them about
the bar and his offer to come out to the jungle for what the man in the kilt had called a “bum fight.”
“You want a bum fight,” the honcho asked as he signaled for his men to jump the townies.
It was brutal. They beat and stomped the men in kilts to within an inch of their lives and told them if
they went to the cops they would come into town and kill their families.
Judson and Ian watched as the men were marched out of the jungle. One outlaw walked up and kicked
the big man in the black t-shirt in the ass and said, “And don’t came back punk.”
Judson was watching the man that delivered the final kick when he heard another outlaw say, “Come on
Bos let’s get a beer.”
Judson turned slowly around and saw Bruce Boswell standing about five feet behind him.
Judson pushed Ian slightly and began moving away from the two men. “That’s him,” he said to Ian when
they were about fifteen feet away. “The dude with the bandana tied around his head holding the tree
limb is Bruce Boswell.”
“That’s Boswell? Ian wanted confirmation.
They watched the two outlaws for several seconds and Ian said, “You hang in here, I’m going to
approach him and see if I can draw him away from the rest of the crew.”
“Be real careful,” Judson warned him. “I’ll cover you,” he told him as he pulled one of his revolvers from
his jacket pocket and placed it in his hand, along the seam of his jeans.
Ian had his .380 in the small of his back under his jacket when he walked up to the two outlaws
and said, “Hey Bruce, is that you?
Boswell had a good memory when it came to people and faces. He gave Ian a curious look and asked,
“Do I know you man?
It was dark, but Ian could see that this man was missing the top part of his left ear.
“You probably don’t remember, but we met on the yard at Folsom about two years ago. You were
hanging with a Nazi Low Rider called Snuffy.”
“I know Snuffy but I don’t know you man. You ain’t no ex-con, I’m thinking you might be a cop,” Boswell
said as he swung the tree limb at Ian.
Ian was too fast as he dodged the swing and pulled out his shooter and aimed it at Boswell.
The other outlaw backed away, yelling for his brothers to join him and Boswell.
Judson had already moved in, covering Ian and Boswell. The gold toothed rider and his tear drop tatted
buddy came out of the trees and recognized Judson.
Gold tooth yelled, “Holy shit, that’s the townie that threw us off the train,” as he pulled his hunting knife
from its sheath.
“All you assholes back off,” Ian ordered as he aimed his pistol into the mob.
Gold tooth tried to rush Ian before Ian fired one shot into the outlaws left foot.
Ian was trying to hit the dirt in front of the outlaw, but the shot to the foot had the same effect.
Shooting into the dirt always seemed to work in cowboy movies, Ian was thinking as Judson grabbed
Boswell by the back of his jacket collar and said, “You’re coming with us asshole. Try any funny shit and
I’ll kill you right here on the spot.”
Boswell believed him when Judson pushed the barrel of his revolver into his neck.
They started walking slowly out of the hobo jungle with Judson pulling Boswell backwards while he and
Ian swept the crowd with their eyes, looking for any sign of trouble.
They were a few yards from the dirt fire road that led into the jungle when they saw red and blue lights
flashing through the trees.
The outlaws in the jungle grabbed their meager possessions and headed into the boondocks while the
deputy sheriff exited his patrol truck and leveled a shotgun at Judson, Ian and Boswell.
The deputy had received an emergency call from the two cowboys that had abandoned the bum fighters
He knew that the hobo jungle was in his beat, but he had never been out to the jungle before.
“All right gentlemen, place the guns on the ground and all of you get into the prone position now,” the
As he patted them down Ian and Judson both advised him that they had another gun each in their
Judson said, “We’re making a citizen’s arrest. This man is an escapee from Folsom Prison in California
and we’re retired cops.
The deputy took the handcuffs off of Judson and Ian after he ran a check on Boswell. He explained to
them that he was just being careful and they both told him there was no need to apologize, as he looked
at their retired law enforcement identification cards.
Being ex-cops, they understood the procedure and thanked him for the ride into the Sheriff’s office.
After Boswell was booked and tucked into the Kootenai County jail, the deputy offered them a ride back
to Judson’s pick-up truck after he got off duty.
They ate a late dinner with the deputy in a greasy spoon café and Ian insisted on paying for the deputy’s
meal before they took off for Spokane.
Chapter 12 page 58
The desk clerk was reluctant at first to rent rooms to them, but Ian was able to convince her that they
were private detectives on a case, after his credit card cleared.
They looked like two different men the next morning when they walked into the lobby of the motel and
started in on the continental breakfast.
Before they checked out Judson and Ian carried their road clothes to the dumpster in back of the motel
and tossed their dirty clothes into it.
Neither man thought it would be fair to have the housekeeper handle their laundry.
They crossed the state line into Montana and Ian asked, “Do you really like being retired?
“Sometimes I do and sometimes I get real bored, but at least I don’t have to take orders from some dip
shit anymore,” Judson told him.
“Well Lacy, how about going into the repo business with me”?
“I guess we could talk about it, but I’ve got a girlfriend back in Idaho that I’m kind of sweet on.”
“Idaho isn’t that far away. It’s not like you’re going overseas or some shit like that,” Ian told him.
“Sounds OK to me,” Judson said as the two men shook hands on their new partnership.
Leroy B. Vaughn has written over sixty short stories, true and fiction. His stories have been published in magazines, e-zines, anthologies, podcasts and one newspaper.