Shortly after my husband suddenly left us in June of 1999, my children and I began seeing him driving around town in a distinctive white dual-wheeled pickup truck that had a row of lights across the top. He would often pull out from a side street, either in front of us, where he would drive slowly for a few blocks, or behind us, where he would tailgate us with his headlights on briefly, before speeding off. Sometimes these behaviours would involve the same truck but with one of his close male friends driving. Often, there would be a very large unusual-looking red dog in the truck as well, usually in the bed, but sometimes in the front seat. My children said they asked their dad repeatedly about this truck and especially about the dog, but he always denied knowing anything about either one. This confused my kids to no end because there was no mistaking what we saw, which in fact seemed designed specifically to get our attention.
On Sept. 10, 2001 at around 5 PM, one of my children had a special practice over at the local high school that necessitated my picking them up at a time I was almost never at the school normally. I drove into the parking lot, my child hopped in, and I started to pull out. Before I could do so, however, a large white "dually" pickup truck drove past us. The driver was my former mother-in-law, and she first waved at us when she saw us but then apparently changed her mind, because she suddenly stopped waving and put her hand in front of her face to try and hide from us. She had passed by us very closely, however, and we were sure it was her.
My former mother-in-law stopped this truck at the curb a short distance in front of us in a location that was also somewhat hidden behind a building, and numerous people who'd been either standing around or waiting nearby in parked vehicles began walking up to her window. We saw her wave them off, and then we watched her move the truck away from us to the far end of the parking lot. She then stopped there and appeared to be watching us. My teenaged child asked me what their grandmother was doing, and I said I didn't know. We decided we'd better leave, but as we started out of the parking lot, we saw the white dually slowly pulling back to its original spot along the curb, and we saw all the people heading over to its driver's window again.
We didn't know of any normal reason why my former mother-in-law would be at the school at that hour, especially in a vehicle her family members had repeatedly denied knowing anything about. My child was especially confused because her grandparents and their grandmother's sister and her husband from Waco (who've been sail boating all over the Caribbean and up and down the East Coast for years with unknown means of financial support) had told my kids they were going to France on vacation, and my child thought they'd already left. (See "The French Connection" from 12/14/09 posted below.)
Since there were so many questions about what was going on, I suggested we be absolutely certain it was my former mother-in-law in the truck, so I circled around and then pulled right up next to her; there was no doubt whatsoever that it was her. We also saw continued groups of people going over to her window and then leaving quickly; at times there was even a line. We didn't have a camera with us, but we took down the vehicle's license number and a detailed vehicle description.
There were a number of things about this particular truck that we found surprising. Although it was similar, we did not believe it was the same dually we'd seen my ex-husband and his friends driving. This truck looked bigger--enormous, in fact. Also, this truck had a handicapped plate, while the other one did not. (At the time, we were not aware of any handicap of my former mother-in-law's, although I believe she now does have such a plate. Also, we both remarked about how difficult it would be for someone who was handicapped to climb up into a cab that was so high off the ground.) The most unique and instantly identifiable feature of this truck, however, were an enormous set of attached white mudflaps that said "Wonderful Wyoming" in huge purple letters.
Because this incident involved what looked like criminal behaviour to us (drug trafficking on school property) by someone with close ties to local law enforcement (lifelong family friend of the police chief and most of the officers), I reported it to the San Antonio FBI. I also asked my child not to discuss the incident with their grandmother or anyone else, but they said they were curious about what their grandmother would say and said they did ask her about it when she got back from France. They said their grandmother absolutely denied that it had been her and said that she knew nothing whatsoever about the truck. Since then, we've seen this truck a few more times under suspicious circumstances, including once when it was parked by the new police substation downtown and another time when it was parked in the driveway of a rent house owned by my ex-husband that the police chief was then living in.
On 12/11/08, a 35-year-old woman named Cathy Jo Haney was found dead in her vehicle along Hwy 16 between Fredericksburg and Kerrville. According to police reports published in the newspapers, Haney died from injuries she received when a large unsecured tire fell from the back of a white dual-wheeled pickup truck that had been described by witnesses. Both local and state police said they were looking for this truck, and they asked anyone with information to contact them.
Periodically, local police repeat this case in the media and continue to seek information on the truck and its owner. To any local "insider", however, these requests make little sense, since these are small towns where everyone knows exactly who drives what (especially the police!). The dead woman was found directly across from a business owned by a close relative of the partner of my ex-husband's divorce lawyer--whose own 19-year-old niece died suddenly and whose front windows were once sprayed with gunfire. Further, there have been a number of other suspicious deaths nearby. (See, for example, "The Oral Surgeon and the Pilot", 9/27/09, posted below.) Finally, Mrs. Haney died while on her way home from work. (See "Right On Schedule".) To me, the repeated requests by local law enforcement for information on the white "dually" seem more like warnings.