My Brother Shot and Killed Two Men

It’s Sunday April 23, 2010, 10:23 pm. I’m in bed. I must be at work the next morning at 7am. The phone rings. My brother Doug is on the other end of the line. It’s unusual for him to call me so late. I’m not asleep. But a nightmare is about to begin . . .

Dougie telephoned me regularly. Over the years, he’s called every few weeks or months. I could pick-up on the different tones in his voice. I knew instinctively knew how he was doing.

This call though was different; I couldn’t figure it out. Dougie never sounded like that before. Even so, the call didn’t unsettle me. Our conversation consisted of a few short words:

“Hey, what are you doing?” Dougie asked,

“Nothing, just lying in bed. What are you doing?”

“Just driving around.”

“OK.”

“I just called to tell you I love you.”

“Well, I love you too.”

“Bye.”

“Bye.”

That was the call. We usually have more to say, but neither of us are particularly talkative on the phone. I turned to my wife and said “that was strange.”

Doug is my little brother, or more correctly, my younger brother. He’s six-foot tall and weighs about 210. We’ve always been close.

Every year after I graduated college, Dougie and I would go backpacking through Colorado or New Mexico. Back in 1990, we made a 21-hour trek from West Texas to Yellowstone. We backpacked in the Bridger Wilderness Area of the Wind River Range south-east of Yellowstone. The Wind River Range’s terrain is straight out of a science fiction movie.

My youngest daughter had just turned six; it was her first backpacking trip with Dad and Uncle Dougie. My grandson turned six this month. I hope we’ll be taking him on his first backpacking trip this summer. Then again, it may be a very long time before Dougie smells the air of freedom again.

The second call came at one AM. It was Mom. I instantly knew her world had changed.

Mom’s didn’t sound that stressed when she told me Dad was bleeding is his chest following heart surgery. Dad’s chest was opened up three times in 24 hours. The first two to perform the needed repairs and the second two to find the source of the bleeding. When the surgeons were done, they’d used 50 units of blood. That was in 1996 and Dad is still with us.

Unfortunately, Dad is living through a new kind of torment.

Mom, simply said: Ken, Doug has shot and killed two men. We don’t know what happened or why. He’s in his car driving around and calling people. We are very afraid of what he might do. He has called an attorney who is supposed to meet him this afternoon.”

And so the story begins. It’s not only Doug’s story. It’s the tale of a crushing blow delivered to our extended family.

My older brother was on an excursion with friends when he received his call. While he was many yards away from his friends, they heard his wailing and approached him thinking he had somehow mysteriously been hurt.

My older brother received a call and wailed. Doug was never successful in reaching my eldest brother. I think Mom called him.

Until you live through this kind of a nightmare, the reality of such a call cannot be fully comprehended. But that’s exactly what you have to do: make sense of the incredible. And so the journey began . . .

Part Two tomorrow.

 

comments

  1. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    You sucked me in real good, I can’t wait for part two.

    1. avatar Karla Beltran says:

      Why did u stoped writing ur brother story ? Tell us how the court went for him ? Details of the nightmare ur family n the death persons family have

  2. avatar 2yellowdogs says:

    So now it’s cliffhangers. You succeeded. Sam bat time, same bat channel, tomorrow.

  3. avatar Aaron says:

    Why is everyone talking about this like it’s a suspenseful piece of fiction? If this is a true story, then it’s a dead-serious recounting of how at least four lives were irrevocably altered – the two men, the narrator’s brother, and the narrator himself.

    1. avatar 2yellowdogs says:

      Because it’s still an absorbing story that reads (is written) like fiction. No one’s buying popcorn, but it’s hard to deny that after reading the first installment, most readers will want to know what happened.

      Not knowing a thing about the story, I’m hoping the brother defended himself against two attackers and didn’t know how to handle the situation in the aftermath. As with so many TTAG posts, I learn more than I expected to when clicking on them. So like it or not, I’m looking forward to Part II.

      1. avatar 2yellowdogs says:

        I assumed it was true. And I can see the reasoning behind posting the story here. Though I read the story at the link, I’m not going to Google it until I’ve read the subsequent post(s) here by the author.

        Now, as Paul Harvey would have said, for the rest of the story….

  4. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I just hope that his brother didn’t get in trouble or go to jail for shooting the two bad guys.

  5. avatar Jessica says:

    Dad, I love you.

    1. avatar Jessica says:

      Grandma has a picture of Doug holding me in that same way (maybe even same bowl) when I was Scarlett’s age.

      1. avatar Ken says:

        Yes, it is the same bowl.

  6. avatar Kino Del Campo says:

    Story is true. Doug is my second cousin.

  7. avatar TAP says:

    Doug is now convicted of murder, 47 years.

    Prosecution proved to Jury that Doug was using under influence of meth, alcohol, and weed.

    I’d like to hear more from Ken.

  8. avatar Jane says:

    He had been my neighbor for years before this happened. It is true.

  9. avatar Nikki Houston says:

    I worked with Doug as a respiratory therapist in Dallas at the time of the murder. He actually was my preceptor for the position. He was exactly as his brother described him. He was a gun aficionado and being from Louisiana(Sportsman Paradise) So was I. He loved to grill for us at work and affectionately called me Whitney Houston. I hated to see his story take this path.

  10. avatar Annie says:

    I lived with Doug, years before this happened. My kids did give him the little Halloween toys the police officers found. Doug was a sweet guy that liked collecting weird things, that doesn’t make him a psychopath. He did collect guns, and he loved to go shooting, but I was never afraid of him. He took care of neonatal babies, he loved children and dogs. My kids adored him. Just before this happened, we had gotten in contact with each other, when I learned of the death of our dog “George” and he told me he was going to move from Clover Lane, so he could fix it up to sell it. I told him not to bother, that folks would want the lot and not the house. I wish he had listened to me…. I drove down Clover Lane a few years ago… the house had been razed and a new house built. I really, really wished he had listened to me and he wouldn’t have found himself in the awful situation. I think about Doug a lot and I hope he is ok. He should have handled this all differently, but who knows what is going through someone’s mind, especially when they are under the influence. I agree that Doug should have been punished, but I think his punishment was excessive and I hope he gets parole in 2033, but I hope he gets out sooner. He really isn’t violent… funny with a weird sense of humor… trusting, generous, and a man that needed help… he was sad and alone and imbibed too much… I wish I had reached out more to him, before all of this happened.

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