As a long-time Deputy Sheriff in Marin County, Weldon lived through some very interesting times relevant to law enforcement, participating in fighting the most vicious crimes emananting from the hottest issues of the day. His many memorable experiences, in and out of uniform, were always in the interests of keeping the peace. The book's subtitle, ". . . in Wild and Wooly West Marin; a collection of vivid vignettes," says a lot about its contents. The author's tales brim with a variety of countercultural events, and the many ways that humans succumb to evil and occasionally rise in redemption. Many revelations are devilishly humorous but all reflect the image of a conscientious man who has, fortunately for Marin County and California society, invested the major part of his life in keeping the sane balance between extremes of behavior found in the Golden State.
Author: Thad Sitton
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Release Date: 2006-01-20
The Texas Sheriff takes a fresh, colorful, and insightful look at Texas law enforcement during the decades before 1960. In the first half of the twentieth century, rural Texas was a strange, often violent, and complicated place. Nineteenth-century lifestyles persisted, blood relationships made a difference, and racial apartheid was still rigidly enforced. Citizens expected their county sheriff to uphold local customs as well as state laws. He had to help constituents with their personal problems, which often had little or nothing to do with law enforcement. The rural sheriff served as his county’s “Mr. Fixit,” its resident “good old boy,” and the lord of an intricate rural society. Basing his interpretations on primary sources and extensive interviews, Thad Sitton explores the dual nature of Texas sheriffs, demonstrating their far-reaching power both to do good and to abuse the law.
North of Los Angeles - the studios, the beaches, Rodeo Drive - lies a sparsely populated region that comprises fully one half of Los Angeles County. Sprawling across 2200 miles, this shadow side of Los Angeles is in the high Mojave Desert. Known as the Antelope Valley, it's a terrain of savage dignity, a vast amphitheatre of startling wonders that put on a show as the megalopolis burrows northward into the region's last frontier. Ranchers, cowboys, dreamers, dropouts, bikers, hikers, and felons have settled here - those who have chosen solitude over the trappings of contemporary life or simply have nowhere else to go. But in recent years their lives have been encroached upon by the creeping spread of subdivisions, funded by the once easy money of subprime America. McMansions - many empty now - gradually replaced Joshua trees; the desert - America's escape hatch - began to vanish as it became home to a latter-day exodus of pilgrims. It is against the backdrop of these two competing visions of land and space that Donald Kueck - a desert hermit who loved animals and hated civilization - took his last stand, gunning down beloved deputy sheriff Steven Sorensen when he approached his trailer at high noon on a scorching summer day. As the sound of rifle fire echoed across the Mojave, Kueck took off into the desert he knew so well, kicking off the biggest manhunt in modern California history until he was finally killed in a Wagnerian firestorm under a full moon as nuns at a nearby convent watched and prayed. This manhunt was the subject of a widely praised article by Deanne Stillman, first published in Rolling Stone, a finalist for a PEN Center USA journalism award, and included in the anthology Best American Crime Writing 2006. In Desert Reckoning she continues her desert beat and uses Kueck's story as a point of departure to further explore our relationship to place and the wars that are playing out on our homeland. In addition, Stillman also delves into the hidden history of Los Angeles County, and traces the paths of two men on a collision course that could only end in the modern Wild West. Why did a brilliant, self-taught rocket scientist who just wanted to be left alone go off the rails when a cop showed up? What role did the California prison system play in this drama? What happens to people when the American dream is stripped away? And what is it like for the men who are sworn to protect and serve?
Author: Larry D. Ball
Publisher: UNM Press
Release Date: 1996-03-01
Elected for two-year terms, frontier sheriffs were the principal peace-keepers in counties that were often larger than New England states. As officers of the court, they defended settlers and protected their property from the ever-present violence on the frontier. Their duties ranged from tracking down stagecoach robbers and serving court warrants to locking up drunks and quelling domestic disputes.The reality of their job embraced such mandane duties as being jail keepers, tax collectors, quarantine inspectors, court-appointed executioners, and dogcatchers.
Author: Thad Sitton
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2010-01-01
Sawmill communities were once the thriving centers of East Texas life. Many sprang up almost overnight in a pine forest clearing, and many disappeared just as quickly after the company "cut out" its last trees. But during their heyday, these company towns made Texas the nation's third-largest lumber producer and created a colorful way of life that lingers in the memories of the remaining former residents and their children and grandchildren. Drawing on oral history, company records, and other archival sources, Sitton and Conrad recreate the lifeways of the sawmill communities. They describe the companies that ran the mills and the different kinds of jobs involved in logging and milling. They depict the usually rough-hewn towns, with their central mill, unpainted houses, company store, and schools, churches, and community centers. And they characterize the lives of the people, from the hard, awesomely dangerous mill work to the dances, picnics, and other recreations that offered welcome diversions.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a cop? Well, it's time to find out. Follow Stan Otremba from his beginnings as a relief bailiff at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1959. There, he hears the case of Johnny Stompanato, who turned up dead in his home one night. Stompanato's stepdaughter, Cheryl Crane, testifies that she killed him because he was beating her mother. But bailiff Otremba is suspicious, and years later, he finds out what really happened. When he becomes a full-fledged police officer with the Santa Maria Police Department, Otremba investigates murders, rapes, suicides, and more. As a deputy coroner, he sees still yet another side of the law, but it's not a pretty one. Along the way, Otremba adapts to the changes in law enforcement, enjoying the new technology that becomes available from the Law Enforcement Assistance Program and fine-tuning his crime-fighting tactics. Follow an insider through twenty-eight years of action in So, You Want to Be a Cop ?