Popular eccentric Amarillo millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 (previously)
is best known for his art installations Cadillac Ranch
and the bizarre road signs
he placed throughout Amarillo. [more inside]
In 2006, Hannah Overton was charged with the death of her 4-year-old foster son, Andrew Burd. Media accounts
at the time claimed that Overton had force-fed her misbehaving son a mixture of water and creole seasoning, leading to death by salt poisoning. Convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole in 2008, Overton's case led angry bloggers to call her "the ultimate evil,"
part of a cult of "child abuse groupies,"
a murderer that "church cronies"
are working to free.
This month's issue of Texas Monthly
paints a fuller picture of the short life of Andrew Burd and the conviction of the mother who was working towards adopting him.
"On March 18  students prepared for the next day's Inter-scholastic Meet in Henderson. At the gymnasium, the PTA met. At 3:05 P.M. Lemmie R. Butler, instructor of manual training, turned on a sanding machine in an area which, unknown to him, was filled with a mixture of gas and air. The switch ignited the mixture and carried the flame into a nearly closed space beneath the building, 253 feet long and fifty-six feet wide. Immediately the building seemed to lift in the air and then smashed to the ground. Walls collapsed. The roof fell in and buried its victims in a mass of brick, steel, and concrete debris. The explosion was heard four miles away, and it hurled a two-ton concrete slab 200 feet away, where it crushed a 1936 Chevrolet. Of the 500 students and forty teachers in the building, approximately 298 died. Some rescuers, students, and teachers needed psychiatric attention, and only about 130 students escaped serious injury. -- From the Handbook of Texas Online
. (Other accounts
, personal recollections
, and photos
It was one of the worst disasters in Texas history. With Texans' love of superlatives, why is this a story no one tells?