Friend: I found man dead
Victim’s notepad said woman shot at him, affidavit says.
A friend of Darin Bell testified Tuesday in the murder trial of Lou Ann Tompkins that he became concerned about his friend in January 2011 and went to check on him after being unable to reach him for days.
“I called several times,” James Casparis said. “I was concerned about the cold. He hated the cold and always found some place to stay.” He said Bell would sometimes do his laundry at his home or stay with him when the weather was inclement.
Casparis said he found his friend of close to 20 years in his motor home, which was without electricity, in a wooded area in Southeast Austin that an Austin police officer earlier testified is sometimes home to transients.
“I saw him in a sittingup position and there was a hole in his forehead,” Casparis said.
Tompkins’ arrest affidavit said a notepad was found with an entry by Bell saying a woman named “Lou” had shot at him and accused him of stealing a radiator from her campsite. A search of that site turned up seven guns, including a 9 mm that investigators matched to Bell’s killing.
The trial will continue Wednesday.
If you are reading this rejoice, Wednesday is the day we have reached that sublime calendrical symmetry that is 12/12/12. Sure, we’ve had our 10/10/10 and 11/11/11, but this is the big one.
On such novel and rare occasions it is incumbent on scribblers to write stories about couples standing in long lines to get married at the courthouse, or pregnant women hoping they can hold on until the magical day, or maybe a kid who’s turning 12 on 12/12/12 or — here’s the journalist jackpot, of sorts — finding someone who’s 112 on this day.
No such shenanigans here. We’re going to tell you about a guy, a college student many years ago. This young and harm- lessly eccentric matriculator had an uncanny knack for looking up at the clock and seeing that it was 11:11, or 12:12, or 1:11. (Let’s assume the pattern is clear here.) He swore and swore he never sat there waiting for it, that that would be cheating. He just had this ... thing.
A jolly and infectious self-constructed mythology grew around this guy. His favorite bands were Duran Duran, Mr. Mr. and The The. (Yes, this was quite a while ago.) His favorite snacks were Ho-Hos and bonbons. His favorite crazed political assassin was Sirhan Sirhan. His favorite U.N. Secretary General would have been Boutros Boutros-Ghali, had he held that office then.
Then emerged a tradition of having a party for exactly one minute, the minute that time and date aligned at, say, 11:11 a.m. on 11/11/11. This tradition has contributed among our guy’s friends, and friends of friends, to this day. It’s like a chronic infection you’re happy to have, a small bit of goofiness that makes the day just a wee bit brighter. If you are up around midnight, you’ll get your first shot. But if you’re reading this before noon Wednesday there’s still time to make a Ho Hos run ahead of 12:12 p.m. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to dig out Howard Jones’ “The 12” Album,” too.
And if you miss it you will be very, very sorry because, as we all know, the entirety of existence will come to an end on 12/21/12.
Incidentally, this story? It’s 12 column inches long. sion among authorities led to his release to his family. McAllen police arrested him Friday after he was pulled over in a stolen truck.