Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog
Suspicion that the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) is behind the killings has centered on a massive batch of federal indictments of the group which were unveiled in January -- shortly before the murder of state prosecutor Mark Hasse. There were two lead prosecutors on that case -- one based in Texas and another out of Main Justice in Washington, DC. Yesterday, the Texas-based lead withdrew from the case because of what TPM's Eric Lach confirmed were, in the prosecutor's words, "security reasons."
There seems little question that that withdrawal stemmed from very real concerns that the ABT is tied to the killings. Simultaneously, though, local authorities have questioned a former Kaufman Country Justice of the Peace who was jailed and subsequently released on an unrelated conviction. The man in question, Eric Williams, denies any involvement and apparently voluntarily cooperated with police in their investigation.
It seems -- and I stress seems -- that the investigation of Williams was more checking off boxes than the focus of the investigation. But it's also clear that investigators haven't ruled anything out.
In the background there's also the possible that drug cartels could be involved though there appears to be much less of a clear nexus to the victims in this case.