By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Tase Bailey shuddered inwardly as Cooke, betraying no emotion, described how son and mother were then murdered. Spencer Stanley, who had been carrying Andre on his shoulders, flung the child into the pit, and he and Camacho fired four .380-caliber rounds into Andre's head. Then Evellyn was shoved on top of her boy and executed. A thick layer of cat litter was spread over the two victims. Then Stanley shoveled dirt back into the hole and pulled some brush over to camouflage the grave.
"We really didn't have a feel for what Camacho was really like until we sat down with David Cooke in the jail," Bailey says. "Once we realized just how evil he was, I guess we made a commitment: 'This guy needs to be caught before more people die. Someone has to stop him.'"
David Cooke had even more to tell.
Two days later, as Bailey, Figueroa, and Dallas police homicide detective Barnes were driving from Dallas to Ardmore to search for the Bankses' gravesite, Cooke was asked about Pamela Miller, Eddie Cummings' erstwhile girlfriend.
"We hear Camacho took her to Mexico," said Tommy Barnes, sitting next to Cooke in the back seat.
"No," Cooke corrected him. "She's dead too."
Bailey at the wheel exchanged glances with Jose Figueroa.
"OK, where's her body?"
"You'll never find it."
Bailey could see in his rearview mirror that Cooke was in tears.
"Because we chopped it up and ran it through a tree mulcher."
Two days of bouncing around the back roads of southern Oklahoma were required before David Cooke at last located the Bankses' remote grave.
It was a typical August afternoon, stultifyingly hot with no hint of a breeze, as the officers carefully began to dig down in search of the bodies, retrieving spent .380 cartridges as they went.
After two hours of work, they were waist-deep in the hole. Then an FBI agent's shovel hit something that sounded hollow. The agent gently tapped the spot, which gave way in a mini cave-in.
Suddenly, an overpowering reek enveloped the agents, who neutralized the stench by daubing Vick's Vapo-Rub under their noses and dug on until they uncovered Evellyn as she had died, lying supine atop Andre. Both were partly mummified by the cat litter.
"I was with the Marines in Vietnam for 13 months," Bailey says. "But nothing ever affected me as that grave did. Andre was just 3 1/2. Years before I'd lost a daughter, also 3 1/2, in a traffic accident. It really bothered me to see that little kid down in the hole in his pajamas. It was tough."
It got tougher. The next morning, Sunday, as the group drove southwest back into Texas toward Stephenville, David Cooke hesitantly recounted how Pamela Miller was murdered.
He said that she returned to Dallas from Oklahoma with him and Camacho and Spencer Stanley after the Bankses' killings. By now it was early June, and Camacho--mindful that the FBI was searching hard for him--wanted to make a drug score and then head south.
He took a hotel room near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and worked his connections for several days until a drug dealer by the name of Michaels agreed to discuss a possible deal. On Friday night, June 10--Pamela Miller's birthday--Camacho summoned her and David Cooke to a Dallas hotel bar, where he was to meet Michaels, a heavyset Anglo in his 40s.
Miller was in a party mood, Cooke recalled, and drank enthusiastically that night. When Michaels walked into the bar, she blurted, "Hey! I know you. You come into Baby Dolls a lot."
Michaels, who was also a fugitive at that moment, was not amused by Miller's boozy familiarity. He excused himself and bolted out the back door.
"And that," Bailey says, "apparently really pissed off Camacho."
He dragged a protesting Miller by the arm to the car, where he punched her hard in the face--breaking her jaw--and then threw her into the back seat.
"Go get Spencer Stanley," he told Cooke.
Though in great pain, Miller taunted Camacho from the back seat, belittling his manhood. He hit her several more times, then reached back with his hand to crush her trachea, apparently believing that would kill her. When Spencer Stanley, seated next to her, reported that Miller was still alive, Camacho ordered the car stopped, pulled the woman out, slammed her to the pavement, then directed Cooke to run over her head before pitching her once again into the car.
Though unconscious by now, Miller still was not dead. So Camacho repeated the process.
"Let's go to your ranch," he said at last to Cooke. "I'm tired of digging holes."
First they arrived at a townhouse apartment Cooke maintained in Stephenville. Pamela Miller was placed in a 55-gallon drum retrieved from an empty lot next door and deposited on Cooke's back porch. The next day, Camacho ordered that a tree mulcher be rented. Miller's body was trucked in the barrel to Cooke's ranch outside Stephenville, where at Geno Camacho's command Spencer Stanley split Miller with an ax and fed her body, piece by piece, into the machine.
It was a macabre experience for Bailey. One day before, he'd excavated Evellyn and Andre in Oklahoma, and then drank a lot of beer that night, trying to get them out of his mind.
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