Longform

Still an Aryan Blood Brother

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Things were quickly spiraling out of control. In New Mexico, members were asking for permission to kill a cop. Hankins said no, but they kept asking, which aroused Jameton's suspicions that someone was trying to set them up. The feds had just successfully prosecuted a massive Aryan Brotherhood case in California, and it seemed their focus had now shifted to Texas. On top of that, Jameton figured that it was only a matter of time before the cops would come knocking on his door, asking about Clark's murder. He planned to escape to New Mexico, where an ABT member had a secure compound in the mountains near Albuquerque.

But first Jameton had a debt to collect.

In the early morning hours of August 25, he and McClellan showed up at the house of two men who Jameton claimed dealt drugs for him. Holding guns to their heads, Jameton took $700, a 52-inch plasma TV and a .357 Magnum—all in partial payment of the $5,000 he said they owed him. He then forced the men into his truck, and drove them to an ATM, but when the machine limited their withdrawals to $300 each, Jameton decided he would hold them at McClellan's house until he was paid in full. As they drove to McClellan's house, he duct-taped their eyes shut so they wouldn't know where he lived and put zip-ties around their necks to keep them from running.

"I never planned to kill them," Jameton would later tell me. "I was just going to hold them until they came up with the money."

As they approached McClellan's house, Jameton could see that the police had it surrounded. "Be cool," he told McClellan, who was driving. "Let's make a right."

They continued on Pioneer Road until they came to a baseball field that sits in the shadow of I-20. He had McClellan stop the truck, and he then led his two blindfolded captives into the park.

"I want you both to walk until you hit a tree," he told them. "Look, you're not walking off a cliff, I promise. Just walk in this field, and when you hit a tree you can stop."

Jameton jumped back in the car, and he and McClellan drove to a motel in Palmer where they watched the news hoping to learn what information the police had on them. A few hours later, they headed for New Mexico, but not before detouring to Dallas to answer the phone call of a brother who was in trouble. On their way, the Dallas police would give chase, causing them to wreck near Loop 12, and once McClellan threw Jameton's gun out the window, they would surrender.

Earlier that same day, police had caught Williams on Lawson Road, after he had eluded them during a 30-minute car chase. Police arrested Edmonds near his home on Shepherd Lane where Mesquite police say Jameton prepared Clark's body for disposal. In all, a half-dozen members of the brotherhood were arrested, including their leader, Jason Hankins, whom police found on August 26 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was later named in a federal indictment in New Mexico, alleging that he and 11 others, including Edmonds, had conspired to kill a police officer.

Despite their blood oaths and vows to never snitch on each other, Williams and Manuel confessed to participating in the murder of Breanna Taylor and implicated each other and Jameton and McClellan in the process. Jameton also confessed but later recanted, claiming a Dallas detective coerced him into a confession by threatening to prosecute McClellan for murder.

"They don't know what the fuck to believe," Jameton told me during one of our conversations. "I'm a liar. Only I know the real truth about what happened."

On a cold day in early December, I visited Dale Jameton for the last time. He was led to the visiting room by two burly guards, who were on high alert. During his stay in the Dallas County Jail, Jameton had already assaulted one guard, and there was no reason to believe he wouldn't do it again.

Once he was secured in the interview room, the guards took off his cuffs. He seemed in good spirits. As we talked, he passed me some court papers that he felt would help me tell his story, including Manuel's written confession of the Taylor killing. I filled in some of the blanks in his family history and got the phone number of an aunt who could put me in touch with his mother. When I later called the number, it was disconnected.

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Jesse Hyde
Contact: Jesse Hyde