Statesman story on “1960s Austin Gangsters”

Michael Barnes wrote a story on my book “1960s Austin Gangsters,” published in Austin American-Statesman on Mon., January 4, 2016:

Sublett scrapes Austin’s underside — again

Author and musician’s ‘1960s Austin Gangsters’ elicits more gritty tales.

Posted: 12:00 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016

By Michael Barnes – American-Statesman Staff

Turn over another rock, find another snake.

Austin author and musician Jesse Sublett spent 10 years researching “1960s Austin Gangsters.” Still, in the months since the slim book came out last spring, Sublett has learned much more about the slippery Overton Gang, which brutalized not just Austin but also the rest of Texas and beyond.

“It’s a sort of secret history of Austin,” Sublett says. “People light up when you mention them.”

Sublett has a gift for getting people to talk. The gang’s few survivors and offspring spilled the beans about the burglaries, prostitution, murders and other crimes — spread out over more than a decade, mostly up and down Interstate 35 — as did bigwigs such as Roy Minton, Ed Wendler, Dick DeGuerin and Armadillo World Headquarters founder Eddie Wilson, who was a huge help.

Sublett goes beyond interviews and archives to paint a gritty picture of each scene. Although his geography is sometimes a bit skewed — he admits that some bad typos made it into this edition — he packs “1960s Austin Gangsters” with distinctive Texas towns, highways and street addresses.

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