Dudley's Story, continued...
Officer Perea jumped all over the case. Right after he left
the McCoy's he called Marcie. She and her husband, Dave, agreed
to participate in a raid. Perea also persuaded the Livestock
Board to finally help.
Usually the Torrance County Sheriff's office hates to get
involved in livestock disputes. The Estancia valley is notorious
for livestock deals that come to grief. Say Joe gives Jim 100
bales of alfalfa as payment for training Joe's horse. Jim's steers
eat the bales. Joe's horse is as ornery as ever. Joe asks the
sheriff to get him the bales back. The sheriff decides to stay
out of the dispute. The problem, says Grist, is that people in
these disputes never seem to have a written contract.
It's another thing, however, when people swap horses around
from one person's pasture to another. It's darn common. During
the wet summer of 1991, Dave Jenson sent a draft mare to the
Wulfekuhles to help mow the weeds on one of their pastures. When
Al Miller ran out of a place for his colt, a friend at church
took it in. I let the Wulfekuhles leave their horses at our place
during their vacation. Every one of us gave the horses back,
just like that. It's just the way neighbors help each other around
That's why Perea agreed that letting a friend borrow a horse
without a written agreement should not mean you lose the horse.
Perea moved fast. Just two days later, on Halloween afternoon,
Marcie and her husband Dave, two livestock board officers, Perea
and another Torrance County sheriff's deputy joined in a raid
on the McCoy ranch. All officers wore bulletproof vests and carried
Christine was nowhere to be seen. Dudley was still there.
They loaded him into the Dark's stock trailer.
As the sun neared the horizon, Dave and Marcie drove up to
our place with Dudley. They had decided to let us keep him for
awhile, see if Debbie and the girls and I could figure out how
to get him to behave. The next few weeks, I figured, could get
Next Chapter: Al Goes Missing Again
Back to the Table of Contents for
Killer Buyer: True Adventures of a New Mexico Horse Dealer