Winfield and the Wimberley Bank

I thought that the incident with Winfield and the speeding tickets had taught him a lesson. I found out later how clueless I was about what all was going on in that man’s head. If you set and listened to him you would really take him to be just a big talker, but you knew he wanted to make it big one day. He had been around a couple of years by this time and my business was going through a very tumultuous time. All my bills were all behind, creditors were beating our door down and Winfield was spending most of his time putting out fires. He was arraigning loans for us left and right. It seemed that he always made everything workout, so we could continue to operate. I was working on a project down near San Antonio, so I was away from the office most of the time. Kenny was taking care of the work in and around Austin and helping keep an eye on Winfield.

One day Kenny called and told me we needed to talk when I got back to Austin. When I got back he told me of an incident that had happen during that week at our office. Kenny and Winfield were the only two at the office that particular day. All the girls that Winfield had hired had long ago been sent down the road.

Two men dress in suits walked in and asked to talk to Winfield, in private. Kenny figured it was someone Winfield had a deal working with. He later found out that Winfield had never laid eyes on them before nor was expecting them. The three of them went into my private office, the only completely private place and shut the door. After 20 or 30 minutes, they all came out and the two men left.

Nothing was said for a couple of minutes and Winfield seemed to be completely cool about everything. He then ask Kenny to come out in the back-yard area, as he had something to tell him. Winfield didn’t want to talk inside the office, for fear it was bugged. The two men were FBI Agents. After walking out back, Winfield’s knees began to wobble and he could barely speak. Outside in the open yard he felt it safe to tell Kenny the following story.

Winfield had moved back home with his folks in Marble Falls and would stop and get drunk almost every evening up near the Pedernales River at a little beer joint. He and a drinking buddy, an Ex-Vietnam Marine, had started discussing how easy it would be to rob a bank. They figured a sleepy little place like Wimberley, Texas would be a perfect place to pull it off. It was a town in many ways, it had all the businesses you associate with a town. Many people vacationed there and a big housing development had brought a lot of retirees to Wimberley. It just didn’t have government, therefore it didn’t have a police force. The Hays County Sherriff’s Dept. was the law enforcement authority but was headquartered some 25 miles away. That made it the perfect place to rob.

After some planning they decided that a third person would be needed. The Marine had a buddy that had served in Vietnam with him and would be perfect for the job. But after a meeting or two the number three guy begin to get cold feet, but never mentioned it. He fell out of sight but they thought he would reappear by the time of the heist. They didn’t really need him for the planning anyway.

He went to the FBI. Now with the authorities in on their plan, they were constantly being watched. The two suits that came to the office that day had told Winfield every move that he had made and every person he had called for the past couple of weeks. They had followed Winfield and the Marine as they staked out the Wimberley Bank on two occasions. (I would find out later they had gone in one of my company trucks) The FBI Agents warned Winfield that if he decided to act out any more of this fantasy, he would regret it. It seems strange that he wasn’t arrested. They also warned him about retaliating against the informant. I never knew if they spoke with Winfield’s accomplice. I suspect they did.
As far as I know, all plans of robbing banks for Winfield, died that day. Winfield went on to become Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston. I always wondered if Winfield was ever nervous about his past as he was studying became an attorney and whether he would be certified. I guess there was nothing in his record about the incident.

Winfield did live to do many more outrageous things before he was found dead in 1995 of a drug overdose or a slaying over to a drug deal gone badly.

All this was going on while Winfield was dealing with banks on my behalf. I’m sure my bankers would have been impressed if Winfield, my CPA had been arrested for bank robbery.

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