Lawlessness prevailed in Kilgore, the boomtown, but anarchy did not. Organized criminals were exporting thousands of barrels of "hot" oil in much the same way Chicago was importing thousands of gallons of illegal hooch. These lawbreakers, as well as the standard criminal element, were mixed in with ten thousand roughnecks and muledrivers. Governor Sterling sent a Texas Ranger in to sort them out. Kent Biffle writes:
Policing the 1930s East Texas oil boom, Texas Ranger Lone Wolf Gonzaullas (1891-1977) practiced callused profiling.
See, soft hands betrayed gamblers, pimps, dope pushers and other gents of the light-fingered fraternity.
...When Lone Wolf hit town, he was a lone Ranger. He was called "Lone Wolf" as early as 1920 up in Wichita County. On the Rio Grande, he was El Lobo Solo.
He'd battled bank robbers, rioters, dope pushers, white slavers, bootleggers. Perhaps his palm-reading profiles sometimes worked.
..."Let me see your hands," Lone Wolf would bark at some hard-looking stranger. The Ranger would squint at the man's hands as if Texas had a law against dirty fingernails.
"If his hands were real smooth and he looked like a pimp or gambler or thug or some other kind of outlaw," Lone Wolf said in an interview, he would string the suspect on his widely cursed trotline.
Lone Wolf stemmed the flow of "hot" oil once the criminal element was rounded up and he was soon on his way to another assignment. Click on Kent Biffle's picture for more of his writings about Lone Wolf.