By William P. Barrett

Copyright 1998


You tell the ignoramous

About con men so famous,

Their names often are equivalent to crime;

There's Ponzi and Bob Vesco—

He fled the country, presto!

Their separate exploits are a paradigm.

Now in Texas' sunny clime,

Where we used to spend some time

Watching institutions looted blind and fall,

Of all the blackened crew

The foremost one we knew

Was the Lone Star wheeler-dealer, Billie Sol.

                    He was Sol! Sol! Sol!

          Friend of politicians many, Billie Sol!

                    He ended up in prison

                    For collateral what isn'

          The best-known rogue of his era, Billie Sol.


It was during Sixty-Two

His Pecos cover blew.

It's simple how he hosed the big-time banks.

They had lent large money,

Thinking it was honey

Backed by thirty thousand fertilizer tanks.

But in reality,

There were few tanks to see,

For Billie Sol had taken all the cash.

Alas, the Texas farmer,

Befriended by this charmer,

Who signed the mortgage note; he soon would crash.

                    It was Sol! Sol! Sol!

          Forty million was his tab to victims all.

                    A Texas jury said,

                    Go take a prison bed.

          Six years he ended up behind the wall.


Congressional committees

Had field days with these pities.

Veep LBJ said, ``Who is Billie Sol?

``We're each a Texas Dem,

``But don't rush to condemn

`` 'Cause the state's just dang too big to know them all.''

In Nineteen Seventy-Nine,

Billie Sol again would shine,

Back in court for five more counts of fraud and stuff.

The claim: He hid some dough,

So taxes he'd not owe.

The evidence against him sure looked tough.

                    It was Sol! Sol! Sol!

          Under oath he said, ``The truth I sometime maul.''

                    The jury took his view,

                    Acquitted him of two

          But gave him four more years for all his gall.


Now aft' a time of slack,

Ol' Billie Sol is back

In Brownwood charged with tax fraud counts—a bevy.

They say he drew some funds

From businesses he runs

And used a tax-exempt to duck the levy.

He entered quite a plea;

No guilt—insanity!

He says he merely don't know right from not.

But should he ever walk

By keeping up such mawk,

The hist’ry books will make him unforgot.

                    Yes, Sol! Sol! Sol!

          You synonym for swindler, Billie Sol!

                    Though we've cited you and jailed you,

                    By the livin' Gawd that made you,

          You've more chutzpah than the others, Billie Sol!


* With apologies to Rudyard Kipling


Postscript: Billie Sol Estes later changed his plea from not guilty by

reason of insanity to simply not guilty. On April 28, 1998, state District

Judge Stephan Ellis in Brownwood dismissed the indictment altogether.

In early 1998 the legendary

Texas Swindler billie sol estes

was back In court.

You won’t believe his defense.

Text Box: Billie Sol Nutso*