May 11, 2005

NOTICE: To all Ballí Family Members and Friends
RE: Statewide Broadcast of Border Bandits on May 16, 2005

On May 16, 2005 at 9:00 p.m., PBS will air BORDER BANDITS throughout Texas on the following television stations:

KERA - Dallas - Fort Worth

KUHT - Houston

KLRN - San Antonio

KLRU - Austin

KCOS - El Paso

KWBU - Waco

KMBH - Harlingen, lower Rio Grande Valley and northern Mexico

BORDER BANDITS can also be seen in Lubbock, Amarillo, Tyler, Longview and Big Spring because they are programmed by KERA, or carry KERA on their cable.

Here are some of the newspapers comments about the documentary:

"The documentary offers a first-hand account of the killings."

"Tells all our stories, even the parts we'd rather leave out."

"There is nothing self-righteous or strident about its tone."

"Blows the John Wayne mythos right the hell out of Dodge."

"Along the way Warnock, who isn't Hispanic, uncovered the bigger story."


Border Bandits Synopsis

From the producer of the award-winning PBS documentary Return to Giant comes a new look at a very old incident. In 1915 a group of Mexican banditos raided the McAllen Ranch, one of the largest in the area. The next day a group of Texas Rangers supposedly arrived and eliminated the perpetrators. However, the real story is not as tidy as it has been portrayed. Roland Warnock, a 19-year-old cowboy working on the Guadalupe Ranch near present-day Edinburg, witnessed two of these killings when he saw Texas Rangers from Company D shoot two unarmed men in the back and leave their bodies by the side of the road. The effects of these killings by the Rangers are being felt in south Texas some 80 years later. This single incident brings into play much of the roots of the distrust between Mexicans and the Rangers, as well as the continued friction between Hispanics and Anglos in Texas. An important and moving story, Border Bandits was produced and directed by Kirby Warnock, the grandson of Roland Warnock, and features the actual voice of Roland Warnock as he describes the events of 1915. In 1974, he sat down with his grandson and dictated the entire story to him on a reel-to-reel tape recorder for Baylor University's oral history program. The younger Warnock kept the tapes, then thirty years later digitized them and placed them in this documentary, with re-enactors portraying the events described by Roland Warnock. Unlike other documentaries that rely on voice talent to read letters or journals, Border Bandits contains the actual voice of the primary source of information, Roland Warnock, lending it an air of authenticity unmatched in most documentaries.

Please tell all of your friends to WATCH AND LEARN.

Respectfully yours,
Fred B. Balli