ABC13 Vault: The 1974 Huntsville prison siege and shootout

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- On July 24, 1974, a narcotics kingpin behind bars at the Walls Unit in Huntsville led two other inmates to take over the library and hold 11 prison workers hostage. That act would begin a siege that would last 11 days and end in gunfire and bloodshed.

Fred Carrasco, who was in prison for attempted murder of a police officer and suspected of numerous murders, along with Ignacio Cuevas and Rudy Dominquez, used smuggled-in guns to take over the library and hold the prison employees hostage.

Former ABC13 anchor Dave Ward called it "the most sensational insurrection in Texas prison history."

Over the course of the next 11 days, the inmates made numerous requests, including walkie-talkies, bulletproof vests and an armored car.

On the night of August 3, the prisoners made an escape attempt using a homemade fortress dubbed the "Trojan horse." Inside the shield were the three prisoners and four hostages. Outside the shield were eight other hostages.

Prison guards and Texas Rangers sprayed the makeshift device with fire hoses. Two female prison workers, Yvonne Beseda and Julia Standley, inside the shield were shot to death by the prisoners. Guards and Rangers opened fire killing one of the prisoners, Rudy Dominquez. Carrasco killed himself.

The third inmate, Cuevas, survived the shooting and was put to death in 1991.
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