All of Dallas was shocked at the brutal murders of Berkner High School students Justin Marquart and Frederick Banzhaf, who were killed during a robbery at the Richardson sporting goods store where they worked. But Dallas artist Larry Van Haren had his own reason for shock; some five weeks before the murder, he had his own encounter with James Curtis Langston III, one of the murder suspects.
Van Haren, whose sketches of local would-be celebrities adorn the walls of Louie’s bar on Henderson, was assaulted Oct. 11 at about 5:15 a.m. while waiting for a bus downtown. Two men warned him to be quiet and tried to take his wallet, but Van Haren jumped away and began screaming. One of the men punched him in the face, then both ran off. Bleeding from the forehead, Van Haren called the police. Two days later, he sketched his assailant for police (above, left).
A little over a month later. Van Haren picked up the paper and saw a photo of Langston, who was killed by police several hours after the slayings were committed. Police acknowledged the resemblance between the two, and hence closed Van Haren’s case. “I was sure it was him as soon as I picked up the paper,” Van Haren said.