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Tyler, Texas Undercover Drug Scandal, Part 2 (1991)

Jim Ruddy

Sound | 1991

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TAMI Tags
  •  Hardy’s thoughts about Ramsey’s allegations 
  •  Ramsey’s financial success with her novel and film 
  •  Who was Ken Bora? 
  •  Supervising undercover agents 
  •  How often did he interact with Ramsey and Matthews?  
  •  Hardy’s response that he instructed Ramsey and Matthews to lie 
  •  Why did Ramsey and Matthews lie? 
  •  Hardy’s indictment 
  •  Hardy’s regrets over the scandal 
  •  Hardy’s attempts to set the record straight 
  •  Final words from Hardy 
 
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This unedited footage, shot by Dallas-based producer Jim Ruddy, likely for Entertainment Tonight, features an interview with Willie Hardy, former Police Chief of Tyler, Texas (1979-1982). In 1979, while Hardy was Police Chief, he orchestrated the largest drug bust in East Texas, with over 100 people arrested, through the use of two undercover police, Creig Mathews and Kim Ramsey. Two years later, Mathews and Ramsey confessed to becoming addicted to drugs while undercover agents, as well as falsifying most of the information that led to the drug bust and subsequent convictions. All of the convictions were thrown out as a result, and Hardy was fired as police chief. In 1990, Kim Ramsey Wozencraft wrote the novel “Rush” (later a film), which detailed her ordeal with drug addiction and falsification while working for Hardy. In this footage, Ruddy interviews Hardy about the undercover operation, the falsification of the information, his indictment and trial, what he believes the facts are, Kim Wozencraft’s book, and being forced to leave his career as police chief. This video was shot the same year the film “Rush” was released into theaters. It is an in-depth interview with Willie Hardy about the story from his perspective. Hardy now works in Tyler as a private detective.
Willie Hardy was the police chief of Tyler, Texas from 1979 to 1982, where he orchestrated and supervised the largest drug bust in East Texas at that time. Hardy’s predecessor, Ronnie Malloch, hired two undercover narcotic police officers, Creig Matthews and Kim Ramsey (later Wozencraft), in order to investigate the growing crime and narcotics scene in Tyler. The main target was a bar owner named Ken Bora, whose bars were thought to be a hotbed of drug sales and child pornography. 
 
While they were employed by the Tyler police department, they became romantically involved and eventually got married. In 1978 and 79, Wozencraft and Matthews assembled over 200 drug cases, which resulted in over 100 convictions. However, they were unable to bring any charges against Bora, much to the chagrin of Hardy. 
 
According to Wozencraft, in order to be believable, she and Matthews became addicted to drugs (Wozencraft to cocaine and Matthews to heroin) while serving as undercover drug agents. Wozencraft claims she addressed the dire situation of Matthews’ addiction with Hardy, who told them to take a couple of days off and then to resume their pursuit of Bora. Wozencraft claims that Hardy put such intense pressure on them to find evidence against Bora that they falsified evidence in order to get an arrest.  
 
Shortly after the investigation ended, Wozencraft and Matthews were shot in their mobile home. Matthews was seriously wounded. Billionaire H. Ross Perot put them up in a safe house in Dallas, and they were able to continue with testifying against those arrested on drug charges. Wozencraft also falsely testified that Bora was behind the shooting, and he was convicted of attempted murder. 
 
In 1982, after Matthews and Wozencraft resigned from the police force and moved on, evidence came to light that they falsified information about Bora and others. They eventually confessed and pled guilty to civil rights violations due to the falsification of evidence. Bora was acquitted of attempted murder and drug charges, and all of the 100+ people convicted of drug charges were acquitted, as well. 
 
Wozencraft was sentenced to 18 months in prison, and Matthews was sentences to 3 years. When Wozencraft was released from prison, she promptly moved to New York City where she put herself through college and received a master’s degree in creative writing at Columbia University. In 1990, Wozencraft published her autobiographical novel Rush, which was made into a feature length film directed by Lili Fini Zanuck, starring Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh. 
 
Willie Hardy was also arrested for his involvement in the falsification of evidence, as he was the supervisor of Wozencraft and Matthews. He was found not guilty, but his career in the police department was destroyed by the controversy.