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Pecos County Historical Commission Presents: Border Bandits – a film by Kirby Warnock

November 20, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


From the producer of the award-winning PBS documentary Return to Giant comes a new look at a very old incident.

Re-enactors Larry Rey and Joel Galindo portray “bandits” during a 1915 raid on the McAllen Ranch the Rio Grande Valley.

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.

Border Bandits will screen in Fort Stockton, Texas, on Wednesday, November 20, at 6:00 pm. The screening will be at The Garage, located at 1110 N Main Street in Fort Stockton.

Following the screening, a Q&A with the filmmaker, Kirby Warnock, and members of local law enforcement will take place.

The screening is presented by the Pecos County Historical Commission to give a historical perspective to recent developments along the Texas-Mexico border.

Since its release, Border Bandits has earned a resolution honoring it in the Texas House of Representatives, a Best Documentary award from the Deep Ellum Film Festival, a nomination for “Texan of the Year” by the Dallas Morning News, and recognition at the Bob Bullock Museum of Texas History during its recent Canales Investigation centennial. In late October 2019, it was featured at SMU in Dallas as part of the Clements Center for Southwest History Evening Lecture Series.

“It is amazing that events that happened almost 100 years ago are still affecting people in Texas today,” recalls Kirby. He spent nearly five years tracking down the descendants of the dead men, poring over Ranger reports and interviewing historians to find out what actually happened. The result is Border Bandits, a film that is both compelling and disturbing as it tells of a turbulent time in Texas history, when hundreds of Mexican-Americans were killed in the lower Rio Grande Valley at the hands of the Rangers.

All of the re-enactors in the production are Fort Stockton residents, including Melanie Hinojos, Frank Carpenter, Joel Galindo, Larry Ley and Brad Newton.

Re-enactors Frank Carpenter and Melanie Hinojos portray James B. McAllen and Santos Tijerina in the documentary, Border Bandits.

Shortly after witnessing these killings, Roland Warnock came to Fort Stockton where he established a small ranch that recently celebrated 100 years in business.

The evening is a presentation of the Pecos County Historical Commission and will feature a discussion following the screening. Admission is free, but seating is limited.

For more information on Border Bandits, visit www.borderbanditsmovie.com, or e-mail kirby@bigbendquarterly.com

For bringing this story to a general audience, Mr. Warnock, a self-described redneck, is my nomination for The Dallas Morning News’ Texan of the Year.

Macarena Hernandez, The Dallas Morning News 

Much of the recent coverage of Ranger history in this period seems to have been spurred by Kirby Warnock’s documentary film, Border Bandits.

Texas Monthly 

An excellent primer on border conflicts, with a very effective personal angle.

Robert Draper, GQ Magazine

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

Margaret Moser, The Austin Chronicle


November 20, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


The Garage Coffee, Music & More
1110 N. Main St.
Fort Stockton, TX 79735 United States