I received word this week that Larry Link, owner of Stein’s ghost town in southern New Mexico, was murdered. News reports say that Link, 68, had gone to the ghost town to investigate a trespasser, and was found later, lying next to his vehicle. He had been shot twice.
We met Larry years ago when we stopped to visit the ghost town that he and his wife Linda had spent years restoring, and five minutes after saying hello, I knew I had made a friend. Larry was my kind of person, with a quick sense of humor, a love of history, and not afraid to speak his mind. Here is what I wrote in my Meandering Down The Highway column in the Gypsy Journal about Larry back then:
“Larry and Linda Link, owners of Steins, have purposely kept the place original as they’ve slowly brought the former railroad stop back to life, and it’s a true labor of love. I knew I had found a kindred soul in Larry, a bearded man with shaggy hair and a great sense of humor. Within five minutes of shaking hands, we had set women’s liberation, Bambi lovers and tree huggers, and most of the rest of the politically correct modern world back about twenty years. When I mentioned how afraid I am of snakes, Larry agreed. About that time someone piped up and said “Those snakes are as afraid of you as you are of them!” My new buddy Larry was fast on the return, claiming “No they’re not! If they were, they’d carry a gun like I do!” You can’t spend much time in Larry’s presence without doing a lot of chuckling.
Linda told us she and Larry have known each other since they were five years old, and have been dating since they were fifteen. Linda is obviously a very patient woman. After all, she left the bright lights of Phoenix to move to the middle of the desert with her man. I guess maybe she figured the further away from civilization she could keep Larry, the better it was for all concerned.”
The last time we visited with Larry, he told me that he and Linda wanted to take a vacation, but anytime they left the property, they came back to find something stolen. He said it wasn’t uncommon to find illegal aliens on the property, some just passing through, but others that made him cautious.
The internet is alive with rumors that the killer is an illegal alien, though officials say there is no evidence who the killer or killers are. The area is a popular route for illegal aliens and drug traffickers. Steins is located three miles from the Arizona state line on Interstate 10, in the New Mexico boot heel.
Despite claims by Homeland Security’s Janet Napolitano that violent crime is down in American border counties since the Southwest Border Initiative began in March, 2009, anybody who lives along the Arizona or New Mexico border can tell you that the entire region is under siege by illegal aliens, drug traffickers, and criminals of every ilk from south of the border. It was just over a year ago that Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was killed, after radioing his brother that he had discovered an illegal alien on their Cochise County ranch. That crime took place about 90 miles from Steins.
I won’t go so far as to say unequivocally that Larry was killed by an illegal alien, but I strongly suspect that it’s true. I’m not naive enough to think that anybody is safe anywhere in that entire region, no matter what the current administration wants us to believe.
What I do know is that a damned good man was gunned down, a man who deserved a hell of a lot better. One more victim of a war on society that we are losing.
Tags: Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, Bambi lovers, border crime, carry a gun, criminals, drug traffickers, ghost town, Homeland Security’s Janet Napolitano, illegal aliens, internet rumors, Larry Link killed, love of history, New Mexico, politically correct, sense of humor, Southwest Border Initiative, Stein’s ghost town, tree huggers, trespasser, violent crime, women’s liberation