Capt Manuel Trazazas “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas

Capt Manuel Trazazas “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas

Cádiz, Provincia de Cádiz, Andalucia, Spain
Death 13 Feb 1977 (aged 85)
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Burial Cremated
Plot Scattered at Space 169 of Q in Urn Garden on 18Feb1977 - Cremation no. 7425.
Memorial ID 6789745 View Source

Manuel Trazazas “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas was born in Spain, on July 4, 1891. At age eight, he became an orphan due to the 1900 Galveston hurricane. At age twenty, Gonzaullas joined the Mexican army attaining the rank of major. He then served five years as a special agent for the U.S. Treasury Department. In 1920 he married Laura Isabel Scherer, and that same year joined the Texas Rangers. During the 1920s and '30s, Gonzaullas enforced the law in the Texas oil fields, boom towns, and along the Texas border. Alone, he pursued bootleggers, gamblers, drug runners and bank robbers. He came to be known as “El Lobo Solo” (the Lone Wolf). In 1935, the Legislature established the Department of Public Safety. Gonzaullus was appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Intelligence and is credited with creating a crime laboratory second only to that of the F.B.I. In 1940, Gonzaullas rejoined the Rangers as Captain of Company B, Dallas. He became the first American of Spanish decent to achieve the rank of captain. In 1946 the Lone Wolf was sent to Texarkana to investigate murders committed by the “Phantom Killer.” Gonzaullas’s experiences in that case were used as the bases for the movie "The Town That Dreaded Sundown." He retired from the Texas Rangers in 1951. Later he worked in Hollywood as a technical consultant for radio, television, and motion pictures, in particular the long-running 1950s radio and TV show “Tales of the Texas Rangers.” Captain M.T. “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas, a Mason and Presbyterian, died of cancer in Dallas on February 13, 1977 at age of eighty-five.Legendary Captain Manuel Trazazas "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas was born in Cadiz, Spain to a Spanish-Portuguese father, Manuel Gonzaullas, and a German mother, Helen Von Droff who were naturalized U. S. citizens. He was born in Spain while they were visiting that nation.

Gonzaullas spent part of his boyhood in El Paso. Capt. John R. Hughes, another legendary Ranger, became his idol, and he dreamed of the time when he could wear a badge.

One story says that Mr. Gonzaullas's parents were killed in the 1900 Galveston hurricane leaving him an orphan at the age of 8 years old.

Another story says that at the age of 15 he witnessed the murder of his only two brothers, and the wounding of his parents when banditos raided their home. Fourteen years later he joined the Texas Rangers with a burning desire to fight lawlessness, and injustice. I do not know which one of these stories is true. I'm still doing research on him in regards to his life story.

At the start of his career Mr. Gonzaullas served as a Mexican Army Major at age 20. He then worked five years as a special agent for the U. S. Treasury Dept. He joined the Texas Rangers in 1920, and soon became known as "Lone Wolf Gonzaullas" because he often preferred to work alone. Many of the people who knew him back in his day would often say of him, "One Riot, One Ranger." In spanish, "El Lobo Solo," or in english, "Lone Wolf."

Besides joining the Texas Rangers in 1920, he also married Miss Laura Isabel Scherer on 12April1920. They stayed married for the next 57 years, and although they did not have any children, (and they were their only known relatives at the time of their deaths) they were known to have been a very loving, and devoted couple.

M. T. "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas was a lifelong Texas Ranger, and the first Ranger of Hispanic Descent to rise to the rank of Captain. He was a staff member of the Texas Government, a dedicated lawman who helped to tame the "American Wild West" in Texas, and a Crime Fighter who was a forerunner in forensic science. Gonzaullas was appointed Superintendent/Director of Intelligence of the Department of Public Safety after it was established/organized by the Legislature in 1935, and created a crime laboratory second only to that of the F.B.I. In 1940 Gonzaullas resigned from the Intelligence Bureau, and the tough, wiry officer rejoined, and took over command as Captain of the Rangers' Dallas-based Company B 10 in Dallas, TX. He headed a detachment of men assigned to help local officers maintain law, and order in a 56-county area. After distinguished service, he retired in 1951. Later on in life he helped found the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in 1968.

THE VETERAN Ranger was famously known in the 1920's, and 30's for taming, and enforcing the law along the Texas border, in the Texas oil fields, and boom towns. Alone, he tracked down bootleggers, gamblers, drug-runners, bank robbers, and jailed murderers while brandishing matched pistols.

When asked about reports that mentioned that he had killed 75 men in the line of duty, Gonzaullas replied: "Just write that I found it necessary to kill several. I don't want to give you a number. But I will say this: I would rather be tried for killing six outlaws than to have one of them tried for killing me."

Gonzaullas, who collected 580 guns during his career, was proud of two .45-caliber pistols given to him. Inlaid with gold, and silver, the weapons were inscribed, "Never draw me without cause or shield me with dishonor."

Going back in time to the Spring of 1946 "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas was sent to Texarkana to investigate a series of "lovers lane" murders committed by the "Phantom Killer." He directed the investigations when he got there, and worked with the F.B.I on this case, as he did on many of his other cases. He was known for always getting his man, and solving the cases that he worked on, but the Phantom Killer case in Texarkana was one case that he was not able to solve. The spree of murders ended as abruptly as they had begun, and the killer was never caught. This case has yet to be solved, or closed until this day in the (year of 2019). I was told that Mr. Gonzaullas continued to work on this case even after his retirement, and on into the later years of his life. Mr. Gonzaullas's experiences in the Phantom Killer case were used as the bases for the original movie about the Phantom Killer directed by Charles B. Pierce, "The Town That Dreaded Sundown - c1976."

Mr. Gonzaullas was a religious man, active in his church, and a keen student of the Bible. Although he believed that his skill, and judgment were contributing factors in his success as a lawman, he believed that God was at his side when his fearlessness, and deadly accuracy with pistols, and rifles allowed him to survive. Later in his career, Gonzaullas carried a copy of the New Testament in his pocket, and extra copies in his car. He handed the copies out to errant men whom he thought might be saved, and rehabilitated into useful citizens - he even had certain passages on sinning, and forgiveness underlined in these bibles.

He donated his scrapbooks, and personal papers, weapons, and other momentos... to The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, and Museum in Waco, TX. You can contact them for more information about his life, and times, and about the history of the Texas Rangers.

After his retirement in 1951, Mr. Gonzaullas moved to Hollywood, and became a technical consultant for a Hollywood studio filming pictures about the Untamed Wild West. He was also a consultant for radio, television, and motion pictures, in particular the long-running 1950's radio show "Tales of the Texas Rangers."

The late Col. Homer Garrison, who headed the DPS, said Gonzaullas would "go down in history as one of the great Rangers of all time."

There have been quite a few books written about "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas for anyone who wants to know more about him, and the history of the life, and times of the Texas Rangers.

In 1976 Mr. M. T. Gonzaullas, and his wife Laura, drove to Waco for ceremonies dedicating the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. It included an exhibit that depicted his exploits.

"We're planning a trip to California," the veteran lawman said. "My eyesight isn't as sharp as it was in my younger days, but I'm young in spirit, and that's what counts."

Not long after he said these words, and after living a life of surviving numerous showdowns with killers during a 31-year career as one of the state's best known, and most colorful law enforcement officers, he passed away of what they said was cancer in a Dallas Hospital on Sunday, 13Feb1977. He was 85 years old.

Gonzaullas, who remained trim, and erect over the course of his life; spent much of his retirement as a volunteer worker for Gaston Episcopal Hospital. He was a member of the West Shore Presbyterian Church, the Masons, Hella Temple Shrine, and Scottish Rite.

Funeral services for Mr. Gonzaullas, of 5819 University, were held at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Chapel, 7405 W. Northwest Highway. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife, Laura.

You can see Mr. Gonzaullas' obituary in the Dallas Morning News dated 15Feb1977.

The executor of their estate was Henry S. Rosser of New Jersey.

I find it troubling that Captain Gonzaullas, and his wife have no memorial stone, or plaque left for them anywhere. It is obvious that they had no known relatives, or children to look after them at the time of their deaths. If they had, they might have made arrangements for them to have one. Hopefully someone will take it upon themselves to get them one someday.

Thank you for visiting this memorial, and for remembering, and honoring Mr. & Mrs. M. T. "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas!

Bio by Wanza Bryan Good

Gravesite Details

He, and his wife were both cremated. Their ashes were scattered in the Urn Garden at Restland Memorial Park.

Family Members


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