UT grad steals Aggie mascot, tells epic story
By Mary Tuma
After the kidnapping, the then-architectural engineering major told his story under his pseudonym to Daily Texan reporter Phil Van der Slice. The event was so controversial that the University pressured Van der Slice to reveal the identities of the culprits.
"It was really stressful, and there came a point when the dean of students threatened to kick me out of the University," said Van der Slice. "But being the young reporter that I was, I couldn't reveal my sources."
Reveille has been the official mascot of Texas A&M since 1931. In addition to being present at major athletic events, she is a five-star general and outranks even the highest member of the A&M Corps. According to current handler, political science major Pierce Hunter, Reveille enjoys her celebrity status on campus.
"She's a princess, and she knows it," Hunter said.
During his time at UT-Austin, Sheffield read an article in the Dallas Morning News that glorified the Texas A&M mascot and read like a "PR campaign," he said. The article provoked him to take action, particularly one line that claimed A&M was the only team in the Southwest Conference who had never had their mascot stolen, he said.
"They thought they were God's gift to man," he said.
'It was like robbing Fort Knox'
Sheffield's friend Kevin Kwast introduced him to Paul Murray, another UT student who had voiced interest in kidnapping the purebred pooch.
"Paul did all the research, he knew where the dog was staying and how she was being taken care of," Sheffield said.
In the fall of 1993, Sheffield and Murray learned that the collie's handler, A&M student Jim Lively, would be in Dallas for the A&M football game against Texas Christian University. About 30 others, mostly UT band members, joined forces with the two students. The plan was to split up into small groups to overpower Lively and snatch the dog.
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