Archive for January, 2008

From Phil Stanford’s column..The Portland Tribune, Jan 31, 2006
 

Police are puzzled over the apparent failure of surveillance cameras at Jimmy Longoria’s body shop during the brutal attack on former pro wrestler Billy Jack Haynes. 

Haynes says Longoria invited him to the lot on Foster Road to discuss a possible business deal, and he was there for only two or three minutes before he was attacked by two men, one of them wearing brass knuckles. Longoria says the assailant was a tweaker he’d never seen before who just happened to be passing by at the time. You know, it’s really a shame we don’t have the surveillance tapes so we can sort this all out. Wonder what happened to them?

The following is a video I pulled from YouTube of Billy Jack Haynes…

   

Ya know, I find Longoria’s comments quite comical. I mean…c’mon…he invites Billy Jack to the lot and within minutes, according to Longoria, some tweakers come along and attack a 250+ lb guy for apparently no reason. Right!

Sounds like a Longoria set-up to me, and should Billy or anyone else be surprised about that? I think not.

Why? Because the Longoria’s have a reputation for such things in Portland, if not the entire state of Oregon or the west coast.

The big question is why would the Longorias want to have Billy beaten up? I wonder if Billy can answer that question.

The Longoria name has been mentioned more than once in relation to the Francke case. Here is a column by Phil Stanford that many might recall…

Drug kingpin stirs Francke pot

Phil Stanford/On the Town-The Portland Tribune, Sep 24, 2004

If retired Portland gangster Danny Longoria is telling the truth, it’s time to tear up the state’s bungled-car-burglary theory about the Michael Francke murder.

According to Longoria, in the fall of 1988, just weeks before the killing of Oregon’s Corrections Department director, he was approached by a former corrections officer who asked for his help in killing Francke.

The official version, of course, is that the murder was committed by a low-level street hustler named Frank Gable, who, prosecutors said, stabbed Francke in the course of a car burglary in January 1989.

From the beginning, officials involved with the case have denied any possible link to Corrections Department officials or corruption in the state’s prison system.

In an interview last month, however, Longoria confirmed an account which, records show, he tried to give state police investigators almost 15 years ago  of a meeting that he says occurred at Tortilla Flats, which used to be a bar on Southeast 82nd Avenue.

At the bar, Longoria says, he was approached by a recently dismissed corrections officer, James Durant, who said he was acting at the request of two of his superiors.

“They felt the heat was coming and came to me for advice,” Longoria said. “They wanted me to help them find someone to kill Francke.”

Contacted last week, Durant, who was fired from his job as a corporal in the corrections system in 1986, said he knew Longoria but denied ever meeting him at Tortilla Flats or anywhere else to discuss Francke’s murder.

“Durant was almost crying,” Longoria said. “He said they were all going down. People were going to get busted.”

Longoria, at one time a major drug dealer in the Portland area, claims he was a logical person to come to for such advice. While serving time at the Oregon State Penitentiary in the late ’70s, he says, he ran the rackets in the prison. (this would be during Hoyt Cupp’s rein at OSP) He also is suspected of being involved in several murders  a suspicion that Longoria himself does little to allay.

“I am considered a violent man,” says Longoria, now 60 and living in what appears to be retirement in the Portland area. “Some of it is true, some isn’t.”

• • •

Court records show that Longoria first told this story early in 1990, shortly after he was busted in Portland for running what authorities described as a major drug operation that employed 50 people and moved 5 kilograms of cocaine a week.

Faced with the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison, Longoria did what most criminals do under the circumstances: He spilled the beans on everything and everyone he knew. (anyone surprised? Not me. Longoria is just one more punk bitch snitch, huh Longoria?)

For Longoria, a member of the Mexican mafia with a rap sheet three pages long, this amounted to quite a bit  and the U.S. Department of Justice was appropriately grateful. Longoria, who claims to have spent some time working undercover in Chicago as a result of the deal he cut, actually served less than four years of a 20-year sentence before returning to civilian life.

What the feds were interested in, of course, were Longoria’s drug connections. But in addition, Longoria threw out information on a wide variety of other crimes, including the alleged attempt by a former corrections officer to solicit his help in the murder of Francke.

At that meeting, Longoria says, Durant was accompanied by “two lightweight gangsters,” whose names he didn’t know, one of whom had a body shop in Southeast Portland.

According to notes taken by an investigator, then employed by Longoria’s lawyer, Durant said, “I need someone taken care of.”

That “someone,” the notes go on to say, was the state’s Director of Corrections, Michael Francke  who was “stirring up the shit” down in Salem. Longoria claims he didn’t offer any advice.

• • •

Longoria says Durant made it clear that he was following instructions from above. The notes indicate that he named two higher-ranking former corrections officials who wanted the job done.

According to the notes, Durant said that the three of them, Durant and the other two corrections officers, were being investigated.

And, also according to the notes, the hit was planned for “Xmas time 1988.” Of course, the murder did not occur until Jan. 17 of the following year.

Another possible discrepancy in the notes is that Longoria apparently understood that Durant was under pressure to do something because he was “going to lose his job.” In fact, Durant had already been fired.

Elsewhere in the notes, Longoria names the main operators in what he, in a recent interview, described as the wholesale corruption of the prison system at the time of Francke’s murder. “They were stealing everything,” he says.

In March 1990, a state police officer assigned to the Francke murder interviewed Longoria in the Multnomah County jail. The officer concluded that Longoria was lying, because of the discrepancy on the date of Durant’s firing.

The state police, who relied heavily on lie detector tests over the course of the Francke investigation, despite the fact that courts consider them too unreliable to be used as evidence, also gave one to Longoria.

“Due to this subject’s failure of the polygraph examination,” concluded the state police report on Longoria, “I anticipate no further contact with him in the future.”

end of article

Funny how the Francke investigation relied so heavily on the use of polygraphs. Naturally, these days the polygraph is being dismissed by the likes of people such as Robert King, head of the Portland Police officer’s union, who recently played down the positive results of Fred Leonhardt’s polygraph pertaining to allegations directed toward Bernie Guisto as well as Governor Kulongoski. Here, check it out…

Police union boss defends Giusto

Robert King questions investigation of Multnomah County Sheriff

Coincidentally, and I’m not one to believe in coincidence, Phil Stanford wrote another tidbit in his column on January 20, 2006 wishing Billy Jack a speedy recovery, and just below that wrote a tidbit about me and the website. Check it out…

Phil Stanford-On The Town-The Portland Tribune, Jan 20, 2006

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to former pro wrestler Billy Jack Haynes, who ended up in the hospital last week after someone worked him over with brass knuckles outside a body shop out on Southeast Foster Road. According to owner Jimmy Longoria, who called the ambulance, he and Haynes were carrying on a pleasant conversation in the yard when this crankster he’d never seen before happened by, took offense at something or other, and attacked the 6-4, 250-pound Haynes. Other eyewitnesses, who also can’t provide a positive ID, say there were two of them. Portland police are investigating the possibility that there might be more to the story than meets the eye.

• • •

Rob Taylor, keeper of the freefrankgable.com Web site, reminds me that I missed the 17th anniversary of Michael Francke’s murder last Tuesday. Of course he didn’t. He was down in Salem with a bullhorn, reminding everyone that an innocent man is serving life without parole for a murder he did not commit. Much has been written about the case, but it comes down to this: Not a shred of physical evidence links Gable to the crime scene, and the only “eyewitness” has since recanted. Surely that should count for something when Gable gets a new hearing on his sentence.

end of column

Is it possible there’s a connection of some sort between the Longorias, Billy Jack, and the Francke case? Hmmm.

The drive through Salem and Dome Building rally I put together on 1/17/2006 was quite an experience. Liz Francke and her children Grayson and Hailey, along with a couple of their friends, rode along with me in my motor home. Kevin chose not to attend. Concerned about how it would make him look or something. Whatever!

We did indeed drive through downtown Salem while I screamed Frank Gable’s innocence through a bullhorn to the wonderment and amusement of many. I also screamed out numerous comments about Scott McAlister and the corruption within Oregon DOC. We finally parked on the Dome Building grounds, and after being politely asked to move to the street, we did. It was then we were visited by Salem police. A 20 year veteran who claimed to not know who Frank Gable or Michael Francke was. Of course he didn’t. After running my name and not finding any wants or warrants, he left. Here’s a couple of pics…

FFG Dome Building rally-Jan. 17, 2006Kinda ghetto, but effective

Yeah, I know, kinda ghetto, but effective nonetheless.

 

 

 

Advertisements

America’s Wrongfully Convicted

Posted: January 29, 2008 in Organizations
Last week I stumbled across a website entitled "America’s Wrongfully Convicted." After informing them about Frank’s case they have graciously agreed to include Frank’s story on their site. Not only did they include it on their site, they put a memorial to Mike Francke on their homepage, and immediately went to work on a video that profiles Frank. Much thanks to those at the AWC website!