Welcome to PhilStanford.com

Posted: May 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

Decided to check in on Phil Stanford’s new website today to see if any progress had been made. The URL had been secured a few short months ago but only revealed a picture of Phil. The site appears to have made some progress and now promotes “Stanford Investigations,” Phil’s current line of work since leaving his position as columnist for the Portland Tribune in December 2008. There are five pages total which would’ve only taken a few hours at most to publish, so I’m thinking this is how the site will remain for the time being, if not indefinitely.

The pages are titled as follows:

Home Page

Portland Confidential

Francke Case



The home page introduces Phil and remarks, “As a journalist, he’s best known for his continuing work on the 1989 murder and cover-up of Oregon Corrections director Michael Francke. His 1994 Oregonian series on the “Happy Face Killer” case resulted in two innocent people being released from prison. Before coming to Oregon, Stanford worked as a private investigator in Miami and Washington, D.C. He has written on crime, national security and intelligence matters for a number of national magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, Parade, Columbia Journalism Review and Rolling Stone.”

The site does not offer examples or links to any of the above mentioned articles or a synopsis on how his work on the Happy Face Killer series of articles resulted in two innocent people being released from prison.

The “Francke Case” page offers eight links to Francke related Portland Tribune columns and articles over the past five years. Pretty much the bulk of his Francke related columns while at the Trib for eight years with a Shorty Harden article written by Jim Redden included. The page itself highlights the editorial Nick Budnick wrote on Phil highlighting his involvement in the Francke case over the years.

The “6/14/2005” link is Jim Redden’s article on the interview he conducted with Shorty Harden, and it’s interesting this article is included. Interesting because the article mentions me and the freefrankgable website as being responsible for arranging the interview between the Trib and Shorty.

Webmaster makes link

The Sunday interview was arranged by Rob Taylor, a Portland man who operates www.freefrankgable.com, an Internet Web site devoted to proving Gable’s innocence. Taylor paid Harden $1,000 for the on-the-record interview that he made available to the Portland Tribune. (The Tribune does not pay for interviews and did not pay Harden.) Although the Portland Tribune had a number of background discussions with Harden in the weeks leading up to the on-the-record interview, Harden limited the actual on-the-record questions to his trial testimony against Gable.

Harden declined to discuss the payment on the record. Taylor said Harden is unemployed and worried about retaliation from law enforcement officials.

“He needs it in case he has to protect himself against repercussions from the justice system,” Taylor said.

The $1,000 came from Kevin and Patrick Francke, the brothers of the slain corrections chief, Taylor said, although they were not at the interview and are not involved with Taylor’s Web site. The Francke brothers have long believed that Gable did not kill Michael Francke, arguing that the slaying may have been a plot by corrupt corrections officials who were concerned that Francke was about to blow the whistle on them. As of press time, the brothers had never met or talked with Harden.

Taylor became interested in the case several months ago after reading about it in the Portland Tribune. He has collected hundreds of documents related to the case, some of which he has posted on the Web site. Taylor tracked down Harden in Portland approximately one month ago after receiving a tip that Harden may have moved to town from Arizona, where he lived after the Salem trial.

Taylor’s Web site also publicizes a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Francke’s killer or killers. The reward is offered by MFD, a movie company that produced the 1996 film “Without Evidence” based on the case. (Portland Tribune columnist Phil Stanford co-wrote the screenplay.)

The paper is continuing to investigate leads developed during the interviews.

A website devoted to proving Gable’s innocence? Taylor paid Harden? Taylor said the $1,000 came from the Francke brothers? The Francke brothers are not involved with Taylor’s website?

Yeah, Taylor paid Harden due to the Francke brothers using him as a middleman, and it was only $1,000 just prior to the interview, with everyone knowing an additional $2,000 was to be paid to Shorty the following day. As for the Francke brothers not being involved in my website…yeah, if you’re talking about the idea or creation of the site itself, but if you’re talking about the content and how I obtained documents, pictures, conclusions and analysis on various issues, knowledge of the case, well then, Kevin figured prominently for nearly the past year leading up to that point.

My website publicized the $1,000,000 reward at the suggestions of Kevin Francke and Phil Stanford , who after numerous requests by me, failed to provide documentation on how anyone would go about collecting the reward money should they provide the necessary information. Should’ve been an easy enough task considering Phil wrote the screenplay for the movie, and him and Kevin were heavily involved in the project.

As for the paper continuing to investigate leads developed during the interviews…I’ll comment after I stop laughing so hard.

What was written about me in that article was a distortion of the truth, and in my opinion, a reflection of an attempt to discredit me by insinuating my site was devoted to proving Gable’s innocence, and I was trying to do that by paying witnesses to recant their testimony. The Trib knew the Franckes’ were paying Shorty using me as the middleman, yet reported that statement by quoting me rather than simply reporting that issue themselves as fact.

Did it work? Ask Frank Gable’s sister Francine Sinnett.



Welcome to PhilStanford.com

  1. Ex-Salem says:

    Journalists can’t take notes, or they would get the information right. That is the only thing I can figure.

  2. Chris Vetter says:

    Please remove the phrase “Welcome to PhilStanford.com” as you do not own that domain and it is sowing confusion. We appreciate your cooperation.

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