Archive for June, 2009

Well, it was a fun-filled weekend to start off our vacation. We are in Washington DC this morning. Getting ready to go see the sights.
 
We left Des Moines at 10pm Friday night and drove through the night arriving in Cleveland at about 10am, adding an additional hour for entering the eastern time zone. Here’s a pic of the sunrise from the highway.
 
 
After driving around the city a bit we attempted to check in to our hotel about 11am. They didn’t have a room ready yet, but they got housekeeping right on it, and we only had to wait about thirty minutes longer. The maid was just finishing up as we entered our room. Gave us some extra towels and I tipped her $10.
 
We grabbed some lunch and drove downtown to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame where we purchased "Hall Passes" that admit you to the Rock-n-Roll and Pro Football Hall of Fame at a discounted rate. I havta say I wasn’t as impressed with the Rock-n-Roll HOF as much as I thought I would be. It was cool and all, but it was pretty dark throughout. A little more lighting would’ve been better IMO. Probably had something to do with the "no photography" rule which really pissed me off. Plus they had employees standing around everywhere watching for anyone taking pics with their cell phones. I was able to snap a couple with my phone but not the ones I wanted…like the Rolling Stones exhibit which was pretty cool. They had the actual outfits worn by Mick Jagger at two of their 70’s concerts and the "Tattoo You" tour in 1981. Seeing the "Tattoo You" tour from the front row in Seattle’s Kingdome in ’81…looking at Mick’s outfit and the british/american flag cape he wore brought back some fond memories. 
 
Here’s a couple of pics I was able to shoot with my phone without getting caught.
 
 
And a couple from outside the HOF…
 
 
Then it was on to Kent State University…
 
 
Then it was on to Canton, Ohio and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I shot tons of pics and video here as it was allowed. This place was awesome!
 
 
We were given three free tickets to the HOF that are good till the end of the year in order to see a new exhibit and wing they are opening up next month. I think I’ll send’em to the Francke family as they are huge Kansas City Chiefs fans. I know Grayson would appreciate the gesture.
 
 
And a couple of videos…
 
 
 
Outa time for now. Will post more tonight. We took beautiful back roads from Canton to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh was gorgeous and reminded me a lot of Portland. We drove into downtown driving across a bridge that made me feel like I was driving across the Morrison Bridge into downtown Portland. We drove to Heinz field, home of the world champion Steelers to snap pics, and we were very surprised when a security guard let us into the stadium to snap more pics.
 
To be continued…
 
 
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Wow! That was a quick two months since I first mentioned going on this vacation. The time has arrived…well almost. We leave tomorrow night and I can’t wait. All the hotel rooms are reserved and paid for in advance and our trip itinerary was completed 2-3 weeks ago. Quite a change from our normal routine in planning out road trips, which are often done spontaneously.
 
 
Shelly and I were just talking the other night about how a trip like this would not have been possible if we were still living in Oregon. Too far to drive. It reminded us of when we learned that we were going to have to move away from Oregon if Shelly wanted to keep her job at Qwest. The choices were Boise, Idaho, Denver, CO and Des Moines, IA. I suggested Des Moines because it was the furthest away from Oregon. Haha! Actually, having Qwest pay us $5,000 to move to Iowa was a nice chunk of change that afforded us a nice vacation/road trip to get here, and besides, neither of us had been to the midwest. I researched Des Moines and it seemed like it had a lot to offer.
 
I remember telling Shelly we may end up looking back on the Des Moines decision as one of the best decisions we ever made, and it has proven to be so. In the three years we have been here we have seen parts of the country that we haven’t seen before, and had a blast doing it. This upcoming New York adventure will be a nice capper to the other road trips we’ve had.
 
I can look back now and honestly say that everyone we knew and associated with in Oregon was dragging us down. Oregon itself was dragging us down. Boy how I could elaborate on all that. Sometimes it’s best to just distance yourself from the "what can you do for me" types of people or a state that is run so poorly that it affords it’s citizens little opportunity to get ahead.
 
Anyway, I haven’t spent much time on the computer this past week. Been extremely hot here in Iowa. Temps in the mid to high 90’s with a heat index of 105-110 every day. That kind of heat just exhausts the hell out of me and I have to head to a lake or a river. I hate swimming pools. It even taxed our air conditioner and I had to have our landlord get it recharged.
 
Speaking of air conditioning…Shelly and I bought our PT Cruisers in Oregon and didn’t feel we needed AC in our cars. I mean really, it probably gets hot enough for car AC in Portland about 2-3 weeks total each year if that, and I’m more the type of guy who likes to drive with the windows down blaring my rock-n roll. We have seriously considered trading in one of our cars for one with AC, but with Chrysler going bankrupt, well, probably would’ve lost too much money on the deal. So we’re kinda stuck with our cruisers, but it’s all good. Both cars have performed like champs and we are very happy with them. Only a couple more years of payments, and to think Kevin Francke tried to discourage me from buying new and incurring that much debt. Buying those cars was one of the smartest things we did, all things considered. Glad I paid him no mind.
 
So, the next ten days should prove fun and interesting. I’ll have my laptop with me and plan to share some of the highlights of our trip each night with some pics and a little commentary.  

 Court finds convicts have no right to test DNA – Yahoo! News

Nothing like a recent Supreme Court decision to support the claims I made recently with regard to the Innocence Project and the appellate process.

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer Mark Sherman, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said Thursday that convicts have no constitutional right to test DNA evidence in hopes of proving their innocence long after they were found guilty of a crime.

The decision may have limited impact because the federal government and 47 states already have laws that allow convicts some access to genetic evidence. Testing so far has led to the exoneration of 240 people who had been found guilty of murder, rape and other violent crimes, according to the Innocence Project.

The court ruled 5-4, with its conservative justices in the majority, against an Alaska man who was convicted in a brutal attack on a prostitute 16 years ago.

William Osborne won a federal appeals court ruling granting him access to a blue condom that was used during the attack. Osborne argued that testing its contents would firmly establish his innocence or guilt.

In parole proceedings, however, Osborne has admitted his guilt in a separate bid for release from prison.

The high court reversed the ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. States already are dealing with the challenges and opportunities presented by advances in genetic testing, Chief Justice John Roberts said in his majority opinion.

"To suddenly constitutionalize this area would short-circuit what looks to be a prompt and considered legislative response," Roberts said. Alaska, Massachusetts and Oklahoma are the only states without DNA testing laws. In some other states, the laws limit testing to capital crimes or rule out after-the-fact tests for people who confess.

But Justice John Paul Stevens said in dissent that a simple test would settle the matter. "The court today blesses the state’s arbitrary denial of the evidence Osborne seeks," Stevens said.

Peter Neufeld, a co-founder of The Innocence Project who argued Osborne’s case at the Supreme Court, said he was disappointed with the ruling.

"There is no question that a small group of innocent people — and it is a small group — will languish in prison because they can’t get access to the evidence," Neufeld said. The Innocence Project helps free wrongly convicted prisoners.

The woman in Alaska was raped, beaten with an ax handle, shot in the head and left for dead in a snow bank near Anchorage International Airport. The condom that was found nearby was used in the assault, the woman said.

The woman identified Osborne as one of her attackers. Another man also convicted in the attack has repeatedly incriminated him. Osborne himself described the assault in detail when he admitted his guilt under oath to the parole board in 2004.

Osborne’s lawyer passed up advanced DNA testing at the time of his trial, fearing it could conclusively link him to the crime. A less-refined test by the state showed that the semen did not belong to other suspects, but could be from Osborne, as well as about 15 percent of all African-American men.

Osborne is awaiting sentencing on another conviction, a robbery he committed after his parole.

The case is District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne, 08-6.

 

This case is a perfect example of the types of cases the Innocence Project attracts. Anything with DNA that might exonerate the client, even if the client has described the crime in detail and confessed under oath at a parole hearing. Tackling a tough case like Frank’s with no DNA is not what they’re about. Let’s face it, anyone with a law degree could go through the motions and let DNA save the day in the end.

Unfortunately, this particular motion didn’t go over well with the Supreme Court, and as for having limited impact…tell that to anyone in the federal appeals process who is trying to get access to DNA evidence (or simply evidence of any kind), and wants to use it in their appeal. The Court has shut down that option with this ruling, specifically for anyone who has exhausted their state appeals, and who might have obtained DNA that could clear their name.

I just don’t understand that. It should be a constitutional right to have a new technology like DNA accepted at any point in the appellate process. After all, isn’t the truth what’s important? Apparently not. It’s all just a game. It really is! A game both sides try to win regardless of the truth.

"Osborne’s lawyer passed up advanced DNA testing at the time of his trial, fearing it could conclusively link him to the crime." Fuckin ridiculous! Do you think this lawyer cared about the truth more than winning their case?

I made an inquiry this past week on the status of Frank’s lingering state appeal with regard to the resentencing issue. My last inquiry was on March 24 and was told  "The transcript has been filed and I have a brief due in a few weeks."
 
My recent inquiry garnered the following response..
 
"The transcript was filed only about six weeks ago.  I am working on his case now."
 
Ok, yeah I know, six weeks ago would be around the last week of April. A miscalculation or was the transcript actually filed near the end of April and not at the end of March?
 
I decided to ask because back in March I was told to "feel free to ask."
 
Rob wrote:
 
"Did you mean "brief?" I thought you said you filed the transcript back in March and had a brief due in a few weeks.
 
So I guess we’re still looking at about another six months or so for a response, huh?"
 
Lawyer wrote:
 
"I have not yet filed the brief.  I will complete my review soon and be in touch with Mr. Gable about it."
 
Ummm…ok. Maybe it’s just me but that last sentence kinda left me feeling like I’m not so free to ask anymore. I mean whatever, so he filed the transcript in late April. Maybe he spoke ahead of himself in March. No big deal.
 
I remember once talking to David Celuch I think it was, the lawyer who originally argued the resentencing assignment, and being told he was under no obligation to tell me anything related to Frank’s case because I’m not a family member and don’t possess power of attorney for Frank. Hey, I’ve never asked about anything that woudn’t be available under the FOI act. 
 
I actually laughed recalling how Frank gave power of attorney to some woman named Julie Smith who was working on obtaining her PI license and took it upon herself to go visit Frank in Florida in December of 2004. Within a couple of months of that first visit Frank had given her POA. Did I mention she struck up a romantic relationship with Frank as well? Ah, tits and ass. What I could accomplish with that. LOL! No offense to any ladies out there. Just a little sarcastic humor.
 
Julie Smith would be a chapter in my book if I ever wrote one. Interesting story. She’s the woman who obtained Shorty’s address for me by running a DMV check. Phil and Kevin played her (or me haha) by being cordial with her and telling me behind her back that they didn’t know what her angle was, didn’t trust her, and thought she was just one of those convict groupies. Her relationship with Frank didn’t last a year and she’s all but disappeared. Address and phone number required by all PI’s to submit publically are outdated. Might have become current since the last time I checked a few months back. Not important enough to me to bother to check again, but if anyone else wants to I’d be obliged.
 
Julie was also of Native American descent. Cozied up to Frank’s sister Francine real fast. When I had my domestic with my wife she was one primarily responsible for passing immediate judgement on me and painting the picture of me as an OJ looking for a place to happen in her conversations with Francine. Told me so herself later. That led to Francine asking Julie to draw up some worthless legal document threatening legal action against me if I didn’t discontinue my website activities. Remember, neither of these woman had spoken to me about my domestic incident prior to this. I just laughed it off.
 
The last time I heard from her she told me she had tried some meth for the first time the night before and that she had the most fun she’d had in years. LOL! Go figure! Oh yeah, she was also working toward getting hired by SAIF as an investigator. Yeah, the Julie Smith chapter was one of the first interesting peculiarities I encountered.
 
Anyway, back to this appeal thing…pretty safe to assume with his new info that we won’t be hearing about any decision until at least the first part of next year, and it could easily linger well into the latter part of next year before an actual decision on whether or not Frank gets a resentencing hearing. If he does it will be another year before that takes place and when and if it does a new panel of jurors will simply decide on two choices. Life with the possibility of parole or death.
 
If Frank were to get "life with" he’d be about a year away from being eligible for parole. With his record alone he’d get dumped to his next parole date, and maybe the next. That’s about another 2-4 years.
 
No hurry really on any of this I suppose. The eligibility dates are what they are if he becomes eligible. But, Frank’s case can’t proceed to the federal level until this resentencing issue is resolved. For someone who wants to be exonerated, Frank will probably end up delaying his case from reaching the fed level by about 3-4 years, and the fed level is his only chance of being exonerated.
 
 
Quick note to some site visitors…I’ll be answering some of your emails soon. Been busy with quite a few different things.
 
One of those things was a "dream come true" for me last night at the Blue Moon Dueling Piano Bar and Restaurant in West Des Moines. Bobby Keys played a one-time gig there last night with a Stones cover band. Being the Stones fan that I am I wouldn’t have missed this gig for the world. Keyes has been termed the 6th Stone by many and I couldn’t agree more.
 
Biography…
 
Best-known for his long association with the Rolling Stones, tenor saxophonist Bobby Keys spent several decades as an in-demand session man and touring musician, able to play blues, R&B, and rock & roll with equal flair. Born and raised in Texas, Keys was playing in rock & roll bands as early as the ’50s, and worked with Buddy Holly and Bobby Vee, among many others.
 
Keys worked regularly at the famed Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama before meeting the Stones in 1969; his work on Let It Bleed (not to mention the simple fact of association) quickly made him a hot property. Over the next few years, Keys played on albums by George Harrison (All Things Must Pass), Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Clapton, Humble Pie, the Faces, Carly Simon, Nilsson, Joe Cocker, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and B.B. King.
 
He also continued his relationship with the Stones, appearing on classics like Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street, and striking up an instant chemistry with Keith Richards.
 
In 1972, Keys recorded a self-titled solo album for Warner Bros., which featured an all-star guest lineup including members of the Beatles, Cream, Mountain, and Traffic, plus his longtime trumpet-playing partner Jim Price. By the mid-’70s, his activities with the Stones were beginning to tail off, though he maintained a working relationship with the band over the years, both in the studio and on the road. He continued to find work through his old connections, and in 1979 joined Ron Wood’s touring band the New Barbarians. In more recent years, Keys has continued to tour with the Stones and guest on the occasional album (including Sheryl Crow’s The Globe Sessions), and also performed with the Lubbock, TX-based band the Ace Liquidators.
 
I snapped quite a few pics and shot video of 4-5 songs. I haven’t had as much fun as I had last night since I can’t remember. It was an awesome experience! I got to shake hands and chat with Bobby personally for about 15 minutes, talking Stones talk and him sharing a couple of adventures he’s had with Keith Richards over the years. I’m not a drinker, but I had a blast last night getting drunk and rockin out with some of the coolest Stones fans I’ve ever met.
 
Here’s my favorite video I shot. The song is Brown Sugar and it was at the end of the gig. I was pretty tipsy by this time as you might notice from my ability to steady the camera. I did pretty good actually. Especially when I walked my happy ass right up in front of Bobby during his solo. More later. Gotta get to work.
 
   
 
A couple of years ago I received some emails from an anonymous source. After sharing them with Granny she informed me she had traced the email address to someone named Adam Wiktorek, and felt Adam was probably related to Linda Wiktorek, a name on the indictment witness list.
 
Here’s the short, and only exchange between Adam and I…
 
Adam Wiktorek wrote anonymously-
 
Shortly after Mr. Franke’s murder Mr.Childers and Mr.Natividad stopped by my apartment at Emerald Gardens on Hyacinth ave ne in Salem and put a laptop computer and a tan with dark brown lining London Fog over coat in my storage shed and said "Do Not Even Open this door untill I come back for this stuff".I went to police and they blew me off!!!Earl was my step father at the time.
 
 
Rob Taylor wrote-
 
Ok Adam, after a little research you’ve got my attention. Is Linda, who was on the indictment witness list, your sister, aunt????
 
What type of disk drive did it have if you know? What did the disks look like?

 
Did anyone come back to retrieve the items? How long after the murder? You still see or talk to Earl? What compelled you to come forward now?
 
Is that it or is there more?

 

Adam Wiktorek wrote-
Linda is my Mom.She married Earl in 1984-5.He spent a couple years in Carson City (ironic isen’t it???)The hard drive or disc I can’t remember after 20 years.I think it was a standerd 3.5 floppy.And as for comming out before,I knew before the trial started was inocent,but when I tried to come out as a wittness I was told my statements wouldn’t matter.A friend sent me your site and this is the first place I’ve been able to say anything.And Earl stashed the computer and coat within a week of the murder.He said DO NOT GO IN THERE,PERIOD!!!.Meaning my storage shed.

Rob Taylor wrote-

So how long did your mom stay married to Earl? Is she willing to talk to me. Does she know about this? How old were you when this happened? Obviously you still went into the storage shed, right? Was there blood on the coat? Who came back to get the items?
 
Do you still ever talk to Earl? Is he still living in a trailer in Eugene? Have you ever talked to Earl about any of this over the years?
 
Adam Wiktorek wrote-
 
Mom has nothing to do with Earl.She was with him about 5-6 years.and probably no on saying anything.It was too scary for her.As for me I was 26 yrs.The coat was wadded up andhad some "slash marks".The ‘pute had some finger prints that looked like blood.And there was some on thye coat
 
end of exchange—
 
 

Do you think this was a legitimate contact? Do you think it was really Adam Wiktorek? How would you have reacted? What would you have done?
Offender Name: WALKER, JOHN KEVIN      
 
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Height: 6′ 00”
Weight: 215 lbs
DOB: 11/1963
Race: White
Hair: Bald
Eyes: Blue
 
 
Caseload: 00309 Cost-Streety , Shawn 
 
Location: OREGON STATE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION 
 
Status:  Inmate
 
Institution Admission Date 09/25/2008
Earliest Release Date: 07/08/2009

 

Docket Number     County         Crime            Sentence Type        Begin Date      Termination Date
08C48313/01           MARI       DELIV METH       Inmate Sentence       09/25/2008                    –