Archive for January, 2010

About 12:40 am, security guard Stephen Rubino discovers Francke’s body on a porch of the Dome Building.
 
Francke apparently had tried to gain access to the building by punching out a pane of glass in the porch door. His keys and glasses were several feet away from his feet.
 
At about 10am., District Attorney Dale Penn of Marion County, whose office is in charge of the investigation, says no weapon has been found and there are no suspects.
 
Dr. Larry Lewman, the state medical examiner, says Francke was killed by a stab wound to the heart. He says there were other internal and external injuries but refuses to elaborate at the request of investigators. Although the information is not released to the public until a year later, Francke was stabbed once through his heart and once through the bicep on his left arm; he had cuts and bruises on his hands, arms, head and face as well.
 
A group of corrections officers, who had been interviewed by the Statesman Journal since December about drug trafficking and working conditions at the Oregon State Penitentiary, call the newspaper within hours of Penn’s press conference announcing the murder.
 
“We think we know who killed Mr. Francke,” a spokesman for the group says. The officer names the penitentiary official they had been accusing of running the prison drug trafficking. The officers have no proof of their contentions. But they are just the first of dozens of people, who over the next two years will contend that there is a connection between the murder and the corruption in the department.
 
Francke’s wife, Bingta, his two brothers, Patrick and Kevin, and Kevin’s wife, Katie, later contend that they were told conflicting stories by Peterson, who was second in command at the Corrections Department. Peterson tells them that he left the building after Francke and discovered Francke’s car door open. He says he then paged Francke and began a meticulous search of the building and grounds, according to the family. He told them that he left when he couldn’t find Francke.
 
The family later learns that the open car door was discovered by two women employees and that Peterson told police that he left before Francke and returned to look for him that night with Dave Caulley. Peterson, who retired in 1990, as with most other Corrections Department officials, has refused to comment about the case.
 
The apparently contradictory stories raise initial suspicions in the Francke family that they are not being told the truth by corrections, police and the district attorney’s office officials. Kevin Francke insists that Penn and the state police were told of the murder’s possible connection to his brother’s department in the first few days after the murder; Penn says he didn’t learn of the accusation until it appeared in the press months later.
Jan. 17, 1989 – Twenty-one years ago today Michael Francke, 42, is stabbed to death in the parking lot outside his Dome Building office on the state hospital grounds, 2575 Center St. NE, Salem. Oregon. Will true justice ever prevail? Will the truth of what really happened that cold January night ever be discovered?
 
On this, perhaps the most somber day of the year for me, I’m at a loss for words to say more. I’ll leave that for anyone else who wishes to take a few minutes to express their thoughts.
Tim Natividad shows up at Melody Garcia’s house high on methamphetamines. According to Melody Garcia, “he was…babbling about shooting it out with some Mexicans…he said his people would get even with Michael Francke.”

Was it really the 16th that Natividad showed up at Melody Garcia’s house or the 17th, the night of Francke’s murder?

Read "Thanks, but no thanks-Says the Oregon State Police and Frank’s attorney-Bob Abel."

Natividad talks to Konrad Garcia by Telephone, according to Garcia. Natividad asks him if he
would like to get even with corrections administrators for what Garcia perceived as mistreatment.

Natividad says Garcia can get paid if he wasn’t particular about where the money came from or who in the
administration he would be asked to attack.

 

Yet prosecutors successfully argued to Gable’s trial judge that there was no reason to believe Tim Natividad should be considered a suspect in Francke’s murder. This is just one of the many reasons why Natividad should have been considered a suspect.

Francke shoots his shotgun from the back porch of his rural Scotts Mills home. After his death, about 60 empty shells were found on the porch; a milk crate full of live shells were just inside the porch door; the shotgun was on his bed; and a .45 caliber handgun was under his pillow.

So was Francke just letting off steam over his wife Bingta leaving him a few days earlier or was he fearful of an attack on his life and engaging in target practice to familiarize himself with weapons at his disposal? Coincidence that Bingta left him just days before he was murdered? Bingta got nearly $1,000,000 in life insurance. Hmmm…

The fMRI Fiasco

Posted: January 11, 2010 in Francke Case
Once upon a time Frank wrote to tell me he was waiting to hear back from Kevin Francke on the cost of having himself and other witnesses tested using a new lie detector technology…the fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
 
Knowing how Kevin is prone to put off till tomorrow what he can do today, I immediately placed a call to the President of the Cephos Corporation who are one of two companies who perform the test. After personally speaking with Dr. Steven Laken about Frank’s case, I was assured that Cephos would perform testing on any and all witnesses in Frank’s case for free. Dr. Laken had never heard from Kevin Francke. Most likely because Kevin had talked himself out of the usefullness of such a procedure. Observe Kevin’s email response to me accusing him of such…
 
Rob,
 
I am not talking myself out of the MRI poly.  I am giving you and Frank a wake-up that this may not happen because it is not proven to be 100%.  Early dna testing, back in 1989, was not allowed in many courts, including Oregon, because it was only 1 in 500,000 up to 1,000,000.  U.S. was way behind the curve on dna.  Regardless, if he wants to subject the prior witnesses who recanted, it’s gonna’ be a load getting Walker, Shorty et al in the tube to do it.  Reality check here.  Hello?
 
You make the call, I did.
 
So, we jump ahead to February of 2009 when Frank’s fed appeals lawyer, Nell Brown, flies to my home in Des Moines, Iowa for a visit. Ok, so Shorty Harden was visiting me then as well and we all discussed having Shorty take the fMRI test.
 
Apparently Nell Brown didn’t view the test the way Kevin did, and was interested in having Shorty tested. However, Ms. Brown and her investigator, Wendy Kunkel, flew back to Portland and Shorty and I never heard back from either.
 
Jump ahead to late November of 2009 and Shorty calls me to ask if Frank’s lawyer still wants him to take the test. Shorty explains that he’s homeless and living in a Portland shelter with his daughter who will be turning 18 in a couple of weeks at which point him and his daughter will have to leave the shelter. The shelter was working toward securing permanent housing for Shorty as well as classes to get him certified as a welder. That didn’t happen and Shorty and his daughter ended up having to leave the shelter.
 
I notified Nell Brown of Shorty’s desire to be tested and of his homeless situation and put her in contact with Shorty. Ms. Brown then notified me that she had talked with Shorty and that preparations would be made to fly Shorty to Massachussettes for testing, but that everything would have to be postponed as she was preparing to fly to Egypt on a two week vacation. Once she returned she would submit a request to her supervisor for federal funds to pay for the flight to Massachussettes and any other related expenses.
 
Upon her return I had Shorty contact her again to explain he had to leave the shelter and had no place to go. She scheduled a lunch meeting with him, but broke it saying she was busy with other matters.
 
Now we arrive at January where late last week I get an email from Nell and her investigator Wendy asking if I can once again put them in contact with Shorty as they have completed their preparations and have the testing scheduled for this week. Well that’s all fine and dandy, but maybe they should’ve taken the necessary steps to insure their witness would be available before they jumped all the hoops they did in making preparations rather than depend on me to do it from halfway across the country. Not to mention I’m the guy they asked to back off from the witnesses last February.
 
Oh, and Frank’s response regarding my personal expenses incurred last year to avail Shorty to his lawyer was "you should’ve donated those nickels to the homeless."
 
I guess they can ask the homeless where Shorty is. Just look for the ones who are spending lots of nickels.
Last month a stabbing occurred in the parking lot of Papa Sons, a SE Portland bar. The victim was identified as 27-year-old Amanda Sheppard who had been in an argument with another female earlier in the bar, police said. Apparently the other female returned to the bar and stabbed Sheppard. Sheppard later died at the hospital.

Detectives arrested 41-year-old Kristina Collette Landrum for aggravated murder charges a few days later near NE 160th Avenue and NE Everett Court around 7:30AM.

 
Here’s a link to a brief story about the arrest with a picture of Kristina…http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Woman-dies-after-stabbing-in-SE-Portland-bar-78635657.html
 
Somehow I missed the story about the arrest in mid-December, but I stumbled on it today and was quite surprised to see who the cops arrested. Kristina used an alias of Brandi, and she is very close to Jodie Swearingen as they did time together at Coffee Creek. Kristina was there on a murder charge then as well and did somewhere around 10-12 years for that crime.
 
I personally met Kristina after locating Shorty Harden back in 2005. She was dating one of Shorty’s friends who was living with Shorty, had her own Harley, and on the rebound from an abusive relationship with the owner of a tattoo shop on Sandy Blvd. I got to know Kristina much better when I allowed her to stay at my house for a couple of weeks in order for her to hideout from the tattoo shop owner who was stalking her. We talked a lot about Jodie and the conversations she had with Jodie while at Coffee Creek.
 
Frank’s lawyer should talk to her now that she’s easy to find. They might learn something interesting.