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Michael Francke Murder Mystery Solved (Part Five)John Atkins for Salem-News.com
Mike was scheduled to appear before the Oregon Legislature the very next day. He was going to expose the high level thefts of millions of dollars from the Department of Corrections.
(SALEM) - In the last installment, we explained how Frank Gable was framed for murder.
Remember, Mike was scheduled to appear before the Oregon Legislature the very next day. He was going to expose the high level thefts of millions of dollars from the Department of Corrections.
Every decade since the 1970s, has included newspaper reports that revealed that millions of dollars were being stolen from the department. Yet those thefts endured through each succeeding (seceding) decade.
That couldn't happen without the blessing of both the Governor and the prison Warden. Both of these men, by law, were supposed to watch over and run the finances of those institutions.
In almost yearly reports, the Secretary of State would investigate and expose high level corruption. These reports were very specific and named names and events. Yet, nothing was ever done by either the Governor(s) or the Warden(s).
At the time that Michael Francke was employed, Secretary of State Barbara Roberts (not Jewish at the time) sent Mike a questionnaire in an attempt to try to ascertain why these thefts were not being stopped.
David Caulley, the Corrections Financial Administrator, intercepted that questionnaire and responded on behalf of Mike some months later. However, the Secretary complained that her concerns were not being addressed by Caulley.
It is at this time, that the Secretary picked up a phone and questioned Michael directly about Caulley's lack of response and to verify whether or not Mike knew anything about what Caulley had done.
Whatever the catalyst, Mike dug deep enough that he discovered high level skullduggery that involved Caulley and he set out to gather the proof. Meanwhile, David Caulley conspired with Assistant Attorney General, Scott McAlister, Governor Neil Goldschmidt, and the killers who would murder Mike to silence him.
At 4:30 p.m. on the day he was killed, Mike carried a heavy box of files (evidence) out to the trunk of his car. The prosecution alleges that it was at this time that Mike would have usurped his habit of locking the car and turning on the alarm. It was a necessary lie if one were ever going to believe that Mike was killed by Frank Gable because they needed to explain how a car prowler would be able to get into Mike's car.
David Caulley was, admittedly, the last official person to see Mike alive. For his part in the conspiracy to murder Mike, Caulley had been instructed to say that he last saw Mike as Mike was walking back to Mike's office to call Mike's wife (who was conveniently staying down in California while the murder took place). That, too, was a lie.
So why did Caulley say that Mike was going back to his office to call his wife? Because their plan had been to grab Mike as soon as he opened his car door and turned off the alarm. They needed the box of evidence from the trunk and could not get it without setting off the alarm. In fact, Caulley boldly admitted that it was his boot print that was found on Mike's rear bumper. You do not leave your boot print putting stuff into a trunk; you leave it when you remove something heavy.
The box has never been found. Wink, wink.
The plan was to take Mike into his office, after retrieving his handgun from the glove compartment, and blow his brains out. They wanted it to look like a suicide committed by a man whom had been rejected by his estranged wife. Ex-Assistant Oregon Attorney General, McAlister even told his love interest that: "They botched it. They were supposed to make it look like a suicide."
Somebody, probably either Caulley or Dick Petersen, told housekeeping (this being the janitors, etc.) to go home a half an hour early. Because virtually everybody in the building was working late, normally housekeeping would have worked until at least 7:30 p.m. in order to clean the rooms after the officials went home. Very unusual to have them all going home when they were needed the most. But it is kind of hard to shoot a man with all those witnesses running around. So housekeeping went home prior to 7 p.m.
Last week we told you about the ex-cop and his wife nearly running over Mike and the two goons who were trying to capture him. So add that to the proof. However, you must also add the fact that they were described as wearing trenchcoats. Why is that important?
Trenchcoats are not standard fare for villains in Salem, Oregon. However, trenchcoats are standard fare for villains being released from prison and/or the State Hospital. Five such men were present at the precise time that Mike was apprehended. Coincidence?
I already said that I don't believe in coincidences. One of the ladies from housekeeping stated that she saw four men sitting in a car around behind the Dome Building. Meanwhile, Hunsaker claims to see two men standing in front of the Dome Building. By my math, that is six men (if you count Shorty). And all six of these men tell conflicting stories. When asked who closed Mike's car door, one of the men stated that it could have been himself or one of the other guys. In my book, such ambiguity is reticent of someone engaged in illegal or illicit activity.
Then there was the testimony of the maintenance man who said that the door to the north portico had been broken that day. It required a key in order to get in and out. Mike had been using that door all day as it was the one closest to his office. So we know that he had a key before he was murdered and the key was missing afterwards. I suspect that Caulley showed that key to the goons so they would be able to sneak back out after killing Mike. The key was missing from the dead man.
Mike had a pager. At the time he was found murdered, it was turned off. Mike never turned it off but had it in vibration mode. Nonetheless, it made noise and the goons shut it off.
When the maintenance man locked the north portico door, he turned on the porch light. It was turned off when Mike was murdered. The goons never went inside. That means that Caulley turned it off before he left there with Mike (at 6:50 p.m.). Again, so the goons could get in and out without being seen.
Remember, they were supposed to blow Mike's brains out. They had his handgun. And it was a problem for them. How do they explain where it went? Why wasn't it in the car? When they snatched Mike from his car, they tore a button off of his suit. It was found in the car but the (corrupt) police claim that there was no sign of a struggle in or near the car. Seriously? A torn button? What about the open car door?
In their haste to capture Mike, one of the goons failed to close Mike's car door all the way and the overhead light was on. It was seen by a co-worker of Mike's. She closed and locked the door...much to the chagrin of the goons who could not unlock the car without, in their minds, setting off the alarm.
Caulley, again, comes to the rescue. At 3 a.m., Governor Goldschmidt orders Officer Glover (yes, the man who threatens to kill anybody who looks into the case) to take David Caulley (officially the last man to see Mike alive, and the prime suspect in any murder) out to Mike's house. They look for any incriminating evidence. Mainly, they go there to plant the pistol under Mike's pillow. These simpletons do not realize that nobody can sleep with a hard lump under their heads. But it was a valiant effort.
In our next installment, we expose the corruption in the Attorney General's office.
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