Important Note: Everything presented here is derived from the book “The Franklin Cover-Up: Child Abuse, Satanism and Murder in Nebraska” by John DeCamp, and from the Discovery Channel’s documentary, which never aired, “Conspiracy of Silence.” Although it’s a long article, much more information can be found in the book. I decided against directly quoting the victim-witnesses on their detailed experience with sexual abuse and satanism due to its extreme graphic content. (* indicates a false name)
“This case (Franklin) is so much bigger than you think. It goes to the very highest levels.” – William Colby, former Director of the CIA, who was found dead in a lake near his cottage.
The events surrounding the fall of the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union marked one of the darkest periods in the history of the State of Nebraska. What began as a financial scandal – approximately $40 million was missing from the credit union – turned into something much worse when its manager Larry King, along with other prominent citizens, were alleged to be involved in pedophilia, child pornography, child prostitution, drug trafficking, and satanism. Due to the lack of interest shown by law enforcement, these serious allegations would never have been investigated if not for the Nebraska State Legislature and their investigative committee – headed by Senator Loran Schmidt – which hired Gary Caradori as their lead investigator. King, who was the centrepiece of the investigation, was a rising star in the Republican Party. An officer of the National Black Republican Council, King sang the national anthem at both the 1984 and 1988 GOP national conventions. At the 1984 convention, he threw an extravagant party attended by all the republicans. Maureen Reagan, daughter of President Ronald Reagan, was seen on King’s arm the whole night.
Webb’s House Of Horror
The road to discovery into Nebraska’s underworld began when reports first emerged of child abuse at Jarrett and Barbara Webb’s foster home. Jarrett was a board member of the Franklin Credit Union and Barbara was Larry King’s cousin. Being foster parents, the Webb’s had a number of children under their roof, including kids they adopted, and a number of them often tried to escape due to the physical and sexual abuse by Jarrett and Barbara. One of those kids was Nelly Patterson* Webb, an adopted daughter, who fled to her grandmother’s house in November ’85. Eventually, social workers removed Nelly from the Webb’s home and transferred her to another foster family. Two months later, State Patrol Investigator Jane Tooley interviewed Nelly at the Washington County Sheriff’s office. In Tooley’s report, Nelly describes the physical and sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Jarrett Webb, beginning around the age of 9 or 10.
Youth Care Worker Julie Walters also interviewed Nelly, and her sister Kimberley Patterson* Webb, in March ’86 after they talked about kids being abused at Boys Town, an orphanage where Larry King was a contributor and Walters was employed. In Walters’ 50-page report, the Webb’s pricey lifestyle is described. Although Jarrett Webb admitted to making only $32,000 a year, the house they owned was lavishly furnished. Mrs. Webb owned a four carat diamond ring, a full-length fur coat, custom-made dresses and expensive accessories. When they hosted a party, it included caterers and limousines. Larry King is mentioned when Nelly tells Walters how her and the other kids were “forced” to go with him to “meetings/parties at the Omaha Girls’ Club.” King also threw parties at his home, where Nelly witnessed pedophilia, homosexuality, group sex and drug usage. At one of these parties, Joey Patterson* Webb, Nelly’s brother, told her about the money he made “working for Larry King.”
Nelly also told Walters she travelled to various cities with Larry King, including New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. She claimed to have met George Bush Sr., Vice President at the time, and saw him attend one of King’s parties. At this party, there was enhanced security, with each guest required to swipe a card to verify their identity. After talking with the Webb sisters, Walters asked people from Boys Town what they knew about Larry King. “On the outside he has all the appearance of an upstanding citizen, but underneath he is very dirty,” said one unidentified person. Another person Walters asked said, “Omaha has a very large underworld and he’s a very powerful man nationally. Maybe he doesn’t have all the connections personally, but he knows the people who do.”
The next person to come forward was Loretta Smith.* At the time, she was a patient at Richard Young Hospital where she told a therapist about incidents of child pornography and devil worshipping. In June ’88, Officer Irl Carmean, of the Omaha Police Department, was brought in to interview Loretta. According to Carmean’s report, Loretta explained to him how she became involved in pornography at the age of 9 years old. She was invited to a party by some older friends of hers where she met a male adult who convinced her to go back to his house to pose for some pictures. She then talked about visiting the Omaha Girls Club (OGC) with friends Nelly and Kimberly Webb, who also did some “modelling,” and that they would go on “field trips” to professional studios where they would pose nude. She stated that leaders of the OGC, both male and female, were there, and they would make threats against her and her family if she refused to participate. Loretta then talked to Carmean about devil worshiping, in which she began participating, with both minors and adults, at the age of 10 or 11, and told him drugs and nude photography was involved as well. She brought up the name of Larry King as being a participant and supporter of these activities, and said he hosted drug and sex parties at his home. Officer Carmean then assured Loretta he would be back, and instructed her to recall as much information as she could before then; however, he would not return.
As Loretta became more comfortable with the hospital personnel, she revealed more to them about her past. In a report given to the legislative committee, Loretta explained to the staff how a child could become mixed up in cult activity. She told them it was a gradual process that started when she met a guy at the OGC named Ray, who would take her and several other girls out to an abandoned building to smoke a joint. After weeks of getting high with Ray, he then invited the girls to a party. At this party, there were men in their mid-thirties who would sit and talk with the young girls about their problems. Eventually, after they drank enough alcohol to become intoxicated, the men and girls would sleep with each other. The parties went on for six months before the men took the girls to what they called “power meetings,” where they were told they needed to “kill something they loved to gain power.” At these meetings, candles were lit, unusual markings were drawn on the walls, clothes with upside down crosses were worn, and the leader would always wear a black cape. What proceeded over the months and years were, in effect, satanic rituals where Loretta witnessed human sacrifices, cannibalism and the mutilation of animals.
No One Will Investigate
Immediately after Carmean’s interview with Loretta, his supervisor Sgt. Ken Bovasso spoke with Loretta’s psychiatrist Dr. Kay Shilling. According to Bovasso’s write up, Shilling told him Loretta only gave Carmean general information, but she was comfortable enough that she would be willing to talk with him again. Bovasso ensured Shilling that Carmean would conduct another interview soon, but Carmean never did. As Loretta began to reveal more details to the hospital personnel, they started contacting the OPD, urgently calling for someone to come and speak to Loretta, but, to their bewilderment, no one came. Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) Director Carol Stitt testified before the legislative committee and said, “Loretta’s psychiatrist contacted the police in Omaha and asked them to come. Loretta’s personal care worker, Ken Stoner, contacted the police. Richard Young employee Kirstin Hallberg contacted the police, as well as Adrienne Hart, who is Kirstin’s supervisor. All those people had made contact and nothing was being done.” According to FCRB official Dennis Carlson, Carmean told him previously that they were conducting a “super-sensitive” investigation into Larry King because they believed it was possible the OPD had been compromised. Carmean told Carlson that Police Chief Robert Wadman had come to their Robbery and Sex Unit, directly asking them if they were investigating Larry King. Eventually, the FCRB learned that Carmean was transferred to the Research and Planning department, and, as far as they knew, the investigation into Larry King had ended.
Left holding the bag, Carol Stitt went to Attorney General Robert Spire, after receiving the go-ahead from Governor Kay Orr. Spire ensured Stitt that they would do everything in their power to help, and he assigned the case to his assistant Bill Howland. But as the months passed with little progress, Stitt and Carlson paid Howland a visit where it became obvious that Howland wasn’t investigating. Stitt described this meeting to the legislative committee, “It became clear to me that if Mr. Howland had ever read the materials . . . it was a long time ago. He didn’t know major players’ names in the case . . . Dennis did some rather tough questioning and it became clear to both of us that nothing had occurred.” FCRB official Burrell Williams described their frustration, “I think we became really baffled and puzzled on what was going on when you get all this information in front of you and nothing had, or is being done about it.” With hope of an investigation fading, and frustration boiling over, little did Carol Stitt and the rest of the FCRB know that federal authorities were shutting down the Franklin Credit Union and Larry King would soon be taken away in handcuffs.
Legislative Committee Investigates
November 4, 1988 was when the FBI, IRS and NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) raided the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union and closed its doors for good. Close to $40 million was missing from a credit union that had only $2.6 million in assets; the liabilities were shown on a secret set of books. Upon hearing the news, Senator Loran Schmidt introduced a resolution into the Nebraska State Legislature for an investigative committee to find out what happened with the money. Soon after, Senator Schmidt received an anonymous phone call in his office, “I was advised not to pursue the investigation because it would lead, I was told, to the highest levels of the Republican Party.” Undeterred, Schmidt became the chairman of the committee once the resolution passed. During the first meeting held by the committee, Senator Ernie Chambers – who represented the district where Franklin was founded and heard the rumors of Larry King – told the committee the investigation would not only dig into financial misconduct, but would also investigate allegations regarding sexual and physical abuse of children by people connected with Franklin. On December 19, the FCRB submitted their files pertaining to the Webb foster home and Loretta Smith, and testified before the committee. After three hours of testimony, the senators spoke to the press about what they heard. “The information brought tears to my eyes,” Senator Schmidt said. “I do not cry easily and I was not the only person that was moved.” Senator Chambers was irate about the lack of investigation. “With this type of information it is inexcusable that action had not been taken of an investigative nature. People were not contacted that should have been. Leads were not followed up that should have been followed up. My feeling is that the whole thing is being sat upon and nothing was done.”
After the committee’s first investigator had produced very little with his investigation, the committee hired their second investigator, Gary Caradori, in August ’89. By following various leads, Caradori was able to locate four more victim-witnesses claiming to have been abused by Larry King and others. They were Alisha Owen, Troy Boner, Danny King, and Paul Bonacci. On video recordings, each of them gave a sworn statement about what they experienced or witnessed, which included sex parties, pedophilia activity, child prostitution, child pornography, drug usage and trafficking, and interstate transporting of children. Specifically, Alisha said she started at the age of 14, when boys from Boys Town took her to a party. She claimed Robert Wadman, the Police Chief, was the father of her child and that he was a satanist. Troy Boner was lured in when a friend told him how he could make a lot of money, and drove him to Alan Baer’s house where he would engage in sexual activity with Baer for money. Troy would admit to performing this act of “recruiting” on his friends, at the behest of Baer, which included Danny King. Danny King had a hard time remembering his past, and it became clear to Caradori this was because of his heavy drug use at a young age. In fact, Danny had failed to tell Caradori what month followed December. Paul Bonacci suffered from multiple personality disorder, a condition where a new personality is created within the mind through a self-defense mechanism of disassociating during a very traumatic experience. This literally splits the mind and creates a new person within it. Paul was first abused at the age of 6 years old, and witnessed many horrific acts of satanism; Paul claimed that Larry King and Alan Baer were members of a satanic cult. The most popular names of the perpetrators given by the victim-witnesses were as follows: Larry King, Harold Andersen, Alan Baer, Robert Wadman, Peter Citron, P.J Morgan, Eugene Mahoney, Theodore Carlson, Tom McKinney, and Ron Gilbert.
Friends In High Places
The prominence and esteem of the perpetrators involved was the main reason why the case received so much attention. Larry King, manager of the credit union since 1970, was a rising star in the Republican Party. Harold Andersen was the former editor and current publisher of the Omaha World-Herald. He was also the chairman, president, or board member of many foundations, committees, and companies; most notably, he was on the Board of Directors for the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank from 1973-1979, and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Alan Baer was a well-known, wealthy businessman and philanthropist, and was a financier for the Ak-Sar-Ben organization. Peter Citron was a media personality and columnist for the Omaha World-Herald. P.J Morgan, Robert Wadman, and Eugene Mahoney were, respectively, Mayor, Police Chief, and Game and Parks Commissioner for the city of Omaha. Mahoney was considered “the most powerful politician in Nebraska” but worked behind the scenes in making or breaking political careers. Theodore Carlson was a judge; Tom McKinney was a lawyer. Ron Gilbert, mentioned only by Troy Boner when he discussed a trip to California, was a Hollywood producer.
In the beginning of the committee’s investigation, Senator Schmidt warned his fellow senators the investigation could be bigger than Larry King, “No one person could have masterminded this without the compliance and the acquiescence and cooperation of a number of people, some of whom had to be in official positions . . . I do not want anyone to say I want to be on this committee, then all of the sudden say, wait a minute, I don’t want to walk through that mine field with you, because that is what it will very likely prove to be.” Senator Chambers added, “What Larry King is doing is the tip of an iceberg and he’s not in it by himself. One thing I told the Attorney General . . . is that I don’t want Larry King to commit suicide and I don’t want any accidents that will take him out. What he’s doing he has not done by himself and couldn’t do by himself.”
Harold Andersen was one of Larry King’s biggest supporters. He was the chairman of the advisory board to the Franklin Credit Union, and he co-chaired its fundraising drive – money which was used for an addition to the credit union that included a bedroom. Also, Andersen’s Omaha World-Herald frequently ran stories that built up King’s character and portrayed him as a model citizen. Robert Wadman, the Police Chief of Omaha, swore under oath that he barely knew Larry King. But according to King, and later confirmed by Wadman, the police chief granted him an extraordinary favour, when he returned a briefcase to him that was seized by police in a drug raid. Wadman would brush this off, and insist that it was nothing special. When questioned about the fact that he could call up the police chief and get a piece of evidence released, King replied, “I felt that I could call anyone in this city.”
Before the scandal broke, in a September 7, 1988 interview with Omaha Weekly Metropolitan, King said this about his friends, “They were the key to my success. I had really great, great people who were counselors and teachers, who were over some of the major companies in the city . . . so I have to say the Omaha Power Structure has some of the best people to work with.” Caradori was able to get a better picture of Larry King’s friends when he talked to Sheila McGuire, former manager of the French Cafe, who moved to California. The French Cafe was a night spot partly owned by Larry King, and was named by victim-witnesses as a place where pedophilia activity occurred. Over the phone, she told Caradori she would host parties upstairs in her apartment for Larry King and his friends. As written in Caradori’s transcript, Sheila said, “If Larry King investors wanted drugs, booze, children or hookers we’d get them . . . King took good care of the local and out of town high rollers. If you had money to invest at Franklin, King would cater to your most deranged perversion. And, let me tell you another thing, the boys in the boardrooms around Omaha are shitting in their brogans. If this case gets cracked open, the list of involved will read like a who’s who. King and his crew ruined a lot of children’s lives.” A businessman is successful by being prudent and smart with his money. If one was planning on depositing hundreds of thousands of dollars into a credit union, more often than not, they would do their homework and run a background check on those involved. It wouldn’t take long for someone to hear the same warning signs Julie Walters heard when she asked around about Larry King, but the Franklin Credit Union was financially supported by many of Omaha’s corporate leaders and businesses.
The Knights Of Ak-Sar-Ben
The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben is a civic and philanthropic organization founded in 1985 and based out of Omaha, Nebraska. It is the central committee of the corporate elite of Omaha, and its members are corporate leaders from a diverse range of industries. Spell Nebraska backwards and you get Ak-Sar-Ben. Every year Ak-Sar-Ben members celebrate the crowning of the “King of Ak-Sar-Ben,” usually an older corporate executive. In 1991, the King of Ak-Sar-Ben was accused-perpetrator Eugene Mahoney. At these and other social events, they imitate pagan ceremonies, and sometimes the men dress in woman’s clothing or like “Egyptian Goddesses.” Throughout its years of operation, the Franklin Credit Union received millions of dollars in the form of deposits and contributions from corporations whose executives were members of Ak-Sar-Ben. Bill Fitzgerald, Knight of Ak-Sar-Ben and president of Commercial Federal Savings and Loans, was mentioned by Larry King in his September 7th interview as a good friend who often gave him advice. Insurance giant Mutual of Omaha placed funds in the credit union, and Thomas Skutt, its chief executive, co-chaired the $1.3 million fundraising drive for Franklin, along with Harold Andersen. The credit union had two boards, the small one included Larry King, Jarrett Webb and others, while its advisory board, chaired by Harold Andersen, included executives from corporations with Ak-Sar-Ben members. Furthermore, the Credit Union could not have functioned for one day without the compliance of Nebraska’s largest bank, FirsTier. Every dollar that went into Franklin went into its account at FirsTier, including the missing $40 million. With only $2.6 million in assets on the official books, FirsTier had to have known about the irregularities going on with the amount of withdrawals. During the heyday of Franklin, the board of FirsTier Bank included Alan Baer.
The Heat Is On
After the victim-witnesses gave their sworn statements, the committee turned over their Caradori tapes to law enforcement. Suddenly, word got out to the public of what was on the tapes and the names brought up by the victim-witnesses. The case turned into a media frenzy, as articles in the Omaha World-Herald started attacking and discrediting the victim-witnesses in a way that prevented anyone else from coming forward. The committee was blamed for leaking the contents of the tapes and was accused with acting irresponsibly throughout the investigation. Taking the most heat was Investigator Caradori, but it wasn’t his credibility that was under threat, it was his life. In January ’90, he wrote to the Nebraska Secretary of State Alan Beerman, “We – my employees and myself – have been followed and questionable situations have arisen during this investigation. Threatening situations have resulted numerous times. Why? Am I too close to something they do not want to become public?” During his investigation, someone broke into Caradori’s home, his vehicles were tampered with, and his phone had been tapped.
In early July ’90, Caradori called Senator Schmidt to tell him about a new piece of evidence he came across. “We’ve got them!” he said. There’s no way they can get out of it now.” Unfortunately, this new piece of evidence would never see the light of day, as Caradori and his son A.J died in a plane crash, when Caradori was flying his personal plane back home from the MLB all-star game. Official word was that the plane exploded on impact, but a farmer in Lee County, Illinois reported seeing a flash of light, hearing an explosion, and then seeing the plane dive to the ground; the wreckage scattered over three-quarters of a mile. Senator Schmidt would later tell the Lincoln Journal that Caradori had been trying to obtain some compromising pictures of the accused-perpetrators. Also, leads into satanic cultism and Washington, D.C were on his radar.
The Infamous Grand Jury
On July 23, 1990, 12 days after Caradori’s death, the Douglas County Grand Jury issued its report on its findings of the Franklin case. Its ruling, as shown in the Omaha World-Herald headline banner: “Grand Jury Says Abuse Stories Were a ‘Carefully Crafted Hoax.’ ” In the 42-page report, it said, “We find no credible evidence that any child sexual abuse, interstate transportation of minors, drug trafficking, or participation in a pornography ring by King or other Franklin officials or employees.” It acknowledged that Larry King had embezzled funds for personal use, but deferred to federal authorities to handle the matter. The grand jury elected to indict Alan Baer on the petty charge of pandering – he would pay a small fine – but found no connection with King or Franklin. Peter Citron appeared before the grand jury and was found to have sex with male-minors, but this was related to another case where he was indicted and convicted; the grand jury found no connection with King or Franklin. Then, in a most surprising turn of events, the grand jury indicted Alisha Owen and Paul Bonacci on perjury charges. The reason for this decision was the recantation by Troy Boner and Danny King of their original stories. The grand jury said it recommended to the Washington County Attorney’s office to charge Jarrett Webb with third degree sexual assault of a minor, but they did not believe Nelly Patterson Webb on allegations of organized child abuse or prostitution. They acknowledged that Loretta Smith suffered greatly, but stated that “the perpetrators of such abuse may never be known.” In its report, the grand jury attacked the people who sided with the victim-witnesses and supported the investigation, including the senators, social workers, journalists, and members of the Concerned Parents group. In unusual fashion, the grand jury elected to clear the names of Judge Theodore Carlson, Harold Andersen, Eugene Mahoney, P.J Morgan, and Thomas McKinney, absolving them of any wrong-doing. With regards to Police Chief Wadman, it said, “We now look upon Owen as the perpetrator and Wadman as the victim.” Indicative of its motive, the grand jury admitted to spending most of its time and effort refuting the videotaped testimony, and concluded, “There is no doubt after reviewing all relevant evidence, that the story of sexual abuse, drugs, prostitution and judicial bribery presented in the legislative videotapes is a carefully crafted hoax, scripted by a person or persons with considerable knowledge of the people and institutions of Omaha, including personal relationships and shortcomings.” It accused Caradori, now deceased, as the main perpetrator behind the hoax.
The grand jury’s report was met with disgust. Head of Concerned Parents Trish Lanphier said, “This is a sick grand jury. Turning the victim into the perpetrator. This is so classic.” Viewer phone-in poll by Omaha television station KETV channel 7 showed a 10-1 viewer dissatisfaction of the grand jury’s report, with over 3000 responses. Not surprisingly though, the World-Herald declared the grand jury’s report a success with editorials in its July 29 and Aug 2 papers reading, “Grand Jury Did Its Job; Insults are Intolerable” and “Schmidt Panel Can’t Duck Responsibility In Hoax,” respectively. But there were a number of important explanations the grand jury failed to give regarding its report: (1) Why they decided to indict the two witnesses who stood by their testimony and not the two witnesses who said they were lying; (2) How Paul Bonacci could be part of Caradori’s hoax when he first reported being abused by Harold Andersen, Larry King, and Alan Baer to the OPD in 1986, two years before the start of the Franklin investigation; (3) How one of the perpetrators (Larry Jr.) could be a “fictitious character,” as they put it, when he was named by at least 4 different witnesses, over the period of 3 years; (4) Why the grand jury spent most of their time discrediting the testimonies instead of investigating Caradori’s many leads, totalling 291 potential witnesses.
The grand jury’s prosecutor in charge, retired Judge Samuel Van Pelt, was described in the March 12, 1990 Lincoln Journal as a “hired gun for the state” by 43 neighbours of Arthur Kirk (Nebraska farmer and political activist who was killed by State Patrol SWAT team). Van Pelt, the judge residing over the Kirk case, found the SWAT team acted in self-defense. On cue, with its March 17, 1990 edition, the World-Herald came to Van Pelt’s defense in an editorial titled, “Van Pelt’s Report on Kirk Followed the Evidence.” Three people who testified before the Douglas County Grand Jury charged that Van Pelt intimidated them and tried forcing them to change their story. Paul Bonacci said to the legislative committee, “They kept telling me that if I stuck to my story they were going to make me be in trouble for it.” Alisha Owen found testifying before the grand jury extremely difficult, saying “It was the hardest three days of my life almost.” This was coming from someone who experienced sexual abuse, had been in a mental hospital, and attempted suicide. Her lawyer added, “It was always go around the circle and it was accusatory more than trying to get the facts out and let the chips fall where they may.” A Jane Doe witness testified before the committee, “Basically he was using me as, like a dummy witness because he had figured out that I didn’t have or know about any of the information the grand jury was dealing with. So it seemed to me like he was going to use me to discredit Alisha.” Senator Schmidt added his experience with the grand jury, “Most of the questions that were asked of me . . . had little or nothing to do with the scope of the investigation.”
The FBI Plays Dirty
In the beginning, after the child abuse stories first surfaced and it appeared Police Chief Wadman could not be trusted, Senator Schmidt went to see Nick O’Hara, the regional head of the FBI. O’Hara made it clear that Robert Wadman was a very close friend. “You f— with Bob Wadman, you f— with the FBI,” was how he put it. Sheriff Dick Roth later told Schmidt, “Nick O’Hara of the FBI and Robert Wadman are closer than nineteen is to twenty.” In an article from the May 12, 1990 edition of the Omaha World-Herald, it was said the FBI investigation into Franklin went as far back as 1987, but, according to testimony given to the committee, the FBI was only concerned with the financial issues related to Larry King and weren’t investigating the child abuse allegations. In Caradori’s notes from March 14, 1990 he speaks with a man from the accounting firm auditing Franklin on behalf of the government, “A large amount of pornographic material was taken out of the credit union, including videos and photographs depicting sexual acts. I was told that if Friedrichs* or any of the other people working for the CPA firm that was contracted by the government would say anything, that they would automatically lose their jobs.”
Alisha Owen, as well as her parents, testified before the committee that the FBI had given her former lawyer, Pam Vuchetich, a proposal that if Alisha recanted her story they would be able to get her out of prison (bad check conviction) and wouldn’t charge her with perjury. The FBI instructed her to say Gary Caradori had set the whole thing up and provided her with scripts of what to say. Also in her testimony, she recalled an incident where Vuchetich arranged a phone conversation between Alisha and Troy after telling Alisha that Troy had recanted his story, and it seemed to her like they were trying to set her up. “So I asked him, why are you doing this? And he – and he said, Alisha I’m scared, I don’t know what to do, tell me what to do. And then he asked me, quote, unquote, do you think we’re going to get any money?” After the phone call, Alisha found out both Vuchetich and Troy were at the FBI’s office during the phone call.
On the day of Gary Caradori’s death, Troy Boner made a phone call to Sandie Caradori, Gary’s wife, giving his condolences, and telling her “they” made him take back his story. Sandie implored Troy to tell the truth, to which he agreed. The next day, the FBI went to Gary’s investigation firm with a subpoena for all his records. Sandie asked the agents if Troy tried speaking with them. After pleading for an answer, the agents finally confirmed to her that Troy had spoken with them, but said, “We can’t waste our time with him. He has lost all credibility.” Before his death, Gary Caradori commented to the Franklin committee about his frustration with law enforcement, specifically the FBI; he indicated to them his belief that the FBI was sabotaging his investigation. Every lead and piece of evidence that Caradori discovered had to be submitted to law enforcement and the FBI. Karen Ormiston, Caradori’s assistant, added, “There must be some kind of provision which allows the State of Nebraska to retain its information so that there is not a probable cover-up when this stuff is turned over to the federal level. It is my sincere hope that the federal agencies cannot just walk all over the state agencies, especially since we have given them everything we have yet we have been allowed to see nothing they have. This in itself has not only prolonged the investigation, but it has also been a major factor in that the FBI does seem to get to our leads since they do have a lot of manpower. I do feel that the leads turned over to the FBI have effectively been stonewalled as it pertains to this investigation.”
No Happy Ending Here
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” – Benjamin Franklin
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly – as is so often the case when threatening those who hide in the shadows – justice was not served in the Franklin case. The only perpetrator to serve any jail time because of the Franklin investigation was Larry King, and that was for embezzlement of funds. After serving 10 years, Larry King is now a free man. Alisha Owen served 4 1/2 years for perjury before being paroled by the Nebraska Parole Board by a vote of 5-0. The charges of perjury against Paul Bonacci were dropped. Troy Boner wrote and signed an affidavit explaining how the FBI threatened him to recant his original testimony, and how he believed the death of his brother was a message sent to him, but he too would face a fate similar to others connected to Franklin, and be found dead in a hospital, bleeding from the mouth.
The victim-witnesses testified to taking trips with Larry King to Washington, D.C for sexual purposes. Paul Bonacci told Caradori in his videotape testimony that he went on two trips to Washington with King, where he had sex with older men who he felt were part of the Republican Party because King was trying hard to “get in with the higher ups.” Why were local law enforcement, the judicial system, and the FBI acting as major obstacles to the investigation? Why did the Discovery Channel decide, last minute, to pull the plug on airing its documentary about the Franklin case when they had already financed it? Many people involved in the case suspected that Franklin was just a small piece of a bigger picture. If the case had been properly investigated by the authorities, and more pieces allowed to be discovered, who knows just how ugly the picture would prove to be.
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