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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Super snoop

My friend Phil Stanford, who made all sorts of waves in this town as a newspaper columnist and crime historian before the newsprint industry imploded all around him, is alive and well and doing private investigations these days. Stanford has always been great at turning over rocks and finding interesting specimens underneath. Here's wishing him well in his new venture.

Comments (14)

For me he was the only reason left to read The Oregonian and eventually the Tribune.


While I hope I'll never need your services, Phil, I wish you all the best.

No sarcasm in the slightest: that's great to hear. So...who wants to chip in so Phil can dig up some really interesting dirt on the Mayor in time for the recall vote?

Awesome. I really miss Phil. We need someone with his depth of Portland history.

Put me in for my share, Tex. I want all the dirt. Including Sten's mid-term resignation and curious real-estate transactions around the same period. There may be a link to some of the stuff that's going on now. One thing's for sure, Opie knows a bunch.

I have seen many people join the Tribune Alumni Association and nobody's done it better than Phil.

The new detail from this site that I hadn't realized was that he had something in Rolling Stone. Up 'til now I thought his coolest accomplishment was working on Angelina Jolie's first movie.

Of course, the craziest stories have to be from Phil's Miami era most Portlanders don't even know about. That was quite a situation and I wish Phil would do a book on it once the appropriate people have died.

Still, this site does include my pick for the most legendary Phil Stanford moment - other than getting two innocent people freed from prison.

It's the one where Willamette Week commissions a painting of Phil for their cover. I mean, you know how competitive these media outlets are. Yet Phil - while he was a Trib columnist - lands on their cover in a painting?

I was always impressed with that.

Phil always seemed to think that investigating an event was more important than rewriting a press release from the principals in the event.

He still working on the Michael Francke case?

Phil is a nice guy, but I hope he puts more energy into his new profession than he did as a newspaper columnist. Legwork was never his forte.

Yeah. I have to say that he contacted me to do a story about something I was working on. I had to break the news that someone else at the Trib had already done the story a week or two earlier. Best to read one's own paper.

Are you guys kidding? He is stumptown's own authentic gumshoe! I love his stuff and miss it greatly. I was hoping he would do a website/blog or something on air to the same accord as his column.

Hey at least I know who to call if I ever need a real private eye!

Is Phil still working on the Francke case you ask?

As the webmaster of freefrankgable.com it’s my opinion he has ignored more leads in the past four years than any he has developed himself in well over a decade.

Since the release of that movie in 1996 to be precise, and as Jodie Swearingen told me recently after watching it for the first time, “it’s ridiculous, and just glorifies Kevin.”

Phil essentially disappeared from the Francke spotlight for nearly a decade after the release of that movie. His first Francke related column after joining the Trib in 1991 wasn’t until 2004, during the time the Goldschmidt story was breaking.

His “Francke page” on his new website lists eight links to the Trib of Francke related material between 2004-2006.

Pretty much the bulk of his Francke related work in the eight years he was at the Trib. One link is to the Jim Redden article of his interview with Shorty Harden. You know, the article that made it clear that the Trib doesn’t pay people for interviews, then reported I paid Shorty Harden $1,000, and quoted me saying the money came from the Francke brothers.

Why quote me to report that fact? Not only were they aware themselves that the Francke’s chose to use me as a middleman for a transaction I gave them the opportunity to negotiate themselves, but they were also aware the Francke’s were planning to cough up an additional $2,000 the following day, which they did before the story went to print. How come they didn’t mention that?

You might say I developed quite a different perspective on Phil, the Franckes’, and the media during that time. The article also claimed my website was devoted to proving Gable’s innocence, painting a picture IMO that I was attempting to do that by paying witnesses to change their stories.

I’ll admit I was naïve at that time by trusting Phil and the Franckes’ that we were doing the right thing by giving money to Shorty for that interview, but they should’ve known better. Do any of you think it was the right thing to do?

Phil and I have reached an impasse of sorts it seems over my desire to review the trial transcript of Liz Godlove for the murder of Tim Natividad two weeks after the Francke murder. Natividad being the person Phil and Kevin Francke have been pushing for years as the guy who really stabbed Francke.

She was a meth-head who was tried and acquitted a mere five months later with a domestic self-defense argument with no-one else to corroborate her story. Wrapped that up all quick and tidy like.

That had to be one of the greatest legal victories for a defendant in Marion County in years! I would’ve framed the transcript myself, yet the Franckes’ claim they have no copy and it was never preserved because Liz was acquitted.

Jack, you’re a lawyer, what say you on that?

If the transcript was never preserved, and as Kevin claims, he was only allowed to read a portion of the transcript which contained testimony from Liz, how was that enough to convince him (and Phil apparently) that she was being truthful?

Not to mention marrying her! Lotsa peculiarities. Then there’s the hypnosis Jodie did for Phil where she said she thinks Vince Taylor killed Natividad.

Jodie confirmed that again recently in a text message she sent me. Shorty told me recently Vince Taylor is Liz’s cousin. Can’t get anyone to confirm that. Did Liz take the fall for her cousin? Did the prosecution throw the case? They obviously didn’t buy Liz’s self-defense argument or they would’ve dropped the charges. How did they lose this one?

I wish Mr Taylor would shut the hell up. I know I am sick of his rantings.

I suppose you could try praying too, huh Lindy, but I guess that's about the same as wishing.

While you're wishing or praying you could actually get me to grant your wish by simply proving to me anything I've said is untrue, or that my opinions offered haven't been supported fairly or accurately.

Please don't misunderstand me. I wish the facts I've presented here and on my website didn't exist. I'm no more happy about the picture it paints than you.

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