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Nov-15-2010 11:32printcommentsVideo

Federal Mail Tampering at Oregon State Prison?

The style is new but the face the same, as it was so long ago...

William Coleman
William Coleman photo by Dexter Phoenix
Video by Tim King for Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - In 1989 Oregon's top prison official, Michael Francke, was Murdered. His remains were found outside the door to his office at the headquarters for the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC).

Former Oregon DOC Chief Michael
Francke with U.S. Pres. James Carter

It is a fact that Oregon's prisons were suffering from high levels of corruption at that point that were of great concern to state elected officials. Francke had a history of resolving prison corruption; he was specifically hired and brought to Oregon to investigate and resolve prison corruption that involved officials operating at mid and high levels in the prisons and the Department of Justice.

Three days before Francke was going to testify before the state legislature, revealing the various officials and crimes he had discovered, he was murdered. Officials in control of the Francke case included Dale Penn, former Marion County DA who today serves as a local judge, and top Oregon DOJ prosecutor Scott McCallister who was busted for child porn shortly after leaving his job in Oregon.

The night Francke was killed, his files were cleaned out. Everything about the official story fails to make any sense. The state of Oregon became determined to convict a local drug user named Frank Gable. They used the testimony of a teenage drug addict named Jodie Swearingen, and more than 20 years later, Gable is still locked in prison that in all likelihood, he did not commit.

Same Corruption, Different Decade

In 2005 William Coleman became a corrections officer for the Oregon DOC. He went to work at the state's oldest prison, Oregon State Prison (OSP) in Salem. It is a place where prison cell doors are still raised and lowered by hand on huge tracts with mechanisms designed and implemented over a century ago. For decades Oregon taxpayers have paid for early retirements from the DOC based on shoulder injuries. This is the kind of place where things don't change, and one of those 'things' is the corruption taking place every day inside those walls, costing Oregon taxpayers' money and decency out of sight and out of mind.

Coleman experienced serious racism as a corrections officer and quickly learned that things are not what they seem. Soon he was documenting one racial incident after another; extreme Civil Rights violations including one almost deadly stabbing assault and he says his reports were all unheeded, basically ignored. At times he says his superiors taunted him, saying, when there were no others present but Coleman, that... "He could never prove" his allegations, he explains.

I believe, based on everything that I know, from interviews and correspondence with a large number of people, and hundreds of hours of research, that William Coleman may well be the most honest person who ever worked at the Oregon State Prison. He and the system both struck a brick wall the day he was hired by the DOC. It was impossible for him to accept what he had to accept; Coleman believed he was supposed to operate according to his training and procedures, this he says is not what happened at all.

A great deal of evidence supporting all of Coleman's allegations exists; you can almost imagine his moral compass spinning in mad circles when he walked inside the place.

Stranger than fiction Order Now

The Oregon DOC's answer to Coleman's whistleblowing over racism, was to charge him with 15 counts of tobacco smuggling. William Coleman was suddenly facing 40 years in prison for acts he did not commit. Frustrating the situation he says, was the fact that he spent two years watching other prison officials smuggle cigarettes to inmates, but his reports were unheeded.

Rather than take one of several plea bargains offered, William Coleman took the serious charges against him to court, for a jury trial. His witnesses were three black inmates; Terrence Kimble, Clayton Howard, and John Smith.

The three agreed to testify that Coleman was clean of all charges, and also to expose the racist treatment that they, along with Coleman, were frequently subjected to.

Only one of the men was actually allowed to testify for Colaman, though all three were prepared and expected to take the stand. Interestingly, all three were subpoenaed and transported to court the day of Coleman's trial. his own public defender did not allow them to testify.

And the outcome? The jury heard the evidence against Coleman that the Marion County District Attorney's Office prepared for months, along with numerous agencies working together to convict Coleman. William Coleman was found "Not Guilty" on all counts by a unanimous jury of his peers. Not one juror found him guilty of a single charge, and there were a lot of charges.

But when the state's witnesses are members of a neo-Nazi skinhead gang, the odds for the prosecution take a dip.

Mail similar to the returned Oregon State Prison correspondence, was
delivered to two inmates in eastern Oregon, but not the one in Salem.

As you will see in this report, Coleman's attempts to follow established legal channels in communicating with these men, is being thwarted by officials at the Oregon State Prison.

It appears that they are tampering with federal mail and it is nothing new, Coleman says. Salem-News.com has documented this problem of Coleman's in the past.

One of the inmates, Clayton Howard, almost died in a stabbing that Coleman says prison officials were clearly behind. This is the stabbing he reported, after being tipped off by the assailant of ha plan to stab Howard. William 'Dollar Bill' Thomas, made good on his threat and stabbed Clayton Howard, according to reports, with an icepick.

This was the fifth black inmate that Thomas had stabbed at OSP. No other prisons in America allow inmates to remain in the main population after they stab repeatedly. Coleman says 'Dollar Bill' Thomas is a bonecrusher because he typically stabs downward, into the top of the victim's head.

Coleman says it defies all logic that Thomas was in the main population at all after stabbing four inmates, but they were all black, and Coleman says the prison was supportive of his actions.

It is hard to believe but it is well documented.

Now Clayton Howard is suing the state of Oregon for big bucks over the stabbing, and in the meanwhile, he says he is regularly suffering unnecessary physical abuse from guards at the Snake River Correctional Institute in Ontario, Oregon.

Terrence Kimble

Clayton Howard

He and Kimble were both transferred there after agreeing to testify on Coleman's behalf at his criminal trial.

By the way, Clayton Howard is an extremely educated 'jailhouse lawyer' who has successfully assisted other inmates numerous times in cases against the state of Oregon.

Terrence Kimble is a man convicted of a crime he could not possibly have committed. Oregon tried to convict him of raping a young girl, yet the ER doctor says the girl had never had sex and carried zero signs of a sexual assault.

He got almost two decades for Sexual Assault in spite of the overwhelming evidence clearing him of the crime, including DNA samples.

In examining the law regarding inmate mail, there does not appear to be any justifiable reason for what Coleman sees as mail tampering. If it is true, the prison once again is denying an inmate their legal federal Civil Rights.

There is a great deal of background to this case; the links are located below the video screen.


Previous Installments in this series:
Oct-29-2010: A Witness With No Credibility - Tim King Salem-News.com
Oct-27-2010: Inmate's Life Threatened by Staff at SRCI - Tim King Salem-News.com
Oct-21-2010:
Oregon Inmate Stabbing Victim Attacked Second Time - Tim King Salem-News.com
Sep-10-2010: Demonstrators Call Oregon State Hospital's Employment Practices Racist, Unacceptable - Tim King Salem-News.com
Aug-28-2010: Observations on Michael Francke's Murder, Frank Gable's Conviction, & the paid Confession of 'Shorty' Harden - Salem-News.com
Aug-25-2010: Whistleblower Blues: Man in the Hole - Tim King Salem-News.com
Aug-11-2010: Demonstrators Protest Local Newspaper Over Racism - Tim King Salem-News.com
Aug-05-2010: Evidence Shows Oregon Inmate Was Falsely Convicted - Tim King Salem-News.com
Aug-03-2010: Chicken Night at the Oregon State Penitentiary - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jul-21-2010: Eyes on the Oregon State Prison: Voicing Concern for an Inmate's Life - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jul-14-2010: State Prison Whistleblower Says Oregon Corrections is Blocking Federal Mail - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jul-05-2010 : A Denial of Civil Rights- Oregon's Collaboration in Racism Whistleblower Retaliation - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jun-26-2010: Getting Refamiliarized with the Murder of Michael Francke - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jun-23-2010: Local Media Downplayed Former Prison Guard's Struggle Against Racism - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jun-18-2010: Exposé: Skeletons Falling Out of the Closet of Oregon Corrections - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jun-17-2010: Scott McAlister: Child Porn-Related Conviction and Practicing Law - Tim King Salem-News.com
Great resources on the Michael Francke Murder:
Michael Francke - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Blue Oregon - Who killed Michael Francke?
FreeFrankGable.com
Ex-employee supports corruption claims - by Jim Redden Portland Tribune

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 65 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Anonymous January 21, 2011 1:01 pm (Pacific time)

sounds like a bunch of clansmen arguing about the purity of a blood line...when there is evidence of tampering you can't just pull down your hood and light the cross and pretend its the light of the holy spirit...Oregon is being exposed! not the safe haven it used to be huh? oh crap! look out Washington/Idaho,,, oh wait! too late...


no statute of limitations at federal December 12, 2010 1:14 am (Pacific time)

Was Michael Francke working with the Feds to investigate corrupt goings-on in Corrections at the time of Francke's murder, such as regarding the drug problems at the Oregon State Pen(guards and officials being involved)?

If evidence can be located that Francke was in fact doing so, Federal jurisdiction to initiate (even NOW) a NEW and SEPARATE federal investigation into his murder has some legal viability; irregardless of Frank Gable's wrongful conviction.

There are certainly people who know more of the truth about Francke's murder, and as years pass it must be weighing on their conscience.

Not to forget, in Capital offenses, under some circumstances the tolling of the 5 year federal statute of limitations is excepted, and this allows a murder (such as Francke's murder) investigation to be initiated, and indictments rendered, WAY PAST the usual 5 years statute of limitations.
The statutory federal law applying in this case is:
TITLE 18; PART 1; Chapter 51; Section 1121
(a) Whoever intentionally kills— §1121
(1) a State or local official, law enforcement officer, or other officer or employee while working with Federal law enforcement officials in furtherance of a Federal criminal investigation—
(A) while the victim is engaged in the performance of official duties;
(B) because of the performance of the victim’s official duties; or
(C) because of the victim’s status as a public servant; or
(2) any person assisting a Federal criminal investigation, while that assistance is being rendered and because of it, shall be sentenced according to the terms of section 1111, including by sentence of death or by imprisonment for life.

If you know anything about this murder case that was not looked into (or covered up) by the corrupt Oregon State Police, please come forward to the FBI. It's not too late.

Tim King: Thank you so much...


Anonymous December 11, 2010 3:13 pm (Pacific time)

your outta ur fu...

Editor: Yeah, right.  Don't you know you are screwed?  It is over, even if we stopped these reports, which we would never do, we could never take them back.  They are downloaded and printed all over this state and beyond.  You guys have some interesting days ahead.  By the way, are you actually mentally deficient?  Spewing that kind of profanity here will get you nowhere pal.  You should not be using the prison computers for this kind of nonsense anyway, didn't you ever hear the saying, "Don't commit the crime if you aren't ready to do the time?"  Oh wait, you didn't hear that, because you're a 'cop' of sorts and you just think you're above it all.  Well you aren't; and eventually we will trace this with the DOC after they are in the spotlight, and we will find out exactly who you are.  I have your foul message saved, along with the IP, and the time it was sent.  I think also, that the comments on these stories should only come from legit people who use a verifiable name.  That makes it harder for you pal, and it only gets worse from there, damned criminal with a badge. 


William Coleman December 3, 2010 4:11 am (Pacific time)

Responding to remember me: It's the other way around you're all reaping what you all have sewn for years!!! I proved my innocence in the court of law can you all prove your innocence???


William Coleman December 3, 2010 4:01 am (Pacific time)

Responding to im. The person who stated if you mail in a gun or dope. If they find an gun or dope they're not going to return it to that person "dumb dumb" Who ever you are, "you got to be dumbest person in Oregon". It's a federal offense to tamper with federal mail.It's a crime if caught. OSP is gulity!!! Read your law book. Tim king ex-marine with a heart of a lion!! go sit in your bar box and read your law book.


rm November 29, 2010 1:20 pm (Pacific time)

So if you mailed in a gun or dope and they searched, violated it and returned it to you that would be a federal offence.....???? Go back to high school your not a lawyer, your just a disgruntle EX-employee...stop feeding tim king all your lies, he don't know no better......

Editor: Can you please explain what you are trying to say?  This is about sending a news article that contains information that makes the prison look bad.  It is factual stuff, what are you talking about?


remember me November 29, 2010 1:13 pm (Pacific time)

Coleman, what you sew ye shall reap.......!!!

Editor: Hey, you know I have your IP.  Is this a veiled threat?

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