A Brief Summary
(photo: Omaha World-Herald)
On November 4, 1988, the Omaha Franklin Credit-Union Bank was raided and closed by the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI. The raid was the result of an audit on Lawrence (Larry) King’s, the Franklin Credit Union's manager, personal tax returns.
Initially, public investigators estimated King had taken about $4 million from the credit union's assets. However, by the end of the investigation, officials said King had taken around $39 million.
Paralleled with charges of embezzlement, rumors began to spread throughout Omaha that the FBI had confiscated child pornography at Franklin Credit Union offices during their raid.
Investigators began looking into allegations involving drugs, sexual misconduct, child abuse, pornography, and satanic activity. Accompanying the allegations were the names of prominent individuals in the Omaha Community. Names Including: Alan Baer, Harold W. Anderson, and Larry King. (see key individuals page)
In January of 1989, the Nebraska State Legislature created a special committee to investigate all of the allegations swirling around the Franklin Credit Union and its manager. Later that month, the Nebraska State Attorney General, Robert Spire, called a Grand Jury to investigate the allegations, the Grand Jury's case became known as the Franklin Case.
In February of 1989, the Omaha Police Department and the FBI said they were unsuccessful in finding any evidence of child abuse paired with Lawrence King. Nicholas O'Hara, special agent in charge for the FBI in Nebraska and Iowa said"the stories didn't bear up under closer scrutiny."
Nearly a year and a half after the doors of Franklin Credit Union closed Larry King, and his wife Alice King, were charged with 40 counts of federal tax evasion. The Kings were indicted on May 19, 1989.
The Franklin Case continued to move through the court system, when in August of 1989, Gary Caradori was hired as chief investigator for the Nebraska State Legislature’s Franklin Committee. Over the course of the next several months Caradori and his staff videotaped hours of victim interviews and exhausted leads pertaining to the allegations of abuse.
During those months Caradori met with the FBI and the state legislature to review his investigation. In a July 1990 Caradori took a trip to Chicago with his son Andrew. On the trip Rusty Nelson, a former photographer for Larry King, said he gave Caradori incriminating photos related to his investigation. Tragically, neither Gary nor his son made it back from Chicago alive. Caradori’s single engine plane went down in Aurora, Illinois, killing both him and his son. Witnesses said that they had seen a flash of light and that the plane came apart in the air.
Shortly after Caradori’s death two of his witnesses, Troy Boner and Danny King, recanted their testimonies of abuse. However, Caradori's two other primary witnesses, Alisha Owen and Paul Bonacci, stood by their testimonies, and were later charged with perjury. Witness Alisha Owen was indicted on eight counts of perjury, while Paul Bonacci was indicted on three counts of perjury. Owen was sentenced to jail, where she served her full sentence.
In July of 1990, the same month of Caradori's fateful crash, the Nebraska Grand Jury closed the Franklin Case, labeling it a "Carefully Crafted Hoax," (read the article here) and issued a report with its findings.
Nearly 20 years has passed since the Grand Jury made their decision, and many Omaha natives have put this dark part of Omaha behind them. However, throughout the Franklin Case John DeCamp worked alongside Senator Loran Schmit as his advisory lawyer for the state's committee. After the case fizzled, DeCamp started investigating the case on behalf of different victims. After years of investigating the case DeCamp wrote the "Franklin Cover-Up" (click here for more about "The Franklin Cover-Up").
In 1999 John DeCamp represented Paul Bonacci in a lawsuit filed against Lawrence King. The judge presiding over the case awarded Bonacci $1 million in compensatory and punitive damages, to be paid by Larry King.
In 2008, TrineDay published "The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal," written by Nick Bryant. Bryant's book sheds new light on the Franklin Case, and includes a trove of documents that help solidify the allegations he makes in the book. (click here for more about "The Franklin Scandal").