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Cherry City Confidential: 12 Murder Cases that Rocked Oregon's Capital City

Cherry City Confidential: 12 Murder Cases that Rocked Oregon's Capital City


Salem, Oregon: A nice place to raise your family.
At least that’s what people say.


A dozen murderers. 74 victims. Some of Oregon’s most brutal crimes have occurred in the Cherry City—but then, every town has its dark side, doesn’t it?


This book explores some of the area’s most sensational crimes, including serial killers, desperados, a filicide, a battered wife, a mass poisoning, and much more from 1902 through the 1980s.


Among the tales: Jerome Brudos who abducted and strangled. Richard Marquette who dismembered. William Scott Smith who strangled young women. Lawrence Moore who unloaded a gun in a crowded bar. Randall Woodfield who murdered up and down I-5. Otto Hooker who killed a prison superintendent. Richard Wampler who murdered the head of the Oregon State Police. And finally, the continuing mystery of who killed the head of the Department of Corrections, Michael Francke.

SKU: 9781934912942

    260 pages. Paperback.


    No refunds or returns once order is processed with the exception of damaged products.


    Ships within 3 days.


    J. E. McComb

  • ISBN

    978-1-934912-98-0 paperback


    “If you listened to our podcast, Murder in Oregon, about the assassination of Oregon Corrections Director Michael Francke in 1989, you’ve probably already got an idea of just how crooked things were in Salem back in the day. But that’s just for starters. If you’re looking for more of the same—and not just on the Francke case but on eleven other disturbing murders that have rocked the state’s capital city over the years—you won’t want to miss J. E. McComb’s CHERRY CITY CONFIDENTIAL.”


    “Having lived in Salem for over 50 years, I remember many of these murders and how they shook the community. Driving through town and past crime scenes, I am reminded what a rich history Salem has, of which many residents are unaware. As a former journalist, I appreciated the careful research evident throughout CHERRY CITY CONFIDENTIAL. Salem is a great place to live, but even the best places are scarred by tragedy. CHERRY CITY CONFIDENTIAL will find a home in my guest room and will make a great gift for anyone who lives—or has lived—in Salem.”
    —Chuck Bennett, Mayor of Salem


    “As vice-chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1989, Michael Francke was murdered on my watch. I never bought the official story that Michael was killed interrupting a car burglary by a low-level street criminal. This was the Director of Corrections, a person who had learned of corruption within his department and had told people he was going to clean it up. Pretty convenient that he turns up dead the night before he was to testify before my committee. CHERRY CITY CONFIDENTIAL gives a detailed, well-researched account of both the 1986 investigation into prison corruption, the murder, and the subsequent investigation and trial. I found the chapters covering other murders interesting and enlightening as well, as some of those pre-date my Salem residence. CHERRY CITY CONFIDENTIAL is a must-read for Salem residents and true crime fans everywhere.”
    —Jim Hill, former Oregon State Treasurer, senator, and author

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