Monday, May 21, 2007

Z on the Run

Sometimes the most interesting stories start with a tiny little newspaper article that leaves more questions than answers. That happened to me last week. I ran across a five paragraph news brief in the Oregonian that left me wondering.

The headline said, Police seek man in Roommate’s slaying. It is the story of the death of 51 year-old Frank Clarence Johnson in his north Portland apartment. Johnson was killed by a blow to the head, probably during a fight with his roommate David Wayne French, 48.

Simple story. Not unusual, it seems. So why are there so many questions? Johnson was killed on May 4, but a warrant wasn’t issued for French’s arrest for nearly two weeks. The police say that French probably jumped out of a three story window as they were coming in the front door of the apartment, immediately after the killing. Why did it take them so long to issue a warrant for his arrest?

Here’s a quote from the Oregonian: “Police said that Johnson was trying to change his living situation with French.” The only thing I could think when I read this was, what are they not saying? The next paragraph tells us that David French is known to use the alias Zalia Crizta, or just the initial Z. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 130 pounds and has long brown hair.

First thing I thought was, no wonder the Police can’t find him. I bet he could pass for a woman. Well, I didn’t learn it from the Oregonian, but French is a transgender “performer”. Here’s a good question: why didn’t I learn it from the Oregonian?

The next line raises even more questions: “Until recently, French had an Internet business and contacts across the West.” First question is what does this mean? Second question is why is the Oregonian being so cryptic? I haven’t been able to figure out the second question. All of the other media is reporting on the transgender angle, why does the Oregonian ignore it?

I can make a guess at what Z’s internet business was, but so far I haven’t found a trace of it. I’m still looking and I am hoping some of my more web savvy readers might give me a little help on that.

A man is dead. A killer is on the run. The police seem to be at a loss. Detective Molly Daul (503-823-0991) and Detective Barry Renna (503-823-0255) are asking for anyone who knows anything to call them. The Oregonian is writing the story in code. Somewhere there is an interesting story in this. I’m still working on it.


Blogger ma. shayne krizel said...

hello! may I ask on what is the meaning of the numbers beside the detective's name? he he.. just curious..

11:03 PM  
Blogger jd chandler said...

as you probably know those are telephone numbers. if you would like to talk you can email me at

1:49 PM  
Blogger kt said...

I grew up in Eugene, and am totally delighted that a crime blog exists from my region.

Whatever happened with this case? Do you know?

9:57 AM  
Blogger susan said...

I live in Rapid City and knew David French when he lived here. Does anyone know whether he was tried and sentenced after he was extradicted to Portland?

12:39 PM  
Blogger Lani said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Lani said...

I used to email with Frank Johnson and at times he would write about this person that he usually referred to as the "Z person," not as a "he" or "she", but as "they." Also, he told me she/he was intersexed, not transgendered. I do remember he seemed to be rather afraid of him/her, which made me wonder why he never asked her to move out...and then there was silence.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Lani said...

I was just thinking about this case recently. Yes, there is a lot left out because I'm not sure Zalia/David worked much less had an Internet service. I'm not sure what she did for money or how she got to Frank's place in Portland. He had told me she was from Texas. Also, he was involved with another transsexual near New Orleans a year or two before meeting Zalia. I wonder what happened to her. I believe her name was, Angel. He only said their relationship ended for a "gamut of reasons" but that was all he said about it.

12:21 PM  

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