The Case of Craig Franklin and Dan O'Dowd
By Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Photo obtained from Anne Fisher
While we are coming to recognize the acts of individual, lone psychopaths in crime, business, politics and our personal lives as the source of tremendous trauma, and the monetary costs, arguably in the trillions today, we have failed to grasp the full magnitude of the problem.
As with all other segments of the population psychopaths run the spectrum of abilities and intelligent. According to Dr. Liane Leedom, a psychiatrist specializing in the study of the condition, at any time there are 20,000 psychopaths with IQs over 180 at large in the United States. This is cause for an entirely different degree of concern for several related reasons.
First, the condition is not presently curable or even treatable. It is a neurological, not psychological condition.
Professor Declan Murphy and colleagues Dr Michael Craig and Dr Marco Catani from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London have now published findings which move further in the direction of placing the source psychopathy as an organic malfunction of the brain itself. Differences in the brains of normal individuals and psychopaths point to this conclusion.
Dr Michael Craig said in an article published August 5, 2009 in Science News, ”If replicated by larger studies the significance of these findings cannot be underestimated. The suggestion of a clear structural deficit in the brains of psychopaths has profound implications for clinicians, research scientists and the criminal justice system.”
While Dr Craig did not dismiss the possibility for treatment all attempts to change behavior from the use of psychotherapy have failed utterly, professionals admit. Therapeutic approaches have only succeeded in producing more predatory psychopaths.
(Jan. 25, 2011) — People diagnosed as psychopathic have difficulty showing empathy, just like patients who have suffered frontal head injury. This has been shown in a new study from the University of Haifa. "Our findings show that people who have psychopathic symptoms behave as though they are suffering frontal brain damage," said Dr. Simone Shamay-Tsoory, who conducted the study.
Psychopathy is a personality disorder that finds expression in extreme anti-social behavior and intentional harm to others, including a lack of compassion and empathy. An existing explanation for such behavior suggests the inability to comprehend the existence of emotions in others. However, the fact that many psychopaths act with sophistication and deceit to intentionally harm others, indicates that they actually have a good grasp of the mental capacity of others -- and are capable of using that knowledge in order to cause them harm.
Earlier research by Dr. Shamay-Tsoory has examined individuals with frontal head injury, i.e., damage to parts of the brain that are responsible for emotional functioning. She has shown that people suffering this type of brain damage have difficulty showing empathy. Having observed similar emotional deficiency in psychopathic behavior, she set out to see if there is in fact a similarity between the two cases.
The current study assessed 17 people who had been diagnosed by psychiatrists as psychopathic -- and not suffering from any known brain damage; and another 25 individuals suffering frontal lobe injury. Each of the participants underwent a computerized test examining cognitive ability to recognize feelings in another and the ability to demonstrate empathy for another's emotions. They were also tested to gauge their capacity to understand another's thoughts. The results of these tests showed that both groups demonstrated a similar difficulty in showing empathy, while two control groups of individuals with no known mental disorders or brain damage and individuals with non-frontal brain damage both showed different results with positive empathy capabilities.
"Seeing as psychopathic behavior is similar to that of a person with brain damage, it could be that it could benefit from similar forms of treatment," Dr. Shamay-Tsoory noted, a hopeful note not supported by the body of evidence as of yet.
One psychopath acting alone can alter the behavior of those around him or her though carefully orchestrated manipulation.
What happens when psychopaths cooperate? Is the economic and cultural meltdown now ongoing related to the presence of these individuals, able act at will, in our world? Is this the outcome of psychopaths acting in the “lone wolf” model, or is it an illustration of what happens when psychopaths cooperate? By their nature, intelligent psychopaths are con-men, using our emotions to manipulate us for their own ends to carry out their personal agendas.
There is as yet little awareness of this potentially far more dangerous impact on our lives. The thoughtful might consider stepping back to consider what is taking place today, much of it so seemingly incomprehensible.
The story below is true in all particulars and demonstrates something of the hazards we face in a world which fails to see those without conscience for what they are and enact laws and practices to alleviate the problem.
Craig Franklin and Dan O'Dowd, cooperating psychopaths within a corporation.
Dan O'Dowd, President of Green Hills Software, Inc., hired Franklin as Vice President of Advanced Products Development because of his own inability to make a success of his business. At the time Franklin was hired he, Franklin, had facilitated the only sales the company had manged to make since their founding in 1982. Ignoring their marketing materials, Franklin had read the code and recommended the products to three other companies, who, trusting Franklin's judgment from experience, bought. In this way Dan was rescued from having to return to their venture capitalist, O'Dowd's former employer, Glenn Hightower, for more funding. As we will see, Dan's behavior later identifies him as highly psychopathic himself. Dan's goal was to become wealthier than Bill Gates.
Craig Franklin is a psychopath whose goals include enjoying incestuous relationships with very young girls or children who looked like his sister, P. Craig's first sexual arousal took place when he was 16 and the two siblings were wrestling. Craig's sister was then 12. In appearance, the sister, P, was highly neotonous, blond and blue-eyed.
P. was the only girl in a family comprised of four siblings, herself the youngest. The parents were emotionally unavailable and the four siblings were born within just a few years of each other, the first two, Craig and S, only 10 months apart. Not surprisingly, Craig received little maternal attention.
Craig's odd behavior was noted by those around him from the time was in grade school.
After a stellar performance in college, where Craig far out performed his peers while obtaining a degree in math at Stanford University in just over three years, Craig went on to do extraordinary work in a series of early software companies. Craig's IQ is 180.
However, his inability to cope with normal life, in his case evidenced by his inability to file his income tax returns each year, forced him to move on as soon as the penalties resulted in complete garnishment of his earnings. In fact, Craig never owed money, he made it a practice to have the maximum possible withheld. But he did not file the return. If he had, he would have received a large refund each year. More on Craig's non-filing here.
This took place approximately every two years, making it impossible for him to exercise the very generous stock-options he was always granted, by his own report. Craig's non-filing cost him hundreds of millions of dollars.
As is typical of psychopaths, Craig was profligate with money, spending every penny he had with no thought of the future. As a means of buffering himself in social situations he took up playing the guitar while still in college and began writing his own songs, most of which left the listener cold, as they, not unsurprisingly, were emotionally flat. This changed when he began studying the problem and emulating the emotional content of songs written by others, whose authentic emotions he could express. For years he tried to purchase the right to a song by a fellow Libertarian, Dean Ahmad, about Thomas Jefferson. Dean had written his version on the morning of April 3th, 1976 in honor of Jefferson's birthday.
Eventually, Franklin rewrote the song. Franklin told his wife, Melinda, on one occasion, he had to use a huge portion of his left brain to emulate having a right brain (empathy), which he admitted he lacked.
Craig continues to use music to gain access to possibly useful relationships today. These include songs about 'freedom' as well as children's songs. Those he works with who are probably unaware of Craig's history. The lyrics appearing in this album, “Celeste Sings,” include two examples of Craig's writing. Justin's Lullaby was written for his youngest son, the other song for his grand-daughter by Scott.
Craig's first marriage lasted 18 months, ending because his wife, also a mathematician, insisted their tax returns be filed. The wife, Elaine, was pregnant when Craig abruptly insisted on returning to college for a master's degree. She left him. Craig used the divorce and the son born to them in continued attempts to destroy her, apparently unconscious of the effects of his manipulations on the child.
No financial settlement took place until forced by both sets of parents and the court. His son, Scott, became a weapon to continue the war on his former wife, a war in which he maligned her endlessly.
Children are very vulnerable to a psychopathic parent.
While Scott was in his custody he was subjected to endless 'programming' designed to cause him to distrust and resent his mother. Craig also began to discuss sex with Scott, reflecting the idea he, as a member of his 'very elite family,' had a right to whatever they wanted. “Franklin men take what they want,” was a phrase he reported growing up hearing from his father, though there is no evidence this was the case in his father's sexual behavior. The father, Dr. Carl M. Franklin, a former double vice-president of the University of Southern California, now deceased.
But Scott learned this to be true. Saw this demonstrated in other parts of his grandfather's life. Craig's father, had often gloated about his cleverness in persuading wealthy alumni to donate to the USC instead of leaving the money to their children. These same sentiments where shared in his letters to his children, later. A set of these papers is available for study.
Scott's first sexual experience was a gang rape. Learning of this from a conversation overheard by his step-mother, Melinda, she demanded Craig take action. Craig immediately sent Scott back to his mother, but not before letting him know his behavior was not a problem, she later learned.
After Scott's violent behavior, directed toward his mother, forced his removal to the home of his father and step-mother, his attempted to strangle his older step-sister when asked to clean up after his cat. The Franklin family blamed the victim, minimizing the violence done to the step-sister, who was six or seven inches shorter than Scott and weighed only 100 Lbs.
Craig, to the shock of his wife, expressed no condemnation of Scott's behavior, using the event as an opportunity to go into counseling with Nathaniel Branden, who had previously had a sexual relationship with a woman Craig had stalked, Ayn Rand.
An inability to identify inappropriate and non-empathic behavior reoccurs throughout Craig's life.
Craig's impact on Scott played out over the next years.
Craig's second marriage to Melinda in 1987, a woman with three daughters who fit within the confines of his sexual target zone, was undertaken for several purposes. Two of these were to gain access to her daughters and provide cover for Craig's inability to function in the normal world.
As is common with psychopaths he manipulated events to gain control of assets. Craig insisted the house, property of his new wife, be sold and another home purchased in which he had an interest to convert the value to his own control. He demanded the settlement from Melinda's former marriage be used as a down payment and that he be allowed to adopt all of the children of her previous marriage, marginalizing the role of the children's biological father and allowing him to better position himself as 'Daddy.'
The marriage took place when Scott was still a young teenager. Craig immediately began a campaign of manipulation on the daughters, demeaning their mother, in preparation to obtaining sexual access. In this, he failed because his wife, Melinda, told him she would castrate any man who molested her children. Also, Craig's ability to manipulate the children was hampered by their day to day familiarity with him.
Craig had noted to Melinda it took only six weeks for most people to understand he would not react emotionally within normal expectations. Until Craig and Melinda were living together, Melinda did not realize how strange Craig's behavior could be. Craig, though highly intelligent, was not able to overcome what may have been a component of autism, thought by many to stem from the same root causes as psychopathy, in his functioning.
Melinda also had a son, who was of no interest to Craig except for purposes of manipulation, and a son the couple had together, again, used as a weapon when the couple divorced.
The marriage had placed Craig in a position where he had someone to blame for his inability to cope with normal life and who undertook to handle all parts except the taxes, which he concealed from Melinda until this became impossible due to their near bankruptcy in 1997.
In 1997 Melinda, discovering Craig's non-filing of returns but not his psychopathic nature, threatened to file using the Americans with Disabilities Act, against the IRS. Despite the expectations of attorneys and Craig, they received refunds in the neighborhood of $250,000. These, she used to pay off their debts. At the end of the year they were solvent for the first time.
In 1996 Craig had obtained a grant of stock options, larger than any other employee. Both he and Dan, the president of the company, Green Hills Software, Inc., knew the success of the company had been produced from their 'partnership.' The relationship allowed each man to advance toward his goals.
The company was now poised to go public. Craig was about to become very wealthy and, as another benefit of his employment, the company had covered for him on his non-filing and provided a corporate credit card which he could use without providing an accounting.
The cooperative arrangement between Craig and Dan now bore fruit for both men. Dan's partnership with his former employer, Glenn Hightower, who had funded Green Hills Software, Inc., was subject to a 'sudden death,' partnership agreement wherein either partner could demand to be bought out for a stated amount. If the challenged partner failed to come up with the funds in 3 months the other could exercise the buyout.
A recent graduate of Cal Tech, Dan had persuaded his employer to fund the Green Hills start up, which originally included another partner, Carl Rosenberg, who was eliminated in the early 90s using similar techniques as later used on Hightower.
Craig, with the assistance of the other vice presidents of the company, ensured their employees would reject the finance team brought in by the VC partner, Glen Hightower, this taking place during the summer of 1998. In return for Craig's help Dan had an attorney write a new stock option agreement, specific to Craig, in an attempt to characterize the options as his separate property. All grants to other employees, was identical, except for the number of shares, to the one originally signed by Franklin. By this time the 401K, marital property entirely earned during the marriage, disappeared. It is likely this was used to prepay for the options issued.
It was a 'throw Mama from the Train,' strategy, intended to distance each man from their collaborative acts and both criminal and unethical.
O'Dowd was well aware of Craig's sexual predilections. At least one sexual harassment law suit was quietly settled, filed by an employee.
Dan, acting on behalf of the company, expended time and money fighting off Melinda's demands for discovery on the issue of the stock options and the 401K. A compliant judge, Thomas Anderle, refused to enforce the lawful demand for information.
During this time, September 1997, Melinda's oldest son had suffered a major brain injury, and was not expected to live. Melinda herself had suffered a heart attack while clearing up the problems with the IRS and Craig's finances and now needed corneal transplants due to an eye infection she ignored while ensuring the returns were filed. Although this happened in September of 1997 no one from Green Hills contacted her to offer their help or sympathy, though the family home was just blocks from the corporate headquarters.
Following the plan laid out for him by his attorney, Craig's attorney went to the family home, rifled through Melinda's papers, and stole the record which documented their adoption agreement. The divorce was conducted like a war, utilizing all the unethical practices usual to Jacqueline Misho's practice, a methodology which would, several years later, earn her a starring role in the Post Divorce Tour of John Cleese, whose wife had been represented by Misho. Melinda was slandered and libeled to the court and her acquaintance, as had happened to Craig's previous wife.
Craig went into court and denied he was the father to any of Melinda's children, but set up trust accounts for each child. He then absconded with the money, not a penny ever being given to any of the children. Without the documents the court accepted his bald statement, leaving five children without a legal father. The court did, however, grant a small portion of the exercised stock to the ownership of Melinda, declining to have her “reimburse” Franklin.
Dan undertook to carryout another strategy to deny these to Melinda, which has succeeded for over ten years.
Neither man evidenced any concern for the badly handicapped son, Arthur. Craig expressed exasperation Melinda had not died, a fact later reported to her. This was what he and the others cooperating with him, expected as her heart condition was inherited and her other sisters had died of the condition.
For both Craig and Dan, Melinda dead would have cleared the path to her daughters for him and eliminated potential exposure.
During this time Scott graduated from college and married. When Scott's wife, K, gave birth to a daughter. Craig began visiting them. Craig allowed Scott's wife's parents to pay for stock, probably that stolen from Melinda. This was yielding a tidy income to the couple. Soon, Scott was, by the evidence, sharing his father's fascination with pornography, as reflected in court papers several years later.
Melinda, the sole caretaker for her disabled son, was left penniless, living in a half-finished cabin in the mountains at 6,000 feet. She and her son were often without food and firewood. She was close to being legally blind and suffered a stroke in the dead of winter, receiving no medical care. Against expectations, she survived, a fact pointed out by Green Hills attorneys to prove nothing untoward occurred.
Then, in 2009, Scott, then the father of two children, hired a hitman to kill his estranged wife. Scott had lost his job and instead of looking for work decided to return to college, paid for by Craig. However, he was spending most of his time playing online games and watching child pornography, according to the court records. Due to a sting operation the hit did not happen. While in jail awaiting arraignment Scott, again, attempted to solicit a hit. His uncle, Craig's brother, S Franklin, an attorney, expressed the opinion the police were making much out of a minor matter during a conversation with Melinda.
Asked by his father to return the stock Scott did so. Scott's wife's parents were not compensated and the only marital asset became unavailable to K, who was left destitute.
Craig ignored his son's confrontation with the law, hiring an attorney in an attempt to obtain unsupervised visitation with his grand daughter. It was reported by Craig's girl friend, Ann Fisher, that letters Scott wrote to his father remained unopened on a pile on his desk at work. Once Scott was no longer useful to Craig, he was forgotten.
The court refused Craig visitation, based on the observations of social workers. K and her children were admitted to a victims protection program and changed their identities.
Melinda's youngest daughter gave birth to a little girl. Craig immediately began plying the couple with money and planned to retire to their area to, 'help raise my grand daughter.' When Ayn, learned what had happened to K's daughter and Craig's monetary gifts were reported to the IRS, she cut all communication with her father. Craig had brought one of his paid companions down to hold, "his grandchild," in hopes she would have a little girl with him.
Throughout the time Dan, who had persuaded Melinda to sign a settlement agreement in 2001 with the assurance he, acting in her best interest, would ensure Craig paid the court-ordered support regularly, used the law to evade giving Melinda the stock the court had granted to her. O'Dowd was well aware she was disabled herself and sole caretaker for a severely disabled adult son. By so doing he eventually put his entire business at risk. A sense of invincibility is an indicator for psychopathy as is, of course, intentional, calculated, deceit.
While far less is known about Dan's personal life he is married to a woman of Chinese origin, Amy Chang. Amy, raised in a refugee camp before becoming a computer programmer, brought in relatives to raise the two children she had with Dan.
Around 2002 Green Hills Software had begun receiving government contracts for software. While other companies in their industry are now struggling last year Green Hills had its best year ever, contracts for war have continued to be funded. Dan and Amy, who personally own 97% of the company received dividends of over $300,000,000.00. Today, this announcement appeared via the Internet. Green Hills Software is in line for a renewal of one of their government contracts for Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. “The Government intends to issue a sole source contract in the estimated amount of $226,665.00 to Green Hills Software, Inc., 30 West Sola Street,Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2599.”
Amy continued to exercise control for a non-profit started by Green Hills Software Fallen Heroes Last Wish Foundation, founded in 2003. A call made to the company for a possible donation resulted in a referral to Amy at her home in Santa Barbara on behalf of Avon. In 2007, speaking for the Foundation, Amy declined to send toiletries to military serving in Iraq at Christmas time.
The organization's founding coincides with Green Hills' first winning of government contracts. Evidently, few grants were made and funds remaining in the Foundation's account were eventually returned to its founders.
Psychopaths have very different goals and the seemingly irrationality of risks taken and strangeness makes it difficult for many normal people to comprehend or believe, even when the evidence is irrefutable. The 'other than human' motives and nature of the behavior is believed by some to reflect in the representations of Devil in many human cultures.
Craig's driving goal was sexual gratification and experiencing a sense of power through betraying the trust of his victim. This scenario is evidently optimized for him when the victim is a female child to whom he has caused to bond to him as a father. Dan allowed him to live out his fantasies under the cover of Green Hills Software, Inc. Several years ago Craig had a couch placed in his office. At least one of his female acquaintances reported being raped there during business hours. Other employees have commented on wondering why Dan tolerates Craig's behavior, which includes bringing prostitutes to company functions, according to Anne Fisher.
Again, according to Fisher, Dan tried, unsuccessfully to place Craig in another location but Craig refused. His letters to women, which brought unwitting, hopeful contacts obtained through online dating services, went out using his corporate email address and from the company server. Craig deliberately chose unattractive women who would be unlikely to complain when they were raped and returned to the airport.
Craig, according to Fisher, started membership on high-end dating sites, using these to meet women. He stated as one of his relationship goals to have more children. Over the following years Craig built up a stable of 'paid companions,' who received checks or cash either for sex or for having dinner with him. These ranged from well known soft-core porn stars to first time prostitutes. Payment was made by the hour, for dinner of being part of a bevy of women who listened to him talk and play his guitar, or 'assistants,' and 'girl friends,' the latter expected to provide both personal services, such as tucking him in to bed with a glass of orange juice, making him meals, frozen and placed in his refrigerator, or sex.
Dan's goal was very different. His entire life was fixed on becoming wealthier and more famous than the founder of Microsoft. While he has not succeeded, he has achieved far more success toward his goal than would have been possible without Craig.
Today Craig is still the senior vice-president of the billion-dollar software company, which holds large contracts from the government for sensitive technology. He is, however, scraping by, month to month as he has continued his pattern of extravagance, spending every penny he receives, according to Fisher. The actual management of the company is limited to a small set of individuals who know the facts.
Neither man has reached his goal, but their psychopathic partnership continues. Dan, and Green Hills Software, Inc., just received an award for Entrepreneur of the Year on the West Coast.
Together, both men were able to obtain an astonishing degree of gratification. Separately, each would have failed. This parallels the dynamics between Richard "Dick" Hickock and Perry Smith, portrayed by Truman Cupote in his book, “In Cold Blood.”
The message in Capote's book and with the example above, each drawn from life, is that when psychopaths cooperate the innocent will pay the price.