Preacher Convicted of Murdering Elderly Man to Conceal Theft of Money

Rev. Howard Douglas Porter has been convicted in the death of 85-year-old Frank Craig — a murder committed to hide the fact that Porter had stolen $1.1 million from the elderly man under the false pretext of building an agricultural museum. Porter staged two car wrecks in his effort to kill Craig in Hickman, California.

Porter, 57, was convicted of first-degree murder, embezzlement, elder abuse and attempted murder. Prosecutors proved that he staged a 2002 car wreck that left Craig unable to walk and then a 2004 car wreck that killed him.

On Thanksgiving Day of 2003, Craig asked a friend to drive him to the museum behind Porter’s church, the Hickman Community Church. They found nothing by gravel and Craig got physically sick at discovering the deception.

Porter eulogized Craig at his funeral after killing him in the car wreck. Porter was the driver. Click
here.

Porter used the money on his own homes and those of his family. A civil lawsuit is pending. He faces life without parole at his sentencing.

For the full story, click here.

12 thoughts on “Preacher Convicted of Murdering Elderly Man to Conceal Theft of Money”

  1. I feel like there are a few blanket statements being made, and while this is a clear example of a fraud in pastors clothing, many church leaders are earnest in their desire to have a positive impact on the community in general, not just seeking to expand their “flock”. Fraud in the church is common, although frequently the leaders are duped by others, or place too much trust in the church book-keeper. This is unfortunate, but they are in the long run responsible for the church finances, and mismanagement is only a little shy of actual embezzlement. Luckily there are many resources they can turn to, including the ones offered by Weeds in the Garden. I encourage anyone in church leadership to take the financial responsibility seriously.

  2. ticklemeblue:

    “So, having been to court to hear all of this, and having watched the Porter family care for Mr. Craig over the years and take him on THEIR vacations and paying for him as well, when his own family never even visited him?”

    *****************

    I think $1.1 mil would nicely cover that fun-filled trip to Dollywood and some meals at Bob’s Big Boy. I always love the defense that the murderer was good to the victim before delivering the final blow. Wonderful irony. I ‘m sure Porter did it out of benevolence. What’s an old man going to do with all that money?

  3. Maybe if you had actually attended some of the sessions of this trial you would have a clearer understanding of the legitimate evidence brought against him rather than the trashy articles written by yellow-journalists.

    The only reason this whole trial started in the first place was because a disgruntled relative of Mr. Craig’s was left out of his will. And the whole fiasco about Mr. Craig going to see the museum construction on Thanksgiving and become ill is in fact a hoax. He knew long before that he didn’t have the funds to finish the museum and so they started work on a baseball field for Hickman, among various other things.

    So, having been to court to hear all of this, and having watched the Porter family care for Mr. Craig over the years and take him on THEIR vacations and paying for him as well, when his own family never even visited him? Yeah. I’m going to have to say that if the appeal doesn’t go through, they’re sending an innocent man to prison over another person’s greed.

  4. Mespo,
    Even calling crooks like this “Men of Religion” is being too nice. This guy seems to be nothing more than a larger than life felon. I hope his fellow murderers in prison will give him a “warm” reception.

  5. Gyges:

    “It’s hardly surprising how many “men of God” turn out to be Conmen.”
    ********************

    I prefer to call them “Men of Religion,” and you’re right that we really shouldn’t be too surprised. What better place to work a con than among people who believe in talking snakes, ghostly apparitions, and people flying without benefit of technology. The crowd seems tailor-made for exploitation, and in the paraphrased words of Willy Sutton, the cons go there because that’s where the suckers are.

  6. whooliebacon,

    That’s what the Red State guys said happened to John McCain as a child.

    Gyges,

    I was going to try chiromancy but I have a bus trip scheduled and that’s put a damper on my enthusiasm. I don’t use the horoscope but was warned in a dream that you’d bring that up and not to listen.

  7. I see a jail hook-up with the black widdows!

    Gyges,

    I am reseaching the correct spell for credit card statements. It is difficult to go through such tiny text though, give me time.

  8. It’s hardly surprising how many “men of God” turn out to be Conmen. When Religion comes to play common sense and critical thinking often end up taking their ball and going home.

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