(The above footage is excerpted from Gary Caradori’s interview of Alisha Owen, and it is very graphic.
So if you’re uncomfortable with graphic language, you should forgo watching the interview excerpts.)
Alisha Owen gave her first videotaped interview to Gary Caradori and Karen Ormiston on November 7, 1989 at York Reformatory, where she was incarcerated on a 3 to 4 year sentence for writing “bad checks.” According to the “carefully crafted hoax” theory of Franklin promulgated by state and federal law enforcement, Caradori gleaned the name of Alisha Owen as a Franklin victim from the “shadowy” Michael Casey, and he made a beeline to York to interview her because Casey had “duped” him into believing the child abuse allegations.
Caradori did, in fact, glean Alisha Owen’s name from Michael Casey, but he felt she was a relatively insignificant lead. Caradori’s Investigative Reports indicated that he initially contacted York personnel on October 11, but nearly three weeks elapsed before he made the trek to York, illustrating he consigned Alisha Owen to the status of a low priority lead. In other words, he had no idea of whether or not she had been enmeshed in the child trafficking he was investigating.
On October 30, Caradori and Ormiston arrived at York around 7:00 P.M. Earlier that afternoon, Caradori had phoned York’s Associate Warden and requested to meet Alisha in a location that offered a modicum of privacy, so prison personnel escorted Caradori and Ormiston to a conference room in the prison’s basement. A pair of guards then ushered Alisha into the room, and Caradori and Ormiston introduced themselves to her.
Alisha was initially hesitant to discuss her past, but Caradori and Ormiston conveyed an integrity that allayed her suspicions and fears. She eventually confessed to her involvement in Franklin and specified perpetrators whose names had repeatedly surfaced throughout Caradori’s investigation. At the conclusion of the interview, Caradori asked Alisha if she would be willing to make a formal statement the following week. Alisha said she needed to sound out her parents, because she felt that her cooperation would potentially endanger her family members.
Later in the week, Alisha’s mother and father visited her at York—Alisha and her mother took a walk in the prison’s “yard.” Alisha told her mother that she was personally mixed up in Franklin. Her mother inquired if she had direct knowledge of the child abuse allegations that were in the news, and she replied that she had been one of the abused children. Owen’s mother was dumbfounded by her daughter’s disclosures, but she finally had an explanation of her daughter’s peculiar behavior, starting at the age of fourteen. As Alisha and her mother cried, her mother asked Alisha why she hadn’t come to her parents for help: Alisha said that she knew her parents would never have backed down even though the perpetrators were too powerful for her parents to challenge—she was convinced that her parents would have been murdered.
After Alisha met with her parents, she phoned Caradori and consented to be interviewed. Caradori’s first interview of Alisha was roughly seven hours. According to the “carefully crafted hoax,” Alisha fabricated every word of her interview with Caradori.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I was ambivalent about posting the interview excerpts because of their graphic content. But Gary Caradori’s interviews play an integral role in The Franklin Scandal. So I ultimately decided to let the viewer decide for himself or herself if Alisha Owen is lying or telling the truth about her abuse during the interview.