Gary Graham, S-R Editor, emailed Larry Shook of Camas Magazine  requesting that he remove the Franklin photo from the Girl from Hot Springs site for copyright infringement.

Here’s the S-R archive link to the infamous 1991 photo of the then RPS garage manger, Rex Franklin, attempting to restrain one of the many parking barriers that failed.  It was one of these same barriers that failed in a similar manner that caused the death of Jo Savage in 2006 some FIFTEEN YEARS later.  To me when I first saw this photo I immediately recognized it as critical evidence in the Savage manslaughter case.  This photo is direct evidence that this was a serious imminent public hazard, that the owners were well aware and did nothing to mitigate this hazard over the ensuing years (Hinzman engineering report and Franklin sworn depo statement).

The Franklin photo goes to the very heart of the Savage manslaughter case showing the “reckless” intent of the garage owners (Cowles Co and owners of the S-R).  A move to remove this photo now from the public view is very suspicious.  As you are probably aware I‘m on record in my professional opinion that the Spokesman-Review is an instrumentality of an ongoing criminal enterprise/conspiracy to conceal its criminal acts.   If the RPS bond fraud and the Savage death were  reported by a uncorrupted newspaper there would be a clamorous hue and cry of the citizens of Spokane for justice.  An action to remove this photo from the public view borders on evidence tampering which could be considered aiding/abetting the “perps” to conceal this crime.  This copyright infringement notion is nothing more than a sham effort to conceal these crimes from the public which has been the usual MO of these perps to control the flow of information to the public through intimidation, character assassination, and unfair competitive business practices.

For those interested in previous S-R coverage of the RPS bond fraud and the Savage death here are the ongoing coverage links.  The S-R has switched from their old web page to their new “beta” site and as yet these links are not active from the home page:

Old links still active but may not be updated:

Jo Savage death in RPS parking garage:

Stories for RPS  bond fraud:

New URL links to new site.  Not all of the past info/photos are at these new links:

Savage Death

RPS bond fraud

Ryan Pitts, S-R Online Editor, has said when they get the time and the staff they will be moving these links forward.

Ron the Cop

Former garage manager Rex Franklin secures damaged portion of barrier at RPS garage after vehicle impact (Dan Pelle file photo/ March 11, 1991)

Former garage manager Rex Franklin secures damaged portion of barrier at RPS garage after vehicle impact (Dan Pelle file photo/ March 11, 1991 – Spokesman-Review)


Forwarded conversation
Subject: Re: Your unauthorized use of Spokesman-Review photos

From: Larry Shook <>
Date: Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Hi, Gary. Thank you for your email below. In it you inform me that I am in violation of copyright laws by publishing Spokesman-Review photos of Rex Franklin and the exterior of the River Park Square Parking garage at I don’t believe that I am in violation of the law, because these photos are included as evidence in criminal complaints regarding your employers that have been filed with various public officials by former Sheriff Tony Bamonte and former Detective Ron Wright. The public officials include the Spokane City Council, Spokane County Commission, the Spokane Police Chief, Spokane County Sheriff, and the Washington State attorney general. Sheriff Bamonte and Detective Wright have provided me with copies of their complaints. As such, I believe the photos in question are now in the public domain and my reproduction of them does not violate copyright law. I’m sure Sheriff Bamonte and Detective Wright would be happy to provide you with copies of their complaints in order to assist you with your reporting. You may contact them at the email addresses above. As part of his extensive efforts to have first-degree manslaughter charges brought against your employers in the matter of Jo Ellen Savage’s April 8, 2006 death in the River Park Square garage, I know Sheriff Bamonte has shared a considerable amount of correspondence with your publisher, Stacey Cowles. I assume Mr. Cowles would be happy to share that correspondence with you to assist in any reporting you might wish to do about this matter.

Beyond that, my understanding is that my use of the photos in question is protected under the fair use doctrine of federal copyright law. As a fellow journalist, I know you agree that you and I work under significant professional ethical mandates to serve the public interest. Those mandates are supported by a variety of legal protections. A cursory review of fair use doctrine provides such guidance as:
“Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered ‘fair,’ such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes…”

The Girl From Hotsprings Web site is published in the public interest, at my expense, free of charge. I do not realize any income from it. If I wish to reproduce Spokesman-Review photos in the book I plan to publish I will do so only with your publishing company’s express written permission.

And the following from Boston attorney Andrew D. Epstein, a member of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts.

“Q. Are there any times that I can use a copyrighted work without risking infringement?

A. Yes. The concept of fair use permits the utilization of copyrighted materials for certain purposes. For example, a newspaper can publish copyrighted works for purposes of reporting news and a teacher can make multiple copies of certain works for classroom use without risking infringement. In order to determine if a use is fair or is an infringement, one must determine how much of the copyrighted work is used and the impact this use will have on the potential market for the copyrighted work. If large portions of a copyrighted work are used or if the use lessons the potential market for the work, there will be infringement.”

Still, I want to be clear: I do not wish to violate copyright law; I intend not to do so. Again, Gary, as a fellow journalist, I know you recognize my ethical obligation to balance your assertion of your paper’s legal rights against my duty to the public interest. (As you know, in the case of the River Park Square securities fraud case, your newspaper’s First Amendment attorney made a variety of highly dubious assertions of confidentiality rights that thwarted both the public’s and bond purchasers’ rights to know.)

So, I need to request additional assistance from you. In view of the information above, if you still believe that I am in violation of copyright law I ask that you provide me with a written specific legal opinion stating why, as well as any professional guidance of which you may be aware, such as from the Society of Professional Journalists, etc.

Meanwhile, I have another request of you to assist me in my continuing reporting about River Park Square. In your email you state that the S-R photos on the Girl From Hotsprings Web site were “brought to my attention.” Please tell me who brought them to your attention and who instructed you to request that I take them down. I will want to interview you further about this matter, as I feel it is relevant to the question of the Cowles family’s use of its media to cover its business affairs. For now your timely answers to these questions will be helpful. Thank you very much.

Best wishes, Larry Shook

On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 4:17 PM, Gary Graham <> wrote:


It has just been brought to my attention that the girlfromhotsprings
website has at least three of our photos posted on it. We never
authorized such use. It would appear that you are in violation of
copyright laws because all of our published photos and stories are
copyrighted each day.

I am referring to the 1991 photo of Rex Franklin and the two later
photos of the exterior of the parking garage.

I respectfully ask that you remove the photos from your site
immediately. If they are being used in a proposed book, they should be
removed. You do not have our permission to use the photos.


Gary Graham
The Spokesman-Review

From: Larry Shook <>
Date: Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 9:27 AM
To: Gary Graham <>

Thank you, Gary. Again, if I wish to use S-R photos in my book I will do so only with your company’s express written permission. Best wishes, Larry Shook



     Thanks for your reply. Although I don’t agree with your justification, I’m not inclined to pursue the matter further at this time.

     From an ethics standpoint, I think you are on shaky ground. It’s common courtesy in newspapers and magazines to credit the source of photos. Happens every day. I couldn’t help but notice that you apparently used photos from a Washington business magazine without credit as well. That’s your technique. So be it.

     Should you decide to use the photos in a book, I believe you will need our permission. And of course there would be a fee for such use if we would decide to allow the use.

     Your request that I tell you who brought the use of our photos to my attention is laughable. Your site is in the public domain, isn’t it?  And I find it insulting that you suggest I was “instructed” to ask the photos be removed. Needless to say, I won’t be answering any of your questions.

     I’ve not dealt with you prior to this, so I didn’t know that your practice is to share your emails with so many people without giving me a heads up. Given your style in this manner, I’m not likely to respond to further messages from you. I’ll go ahead and copy my colleagues on this. It will save you time.

    Have a great day.