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It was two years ago today that Rolland Comstock's assistant, Becky Frakes, found him dead on the floor of his north Springfield mansion and there still are no answers to who may have killed the former State Representative.

Frakes became concerned when Comstock didn't answer his cell phone and she got a continual busy signal on the home phone so she headed out to his house in northern Greene County. Comstock House isn't far from McDaniel Lake, it is surrounded by dense woods and a wrought iron fence and gate that you have to put a code in to enter. Frakes punched in the numbers and drove up the long driveway to the the house.

When Frakes got out of her car she was greeted by the haunting howling sounds of Comstock's two hybrid wolves, "it's like they were grieving," Frakes said.


Frakes made her way to the back side of the stately house and through a sliding glass door. It was there that she found her friend and mentor lying in a pool of blood between the kitchen and dining room. Comstock had been shot four times...twice in the back of the head, once under the chin, and one time in the abdomen.

Comstock was a tax and probate attorney who once represented an English bulldog that was left nearly $100,000 dollars by it's owner. He was also a renowned book collector, known internationally for his collection of 50,000 books, many of them signed first editions.
Author Harry Crews jotted this note to Comstock inside the book,"The Knockout Artist"


Investigators say that theft does not appear to be the motive in the book fanatics murder as there were no books found to be missing after they searched Comstock's unique cataloguing system. There also appeared to be no signs of forced entry to the house.

The murder of Rolland Comstock is as intriguing as any of the murder mysteries that lined his vast home library, however, most of the twists and turns in this mystery so far involve members of Comstock's family.



In court documents filed eleven months after Comstock's death, search warrants revealed that detectives were interested in two family members in connection to the seventy year-old mans death.....his ex-wife and son.

Rolland and Alberta Comstock divorced in 2005 after thirty eight years of marriage and were involved in a bitter dispute over a $215,000 settlement Rolland Comstock was to pay his former wife. The court documents give us a glimpse at some of the things that cops are zeroing in on in their investigation--they asked a judge for a court order to obtain DNA samples from both Alberta and Michael Comstock.

In interviews conducted by authorities both Alberta and Michael Comstock say that it had been several years since they had been inside the mansion.



However, investigators say that DNA from a cigarette butt recovered at the crime scene belongs to, Michael "Andy" Comstock, the estranged son that Rolland adopted early in his marriage to Alberta. And that confidential legal paperwork from Alberta's attorney pertaining to her divorce from Comstock, as well as a health directive that was drawn up after the Comstock's divorce, were found inside the mansion and should not have been there.

The documents also reveal that a handgun Alberta Comstock bought the day before her ex-husbands death, as well as bullet casings recovered from the crime scene, were being analyzed. The documents allege that Alberta Comstock tested partial positive for gunshot residue the same day as Comstock's murder.

When asked in an interview several years ago if there was anymore room in his library for books, Comstock scanned the room that he was so proud of and whispered, "I wouldn't want to say without checking to see if this room is bugged; if my wife would hear me say that we're running very short on room, I think she'd murder me tonight!"



A year after her fathers murder, Faith Stocker, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her mother for her adopted fathers death. The lawsuit states, "On or about July 3, 2007, Defendant, acting alone or in conspiracy with another, shot (Rolland Comstock) four times with a .38 caliber weapon." It goes on to say, "Defendants' acts were the direct and proximate cause of the Decedent's death."

On October 2, 2008, Alberta Comstock's attorney, Tim Richardson, filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the civil lawsuit that Stocker filed that names her mother responsible for Rolland Comstock's death. In January 2009 Greene County Circuit Court Judge Michael Cordonnier ruled that the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Alberta Comstock can proceed to trial. Cordonnier said, "criminal cases get filed against innocent people all the time."

In the spring of this year Judge Cordonnier ruled that pictures that were part of the Comstock's divorce case will be preserved and made available to Alberta Comstock attorneys.

In October of 2008, then Greene County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jim Arnott, said that he was confident that detectives in his department were close to handing their files to the prosecutors office and would not comment on specific suspects in the case saying only, "we have multiple suspects for different charges involved in this case."



Eight months after that statement now Sheriff Arnott says what appears to be a cold case really isn't. "We have a full time investigator working on the case...were not ready to bring it to a closer yet, but we are still working on it."


****Comstock House was finally sold for about $400,000 in May of 2009....at a auction in June of 2008 the house didn't get a single bid.

1 comments:

News2K said...

Fascinating read. Your blog entries are excellent! I can only hope the person(s) who did this are brought to justice.

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