7:24 AM
It's been fifteen months since Rolland Comstock's assistant, Becky Frakes, found him dead on the floor of his north Springfield mansion. He had been shot four times; three times in the head, and once in the abdomen.

No one has been charged with the mans death, but, the legal wranglings of family members make the former state representatives death as intriguing as any murder mystery book that lined his vast home library.

Comstock, a tax and probate attorney, once represented an English bulldog that was left close to $100,000 dollars by it's owner. He was also a renowned book collector, known internationally for his collection that experts say numbered close to 50,000 books, many of them signed first editions.

In June of this year court documents revealed that detectives were interested in two family members for the crime.

Cops say that a cigarette butt; legal papers related to Comstock's divorce from his ex-wife Alberta; and bullet shell casings recovered at the scene (that matched a hand gun that had been purchased by Comstock's former wife the day before his death,) were all being analyzed.

When asked in an interview several years ago if his library had anymore room for books, he 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!"

Investigators say DNA from that cigarette butt matches, Michael "Andy" Comstock, the son that Rolland adopted early in his marriage to Alberta; and that the legal paperwork was from Alberta's attorney, therefore it should not have been in Rolland's house.

Rolland and Alberta Comstock divorced in 2005 after 38 years of marriage and were involved in a bitter dispute over a $215,000 settlement Rolland Comstock was to pay. Both Alberta and Michael Comstock say that it had been years since they had been in the home near McDaniel Lake.

A year after her fathers murder, Faith Stocker, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her mother for her adopted fathers death. Her 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."

Last week 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.

The chief deputy of the Greene County sheriffs department, Jim Arnott, is confident that detectives in his department are 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."

NOTE: Comstock House went up for auction in June and failed to elicit a single a bid.

September 2008--Alberta Comstock asks a judge to throw out wrongful death suit filed against her.

January 8, 2008: Judge rules that wrongful death lawsuit may proceed. Alberta Comstock's attorney, Timothy Richardson, told the court, "criminal cases get filed against innocent people all the time."


Anonymous said...

Wow that was really interesting.

Vernon said...

Great article! This is the stuff that mystery novels are made of. Didn't he have half-wolf guard dogs on the property too? Very interesting guy...

Kathee Baird said...

Yes, he had at lest two who were in distress and mourning when his assistant arrived at the house.

If memory serves, they were given to an animal sanctuary and one of them escaped.

Thanks for the kind words!!

Anonymous said...

Why, do you suppose, that more than three years after this crime with all the advanced technology of the 21st century, that neither the Greene County Sheriff nor the Springfield City Police can solve this crime? As one who spent more than 20 years in law enforcement, I am completely flummoxed by this apparent lack of professionalism.