Oregon's director of prisons was found stabbed to death outside his office at the state psychiatric hospital, and a friend said the victim had received death threats.
Corrections Department Director Michael Francke, who was found early Wednesday, died of a stab wound to the heart, state Medical Examiner Larry Lewman said."There are other injuries, the details of which will not be released at the request of the district attorney's office," a statement from Lewman's office said.
"Our facts right now are - we just don't have any," said Lt. Col. R.B. Madsen, deputy superintendent of the Oregon State Police. "We've got a lot of interviews to do. We don't have a suspect at this time."
Marion County District Attorney Dale Penn said a number of leads were being pursued and that two possible motives were robbery or revenge connected to Francke's work in Oregon or New Mexico.
Francke, 42, was killed sometime late Tuesday, Penn said.
Francke had received death threats, said a friend, former state Rep. Chuck Sides, who remembered an unsigned letter Francke showed him last fall. Sides said he could remember no details of that letter but said Francke shrugged it off with a joke about which legislator might have sent it.
"Michael was getting death threats on a regular basis," Sides said. "It was part of the job, almost."
Sides said Francke kept a .38-caliber revolver in his car's glove compartment, "but other than that, I never saw him take that many precautions, look around the corner. He just charged ahead."
"This is a sad day for Oregon," Gov. Neil Goldschmidt said as he ordered flags to be flown at half-staff. "Michael Francke dedicated his life to making Oregon a safer place."
Since taking the Oregon post, Francke had been grappling with a heavily overcrowded prison system that led to many felons serving little time behind bars. The inmate population, in a system designed for 2,800 inmates, recently hit 5,000.
Goldschmidt named Francke, former director of the New Mexico Corrections Department, to the Oregon post in May 1987.
Before coming to Oregon, Francke served as a state district judge in New Mexico from 1980 until he was named that state's corrections chief in 1983.
"All New Mexicans are indebted to Michael Francke and mourn his tragic death," said Toney Anaya, who was governor when Francke was named to head the New Mexico corrections system three years after 33 people died in a bloody prison riot.