Suspicious bail issues investigated

From time to time, I’ll post about strange goings-on that might give fiction writers ideas for their novels and screenplays.

In Kalispell, Montana, in the northwest corner of the state, a man has been bailing young women out of the Flathead County jail – women who didn’t know him – apparently to coerce them into sex by threatening to revoke their bail if they don’t agree. According to an account in The Daily Interlake, the problem didn’t come to light immediately because the imposter didn’t post bail directly. Instead, he went through a commercial bonding firm. When one woman refused to go along with the man’s demands, he withdrew his payment without telling her, leaving her susceptible to re-arrest.

According to a later report in The Missoulian,  sheriffs’ deputies have discovered that the man is posing as a pastor ore retired police officer. He gives the bonding firm the impression that he knows the woman, and insists that she live with him as a condition of the bail. A local bondsman suspects that another inmate is giving the imposter information about the women. Sheriff Chuck Curry, who believes three or four women have been involved, told The Missoulian that the case is tough to investigate because the victims are hard to locate. “These are people who have been incarcerated, so sometimes they’re not the easiest people to come up with,” he said. “They aren’t all coming forward.”

Imagine the fictional possibilities.

6 thoughts on “Suspicious bail issues investigated

  1. Wow, Leslie, what a crazy situation. The posing as a pastor makes sense, but why would a retired cop bail out criminals? I guess the women involved aren’t thinking that far ahead. This sounds like an “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” kind of thing.

    But yes–great possibilities for fiction! Nice catch.

    • Ramona, good question. I suspect the answer is that a former officer has credibility, and could conceivably be on a mission to help inmates rehabilitate themselves. If it turns out that there is/was someone inside feeding the con man information, he or she may also be telling the women ‘he’s a good guy, he can help you.’ No idea whether the informant is another inmate, or a jail employee. Obvously, more to this story. …

  2. Such an interesting post, Leslie ~ thanks for bringing it to our attention. Whenever I travel, I enjoy reading the section in USA Today where they provide one brief news item per state. I save those for further review, b/c they are so ripe for fiction picking.
    It’s scary how conniving some criminals are, and the methods they develop to get their victims. (When I worked the Crime Stoppers tips line, the education I received from the tipsters was truly amazing.)
    The victims were probably so thrilled to get sprung that they didn’t want to refuse the “kind gesture,” or stop to question the motivation behind the alleged “good Samaritan.”
    According to the article in The Missoulian, a particular suspect has been identified, but the investigation is still continuing and charges haven’t been pressed yet. If the suspect knows he’s in the crosshairs, he may refrain from repeating his crimes; however, with the delay of pressing charges, he may beat feet.
    This story certainly has fiction appeal.
    I only wish real life could be held to the same standard as fiction 🙂
    Best wishes for the new year, Leslie ~ and thanks again for an awesome post.

    • Thanks for the comment, Kathleen — and the compliment! Looks like the investigation is going beyond the suspect to the sources of information that led him to particular women. I’ll be watching for updates and will post a note here!

      All the best in the new year!

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