The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal

A chilling exposé of corporate corruption and government cover-ups, this account of a nationwide child-trafficking and pedophilia ring in the United States tells a sordid tale of corruption in high places. The scandal originally surfaced during an investigation into Omaha, Nebraska’s failed Franklin Federal Credit Union that went beyond the Midwest, ultimately to Washington, DC. Implicating businessmen, senators, major media corporations, the CIA, and even the venerable Boys Town organization, this extensively researched report includes firsthand interviews with key witnesses and explores a controversy that has received scant media attention.

About the Author

Nick Bryant is a journalist whose work largely focuses on the plight of disadvantaged children in the United States. His mainstream and investigative journalism has been featured in Gear, Playboy, the Reader, and on He is the coauthor of America’s Children: Triumph of Tragedy. He lives in New York City.

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Trine Day; Revised edition (January 22, 2012)

Amazon Reviews


A disturbing look behind the curtains of power.

Fair warning, this book is not for the faint of heart or easily disturbed. Nick Bryant documents and extensively details a level of corruption and collusion among the political elite that may shake the foundations of everything you thought was good and true in America. Centered around Lawrence E. King and his branch of the Franklin Credit Union in Nebraska, this story exposes horrific abuses of children by the very institutions and government bodies supposedly sworn to protect them. Told in a 1st person POV, the author takes you on an adventure best left in the shadows, until you see where it leads. Naturally the people and institutions implicated in this book have worked their influence in the media in a transparent attempt to pass it off as ‘a cleverly crafted hoax’ but with the sheer amount of documentation that Bryant provides in the index, it’s clear to any objective person that something terrible is afoot in America’s heartland. You have been warned.


I would never believe this story except for all of the detail and cross-referencing. Check out all the YouTube videos (search John DeCamp, Paul Bonacci, Rusty Nelson, Johnny Gosch & Noreen Gosch) plus watch ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ on YouTube and the Netflix documentary ‘Who Took Johnny?’ Read the books The Franklin Cover-up,Rabbit Hole: A Satanic Ritual Abuse Survivor’s Story &Why Johnny Can’t Come Home. This story would make a great ‘American Horror Story’ or ‘American Crime Story’ TV mini-series (Ryan Murphy are you listening?). There’s just too much information for it to be made up. Who would think such a thing could happen in America’s Heartland (Lincoln, Nebraska) and spawn all the way to the White House? Crazy!

A must read piece of American (and human) history

Typically, I try to read previous reviews of books to see whether there is anything I can add that has not already been said. In the case of this book, I have not read any other reviews. Why? Because a review cannot do this book or its subject justice, you will simply have to take the time to read it yourself. This books addresses a matter that is too big and too important to be examined in any other manner than that used by the author – a comprehensive look at the evidence. It is the little details that are the key to this story.

Personally, I think every adult American should read this book. Americans have been conditioned to think they are different – that this kind of thing only happens in other places. Americans have been conditioned to trust the word of officials in government and law enforcement without corroborating evidence, or even when these same officials refuse to let Americans see the evidence. They want you to trust but not verify. This book is one of those pieces of work that shows why such trust is misplaced.

The author is very thorough in his coverage of the Franklin matter, but I did not find the book to be tedious. The length of the book is necessary to include the detail required to sort out the truth – to address the credibility of the people and institutions involved. In my opinion, the author’s writing style is reader-friendly and the material is very accessible to the average reader. My only criticism of the book would be the lack of footnotes that would directly source statements in the text. Having said that, I think the author and/or publisher made the right decision to leave them out of the chapter texts and list the source documentation at the end of the book instead. Including footnotes would have added tremendously to what was already a daunting effort by the author, and it would have severely increased the length of the book and made it tedious for some readers. Furthermore, the source documentation is often mentioned in the text anyway. I like to have footnotes even if it adds considerably to the length of the book, but I can’t assume other readers would feel the same. In any case, it is clear the author has done an exhaustive review of the available evidence and interviewed as many of the actual witnesses/participants as possible. Make no mistake, this book is based on evidence that can be confirmed. When the author speculates, he let’s the reader know.

I recommend this book without reservation, it is an extraordinary work. I urge you in the strongest terms possible to read it at your earliest convenience. It is the responsibility of people in a “free” society to be informed.
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Fans of Jon Krakauer Will Find a New Favorite in Nick Bryant

Don’t get me wrong; Jon Krakauer is a wonderful writer. And AFTER you have read Nick Bryant’s The Franklin Scandal you might want to check out his work, if you have not done so already. You might…But you might also find, as I have, that you’ve got a bit less time to dedicate to books that are merely very interesting, because you will have been changed.

It’s not just that you’ll want to stay home from work to keep reading The Franklin Scandal — although you will want that,as Bryant’s book is the mother of all compelling page-turners. Rather, it’s that this book will move you, and horrify you, and shock and anger and frighten YOU, PERSONALLY, so that you will actually want to do something about the corruption that he exposes so skillfully. By simply taking the time to read this excellent, fascinating book you will have already done something that matters: You’ll have actually learned something important — something that’ll stay with you for the rest of your life. Presumably you’ll want to mention this engrossing and informative (and shocking) book to the folks around you, which is one of the important ways that social change happens.

I came to this story already knowing better than most that groups of adults can, and sometimes do, work in concert to perpetrate horrible crimes against children and other vulnerable members of society, and that seemingly “normal, repectable” people can absolutely be involved in this —-sometimes with a full knowledge of what they’re participating in, but often because they are being duped and manipulated into doing evil “for the sake of national security” or “the greater good of the community”. I also knew, of course, that corruption exists in police forces, and in politics, etc. Yet I persisted in believing that the bad guys could only get so far, because after all, there was the FBI to deal with, and the courts. And if they should fail there was always the free press, I thought. But Nick Bryant shows very clearly that these pleasing ideas are incredibly mistaken — at least when we’re talking about the secrets of the rich and powerful.

This is investigative reporting at its finest. Bryant is extremely meticulous, thorough, and very, very fair. He provides enough quotes and context to enable real understanding, but he doesn’t waste space or bludgeon points that have already been made. He offers his own thoughts at times, but always acknowledges his own biases —more honestly and more humbly than any other writer I know. He also writes very beautifully, and with great humanity.

There are a number of excellent reviews here of The Franklin Scandal, and I really cannot improve on them. I will just say that learning from Bryant about Gary Caradori and Alisha Owen was a blessing, and for that alone I would have paid the full price of the hardcover. Heroes really do make life a lot easier to bear for the rest of us. And although Bryant would not suggest this himself it is certainly true that he is the third great hero in this story . The reality is that he still suffers greatly for having dared to write The Franklin Scandal, to the point where a fellow writer and friend put out a piece describing the hardship that has befallen Bryant as a result of his willingness to speak out on behalf of the victims of Franklin — and by extension on my behalf and on yours,as well. I understand funding is needed for a documentary in the making, and I’ll be supporting that effort. I hope you’ll do the same.

There have been other books written about the scandal that came out in Omaha in the 1980s, and they have ranged from bad to incredibly bad. They should never, ever be mentioned in the same breath with Bryant’s work. I recommend that you skip the other books on Omaha altogether. Read The Franklin Scandal, by Nick Bryant. And if you think you would rather skip it because it sounds like a bummer? Read it anyway, because that’s the right thing to do. The good news is that you won’t want to put the book down.

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