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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Emerald Triangle

    CA - Rev. Leslie Crane, 39, Laytonville, 18 Nov 2005

    Reverend Leslie Charles Crane
    Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Case# 05-3982

    Date of birth: 4 February 1966
    Place of birth: Norwich, CT
    White male, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 210 pounds, brown hair and eyes.

    Leslie Crane moved to Mendocino County CA three years before his death. He sold out a tie-dye business in Florida, and arrived in northern California with $100 and a dog. Operating under the provisions of the county's Measure G, which legalized personal use amounts of marijuana, he prospered.

    On 1 April 2004, he opened a medical marijuana co-operative under the legal provisions of California's Proposition 215 of 1996. After the U.S. Supreme Court's 6 June 2005 decision that federal agents could continue to enforce federal law against marijuana usage, Crane changed the name of his Laytonville co-operative from Mendo Remedies to Mendo Spiritual Remedies. He claimed a religious right to marijuana usage, and began to refer to himself as a minister. He stated that he thought marijuana dispensaries should be regulated by a governmental body. Despite a raid on a Ukiah dispensary, Crane vowed to keep his church-run co-op open.

    In mid-July 2005, Crane ran a personal ad for a week seeking contact with Proposition 215 patients who had had their marijuana gardens raided. On 20 July, he was arrested by the California Highway Patrol for DUI.

    Crane opened the Hemp Plus church and dispensary in Ukiah in September 2005. In mid-October, he was fencing with Ukiah's city government, promising not to sell marijuana but claiming patient necessity for the drug. A reporter witnessed several uses of medical marijuana, but no sales. By now, the Laytonville site had 800 clients, and the Ukiah one 200. Later that month, Crane called the Sheriff's Office for protection against an impending robbery. Crane claimed the District Attorney had granted him permission to grow all the marijuana possible in a 10 foot by 10 foot square area. The responding deputies checked the paperwork for the pot plants Crane was growing for his clients. They then fetched a search warrant, arrested him for marijuana cultivation, and confiscated $6,000 in gold and 5,000 marijuana plants. Crane was scheduled for arraignment on 2 November 2005. On 16 November, Crane spent $7,000 of his own money to donate 350 turkeys to the local food bank. He had also begun sponsoring a teen center in Laytonville.

    At about 2 AM on 18 November 2005, a black-clad and masked armed raiding party of four to six home invaders burst into Crane's residence on Road 307 in Laytonville screaming repeatedly, “This is a raid”. One of Crane's friends was beaten in his sleep by an intruder. Crane's fiancee opened her bedroom door; she was struck over the head, and her left arm was also broken by a baseball bat. Irked by her fervent prayers for help, a raider shot at her but missed. There were five or six other shots fired elsewhere in the house at about the same time, as Crane was shot in the arm, abdomen, and the back of his head. Meanwhile, the original victim had managed to slide out of sight; he called 911. The intruders left with the contents of Crane's safe, and a considerable amount of market-ready marijuana. When the deputies responded to the call, they removed armfuls of marijuana plants while processing the murder scene.

    A memorial service was held for Leslie Charles Crane at Westport CA at noon on 10 December 2005. A reward of $3,800 was raised by Crane's friends for information leading to the murderers. A detective working the case said that while forensic analysis was still in process, re-interviewing of involved parties was ongoing.

    On 9 March 2006, a holdup of Crane's old dispensary in Laytonville was foiled in the act. The Sheriff's Office denied any connection between the robbery and Crane's murder; however, it stated that forensic lab work was not yet complete, but the Crane case was active. The case remains unsolved and listed by MCSO as a cold case.

    Information concerning this active homicide case may be called in to the MCSO Tipline at 707-234-2100. Their Investigative Services Bureau may be emailed to barneys@co.mendocino.ca.us. The Sheriff's Office can also be reached at 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482.


    Findagrave website: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Crane&GSfn=Leslie&GSmn=Charles &GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=86804059&df=all&

    Ukiah Daily Journal, 16 June 2005: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1126630/?terms=Crane
    UDJ, 13 July 2005: https://www.newspapers.com/search/#l...005-07-13&t=33
    UDJ, 20 July 2005: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1122615/?terms=Crane
    UDJ, 13 October 2005: https://www.newspapers.com/image/527470/?terms=Crane
    UDJ, 25 October 2005: https://www.newspapers.com/image/529800/?terms=Crane;https://www.newspapers.com/image/529960/?terms=Crane
    UDJ, 19 November 2005: https://www.newspapers.com/image/135...erms=marijuana;https://www.newspapers.com/image/135...erms=marijuana
    UDJ, 25 November 2005: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1352627/?terms=Crane
    UDJ, 4 December 2005: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1352627/?terms=Crane
    UDJ, 7 December 2005: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1345724/?terms=Crane;https://www.newspapers.com/image/1345607/?terms=Crane
    UDJ, 17 March 2006: https://www.newspapers.com/image/388948/?terms=Crane;https://www.newspapers.com/image/389064/?terms=Crane

    MCSO website: http://www.mendocinosheriff.com/missing/coldcases.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Emerald Triangle


    I find it interesting that Quinton Cromer, who reported this case for the UDJ, is also a MCSO detective.

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