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Mark Crawford Trial: 1999 - Evidence Of A Body, Suppressed Evidence And Conflicting Testimony, Enter The Feds

business mayor conspiracy federal

Defendant: Mark Crawford
Crimes Charged: Murder in aid of racketeering, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, kidnapping, conspiracy to embezzle, embezzlement, wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, perjury, obstruction of justice by killing a witness, obstruction of justice by retaliating against a witness, conspiracy to threaten to commit a crime of violence against an individual
Chief Defense Lawyer: William May
Chief Prosecutor. Mark E. Cullers
Judge: Oliver W. Wanger
Place: Fresno, California
Date of Trial: June 22-August 20, 1999
Verdict: Guilty
Sentence: Life in prison

SIGNIFICANCE: Crawford was acquitted of murder in a state court but convicted of murder of a federal witness in federal court. The same person was murdered, but the two crimes were different, the court held, and therefore Crawford was not subjected to double jeopardy.

Mark Crawford looked like a poster boy for hard work and rectitude. Born dirt-poor in Maryland, he joined the army at 17. After two hitches, he and his wife moved to Ingleside, Texas, where he became a welder. He made a lot of friends in Ingleside, a small Gulf Coast town across the bay from Corpus Christi, taught Sunday school, and for the first time in his life was making a good income. In 1988, to the consternation of his wife, he quit his job and ran for mayor. Surprisingly, he won at the age of 33—mostly, according to the former mayor, because of his righteous image.

Crawford also started a construction business, but that venture was less fortunate. It failed. Undiscouraged, he started a new business, an employee leasing firm called Superior Staffing. The new business prospered.

Crawford began buying fancy cars, a boat and a beach house. People began to talk. For the first time, it seems, a substantial number of people in the area began to have their doubts about Crawford. After his second term as mayor, Crawford ran for the state senate but was defeated. The defeat didn't slow him down. He dropped out of politics and bought another business, Viking Casualty Co., that he operated in partnership with a Houston entrepreneur named Nick Brueggan. Tongues really began wagging when the IRS closed down Superior Staffing and seized Crawford's assets. The IRS said the former mayor had been cheating the federal government out of tax money. But Crawford just acquired new assets. There seemed to be no end to his money.

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about 3 years ago

I have been quiet up until now; however, I feel the need to address some of the present comments being posted by people who claim to know me, my case and my business.

First I will address Mark Thompson??? Who the heck are you? You are posing (for some unknown reason) as someone who knows me intimately, i.e. "I rode with him on the private plane that took us too (misspelled) Mississippi with his mistress. I even remember the time when mark craford (misspelled) (after nick's disappearance and before he was found) sitting in the entranceway of my mothers apartment and when she was waiting for the gate to open he asked her if she had a family burial plot and drove off in his black bmw."

Let me say here and now that I do not know who you are! We are not friends and never hung out together. You never, to the best of my knowledge, ever set foot inside my plane to Mississippi or anywhere else. Therefore, I can assure anyone interested that I never met your mother either. As for the black BMW that you say I owned, I respond that I have never even owned a BMW, black or otherwise. I believe that you are pulling together unrelated facts of which you have no personal knowledge to somehow bolster your stature by claiming to be privy to something you were not. Someone I knew owned a black BMW, but to the best of my recollection I never even drove that car, not even once, certainly not anywhere with you, whom I do not know. So to you Mark Thompson, who ends your comments with "all the innocent involved are in my prayers to this day and will remain so for the rest of my years," I say that you and I and God know that you are a liar and a hypocrite; and since I am not guilty of Nick's murder and am therefore "innocent," I thank you for your hypocritical prayers.

To RJA I say this; you indicated in your posting that you were there "in June 1996 when the search warrant was conducted at the warehouse on Jacoby Lane." Maybe you were, maybe you weren't, that is irrelevant, what is relevant is, that "IF" you were there then you are deliberately misrepresenting the evidence in the case, i.e. "receipts for the car tarp, the duct tape, the water hose were located in Mark Crawford's SUV" and " there was duct tape around the tailpipe of Mark Crawford's SUV." Had you truly been in on the investigation as you claim, you would have known what anyone who read the papers knows and that is, that the receipts for said items in quote were not found in the SUV, and that the SUV that you so intently want to be mine belonged to Beckcum by his own court testimony. Were you truly involved in the case you would have known that all the evidence given at my three trails centered on the testimony of both Beckcum and Johnson stating that on the day of the murder I allegedly was driving a red Mercedes 500 SL. So I seriously doubt that you are anything other than a casual observer, maybe in Law Enforcement, maybe not even that.

Next, you stated "Mark Crawford robbed Mr. Brueggen's corpse of jewelry prior to burying him in a shallow grave." Here are the facts as presented in court concerning that.

According to the testimony of both Beckcum and Johnson, it was Johnson who took a ring off Nick's corpse at the request of Beckcum. As for the burying of Nick's body, William Noel testified in my San Antonio trial that he buried the body at the instruction of Mike Beckcum, those are the facts according to the court records. Those



are not my facts; these are the facts as they were presented in court. So if you are so pathetic that you have nothing else to do but slander me after fifteen years by acting as if you know things you do not, maybe you need to turn off Walker Texas Ranger and look in the mirror and ask yourself why you need to lie about me, or anyone for that matter, to feel better about yourself.

In addition, both you, RJA and Mark Thompson, have alleged that I robbed and cheated people. I will say this concerning that. I have been a liar, a cheat, a thief and an adulterer, I am not proud of that. However, no one who ever worked for me did so without getting paid. I always paid my employee's and regardless of what you think or can say unchecked on this site, that's the truth. And I beg you to continue hanging yourself with your lies so that I can see your faces in a court of law.

To Chuck Rogers, I have searched my memory and have concluded that I don't know you or what I did to make you hate me so deeply, even after fifteen years. But I recognize that I must have done something terrible for you to hold a grudge this long and whatever I did I sincerely apologize for it. One of the hardest things about being in prison is the inability to make right the things you've done wrong. Again, you seem like a decent person and I apologize for whatever it was I did to offend you.

I will say to you Chuck and to the others that if you really believe that I killed Nick then you certainly have all the rights in the world to have ill feelings about me, however that does not give you the right to add lying to mix. I also believe that if you will for one moment stop and ask yourself this question, "What if Mark is not guilty?" And if you can put aside your anger and ask yourself that question, then ask yourself the next, "Then who is? And doesn't Nick's son have the right to know who killed his father, and why it was covered up."

Truth is, I'm in prison and have no reason to lie, nor do I really care what any of you think. MY two sons were with me the day of the murder and as a result of that unspoken of FACT, one of them became an attorney himself, he is happily married and has given me four wonderful grandchildren.

As a result of this tragedy, my wife has, after rightfully throwing me out in 96', accepted my apology and remains ever my closest ally.

As a result of this tragedy my daughter fell in love with and married the most successful attorney in South Texas, a man who recently built her and her two children the palace a princess like her deserves, the palace I wanted to build for her.

As a result of all this tragedy my youngest son has carved out his own career as a Welding Inspector in the refineries, and to top it all off has married a girl from Ingleside that I remember as a child. How cool is that!

As a result of this tragedy my family has went on without me and has risen to achieve their own greatness and abounded the heights of a happiness that allows me to easily accept my fate such as it is.

As a result of the FACT that my family knows in their heart that I am not guilty of murder (irregardless of what people can say on the web) has brought us together as a family in ways you could not even recognize and I am ever grateful.

In closing I will say that in the near future I am going to release to the public all of my legal work, a lot of which was suppressed by the prosecution from your view, up until now. I will also be printing new and startling information that I believe will spill the wine of truth out and onto the table of reality concerning this horrid murder and the



steps that were taken to gain a conviction, at any cost.

To those kind people, Jesse, Joe and the kid (of course I remember you and am proud of you for not falling back into the cycle of crime and it's prisons) I thank you for defending my honor, and I will endeavor to be worthy of it regardless of my final outcome.

To others who know me and know my heart, I say to you that I have not wasted my time while here, so do not feel sorry for me, I am well. I have written six complete novels which I have given away to friends and family (one of which my son has chosen to publish). I have also become a skilled artist (oils and ink) and created a plentiful amount of artwork which I have likewise given away to family and friends.

Again, I will say to all of you, that I don't give a big rats butt what you believe or don't believe concerning me, however, as I have already stated I think that Nick's son AND my own two sons have the right to know the truth about this crime. I will not rest until it is so.

Until then, I am here and my pen is the sound of one hand fighting.

Hie est enim sanguis meus.

Mark Crawford husband of Teresa, father of Azteca, Marco and Christian,

grandfather to Felicia, Tommy, Maya, Isabella, Sophia and little Azteca, and a man blessed beyond all comprehension.

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about 3 years ago

TO RJA,



#1 There was NEVER a reciept found for the car cover because the car cover came with Mark Crawfords Mercedez when he purchased the car... #2 Mark Crawford DID NOT own a SUV..Mike Beckcom owned the SUV. #3 Mark Crawford was found NOT GUILTY for murder...He was NEVER convicted of murder.RJA if you really are a pig detective like you claim then i can see why Mark Crawford kicked yalls butt in state court because just like in the trial yall cant get yalls facts straight lol...and for the record,Mark Crawfords family is living it up ;)

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over 6 years ago

The A&E show does not show all the lies that were told in the cort room by the two real murders. thats why it was dismissed in texas.

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over 4 years ago

I did time with Mark. I know the guy and he is not what you would think. He is kind in a place of hate, he is level headed in a place of unbalance. You only hear what the news wants you to hear. After doing two years with the man I now know him better than his own children. The trial was a set up, he was cheated, and if he had another day in court he would not stay behind bars!! Let freedom ring as he goes home to his long waiting children!!!

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about 5 years ago

Crawford was the typical, low-life con artist. He found that Brueggan was cooperating with the Feds, and decided to stop him. He did that by locking Brueggan in that box, and gassing him with the exhaust of a vehicle. Then he was buried behind the "warehouse" on Jacoby Lane. There were other criminal activities Crawford had going. Crawford's where he should be, and hopefully that's where he remains.

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almost 2 years ago

Mark, his family is NOT ASHAMED AS A MATTER OF FACT HIS SONS WHO CARRY HIS NAME HAVE BROUGHT FAME TO THE LAST NAME CRAWFORD AND ITS A stronger now than ever, and they are closer as family now as ever, not one suffers now if suffering meaning they were cheated out of time with their father, yes they were the whole family was cheated out of time with a GREAT LOVING MAN< yes heat stole, he lied, he cheated and paid the price but murder he didn't do it and you know he didn't/ typing on here brought you much fame, your prayers were also in vain thats why they werent ansewered , and god speaks louder than any judge, and his words are those without sin cast the first stone, people like you that live in glass houses should never throw a stone because your house is that of glass and what you say and do can shatter it and then you too will lose... if you want to be noticed find the real killer and bring them to justice, then god can look upon your sins and say okay well done, until then ,don't think speaking of someone Else's sins will make your sins better in gods eyes. Because god sees and don't pretend to be godly because anyone that knows the bible knows that what you have said and done against this man MARK CRAWFORD, knows that even the devil prays and for the records the devil is also afraid of god, so if you're not afraid of god then your putting yourself among the demons and they will eat you alive

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over 5 years ago

Mark Crawford was a dirty businessman I witnessed firsthand just how dirty he was. I saw the faces of the pissed off employees after their checks wouldn't be honored. I rode with him on the private plane that took us too mississippi, he traveling with his mistress...I even remember the time when mark craford (after nicks disapperance and before he was found) sitting in the entrancway of my mothers apartment and when she was waiting for the gate to open he asked her if she had a family burial plot and drove off in his black bmw...he's a speedbump on society that embodies the sad morals of today's society "human greed before human need" I hope he rots in prison all the while getting man-rammed...and I hope too one day he may feel one iota of the choas and depression he inflicted on innocent people such as nicks son who no longer has his father and his own family who has to live with the shame of the family name...all the innocent involved are in my prayers to this day and will remain so for the rest of my years.

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over 5 years ago

Nick Brueggen was a thief who messed with the wrong person

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over 3 years ago

I had the great fortune of assisting the area law enforcement during the investigation. I was, then, a reserve peace office. It was June 1996 that I was notified of a man contacting Aransas Co. Sheriff's Office and advising them that he assisted and witnessed the murder of Nick Brueggen. I was there in June 1996 when the search warrant was conducted at the warehouse on Jacoby Lane. I also assisted in digging up Mr. Brueggen' body. He was tightly wrapped in a grey car tarp. I knew the young man Mark Crawford hired to dig the hole. Mark Crawford claimed to the young man, the hole was to be used to create a concrete foundation base for a large satellite dish. Receipts for the car tarp, the duct tape, the water hose were located in Mark Crawford' SUV. There was melted plastic and duct tape around the tail pipe of Mark Crawford' SUV. I cannot attest to Mark Crawford' life before he committed this murder. What I can attest to is; that under Mark Crawford' direct order and supervision Mark Crawford, Michael Beckom & Kirk Johnson kidnapped, brutalized and murdered Nick Brueggen in cold blood. As a final assault on Mr. Brueggen, Mark Crawford robbed Mr. Brueggen' corpse of jewelry prior to burying him in a shallow grave. To THE KID, I offer this: Mark Crawford is a cold and calculating individual who is exactly where he needs to be. To Joe Davila, we make bad choices in life, no one is infallible; Nick Brueggen & Mark Crawford were both thieves. Brueggen stole & embezzelled money. Mark Crawford stole money and ended the life of a fellow human being. My only disappointment was that Mark Crawford was not sentenced to death. Eye for an Eye; Tooth for a tooth.

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over 1 year ago

I've known Mark for a number of years and attended many of his court trials while incarcerated in Fresno, California. What a SHAM, the prosecution painted him as this master-mind criminal who planned this murder down to the greatest detail, but oh...he was so stupid that he kept the receipt for the items used in the murder. What a joke, justice truly is blind.

My life has been impacted by this man in such a positive way. When I see how much he has gone through and what he and his family has had to endure, it’s truly inspiring. This would have broken most men but in this face of this entire travesty he continues to stay so positive. My heart and prayers have continued to go out to him and his family and it is truly my heart’s desire that one day he will be freed and reunited with his loved ones. My peace comes from knowledge that in this life or the next these men who have falsely accused our brother, will have to answer for all the deceitfulness that has caused so much pain and separation.

We continue to hear over and over again about men who have been falsely imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. Here is just one more reason for me to feel complete disgust for ever defending a nation who has become so corrupt with the application of its laws. Freedom no longer exists when under the color of authority this nation allows men to trample upon the rights of others to a fair and unbiased trial. I'm ashamed to call myself an American.

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almost 2 years ago

Chuck Rogers, simply noted but remember those without sin cast the first stone and the last two years you have sinned greatly just you haven't got caught... smile Jesus loves us all. Cookie( Marks prayer warrior)

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almost 2 years ago

I know Mark Crawford very well, and I will state that the city of Ingleside TX, had a lot of people talk, simply because he was young, lets not forget they are the ones that voted him in office and screamed hallelujah when the city started prospering. Oh they loved the fact he was a godly man, and family man, and they stepped back and admired him, they even rushed to help his extended family, (his in-laws) they hired his sister n law as a maid in many of their homes and her husband to do odd jobs, hell his nephew was receiving job offers from people and he never graduated high school . Mark received respect, not because he demanded it or because people were afraid; he received respect because people knew him as a man who gave much more than he ever received, But like in all politics things did get out of hand, Hell he was young everything was new to him and his new success like with all politicians went to his head. Im not saying he was perfect hell he had his flaws lets not forget he was in the eyes of the public a family man, and everyone knew of his affair yet who told his wife or even tried to warn her how many Christians went to Mark and told him it was wrong to cheat, Mark knew it was wrong but his elders allowed him to spin out of control, when did anyone find out Marks secrets??? When jealousy arose, A mere Mayor the golden boy was now driving fancy cars and buying beautiful homes out on the bay, he was traveling, and no one knew how. And then it started, many wanted what Mr. Crawford had and didn’t have the slightest clue how to go about getting it. So the rumors flew out like a wild fire…

Now I wont say he was innocent he had his hand in a expensive candy jar, but doesn’t everyone in his position.( you would have too) Look at the current president, everyone basically voted for a man not fit for the job, they voted because he’s blk, many voted because they didn’t want people to say they were prejudice. (yet they were and still are) and look what they found out, he’s not at all fit to run this country, not because he’s blk but because of his lack of respect for America. (He’s only half blk his mother is white) Mark was voted in because of his image, regardless what they say. So now after all this we eneded up finding out our golden boy wasn’t golden and we were not going to stand for it, suddenly he was no good, (he was still the same loving person) YES he did everything they accused him of, and he admitted it , The hardest thing was facing his family, the ones that really were innocent in all this, the mere fact that the love of his life Teressa had to be told he cheated. He admitted to everything and that wasn’t enough FOR THE PEOPLE< I mean he was an embarrassment now and they could have that. He was trialed and found INNOCENT (go figure) But they had a man dead that his family needed answers, and when they couldn’t provide them they linked MR. CRAWFORD to him. The gov could let"THE PEOPLE DOWN" hell the federal gov is use to screwing people out of money that’s their job, but they had a golden boy and blood un accounted for and a public to face without having the answers, and because Mr. Crawford would not bow down to evil, they set out on a witch hunt. Yes I said witch hunt. They pulled in people who to this day I believe were paid to say they knew Mr. Crawford. And they paid for people to say he was everything but a child of god. This brings me back to the bible where it explains Jesus helped all the rich to the poor, and still they crucified him to a cross, but god made sure not one bone be broken on his son. As with Mark they took his freedom to satisfy the people, (I mean heck a man was dead someone had to pay for it so that the people would trust the government) Mark Thompson if you honestly knew Mr. Crawford please then tell me who Im if anything to MR CRAWFORD" tell me about his family, cars and houses, Im calling you out. Mark Crawford never owned a Black BMW . He never was a man to just hang out with other men or friends he was more less a family man who enjoyed close friends and family. and he kept family separated from business, why do you think none of his family knew of anything. I also want you to know I'm a occult specialist and I know of people pretending to be followers of the one true Christ and you my friend need not pray for the Crawford family, please keep hypocritical prayers to yourself the Crawford's are covered under the true blood of Jesus Christ, and Mark is not broken buy being in prison as a matter of fact it enlightened him and brought out a wonderful artist and writer. It brought him closer to god, and now he’s once again known as picture perfect only he’s not. His family went through trials and tribulations but they are still successful despite your true wishes for them, Mark is successful even behind bars, To RJA if you allegations were true and you were not lying and you were honest as per your post; why is it you must remain silent and use only initals instead of your real name. and why is it we know nothing of a RJA person, there is no records of a RJA in any of the courts, or in Mr. Crawford’s minutes, or the news papers!!!! and had you been there with the search warrant you would have been subpoenaed in court. Meaning"A subpoena is a writ by a government agency, most often a court, that has authority to compel testimony by a witness or production of evidence ... So I don't recall ever hearing of you, once again you probably read the news paper which could also be know as the paparazzi, because in this case they had a small town Mayor on trial for racketeering and murder, think of the money the television people got behind this trial, think of the stereo types that held on the every last detailed lie. Think of the money the courts made and the city of Ingleside was finally on the map. People profited from his trial, and Mark paid the highest price along with his family. Did anyone think of the golden boys children and what they were going to face.. But if we look at the gov for what it is don't they screw people out of money everyday? Doesn’t the government make money off the poor and the neglected? Yes they do. I love how you claimed mr Crawford robbed the corpse of jewelry wow a ring and it was stated it wasn’t mark that took the ring. Had you done your homework before writing the post (hoping to get noticed) then you would have known those facts; they are the facts as they were presented in court. Isn’t that the truth because then Mark wouldn’t have been trialed right? (Wrong they need someone to take the blame) I agree with Mr. Crawford that you posted your lies in hopes of drawing attention to yourself well it worked pat yourself on the back you accomplished the task (only people know you are liar looking for attention now) QUOTE THIS ITS MARKS WORDS :” I have been a liar, a cheat, a thief and an adulterer, I am not proud of that.” The man admits to everything the man is in jail and has remained in jail saying the same thing, so why after 15 years would he still continue to say he did not murder anyone. So that my friend is the question of the day” who did???? And how much are they being paid to never speak about it.” I mean come on it’s a done deal man found dead man convicted (he didn’t do it) public is satisfied and off the governments back as to who did it, and a innocent man sits behind bars, while the real killer remains free. Marks family suffered emotionally through this and children that were innocent were forced to be guilty with him. And his wife faced it all head hold (my hat goes out to this strong Latino woman) this is a true tragedy . As a result of this tragedy his entire family has went on without him, and each of them have risen to achieve their own greatness and abounded the heights of a happiness that allows MARK to easily accept his fate such as it is. But god see’s high and low and MARK will not die in prison Mark will be home with his family surrounding him with love when god decided to take him home.
I will personally fight for Mark until god sees me home so in the words of the Golden Boy,’ Hie est enim sanguis meus. WHICH FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT DON’T KNOW ITS LATIN FOR” THIS IS MY BLOOD” KEEP YOUR HEAD UP MR. CRAWFORD HELP IS ON THE WAY, AND SOON WE’LL HAVE THAT GLASS OF ICE TEA AND BARBEQUE I TOLD YOU ABOUT…..

and RJA < MARK thompson if you know mark so well then you should who Iam and that I mean what I say.

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over 2 years ago

I knew Mark when I was a kid growing up in Ingleside. He was one of the men who ran the Royal Ambassadors group at our church, basically Boy Scouts for the boys at the church. He was always great to us, and spent a lot of time up at the church with us. I continued to know Mark and his family for several years after that, up until I left for college. I was in college when I heard about the charges and the trial. I won't presume to say anything about what happened, or didn't happen, but I will say this...the Mark I knew growing up was a good man who helped a lot of folks out, and I'm really glad to read that his family is doing okay, and that he seems to have found purpose and peace in the midst of everything.