Letterman Kidnapper's History of Violence
March 18, 2005

David Letterman will not be taping his show today. Instead, the "Late Show" star is learning chilling new facts about the man who is accused of plotting to kidnap his pride and joy.

Just two months ago, a beaming Letterman showed home videos of his 1-year-old boy taking his first steps. But now, the host is feeling a parent's anguish, after police told him that a man named Kelly Allen Frank was plotting to kidnap his child and demand $5 million in ransom.

Frank reportedly had taken photos of Letterman's Montana ranch, and he even had a key and was composing a ransom note.

Here is the fact file on Frank: he's a 43-year-old divorcee with two young sons. He's a house painter, who worked on the comedian's 2,700-acre ranch. And now we've uncovered why Frank was on probation. Only "Extra" has the court documents of Frank's 1998 case where he was charged and convicted of stalking a woman. Rape charges were filed but later dismissed. This frightening passage was included in the case file: "He has hurt her and has threatened to hurt others in her family if she did not continue the relationship."

We caught up with a man named Chris who worked with Frank on several jobs. He claims Frank was a crook who routinely ripped off customers. In fact, one of the charges in the Letterman case is that he overcharged the star at least $1,000 for house painting.

"I'm glad he got nailed," Chris said. "I hope he gets the maximum sentence."

Letterman and Regina Lasko, the mother of his child, have considered their Montana ranch their retreat from the world since 1999. But even there, in rural America, danger can follow. And that point is not lost on stars like Lisa Rinna, who performed in Thursday night's Los Angeles run of "The Vagina Monologues."

"Being a mother of two young girls, every day I pray," Rinna told us.

And Teri Hatcher revealed that the news made it hard for her to leave her child: "Actually I said to my daughter before I left to come here tonight, 'I want to thank you for letting me do this tonight.'"

And tonight, David Letterman is thankful that his child is safe and sound, taking steps in front of the loving gaze of his parents.


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