The murders that made us How vigilantes, hoodlums, mob bosses, serial killers, and cult leaders built the San Francisco Bay Area

Bob Calhoun

Book - 2021

"The 170-year history of the San Francisco Bay Area told through its crimes and how they intertwine with the city's art, music, and politics In The Murders That Made Us, the story of the San Francisco Bay Area unfolds through its most violent and depraved acts. From the city's earliest days, where vigilantes hung perps from buildings and newspaper publishers shot it out on Market Street, to the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and the Zodiac Killer, crime has made the people of San Fran...cisco who they are. Murder and mayhem are intertwined with the city's art, music, and politics. The Great 1906 Earthquake that burned down the old Barbary Coast shook a city that was already teetering on the brink of a massive prostitution scandal. The Summer of Love ended with a pair of ghastly acid dealer slayings that made the Haight too violent for even Charles Manson. The '70s ground to a halt with San Francisco pastor Jim Jones forcing his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch in Guyana, and the assassination of gay icon Harvey Milk. With each tale of true crime, The Murders That Made Us will take you from the violence that began in the original Gold Rush into the brutal displacement of today's techie ruination."--

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2nd Floor New Shelf 364.1523/Calhoun (NEW SHELF) Due Apr 2, 2022
Subjects
Genres
True crime stories
Case studies
Published
Toronto, Ontario, Canada : ECW Press [2021]
Language
English
Physical Description
321 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 315-321).
ISBN
9781770415492
1770415491
Main Author
Bob Calhoun (author)
  • My mother the murder suspect
  • Vigilance!
  • The fourth estate
  • Gangs of the Barbary Coast
  • Official misconduct
  • Popular attractions
  • The state-sanctioned lynch mob
  • Chicago to the bay
  • No parts lying together in one place
  • Urban renewal
  • When the garden flowers, baby, are dead
  • Zodiac adjacent
  • The murder capital of the world
  • Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people
  • Killing Gerald Ford
  • Rainbows and leather
  • The Golden Dragon massacre
  • The last victims of Jonestown
  • The white working class
  • The face of the girl in room 24
  • The hucksters
  • The outside lands
  • The night stalker is born
  • The scene
  • Upward mobility
  • Two-fisted liberal
  • The technological divide
  • A real fixer-upper
  • The last days of Tom Guido.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Calhoun, crime columnist for SF Weekly, presents a fascinating time line of infamous denizens of San Francisco. He jumps from topic to topic, beginning with a 1959 murder in which his own mother was briefly a person of interest; he then doubles back to the early days of the city, and ends with the devastating effect of COVID-19 on the live music scene as many venues shutter for good. Along the way, he covers Al Capone (who served a prison sentence for tax evasion on Alcatraz Island), Patty Hearst, Charles Manson, and the Reverend Jim Jones, as well as attempts on President Gerald Ford's life and the murder of Harvey Milk. The profile of district attorney Terence Hallinan—who was succeeded by Vice President Kamala Harris—includes the story of a vicious dog-mauling case he assigned to ADA Kimberly Guilfoyle (now the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr.). She won the case. Calhoun's style is irreverent and clever, and his affection for the city is clear. VERDICT Enjoy this book in short sips—there is much to savor here for both true crime fans and lovers of San Francisco. Hand this title to those who appreciated David Talbot's Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love.—Karen Sandlin Silverman, Mt. Ararat Middle Sch., Topsham, ME Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This compulsively readable account from Calhoun (Beer, Blood & Cornmeal) brings to life the famous and infamous murders in the San Francisco Bay Area from the mid-19th century to the present. The author admits his interest in this macabre history was piqued by his mother's involvement as a suspect in a 1959 murder and his connection to the underground San Francisco music scene in the late 1990s. His main focus is on tabloid crimes, from the newspaper wars of the Gold Rush era, which ended in a publisher's homicide, to the office building massacre in 1993 that left eight dead from shots fired from a Tec-9 and led to the passage of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994. In between, he covers such sensational crimes as the Tong wars of the late 19th century; the unsolved murders of the Doodler, who preyed on gay men in 1974 and 1975; and the 1978 shooting murders of San Francisco mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk by Dan White, who proffered the "Twinkie defense" (the argument that eating junk food drove him insane) and was convicted on two counts of manslaughter. Calhoun writes with wit and passion about the city he loves and its bloody history. This is a feast for true crime fans. (May) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This compulsively readable account from Calhoun (Beer, Blood & Cornmeal) brings to life the famous and infamous murders in the San Francisco Bay Area from the mid-19th century to the present. The author admits his interest in this macabre history was piqued by his mother's involvement as a suspect in a 1959 murder and his connection to the underground San Francisco music scene in the late 1990s. His main focus is on tabloid crimes, from the newspaper wars of the Gold Rush era, which ended in a publisher's homicide, to the office building massacre in 1993 that left eight dead from shots fired from a Tec-9 and led to the passage of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994. In between, he covers such sensational crimes as the Tong wars of the late 19th century; the unsolved murders of the Doodler, who preyed on gay men in 1974 and 1975; and the 1978 shooting murders of San Francisco mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk by Dan White, who proffered the "Twinkie defense" (the argument that eating junk food drove him insane) and was convicted on two counts of manslaughter. Calhoun writes with wit and passion about the city he loves and its bloody history. This is a feast for true crime fans. (May) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Short DescriptionIn The Murders That Made Us, bestselling author Bob Calhoun tells the story of San Francisco one crime at a time through the destination city’s most violent and depraved acts.Sales and Market BulletsSan Francisco crime history is an evergreen topic. Calhoun investigates infamous subjects such as the Zodiac Killer ciphers, the murder of Harvey Milk, the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, Alcatraz prison, Al Capone, Jim Jones, Anton LaVey curses, Silicon Valley scandals, and more.The author was born in San Francisco, CA, and currently lives in San Leandro, CA. He spent four years exploring the seedy side of San Francisco’s history in his weekly true crime column, Yesterday’s Crimes, and has a unique and deeply researched perspective on the subject.Bob Calhoun was first drawn to true crime with the revelation that his mother was once a suspect in a brutal murder case on the outskirts of San Francisco. His journey to unlock his family’s history through the details of this once-notorious crime of passion is retold in the personal essay that begins The Murders That Made Us.While titles such as Notorious San Francisco (Paul Drexler, RJ Parker Publishing, 2019) or Death in California (David Kulczyk, Craven Street Books, 2009) focus on crimes from the Bay Area’s past and arrange them with no real sense of order, The Murders That Made Us weaves the killings, heists, and scams into a narrative arc that tells the story of the city of San Francisco itself.AudienceReaders of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and other true crime booksListeners of My Favorite Murder and other true crime podcasts: Wine and Crime, Felonious Florida, Serial, Teacher’s Pet, Someone Knows Something, Dr. Death, Casefile, CriminalFans of true crime documentaries and shows: Mindhunter, Making a Murderer, The Jinx, The Keepers, The Killing SeasonLocals and those interested in the Bay Area The 170-year history of the San Francisco Bay Area told through its crimes and how they intertwine with the city’s art, music, and politicsIn The Murders That Made Us, the story of the San Francisco Bay Area unfolds through its most violent and depraved acts. From its earliest days when vigilantes hung perps from downtown buildings to the Zodiac Killer and the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, murder and mayhem have shaped the city into the political and economic force that she is today.The Great 1906 Earthquake shook a city that was already teetering on the brink of a massive prostitution scandal. The Summer of Love ended with a pair of ghastly drug dealer slayings that sent Charles Manson packing for Los Angeles. The 1970s come crashing down with the double tragedy of Jonestown and the assassination of Gay icon Harvey Milk by an ex-cop. And the 21st Century rise of California Governor Gavin Newsom, Trump insider Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Vice President Kamala Harris is told through a brutal dog-mauling case and the absurdity called Fajitagate. It’s a 170-year saga of madness, corruption, and death revealed here one crime at a time.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In The Murders That Made Us, bestselling author Bob Calhoun tells the story of San Francisco one crime at a time through the destination city’s most violent and depraved acts.