Paul Drexler

Courtesy photo

Grace and Mel

Dear Abby, “I live on a ranch with my husband and my…

Courtesy photo
Frank Crone, center, Ernest Pla, right, and William Daly, not pictured, were dubbed the “Baby Bandits” for their brash-yet-sophisticated crimes. (Courtesy photo)

The Baby Bandits

“Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse.” It’s a maxim…

Frank Crone, center, Ernest Pla, right, and William Daly, not pictured, were dubbed the “Baby Bandits” for their brash-yet-sophisticated crimes. (Courtesy photo)
Alfred Cline, left, is escorted to prison. (Courtesy photo)

The Buttermilk Bluebeard, Part II

The story so far: Tipped off by the relatives of Eva Krebs,…

Alfred Cline, left, is escorted to prison. (Courtesy photo)
Alfred Cline, right, consults with his attorney Jake “The Master” Erlich. (Courtesy photo)

The Buttermilk Bluebeard, Part I

Buttermilk is the new black. This ancient drink, originally a byproduct of…

Alfred Cline, right, consults with his attorney Jake “The Master” Erlich. (Courtesy photo)
Four women were found brutally murdered at this cottage in Seaside, Calif., on Aug. 11, 1977. (Courtesy photo)

Murder in the Seaside cottage

When police entered the modest cottage in Seaside, Calif., on Aug. 11,…

Four women were found brutally murdered at this cottage in Seaside, Calif., on Aug. 11, 1977. (Courtesy photo)
The Troublesome Three (Courtesy photo)

The Good Career Move

Killing someone is not generally considered a good career move. It is…

The Troublesome Three (Courtesy photo)
Defense attorneys called 58 medical students to testify against Theodore Durrant, who claimed that he was at a lecture at the Cooper Medical College at the time of Blanche Lamont’s murder. (Courtesy photo)

The Demon of the Belfry: San Francisco’s Crime of the Century, Part II

In April 1895, two young women were found murdered inside Emanuel Baptist…

Defense attorneys called 58 medical students to testify against Theodore Durrant, who claimed that he was at a lecture at the Cooper Medical College at the time of Blanche Lamont’s murder. (Courtesy photo)
Up until April 13, 1895, Theodore Durrant was seen as a paragon of Christian virtue. But once he was arrested, another picture emerged. (Courtesy image)

The Demon of the Belfry: San Francisco’s Crime of the Century, Part I

This was the case that would have made John Walsh and Nancy…

Up until April 13, 1895, Theodore Durrant was seen as a paragon of Christian virtue. But once he was arrested, another picture emerged. (Courtesy image)
The powder-blue Volkswagen that belonged to Joel Blackman was reportedly the catalyst for the fatal shooting. (San Francisco Examiner)

Retired SFPD officer recalls deadly rampage in the Sunset

San Francisco police officer Ken Katz had finished his shift at 6:40…

The powder-blue Volkswagen that belonged to Joel Blackman was reportedly the catalyst for the fatal shooting. (San Francisco Examiner)
After reporting his wife missing following an “intimate personal argument,” Donald Panattoni, left, confessed to police that he murdered his wife Elaine, right, and buried her on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. (Courtesy photo)

A deadly secret on Mount Tamalpais

With its hiking trails and sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay,…

After reporting his wife missing following an “intimate personal argument,” Donald Panattoni, left, confessed to police that he murdered his wife Elaine, right, and buried her on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. (Courtesy photo)
Hanna and Sanford Marcus, flanked by Dominican nuns, leave St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stockton with baby Robert in tow. (Courtesy photo)

Baby Marcus and the largest manhunt in SF history

A child’s kidnapping is every parent’s worst nightmare. But this gut-wrenching case…

Hanna and Sanford Marcus, flanked by Dominican nuns, leave St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stockton with baby Robert in tow. (Courtesy photo)
Elbert “Ray” Belote, left, and Blanche Friedman were believe to have conspired in the killing of Allen B. Friedman, but only one of them would wind up serving time for the murder. (Courtesy photo)

The Peephole Murder

"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of…

Elbert “Ray” Belote, left, and Blanche Friedman were believe to have conspired in the killing of Allen B. Friedman, but only one of them would wind up serving time for the murder. (Courtesy photo)
From left: Prosecutor J. Miller Leavy, Emmet Perkins, Jack Santo and Barbara Graham. (Courtesy photo)

‘Bloody Babs’ and the robbery gone wrong

It is 18 miles from Oakland to San Quentin, from where Barbara…

From left: Prosecutor J. Miller Leavy, Emmet Perkins, Jack Santo and Barbara Graham. (Courtesy photo)
With friends in high places and an army of loyal thieves, Joe “Kid” Sullivan was a force to be reckoned with. (Courtesy photos)

Joe ‘Kid’ Sullivan: King of Pickpockets

Pickpocketing is a lost art in today’s world. But 100 years ago,…

With friends in high places and an army of loyal thieves, Joe “Kid” Sullivan was a force to be reckoned with. (Courtesy photos)
Father Joseph McQuaide leads a funeral procession for former San Francisco Police Chief William Biggy in 1908. (Courtesy photos)

The mysterious death of Chief Biggy

“When constabulary duty’s to be done, A policeman’s lot is not a…

Father Joseph McQuaide leads a funeral procession for former San Francisco Police Chief William Biggy in 1908. (Courtesy photos)
Left: Police investigator George Murray holds up the heavy wrench used in the bludgeon murder of Felipa Griffith as 20-year-old William Sanford, the confessed slayer of the widow, looks up at the detective. Right: Sanford was described as having a “thin aesthetic face.” (Courtesy photos)

William Sanford: The American Raskolnikov

Would you believe that the main character in one of literature’s most…

Left: Police investigator George Murray holds up the heavy wrench used in the bludgeon murder of Felipa Griffith as 20-year-old William Sanford, the confessed slayer of the widow, looks up at the detective. Right: Sanford was described as having a “thin aesthetic face.” (Courtesy photos)
Nancy Linde, left, was a principal witness in the investigation into the death of 19-year-old Jay Lovett after Frances Andrew, right, refused to testify. (Courtesy photo)

The Socialite and the Hired Hand

There’s nothing we love better than rich people getting in trouble. So…

Nancy Linde, left, was a principal witness in the investigation into the death of 19-year-old Jay Lovett after Frances Andrew, right, refused to testify. (Courtesy photo)
David Lamson is reunited for the first time in three years with his daughter, Jenny, after prosecutors failed to convict him for murder in four separate attempts. (Courtesy photo)

David Lamson’s Ordeal, Part II

The story so far: At 10 a.m. on Memorial Day 1933, Allene…

David Lamson is reunited for the first time in three years with his daughter, Jenny, after prosecutors failed to convict him for murder in four separate attempts. (Courtesy photo)
The case of David Lamson had all the ingredients to excite newspapers in the 1930s: A young victim, a mysterious death and an unlikely suspect. (Courtesy Photos)

David Lamson’s Ordeal, Part I

I don’t care what Jiminy Cricket sings in “When You Wish Upon…

The case of David Lamson had all the ingredients to excite newspapers in the 1930s: A young victim, a mysterious death and an unlikely suspect. (Courtesy Photos)
Charles Henri Schwartz’s brilliant plan had just one small slip. (Courtesy photo)

From artificial silk to genuine murder

Today, technology uses computers to replicate people. One hundred years ago, technology…

Charles Henri Schwartz’s brilliant plan had just one small slip. (Courtesy photo)