Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

8th April
2011
written by Richard

Murray caught; on his way to San Diego. He gave up like a cuss. Terrible excitement. Parties have started out to catch and lynch him. Will keep them back all I can . . . Thomas Weller, deputy constable, July 1889.

A surprise telegram announcing the capture of an “assassin” came as a huge relief to all San Diegans. Only days before the county had been stunned by the slaying of Charles Wilson, the popular City Marshal of Oceanside. Now the “cold-blooded murderer from Texas”–as the newspapers called him–was in the hands of a posse and on his way to a jail cell in downtown San Diego.

The story of Killing the Marshal.

29th December
2010
written by Richard

In a bold headline, the San Diego Union of May 21, 1907, announced a shocking crime: “P.S. SPARKMAN MURDERED AT RINCON.”   The English merchant from the tiny community at the foot of Palomar Mountain was a respected businessman, a well-known friend of the local Indians, and a peaceful man “never known to have a quarrel with anyone.”

Read the complete story of  The English Storekeeper at Rincon.

19th October
2010
written by Richard

Lasting only six months, the mayoral term of Dr. Rutherford B. Irones was one of the shortest in San Diego history.  It was certainly the strangest.

This is a story about a mayor who left city hall for a jail cell.   The Royal Coach Affair.

3rd September
2010
written by Richard

Agoston Haraszthy

Pioneer Agoston Haraszthy is recognized in state history as the “Father of Winemaking in California.”  He is also known as San Diego’s first county sheriff.  But Haraszthy is most often remembered in San Diego for a legendary scandal that one local historian would call “the first instance of graft in California.”

Read more about Agostin Haraszthy.

1st September
2010
written by Richard

Aeronautical genius or scam artist? Charles Toliver excited San Diegans in 1911 with his plans to build a gas-filled dirigible. Investors eagerly bought shares in the Toliver Aerial Navigation Company. But the project did not turn out as expected . . .

Read the complete story of the San Diego Airship.

Charles Toliver.

Charles Toliver.

29th July
2010
written by Richard

The notorious "Russian Mike"

In San Diego’s notorious “Stingaree” district of the 1890s, liquor and violence flowed freely in dozens of saloons south of H Street (Market).  One of the more disreputable dives was the Pacific Squadron Saloon on the corner of 4th and J streets, where a homicide involving alcohol, a cheap gun, and a character named “Russian Mike,” drew rapt attention from San Diegans in the spring of 1899.   Read the story of Russian Mike.

16th July
2010
written by Richard

A bold, daring and successful attempt at jail breaking occurred at the county jail this morning before daylight. . . Four desperate characters, conspired together to break for liberty, and after careful, premeditated plans, succeeded in gaining liberty. . .

Read about the first successful escape from the San Diego County jail: Jail Break

3rd June
2010
written by Richard

They said they would blow my shop to atoms, burn my house, kill me and my family . . . Three fellows came to my shop [and] warned me to quit or I would suffer, and they kept their word.     –George H. Schmidt, blacksmith.

Read about Dynamite Outrage.

San Diego Union, May 25, 1892

27th May
2010
written by Richard

Employing tactics of Chicago’s gangland, and armed with a machine gun and large caliber automatics, two desperate bandits yesterday noon sent a stream of bullets into the Agua Caliente money car as it crossed the National City dike, killed the two occupants of the machine and escaped with $85,000 in cash and checks. . .

Read about the Heist on the Dike.

HA-283 Agua Caliente Winchester and Leslie Ford

Police examine the bullet riddled “money car.”

17th May
2010
written by Richard

The impending appearance of “the Great White Fleet” excited all of Southern California in the spring of 1908.  Newspapers eagerly sought the “first” photographs of the fleet.  Publisher William Randolph Hearst was more eager than most.  Read more about the Photos Caper.

The Great White Fleet entering Magdalena Bay

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