Editors note: This story was originally published May 31, 2001.
They found Virginia Lowery lying in the garage of her Excelsior home, an electrical cord around her throat, an ice pick jammed through her skull — in one ear and out the other. For the next 11 years San Francisco homicide detectives made no progress on the case. Promising leads turned into dead ends. Theories collapsed. The cops assigned to the case retired. It looked like Lowery's 1987 slaying would never be solved.Read more »
Here are the few undisputed facts in the slaying of Roderick "Cooly" Shannon: in the quiet early-morning hours of Aug. 19, 1989, Shannon piloted his mother's green sedan past the modest, boxy houses of their Visitacion Valley neighborhood. As Shannon coasted along, a posse of young men piled into four cars and gave chase, careening after him through the darkened streets. At the intersection of Delta Street and Visitacion Avenue, the hunted 18-year-old plowed up on the sidewalk, crashed into a chain-link fence, and fled on foot. Read more »
Bruce Seward imploded while riding an AC Transit bus.
It was 4 a.m. on May 28, 2001, and Seward was rolling through the darkness on the 82 line, headed south from Oakland toward Hayward. Hands clapped over his ears, Seward, a 42-year-old car salesman, rocked back and forth, vacilutf8g between sobbing and shouting. He was barefoot, according to witnesses.
Bus driver Anthony Ramsey heard Seward ranting, "They trying to kill me, they trying to kill me."
Since a trio of shotgun blasts killed Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey on Aug. 2, police and prosecutors have charged only one man with the crime: 20-year-old Devaunghndre Broussard, a handyman at Your Black Muslim Bakery, who is expected to be arraigned this morning. Read more »
Editor’s Note: The Chauncey Bailey Project, a collaboration of local media outlets including the Guardian, is investigating the circumstances surrounding the Aug. 2 murder of Bailey, an Oakland journalist who was reporting on the financial dealings of the Bey family’s Your Black Muslim Bakery at the time he was killed. Read more »
Perhaps the best book written about a wrongly convicted man is Jack Olsen's Last Man Standing, a chronicle of the 27 years Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt spent caged in a California prison thanks to crooked FBI agents and Los Angeles cops. The narrative starts with Pratt's childhood in Louisiana, tracks his involvement in the Black Panther party and the decades he spent dwelling in the American gulag, and concludes with his triumphant release from prison thanks to the tireless lawyering of Stuart Hanlon and the late Johnnie Cochran. Read more »