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Mexican Narcotic, Marihuana Inciting With Lust to Slay, Blamed for Death Cruise

Stolen McGinnis Car Found in City Not Auto Seen at San Rafael, Assert the Police

SF Examiner, 1926

Police cars, filled with picked men, patrolled the streets of San Francisco last night, waiting for a sudden outburst of firing which Would herald the return of the drug crazed bandits who have shot their way through the thoroughfares on alternate nights since midnight of Saturday. Police officials, patrolmen and detectives alike were convinced that the drug-crazed bandits---after a day of rest---would return to their murderous work last night or else disappear.


Marihuana - a crazing Mexican narcotic - was definitely established yesterday as the inhibiting cause of the blood lust under the spell of which the two young bandits worked. Their source of supply---if not their headquarters---has been traced by the police to a resort in Marrison street, long under suspicion.


Men answering the description of he killers have been seen frequenting this place within the past few days. The taxicab of Walter Swanson, slain driver, in which the bandits started their series of murders on Monday night, was seen in front of this place a few minutes before he was killed and robbed of his cab and uniform. Two men answering the description of the bandits have recently occupied a furnished room in this neighborhood, but have now disappeared. Veteran highwayman, desperate criminals and strangers in San (Continued on Page 11, Column 5)

Francisco, according to the police theory, the two bandits are believed to have been introduced to the Mexican drug by underworld associates and to have gone berserk under Its influence. Although quite commonly used by a certain class of Mexicans, marihuana is said to have the effect of exciting a blood craving in the case of new addicts. It was in front of this sinister resort that the taxicab of Walter Swanson was recognized by a friend at 5:40 o'clock on Monday evening. There was a man in the rear seat of the cab,, according to this witness, and the blinds were pulled down so as to conceal his features.


This hidden figure is the cab was joined after a moment by another man who emerged from the resort and entered the cab, with a brief word of instruction to Swanson, who drove away. Within twenty minutes after that, Swanson had been murdered on the Sixteenth street viaduct and the murder cruised had begun. This much of the beginning of the tragic night has been reconstructed by Lieutenant George McLaughlin of-the robbery detail. The Yellow-Checker Taxicab Company has been able to throw little light upon Swanson's movements just before he was killed. His last recorded trip was to 7 Twenty-seventh street, where he received $1.70 for taking two persons. There was a later call on which he was sent to 2665 Franklin street, the address of an elderly couple, who deny that they called a cab or that Swanson ever arrived there. The police have a theory that one of the bandits gave this address over the telephone and flagged the cab outside the house to drive to the marihunana rendezvous. The meter shows a trip calling for a fare of $3.85, which is unaccounted for.


Police yesterday found in taxicab a pawn ticket and a bank book, which were at first believed to have been left there by the bandits and perhaps have hive been the reason for the return of the bandits to the spot where they bad murdered Swanson. The paawn ticket was found later to be for Swanson's watch, which he had pawned for $5 with the Remedial Loan Association on March 29. The bankbook was found to be the record of a closed account in the name of Joseph Noiel, a negro seventy years of age, formerly living at 489 Buena Vista avenue, who is said to have spent much money riding about in taxicabs. Neither of these documents is believed by the police to have any bearing upon the bandits or upon their night of murder and robbery.


Another clue to the movements of the bandits is believed to have been exploded yesterday, when Corporal Charles Mangeto and Patrolman J. Kenny discovered the stolen sedan car of F.S. McGinnis, passenger traffic manager of the southern Pacific Railway at Fifteenth and Utah streets. This car, in which the bandits were thought to have fled after they had wrecked Swanson's cab, was reported on Tuesday as passing through Petaluma at a high rate of speed. Captain, of Detective's Duncan Matheson stated yesterday that it. would have been impossible for this car to re-enter the city from Sonoma county without observation by police officers it the ferries. He was of the opinion that a mistake had been made in its identification at Petaluma. The speedometer on the McGinnis car shows that it had been drien about 200 miles after it was reported stolen, Oakland Levy, negro chauffeur for the railway official, has been ordered to report at police headquarters for questioning.


The general round-up of suspicious characters ordered by Chief of Police Daniel J. O'Brien on Tuesday has bailed to produce the bandits or any one resembling them. Police Judge Sylvain Lazarus yesterday ordered the discharge of 165 men brought in by the police as suspects. Among these were Thomas Carlisie and Clytas Smith, two Livermore youths arrested there and sent to San Francisco for investigation. Police officials admitted yesterday that they were without clues to follow in tracing the bandits and would be compelled to wail for a new outbreak in the hope of apprehending them red-handed. To this end, armed officers in swift cars were held though the night at headquarters and all police stations and also stationed at strategic points throughout the city. These were ready to dash at any moment to any quarters where suspicious men were seen or holdups committed. Every indication, according to the police, points to the bandits being new arrivals in the city. Habitues of the underworld, ordinarily familiar with such characters, so describe, them, and no one has been found who is able to give any hint as to their identity. San Francisco Examiner Oct 14, 1926 Page 1

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