If You’re Going to San Francisco

Sgt. Jim Stogsdill and the San Francisco detectives walked the streets of Fisherman’s Wharf. They talked to anyone who looked like a fisherman. They talked to the people who worked in the restaurant where the witness who spotted Dean Moon had dined.

San Francisco
Fisherman’s Wharf, 1960’s (courtesy OpenSFHistory.org)

After a day or so, they identified one witness who had seen a man resembling the photo of Dean Moon. This witness had seen him, in fact, at about the same time as the Bellingham witness had seen him. Had seen him outside the same restaurant.

There were differences, though. The Bellingham witness described the young man as “clean, with a leather coat.” The new witness described the same man as “a bum.” He said he was “dirty.” And he provided Stogsdill with another lead. He said he thought the young man was looking for work with the Monterey fishermen, 100 miles to the south.

San Francisco
Monterey Wharf (courtesy Monterey Conference Center)

Sergeant Stogsdill dutifully made the trek to the Monterey peninsula. He made his way to the Monterey Fisherman’s Association. Interrupted their meeting to ask if anyone had seen someone resembling the photographs of Dean Moon he carried with him. But their answers were all the same. “We haven’t seen this guy,” they told him. “He doesn’t look familiar to me,” they said. As with most fishing communities, the Monterey fishermen were close-knit. They’d recognize someone if they’d seen them. That left the outside chance that this guy, whoever he was, hadn’t made much of an impression.

Stogsdill went home empty handed. He was less and less certain that the Bellingham witness had actually seen Dean Moon. He needed to talk to the witness again. But to complicate matters further, Stogsdill was transferred to the narcotics detail almost as soon as he returned from San Francisco. For the time being at least, the Investor case was in limbo.

Excerpts from the unpublished original manuscript, “Sailor Take Warning,” by Leland E. Hale. That manuscript, started in 1992 and based on court records from the Alaska State Archive, served as the basis for “What Happened in Craig.”

Copyright Leland E. Hale (2019). All rights reserved.


Order “What Happened In Craig,” HERE and HERE. True crime from Epicenter Press about Alaska’s Worst Unsolved Mass Murder.

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