Zebra Killings

Unfinished History

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San Francisco native Darrell Rogers (b. 1945) describes how the mysterious Zebra killings led to repressive policies by the San Francisco police that he and his colleagues resisted with civil disobedience

Video: Shaping San Francisco

Anthony Harris contacted San Francisco police in April, 1974, to claim a reward they offered. Fifteen people had been killed and nearly a dozen wounded in the preceding seven months. Harris said he could lead them to the killers, who called themselves the Death Angels. He said he'd been present for many of the attacks but hadn't personally assaulted any of the victims. He met with homicide investigators and provided gruesome information—information that hadn't been released by the cops. Just before Christmas, a man had been abducted off the streets. He was bound and gagged, then driven to a warehouse. There, the perpetrators tortured him, eventually beheading him and dumping his body in San Francisco Bay. The police had recovered his body (sans hands, feet, and head) on Ocean Beach on December 24. Unfortunately, that person remained a John Doe; he'd been homeless.

Harris provided information specific to each of the other murders and attacks. The details he provided enabled police to swear out arrest warrants against the suspects. They were his co-workers at a moving and storage company. The police granted Harris immunity from prosecution and took the case to trial in 1975. Three suspects went to trial and a fourth pleaded guilty to first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. Over 100 witnesses testified . Those who went to trial were convicted. All four were sentenced to life in prison. Two have since died behind bars. Harris, his girlfriend, and the girlfriend's child were accepted into the witness protection program.

—S.J. Peek


Zebra Murders, Wikipedia

Serial Killer, Wikipedia

Robert Ressler, Wikipedia

Origin of the Term “Serial Killer”, Psychology Today, June 9, 2014

Who Coined “Serial Killer”?, Psychology Today, October 11, 2014

Robert Ressler: Psychological Profiling Of Serial Killers, Crime Traveller, March, 2016

‘Serial killer’ NOT coined by FBI in 1970s, Fake History Hunter, 09/15/2019