Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Trailside Killer of San Francisco

One More

Again, months passed, and then another young woman entered the park alone to go jogging.  People were certainly afraid about being in the wilderness areas, but a few wanted to demonstrate that the parklands were largely safe.  They would soon learn differently. 

Anne Alderson
Anne Alderson

Anne Alderson, 26 and a former Peace Corps volunteer, was seen by several people on October 15, at the end of a long Columbus Day weekend, and the park's caretaker recalled seeing her sitting alone in the 5,000-seat amphitheater to watch the sunset. He considered warning her about the potential danger of being alone at dusk but decided not to disturb her.  Graysmith says that earlier that day this same witness had seen a lone male in the area as well, around age 50, who was just standing around.  Two other people, says John Douglas, recalled seeing Anne near the area where Edda Kane had been killed over a year before.  Then she apparently came under attack, an easy mark, by all accounts.

She, too, had also been shot with a single bullet from a .38 pistol, which had gone through the right side of her head, but in this incident, there was a significant difference: Anne had been raped and then allowed to get dressed again. Her right earring was missing and she'd been propped, face up, against a rock.  What linked this murder clearly to Edda Kane's was her position.  It appeared from her twisted arrangement that she might have been forced to kneel as well before being killed.  What police did not yet know is that there were two other victims that weekend, but only Anne had been quickly found.

Not far away, a double homicide around the same time provided a tentative lead on a suspect, because the victims had both been shot by an apparently demented individual.


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