Allen and San Francisco Message Board: Arthur Leigh Allen: Allen and San Francisco

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) ( - on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 08:42 am:

A lot is known about Allen's residence and/or relationships with Vallejo, Napa, Sonoma and even Riverside, but what about Allen in San Francisco? Did Allen ever spend much time in SF? Did he know San Francisco as well as he knew the byways of the outer Bay Area?

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 09:28 am:

There was an "Arthur Allen, student" who lived in San Francisco at 146 McAllister, apartment 69 in 1966-67, and 320 22nd Avenue in 1971. An "Arthur Allen" lived at 860 Geneva Avenue, apartment 20 in 1968-69, but whether this was the same person is open to question. It's interesting to note that the 22nd avenue address was a business known as the "Morticians Supply Sales Agency." It's unknown if either of these persons was Allen the Z suspect; if so, then he may have used the apartment part time.

I also heard that Graysmith claimed to have found Allen living at an address on Lake Street in 1969, supposedly a few blocks from Washington and Cherry, but I have not been able to verify that; in any case, even if there was someone there by that name, it doesn't mean it was the same guy we're interested in. In 1966-67, there were five Arthur Allens living in San Francisco (some had middle initials listed, which were different, however), so it's not an uncommon name. I discovered the same thing with Larry Kane. Everyone and their grandma appears to have had that name also.

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) ( - on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 11:00 am:

Now the question of whether or not our Arthur Allen ever attended SF City College or SF STATE or maybe made the commute up to Sonoma State from SF for a time while he was a student there. This is a long but not impossible drive (about 90 mins) and the traffice going North was almost nothing back then when compared with today. I wonder what Graysmith's sources were on Allen's SF residence. I think that by this point in time you could only hope for an old rental agreement or credibly eyewitnesses (neighbors and whatnot).

What kind of car was Allen driving at the time? Did he own a car? Did he ever get any SF parking tickets (an unavoidable peril of living here)?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 01:34 pm:

Allen wrote on his 1966 Valley Springs job application "I can't stand smog", so I doubt he ever spent time in San Francisco unless he had to.

However, it would be very hard to find someone from Vallejo, Napa, Benecia, etc. who hasn't ventured into SF at some point.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 02:19 pm:

"Leigh Allen" (aka Arthur Leigh Allen) was listed as living at the Sunset Trailer Court, 2963 Santa Rosa Avenue, space A-7, from 1972-74, and so probably moved there in late 1971 in time for the fall semester. Since he was a student at Sonoma State, it makes sense that he would commute from Santa Rosa, maybe a 15-20 minute drive, rather than from San Francisco.

The "Arthur Allen, student" who lived in the city may or may not have been the one we're after, but there is no way to tell at this point. Assuming he was, I would imagine he stayed in Santa Rosa for school during the week, and commuted to his apartment in SF for the weekend. However, that is pure speculation.

Basically, I consider the fact that there were five Art Allens in SF in the late 60's as interesting FYI, nothing more, since we can't prove anything one way or the other.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 02:32 pm:

Leigh never went by "Art" or "Arthur", so I doubt any of them were The Guy.

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) ( - on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 05:08 pm:

I was just wondering because one of the things that keeps Allen at the top of the suspect list is his knowledge of Vallejo and Lake Berryessa. I was just wonderring if he had the same kind of familiarity with SF. Presidio Heights (the only Z murder in SF) isn't exactly the best known, most touristy part of SF for non residents. Of course ALA would have had to have visited SF on occasion as all Bay Area residents do come through here at some point. Still though, was Allen a frequent visitor to SF or did he just go to, let's say Fisherman's Wharf or Playland at the Beach once a year or so.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 - 04:52 pm:

Allen would have had to have gone to S.F.(better Sylvie?)and probably many times.I lived in the Bay Area as a teenager and I went there several times,but I just couldn't stand the smog(just kidding-with me it was the one way streets and confused layout)!It really isn't an issue-he HAD to have ventured(as did Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau)there and on more than one occasion.

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) ( - on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 - 07:20 pm:

No you are right, I was just wonderring if he had as deep a conncection to SF as he did to other Zodiac crime scenes. Everyone in the Bay Area is a San Franciscan at heart, or at least almost everyone. When I lived in Redwood City, I spent so much time up here that I ended up moving up here to save money on gas. All of the money that I saved on gas now goes to pay off parking tickets.