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The Zebra Murders

A Season of Killing, Racial Madness, and Civil Rights
Narrated by: G. Valmont Thomas
Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins

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Publisher's Summary

This true-crime police procedural is the riveting story of the racially-motivated serial killings that terrorized San Francisco from 1973 to 1974 and how they were solved. Code named the Zebra Murders, the case involved a series of random violent attacks by African-American men against whites, resulting in fifteen deaths.

Author Prentice Earl Sanders, the SFPD's first African-American police chief and one of the lead detectives on the case, takes us back through his investigation as he tried to determine whether the murders were to be considered mere serial killings or acts of political terror. At the same time, he describes the racial discrimination within the police force and how that influenced his investigation. The Zebra Murders is a fascinating look at an era of social and political turbulence and how justice was sought amidst its most violent eruptions.

©2006 Prentice Earl Sanders and Bennett Cohen (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

This riveting true-crime police procedural, told by San Francisco's first black police chief, is the story of the racially-motivated serial killings - black on white - that terrorized the city from 1973-4 and how they were solved.
"A riveting read....The Zebra Murders is notable for its steady, measured prose, and its unblinking reporting of the people, cultures, and events of that turbulent time." (Lisa's List, WHRO radio)
"[A] look at a largely forgotten reign of terror in San Francisco....a useful introduction to the case." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • sabrina gore
  • 2020-07-17


I loved it. I worked a double at work and listened to it all the way through. I never knew about this.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-06-09

Pertinent listen for the times

This time period in San Francisco history is little understood and mostly forgotten. Chief Earl Sanders and Bennet Cohen do a fantastic job of providing much needed context to the backdrop of the killings, elucidating the role that race played in both motivating the killings, as well as hampering their solving. Its a must listen for anyone in 2020, as the parallels of then with now will be obvious.

Clear sound quality and tremendous reading by G Valmont Thomas as well