Masters of escape are the rock stars of criminals; the smartest, most creative and daring convicts. You may have to design and build a 100-yard tunnel out of spare wood and run wires and lights from a stolen power source. You may have to swim through a cesspool, across a raging river, or make a gun out of scrap metal. On the run, alone, outnumbered, masters of escape arouse our sympathy and admiration, despite their violent crimes. I will discuss six desperate California criminals who thrilled the populace with their daring but ultimately paid the price.
Paul Drexler has been a San Franciscan crime writer/historian for over 30 years and his column, "Notorious Crooks" appeared regularly in the Sunday San Francisco Examiner. He designed and co-produced "SFPD Homicide" the award-winning true-crime interactive video game, is the Director of Crooks Tours of San Francisco and has been featured on television documentaries as an authority on topics such as San Francisco murderesses, the Barbary Coast and the Zodiac Killer. Paul has lectured at many local historical and civic associations such as San Francisco State University, The California Historical Society, and The California Association of Criminalists (CAC).
In 2017 Paul received the Oscar Lewis Award from the San Francisco History Association for his writing on San Francisco history. His book, San Francisco Notorious: True Tales of Crime, Passion, and Murder, will be released in 2019 by R.J. Parker Publishing Company.