Frank Falzon investigated more than 300 murder cases during his 22-year career as a San Francisco homicide inspector using the radio call sign 5-Henry-7. The number 5 designated the Inspectors Bureau, Henry stood in for Homicide, and Falzon was inspector number 7. Working with San Francisco Chronicle reporter Duffy Jennings, Falzon’s new memoir highlights his high-profile cases and the backstory of how his youth, his father’s death at a young age, and his early years as a patrolman shaped his career.
The Summer of Love and the heyday of the Haight-Ashbury flower power scene in the late 1960s mutated over the next two decades into a city under siege by serial killers, radical underground extremists, antiestablishment groups, gangs, and drug wars. Falzon investigated the Zebra murders of random white victims by extremist Black Muslims, Chol Soo Lee and the Chinatown gang murder, and the execution-style killing of prison reformer Popeye Jackson.
Falzon was the lead inspector in the November 1978 assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in City Hall by former city supervisor and former cop Dan White, whom Falzon had known since they were children. And in 1985 Falzon and his partner were the first to identify Richard Ramirez as the Night Stalker serial killer, resulting in his capture within 48 hours. Ramirez had murdered, raped, tortured, and terrorized dozens of people in Southern California and San Francisco for months.
Join Inspector Falzon and Duffy Jennings to discover the real detective work that went on behind the scenes back then ― and which has been reflected in so many articles, books and movies since then.
This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.
SFPD Homicide Inspector; Co-Author, San Francisco Homicide Inspector 5-HENRY-7
Journalist, San Francisco Chronicle; Co-Author, San Francisco Homicide Inspector 5-HENRY-7
Author, Conversations With Socrates