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Bone unearthed from 21st Street home is purportedly a human skull

Bone unearthed from 21st Street home is purportedly a human skull
The scene on May 23. Photo by Ricky Rodas.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office has ruled that a bone unearthed from a yard at 3025 21st St. on May 23 is human in origin, confirmed the San Francisco Police Department.

The case is now being handled as a “suspicious death,” said Officer Adam Lobsinger, a police department spokesman.

Robin Whiteside, who owns the property where the remains were discovered, told Mission Local last week that police instructed her not to talk about the bone until investigators figured out what, exactly, was found. She said the remains were discovered during gardening work.

This home, per city records, was built in 1875.

Mission Local is told that the bone unearthed from the yard is a single skull, and was located roughly 18 inches deep near the roots of a recently felled eucalyptus tree that once stood 60 or 70 feet tall. The skull was purportedly free of skin, hair, or fabric, and was aged in appearance.

This is a breaking story. We will update this post when more information becomes available. 

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  1. phays

    Any updates on this story?

    • RW

      None. Not a clue. Imagine digging a hole while gardening, and finding a large root ball, then holding it up and having it look back at you. Yikes. In doing historical research on the house, I learned that the original builder had an oddball son named George who was obsessed with the supernatural and became a morphine addict. After holding various odd jobs, he enrolled in a Victorian medical school that used lots of cadavers. The upped and died at the age of 26, leaving a mysterious illegitimate son, for whom there I no record. So I’ve assumed it was George, circa 1886. Oh, the fun research I’ve done since finding that skull! The article doesn’t mention that there was no other skeletal parts there, just the skull. My wife and I and our kids (especially my 12 year old artistic son, who became very popular at school for weeks telling lies about it to his buddies and drawing sketches if it) have turned the whole experience into a running gag. My daughter gave me skull earrings last Christmas. On a serious note, still no word from forensics, the police, or anybody. No clue. I still comb over old records of former tenants and scan newspapers to find clues. The skull was in such perfect condition, with good teeth. But old. Not sure I’ll ever get over that skull…. RW, long time Mission owner/landlady of that lovely place for almost 30 years.


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