Bob Calhoun's The Murders That Made Us reveals that even the most violent aspects of San Francisco's history are as colorful and fascinating as the city itself. This is a book both for true crime buffs and any readers who enjoy top-notch storytelling. —Jeff Guinn, New York Times bestselling author of Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson and The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple
Whether culling obscure crimes from neighborhood police blotters or rehashing tragedies that made international news, Calhoun finds fresh angles to explore, making this essential reading for newcomers and lifers alike. The moral of this story? Wear flowers in your hair if you must—but carry mace.
—Alia Volz, Author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco
Enjoy this book in short sips—there is much to savor here for both true crime fans and lovers of San Francisco. Hand this title to those who appreciated David Talbot’s Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love.—Library Journal
...What makes this book essential are cases that have rarely, if ever, found their way into books. The chapter on the Penny Bjorkland murder (for which Mr. Calhoun's mother was briefly suspected!!!) alone is worth the price. Toss in chapters on the never-captured Doodler, the River's Edge murder, the last TWO California lynchings, and shorter pieces on local hucksters, mobsters, suicide spots, and that enigmatic severed penis found on the train tracks in West Oakland and you have a book no true crime aficionado can live without.—John Marr, Murder Can Be Fun
Calhoun's wry, slightly perverse wit applied to SF's truly spectacular history of homicides has produced an extremely diverting book.—Alvin Orloff, author of Disasterama! Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977-1997
There are as many insightful and provocative moments in (The Murders That Made Us) as there are humorous and sarcastic ones. This is a balance not easily or often struck within the genre of true crime, and it makes Calhoun’s book a stand-out in the genre.—Jesyka Traynor, True Crime Index, May 14, 2021