Kay had a huge landscap of Lake Merritt in her dining room that should have been in a museum. Rosemary told her children the Coakley family owned allot of property around this lake.
J. Frank Coakley
James Francis Coakley was born and raised in Oakland, California, and educated at St. Mary’s College, Stanford University, and Boalt Hall law school of the University of California at Berkeley. In later years he taught law at both Boalt Hall and St. Mary’s.
Frank joined the Alameda County prosecutor’s staff on February 21, 1923, as a deputy district attorney, following his graduation from Boalt Hall. He served under three predecessors: Ezra Decoto, Earl Warren and Ralph Hoyt. Under Warren, Frank served as assistant head of the Criminal Division. Later, under Hoyt, he served as chief assistant.
Having served in the U.S. Navy during World War I, participating in the expedition to Vladivostok, Frank was recalled to active duty during World War II as a Commander in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General service, serving as chief prosecutor for court martial cases in the 12th Naval District. Following the war, Frank briefly entered private practice with his brother, Thomas, who later became a Superior Court judge in Mariposa County. That interlude was short-lived, as Ralph Hoyt soon decided to move on to the bench himself. Frank was called to take over for Hoyt immediately. Although Frank had discovered private practice to be more lucrative, he knew his heart was with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, and that was where he belonged.
During his tenure as district attorney, he maintained his record as a great trial lawyer, conducted the civil business of the county with efficiency and imagination, contributed significantly to the legal growth of the state of California as chairman of the Law and Legislative Committees of both the District Attorneys Association and the Peace Officers Association, and built his office into one recognized publicly by the American Bar Association as the nation’s finest.
Active in civic as well as public life, Frank served as chairman of the St. Mary’s College Board of Regents and was an active member of the local council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was awarded the International Civic Award of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1958 and in 1965 was honored as “Outstanding Prosecutor in the United States” by the National District Attorneys Association, a group he was instrumental in founding in 1950, and which he served as its first president. Following his retirement, the NDAA presented him with its “Furtherance of Justice Award”. In giving him that award, the NDAA said, “To this man the words, `Furtherance of Justice’ became the foundation on which he built his life.” In the years that followed, he served as then-Governor Ronald Reagan’s appointee to the California Commission on Interstate Cooperation, and the Commission on Uniform State Laws, and as the director of curriculum and president of the Board of Regents of the National College of District Attorneys, which he also helped found.
In 1952, on his way to the Republican National Convention as a candidate for President of the United States, then-Governor Earl Warren detoured to the annual convention of the California District Attorneys Association at Santa Cruz. In addressing this convention, Governor Warren said:
Frank came to the District Attorney’s Office in Alameda County in 1923. I was a deputy myself at that time in the office and for fifteen years he and I had a deep association that was most pleasant to me throughout. I want to say to you that I believe in the last quarter of a century there is no man in this state who has contributed more to good law enforcement than has Frank Coakley.
Upon his retirement in 1969, the Oakland Tribune said:
Coakley, who has served longer in his post than any other man–an unprecedented six terms–is regarded nation-wide as the dean of American district attorneys.
Alameda County Supervisor Emanuel Razeto summed up the sentiments of his fellow supervisors:
The highest compliment that can be paid to you, Frank, is that you kept this county clean.
According to Frank Coakley’s successor, Lowell Jensen (who later became head of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney General’s Office and then Deputy U.S. Attorney General under another Coakley-trained prosecutor, Edwin Meese III:
The District Attorney’s Office is really the pivotal office in the whole criminal justice process. . . . The district attorney is a discretionary executive officer who makes the decision as to what offenses are prosecuted and how they are disposed of. The standard of law enforcement in the county is to a great extent dependent upon what the district attorney does. Under Frank Coakley . . . there was a standard of law enforcement which was as tough as you could get. As far as Coakley was concerned, you don’t have consumer fraud rings, you don’t have organized crime and you don’t have corruption in governmental functions. He viewed the role of district attorney as one that was absolutely incorruptible and fearless.
Frank Coakley embodied integrity, dedication, and determination in public service. He stood personally for the highest degree of respect for law and the pursuit of justice. Office policy was that no one should be charged in a case unless the evidence supported a guilty verdict. If, during a trial, Frank came to believe the defendant innocent, he would seek his vindication just as earnestly as he would have sought his conviction had he believed him guilty. The objective was not a conviction, but rather justice. Throughout his life, J. Frank Coakley stood as a tough and aggressive advocate for justice. . . For the People.
Jan. 13, 1907
Apr. 23, 1996
Alameda (Alameda County)
Kathleen Coakley – wife of James; mother of Thomas and Clare Coakley-Klinge. Kathleen was preceded in death by her mother, Minnie Wrinkle.
I was born in Oakland, California, just a few blocks from here at Seventeenth and Grove.
Although my name is James Francis, it was abbreviated to Frank Coakley because of the fact that my father’s name was James and my mother, I guess, rather than be calling two James around the house, decided to call me Francis. She had a brother whose name was Thomas Francis.
When I got to grammar school, St. Francis de Sales Grammar School, Hobart and Grove, Twenty-first and Grove, Oakland, I just simply had the name Francis Coakley. This is how I was known, on my report cards and so on. That just kind of stuck with me, and after I went to high school out at St. Mary’s High School on Broadway in Oakland, I was Francis Coakley. I continued that way through St. Mary’s College. It was abbreviated to Frank. People, instead of calling me Francis, called me Frank. I guess I’m better known as Frank Coakley, or J. Frank Coakley.
Your father, you said, had the same name as you?
Yes. My father’s name was James Coakley. He was born in Ireland, County Cork near Bantry Bay, in a small
― 2 ―
village called Skibreen, a short distance from Bantry Bay, in the southwest corner of Ireland.
How did he come to the United States?
He came to the United States by ship. In those days people from Europe, particularly from Ireland, coming to the United States — those who were unable to pay, and most of the young folks from Ireland were unable to pay — would sign an agreement withe steamship companies, a promissory note which obligated them to pay back to the company the cost of their transportation as soon as they could after getting a job in the United States.
My father was born in 1868. Of course Ireland was very poor at that time, and had been very poor for centuries. The Irish, particularly the Irish in the southern part of Ireland, that is to say, south of what is now North Ireland, were ground down and persecuted and discriminated against by the British in a very, very flagrant manner. They were murdered and massacred just for going to church. It’s one of the blackest and most sordid things in the history of civilization, particularly of the British Empire.
So anyway, the average young Irish boy was poor. My father had two brothers and two sisters. He had an uncle who had come to this country earlier, and who, by the way, I’m infomred, and I think reliably informed, crossed the United States to California on horseback in the very early days. The uncle settled around here, around Oakland. He liked the climate and so forth, and he wrote back, and my father’s oldest sister, who was a schoolteacher in Ireland, came out here. Then my father came out. He was seventeen years old. Imagine leaving Ireland and coming to California in 1883 at seventeen. He had no idea what he was getting into.
I didn’t have an automobile. I lived on the other side of Lake Merritt, and I would take a streetcar in the morning. I would have to take a streetcar about 6:30 or a quarter to seven, come down, get off on Broadway, and take a streetcar on Broadway then out College to the University, which would take about an hour.
I had 8:00 classes, from 8:00 to about eleven. Occasionally I might have a class from 11:00 to 12:00. Then I’d study from 11:00 until 3:00. At noontime I’d run down to Barney’s Beanery, which was about where Sproul Hall is now, and get a bowl of soup or a dish of beans, and then dash back and start studying again. I couldn’t fool around.
At 3:00 I’d take a streetcar. The streetcar would go down to Oakland and I’d transfer over to Eighth Street, get off at Eight and Adeline and walk from Eighth Street down to the estuary to the shipyards, punch a time clock and go to work. Work from four in the afternoon on til midnight, eight hours, an eight hour shift. Then at midnight I’d walk up to Eighth and Adeline, get another streetcar, come up to town,
― 22 ―
transfer to another streetcar, and go home. I worked six days a week. On Saturdays our shift started at noon time. I worked from noon to 8:00 on Saturdays.
I found I was riding streetcars three hours a day, and I was working in Moore’s Shipyard eight hours a day. That’s eleven hours. Six times eleven is sixty-six hours a week. And going through law school.
I don’t know when you got any sleep.
Well, I didn’t get too much sleep. I did a lot of concentrated studying. Then I did another thing, which I’m rather proud of. I crammed over the holidays of 1921 — I was in my third year at Boalt — December 1921, over those holidays. I crammed, and I took the California bar exam the second of January, the day after New Years. It was a three day examination. In due course I got word that I had passed it. I was still going to Boalt.
When my father came to this country — in those days and for a long time afterwards, throughout the United States, and particularly in this county, there was a lot of bigotry against Catholics, against Irish. There was a lot of discrimination against Catholics,
― 32 ―
against Irish. There was a lot of discrimination against Catholics, against particularly Irish Catholics. Factories used to have signs up, “Let no Irish apply.” “Let no Irish apply.” This was just the Protestant tradition. There was a big lot of it in this county, quite an undercurrent. I don’t know that it’s all dissipated even yet, but it’s certainly not anything like it used to be. I think maybe, as far as bigotry is concerned, these people may have transferred their affections to certain other ethnic groups.
Yes. It sort of moves down the line.
It’s sort of phased out as far as the Irish, and as far as the Catholics are concerned.
But as I said one time, I was making a talk two years ago, while I was still district attorney, to a group of young Negro professional men, to an organization known as the “Men of Tomorrow.” They used to meet once a month down on Jack London Square. I was invited to talk to them one month. I was telling them, I said, “Well, there’s always been a certain amount of discrimination and bigotry in this country, and I guess maybe in other countries too, but I know it was here because I witnessed it. I was on the receiving end of it on occasions.” I said, “I can sympathize. I have an understanding of these things. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now.” It’s an unhealthy thing, and unfortunately, every once in a while it comes out. This polarization that you see in the country, I think, is the same sort of thing, you know. It’s too bad.
Well, to get back now to after Warren became district attorney. He increased the personnel. It didn’t take very long to discover that Becker was taking money from gamblers. The rumors were pretty strong. There was a still operation down in south county.
The board of supervisors gave Warren investigator help, undercover help, and he was beginning to find out what was going on. The office prosecuted the Santuccis, an Italian family who were running a pig ranch, and on the pig ranch they had a still. I suppose Oscar Jahnsen told you about that, the Santucci case. The pig ranch caught on fire while the raid was going on.
I didn’t hear about that.
― 33 ―
Oh yes. Earl Warren’s men, the investigators were out there making the raid on the pig ranch, and the still blew up. It started a fire and a lot of the bigs were burned. It’s quite a story.
Well, Warren was a very aggressive district attorney, what you could call a crusading district attorney. He was pretty well entrenched, he was very strongly entrenched politically, because he had the Knowland people behind him and he had the strong support of the legal profession, judges, and the better elements of the county. He fought this corruption in the sheriff’s office. He had his men raiding bootlegging places, places where they were selling liquor. He also raided the Chinese lotterires out in Emeryville, and the houses of prostitution in Emeryville.
The Sheriff Becker Case
Were you involved in these cases?
I prosecuted some of these cases. The sheriff’s office, I prosecuted. First, the sheriff’s office case was presented to the grand jury in 1930. The first time around the grand jury refused to indict Becker, the sheriff. They indicted the under sheriff, a man named Shurtleff, and two of his deputies, Davis and Collier. So, I went in and prosecuted the under sheriff, Shurtleff, and Collier, and Davis. They were convicted.
No connection as far as I know. Louise Browne Sedgwick Merritt who d. in Santa Rosa was only there at end of life because her daughter had settled there. She had married, and divorced, Frederick Augustus Merritt of Oakland – he was of the same pioneer family there for whom Lake Merritt and Merritt College are named. While he’s easy to find on Ancestry, he’s not my relative (she is) and I have done nothing on his forebears or collateral relations…..He was born in Maine.
A Sedgwick Genealogy: Descendants of Deacon Benjamin Sedgwick
purple heart, Philippine Liberation ribbon, two battle stars, one arrowhead, and an Asiatic Pacific ribbon with two battle stars.
Louise Browne Sedgwick, 3d child of John Sedgwick (B21,12) and Malvina (Davis) Sedgwick, was born December 25, 1871, at Stockton, Cal., and married April 15, 1891, at Oakland, Cal., Frederick Augustus Merritt, born January 11, 1855, at Bath, Me., son of Hannah Ann and Captain Isaac Merritt. He was connected with western railroads and died May 19, 1925, at Berkeley, California. She lives at 838 Hyde Street, San Francisco. Children, all born at Oakland (Merritt):
1. Marguerite, b. August 3, 1983. (B21,123,1)
2. Mary Burd, b. August 20, 1896. (B21,123,2)
3. John Sedgwick, b. January 8, 1900; d. July 11, 1903, at San Francisco.
Marguerite Merritt, 1st child of Louise B. (Sedgwick) Merritt (B21,123) and Frederick Augustus Merritt, was born August 3, 1893, at Oakland, Cal., and graduated, B.A., at the University of California at Oakland in 1917. She majored in bacteriology. She married April 8, 1936, at Reno, Nevada, Clarence Conrad Austin, son of Dr. Malcolm Osgood Austin and Lillian Hotaling Austin. He is business manager of the Southern Pacific Hospital. In the first World War he was Sergeant in a motor transport unit. They reside at 45 Loyola Terrace, San Francisco. Child (Austin):
1. David Hampton, b. February 18, 1938, at San Francisco. (B21,123,11)
Mary Burd Merritt, 2d child of Louise B. (Sedgwick) Merritt (B21,123) and Frederick A. Merritt, was born August 20, 1896, at Oakland, Cal., and graduated at Lux School of Domestic Science at San Francisco. She married George Herbert Dunlap of Berkeley, Cal., son of Dr. John Barr Dunlap and Mary (Stoaks) Dunlap. George is a builder and contractor. They live at 1400 Oakland Avenue, Piedmont, Cal. Children, both born at San Francisco (Dunlap):
1. George Herbert, Jr., b. April 17, 1919. (B21,123,21)
2. John Merritt, b. August 9, 1920. (B21,123,22)
– I see you mentioned a Merritt associated with Santa Rosa. As I have a Merritt side who settled in Petaluma, I just thought I’d check to see if there’s a connection. John Merritt came here with his father Charles Merritt, and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Wilfley, and his mother, Jemima Lehman, by wagon in the 1850s. Charles and wife settled in Analy Township (now called Sebastopol) and John and his wife settled in Petaluma in a house that’s still there at the corner of Stony Point Road and Pepper Road. John and Sarah had John Thomas Merritt (my great great grandfather, whom my mother knew), Edwin B Merritt & Ida Jane Merritt, born in 1856, 1862, and 1869 approximately. The original John (my great great great grandfather) had at least one sibling who came also. John T Merritt settled in Petaluma, traded livestock to San Francisco (by boat down the Petaluma River) and lived until the late 1930s. His children were George Merritt, Lyle Merritt (whom I remember – principal of Petaluma Intermediate School, I believe), Ruby Merritt, and my great grandmother Ethel Merritt.
John N. Merritt (1820 – 1895)
John N. Merritt was born on August 03, 1820 in Newburgh, New York, USA, The Son of Josiah Merritt and Elizabeth Demott.
John N. Merritt married Cornelia Sedgwick.
John N. Merritt married Hannah Weddle.
John N. Merritt had 12 children. Their names are Phebe A Merritt, Harriet Sedgwick Merritt, Flora Merritt, Edward S Merritt, Caroline Merritt, Flora Merritt, Edward S Merritt, Caroline Merritt, William H. Merritt, Francis Maria Merritt, Mary E. Merritt, and George N. Merritt.
William Sedgwick (1804 – 1877)
William Sedgwick was born on August 08, 1804 in Bristol, Hartford, Connecticut, USA.
William Sedgwick married Laura Ann Case.
William Sedgwick had 1 child. Her name is Cornelia Sedgwick.
William Sedgwick passed away on February 26, 1877 in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, New York, USA.
Sedgwick was born in the Litchfield Hills town of Cornwall, Connecticut. He was named after his grandfather, John Sedgwick (brother of Theodore Sedgwick), an American Revolutionary War general who served with George Washington. After teaching for two years, he attended the United States Military Academy, graduated in 1837 ranked 24th of 50, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s artillery branch. He fought in the Seminole Wars and received two brevet promotions in the Mexican-American War, to captain for Contreras and Churubusco, and to major for Chapultepec. After returning from Mexico he transferred to the cavalry and served in Kansas, in the Utah War, and in the Indian Wars, participating in 1857 in a punitive expedition against the Cheyenne.
In the summer and fall of 1860 Sedgwick commanded an expedition to establish a new fort on the Platte River in what is now Colorado. He was greatly handicapped with the non-delivery of expected supplies which were to be forwarded by wagon-train from the nearest fort in Kansas, but managed to erect comfortable quarters for his men before cold weather set in. These buildings were constructed largely of stone with timber for roofs and doors. It is difficult to realize the remoteness of this post but there were no railroads west of the Mississippi River and communication with St. Louis and Kansas City was by river boat and west of that by wagon train or horseback.
Dr. Samuel Merritt, a mayor of Oakland who owned property at the shore’s edge, was keen to get the body of water cleaned up so that it could become a source of civic pride. In 1868, he proposed and funded a dam between the estuary and the bay by which the flow of water could be controlled, allowing the water level inland to rise higher and become less saline, turning the tidal lagoon into a lake. Sewage was to be redirected elsewhere by two new city projects, though these weren’t completed until 1875. The resulting body of water was called variously “Lake Peralta”, “Merritt’s Lake” and later Lake Merritt.
Academic & Instructional Innovation
John A. Graziano Memorial Library
Health Sciences Simulation Center
Health Education Center
Enrollment & Student Services
Academic & Disability Support
Campus Service Center
Health and Counseling
Student Body Association
Media & Publications
Media Relations & Newsroom
Publications & Communications
Giving to SMU
Biography of Dr. Samuel Merritt
Samuel Merritt, M.D. was born in 1822 in Harpswell, Maine, and graduated from the Medical School of Maine at Bowdoin College. After practicing medicine in Plymouth, Massachusetts for three years, Dr. Merritt joined the great migration of 1849 to California. Here he made his fortune as a businessman and his reputation as one of the leading founders of the Bay Area.
When Dr. Merritt died 40 years later in 1890, the Oakland Tribune called him “the man most prominent in the establishment and building of the City of Oakland.” He had touched every aspect of public life here, serving as the 13th Mayor of Oakland, and one of the original Regents of the University of California. Dr. Merritt played a significant role in the creation of Lake Merritt and the construction of the Oakland Public Library and City Hall. As the first president of the Mountain View Cemetary, he continued to influence the architectural landscape of the city. Importantly, in his will he provided for the establishment of Samuel Merritt Hospital and the training school for nurses that have now evolved into Samuel Merritt University.
Dr. Merritt died before Samuel Merritt Hospital and its School were built, but his fortune and far thinking made the founding of the institution possible. Today the women and men who carry on his mission-as students, faculty, and staff-are looking ahead to the next 100 years. The transformation of Samuel Merritt University in the 21st century continues in the tradition started long ago by this extraordinary individual who had a great vision for the quality and well being of the East Bay community.
Universalis centralis is the kinetic sculpture found at the entrance of the Health Education Center on the Oakland campus of Samuel Merritt University. The sculpture is the central icon for the institution, designed to reflect the ever-changing world of health care in which we and our graduates serve. The universalis centralis symbolizes change, growth, and learning. Importantly, the sculpture captures the need to stay abreast of innovations in health care. The symbol is used as the University’s logo.
The universalis centralis is a polished stainless steel outdoor sculpture created by Jerome Kirk in 1986. Signed by the artist at its base, it is approximately 14 feet by 9 feet.
As a young physician in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Merritt attracted the attention of Daniel Webster when he successfully performed a difficult operation on Webster’s neighbor. Webster encouraged him to come to California, saying, “Go out there, young man. Go out there and behave yourself, and free as you are from family cares, you will never regret it.” Webster gave him letters of introduction to friends in California, Merritt bought a ship of 140 tons, loaded it with general cargo, and set sail from New York for California at the end of November in 1849.
His arrival on May 5, 1850, was at an auspicious time, as one of San Francisco’s frequent “great fires” had occurred the previous day, allowing him to make a considerable profit on the goods he had in his hold. With these funds he chartered a brig for $800 a month and put it in the profitable Humboldt Bay – San Francisco lumber trade run.
While practicing medicine in San Francisco he increased his involvement in the lumber trade by expanding to Puget Sound. In 1852 he started buying and selling real estate in San Francisco and Oakland with great success. The first year he made $100,000 in San Francisco real estate alone. That same year he bought large acreage along the shores of what is now Lake Merritt for the total price of $6,000. He subdivided this land and built and sold several “elegant” homes in the area of Jackson, Lake, Oak, and Madison Streets. In 1853 he traveled east to order the building of the first two barks to be built expressly for the coast lumber trade — in this case, San Francisco to Portland.
Merritt served as a member of the Vigilance Committee of 1856, was a San Francisco supervisor, and although he declined to serve as San Francisco’s mayor in 1858, did fill that position in Oakland in 1868. That same year he was named a Regent of U.C. by Gov. Henry Huntly Haight. Merritt was a founder of the Oakland Bank of Savings and the California Insurance Company. In 1888 Robert Louis Stevenson chartered Merritt’s yacht Casco for his famous trip to the South Seas.
Merritt became embroiled in a scandal when the Board of Regents, instead of hiring a supervising architect, put him in charge of overseeing the construction of the campus’s second building, North Hall, which they were anxious to have completed in record time. The State Assembly investigated charges that Merritt and some friends in the building industry had taken advantage of his unusual authority, that Merritt had profited financially in the venture, and that the University had acquired a building of inferior quality at an exorbitant cost. The Committee determined that the building cost $24,000 more than it was worth. Merritt immediately resigned from the Board of Regents and refunded the University his lumber yard’s profits of $867.
One contemporary account describes Merritt as “6’3” and weighing 340 pounds when at his best.” It is small wonder that this admired specimen of Victorian manhood (great girth was considered manly) developed diabetes which complicated a case of uremic poisoning, causing his death.
The plaque on the huge granite tomb reads: “Physician, shipmaster, philanthropist, Regent of the University of California, mayor of Oakland, founder of Samuel Merritt Hospital.”
Elizabeth Josephine Clifford (1874 – 1950)
Found 10 Records , 10 Photos and 997,006 Family Trees
Born in Kerry, Ireland on 7 May 1874 to Jeremiah Clifford and Hannah Reidy. Elizabeth Josephine married Michael Coakley and had 8 children. She passed away on 28 May 1950 in Oakland, California, USA.What was going on with Edie sedgwick in Warhol’s loft, was small patatoes compared to the Revolution taking place in Oakland and Berekely – that the wrold famous artist, Christine Rosamond Benton, was very much a part of. Too bad her fake biographers were so intent on rubbing me out of the picture, or, the world would have gotten this information. Now, the world will get a full picture of how real creative people are supplanted with imposters. That my daughter signs legal papers in order to get me out of her screwed up picture, will be a famous document one day because the history of the oppression of the Bohemian Free Speech Movement – is real – and not a fake deal like the Mormons and Evangelcial cosmologies.
“Fair Rosamond” Clifford had two sons by Henry II and to protect these from
kidnapping or murder by the minions of Queen Eleanor they were brought up in
concealment in the forest. Writers in later centuries have identified them with
Sir William Longsword and Geoffrey, Archbishop of York, but the Dictionary of
National Biography points out that both these were born before their supposed
mother. Fair Rosamond died in 1177 but the Colclough family was firmly
established in Suffolk long before she or Henry II was born and there is no
record of any unaccounted additions to its numbers at the end of the 12th
century. However American genealogical researchers have determinedly traced the
Colclough origins to her.”
And so, around towards midnight, we did get word through the walkie-talkie that the police were coming. Now in the building, when I learned that things were becoming tense, I was told that the students would be sitting-in on the two upper floors of the building. None would be on the main floor. They expected the police to come in on the main floor and I would be stationed down there to meet with them. They would send certain people down from upstairs for me to persuade to leave the building — people who were under eighteen, who didn’t have constitutional rights like other people, and who, if there was a trial, wouldn’t have a right to a jury trial, that sort of thing. Mario Savio wanted all those people out. Also, anybody who had dope on them they wanted out. So people would straggle down, and I would arrange for them to leave the building with the campus police there.
There were two other people on the main floor — one of them was Ed Meese and another one was Lowell Jensen. Lowell Jensen is now a federal judge; Ed Meese and he were deputy district attorneys, deputies of Frank [J. Francis] Coakley, who was the extremely reactionary right-wing District Attorney who had held that office for about sixteen years. I knew Jensen fairly well, having tried a murder case against him, in which he was prose- cutor. I didn’t know Meese at all because Meese wasn’t in court very much. Meese spent most of his time in Sacramento as a lobbyist for the Police Officers’ Association, and the D.A.’s Association, trying to get tougher legislation. The joke used to be that he was trying to get the Legislature to prescribe the death penalty for possession of marijuana.
Alameda and San Francisco County’s resident Lucky Luciano’s La Costa Nosta crime
boss was a man called Elmer “Big Bones” Remmer of Emeryville. Bones Remmer
controlled all the after-hours joints, brothels, gambling houses, extortion,
loan-sharking, bookies and Murder, Inc. in Emeryville, Oakland and San
Francisco. Along with witting politicians, cops, and various shady lawyers and
bagmen, Big Bone’s mob operations remained unmolested by local law enforcement
agencies in Alameda and San Francisco County.
Fed up with crime, corruption and Murder, Inc. in Alameda County during the
1940-50’s, the California State Attorney General had to come to Oakland to try
to shut down the mob’s operations. The Attorney General’s office indicted and
proceeded to prosecute some of Oakland’s mob figures. Under D.A. Coakley, the La
Costa Nosta just didn’t exist in the county. Just imagine of all people that
could have showed up in Oakland to defend the mob, it was the who’s who of Mafia
Boss Meyer Lansky’s crime syndicate, another infamous underworld character by
the name of Murray Chotiner. The noted Author Dan Moldea reported that Murray
Chotiner, and his brother Jack, handled 249 cases of mob figures arrested or
indicted between 1949 and 1952. 
It was D. Lowell Jensen and Edwin Meese that sent former Mayor John Houlihan and
Huey P. Newton to Prison. Jensen also directed the CIA cover indictment of
Eldridge Cleaver to send him on clandestine military intelligence worldwide trek
to disrupt and discredit America’s Black Nationalist Movement. Jensen engineered
the conspiracy theory (conspiracy prosecutions) under which targeted Blacks,
Leftist and Anti-Vietnam War activists could be convicted of felonies and given
long prison sentences if it can be proved they conspired to commit even a minor
conspiracy.  Jensen also had links to the medical-industrial-military
complex handmaiden U.C. Berkeley. Jensen had graduated from U.C. Berkeley in
1949 and Boalt Hall School of Law in 1952. Meese also obtained his law degree
from the University of California Boalt Hall School of Law at Berkeley in 1958.