As Wally was driven away, Franklin Swart, the 41-year-old longtime (since 1910) D.A. remained inside the Coburn house. He had come all the way from Redwood City to personally take charge of the investigation.
Swart wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. The Stanford educated attorney dug ditches to support himself while earning his law degree.
As he studied the crime scene, the D.A. concluded there had been no death struggle in Sarah’s bedroom. The shades were still drawn but he could see that the furniture wasn’t broken or tipped over. Everything was in its place.
The robbery motive was ruled out when Swart found the $1640 in the big safe in the living room, a lot of cash at the time. An additional $30 was found in Sarah’s handbag which lay in open view in Wally’s bedroom.
The weapon itself– determined to be the club-like piece of firewood–did have a smear of blood on it but no identifiable fingerprints. They were there but they were blurry, according to the police. Even the latest technology, a microscopic examination of the prints, gave the cops nothing solid to go on.