Chapter Seven: The Coburn Mystery [Original Draft] Back in time…

Other Murders–Here’s where I go back in time to bring to light other murders, extremely few in number, that occurred in Pescadero. The details, the stories from the old newspapers, give readers a feeling for what the town was like.


The killing of Melvin Parsons in January of 1857 came to light in a letter sent to the ‘San Francisco Herald.’

1857: “…we learn that a man named Melvin Parsons was shot there [Pescadero]…by a man named Besse or Baden. The latter keeps a store, and about four o’clock on Wednesday morning, Parsons and some other went there and requested to have the door opened, as they wanted to go in and get something to drink. Besse refused them. Parsons put his head down to a crack in the house and asked for some whiskey, stating their willingness to pay for it. At this moment he was shot dead with a rifle by somebody inside, supposed to be Besse. Whether Besse fired under an apprehension of being robbed, or on account of an old feud, we are not informed.”

The killing of Thomas Marrion in 1862 was reported in the “Marysville Daily Appeal,” hundreds of miles away from the village of Pescadero.

“Thomas Marrion, a native of England, was murdered in Pescadero, Santa Cruz County…by a Mexican Ramon Larria by name. It appears that Marrion went to Larria’s house at night and was never seen again alive, but his mangled body was found in the creek. Larria fled but was caught and lynched by the people, as is supposed, his body being found hanging in an old stable.”


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