Andy Stirling next walked to the McCormick General Merchandise store where the telephone operator and her equipment had been located since 1904. There was a call for Stirling from a San Francisco reporter who wanted confirmation on the death of Mrs. Coburn. Stirling confirmed, adding helpfully, “from the looks of it, Wally did it.”
Back at the house, a small crowd was forming and official cars were arriving from Redwood City and San Francisco. County Sheriff Michael Sheehan was discouraging the curious from getting too close to the house-and when some young “ruffians” tried to slip past him, he brusquely barred the way.
There was so much activity at the Coburn house it’s surprising that the people standing outside were able to hear the familiar mumbling at the front door. They knew the tragic figure perched on the threshold was Wallace “Wally” Coburn–but he was better known as “the boy,” a name he had been called for all of his 68-years.
Wally was the only child of Loren and his first wife Mary Antoinette; he was the stepson of Sarah, Loren’s second wife.