Chapter Two:”The Coburn Mystery” Original Draft [1988]

By June Morrall

[Note: Loren Coburn died a few days after the end of WWI–the war ended at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. A few hours later, in Europe, my grandfather, a German soldier–father of two, and a musician by trade– was “mistakenly” shot and killed in Alsace Lorraine.)

To observers, it seemed like Loren Coburn’s greatest pleasure in life was litigation: suing other people. At one time he held the unofficial title as the “most litigious individual in California.” He knew and used many of the practicing attorneys in the Bay Area. He had to know them all because he didn’t pay his fees on time, or at all. So they sued him.

Aside from his obsession with courtrooms, everybody believed the Coburns were very rich and that their home would reflect that–like the famous palaces of Hillsborough on the other side of the mountain.

Not so. The furnishings in the Coburn house were simple and the carpets not fine Orientals but a cheap fabric, faded and worn. To the officials collecting clues after Sarah’s murder, the house was simply rundown.


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