ANDY KINYON COLD CASE - 1972
A case of extreme incompetence by SFPD Homicide or something more sinister?
SAN FRANCISCO: Andy Kinyon was a former Palo Alto, CA. resident who located to the city of S.F. in 1965. In the early morning hours of Saturday January 22, 1972 Andy was found dead in the stairwell of his North Beach residence at 1367 Grant Ave. (corner of Green St.). He had been stabbed once in the heart and then had his gut and throat slashed (all 3 wounds would have been fatal on their own). He was just 29 years old.
Andy was headed home after a night on the town with his girlfriend when they were confronted by a man in front of a grocery market. The girlfriend claimed she did not know who this man was, but there's a very good chance that she was scared to name the person, at least initially. She became so spooked by this encounter that she decided to go to her sister's place across town, instead of staying the night in the apartment she shared with Andy and his roommates.
Not long after, a neighbor heard two men arguing in the stairwell of the apartment building. One of them repeatedly screamed "You bet you're gonna pay!" Then there was silence.
Andy's body was found by another neighbor a short time later.
A suspect's name was given by many in the neighborhood and many witness statements indicated that this person was out to get Andy. Andy's girlfriend told detectives that Andy believed this suspect was going to kill him. Despite this information, the suspect was allowed four days to go without questioning and had plenty of time to dispose of evidence (such as bloody clothes). Why were they not at his apartment that night or the next day?
There is no indication in the case file that detectives ever visited the suspect's apartment, in fact, they're not even the ones who tracked him down; a friend of Andy's noticed the suspect sitting in a car a block from the crime scene four days after the crime and flagged down a passing police cruiser - this lead to the suspect being brought in for questioning (but there is no record of an interrogation in the case file). His knife was confiscated at this time, as well as his shoes which had blood drops on them, covered with shoe polish. The amount of blood was supposedly too small to test and the detectives indicated that the knife had been "boiled clean".
What followed for the next 40 years was nothing short of a cover-up. It was either a cover-up of extreme incompetence on the part of Homicide detectives or something much more sinister.
SUSPECT: Eugene "Geno" Imbrogno
ALIASES: Eugene Santore, Robert Chiudina, Eugene Giglio, Richard Inprogno, etc.
BORN: Sept. 21, 1935 (New York)
DIED: March 1984 (Fairfax, CA)
Eugene had the motive, means and opportunity to commit the murder.
He had threatened Andy's life several times over a debt in the months leading up to the crime. Two weeks prior, he and an accomplice beat Andy badly and demanded money.
His alibi was blown by the very friends he claimed could prove he was not in the neighborhood at the time of the crime. He claimed that he was several blocks away and couldn't have committed the murder, but his friends told detectives that they left Eugene standing on the very block that the murder took place, approximately 20-25 mins before it happened. One of them volunteered that Eugene was extremely upset about something.
When he was finally brought in for questioning 4 days after the crime, he gave his address as 1458 Grant Ave., which is less than a block from the crime scene and directly across the street from the S.O.S. Market where Andy was confronted and threatened, likely by the killer, approx. 15 minutes before the murder.
At the time of the murder, Eugene was out on probation for threatening to cut the throats of two women who worked in a clothing store in North Beach, he made "slicing motions" with a knife at one woman's throat and chased the other one down the street, knife in hand. They had refused to buy used clothing from him, they said, because they lived in a hotel building where residents reported to police that "Geno" was regularly burglarizing rooms. Later that same night, after being questioned and released on his own recognisance, Eugene again confronted the two women with his knife, this time at their residence, and threatened their lives again.
There was a least one eyewitness to the murder, who saw the killer either commit the crime or flee the scene. This person said that the killer was a "friend of Andy's", that the killer regularly hung out at the Camel Bar (next door to the crime scene), and that they were aware the person had a criminal record. Unfortunately, this person's name is not in the case file, neither is any statement from this person... in fact, we're not sure if this lady was ever talked to by the Homicide detectives. She had given a statement to Robbery detectives, who forwarded the information to Homicide.
It's inexplicable to Andy's family, as well as many others who have reviewed the facts of this case, that this man was never brought to justice. Despite the fact that there was no investigation beyond the first week following the crime, there was plenty of damning evidence against the suspect! On top of everything else, it was only recently that the family found out that they had been lied to by homicide detectives over and over for 40 years - see: LIES, and: TRUTH (on the navigation menu) - and this has inflicted even more emotional damage.
This case is officially UNSOLVED and is now in the hands of the COLD CASE UNIT @ San Francisco Police Department - BUT - we are also conducting OUR OWN PRIVATE INVESTIGATION - SO PLEASE CONTACT US FIRST WITH ANY INFO! Any information, even rumors, can be of some help.
PLEASE EMAIL: KINYON COLD CASE
Case Status: Private Investigation Seeking Witnesses & Additional Information
ABOUT THE CRIME:
VICTIM: ANDREW "ANDY" FOSTER KINYON
BORN: AUG. 1, 1942
DIED: JAN. 22, 1972 2:15 AM
LOCATION: 1367 GRANT AVE. (at Green St.) in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco.
HOMICIDE: MULTIPLE STAB WOUNDS
SUSPECT: EUGENE RICHARD IMBROGNO (alias EUGENE "GENO" SANTORE, among many others) - DECEASED
We are attempting to find friends, roommates, and witnesses (or their relatives/friends) or anyone else who may have information.
(PLEASE CONTACT US)
*MARGIE KING (girlfriend, witness)
*GARY "BANANAS" KOENIG (roommate, witness)
*BRUCE "MARIO" CERNY (roommate, witness)
DAVID O. RUECKER (roommate, witness)
*NOREEN MURRAY (roommate, witness)
*SHIG MURAO (neighbor, witness)
BRIAN RUSSELL (witness)
DOUGLAS D. ANDERSON (friend, witness)
NEIL M. LAWS (neighbor, witness)
SHELLY MARTH (neighbor, witness)
JAMES "INDIAN JIM" SANCHEZ (friend, witness)
GERALD MOSES (witness)
EDWARD H. SHALLER (witness)
LARRY GREEN (witness)
MICHAEL LEARNER (possible witness)
PHIL AND SHERRY NEEDLEMAN (possible witnesses)
EMPLOYEES at CHANGING FACES CLOTHING, 1398 Grant Ave.
*We've discovered that these witnesses have passed away: Gary Koenig, Bruce Cerny, Noreen Murray, Shig Murao.
Margie King is likely no longer with us. We don't know the status of others.
Why Lie To The Victim's Family?
Big Lie #1
Detectives told our family that the main suspect's name was Eugene Santore. For nearly 40 years they never told us that his real name was Eugene Imbrogno. They continued referring to him as Eugene Santore, even though that was just one of the many aliases he had used in his life-long career as an extremely violent criminal. We would have never found this out, or anything else for that matter, if we hadn't continued pushing and pushing for information. It actually wasn't until the original detectives on the case retired, and they handed it over to a new Cold Case unit, that we got anywhere near finding out any of the facts surrounding this crime.
Big Lie #2
Some time between 1982 and 1984 the family was told that the main suspect had been arrested for a "similar crime" and was imprisoned in New York. Detectives claimed that they had flown out to interview him again "to see if he'd crack", but he didn't. For the next 25 years we received no updates from detectives and they maintained that nothing had changed. In 2010, we asked if he was still alive and still in prison, they said that he was out of prison and that they had lost track of him. The final word was that they suspected he was living in Florida. Our investigation found that he had never been in prison in N.Y. and that he had actually died in 1984 at his residence in Fairfax, just across the bay from S.F..
Big Lie #3
From the very beginning, the lead detective told our family that they were convinced the main suspect was guilty but that there was not enough evidence to charge him. When we finally got a look at the case file in 2010, we found that there was plenty of evidence, as well as a clear motive, the means and the opportunity. Eyewitnesses in this case were outright ignored and leads were not followed up on. It appears that no pressure was put on the suspect, in fact, he was apparently allowed to intimidate witnesses - smashing one in the face with a golf club after he told detectives that Eugene recently had picked up a dog by the tail and disemboweled it with his knife in front of four other witnesses, including two small children.
Key Witness Statements
MARGIE KING: Andy's girlfriend Margie told detectives that Eugene "Santore" and another man had strong-armed Andy for money in the weeks before the murder. She said that Andy was sure that they were going to kill him. Andy was threatened by a man less than half an hour before the murder. Margie sat with a police sketch artist and worked up a likeness but there is no indication that a line up was ever set up with the main suspect, or if she was asked to pick out his photo, as was customary.
SHIG MURAO: Andy borrowed money from his neighbor Shig, after a particularly bad beating, to give to Eugene "Santore". He told Shig at the time, "I can't fuck with these people." "Coincidentially", as Andy was being murdered, a neighbor heard the killer yell repeatedly, "You bet you're gonna pay!"
GARY KOENIG: Andy's best friend and long-time roommate, Gary "Bananas", told Andy's ex-wife that he had seen Eugene "Santore" walking up Grant Ave. towards their apartment building and go into the entrance around the time of the murder. Strangely, there are statements from all of the neighbors in the apartment building and Andy's other two roommates, but no statement from Gary is in the case file.
NAME UNKNOWN: Two robbery detectives reported that a woman at Changing Faces Clothing Store, directly across the street from the entrance to Andy's apartment building (where the murder took place) had either seen the murder or recognized the murderer as he ran away from the scene. She said that the man was a friend of Andy's, that he had a criminal record and hung out at the Camel Bar (directly downstairs from Andy's apartment). She said that she could identify him and that she believed the murder was over drugs. Her name is not in the case file and there is no indication that homicide detectives followed up on this information.
DAVID RUECKER: Following the murder, David, one of Andy's roommates, told detectives that he witnessed Eugene "Santore" pull out his knife and gut a dog in front of Andy and three other witnesses, including two small children. A few weeks after making this statement, Eugene cornered David at The Saloon on Grant Ave. and smashed him in the face with a golf club - sending him to the hospital with broken bones in his face.
This case is officially UNSOLVED and is now in the hands of the COLD CASE UNIT @ San Francisco Police Department - BUT - we are also conducting OUR OWN PRIVATE INVESTIGATION - SO PLEASE CONTACT US FIRST WITH ANY INFO!
PLEASE EMAIL: KINYON COLD CASE