Notorious SF: Clifford St. Joseph
On June 24, 1985, police responded to a drunken dispute in front of the 93 Stillman Street apartment of Clifford St. Joseph. One of the men, a 21 year-old unemployed magician, later told authorities he had been drugged, chained to a fireplace, gang raped, and forced to have sex with a dog in the three days before police found the men fighting on Stillman Street next to a freeway in SoMa. Two other men arrested in the confrontation - one a prostitute, the other a career criminal - corroborated the magician's story. Investigators said St. Joseph was a satanic killer who planned to sacrifice the magician to the devil. St. Joseph was arrested for the murder of a John Doe found on a street in the neighborhood two weeks prior to the incident on Stillman Street. On March 17, 1988, St. Joseph was convicted of murder and sodomy for the torture and ritual mutilation killing of the John Doe, whose body had been almost completely drained of blood. St. Joseph, a former waiter, carved a pentagram on the John Doe's chest, stabbed him in the neck, sliced his lip, and beat the man. Sentencing St. Joseph, then 46, to 34 years on May 5, 1988, Judge Alfred G. Chiantelly said St. Joseph's crimes would "astonish the imagination of Edgar Allen Poe or the Marquis de Sade." The SFPD said St. Joseph was part of a satanic cult, but no other cult members were arrested or exposed.


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