after 5 p.m. on March 5, 1997, former Mexican cop Marcos Ranjel walked
into the Pink Tarantula hair salon at 71 Langton, an alley street
near 7th and Folsom, and shot its owner Carmel Sanger in the head. Described
variously as fun, funky, lively, loving, and a beacon of light, Sanger
was known as the Queen of Langton Street. The 37-year old was an extremely
popular neighborhood figure who held court from the small six-chair beauty
parlor. Ranjel entered the shop and asked for Sanger by name before he
opened fire on the woman. It was later learned that Ranjel was hired by
Sanger's ex-husband, Robert "Skull " Sanger, to murder the hairdresser.
Ranjel, aka Guillermo Guadalupe Padilla Venegas, was sentenced to life
in prison for the murder in 2001. Sanger was given twelve years in a plea
agreement. Robert Sanger had hoped to collect a $750,000 insurance claim
for his ex-wife's death in the failed plot.
Carmel Sanger gave up a son
for adoption in 1979. Simon Strelein did not know his biological mother's
identity until after she had been killed. Strelein appeared at Robert Sanger's
sentencing in May, 2001 to condemn his mother's killer.