Notorious SF: Pink Tarantula
Sometime 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.

Copyright 2001 Hank Donat home