From the Archives

Select stories from over 40 years of the Reader.
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San Diegans and the transcendent

Satan chasers, Mormons, Unarius, Black Muslims, Easter stories, and those on the verge of heaven

Satan chasers San Diego has many experts in the field of Satanism who say the county is a hotbed of Satanic activity. The hidden canyons of the back country, Ramona, Santee, Escondido, even Oceanside, are ...

What nearness to Baja brings

Sewage, smugglers, clubs on Avenida Revolucion, torture, snakebite, death near Cabo, the beauty of Canon Tajo

Shocking facts and horrifying history of Tijuana sewage In Tijuana maybe 50 percent of the houses have sewer connections. In those that don’t, the residents use outhouses or primitive septic tanks or they relieve themselves ...

San Diego institutions and their rocky histories

The Butcher Shop, Balboa Theater, SDSU, Convis, USIU, America's Cup, SD-IV Railroad, San Diego Mission

Big beef in Mission Valley The judge warned Buckner and DePhilippis that if they had notions of assaulting and battering one another in the hallway, law enforcement officers were close at hand. Buckner has also ...

What San Diegans do in their off time

Billiards, boxing, guns, creative anachronism, cheerleading, sci fi

You against the table "Your brain says it first; then your body reacts. You have to visualize the shot first. And if you see yourself missing the shot, you say, this doesn’t look right; it ...

The biggest San Diegans, part 2

Pete Wilson, Maureen O'Connor, Bruce Henderson, Peter Navarro, Clinton McKinnon, Mike Aguirre

Pete Wilson was here In 1975 Mayor Wilson called the proposal to build some 14,000 homes in North City West “a big mistake.” He declared that allowing homes to be built in Carmel Valley, just ...

The biggest San Diegans, part 1

Copleys, C. Arnholt Smith, Roger Hedgecock, Kate Sessions, Susan Golding, Sol Price

The rise and fall of the Copley press Shortly after he purchased the two San Diego papers, a dinner was arranged in Copley’s honor at the Hotel del Coronado. He rose to speak, assuring the ...

Best Reader stories of the late 1980s, part 2

Trees of Balboa Park, D.A. Ed Miller, tough USDA inspector at the border, Cuban ex-pats, short people, Oceanside gay murders, our forests of kelp

Color them gone The space theater managers argue that San Diegans need more education in science and technology, but take a look at the size of their gift shop and the types of movies — ...

Best Reader stories of the late 1980s

Reader book issue, Coronado’s Don Zub, tough cop, actor kills mom, vice cop busted, candid dancing instructor. Otay Mesa's death of farming

Season's Browse Duff Brenna's Book of Mamie won the 1988 Associated Writing Programs prize for best novel of the year. Brenna admits reading everything that crosses his path. However, there are classics he returns to ...

True adventures of San Diego, part 2

San Dieguito River, hitching on trucks, waterless in Borrego, escape from Vietnam, Devil's Peak in Baja, accident in Baja, wild horses of Coyote Canyon

Three days along the San Dieguito I knew I’d made a bad mistake. I jumped back, but it was already too late. A yellow, foul-smelling mist rained down on me. It was a direct hit, ...

True adventures of San Diego

Baja snakebite, Jerry Schad, only shipwreck survivor, San Diego River, parolees lost on Palomar Mountain, Navy's bombing range in Chocolate Mountains

Snakebite Bob recalls, “I was getting pretty good mouthfuls of blood for a while, then everything seemed to coagulate.” Less than three minutes had elapsed since the time of the bite. He substituted the waist ...

These people tell you about San Diego

Don Zub, Bob Hannibal, Sandford Goodkin, Garland Peed, Tanya Winter, Jerry Gross

No man is an island (with the possible exception of Don Zub) Most of the main drinking establishments in town have declared themselves off-limits to Zub over the years since he left the Navy. McP’s ...

What's going on behind doors

KPBS, our desert railroad, North Co. health clinics, Balboa Park, divorce court, UCAN

Private lies and public television KPBS viewers are repeatedly told that the station must spend a great deal of money to purchase these nationally produced programs. Although the pledge-night barkers do not provide much detail, ...

San Diego villains, part 2

J. David, Mark Anthony Gator, Olaf Wieghorst scammer, Andrew Cunanan, Walter Keane, and drug runners on Harbor Drive

Captain Money and the golden girl They bought $100,000 foreign sports cars by the dozens. Still unsated they bought a limousine company for personal transportation. They had three jets. They owned several elegant homes. They ...

San Diego villains

Westerfield, Moores, Bugarin, Bompensiero, horse rustler, massage parlor owner

David Westerfield betrays himself PR: When I ask you this question about Danielle, your blood pressure goes crazy. That's 25 seconds from here to here.... And the next question, it does the same thing as ...

Mostly military heroes

Baja emergency, badly wounded in Vietnam, shipwrecked teen, Bataan Death March, Yamamoto's killer, Clairemont's savior

Somewhere Between Death and the Border “I ran over to pick the suitcase up and, yeah, Eddie was laying there, face down in this pool of blood in the sand about a foot across, laying ...

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