UNFINISHED DOCUMENTARY, STATE OF GRACE | Mid-1970s
Interviewee: POLICE CHIEF WARREN BURTON
Of course I remember when that so-called rock star disappeared in San Francisco. I still have some friends on the force out there. You can’t believe the stories they tell me; drug addicts from all over the mainland pouring in to the city and the city government refusing to deal with it.
How would you like it if you got up to go to work one morning and some filthy young runaway was breast-feeding her malnourished baby on your front stoop?
Milakale? That was something else entirely. At least we had them all in one place; out of the way. It was almost like they sent themselves to their own refugee camp.
Well, it worked for a while, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. This SFPD friend of mine that I knew in Korea got the call that night of a possible drowning out at Ocean Beach. That strip of beach has a notorious riptide, especially around ebb.
The way my buddy explained it is there are billions of gallons of water that come pouring out of San Francisco Bay between high and low tides and it meets an unbelievably massive wall of sand just outside the Golden Gate which kind of squirts the water both north to Marin and south to Monterrey. You don’t want to get caught in that.
He got a call that some morning joggers found a paint-spattered pair of coveralls that matched an APB for a possible suicide. It was Devon Bentley. The two yahoos that were supposed to be taking care of him called it in, saying that he had been talking about ending it and had somehow gotten away from them. I guess there were drugs involved; that’s no real surprise, is it?
Of course they never found the body. After a while everyone just figured that Bentley ended up shark food and called it a day.