Ghost House Murder
I have dug up the remains of an old house that once stood where my garage is now. I have found over 500 pieces of the old house. I have identified the mortar as the traditional mix which was used long ago. The mortar is tinted brown and is composed of a lot of sand and lime.
I have been getting many EVPs that sound like gambling. Probably from long ago, perhaps the 1920s or 1930s, the house was a gambling Mecca and possibly a speakeasy during Prohibition. One of the most common sounds I hear are poker chips being tossed. Also, I know now that there were murders here, and this is why these ghosts reside here.
I think that the ghost in my garage was a tavern owner. He was forced to move his business to his house during Prohibition. This house was located where my garage now stands. As a speakeasy, it was a secret and since this was a rural area then, well hidden from the authorities.
The garage ghost, or tavern owner ( his name was Russell based on the latest EVPs ) probably maintained a good supply of liquor. People came from miles around to party and gamble, and drink their cares away.
He must of become a primary supplier of liquor in this area. As such, he would have been acquainted with and perhaps close friends of some of the big time bootleggers of Prohibition days in Northern California. This brought him great prosperity, as the demand for wine and brandy was high in the cities, L.A. to the South and San Francisco to the West.
It just so happens that this association would have developed into close ties with brothers Joseph Gallo and Mike Gallo. Joseph was the father of Ernest and Julio Gallo, the founders of the Gallo Wine empire.
Mike Gallo was a notorious bootlegger in the Oakland and San Francisco. He ran a cover operation called San Pablo Bottling Co in Oakland. From there he distributed liquor throughout the area. Joseph was in charge of supply operations, and he had his suppliers in the Napa/Sonoma area and the Central Valley of California.
In 1925 Joseph Gallo came here and planted vineyards. He built a house and established a permanent residence. Ernest and Julio continued to work for their father, shipping grapes to markets back East and the other secretive enterprises of bootlegging.
I believe that my garage ghost, the tavern owner (Russell), had a strong friendship with Joseph Gallo, and he may have been one of Joseph’s high ranking officials in charge of regional distribution.
Something happened in 1933, the same year Prohibition was lifted. Joseph Gallo suddenly left town to live in Hanford. He was in some kind of trouble, perhaps related to his activities of bootlegging.
I think that it may have had something to do with the murder or murders which took place – the garage ghost was shot. I have an EVP of that, where he states that Pablo did it. Who was this Pablo?
Mike Gallo, brother of Joseph, operated out of Oakland from his business dubbed San Pablo Bottling Co. It was a front for his illegal bootlegging operations. Why did he name this phony business San Pablo? Was it because he had a man by the name of Pablo within the ranks of his organization? Was this Pablo the one who murdered the ghost who resides in my garage?
Something went terribly wrong in this bootlegging outfit by 1932. Prohibition was about to be repealed and former bootleggers were desperate to cover their tracks.
Joseph Gallo fled town. He and his wife were found dead at a farmhouse near Fresno. It was ruled a murder/suicide, but overwhelming evidence contradicts this. Did Pablo kill them, also? Was Pablo hired to kill them? Was he hired to kill the tavern owner – the ghost now residing in my garage?
Pure speculation – but was it someone in the Gallo family? Who would have benefited the most by taking over the wine business here?
citation: LA Times