The Gilead Sciences legal department took the tour on September 25th.  
We were very delighted with Crooks Tour SF.  They provided us with tours of Chinatown and the Barbary Coast for our Legal Department's event, which consisted of over 100 employees.  The tours were well organized and fit our schedule perfectly. The tour guides were very entertaining and provided an enjoyable experience for all involved. 

 During our planning stage, Paul Drexler provided us with helpful suggestions and details on possible meeting places and lunch options.   During our lunch, Paul also provided us with a more detailed talk on the “crooks” of San Francisco.

 We strongly recommend Crooks Tour SF for other corporate meetings and events.

 Gilead Sciences, Inc  


Phil Wong, from SF Shakespeare Theatre, led the Chinatown Tour. Other guides included fellow  thebians Michelle Drexler, Melanie Marshall, and Josh Selesnick
At 10:30 AM Thursday, September 25th 100 corporate legal eagles suddenly appeared in Portsmouth Square. Were they investigating claims that MSG can cure Herpes?  Were they seeking predictions on upcoming legal battles from the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie factory? No, they were going on Crooks Tours of Chinatown and the Barbary Coast.  Four intrepid Crooks Tour Guides led the attorneys and staff on tours of Chinatown and the Barbary Coast.  The tour guides were ably supported by highly trained “shepherds”, who protected the litigators from cars, patent infringement claims, and candy wrappers, while on the tours.

The tours ended with a banquet at the Oriental Pearl restaurant, followed by a presentation from Paul Drexler, “I Left My Crime in San Francisco”, and gift packs which included guides to Famous Drink Recipes from the Barbary Coast, Best Dive Bars of Chinatown, and Crooks Tours Trading Cards.
Since it is playoff season I’d like to talk about Blackie Schwamb, the greatest pitcher in prison history. Born in LA in 1926 Blackie grew up tall (6’5”), hard drinking, and volatile. He joined the navy during WW2 but spent most of his time in the brig for being AWOL.

After the war he worked as an enforcer for mobster Micky Cohen and pitched semipro ball on the side.  At scout noticed his raw talent and he was acquired by the St.Louis Browns. In his short major league stint his occasional brilliance was overshadowed by his constant drinking and the Browns let him go. 

He drifted back to LA, to small time stick ups and other minor league mayhem until he helped beat a man to death in a holdup gone bad. Sentenced to life in San Quentin he quickly became the ace of the San Quentin Pirates pitching staff. With a 100 mph fastball and a wicked curve he was an overpowering pitcher.

In a 10-year career he compiled a 131-35 record, often against top professional competition.  He once pitched a perfect game against a team with 5 major leaguers.  He was paroled in 1960 and had a stint with the Hawaiian Islanders, the LA Angels top farm team, but the smoke had left his fastball and his baseball career was over.


crime, murder, San Francisco, history, tours, Barbary Coast, Chinatown, Tong Wars, Shanghaiing, Bordello,