A. You dont mention whether youve already found a death certificate. If not, look for one. The certificate will confirm details such as the date and cause of death. Contact San Franciscos Office of Vital Records or the California Department of Public Health for information.
A microfilmed index of California deaths covering 1905 to 1988 is at the Family History Library. You can rent film for viewing through your local FamilySearch Family History Center.
As a FamilyTreeMagazine.com Forum member suggested, coroners records (also called medical examiner records) may help. Coroners would investigate suspicious deaths. The San Francisco History Center at the San Francisco Public Library has coroners reports from 1906 to 1950. Contact the library (415-557-4567) to request a search .
Youre right to search newspapers. You can use a service such as Proquest Historical Newspapers or Newsbank at many libraries; or you could use a site such as the subscription site GenealogyBank at home.
If searching doesnt produce results, try browsing through newspapers for the days and weeks after your great-aunts death. San Francisco being a major city, your local library may have its newspapers on microfilm. Search for titles of San Francisco papers using the directory on the Library of Congress Chronicling America site.
The above records should help you determine whether anyone was caught and tried for the crime. The State Archives of California has San Francisco criminal case files from 1850 to 1965. Learn more about researching California court records using the archives’ online finding aid.