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Hightower, William A., 1878-1974



  • Existence: 1878 - 1974

Biographical History

William A. Hightower (1878-1974) was a baker and convicted murderer in California.

William A. Hightower was born on September 28, 1878 in Texas. He trained as a baker, and was living in San Francisco in 1921 when he was convicted of the murder of Catholic priest Patrick Heslin. Hightower was sent to the California State Prison at San Quentin, where he worked in the kitchens and produced a newsletter. He was paroled in 1965 and died in Los Angeles in January 1974.

William A. Hightower papers, circa 1924-1991

Brigham Young University, L. Tom Perry Special Collections worksheet, Feb. 26, 2007 (William A. Hightower; b. 1878; d. 1974; prisoner in San Quentin, Calif.), viewed Feb. 26, 2007 (William A. Hightower; William Hightower; b. Sept. 28, 1878 in Texas; d. Jan. 1974 in Los Angeles, Calif.)

Mammoth book of bizarre crimes, 2010: p. 267 (William A. Hightower; baker; found guilty of murder of Catholic priest Patrick Heslin in 1921; served life sentence in San Quentin State Prison; worked in kitchens, wrote newsletter)

San Jose Mercury News, Mar. 12, 2013: Modern-day polygraph dates back to 1921 murder in Pacifica (William Hightower; became master chef in prison; paroled in 1965; never spoke about murder)

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

William A. Hightower papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2381
Abstract Contains Hightower's writings including novels, essays, and poetry. Includes correspondence from prison personnel, Hightower, and Genelle Larson Pugmire. Contains copies of a manuscript in which Hightower discusses his conviction and declares his innocence. Includes political essays discussing many of the current events during his prison term, including the Great Depression, World War II and the atomic bomb, and communism. Also includes various novels, many with western American themes....
Dates: 1924-1991