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Harold Haley
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Judge
    (November 14, 1904-August 7, 1970)
    Born in San Rafael, California
    Superior Court judge in Marin County, California
    Taken hostage by James McClain and three others in a courtroom escape bid (August 7, 1970)
    Killed by McClain with the sawed-off shotgun taped to his neck (see pic) at age 65
    His only claim to fame before the escape attempt was ordering Sterling Hayden to pay Republic Pictures nearly $50,000 in 1961 to cover a defaulted loan for a trip to Tahiti.
    Lack of metal detectors at courthouses in 1970 caused him to be taken hostage, along with Marin County assistant district attorney Gary Thomas and three female jurors.
    Pictures of him with the gun taped to his neck were taken minutes before his life ended, then splattered throughout newspapers the next day.
    Rather than trying to end the siege peacefully, cops opened fire on the getaway van, causing his death and the wounding of Thomas and one of the jurors (McClain and two of the three other escapees were killed).
    The shotgun used to kill him was purchased by Angela Davis, who was later acquitted with any complicity in the crime.
    In 1928 he graduated with a law degree from St. Ignatius College (later known as the University of San Francisco).
    He married his high school sweetheart in 1933 and remained with her until his murder.
    Working as a San Rafael city attorney and as a Marin County district attorney, he was appointed municipal court judge in 1956 and superior court judge in 1965.
    Witnesses to the escape attempt describe him a calm throughout the ordeal, trying to get the hostage takers to settle down and talk things over.
    Because cops bungled the rescue attempt, McClain removed his jaw and half his face with the shotgun made famous by newspapers.
    Sometime after his death, district attorney Thomas, paralyzed from the waist down by a bullet hitting his spine, married one of his nieces.
    A street at the Marin County Civic Center is named Judge Haley Drive in his honor.
    Faculty members at the University of San Francisco School of Law present the distinguished 'Judge Harold J. Haley Award for exceptional distinction in scholarship, character, and activities.'

Credit: Scar Tactics


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