Thursday, March 7, 2019

John Marcovich (1859-1907): Restaurateur gunned down by employee

Oakland Tribune headline and picture of murderer Frank Smith
Elks Plot 32, Grave 120

John Marcovich was a noted restaurateur who was killed by a waiter who he had fired earlier in the day for stealing a bottle of wine. 

According to the Oakland Tribune, he was leaning over a chair talking to two guests at The Gas Kitchen when Frank Smith walked up to him and shot him at point blank range while his Marcovich's wife looked on in terror. Smith unloaded five bullets, three that hit Marcovich in the back and two under his arms, one entering his heart. He uttered, "Goodbye, wife" and died. 

Frank Marcovich and his grave in the Elks Plot
A witness tried to stop Smith, but the gunman threatened to shoot him. He was then followed by a group of citizens on bicycle until the police could continue the chase, albeit unsuccessfully at first.  He was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri ten years after the murder. According to the Oakland Tribune (August 7, 1917), Smith was convicted and sent to San Quentin to serve a life sentence, but was paroled 10 years later. 

Parole document of Frank Smith
Smith allegedly had both a drinking problem and an addiction to gambling.

Marcovich's services were held at the Elks Lodge in Oakland and he is buried in the Elks Plot at Mountain View Cemetery. 

Source: Oakland Tribune, San Quentin Prison Records

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