San Francisco History

Death of Lana Turner's Father


Body Found in Potrero With Watch, Pin and Money Missing

With all the appearances of having been "taken for a ride," the body of Virgil M. Turner, war veteran and stevedore boss, husband of a night club entertainer, was found yesterday morning in the Potrero district, behind the Southern Pacific roundhouse.

The body was propped in a sitting position against a warehouse at Mariposa and Minnesota streets. Other than a bruised eye, there were no signs of injury. Death was due to the blow on the eye.


Police were inclined to a theory that Turner, sometimes known as Johnson, was killed in a gambling row in a down town alley, but the possibility that he was slain by gangsters also was under investigation.

Mrs. Mildred Turner, blonde night club entertainer, reported she had last seen her husband about 12:30 o'clock yesterday morning, and that he had been wearing a valuable diamond stickpin, carried a watch and considerable money. No money, watch or pin was found on the man.


Turner, in company with a friend whose name has not been learned, visited the night club to talk with his wife, from whom he had been separated about a year.

He apparently returned to his hotel at Fourth and Mission streets in his coupe, and went out again about 2 o'clock in the morning. Who his companions were, if any, had not been learned early last night.

A daughter of Turner and his wife is Julia Jean Turner, 8, residing with Mrs. Virginia Britt at Stockton. [His daughter, Julia Jean, became Lana Turner, the famous actress. -Ron Filion]

Death was caused by a cerebral hemorrhage, caused by the eye blow, autopsy revealed.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 15 December 1930, page 6.

[Virgil Turner officially died on 14 December 1930 and was buried in the Presidio National Cemetery, San Francisco, CA - Ron Filion]


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