Bridget Lee Pendell-Williamson, age 23, was last seen in San Francisco, California in April 1997.
Bridget had what seemed to be a fairy tale life. She lived in Vermont, was a student at Barbizon School for Modeling, and was a registered nurse. She was married and had a young daughter.
Somewhere along the way, however, she got in with a bad crowd, and eventually left her life in Vermont behind in order to follow the Grateful Dead around the country. Sometimes she would take her daughter with her on her travels, other times she would leave her with relatives in Vermont.
Bridget left Vermont for the last time, with her daughter, in early 1996. By this time, she had descended into a life of drug addiction and had been in a recovery program just prior to leaving Vermont.
When she left, she left a bag at her mother’s doorstep. In it, was a notebook that contained her poetry. Among the writings was this:
Kneel next to me, at the bedside of madness,
Several explore the agony of her addiction:
due to you
and your evils
Vomit — on the floor
At the thought of your
Through my veins.
After arriving in San Francisco, Bridget was known to be staying at an SRO (low rent hotel) at 376 Ellis Street, and may have also stayed at similar hotels such as the Eula, and the 16th Street Hotel. She was living with a man known as ‘Cosmic Charlie Aldo’.
In April 1996, Bridget’s sister came to San Francisco and met Bridget at the 376 Ellis Street hotel, where she brought Bridget’s daughter back to Vermont. That was the last time anyone in Bridget’s family saw her.
In April 1997, Bridget was arrested for prostitution in the area of 16th and Capp streets. She did not appear for her court date, and that was the last known sighting of her.
Bridget’s sister Jackie went to San Francisco in 2004, in an unsuccessful attempt to locate Bridget. She talked to a myriad of homeless people, and many suggested that she may be a prostitute working under the name “Butterfly”.
Several others, however, thought Bridget resembled a homeless woman known as ‘The Crier’. A photo of The Crier is below.
Others said they were sure they’d seen her with tribal tattoos on her face.
Bridget’s late sister came across Cosmic Charlie hanging out on Haight Street – he said he had not seen Bridget since 1998 or 1999, and that he’d last seen her in the same area where she was arrested.
There are numerous agencies in San Francisco that cater to the homeless. There are even ‘census takers’ who comb the streets of San Francisco trying to get a count of the homeless population. There are needle exchanges, methadone clinics, soup kitchens, and outreach programs. They probably have no idea she’s missing, however, since her case is being investigated by the Santa Cruz Police Department.
Some sites state she was last seen in Santa Cruz, which is misleading.
Reports show that there were over 6000 homeless people in San Francisco at the last count in 2013.
It is worth noting that Jerry Garcia died in 1995 – although Grateful Dead continued to tour after Jerry’s death, they undoubtedly lost some of their following. This may have been the point that Bridget went from ‘deadhead’ to the state she was found in later.
Bridget’s family misses her and would like to get in contact with her. An unusual feature of Bridget’s is a blue cat tattoo on the abdomen.
If you have any information on her whereabouts, please let her know that her daughter, now an adult, really wants to see her mom.
Arrest photo in 1997:
Freewebs Site created by Jackie Horne, Bridget’s sister, who is now deceased