1. pendell-williamson_bridget4

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:

I’m tainted,


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:



Charley Project


Freewebs Site created by Jackie Horne, Bridget’s sister, who is now deceased


29 thoughts on “Bridget Lee Pendell-Williamson

  1. The Crier-I feel she is dead. Jack Bokin was molested as a child and he was one evil person. I know he killed and raped more woman than reported, but I do not feel Bridget was one of his victims. I see Bridget with a Mexican or Spanish man. Some how she was connected to him or in his presence when she died. To many drugs and being at the wrong place at the wrong time did not help. She was very ill. Something was very wrong with her organs. The Bay area is important.

  2. You seem to be really thorough, so you probably found the same thing I just did–a note about Jackie’s death in the comments under an unrelated item in the Charley Project blog:


    Tracey Reitterer Says:
    November 4, 2010 at 1:07 am | Reply

    Regarding Bridget Pendell Williamson – her sister Jacqueline Horne – another sad disgusting case where the police department’s hands are tied. A woman who dedicated her life to finding her lost sister, who also worked as a court advocate helping people GET OFF DRUGS & turn their lives around supposably “overdoses” and no one is prosecuted for it?? What about the prior junkie living in her home? The one police were called to her home about 5 times in a 6 month period – the same man whom, by all accounts, she was trying to get rid of – the same man who stayed at the hospital till she was admitted, & rather than waiting around to see if she would be ok, ran back to her house, (probably to hide the evidence) and lied to police about his identity, as well as refused to let police into HER home to conduct an investigation – AND POLICE CANT CHARGE HIM WITH HER DEATH???? “She overdosed while out on the deck smoking a cigarette.” Give me a frigging break. 2 years in prison for drug possession is not nearly long enough for this scumbag & murderer. Someone really needs to get ahold of prosecutor Brian DeVane to see why this guy isnt up on more serious charges in Jacqueline’s death. Circumstantial as tho the case may be, it certainly sounds like a strong one to me! Many prayers to this family for all they’ve had to endure.

    – – –

    I guess there’s no connection with Bridget’s case, but wow. So much tragedy for this family.

    I have a bad feeling I’m going to be up all night reading your blog, which I stumbled on earlier today via an article on Synanon. I am fascinated by the cases of missing persons, and the care and thoroughness with which you both research these cases and present them to us here–bringing the missing “to life” in at least the limited form of telling their stories–really impresses me.

    • Thank you so much! I wish I could blog more frequently about these cases, but there is often so little information to be found. Yes, it is strange about Bridget’s sister, but likely a tragic coincidence. It really annoys me that this case isn’t on the San Francisco PD’s books, I don’t know how much the Santa Cruz PD can do since her last known location was over an hour away from there.

  3. My name is Debbie Hartman and I worked on the missing persons case of Bridget Pendell. Bridget’s sister Jackie called the Santa Cruz County Sheriff Coroner to make the MP report in 2003/2004. Bridget had been through Santa Cruz but hadn’t lived here, and even though SF was the more appropriate jurisdiction in which to file (her last sighting, residence and application for benefits were all in SF), SFPD was not receptive to taking her report since Jackie had last seen Bridget in 1996, 8-years prior, and she was an adult and could be “missing” if she so chose. Jackie then contacted Santa Cruz Sheriff Coroner and the Deputy took the report because he was aware that as law enforcement, he was mandated to take a missing persons report. That’s how Santa Cruz became involved.

    I’ve never forgotten about Bridget and her case is periodically looked at for new leads. DNA from her family is on file. If she is ever pulled over or arrested or her name is run through the system, a hit will ping that she is a missing person out of Santa Cruz County. I’m looking at possible new information now and hence my online searching for Bridget’s name and coming across your website and several others.

    Jack Bokin is mentioned by the first commenter here. Jackie communicated with him about Bridget and I have those letters in my file. His victims were similar in appearance to Bridget and she frequented the streets around where he lived. That’s all I can say on that at this time.

    The Crier – she certainly resembles Bridget. Jackie asked SF Chronicle Brant Ward if she could see the 100’s of photos not used in the award winning series “Shame of the City” (which chronicled the lives and issues of the City’s homeless). She took one look at The Crier and felt this woman looked so much like Bridget. As far as I know, The Crier was never identified.

    Facial Tattoos – After Jackie’s story was featured in The Chronicle, well over 100 leads were phoned in, many regarding a girl with tribal tattoos on her face. I could see why people saw a resemblance, but she was positively identified and was not Bridget.

    Bridget’s case is considered a Cold Case, but that’s not a bad thing – the Sheriff’s Office has dedicated volunteers working on cold cases and that’s how the current lead came about. So, this not-so-brief email is a thank you for keeping such cases alive and to let you know just a little background on what’s been (and is) going on with it here in Santa Cruz.

    • Thank you so much for posting. I am very encouraged to hear that the case IS being investigated, and that there are new developments. I hope you will come back and share them if and when you are able to. My heart breaks for this girl.

    • Of all I have been able to gather from the reports regarding Bridget they all seem similiar, still I have yet to hear any mention of her husband. There is really no mention of why she decided to leave the union or where she was when she decided to go on the road following a touring band. I would think the break-up of the union would yield something of worth. Doesn’t seem to make sense.

      • The husband and their marriage was explored (with assistance from Bridget’s late sister Jackie, whose absolute passion and determination rivaled any investigator’s skill) and there was nothing to link their marriage/break-up to Bridget’s disappearance.

        • I was going to say that I didn’t think her husband would be involved since she was known to be alive several years after their break-up.

          I did contact the SF Mayor’s office awhile back since they oversee the homeless person ‘census’ that they do, to see if they could keep an eye out for her. I kind of doubt that she is still in San Francisco but I do think it’s possible that she is still alive and might come back there at some point. They said they would pass the info along.

          • Always good to rehash questions, theories and other information even if it’s been gone over and eliminated. New eyes, new thoughts are what keep hope alive.

  4. Ms. Hartman, I thought of a few questions I was hoping you might be able to answer.

    1) When she was arrested, did she give a home address? I’m asking because if she lived in one of the hotels she probably wasn’t living there alone and it might help to find out who else lived there at that time.

    2) Do you know if she was going by Pendell-Williamson, or just Pendell or just Williamson?

    3) The articles stated that she was arrested but never appeared for her court date. Was she released or did someone bail her out? Do you know how long she was in custody and/or when the court date was?

    I guess I am just trying to get a feel for whether there might have been people who were around her in the days leading up to her disappearance that might remember something.

    • Please, you can call me Debbie. I don’t have my file now, so this is from memory:

      1) Yes, there was a home address, and it was indeed a hotel. Jackie knew the person who crashed there with Bridget on occasion and I spoke with him, as did Jackie. I even located the former manager of the hotel and spoke with him in person. He couldn’t recall much. So much time had passed and 99% of the people spoken with led lives that weren’t conducive to good memory retention.

      2) Mostly Pendell, but also used Pendell-Williamson and Williamson.

      3) She was booked and released – in and out. I don’t remember the court date. The last place I can put her in is in SF, where she had an appointment regarding county financial assistance, and she never showed up for that appointment.

        • “It just seems like there is someone out there who has a piece of the puzzle but doesn’t know it.” This statement is for sure on the “no truer words have been spoken” list!

          • Debbie,

            I’m not sure if you are still following this site, but another question occurred to me. Do you know if Bridget was arrested alone when the mug shot was taken? Is it possible that her John was arrested at the same time and released at the same time, making him the last to see her alive?

  5. Hi,
    My email is on file/registered here so your question popped right in my in-box! I don’t know that Bridget had a john (but that’s not to say it wouldn’t be surprising if she obtained drugs for herself and another person by trade or money in exchange for services)… arrest records are run by the name of the person in question and will only shoot back just that individual’s arrests and court dispositions. A police report on the incident would list other suspects or witnesses, but those records were destroyed prior to my work on the case.

      • I think about her too and she has to be somewhere… maybe a Jane Doe somewhere that hasn’t been logged in properly… I just don’t know. Her mom and daughter have DNA on file and the Sheriff has a really sharp volunteer, Donna Rodoni, who is actively working on the case too.

  6. You know, I was just reading back through all this and noticed something.

    The Charley Project states that Bridget had tribal tattoos around her wrists. I can’t be 100% certain because zooming in blurs the image, but it does appear that there is something resembling a tattoo around both wrists on The Crier. This makes me feel it is more likely that The Crier is, in fact, Bridget.

    If it is her, that places her alive and in San Francisco in 2004.

    That led me back to Cosmic Charlie. He stated in the SF Gate article that he’d last seen her in 98 or 99. I had pretty much dismissed that and figured he had actually seen her back in 96 or 97. But now I’m thinking he could have been right.

    The other thought I had, was that if a full image of The Crier were available, it might show something in the background – a building, maybe. If the building could be identified, it wouldn’t be too difficult to obtain the permits which would state the building’s dimensions. Then it would be possible to get a pretty good guess at The Crier’s height to see if it matches Bridget’s.

    I think I’ve actually seen a picture with a building in the background but I can’t seem to find it now.

    Just a couple thoughts I had.

  7. I wanted to add that I did finally find the full version of the Crier photo. It is what appears to be a wooden bench she is sleeping under, and it appears to be indoors, as the bench doesn’t appear to have been exposed to the elements.

    • I’m always happy to see that people are still looking into this. I read your comments last night and thought more about Bridget on my way into work. There’s an answer somewhere, but we just haven’t been able to find it.

      Jackie Horne pegged the photo of the woman named The Crier after looking through literally hundreds of photos taken by SF Chronicle photog Brant Ward that weren’t used in the series “Shame of The City” by Kevin Fagan. I’m not able to post a link here, but she’s camped out on the sidewalk. If you Google “Bridget Pendell””Jackie Horne” “San Francisco Chroncile” (just as I’ve written, including quotations) the article should pop up and the full photo is there.

      Bridget’s biceps had the tribal tattoos, not her wrists. Still, the facial features are very similar to Bridget’s and a life on the street with drugs and prostitution can age someone pretty quickly. It’s been 13-years since that photo was taken. I’ll email Brant and see if he recalls it, and if he ever got any feedback on who she might be.

      • Thank you, Debbie!

        I did find the full photo and added it to my original post after posting my comment.

        Is it possible that the Crier is sleeping under a bench indoors in the photo? I can’t quite make it out but to me it appears to be a varnished wooden bench that hasn’t been exposed to elements.

        Based on something else I read, I think it may be inside the Trans Bay ferry terminal. It just seems to me that if there were a way to get a measurement on something else in the picture, it could determine the Crier’s height and possibly rule her out.

        I really appreciate your commenting here, Bridget is on my mind often.

        • It looks like she’s in front of (vs. under) marble or granite panels that have a narrow ledge to the window. Do you see the bike wheel next to it? That gives it a little perspective. I agree it looks like a terminal or some kind of waiting area with the benches.

          We look at her records periodically – still no arrests, no applications for welfare, no social security, no nothing. Maybe in time there will be some clue that comes forward to give us more to go on.

  8. So if she was forced into prostitution human trafficking that’s why she cries she is scared , the pimp probably threatened to kill her sister

    • Thank you for commenting.

      Her sister didn’t live in California so I don’t think there would likely have been threats against Jackie in San Francisco.

      I also think that if Bridget is The Crier, she probably didn’t have a pimp. Most pimps maintain control and dependence on them. A pimp typically wouldn’t have her out sleeping on the sidewalk where they couldn’t keep tabs on her.

      But if the Crier is her, I think there’s a decent chance she is still among the homeless population somewhere. That’s what I hope is the case.

    • Yes that could be a possibility they could be hiding in San Francisco , I did not say that the pimp was going to kill her sister but that’s a possibility that’s why she had to leave and some people are just too afraid to tell because they’ve been threatened other prostitutes or probably threatened to if you watch movies on Lifetime based on fact about human trafficking how these people are there are sick twisted men and women out there and for the money for human trafficking I hope they all get caught for all the bad things they do to women and girls

  9. She may be a victim of human trafficking being in the big city could be a possibility kidnap and adductors like to go to big cities if she has not been seen in San Francisco no more then they probably shipped or somewhere else probably to Mexico or other cities she’s probably someone’s victim

  10. She may be a victim of human trafficking and scared to death if she has not been seen no more in San Francisco , then they probably ship tour to Mexico or to another big city to to the next bidder , she may have been involved with the wrong deadhead who was stray away from all the good dead heads like maybe a boyfriend was involved in this sex trafficking, maybe he got involved with the wrong crowd the greed of money.

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