San Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 72, 10 February 1902

The Baffling Murder of Nora Fuller

Nora was just 15-years-old when she disappeared and became one of San Francisco’s oldest cold cases

Heather Monroe
8 min readOct 30, 2019

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Photo of Nora Fuller, San Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 47, 16 January 1902

Eleanor Maude Fuller, known to friends and family as “Nora,” was an American girl born in China around 1886. The daughter of Wilfred and Alice Fuller, Nora had three siblings: an older brother named Louis, a younger sister named Sybil, and a baby brother called Wilfrid. The family made their home at 1747 Fulton Street in San Francisco, California.

In January of 1902, Nora’s life was taken at just 15-years-old. That fact alone is tragic enough. The circumstances surrounding the child’s murder are baffling.

Nora Goes Missing

Mr. and Mrs. Fuller struggled financially and had become estranged. Nora wanted to ease her mother’s s burden, so she quit school and sought employment.

Nora responded to an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle that read, “Wanted — Young white girl to take care of baby; good home and good wages.” She was ecstatic to receive the following post:

“Miss Fuller: In answer to yours in response to my advertisement, kindly call at the Popular Restaurant, 55 Geary Street, and inquire for Mr. John Bennett, at 1 o’clock. If you can’t come at 1, come at 6. — John Bennett.”

Nora left for that meeting around 5 PM on January 11, 1902. Approximately an hour later, Nora phoned home. Her brother Louis answered.

Nora’s voice quaked as she told him she was in Mr. Bennett’s home at 1500 Geary Street, and he wanted her to start working right away. Lewis relayed the message to their mother, who suggested that Nora come home. Her new job could wait until Monday. The voice on the other end said, “Alright,” and abruptly hung up.

That was the last time anyone heard Nora’s voice; she never returned home. Little did she know, the ad and subsequent post cared were just bait. It was all a…

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Heather Monroe

Welcome readers! Heather Monroe is a genealogist and writer who resides in California with her partner and their nine children. •True Crime• History• Memoir•