The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The spooky side of San Ramon’s history

Reyna Jimenez
San Ramon celebrates its 40th birthday in 2023.

This Nov. 4, San Ramon Valley will be celebrating its 40 year anniversary on Nov. 4, with many activities, the biggest one being the Light Parade that will be happening from Camino Ramon all the way to Bollinger Canyon. 

This momentous occasion calls for a recap of San Ramon’s seemingly stereotypical suburban history, which is not as boring as the average high schooler may think. At times, it’s downright spooky.

A lot of San Ramon’s streets and parks have deep roots; they are named after original inhabitants who first settled here. Originally, San Ramon belonged to the Seunen Native Americans and Coastoans. Over time, it changed into Mission San Jose grazing land which included Jose Maria Amador’s Rancho land, which was over 16,000 acres long. 

San Ramon was not always called San Ramon. In the 1800’s, it had many names, such as Brevensville, Limerick, and Lynchville. Eventually, when a permanent post office was opened, it was officially named San Ramon after a Native American vaquero named Ramon who had a farm of sheep.

San Ramon is also the location of one of the worst mass murders ever seen in California history.

However, unknown to most people, San Ramon Valley has a dark side to it as well. Recently, an infamous killer known as the Golden State Killer or the East Area Rapist was arrested, in April of 2018. His real name is Joseph James DeAngelo. From 1974 to 1986, DeAngelo committed 13 murders, 51 rapes, and 120 burglaries, out of which a considerable amount were committed in San Ramon Valley. One of his victims, Mary Stewart of Contra Costa County, was attacked in her home at age 13 and brutally raped. In an interview, she says, “He insinuated his filth and evil into our life.”  Right on the street of San Ramon Valley Boulevard, he attacked Ian and Sunny Walther. In the nearby Greenbrook neighborhood, he assaulted Clay and Ellen Cerro. These are just a few of his many victims. 

San Ramon is also the location of one of the worst mass murders ever seen in California history. In 1964, Pacific Air Lines Flight 773 crashed due to a hijacking, killing over 40 people. Francisco Gonzales, a suicidal and depressed passenger, stormed into the cockpit and turned the gun on the two pilots, killing both of them before turning the gun upon himself and ending his life as well. As a result, the plane crashed into the hills near San Ramon. You might even be able to see these hills today, and perhaps a couple of unsuspecting cows grazing on them. Incidentally, this plane crash was also the first time a gun was shot on a plane, killing a pilot.  A rumor going around Dougherty Valley High School is that the ghost of these pilots supposedly haunts the 4K. 

“Supposedly, a ghost from the site of the crash roams around,” Ms. Knapp says. “I heard this from a teacher, though. I can’t reveal my sources”. 

There is no proof to the truth of these rumors, but it would explain the usual trashed state of the  building. 

An interesting (and slightly eerie) historical fact about Dougherty’s sister school, San Ramon Valley High, is that it is built on a prehistoric native burial site. In July of 2009, when renovating the school’s gym, the construction workers found something very unexpected: a human skull. Upon further investigation, over 22 skeletons were found, buried 3 to 8 feet below the ground. These bones were  found to be between 250 – 2000 years old. Further investigation found that  the bodies were of Native American origin. The bones were then moved to a burial ground in Fremont. As displayed in many movies, there’s many urban myths and legends about how moving the dead creates a lot of unhappy souls and disgruntled ghosts. Students of San Ramon Valley High, keep your guard up at all times, lest you see a ghost roaming about. 

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About the Contributors
Rutu Tahasildar
Rutu Tahasildar, Social Media Manager
Rutu joined the Tribune because she felt more people in the world needed to hear her brilliant thoughts. She was in J1 last year. In her free time, she likes to read, play video games, and bike on trails. Rutu's goal for the year is to write at least one article that starts arguments among people. If she could be anyone else on the Tribune, she would be Janisha because she got to go to the Taylor Swift concert.
Reyna Jimenez
Reyna Jimenez, Staff Writer
Reyna joined the Tribune to have an outlet where she can express her creativity through writing. She was previously in J1. In her free time, she likes to bake for her family, draw, play the bass, and wrestle. Reyna's goal this year is to get outside of her comfort zone as much as possible and experiment in all mediums. If she could be anyone on the Tribune, she would be Janvi because she’s very articulate, and always sits in the most comfortable chair during class.

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