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The Story:
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THE CALL BULLETIN, Dec. 11, 1947

Accused of the torch murder of his nephew in an outburst of violence, a wizened little Sausalito waterfront character trembled in his county jail cell today, dazed by the future he precipitated.

The accused slayer, George H. Kasolas, 69, 5 feet tall, wrinkled and leathery, was transferred from the county jail at San Rafael.

He was captured unharmed after standing off some 40 Peace Officers in a bizarre siege of nearly two hours in his barricaded houseboat "ark" near the Marinship yards yesterday.

The victim, Pete Hardez, 56, a waterfront familiar known as "Pete the Greek," was drenched with kerosene and burned to death after being felled by a homemade slug which authorities said he fired from his shotgun.

Police attributed the killing to a five year feud between uncle and a nephew over a real or fancied grievance over money. Signs in his native language plastered Kasolas' waterfront shanty accusing his nephew of failing to pay a debt.

On Kasolas' person, after his capture, was found $2,650.00 in cash.

The fatal assault on Hadzes was witnessed by Oscar Mauden of Sausalito, at work on a nearby boat. He said Hadzes, walking along the old North-western Pacific tracks in front of his uncle's "ark", was felled by a single blast, after which Kasolas ran from the shack, drenched the body with kerosene and ignited it.

Mauden ran to Sausalito's main street and summoned police. Police Chief James F. Doyle and a group of officers were unable to rout the old man from the house and summoned reinforcements, as Kasolas answered their fire.

Soon nearly 40 men from the Sheriff's Office, State Highway Patrol and San Quentin guards joined the siege. Submachine gun and rifle fire, as well as tear gas shells, were used.

Officers finally charged the shack and found Kasolas, unharmed by bullets or tear gas, holed up in a tiny rear closet. Beside him were two shotguns and some homemade slugs.

As he was rushed through a crowd of some 500 persons who had gathered at the scene, Kasolas kept muttering in broken English: "He owed me money. He would not pay. He owed me money."

The body of the victim A massive shoot-out ensues
The body of the victim who was murdered from the blasts of a shotgun and then torched to death. A massive shoot-out ensues after police officers surround the shack
as they attempted to gas out the suspect.
After an hour and a half, the suspect finally surrenders The suspect is arrested and the murder weapons are recovered
After an hour and a half, the suspect finally surrenders. The suspect is arrested and the murder weapons are recovered.

Last updated: 5/17/2007 1:16:53 PM