Tiburon woman killed in rare murder

September 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
On Tuesday, a grandmother was found dead in front of her house. The 75-year-old woman was shot in the head and is the first homicide case in Tiburon in 10 years.

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The FBI considers Tiburon among the safest cities in California, so this murder comes as quite a shock. The body was discovered in the morning by a friend who makes routine visits to the house.

The normally quiet Tiburon street was a flurry of police activity Tuesday night, as investigators continued to look for clues in the murder of 75-year-old Joan Rosenthal.

Residents of the Del Mar neighborhood aren't used to this sort of attention, so much so that no one ABC7 talked to wanted to be identified on camera.

"I can accept something you know a person being ill and being diagnosed with something?or you even hear of an accident and sometimes you come to terms with that, but this? No, in this neighborhood, are you kidding?" said a neighbor.

Investigators say Rosenthal was found with a gunshot wound to the head near her front door in an enclosed patio. They were no apparent signs of a break-in and no obvious signs of theft. Tiburon police aren't used to dealing with murders so they've asked for outside help. The Marin County Sheriff's Department and Belvedere police are assisting with the investigation, which is Tiburon's fourth homicide in 40 years, the first in 10 years.

"What it is, is a woman who has obviously been murdered on her front doorstep at her residence and beyond that we really don't have any suspects or even a motive at this point," said Tiburon Police Chief Michael Cronin.

Rosenthal was active at the Belvedere-Tiburon Library where she volunteered and organized book clubs. Her deceased husband was a former attorney and amateur photographer, whose works can be found above the library's main desk. Those who know Rosenthal say they can't even imagine who would have wanted to kill her.

"We'll begin to contact people that she knew, begin to identify all those people who had associated with her, who might have been here, what they might have been doing. We'll be talking to neighbors to see if there was anyone suspicious in the neighborhood," said Chief Cronin.

Rosenthal leaves behind two sons and five grandchildren. All are said to be living in the Bay Area.

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