Episode 530: Preston Castle and the Murder of Anna Corbin


Jan 18 2024 • 1 hr 11 mins

When it opened in 1894, the Preston School of Industry represented a change in how criminal offenders and wards of the state were treated in American society, shifting towards a more compassionate mission of reform over punishment. However, while the mission may have represented a more progressive approach to reforming young offenders, daily life for the young inmates was often as brutal as it would have been in an adult prison.

Thank you to the incredible Dave White of Bring Me The Ax Podcast and 99 Cent Rental for Research!


California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 2022. Cemetery Tales Preston holds remains of 18. October 24. Accessed December 22, 2023. https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/insidecdcr/2022/10/24/tales-from-the-cemetery-preston-holds-remains-of-18/.

Daily News. 1950. "Boys' school housekeeper murdered." Daily News, February 23: 1.

D'Souza, Karen. 2015. "Castle of shivers." Oakland Tribune, September 13: 67.

Grandbois, Ruth. 1950. "Housekeep at Preston School found murdered." Stockton Daily Evening Record, February 24: 1.

—. 1950. "Slaying victim 'like mother' to youths." Stockton Daily Evening Record, February 24: 1.

Long Beach Press-Telegram. 1950. "3 Ione School Inmates held after slaying ." Long Beach Press-Telegram, February 24: 1.

Lowery, James F. 1950. "Stained clothes of Ione suspect get blood test." Sacramento Bee, February 25: 1.

McClatchy Newspaper Service. 1950. "What kind of woman was slain Anna Corbin of Preston?" Sacramento Bee, February 27: 1.

McClatchy Newspapers Service. 1950. "Witness bares motive behind Preston killing." McClatchy Newspapers Service, June 15: 1.

—. 1950. "Inmate tells court he saw Preston killing." Sacramento Bee, March 10: 1.

McClatchy Newspapes Service. 1950. "Employees are cleared in Preston killing." Sacramento Bee, February 28: 1.

McManis, Sam. 2015. Discoveries: Ione’s Preston Castle opens up about its harsh, haunting past. June 28. Accessed December 21, 2023. https://www.sacbee.com/entertainment/living/travel/sam-mcmanis/article25499146.html.

Sacramento Bee. 1950. "Chief Preston killing witness changes story." Sacramento Bee, April 6: 41.

—. 1950. "Murder trial of Eugene Monroe is nearing close." Sacramento Bee, April 28: 1.

—. 1950. "Preston suspect was grilled in 1947 LA murder." Sacramento Bee, March 6: 1.

—. 1950. "Prosecutor plans parade of witnesses in Monroe trial." Sacramento Bee, April 26: 10.

—. 1950. "Youth Authority decides to free Preston inmate." Sacramento Bee, October 20: 1.

Sacramento Union. 1951. "Eugene Monroe, Preston parole, confesses sex-murder in Tulsa." Sacramento Union, July 28: 1.

Sacremento Daily Record-Union. 1889. "The reform school." Sacremento Daily Record-Union, February 16: 8.

San Francisco Examiner. 1894. "Preston School of Industry." San Francisco Examiner, August 6: 3.

Valley News Service. 1950. "State planning to reopen case against Monroe." Sacramento Union, April 30: 1.

Wilson, Stanley. 1950. "LA inmate is chief suspect in Ione killing." Sacramento Bee, March 1: 1.

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