Noe Valley Voice September 2010

Cops Close Noe Murder Case

By Corrie M. Anders

Though a few loose ends remain, the long police investigation into the April 8 murder of a 30-year-old man in front of his 28th Street home is officially over.

“The Charles McAleer-Bonilla case has been closed,” Lt. Lyn Tomioka, the police department’s spokeswoman, told the Voice last month.

However, Tomioka said the department was unable to determine a motive in the slaying of McAleer-Bonilla, a gregarious city employee who delivered interoffice mail at the San Francisco Water Department. The most important clue was a four-block-long trail of blood the injured killer left during his escape.

A Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department officer shot and killed Anthony Alvarez, the only suspect in the McAleer-Bonilla murder, in an unrelated incident. Alvarez, 26, was being sought on a variety of felony charges when he was shot June 11 after a two-day standoff with law enforcement authorities.

After Alvarez’s death, investigators connected his DNA to the blood sample in the McAleer-Bonilla case. Until then, San Francisco police had been delayed in testing the blood evidence because of problems within the city’s crime lab.

McAleer-Bonilla died as a result of knife wounds suffered during an altercation on his front steps (see “The Life and Untimely Death of Charles McAleer-Bonilla,” May 2010 Voice). While the city’s 14th murder rattled Noe Valley residents, police officials said at the time they did not believe the slaying was a random event. Tomioka confirmed that McAleer-Bonilla and Alvarez had known each other, but did not explain the relationship.

Family members could not be reached for comment.

McAleer-Bonilla had lived most of his life in Noe Valley. He graduated from St. Paul’s K-8 School in 1994 and attended Riordan High School and the International Studies Academy. He left a teenaged son, mother, and sister, as well as his son’s mother and family.