GOOD MAN GONE
Sergeant Tom Perdue of the San Francisco Police Department was killed on 12 November 1998. He was riding his new motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson Sportster, about 9:30PM, on Market Street, when a Volvo turned in front of him. He suffered a ruptured aorta and a broken neck. He died instantly.
Tom was an expert on Asian crime. He was good at everything, but his specialties were Chinese and Japanese. When he walked the streets of Chinatown, he knew everyone, and their children. When you met someone, as you walked with Tom, he would later give you that person’s life history, how they had been wronged and by whom, or maybe who they’d wronged or cheated, and what he’d done about it. He knew the bad guys and the good guys, and the man who ran the tram. Bar girls, bat boys and Beat Specials, all knew Tom Perdue. His nick-name “The Monkey King,” spoke volumes to the knowledgeable.
He was a grand tour guide and knew well the history of his beloved San Francisco, and its people. A member of the Chinese Historical Society, he was aware of the racial barriers thrown up through the years, in the path of the Chinese population of San Francisco. He wanted to make things right, in the ways he could, by putting away some of the criminals that preyed on the Asian communities of the City by the Bay. He did a swell job.
Sergeant Perdue is survived by his wonderful daughters, Wendy and Janna.
He was known and respected.
He was liked.
He was loved.
He was a hero.
He was my friend.
He is dead, and the world is the worse for his passing.
His ashes have been scattered over the sea.
Inspector John McKenna, S.F.P.D. (Ret.), William L. Cassidy, David Kaplan (U.S. News) and I were among those who gave, for want of a better word, eulogies, at Tom’s funeral.
Lieutenant Jack Willoughby