Categories: News

Woman Identified in Third Bizarre Death at SF General


A 33-year-old patient who last week became the third person in five years to die unexpectedly at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital was identified on Tuesday, though little other information is publicly known.

Laverne Criner died at the hospital around 6:20 a.m. on June 4, the medical examiner’s office said Tuesday, after being placed in the psychiatric ward on an involuntary 72-hour hold. Homicide was ruled out last week but the San Francisco Department of Public Health expects a report to be completed in the coming weeks, Bay City News reports.

Just five days earlier, another person was found dead on at the campus. A hospital employee found the body of 75-year-old Ruby Andersen in a stairway of a power plant facility on May 31 around 1 p.m.

Andersen, who lived in San Francisco, was reported missing on May 20 but was not a patient at the hospital. Homicide is also ruled out in Andersen’s case, but at least four local and state agencies are investigating her death.

The power plant facility now has badge-only access 24 hours a day and additional alarms and camera systems, according to Sheriff’s department officials.

But those aren’t the only security changes that have come in the wake of a death at the hospital. In 2013, a British woman was found in a hospital stairwell days after dying.

Lynne Spalding, 57, went missing the previous month just two days after being admitted to the hospital. The medical examiner’s office ruled the death accidental and due to an electrolyte imbalance, which dehydration can cause.

Spalding’s death prompted security changes after a six-month investigation by UCSF Medical Center yielded a list of recommendations. San Francisco settled a lawsuit with her family for almost $3 million.

Ida Mojadad @idamoj

Ida Mojadad is SF Weekly's staff writer, often covering politics, housing and transportation. Her words can also be found in the Orange County Register, KQED (NPR), Faribault Daily News, Northfield News and SF Examiner. You can reach her at (415)-359-2728 or by email at

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