SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — A man who made headlines more than two decades ago as part of the infamous “Billionaire Boys Club” may face vehicular manslaughter charges in the death of a San Francisco pedestrian.
Ed Capalla was fatally struck by a taxicab at the intersection of Larkin and Eddy Streets on August 11th. Witnesses said the taxi was driving down Eddy and went through a red light. A car hit the taxicab, which spun out of control and killed Capalla in a crosswalk.
Maria Capalla, Ed’s wife, is coping as best as she can, caring for three children by herself.
“I’m a mess inside, But I’ve got to be strong for my kids,” Capalla said.
The family had spent the day celebrating their little girl’s first birthday. Ed Capalla was walking to the bus stop to get to his part-time job as a caregiver for a senior citizen when the crash occurred.
“He said it’s time for me to go to work,” Maria Capalla recalled. “I didn’t bother saying goodbye, because I figured, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Sources said the taxicab driver was 51-year-old Reza Eslaminia, once a member of the Billionaire Boys Club, a group of young and wealthy investors who turned into killers.
Led by his friend Joe Hunt, Eslaminia and another friend were convicted in 1988 of killing Reza’s father Hedayat Eslaminia in a botched kidnapping and extortion plot. Hedayat Eslaminia was a wealthy exiled Iranian who lived in Belmont.
The case inspired a Hollywood movie. Eslaminia’s murder conviction was eventually overturned in 2000 on a technicality.
Reza Eslaminia recently surfaced as a contract driver for Luxor Cab in San Francisco. Other drivers told CBS 5 they had no idea who he was.
Maria Capalla had never heard of Eslaminia either and doesn’t care about his past, just her future without the father of her children.
“It’s not fair that they had to lose a father, that I had to lose someone that I really cared about. I feel like I’m destined to live life alone,” she said.
The Capalla family lives in a small apartment in the Tenderloin and is getting some support from family and their church.
Eslaminia has not been arrested in the case. Police said their investigation is continuing. They plan to recommend that the District Attorney charge Eslaminia with vehicular manslaughter.
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