Friday, May 20, 2016

Progress, setback in search for crusading stripper

Exotic dancer Susanne Haines (edited)
Yesterday was one of those "good news, bad news" days in my on-again search for Susanne Haines -- the dancer at the center of Sacramento's landmark 1969 strip club indecency case.
The case made national headlines when Judge Earl Warren Jr. decided the jury needed to see the dance to decide whether it violated community standards. It also featured a performance from San Franciso dancer Carol Doda. It remains relevant because the case helped set the rules for exotic dance in California.
The bad news: new clues lead to yet another dead end (for now).
Good news: I found her sister Evangeline Fullmer AND she agreed to be interviewed on camera.
Finding Susanne has been no so simple get.
She was Susanne Haines
But first she was Susanne Tropper
then she was Susanne Register
and now Susanne Medina
Suddenly after months of no progress, I had actionable intelligence (i.e.  a phone number and address).
But alas it appears Susanne sold her central Florida residence and moved again. (Confirmed by a neighbor and If she not running sometimes it appears that way.
In the great news category, I've tracked down both her siblings Carlton Tropper and Evangeline (Tropper) Fullmer.
I spoke with Evangeline for about an hour.
The conversation started awkwardly, as one might suspect. I call out of the blue and her I am asking about things that happened nearly 50 years ago. But once we started talking, I think she enjoyed the trip down memory lane. At 73, she's sharp and thoughtful.
As a teen herself, Evangeline became the de facto mother to her younger sister Susanne and brother Carlton after their mother died and their father slid into alcoholism.
Susanne emerged as a free-thinking firebrand, unafraid to do her own thing.
"Susanne was different. She beat to her own drummer," Fullmer said. "Knowing Susanne I wasn't surprised," she said of her sister's path into stripping.
Susanne's sister won't be much help finding her. She didn't know Susanne had moved and isn't in regular contact with her once newsworthy sister.


  1. Keep looking Ed. Fate will smile in your direction at some point. You're one of the best crusading reporters that I know of. Keep it up!

  2. I was just out of the army and spent a lot of my time in that bar. Knew many of the girls casually, and ran for the black stallion when the cops raided the place as often as anyone usually taking a stripper with me. the fog was our best friend back then and we parked at the old gas station that is now a brake masters. The owner used to live on off Winding Way and Manzanita and he always had a beer for the young ex-military cop who always managed to wander in. we were crazy like the night one of the girls ( a redhead) crawled the bar topless to sit in my lap and share a beer. A minute later we were running from the cops again into the fog. John Misterly was as evil a sheriff that they made them.

    1. Thanks for sharing. If you've got stories we're all ears.