Brian Copeland returns to his San Leandro wellspring for his latest solo show, "The Scion." The East Bay city was the source of material for his first two shows, but here, instead of autobiographical recollections, he turns his serio-comic laser view on a grisly, 2000 murder at the Santos Linguisa Factory.

He focuses on Stuart Alexander, scion of the sausage manufacturing dynasty, and tells how the factory owner, guns blazing, murdered three government meat inspectors who had the audacity to insist on inspecting his factory, despite his strong objections.

As Copeland's take on the story goes, Alexander, going back to high school in San Leandro, had little regard for people in authority, especially when they wouldn't let him skate on things like smashing another kid's head with a baseball bat. Most of the time, he was able to get his way, prompting Copeland to muse on the notion of privilege often given to those who, by wealth or celebrity or outright bribery, feel they deserve special treatment, and truly are above the law.

Copeland uses court records and police reports to document his account of Alexander's final crime and takes testimony from longtime friends of the man who was sentenced to death (he died of a pulmonary embolism while on death row in December 2005), to show a pattern of violence and privilege going back to his youth.

But "The Scion" isn't anything close to a weekly episode of "Law & Order." Copeland is a longtime comedian and observer of the passing human show. He is able to find laughter in the most dire of circumstances.

His first solo work, "Not a Genuine Black Man," was a look at his childhood as one of the few black people in San Leandro, which was deemed one of the most racist cities in the country. His second play, "The Waiting Period," was about his lifelong battle with depression.

Both pieces were revelatory and poignant and wildly funny in places, as Copeland used his sharply focused humor to draw laughs and make his points extremely clear. As with his other shows, Copeland developed "The Scion" with director and collaborator David Ford.

The sausage factory shootings may be among the grisliest murders in Alameda County, and certainly in San Leandro, long considered a quiet suburb in the county's much quieter southern sector. That was all shattered in 2000 when Bay Area residents woke up to hear of the Santos Linguisa Factory shootings, which not only included the executions of the three food inspectors within the factory, but also the gun-slinging Alexander chasing a fourth, also unarmed, inspector down the street, firing his gun at him. This drew calls from neighbors, who, according to reports, apparently thought the black inspector either had tried to rob Alexander or was the one shooting -- another bit of fodder for Copland's comments.

When the smoke cleared, Alexander said the shooting was the fault of the inspectors, who had provoked him. And, during his trial, it became clear the scion believed himself above the law.

Contact Pat Craig at pjcraig495@yahoo.com.

'THE SCION'
Written and performed
by Brian Copeland
Through: March 1
Where: The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St., San Francisco
Running time: 1 hour,
30 minutes
Tickets: $15-$60, 415-282-3055, www.themarsh.org.