(Robert George Domingos at age 18 in 1963)
(Linda Faye Edwards at age 17 in 1963)
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Killed: June 4, 1963 (Tuesday)
Case number: 73855
Time of attack: Unknown; probably late afternoon.
Place of attack: A remote beach
south of Gaviota in Santa Barbara County, Calif.
Method of attack: Robert Domingos, age 18, was shot 11 times. His fiancee, Linda
Edwards, age 17, was shot nine times. The weapon was a .22 caliber semi-automatic,
probably a rifle. The ammunition was Winchester Western Super X copper-coated long rifle.
There was no indication of robbery or sexual molestation. There were no witnesses. Due to
the remote location of the crime scene,
the bodies weren't found until the following evening.
Details: The victims were students at nearby Lompoc High School and were
participating in "Senior Ditch Day," a local tradition among students close to
graduation. Instead of celebrating with classmates at another location, however, Domingos
and Edwards chose to be alone at an isolated stretch of beach. Apparently the killer approached while they were sunbathing. As Edwards was forced to
bind Domingos at gunpoint with lengths of narrow rope (probably pre-cut), both victims
attempted to flee and were shot
numerous times. The circumstances of the shooting suggested the killer had some level of
expertise with firearms. The bodies were dragged approximately 30 feet to an empty shack occasionally occupied by
transients. Edwards was placed face up on top of Domingos and the top of her bathing suit
was cut open with a sharp instrument (probably a knife), exposing her breasts. The killer
then attempted to set fire to the shack with wooden matches, to no avail.
Zodiac victims? The similarities between this attack and Zodiac's Lake Berryessa attack of 1969 are striking. Additionally,
the ammunition used to kill Domingos and Edwards was the same kind Zodiac used at his Lake Herman Road attack of 1968. In 1972, the Santa Barbara
County Sheriff's Dept. issued a press
release in an attempt to conclusively link Zodiac to the Domingos-Edwards killings.
The potential involvement of the Zodiac received extensive coverage in the news media.
Conclusion: The Domingos-Edwards tragedy has Zodiac's fingerprints all over it: The
knife, gun, pre-cut rope and the motiveless assault on vulnerable teenagers at a remote
location. It is very unlikely this attack and Zodiac's Lake Berryessa attack were the work
of separate individuals.
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