David Faraday
(David Arthur Faraday at age 17 in 1968)

Betty Lou Jensen
(Betty Lou Jensen at age 16 in 1968)

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The Lake Herman Tragedy

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Killed: Dec. 20, 1968 (Friday)

Case number: V-25564

Time of attack: Approximately 11:15 p.m.

Place of attack: A gravel parking area along remote Lake Herman Road on the eastern outskirts of Vallejo, Calif.

Method of attack: David Faraday, age 17, was shot once in the head at point-blank range and died within minutes. Betty Lou Jensen, age 16, was shot five times in the back and killed instantly. The weapon was a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol. The ammunition was Winchester Western Super X copper-coated long rifle. There was no indication of robbery or sexual molestation. While there were no witnesses, several vehicles were seen in the area just prior to local resident Stella Borges discovering the crime scene.

Details: According to the police report, the victims were apparently approached while occupying Faraday's station wagon. Shots were fired into the vehicle in an apparent effort to force them out. Jensen exited the front passenger door first, followed by Faraday. Faraday was shot as he emerged from the car, Jensen was then shot as she fled on foot. It was the first date Jensen had ever been allowed on and the crime shocked the community. The shooting could not be explained by Faraday's family. Jensen's family was equally dumbfounded.

Conclusion: While Faraday and Jensen are traditionally considered definite Zodiac victims, there have been many other suspects in this case. In the early 1990s, former Vallejo Police Department detective John Lynch said the couple was killed because Faraday had learned of a major drug deal and had been talking openly about who was involved. Other sources have speculated that Zodiac wasn't responsible because no taunting letters or phone calls were received until months after the murders. However, when Zodiac finally took credit for this attack, he provided many details that were not known to the general public. Perhaps Zodiac's sense of fulfillment following the Faraday-Jensen murders was so strong that he didn't feel the need to immediately brag to the news media. More than 30 years later, local residents still haven't forgotten this crime. And the secluded area of the murders hasn't changed very much at all.

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