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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 6:17 pm:   

I just got back from LB and Zodiac Island a little while ago, and things have changed quite a bit! I was there last September when Fincher & Co were filming the LB scene for the upcoming movie, and caught sight of some trailers and the production crew from Knoxville Road, but otherwise saw nothing of import. Next (and last) time I was there was in December, and the northern part of Oak Shores Recreation Area (where Twin Oak Ridge and Z Island are located) was closed for renovations for who knows how long (come to think of it, I may have stopped by again since then, but it was still closed).

It's now open, but it was otherwise deserted. I walked to the top of the hill that overlooks Z Island, and was amazed to see that everything was gone! Angie reported that the 3rd tree had fallen down sometime between September 2004 (the last TFM) and May 2005 when she visited next, and all that was left was a 6 foot tall stump (the rest had actually broken off and was laying on the shore). Well, the stump has been removed, as have the other 2 stumps (the one in the middle of the island is all that remained of the tree Z hid behind while donning his hood), the picnic table has been removed, and so has the barbecue. Nothing remains except what appear to be thistles of some sort. Two saplings have been planted, but that's about it.

When that final tree had broken off, I felt as if I'd lost an old friend. Now that everything else is gone and the island is bare, it doesn't even really look like the same place anymore. I'm glad that many of us have photographically documented the Island ever since Ken Narlow told Mike Rodelli and I in October 1999 that Twin Oak Ridge was the correct location and that it was not Shale Point and Graysmith Island (as I call it, because that's where Yellow Book claimed the attack occurred but it is in reality the wrong place).

Memories may fade and the crime is forgotten by most, but at least we keep it alive in the hope that the Zodiac Killer may one day be identified and brought to justice.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 8:58 pm:   

Time heals all wounds. There is grass now growing in certain areas under the World Trade Center "ground zero" crater. Hell... I bet grass even grows on Graysmith Island.

Thanks for sharing your observations, Ed. Justice for Z? I'm not optimistic.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 9:55 pm:   

Me either, to be honest. Doesn't mean we should give up, however!

And yes, grass does grow on Graysmith Island, even if it is the wrong place.
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 2:06 am:   

Thanks for showing Zodiac Point to all of us when you did, Ed. I don't get to lie down by the picnic table and watch for approaching Zodiac anymore? Boo-hoo. Wonder if they plan the island to be flooded by rising lake water in the near future?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 3:35 am:   

Here's what Zodiac Island looks like today:

Z Island 2006.jpg

Considering all the rain we had last winter, it was very likely submerged (or nearly so) for a few months. However, because of the renovations they were doing (and since I don't have access to a boat), I saw little point in driving out there to see since I couldn't get anywhere near it. If we get as much rain again this winter, it may be covered by the lake (and I'll be able to check it out this time too).
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Amozartii
Username: Amozartii

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 8:15 pm:   

Ed, how deep is the island sumerged during the winter months? Maybe the hood is sumerged (as well as other things) out there somewhere.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 12:53 am:   

It never is as far as I know, but I wondered if it might have been last winter due to the amount of rain we had (it did flood here in Napa on New Years' Eve after all). However, considering the renovations at the north end of Oak Shores where Z Island is, I had no way of even getting close to it on foot for several months (you certainly couldn't drive out there), and you can't see it from Knoxville Road (at least, I haven't been able to pick it out yet from among all the inlets). At most, the sand spit that connects Z Island to the shore is submerged under probably not much more than 3 feet of water during the rainy season, but most of it is still above water.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2006 - 1:36 pm:   

Last night, I drove over to Washington & Cherry in PH, and after hitting just about every red light there was (and stopping by 7-11 to get Altoids and $10 cash back since I needed money for the Bay Bridge toll and didn't want to waste time going all the way to the bank), I pulled up on Cherry street and walked to the corner just after 10 PM. I saw 3 men standing there, and watched them for a few seconds to see what they were up to... I don't think they noticed me at first, and I heard them talking about Z. I approached, and recognized one of them (of course, they were initially standing in such a way that I couldn't see 2 of their faces, and the 3rd gentleman, whose face I could see, was someone I didn't know!) as none other than zodiologist Rick Salas. The gentleman to his left was... Mike Rodelli! The 3rd guy was John, a friend of Rick's.

It was quite chilly, and we chatted there for perhaps half an hour or more, and then walked north on Cherry to Jackson, and noted the house on the northwest corner (I think it's 1 Cherry Street) is undergoing extensive renovations (too dark to get a good pic). We continued over to Spruce and Pacific, stopping for a few minutes by 3712/3728 Jackson, where Fouke & Zelms spotted Z (we also passed Mr X's house on the way), then onto the gateway through the wall between Pacific and West Pacific. Rick pointed out a window on the 3rd (I think) floor of one of the homes right there, which was almost a Z symbol (too dark to take a pic, however), and he said it was lighted up when he first saw it earlier that evening. We chatted there for maybe another half hour or so, and headed back to Washington & Cherry. Mike said he was staying in the city for another few days then heading home, and since Rick & John took a cab to the crime scene, Mike drove John home, and I took Rick.

I was expecting to stay at the crime scene for only a few minutes then head home, but I was pleasantly surprised to see I was not the only one to remember Paul Stine and pay my respects on the 37th anniversary of his murder.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2006 - 7:00 pm:   

Ed--Great post. I too have been thinking about Stine on the anniversary.--Keep it coming.
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 12:30 pm:   

This is the best place I can find to post this question. I am hoping to visit relatives in Reno around May of 2007. While there I plan on traveling to San Fran by way of I-80. I'd prefer to get to Lake Berryessa by way of Monticello Rd. Is this the best way to get to LB from I-80? Also, once on Knoxville Rd. how does one find Zodiac island?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 8:48 pm:   

Breakout, let me know when you're here, and if it's during the week, I'll give you the Z tour. If it's a weekend, I'll have to give you directions instead (since I work weekends).
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 02, 2006 - 2:41 pm:   

Breakout,Even with directions it is hard to find Z Island. If you are here on a weekend, or while Ed is at work. I will be happy to show you where it is.As well as the Napa - Vallejo Z spots. The S.F. Zodiac crime area anyone can find.
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 03, 2006 - 10:49 am:   

Thank you Sandy and Ed. I really appreciate that. I havent made any plans yet so I don't know if it will be a weekend or weekday when I come through, but I assume it may be a weekday due to the Saturday night stay and I plan on only staying about a week. Anyway, I will keep in touch and post an update when it gets closer to time. But again, thanks for the generous offers and I would love to take one of you up on it. Michelle
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 11:48 pm:   

Two nights ago, I drove out to LHR, where this Zodiac mystery first started 38 years back. It's quite odd driving out there now, since there is a huge plaza nearby, car dealerships literally a mile from BRS and 5 from LHR, new housing developments and so on (plus, Columbus Parkway has been closed for months, so I had to take a detour, but was informed by Nite Rider in the chatroom after I got back that half of it was reopened just 2 weeks ago. There were 2 cars in front of me who both took the detour, so I followed them, figuring they knew what they were doing).

I got out to the attack site a little after 11 and saw the "No Tresspassing" sign had been removed (probably stolen), and I parked for a moment in the same spot where David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen had parked so long ago. I turned the engine and lights off and sat for a moment, realizing that I was totally alone out there. There were no cars, nothing.

As I sat there and looked out at LHR to my left, I suddenly realized why Z herded his victims out of the passenger side door: he parked his car on that side, probably close enough that, once the door was open, there was only one way to run, and that was west, back towards the road. If he allowed Faraday to escape out the driver's side, he could easily have escaped across the road and into the fields and been lost in the dark. Jensen, as I've pointed out before, may very well have stopped as depicted in Bulkley's The Zodiac (how else did Z hit her 5 times in the dark at a distance of 10 feet as she was running away? Even a 1969 penlight could not have illuminated her that well), and she might have lived had she kept running.

Therefore, Z's plan may have been to box them in with his car and the Rambler's passenger side door once they escaped out that side. Faint shoeprints were found in front of the Rambler, which explains the assumption that Z ran around the car that way, but that gravel driveway does not really hold impressions that well, and whatever those prints really were may have been from someone else sometime prior to the murders.

If so, then Z's plan was to run around behind the Rambler and shoot them like fish in a barrel with nowhere to escape. However, Jensen ran faster than Z was able to get behind the cars and was escaping back towards Vallejo, and she may have been shot first. Faraday may have run towards Z to stop him, or to struggle with him after she was dead, but Z managed to kill him anyway. This would explain why he was found near the right rear wheel and not by the front door if Z had shot him there in the original scenario. Either way, it's just an idea.

I drove back along Columbus Parkway towards Springs Avenue, and saw that they are still completely renovating that intersection; it doesn't look anything like it did a year or so back. I drove by Bud's Burgers (which used to be a Mr. Ed's), and it has been torn down and is currently being rebuilt as who knows what. This is the same Mr. Ed's that Ferrin and Mageau were heading to the night they were shot at BRS.

The first time I went out to LHR was 13 years ago on the 25th anniversary, and it's hard to believe it's almost 40 years into the past now. One hopes that we will eventually have some sort of resolution to this case, but as the years wear on, it's looking less and less likely. But then, Dennis Rader, the BTK Strangler, was arrested barely 2 years ago, so who knows what the future holds...
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 12:18 pm:   

Ed, I would have paid for your gas and bought you a case of Sam Adams if you would have stopped in the Quarry for me to see if there was some old dudes still around that worked there in 68-69 while you were down there.
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 3:00 pm:   

That's great info Ed and a very likely scenario about boxing them in. I wonder if the footprints in front of the car were leading towards the road (LHR) or towards the gate. And was it even possible to tell on such a surface? I question that because I could see why Z may loop back around the front of the cars for some cover from oncoming traffic from Vallejo, which for some reason I would think would be more likely than traffic from the opposite route. However, all this is just conjecture from someone who hasn't been there. Happy Holidays.

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