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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 10:45 pm:   

Faraday and Jensen have been overlooked since the new message board went up.
This is where Zodiac's bay area killing spree began. That we know of anyway. We need to examine this again.
17 year old Vallejo High senior David Arthur Faraday and 16 year old Hogan High junior Betty Lou Jensen are executed off Lake Herman Road.
He's shot once in the head and she's shot five times in the back while trying to flee. All five bullets that strike her hit her heart and lungs.
They had only met the week before while decorating the Pythian Castle for an event.
They didn't tell any friends or family members they were going to be where they were killed.
I'd like to get some more thoughts on this.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 11:39 pm:   

Sounds like a couple of nice kids from good families being in the wrong place at the wrong time--which is, I think, probably the way Zodiac wanted it.
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Socal
Username: Socal

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 21, 2006 - 8:57 am:   

Sounds like some very good shooting by Z.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 21, 2006 - 1:49 pm:   

I totally agree, Johno, but to me there just doesn't seem nearly as much to work with here. No eyewitnesses, no physical description, no ceremonial costume or door-writing and we can only speculate about Z's specific actions and getaway.

It does seem that this was a pretty straight forward execution- much like Blue Rock Springs but more efficient. It's pretty incredible (if true) that Mageau was never shown any photos of suspects before 1991. We could probably argue the validity of his description and identification of Allen endlessly.

One thing that stood out to me about Z's description is that he consistently relates the murder to Christmass even though the crime occurred on December 20. In other words, he seems to be focused on holidays for whatever reason. I also see a couple of interesting tidbits in these early letters, which I never really paid much attention to, and started a new thread to discuss:

http://www.zodiackiller.com/discus/messages/28/734 .html?1161463566

I think Johno is right. It is well worth taking a look at the early Z before he started adding all of the mystifying signature elements.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 12:12 am:   

I correct myself in that Faraday did tell a family member that he was going out to Lake Herman road that night. He related it to his sister Debbie.
This is a brutal crime even by today's standards. Two high school kids are gunned down, one shot behind the ear execution style and the other shot multiole times in the back while fleeing for her life and dropped like rabbit on the run.
The other Zodiac victims, although young were all past high school age and ranged from 19 to 29.
But a 16 and 17 year old. Those are still children.
Even Zodiac himself makes reference to their young ages. "I also killed those kids last year...goodbye."

I wonder if Zodiac had any connection to that Pythian Castle. Does the building still exist and where is it?
It would have been the local lodge of the fraternal order of the Knights of Pythia. Several organizations used that building for meetings.
It figures in twice in the final week of the lives of David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen. They met there for the first time on December 14th while decorating the hall for a social function.
David's sister Debbie belonged to the Rainbow Girls which is a charity/fundraising organization for girls under the umbrella of the Masonic Temple. The Rainbow girls used the Pythian Castle for their meetings.
David dropped Debbie off at the Pythian Castle on December 20th, the last night of his life, for her to attend her Rainbow Girls meeting. That's when he told her he would be going to Lake Herman road later that night.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 3:44 am:   

Johno said "But a 16 and 17 year old. Those are still children". Which makes me think Zodiac was nothing more than a coward and didn't have the nuggets to take on someone that could present a challenge to him.

David Farady probably never experienced what it was like to fall in love, hold a women in his arms and taste the salt from her kiss. Feel his heart sink in his chest as he looked the women of his dreams in the eyes knowing she is the only thing that matters. Such a shame.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 9:07 am:   

I don't know, Hawk. He was a football jock, wasn't he? And he knew where the good spots were.

That aside, I think you're right about Zodiac. This is one key reason I offer as to why Kaczynski, if he was the Zodiac, had completely abandoned the persona by 1974. He was ashamed of having given way to emotive impulse and didn't want such ugly crimes as child murder attributed to him. It might also be the sole reason why Zodiac went so out of character and attacked Paul Stine, and why he so desperately needed that piece of shirt to authenticate it.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 9:35 am:   

I think Z knew where that spot was. He must have cruised it before, imo.
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Oklahoma_mike
Username: Oklahoma_mike

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 11:59 pm:   

I had never realized the victims only knew each other for 6 days before the murder. That means the Friday of the killing was the first weekend, the first chance for a date. The fact they went 'parking' and kept it secret from their friends hints to me they felt especially smitten by each other. Pure speculation, but perhaps one of the uknspoken and unknown aspects of the crime is that Z may have put a stop to a relataionship that might have grown into something great. And that possibility makes it all the more horrible.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, October 23, 2006 - 2:51 am:   

Let me ask you all this; at your age right now, is a 22 year old a kid to you?

What I'm getting at is that Zodiac refers to a 16 and 17 year old as kids but on the other hand, refers to Darlene as The girl an adult.

So therefore, Z is old enough to consider a 16 and 17 year old as a kid, but young enough to consider a 22 year old a an adult.

I say he was 29 or 30ish.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, October 23, 2006 - 9:58 pm:   

Interesting observation, Hawk.

I don't know that you can nail down Z's age by these statements but it DOES seem to indicate that Z may have been significantly older than his victims here (which I tend to believe anyway).
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 5:56 am:   

Why does "girl" make her an adult? I would think he would use "woman" as in the "woeman and her baby."
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 8:55 am:   

Breakout, I would tend to agree with you, although so many people (including me) sometimes refer to women in their 30s as "girls," so I don't know how significant it is that Zodiac used that term.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 1:28 pm:   

"Iam the killer of those 2 teenagers last Christmass at Lake Herman and the Girl last 4th of july".

See how he seperates them by age.
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 3:36 pm:   

Hawk, I see what you mean. I wonder, though, if he didn't think of all three murder victims as "teenagers." If so, perhaps he was avoiding redundancy in his letter by using "girl" as a synonym. I can see this being the case if he didn't know his victims.

If, however, he knew Ms. Ferrin, as some believe, he would likely know that she was at a different "life stage," (married with a child) than the "teenagers" he had previously killed. If this was the case, it would go along with your hypothesis regarding the usage of the different terms to indicate different victims' ages.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 7:51 pm:   

Deoxys wrote:

It's pretty incredible (if true) that Mageau was never shown any photos of suspects before 1991.

Actually, De, Mageau was shown suspect photos long before 1991. According to the BRS report, p. 44, Mageau was sent 5 suspect photos in September 1969 in an attempt to identify the shooter. He wasn't shown Allen's pic until 1991, 22 years after the event.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 8:45 pm:   

Socal wrote:

Sounds like some very good shooting by Z.

I've yet to see it proven conclusively that Z was a good shot. I've stated time and again, and I stand by it, that Z was incompetent with weapons. Of the 7 canonical victims, 2 survived who were dead to rights: Hartnell (Z stabbed him 6 times in the back, and failed to kill him) and Mageau (Z shot him in the face, neck and chest from a distance of what, 1 foot, and failed to kill him? What was he aiming at, his arms or legs or what??? Z used a flashlight to blind them and he should have killed them both outright!).

Then we look at Shepard, who Z also failed to kill immediately; she died from blood loss 2 days later, and I am of the opinion that had she received medical attention sooner (they got her to Queen of the Valley about 2 hours later), she would have survived. Z failed to kill Ferrin immediately, she was DOA about 40 minutes later.

Z shot Jensen 5 times from a distance of about 10 feet; of all his victims, she was the farthest from his weapon. All the others were within 3-4 feet, and Faraday and Stine were contact wounds. Considering that Z failed to kill 4 of them immediately and 2 are still alive to this day, that makes me wonder just how good he was with his weapons. Why didn't he just shoot them all in the head? Why didn't he stab Hartnell and Shepard in the heart? And at BRS, it was like he just pointed the gun inside the Corvair and pulled the trigger, hoping he'd hit Ferrin & Mageau with some of the bullets.

The point is, the facts indicate that Z didn't have much of an idea on how to use his weapons; given the circumstances of his 4 known crimes, all of his victims should have been killed immediately, and yet, only 3 did, 2 died later (1 of which might have lived), and 2 survived.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 9:30 pm:   

VERY interesting, Ed.

It appears that LE was focused on recent graduates of Hogan H.S. at the time and Mageau didn't identify any of them. So Mageau was shown photos of 18-19 year olds and NONE of them fit his physical description of Z. Imagine that...

LE, especially back then, was trained to investigate those closest to the victims. The concept of a random serial killer was probably (understandably) the last thing on their minds at the time.

I honestly give them a lot of credit for tracking down Mageau in 1991 when Allen became a hot suspect but I don't give Mageau's identification a whole lot of credibility 22 years after the fact.

Thanks for finding that.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 10:20 pm:   

But Ed, all of the victims were killed in this crime and this is where we are at, back to the begining.
If it was the begining.
And if he was inept with weapons this should be the one where he exibits his most ineptness if this was his first use of firearms against someone.

He shoots up the car and forces them out. Jensen exits first followed by Faraday.
What then is the likely scenario of the murder?
Did she immediately bolt when she exited the car and Zodiac shot her first before she got too far and then shoot Faraday?
As soon as they exited did Zodiac go up to Faraday and execute him at point blank range and seeing this Jensen began to run but didn't get very far when Zodiac unloaded into her back?
Or did she immediately began to bolt and Zodiac swiftly shoots Faraday and turns toward Jensen and unloads into her.
He admitedly reveals he's not that great of a shot or he wouldn't be telling us about his use of a flashlight on the gun barrel.
But like the other crimes he makes no effort to assure that they are dead. He doesn't go over to Faraday and put a second bullet into his head to make certain he will die and he doesn't go over to the body of Jensen and put a bullet into her head to make sure she couldn't survive. He just leaves.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 12:02 am:   

One would think, but he got lucky at LHR. He left survivors and/or witnesses at each of his subsequent crimes, unlike LHR, for instance, so why not get lucky with the shooting as well? After all, Faraday was 17 and Jensen 16, very young and inexperienced with life and probably panic stricken when Z pulled his gun. In Bulkley's The Zodiac, Z fires a warning shot, Jensen stops, then Z turns on his "electric gunsight" and shoots her while both are standing still... personally, I think that's an awesome take on it, and explains how he shot her 5 times at 10 feet in the dark! None of this chasing her and being an expert marksman... and shooting Faraday in the head is not the mark of an expert with a gun either.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 12:18 am:   

He might not even have needed to fire a warning shot. I wonder, in fact, how aware she would have been of being shot prior to collapsing.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 2:30 am:   

True, but the point is, warning shot or not, if Z shouted at her to stop, the terrified teenager may very well have done so and essentially signed her own death warrant. Despite his boast of using an "electric gunsight" (penlights in 1968 are nothing like the maglights of today!), I seriously doubt he could've accurately shot at her using it if he was chasing her down. She might have survived had she kept running.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 3:15 am:   

Muskogee, in reality I guess Z probably read that Ferrin was a 22 year old in the newspaper.
What bugs me is that the eyewitnesses peg Zodiac's age at between 35 and 45, but the classic profile for a serial killer is between 25 and 35. I guess I'm just fishing for Z being younger.
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 5:51 am:   

Ed, that's a good point about Jensen possibly surviving if she had kept running. Did she leave any footprints from this brief run? It's a gravel area right? I tend to agree that Z wasnt as good a shot as yellowbook and others paint him to be. We see too that after Faraday and Jensen, Z went from using a .22 to using a 9 mm and yet, still, he doesn't kill MM. On an off note, I do believe Z was a gun enthusiast. I suspect he may have attended gun shows or gun trade shows in the Vallejo area during the late 50s through the 60s. It would be nice to see some old gun mags that advertised these dates / locations.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 2:50 pm:   

I don't think there were any other footprints other than faint ones in front of the Rambler that may or may not have been Z's. It's still gravel 38 years later, and it doesn't really hold good impressions.

While I do not for a second doubt that Z may have been a gun enthusiast, that does not mean he was competent with his weaponry. We know he had at least 3, possibly 4, guns: a .22 (LHR), 9mm (BRS), .45 (LB, although Hartnell was not positive, according to the LB report, p. 22), and a second 9mm (PH). Z did, however, know to tape the handle of his knife at LB so that he could keep a good grip on it once the blood made it slippery. Maybe he read that in a detective magazine...
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 7:40 pm:   

The Hogan HS connection is interesting. Betty Lou, Mageau, and Darlene went there. I lived in the backyard of Hogan, and my sister went there.

At the time, rumours had it that the killings were drug related, but I personally doubt that.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 3:36 am:   

While we're on the subject. I left out the details on how the LHR crime occurred in the Zodiac Documentary I've been working on, until I get an overall opinion.

Here's how I see it. Z pulled into the gravel apron and shined his headlights directly into the passenger side door of the Rambler, purposely light-blinding the occupants. He then blitz style attacked the passenger door, ordering the teens out. Obviously Betty Lou got out first, but as soon as Faraday got out and stood upright, Z shot him. Z then quickly turned to shoot Betty Lou but she was already in her first stride to get away, thus Zodiac only shot through the window.

Any thoughts on this?
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Wrecknball
Username: Wrecknball

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 2:05 pm:   

Hawk, The police report tends to disagree with Z's headlights shining directly into the Rambler. Two seperate witnesses saw a car parked abreast and parallel to the Rambler. This is often thought to be Z's car because the driver of this vehicle has never been located. The position of the shell casings tends to indicate that he was firing between his car and the Rambler.

My thought is that first orders them out of the car and they refuse or delay, causing Z to fire a shot into the car. David is frozen but Betty Lou hits the ground running and is gunned down as Z advances on their car. David is then ordered out the car or has by this time fearfully emerged and is shot at almost contact range. The police report indicates powder burns around the hole behind his left ear to support this, as well as Betty Lou's "blood spattered attempted escape route".
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 5:14 pm:   

That's all fine and dandy. I personally believe Z presented them with some kind of fake police ID, or perhaps he was dressed as a sheriff employee. The Police shooting range was there at Lake Herman. The police report indicates Faraday was shot first, point blank, as he exited the passenger side, then Jenson was shot as she tried to escape.

As an aside, and for color, I purchased a brand new 1969 Volvo down by Marina Vista on Maine Street. My then wifey cracked it up on Springs Road near Castlewood. My mom was sitting outback on Lamont Court, and heard the crash over in her back yard!
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 6:43 pm:   

Wrecknball, that scenerio is interesting.

V Dave, Damn the Bad Luck!
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Bargle
Username: Bargle

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 6:44 pm:   

Here's the page of the police report illustrating the position of the two vehicles.
Car positions
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Wrecknball
Username: Wrecknball

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 9:49 pm:   

Hawk, My theory is directly based on information available in the police report. Largely from witnesses as well as the locations of the shell casings. My theory does not account for the single stray shell casing found 20' from Farady's body, and its explanation is one of the more peculiar aspects of this Z crime.

Constructing a timeline from the police report of the people and events on LHR that night would probably be helpful considering that there were more than a few people admittedly on LHR that night.
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 28, 2006 - 4:32 pm:   

A few years ago,I wrote an evaluation of Ms. Jensen's autopsy, but I'll be &$#@ed if I can find it now in the archives.

I'm sure the eval. contained all *kinds* of wild speculation on my part about who died where when and how. I dare not opine on this at the moment, as my memory sucks and I'd want to re-read the autopsy and police reports before saying something silly. If you want to know how long it will take me to read these reports, ask poor Howard how long it took me to get back to him with the Stine autopsy! That man has the patience of Job!

Hawk, I see what you're saying about the terminology. I can see it being important, or not. I'd like to hear OKMike or another one of our psych. posters comment on whether the different terminology is important, from a psychological perspective.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 28, 2006 - 7:27 pm:   

Wrecknball, the shell casing that was laying 20' away doesn't fit with Zodiac's car being parked alongside Faraday's. I guess it could have ejected from the gun, then bounced off the trunk of Z's car and landed where it did. Who knows.

Muskogee, sometimes I think maybe they should do a psych evaluation on me. lol
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 28, 2006 - 7:41 pm:   

Wrecknball, I forgot to add this. http://www.zodiackiller.com/HermanCrimeScene2.html .
The tire tracks look as if somebody peeled out of there in a hurry. If they were Z's then his car would be parked facing the Rambler. Do you agree?
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 28, 2006 - 8:13 pm:   

LOL, Hawk. I think most of us who post could probably use a good psych. evaluation. I welcome anybody up for the challenge...
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Wrecknball
Username: Wrecknball

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, October 29, 2006 - 9:11 pm:   

Hawk, I agree with your analysis of the tire tracks to a certain extent. The picture, along every other LHR photo I've seen, doesn't really provide clarity of the crime scene as a whole.

If Z had parked directly parallel to the Rambler, then when he left he would have had to back out at an angle similar to that of the skid marks. Thus the skid marks could have occured when Z shifted from reverse to drive.

It's really hard to speculate being that the picture only shows that portion of Z's tire tracks. If the tracks are even related to the crime.

I could be wrong but I don't think any of the detectives from VPD went on record publicly regarding the specifics of what they believe transpired at LHR, and I'd sure like to hear what their thoughts are being that they probably have more info and insight than we do.

One of the stranger, more overlooked aspects of LHR, is why the heck Faraday kept moving the Rambler.

One of these nights, when I have the time, I want to take apart the police report and create a timeline of the events that night and create a new thread...just to provide visitors to the site a better perspective(plus some of the witness statements come across somewhat comical). Hopefully, I'll get around to it before the big Z movie is released.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 12:19 pm:   

Musk,'
You were busy,but the fact that you were able finsih it is to your credit.Every bit helps in this case.You have been extremely helpful.Thanks a million!
Jim is having problems getting on our site,but he will post your fine work with full credit to you.

The LHR/BRS/PH bullet casings- if Z did not wear gloves- could have prints.I have never seen any evidence the casings were checked for prints.

I know of at least one case where they found the perps prints on some of the bullet casings from inserting each bullet without gloves!
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Oklahoma_mike
Username: Oklahoma_mike

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 9:26 pm:   

Two points, Both disucssed on the old message board:
No. 1, I believe the fatal bullet was the one which traveled through the heart from right to left, per the autopsy report. To travel this trajectory rather than back to front (as we would expect someone shot in the back)the bullet richocheted off bone, either a rib or vertebra. The first 4 hits would have caused lots of bleeding and, in time, might have been fatal. But the heart hit probably de-polarized the heart muscle and caused it to stop after which Miss Jensen might have taken 1 or 2 steps. I think this hit was the last or next to last.
No 2, So far as I know I am the only person to test the difficulty of duplicating this feat of shooting as I also described on the old board my shooting at the same distance with a .22 pistol at night with a flashlight taped to the barrell. I concluded that Z was a better than average shot. I duplicated his accuracy (at a white target which was stationary)but I have owned that gun for over 20 years and am VERY experienced with it. While I am not an ace by any means, I believe Z was at least quite experienced as an amateur shooter, knew his gun very well and practiced regularly, including at night. Shooting accurately with a pistol is not as easy as the movies and TV want us to think.
I welcome any and all shooters to test Z's methods with a pistol at night and share results. I would love to compare notes
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 11:23 pm:   

Think I fired a pistol all of once in my life as I prefer rifles. Are you suggesting, Okla_Mike, that Z would have had specific training with a pistol - such as police academy or at least as an armed security guard? It's certainly possible. But Z himself boasts that it was easy for him to shoot with his electric gunsight.

Here's a thought "outside of the box": could Z, also a skilled diver, have practiced shooting - at least with a speargun - under water, thereby avoiding noise or attracting attention to himself? Though I don't think the dynamics of a spear are that close to a pistol...
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Oklahoma_mike
Username: Oklahoma_mike

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 02, 2006 - 5:32 pm:   

I've never had any formal training on shooting other than some coaching by my best friend who was once on a college pistol team. Z might or might not have had formal training. But for 90% of people who develop skill with a pistol the trick is very basic stuff like a proper hold and how to get the sight picture then practice, practice and practice. I have never fired a speargun but I would agree, J Eric that the dynamics would be very different from firing a pistol.
I also prefer a rifle, I was a farm boy and grew up with a .22 rifle in the corner of my parent's bedroom ready to go. Luckily, the only things we ever needed it for was snakes, skunks or groundhogs!
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, November 04, 2006 - 9:48 am:   

Howard, good to see you back here!

I will re-evaluate the Jensen autopsy report, if anyone's interested...hopefully it will not take me as long as it took me to do the Stine report...LOL. It might be after Christmass...
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Wrecknball
Username: Wrecknball

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, November 04, 2006 - 1:12 pm:   

Mike, How did you determine the distance at which BLJ was shot from? This is important when considering the whole crime "scenario" Hawk and I were discussing.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 7:42 pm:   

If you step back from this crime, and just look at the situation and how it was carried out, does anyone think this looks like a criminal's first murders??

Even if Riverside is never linked to Z, this just doesn't "feel" like a first-timer in action.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 8:10 pm:   

I think you make a good point, David. There is liable to be a "hell of a lot more"
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George
Username: George

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 6:48 pm:   

Davidmm,
Yes, to me the LHR murders appear and "feel" to be a first attack.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 9:11 pm:   

This crime took place during a shift change at the Humble oil company when cars would be traveling on LHR going to and from work, or atleast going to Humble oil. I'm not sure as to when the previous shift gets off work but I assume it was around midnight.

At one time I wondered if Zodiac worked nights at this oil company and was heading there when he seen the Rambler, but I dismissed this idea thinking that this would have been risky timing on his behalf knowing that cars would be traveling on LHR at this time.

I just can't believe how lucky the Zodiac was.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 9:20 am:   

A double murder, in a busy location, of apparent strangers, with no robbery, with no obvious sexual motivation, and apparently no motive at all, which is also an apparently well-planned attack in which the killer gets away without any witnesses describing him... That makes for a curious description of an attacker's "first-time."
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 9:25 am:   

Hawk, if Z was on his shift change from his nearby job when he committed the murders, he would have to realize that his coworkers might recognize his car. It seems like a counter-intuitive choice of proximity.
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Sanfranguns
Username: Sanfranguns

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 1:45 pm:   

It was in a secluded place and was no-doubt well planned out. That actually sounds a lot more like a first time event to me as serial killers tend to get sloppier the more they do.
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George
Username: George

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 8:49 pm:   

Davidmm, as you say, a double homicide in a busy location of apparent strangers, a planned crime and he got away with it.

This was a blitz attack on a below freezing night (fewer lovers to choose from) and there were more people and vehicles about than has been traditionally believed. To me that spells out a beginner more than it does an experienced killer. Add the role of luck and how serial murderers get away with it all the time in broad daylight, I simply don't see any signs that this was a practiced killer at work.

Just a different interpretation of the same information and an answer to your query as to whether or not anyone really believed that LHR was a criminal's first murders.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 9:32 pm:   

Certainly not experienced, but organized, and possessing a bit of audacity combined with a pinch of desperation.
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 7:12 am:   

With the three known Zodiac "couples" crimes-- LHR, BRS, and LB, I see Zodiac trying to eliminate or disable the male first in order to spend a little more time destroying his primary target, the female. Z probably felt quite confident after LHR. I think his plan worked. BLJ did exactly what he intended her to do- become terrified, try to flee, and in doing so, mimic wild game. I have a hunch that when Z approached the car at BRS his intention was to eliminate or destroy MM first and then to have DF attempt to run just as BLJ did. His walking towards a particular side of a vehicle is an attempt to have his primary target, the woman in each case, flee from the opposite side. He wants to make her into frightened wild game. He wants to give them a chance to think, have fear, and try to flee. He doesn't care about making the men game. He just wants them eliminated. By that token, I think Z was organized. He knew what he wanted to hunt, and he brought the tools to do it. He brought his spotlight so he could spot his game and then differentiate whether it was female or male so he could "do his thing"; make sure he shoots somewhat accurately; and allow him to pretty sufficiently hide his identity by blinding his victims. At LB it is a different MO, since it involves a knife (and is outside the auto), but the hunt is still the same. He spends way more time on Cecelia. Yet, since it is a daylight hunt he has to lose the spotlight (since it serves no purpose) and introduce the hood. The hood conceals the identity of the hunter and it instills fear (something the gunshots did before in an effort to herd the women out). The gun and the knife are both phallic representatives for Z. The gun wasn't giving him the satisfaction that he needed so I think LB was a new and exciting attempt for him. Even though he brought the gun along, I think it was just to insure things could be controlled. I think Z wanted to use the knife that day, though, in order to fulfill some sort of fantasy. The death of Paul Stine was just a way to show society that he could kill the male. But that part of the hunt just wasn't that interesting. I believe it was just a motion he went through that particular day. The real game was women. And since I have written a book here, I might as well finish by saying that while we have some really good suspects on this board, I don't think any of them are Z. I would love to be wrong, but my thoughts are that whoever Z is, he is someone who is not even on our radar.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 9:32 am:   

Breakout:

Very thoughtful post. It kind of distills a lot of what I think about the Zodiac into a very manageable "book" indeed. I particularly agree with your conclusion that Zodiac is some unknown miserable misfit we never heard of, and who hopefully has passed on to whatever infernal regions will take him.

Your take on his methodology is spot on for me, and I only veer a little away with Stine. I think Stine was a lot more personal than realized. He had left two male victims alive. I think this enraged him and also led to extreme feelings of inadequacy even more massive than what he was saddled with in the first place. So, in compensation he made sure he left a man dead, and doubly made sure SFPD knew it was him with the bloody shirt swatch.

I think LHR was a revelation for him, possibly giving him a feeling of empowerment for the first time in his life. I don't think any of the following murders gave him a repeat of that feeling; BRS and LB as botched jobs (don't mean to sound so callous) and PH for the lack of a female and only being done to prove a point, so to speak.

I've often wondered if Zodiac had planned to follow his preferred male/female scenario in Presidio Heights and actually wandered around for a while there looking for parked lovers? Maybe he couldn't find any and decided to make his way to Mason and Geary to hail a (male) cabbie.

Cheers,

Bernie
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 10:55 am:   

That's an interesting throught about the immediate time period preceding Stine's death (i.e. whether or not any prowling/trolling went on in PH before the hailing of the cab at M & G).
My initial thoughts would be that Presidio Heights wouldn't be a good place to scope out parked lovers. But, I could definitely be wrong. What about Julius Kahn playground though, or inside the Presidio? Was he going to thumb his nose and do the job on Lover's Lane, but found it deserted? Maybe Z had a knife with him again that night alongside the 9mm gun (which may have, if used, caused too much attention--I am not sure about logistics inside the Presidio as they relate to nearby housing and traffic). But, frustrated, he decides to "punish" us in a different way --using the gun inside a cab, which proved to be a little quieter when compared to out in the open. I guess another question to consider is whether the cab symbolized anything to him beyond an anonymous means of travel. Since Z has made some sort of connection to cars with his murders-- inside autos, writing on a door, and then, traveling in a car that also has writing on it's door-- it is a possibility that he was making some sort of social commentary. After all, the purported concerned citizen letter about the movie Badlands, was a social commentary-- even if it was a poke.
Anyway, it's all just speculation as we don't know whether he went to Mason and Geary intentionally and primarily or as a last resort.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 12:00 pm:   

Obviously, the car/taxi fits into his fantasy very neatly. Sort of a freeway motor maniac out for fun and profit, to paraphrase Joseph Wambaugh. Anyone out there know of any suitable Lover's Lane type areas in Presidio Heights or JK Park?
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 12:17 pm:   

Breakout, I agree with your assessment. I think that everything about Zodiac was a reaction, a compensation for something. His primary goal was probably to generate fear, and therefore compensate for his feelings of being forgettable and ignored. I also think that he wanted the women to react and flee, like you postulate.

I see the validity of the arguments which ID this as Zodiac's first murder, but, I still think that his type of organized, reactive, killer would choose either a single person or a remote area for their first activity. Perhaps it was Cheri Jo Bates, or the couple at Lompac/Santa Barbra, or maybe someone else entirely.
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 12:31 pm:   

I would agree, too, David, that Cheri may have been his first foray, if not the Domingos and Edwards situation. The CJB episode would have definitely given Z the knowledge that he needed to wrap tape on the knife handle, just like he did at LB. Of course he may have gotten that info from sleazy detective mags too. CJB and KJ were unique situations, just like PS. I have this nagging thought that Z would have probably liked to have caught his couples in some sort of sex act before he murdered (or attempted to murder)them. I definitely think part of his drive to kill couples is his interest in and repulsion of the sex act he imagines between them.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 1:49 pm:   

Inside the Presidio, near JK Park, there was an old dirt road that went past an abandoned quarry and onto quarry rd, which goes to the Main Post. You can see it on googgled maps.

There is also Inspiration Point, a pull off from Highway 1 north, that overlooks the abandoned quarry and dirt rd. below.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 3:36 pm:   

Vdave, you don't happen to know off hand when that quarry shut down do you?
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 7:08 pm:   

Hawk-no, I don't, but I would guess 60's.
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George
Username: George

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 9:57 pm:   

Certainly not experienced, but organized, and possessing a bit of audacity combined with a pinch of desperation.

That's it in a nutshell, Doug. I had meant to add the desperation aspect as well. Perhaps the forthcoming movie will provide information but as Tom would sardonically say "I'll hold my breath."

Good input from all.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 2:03 am:   

Here's one idea to debate:

The person who wrote the Z letters didn't commit the LHR Murder.

My reasoning is as follows:

1. Z has displayed that he will falsely claim murders that are not his. "I shot a man sitting in a parked car with a .38" ( June 26, 1970). Unless freakishly two guys were shot at the same time, one never being found, or the convicted killer was the wrong man, then Z was just groping for some act fraudulently to maintain his threatening voice in the newspapers.

2. Z was asked to give more proof that he was the killer at LHR and BRS. He was asked to do so because it would be possible in the seven months after LHR to acquire his cited facts by discussion with Police, or finding out 3rd hand. Remember, at the time after LHR, nobody had the context of the Zodiac, or even a serial killer, let alone one who calls police and writes letters to the newspapers. This case would have been the talk of the town. In giving more info, he re-enacted the BRS attack with some detail. For the LHR attack, he gives no details of how that crime occurred, just some tirade about using a pencil flashlight to help his aim. The pencil flashlight idea IMHO has less chance of working than his photoelectric switch "Buss bomb". The pencil flashlight would only work at short distances (less than 15 feet). At longer distances, the beam wouldn't reach and the dark spot would be too large in any case. Also to see the darkspot, one needs a backboard to capture the surrounding light. The nearest backboard to BLJ was trees at 80+ feet. Too far for the torch. The closest shell to BLJ's body was 35ft. Also the recoil after shooting a semi-automaytic pistol would necessitate one to re-aim before every shot. Something very difficult to do when you are trying to find a torch beam on someones back, while they're running, that is too far away from the beam in any case.

3. Z claims "I sprayed THEM like a water hose". This is very significant. Z could not afford to be wrong with his description. After all it is in the details that the police are identifying him as the killer. The fact remains that David Faraday was killed with the barrel of the gun resting against his head. And there is no way that BLJ was shot like holding a water hose at approx. 20-30ft with only two missed shots on a moonless night with her running and wearing a purple dress. Why not say "after taking out the guy in the head, I just aimed the torch and sprayed the girl". Why say that you used the torch beam on the guy when you didn't. Unless you didn't know the details of the crime. Mike Cole has determined that Z is very explicit with his meanings. Changing "complet" to "all control". Why be so innaccurate in this description when the whole point is to be accurate to identify you as the murderer.

4. By the time of the BRS attack, Z would have known that there was little chance of finding the LHR killer. His only risk was that they eventually found the real killer at LHR. He knew they weren't about to confess. What he gained by claiming the LHR crime is the notion that his killings are of a random, serial nature, further illustrated by his cipher. A possible upside of falsely claiming the LHR homicide was that it would draw attention away from any motive in the Darlene Ferrin Murder. Why wait 7 months until after this murder to brag about LHR?

5. Z claims in his facts that David F was lying on his back, feet to the car, and BLJ was on her right side, feet to the west. However David F was alive when police found him, and unless he checked BLJ's pulse, he wouldn't have known if she was dead. How would he know that they didn't move on their own after he left them? David F would only need to roll over and it would have thrown doubt on his story. The reciting of the positions that the police found them in sounded like someone who had found out what position the police had found them in.

6. I have studied the bullet wounds on BLJ and there is no way to explain the angles of shots, even if you assume ricocheting bullets. The fatal shot went through her heart laterally and the only way that could be achieved is from the entry wound on her opposite right side and the exit wound on her left side. This means that BLJ was almost side-on for this shot. It was the only bullet that passed through her body and through both layers of her dress which adds to the probability that it was not from a ricochet within. Furthermore RG says that they found traces of gunpowder on this entry wound. The shooting of BLJ is very complex and her final position suggests that she was moved after being killed. The details of BLJ's death would have been very helpful in identifying him as the killer as there are a lot of questions. His explanation just adds more questions.

Slightly off the LHR tack, in the BRS claim: if Z killed Darlene Ferrin at BRS, then he wasn't particularly concerned about killing Mike Mageau. He said he messed up his aim with the head shot (proof being that MM was thrashing around in the back seat), then he said he shot him in the knee. Then he left him before coming back in an attempt to shut him up. If he intended to kill him, why leave him in the first place with a cheek shot and a shot in the knee?

Sorry for the length of the post but I just felt compelled to get this out there for discussion.
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 11:49 am:   

Stew, your post made me think. In one of Z's letters he writes of the LHR incident and says it is there that began his "collecting of slaves for my (his) afterlife." Why didnt he claim CJB? Heaven knows he's tried to claim some that weren't (or don't appear to be) his. For instance, the "man in the parked car," or the letter that listed "AUG" as a month containing a hit, yet no one could find a missing person to match up to that. We know Zodiac is a liar, so how much can we believe?
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George
Username: George

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 5:45 pm:   

Zodiac's not claiming Cheri Jo Bates or Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards on Hartnell's door is often attributed to "well, he wasn't using his Zodiac 'persona' at the time of the pre 12/20/68 murders, so why should he include them on Bryan's door?" which I think is very weak, especially for one who "loved" to slay and would soon box score his (untracable, unprovable) "kills" in later letters.

Another reason supplied is that the real Zodiac knew Bates or Domingos or Evans and therefore couldn't take credit for any of them on the door because he'd be directly tied to one or all of them. As far as Bates goes this is odd considering he refers to his "Riverside activity" in a 1970 letter (after a newspaper article appeared about Bates), undoing this hypothesis at least as it concerns Bates.

Zodiac's man in the parked car shot with a .38 isn't nearly vague enough for me to comment upon, except that many believe that this was a reference to police officer Radetich, with witnesses identifying one Joseph Wesley Johnson, a black man, as the shooter. SFPD also denied vehemently the Zodiac's grasping at straws implication in this shooting. I also didn't just fall off the turnip truck.

As for the early August exaggerated claim, I've seen absolutely nothing which would give feet to the Zodiac's boast. In early August, 1969, the Zodiac was still providing damning proof for each murder he actually committed. I'm with the old snuff-takers: if he didn't prove it with specific, coherent information or a bloody shirt, I don't believe that it's a genuine Zodiac crime.

As usual, it comes down to whether or not to believe a remorseless, narcissistic homicidal liar or not. I don't. I'm funny that way and I'm not changing my views about the Zodiac's lies, especially when he takes credit, in my view, for murders he didn't commit.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 7:26 pm:   

And just because he arrived at the idea of killing for the purpose of collecting afterlife slaves at a certain point in time doesn't mean that he wasn't killing prior to applying a purpose to his killing.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 10:07 pm:   

How does one decide which of Zodiac's statements are believable? First, you get "well, he didn't say he did it, so he must not have" then you get "So what if he said it, he's a liar." I guess it is just a matter of what is convenient for the reader.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 1:30 am:   

When he wasn't lying he was the truest guy you could ever want.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 1:43 pm:   

George:

From one skeptic to another, I think Zodiac claimed far too much than what he actually did. Don't really think CJB or Santa Barbara was his handiwork.
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George
Username: George

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 4:30 pm:   

Greygost: I'm used to it. Besides, more bodies mean more intrigue, more theories and people believing 37-0 body counts. Let them have their fun. I just wanna see the movie, flawed as it will be.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 1:41 pm:   

As was reported in the San Francisco Chronicle on Sat Jan 27th, 2007, Officer Radetich's murder remains unsolved 37 years later. It also says that there were no witness at all for the crime, and their original suspect was released on lack of any evidence. Far from "witnesses identifying... a black man as the shooter." It also said that SFPD dismissed Zodiac as the possible murderer "because Zodiac usually used a 9mm."

I can believe that Zodiac was a braggart and wanted to claim as many murders as possible, even if he didn't commit them. What amazes me is that, of the four murders that he might have "just annexed" rather than commited, Cheri Jo Bates, The LHR double murder, and Officer Radetich, as well as the carnapping of Kathleen Johns, none of them have been solved after four decades. That's a pretty impressive feat of prognostication, to "just pick something high profile" to claim as his own, and score a five-for-five on them remaining unsolved.
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George
Username: George

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 3:31 pm:   

The LHR murder is considered a definite Zodiac crime for a damned good reason. On this very site these reasons are enumerated in great detail, facts which were proved just that, facts, in 1969 Zodiac letters.

In my view, trying to shoehorn the definite Zodiac LHR double with the questionable Zodiac Bates, Radetich and Johns crimes is disingenuous. As for Radetich's crime being unsolved, I believe the unsolved murder rate in San Francisco at the time was at least fifty percent, if not higher.

The Zodiac would be one suspect, yes, but he'd be one of thousands in this cop murder.
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George
Username: George

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 3:48 pm:   

My apologies, David, I take your point. I had thought that you were segregating LHR from the other definite Zodiac murders. Heck, I'll add BRS, LB and PH to your list of unsolveds and also nite that three of these definite murders weren't "high profile" except locally.

But I guess it still boils down to what to believe. An unsolved murder here and there doesn't necessarily imply that the same person is responsible. Your point is valid: you never know. I hope that some day we will know.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 4:43 pm:   

George, I agree with you that the LHR is the work of Z. Further up in the thread, the argument was being made that it, along with others, could have been "annexed" by Z rather than committed by him. I was responding to that. It's an interesting premise, but I think the evidence weighs too heavily on it being done by him. There are some good arguments to excluding the others I mentioned, but the evidence, aside from Z's word for it, still makes me believe they were his as well. Z tied himself to the Riverside murder of CJB not only with the car door note, but also with the "Bates Had To Die" letters that were sent following her murder (even if you ignore the "Confession" letter.) If he was jumping on the bandwagon that far back, then it shows incredible foresight, not only for choosing a crime that would remain unsolved, but that it would be useful for his future plans of villainy.
Both CJB and Officer Radetich's murders were initially considered investigative slam dunks, with the police believing that they had their guilty suspects in both cases. If Zodiac had been searching the papers to attach himself to an unsolved crime, he sure picked two that everyone else thought would be solved in no time.

I don't know, but even if the SF murder rate is 50/50 unsolved, I seriously doubt that the rate is the same for murders of police officers.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 5:35 pm:   

Davidmm,
Great you brought out that the Radetich case-sadly- remains unsolved.I tried to indicate this in the past and took some heat for it.There has never been a conviction.It is so cold there are icicles on the file!

Some time back Tom-always on it Voigt- posted an article on the case and correctly postulated that this terrible crime was not the work of Wesley as previously affirmed by SFPD.

They made every diligent effort to solve it much to their credit.It was one of their own.

I am amazed SFPD says that Z used a 9MM so therefore it wasn't a Zodiac deal!Well,he used a.22 (if SB was Z then a .22 there also)at LHR and possibly displayed a .45 at LB.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 6:46 pm:   

Back to Faraday and Jensen.
Why would a killer pick this Lake Herman Road area to kill a couple of teenagers? Of sourse it was an area where teens would go parking but how common was it for people who didn't live nearby this area to go to it? If zodiac lived in San Francisco why would he be all the way out at Lake Herman Road trolling for teenage victims? How would he even know of the area unless he had been there before? Why would a killer even expect to find possible victims in a such a place on a late December evening?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 7:24 pm:   

Precisely, Johno, and this is one reason I suspect Z was local to Vallejo. The attack site is not bad, one can see cars approaching from Vallejo half a mile to the west (there's a gully the road traverses there and headlights are quite visible from the attack site), but from the east it's more problematic, since one cannot see more than perhaps a quarter mile. I am of the opinion that Z saw Stella Borges' headlights as she approached, so she was less than a minute behind him.

However, considering Z could easily have been surprised by a car approaching from Benecia, it occurs to me now, especially after going over the police report again and realizing how many cars passed that spot in the 5-10 minutes before the crime occurred, that the entire LHR scenario took place in a very short amount of time. Ordering them out of the car, probably forcing them to duck at gunpoint as James drove by, then shooting Faraday and a fleeing Jensen must have taken less than 2-3 minutes. This might explain why Z chose to just shoot Ferrin and Mageau in their car at BRS instead of forcing them out.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 8:59 pm:   

I also have strong feeling about Zodiac being from Vallejo. Murders of this type are said to usually begin near home, in an area comfortable to the killer.
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Sanfranguns
Username: Sanfranguns

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 12:28 pm:   

I agree about Zodiac being from the Vallejo area. Of course its entirely possible that he lived in SF or somewhere else and still knew about that location for other reasons, but none of the evidence suggests that. Something tells me he didn't live IN vallejo, but I do think he lived near there - definitely in the area
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 5:27 pm:   

If Z committed the LHR murders, why did he say:

"All I had to do was`spray them like a water hose" (using a pencil flashlight taped to his gun for a sight)

David Faraday was killed by one bullet to the head with the gun resting against his ear. Why be suspiciously innaccurate when the police were asking you to be more specific??
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 5:55 pm:   

There were 9 casings recovered from the crime scene. I think firing nine shots could be called "spraying." Zodiac was saying that he could point the gun where the attached light shone, rather than having to use the sights on his gun in the dark. I think he was referring to night time victims in general, as opposed to Faraday and/or Jensen when he made the "spray" remark.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 5:58 pm:   

It's certainly an interesting observation that he used the plural instead of saying "her." I'd not noticed that before you pointed it out.

I doubt that Zodiac liked being asked to do anything, including being asked by the police to be more specific. He was also weirdly vague at times, even with the PH murder, where he quoted the wrong intersection. One could assume that he would want to be specific about that, especially since he was sending physical proof too. Without the shirt clipping, it would also be easy to dismiss his involvement in the PH murder as being something he gleaned from the news, since he didn't get the most basic info correct in print.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 7:59 pm:   

This wasn't a general letter written by Z to brag about his feats. This letter was written in response to the police asking for more specific crime details so that he could ID himself to them as the killer.

His response gave me the impression that he had spent 7 months getting the body positions, ammo and no. of shots fired somehow off the police. Remember at the time, the police wouldn't have felt this info needed to be kept secret for later ID purposes. Then, when the police caught him by surprise with their request for more info, he basically responded to what was probably a newspaper story written on the police wondering how the shots were made accurately. Knowing that the spot was surrounded by trees and hills (not that much) would have been possible to acquire by going out there at a later date.

He got angry in his response which is a classic liar's technique to make you're story seem more believable. He did not know the details it seems - only one of the victims required excellent markmanship at night (or reqd the pencil flashlight).

Furthermore the pencil flashlight theory is a crock of sh#t. I challenge anyone to try it. You'd have a better chance of bombing a bus using a photoelectric switch as a triger mech.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 8:42 pm:   

The flashlight technique didn't have to be precisely accurate, as long as he hit the victim. That is why he refers to the technique as spraying his target. Zodiac wasn't known for going for the quick kill with his female victims. He wanted the men out of the way first. The flashlight technique is commonly used by target shooters, especially with a shotgun, which sprays the target with pellets. Granted, Zodiac didn't use a shotgun, but he didn't exactly line the targets up in the cross hairs of a sniper rifle, either. I don't see how anyone can reasonably deny that a flashlight attached to the barrel would assist a shooter in hitting a moving target in the dark. Zodiac inferred that the cops said he was shooting at silhouettes not a single silhouette. That is why he responded by saying "targets" instead of a single target. He was replying to questions that LE asked at the time. He wasn't expecting his letters to be taken apart piece by piece over three decades later, or he might have been more precise in his description.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 9:01 pm:   

Yarbchris - I see where you are highlighting that ambiguity. But why did Z talk in the general, when a more specific response (as he did with BRS) would have cleared up alot of questions, and IMO made his story more believable. His story was something that anyone could have made up, and even on that basis it wasn't particularly good - he didn't specify that he only needed the torch for BLJ and his torch theory IMO is not practical in those conditions and at the distance he was from BLJ (which I contend he didn't know).

Assuming he was falsely claiming LHR, then after his confession letter, or even after the BRS phone call, he wouldn't have been able to ask more questions of the police about LHR (in a social context) without looking highly suspicious.

Also, it is common for serial killers to hang around the police and even to have tried to join them (usually rejected) or offer to help with the case. Edmund Kemper is an example of this. His fixation with the police suggests that he was a wanna-be that possibly had been rejected.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 9:14 pm:   

Remember, the pencil flashlight sight idea was not a Z original, it came from an Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV special in the 50's. "Just shoot for the dark spot in the light and you will hit your target" was the quote from the show (source Zodiac Unmasked p.250).
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 9:28 pm:   

Did the police believe his story? If they did, I would say his letter accomplished his goal. We have to remember Zodiac didn't care about convincing us (researchers, historians, and the like). The letter was written at a time when skepticism and speculation wasn't as widespread as it is in the age of the Internet. All Zodiac had to do was convince the police and the papers that he was the real thing.

When Zodiac sensed the rising skepticism of his claims, he took a proactive approach. He reported his crimes at Blue Rock Springs and Lake Berryessa over the telephone before the word was out. He ripped a piece of Stine's shirt to send as proof. This was to reduce any future probing into his truthfulness, which he perceived as an insult. Maybe the questioning of his claims in the Faraday/Jensen case served as a learning experience for Zodiac.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 9:31 pm:   

Yarbchris - In response to your last post.

I was under the impression that the Police discussion of silhouettes etc. was in news reports after LHR crime, not in their request for more information after his July 31st letter.

The fact that we are analysing it over three decades later doesn't diminish the facts. The police asked for more info. Obviously they weren't satisfied with his original letter with crime facts. IMO his second letter did nothing to add creedence to his claim with regards LHR.

If the police had asked for even more evidence by asking a specific question (like where did you fire into their car, or how did they both get killed?) then he may have been exposed. The fact is, they accepted his story and ever since, the Zodiac has been attributed this crime.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 9:36 pm:   

When he reported the LHR crime on the phone it came after the BRS attack. There was no questioning of his claim before BRS because Zodiac never claimed it until 7 months later.

If you are making the case about his ego and his integrity being questioned, why did he wait 7 months to let everyone know he was the LHR murderer??
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 9:42 pm:   

Yes Z convinced the police he did it. That just proves he was able to convince the police. it doresn't necessarily prove he did it. In fact it doesn't necessarily mean the police were convinced he did it either. They just stopped asking for more info.
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Mike_cole
Username: Mike_cole

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 10:31 pm:   

Stew, you wrote:

"Obviously they weren't satisfied with his original letter with crime facts."

I'm pretty certain that the Police had little to no doubt that the letter writer was the murderer. The claims to the contrary were a ploy intended to motivate Z to write additional letter(s) in the hopes that they would provide additional evidence. Z himself probably understood this; nonetheless he accepted the challenge...
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 11:06 pm:   

Stew, I think you are missing the point of my posts. I am trying to convey that Zodiac didn't care about convincing everyone. He was able to convince the necessary parties to the degree necessary to achieve his infamy. Sure, if he would have taken evidence from every crime scene and wrote exhaustive detail in his letters, he might convince a few more skeptics. Zodiac didn't care about that. He got his name in the papers in connection with the crimes. He got what he wanted. Since he is linked with the case (quite compellingly), it is the burden of skeptics to prove he wasn't the perp. Zodiac already had his day.

As for the silhouettes, I never said they were part of any request for more information. I don't understand where that comes from.

>"There was no questioning of his claim before BRS because Zodiac never claimed it until 7 months later."
I know better than to argue with the facts. (You got me!)However, I do believe he took more action to be believed after claiming the Jensen/Faraday murders. As to why he waited 7 months, I think he relished all the attention the murders were receiving and didn't want that feeling of self-importance and power to go away. He was learning the power of the media and how to manipulate it. Am I sure he did it? No. But, I'd bet on that horse.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 1:54 am:   

I think the chances are rather remote that you'd have two separate killers working in that one small area over that period of time, each with the same rare motivational profile. Possible, but not likely.

In the second Examiner letter, Zodiac says, "the bullet will strike exactly in the center of the black dot in the light. All I had to do was spray them, as if it was a water hose ..." There's a good possibility that he was referring to the bullets, and not the victims. I grant you this is complicated by the fact that the sentence is probably the most awkward one in the entire corpus of Zodiac correspondences. Nonetheless, the clear sense I get from it is that he was referring to the bullets as the objects being sprayed.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 11:05 am:   

Thanks guys, really appreciate the reasoned replies.

Mike cole - My reasonong was an assumption, that they wanted more convincing, but your point makes sense based on the`similar technique of keeping the perp on the phone with innocuous questions in an attempt to get a trace. However is there some evidence supporting your conclusion or is it just an assumption on your part?

Yarbchris - thanks for the patience in having to reiterate your point for me. I'm pretty sure I get it. I just don't want to assume Z's profile and that he was honest in his boasts.

Douglas - (can I call you Doug?) Your take on the statement was interesting and makes some sense. I didn't even see that interpretation, but it follows on from the "bullet" being the subject in the preceding sentence. The more I look into Z and his claims`and threats, the more I feel he was aiming to obfuscate the investigation with his letters, rather than letting on important details about himself. Much like Kaczynski and his mocking of people with college degrees. The fact that we think, as your post suggests, that we know the motivation of the killer suggests that it is possible Z may have been successful if he was trying to hide a real motive.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 11:31 am:   

I accept the possibility (likely-hood?) that Zodiac annexed other crimes to make himself seem more dangerous. He was, after all, a murderer and a criminal. However, I find it significant that none of the crimes that he associated with himself have ever been linked by LE to another perp. None. Not even the murder of a cop. On the contrary, it seems more likely that there are more crimes than less that were the work of Zodaic, based on standard indicators, such as signatures, proximity, MO, and timing.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 12:06 pm:   

If Z comitted the Riverside murder, why say that he began collecting slaves at LHR? One reason would be that by revealing and linking Riverside to the other Z crimes, it may have given important clues to the ID of the killer? But if that be the case, then why claim it later, after Avery had made the connection? Reeked of someone who was looking at that stage for more street cred. (his ongoing murders were just numbers in his letters in 1970), and not wanting to waste the opportunity to spread his accomplishments and confuse the case.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 12:35 pm:   

Why did Z say he began collecting slaves at LHR? Perhaps "collecting slaves" was a different process than a revenge killing? Perhaps he ment that it was the first time he used his gun-light to collect slaves? Perhaps he was trying to avoid his close-to-home activity until he was called-out about it and the link seemed obvious? Perhaps he no longer feared getting caught for that one, since time had passed and no one had come knocking? Or, he just jumped on the bandwagon for the CJB murder because he knew that the police would pursue the wrong man for forty years until DNA conclusively ruled him out?

It's entirely possible for Zodiac to be lying about everything, but the link to Riverside was that the LE had received letters, seemingly from the murderer, very soon after the murder. Plus, those letters were verified to-the-best-of-their-ability as being from Zodiac. So, that means he was inserting himself into that murder long before investigators accused him of being involved.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 1:40 pm:   

Thanks Davidmm

I think the three notes he sent to the Police, father, and newspaper (6 months after the attack), were authenticated as Zodiac handwriting but the confession letter and crime are still contentious as being connected to Z.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 2:25 pm:   

Stew, no problem with calling me Doug--that's what I usually answer to, though I prefer Douglas. But it doesn't matter a bit either way with me. I'm pretty easygoing, actually.

I really think it possible that Zodiac committed other crimes that he didn't necessarily want to take credit for, either because they were particularly ugly, or because their nature revealed unflattering things about him. The Riverside crime (assuming he committed it, and I'm not assuming) might have been one such crime. And have you noticed how little he actually had to say about Berryessa?

Now Kaczynski is a prime example of that kind of thing. It's been pretty well deduced from the evidence that he once attempted to murder a miner with a shot from his .30-30 rifle. The miner miraculously survived, but afterward Kaczynski's .30-30 disappeared and was never found, even though the authorities made a valiant effort in searching for it. Kaczynski had no problem at all bragging in his journals about his bombings and all the mayhem they caused, going into considerable and loving details about every element of the bombs' construction, placement, mailing, etc., and the maiming/killing of victims. But the incident with the miner was never mentioned. He never attempted to hide his bomb-making materials or notes, yet he got rid of the .30-30. Why? Because there was something about that particular crime he didn't want to own up to. My speculation is because it was a hot-headed, spur-of-the-moment reaction to a provocation, rather than the calculated action of someone who plumed himself on being a "cool-headed logician."

Whatever the case, you get the idea. Zodiac may have had personal motives for not revealing certain crimes.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 2:25 pm:   

Yep, I think that's the status of the four letters surrounding the CJB murder. If we consider the authentication to be reliable, then that would prove that Zodiac had planned years in advance to (falsely?) claim responsibility for CJB's murder but then failed to reference it until the LB car door. Either way, true or false, he inexplicably waited a long time.

But, the typed "Confession" letter does bear many linguistic and stylistic similarities to Zodiac's writings, and, through fault or design, it does not bear any fingerprints or physical evidence that would eliminate it from the others.
Of course, frustratingly, no one has checked the DNA in the envelope flaps to determine a connection or separation.

To tie this back this thread, "DF & BLJ: Back To The Beginning." I still don't think they were the beginning.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 3:38 pm:   

>"I really think it possible that Zodiac committed other crimes that he didn't necessarily want to take credit for"

I agree wholeheartedly with that possibility. I would expand on that even further, including more controversial subject matter, but I would prefer a more topical thread.

I get the feeling from the CJB murder that the killer may have known Cheri and her father and held resentment toward both of them.
The Jensen/Faraday murder doesn't seem to be as personal to the killer. I'm not saying that either crime was the first or that Zodiac was responsible for the Riverside murder.
I think it may even be possible that Cheri Jo Bates killer may be a separate killer with multiple victims.
The writing on the car door at LB appears to be one way Zodiac tried to increase his credibility and reduce any doubt. Mentioning other crimes in the same note would give them a certain amount of instant believability, deserving or not.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 3:45 pm:   

Let's continue this discussion here.

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