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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 5:22 pm:   

Here are Stew's graphics reduced a bit in size. All further text is his:

Something about the Jensen/Faraday murder didn't add up. Thanks to Tom for the police report and autopsy, it was possible to reconstruct the path of the bullets that passed through Betty Lou Jensen.

The results were fairly conclusive and interesting. Below is a scan of my sketches using the autopsy report. Thanks to the coroner, the descriptions were very precise (to the 1/4 inch).

As a result of the analysis, I now know my intercostals from my xyphoid process and my subcutaneous anterior neck from my umbilicus and iliac.

The analysis shows that Betty Lou was shot at least three times in a lying position (not the one they found her in). It also shows that she likely took two bullets before falling, one in the middle of the back which exited from her solar plexus under her sternum, and the other, which probably caused her to fall, entering just above her right pelvis and exiting nearly four inches to the right of her navel. The sketches are shown below

1
2

An attempt at reconstructing the scene follows:

The killer (K) arrives next to DF and BLJ's car. He exits and asks them to get out of the car. They either refuse to get out or DF tries to start the car. K then shoots into the back seat via the back right window and fires another shot into the top of the roof and tells them to get out of the car on the passenger side. BLJ gets out first. DF thinks it’s a robbery or has been told and he removes his ring. This indicates that they don't know K as they wouldn't assume they were going to be robbed if they did know him. Either DF is shot as he exits the car or is shot while standing next to the car. BLJ immediately runs in the direction of home (Vallejo). As she passes the end of their car she is shot in the middle of her back just to the right of her spine and the bullet exits just below her rib-cage but doesn't have enough energy to pierce her dress. Shortly after, the bullet falls to the ground. Now five feet from the rear of the car she is shot again. This time it is in her right lower back just above her pelvis. The bullet exits her body again but can't pierce her underwear where it lodges. She loses her balance as the bullet has affected the motor-function of her right leg. She falls to the right slightly and finishes up on the ground, on her stomach, her left side raised slightly and her body is oriented (the direction of the top of her head) to the right and away from the killer. The killer now shoots her three times in the back, one bullet passing through her heart and exiting her left chest. The other two lodging in her front rib cage, one in her front left lower neck and the other under her sternum.

Now the most likely scenario is that the killer goes to the body to see if BLJ is dead (and that he can't be identified to police). In the process he reorients her with her legs facing away from the car on her side. Also he may wish to place her in this position to make it more difficult for a passing car to spot her.

A second alternative is that BLJ moves herself into this position. This is however unlikely as her heart has stopped.

A third alternative is that the first officers who arrive at the scene move her body. The police report only gives the report of the scene after DF has been taken in an ambulance and BLJ has been covered partially in a blanket (facing upwards judging by the photo). However, if the initial officer(s) at the scene (who didn't file a report) moved her body into the feet facing west position, then it could prove Z did not commit the crime. He somehow was able to get the crime details from the BPD or Solano County Police.

The bullet casing found 20 ft from DF’s head is hard to explain. Perhaps Z did some target practice earlier in the night and tested out his new pencil torch sight. His car was spotted at the scene earlier in the evening. Perhaps Z thought he saw BLJ move as he was doing a three point turn in his car to exit the scene. The second shot mentioned earlier may have occurred here instead. He would have been perpendicular enough to agree with the shot angle.

Please feel free to comment or challenge the analysis if interested. I don’t think I’ve made any big errors but it is possible that I have.

The anatomical sketch was simplified. I originally had a skeletal schematic to work over. The drawing was scaled proportionately to the height of BLJ (63 inches) so that coroner’s distances were to scale. The original drawing I worked from is full body length.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 9:57 am:   

Brilliant!

I tend to doubt that BLJ's feet had been pointed west by the officers. I can imagine they might have turned her over to make sure she wasnt alive, but it kinda goes against any common sense for an officer to drag a body around at a crime scene. I assume that Zodiac remembers this detail because he moved her body to a more hidden angle.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 10:59 am:   

Thanks David. I always had trouble with:

1. How Betty Lou was able to take five shots in the back before falling down.
2. How she could fall backwards (or at least her legs falling faster than her upper body) if she was running downhill and away from her attacker. Granted it was icy that night.
3. How the killer managed to hit a reasonably close pattern on a moving target.

The findings indicate he hit her at a relatively close distance while she was running and upright. The final three shots were achieved on a stationary target.

Whilst Z most likely committed this murder(s), I still have some reservations. When asked to go beyond the initial crime facts he cited for this crime and Ferrin's, he went into elaborate detail on how it occurred in Ferrin's case but in the Faraday/Jensen case he only brought up how he shot them in the dark with his pencil torch sight on his pistol. This ability to shoot on a near moonless night was something that was questioned in the press I imagine but his revelation was not something that could be checked regarding the evidence. He could have mentioned the scenario of BLJ's death postulated above and that he moved BLJ's body. This would have been definitive proof that he committed the murder rather than finding out details about the crime scene indirectly after the crime.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 11:33 am:   

My guess is that Z liked being described as a sharpshooter who could pull off five shots before someone hit the ground. He wouldn't want to tarnish his reputation. Notice how he was pissed off when someone presumed that visablity was good that night.
I would never expect Z to fact-check anything that diminishes his reported skills.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 11:45 am:   

Good point
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 1:06 pm:   

Hi Stew-

Geez, I wish I had undertaken this before, since I had a background in anatomy! This is a difficult analysis because bullets do not always travel in straight lines. An illustration of this is the fact that no shot entered lower than the 5th intercostal space poteriorly but one ended up lodged in the base of BLJ's neck. Unless he shot from a very steep angle, that one certainly deflected off of bone somewhere and went upwards. Also, one of the bullets is poorly located by the autopsist relative to the 7th rib. What does "...of the sternum" mean in there? Confusing! The 7th rib ends anteriorly way below the level of the sternum and is only at the level of the sternum on the side of the body (i.e., since the ribs curve downward). It is hard, IMO, to say precisely where that bullet lodged.

I am willing to accept your trajectory "E" as being the shot that could have brought BLJ down. In order for a bullet to penetrate both atria, it has to be travelling laterally. I can also accept that this is one of the bullets that exited (i.e., through the 4th interspace, 5+inches lateral of the sternum, which is right in the area of the heart). There is no way to say that this was definitely the last shot. However, once the atria are taken out, the heart is no longer functional as a pump, so it is rational to conclude that this shot felled her.

The problem is that there is no real way to assign exact trajectories for three of the bullets, IMO. Which one ended up lodged in her neck? Which one exited two inches below the xiphoid process? There is no way to tell from what we see in the report.

Since BLJ ended up on her right side on the ground, it would seem logical that if she were shot in that position, the bullets would have entered her left side, which is the "up" side...

Mike
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 5:05 pm:   

Mike, I'm glad you have a background in anatomy. You could really be of help to get the best explanation here.

The combination of entry holes and exit holes can be joined in a myriad of ways. The challenge is to do it in the simplest way that minimizes the number of planes that BLJ is on when she is shot. The oft mentioned Occam’s razor is used here. If you “connect the dots” in any other way you get 3-5 planes that BLJ is on when she is shot. We know from the shells that the killer shot from a reasonably constant position. Therefore all of the planes must be due to BLJ’s body orientation. Given that the original thesis is that she was shot five times before she hit the ground (the police could not imagine the killer being able to shoot her from his position with her on the ground and her head pointed towards him and legs pointed away to the west), she would either have to run sideways like a crab, and then rotate in other directions while being shot five times before hitting the ground.

The point you made about deflecting bullets is a good one. But when you line up the entry holes with exits (or positions that they finished) and you get two roughly parallel in three dimensions and another three roughly parallel in three dimensions. This requires only a simple explanation. Considering that 5 out of 5 shots entered on the right side of her back and 4 out of 5 finished up on the left side or mid-line of her front, it is hard to imagine at least three bullets ricocheting left and upwards.

"This is a difficult analysis because bullets do not always travel in straight lines. An illustration of this is the fact that no shot entered lower than the 5th intercostal space poteriorly but one ended up lodged in the base of BLJ's neck. Unless he shot from a very steep angle, that one certainly deflected off of bone somewhere and went upwards."

The 5th intercostal entry to the base of the anterior left neck path (shot C in my diagram) is roughly parallel to shots D and E in three dimensions. It doesn’t have to be explained by a deflection.

"Also, one of the bullets is poorly located by the autopsist relative to the 7th rib. What does "...of the sternum" mean in there? Confusing! The 7th rib ends anteriorly way below the level of the sternum and is only at the level of the sternum on the side of the body (i.e., since the ribs curve downward). It is hard, IMO, to say precisely where that bullet lodged."

I agree with you on this one that his English is confusing and clumsy to say the least. I'm not a doctor though so I'm partly happy I also was confused as you were and partly unhappy that we couldn't shed any new light on his statement. On other positions of the body however he gives vertical and horizontal “coordinates”. I just assumed that he wouldn’t say “of the sternum” if it was on the 7th rib and nowhere near the sternum. Likewise if he just said near the sternum that wouldn’t tell you much so I assumed that it was on the sternum where the 7th rib cartilage meets it. I realize that it would have been simpler to say 6th rib as these two cartilages meet before joining with the sternum. Yes I agree with you that it is confusing. I just made a probability assumption combining those two terms and it turned out to be parallel with two other shot paths.

"I am willing to accept your trajectory "E" as being the shot that could have brought BLJ down. In order for a bullet to penetrate both atria, it has to be travelling laterally. I can also accept that this is one of the bullets that exited (i.e., through the 4th interspace, 5+inches lateral of the sternum, which is right in the area of the heart). There is no way to say that this was definitely the last shot. However, once the atria are taken out, the heart is no longer functional as a pump, so it is rational to conclude that this shot felled her."

I don’t know which order shots C, D and E were shot in. However if BLJ wasn’t on the ground (in the previously accepted explanation) then it more than likely was the last shot before she fell and she would have had to be falling and twisting to the right to rationalize the angle, notwithstanding a 70deg. deflection off the end of her 12th rib which I think is unlikely especially considering this bullet exited her body and was the only one to penetrate through her dress on exit.

With regard to deflections, the coroner only mentioned ICS entry. If there was a dense bone deflection from a rib near entry, I assumed he would either mention the damage or the proximity of the entry wound to the rib. It is possible as you suggest that there could have been deflections off the spine or other deflections.

"The problem is that there is no real way to assign exact trajectories for three of the bullets, IMO. Which one ended up lodged in her neck? Which one exited two inches below the xiphoid process? There is no way to tell from what we see in the report."

No one can be 100% sure but it can be explained fairly simply to a reasonable degree of probability and minimal bullet path planes of trajectory.

"Since BLJ ended up on her right side on the ground, it would seem logical that if she were shot in that position, the bullets would have entered her left side, which is the "up" side..."

If you lie BLJ down half way between lying face down and lying on her right side, and then point her in a two o’clock position relative to the shooter’s aim, then shot paths C, D and E point straight back at the shooter. This is indicated in the sketch of her body at the rear of the car. Someone than moves her body around so she is pointed back at the shooter, on her right side, with legs pointing away (to the west), presumably done by the killer.

I really respect your opinion here Mike, especially with your anatomy background, though I feel that the scenario painted neatly fits the data as well as agreeing with common sense. I do take your point that we can’t be sure that bullets weren’t deflected.

However considering the previously accepted explanation, I find it hard to believe BLJ was shot 5 times before going down; that the killer was able to handle a semi-automatic weapon that well on a moving target in almost total darkness notwithstanding his pencil torch sight; and that BLJ would fall down, backwards (the only way this is usually achieved is when you are trying to stop and you lean back too far).

Regards
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 6:09 pm:   

I'm pretty confident on shot B. This has to have occurred while BLJ was in a vertical position to allow the bullet to fall out of her dress.

I'm pretty confident on shot A because the entry and exit wounds match up. If they weren't the same bullet, then the entry bullet would have to have deflected almost at right angles upwards off her pelvis and another bullet would have had to have been deflected down almost at right angles. The exit wound would have been greatly elongated if this was the case, not to mention the coincidence of it exiting directly opposite the other entry wound.

Shats C, D and E kind of fall into place after this as they are all parallel in three dimensions assuming no deflections. Shot E exits the body which is understandable as it is arguably the only one of the three that doesn't have to go through two walls of the rib-cage.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 12:40 pm:   

I work with an avid gun collector, hunter and competition shooter. I asked him what distance the killer would have to shoot from in order for these .22 longs to pass completely through the body. He claims no more than 6 feet away.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 1:43 pm:   

Interesting. It was estimated that Z was about 10 feet from BLJ. Perhaps what really happened is somewhere in between the various theories... I had suggested that Z parked in such a way as to box them in between the cars and the Rambler's car door, so the only means of escape was towards Z himself. In Bulkley's The Zodiac, he suggested Z fired a warning shot to stop BLJ, and then shot her. So, perhaps he did so, then shot her twice in the back, then 3 more times as she lay dying...
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 1:50 pm:   

Stew: it just occurred to me, maybe the reason Z moved BLJ's body (if in fact he did) was to get it out of the way of his car. He parked on the right hand side of the Rambler, and if she fell behind his car as he shot her while she was running towards Vallejo, he would by necessity have moved her body or he would have run over her as he backed his car out of the gravel driveway to escape...
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Ubpclaw
Username: Ubpclaw

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 1:53 pm:   

Wouldnt there be drag marks, or some other indication the body was moved?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 2:00 pm:   

I would imagine so, but maybe he only needed to rotate her body to get her legs out of the way. I don't know how much that would show up in that gravel area...
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 2:05 pm:   

Very good point, Ed. I was already assuming that Z moved her, but hadn't come across any motivation, yet. Your theory makes sense.
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Mike_cole
Username: Mike_cole

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 3:17 pm:   

He may have repositioned BLJ specifically with the intention of making his identity-verifying claim more precise and meaningful:

"the girl was on her right side feet to the west".
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 6:49 pm:   

Hi Stew-

I want to really study your analysis but I need you to do me a huge favor, so that we are comparing apples to apples. Could you give me the verbal descriptions of the entry wounds A,B,C,D and E? Take the descriptions of the five wounds from the pathologist's report and tell me which one corresponds with which letter on your figures.

Thanks,

Mike
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 8:40 pm:   

Hi Mike

The top one, C refers to the first one mentioned in the report. The next one (D)is the hardest one as when I went 5 1/2 inches out on the 8th ICS it came almost on the lateral edge of her rib-cage and actually was slightly lower than the one(9th ICS 1 1/4 inches - A on my diagram)he mentions next as being the next lowest. Coincidentally my wife is 5 ft 3 inches and 115 pounds and 5 1/2 inches from the midline on her is near her side as well. The entry position D could be out by up to an inch but it doesn't drastically change the angles. E and B are fairly self-explanatory as the tip of the 12th rib and crest of posterior right iliac bone respectively.

I made one other assumption on the central exit wound as being 1/2 inch to the right of midline when the coroner only mentioned distance not direction. This could potentially be an error of an inch.

Also the skeletal image I used from wikipedia might not be to scale, but it looked pretty accurate. The other problem is that I can only assume BLJ's body shape is similar to my schematic. Again I am hopeful that these potential errors are not enough to drastically change the angles.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 8:53 pm:   

Hawk, though I don't suppose your hunter friend has actually tried out the experiment, I don't think there is much change in velocity of the bullet between 6ft and 16ft. If its velocity is 1800 ft/sec at 6ft it is probably around 1798 ft/sec at 16ft. Most of the speed and momentum loss happens exponentially at much further distances from the barrel.

Aside from that, my experiences shooting a .22 calibre rifle when I was younger make me wonder how the pellet got through her (only just) three times. Fact of the matter is`that it did.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 9:04 pm:   

I'm just reading my last post and can't believe how disrespectful to Betty Lou Jensen it sounds.

When I was trying to reconstruct the`shooting of BLJ, I felt the pain she must have been in as she lay there hoping the shooter would stop. I didn't think trying to find out the circumstances of how she was shot would throw any new light on who the Zodiac was (though now I'd like to fingerprint her shoes)but it was just in respect to her to try and get the story of her death revealed correctly.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 10:22 pm:   

On a previous posting when I said I was pretty confident with shot A and shot B, I got the two shots mixed up in the description. The bullet that falls out of her dress and exits just below her sternum is from shot A, the bullet that is later found in her panty strap is shot B.
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Oklahoma_mike
Username: Oklahoma_mike

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 11:47 pm:   

Note: Before I begin, let me say if any of Miss Jensen's family or friends read this, please accept my apologies if I sound clinical and cold. Nothing could be further from the truth. I realized a couple of years ago that had she not been brutally murdered Betty Lou would be my age today. I know what the killer took from her, and always feel sad.
Stew, a very detailed and thorough job! You have me well along on accepting your idea, and that is a good job as I always believed differently, that she had continued running until the bullet hit her heart. I agree with Mike r that we can't be sure the bullets followed such straight paths as you diagram. A .22 bullet is notorious for curving in path or bouncing off even muscles and tendons once inside the body. However, your conclusion that there were 2 groups of wounds each delivered in a specific position is very convincing. The only other explanation I can see is that she did not fall after the second hit but stopped running and bent partly over, and it was in this stooped position that Z shot her the last 3 times. Either way, the 2 and 3 grouping of trajectories is a good analysis.
I disagree that Z moved her, as I think her legs drawing up and/or her body twisting after she was on the ground could account for her postition. While she had received fatal wounds, she could still have moved in almost a reflex action.
I am not surprised that several of the bullets went completely through the body. A .22 has more penetrating power than most people think.
Partly off the topic, but I have never been surprised that a person could be hit 5 times with a .22 before falling. The bullet which hit her heart was the only one which would have been immediately fatal, though a person might well bleed to death in time from the others.
Since I have tried duplicating Z's shooting (at night, with a .22 automatic and a flashlight taped to the barrell at the same distances) I have always believed Z was an above average shot or at least average. I am CERTAIN that he practiced regularly with that gun and had practiced at night. Anyone who thinks this was lousy shooting, try it yourself. I was able to get a tighter pattern but on a stationary target. Plus, I used my favorite gun which I have owned for over 20 years and I practiced that afternoon too.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 12:34 am:   

Seriously, I doubt whether a "small pencel flash light" would have done any good at 28 feet, unless it happened to be a laser light.
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 12:40 am:   

Oklahoma Mike, you have got that exactly right - this is a guy who had above average familiarity with guns and had practiced with them. It's one thing to shoot at a paper target, it's quite another to do so under stress and at a person at night. While maybe not and expert, the guy was good.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 12:50 am:   

I agree, Kevin. Between "expert" and "practised amateur" there's a pretty broad range of skill levels, and that goes for almost any other activity as well. Given the placement of the casings, though, I'm inclined to think Betty Lou was shot somewhere near the car, and was either moved (as speculated here) or ran a number of paces before blood loss caused her to collapse.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 1:58 am:   

Doug, I think the 28ft is an RG magic factoid. The police report says she is 10ft from the rear of the rambler.

IMO If Z was using the pencil torch sight on a moving target, it would have been practically useless as the recoil after each shot would mean that he would need to refind the "dark spot" on her back before every shot while she is moving. However if he made two close range shots to BLJ in the first 10 ft while she was running away and then the final three shots when she is lying down motionless approx. 16-20ft away from him, then he could use the pencil torch sight to take careful aim and fire for each of the final three shots.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 2:47 am:   

Ed - good point...moving the body to get it out of the way of the car is certainly possible. Where I've got BLJ lying in the diagram could have been further to the left (ie south) but the police report only says that it is 10ft from the back of the rambler. One of the police photos with the guy seemingly looking in the direction of her blood stains with DF's chalk outline in the foreground suggests that her body may have been further to the south. You may be right about that hunch. I do suspect he may have tried to back out to the gate first. However if he went straight back it may suggest he was heading east from the scene. It would be really good to go out there and see how he possibly got out and how much room he had to turn if any (after placing a couple of cars in position). Unfortunately I don't live near there, I'm up near Tom.

I do think he would have wanted to see if she was dead, though he didn't seem to take much interest at BRS. Just the fact that he gave the body positions in his letter as proof. If BLJ hadn't had been hit in the heart she could have crawled a couple hundred yards before the police arrived, let alone staying on her right side, feet to the west.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 10:00 am:   

Stew, I think we discussed the disparities in distance somewhere else, but if I recall correctly, the 10-foot distance was actually mistaken; it should have been 10 yards, which would make it closer to 28 feet.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 10:29 am:   

mmm...that's interesting Doug. Ten yards does kind of match where the police drew BLJ on the sketch of the scene. Is that an acknowledged error by the police? They do mention that measurements of everything were taken from the scene but the report only shows bullet shell locations. RG must have had some extra source.

If it is ten yards, it doesn't change the positions (orientation) she was in when she was shot but the distances I mentioned from the car for the first two shots would have to be increased. It makes the second shot before she fell a particularly good one as she would have been about 30ft from Z. If he had have missed on that one or not hit her in a part of the body that caused her to fall, she may have been able to escape.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 10:39 am:   

I also remember seeing, buried in one of the reports, a citation for BLJ being 26+ feet from the car. I remember it was a DOJ report, but couldnt spot it while looking through the police report (which says 10 feet in the first couple of pages.) I specifically remember it because I thought, "Oh, that's where RG got that."

I don't think it means she was 30 feet from Zodiac. I assume that he ran after her, or perhaps got her to stop with a warning shot, while running toward her. He might have hit her once from that distance, but I think he certainly would have then gotten much closer before the second one that brought her down, and then, like you deduce, the final three were delivered after she stopped.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 10:58 am:   

The location of the bullet shells almost certainly proves that he didn't run after BLJ. Not one shell was found west of David Faraday's body. I imagine that finding the shells and relocating them would have been virtually impossible (it was almost a moonless night, Dec 19 was the new moon) and unnecessary considering Z would have wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible to avoid being spotted by passing traffic.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 11:52 am:   

You're right about the shells, Stew. That would identify Z's position.

Here's the quote about the "28.5 feet" distance of BLJ's body, actually from the LB report, which references the other cases that appear to be linked.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/DOJ23.html
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 2:21 pm:   

I'm inclined to credit the 28.5-ft. distance, looking at the photos of Betty Lou's body in relationship to the Rambler.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 5:49 pm:   

Thanks David and Doug for that help. I never could figure out what that partly obscured car in the background behind the police car was. If BLJ was only ten feet behind the Rambler, it didn't make sense that the police car could or would park between. Now it seems to make sense that the police car is between BLJ and the Rambler. I am going to do a new diagram of BLJ's attempted escape etc. Actually it makes more sense now because it is easier to rationalize Z missing twice if she is running 30ft and not 10ft (both in the time it would take to produce 4 shots and the fact that she would be further away). He could have missed later though when he was taking aim on her prone body.

In addition, it is possibile that she lost her balance rather than falling from the actual wound. It would be interesting to try running in straps (which I presume had heels) down that slight slope with icy gravel under foot (temp was 22 deg)while taking bullets in your torso. I am going to do a new diagram with the new position of BLJ in it. It doesn't change the angles to the shooter but it slightly changes BLJ to a slightly more head-pointing-west angle which will further raise the question of why Z moved her around almost 180 deg. It is almost impossible, IMO, for Z to get those three bullet wound directions if she was in an upright position or in the position in which she was found given that we know where Z was shooting from.

It also seems looking at the shell locations, like Z used his car for support to help aiming for those three last shots.

Again, with respect to any of Betty Lou's relatives if they are reading this, I (and I presume we all) don't mean to be cold and clinical with regards to Betty Lou as Oklahoma Mike put it, just trying to get to the truth of what happened.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 3:51 pm:   

I just got back from LHR a little while ago, and drew some interesting conclusions based on Stew's analysis: if we look at the crime scene sketches (LHR report, p. 4 and p. 5), we can see that both cars were parked facing east, with Z's car about 3-4 feet from the Faradays' Rambler (p. 15). Jensen definitely had her feet pointing west, so if she broke away and started running towards Vallejo and Z shot her in the back, she should have fallen face down with her feet pointing in the opposite direction! That is, her feet should have been pointing east, not west!

We know that all but one shell was found in a small area on the passenger (south) side of the Rambler, so the evidence shows that Z could not have chased Jensen. Likewise, the manner in which she actually fell is contrary to the way she should have fallen if she was running for her life; therefore, I submit that Bulkley's idea as depicted at the beginning of The Zodiac with Z firing a warning shot is how it happened. Jensen stopped, Z shot her twice and she fell backwards and to her right (which therefore accounts for her feet pointing west), then Z shot her 3 more times.

I also found that there was more than enough room for Z to back his car out without having to move her body so as not to run over her, so there's no need to consider that scenario.

Something else I noted in going over the LHR report again is that a man named James who worked at Humble Oil drove past the crime scene towards Benicia about 11:20 PM (it was probably more like 11:15) and noted 2 cars parked there, but no one was in either of them (p. 13 and p. 15), and stated that just before he got there, another car passed him heading towards Vallejo, but this was near the Borges Ranch (which would have been a mile or so west of the crime scene). About a quarter mile past the cars (to the east), he thought he heard a gunshot. A few minutes later Stella Borges drove by and saw the bodies.

Considering James saw no one in either car (but Peggy Your did just minutes before, p. 16), it appears that Z parked next to the Rambler after the Yours turned around and drove back past the crime scene (p. 17), ordered Faraday and Jensen out of the car, and when James approached, he probably told them to get down and out of sight as he drove by, accounting for the fact that James saw no one in either vehicle.

Now comes the tricky part: what happened next? It's possible that Z had his gun on Faraday who told Jensen to run, so Z fired a warning shot (if he raised his arm as he fired, the shell could have been ejected onto the roof of his own car, and as he backed up then sped off, it rolled and fell off to the ground, accounting for that single shell found 20 feet away), then shot Jensen twice as she stood there. Z turned the gun on Faraday, who may have grabbed the gun and struggled with Z, with the gun discharging and accounting for the shot through the rear window, which appears to be right above where Faraday's body fell. If Faraday was facing the Rambler with his back to Z, and Z hit Faraday while struggling, this would account for the lump on Faraday's right cheek (p. 2). Z then shot Jensen 3 more times to be certain she was dead, then he escaped. This scenario would also indicate that Z held the gun in his left hand (but if Faraday were facing Z, then the gun would have been in his right and he punched Faraday with his left hook).

So, it would appear that the crime happened in the space of just a few minutes with several cars driving by at that time: the Yours drove by twice, a second car did (and by this time, Z must've been parked in the gravel driveway), then James (who noted the second car passing him), then Z killed Faraday and Jensen and took off as Stella Borges approached the crime scene. While there have been times out on LHR at night where no cars have driven by for 10-15 minutes, it would seem it was quite busy on the night of 12-20-1968 with at least 4 cars passing the crime scene in the space of less than 5 minutes. IMHO, it was a foolhardy crime with so much traffic that night; just like in PH 9½ months later, Z was very lucky he was not caught.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 4:55 pm:   

I wouldn't try to predicate anything on exact times in a case like this one--people can be notoriously inaccurate when trying to determine the time something happened after the fact.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 5:37 pm:   

Ed Neil..."he would by necessity moved her body or he would have run over her".

Ubclaw..."Wouldnt there be drag marks, or some other indication the body was moved?"

Police report pg 1..."Approximately ten feet behind the station wagon was the body of a young lady. The body was partially covered with a wool gray blanket. The face and head was covered in blood".

So, how did her face and head get covered in blood if she was shot in the body? This one has me curious.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 5:43 pm:   

Quite right, but we know that when Stella Borges drove by the crime scene, Z was already gone, and the only time that anyone saw 2 cars there (and without any occupants) was when James drove by, which had to have been just a few minutes earlier. This isn't like PH where timing is relatively easy (since we know Z's precise route, locations where he was seen etc), and most people don't care enough about the time to ensure their clocks/watches are accurate, so a few minutes off here and there is perfectly understandable at LHR.

Regardless, the more I think about it, with Jensen running away and Z presumably facing towards her firing a warning shot (assuming this is what really happened), the gun had to be in his left hand if the shell ejected onto his car and later rolled off as he drove away. If it was in his right hand, it would have landed with the other shells and not 20 feet to the west.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 5:49 pm:   

Hawk wrote:

So, how did her face and head get covered in blood if she was shot in the body? This one has me curious.

Good question. The autopsy report says of her head that there were "no injuries or skull fractures." I would have suggested that the blood came from a head injury when she fell, but that's not indicated by the report.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 5:52 pm:   

She might have lost blood from her mouth and nose, which I believe happens with chest injuries.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 5:53 pm:   

When they say that BLJ was running back towards Vallejo, I think they meant running towards LHR which led back to V. Thus, if she fell where she was initially shot, her feet may have been pointing west.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 6:16 pm:   

How does one fall backwards when one is shot while running away from the shooter? Jensen should have been found face down with her head to the west, yet she was not. Therefore, she was likely standing still when shot in the back and fell backwards. When you look at pages 4 & 5 of the LHR report, it's clear that she and Faraday were boxed in between the cars and the Rambler's passenger side door, and there was only one means of escape, and that was to the west through Z. She had to have run while Z was occupied with Faraday, and that would have been west, which is obvious from a comparison of the sketches.

It occurs to me that another possibility is that Faraday was facing Z, grabbed the gun and told Jensen to run, and while struggling, the gun discharged into the rear window. If Z pulled the gun free and slugged Faraday with it, it would have been in Z's left hand to account for the lump on Faraday's right cheek. Now dazed and no immediate threat, Z raised his arm, fired a warning shot and told Jensen to stop running, shot her twice, then Faraday, then Jensen 3 more times.
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Mike_cole
Username: Mike_cole

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 7:20 pm:   

The lump on DF's right cheek is likely a result of the gunshot wound.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 7:28 pm:   

Ed - just a few things problematic with that scenario:

1. Three of the shots cannot be accounted for if she was in an upright position unless as Mike R pointed out, the three bullets took a massive deflection (at approx. 70 deg) and all went in similar directions after deflecting. Since it only takes a bullet to go 165ft/sec to penetrate bone (internet source) and the bullet is assumed to be travelling about 1050 ft/sec, it is hard to imagine it deflecting 70 degrees off ribs, when the coroner arguably didn't mention any rib damage at the entry wound.

2. The fatal shot went through her heart laterally which either implies that the bullet took a 90 deg. deflection off a rib then went sideways and had enough energy still to pass through her rib-cage and her dress on exiting her body (the only bullet that did so) or is explained by the much simpler scenario that she was facing forward and sideways when the bullet struck, most likely lying down.

3. Are we to imagine BLJ stopping 35 ft away from the shooter and then standing up while the shooter shot her five times. My understanding of a semi-automatic pistol is that you need to re-aim after each shot because there is recoil after firing which deflects the barrel upward. My guess is that he would need at least 1 second between shots but probably more in that dim light using a pencil torch at 35 ft (which I think is nigh impossible anyway). I found on the internet that Police studies have determined the hit ratio (hitting the person they're aiming at) of offenders in crimes using a pistol is less than 15% and for police who are trained it is 25%. And that is at average distances less than 35-40ft (Z was near the front of the rambler). Maybe someone familiar with firing a semi-automatic pistol could comment here.

4. Why would BLJ stop if she had just witnessed DF's execution? She would know the killer was serious about killing as well her having the natural human instinct to get away from there as quick as possible. The reason she ran is because he fired the gun at DF and she would probably assume killed him. What purpose does a warning shot have in scaring BLJ that he is serious about killing her if she doesn't stop? She probably thought it was a robbery up until then but not anymore. In any case, what future lay in stall for her with this guy even if he didn't kill her then?

The more logical explanation that agrees with the pattern of bullet wounds and doesn't require multiple Lee-Harvey-Oswald-Magic-Bullets is that she was shot twice while running away and three times either lying down or on her hands and knees. Though if she's not lying down she needs to be near horizontal and twisted about 40 deg. with her left shoulder higher than her right to point the wound directions back at Z.

5. Why would Z fire a warning shot? We know he wanted to kill BLJ. BLJ probably deduced that intention from seeing her boyfriend's execution as well. The only purpose of a warning shot is to say, "If you don't stop I'll shoot you". Why wouldn't he try to shoot her. If he missed it would serve the same purpose as a warning shot anyway (unless she heard the bullet pass her). We know he wanted to shoot her.

The best rationale I have for Z pointing the body the way he left it (feet to the west) is as stated before. He wanted to see if she was dead so that she couldn't ID him. He wanted to point her at oncomimg traffic so that cars coming from the west up the slight hill would struggle to make out a dead body in the headlights. This would give him more time to escape I suppose. Why he didn't shoot her in the head when beside her is the subject of another thread. He also probably needed to approach BLJ closer than from where he shot her so that he could mention her orientation in his proof letter. Also if he didn't know she was dead, that proof would be meaningless as she most likely would have moved.

The fact remains that she couldn't be shot from the front of the Rambler for three of these shots unless these bullets hit rocks beside her body and all ricocheted in the same direction backwards, one of which managed to go through her body, heart and dress, something that none of the other bullets managed to do.

This attempted reenactment by us as previously said doesn't help to progress the case, but partly through intellectual curiosity and also out of respect for BLJ IMHO its worth it to try and get a rational and hopefully true account of her death. I'm not saying that my story is the truth just that it seems the most logical to me. Please debate anything you disagree with. We will never know for sure because multiple explanations are possible. Occam would prefer us to use the simplest one though.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 7:41 pm:   

Doug - IMO you are right about the blood coming from her mouth. She had three wounds to her lungs and at autopsy had just over a pint of blood in both her lungs. Only one of the wounds to her lungs exited her body and dress. Most of the blood would have come from her mouth/nose. In the photo, you can even see the trail of blood from the pool going to her mouth after she was turned on her back and blanketed by the police.

I originally had trouble with the feet pointing west scenario because her head would be uphill and since she was dead, blood wouldn't seem to drain out her mouth in the quantities shown in the photos. But after lying down sideways on the carpet without a pillow, I realized that your head is much lower than your chest.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 7:48 pm:   

Ed - I forgot to say thank you for going out to LHR. I would be interested in how slippery the ground is when its 22 deg. and icy. Seems to me it would be difficult running in heels on pebbly gravel and ice.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 8:19 pm:   

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the temperature reached 22 degrees on December 28, 1968.
The lows recorded at area weather stations ranged from 30 to 37.9 degrees Fahrenheit on that date. There isn't much data on precipitation, but where precipitation was recorded it showed 0 on that day, as well as the day before.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 9:14 pm:   

Stew: all very good points, but I think you misunderstood what I was getting at.

1,2,3) I agree with you fully that Jensen was shot from 2 different positions, twice while presumably standing up, and thrice while on the ground.

4) It's assumed she witnessed Faraday's murder, but I'm not so sure. James drove by, apparently just seconds before the murders, and saw no one in either car. Stella Borges drove by minutes later and clearly saw 2 bodies on the ground and only 1 car. Ergo, both Faraday and Jensen had to have been outside the Rambler, and Z was likely right there with them, all hiding out of sight with his gun trained on them as James drove by. Presumably, they thought it was only a robbery, and if Faraday grabbed at Z's gun and told Jensen to run, the terrified teenager very well might have stopped if Z fired a warning shot. BTW, I'm not proposing any "magic bullet" theories here either, I agree totally with your findings thus far, I'm just trying to reconstruct the crime in a more logical way in light of these new facts.

5) In this scenario, Jensen ran while Faraday struggled with Z, Z fired a warning shot and told her to stop or he would kill her (of course that was the intention anyway, but if they thought it was only a robbery...), then he shot her first since he was rapidly losing control of the situation and did not want her to escape, then he turned the gun on Faraday. Then he walked over to Jensen and shot her 3 more times.

My point about Bulkley's idea is that it explains 2 things which no one else has yet: if Jensen was running away from Z and he shot her twice, she would not have fallen back towards Z, she would have fallen away from him. This would require Z to rotate her body 180º to the position she was later found in, and there really is no evidence of this. However, if she stopped, fearful that Z would kill her, 2 shots in the back might have made her fall in the position she was found in without Z having to pose her (she would have been highly visible from the road anyway, no matter which way her body was oriented). A warning shot also explains how that single shell ended up 20 feet to the south of Faraday's head while the rest of the casings appear to be within 5 or 6 feet of the Rambler; the shell could have been ejected onto the roof of Z's car as I explained, and rolled off as he made his getaway.

Also, my scenario does not involve Z stalking them around the driver's side of the Rambler at all and shooting them from the front of the car; the passenger side window was rolled down, so it's probable that Z parked, got out and spoke to them, ordering them out at gunpoint. This would place Faraday and Jensen between the cars and boxed in by the Rambler's passenger side door, far more plausible than Z trying to scare them out of the car by shooting it twice, menacingly stalking around to the driver's side, then racing around the front of the car before they got away.

Yarbchris: the LHR report, p. 7 says it was "a reported 22 degree temperature" that night.
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Wrecknball
Username: Wrecknball

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 9:33 pm:   

The only problem with a theory of Z shooting BLJ while she's on the ground is that there are no shell casings around her body. They are all located over by the car.

Theoretically, if the make and model of the weapon were known one could test a similar model to find out how far it expells shell casings and then determine where Z was standing based on the crime scene diagram in the police report.

I've always thought Z used his left hand in this case, based on DF's wound behind the left ear.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 10:00 pm:   

Ed - I don't find any problems with my logic (though I can't explain why Z moved her, I have explained why he might want to run up to her and check if she was dead). The facts seem to rule out BLJ falling in this position. She was fatally shot at some point in a lying position and it couldn't have been the one she was found in. I don't think it is possible she was shot lying down, then got up and fell down in a new position. Remember the fatal shot through the heart (killing her within seconds)went through sideways and up. If this went through her while she was standing, Z would have to have been three feet from her and shooting from the level of the ground. If it went through when she was lying, then it wasn't while she was in the position she was found in. We don't have to explain why Z moved her. What we can deduce is that she was shot fatally at another angle lying down and since she couldn't move herself while dead, Z must have moved her.

I don't know why we are searching for the BLJ was shot first scenario. Is this just to debunk RG? It makes much more sense that he was taken out first. If BLJ was shot first, Z risked DF going into a fight-for-his-life frenzy and it would have been very difficult to shoot him with the barrel against the side of his head if DF was defending himself. The least risk approach would have been to take out DF while they still thought the guy only wanted their money (Z used this at LB to mitigate risk of the victims panicking and "going for the gun" - to use Z's words). Are you saying Z shot her in the dark while fighting DF off?

I like your idea on how the bullet shell got 20ft south of DF's body. However, once BLJ was on the ground in my scenario, it would have made sense to use his car as a prop for shooting. It makes aiming a lot easier, especially when you are trying to steady a flash light beam at 35ft. One of these shells could have got on the roof of his car. Also the shell could have got there by being projected off the edge of his tire backing up his car.

Where is the evidence that Z stalked around the driver's side of the car? I think RG invented this perhaps using the footprint in front of the car that the police found (that could have been made by anyone). There was no shot from this side of the car as RG suggests in his book unless there is another police report we haven't seen yet (I can only count 9 shells but the report mentions there were ten shots fired).

I think your idea of Z staying between the cars before they got out is a good one (and seems the most plausible). IMO he must have fired the shots into the car to get them out because they weren't following his worded instructions.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 10:09 pm:   

Thanks, Ed. I was forgetting that the lows for after midnight were logged on December 21, not the 20th. The range of lows was 23-37 degrees at area weather stations. No precipitation. I have trouble seeing Z firing warning shots; The shell 20ft away from Faraday was probably one of the shots fired into the vehicle.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 10:36 pm:   

Wrecknball - the suggested scenario is that he shoots her on the ground (30ft away) while standing by the car. Far easier to do with his "pencil flash light" sight than shooting her at 30 feet while she is moving.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 10:43 pm:   

Mike r - are you out there? I'm wondering if your analysis reinforces mine or can throw some doubt on the conclusions. You know how it is when you go from A-Z but you don't realize you took a wrong turn at C.

I realize looking at my freehand sketch of BLJ's torso, that I didn't take into account that her sectional profile would be different at her chest compared to her waist. I don't think it greatly affects things regarding BLJ being in a prone position for some of the shots, but it might take them slightly out of parallel.

Ideally it would be best to do this on a 3D model or cadaver, though even that assumes BLJ's body shape.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 11:16 pm:   

I've always envisioned her as being shot somewhere nearer the car and then running several steps before collapsing--not necessarily passing out, but simply lying down as a consequence of blood loss, unable to muster the strength to stand. I remember reading an interview of a WWII vet who got shot while running. He had no recollection of actually being hit, but suddenly felt an incredible physical weariness come over him and thought it strange since he had slept well the night before.

Faraday's position seems to suggest that he was standing outside the car against the right rear door, where he was shot through the left ear. Since I've never heard of a corpse stretching itself out, I'd assume he simply fell straight down, and perhaps Zodiac assisted the process by pulling him backwards as he fell. The whole thing is indeed suggestive of a robbery-type scenario, which is actually where I think this discussion has taken us. Perhaps, given the uncontrolled nature of the events, this is why Zodiac chose to simply fire away into the car at BRS, and why he came better prepared at Berryessa.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 11:32 pm:   

Stew, I've been studying 3D modeling and here's a couple of pics you might be able to use. I can make you different angles if you like.

front.jpg
back.jpg
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 11:53 pm:   

Thanks Hawk - with due respect to BLJ, Tom might want to crop the lower part of the first one. I wonder if the latissimus dorsi (lats) on the second one changes alot when the arms are brought in or extended forwards.

The models need to be scaled to BLJ's 63 inches of height, so one would need to have a full body length representation, which I fear would be too revealing for Tom's conservative messageboarders. :-)
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 12:00 am:   

Doug, that was interesting anecdotal experience. It seems to be hard to get anything much on gunshot wounds. One thing I found was that it is surprising how little the impact feels when a bullet goes through you (internet source).

I agree with your reasoning that LHR didn't go according to plan. IMO BLJ was unlucky to be felled (or even shot more than once).

The big question is why Z needed to get them out of the car at all. Perhaps he didn't have his model aeroplane glue on his fingers then and didn't want to risk leaving prints on their car.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 2:02 am:   

Basically, I'm just suggesting other scenarios to account for what we find. I studied your diagram again and see what you're getting at, Stew. The angle of the 3 bullets precludes her being shot while standing, I got that much, but I see now that had she fallen on her right side, there's no way Z could have shot her in the back, since the bullets angle from right to left, therefore she had to be lying pretty much face down. Got it now...

I'm still not certain that Z purposely reoriented her body. What I would suggest is that she fell as you described, and Z, not being able to tell in the dark if she was still breathing (and a 1968 penlight would not provide all that much illumination... maglights were still many, many years away), turned her over onto her back to check. All that was required was a 90º rotation to get her into the position she was found, and possibly it was to get her body out of the way of his car as he backed up after all.

As far as Faraday goes, perhaps my suggested scenario does not really work. He may have been shot first after all; the one thing that bothers me is that he was holding his "class ring by the tips of the ring and middle fingers of his left hand" (LHR report, p. 3). Why would it be there, unless it was a staged robbery? It is suggestive of Faraday having removed it to give to Z, only to be shot in the head, but his position is still troublesome. If he was facing the Rambler like he was about to be frisked, removed the ring and was suddenly shot, he may have fallen into Z's arms who then laid him down in the position he was found in.

Of course, at that point, Jensen would have run, and perhaps Z still did fire a warning shot and ordered her to stop, but she did not and so he shot her twice, then 3 more times to be certain.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 2:06 am:   

Stew, lol these are not pic's of real women, they are nothing more than 3D character models. But since you brought it up, just e-mail @ rcreek@earthlink.net and I will show you how to do this simple 3D modeling yourself ok?.

Tom, I won't be offended if you delete my post above. I thought the pic's might be useful in some way under the circumstances.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 9:26 am:   

Didn't someone who knew one of the teens say that Faraday planned to give Jensen a ring? He may have had the ring in his hand (to give to her) and just never let go during the seconds of the attack.
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 11:18 am:   

Didn't senior rings turn up missing with Domingos and Edwards?
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 3:05 pm:   

Yarbchris, that is a possible explanation. I believe one of their (or DF's) friends mentioning that DF was going to give her his ring that night (I suppose that is grounds for the jilted High School lover/not Zodiac being the killer if enough people knew- not likely though). I can't remember exactly where I read it though it might have been in the latter pages of the police report.

Z using the robbery pretext makes sense however as he used it at LB to keep the victims calm, as it would have possibly done here. If the victims think that the person holding the gun is going to kill them they are going to try anything to break his control of them. If they think it is a robbery than they are motivated to comply with him.

One thing that lends itself to DF being in the process of giving BLJ the ring is the question of why DF didn't remove his watch first. My impression would be that the watch was of more value but I am not familiar with the value of the class ring, only suppose that it is not going to be that valuable if the whole of a HS grade is supposed to get one.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 3:09 pm:   

Hawk - I wasn't suggesting purging the whole image. I appreciate your help here. The 3D idea is based on the model being in 3D, not a 2D image of a 3D model. However the dimensions of your model in 2D look better than the diagram I used, which I suspect was a typical male outline.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 3:11 pm:   

Warren - to link these two murders on the basis of the class ring you would need Z to take the ring out of DF's hand I presume rather than leaving it with him.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 3:39 pm:   

That's why I suggested Faraday was in the process of removing the ring when Z shot him; Z never had any intention of taking it, and it totally distracted Faraday who simply thought he was being robbed at gunpoint so he wouldn't put up a fight.

Hey, I just thought of another explanation as to how that single shell ended up 25-26 feet south of the Rambler. If Z fired a warning shot to get Jensen to stop so he could take better aim, the shell would have been ejected towards the Rambler and not Z's car, correct? Well, Z would have to face east rather than west for the shell to be ejected south towards his own car rather than north towards the Rambler, so what if he pulled up next to his victims, opened the door, stuck his arm out and pointed his gun up then fired it to get their attention? The shell ejects on the roof, Z gets out and motions Jensen to roll down the window, tells them it's a robbery and to get out of the car... this scenario still puts the gun in Z's left hand, btw, and accounts for 9 of the 10 bullets. When he shot at the fleeing BLJ, he may have missed one shot, which would account for the 10th.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 4:11 pm:   

I am beginning to look at these trajectories. I wish I had a 3D model of the thorax to help me!

The first issue I'm dealing with is how a bullet enters the posterior chest wall in the 5th interspace, ends up in the neck and takes out both atria. The atria are in the correct orientation (lying diagonally across the chest but at an angle, not horizontally) but this particular angle doesn't seem to work because the left atrium is seemingly too far to the left of the midline to allow a shot to enter at the 5th ICS posteriorly on the right and hit both atria while ending up in the base of the neck anteriorly on the left side UNLESS it deflected around. But once you go down that path, it gets even more complicated. (The angle is also very steep, indicating that the bullet almost had to deflect, otherwise it could not end up so high. The space between the ribs is not great enough to allow a bullet to travel that sharply upwards without deflections to account for the trajectory, at least IMO.)

Preliminarily, I think that the most likely shot to go in a straight line to the left neck and hit both atria is the one from the 8th ICS. The angle on that shot is a little better. Without deflections going all over the place, one shot had to hit both atria because there is only one bullet that traveled to that level or above (around the 2nd rib anteriorly. The next closest exit wound is in the 4th ICS anteriorly, on the left, which is below the level of the left atrium.

This is complicated stuff and takes a lot of thought! I'm far from done...

Mike
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 4:59 pm:   

Mike r - the shot I have going through both Atria is E on my diagram which enters at the end of the right 12th rib and exits on the margin of the left breast, 4 1/2 inches from the midline. I know we don't have a 3D model but the engineering drawings I did at the top of this thread seem to place the path in the vicinity of the heart (the blue dotted line in the top part of the first drawing). You would have a better knowledge of the heart location than me so possibly you could help us. That shot path is on an angle upwards as well as going laterally.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 5:11 pm:   

Ed - I think the two shots that he fired into their car would have got their attention. I don't know why the assumed warning shot needs to have occurred. In the original explanation, the warning shot was to explain why BLJ was shot five times and then fell backwards. But we don't have to explain that anymore because according to the bullet angles, she was killed by the fatal bullet while lying down (or if standing up she had to be bent forward at the waste with her shoulders at a 40 degree tilt.

Personally, as I explained before, IMO the warning shot makes no sense. BLJ was not going to stop. She already knew that Z had a gun and was trying to kill her after DF's demise. She would even asume in her panic that the warning shot had been aimed at her. And notwithstanding, why would Z let her run 30 ft before firing a warning shot?

The whole justification for the warning shot is erased when we can deduce that she wasn't shot 5 times before falling backwards.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 5:23 pm:   

Mike r - Did I say engineering drawings? I meant engineering sketches. I don't think a draftsman would last long in his job if he drew like I did. However the bullet paths on the top view and front view I have sketched are supposed to match up if you run vertical lines between each of the two profiles.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 6:05 pm:   

Hi Stew-

The atria are way at the top of the heart. The trajectory for "E" is way too low IMO to hit them. The apex of the heart, which is the "bottom" at the tip of the ventricles, is in the 5th interspace on the left in about the mammillary line, which is a sagittal plane of reference that passes through the (in this case, left) nipple.

Your trajectory for "E" passes through the bottom of the heart, not the top, which is where the atria are located, in the area of the first three ribs anteriorly. If someone else with anatomical knowledge wishes to confirm my ideas, I hope they will feel free to do so as a double-check.

Mike
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 6:17 pm:   

If it weren't for those damned bones we'd have had this all figured out by now.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 7:01 pm:   

Hmmm... Mike r, this is very good, the plot thickens.

Trying to find a schematic of the heart positoned in the thorax with ribs shown. If you have found one on the net, could you please hypertext it on this board. I only had the ribs and cartilage on mine, I just guessed the organ locations, which on reflection wasn't good research practice before going live.

I'm wondering, without looking at it thoroughly, whether the 5th ICS entry wound matches up with the 4th ICS exit wound. This would even seem too low for the atria as you pointed out. It would also mean the other bullets took big deflections or there were at least three angles that BLJ was in when she was shot.

I'm glad you are here to highlight problems with the anatomical logic. It can stop us barking up the wrong tree. Despite the possibility of a red-faced retraction, I think we all are in this just to get to the truth.

Gee I wish they did a proper forensic on the gunshot wounds and tried to link them, though I understand that gunshot wounds cause quite a lot of soft tissue damage that makes it hard to detect the bullet's path, let alone when you have five of them.

I'd like to be able to line the two atria up with the 4th ICS lateral exit wound. We need a 5ft 3inch cadaver or a real-life scale model I suspect. This bullet exited the body and was the only one to have enough momentum to pierce her dress on exit (possibly bra as well). Its hard to imagine it being able to do that if it took a considerable deflection, especially since the wound in her waist didn't make it through her underwear and arguably wasn't obstructed by bone or the chest wall.

You know, I'm starting to get a hunch he shot her at close range then lifted her body out there perhaps to make it look like he was a crack shot. Only speculation at this stage. Also I still can't find the 10th shell on the police report diagram, though they mentioned ten shots were fired so they presumably found ten shells.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 7:45 pm:   

I've got a hunch Z didn't kill them.

1. He has already proven that he can lie in claiming victims - "I shot a man in a parked car with a .38" or words to that effect, which they eventually found the real killer for.

2. He waited 6 1/2 months to brag of his accomplishment. He would have also known at 6 1/2 months that they were unlikely to find the real killer at LHR.

3. To give proof he was the killer he basically recited the police report on shots fired, ammo, and body positions. If he didn't know the police report then this was risky. DF wasn't dead when he left him and with BLJ having only torso wounds, he would have to do a check to see she was dead, otherwise she could have moved. When asked to elaborate on each crime, he went into meticulous detail on the BRS murder (granted a witness survived). On LHR he explained nothing about what happened except to say he used a pencil torch flash. This isn't checkable with police records, and in my mind is totally useless at 35ft with a body running away. To locate the dark spot in the middle of the torch beam you need a wide surface to capture all the beam. Not only was BLJ up to 35ft away, the background trees were probably 80 or so feet away. Both BLJ and the trees were too far for the torch's reach and the darkspot would be 6 feet wide at 35 feet anyway. The pencil torch is useless and IMHO, BS. If he shot her closer to the car and carried her out there, then why not say this in either of the two proof letters. It would have been far more convincing.

4. Why did he want BLJ and DF out of the car? It didn't seem to be an issue at BRS.

I have a hunch (just IMHO) that he didn't do it, and he either wanted to use it to create more fear/terror or for his ego or he wanted to distract attention away from any personal connection he might have had to Darlene Ferrin/Mike Mageau by making BRS seem like a random hit.

Of course that would mean he was either close to the police, or had access somehow to the report. As far as I know the case was sent to the Solano County Sherriff's office. Anyone in that office, the Benicia PD, possibly the VPD, and also their friends and aquaintances. Just a hunch.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 7:48 pm:   

Hi Stew-

There were no powder burns to suggest that she was shot at close range.

I think that .22's are known for ricocheting all around and doing lots of damage, as opposed to higher caliber slugs.

Here is a link that might help, but it only shows the anterior ICS's.

http://www.instantanatomy.net/thorax/areas/heart/a uscultation.html

If you draw a line from the tip of the 12 rib to the exit wound (your Point "E" to "exit wound"-the blue line on your diagram), you'll see how low that is in relation to the heart. That having been said, on full expiration, as in the way they shoot a chest X-ray (i.e., letting your breath all the way out to maxmimze the size of the lung fields), the heart goes down lower. Whether it goes down low enough for this path to traverse the two atria, I don't know. I took anatomy about twenty years ago, so it is not as fresh in my mind as it used to be!


This is not easy stuff and there are many variables involved!

Mike
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 7:55 pm:   

Someone who applied to work as a cop for the SFPD but was rejected.

That would possibly explain why he included them in his investigation with the bizarre Stine murder as well as why he may have got really scared with him being sighted by Foukes and Zelms as well as the teenagers at PH.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 8:16 pm:   

Mike r - my research actually found that the .22 did the least amount of damage as far as the wound goes because it left the narrowest wound path. Most of this research is in the hunting field. The ricocheting phenomena I'm unaware of.

I have tried linking the entry wound of C on my diagram with the exit wound of E. This leaves two others which are roughly parallel. The entry wound of E connects with the exit wound of D, and the entry wound of D ends up where C used to finish, ie the lower neck.

I haven't checked how these look on the section looking down from the top of her head. If it synchs it would imply that she was perhaps fatally shot before she fell with her torso twisted to the right, and then shot twice more lying down.

Have to do some more analysis, notwithstanding the ricochet phenomena, the wounds would be very bizzarre if she was upstanding/uprunning the whole time.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 8:24 pm:   

Mike r - thanks for the schematic. It seems that the bullet could have passed thru both atria if you project the 5th ICS around to the posterior (higher than the anterior as you know). The entry wound would then be 5th ICS posterior 3 3/4 inches right from the midline travelling laterally and forward to the 4th ICS anterior, 5 1/2 inches left of midline (this is of course the opposite direction on the diagram as right and left are in reference to body looking forward). Just mentioned that in case someone else was trying to imagine it.

I'll (we'll) have to check it more thoroughly than I did before.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 8:27 pm:   

Mike r - how close do you have to be to get powder burns. I thought anything more than a few feet would not leave powder burns. Perhaps someone else could comment.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 8:46 pm:   

The schematic you've referred doesn't portray the 11th and 12th ribs, but I'm pretty sure you're right with regard to the minimal chance that shot (E) damaged both atria. Not only is it too low but the angle is too vertical. If it did deflect, I can't imagine a ricocheting bullet to be the only one to exit both her skin and her dress.

That would deductively only leave the entry wound mentioned above as the only likely possibility for the heart shot, since a severely ricocheted bullet wouldn't be the one with the most energy leaving her body as only the heart wound bullet did. And no other entry position is high enough to laterally pass through the atria.

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