Lake Herman Road Message Board: David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen : Lake Herman Road

By Brian D (Brian) ( - on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 10:06 pm:

Is it possible, (i.e. bourne out by physical evidence of entry angles) that Betty Lou Jensen fell after the first shot and had the remaining four shots fired by the attacker while he stood over her? The distance from the car where her body was found would seem to support this idea.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 10:23 pm:

Brian, that's a good question.
The photo you are referring to is very deceptive, as it appears Jensen's body wasn't far from the car.
Homicide detectives (and those who perform the autopsy) are very skilled and have excellent methods at determining such things, and they are sure that Jensen was shot five times before she hit the ground.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 12:35 am:

As I recall, there was a single grain of gunpowder found on her dress. Had she been felled with the first shot at a distance of approximately 10 feet, and if Z then stood over her and fired four more shots, there should have been a lot more gunpowder residue found, as the distance from the barrel to her body couldn't have been more than two feet. Since there wasn't, it seems likelier that the original scenario is correct (ie, shot five times before hitting the ground).

By Brian D (Brian) ( - on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 01:02 am:

Thank you both for clearing that up.
Is there any hard physical evidence that would tell us why the killer drove the LHR victims from their car while the BRS victims were "allowed" to remain seated?
It's clear that the later is not a "copycat" type crime for this reason (assuming a "copycat" would incorporate this detail) as well as knowledge indicated by the author of the letter writing campaign. Is this something that only the killer could clear up?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 08:33 am:

Brian, Zodiac might have learned from the LHR incident that driving the victims from their car gave them an opportunity to flee, making it more difficult for him to gun them down. He probably decided that catching them by surprise (and blinding them with a flashlight) would keep them where he wanted them.

By Joe (Joe) ( - on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 09:16 am:

All good points which demonstrate Zodiac's "learning curve." It would seem his attempt at controlling his victims at LHR having failed him (as it might have previously on the beach) he opted for shooting his BRS vicitms in the car. Perhaps at LB we see his ultimate fantasy finally realized: that of tying up (and thus in his mind finally having complete control over) his two victims in a secluded area.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 11:16 am:

Hello all, How does the possible 1963 murders fit into z,s learning curve? What about Bates also?

By Brian D (Brian) ( - on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 11:51 am:

All good points. So what we are left with is a killer to whom control (of both people and the situations he creates) is the driving force. He kills for his own reasons, experimenting with different ways to control\kill (the ultimate control) his victims.

By Brian D (Brian) ( - on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 01:46 pm:

Ed N and Douglas, if a single grain of gunpowder was found on Betty Lou Jensen's dress, by your observation, the first shot must have been fired from two feet or less from the fleeing girl. If I understand you to say she was found 10 feet from the station wagon, this hardly describes a chase.
He may not have even moved from the spot where he fired the first shot. If the killer is such a person as I have described above, based on you input, I agree that this situation would be unacceptable and he would further "refine" his technique as Douglas postulates in his reply.
Thank you both for your input. I appreciate your reasoning skills.

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 02:21 pm:

Brian: according to a newspaper report, detectives stated that she was shot from a distance of 10 feet or less, but not at point-blank range. Her body was found 28.5 feet away from the car.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Brian D (Brian) ( - on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 02:52 pm:

Jake, thank you for setting me straight.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 04:54 pm:

My thoughts as to the questions of Brian-

As far as how many shots it took to fell Jensen, one could also look at the locations of the empty shell casings. If there was a shooting chase there would be a series of spent casings in a line from the car to where the shooter fired his last shot. If the shooter stood by the car as he fired then all shell casings fired at Jensen would either land near each other or bounce off the car in nearly the same place and land probably in less of an organized pattern. If the shooter stood over her body and fired, then the cluster of casings would be near the body. Of course, this evidence would have to be taken with the other evidence such as powder residue. If the police are right about their theory, Z may have gotten a little worried about victims escaping in the future and switched to the 9 for that reason.
Which leads to point number two, possibly Jensen and Faraday were "driven out" of the car simply because they had not been critically wounded yet and were effecting an escape attempt. At BRS, the victims may have been almost immediately critically or fatally wounded making an escape impossible.

By Jim (Jim) ( - on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 12:59 pm:

i traveled this road many times as a child with my folks, as this is where I first heard of the Z and his dastardly deeds! course with my childhood imagination I envisioned people chained to trees and decapitated, etc.....but....the road is misleading in length and time to travel with all of the twists and turns. side roads, dirt roads, etc. Z could have disappeared in so many locations, or down different avenues into the hills, the multiple hwys. nearby (80, 680, 780) or the industrial park in Benicia (where there are/were numerous old military bunkers in hillsides--anyone ever check these out?) then filtering into Benicia instead of Vallejo or even across the water to Martinez, Concord, etc. so much to think about....but it is obvious that this individual had to know the area (not just Vallejo) intimately. You know that he could not do this today with the horrible traffic of the bay area and expect to complete missions with a prescribed time table....maybe he stopped due to being stuck in a traffic jam??? I know that is
another thread, sorry.

By Judy (Judy) ( - on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 05:53 pm:

Thanks for the chuckle, Jim.

It is always good to have a little humor in a subject area that can get rather intense and emotional... Get a laugh in whenever you can!


By Jim (Jim) ( - on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 10:48 am:

no worries! but really those bunkers would have provided an ample base of operations?

By Judy (Judy) ( - on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 12:55 pm:

Jim, my chuckle came from your remark about the
traffic jam.


By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 09:18 pm:

Since Howard mentioned it in the other thread: the story about the two hunters at LHR can be found in ZU on pp. 109-110, 341. Someone close to the case told me that story (and more) in March 2001, and I passed it on to Tom, who mentioned it to RG, which is how it got (uncredited) into ZU; such is life. However, my source only told me Gasser's name, but not his buddy's name; how RG figured out who it was (if in fact he is correct), I don't know. Maybe he had a report that mentioned their names or actually interviewed them.

My source also mentioned that some residents of LHR had seen a man in a white car cruising back and forth along LHR in the weeks following the murders, and a law enforcement officer who knew the witnesses staked the place out on his offtime and actually stopped the guy and spoke with him, but apparently has never divulged anything he may have learned about the driver. So, make of that what you will.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 11:58 pm:

Did the guy have a license plate that said "save the pupfish?"

By Roger Redding (Roger_Redding) ( - on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 05:06 am:

Ed, care to elaborate on the (and more)?


By Jake (Jake) ( - on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 11:44 am:

Has anyone ever come up with names or expanded stories for the two kids who saw the menacing car backing up on the night of the murders? This has always been the most viscerally scary element of the whole story for me.


By Judy (Judy) ( - on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 04:37 pm:

Good question, Jake. I agree, creepy beyond words...


By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 10:03 pm:

Could have been the Zodiac, but I bet it was a cop who saw the car trouble, turned around, and followed the kids until they turned off Lake Herman Road. Just a guess.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 10:35 pm:

Roger: the second paragraph was the "and more."

By Roger Redding (Roger_Redding) ( - on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 01:06 am: