The 34th Anniversary at Lake Berryessa, Day by Day


Zodiackiller.com Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: The 34th Anniversary at Lake Berryessa, Day by Day

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc6d643.ipt.aol.com - 172.198.214.67) on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 12:58 pm:

Day 1 (Wednesday, September 24th): Sandy and I stopped by the Pleasant Hill library to check out the Contra Costa Times for a story about the December 18th, 1970 break-in mentioned briefly by Bob Graysmith in Zodiac, p. 316, but we could find nothing about it from December 18th-25th. We continued on to San Francisco to pick up Sean (Lapumo) at the airport, and since we were early, we had a break at a nearby IHOP. To avoid paying a parking fee of $1/12 minutes, I dropped Sandy off and circled the terminal a few times, and she found Sean, who had just finished collecting his luggage. We left around 3 PM, and headed for Mel's on Lombard Street (Mel's was the teen hangout in 1960's Modesto in American Graffiti) for lunch, and I had the famous Melburger (awesome! try it if you're ever out there). Since it was on the way there, we drove partway along Washington Street, where Paul Stine drove the Zodiac minutes before he was murdered, and made a detour to the corner of Steiner and Broadway, where the house from Mrs. Doubtfire is located.

After a late lunch (for me anyway), we drove out to Washington and Cherry, and Sean got his first look at the crime scene. We walked north along Cherry in the very footsteps of the Zodiac, and I showed Sean the stairs at the end of Cherry where Bob Graysmith suggested the Zodiac had used to escape into the Presidio. I showed him the four different locations so far identified where Fouke and Zelms saw the Zodiac (three mentioned by Graysmith, and the fourth by Fouke himself), then we walked past Citizen Q's house and saw someone we assumed was his wife (we were told in Primetime, on national TV last October, that Fouke and Zelms saw the Zodiac not far from Citizen Q's house, so it's safe to mention that here). After seeing Julius Kahn playground, we headed back to the car and passed Robert Hunter's old place at 3799 Washington, and then drove back to Sandy's place. It was late, and Sean had some serious jet lag, so he was out by 9:30.

Day 2 (Thursday, September 25th): Sandy had taped A&E's recent Cold Case Files on the Zodiac, and Sean finally got to watch it. Around 10 AM, Sean and I headed to Vallejo, and he checked in to the Quality Inn on Admiral Callahan Lane by Tennessee Street, in room 232 (he commented on the zynchronicity, since Allen lived at 32 Fresno). Even though I had taken care of my shifts for the weekend, I got a call to go in that afternoon, since absolutely no one else was available, so Sean and I chatted until about 1:30 about the project he and Ray N. had been working on. Ray was due in at SFO around 11, and we were wondering why he hadn't arrived in Vallejo yet. I called him, and he had lunch and did a little sightseeing, and was leaving the city then, but I had to go to work, so I couldn't stay.

Around 5, I got a call from Tom, who had just arrived in Vallejo, and checked into room 130 at the Quality Inn. I arrived around 6, and took Ray and Sean on the Zodiac tour of Vallejo (of course, Tom had done it many times before, but it's always great to get first impressions from those who haven't been on it before). One of the first places we stopped at was the Coronado Inn and Mr. Ed's on Highway 37, but, much to our dismay, they had been razed to make way for the new highway they've been talking about building for 15+ years now. We saw Allen's, both of Darlene's, Mike Mageau's, Betti Lou's and David Faraday's homes, as well as the location of the phone booth, the sheriff's and the police departments. One of the things both Sean and Ray commented on was that, after being there and finally seeing everything for the first time, they both felt that the Zodiac had to be a local (something I've been saying for years).

We then headed out to Blue Rock Springs and Lake Herman Road, and had pretty much finished the tour around 7, then went over to the Valano Club on Sacramento Street, where we challenged each other to pool (the shot of the night was another jump ball for me, when I jumped the cue ball over one of Tom's, and sank the 6 ball in the corner pocket). I eventually won the final match against the winner who relies on luck, Mr. Tom Voigt! One of the songs I chose on the jukebox was, rather appropriately, "Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.

It was still early, so we went over to the Golden Bubble, where one scene from In Control of all Things was filmed, and we stayed till 1, discussing Sean's and Ray's project. Since it was still early, and since I was OK to drive after the 25.4 ounce Steinlager at the Valano Club and the Guinness and the shot of tequila at the Golden Bubble, we drove out to Lake Herman Road again. The sky was black with clouds, and the lights of the refinery as well as Benicia and Martinez lit up of the yellow hills north of the attack site; in all the years I had been going there, I'd never seen it like that before. It was fairly bright, and a chill wind was blowing as we discussed the crime. We were there more than half an hour, and there was a flurry of four cars that passed us in the space of five minutes, and another one that drove by sometime later; otherwise, it was cold and lonely out there, probably not unlike the night of 12-20-1968.

We drove back to the Quality Inn and I dropped the guys off at 2 AM, and finally made it home at 2:30.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc19124.ipt.aol.com - 172.193.145.36) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 03:06 pm:

Alrighty then: since we had no internet access at Lake Berryessa, and limited time in areas where there was access, I couldn't do the daily updates, so here's the next few days' worth, I hope I can remember everything correctly and in the proper sequence (and for everyone who was there who can correct or add anything, e-mail me at edneil@zodiackiller.com and I will edit it into the chronicle)...

Day 3 (Friday, September 26th): Everyone slept in late, and we arranged to meet at Rosita's. Tom, Sean and Ray arrived around 1 PM, and got to see the parking lot that used to be the Napa Car Wash, where the Zodiac made his phone call after the stabbing at Lake Berryessa. I arrived about 1:20, followed by my parents and then Sandy. It was Sean's first time eating Mexican food, and he did tell me he liked it.

Sandy headed to the library for a little research, and it was after 2:30 when the rest of us arrived at my place; Tom had the second Zodiac video, which neither Ray nor Sean had seen, so they watched it while I had to speed off to work around 3 PM (it was payday, after all, and some bills were due...). I knew I'd be gone for a while, and later on, Sandy arrived and the four of them went to the Gasser Plaza to buy some munchies for Spanish Flat. They must have gone in at least two cars, and it looked like Tom took a wrong turn and got lost, so Sandy called my cell to try to get ahold of Tom to find out where he was (I then remembered that he doesn't have one, so I hoped he wouldn't end up in Santa Rosa rather than Spanish Flat).

On the way back from work, I got a call from Mike Cole, and he was somewhere along Monticello Road; he said he'd head back into Napa, and I'd call again as soon as I got back into town. He was just north of Wal-Mart on Lincoln, so I gave him directions and positioned myself at the northwest corner of the parking lot, where I figured I'd be able spot him heading south. After several minutes, I called him, and he turned out to be in the parking lot already, just on the other side of the gas station where I couldn't see! He apparently pulled in right after I did, which is why I didn't spot him.

We drove back to my place, and Tom still hadn't shown up, so we loaded my car, and I led the convoy to Spanish Flat after 5; Sandy went with me, Ray and Sean in Ray's rental car, then Mike. We arrived around 6, and found that Tom didn't make a wrong turn earlier, but had headed out to Spanish Flat before us. Scott N. and Victor were there, as well as Wendy and her boyfriend Doug. We chatted for a while, then drove out to the Spanish Flat Inn to meet Bill and Lisa, who were already having a few drinks.

Since it was relatively early, I suggested we head out to Zodiac Island so that everyone could get a sneak peak at the crime scene. Oak Shores closed at ten minutes earlier at 7, and I thought about sneaking in the exit (like we did for the July 2002 Taskforce Meeting), but the ranger was still there locking the gate, so we decided to check out Turtle Rock. It was a kind of a combination bar and general store, and we hung out there for an hour or more. While there, John Mikulenka arrived; he'd spotted all the cars parked outside, and figured that we were all there, and stopped in to see. We retired to the picnic tables outside to drink more beer and talk about the case. John stayed for a while, but had to head to Petaluma for another engagement Saturday, but said he'd be back afterwards.

We finally returned to Spanish Flat and relaxed outside of Cabin #9, which seemed to be at the center of all the cabins we rented, and it was around midnight when we were accosted by two very aggressive and big raccoons. I had wondered what the neighbors in cabin #11 were doing with their flashlights outside, until one of them explained about the raccoons, and I ended up chasing them away from the cabins with my flashlight. We stayed up and discussed the case until around 1:30-2 AM (although Sandy retired at midnight and I was out by 1). Later on, the raccoons returned and climbed up to the deck on Bill's cabin, and may have on mine too, but had slipped away after I turned the light on to see what the commotion was.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc19124.ipt.aol.com - 172.193.145.36) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 04:11 pm:

Day 4 (Saturday, September 27th): I woke up around 10 AM, and we slowly gathered around the picnic tables outside cabin #9 and had breakfast. Around 11, I took Mike, Sean, Ray and Victor out to Zodiac Island, but it was quite warm for Sean, who is used to highs of 60 during the summer in Ireland, so we dropped him off at the Spanish Flat Inn to cool off with some beer (I later found out that night that they were closed, so he had to cool off in the shade instead). We returned around noon, and Tom was still asleep. Scott was nowhere to be found (he had driven to Angwin to see Pacific Union College), and I was getting a little worried about the time, since I had promised to take everyone who wanted to go on the Zodiac tour. It was a little before 1 when I finally rounded up Mike, Wendy and Doug, and we drove into Napa, then Vallejo. Out at Lake Herman Road, we were not able to see Mt. Diablo because of the haze, but Wendy produced an old Phillips 66 map, just like the one the Zodiac used back in June 1970; she had bought it for about $2.50 at ebay. I showed them all of the major Zodiac-related sites in the area, and we drove back towards Spanish Flat, arriving just after 5.

Everyone had gathered there, but since Moscowite Corners was closed for renovations, the plan was to head out to Turtle Rock at 5:30 or so. Among those who were there was Victor, Mike, Bill, Lisa, Sandy, Tom, John, Scott N., Ray, Sean, Wendy, Doug, J. Eric, Kei and Diane. Also there was Carlos Villatoro, a reporter from The Napa Valley Register, plus another freelance reporter whose name I didn't get (I hope someone else did!). I brought up the rear of the convoy, and was surprised to see everyone continue on to Zodiac Island; Robert Peebles, a photographer from the Register, had called me earlier, and we arranged to meet at Turtle Rock at 6, so Carlos and I stopped and he continued the interview until Robert arrived. We were on our way by 6:20, but since Carlos had all he needed, he returned to Napa.

We arrived at Zodiac Island after 6:30, and walked out to see maybe a dozen Zodiologists there, probably the most people ever at that one particular site; Sandy and Lisa were not there, however, as Bill dropped them off at Spanish Flat so they could prepare dinner (and they'd both been to Zodiac Island before). John did some filming and Robert took several pictures while the rest of us discussed the stabbing and tried to imagine what it was like exactly 34 years earlier. Since Oak Shores closed at 7, we started back to the parking lot then, but I noticed that Tom, Diane and Victor were still at the Island chatting, so I walked to the top of the ridge overlooking Zodiac Island across the small bay, and shouted over to them that it was closing time. By the time I drove out, it was 7:20 and the ranger still had not closed the gate.

After dinner, everyone decided to go to Turtle Rock, but it had closed early (some bar!). We ended up playing musical bars, driving between Turtle Rock, Spanish Flat Inn, and Moscowite Corners (on the offchance that someone might there). We finally settled in at the Spanish Flat Inn, and I played a few games of pool with Sean (do not play pool with him! He's a hustler!!! LOL). The bartender told Sean and I that the most famous person to ever visit the Inn was Stephen Hawking, but he had tea rather than beer. Wendy had her theory done up as a short report and gave us copies. Ray had an early flight the next day, and he was the first to drift out before midnight. Sandy and I retired at midnight, and everyone else eventually returned to Spanish Flat, presumably before 2 AM.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc19124.ipt.aol.com - 172.193.145.36) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 04:56 pm:

Day 5 (Sunday, September 28th): Victor and Diane were the first to leave early in the morning (I woke up long enough to say goodbye to Victor, who stopped by our cabin on his way out), and Mike left a little later. Since there was an extra cabin (#2), Tom decided to stay there, since he thought I snored too loud, but it turns out he had to sleep in his car, since Mike snores even louder than me (although, since I've already lost 27 pounds since June 1st, I don't snore like I used to). We had breakfast and I decided to help things along by squirting lots of lighter fluid on the rapidly cooling briquettes in the barbecue, and they exploded into a huge fireball around me (fortunately, it only lasted an instant); I had never seen anything quite like that, and it singed the hair on the back of my right hand. Since there were no flames, I hadn't anticipated their violent reaction. We checked out at noon, and Sandy and I led the convoy to St. Helena, to find Cecelia Shepard's grave (I had been there many times before to pay my respects). Scott followed in his van, then Tom and Sean, and Bill and Lisa brought up the rear.

We stopped at the cemetery, and stayed for a little while; something I had never noticed before was that there was a couple buried next to Cecelia named Kilgore! We drove back to Napa in search of a bar that Tom thought was named the Lamplighter (that looked like it had been around since the 1960's), and we found the Lamplighter Lounge on Trancas Street in the Bel Aire shopping plaza, but it was brand new (and had been a bank some years earlier). That's when I suggested maybe he was thinking of the Green Lantern on south Jefferson Street, which had been there since the 1960's or earlier, and looked like a real dive. We drove into town and had lunch at Nation's around 1:30, then Tom wanted to stop by the barber shop that supposedly had a Zodiac wanted poster inside (according to someone who e-mailed him about it), so we drove back to the Bel Aire plaza to check it out. Every time I had stopped by there, it was closed, and there were a lot of photos in the window, but I couldn't see anything that looked like the Lake Berryessa composite; none of the photos were there anymore, and I figured that whoever told that to Tom must've seen the Laurel and Hardy photo in the window, and mistook Oliver Hardy for the Berryessa composite.

Bill and Lisa left, and we were down to myself, Sandy, Tom, Sean and Scott, so we drove to Vallejo and Lake Herman Road. We were able to see Mt. Diablo through the haze this time, and then decided to check out Sky Valley Way and find the remains of the Zodiac Shack, which we were unable to do Thursday evening. We parked in the approximate area of the old turnout, and Scott finally found the old bridge. That's when I realized why we couldn't find it earlier: someone had bulldozed part of the road and obscured the turnoff, and it looked like much vegetation had been cleared too, completely altering the terrain we were on the lookout for. Tom and I placed two of his business cards near the bridge too.

We made our way across the bridge and to the remains of the barn and the shack, but there was not even a board left to show where the Zodiac Shack once stood. We returned to the road, and Sandy spotted some graffiti someone had spraypainted on the bridge: "No more Zodiac shack." It was after 3, and Scott had to leave to catch his flight, so Sandy, Tom, Sean and myself returned to Vallejo and relaxed at the IHOP on Tennessee Street, around the corner from Allen's old house on Fresno Street, where Darlene Ferrin also worked around 1966.

We drove back to Napa, and Sandy left for home; Tom checked his mail, and Sean relaxed as I got a few things together for the evening. My parents returned and everyone chatted for a while, and we finally headed out to San Francisco to the Beach Hotel on Judah Street, just a few blocks from the beach. Tom followed mapquest's directions, and we ended up taking the long way around (had I been in the lead, we might've gotten there 30 minutes earlier! Oh, well). We checked in late, and had dinner at Park Chow (on 9th Avenue between Irving and Judah, in the inner Sunset district), a restaurant Tom had been wanting to try for three years (it was pretty good, and our waitress was cute too). We then stopped at Penny O'Reilly's, a bar on 29th and Judah, but since it was late Sunday night, it was pretty dead, and there was only one other person besides us and the bartender. Sean showed us two pretty amazing card tricks, but all I could do with the cards was play solitaire (and I lost).

A few more people showed up, the last of which were a 22 year old college girl and her sugardaddy. She had a visible reaction when a Kylie Minogue song came on the jukebox (yes, I did pick three of her songs, lol), and later on, after a few drinks (one of which had tabasco sauce in it), she started getting very friendly with Tom. He kept asking Sean and I to help him out, but we just laughed. It was after 1:30, and we decided to hit it, but the drunk college babe wouldn't let Tom leave without a hug, and she kept complaining that they weren't good enough. Then she hopped into his arms as he was walking out the door, and he ended up carrying her out!

We finally got rid of her, and stopped at 7-11 by the Beach Hotel to get some more munchies (and Tom and Sean got more beer), and noticed that there were five or six police cars right across the street with lights flashing. Whatever it was had apparently just happened while we were inside, but we couldn't tell what the commotion was about. We retired to Seans's room and talked about the case until 2:30. It was 3 by the time I hit the sack, and I don't know how they managed to con me into staying in the city that night, since I had one appointment at work at 10 the next morning, and it takes about two hours to drive there from the city...

By Wendi (Wendi) (dpc6682009013.direcpc.com - 66.82.9.13) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 09:52 pm:

You lucked out...Doug had to work the day we left, until 3 am...and then back on duty at 9.
Poor guy.
Anyway, I had a good time meeting all of you.But it concerns me that Tom would turn down a drunk woman...lol. Oh well, he's married to Z anyway...

I'll try to post what pics I took asap...which means in a day or two.If thats okay with Tom..
Have there been any reports in the media yet about the berryessa meeting?

Thanks for posting all this, I wish I had stayed longer....but then I'd be stuck in the city at the group's mercy.

It was a bit rushed, and some of the scenes were far different from what I anticipated, but it was fascinating.Thanks again for being my tour guide Ed.

By J Eric Freedner (J_Eric) (dialup-67.27.70.69.dial1.losangeles1.level3.net - 67.27.70.69) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 10:45 pm:

My spookiest moment was not at the LB site nor waiting for Tom V. to appear at the Turtle Rock Bar (which eventually closed at 9 PM for lack of his patronage)...but on the road back home. Not 10 miles from Turtle Rock I was descending Route 121 around 9:30 PM when my pickup truck "Ota" slowed and stopped in the middle of the road. No warning light, nothing. Wore my battery down trying to start it; flagged down the first 2 drivers that came by (they had little choice about stopping anyway). We tried to push and pop the clutch; no luck there. So then we pushed Ota off onto a small turnout. No cell phone service in the hills, but there was a CHP call box some 100 feet away (totally obscured in darkness). Called for a tow and waited an hour. Eventually someone came from Pope Valley Garage and charged me $285 for a tow back into Napa.

Story gets worse: Pep Boys in Napa vanished off the planet so the tow driver took me over to Auto-Zone on Lincoln at Soscal. Said it opens early Sundays and I could buy a battery and alternator (which seemed to be the culprits). Only problem there was: no motel, restaurant or actual mechaics nearby! Slept (or tried to) in the bushes behind the parts store.

On Sunday a customer came to Auto-Zone as it was opening. I explained my dilemma and asked if he fixed cars. Not professionally but he said he could try installing the alternator at his house not far from there. Said he has good luck with cars.

Then he looked under my hood and said, "There's your problem now!" The wire had fallen off the distributor cap. We put it back and Ota started right up.

On the way out of town I passed the infamous NAPA CAR WASH just 2 blocks from where I was. The thought occurred to me that the distributor wire/dead battery routine was the same way Zodiac got Cheri Bates.

So what are the odds that a distributor wire should fall off all by itself just while I was driving along? On the 34th anniversary of a Zodiac caper? Along same route Z must have taken?

By Sandy (Sandy) (12-233-91-30.client.attbi.com - 12.233.91.30) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 07:26 am:

J Eric, I have never heard of a distributor wire falling off. Most of the ones I have seen you have to "pull" straight up. Someone who likes to play jokes could loosen the wire enough to make a connection,but as soon as you hit a bump in the road it would be off. That person could have been the same one who scratched the Zodiac sign on the window of the gate keeper's hut.I saw it as we were turning in the key. I asked how long had it been there? She never saw it before,and it wasn't there the day before.(I can spot a z sign a mile away, LOL) As if the Z would go out of his way to play games with us,as far as I know I am the only one in our group who believes he is still alive.

By Warren (Warren) (64.221.18.62.ptr.us.xo.net - 64.221.18.62) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 11:38 am:

Sean, would love to hear your impressions of the event.

By J Eric Freedner (J_Eric) (dialup-64.156.135.104.dial1.losangeles1.level3.net - 64.156.135.104) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 09:59 pm:

Sandy, Ota has a locked hood so no flesh and blood person could get under there.

Oh, I've got a little list
Of people that won't be missed
Like the driver of the tow who enjoys charging so
And those Pep Boys Manny Mack and Moe
No one would be sad to see them go.
And the hunter who cages animals in the back of his truck
I said I was hungry, he said I was outa luck.
And the man who woke me at 2 a.m. starting his noisy car
And the woeman next door who keeps roosters in her yard
And the lady at the Jiffy Lube
Who said there was a motel on Silverado
I saw nothing in a half a mile
So we add her to The Mikado
And whatzizname and thingmebob and you-know-who
But the task of filling in their names
I'd rather leave up to you;
No, they'll none of them be missed
None of them be missed!

By Ray N (Ray_N) (24.231.194.161.bay.mi.chartermi.net - 24.231.194.161) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 10:53 pm:

I've published the first part of a narrative about my experiences on this trip, including some photographs. More to come over the next few days, so keep checking back...

http://home.earthlink.net/~towbat/html/lb92703_index.html

By Ann (Ann) (cache-rp06.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.253.38) on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 10:36 am:

Driving - looking at a map - distracted by a cop, and he let you go with that explanation? You lucky so and so..

Thanks for posting that, Ray. I enjoyed reading it and the pictures turned out nice.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (user-2ivfmf6.dialup.mindspring.com - 165.247.217.230) on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 11:11 am:

Yesterday morning (Tuesday the 30th), out of the blue, Lisa said, "It might sound weird, but do you know what I'd like to do today?" Without hesitation, I replied, "Go to the cemetery." She looked at me and said, "How did you know that?" I just shrugged.

We drove to St. Helena, stopped at a store and bought some lilies, then visited Cecelia's grave. Speaking for myself, when I first saw her grave marker on the 28th, it was a very moving experience for me. It brought into focus something I think many people who spend time on the challenge of Who Is The Zodiac? may fail to truly appreciate. Cecelia Shepard was a living, breathing human being, with a promising future and many, many years of living ahead of her, were it not for the twisted brutality of The Zodiac. Under our feet, as we stood viewing her grave, was the remains of a real person whose life was cut short by this too-often-revered, low-life excuse for humanity.

Let us never forget that she, and the others whose remains will never again support a single breath, are very real and very much a factor in this effort.

By Wendi (Wendi) (dpc6682009028.direcpc.com - 66.82.9.28) on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 12:27 pm:

Another reason why Lisa is an incredible woman.
I had considered flowers at the site, but I ran out of time and didn't know how all of you would take that. Besides, after seeing the media I would have been incredibly shy.
It bothers me my guys grave is untended, 500 miles away. I'm sure Cecelia and her family would like that you took the time out to honor her life and not just her death.

By Sandy (Sandy) (12-233-91-30.client.attbi.com - 12.233.91.30) on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 01:39 pm:

Bill did you remove my tulips ? If so did you take a better look at the stems that looked like they were cut? I am glad you both put some new ones,its too bad we ran out of time that day we could have done it then. Ed would go and check on the flower's from time to time, just to make sure make sure they were holding up. I am glad Lisa now knows where the grave is,and can also check on it. Thanks again to you both for being so careing.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (66.227.204.206.bay.mi.chartermi.net - 66.227.204.206) on Saturday, October 04, 2003 - 12:00 pm:

New update available, including some hi-res photos of the Lake Berryessa area and some theorizing related to certain things I have changed my mind about since visiting the crime scene.

http://home.earthlink.net/~towbat/html/lb92703_index.html

By ScottN (Scottn) (pool0040.cvx5-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 209.178.152.40) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 11:03 pm:

Ray:

As I think I told you on the trip, I do believe the topography and soil composition of the area have changed considerably since 1969. For one thing, there are far more trees on the ridges east and north of the island; for another, the soil may have been more powdery due to a rumored recent fire in the area as of '69.

That said, these photos you've posted are state of the art.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p51-209.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - 159.134.51.209) on Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - 07:23 am:

Excuse me Warren, I did not see your post until now.
First and foremost let me say what a great pleasure it was to meet so many of you for the first time.I would like to thank you all for the welcome you gave me and for the hospitality extended to me on my vist.A Special thanks to Sandy,Ed and Tom for ensuring I got to see all the sites and again to Sandy and Ed for welcoming me into your homes.I hope I get the chance to return the favour someday.
I can only reccommend that anyone seriously interested in the case make this trip if you can at all.There are things that just cannot be appreciated unless you have actually been there.
I think one of the most important things I have learned from this trip is that many of us,including myself, have been guilty of over-complicating things.Looking for too much detail.Essentially this trip is about looking at the murder site locations.There are real nuggets to be gleaned from these.
However,my own personal opinion is that said nuggets are in danger of being buried in a sea of irrelevant information.We are now 30+ years on and there is a limit to the amount of useful information that can be extracted.
There are further limits on the amount of insight I, as an amateur,can provide and a definite limit on how much I'm willing to speculate on.If the evidence had not been collected by now,it's gone.For anything else we should rely on those with professional experience.

Lake Herman Road.
I live in a small town,within a radius of two miles there are all manner of isolated country roads.Some contain well know "Lover's lane" areas.However,little if any, are know outside the community.You go to these spots for that purpose,you pass them on the way home or you are a hunter familiar with these areas.
These roads connect back around into town and do not connect(by way of familiar shortcut) to any other sunstantial urban area.You just don't end up on them unless you are familiar with them.
Lake Herman Road to me was such a place.
Two further observations...When the term "Lover's Lane" area was mentioned,I had an image of an area big enough to facilitate a number of cars.
However,in reality there is only room for one.Ok, you might get a second one in there but it would only be a cars length from any other parked there.
I stand to be corrected but a little too close for comfort I would have thought.My point being is that it might be unlikely to find more than one car here at any one time,perfect for Zodiac.
We have commented on how clinical Zodiac was here and how quickly he was away from the scene.Fact is,if Zodiac parked his car in any type of position to block the victims escape,then his vehicle would have taken up a portion of the road.
I was also surprised to hear for the first time that the gate that formed part of the barrier, barred an enterance to a dirt road that in turn led to a shooting range.Isn't it likely that Zodiac might have used this range? Perhaps that's why he knew the area.One would assume that anyone who used this range would have know everybody else that did. I have to wonder if this list was compiled and all investigated.

Blue Rock Springs
Unfortunately, the area is changed too much to get much from it.Again though it's its proximity to Lake Herman Road that again suggests Zodiac was familiar with the area.Many have spoken of the compactness of all these sites in and around Vallejo.The victims,their houses and places of employment, all within minutes driving distance, some within walking distance.

Washington and Cherry
I have to admit I was surprised at how close the witnesses view of the scene was.They were actually right on top of it.Given the fact that the car was parked slightly off the footpath and that Zodiac came around to the drivers side,puts them closer again.I could not argue that they did not have a crystal clear view.
I would argue about the facial detail on the composite. I would also have to say though that my visit was during daylight hours and therefore could not account for lighting conditions at night.
I was also surprised at how close the Presidio was
to the actual crime scene.Less than a standard block and a half to the back of the houses on Jackson.I timed this walk heading straight North on Cherry at 90 seconds.That was at a slow stroll.
All that remains from here is a drop of a few feet, across the road and into the Presidio grounds.If it was Zodiac's intention to head in here, this route is the closest and easiest access point.Tom and I also drove in around the maze of roads inside the Presidio.However, while there are many roads in there,parking is a problem.Any parked car is going to look out of place and he runs the risk of it being towed.
This,the fact that Zodiac was seen heading east on Jackson and the fact that the dogs never picked up the scent leads me to believe that he never did go in there.

Lake Berryessa,
Again I had the wrong impression before seeing it myself.There is no view from the road.
It's a nice trek down there on foot and a nice trek back up to the road.I think it was Bill Baker who made the point about Zodiac not going all the way down here without first knowing who was there,I agree.
Zodiac came all the way up here to kill,he came prepared.This location is not a likely place to find victims.So in my mind that eliminates the possibility of Zodiac walking around down in this area.That only leaves two posibilities IMO, either Zodiac just happened to pass on the road above as Cecelia and Bryan exited their car or he followed them from some point.It would be nice to have a detailed account of their trip up there,perhaps they stopped at Spanish Flats.Zodiac seen them,perhaps Bryan unknowingly
seen him or his car before the encounter at Zodiac Island.

Well,that's it, for what it's worth.Hi and thank you again to all those I met there.Hope its not too long before we meet again.

By Warren (Warren) (64.221.18.62.ptr.us.xo.net - 64.221.18.62) on Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - 07:40 am:

Very excellent summary.

By Sandy (Sandy) (12-233-91-30.client.attbi.com - 12.233.91.30) on Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - 03:00 pm:

Lapumo,It was great to meet you ! Your idea about Cecilia and Bryan perhaps stopping some place just before is likely. If they were going to have a pic-nic they would need some food. They didn't plan to go to the Lake untill the last minute. Was food found at the site ?

By ScottN (Scottn) (pool0250.cvx6-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 209.178.158.250) on Wednesday, October 08, 2003 - 12:58 am:

Sandy and Sean: There was no food mentioned in the police report, but in the timeline I tried to construct in "The Car Door" thread, there are clearly several hours (approx. 2:45-5:15) during which Cecelia and Bryan's activities are unaccounted for.

No attempt was made in the police report to do such an accounting, which I find really curious.

Perhaps the issue is a dead horse but as Sean says, the terrain of the lake stabbings indicates, to me, Z's awareness of the couple PRIOR to venturing down to the shoreline.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc39368.ipt.aol.com - 172.195.147.104) on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 12:22 am:

OK, so it's a little overdue, but here's the last few days:

Day 6 (Monday, September 29th): I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge back towards Napa, and managed to get to work just after 10, and then headed back home to do the updates. Meanwhile, Tom and Sean visited the Stine scene again, checked into the Grant Hotel in Chinatown, then eventually had dinner at Kans. I got a call from my buddy Dan who was moving, but his plans fell through that weekend and he asked if I could help. I drove to Santa Rosa to meet Tom, who decided to help out, but it took longer to finish the updates than I figured, and Tom must've driven like gangbusters to get to Santa Rosa; we were supposed to meet at the porn shop where Art Allen got his toys from (which is only half a mile south of the trailer park where he used to live) and then head over to Dan's, but Tom headed back to the City, and we missed each other apparently by minutes. He and Sean drank at Mr. Bing's till 2 AM, then went to the Grassland after that. Meanwhile, Dan and I were supposed to pick up the U-Haul, but the manager forgot to leave the key under the seat, so we moved all the small stuff in my car that night (it took only three trips, so it wasn't too bad).

Day 7 (Tuesday, September 30th): Dan and I picked up the U-Haul to move all the big stuff (not much, forunately, since we got it all in one trip), and I had to drop it off afterwards since Dan had to go to work, and returned to Napa. Tom arrived later that afternoon, while Sean stayed in the city to do some souvenir shopping for his family. While I was gone, I got a call from someone who claimed to know who Z was, and she said she'd call back that night. She called me after seeing the story in The Napa Register the day before, and I listened to her story, but she said she was afraid to give me her name or number, and kept talking even though I tried to ask some questions. I managed to get in a few, and said I'd check out her story the next day, and she said she call back that Friday to see what I had found (she didn't).

Tom and I went over to the Green Lantern on Jefferson Street later that night, which was around in the 1960's (and probably hasn't changed much either). They closed at midnight, so we only had time for one beer (although Tom ordered two), and after they closed, I took him by Doreen Heskett's old place (who some seem to think was murdered by Z in 1963), then along the route she wandered along Jefferson, starting at Pueblo where she was last seen by her friend and ending at the edge of town by the field her skeleton was eventually found in several months later. What we couldn't figure out is how she managed to get there, some three or four miles south of her home, without tiring and without anyone wondering why a little girl was wandering by herself.

Day 8 (Wednesday, October 1st): Tom left about 7:15 in the morning for the long drive back to Portland. Sandy and I met Sean at the Grant Hotel just after noon, and stopped at Mel's on Van Ness for lunch (breakfast for Sean). We went over to the library and looked for some newspaper articles, and we had to leave by 3 so that Sean could catch his plane. We left him off at SFO, and returned to the library so I could check out that woman's story, which was essentially that she got a good look at Z, because he shot at her but missed as she drove away; an hour later, there was an unsolved double murder that occurred, and she was positive that Z was the perp. It was Easter 1969 (which was April 6th), and I checked the Chronicle from April 1st to the 15th, but it didn't pan out, as I suspected. It was a bit of a letdown after an incredible week...

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) (netcache-2002.public.lawson.webtv.net - 209.240.198.61) on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 08:27 am:

I too had a fantastic time with everyone at the Lake "Scary-essa" weekend. What a big difference to actually BE at the site where the Zodiac attack happened! It was amazing to theorize & hear everyone elses' ideas on how the mysterious murder might have happened. Questions, questions, questions...
DIANE: Excellent meeting you & having breakfast with you on that final Sunday morning. I really learned a lot from you. Unfortunately the phone number & EMail address that were on your business card you gave me do not work. If you get this, please EMail me back & say "Hi". I'm looking forward to receiving the DNA-related articles you were gonna send me.
Also, TOM was his usual fantastic self; thanks SO MUCH for making it all happen in such a fascinating & enjoyable way! What a relief to see someone doing such great, historic things without the Huge ego.
RAY & SEAN: so good to actually meet you both in person. Your ideas & theories are so intriguing & exciting! Great debating with you & learning so much new stuff about the case. Also it was really great hanging out & having drinks with SCOTT, JOHN MIKELINKA & MIKE (from Oregon). SCOTT: I wanna hear more about your "Zodiac" screenplay. Feel free to EMail me.
You all made for one Historic weekend in my life. Thanks so much.
LET'S DO IT AGAIN SOON!

VICTOR