HWY 29

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: HWY 29

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (adsl-64-168-24-13.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - on Saturday, August 03, 2002 - 12:31 pm:

First everyone, I am really sorry about missing the Task Force meeting. The 4th weekend was all booked up for me, but now that I am going through and reading the posts, I am bummed that I missed it.

On Wednesday night I was driving back from seeing the Scorpions at Kinnocti Harbor in Clear Lake (ok I will get to the point soon, I promise). We took Hwy 29 back which I had never driven on before. The 29 is a windy stretch of nothing 2 lane road with very band signage so it is as easy as all hell to get lost on. The interesting thing about it is how many Z sites it can direct you to. It directs you to Berryessa, Napa and ends in, get this, Vallejo! After driving on it's remote, twisty, and hard to follow expanses, I have a strong feeling that the 29 was probably Z's Hwy of choice. It was pretty creepy out there at Midnight and it was probably even more sparsely populated circa 1969.

Feel free to discuss this highway and I would love to hear from someone who knows the road better than I do. Were there any unsolved murders in Clear Lake around the time of Z's activity? It might be worth looking into since it is A) the largest lake in California and B) links to all of the other Z crime sites (except SF) via the 29.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (cache-mtc-ak04.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, August 03, 2002 - 01:35 pm:

Mcgarrett, you wrote, "After driving on it's remote, twisty, and hard to follow expanses, I have a strong feeling that the 29 was probably Z's Hwy of choice. It was pretty creepy out there at Midnight and it was probably even more sparsely populated circa 1969."

First of all, how were the Scorpions? I've seen them before; they are definitely not a band to scoff at; precision timing and guitar riffs that are fast, tight, and clean!

I'm wondering, Mcg, how well would you have to have known that highway in order to commit homicide on it and escape unscathed? Do you feel a killer -- ala, Z -- could spot a couple to victimize on LHR, particularly if he were unfamiliar with the terrain and the particular navigation of the road, kill them at random, and escape into the night with little or no hassle? Seriously, no tricks, what is your honest opinion? If your intention were to kill at random and get away with it without a thought or care of ever being apprehended, would you pick Lake Herman Road, having never seen or traversed it before?


By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (adsl-64-166-22-111.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - on Saturday, August 03, 2002 - 09:00 pm:


I really believe that Z had to be familiar with the terrain of LHR as well as HWY 29. Still from what I saw of the 29, he could escape onto it with no hassle. I don't think he was trolling the 29, emerged in Vallejo and commited the crimes and then went back to Clear Lake or Napa or somewhere via the 29. He knew both the remote highway in question as well as the locations he chose to kill in off of it.

About the Scorps, they actually get better everytime I see them. Dio opened for them and a stripped down version of Deep Purple.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc346ca.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 07:13 pm:

I've driven Highway 29 and Silverado Trail many, many times since 1996, and today, between Yountville and St. Helena, it's generally a traffic nightmare. I don't know what it was like in the late 60's, but I'd imagine it was probably an easy drive. Today, the best route between Napa and points upvalley is the Trail, and, if Z escaped LB the way I suspect he did (that is, north along Knoxville Highway through Pope Valley, Angwin and Deer Park and past PUC), then he almost certainly drove back to Napa along the Trail to make his phone call. However, since I'm convinced that Z was very familiar with the area (Vallejo, Napa, et. al.), he would also have been quite familiar with Highway 29.

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (adsl-64-168-24-36.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 11:47 am:

It was really hard not to think about Z when I was driving on the 29 at midnight -- especially once I realized that I was going to be deposited in the Vallejo and after I passed the turnoff to LB.

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (adsl-64-168-24-36.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 12:09 pm:

One other thing, I still wonder if there are any unsolved murders in the Clear Lake area around Z's time of activity. Clear Lake is Calif's biggest lake so it would definitely fit his MO. I mean the 29 takes you straight from Clear Lake to Vallejo with LB & Napa in between.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 06:11 pm:


I once spent several hours standing in turn-off beside of HW. 29 at night. This was an astronomy field trip in 1988. We set out from Campbell Hall, U.C. Berkeley (former home of the math dept.) at dusk to repeat Eratosthanes' measurement of the Earth's circumference.

One of the interesting things about that road is that the stretch between Vallejo and Napa is the only straight north-south (hmm.. "set to mag. N.") road of such length in the area, which is why we chose it. I don't have any special insights except:

--after 3 hours it gets quite cold in the fall
--People in Campbell Hall, UCB know how to get there.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (15.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 06:42 pm:

Interesting observation, Obiwan. Of course we know that whoever Z might have been, he must have been a native of the area. That's axiomatic.

By Tony (Mahalo) (hnllhi1-ar1-4-65-062-101.hnllhi1.dsl-verizon.net - on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 06:47 pm:

Scorps Rule!! We lived in Clearlake in 1969 & moved to Santa Rosa in '70. I was about 10 years old then. Yeah,the cop cars were still following our schoolbus's waiting for Z to make his move. One night in the early 70's, my mom and her best friend Doris were driving from Clearlake to S. Rosa at about 11 PM.The route is over Mt. St. Helena. A guy in a pickup truck who'd been tailing them starts flashing his lights & trying to get them to pull over. It's about a 50 mile drive and this went on for quite a while.Doris was driving (thank God 'cause mom would've panicked) gunned the gas pedal and they lost him where Mark West Springs Rd. meets Hwy 101 in S. Rosa. Of course, they felt strongly it was Zodiac. Did ALA have acsess to a pickup truck?

By Mike_D (Mike_D) (spider-ti063.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 08:39 pm:

If they knew every murder Zodiac commited on that lonely stretch of highway they'd be a tombstone at every mile!

By Tony (Mahalo) (hnllhi1-ar1-4-65-049-196.hnllhi1.dsl-verizon.net - on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 01:31 pm:

It's also interesting how the above mentioned route intersects Franz Valley Rd., Porter Creek, Rd., and if you go straight instead of making a right on Mark West Springs Rd., it turns into Calistoga Rd. All dumping grounds for the missing S. Rosa Coeds.

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (adsl-64-168-27-154.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 04:21 pm:

Tony (Maholo), Now we are talking. Now what about HWY 29 and those damned Radians?

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 09:50 pm:

McGarrett...um...being a radians kind of guy I couldn't help take up your suggestion. If we take Vallejo to be the center of the unit circle (instead of Mt. Diablo), starting with Hw. 29 as our N-S line, care to guess what is exactly 1 radian to the Right? The CA/NV border crosshair (+) Latitude 39, Long 120, of Lake Tahoe!

Pushing our luck, for what its worth, if we keep going 1 radian at a time we get:

0. Due North, HW 39
1. Lake Tahoe
2. Town of Clayton,N. of Mt Diablo and Hw. 50/Hw 580 intersection near Tracy (near KJ abduction site?)
3. U.C. Berkeley
4. Bolinas in Marin (Penn hangout?)
5. Rohnert Park (home of Sonoma State U.) South of Santa Rosa

By Tony (Mahalo) (hnllhi1-ar1-4-65-054-089.hnllhi1.dsl-verizon.net - on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 - 04:33 pm:

Sorry guys, lost my compass & flunked geometry. I don't think I'm too off thread though since if you go east on Calistoga Rd. toward Clearlake, you run smack into Hwy 29. Left turn takes you over Mt. St. Helena, Rt. turn your on your way to Yountville, Silverado Trail, Napa, Vallejo. Also L. Berryessa, PUC, (as you Task Force members know) is close to this area. If Z was a random killer, as I think he became after BRS, then these backwoods roads are perfect stalking grounds. On the other hand, the freeway onramps on Hwy 101 (very crowded) seemed to work for the Sonoma Coed Killer. If it was the same guy, then he was cruising around all over looking for victims on the weekends. If Z's responsible for Kathleen Johns (Hwy 132) then we have one murderous Trekki on our hands. Radians, Hmmm...Like Joe Friday says,"Just the facts, ma'am"