Tom, what about the Santa Barbara cases... Message Board: Other Possible Zodiac Victims: Tom, what about the Santa Barbara cases...

By Chrissy Shaw ( - on Sunday, September 03, 2000 - 09:37 pm:

Dear Tom:

My print-outs from your news center are in Washington, but a year or two ago I copied some posted news paper reports from SB County regarding possible z homicides somewhere near Gaviota or Free Beach? Do you recall such postings and if so do you know the final determination of those homicides and if they indeed have been cleared from the z series at this date? It seems, by my recollection alone, that these were earlier than J/F(12-68)but I do not recall. When I get the stuff out here this winter I'll dig through till I find these if you know nothing of them.

30 some years is a long time to be adding new victims to a list and I can not imagine how that was done.

By Chrissy Shaw ( - on Monday, September 04, 2000 - 11:24 am:

Dear Tom:

Found it again. Now with that in mind, are you aware of any further developments with those cases or is this just an interesting aside?

By Bill Baker ( - on Tuesday, September 05, 2000 - 10:44 am:

Crissy, since you apparently didn't catch some of my posts over the past couple of months, perhaps I can answer some of your questions.

The murders to which you referred were committed on June 4, 1963, at an isolated area of beach just north of Tajiguas and approximately 3 miles south of the Gaviota Tunnel. The victims were an 18-year-old male and a 17-year-old female, who had gone to this location that afternoon on a senior's "Ditch Day" from their high school in nearby Lompoc. He parked the car in a turnout along 101 and they walked across the highway, across the railroad tracks and down a narrow winding path to the beach below, then spread a blanket on the sand near the water. They were wearing bathing suits, hers a one-piece.

At some point, they were confronted by the assailant, who was armed with a .22 caliber weapon. From what could be reconstructed by the original investigators, the killer brought with him several lengths of pre-cut cord, which he first instructed the female to use to tie the male. As he was tying the female, it is felt that the male was able to free himself and somehow temporarily incapacitate the killer long enough for him and his fiancee to take off running.

As they fled up a mostly dry streambed, the killer chased them, firing his weapon. Each was in turn felled by shots to their backs. He approached and shot each several more times as they lay, the male in the back and the female in the chest, killing them. She received 9 shots, he suffered 11. At some point her suit was cut down the sides to expose her chest, although there was no evidence of sexual activity found during the post mortem.

The killer first dragged the male to a nearby lean-to shack (used by railroad hoboes)that was concealed from view by the dense trees and shrubbery that bordered the stream bed. He was placed in the shack face down. He then dragged the female to the shack and placed her on top of the male, face up. Several lengths of the cord were left in the shack with the victims, along with full and partially full boxes of Winchester-Western Super-X .22 long rifle ammunition. Several abortive attempts were made to set the shack on fire, but only minimal damage occurred. The lot number on the ammo boxes was researched and the only retailer in our general area was the base exchange at VAFB. There may have been other outlets in California (or elsewhere), but they were not documented in the case file.

I started working homicides with the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Dept. in late 1970, and was given the case to work when I had the time. It wasn't until 1972 that I was able to devote any appreciable time to it. After sending out a teletype APB, trying to gather info on any similars, I was soon after contacted by SFPD Insp. Armstrong and within an hour by Mel Nicolai of CI&I, both informing me that our case seemed very similar to the work of Zodiac. They felt that the similarity to the Lake Berryessa case was especially noteworthy.

Over the next several months I either met with or talked by phone with most of original Zodiac investigators. In November 1972 I prepared a press release announcing our work on the case, primarily in hopes of eliciting some response from Zodiac, pro or con. None was received. I retired in 1991.

I no longer have access to the case materials, so I have had to rely mostly on memory, which can be fickle after so many years. The case is obviously still open, and the Zodiac angle, although more credible than others developed over the years, remains an unproven theory. Our case was never labelled a Zodiac case, for good reason, since there has been no physical evidence to connect it with the others. However, Tom and others have expressed a degree of support for the theory that Zodiac was responsible for the 1963 killings.

The only rationalization I will proffer here that may serve to attenuate arguments against it: Given that his later crimes and post-killing behavior differed in many respects from ours, if, in fact, the 1963 case represented his earliest killings, and that mistakes were made that could have conceivably led to his capture, his M.O. may have necessarily evolved over the years. I'd like to add that the 5-year hiatus (excluding Riverside for simplicity sake) is not unheard of in serial killers. Jeffrey Dahmer went for more years than that between his early killings and the later string that ended with his arrest.

I have said before to Tom, and I'll say it again here, that if our case was the work of Zodiac, it may well represent a fresh and viable font of information, and evidence, that has promising potential. Unfortunately, my retired status renders me as little more than a toothless dog. I am, as are all of you, at the mercy of the police agencies who are the keepers of the information and the ability to use it productively.

Hope I've been of some help with your questions.

Bill Baker (not to be confused with our fellow poster, Bill B.)

By Chrissy Shaw ( - on Tuesday, September 05, 2000 - 03:40 pm:

Dear Bill:
My gosh Bill! I can see why you are thought so highly of. Not just your credentials, but your presentation is well done. Thank you for your answers.

I once lived in Lompoc, in the Fall months of 1971 and had the chance to attend a party that took place on a beach just shy of the Gaviota tunnel, reached only by walking through a drain pipe of enormous size. Might that be the place? If so, then I have come within yards of two Zodiac crime scenes; the first was in 1963 when we had an outing on the island close to the peninsula at Berryessa. Life can be so strange.

One thing that bothers me is, that old cases once inactive, still sit around and are lorded over. There needs to be legislation enacted in each state, which allows cases where the perpetrator can reasonably be assumed dead, then become public domain via Freedom of Information. I can see where some cases could be granted exclusion for some valid reasons, but to lock up so much data for no good reason is a waste of substantial effort and taxpayer dollars. Few of the really old cases will ever be opened up and DNA testing done on corpse, most cases do not generate enough political clout to warrant such retrograde attention.

In that respect I would say, even with an active, open case you hit a wall of sorts.

I too find the manipulation of the bodies a bit out of keeping with Berryessa. The posing mentioned almost sounds like a signature rather than an MO. Perhaps(this is wild speculation)the circumstances allowed a time element to fulfill that by the unsub that was not presented in the latter cases. I really am not convinced that a killer can not alter a signature aspect as some seem to claim. I think the more organized the perp. is, the more likely one will find variations over time. MO and signature seem(at least to my reckoning)variable within certain boundaries.

I'd say this guy would be a good study of Zodiac, if not the man himself. Thank you for relentlessly following the cases. That shows dedication and commitment to justice and I can think of no higher calling for a law enforcement person.

By Bill Baker ( - on Tuesday, September 05, 2000 - 07:05 pm:

Chrissy, thank you for your kind words. With respect to MO versus Signature, I had the privilege of training under the FBI Behavioral Science Unit at Quantico in 1978, with instructors including Robert Ressler, John Douglas, Roy Hazelwood and others. Subsequently, I received further training from FBI instructors Russ Vorpagel and Howard Teton, the founding father and mentor of the BSU staff. In aggregate, the training involved over 100 hours of instruction in Applied/Advanced Criminal Psychology. I only mention this to establish some credibility when I say I do understand the difference between MO and signature.

Insofar as the 1963 case is concerned, I feel that the placing of the bodies in the shack, along with the failed arson, was a part of the killer's MO, in that the acts appeared to serve to facilitate the crime and ensure his escape from detection. [I can't help but to harken back to Zodiac's message regarding "Gun, Knife, Rope and Fire."] The cutting open of the female victim's bathing suit would tend towards the signature aspect, in my opinion. I lean towards the belief that this act was one of sexual curiosity, not necessarily one that provided any manner of sexual gratification. The fire-setting, while it might have been done to enhance his pleasure, seems more utilitarian to me, and therefore, an element of the MO. And, as you wisely pointed out, the crime scene setting itself perhaps afforded the killer the time to do whatever he wanted following the actual killings.

I can't help but to speculate on what Zodiac would have done if Hartnell and Shepard had managed to break free as they were being tied. Or, conversely, what our killer would have done if the couple had not succeeded in fleeing. And looking at the manner in which Zodiac tightened Hartnell's bonds after Shepard tied him, to make sure he was secure, may have been, as Tom has suggested, that he learned from his mistakes in 1963. Moreover, bringing nearly identical pre-cut lengths of cord, a firearm and a knife to a secluded shoreline for the purpose of killing young lovers, does present a persuasive cause for making the comparison between the cases, irrespective of the 5 years that separate them.

I'm not trying to shove our case down anyone's throat, but at the same time it's difficult to ignore the similarities and chalk it off to coincidence.


P.S. The scene, as I mentioned, was several miles south of the Gaviota Tunnel, and about one mile or less south of the Vista Del Mar Road intersection with 101 (site of the elementary school of the same name). Hmmm, I wonder if Allen ever applied for a teaching job there . . . ?

By Bill Baker ( - on Tuesday, September 05, 2000 - 07:14 pm:

Oh, I forgot to mention that the positions of the bodies in the shack (he was face down, she was face up on top of him) were the same as they were dragged. She had post mortem abrasions along her buttocks and back, he had them on his face and chest. This suggests that he dragged the male first and dumped him in the shack, then she was dragged to the shack and hoisted on top of him. The shack was barely big enough for the two bodies, stacked as they were, and would not have accommodated them if they were laid side by side.

By Chrissy Shaw ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 07:11 pm:

Dear Bill:

Extremely great credentials! Okay, the bodies were dragged in that fashion and not positioned with intent. That was a poor conclusion jump on my part. The "fire" element, the boy was an arsonist and I can't validate that Bill, but he has the feel of one to me for some reason(even excluding the Johns abduction.)

If that were the signature, the cutting of the suit, we don't see it further on at all? That has been tough, seeking signature elements with this bird.

I still see this as fantasy enactment in your case, and assuming we have the same individual in the others, the Berryessa case is too. What is different is the locations and capture related pressure. At Berryessa he finally had time to do it right(as he saw right.) There is the boldness of practice and experience, the planning and execution of the scene. He sees no need to cover his tracks, he assumes he will not be caught because now he is too good. It sure does make your crime scene look like a failed first try to play a scene that he felt vital and compelled to do. If the scene is a signature, suddenly there are two cases testing positive. Perhaps he was at this place quite often before the assault and pre-planned the shack/fire exit?

Why fire when there was an Ocean so close? Your the skilled one here; that means something does it not? I but MO in the need, but the choice hangs funny to me. He has the largest body of water on the planet right next to him. Coincidence perhaps...perhaps.

That is still a substantial work for a first homicide. This guy was quite crafty if it was him, highly organized. It also seems substantial for a young offender. This seems a bit evolved for a first unless we are talking about an offender who is in there mid twenties. You know case files better than I do, but that is how it strikes me just sitting here. What age was A.L. Allen in 63?

I am not a big suspect fan, I still think something is out of whack. I visited Jakes site and found a report of good prints on the "Christmass" letter that supposedly were lifted by the FBI. Little things like that, that I can not really verify bother me. I have heard all manner of things about the Stine homicide scene prints, scene securing time lines and all. So many seem willing to fill in the empty spots with information as though it were fact. If there are prints from both, if the prints have been compared and we don't have a flag up on the network, I find it hard to consider any current suspect as valid. I know I frustrate everyone with my questions, but I really trust the system to do basic crime scene collection and comparisons.

Thank you for your time. I think the two cases(yours and Berryessa)are too close in manner to overlook. I have never concluded on Riverside nor on Johns, but there is so much the same mess behind in your case, I lean heavy in accepting it.

By Bill Baker ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 08:46 pm:

Chrissy, it's obviously difficult to say what is or isn't "signature" when there is only a single case to examine. The setting and circumstances differed in our case and Lake Berryessa, where the scene was isolated but not really secluded from the possible view of passersby. The cutting of the suit is anyone's guess, although if it was his first such caper, and he had all the time in the world to do whatever struck his fancy at the moment, then the sexual curiosity theory would not be unreasonable. I might add, in case I didn't make it clear, the top of the suit was cut away after she was dead. There was no effort made to expose or otherwise molest her genitalia.

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking when you talk of the ocean and the fire-setting. If you're referring to him disposing of the bodies in the water, the relatively gentle surf and lack of undertow or other outgoing currents in the area would not have been very conducive to any long-term disposal. On the other hand, setting fire to the shack would have almost certainly drawn attention. So I tend to agree that this guy did show a propensity for fire-setting that went beyond the practical need to dispose of evidence. Why not take the ammo boxes and rope with him, and just leave the bodies and their belongings in the shack? Again, he may have been a fledgling killer and, although "organized" in the psychological sense, still evolving. I would venture to say that the escape of the victims, albeit temporary, was not part of his fantasy, and what he did afterwards was probably not completely planned out.

As for Allen, he would have been 29 at the time of our case, which is right in the ball park for the "coming out" age of most serial killers. The exact area of the killings was often used by fishermen and divers, which Allen was, so it's not a stretch to consider that he may have had some familiarity with it. The shack was not readily visible from the stream bed where the victims were felled, which implies some pre-knowledge. I haven't dispelled the notion that the killer may have followed his victims from Lompoc, with prior knowledge that they had gone there on previous occasions.

Keep up the questions and comments. You have given me much to think about and have already inspired me to consider aspects of the case I had not thought of.

By Mike in Oklahoma ( - on Friday, September 08, 2000 - 10:36 pm:

Re: the case of the beach murders in '63.
The position of the bodies was necessary by the physical situation but may have also included some deliberation. They were lain back to back, NOT face to face. The killer didn't want them intimate in death, he was still jealous of what they had and he did not.
As to the question of why no such post-murder behavior (hiding bodies, etc.) took place at Berryessa if in fact Z was the killer in both cases, Lake Berryessa had lots of people nearby and he was afraid to linger. Plus, and this could answer a long standing question, if Z killed the couple in '63 and they almost got away, maybe THIS IS WHY HE WORE A HOOD AT BERRYESSA! If a previous crime in similar circumstances was a close call (from the killer's viewpoint) he felt the need for the hood. But only, so far as we know, in the similar crime. Just food for thought.

By sandy ( - on Saturday, September 09, 2000 - 02:39 am:

This case has been on my mind for many years.I feel very strongly that it was Z. On one of my earlier post I wrote about a young girl who came into the bar I worked at.She and I talked about how closely we were dressed.We were told by the bartender that a man at the other end of the bar was glaring at us.I had seen him in there before watching me.I was told to make sure she got to her car ok. I followed her to the restroom ,then had to waite on another table.They both were gone by the time I went back to the restroom.This was back in 88 or 89, Easter weekend.The girl was found dead the next day!The killer either tore open her blouse or cut it,I saw a picture of the body.As it turns out the man at the bar is the man they call Kane! Weeks later someone very neatly stapled and folded many news paper clippings about that murder, and another woman, who was killed that same weekend,on my cocktail tray.The fact that she was posed, made me think about other homicides I had suspected Z was responsible for.The point I was trying to make was,somewhere I read that Z wrote about exposeing womens body parts for everyone to see.The breast on both of these girls were exposed. The later also had her skirt pulled up, and legs spread.She was not raped either, like most of the Z victims.Allen was not the only one who was a diver, so was Darlenes ex.It seems to me that z didn't brag about the killings that he may of messed up on, like leaving the watch at Riverside (if he did it),if he did the S.B. killings and he didn't brag about it, could be a connection to one or both of the victims? That could be why he left the rest of the cord and bullets,if anyone would suspect him,the evidence wouldn't be with him? I also tried to find out what kind of work both of the fathers did,to see any of my suspects did that kind of work.If he was fired,he might want to get even.That was my thoughts on Riverside case,because of the letter to the victims father,who worked at March "Airforce" base.

By Chrissy Shaw ( - on Saturday, September 09, 2000 - 08:15 am:

Dear Bill, Mike and Sandy:

I know my views remain unpopular overall, but what I hope we might be able to do at some point, is to work some of these cases somewhat from the point of a secured crime scene, moving through evidence, presentation by the perp. and from that point, try to figure out a reasonable suspect list. In some ways this resembles building a quilt with frayed and rotted cloth.

I tend to really get hung up on finger print evidence and I suppose I may need to attempt to find some things out from the horses who posses these(or are said to.) I know there are the eyewitness accounts, but as a rule, even trained observers view the objective world through a subjective filter. Over a period of time there is likely to be a great deal of subjective input or deletion from such accounts. Finger prints(with exception of mis-files)remain true to their story--even DNA evidence degrades more than these.

I know that seems like a setback, but in reality I think I am obligated to follow such a course. The problem is there is scant physical evidence of the type which would solidly identify Z available and what there is has failed to be used to indict anyone. I balance that against the current suspects(men who are genuinely criminal) and for the life of me, can not buy them as viable due to the evidence that is available. That leaves me thinking that we missed something along the way, a suspect cleared, evidence mishandled and not verified. Out of these two, given the amount of agencies and experience involved, I tend to think the soft spot is in the suspect area.

From the crime scenes, this Santa Barbara site is quite convincing, and I would say that Mr. Baker has done a fine job with it. I am in his shadow when it comes to investigating homicides. I want to ask a question that I have not heard asked: Who were A.L. Allen's friends? Did anyone ever look closely at these people?

I buy the fire as a attention getting device Bill. I also buy expediency as the avenue of variation(manipulation of decedents)in MO. I remain convinced that the scene(only partially developed in this early scene) was of importance to the perp. and that Berryessa is the grand finale of the scene. I can not conclusively assert that, but I like it as a speculative premise. I agree that Mr. Allen's movements should be checked against this and I think Sandy has enough to justify looking at L. Kane here too.

That said, were we to present this to a prosecutor or DA I know the first question would be: "What physical evidence do you have?" I think I would try to sell the circumstantial as PC on both of these birds, but I am not sure a DA or Judge would see it that way.

If the time line was closer in Berryessa and Santa Barbara and were this set before a task force, I think it would be nearly conclusive that these two cases are linked via MO. I would sell that to a task command I think before I'd ever expect a Judge to give me ear on suspects. If a time machine is ever invented I know where I want to go first...


By Chrissy Shaw ( - on Saturday, September 09, 2000 - 08:25 am:

Dear Mike:

I think on the bodies, as Bill mentioned, they were dragged and placed in the position from which they fell. I too assumed this was more at first, but Mr. Baker has seen the crime scene photos and visited the scene. Given that bit of experience and then running the scene through my head(as in: if this were my set of problems how would I go about moving the bodies)I think Bill is correct.

I know you may now be leery of me with my little mind digs into perp heads, but it can help a great deal in clearing away hows and whys.(LOL) Really, I am a nice person...


By Chrissy Shaw ( - on Saturday, September 09, 2000 - 10:30 am:

Dear Bill:

After sitting back I have a couple of questions:

1. Was the ammo box military issue?

a. If so, was such a box available at the time from surplus stores(ID on the box would implicate date of issue I think--but not sure?)

b. If the above are true and if the date of issue indicates it was obtained from an active military installation, what branch of service was it and to what post or base did it originate in?

2. In it's placement relative to the overall crime scene(cs)where was it left and was there any attempt by the perp. to straiten up post offense?

3. What brand of cord was used(rope) and how does that square with what was used at Berryessa?

4. How long were the pieces used in this cs compared to those at Berryessa?

5. Were the ID marks destroyed on the ammo box due to fire?

At this point I wish I had a cs map in front of me don't you know? What was the weather like on the day of the homicide and could he have expected the smoke from the fire to blend in with coastal cloudiness? This was fairly risky if the weather was conducive to boat traffic, or divers suddenly popping up. If he were a diver at that time I would expect he scouted for evidence of divers being in the area before he acted. So if he were a diver, I'd suspect that he probably did not follow them out, but rather waited at the scene. If he was not a diver then he may not have calculated the risk and did follow them.

If he knew them then I would hang close with having stalked them, knowing where they likely were to wind up. There is a lot up in the air here. Do you know if this couple frequented the site?

Thank you for fielding my questions Bill. My curiosity is either my greatest asset or my worst flaw.

I don't know about the cutting and exposing, but all such crimes are of a sexual(power flow) nature in as much as they show dominance over the victim. I am curious yet again; was the cutting done prior, or post mortem? I ask this because I am not clear how far the tie-up went prior to their(the victim's)escape. If it was pre-homicide, I wonder if it was an attempt to intimidate the female victim. If it was post-homicide I agree totally with your assement and further wonder if this is not one more straw indicating a "known" victim by the perp.


By Bill Baker ( - on Saturday, September 09, 2000 - 06:04 pm:

Chrissy, last things first: I mentioned in my post two days ago that the cutting of the suit was done post mortem.

The 50-round WW SuperX ammo boxes were identical to what could be purchased in any retail store, but devoid of any price stickers or any other markings, other than the lot number, which is stamped on all boxes, irrespective of where they are sold. It was through this lot number that the investigators determined that there were only two locations in our general area where they were sold. One was at VAFB, the other at a sporting goods store in Santa Barbara. The SB store was ruled out because they affix price stickers to each 50-round box, if they are sold as a 10-box "brick" or individually, and there were no such stickers found, nor any evidence that any had been removed. That left Vandenberg, which had stickers on individual boxes only, not when sold in 10-box packs, indicating that the killer had purchsed a "brick." If there were locations other than these two, elsewhere in the state or at other military bases, the info was not in the file. The boxes (I won't specify how many, other than to say there were both full and partially empty boxes) left at the crime scene were on the dirt floor just inside the blanket-draped opening, immediately adjacent to the bodies. The boxes were not touched by the fire; the ignition points were to the blanket that acted as a "door."

The rope used was generic 3/8" cotton, commonly found most everywhere, which was not comparable with the clothesline cord used at Berryessa. The lengths of our rope appears to be of similar length to Berryessa, but, frankly, I don't recall the measurements. Finding this out was already on my own list of things to do, when and if I ever get another look at the file/evidence. As a point of interest, it's unfortunate that the knots used at Berryessa were undone by the victims, insofar as being able to determine any particular knots that Z fancied. I spent some time with several knots that were still intact on our rope, and found that a particular knot was used more than once. I won't specify what it was, other than to say it was associated with fishermen or other maritime use.

I have no recollection of the weather conditions that day, other than it was probably typical for that time of year, with gentle ocean breezes under a warm, pre-summer sky.

The victims had gone to that same location before, although I don't recall how often. It was a family member, remembering that they had gone there previously, who spotted the male victim's car in the 101 turnout the following night and flagged down a passing CHP officer, who subsequently discovered the bodies.

I tend to agree with you that there may have been some pre-association (unilateral, at least) between the killer and prey. This location was not commonly used by "lovers," so I doubt he laid there in wait for some unsuspecting couple to happen by. Moreover, he brought the gun, knife, rope and matches with him, clearly indicating he had murderous intent, rather than it being a spontaneous crime of opportunity.

Feel free to e-mail me any time.


By Chrissy Shaw ( - on Saturday, September 09, 2000 - 06:51 pm:

Dear Bill:

Thank you! I am happy you are keeping back certain details. I was again speculating wrong in my assumption of a military ammo box, but I guess it revealed the facts. You did mention post mortem, but I do like to re-ask things from time to time. It can be a pain I know.

Sir, I do not have your e-mail address. My own is "". I will digest this all and run the scene through my head a few times, usually I come up with questions as I am reading or going to sleep. Normally, unless the situation dictates these, I try to recall them as I go along, but so that I am not stumbling over my own recollections I will write them down.

I think the length of the rope is interesting and the reason I would say that is cutting cord or rope is one of those things that often becomes habitual, so within reason, most pieces cut tend to be within inches of each other. If the manner by which they were cut was known a kinetic expert might be able to tell the length of the arm. I can not see why one would want to know that particularly, but it is interesting.

You anticipated my next questions, I wanted to compare the printed reports to what you had to say, but that is covered. I am know I am nosey, thank you for putting up with my inquiry.


By Bill Baker ( - on Saturday, September 09, 2000 - 10:09 pm:

Chrissy, just click on my name and the e-mail window, with my address, will appear. Simple, n'est pas?

While cutting lengths of rope may be habitual in most instances, bear in mind that the lengths cut for the intended purpose of tying someone may be designedly of a length that will adequately accomplish the task. I recall that the lengths at Berryessa were between 2 1/2 and 3'. With the hands/wrists tied, along with the ankles, and another length to "hog-tie" both victims (connecting the hand and foot bindings), that should account for six sections of cord. I don't recall how many lengths we found in the shack.


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 09:52 am:

If Det. Bill Baker is correct and the 1963 Santa Barbara murders are the early work of Z, what would the usual suspects have been doing there at that time:
Allen --skindiving
Kane--surveying beachfront real estate
Gareth Penn--hanging out near Air Force bases
Manson--living in S.B. on Bath St., plotting with followers to kill beach kids
Ted K--scouting out Un of S.B. for a teaching post.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( on Thursday, October 04, 2001 - 01:55 pm:

With respect to the above case,may I ask if the was any evidence gathered that would suggest some physical similarity between this suspect and Zodiac....shoe size,weight etc?.Would the fact that he had to drag the bodies some distance require much strength,in your opinion?
Two other questions also come to mind:-Did these victims attend the same school/university?....Was it determined the distance at which they were shot? I appreciate that there may be information
you wish to withhold at this point.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( on Thursday, October 04, 2001 - 03:42 pm:

Det.Wm. has covered those issues and has given many other extremely interesting details.Check out his posts -they are a treasure trove of information.
I review them at times and always get fresh insights.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 01:02 am:

Also see my posts on the "other" Santa Barbara case 2/21/70.The victims were Hood and Garcia.This horrendous case seems like one of those Z"there are a hell of a lot more down there" or 87's.
I think that if someone is interested in this case- after doing some research -it could be very productive to go deeper.It looks like a Z to me.
I got my story from the L.A. Times and I have not had the time to pursue it further.

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 12:39 am:

S.B. - Berryessa Connection:

There has been much discusssion of the possible connection between the June 4, 1963 murder of a couple on the beach near Tajiguas/Gaviota (Santa Barbara area) and the Lake B. crimes, but I have not seen mention yet of this interesting geographical fact:

A line drawn from Gaviota/Tajiguas up to Mt. Diablo then extends to (the east side of) Lake Barryessa, and passes not far from L. Herman.

I'm not sure the exact local of the N. Cal. crimes. Could someone pinpont them on a map?

Exact locations (Lat/Lon) of all suspected Z crimes would be very useful in calculating Radians & comparing to the clock face on the Nov. 10, 1969 letter.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 - 12:34 am:

In reading the SDPD report on the 2/5/64 honeymoon murder of a young couple near the seaside in San Diego,I find that they were shot with a rifle using .22 slugs.The female was shot first then the male.They were struck with six bullets.The killer then came up and shot the male behind the left ear.The female was shot dead center in the back of the head.There was no known motive.
A .22 rifle was used at the 6/5/63 Santa Barbara 187.The victims were near the seaside and were a young couple.The male was shot behind the left ear.
The couple was fleeing as the shooter was chasing them and shot them in the back.BLJ fled Z as he chased her he shot her in the back.
Military boot prints were found at SB.Z wore military shoes at LB(and if it be accepted military shoes at RS).
The couples were young and most were students at SB,SD,LHR,BRS and LB.
Stine was shot behind the ear.
In all cases there seemed to be no motive.
Rope was used at SB to tie up the victims.The same at LB.The perp at SB used a knife to cut the rope and the bathing suit of the female.
The perp used fire to destroy the shack where he placed his victims,but it failed.If it is accepted,Z used fire to destroy KJs car.
Interestingly,the crime at SD and SB were on the same day or the fifth.FYI

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 05:56 pm:

The Riverside Press -Enterprise for 2/22/77 an article says"Violent deaths end 2 teenagers' unhappiness."
To summarize,Chris Barber,a 17 year old male and a former cheerleader,Linda Bosteder, were found -each shot in the head with a small- caliber weapon in a dry flood control channel about a mile from the Kaiser steel plant in Fontana,CA.
What really is striking is the fact,"Chris' body,fully clothed,was found atop 15-year old Linda,whose body was naked."This doesn't happen that often in a couple homicide.
Dave Peterson sent this article to me several years ago.I thought of det.Bills SB '63 slaying where the same body stacking had transpired.Both had been slain with a small caliber weapon,etc.Copycat?FYI

By J Eric (J_Eric) ( - on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 09:15 pm:

Not likely. Why would a "copycat" killer wait 14 years to duplicate an earlier crime? If it's not done within, say, 1 year, I don't think a crime even fits into the accepted standard of "copycat." Unless you want to meet me at high noon at the OK Corral...

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 04:28 am:

Howard ,That sure sounds like a Z killing ! If it would have been a copycat,then the girls body would have been on top. z was somewhere in 77,now I will have to check out Fontana for any suspects who may have lived, or worked near Fontana.If you have more like this please post them or email me, so I can check these places out for a paper trail on all of the known suspects.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 07:39 am:

Howard, J Eric, Sandy,
The 14 years could be related to the 14 on the Halloween Card. The card could be an animation (by opening it) of the skeleton of one person atop another. Maybe Z recycles his old stuff.

In journey to the Center of the Earth, the male geology student grabbed a sheep to cover himself after he ended up in the tree at the end of the movie, like the pumpkin on the cover skeleton. (I know. This is silly.)

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 04:50 pm:

To be a 'copycat' doesn't mean every detail of the crime is duplicated as any research on copycatism will reveal.
Remember,this is what the news account said in regards to the '77 murders.As you know,the police will always hold back certain crime facts from the press and public,which is wise.
For example,if a false confessor comes in to the station and claims he killed the couple, then the detectives simply ask him HOW were the bodies stacked and if he says or follows the news account ,which may be erroneous,he will say the male was placed on top and bingo!
My 9/12/03 post was an interrogative,not a declarative.It was a thought provoker to show an SB like crime-with variations, can and did occur years later.
Yes,it was several years since the '63 murders in SB,but the crime had been written about in papers,magazines and seen on TV over the years.
WHEN indeed did(indeed IF ever)did the '77 perp read the article and /or view a TV segment on the case is my question.
Historically,some perps have read of old crimes going back many years in a detective magazine or newspaper-or TV show- and was then'inspired' to commit a similar murder/s.
Time and distance are not always a factor.If I were in the Cold Case Unit working on the '63 SB '87, I would have looked into the '77 flood control murders ASAP.

By J Eric (J_Eric) ( - on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 09:04 pm:

But the '63 case did not receive that much publicity that I know of. No home video recorders back then so as to capture for viewing 14 years later any old TV segment; and to my knowledge, no write-ups in detective magazines, etc. Of course, if you find something on Domingos/Edwards WAS publicized around 1977, the argument would grow a lot stronger...

But your perp Bruce was long behind bars by 77.

May I also add that Fontana has long been known as one of the "roughest" part of San Bernardino County, with lots of bad bikers and assorted toughs, deadbeats and hoodlums within its general area. I think there have been various articles in the L A Times to that effect, about how the Sheriff was trying to "clean up the town." So the mere fact that two people were found murdered there comes as no real surprise. I suppose quite a few have met their end in the same area but it doesn't necessarily point to Z or even Copycat Z. We must take care not to convert Z into a modern Joaquin Murrieta, famed swordsman and bandito who by folklore pillaged all over California (the character Zorro is based on Murrieta).

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 04:59 pm:

Basically, all I said in the first post was that the crime "REMINDED"me of the '63 187 in SB because of the unusual uncommon body stack and small caliber weapon used.
Remember,no one can prove that a young Zodiac was the responsible in the '63 SB '87 in the first place.It is only a theory at best.I personally believe that it was Z,but I can't prove it-just my own opinion.
I never implied my suspect was involved in the '77 '87.I indicated -as a question- was this murder a copycat-an FYI, if you please.
My guy did have ties to SB as early as '63(he picked fruit there as a student and in Central CA.-if KJ's abductor was Z, then he certainly knew those lonely farm roads and at NIGHT too!- BD worked and visited Lake Tahoe in the 60's and Riverside in '66 as a welder also-all FYI) and as late as 1970,but this is another issue.This was one reason I have searched for evidence to see if Donna Lass was ever connected to SB.She worked there!Then we debate if she were a Z victim and on and on it zoes.
I have never implied that Zodiac was 'spreading victims' all over California or any other state.This is an extreme view and usually extreme stances are erroneous.
I do believe, that in some contraversies,though, there is some truth in each polar opposite assertion taken. I then,after careful examination over a long period of time,slowly pull in some of each proposition and eclectically form an opinion.The moderate view can sometimes be the answer to some issues as both sides possess at least part and portion of truth relative to the subject under discussion,etc.
In the Z case I am not so sure this works as to universal victim count.
Zodiac did indicate in 1971 that there were a"Hell of a lot more" victims in Southern California("down there"),but the validity of this assertion has been hotly debated for years.
The Riverside Press Enterprise ran an article in the 80's which gave all unsolved homicides in their general area.It did imply that some could have been Zodiac victims.It's all zpeculation.