DONNA LASS Message Board: Other Possible Zodiac Victims: DONNA LASS

By KIM GRAHAM ( - on Friday, September 15, 2000 - 09:37 am:



"Zodiac's first reported murder victim was Bettilou Jensen, 16, who was shot to death in a lovers' lane along Lake Herman road near Vallejo on Dec. 20, 1968. Her boyfriend, Thomas Faraday, 17, was critically injured in the attack. "


By Michael ( - on Friday, September 15, 2000 - 12:59 pm:

No need to shout. I agree that Lass is a reach but the sonoma killings are related in my opinion. Now is "Z" responsible.......maybe


By Douglas Oswell ( - on Friday, September 15, 2000 - 04:33 pm:

Based on what we know about Zodiac's "signature," a solitary woman minding her own business probably didn't have much to fear.

By Ed N. ( - on Friday, September 15, 2000 - 10:35 pm:

Quite right. His signature victims, with one exception, were young couples. Part of what I perceive to be his signature was to leave the victim's bodies in plain view where they could be found, then call the police. Of those three apparent signature elements, we find none in the case of Donna Lass. Ergo, she was probably not a Z victim.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Monday, January 01, 2001 - 02:47 am:

A possibility exists that Lass was a Z victim. Here are my thoughts on the case.The Tahoe PD are holding some info back. When I was communicating with a certain T investigator he was quite helpful-unlike RSPD, etc.Here goes:1.)LAKE Tahoe/water element/LAKE Herman/LAKE B',etc.2.)Holiday/Labor Day (Druid new moon)6th-9/6/70/Christmas/Independence Day 3.)victim/Z type 4.)Bates-if an accepted Z/lone F/Johns /Lass & any unknowns like Elaine Davis,etc.-Z said he would change his methods of killing,etc.5.) Postcard /paste up 3/22/70-anniversary of Johns abduction- sent 12/10/69 paste up to the Sac Bee& 10/5/70 postcard both with punch holes-Morrill stated that the 9/6/70 pcs'printing did "conform and are consistent with all other[Z]writings I have examined."Of note ,is Zs same incorrect spelling of Averys name!See Z Halloween card 10/27/70. Of interest is Lass had lived near the Stine 87' and she and a friend used to go flying with 2 men from Riverside. I do not believe that the pc was forged and that the reason was so that a certain det. could get publicity. There was already a 4 day old missive from Z so drawing attention to the case would be unnecessary. The lone 78' communication was supposedly forged to draw attention to a certain det.(who risked retirement benefits and jail,etc.!) and revive the case,etc. Well, not the 9/6/70 pc.!The Donner Pass /Donna Lass that some, including Peterson, have seen shows the Z poet in action.The phone call to Lass' employer is a Z trait -that is making a call.No forcing molds on Z; he didn't make a call on the 12/20/68 87'. Going from BRS to the bizarre costume at LB is a 'change', to a degree. I think of Manson telling the Family to do the "unexpected-no sense makes sense". I just found out last year -after some 14 years of searching- that my suspect had worked in Tahoe and used "a fake drivers license". This was admitted to the parole Board in 2000 .Its a little more remarkable in that Davis came out here from TN.!I knew that he traveled to Tahoe with the Family in 67', but had no idea he had worked there alone.Peterson believes he found Lass' sunglasses that she was seen wearing at a very unusual site which remains a point of contention, with some declaring some Boy Scouts had arranged the configuration and others affirm it was the work of Z. The configuration resembles Rosicrucian symbols ,and Manson/Davis were into this kind of cult. This was Petersons discovery.Lets hope the investigation will make some some progress and hopefully certain info will be released as it just might ring some bells-more later.A couple of after thoughts for me is did Davis have a girl with him to lure Lass?If Judith Ann Hikari was a Z victim - we know she was buried , so Lass could have met the same fate,but possibly because of the area animals could have scattered the remains as so often happens(ex.some Green River victims).Just my stuff.

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 - 05:36 pm:

Tom, was the retired detective that revealed that a former Zodiac investigator forged the "peek through the pines" post card a Zodiac investigator himself? I don't understand why a professional would do something like that. Do you think that maybe it was to get the FBI involved since it would mean a multi-state crime? Do you know if the FBI was involved at this point yet?

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) ( - on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 - 06:41 pm:

I don't know the answer to your FBI question, but the suspected investigator was involved in the Zodiac case.

By Alanc (Alanc) ( - on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 - 09:05 pm:

Would that be Dave Toschi?

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 06:51 pm:

There aren't too many to choose from...

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 11:22 pm:

That's the first time I heard Dave T. wrote the Pines card! He wrote one "fan" letter about himself, and that's all I ever heard. He said that he did it, and why he did, so why don't we give it a rest? He was very nice to me,it was wrong what he did, and he has paid the price for it!Maybe we could talk about all the good things he did, or how brave he was? Zodiac got lucky when Dave was demoted,If anyone could of caught him, that was the man.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 11:41 pm:

I believe it was Harvey Hines that found the Glasses, and the area of some cult like things in the woods of Lake Tahoe,not Dave Peterson.I saw the pictures Harvey Had taken himself,unless they went to Tahoe together? Z couldn't afford for Donna's body to be found,that would cause an investigation.If he knew her, and I believe he did. The police would take a good look at him, they would see that he lived in the same time Donna did, that he moved when she did.He was seen bothering her,asking her out.

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 11:47 pm:

Sandy, if he did do the Pines card, I don't think it was out of malice, or to fool anyone, or whatever. It's been suggested it was to keep the powers-that-were-then interested in continuing the investigation. For whatever it's worth to anyone, my opinion of and respect for the man have not changed because of it.

I'm not sure he was necessarily wrong for sending "fan mail" to himself, but he sure got screwed for it, and unjustly too, I think. It would be awesome if he'd be interested in helping out in the current investigation...

By Oscar (Oscar) ( - on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 03:57 am:

I think Toschi had good intentions, and God knows that the man wanted to nail Z, but I do not think that his behavior was appropriate or ethical. I live in LA. I assume you have heard of our illustrious Rampart division of the LAPD? If we allow the cops the kind of liberties that Toschi took, what precendent are we setting? What next- planting evidence on someone; breaking into someone's house to conduct an illegal search?Come on, there are larger issues at work here!
Toschi probably wanted to keep the case a priority. We all know that the cops were (if you weigh the evidence) more interested in watching "Barney Miller" than in acting like cops at the time. But, my friend, at what cost do we keep a case 'hot'? If things had gone differently, the letter and the "Pines" card (if he was behind that as well) could have been acted upon to someone's detriment. God forbid we give the police this latitude through legislation or through apathetic responses to police misconduct. What Toschi did was wrong and he deserved what he got! It's too bad that he tarnished his name with such an idiotic and desperate ploy.
Ed, I suppose you are a big fan of Dirty Harry too, eh?
Pissed (and loving it!),
p.s. I have the highest regard for detective Toschi prior to the beginning of his writing career.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 08:46 am:

Ed, could you elaborate on the evidence of Toschi sending the pines card? I would think if he wanted to keep the case going, he would have used a victim in "his" jurisdiction or at least closer. Linda Kanes would have been a better choice Feb.71. The date on Donna Lass missing in the z book is wrong,she left work on Sept us 70 never to be seen again,not the 26th( for those of you who like the real times and dates)

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 09:42 am:

Oscar, I agree completely. He shouldn't have done it, if in fact he did. He misjudged the situation, had a lapse of common sense or whatever, but I don't think we should discount any input he might have because of it. We all make mistakes, he just happened to make a doozy (which he didn't get caught for, btw, it was the 1978 letter he got screwed for, which one would think he'd admit to doing if he did that one too).

Sandy, I know little more than what has been posted here, unfortunately. No one has actually said the name of the detective who apparently admitted to forging one of the March 1971 communiques, it has been assumed it was Toschi. If he did, and the Pines card was his work, I would think he would've chosen someone in his jurisdiction too.

By Bruce Monson (The_Adversary) ( - on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 12:49 pm:

I think Toschi had good intentions, and God knows that the man wanted to nail Z, but I do not think that his behavior was appropriate or ethical.

You hit the nail right on the head, Oscar! Toschi's antics, if true, are reprehensible and deserving of a lot worse than just getting demoted to a more menial position for a while (e.g., the proverbial "slap on the wrist")--it SHOULD HAVE COST HIM HIS JOB! Any police agency officer, no matter who it is, is in a position of public trust and to violate that trust with fabricated evidence of any kind undermines the very fabric of our legal system.

Worse, by naming himself in the alleged "Z" fabrication, he MOST CERTAINLY intended a lot more than just keeping the case in the public eye, he intended to place himself in the limelight.

By Michael Mc (Michaelmc) ( - on Sunday, January 21, 2001 - 03:32 pm:

Toschi, really blew it no matter what his motivation. I agree with Bruce the guy should have been fired. I really think he hurt the case more than any of might think, poss new victims may have not been fully followed up on because of the poss Toschi factor.


By Bryan (Bryan) ( on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 01:22 pm:

Ok guys don't flame me,
its been used before the head police officer writing to keep his case near the top. I do not agree that Toshci should have been released, a demotion was in order. He help the case more than he hurt the case. geez can we say OJ

By Oscar (Oscar) ( - on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 09:38 pm:

Dear Bryan,
Listen, sweetheart, your willingness to support police misconduct is galling! Toschi- for whatever reason- resorted to the outright fabrication of evidence: the 'letter' had to be considered as such at the time. What was to stop him, to use a wild example, from 'confessing' that his real name was Joe Anonymous from Vallejo? He could have made anything up, and he could have gotten away with it. He could have ruined the lives of countless individuals. Let us also consider the wasted man hours and resources this would have involved! Look up this word: a-r-b-i-t-r-a-r-y.
You want to cite a LA case? Here you go- RAMPART DIVISION!! Did you get that? Sure OJ probably played Yojimbo with his ex-wife, and, yes, people do get away with murder at times (duh, like, why are we here, anyway?), but would you prefer the alternative: total Gestapo-like powers afforded to the local, state, and federal authorities? Spout your nonsense when you hear the thunderous crunch of jackboots reverberating in your street.
Toschi got nailed, but he got off lucky. I would have fired his as*. In fact, what he did was downright criminal, as in impeding an ongoing police investigation. As I've said before, I have no problem with the good detective prior to his 'writing career', but he really blew it, and he blew it very badly!
Consider yourself flamed. Be thankful that I am capable of restraint.
Oscar the Vigilant.
p.s.: "Whent they kick at your front door
How you gonna' come?
With your hands on your head,
Or on the trigger of your gun?"

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 03:02 am:

Sandy-Dave Peterson wrote to me 10/12/93 and said "Now as to the Lass grave. I was there,I (I have photos of Dave digging and using a metal detector at the site)saw the battered lady's sunglasses with green glass(I have a photo of the glasses Dave found at the site-Lass had a pair just like them and I was told that she was seen wearing them prior to her abduction)and the photo of the grave symbols,and I decoded the symbols...The thirteen stones in the cross on the grave have to tie in with the 13 holes punched in the "Lass card"sent by Z a MONTH[EMP mine] after the abduction ...The symbols[on the grave at the Tahoe area ]match those on the Rosicrucian [Manson studied their beliefs]literature I sent to you. And "Donna Lass" still rhymes with Donner Pass for "poet" Zodiac." It was Peterson that TOLD Hines when Hines contacted P, what the symbols meant. Harvey is totally ignorant of these of occult subjects. I knew that when he took the circled Taurus symbols in the THIRTEEN character "name"to be 8s! They clearly are not!In a 92' letter Peterson says "Incredibly, her[Lass] grave remained hidden until August 1976 ,when retired Norden Postmaster Otto Fredricks is believed to have found it on DONNER[EMP mine]Summit. He was hiking past the SIERRA CLUB'S[EMP mine see Lass card]Claire Tappan Lodge ,near Nordon, when he came across the intricately contrived wooden symbols alongside the path:in the center was a triangle around a cross containing 13 stones ,and that was surrounded first by a six foot square and then by a circle of wood with a 14 foot diameter. The wood and stones had been gathered in the wooded hilly area..Admittedly, shaken by his mysterious discovery,he photographed it,on the property of Donner Ski Ranch,not knowing the significance of his find."Later, Hines was told of Fs discovery and contacted Fredricks and was shown the photos and later saw the site.What I said was P was the first to interpret those symbols and fill in some details and meanings.P did find the glasses in the excavation.P also told, as I have said , Hines what it all meant.More later, as I will get an article Dave wrote on the whole thing.

By Oscar (Oscar) ( - on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 04:01 am:

This article, jsut for interest's sake, should be posted on-line. Maybe you should talk to Tom or Jake about this.

By Gomper (Gomper) ( - on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 10:07 am:

I would most definitely like to see this article posted. Howard, does Dave Peterson have the sunglasses, or does Hines?

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 06:20 pm:

I thought Donna Lass' body was never found. Howard, please clarify. Oscar gimme a can of that ale.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Wednesday, January 24, 2001 - 12:16 am:

Howard, Thank you for clearing that up for us. I am very disappointed in Harvey having me believe he was the one who found it. Now I have to question some of the other things he has told me.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, January 24, 2001 - 12:26 am:

Esau-The body of Donna Lass(Donner Pass?) has never been found-like Zodiac said he was going to CHANGE the WAY he was collecting " slaves". Z also said 'have fun trying to figure out who I killed'!When the grave site was being excavated the green sun glasses(lass es?)were discovered. I have a color photo of them that Peterson sent to me. I will post it on my fledgling site( the ,hopefully ,near future.I will just say this- they look like the same green glass /green frame sun glasses Lass was wearing before her abduction, and they are 'smashed'. More in time.As far as I know ,it is not important who has them(they are in safe keeping)-they were found as given and photographed at that point. Peterson was beyond any kind of unprofessional conduct-(the PD trusted him with most of their documents and info) and wanted and searched only for the truth and facts. I have a letter from his wife stating that this intense search over the years (since 68')cost him his health and that she saw him under a great deal of stress ,at times, relative to the Zodiac case.I will, in time ,post the article. The main portion of the story has been given. After Lass disappeared(see Mikado-'none of them will be missed ',etc.)Peterson says"Exactly six months later[very Zodiac!] the Chronicle received a postcard pasteup message from Zodiac.The card contained a brochure photo of Forest Pines development near Incline(buried?-'recline?)Village in the Tahoe area plus clues believed to apply to Miss Lass."Sought victim 12,"[see the 10/27/70 Halloween/occult deal/ card with 13 'evil eyes' representing victims and possibly indicating Lass was taken as the 12th?]"Pass Lake Tahoe areas,"[Norton?]"Sierra Club", [Manson's girl Good said she "worked with them" and M was for the SC as they 'protected the environment'!]was above a building meant to represent the club lodge[Claire Tappan Lodge]."Remember ,as P says"(Exactly one month[Z like]after Miss Lass vanished ,the Chronicle had received an earlier postcard pasteup[another one!]message.It contained 13 punched holes["the holes were so small they had to count them all"/Beatles/Manson]representing Zodiac's claimed number of victims and a cross drawn in human blood[occult/witch craft/Lass's blood/nurse theme?-the SLTPD is getting DNA from Donna's sister so a check will be possible!],obviously linked with the grave's cross of 13[occult #] stones." I will think about posting parts of LTPD letters. I want to be trusted as I know all of we Z posters do -it's something you weigh.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, January 24, 2001 - 01:34 am:

I do NOT believe T forged the Pines card.There has been NO formal hearing and T has NOT admitted anything in the proper forum.Imagine risking your life's work and benefits on the Pines card!Also, you KNOW that the foremost Expert is going to carefully scrutinize every jot and tiddle of the card! Morrill stated that the printing on the address side of the card is "consistent" with Zodiac's writing.The name "Averely" is misspelled the same as on another authentic Z communication. The equal sign as written on the front of the Pines card is like that found on some Z missives connected to his 87'"scores",in this case ,as in the past, a veiled death threat to Paul Avery.Z did pasteups and there were anniversaries with his commications as with the two Lass(I believe)connected pasteups.Some detectives will lie for their own purposes .I have experienced this first hand on a number of occasions. Some would accuse other detectives/PD personnel of certain things (much worse than forgery) and I was impressed with their seeming total sincerity ,but when I finally got to the bottom of it-the statements were false! When I would call them on it they would still insist it was "true",etc,etc.!The Lass case was Nevadas not CA/ S.F,s;why pick Lass- why not some other unsolved in your area?Blond Day supreme!One detective accused T of forging the "hell of a lot more down there" letter. Well, Z is claiming,grudgingly, that he took Bates as an 87'and this would not set well for him as he was RPD and they vehemently deny Z killed Bates-BIG TIME! This is the SAME defective(!) ,in his office at RSPD headquarters ,and in front of my partner, that pushed away a card with my suspect's prints on it telling us"there were no prints taken off "the Bates crime scene/car!Lets see ,I seem to have some FBI reports that say otherwise.One RSPD detective told me in private that they DID have prints and that he ran them, from time to time, through the state's super computer!My guy's prints were not in there-long story.Of course, that letter of 3/13/71(13 again!)is authentic; so where do we get off from here?'Some of these guys have had too much to drink over the years' according to an old' LT(now passed )I knew.He told me 'they can lie like hell and BELIEVE their own lies'! This LT. had many detectives "lie" to him over the years.There are MANY fine people in law enforcement ,but like any profession ,you have those that would like to be the next LT. Hans Christian Anderson!

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Thursday, January 25, 2001 - 03:32 am:

"Att."is on the address side of the "peek" card. We do know that on the envelope of the 11/29/66' typed letter,to the Riverside paper, the writer put "ATTN:CRIME".I don't think "attn" was used very often or at all except in 66'.I need correction if this is not true.The equal symbol used on the Tahoe card was used ,at times, by Zodiac to represent the translation of the number of victims SFPD= O Z=13 that particular letter's date or point of reference . Was this use of an equal sign a veiled threat to Paul "averly"as a continuation of the threat on the 10/27/70' Halloween card ?Complete with punch holes as on the pines card the address side(10/5/70') has a pasteup of the S.F.paper and is affixed the same as on the pines card .Of course, this card has both S.F.papers (with Vallejo left out)and the L.A.Times(Z wrote the Times in March of 71'and the pines card has the Times on it!)).Note that there were 2 communications in March,if the pines card be accepted. This duality was a Z trait(if Z wrote the Riverside letters/notes then we have a same month triplicate (in my book I print a forth letter)in April of 67', and the duality in 66' posts.In July we have 3 letters/cipher parts sent. A duality in Nov. 69';April 70';July 70';October 70';AND in MARCH of 71'-with the pines card making 2! Note :of all the MOS. Feb. and Sept.(there was the door signing!9/27/69') are non Z posts.Looking at the days(from 66' to 78') you have 3 eight day posts;2 twenty -seven -if the door job be a 'message' or 'post'; 2 thirteen ?;2 twenties;2 twenty -sixes';2 twenty -fours;3 thirties/includes';and 3 twenty nines/incudes 66'-3s and 2s!.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 02:16 am:

I forgot the Z" Valentine" sent 2/14/74',thus covering ALL months of the year!

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Sunday, February 04, 2001 - 05:36 pm:

The man who lost his wife to the murderous Family, Roman Polanski,was to make a film called Donner Pass in 1969.The setting of the film was to take place in the SAME area as the Donna Lass abduction! I just thought it was an interesting 'link' of sorts.Was this the "inspiration" for Zodiac,whom I believe to be a Mansonite,to kidnap Donna Lass(Donner Pass?)and possibly bury her near the Donner Pass area?

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 07:36 pm:

Another find that, of course is a FYI.Polanski's first wife's last name was LASS-she was a well known Polish actress.This references with my 2/4/01 post.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 09:12 pm:

Let's cut for a minute to a scene from one of my favorite British comedies, the Black Adder:

Percy: My Lord.

Edmund: Yes, what is it?

Percy: They say the Infanta's eyes are more beautiful than the famous stone of Galveston.

Edmund: The what?

Percy: The famous blue stone of Galveston, my lord.

Edmund: What's that exactly?

Percy: Ah well, my lord. It's a famous blue stone, and it comes from Galveston.

Edmund: I see. And what about it?

Percy: Well, the Infanta's eyes are bluer than it, my lord, for a start.

Edmund: I see. Have you ever seen this stone?

Percy: Ahm, not as such, my lord, no. But I know a couple of people who have and they say it is very blue indeed.

Edmund: I see. And have these people seen the Infanta's eyes?

Percy: I shouldn't think so, my lord.

Edmund: And neither have you?

Percy: No, my lord.

Edmund: So, what you're telling me is that something that you have never seen is slightly less blue than something else you have never seen?

Percy: Yes, my lord.

By Oscar (Oscar) ( - on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 01:50 am:

Profundity abounds! Anybody want to sell a used crack pipe?

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 11:41 am:

Douglas,A very cunning plan,so cunning in fact,you could brush your teeth with it!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 02:53 pm:

No; not really. This is a different thing; it's spontaneous and it's called wit.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 02:18 am:

And they called you dry!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 04:03 am:

Zwei, too.

By The Giant (Bryan) ( on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 10:16 am:

Oh my god he killed Kenny, That bastar

By Michael Mc (Michaelmc) ( - on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 04:31 pm:

Bryan, Kenny is about the only case not linked to the "Z"


By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 05:13 pm:

I had for some time been searching for a Santa Barbara connect to Donna Lass with no success.I have just now begun to search ZU for any new facts on Donna Lass that Graysmith may have uncovered.Well,on page 243, Lass' older sister Mary told GS that Donna went from Sioux City to Minneapolis and "...then went to Santa Barbara and worked...Her friends from Santa Barbara had moved to Lake Tahoe."
The reason,from my own research goals,that this is of interest to me, is that Manson had lived on Bath Santa Barbara and knew several people there.Certain of his associates,including Bruce Davis,traveled there from time to time and when they would go to S.F.and the Bay area,which wasn't infrequently to 'score drugs and visit friends,'they would stop there to visit.The last recorded visit was in 1970,but I am sure it continued after that.For those interested in Santa Barbara couple murders should visit the Archives.Just FYI.Thanks Robert!

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 05:15 pm:

Oh,and another reason I am interested in Lass' case is because my suspect worked in Lake Tahoe according to the parole Board reports I have.

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( - on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 08:43 pm:

A grewsome thought:Back in the 19th Cent. wasn't there something called the Donner Party.Settlers
trapped by snowfallwho resorted to cannabalism.
In the Donner Pass/Donna Lass Connection is Z
trying to say he cannabalized Donna Lass remains?
Is that why she's never been found?Afterall z spoke of man as "true game" and what do you do w/game after you kill it?
Cannabalism would be the next step up in the Zodiac murders.And some suspects did get awfully fat....

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 09:45 pm:

I'll retire to Bedlam.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 12:20 am:

Is that in Belgium?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 07:16 am:

No, London. It is (or was) a famous insane asylum.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 12:05 pm:

Ah, yes . . . now I remember. Thanks, Doug.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 09:13 pm:

Mike D,
Way too out there!Lass was the last name of Roman Polanskis' first wife ,a well known Polish actress.Polanski was working on a script about the Donner party in '69.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 09:38 am:

After rereading the Zodiac torture(and all the gory detailes!) letter that was meant for the public to read,I have to modify my statement to Mike!

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 01:20 pm:

Didn't know that about the Polanski film about the Donner Party.Creepy.Not surprising though.Mr.Polanski sure has a "taste" for the macbre.....

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 11:55 pm:

Mike D.
Actually, as I posted in the past on this subject, it was a proposed project.In an interview with Joseph Gelmis in early 1969 Polanski said"The film is the story of people going from Illinois to California...So these travelers[the Donner party]were going to this paradise(!)and they were stranded in the snow in the Sierras in very early winter.Most of them died.The few that survived were accused afterwords of cannibalism...Cannibalism?asked the reporter in a gesture of surprise...What makes you think I am obsessed by ther bizarre?said Polanski(!)This project was reported in the papers at the time.And Polanskis' wifes'last name was Lass!Just FYI stuff.Manson had an interest in everything Polanski did.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, September 27, 2002 - 11:15 pm:

I have located and spoken with the older sister of Donna Lass.I thank Tom, as he had suggested to me that I use!
September 6 was just a short time ago and it was about this time some 32 years ago that Mary and the Lass family members were in Tahoe trying to gather information.
She told me that the Tahoe police treated them "terribly" and took the whole matter "lightly".I know this is a shock to some of you!Donnas mother didn't as it deeply distrubed her for the rest of her life.I won't go into more detail.The stories made my blood boil.
It was a most imformative conversation.I will bring out information from time to time as we are going to work together and she is to send some information about Donna and her case.I will keep everyone informed.
Mary is sharp and dedicated to the case since the beginning.
Mary said that when they found Donnas work uniform in her office ,it was dirty and the shoes were soiled.Donna was a very neat and clean person and this was uncharacteristic of her to have dirt on her nurses shoes and uniform.She must have changed into her regular clothes(?) when she got off work around 2:00 AM and placed the dirty uniform and shoes in a paper bag in her office.She had been at the casino all evening-from 6:00 PM on, so she had not been around dirt,etc.They couldn't understand it.
We conjectured that the perp may have entered her small end of the hall office(this office is now a storage closet at the Horizen casino in South Lake Tahoe)and told her someone was having a health problem or some such ruse and she went outside and he accosted her there,hence,the muddy uniform and shoes.We came to the realization that it could have been the perp that placed her clothes in the bag.Total speculation of course!
We looked at other scenarios.Did she go outside for some reason,a ploy by the perp?He could have given an 'emergency' call to her office,not uncommon,-a male did call later and say Lass had to visit her relatives because there was 'sickenss' in the family- and she knelt down to assist him and that's how the dirt got all over her shoes and uniform?Too far out?She then later goes back in to the office and changes into street clothes.Not likely!
Or was it a 'fake clue' because after he abducted her and say, there was a struggle on the ground ,he killed her and later took her work clothes off (as 'proof' of the abduction/burial?)and went back and placed them in the storage bag at her office.This could have been a Stine like thing only it was a dirty uniform instead of a bloodly shirt utilized as 'proof' she was abducted,etc.Her street clothes have never been found.The uniform was sent to S.F.P.D. to be examined and it was a negative.Ho hum.
Mary confirmed,as she read Donnas log, that there was a crooked line going downward as she was writing in her log 'patient complains of'....
The last name in the log,which the SLTPD claims to have lost(!),was Joan Bentley of S.F.She has been contacted and has said Lass was in a good mood and spoke of a raise($50.00 a mo.) the casino had given her,etc.She appeared fine when Ms.Bentely left her around 1:40 AM or so.
I know there are other explainations,but this is just a start.
I had tried to place Donna Lass in Santa Barbara for many years as my suspect had spent time there from '67-70.Her sister told me Donna was there from 7/1/67 to 4/1/69.She was a nurse at the Cottage hospital there.
I also found from a parole hearing that my suspect had "worked in Lake Tahoe."He did work at bars,serving drinks,including construction.I thought of the condo project on the Pines card.FYI
Mary said Donna wore hard contacts and she had to wear sunglasses constantly as her eyes hurt from the glare.She said the glasses found at the socalled burial site at Donner Pass were white sunglasses with green lens,just the kind Donna would wear for her light sensitive problem.The FBI went to the area some time back and poked around but never did any real searching.More later.
I am anxious to get the info from Mary,including copies of Donnas' letters from other areas as well.She firmly believes Zodiac was the perp,as I do,but we are going to focus on case facts and Donnas life at Tahoe and before.She has quite a lot of material.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Saturday, September 28, 2002 - 09:03 am:

Howard, GREAT work! This is the first real data other than the bare bones stories we've read about this case. Finally, at least something to start with.
The dirty uniform found in the office is very troublesome. If Miss Lass got it durty outside, then came inside to change, why no record? had she treated or examined a potintial patient outside she would surely have made a note of it, andnot just trailed off in her log as you describe
(my wife is a nurse and they are fanatic about documentation). But the other posibility, that the killer brought it in and left it is very disturbing. IF this is the case, I believe the killer had to either work in the casino or be a person of authority (like a cop or emt) who could come and go without attracting notice.
Ilook forward to your future posts.

By Kendra (Kendra) ( - on Saturday, September 28, 2002 - 07:59 pm:

Yes, Howard. Kudos to you! Great research...
Donna's muddy uniform and the "trailing off" of the words in the log make me wonder if she had been sexually assaulted before being murdered. Seems like she left in a hurry, why? Seems as though it were for urgent reasons, possibly an emergency (or false emergency). My point is, though, leaving in such a frantic hurry, she would not bring an extra pair of clothes with her to change into. So, if her uniform was found back in her office, she must have been left nude at undisclosed location. More than likely, being left nude probably involved some sort of assault. 1)The mud on her uniform - Stuggle? 2)When did the perpetrator sneak her uniform back into her office? Just a few thoughts...

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, September 28, 2002 - 11:21 pm:

This would be an appropriate time to share the following e-mails I received from someone who worked at SLTPD in 1970 (now retired) at the time of Donna Lass' abduction:

Subj: Donna Lass
Date: 2/12/02 11:35:13 PM Pacific Standard Time

Any info on the Donna Las case in South Lake Tahoe. I was in the Station when the Lass family came into the Station and they were kissed of to Douglas County SO, because no one could determine if a crime happened and where. The Lass Family was really pissed mostly for being kissed off and that the case was not being handled as a 187 but as a missing person. I was in Donna Apt. and it was spotless. I am retired from South Lake Tahoe, but always was interested in the case.

Subj: Re: Donna Lass
Date: 2/13/02 9:34:01 PM Pacific Standard Time

I did speak to the family, and they were flat pissed at the time, and I really don't blame them. The whole Donna Lass thing was really kissed off at the time, We felt it was a Nevada Case and they (Douglas County S.O.) felt it was ours, meanwhile nothing was done. I know that it sounds silly now, but at the time we were a very busy Police Department with a small amount of cops and the beat cops had to do everything. I saw Donna's apartment and it was VERY neat, absolutely nothing out of place. This gal was a very neat person and kept a neat apartment. I don't remember too much about suspects, mainly because it was not handled as a 187 at first. We really felt it was a missing person which was not at all unusual for South Lake Tahoe which is a casino town. I do remember that of the Officers got a phone call from CII stating the SF newspaper had a note or letter from the Zodiac and it was authentic. I have always been interested in the Donna Lass Case, I feel that the Zodiac probably did not get to Donna, but it was probably the easier softer way to handle a
mishandled case. I do remember getting a message that she was buried under a pine tree at South Lake Tahoe, but it was winter time, a great deal of snow and a million pine trees. It was probably just a rumor. I retired quite a while ago, so I don't know of any info in the last several years.

Howard wrote:

Mary confirmed,as she read Donnas log, that there was a crooked line going downward as she was writing in her log 'patient complains of'....
The last name in the log,which the SLTPD claims to have lost(!),was Joan Bentley of S.F.She has been contacted and has said Lass was in a good mood and spoke of a raise($50.00 a mo.) the casino had given her,etc.She appeared fine when Ms.Bentely left her around 1:40 AM or so.

The crooked line at the end of her uncompleted sentence might suggest that she was abducted from work between 1:40 and 2:00 AM while writing in the log, unless she was actually seen leaving and/or signed/punched out. The bag of clothes suggests to me that the perp, whether Z or not, returned sometime later and left them there while no one was about.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, September 29, 2002 - 12:30 am:

Thank Tom as he gave super dummie the idea to use!I am fairly new to computers and make frequent errors and I hope everyone is easy on me.I can't type either!
The hall and office of Lass was remote with the office at the end of the hall.
Anyone Kendra,could have gone back there early in the morning and left Donnas nurses' clothes.
DL was a very meticulous person and kept an excellent log book and she certainly would have noted she got her uniform soiled-it was a mess,including the shoes which were muddy.They considered this a mystery.This seems very Z like to me.Sorry.
My tentative theory is that she 'fought' with her attacker in uniform,somewhere in an area where there was a lot of dirt,he abducting her at gun/knife point(?),hence,the reason for the downward shakey line in the last entry.
The last person to see Lass indicated DL was in uniform!
My mind went to the mysterious postcard sent 10/5/70(I have given some of my reasons that I think it is a Z missive) just about a full month(the card was received on the sixth,one month to the day when Lass was taken!) after Donna vanished.One of the paste ups said "some of them[victims]FOUGHT it was horrible."Was the uniform supposed to be proof she "fought"?Was this disputed card a zlink to what only the Lass family and the police knew at the time?
We need PD reports.Ed, maybe your contact could somehow obtain them.Tom is in a good position to do this too.
Ed,Kendra-a trip to LT?You guys are fairly close and the snow will hit in November?Around in the snow guys!
I will post Lass news articles from the 70s and letters from DL on my site and any info I can obtain worth posting.I will shareeeeeeee.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, September 29, 2002 - 06:02 am:

Maybe Ted Bundy did this one. He was famous for abducting women right out of their apartments or hotel rooms and disposing of their bodies in such a way that many were never found. He was into skiing, and one victim, Caryn Campbell, was actually abducted from a ski resort when she left her room to look for a magazine.

By Kendra (Kendra) ( - on Sunday, September 29, 2002 - 12:11 pm:

Yes, Howard. Around in the snow!!!Hee Hee

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( - on Sunday, September 29, 2002 - 03:26 pm:

Good point about Bundy Doug.From what I've read he admitted to at least 1 Calif.murder.ButI've never found out who or where precisely.Perhaps he didn't give specifics-which would be typical of him.Some of the details of the Lass case reminded me of him.Also in 1 Seattle victims case he abducted her and I believe re-entered her room to make her bed so it looked like she just"left".
Until they pulled back the sheets and found blood...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, September 29, 2002 - 05:39 pm:

There are many things that do fit with Zodiac.It was,as Dave Peterson(he frimly believed DL was a Z victim) pointed out,a Druid new moon the day Lass vanished and on a Saturday or weekend.It was South LAKE Tahoe, so there is a water element too.
I have presented my views on why DL could be a Z victim as well as why the Pines card (3/22/70 the anniversy of the Johns attack)could be from Z.These indicators certainly don't lead us AWAY from Z.
Zodiac wrote 11/9/69 " So I shall CHANGE the WAY the collecting of slaves."So could Zodiac be capable of abducting Lass-did he "change the way"or manner of taking a victim?
Kill two sets of couples in cars with a gun.Stab a couple(after using a deceptive story line-'I just need a car and some money') after they are tied up out in the open.Then kill a lone male taxi driver using a gun.
If Johns was a Z attack as Zodiac claimed publically, then she was abducted by car transfer due to her 'defective'or sabotaged vehicle.Z didn't see a problem with acknowledging this "change of the way"in his letter.
Looking at Bates,which Z also claimed,then the means to take a victim was similar to Johns.If the Berkeley incident(see posts) was Z then we have yet another example of Zs versatility.
These attacks(LHR/BRS/LB/PH) are just the known canonical victims.Z could have murdered others using different means."I shall CHANGE."
Lass could be one example of this "change of the way" he killed victims.
What about Zs failure of 'proving' he took Lass,if it was Zodiac?I go back to that crucial letter of 11/9/69.It is now- as he says in another letter 4/20/70, "I hope you have fun trying to FIGGURE OUT WHO I KILLED."This clearly indicates it will NOT be the old 'proof from Zodiac' as in the past except the body count in his missives..The police would have to try and determine just WHO was one of HIS victims!
DL was just about five months away and needed no real proof based on his NEW approach, which was based on his promise to punish the police for "telling lies" about him.Thoughts,that's all...

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Tuesday, October 01, 2002 - 10:46 pm:

Howard, looks like you've found a great source. Good job - as always!

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, October 02, 2002 - 12:07 pm:

Thank Tom!

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 05:20 pm:

I forgot to mention there was a holiday when Lass vanished-Labor Day.This fits with other Z holiday attacks.

By Chrissy Shaw (Chrissy_Shaw) ( - on Sunday, October 06, 2002 - 09:50 pm:

Certainly no way to rule in or out on the poor Ms. Lass's case. If Z were switching MO here and as in the late Ms. Johns case(if a Z case) then abduction might be the new method.

If anyone can place Ted Bundy in the South Lake Tahoe area in the time frame of the homicide they might wish to reach Dr. Bob Keppel and run this by him.


By Chrissy Shaw (Chrissy_Shaw) ( - on Sunday, October 06, 2002 - 10:01 pm:


Regarding your point about the boyfriend being killed in the 1968 cases: I think that the Paul Stine homicide and the fact that in the two cases that follow, indications are while Z wanted to kill couples, the Berryessa case seems to have been the final one of the claimed and known cases(outside of Riverside) in which "needed" a couple to complete his fantasies.

If the late Ms. Johns was a Z case, we do indeed see a shift and perhaps frustration at attempting to nail down a new comfortable MO for Z. If one includes her case, then certainly both abduction and single victim fit his new MO. We know single victim fits at least due to the Stine case.

These are the reason why i would feel that one can not(upon evidence)rule out or rule in Z for this assumed homicide. If Ms. Lass's body is ever recovered perhaps then we shall know more as to what transpired.


By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Sunday, October 06, 2002 - 11:43 pm:

Two thoughts here late at night on the cases of Ms Lass and Ms Johns:

1. I have never put much stock into Ms Lass being a Z victim. Other than a postcard with the word 'pines' on it mailed from the Tahoe region about the same time there is nothing. The card itself is open to debate as to it's genuineness as a Z writing. While a killer like Z might change some MO, one of the main facts of Z's signature was public recognition. Even if he was not going to take credit for a killing, and to use a deliberately different MO, I can never believe he would not have wanted the body found. He wanted those column inches and broadcast minutes. That was his ultimate power and control over his victims, seeing the official announcements in the paper, others describing how he had killed them. He would NEVER have given that up, even if he never contacted the media or used his moniker anywhere. But to not even see something like "Body of Nurse Found on Wooded Ski Slope, Brutally Murdered" or some such, no, he would never have hidden the body where it could not be found. Donna Lass is not a Z victim.

2. One idea that just came to me in the John's case: while infant carseats and such are comparatively new, did Ms. Johns have her baby in any such arrangement, or a suitcase and diaper bag
(never had kids, but I recall there were days before disposable diapers) on the seat that could have been mistaken for another adult? What if Z spotted the car and mistakenly thought it was a young couple rather than a mother and baby? It was night, and driving alongside a highway doesn't always allow for detailed observation. If so, that could fit his pattern of victims and also his indecision, driving around for a long time without harming them, giving her time to escape. In one of Douglas' book on profiling he describes a case of a serial killer abducting an intended victim, but when he found she had her baby asleep on the back seat, he let them go. He later said, during confession, he had thought her to be alone but when he found the baby with her he could not bring himself to harm the child! So, why couldn't the same type of thing happen to Z?

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, October 07, 2002 - 05:51 pm:

The police and the FBI NEVER did any serious searching for Lass' body inspite of the ONLY possible clue-the Pines card.
This is one of the things that upset the Lass family and they still assert this today.
Morrill did say that the writing on the Pines card had nothing in it that would rule the Zodiac out.
I have posted a lot of info on why the Pines card could be geniune and my fellow(excellent) posters have posted in the negative giving their reasons-so no sense going over it again for the millionth time!
I spoke to the late Ms.Johns and she told me that her baby was on the seat and not visible to other drivers.The perp saw only a young(22) blonde female driving down lonely 132 late at night.
Kathleen said she would always believe that the driver looked somewhat surprised when she brought the baby out of the car and that he saw she was pregnant.
She said that before getting into the perps car,she got some or most of Jennifers belongings and placed them in the perps car.
She told us that many of the babies things were destroyed in the fire-there was nothing left.

She had no doubt that the driver would have killed her,but since she had dealt with mental patients before ,she knew that if she lost control,etc.,that would be his excuse to strike-she had no doubt whatsoever,he was that cold and menacing.

Lass info-since this is a Lass thread.
Donna Lass' sister told me that Donna worked at Cottage hospital in Santa Barbara,CA.I decided to research all the info I could on this hospital.I found that it 'served both Los Angeles and the Bay area.'The institution is situated on the corner of Bath and Pueblo Sts.This surprised me as my suspect lived at 705 Bath St.!This is a seven minute drive straight down Bath St.from his apartment to Cottage hospital-and he was there when she was!FYI

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 - 11:01 am:

Howard, thanks for the data re: Kathleen Johns.

Regardaing Donna Lass, while I am sure you are correct that a serious search for a body was never made I still believe Zodiac would have left the body where it would be fairly easily found. Maybe safe to visit at midnight, but likely to be traveled within a few days. I have never been to the area but I suspect with the recreational areas around there such a place (fishing beach, dirt road on the way to hunting cabins, etc) would not be hard to find. This is part of my reasoning that Donna Lass was not a Z victim, he would have wanted the body found, to terrify another geographical region and read the articles. Even if he never took credit for the crime, he would want the world to know the crime had been committed.
BTW, while I doubt Lass as az victim Isuspect the opposite about Johns, I think it was him.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Saturday, October 12, 2002 - 12:42 am:

Zodiac may have left the body near a trail,etc.,but there are wild animals(including bears) in that area and they could have removed the remains.
Once again,there was NO search for Lass and then winter struck and to this day no serious search has been done.It is now ,no doubt too late because of the chance of animals scattering the bones.
The Lass family did everything they could to promulgate an official search,but to no avail.They were angry then and it continues to this day.
Another police botch job!

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Saturday, October 12, 2002 - 11:05 pm:

Howard, thanks, as always, for the reply. It is possible for an animal to remove part or all of a corpse. I know the task force with the green River killings learned to follow small animal trails in search of small body parts!
I still can't see Zodiac murdering and not making sure, somehow, that the public would not be certain of his work, even anonymously. The fact that for years Donna Lass' disappearance was viewed skeptically as a murder. To be honest, the thought even crossed my mind, that we don't REALLY know for 100% she is dead. i can't see Z tolerating those ideas in the public mind.
Again, keep up the great work on these new sources. Whatever happened in the case of Ms. Lass she and her family deserve for the facts to be known.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Saturday, October 12, 2002 - 11:48 pm:

See my Sept.29 post.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 05:27 pm:

A short update on the Lass case.I have pledged to withhold certain things,but there is one piece of information that is suggestive.
The Lass family received a Christmas card(Belli as we know got a Christmas card from Z in December) with double(two ten cent stamps) postage which had Via Air Mail on the front in 'nice' writing.
The letter date is 12/27/74(I was told 1970,but Toms source says '74-either way they were both banner letter writng years from Zodiac).Zodiac had sent several letters that year.If this turns out to be a Z missive then it was probably his final mailing-for that year at least.
The double postage is a Z classic and on the 3/13/71 Z envelope to the L.A. Times,he wrote Air mail on front.
I was informed there was a 940 postal code and we do know the '74 Exorcist had a 940 too.
From what I can find out the writing is in the style of the '74 RP letter.
The card has some pine trees on the front and a photograph of a pine tree inside.The sender wrote 'St.Donna-and Guardian of the Pines.'
I am trying to obtain a copy of the card,but my depiction is close and will be refined.
There will be DNA testing of the envelope flap and stamp.
The police did not dust for prints at Donnas apartment,car(inside and out-it was a '68 Camero convertible) or work station!No photographs were taken of the apartment,etc.They did not check the boat rentals or question dock managers after she was reported missing and this was important as it is a massive lake area.
No effort was made to remove drains from plumbing either.
Lass' drivers license was not flagged in case it was used by the perp.
The apartment owner of Lass' apartment(#6) which was called the Monte Verde on Pioneer Trail, was Nick Davis and he had gone in the room and found everything to be neat and clean with the bed made and the bathroom light left on.

Donnas desk calandar had two pages missing which were for Sept.6.
More later.

By Linda (Linda) ( - on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 03:58 am:

Very interesting, Howard. It wouldn't surprise me that there are more correspondences from Z somewhere out there which have never been discovered. With Zodiac's need to correspond along with his self-proclamation that he had killed others, I would say that there would be a good probability that other states/counties may have encountered Z. If occurrences (killings/correspondences) were distances away, maybe connections have never been made to the Zodiac crimes.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 12:32 pm:

Howard great work!! If Z was into cars and I think he was, do you think he would try and buy any of the victims cars? Linda I believe that is true about Z killing in other area's. The connection would not have been made here ,if Z himself didn't prove it to us.Changing M.O. would be impossible to connect,he knew it ,that was part of his game I believe.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 01:41 pm:

I don't know.In the Lass case, the family drove Donnas red convertable (she had owned a Corvair previously)back to their home.They have said that they were somewhat fearful on the journey back.
There were only three missves that can be connected to Z that were sent to an office and two residences.Melvin Belli,Joseph Bates, and Kathleen Johns-and now,possibly the Lass family,which would be a fourth.
Of course,I realize that Johns,Lass and Bates(not as much because of Morrills positive analysis) is doubted by some(not me!).
Using Belli alone,we see that the newspapers(if you count the RSPD twice receiving Z communications) wern't the only ones to get Z communications.FYI

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Saturday, November 30, 2002 - 12:12 am:

One other piece of information on the supposed Lass burial site.A pillow case was found buried there along with those sunglasses(her sister told me they were exactly the kind and color Donna wore because her eyes hurt from wearing hard contacts).It had,what appeared to be, knife slits in it.
I am trying to discover if the pillowcase belonged to Donnas apartment.
That's all I will say,but it is interesting.
There is confusion as to the "male caller" that gave a message that Donna had to leave for a family 'emergency.'
A version I have is that a male caller left a message with the casino on the eighth of September saying "Emergency in Nevada for Donna Laas."
When I get more I will be back with you!

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Saturday, November 30, 2002 - 12:56 am:

I look forward to it, Howard. I have lots of questions about the Lass murder, as I'm sure we all do.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 08:33 pm:

I have tried to place Donna Lass in Vallejo.I found out that she went with a friend named Carol E.(she was questioned as to DLs whereabouts after 9/6/70 and she had no knowledge as to where her friend was)to Vallejo and they shopped the whole day and ate at the Nut Tree(it must have been the Nut Tree attraction as I can't see anyone thinking Vallejo was the the place to eat-unless you're Tom and Ed-V is their town!),a popular roadside restaurant that's in the area.She had dined there more than once.,
It was on April 30,1970 that this trip took place.
Lass contemplated going to Las Vegas(another place I have tried to place her)for a few days.This was in May of '70 that she expressed this desire or idea.Will track this down.Tedious and time consuming!
Donna graduated from St.Josephs School of Nursing in Sioux City,Iowa June '65.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 10:43 pm:

Howard: the Nut Tree is in Vacaville, just off I-80; it's roughly 20 miles from there to Vallejo, so they're not that far apart. There's a big shopping center on the other side of the freeway today, but I don't know what was there in 1970, nor do I know what sort of places there were in Vallejo to hang out and shop in at that time.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 08:19 am:

Howard: My girlfriend of 8 years graduated from St. Josephs School of Nursing, circa 1977. It has or did change names at some point. Thanksgiving at the San Luis Hotel in Galveston we met a woman who graduated from there in the 60's. She approached us because SO had an Iowa sweatshirt on. Don't remember the woman's name. Wish I had known about the Donna Lass connection.

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Saturday, December 07, 2002 - 12:09 pm:

Ed, I think you're refering to the Factory Outlet stores. They were built in the late 80's or early 90's. It was part of an orchard back in 1970. In 1970 the only department type store in Vacaville was a Sears catalog store. I moved there in 1978 and we used to drive to Concord if we needed to go to a mall. Vallejo was not considered a nice place to shop back then.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, December 07, 2002 - 08:46 pm:

Esau, that's what I'm referring to. I've only been there once or twice in the 14 years I've lived here, but don't otherwise pay attention to them whenever I drive by.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 01:04 am:

Esau, where in tarnation have you been???

By the way, Vallejo still isn't a good place to shop...unless you need crank.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 01:51 pm:

Tom: there's always Dinky Doo's!!!!!!!!!!!

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 06:38 pm:

Ed, I don't shop there either. I'm too suspicious of subliminal music in those stores telling me to "keep buying", "buying feels good". I won't be a sucker for those Madison Ave idiots.

Tom, I've been in therapy.....

I found out that I fit the qualifications for Mensa. I was going to join but with a Groucho twist I must say that I wouldn't join any club that would have someone like Gareth Penn for a member.

I'm back in school. All of my spare time has been devoted to studying and homework. I've decided to pursue my dream of being a Clinical Scientist. Who knows? Maybe after another two years of school I can work Dr. Hottie for lunch....and a....job.....

Still dreaming,

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 12:50 am:

While I was not able to find Donna Lass listed in Polk's directory, there was a D.A. Lass listed in the September 1970 telephone book at 4122 Balboa. It seems that she was there when the phone company prepared their directory, but had moved by the time Polk's came around.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Saturday, May 24, 2003 - 01:09 am:

That probably was her.Her middle name was Ann-D.A.Lass,as you give it.Her Bank of America address was 3701 Balboa St.,San Francisco.The account was inactive since June 1970.More later.
Don't you answer your e mails?Let's check out 132 soon.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, May 24, 2003 - 11:22 pm:

Howard: I sure do. The last one I got from you was a forwarded pic on April 14th of an al-Qaeda terrorist released from an aircraft carrier in a car...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 12:28 am:

LOL-I have sent you some e's that were not returned,but I thought you were concerned with viruses, as you have said.No problem.
Donna Lass moved to Lake Tahoe June 1970.She lived close to her bank from what you have found.It's amazing that only about three months lapsed and then she vanished.I think the shore line should have been searched as the Pines cards reference to the Donner Pass area could have been the area where she was killed or attacked-a ruse if you will.Z stated it wasn't going to be Zusiness as usual after his 10/11/69 S.F. kill.She could have been taken to the lake(if so, we have the 'water' connection again) as given.The reports I have read indicate the lake was not searched-not even the shoreline.The police didn't even bother to interview the dock people.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Monday, June 02, 2003 - 02:07 pm:

The lake at Lake Tahoe would be the best place to dump the body. It is so cold, that when a body goes to the bottom it never comes up. Scott P didn't know that. I still feel that the Z gave a clue to her being in a hole. I went north of the lake past the Lake Tahoe area, like Z wrote on the March 22 71 card. On the right corner of the card some might think it is what looks like the moon, it was done with a hole punch.I felt he was telling us that she was in a hole. I went to Norden,Soda "Springs". I found many places that he wouldn't have to dig ( I felt he was lazy from other clues he gave).I found deep holes on the side of the hill just above the lodge, covered with wooden caps, and lots of pine trees. He would of had to have Donna walk down the trail ( too far for anyone to carry a body ).Not long ago I looked at Darlene's phone book, it seems she had a intrest in that area. I checked a number she had and it was (916) 426-3651 it was a place called Sugar Bowl in Norden,she also had another ski resort, Alpine Meadows. I was never told by her family that she like to ski,so I thought maybe someone she knew worked at one of these places at one time or another? Could be someone of interest. Donna Lass did ski, she lived in S.F. around the same time Darlene did could they have met? I do know that Darlene went to a Hospital 3 times while she was married to Jim Phillips, (he beat her that badly) and that he was in the Army. I wonderd if Darlene went to Letterman, and if Donna was her nurse? Just food for thought.I looked for Darlene on Balboa, because I had found Donna on that street a few yrs. ago. Darlene wasn't there then and Jim Phillips was living at 973 Haight st in S.F. at that time.

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( - on Monday, June 02, 2003 - 08:01 pm:

Shades of "Dirty Harry"w/ the girl in the underground chamber.You have a charmingly morbid imagination Sandy!

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 02:02 pm:

Some of your points are interesting."Around in the snow" could be a round about way of saying hole-a"round."Z was very symbolic,but we always run the risk of going too far in this area.Even his name is symbolic,but his crimes certainly were very tangable.Just having a mind sail!FYI
Darlene did have contacts in LT,but of course, anyone living in the Bay area could have gone to Tahoe and/or have known people that lived there,as it was/is the main resort in Northern CA.The same goes for LB.
As far as suspects go,it would be of greater interest if a Z suspect wasn't from the area and he visited LT/LB-a bit more unusual.
In the search for Lass,the lake itself was never checked-and this could have been a great mistake.I know of at least one case where the police finally dredged a lake years after a murder victim vanished and found some of the remains of the victim!There was enough evidence, after analysis, to make an ID.
It seems as though the authorities were obsessing over the cryptic 'message'pasteups on the Pines card.Perhaps the place found by the ex Postmaster of Nordon was where Lass was attacked,hence,the smashed green sun glasses,etc.,as given on my site.Z did indicate he would "CHANGE the WAY" he did 'business' AFTER November 8/9'69.Some are still stuck on Z MO,etc.,PRIOR to this time period.But,this and many more areas of the Z case,as you know,are contraversial.One reason is because the perp has NEVER been convicted and given verifiable information on his crimes,so we are left to speculate on various Zissues.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 09:15 pm:

I have mentioned in past posts that the Lass family received a suspicious or mysterious Christmas card in December of 1974.We do know that Belli received Christmas greetings from Zodiac in 1969.This would be the only time(unless we count the Joseph Bates '67 note-and the Johns Halloween card in '70-I do!)that someone received a missive from Z directed to a 'personal' address-in this case an office.
We also know that 1974 was the last year that most believe was the termination of all Zodiac communications.
Z did send greeting cards to the S.F.Chronicle.
I have striven mightly to obtain a copy and now I have firm assurances that I should have a copy this week!I have been informed that the envelope has double postage!I will keep everyone informed.All FYI

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 12:35 pm:

Howard, I'm waiting with "Bate"d breath!

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 07:46 am:

Howard ,Could be that one will have more DNA for SFPD to check,or prints, if it was kept safe.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 12:33 am:

It was kept safe and the proper agencies will be able to examine it,including S.F.P.D.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 12:10 am:

This is the latest on the previously unknown Lass family Christmas card.It was sent 12/27/74 PM from San Francisco(940-was used in S.F.5/73-74 and part of '75).It has double the postage for air mail-two ten cent stamps."Via Air Mail"is underlined twice.The stamps are a Christmas comemorative for "Currier and Ives."There is a man and woman in a red sleigh.
There is no zip code with the address on the envelope.It was sent to Donnas older sister.
The card,on the front piece, has a beautiful snow covered pine tree with snow all around it with other trees in the background.This pine tree is centered in the color photo.
Inside the card is a strange note:"Best Wishes,St.Donna & Guardian of the Pines"[no period].
I will comment on this mysterious card later.It has been a long and difficult task in procuring a(color)copy ,but this is all I can do for now.Just hate to quit on anything!Sorry, I am doing the best I can under the circumstances.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 12:42 am:

Forgot to post that as of March 2 1974,it was 11 cents to post an air mail domestic letter.
The Lass Pine(!)letter has two ten cent stamps or nine cents over the normal rate.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 02:56 am:

Howard, great job on the "11 cents" deal -- I bet that detail would have escaped 99% of other Z researchers, especially me!

I look forward to seeing details at your website,

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 02:31 pm:

I got that simply by searching for rates in 1971 when Z sent his 3/13/71"Via Air Mail" L.A.Times letter.There was a total of 12 cents postage on that missive.The rates from 1/7/68 to 5/16/71 was 8 cents for AM-so this means Z spent 4 cents more than he should have.I did this in preparation for the time when I could (hopefully)view the Lass Christmas card.Both displayed over posting with double the same rate stamps.
It was just a little good luck.I can barely type and I have ADD!
This whole site shows attention to detail.You still owe me that Russian when I come up next week ... lol!

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 10:34 pm:

Howard, You under estimate yourself. If you pass by my way, I will get you that Russian.And take you for a rather interesting ride for a couple of hours on Hy 132.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 11:13 pm:

S-LOL!But you told me you keep the lug nuts tight ...on your car!

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 11:46 pm:

Howard, that's the closest I've ever heard you get to suggestive remarks. Maybe there's hope for you yet.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 01:34 am:

Det.Bill,that's the closest I've ever heard you get in exhibiting a little levity-there's even more hope for you yet! LOL

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 12:37 pm:

OoLa_La, There is hope for both of you !

By J Eric (J_Eric) ( - on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 11:31 pm:

Has anyone thought that the superfluous extra cents' postage might be some sort of code? I suppose we can rule out Z being a Scotsman.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 11:30 am:

J Eric,
The double postage was probably meant to be another indicator that a missive was from Zodiac.Of course,for Z,it would be taken holistically, which included an analysis of the writing,etc.
It may also be another hint as to his personality ,which would include impatience and obsessivness.Z seemed to be pressing his plan from Zay One.Note in his kick off letter he demanded the cipher(a publicity tool in my view)be placed on the front page and that this MUST be done by August 1st 69!He certainly had an agenda.
From a mundane standpoint Z, in the past,may have had an experience where he sent a letter/s to someone and he did not place enough postage and the letter was either lost or it was sent back to him.As "Zodiac"then, he didn't want this to happen to his 'valuable'and 'important' communications to the newspapers.Also,there would be,as he stated "No address"given on the envelope(or a cipher and this included his name-zuuuh), thus increasing the need to place plenty or extra postage.It became a trademark of sorts too.
On a subliminal level ,based on his mindset or plan, his reactive mind was urging him to send the letters quickly, hence, the words "Rush to the Editor"or simply "Rush" on the envelopes.It seems as though he,in his worldview, saw something about to happen(and/or he seemed to want to cause some societal drama)so "Rush" was the order of the day.Double postage is but a reflection of that compulsion.All FYI
You mention Z not being Scottish.You do know how they take the census in Scotland?The census taker rolls a pence down each street!
And the story of how the Grand Caynon was formed and the lost pence ...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 05:04 pm:

I have recently spoken to a member of the Lass family.She keeps in contact with the Lake Tahoe and S.F.PD and anyone else that may be involved in the Donna Lass case.
I was told, after careful questioning, that Kanes DNA did not match the samples they have from the Z stamp.This was supposed to have come from law enforcment officials.
Plans to do more investigation/excavation of the possible gravesite and Donner lake are underway.
They are convinced that the sunglasses that were found at the proposed gravesite belonged to Donna.They looked identical to a pair she wore and they couldn't find her sunglasses after she vanished.She had to wear sunglasses because her contacts made her eyes sensitive to the light and the high altitude increased this problem.
It is felt by the family that the 10/5/70 file card with the 13 holes refers to Donna, she being one of the victims represented by the holes;but also that those 13 holes were the same number of large stones(13)placed at the proposed gravesight.
I was informed that when the sister received the Christmas card(see above posts)and read it that it angered her and she became upset that someone could be so cruel.
The card is with law enforcment,but they will not do any DNA testing as they said they are too busy,etc.!NOW,I got upset when I heard that!
They also complained that 'Zodiac only killed one person' in S.F. and yet they have to work the case as they do!No comment.
Donna had a friend that had family in Vallejo.This explains the fact why Donna and her friend went "shopping" in Vallejo-not a great place to shop,but if there is a friend that visited that city periodically and you go with them;then some shopping would be done.
They would visit with this family.I can't get the name of the friend at this time.Interviews are being done.FYI
So there is a Vallejo connection and if Z lived or visited there he could have spotted Lass.She could have been seen in S.F. and/or all of the places of interest,including LT.
This Vallejo shopping deal was carped on when I brought it up.It came from a letter Lass wrote,but I didn't want to quote directly from it due to some promises I made.
I will do my best to keep everyone informed.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 06:59 am:

Howard ,Great work again ! I found a Wayne Lass and a Donna in Vallejo living on Sims st. Wayne worked in S.F. at E.F. Hutton. I am writing this off the top of my head so the date may not be exact. I believe I found the date to be 1970 Vallejo XX directory. The only other Lass I found was in S.F. Named Sue Lass a hair dresser,and ofcourse Donna living on Balboa in S.F. Thanks again for the info on Kane. Now I can focus on my the licker of the stamps, and perhaps the writer. I can't let Kane off as a killer who I know is connected to R.H., because I have seen the two of them together, one other person who escaped being killed by him also saw the two of them together. Thanks again Howard !!

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 11:16 am:

Another tid bit.I was told by the family that when they visited Toschi about the case and Donna Lass,he was rude,made snide remarks,was inconsiderate and had a 'smart cocky' attitude-a real ego head.They were extremely disappointed with his professionalism, to say the least!
Gee,why am I not surprised.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 11:59 am:

The Toschi I spoke to in the early 70's was just the opposite,I am sorry they had a bad experience.Everyone has a bad day,that had to have been one of his. I found Vallejo Pd to be that way more than once. Napa's Bill White Jr.was the worst. He tied with a investigator who's name starts with a "S" at Sacramento DOJ. That guy told me: As far as I am concerned, Zodiac killed only Stine.We don't have proof he killed Darlene,or any of the others.The best one I have talked to is at the Napa Sheriffs Dept.He listens to everything you have to say with interest,he will be the one to crack the case!!

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 12:46 am:

Are you certain that Toschi wasn't treating you a bit too nicely considering you were an attractive female?We all saw the photo that was taken of you in the 70's-or latter 60's.
I have seen some pretty rough men that were very polite and amiable with young good looking women.Yes,especially detectives!This I know for certain.
Research and history show that 'attactive' people will get 'different treatment' almost every time.I have seen documentries on this very subject.
It doesn't mean this will happen on every occasion,but the frequency is much higher.