"The Beachcomber"

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Other Suspects: "The Beachcomber"

By Tom Voigt (Admin) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - on Sunday, October 13, 2002 - 12:27 pm:

San Francisco Chronicle
Saturday, February 8, 1964

Beachcomber with a Rifle

Santa Barbara

A silent, 40-year-old beachcomber who totes a
.22-caliber rifle is being sought as the slayer of
a newly wedded teenage couple in San Diego Wednesday

Sheriff James W. Webster said he believes the
killer is the same sniper who cut down 18-year-old
Robert Domingos and his finacee, Linda Edwards, 17,
on the eve of their graduation from Lompoc High
School last June.

Sheriff Webster, who sent his top two detectives
to San Diego to assist authorities in the
investigation of the latest double murder, said both couples were killed in precisely the same way.

The latest victims, John and Joyce Swindle, each
19, and married only three weeks, were picked off as
they strolled along a quiet San Diego beach, munching
on Valentine candies.

The sniper, perched on a crag above the beach,
first wounded them, Webster said, and then peppered
their bodies with bullets. Numerous .22-caliber
shells were found by San Diego police.

The Lompoc victims, Webster said, were killed
in just the same way.

Webster said that last fall he issued a special
alert to beach counties to the south to be on the
lookout for a suspect, described as 40 years old, six
feet tall and carrying a rifle strapped to his pack.
He had been seen frequently in the area by Southern
Pacific workmen and track walkers, but disappeared
immediately after the June slayings.

Railroaders said he was anti-social and lived on
sea birds he shot, mussels, and wild mustard plants.

San Diego authorities say they have absolutely
no clues to the slaying of young Swindle and his
bride, both of Jasper, Ala. Swindle,a Navy radioman
third class, was to have transferred from San Diego
to Bremerton, Wash., yesterday.

Los Angeles Times
Saturday, Feb. 8, 1964

Honeymooner Killings Called Maniac's Work

Santa Barbara Sheriff James W. Webster said his
department has a vivid picture of the suspected

He is a tall, slender, gun-toting beachcomber,
who shoots pelicans and collects mussels and other
sea life for food.

He is a loner, completely cut-off from society,
whose only contact with other human beings is thought
to have been in moments of violence.

He is 6 ft. tall, weighs 160 lbs., has a sallow
complexion, a long slender face and sometimes a

He wears military fatigue-type clothing, a hat
with the brim turned up front and back, and carries a
pack on his back. A 22-caliber rifle is strapped to
the pack.

He walks erectly, and even kneels erectly,
indicating his back may be injured.

Sheriff Webster said the strange beachcomber
lived in a hut for four years on the Gaviota beach. He was
seen there by railroad workmen, but he never talked
to anyone.

When Robert Domingos, 18, and Linda Edwards, 17,
were gunned down last summer by a sniper who riddled
them with 22-caliber bullets, their bodies were left
in the beachcomber's shack.

The suspected murderer has not been seen since.

Ballistic test made on the slugs fired Wednesday
[in the San diego case] showed they did not come from
the same rifle used in the Santa Barbara killings.

But even though the rifle was not the same,
Sheriff Webster said the manner in which both couples
were gunned down on the beach without apparent motive
indicates that the same killer may have committed
both crimes, getting rid of his old rifle after the
first crime.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-63.al.us.prserv.net - on Sunday, October 13, 2002 - 01:32 pm:

I'm fascinated that so much was known about the suspect. Since the railroad workers were evidently quite familiar with this guy, is it possible to contact any of them today to gather more information?

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Sunday, October 13, 2002 - 05:22 pm:

"Anti-social" indeed.

Where are the tainted shellfish when you need them?

These characters were coming out of the woodwork like cockroaches out here at that time. I knew there were a lot of them, but this stuff you're posting is amazing, Tom.

The Horror, the Horror... it's all a great argument for mandatory gun safety courses in the high schools and open carry laws for the citizenry.

By Chrissy Shaw (Chrissy_Shaw) (dialup- - on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 11:06 am:

Don't worry, Boeing hired them all and now they are in our rest homes here in the Puget Sound.