Cecelia and Bryan: Random or Targets?

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Theories: Cecelia and Bryan: Random or Targets?

By Tom Voigt (Admin) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 12:51 am:

Could Bryan's car have been tampered with, as in the cases of Cheri Jo Bates and Kathleen Johns?

I received this initial e-mail in April 2002.

"I was a Freshman at PUC at the time this happened, and did not know Cecelia very well, but was dating a roommate of Bryan's, so knew him somewhat.

"Cecelia had already graduated, but had come back up to visit from S. CA to see Bryan. The day that Bryan and Cecelia were stabbed, my friend Holly and I were walking on the main road in front of the gymnasium, where Bryan and Cecelia were trying to get Bryan's little Carmen Gia (sp) going. I asked him if he wanted me to call anyone to help, and he said no that he thought he had things going. Cecelia and he both seemed pretty happy. (I remember these events like they happened yesterday...traumatic events sometimes cements things into the memory).

"We all said our good-byes and parted ways. I have often thought how I wish he'd never been able to get the car going, or was having enough car troubles not to go all the way out to Barryessa!

Carol ********* "

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tc053.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 08:17 am:

Tom, with the information that Carol provided I honestly feel that it is a bit of a leap to think Bryan's car had been tampered with. Perhaps Bryan was simply spraying some ether into the carburetor, or scrubbing some erosion off of a battery terminal. Sounds to me, given the fact that Bryan declined the offer of assistance, that Bryan probably did have things under control; perhaps even knowing what the problem was from the start.

Another thing to consider: Kathleen Johns and Cheri Jo Bates, as you know, are not confirmed Zodiac victims. Therefore, the "tampering with the vehicle" idea is based upon a supposition that may have absolutely nothing to do with the reality of the Zodiac case. By that I mean, in order for Carol's words to have any real merit, other than the horror that she obviously must have felt upon learning of the tragedy, we have to suppose that Kathleen and CJB were in fact Zodiac victims.

I've stated this before but will do so again for the sake of this thread: I honestly believe that the evidence shows that Bryan and Cecilia were the victims of a killer who happened upon them while in the act of "trolling" for victims. The hood had significance, as did Lake Berryessa itself, also the stabbing and the fact that it took place during the day but, in my opinion, not the victims themselves; other than the fact that they were a couple in an isolated area and within the boundaries of the Zodiac's particular "trolling" area on that particular day.

Granted, it's all just opinion, but I feel that my opinion can be corroborated by the facts, as we know them. So, in summary, I'd have to say that Bryan and Cecilia were random victims. Granted, this is not to say that the Zodiac didn't spot them at some point and then put the tail on them; rather that he didn't know either of them personally and, for that matter, prior to that day.

Whew! I had no idea my post was going to be that long! Sorry folks!


By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-118.bos.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 09:07 am:

Keep in mid that the Ghia is just a VW with a fancy body. Just as easy to pop the hood and grab the distributor wire as on CJB's car.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-50.bos.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 09:12 am:

Come to think of it: Darlene's Corvair was also based on the VW design: horizontally opposed 4-or-6-cyl same basic design as Porsche.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-td022.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 09:18 am:

We often hear the phrase "confirmed Zodiac victims." Just as a matter of curiosity, does anyone know just WHO this Board of Confirmation is?? "They" say they were definite Zodiac victims. Who are "they"???
If it is the SFPD, well I'll know how much stock to put in it.
Although I do believe that LB was indeed a Zodiac crime, we have some very brilliant posters like Peter H who do not. It is not like the Stine murder where you have evidence sent.
What exact yardstick were they using for their "definite" stance?
If it is Zodiac's taking credit for the crime, you would have to include Bates and Johns.
Can anyone clear this up?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 12:21 pm:

"We often hear the phrase "confirmed Zodiac victims." Just as a matter of curiosity, does anyone know just WHO this Board of Confirmation is?? Can anyone clear this up?"

Sure, Sylvie. We'll just send this thread way off course. No big deal.

"Tom, with the information that Carol provided I honestly feel that it is a bit of a leap to think Bryan's car had been tampered with."

I agree, Scott. Still, you never know...
(It would be great if Bryan Hartnell would let us know if engine trouble was unusual for his Ghia, but that aint' gonna happen.)

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 01:32 pm:

That's the next step-to see if the Ghia was tampered with like the middle wire being pulled out.Or was it a recurring problem or a first time situation?That would be the question Sylvie can ask BH.What was wrong with the car that day!

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (cache-rp06.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 01:36 pm:

Geez, now what thread exactly would that be under AND it was in response to a post a bit above on this thread (perhaps you missed it) to Scott's "KJ and CJB are not confirmed Zodiac victims."
Oh and do not be so sure that "that a'int gonna happen."
You have no idea what I ......

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldccu.dialup.mindspring.com - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 03:57 pm:


Yes, it's certainly possible. I don't see it as likely however, for a couple of reasons. One, there was no one around and he knew where the occupants were. He had every expectation of being able to calmly approach them at quite a distance from the car. There would be no reason to think he would need to prevent a victim escape in this manner. And, two, it's my understanding that the car was driven by someone designated by the detectives to a secure location at the ranger station for the night. Doesn't this suggest there was no tampering? I would think for sure that any obvious tampering that had to be corrected by police prior to moving the car would have been noted on the police report.


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-ta072.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 04:51 pm:

Tom's post on this has the car being disabled BEFORE they took off for the Lake.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (coral.tci.com - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 02:05 am:


Weren't the engines of most cars in the 60s accessible without having to get into the cab of the car? I've owned Chevelle Super Sports ranging in years from 1964 -- 1972; all of their engines could be accessed from the outside of the car.

Another thought: If Zodiac had tampered with Hartnell's Ghia, why would he do it in such a way were it could be fixed relatively easily? Pulling off the coil wire is one thing, ripping it out altogether is a different matter entirely. Also, Hartnell was fixing his car during the day in a pretty populated area; just doesn't seem like the work of the Zodiac to me.


By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-137.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:27 am:


I think you're right. I had a couple of batteries ripped off out of a 70 IH Scout in LA. I also remember when hood bolts that could take either pins or padlocks were popular on muscle cars. probably had them on your SS at some point. Internal hood latches came in early 70s I think. Difference is that the VW latch was down low near the rear bumper, and the coil is right there at the back of the engine, really easy to reach surreptitiously. Don't ask me how I know.