The bullets that killed David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen were from a .22-caliber J.C. Higgins 80 model or Hi Standard model 101. The bullets were not a common ammunition. The Super X copper-coated bullets had only been in production by Winchester since 1967. What the police did not recognize yet was that a pattern of murder was in its early stages.
Darlene Ferrin knew David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen. Darlene had also been a student at Hogan High School. She was a likeable, friendly girl who had a "hello" for everyone, even strangers. It was the extrovert in her that would mean the end of her life.
She was twenty-two years old. She still looked like a girl of seventeen or eighteen. Darlene had short blond hair, was 130 pounds, 5'5 inches tall, had piercing blue eyes, and wore braces. Darlene lived with her second husband Dean and their little girl Dena. Darlene may have been by all accounts hiding a terrible secret.
On the evening of Thursday, February 27, 1969, her babysitter Karen noticed a white American-made Sedan parked outside of the house. Alarmed, she went to speak with Darlene. Darlene didn't seem overly alarmed as she continued getting ready for a night out.
Karen described the man she saw sitting in the car. He was heavyset with curly brown hair and a round face. Darlene remarked, "I guess he's checking up on me again. I heard he was back from out of state. He doesn't want anyone to know what I saw him do." Pausing, she continued, "I saw him murder someone."
Darlene actually said the man's name. It was short and common. However, Karen never heard her. Though Darlene tried to keep a calm demeanor, she was obviously terrified.
Packages were being delivered to Darlene's house. On one occasion, her sister Pam actually opened the door at precisely the time another one was being delivered. Pam recognized the man as someone who had been sitting outside the home in his white car. The man, who wore horn-rimmed glasses, warned Pam not to open the package. After dropping it off, he once again returned to his car only to sit outside for awhile once again.
There was speculation that the packages had come from Pam's first husband Jim. He was now believed to be living in Mexico. Darlene had married Jim in 1966 under an assumed name. They had marital problems and Pam kicked Jim out of the house. Jim owned a gun, a .22.
The man in the car showed up once again at a paint party Darlene was having. Repeatedly, she warned everyone to stay away from the man, especially her female friends. He was obviously an uninvited guest. Darlene was too terrified to ask the man to leave.
On Friday, July 4, 1969, Darlene called her friend Michael Mageau. They made a date to drive to San Francisco that night to go to a movie. Darlene picked up Michael that evening. Being in a hurry, Michael came running out of the house, leaving all of the lights on, the television blaring and the front door open.
From the moment Michael jumped into the car, they realized they were being followed. A light colored car emerged from the side of the road. Darlene's bronze Corvair was traveling at high speeds. She began taking side roads trying to lose the other car.
They found themselves driving on Columbus Parkway, the same direction as Lake Herman Road. They ended up turning into the parking lot of Blue Rock Springs Golf Course.
Darlene seemed to know the other driver.
Suddenly, the car sped off, leaving Michael was a feeling of relief. Only to return five minutes later. This time, the car pulled up behind them in a horizontal manner, making it impossible for them to pull out. A blinding light hit the couple from the other car. Even so, Michael could see the man getting out of the other car with a lantern in his hand. The passenger's side window was down. Mike heard the sound of metal against the window frame.
Mike's mind was a little foggy from the bright lights in his face - until he heard shots being fired. Mike could feel intense heat through his body. He had been shot. The bullets were still being fired as Darlene slumped over the steering wheel. She had been hit several times. Some of the bullets actually passed through Mike's body into hers.
The stranger began walking back to his car and Mike saw the man's face for the first time. Mike began screaming as the pain from his wounds began to burn. The stranger, looking back over his shoulder, returned to Darlene's car and fired two more shots. Mike managed to get into the back seat as the attacker finally drove away in his car, kicking up gravel as he drove off.
Mike crawled slowly out of the car. Blood was pouring from his neck and cheek. One bullet had gone through his jawbone and tongue, making it almost impossible for him to speak or yell. Darlene was quietly moaning in the front seat.
Three teenagers drove by the parking lot looking for a friend. They noticed the car. As they drew closer, they saw an injured Michael laying on the ground. Without hesitation, the three jumped out of the car to help. Mike, even in his state, managed to tell them the girl, too, had been shot.
The three drove to a friend's house nearby to call the police. Officer Richard Hoffman and Sergeant Conway were already on the scene by the time the ambulance arrived. Mike was able to answer a few of the officers' questions. He tried to give a description but wasn't much help. Trauma had begun to set in.
Darlene was pronounced dead at 12:38 A.M.
At 12:40 A.M. a call was received at the Vallejo Police Department. The voice on the other end was calm and matter-of-fact. He reported the double murder, gave the location and a description of Darlene's car.
"They were shot with a 9-millimeter Lugar. I also killed those kids last year." the caller then said "goodbye." As he did, his voice seemed to change. It had a deeper tone. The call came from a public phone booth just outside the Vallejo Sheriffs office. Michael was operated on at 8:25 A.M. He was able to give the police a statement though his story changed several times. When Michael as released from the hospital, he eventually went into hiding. Fearful the killer would come after him again.
On Saturday, September 27, 1969, Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell decided they were going to spend the evening together. Both were long time friends and were moving away to separate cities. They agreed to have a picnic at Lake Berryessa. Lake Berryessa is 25 miles long and 3 miles wide. There is an inlet that jettisons into a manmade lake. They spread out their blanket on the lake's west shoreline. Bryan Hartnell's white Karmann Ghia was parked four-fifths of a mile away on the road. It wasn't long before another car was parked watching them.
Between 6-6:30 P.M., Cecelia noticed a man standing across the peninsula watching them. As he began to walk toward them, the couple stopped talking. Almost as quickly as he appeared, he disappeared behind a grove of trees. He reappeared momentarily, only to duck behind another tree:
When he emerged again, the man was wearing a black executioner's style hood. It had sharp four corners at the top, like a sack. It hung down to his waist and had an odd symbol on the front. The object was a Zodiac symbol. He was also wearing dark glasses over the hood. On his left side, hung a knife at least a foot long. On his right side was an empty gun holster. The gun was drawn in the man's hand.
Bryan talked to the man. The man claimed he was an escaped convict and demanded Bryan's car keys and money. The attacker began pulling some of the rope from his side, instructing Cecelia to tie up Bryan. She made the knots extremely loose. Then the attacker tied her up. As the attacker examined the knots, he tightened Bryan's. He then threatened the couple, telling them he would have to "stab them." After Bryan's pleading, the man knelt down, raised the knife and plunged it into Bryan's back. As Bryan moaned from the incredible pain, the man turned to Cecelia. He repeatedly stabbed her in the back. But it wasn't enough. He plunged the knife into her chest, once into each breast, her abdomen and groin.
When the attacker went away, he left the keys and money on the blanker. The attacker had driven away by the time Cecelia and Bryan were able to scream for help. Cecelia got free and untied Bryan. A Chinese fisherman heard the commotion from the shore and proceeded down the shoreline two miles where he reported what he had heard to rangers.
Ranger Dennis Land found Bryan 300 yards away from the road. it was as far as he could go before he collapsed from his loss of blood. He told the ranger that his girlfriend had also been stabbed. Cecelia had been stabbed 24 times.
At 7:13 P.M. the report of the double stabbing was made at the Napa Sheriffs Office. At 7:40 P.M. a call was received at the department. the man on the other end of the phone reported a double murder two miles north of Park Headquarters. When asked where the man was, his reply was "I'm the one who did. it."
There was a footprint that was cast by the police. The impression was found near Hartnell's car. The size was 10 1/2. The boot was called a "wing walker." These boots were exclusively for the military. Cecelia Shepard died September 28, 1969 from multiple stab wounds. Bryan Hartnell recovered from the attack.
On the evening of Saturday, October 11 1969, the musical Hair was playing at the Geary Theatre. It was around 9:30 P.M. when the audiences filed out into the crowded streets. A stocky man with a crew cut stopped a cab that was driving slowly through the theater goers. The lights behind him silhouetted his figure, blinding the driver's masked view.
Paul Lee Stine knew the streets well. He enjoyed driving through the city. This was set to be just another routine night. The stranger asked Paul to take him to an address in the residential district of Presidio Heights, Washington Street and Maple. As the car arrived at its destination, a man walking his dog stepped through the headlights of the cab. The stranger in the backseat requested the drive to go "one more block." The cab slowed to a stop on the corner of Washington and Cherry.
Without any provocation, the stranger pressed a gun roughly against Paul's right cheek in front of his right ear. With his left arm, the stranger placed it around Paul's throat. As Paul furiously reached over his shoulder, the gun fired. The copper lead bullet exploded into Paul's skull. The bullet fragmented into four sections. The killer moved out of the backseat of the cab and into the front. Stine's head fell into the killer's lap as he reached for the man's wallet. He also tore off a piece of Stine's shirt and began wiping down the inside of the cab, removing any prints he'd left behind. Paul's blood was everywhere. There was no spot in the front seat that blood hadn't splattered. As he let the car, he wiped off he door and its handle with a rag. He walked down the street, unaware that he had been seen by a 14¬year-old girl in the window across the street. At 9:58 P.M. a call was logged at the police department. One of the people at the party with the 14¬year-old child had called. Although they did not hear the gunshot because of the noise from the party, they definitely witnessed something suspicious. The man who called identified the man walking away as a NMA - Negro Male Adult. His vision was obstructed by the limit of light in the street.
Officers had been dispatched quickly into the area. An APB was broadcast to all units. A patrol car reached Jackson And Cherry at 10:00 P.M. The policemen witnessed a stocky man walking amidst the fog toward the Presidio. They rolled down the window, shouting at the stranger. They asked him if he had seen anything suspicious going on in the past few minutes. The man called back to the officers that he had seen a man waving a gun in his hand running east on Washington. The police car took off with incredible speed in that direction, looking for a black man with a gun. Had the police officers stopped, they would have noticed the man had been covered with blood. They might have seen the 9-mm gun hidden in his right hand. They might have realized they were talking to the killer. Paul Stine was pronounced dead on the scene at 10:30 P.M.
On the evening of Sunday, March 22, 1970, Mrs. Kathleen John left for a trip with her daughter Jennifer who was 10 months old. Kathleen was 7 months pregnant with her second child. It was evening and she didn't like driving alone down dark unknown streets. She was going to see her sick mother who lived in Petaluma. She used a less traveled road, Highway 132.
It was near midnight when Kathleen slowed to let another car pass. The driver pulled up closely behind her, blinking his light and honking his horn. Kathleen tried to ignore this, but it was becoming impossible. As he 1957 maroon and white Chevrolet station wagon pulled along side, the driver yelled through his passenger window. He wanted her to pull over, stating that her rear tire was wobbling. She didn't want to stop and didn't until she reached Maze Road near Interstate 5. The car pulled up behind her.
A man about thirty stepped out of the car. He was clean cut and neat, carrying a wrench in his hand. He offered to help her out by aligning the left tire. She pulled her child's blanker over the sleeping girl as the man disappeared behind he car. Only a few moments passed before•the man emerged again. He said the tire was now fine and returned to his car. He pulled onto the freeway with Kathleen now behind him.
Her car only went a few feet before the left tire completely flew off. Her car stopped abruptly. She turned the engine off, leaving the keys in the ignition. She got out of her car and walked to its rear
to see exactly what happened. The man who had helped her had now returned. He pulled in front of her car. Profusely apologizing, he walked through the beam of her headlights. This was the first real look she had of the stranger.
He offered to give her a ride to the service station. She could see its neon lights from where they stood on the side of the road. She went back to the passenger side of her car and picked up her sleeping daughter. They then proceeded to the man's car. Consequently, they passed the station, and more exits along the road. Finally the car turned down a rocky and deserted farm road. Not a word had been spoken during the trip. It wasn't until this point that Kathleen and the stranger spoke.
"You know you're going to die. You know I'm going to kill you."
After a moment, the man threatened to throw the baby out of the car. Extremely frightened, Kathleen kept her composure, trying to find a way out of the situation. The man spoke very little over the three-hour drive. He just kept repeating he was going to kill her.
She focused on trying to notice everything around her in detail. The man, for instance, wore shined shoes, like Navy shoes. As neat as he was, the car's inside was a mess. Newspapers and clothes were strewn all over. Some clothes seemed to be children's size.
He wore a windbreaker, made of blue and black nylon. He also wore black wool bell-bottom pants and thick black rimmed glasses held on by an elastic band. His hair was brown, cut in a crew cut. His nose was average, his jaw line strong. His eyes seemed dead, like a doll's eyes. He had a medium build, possibly 155 to 165 pounds. There was a full moon that night.
There was no accent when the man spoke. His voice was monotone. There was no emotion.
The car came to a sudden halt. The man had driven off the ramp. This was Kathleen's chance. She grabbed Jennifer and jumped out of the car. She ran across the road with her child held tightly in her grasp. she jumped into a ditch hidden by tall grass in a field. It was a wine vineyard. She lay as flat as she could cradling her child beneath her in hopes of stifling any screams should the child awake.
The man got out of the car, carrying a flashlight. He called for her as he scoured the grass with its beam, trying to find woman and child. Kathleen could feel her heart and head pounding. Frightened, she dared not make a move or sound. A semi truck was driving past on the freeway. The driver stopped and got out of his truck. He yelled to the man standing in the field. The man jumped back into his car and jetted down the road at a high speed.
The driver of the truck walked through the field toward Kathleen. She panicked and refused to go with the truck driver. They waited for another car to come along with a woman in it. It was only then that Kathleen was taken and dropped off in the small town's police station.
She told the policeman her story, every detail. The man seemed to go pale in color. It was then that Kathleen spotted a composite drawing of the suspect who allegedly killed Paul Stine. She let out a scream. "That's him! That's him right there."
The drawing was of the man now called Zodiac. when the police returned to the scene where Kathleen had left her car, they found it completely burned from the inside. It was gutted and unsalvageable from the fire.
Years before the onslaught of slayings, there was a baffling case which would go down in history as the beginning. At the time, there was no known connection between the case and what was soon to be the infamous terrorization of a coastline. Cheri Jo Bates was and 18-year-old college freshman from Riverside Community College. She lived with her father in Riverside.
On October 30, 1966, Cheri Jo decided to go to the school library to study. She phoned a few friends to see if they wanted to join her. She ended up going alone. At 4:30 P.M. her lime-green Volkswagen was still parked in front of her home. By the time her father returned at 5:00 P.M., Cheri Jo's car was gone. He found a note from his daughter taped to the refrigerator. "Dad went to AC Library." There seemed to be no cause for alarm. Her father, Joseph, left the house.
Cheri Jo remained at the library for a couple of hours. She didn't realize she had been followed. during the time she was studying, her car had been tampered with. The distributor coil and condenser had been pulled out. The distributor had been disconnected. This would run the battery down quickly after the car had been started.
The library closed evenings at 9:00 P.M. Cheri Joe went out to her car. It didn't start. A man approached her offering her a ride. As they walked to his car, the killer placed a hand over her mouth and a knife to her throat. She screamed and scratched his face trying to get away. Two reports of screaming were logged between 10:15 and 10:45 P.M.
Cheri Jo's throat had been cut in one quick, skilful motion. Her jugular had been sliced through. There were three additional slashes to her throat. Her voice box had been severed as well. She had been practically decapitated. She had been stabbed in the chest twice. But the killer did not finish there. She lay face down in the gravel road as the killer, with great force, drove his knife into the girl's left shoulder blade. During the struggle, the killer had lost his watch. When Cheri Jo's body was found the next morning, Halloween, October 31, a Timex was found by the police. Days after the slaying, police received a typed confession letter. Six months after the murder, the local Riverside Press Enterprise ran a story on the case. The very next day, the police, the paper and Joseph Bates all received letters from the killer. The letter simply said "BATES HAD TO DIE THERE WILL BE MORE Z" This was the first Zodiac killing.
Throughout his years of terror Zodiac kept in contact with the San Francisco Police Department as well as the Chronicle. His letters usually had a taunting quality to them. He knew he was clever and bright. It delighted him to know that the police seemed to be running in circles. His letters themselves were works of art. Using codes and symbols as easily as others print the alphabet. The handwriting was precise and descriptive. It was commonly thought at the beginning anyway that the letters were in the Zodiac's own handwriting. Later, the theory was that he was using samples of alphabet letters taken from other people. He then used a tracing and enlarger device to reprint them into letter format.
In certain letters, he gave the impression of an uneducated man: misspelling common words and using bad grammar. This speculation was quickly dismissed. He was clever enough to throw the police off by the coding of his letters. He often used astrological symbols and signs. His name, Zodiac. The first letter received was delivered to the San Francisco Chronicle . the letter had two six-cent Roosevelt stamps on it. Subsequently, all of Zodiac's letters would contain more than enough postage, assurance of their quick delivery. The first letter consisted of a printed cryptogram composed of symbols. The letter was addressed to the editor. The writer claimed responsibility for the murders of David, Betty Lou and Darlene. The Vallejo killer signed the letter with a crossed-circle symbol. The cryptogram was mailed in July, 1969. the Zodiac claimed his identity could be found within its symbols. He demanded the letter be published on Friday, August 1, 1969. If not, he would go on a weekend killing spree of incredible proportions. The paper agreed to his demands and printed the letter. A teacher from Salinas named Harden worked with his wife for several days. Harden himself was an amateur cryptographer, working from home, and after pain-staking nonstop hours, they cracked the code. It did not, however, reveal the killer's name as he had promised. Thus began the game of cat and mouse. On more than one occasion, Zodiac referred to "man as a game" and the populace as slaves. It seemed the police and public played perfectly into his' hands.
The police wanted details about the murders that only the killer would know so that they wouldn't waste their time on the wrong suspects. The response came in a three-page letter that began "Dear Editor This is the Zodiac speaking". This was the first time the killer used the name Zodiac for himself. -
There had been a motion picture out for years titled The Most Dangerous Game . The story is one of a hunter who turns to the human race, making them his prey. The killer in the movie dressed in black, work a knife in a sheath on his left side, a rifle in his right hand. Since the Zodiac seemed to be an educated man, there were many possibilities on the identity of his name. There were two
books. One was called Codes and Ciphers by John Laffin. A thirteenth century alphabet cipher named the Zodiac Alphabet was the other source. Both used symbols.
On Tuesday, October 14, 1969, the Chronicle received a letter addressed "Please Rush to Editor." It had been mailed the previous day from San Francisco. Again, there was extra postage. There was no traditional return address. Instead there was a symbol. A crossed circle. This was the Zodiac's fifth letter.
There were two key factors to this particular letter. One was the threat: "School children make nice target, I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning. Just shoot out the front tire and then pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out. If you don't want me to have this blast you must do two things. Tell every one about the bus bomb with all the details. I would like to see some nice Zodiac butons wandering around this town. Every one else has these buttons like, black power, melvin eats bluber, etc. Well it would cheer me up considerably if I saw a lot of people wearing my buton."
This threat sent an immediate shockwave through the police department. The public was not notified immediately. The police didn't want a city-wide panic on their hands. Subsequently, armed policemen were placed on the city's school buses. Second was the sample cutting of a bloody cloth. Inspector Toschi was given the letter along with the sample. He immediately identified the cloth as a piece from Stine's shirt.
If Zodiac's intent was to frighten the populace, he did so very effectively. Though the police went to great lengths to find fingerprints, using a toxic chemical called Ninhydrin on the letters, there were none. No prints, no sweat, no amino acids. The police decided it was time to bring in handwriting and printing experts. Their suspicions were brought to fruition. On October 22, 1969, at 2:00 A.M. a call came in to the Oakland Police Department. A male voice stated, "This is Zodiac speaking. I want to get in touch with F. Lee Bailey. If you can't come up with Bailey, I'll settle for Melvin Belli. I want one or the other to appear on the Channel Seven talk show. I'll make contact by phone."
The patrolman, in a state of shock, immediately called his supervisor. Within 2 hours of the call, Belli was on the phone.
Belli and host Jim Dunbar were on the set and on the air a full half hour before showtime. Finally at 7:10, the phone rang. It was, unfortunately, during a commercial. The man hung up. Another call came at 7:20. Belli asked to call the man "Sam," to give him more of a personal tone. "Sam," spoke to Belli exclusively.
Thirty-five calls were made, twelve of which made it on the air. "Sam" claimed to be ill with headaches. He said he didn't get headaches when he killed. The longest they spoke was a nine-minute call. "Sam" called again at 8:25 telling Belli he "didn't want to go to the gas chamber." Belli tried reasoning with "Sam," convincing him they hadn't used that method in years and desperately trying to get "Sam" to turn himself in.
Belli spoke with "Sam" off the air, arranging for a secret meeting. It was to take place that morning at St. Vincent de Paul's Thrift Shop. After forty-five minutes of waiting, Belli went home alone. The patrolman who spoke to the Zodiac the night before was apprehensive about the voice he heard on the Dunbar show. He had doubts that it was the same man. In truth, they had no proof this was really the Zodiac.
In November of 1969, the Chronicle received more letters from Zodiac. There were definitely authentic since more pieces of Stine's shirt were enclosed. He also claimed two more victims. The count was now up to seven instead of the definite five.
His November 8 letter included a "Jesters" greeting card. Within an hour, the police began checking local card and stationery stores in hopes that a clerk might remember the purchase. By this time there were fifty officers and ten inspectors assigned to the killer full time. The November 9 letter proved to be Zodiac's longest. It was a seven-page diatribe. Toschi and Armstrong made notes as they read along taking in every detail from the top.
He began again with "This is the Zodiac speaking....The police will never catch me because I have been too clever for them: 1. I look like the description passed out only when I do my thing, the rest of the time I look entirle different. I shall not tell you what my descise consists of when I kill 2. as of yet I have left no fingerprints behind me contrary to what the police say. I wear transparent finger tip guards. All it is is 2 coats of airplane cement coated on my finger tips quite unnoticible & very efective. 3. my killing tools have been bought through the mail order outfits before the ban went into efect...." He then went on to describe how he was constructing his bomb made with fertilizer, stove oil and gravel. He even included a diagram of the bomb.
Zodiac's attention once again turned to Melvin Belli. In December, 1969, Belli received a letter in the mail. There was no doubt in him mind who it was from. The letter included another piece of Stine's bloodstained shirt:
Dear Melvin This is the Zodiac speaking I wish you a happy Christmass. The one thing I ask of you is this, please help me. I cannot reach out for help because of this thing in me wont let me. I am finding it extreamly difficult to hold it in check I am afraid I will loose control again and take my nineth & posibly tenth victom. Please help me I am drownding. at the moment the children are safe from the bomb because it is so massive to dig in & the triger mech requires much work to get it adjusted just right. But if I hold back too long from no nine I will loose all controol of my self & set the bomb up. Please help me I can not remain in control for much longer."
At this time, there was speculation that the Zodiac may be of British descent. His phrasing "the kiddies" and "Happy Christmas" were used in Great Britain. Also, police believed that Zodiac may be a British Navy man. Belli developed a rapport with Zodiac. He once again pleaded for a meeting so that he could help him, but nothing ever came of it. It would be several months before Belli heard from Zodiac again.
In subsequent letters, Zodiac, an obvious movie fan, seemed to enjoy the comedy The Exorcist . Apparently, the rest of the world had missed the humor in Hollywood's demonic blockbuster. It was surmised at the beginning that Zodiac might belong to a Satanic cult, particularly Anton LaVey's Church of Satan in San Francisco, but nothing could ever be documented to support the theory.
Zodiac wrote of his distaste for the police and the people of San Francisco. Zodiac obviously craved the limelight and fame. It seemed he had both. Once again, Zodiac claimed he was responsible for more deaths than the police could attribute to him. Although there were 7 definite victims, he proclairhed 37. Out of all the unsolved cases and similar murders in the area, Zodiac may have been responsible for over 50 killings.
Originally when the Zodiac investigation began, there were 2,500 suspects. Over the years, the police narrowed their search down to a handful of men. The prime suspects in the case had many attributes in common: their appearance or general displeasure with the police, aspects of their lives and circumstances. Many of the names have been changed for legal reasons.
Arthur Leigh Allen a.k.a. Robert "Bob" Hall Starr was the number one suspect in the Zodiac case. Allen died in August of 1992 in Vallejo of a heart attack. A year before his death, police were still investigating him and had searched his trailer in connection with the case.
Allen first came to the attention of the police in 1971 when his friends and family called police because of his erratic behavior. They had the feeling that he might possibly be the Zodiac. Allen spoken often of the "most dangerous game" and "man as true game" - two phrases the Zodiac had used in his letters.
In November, 1969, Allen was seen by his sister-in-law walking around with a paper which seemed to be a letter. It appeared to have symbols and lines written on it, some of which were similar to the code of the Zodiac. Allen remarked it was the "work of an insane person." He promised to show it to her, but never did.
One day in particular shook his sister-in-law into reality. She discovered a bloody knife on the front seat of his car. Allen claimed he killed chickens with it. It was the same day as the Berryessa attack. The police were called.
A couple of years later in 1971, Allen's trailer was searched. In the freezer, police found mutilated bodies of rodents and the tiny hearts and livers of squirrels and other small animals. Samples of handwriting and fingerprints were taken. Though they did not match the prints in Stine's cab, the police believed that false prints could have been left in order to throw off investigators. The handwriting did show similar characteristics to Zodiac's writing., particularly the way the lines tilted to the right side of the page.
Allen lived with his mother at that time in Vallejo, however, the search warrant the police obtained only allowed them to search Allen's trailer and not his mother's home. Later, police found that Allen had two different trailers.
There were many other factors that tied Allen to the case. Allen's description closely matched that of the Zodiac composite. Allen's whereabouts could be linked to Riverside City College in 1966 - the time Cheri Jo Bates was killed. He suffered from excruciatingiy painful headaches. The Zodiac was ambidextrous, as was Allen. Allen was a student of chemistry. The Zodiac's school bomb was a chemical bomb.
In 1973, a doctor's report stated Allen had five distinctive personalities. Also, he was "possibly violent and dangerous" and was certainly "capable of killing." Allen was arrested for child molestation and then bragged to friends that he was arrested because he was the Zodiac killer. He quickly changed his story in prison, telling his cellmates that he "hoped Zodiac would kill again or write a new letter to the papers. That will clear me."
The Zodiac did not surface again until months after his release from prison. In sessions with a psychologist after his release, he was very despondent. He showed a deep hatred and would begin crying at the mention of the Zodiac. Allen was seen on many occasions wearing a Zodiac brand of watch. Like the Zodiac, he used double postage on his letters. Most importantly, of all the suspects in the case, Allen could be placed at the scene of all the Zodiac murders.
Kent Williams struck up a conversation with a woman blackjack dealer at a local restaurant. The man called himself an authority on the Zodiac, offering to do the woman's astrological chart. That night, the man came to the woman's house with her chart complete. He was in his late 30's, 5'9", had a receding hairline and wore horn-rimmed glasses. He said he lived in Stateline in a studio apartment. He also spoke of a woman he worked with whom he liked but she didn't return his attention. He stated that "she would be sorry."
The woman had asked a friend to join them that evening. Kent Williams, annoyed at the intrusion, talked about the Zodiac for four hours. He talked of death and murder. He also told the woman, she would "die by water." She questioned Williams in hopes of getting information from him. Becoming uneasy with her questioning, he finally left.
Another report came in of a similar incident at Shakey's Pizza Parlour. A man of the same description sat down next to a woman and began to talk about the Zodiac. The woman, feeling nervous, left the restaurant and reported the incident.
Harvey Hines was a police officer from Escalon, California. For 20 years, on and off, he investigated the Zodiac killings. In 1973, Hines became aware of the disappearance of Donna Lass. He decided to go to South Lake Tahoe to follow up on the investigation. Hines asked questions about Lass, her associates and friends. Lass worked at a local hotel as a casino nurse. When Hines inquired about her at work, three women mentioned Larry Krew who had been "interested" in her.
Krew was in his forties or close to it. He had dark short hair with a receding hairline. He had a pot belly. He was 5'9", weighed 170 pounds and wore horn-rimmed glasses. He was described as a loner, quiet and creepy. Krew had an office across from the Sahara Hotel. He lived with his mother in a studio apartment in Stateline.
He had been seen many times talking to Donna Lass at the nurse's station. Krew was very much into the zodiac. He was a Taurus, Lass a Capricorn. According to astrology experts, they were highly compatible earth signs.
Krew was born in the early 1920's and moved to California with his mother in 1953. Krew served in the Naval Reserve for 7 months. Among the subjects he studied was basic radio charts. He was honorably discharged with a diagnosis of psychoneurosis hysteria.
Hines pulled up reports on Krew. He found Krew had many aliases and possessed three social security cards, all under different names. He had claimed two birth dates. He also had two driver's licenses. Between the years 1946 and 1968, Krew was arrested 19 times for crimes ranging from burglary to battery to fraud. The most recent was for prowling. In 1964, Krew was in a devastating
head-on collision with a cement truck. As a result of the accident, Krew sustained brain damage. He never spent any time in a state mental institution, although his mental state was noted as "extremely serious." After divorcing his wife of two years, Krew moved back in with his mother. Some Navy reports suggest that Krew might be a homosexual. He had no interest in women.
Hines discovered Krew had worked for a real estate company in Riverside during the mid-1960's -¬the same time of Cheri Jo Bates' murder. While Krew lived in San Francisco, his residence was on Eddy Street, two blocks away from where Paul Stine picked up Zodiac in his cab. Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado was playing in the same theater district three blocks from his apartment. Zodiac had written that he was a fan of Gilbert and Sullivan.
Krew bought a 1969 goldish tan Ambassador Sedan on July 10, 1969. This was just six days after Darlene Ferrin's murder.The man who abducted Kathleen Johns and her infant daughter on March 22, 1970, drove a late model tan sedan. Determined that Krew was his man, Hines set up a series of identification procedures.
He spoke to Darlene Ferrin's two sisters. They picked Krew's photo out of a series as the man who had been harassing their sister. Hines then spoke to Officer Donald Foukes. He had spoken to Zodiac on the street after the Stine shooting in San Francisco. Foukes picked out Krew's photo, stating it was "the best likeness out of all the photographs" he'd seen. However, too much time had passed to make a decisive identification.
Kathleen Johns, one of the few survivors, was contacted by Hines. If anyone knew Zodiac, it would be she. Hines set up a photo line-up There were eighteen pictures in all. Krew's was placed in the third row, the last position. Krew was photographed without glasses. Zodiac wore glasses. Johns looked over the photographs. Within moments, her hand went to a picture. It was Krew's. "It's him. But I thought he was younger than this." Sometimes, glasses make people look younger.
The officers responsible for the case did not agree with Hines' suspicions. They believed that Zodiac was Arthur Leigh Allen. It was their feeling that had Allen still been alive, he would have been charged with the Zodiac slayings. There was a supposition that Krew's real name was Kane. If that were true, his name is found in the cipher supposedly containing the Zodiac's name mailed to the Chronicle on April 20, 1970. Also, Zodiac sent an anonymous letter to the Chronicle signed "A Citizen," on May 8, 1974. One of the best known movies in history is Citizen Kane .
According to some stories, Larry Krew is alive and in his seventies living in Northern California.
"Andrew Todd Walker" (not his real name) was the first major suspect in the Zodiac case. "Walker" was a middle-aged man. He had a receding hairline, he wore dark-rimmed glasses, weighed over 200 pounds, stood about six feet tall, and had a pot belly. He also had a deep hatred for the police. He frequently played games with highway patrolmen while driving his car, pulling up next to them, staring them down. Some of Darlene's friends had picked him out of photographs as the man who was harassing her at Terry's Restaurant and at the painting party.
One of the Zodiac's codes when run through the National Security Agency's cipher computer indicated "Walker's" name repeated many times in the cryptogram. "Walker's" house had been flooded the same time Zodiac wrote he was "swamped out by the rain a while back." "Walker" lived in a secluded area surrounded by pines. A card from Zodiac read "Peek through the Pines." "Walker" was affiliated with the Sierra club. Zodiac mentioned the Sierra Club on the same card.
Much has changed since the original investigation of "Walker." His handwriting did not match the Zodiac's. His prints did not match those on Stine's cab. The teenagers who saw the Stine slaying believed that "Walker" was too fat and old.
"Donald Jeff Andrews" (not his real name) was another possible suspect in the Zodiac case. He was a film buff who collected old film cans. An anonymous caller contacted Napa detective Ken Narlow with some startling information. The caller claimed that "Andrews" had a friend storing the cans for him - cans that he believed might contain evidence such as Stine's bloody shirt clippings, possible weapons, etc. The caller also believed the cans may be rigged to explode upon opening, destroying the contents inside. "Andrews" retrieved the cans back from his friend in 1972.
"Andrews" was a Gilbert & Sullivan fan. He quoted lyrics to friends occasionally. He had code training. Also, he could sew and had a sewing machine in his home. He could have made the Lake Berryessa costume himself.
He collected films. The Zodiac made reference to The Most Dangerous Game , Phantom of the Opera , and The Exorcist . "Andrews" is ambidextrous. The Zodiac was believed to be also. His description fit that of the Zodiac. He wore rimmed glasses held on by a band. A photo of him was taken in 1969 that closely resembled a composite drawing of Zodiac at that time.
"Andrews" was a Navy man. He had a teletype machine and darkroom. A teletype machine was used on some Zodiac letters. He had a friend who made movie posters. The handwriting was similar to Zodiac's and was written in a black felt-tip pen. "Andrews" could have copied the style of handwriting.
"Andrews" left the state from 1975-78. No Zodiac letters were received during that time frame.' He lived one block away from Darlene Ferrin and her first husband in San Francisco. Although the three teenagers from the Stine murder agreed he was too old and fat, "Andrews" is still on the suspect list.
There were many men behind the case of the Zodiac killings. Some of these men made the hunt a full time career. Unfortunately, with all their efforts, knowledge and expertise, the killer has yet to be apprehended. SFPD Homicide Inspector Dave Toschi was soft spoken and dynamic. He was labeled the city's "Supercop." He was a flamboyant, snappy dresser. He often wore silk short-sleeved shirts, a corduroy jacket, dark ankle boots with large brass buckles, and an oversized unmistakable bow tie.
Toschi carried a .38-caliber Cobra in his upside-down shoulder holster, enabling a quick draw release. Actor Steve McQueen copied this style in his 1968 movie Bullitt . He was a muscular man of Italian descent with dark eyes, curly black hair and a cleft chin. He was married with three daughters. Early in his career, he had been a bartender. He had also considered music. He had been a singer when he was in high school.
Bill Armstrong was Toschi's senior partner. He was a forty-year-old tall, handsome man with classic sharp features. His face was framed with silver curly hair. He had a strong jaw and sometimes wore glasses. He always wore business suits, totally unlike his partner. Inspector Bill Armstrong remained on the trail for many years. He transferred to the Bunco Division in 1976. The Zodiac case had worn him out. He retired in October, 1978, at age fifty.
Toschi spent more years tracking the killer than his partner. At one point in time, he was the only detective still on the case. After five years in Robbery Detail, he transferred to Sex Crimes Detail in 1984. After 32 years on the force, Dave Toschi retired on July 3, 1985. He became the head of security at an apartment complex in Emeryville.
Paul Avery was a Chronicle reporter. He made the Zodiac connection to the Riverside murder which was years earlier than the rest of the murder series.. He was also one of the key players in correspondence with the killer. Zodiac had sent letters specifically to him. He was also the one who received the "Halloween" card and threat from Zodiac. Avery is a prize-winning reporter writing in Sacramento.
There is still a great deal of interest in the Zodiac killings of the 60's and 70's. In 1998, a suspect was arrested in New York City for more current slayings. These were considered copy-cat killings and not the original murderer.
Zodiac himself was a unique killer. He was precise and meticulous in his pattern of thought. Zodiac always killed on weekends. He killed near bodies of water or in places that had watertype names. He always killed on or near a holiday. Kathleen Johns was taken on her horrific ride after midnight on July 4th. Cheri Jo Bates was killed moments before midnight, October 30, the beginning of Halloween. Paul Stine was murdered in San Francisco on Columbus Day. Cecelia Shepard was killed the first day of the Jewish holiday Tabernacles, September 27, 1969. David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen were killed December 20, five days before Christmas. All of the dates coincided with the phases of the New Moon. Saturn was visible as a evening star on the night of all of the killings. All 340-character cipher symbols were used in casting horoscopes. Zodiac was believed to have been a Taurus. He had hidden five Taurus symbols in his letters.
His insignia, the crossed circle, represented the season's Solstices and Equinoxes: Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, Vernal Equinox and Autumnal Equinox created the cross upon the circle.
Zodiac also usually attacked teenage couples. He used different weapons each time, guns, knives. A car was usually involved. He was systematic in his approach. He always attacked at dusk or dead of night. He always bragged about his killings by either letter or phone. He needed the attention this would bring him.
There was no sexual molestation. Though it was often speculated that the killer was a sexual sadist. The profile often read: he was under thirty-five, strong, clever and intelligent. He seeks revenge toward his seductive, dominant mother, sometimes fantasizing about her death. Yet he is, in a sense, in love with her - making sex with other women impossible. Killing is the only intimate relationship he can have with a woman. His mother is the true target. He does derive sexual pleasure from killing, possibly achieving an orgasm as he stabs a woman repeatedly. He may actually masturbate, reliving his crimes. It all paints a perfect picture in theory. But in reality, what is the scope of such a man? The facts speak for themselves.
Definite Zodiac victims: Cheri Jo Bates, Betty Lou Jensen, David Faraday, Michael Mageau, Darlene Ferrin, Bryan Hartnell, Cecelia Shepard, Paul Stine. Michael and Bryan survived the attacks. In total, there are 49 possible Zodiac slayings. There were records of 26 Zodiac letters in all.
Zodiac had training in the following areas: explosive devices, cryptography, astrology, chemistry, guns. He had knowledge of Gilbert and Sullivan, English language, car engines, ancient cults, movies, sewing. He knew how to prevent leaving his fingerprints, which he may have learned in jail. He was exceptional with guns, ambidextrous and may have had a background in police work or the Navy. Could one man possibly possess all of these attributes? The answer, frighteningly enough, is yes. The Zodiac killer did exist. And, as far as police records are concerned, is still at large.