Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell
On Saturday, September 27,1969, college students, Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard, were spending a quiet afternoon together at a secluded area of Lake Berryessa located in Napa, California, when they were suddenly approached by a man who came out from behind a nearby tree wearing an executioner's hood and carrying a gun. As the man approached the startled couple, he told them to "take it easy, he just wanted their money and the keys to their car, and if they cooperated ,they would not be hurt."This led them to believe that this was some sort of strange robbery. However, after a few minutes of conversation with them, he produced some pre-cut nylon cords, and ordered Cecelia to tie Bryan's hands behind his back. After she had complied with the man's order, he then hog-tied both of them and viciously stabbed them several times before casually walking off and leaving them for dead. After several minutes, they were able to extricate themselves from the nylon cords, and called for help. A man and his son, who were fishing in a nearby cove, heard their pleas for help, and summoned the park rangers, who immediately responded to the scene. After determining the severity of their wounds, the decision was made to call an ambulance, which arrived approximately thirty minutes later. During the time they were waiting for the ambulance to arrive, police investigators arrived on the scene, and interviewed the couple about the attack. Despite being severely injured, they managed to provide the investigators with many important details about the stabbing, including a partial physical description of the assailant. The ambulance which had come all the way from Napa which was thirty five miles away finally arrived sometime just before eight O'clock, and transported the badly injured couple to the Queen Of The Valley Hospital in Napa. Unfortunately, by the time they had arrived at the hospital, Cecelia had lapsed into a coma. She died two days later from her injuries. Thankfully, Bryan survived the attack, and was able to provide detectives with more details about the ordeal. Police investigators at the crime scene found a message the perpetrator had written on Bryan Hartnell's car door taking responsibility for the two previous attacks in Vallejo, and the one that day on Shepard and Hartnell. (see photo below).The message was signed with the crosscircle symbol Zodiac always used to sign his correspondence leaving no doubt that he was the one who was responsible for the attack. And if that wasn't enough, while investigators were working the crime scene at Lake Berryessa, a call was placed to the Napa Police department, at 7:40pm, by a young sounding white male claiming responsibility for the attack. According to officer David Slaight, who took the call, the caller said, "I would like to report a murder, no a double murder. They are two miles north of park headquarters. They were driving a white Kharman Ghia."When officer Slaight asked the caller his location, he said, "I'm the one who did it", then dropped the phone. Once again, as with the Blue Rock Springs attack,the call was placed just a few blocks from the police station. The Zodiac had already claimed three lives, and investigators were desperate for a break in the case. But with very little to go on in terms of physical evidence, there was nothing they could do except wait for the next attack.