In Search Of The Zodiac Killer

Continuing The Search For America's Most Elusive Serial Killer.

ZODIAC'S POSSIBLE CONNECTION TO OTHER MURDERS & ATTACKS

Even though there are only five murders which police have officially connected to the Zodiac killer,  there   are    other    murder  cases in which he is a person of interest. I have listed these cases below. 

1.Linda Edwards and Robert Domingos 06-04-1963, Santa Barbara, California. 

2.Cheri Jo Bates. 10-30-1966.Riverside, California. 

3.Enedine Molina and Fermine Rodriguez, 06-08-1967, Alameda County, California. 

4.Donna Lass 09-06-1970, Lake Tahoe,California. 

5.The California Hitchiker Murders 1972-1974, Santa Rosa county, California. 

The photos of some of these potential Zodiac victims are posted below. 


Linda Edwards and Robert Domingos were found murdered on a beach in Santa Barbara California on Jun 04,1963.

THE EDWARDS DOMINGOS MURDERS

Eighteen year old Robert Domingos and his seventeen year old fiancee Linda Edwards, were just days away from graduating high school, when they were found murdered on Gaviota beach in Santa Barbara, California on June 4th, 1963,(see photo at bottom of this article) after Robert's father had reported them misssing when they failed to return home from celebrating 'senior skip day.' Both had been shot to death, and the killer had attempted to burn their bodies in an effort to cover up the crime. Investigators at the crime scene found pre-cut pieces of rope which led them to believe that their killer may have attempted to tie them up before they were killed. Robert Domingos had a bruised lip and bruises on his hands which investigators believed were most likely caused by him trying to fight off their killer. This could have happened at the point when their assailant had been attempting to tie them up. It appears as though Robert was able to fight him off long enough for he and Linda to make an unsuccessful attempt at escaping from the attacker who shot them numerous times in the back as they were running for their lives. I am of the opinion that the person responsible for this crime never intended to use the gun to kill the couple, but rather as means to subdue them so he could tie them up and stab them to death, but was forced to use it when he saw that they were getting away. This makes perfect sense to me, because the sound of gunshots would have been heard by any nearby beachgoers or other people who may have been in the area at the time, and it seems unlikely that he would have wanted to use a gun and run the risk of someone witnessing the murders and identifying him. After shooting the couple in the back, the killer then stood over them and fired several more rounds into each of them to make sure they were dead. He  then dragged the bodies to a make-shift hut located in some bushes near the highway by the beach where he attempted to burn the bodies. There are many parallel's between this murder and the Zodiac's Lake Berryessa attack ,that left a young woman dead, six years later in September, 1969. In that attack, the  Zodiac tied up the two victims before viciously stabbing them.  which is why investigators believe he may be the one responsible for these murders. The Santa Barbara police interviewed several possible suspects including a homeless man who was living in the hut where the bodies of the victims were found, but all had solid alibies and were ruled out as possible suspects. The murders remain unsolved. 

 

Aerial photo of where the murders of Linda Edwards and Robert Domingos occurred on June 4th, 1963.


Riverside College student Cheri Jo Bates found murdered near the Riverside College Library on October, 31st, 1966.

THE CHERI JO BATES MURDER

Riverside college student, Cheri Jo Bates, was found murdered on the Riverside college campus, on October, 31st, 1966. Detectives were called to the scene of crime by an employee of the college who found the body between two buildings on the college campus. She had been strangled and her throat had been slashed. The only clue the killer left behind was a timex watch found by investigators. The watch had stopped at several minutes past twelve o'clock. A woman living nearby claimed to have heard a woman scream at about ten O' clock. For these reasons and the condition of the body, the medical examiner later ruled  that Bates had died just after 10pm. 

Police initially suspected Bates boyfriend was responsible for her murder,  but he was officially exonerated thirty years later. In April of 1967, Bates Father received an eerie handwritten letter from someone purporting to be the killer which said, "Bates had to die there will be more." but police were never able to determine the identity of the person who wrote the letter. An earlier typewritten letter entitled "The Confession" was sent to the Riverside press just after the killing, in November of 1966, from someone who alluded to the murder, but investigators were not able to determine who wrote it. However, investigators were able to determine that the letter was typed on a Royal typewriter with Pica or Elite print. Ironically, the same brand of typewriter was found by police investigators in 1991 among items  in the basement of the prime suspect in the Zodiac case Arthur Leigh Allen. But despite this finding, the investigators in the case never attempted to test the typewriter to see if it was the one used to type the letter. The murder continues to remain unsolved. NOTE: Interestingly, Arthur Leigh Allen was working as a school teacher at the time of Bates' murder, and was in Riverside on some school-related business the day she was killed. The next day he called in sick. Police have never found her killer. 

Detectives working the Cheri Jo Bates crime scene, October, 31st, 1966.

Watch found at Cheri Jo Bates crime scene

The "Confession" Letter

Riverside desktop poem discovered by a college janitor shortly after Bates' murder. The tone and handwriting strongly resemble that of Zodiac's letters.


THE MOLINA & RODRIGUEZ MURDERS

Enedine Molina 35 and Fermin Rodiguez 36,were murdered on June 8th,  1967, in Alameda county, California. The couple were sitting in a car in a secluded area when they were attacked. the male victim was shot while sitting in the car. The assailant then drove the female victim to another location six miles away and shot her in the back as she was attempting to flee. Park Rangers in the park where the body of the female victim was found reported hearing gunshots in the area of the park at 10:05 pm. Her body was found by police at 11:00pm. She was not sexually assaulted. Police processing the crime scene  of the female victim happened upon the second crime scene with the male victim at 2:30am. In the weeks leading up to the murders, both victims complained of being followed by a man, and receiving calls from a heavy breather. In the years since the murders, most of the evidence collected by investigators has been lost, with the exception of the ballistics evidence which has remained in fairly good condition. 

The case has since been closed, And when family members were approached about reopening the case, they declined,  saying, "it was in the best interests of the family not to do so."The case remains unsolved. 

Photo of area near to where Mrs Enedine Molina and Mr. Fermin Rodriguez were attacked by an unknown killer.


Donna Lass was Last seen at her place of employment September 6,1970.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF DONNA LASS

Twenty five year old Donna Lass was working as a nurse at a Lake Tahoe California casino when she suddenly vanished without a trace. Lass was last seen by co-workers on September 06,1970. She was never heard from again. The last entry she made in her logbook was at 1:50am which was ten minutes before her shift ended. The following day, a man contacted the casino, ostensibly on her behalf,  to tell them that she had been called away on a family emergency,  and she wouldn't be coming into work that day. It was later determined that the information the caller gave was false. The caller has never been identified. Lass's car was found parked outside of her apartment. 

Soon after her disappearance, the San FranciscoChronicle received a post card purportedly from the Zodiac which contained a cryptic message that alluded to her disappearance (see photo at bottom). Investigators followed up on leads given in the post card in hopes of finding her remains, but all they found was a pair of sunglasses. The case continues to remain unsolved. 

NOTE: I have just come across some information stating that the "Peek through the pines" card (see bottom of article) which was thought to have been sent by the Zodiac Killer was a forgery sent to the San Francisco Chronicle by a police investigator. I have not yet been able to confirm whether or not this is true. 

Peek through the pines postcard sent by Zodiac regarding the disappearance of Donna Lass.

Donna Lass' apartment in Stateline Nevada. She had just moved in the day before she disappeared.


THE CALIFORNIA HITCHHIKER MURDERS

The california hitchhiker murders were a series of seven murders of young women that were committed between 1972-74. The murders were committed in the counties of Sonoma and Santa Rosa California. The reason that authorities suspected the primary suspect in the Zodiac murders, Arthur Leigh Allen, may have been involved in these murders was because he owned a trailer in Santa Rosa county, California that was located very close to where the bodies of many of the victims were found. Another reason why police suspected Allen of these crimes was because in one his last letters to the press, the Zodiac stated that he was no longer going to announce his murders, but rather "make them look like random killings, crimes of passion, robberies, and accidents." They theorized that these murders were the Zodiac making good on his promise, because the M.O. in these crimes was unlike any of the Zodiac's previous murders. The last of the California Hitchhiker murders was committed on September 29th, 1974, and Allen had been arrested for child molestation on September 27th, 1974.The description provided to police by eyewitnesses to the abductions of some of the victims was of a white male with an afro. Based on this information, I believe it is highly unlikely that Arthur Leigh Allen was the perpetrator of these crimes. The case remains unsolved. 

OTHER ZODIAC-LIKE ATTACKS

TAMPALAIS VALLEY ATTACK

 

On the evening of April 7, 1972, a woman by the name of Isobel Watson was attacked while walking home from the bus stop on Pine Hill Rd in Marin County, California. This attack bore striking similarities to the four previous Zodiac attacks. All of the attacks for which Zodiac had claimed responsibility had occurred on a Friday or a Saturday. This attack occurred on a Friday. The woman was attacked in a remote area, Which is how all of the other Zodiac attacks had been carried out. The one way in which this incident differed is that the victim was purposely hit by the car the assailant was driving. The perpetrator of this attack then stopped and pretended to offer help, but when the victim refused his help she was stabbed in the shoulder. At this point the woman began to scream which drew the attention of the people that were in the area, and the perpetrator quickly left the scene. Police investigators believe that this attack was most likely the work of the Zodiac Killer.