Bruce Davis first arrived in California in 1962, and worked at Lake Tahoe before leaving for Tennessee. He then returned two years later spending time at Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, the same location frequented by Cheri Jo Bates, who was brutally stabbed countless times outside the Riverside City College Library. Cheri Jo Bates was attacked ferociously with a bladed instrument, as were the Manson victims, but in this case no message was left at the crime scene, with communication arriving later in the form of a typed 'Confession Letter', which to this day has still yet to be inextricably linked as a Zodiac crime. It is claimed Bruce Davis worked at the Riverside City College during the times of its regeneration in the relevant time frame. He had also effectively dropped out of society at this point and was at a crossroads in his life.
Davis became a Charles Manson follower in September 1967 and after short periods in England, was sighted by a witness in Berkeley, California around about the time of the first two confirmed Zodiac murders at Lake Herman Road on December 20th 1968.
In the run up to his final months of freedom to give some sort of timeline, Kathleen Johns was abducted on March 22nd 1970 and Donna Lass vanished on September 6th 1970, with Bruce Davis eventually turning himself over to police, amid heavy media presence at the Los Angeles courthouse on December 2nd 1970, after which no subsequent crimes have credibly been linked to the Zodiac.
It was believed by some that the Zodiac killings were an integral part of Charles Manson's 'Helter Skelter' revolution.
Witnesses in the Zodiac case described the murderer between 25-45 years of age. Bruce Davis would have been 26 at the time of the Blue Rock Springs attack,although he wore his hair long during these years and his handwriting bears minimal resemblance to the Zodiac letters.
He is currently serving two life sentences in the California Men's Colony Prison at San Luis Obispo, California for the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald 'Shorty' Shea, however in recent years has been recommended for parole.
The FBI has subsequently ruled him out as a credible suspect in the Zodiac Killings.
On Thursday 4th October 2012, Bruce Davis then 69 was granted parole, although had not yet been officially released from prison subject to a review process taking place, having previously been granted parole two years prior in 2010, before that decision was eventually reversed. This time the final say fell into the lap of Governor Jerry Brown, who could have upheld any parole board green light, or chosen to keep Bruce Davis behind bars like his predecessor Arnold Schwartzenegger opted for, on the grounds that he still considered Davis a risk, citing the gravity of the crimes he committed 40 plus years ago.
On this occasion Bruce Davis had his bid for freedom rejected by Governor Jerry Brown who said:
"I find the evidence ... shows why he currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr Davis,"
On 12th March 2014 the parole board again granted Bruce Davis parole and it is was once more down to Governor Jerry Brown to sanction his release, however it was again rejected and Bruce Davis remains incarcerated for the foreseeable future.