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 and slashed countless times with a short-bladed knife outside the Riverside City College Library on October 30th 1966. Cheri Jo Bates was attacked ferociously with a bladed instrument, as were the Manson victims, but in her case no message was left at the crime scene, with communication arriving one month later in the form of a typed 'Confession Letter.' The Cheri Jo Bates crime, to this day, still separates the Zodiac community on whether this murder was by the hand of the Bay Area killer.
It has been claimed Bruce Davis worked at the Riverside City College during the times of its regeneration during the relevant timeframe. He had also effectively dropped out of society at this point, and was at a crossroads in his life.
Bruce 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, here is a relevant timeline of Zodiac events. 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 been credibly linked to the Zodiac Killer.
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 Park attack on July 4th 1969, 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.
1963 June 4th-The Domingos/Edwards Murders
1966 October 30th-The Cheri Jo Bates Murder
1966 November 29th -The Confession Letter
1966 December- The Riverside Desktop Poem
1967 April 30th- Bates Had to Die Letter
1968 December 20th-The Lake Herman Murders
1969 July 4th-The Blue Rock Springs Attack
1969 July 31st- Vallejo Times Herald Letter and
408 Cipher Page1 (solved)
1969 July 31st- Examiner Letter and
408 Cipher Page 2 (solved)
1969 July 31st - Chronicle Letter and
408 Cipher Page 3 (solved)
1969 July 31st-The Complete 408 Cipher
1969 August 4th- Debut of Zodiac Letter
1969 September 27th- The Lake Berryessa Attack
1969 October 11th-The Presidio Heights Murder
1969 October 13th-The Paul Stine Letters
1969 October 22nd-Call to Chat Show
1969 November 8th-The Dripping Pen Card and
340 Cipher (unsolved)
1969 November 9th-The Bus Bomb Letter
1969 November 28th-The Betsy Aardsma Murder
1969 December 16th-The Fairfield Letter
1969 December 20th-The Melvin Belli Letter
1970 Feb 21st- The Hood and Garcia Murders
1970 March 22nd-The Modesto Attack
1970 April 20th-"My Name is" Letter,
Cipher 3 (unsolved) and Bus Bomb Diagram
1970 April 28th-The Dragon Card
1970 June 26th-The Button Letter
Cipher 4 (unsolved) and Map
1970 July 4th-The Sleeping Bag Murders
1970 July 24th-The Kathleen Johns Letter
1970 July 26th-The Little List Letter
1970 Sept 6th-The Donna Lass Disappearance
1970 October 5th-13 Hole Postcard
1970 October 27th-The Halloween Card
1971 March 13th-The Los Angeles Letter
1971 March 22nd-The Pines Card
1974 January 29th-The Exorcist Letter
1974 February 14th-The SLA Letter
1974 May 8th-The Citizen Card
1974 July 8th-The Red Phantom Letter
1974 December 27th- Christmas Card
1978 April 24th-The 1978 Letter
1987 October 28th- The 1987 Letter
1990 December-American Greetings Card