In the late hours of December 20th 1968, David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen would be gunned down by a merciless killer. Two important eyewitness timelines, that of Stella Borges and James Owen would indicate the murders most probably occurred sometime between 11.14 pm and 11.20 pm, but based on the statement of Stella Borges it was determined that the Zodiac Killer in all likelihood exited the turnout east, in the direction of Benicia. She was heading from Vallejo to Benicia and reported passing no vehicles en route. This crime was late at night, may have been the Zodiac Killer's first murders, he had fired off at least 10 rounds and as a result of the close contact wound to David Faraday's head, quite possibly had received blood transference to his clothing, not to mention his car had been spotted by several key eyewitnesses. Although not conclusive by any means, his first choice logically would have been to head home and relative safety, not head in the opposite direction and this is what he appeared to do, heading in the Benicia direction.
The Zodiac Killer appeared to show extreme patience from his first to second crime or was it more than that. Was it that this first crime and the extensive investigation that followed had driven the murderer of the young couple into the shadows, and the buffer zone he had created from his home location, for even him, had proved too close. He was determined never to make the same mistake again, but would go one step further and entice the police away from the Benicia region to the very heart of Vallejo.
His directions were flawed for a start, as they were at Lake Berryessa and he directed the police 'to a public park', that may be suggestive of a man unaware of its name, albeit this is not conclusive. However it was not the phone call, but his first communications by letter that may have revealed the most. The first three letters arrived on July 31st 1969 at three newspapers, containing three portions of a cryptogram. In the San Francisco Chronicle letter he wrote "This is the murderer of the 2 teenagers last Christmass at Lake Herman + the girl on the 4th of July near the golf course in Vallejo". He mentions Lake Herman Road, but not Benicia and instead of calling Blue Rock Springs 'a public park', he this time writes 'near the golf course', but mentions Vallejo. Of course he could be bluffing, making it understood that he was not familiar with the area of Vallejo, when in fact he lived there. On the other hand he may have been genuinely unfamiliar with the Vallejo area. Hopefully the answer would come soon.
On August 4th 1969 the Debut of Zodiac letter arrived at the San Francisco Examiner, in which the Zodiac Killer mentions Vallejo a further three times, writing "In answer to your asking for more details about the good times I have had in Vallejo, I shall be very happy to supply even more material", then "I did not leave the cene of the killing with squealling tires + raceing engine as described in the Vallejo paper", and finally "I was in this phone booth having some fun with the Vallejo cop". But it was the extension of this line that would spike the interest "The man who told police that my car was brown was a negro about 40-45 rather shabbly dressed. I was in this phone booth having some fun with the Vallejo cop when he was walking by. When I hung the phone up the damn thing began to ring & that drew his attention to me + my car". Not only does the author of the letter instill Vallejo into our minds, he effectively gives up the color of his car, even though there is no mention of a negro witness in the police report, unless of course the word 'negro' is not the important part of the phrase he wants us to notice. He wants us to notice 'my car was brown'. The author then unnecessarily uses the word car once again when he writes "When I hung the phone up the damn thing began to ring & that drew his attention to me + my car". He could just as adequately wrote "When I hung the phone up the damn thing began to ring & that drew his attention to me", but he doesn't. Twice he mentions the word car and on both occasions it was totally unnecessary, even forfeiting the color of the car for good measure.
We now have to consider the timing of the phone call at 12.40 am on July 5th 1969. If the killer at Blue Rock Springs had driven straight to the payphone at Springs and Tuolumne, he could have made the call as early as 12.10 am, so what did he do during this unaccounted timeline. It takes exactly 40 minutes to drive to Benicia or slightly beyond, with 10 minutes turnaround time to get changed, dispose of the weapon, then head back to the payphone. Benicia is the area he headed towards after the Lake Herman Road crime and an area that never once appears in any of his letters, despite committing his first murders there.
Then came the Bus Bomb letter on November 9th outlining his murder at Presidio Heights on October 11th 1969, going into great detail of the events following the murder of Paul Stine. However he couldn't resist dropping us a piece of breadcrumbs one more time "To prove that I am the Zodiac, Ask the Vallejo cop about my electric gun sight which I used to start my collecting of slaves". Yes, ask the Vallejo cop about the electric gun sight you used in Benicia, an area you would always fail to mention.