Two of these three crimes deviated from his previous attacks, in the sense the killer actually positioned himself within the vehicle with the victim, as a passenger in Presidio Heights and as the driver on Highway 132, near Modesto. But are the crimes linked in any other way. What follows are slim pickings, however we shall proceed.
Kathleen Johns described the assailant's vehicle as light tan. On the same evening as the Kathleen Johns abduction, two men, Frederick Beaman and William Horton were traveling on Highway 132, near Highway 33 and Interstate 580, when a man passed them in a white 1959 Buick, continued about a mile down the road where he pulled up and attempted to flag them down. They continued on without stopping. The incident was reported to Sergeant Hall of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office on March 23rd 1970, the day after the Kathleen Johns abduction. They had read the abduction account in the Modesto Bee newspaper and believing it to be relevant information, reported it to authorities. Whether these two vehicles are one and the same will never be known, however three months later Richard Radetich was murdered and another white car would come into play.
The Zodiac Killer on April 20th 1970, in his '13 Symbol' cipher correspondence, intimated the murder of a policeman, stating "There is more glory in killing a cop than a cid because a cop can shoot back." Two months later Richard Radetich was dead, gunned down by three shots from a .38 caliber revolver at point blank range through the driver side window of his vehicle, while in the process of serving a parking ticket. A crime the Zodiac Killer would claim only seven days later.
Curiously, a white car was spotted speeding away from the area of the murder that night. A gas station attendant recalled seeing a white Cadillac racing down Oak Street and entering Divisadero Street only 0.3 miles from the murder scene. Could this white car have been the one observed in the area of Highway 132. It's a stretch. So let us examine any parallels between the last two murders claimed by the Zodiac Killer, separated by only eight months and 2.5 miles. View here on Google Maps.
Parking his vehicle somewhere near to Jackson Street, to travel away to the theater district, to then hail a taxicab, to enable his return to Presidio Heights, to commit a murder and make his escape by vehicle, has always seemed a convoluted way of perpetrating a crime. There are far easier ways of negotiating this crime. The movements of the killer also suggest there was no vehicle lying in wait, somewhere by Jackson Street, as eyewitness recollections and Zodiac ramblings in the Bus Bomb letter seem to concur.
Zodiac indicated he entered the park at Spruce Street "p.s. 2 cops pulled a goof abot 3 min after I left the cab. I was walking down the hill to the park when this cop car pulled up + one of them called me over + asked if I saw anyone acting suspicious or strange in the last 5 to 10 min + I said yes there was this man who was runnig by waveing a gun & the cops peeled rubber + went around the corner as I directed them + I disappeared into the park a block + a half away never to be seen again."
This was corroborated by eyewitnesses in Spruce Street, who described a man similar in nature to the three teenagers and Donald Fouke, seen running into the Julius Khan playground entrance.
The sniffer dogs were assembled by the Julius Khan playground, so at this point in time Zodiac had obviously moved eastwards by two blocks, now placing him in the bushes opposite Laurel Street.
The dogs were fanning across the park from the north, west and south (by the park entrance). The Zodiac Killer had only one option, the one he had most likely already planned, to head for the safety of home, so continued eastwards. His final directional statement was "there was only 2 groups of parking about 10 min apart then the motor cicles went by about 150 ft away going from south to north west." The only possible vantage point that belies this statement, are the bushes and trees bordering Presidio Boulevard (see here). From here the motorcycles circling the Presidio Park would be 150 feet from Zodiac, traveling along Presidio Boulevard from the 'south to the nothwest'.
"The S.F. Police could have caught me last night if they had searched the park properly instead of holding road races with their motorcicles seeing who could make the most noise. The car drivers should have just parked their cars and sat there quietly waiting for me to come out of cover." But they didn't. Zodiac took his opportunity once the motorcycles had passed and exited the park via Presidio Boulevard into the Cow Hollow region, on the eastern flank of the park. Was the killer's residence close by.
Now of course, this is speculation, we cannot know for sure, but the Zodiac Killer's statements, allied to the eyewitnesses observations by Spruce Street are the only tangible snippets we have to go on regarding the events of October 11th 1969. Well almost....
As stated earlier, a white Cadillac was observed speeding away from the Radetich murder, traveling on Oak Street, before turning north on Divisadero Street. The murderer had options after the killing, to travel east, west, north or south. The driver made three directional changes to enable a northerly heading on Divisadero Street. If the killer had proceeded north on Divisadero Street, he would eventually have passed Washington Street and Jackson Street into the Cow Hollow region, on the eastern fringes of Presidio Park and aligned with the directional movements of the Zodiac Killer on October 11th 1969. It's weak, but it's all we've got from the Zodiac and eyewitness testimony.
Finally, Alex Lewis secured the redacted FBI file, naming Xenophon Anthony as a possible subject in the murder of Paul Stine on October 11th 1969, who resided at 3218 Jackson Street. This is the only subject named by an eyewitness regarding all four confirmed attacks, so from this standpoint it carries some measure of weight, although from here the trail appears to go cold again. 3218 Jackson Street however is only 0.4 mile or 2 minutes west of Divisadero Street, and a stone's throw from Presidio Park.
The connections are weak, but the killer's movements are literally all we have to go on, and in both instances, that of the Richard Radetich and Paul Stine murder, a collision course somewhere along Jackson Street could be argued, along with a white vehicle, possibly identified three times, inside of three months, from the Modesto abduction of Kathleen Johns to the murder of Richard Radetich by 643 Waller Street.
There are many basement properties along Divisadero Street, and steep inclines from at least two directions entering the intersections, so I wonder.
"I have killed ten people to date. It would have been a lot more except that my bus bomb was a dud. I was swamped out by the rain we had a while back."
Throughout the Zodiac Killer's correspondence, the focus would remain on the San Francisco Chronicle, but did he work in the area, live there or possibly both. The jury is out.