"His boast of being in the area we were searching while we were searching it is a lie," Lee said. "We had the whole area flooded with lights. We had seven police dogs and a large number of patrolmen searching the area tree by tree and bush by bush. The dogs are the best in the country. A mouse couldn't have escaped our attention."
San Francisco Chronicle October 18th 1968.
Clearly Zodiac wasn't a master criminal, but what Chief Inspector Martin Lee failed to appreciate, is that the police were not chasing mice and the Zodiac did escape their attention. Furthermore it is highly likely the Zodiac was in the Presidio Park as he claimed. It has often been stated that the Zodiac Killer enjoyed ridiculing the police and newspapers, so is it fair his claims in the October 13th 1969 mailing and November 9th 1969 'Bus Bomb' letter should be treated as such, dismissed as a pack of lies. An easy game to play in an investigation bedecked with multiple shortcomings and contradictions. So let us examine the lies.
"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." So from this simple timeline, the Zodiac appears to be correct about his 'meeting', after all the police movements of Donald Fouke and Eric Zelms that night had not been disclosed publicly prior to his November 9th letter.
As we explained in the last article, the San Francisco Chronicle released a story the following day, October 12th 1969, regarding the sighting of an individual that resembled other descriptions of the killer 'running into the Julius Khan playground.'
One and half blocks from the location of the Donald Fouke meeting places the Zodiac Killer at Spruce Street, the exact area of the sighting detailed above. As stated previously, this sighting could not have originated from Donald Fouke, as the killer had supposedly already passed him, as testified by both patrolmen, and Donald Fouke never mentioned at any time observing anybody running or entering Julius Khan playground. A witness at this location would have observed the 'running man' or Zodiac Killer approximately 5 minutes after he exited up Cherry Street, confirming a time of 10.01 pm. See here.
Another San Francisco Chronicle article dated October 15th 1969 entitled 'The Boastful Slayer' details the following search "A large contingent of police with dogs and searchlights scoured the area around Cherry Street, which includes the wooded south boundary of the Presidio and Julius Khan playground." A logical starting place bearing in mind the killer may have entered close to West Pacific Avenue and Spruce Street. However the search with dog units was not deployed at 10.01 pm, meaning the Zodiac Killer could have entered the park at this time without detection. The police report states 'Victim was pronounced dead at 10.10 pm. Inspector Krake responded and summoned dog units and a fire department "spotlight" vehicle to assist in the search.' The report continued 'Homicide detectives Armstrong and Toschi responded and took charge. Lt Kiel also responded. The military police headquarters of the Presidio of S.F. was notified and an intense search of the Julius Khan area was made by seven dog units.' The police report mimics the article, but the Zodiac Killer, as one can see, has ample time to enter the park, and secure his location, before any dog units are deployed. Likely upwards of 10 minutes.
The Zodiac alluded to his location in the 'Bus Bomb' letter "Hey blue pig I was in the park -- you were useing fire trucks to mask the sound of your cruzeing prowl cars. The dogs never came with in 2 blocks of me + they were to the west." But was he telling the truth.
As the Zodiac Killer enters the Julius Khan playground at 10.01 pm, he is presented with several choices. He can remain in the exposed area of the Julius Khan playground, head back towards the crime scene traveling westwards through Presidio Park or head into the middle of the park with no immediate escape route, none of which seem to benefit his cause. Or he can head eastwards two blocks to Laurel Street, where a nice healthy coverage of trees provides adequate protection, as they did in the 1969 topographical maps of the area. He would arrive at this location 4 minutes after entering the park at 10.05 pm. Several minutes would pass before dog units were deployed from the north and west, scanning the area of Cherry Street, the south boundary and Julius Khan playground, as the October 15th San Francisco Chronicle article alluded to. The Zodiac was 4 minutes, and over two blocks to the east, ample time to observe the floodlit search and then disappear into the darkness. "The dogs never came with in 2 blocks of me + they were to the west."
In the 'Bus Bomb' letter the Zodiac also remarked "there was only 2 groups of parking about 10 min apart." Here are the two groups parking;  By Julius Khan playground, and  the second contingent sweeping the densely wooded area by Arguello Boulevard, to which Zodiac has a direct line of sight between the trees. See here. "Then the motor cicles went by about 150 ft away going from south to north west." From the Zodiac Killer's location, in the trees opposite Laurel Street, he is 150 feet from West Pacific Avenue as the motorcycles went by. They then turned into Presidio Boulevard going from south to northwest. See here. The question is though, was the Zodiac Killer lying or was Chief Inspector Martin Lee telling the truth all along,
FOOTNOTE: A passage in Robert Graysmith's book Zodiac appears to corroborate the premise that eyewitnesses at Spruce Street observed a man running into Julius Khan playground, and tallies with the October 12th 1969 San Francisco Chronicle article. Here is the excerpt, "The detectives heard from neighbors that a stocky figure was seen dashing across Julius Khan playground and into the dense undergrowth of the Presidio. The dog patrol units, seven of the best search dogs in the country, gathered at the front entrance of the Presidio and were deployed one at a time in various directions. Armstrong and Toschi considered the possibilities. Had the killer gone quickly through the dark woods and emerged from the Presidio at Richardson Avenue, and taken Highway 101 past Fort Point onto the Golden Gate Bridge and vanished into Marin County."
It can be seen that the October 12th 1969 Chronicle article and Robert Graysmith are relaying similar information, a man seen running, not just into the park, but the Julius Khan playground and the mention of seven dog units deployed in the search. The Graysmith excerpt also details the dog units and responding officers grouping in one particular area of the Presidio, something the Zodiac Killer was careful to mention in the November 9th 1969 'Bus Bomb' letter.