Hichhiking his way from Roundup, Montana, in search of employment in Shelby, Donald Lee Bujok entered the town of Havre, situated just over 50 miles east of Joplin. Here he made a decision that was to turn out to be life changing, when he stole a Ford Monarch car outside of Buttrey's Department Store at approximately 8.15 am on the morning of October 5th 1957.
Shortly afterwards the owner of the car contacted the local deputy, who in turn relayed the facts to law enforcement in Chester, approximately one hours drive west of Havre, that the suspect may possibly be heading in their direction, and indeed he was, approaching along Highway 2, towards Joplin.
Deputy Otto Fossen (65), a 30 year veteran of the Chester Sheriff's Department, was sent to investigate, and located the stolen car just a short ten minute drive east of Chester in the small town of Joplin. The vehicle had a flat tire.
Deputy Otto Fossen questioned a manager at the Farmers Union Elevator to see if he had noted anything suspicious in the area, where upon he noticed some activity in the area of Highway 2, Joplin Road, spotting a man being led away from a car. He was now to make a decision that would forever leave its mark in Joplin, but unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons.
He approached the suspect in his car, but things soon turned sour. A man determined to reach his destination that day and a deputy simply performing his duty, had lit the touchpaper that exploded into a powder keg of tragic consequences, as a scuffle ensued between the two men, entering the patrol car of Deputy Otto Fossen. Five shots shattered the tranquil Montana air. Moments later a man exited the car and fell into the nearby ditch. Sadly it was Deputy Otto Fossen, struck five times to the neck and chest, which ultimately proved fatal and he died shortly after reaching hospital.
Donald Lee Bujok escaped the scene in Deputy Fossen's patrol car, but was now a marked man living on borrowed time, as an unprecedented two hundred strong manhunt ensued, armed to the teeth with every weapon imaginable. Eventually he was cornered later that evening hiding in an outhouse, just north of Chester.
But this was just the beginning, as the residents of Benicia, Northern California were about to find out, just over 11 years later, in the lonely turnout of Lake Herman Road.
The Zodiac Killer gave signals that he was indeed driven by time and dates, forever noticeable in his murders and correspondence with authorities, even listing his crimes on the car door of Bryan Hartnell's Karmann Ghia at Lake Berryessa on September 27th 1969.
Kevin Robert Brooks, an avid Zodiac researcher and author of the upcoming book 'Zodiac-The Montana Connection', has noted the significant emphasis the author places on the date, the number 13 and the punch-holes accentuated within its design.
The Zodiac Killer was telling us that this particular date was personal to him, being the anniversary of the shooting of Deputy Otto Fossen back in 1957, stating on the card 'Its just one big thirteenth', alongside the number 13 itself.
Donald Lee Bujok's version of events back in 1957, to people he knew, claimed self defense, in that Deputy Otto Fossen had pistol whipped him and he was acting to defend himself. On the 13 Hole Postcard, a conductors punch was used to forge the holes in the card. Kevin Robert Brooks believes that Donald Lee Bujok, a former army veteran and railroad worker, used these punch-holes to mark each year since the tragic events of 1957 and the day Donald Lee Bujok, by all accounts, first ventured into the world of first degree murder.
The author also states on the card 'Some of them fought it was horrible'. Deputy Otto Fossen had fought hard for his life and the testimony of the crime, left no one in doubt to its gravity.
The author also pastes the words "There are reports city police pig cops are closing in on me" and goes on to say "I'm crackproof"..
Kevin Robert Brooks has spent years, investing his time and energy into his search for the identity of the Zodiac Killer and firmly believes the evidence is mounting, that the Zodiac Killer and Donald Lee Bujok are one and the same.
The Zodiac Killer claimed he was crackproof, but was he. Kevin Robert Brooks believes not and presents his case on the 13 Hole Punchcard, in a 5m 30s Youtube video. I have deliberately left out some key details in the description above, so to view the whole story on this particular topic, please visit Kevin's articulate Youtube presentation via the banner link on the right.
Other videos in the series include another latest addition, examining the Phillips Petroleum Map, sent to the San Francisco Chronicle on June 26th 1970, the Exorcist Letter sent on January 29th 1974 and the Halloween Card mailed on October 27th 1970.
For Kevin's Youtube Channel, follow this link.