Lawrence Kane (26th April 1924 - May 20th 2010), has always been closely linked with the disappearance of Donna Lass, last seen at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel on September 6th 1970, on account of the fact he worked in the same building. One person who was convinced of Kane's guilt in the killings was that of Harvey Hines, a retired law enforcement officer who noted a close comparison between the Zodiac letters and Lawrence Kane's handwriting, as well as whole host of circumstantial evidence he has compiled down the years.
His alleged involvement in the abduction of Kathleen Johns, who had her car disabled by an unknown assailant on March 22nd 1970, and was driven around under duress for a period of time before she managed to escape with her infant daughter across a field. She later identified her attacker as the same man portrayed in a composite sketch from the Presidio Heights murder, which hung on the wall of the police station in Patterson.
According to Harvey Hines, Kathleen Johns in 1992 claimed her assailant that night was none other than Lawrence Kane, chosen from a six picture line up.
Pam Huckaby, the sister of Darlene Ferrin who tragically died at Blue Rock Springs Park, stated that Kane had been trailing her sister in the run up to that fateful night on July 4th 1969. Five days after the brutal attack on Michael Mageau and Darlene Ferrin, Kane would trade in his vehicle for a 1969 Ambassador.
In the prelude to these events, Larry Kane suffered brain damage in 1962, after a serious car crash in San Mateo, California and doctors diagnosed an inability to control his urges for self-gratification and was subsequently arrested several times as a 'peeping Tom' in the preceding months running up to the first confirmed Zodiac attack.
He would have had a rudimentary knowledge of coding, after his brief time in the United States Naval reserves in 1943, but was this sufficient to produce a complex understanding of cipher techniques or just the appetizer for what was to come later. So, along with the Modesto abduction of Kathleen Johns and the Donna Lass disappearance at South Lake Tahoe, did Larry Kane have the means and opportunity to commit the five murders at four locations attributed to the Zodiac Killer. The answer is yes, and is one of the more credible suspects, although most of the links are tenuous at best.
Paul Stine, the Zodiac Killer's final confirmed victim had arrived for work at the Yellow Cab Company at 8.45 pm, taking a fare from Pier 64 to the San Francisco Air Terminal. His most likely route thereafter was US Route 101, taking him back to the busy theater district at the Mason and Geary Street intersection, where he probably felt he was likely to pick up an unscheduled fare. At this point the assistant traffic manager of the Yellow Cab Co, Leroy Sweet, instructed Paul Stine of a regular pick-up at 500 9th Avenue. This was the last contact with Paul Stine, just prior to his fateful last journey to the corner of Washington and Cherry at 9.55 pm, where he was mercilessly gunned down execution style to the right side of his head. Lawrence Kane it was claimed lived a 217 Eddy Street at the time of the Paul Stine murder. This location is less than a quarter of a mile from the Mason and Geary intersection, the presumed pick up point of Zodiac on October 11th 1969. Donna Lass moved to Lake Tahoe in June 1970, as did Lawrence Kane, and both ended up working at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel.
Donna Ann Lass (25) worked as a private nurse prior to traveling to San Francisco and setting up residence in Balboa Street, before commencing her duties as a Staff Nurse at the Letterman General Hospital in the Presidio, the last direction the Zodiac Killer was seen traveling after the murder of Paul Stine. Her employment at the Letterman General Hospital however was short lived, spanning February 1970 to May 1970, before she took a job at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel and Casino on June 6th 1970. She initially moved in with a couple, Larry and Ann Lowe, before renting her own apartment at 3893 Pioneer Trail at the beginning of September. Six days later she would go missing.
Lawrence Kane's address in South Lake Tahoe was 408 Mcfaul Way, Round Hill Village, Zephyr Cove, Nevada.
Harvey Hines goes on to say that according to the Nevada Division of Real Estate, Lawrence Kane moved to Las Vegas in 1971 and was resident at the La Fonda Apartments on Spring Mountain Road. In early 1971 the Zodiac letters would cease for nearly three years, until the 'Exorcist' letter arrived on January 29th 1974.
Dana Lull was abducted from her vehicle on April 24th 1974 from Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas, her body later discovered in a mine shaft on Mountain Springs Road, San Bernardino, California. Her companion Roy Tophigh, who survived the attack, would give a description to police that closely matched Lawrence Kane. He also described the assailant's vehicle as a white sports car (possibly a 1966-68 Triumph Convertible), black cloth top, wire spoked wheels, chrome luggage rack on trunk, missing grill and "Old" California licence plates. Lawrence Kane at the time owned a white 1966 MG sports car convertible, black cloth top, wire spoked wheels, chrome luggage rack on the trunk, missing grill, old California plates (TDY274). Roy Tophigh would later recall he saw the killer in the Spring Inn one month after the attack, a place supposedly frequented by Lawrence Kane according to his previous employer.
On August 8th 1974 The Reno Gazette ran an article "Murder probed in Vegas. LAS VEGAS (AP) -Nevada and California officials say they are investigating if a young man indicted for kidnap and attempted murder in Arizona had any connection to the unsolved murder of a Las Vegas girl. There are similarities in the cases, said police officials in Las Vegas and sheriff's officers in San Bernardino County in California."
The area that Dana Lull was found is 68 miles from the location of the Cheri Jo Bates murder, an early crime forever connected to the Zodiac Killer.
There are a lot more circumstantial elements drawing Larry Kane into the fold of the known credible suspect list, but this does not make Lawrence Kane the Zodiac, it simply makes him a suspect worthy of consideration.
On April 20th 1970, a cipher was mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle bearing 13 characters, known as the 'My Name Is'...letter or '13 Symbol' cipher. Harvey Hines is convinced he has decoded it to reveal the name Kane, clearly evident on the left hand portion of the cipher. The three 8's added up, he surmised was the killer's birth year. Lawrence Kane was born on 26th April 1924. To watch a video on this subject click here. However this is a simplistic solution, that could never be proven or disproven. What is certain though, is that anybody claiming a 100% solve without first finding the key is mistaken. To read a comprehensive analysis on Lawrence Kane, visit Alex Lewis' site at https://welshchappie.wordpress.com/
Harvey Hines examined the Pines postcard for indicators, believing that the punch-hole in the top right corner of the image may have indicated the likely burial site of Donna Lass or at least reveal key information. It was in this area by the Sierra Club, that lay a configuration of 13 stones (see below) formed into a cross, discovered by Otto Fredericks, while out hiking in 1976 and revealed to Hines several years later. Harvey Hines contacted Zodiac expert Dave Peterson, and work soon began to excavate the site for clues, but no remains were found, only a pair of women's sunglasses. Lawrence Kane, Hines's main suspect was questioned by police, but through a lack of evidence no case was ever brought against him.