The Zodiac Killer used every opportunity to ridicule the police and authorities in many of his letters, and much of what he claimed was usually unfounded and without substance. One of the responding officers that night was Donald Fouke, who gave a pretty detailed description of a lone male lumbering on the north side of Jackson Street, right down to the jacket with elastic at the waist and cuffs, rusk colored pleated trousers, low cut tan engineering boots, along with seeing right into his eyes, although was unable to make out their color. According to the documentary 'This is the Zodiac Speaking' he also recalled the mystery man entering the stairwell of a house, thought to be 3712 Jackson Street.
Armond Pelissetti, another responding officer that night, being interviewed in the documentary This is the Zodiac Speaking, recollects the area in question being well lit and did not believe that Officer Donald Fouke saw the Zodiac that night. There are also discrepancies in accounts of whether the possible suspect was actually stopped. According to Armond Pelissetti, it seemed highly implausible that Officer Donald Fouke and his partner Eric Zelms, between them, had they stopped the killer, would have failed to notice the shine of blood on the man's clothing. It was concluded that even if the mystery man was not stopped, Donald Fouke's extensive descriptive recall in good lighting, for upwards of 20 seconds, should have revealed blood spatter to some degree on the man's attire. Armond Pelissetti came to this conclusion after viewing the extensive blood loss in the front of Paul Stine's taxicab at the intersection of Washington and Cherry.
He personally claimed he was 'hiding in the park', stating "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".
However this scenario was totally dismissed by Chief of Police Martin Lee, who stated the Julius Khan Park was flooded by lights and police dogs, and poured scorn on the suggestion the Zodiac Killer was somehow hiding out in the area, succinctly stating "a mouse couldn't have escaped our attention".
This being the case, would the Zodiac really have risked entering the pitch black darkness of Presidio Park, observing the unfolding drama, where he risked his scent being picked up by the sniffer dogs, or even more inexplicably entering a nearby residence where any trail would have led the police and tracker dogs straight to his doorstep.
Are we to take the Zodiac's letter claims at face value, after all his lies and manipulation were clear to see in much of his correspondence. His claims of the events that night, only suggest that he is an avid observer of the subsequent news reports and little more.
So which direction did the killer travel that night, after the cold blooded execution of Paul Stine. If we rule out the killer being the white male observed by Officer Donald Fouke, who the Zodiac implied was him, then we have several options.
If the killer had walked up Cherry Street and crossed to the north sidewalk of Jackson Street, it could suggest an intention to enter the West Pacific Avenue region by the Julius Khan Park, via Maple Street or Spruce Street, to either enter the park and beyond, or be reunited with his vehicle in the backstreets of Pacific Avenue, farther away from the madding crowd. Or he may have kept on straight along the north side of Jackson Street past several intersections to his waiting vehicle. However, the longer he would have spent on Jackson Street would increased the risk exponentially.
It makes complete sense that this murder was a chance encounter, the victim was random, however the decision to remove a piece of any victim's clothing, and mail it to a leading newspaper, was likely preordained. Therefore a route away from the scene of the crime, being the primary concern, would have been well thought out in advance also. It would have been logical to park his waiting vehicle directly away from his intended destination of Washington and Maple, ideally somewhere north, at the top end of Maple Street, before Jackson Street. Not too close and not too far. If this was the case, the white male observed by Officer Donald Fouke would almost certainly not be the Zodiac Killer, because if his vehicle was parked at this location, the need for the killer to cross to the north sidewalk of Jackson Street after exiting Cherry Street, would have been superfluous.
However if we believe the mystery man spotted by Officer Donald Fouke was the killer of Paul Stine, we again have to question the apparent absence of any blood spatter according to the premise of Armond Pelissetti, and why a killer having either being questioned and let on his way by the police, or simply observed and passed, would then simply not seek out his waiting vehicle, that an organized preordained murder would suggest. But instead chose to skulk around in the dark, with the scent of blood and gunpowder residue seeping from his attire, along with the possession of the incriminating weapon and the swatch of Paul Stine's shirt.
Having by his admission, been stopped and questioned, any venture into the Julius Khan Park could suggest that this was his direct escape route through to a parked vehicle at an alternative location. However this would seem unnecessary, bearing in mind his intended initial Washington and Maple destination, to have parked at a greater distance than was required for a quick exit. He may have been a resident from the northerly region of San Francisco, but again, any great walking distance would be of higher risk, harboring the gun, shirt piece and trace evidence from the taxicab. A residency too close carries equal perils.
The final scenario is that he simply didn't care, after all, he always claimed he was 'crackproof', and sadly so far, this appears to be one of the few truths that has ran from the pen of this merciless killer.