On October 12th 1969, the Chronicle ran an article clearly stating that the "three younsters saw a scuffle near the cab, which was stopped on Washington Street near Cherry Street, about 10 pm". Despite this statement, the author of the October 13th 1969 letter claimed "This is the Zodiac speaking. I am the murderer of the taxi driver over by Washington St + Maple St last night, to prove this here is a blood stained piece of his shirt". The decision to contradict the newspaper and use the words "over by" could be argued as a correction by the Zodiac Killer, especially in light of the three teenagers testifying that they heard no gunshot that night. Had they been drawn to the window by the sound of a gunshot (that they possibly didn't recognize as one), a killer traveling in the back seat of the taxicab would have been visible in the rear of the taxicab when they arrived at the window. At best, the killer would have been exiting the rear of the taxicab and approaching the front passenger side door.
The Robbins children explicitly relayed the following information: "The first kid at the window said the driver looked "sick, or something". Lindsey and Rebecca went to the window and saw the driver laying across the front seat, head toward the passenger door. His head was in the lap of another man (passenger). Rebecca saw blood and said out loud, "he's stabbing that man." She was seeing blood on the victim and saw the glint of a knife, so she assumed a stabbing was taking place". This backs up their contention of not hearing a gunshot because the Zodiac Killer could not have achieved this position on the front seat in the time between the fatal shot and the kids responding to it. The murderer was already in the front seat with the victim's head lying across his lap (their interpretation). Their claim of a seeing the "glint of a knife" would be bolstered by the arrival of the removed piece of shirt just two days later. Many claim that the shirt was torn but a Zodiac Killer who had planned this murder in advance surely would have used a knife to facilitate the speedy removal of a section of Paul Stine's shirt. The "glint of a knife" seemingly corroborates this assertion.
The author of the October 13th 1969 letter would reference Washington and Maple Streets despite the fact that nobody but the police knew the taxicab trip sheet contained the destination of Washington and Maple, other than the killer. The killer chose the Washington & Maple intersection as his destination (logged in the trip sheet by Paul Stine), and mentioned it in the October 13th 1969 letter because this was the designated location to murder Paul Stine. This clearly shows that the author of the Chronicle letter not only inserted the shirt piece as proof he was the murderer of Paul Stine, but knew the contents of the trip sheet and its destination. There was nothing to gain from the killer's perspective by claiming the murder at a different location to the one reported in the newspapers. In fact, a murder at Washington and Maple ticks so many boxes from the perspective of a killer who meticulously planned this murder and was intent on securing a shirt piece from the victim to prove his involvement in this crime. Especially because this crime would never have been believed to be the work of Zodiac without such proof. The Washington and Maple mention on October 13th 1969 just another layer of proof in view of the taxicab trip sheet.
It is believed that the killer parked his vehicle somewhere close to Presidio Park to facilitate his escape. The first thing the killer has to do then, is select a location for the murder in close proximity, but not too close. If you look at the previous four intersections east of Washington and Cherry, it becomes apparent that Washington and Maple is the ideal location in a built-up city. As with Washington & Cherry, the residences at Washington & Spruce, Washington & Locust and Washington & Walnut are in extremely close proximity to the street - and obviously pose great danger if you are firing an unsuppressed 9mm weapon in any of those locations. In a population dense section of the city it becomes apparent that a murder at Washington & Maple is the ideal location. Or to be more exact, the location at, or slightly west of the Le Petit Trianon (a historical landmark in San Francisco at 3800 Washington Street, based upon the Chateau at the Versailles Palace in France). A gunshot within a taxicab located here isn't impervious to detection, but it is much less likely to draw unwanted ears and eyes when you compare it to the corner of Washington & Cherry. A killer committing a murder at the location where the taxicab was found would be doing so just 20 feet from the front door of 3898 Washington Street with numerous other residences in close proximity. Now compare that intersection with Washington & Maple. Where would you commit the murder?
I see no tangible benefit of a killer offering up a second location to police and therby provide the opportunity for police to investigate the possibility of a second set of eyewitnesses at Washington & Maple. I have little doubt that the police would have searched for eyewitnesses at this second location offered by the killer, but it appears that they found none. Testimony that the Zodiac Killer's choice of committing the murder at Washington & Maple was the correct one. Unfortunately, he hadn't banked on the three curious and lively teenagers at Washington & Cherry who just so happened to look out of the window at an inopportune moment with respect to the Zodiac's activities. Despite this, the delay of responding officers to the crime scene gave him just enough time to escape capture.