When somebody has a suspect they believe to be the Zodiac Killer, often a side by side comparison using the Presidio Heights sketch is presented to bolster their argument. The idea that Zodiac wore black styled 'prescription' glasses in his daily life however, is likely a false one. There could well be seven possible eyewitnesses to the Zodiac Killer who failed to mention any eyeglasses whatsoever.
The reasoning comes courtesy of Deborah Perez, the woman who falsely claimed her father Guy Ward Hendrickson was the Zodiac Killer. She claimed she had the glasses worn by Paul Stine, removed from the taxicab that fateful night. The response of the police was telling. Had it been previously established that Paul Stine's glasses were found at the crime scene or at his home, then it would be immediately obvious to police she was a liar. But that was not their response.
"San Francisco police said Thursday that they were still waiting for Perez to produce a pair of glasses that she said her father took as a souvenir from a cab driver he killed. Police believe the Zodiac shot a San Francisco taxi driver named Paul Stine on Oct. 11, 1969. Reports of the crime say that Stine's glasses were missing. Once you make complaints to a police department, you are required by law to provide the evidence to a police agency, and there is no reason to believe she is not going to do that," said San Francisco Police Sgt. Lyn Tomioka. Asked whether police were taking her claims seriously, Tomioka said: "We take any new leads or any new information or evidence and look at it seriously, and then we follow up to see if there is any legitimacy to the statements."
During the press conference, Perez produced the glasses she said her father took from Paul Stine, the San Francisco cabbie who was the Zodiac’s only confirmed victim in that city.
But investigation determined the glasses didn’t belong to Stine, said Kevin Jones, an inspector in the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide bureau. Jones handles the Zodiac case.
“They’re not Paul Stine’s glasses,” Jones affirmed this month, though he added he’s still working on other leads that Perez provided him with during lengthy interviews earlier this year. Jones would not say what those leads were. Perez had hoped the glasses might yield some DNA or other evidence.
Why would police contemplate the arrival or wait for them to be presented, if they had already known the glasses had never been taken. This strongly indicates,- if they had done a cursory search into the their files, that Zodiac had indeed removed Paul Stine's glasses from his person. Otherwise they would have dismissed her claim immediately. One phone call to Dave Toschi or reviewing the inventory of items recovered from the taxicab would have been a 10 minute job to discover whether the glasses were retrieved that night or not. This suggests Zodiac likely wore the glasses of Paul Stine as he exited the taxicab and was spotted by the three teenagers. He likely kept wearing them or donned them as Donald Fouke approached also.
He possibly looked like the description due to the glasses he secured from Paul Stine's lifeless body. Had he been aware of the three teenagers observing him from the window, then the choice of using Paul Stine's glasses to help disguise his appearance may have been a wise choice.
Michael Mageau, after the Blue Rock Springs attack, asserted that the killer had not worn glasses, and had noted that his assailant had a particularly large face, all in line with the Berryessa sketch.
Bryan Hartnell stated: "And he had clip on sunglasses...it was hard to tell. You know, the sunglasses you clip on when you're wearing glasses, eyeglasses. He had those clipped on. I'm pretty sure...I don't think he had glasses, though. I just think he had these clipped onto his suit....you know, that little mask."
The three female eyewitnesses at Lake Berryessa (if Zodiac) also recollected a man devoid of glasses.
On the same day, around the time of the stabbing, Dr Rayfield and his son recalled a stocky man wandering the hillside approximately 0.8 miles from the area of Bryan Hartnell's vehicle. Dr Rayfield continued "He wasn't nimble when he was walking. And when he turned to walk away he wasn't like a smooth, athletic person. To me he seemed a little overweight and on the clumsier side." He added "His body type matches what police said at the time-two hundred pounds or more. He was pretty big and built, but he didn't move like he was a real coordinated, smooth walking guy."
Dr Rayfield and his son did not recall or mention the man wearing any glasses.
This description mirrors the three women, who remembered a stocky build of 200-225 lbs. They also stated that he favored one leg over the other. The idea of a clumsy, uncoordinated man would again be reported two weeks later by Officer Donald Fouke, who observed the killer walking along Jackson Street shortly after the murder of Paul Stine. He described a man with a "lumbering gait, sort of stumbling along, like a semi-limp.' Up to the point of the Presidio Heights murder, and the sighting of the three teenagers and Donald Fouke, not one of a possible seven eyewitness recall seeing a man wearing eyeglasses.
In two instances it may not have been the Zodiac Killer, but we cannot know for sure. The Lake Berryessa sketch has, by many, been dismissed as the same man portrayed in the Presidio Heights sketch. However, the likeness may be a lot closer than you think. If the Zodiac Killer had changed his hairstyle during the intervening two weeks, and the Presidio Heights face is slightly widened to portray a man around 200 lbs, we get the following.