A short distance from the crime scene (0.3 miles), a gas station attendant recalled seeing a white Cadillac racing down Oak Street and entering Divisadero Street. Officer Radetich's murder shocked the local community, as he left behind a wife, Nancy, and his eight-month-old daughter Janine. Seven days later, a letter from the Zodiac Killer arrived at the San Francisco Chronicle that suggested that he may have been the responsible - stating that he "shot a man sitting in a parked car with a .38". But was the Zodiac Killer the murderer or was it an attempt to lay claim to somebody else's crime?
Two violent groups operating in the early 70s needed little prompting to come forward and admit their crimes, despite this however, neither the 'Black Liberation Army' or the 'Weather Underground' ever admitted any involvement in the Richard Radetich murder. As with this case, the Zodiac appeared extremely lucky to seemingly always lay claim to crimes that were never solved - or he was indeed was the murderer of Richard Radetich.
On April 20th 1970, two months before this murder, the Zodiac Killer mailed his '13 Symbol' cipher to the San Francisco Chronicle and proclaimed "I hope you do not think that I was the one who wiped out that blue meannie with a bomb at the cop station. Even though I talked about killing school children with one. It just wouldn't doo to move in on someone else's teritory. But there is more glory in killing a cop than a cid because a cop can shoot back. I have killed ten people to date. It would have been a lot more except that my bus bomb was a dud. I was swamped out by the rain we had a while back". The Zodiac Killer was referencing the murder of Sgt Brian McDonnell (44) on February 16th 1970, who was killed by a bomb packed with fence staples, planted on the window ledge of the 1899 Waller Street Park Police Station in Upper Haight, San Francisco. It seemed strange that the Zodiac Killer would deny this murder, stating "It just wouldn't doo to move in on someone else's teritory"- because this murder took place in Upper Haight, less than 2 miles from the Richard Radetich murder in Lower Haight, to which he was intimating a link.
The Zodiac Killer wrote on the face of the card "I hope you enjoy yourselves when I have my Blast". Was this postcard chosen for a specific reason - a case of Zodiac rubbing salt into the wounds of the San Francisco Police Department by bringing up the suggestion of another impending bomb. The 1899 Waller Street Police Station and location of the murder of Sgt Brian McDonnell is situated on the boundary of the San Francisco Golden Gate Park and in close proximity to the memorial statue of Miguel de Cervantes, featuring Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. So, was this card really just a random choice, or was the Zodiac Killer simply 'needling the blue pigs' with the threat of another blast in that location.
Furthermore, standing outside the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, just opposite the Miguel de Cervantes statue, is a memorial to Robert Emmet, an Irish nationalist. Robert Emmet the hippie was suggested as a solution to the indecipherable 18 characters at the foot of the Zodiac 408 cipher.
Then came the 'Button' letter on June 26th 1970, hinting at the murder of Richard Radetich, despite earlier protestations it wouldn't do to move in on somebody else's territory. The murders in Upper and Lower Haight, and the Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra statue, mentioned in these three correspondences by the Zodiac Killer, are all contained within a 2 mile radius.
Shortly after the murder of Richard Radetich a white Cadillac was spotted speeding north on Divisadero Street from Oak Street. In a previous article it was reasoned that the Zodiac Killer shortly after the murder of Paul Stine, entered the Presidio Park and made his escape eastwards into the Cow Hollow region. A murderer heading northbound on Divisadero Street is on a direct collision course with the Cow Hollow region. Divisadero Street terminates at Marina Boulevard on San Francisco's northern edge.
On July 24th 1970, the Zodiac Killer would claim his involvement in the abduction of Kathleen Johns just west of Modesto, California - a crime that has also gone unsolved - despite the claims of Kathleen Johns it was indeed the Zodiac Killer. The contradictions and connections between the '13 Symbol' cipher, 'Dragon' card and 'Button' letter are there for all to see - but did the Zodiac Killer ever take the unlikely step from 'needling the blue pigs' to killing them?