Morf13 (Mike Morford) from the Zodiac Killer Site Forum did an excellent timeline of the events that night, in particular the contradictions exhibited by James Owen. On the morning of December 21st 1968, less than ten hours after the murders James Owen gave a statement, indicating that he saw two cars alongside each other in the gravel turnout 10 feet apart, yet despite the gravity of such a major event, as Morf13 alluded, "likely with chalk outlines on the ground, he failed to mention hearing any shots 9 hours before, when he passed the scene, yet 3 days later on the 24th, Owen suddenly mentions that he heard a shot after he passed the scene, about a quarter mile up the road. Personally, I find it highly unusual that a witness would leave out a detail like that only 9 hours after the crime when it was fresh in his mind, especially a retired military guy like him who you would expect to be more detail oriented". This omission only to be added on 24th December 1968, having now possibly read the newspapers and headlines surrounding the high profile murders, could now be perceived as embellishment, increasing his profile as a major eyewitness. The distance between both cars in the turnout had also closed to 3-4 feet. Before passing the Lake Herman Road that night it he approximated he left his house in Vallejo at about 11.00 pm, but his clock was six minutes fast, so this was revised to 10.54 pm, placing him at the turnout at 11.14 pm. He saw two vehicles, nobody in either and no victims lying on the turnout. Stella Borges passed the turnout at 11.20 pm, saw only the Rambler and the stricken victims, hence the window of 6 minutes.
It is believed that Betty Lou Jensen exited the passenger side of the Rambler first, followed by David Faraday. The young man was shot first, behind his left ear, described as a close contact wound, with powder burns present by his left ear at autopsy, it is then thought that Betty Lou Jensen fled across the turnout almost immediately, before succumbing to five shots to her back. But this timeline presents a problem. The close contact shot inflicted on David Faraday would act as a suppressor, trapping the propellant gases under the skin, thereby muffling the sound, so if this is the shot James Owen heard, why did he not hear the almost immediate and subsequent five unmuffled shots aimed at Betty Lou Jensen. This also eliminates the possibility of the shot he heard being the first one inflicted on Betty Lou Jensen, as James Owen would have likely heard five, as the shots were tightly grouped.
Had the Zodiac Killer shot the couple immediately after they exited the car, how could James Owen have seen two vehicles with nobody in or around them. They must have still been alive at this point, but hidden from view. James Owen made the statement on December 21st 1968, referring to the car parked nearest to the road as 'a 1955 or 1956 station wagon, boxy type, neutral color'. Is this possible, without seeing the occupants, especially considering the other eyewitnesses clearly state that they saw the couple in their Rambler, even describing what they were doing.
We have come to believe the Zodiac Killer was right handed and the detail in the police report appears to back this up.
Taking ourselves back a few moments to the possibility the Zodiac Killer had hidden the couple from view between the two cars, we see that although the chalk line of David Faraday is facing south, his body, the majority of the bullet casings and the final resting place of Betty Lou Jensen are lined on the east-west axis, suggesting that once David Faraday was shot, the Zodiac Killer stood still and fired at Betty Lou Jensen as she ran westwards.
It also seemed unnecessary to ever have placed himself so close to David Faraday by choice, considering this was supposed to be Zodiac's first murders, thereby inflicting a contact wound behind his left ear. The obvious choice is to remain at a safe distance, that he exhibited at Blue Rock Springs, Lake Berryessa and the blind shooting at Presidio Heights, where Paul Stine was oblivious to the attack until it was too late. Had the Zodiac Killer, being right-handed, grabbed David Faraday from behind and placed the gun to his head, the wound would be on Faraday's right ear, not left. This would suggest they were face to face at the time the gun discharged its deadly contents. David Faraday would then naturally try to grab the gun with his left hand and as the Zodiac forced the gun towards David Faraday's head, the class ring was dislodged from his ring finger. In the brief struggle Zodiac's free hand strikes the right side of David Faraday's face, accounting for the swelling on his right cheek, however he was eventually overpowered and fell to the gravel turnout. Of course any impact with the ground may also be responsible for the swelling, but either way, this melee was brief and from the moment the couple stood up, to the shot to David Faraday's head was as little as 30 seconds, the shot James Owen may have heard. At this point the Zodiac Killer's preconceived plans changed. Betty Lou Jensen having little time to react, maybe frozen by fear, now came into focus and after either a short dialogue or taunt was ordered to run, James Owen was now further along Lake Herman Road and the next five shots were beyond audible range. However if the second statement of James Owen is incorrect, then the events of the Lake Herman Road double murder would be thrown wide open once again.