The Zodiac Killer made a conscious decision to paste the wording "around in the snow" upside down, so one would like to think this has a purpose, in the form of a clue. Maybe if we had righted the postcard by inverting it through 180 degrees, the burial or deposition site of Donna would have become clearer. In other words, turn the postcard upside down to reveal where the killer placed the body. This now places the punch-hole west of the pasted "Sierra Club".
Let us imagine that the murderer of Donna Lass (whether Zodiiac or not) was the creator of the Pines card. Why would the person who created this postcard place "Sierra Club" on the postcard if it had no meaning or specificity? One would like to think it had a purpose. If the murderer had passed the "lake tahoe areas" on the west side of the lake, he may have opted to take the Donner Pass Road, rather than a major route such as Interstate 80 with Donna Lass (either dead or alive) inside his vehicle. This route would have taken him directly past the signage for the Clair Tappaan Lodge Sierra Club en route to the Camp Spaulding area, to either murder the young nurse, or dispose of her remains. If we assume (like many have) that the punch-hole in the Pines postcard was her burial site or the location of her remains, then it would be important for the murderer to provide us with something relative to this location on the postcard, so we could work out her final resting place. The Sierra Club of Clair Tappaan Lodge may have been his choice. But why not any other landmark or place name en route to the Camp Spaulding area?
Most are fairly confident that the designer of the Pines postcard acquired the "Forest Pines at Incline" advertisement from either the San Francisco Chronicle or San Francisco Examiner newspaper on March 19th 1971, because these have used a capital "P" in "Peek". If the Pines card creator was also the murderer - and he knew the route he took the day he drove Donna Lass to the Camp Spaulding area - then the only way he can give us a clue to Donna's location, is to search the newspapers for something relevant to the route he traveled. So, I further examined the San Francisco Examiner on March 19th 1971, that the killer may have read.
BIG NEWS IN THE DONNA LASS CASE- ZODIAC SPEAKING PODCAST
Based upon the measurements of the San Francisco Examiner's pages, I calculated that the "Sierra Club" headline measured about 1.65 inches in width, which was the same as the "Sierra Club" pasted on the Pines postcard. If the murderer had been reading this newspaper through its main pages on March 19th 1971, he could easily have chosen to cut out the "Sierra Club" on page 9 to represent the Clair Tappaan Lodge that he drove past en route to the Camp Spaulding area, The mention of "Sierra Club" in the newspaper may have been the closest thing he could find to represent something about the route he traveled that day. It would also provide the viewer of the Pines postcard with something relative to his burial or deposition site.
The distance between the pasted "Sierra Club" and the center of the punch-hole is 2.39 inches, so using the standard width of a US postcard (5.8 inches) and the Mount Diablo map scale of 6.4 miles to the inch, I was able to calculate that the distance in miles between the pasted "Sierra Club" and the center of the punch-hole was 15.3 miles (2.39 X 6.4). When I measured the distance on Google maps between Clair Tappaan Lodge and Camp Spaulding, it was exactly the same - 15.3 miles by crow. If my interpretation of the Pines postcard is correct, its designer was the killer of Donna Lass. If my interpretation is wrong, then we are back to square one.
What we do know for certain is that the author of the Pines postcard pated "pass Lake Tahoe areas" onto the advertisement, and the remains of Donna Lass were found near Camp Spaulding (or in the close vicinity). So anyone transporting Donna Lass via the east or west side of Lake Tahoe would have to head due west after they reached the north side of the lake to reach the Camp Spaulding area. This would take them right past the Sierra Club of Clair Tappaan Lodge on Donner Pass Road, if this was the route chosen. If they took Interstate 80, then they would have passed approximately one mile north of Clair Tappaan Lodge. Either way, the route chosen by the killer to reach Camp Spaulding (and Yuba Gap) had a "Sierra Club" close to his direction of travel (or on the road itself). So was the decision to paste "Sierra Club" onto the Pines postcard just a lucky guess by somebody unconnected to the murder? And why did the author of the Pines postcard choose to use a "Forest Pines at Incline" advertisement?
If the murderer of Donna Lass is going to give us clues to her burial or deposition site, then he has to give us a beginning or reference point from which to work with. This reference point could have been the "Forest Pines at Incline" site by Juanita Drive. The second important reference point was the pasted "Sierra Club", with Clair Tappaan Lodge "Sierra Club" located 22 miles due west To arrive at Clair Tappaan Lodge "Sierra Club" we have to travel from Incline Village and "pass the Lake Tahoe areas" on its northern side by driving west. The third reference point is the punch-hole, that many believe would reveal the location of her remains. Irrespective of inverting the postcard, or measuring distances on its face, if we started our journey at Incline Village, passed the Lake Tahoe areas and headed towards the Clair Tappaan Lodge "Sierra Club", we would be driving westward in the direction of Camp Spaulding (or Yuba Gap), which is 15.3 miles from Clair Tappaan Lodge. Donna Lass could have been discarded by her killer anywhere in California, Nevada, or a myriad of other locations - yet despite this - the author of the Pines postcard took us to the northern edge of the lake at Incline Village and instructed us to "pass the Lake Tahoe areas" on a heading west towards Clair Tappaan Lodge (and possibly beyond). Could somebody with no knowledge of the murder of Donna Lass have set us on this trajectory by chance, when so many other disposal options were available?
FOLLOW UP ARTICLE: TWO POSTCARDS, TWO BURIAL SITES?