If my contention is correct, and the four purported Zodiac communications from 1974 were actually mailed by the Symbionese Liberation Army, then there is a reasonable argument to be made, that this is the fifth - and may explain the four year delay between the disappearance of Donna Lass from the Sahara Tahoe Casino and the mailing of this cryptic communication. The height of Symbionese Liberation Army activity was in 1974.
We also have to question why this card was mailed from San Mateo or Santa Clara County to South Dakota rather than the Chronicle newspaper. It could be perceived as a sick ploy to upset the family of Donna Lass - although this could have just as easily been achieved by directing the correspondence through a newspaper outlet with greater publicity. After four years since the disappearance, one can't help thinking that the area the card was mailed to, had some significance regarding the Symbionese Liberation Army. The Symbionese Liberation Army targeted individuals in their communications, something the Zodiac Killer never did through his four confirmed canonical attacks. So let us take a look at three of the four alleged 1974 Zodiac correspondence to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Prior to the March 13th 1971 Los Angeles letter, every Zodiac communication was mailed from San Francisco. The January 29th 1974 Exorcist letter was postmarked 940 from either San Mateo County or Santa Clara County. The December 27th 1974 Mary Pilker Christmas card was postmarked 940 from either San Mateo County or Santa Clara County. William Peter Blatty, allegedly retired to a remote and rented chalet in woodland off Lake Tahoe, and wrote The Exorcist, a story about a twelve-year-old girl being possessed by a powerful demon.
The Badlands card was postmarked Alameda County and mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle on May 8th 1974. It stated "Sirs -- I would like to expression myconsternt (crossed out) consternation concerning your poor taste + lack of sympathy for the public, as evidenced by your running of the ads for the movie "Badlands", featuring the blurb: "In 1959 most people were killing time. Kit + Holly were killing people." In light of recent events, this kind of murder-glorification can only be deplorable at best (not that glorification of violence was ever justifiable) why don't you show some concern for public sensibilities + cut the ad? A citizen".
But why would the Symbionese Liberation Army choose this particular movie to highlight their consternation at the running of advertisements? Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia detailing the plot of the Badlands movie:
South Dakota; 1959. 15-year-old Holly Sargis is a teenage girl living in a dead-end town called Fort Dupree. She lives with her sign painter father, although their relationship has been strained since her mother died of pneumonia some years earlier. One day Holly meets a 25-year-old garbage collector named Kit Carruthers. Kit is a young, troubled greaser and Korean War veteran, who resembles James Dean, an actor Holly admires. Kit charms Holly, and she slowly falls in love with him. As Holly falls deeper in love for Kit, his violent and anti-social tendencies start to slowly reveal themselves. Holly's father disapproves of Holly and Kit's relationship, and shoots her dog as a punishment for spending time with him. Kit then comes to Holly's house and shoots her father dead. The couple fakes suicide by burning down the house and go on the run together, making their way towards the badlands of Montana.
The movie was based upon the real life events of Charles Raymond Starkweather (20) and his girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate (14). They were a pair of spree killers who embarked on a two month rampage, killing 10 people in total, including her entire family in the area of Nebraska and Wyoming back in 1958, before they were finally captured. Charles Raymond Starkweather was sentenced to death and executed in the electric chair at Nebraska State Penitentiary on June 25th 1959, while Caril Ann Fugate received a life sentence but was ultimately paroled after seventeen years,.in the June of 1976. Caril Ann Fugate lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, with her mother and stepfather. In 1956, at age 13, she formed a relationship with Charles Starkweather, a high school dropout five years her senior. However, the film was mentioned in the purported "Zodiac" card (not the real events), which featured an impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend, who embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands. IMDB.
On November 6, 1973, in Oakland, California, two members of the SLA killed school superintendent Marcus Foster and badly wounded his deputy, Robert Blackburn, as the two men left an Oakland school board meeting. The hollow-point bullets used to kill Foster had been packed with cyanide. The SLA had condemned Foster for his plan to introduce identification cards into Oakland schools, calling him "fascist". In fact, Foster had opposed the use of identification cards in his schools, and his plan was a watered-down version of other similar proposals. On January 10, 1974, Joseph Remiro and Russell Little were arrested and charged with Foster's murder, and initially both men were convicted of murder. Both men received sentences of life imprisonment. Seven years later, on June 5, 1981, Little's conviction was overturned by the California Court of Appeal, and he was later acquitted in a retrial in Monterey County. Remiro remains incarcerated in San Quentin State Prison serving his life sentence. Wikipedia. Joseph Remiro's commitment to fighting the United States government led him to the Wounded Knee, South Dakota battleground on the Sioux reservation in April 1973. While there he assisted by running ammunition from bunker to bunker during firefights. He also became a member of Venceremos, a Maoist action oriented Bay Area organization which had a tremendous influence upon the future SLA. link.
The image on the right is seven-headed SLA hydra-like cobra symbol based on the seven principles of Kwanzaa, each head representing a principle. The Swahili words for these seven principles are: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith). The appearance of the symbol of the seven-headed cobra on SLA publications indicates that it was copied from the ancient Sri Lankan and Indian seven-headed nāga; carved stones depicting a seven-headed cobra are commonly found near the sluices of the ancient irrigation tanks in Sri Lanka and are believed to have been placed there as guardians of the water. The particular graphic of the seven-headed cobra used by the SLA may have been copied from an illustration in The Lost Continent of Mu by James Churchward. Wikipedia. Had the Symbionese Liberation Army shifted guardians of the water to guardian of the Pines?
Wounded Knee Creek is a tribunal of the White River, approximately 100 miles (160 km) long, in Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota in the United States. Its Lakota name is Čhaŋkpé Ópi Wakpála..The creek's name recalls an incident when an American sustained an injury to his knee during a fight. The creek rises in the southwestern corner of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, along the state line with Nebraska, and flows northwest. It borders the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre, in which the 7th US Cavalry under Colonel James W. Forsyth massacred approximately 300 Sioux, mostly women and children, many unarmed. Towns in this region include Wounded Knee and Manderson. The Wounded Knee Creek flows NNW across the reservation and joins the White south of Badlands National Park. But as already stated, the Wounded Knee incident began on February 27, 1973, when approximately 200 Oglala Lakota and followers of the American Indian Movement (AIM) seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The protest followed the failure of an effort of the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization (OSCRO) to impeach tribal president Richard Wilson, whom they accused of corruption and abuse of opponents. Additionally, protesters criticized the United States government's failure to fulfill treaties with Native American people and demanded the reopening of treaty negotiations. Oglala and AIM activists controlled the town for 71 days while the United States Marshals Service, FBI agents, and other law enforcement agencies cordoned off the area. The activists chose the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre for its symbolic value. Wilson stayed in office and in 1974 was re-elected amid charges of intimidation, voter fraud, and other abuses. The rate of violence climbed on the reservation as conflict opened between political factions in the following three years; residents accused Wilson's private militia, Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOONs), of much of it. More than 60 opponents of the tribal government died violently during those years, including Pedro Bissonette, director of the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization (OSCRO). Wikipedia.
The links are there to South Dakota, Sioux, Pines, guardians, Joseph Remiro and the Symbionese Liberation Army, but where is the connection to Donna Lass? We already have St. Donna, however, we don't have the surname Lass. Leonard Peltier is known in his native country of Great Turtle Island as Gwarth-ee-lass - "He Leads the People." Also known among his Sioux brethren as Tate Wikuwa - "Wind Chases the Sun." Also known as U.S. Prisoner #89637-132. Worldcat.org.
Through the actions of Joseph Remiro, the author of the Mary Pilker Christmas card may have been alluding to the defense of Wounded Knee by a Symbionese Liberation Army member, from the "guardian of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation" to the "guardian of the Pines" - and concealing lass within its obscure meaning. However, the connections made in this article are an example of the lengths we can go to in the Zodiac community to forge a link that in all likelihood doesn't exist.