According to Peggy Your, the Rambler was parked in this position when she approached the Marshall Ranch and when she left circa 11.00 pm, heading back to Benicia. The next eyewitnesses to pass the turnout circa 11.05 pm, also heading to Benicia, were Frank Gasser and Robert Connelly. However, Robert Connelly stated in the police report that he "insists that the Rambler was parked on the bank. That would be on the south side. He did not see any person in the car." (see below)
When James Owen passed at approximately 11.09-11.15 pm, the Rambler was back on the east side, as described by Peggy Your, but this time it had a second vehicle alongside. If all these accounts were accurate, then the David Faraday Rambler had reversed over to the opposite bank after Peggy Your had passed the turnout, and then returned to its original position, or thereabouts, when James Owen arrived. But this time, with the second vehicle.
Benicia Police Department was only 8-10 minutes from the Lake Herman Road turnout- so if Officer Pierre Bidou had passed the crime scene and spotted no bodies on the ground, or Rambler in the turnout, what are the odds that he passed at approximately the same time as Robert Connelly, and the Rambler was on the opposite bank, as shown above. Then his headlights would not have illuminated the Rambler, even though it was in the turnout. This would have meant that Officer Pierre Bidou would have passed the turnout "only minutes from the crime scene when it actually happened." In fact, as little as 5 minutes before the murders.
The last person to pass the turnout that night was Stella Medeiros, who raced off to Benicia and reported her sighting of bodies lying in the turnout to Captain Daniel Pitta circa 11.18-11.22 pm. Therefore, if Officer Pierre Bidou had just pulled into Benicia PD and heard the "dispatch about a call of a possible shooting and victims on Lake Herman Road," we could argue that he passed the turnout approximately 8-10 minutes ago- as early as 11.08 pm. Allowing for some leeway in the timeline of both Robert Connelly and Officer Pierre Bidou, the police officer could have passed the Lake Herman Road turnout just after the Raccoon hunters somewhere between 11.08-11.12 pm, and crucially just before James Owen saw both vehicles on the east side again. When traveling to Benicia your headlights would not catch any vehicles alongside the "south bank" described by Robert Connelly. Yet he "insisted" he saw the Rambler parked there. Whereas Officer Pierre Bidou only stated "we did not see or observe anyone in that area, because it's a turn there and your headlights shine right in there as you go by" (referring to the east side).
Maybe Robert Connelly looked towards the "south bank" and Officer Pierre Bidou didn't. The officer only referred to the area where your headlights shone in, so may not have observed the Rambler on the opposite side.
Below is a photograph of the turnout in 1968- it was much wider and deeper than the visual on Google maps today- showing a vehicle approaching the turnout heading to Benicia, with the Rambler parked on the opposite bank to where it was ultimately found.
If Robert Connelly was not mistaken, and "insisted" he saw the Rambler parked here, then it's not inconceivable that Officer Pierre Bidou was also not mistaken in seeing no vehicle on the east bank, as he passed by just minutes before the murders.
They were both correct. The only difference being, that Robert Connelly may have looked to his right.
But why had the couple moved the Rambler? One possibility is that they wanted privacy, and the constant illumination of their vehicle from passing motorists was a distraction- so David Faraday maneuvered the vehicle to the opposite bank further from the road.
Peggy Your stated in the police report: "As they were driving west on Lake Herman Road at the turn off to the Benicia Water Pumping Station, she observed a Rambler station wagon parked with front end heading east, there were two Caucasians in the front seat, male and female, when the lights from the car came upon the station wagon, the male sat up in the seat. Mrs Your said it was a cold night and she noticed no frost on the station wagon"
But why, just a few minutes later, had the Rambler moved back to the east side of the turnout when James Owen passed, noticing two vehicles at this point. Maybe the Zodiac Killer had parked behind the Rambler on the "south bank" as he had done at Blue Rock Springs Park, but something changed, and David Faraday shifted position.
A brief time later, James Owen passed and stated "he saw two cars parked near the entrance to the pumping station. He stated the car parked nearest was a 1955 or 1956 station wagon, boxy type, neutral in color. The other was parked to the right and abreast of the station wagon. The cars were about ten feet apart. He stated he could not give a description of the make or color of the other car. He did not see anyone in the cars or around them. He stated as he traveled approximately one quarter of a mile beyond, he thought he heard a shot."
What happened from the Robert Connelly sighting, to when James Owen passed by, only Zodiac knows. But it appears he got lucky once again.
Therefore the statement of Officer Pierre Bidou "I was pulling into the lot in the police department, we heard the Benicia Police Department dispatch about a call of a possible shooting and victims on Lake Herman Road. My partner and I turned around at that time and responded to the call" should not be taken too literally. If Officer Bidou had passed the turnout at 11.08-11.10 pm and arrived at Benicia PD at 11.18-11.20 pm, but the radio broadcast came in at 11.22 pm or even as late as 11.25 pm, then this allows Stella Medeiros to pass the Lake Herman Road turnout at 11.18-11.21 pm, opening up the window once more. Furthermore, if James Owen passed the turnout at 11.10-11.12 pm instead of 11.14 pm, the window could widen to as much as 11 minutes. But the earlier we place James Owen at the turnout (say 11.10 pm), and Officer Pierre Bidou passed at 11.08 pm, then the Zodiac Killer only has 2 minutes to enter the turnout and 'shift' the David Faraday Rambler from the "south bank" to the east side before James Owen passes by.
If Captain Daniel Pitta's report is totally accurate, indicating his encounter with Stella Borges at 11.25 pm, then Pierre Bidou didn't immediately swing his vehicle around in the lot of Benicia Police Department- he likely pulled into Benicia Police Department, unloaded the seized marijuana and the two individuals he had arrested at The Cottage- and then received the broadcast delivered by Captain Daniel Pitta a short time later at 11.25 pm. This was ultimately condensed in the 2007 Zodiac documentary to "I was pulling into the lot in the police department, we heard the Benicia Police Department dispatch about a call of a possible shooting and victims on Lake Herman Road. My partner and I turned around at that time and responded to the call."
This is an incredibly difficult timeline to negotiate.