She had left her friend's house, situated on Halper Road in the early evening hours and it was in the region of the 12700 blocks of Poway, 100 yards from the Carriage Road intersection that her life was cruelly snatched away by fatal stab wounds to her chest. See area on Google Maps. Nikki Benedict was discovered alive at approximately 6:30 pm by a local boy Ronald Fisk (11), who raced to get help on his bicycle to his fathers shop nearby. Bob Fisk ran a butchers store in Poway throughout the 1960s and 70s.
Nikki Benedict was rushed to Palomar Medical Center but sadly died shortly after her arrival. Recent developments have sparked some new interest in the case, brought to the attention of investigators by a long standing resident of Poway.
The knife used in the murder was shown to residents in the local area back in 1968 - and it is the memories of one particular 54-year-old man, that has now become the focus of this new lead. This case has also drawn interest from the Zodiac Killer perspective in respect to the Bay Area murderer's communications to the newspapers during a five year period from 1969 to 1974. But in particular, a letter he mailed to the Los Angeles Times.
Nikki Benedict was born on March 13th 1953. Exactly 18 years later the Zodiac Killer gave us his latest offering, simply known as the 'Los Angeles Letter', received on March 13th 1971. In this correspondence he stated "I do have to give them credit for stumbling across my riverside activity, but they are only finding the easy ones, there are a hell of a lot more down there".
Riverside, California was the location of the murder of Cheri Jo Bates on October 30th 1966, situated 80 miles north of Carriage Road, Poway. Google Maps.
However, there is little to link the two cases other than a vague suggestion by the Zodiac Killer that there was a "lot more down there". On the face of it, this appears to be an unlikely Zodiac connection, but all avenues must be explored for the sake of the family and friends of Nikki Benedict, who surely after 47 years of questions deserve some form of resolution to her cruel murder.
Another case predating the 'Los Angeles Letter' on March 13th 1971, was that of Larry Hargis, a 27-year-old Yellow Cab driver, murdered on June 25th 1970, just over eight months after the callous slaying of Paul Stine who was gunned down by a single shot to his head in Presidio Heights on October 11th 1969. Larry Hargis had informed the taxicab company dispatcher of a client asking to be driven to the Spring Valley area from downtown San Diego, California. San Diego is situated near the coast in Southern California, about a two-hour drive south of Los Angeles and Riverside County, but only a 30 minutes drive from the crime scene of Nikki Benedict in Poway. See here on Google Maps. The words to the dispatcher in the early hours of the 25th June, unfortunately were the last spoken by taxicab driver Larry Hargis; whose body was later discovered in a field near Galopago Street. He had been shot and his wallet had been taken. His taxicab, presumably commandeered by the murderer(s), was later discovered abandoned in downtown San Diego, approximately 20 minutes traveling time from the murder scene.
No suspect or suspects have ever been identified and the case remains unsolved to this day.
Any information regarding either of these cases, please contact the San Diego Homicide Detail by visiting their website below.