Below are the sketchy details of an incident that bears hallmarks of the Cheri Jo Bates murder case, around a similar timeline.
Sometime around the autumn months of 1968, approximately two years after the brutal slaying of Cheri Jo Bates outside the Riverside City College library on October 30th 1966, a strange incident occurred at Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, California, that bore similar traits of the Zodiac Killer. However, one has to keep in mind that the Zodiac Killer has never been definitively linked to either this crime or indeed the Cheri Jo Bates murder.
It has been noted that the Zodiac and cars seem to go hand in glove when it comes to the nature of his crimes.
In the latter half of 1968, two girls were offered a lift by a brown-haired man, estimated at 30-40 years of age, in Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, yet they made it perfectly clear that his offer was not required, gesturing to their Volkswagen parked up on the nearby avenue. They then proceeded to a local snack bar where they remained for approximately 45 minutes. After leaving the snack bar they headed back to their vehicle, but were unable to start the Volkswagen, when the man they had encountered earlier promptly appeared to offer his assistance once more.
The man helped the girls push the vehicle along the road, when a second man came along to assist in their plight, but this only seemed to infuriate the initial 'good Samaritan', who then, apparently annoyed by a perceived intrusion, got back in his car and made a hasty exit from the scene.
Some time later it was discovered that their car had been tampered with - the distributor cap having been torn from the engine, similar in fashion to the Cheri Jo Bates murder case.
The Zodiac Killer appeared slighted when his letters never received front page coverage, or the attention he so clearly craved as an individual, and this surfaced throughout his correspondence with the police and newspapers on many occasions.
Did this apparent rejection surface again four years later on April 7th 1972, when a further offer of assistance was once again spurned.
Isobel Watson (33) was knocked over by a mystery man, who then offered to make amends by offering her a lift home. But when his gesture was rebuffed he flew into a rage, stabbing her in the neck and shoulder before making a hasty retreat. See Tamalpais Valley Attack.
These three occurrences may have vague similarities, however, we need so much more than speculation as our search for Northern California's most elusive killer closes in on its 45th year.
Thanks to Morf 13 at http://www.zodiackillersite.com/