Much has been discussed regarding the mysterious phone calls received at the 1300 Virginia Street residence of Darlene Ferrin, and the 930 Monterey Street residence of Mr Arthur J Ferrin and Mrs Mildred Ferrin at approximately 01.30 am on the morning of July 5th 1969, just one and a half hours after the murder of Darlene Ferrin and attempted murder of Michael Mageau at Blue Rock Springs. It must be stressed that Darlene Ferrin had been alternatively listed as living at 930 Monterey, Vallejo on page 5 of the police report.
But how much of this makes sense and is it totally accurate. Here are the extracts regarding the phone calls that morning:
Page 19 of the police report "Stated that Darlene and her sister Christina Suennen WFJ 15 years. had been at Mr Ferrin's (Dean) place of employment Caesar's in the 300 Block of Tennessee Street at approximately 10.30 pm and at this time Darlene left, stating that she was going to take Christina home, then go home herself to 1300 Virginia Street. Take her babysitter home, and return home herself. Stated that at approximately 11.30 pm Bill Lee (Dean's employer at Caesar's) called Darlene to ask her if she would try to find a fireworks booth open, and to purchase some as they were going to have a party at 1300 Virginia Street after they closed Caesar's and had decided to have some fireworks at that time. She stated she would try to find one and hung up. Stated that this was the last any of them heard from her. Stated that after they arrived at 1300 Virginia Street and waiting for Darlene that there was two phone calls where there was no answer on the other end." There is no reference here to the time these two phone calls were received. These statements were given in the immediate aftermath of the murder, in the early hours of July 5th 1969.
Page 23 of the police report " Mr Arthur J Ferrin and Mrs Mildred Ferrin 930 Monterey Street came to the station and reported that shortly after 01.30 am on 07/05/69 their telephone rang and the party on the other end of the line said nothing but they could hear deep breathing and they were sure someone was there." There are two things to note about this statement. The statement was given at 3.35 pm on July 7th 1969, two and a half days after they had received the mysterious phone call, and it appears as if the time of the phone call on the police report has been amended. So, were all the phone calls delivered at approximately 01.30 am, or were they all made at a completely different time during the morning hours.
If the Zodiac Killer lived on the south side of the payphone, knew or lived close to Darlene Ferrin on Virginia Street, then his walking time to the payphone would be exactly 10 minutes. Once he had finished his call with Nancy Slover he would then likely have returned home at approximately 12.50-12.55 am. We don't know if the mysterious phone calls to the Ferrin family were from the Zodiac Killer, but had he returned from the public payphone at just before 01.00 am, he now has the opportunity to make these calls from the comfort of his own home. Did the Zodiac Killer make the phone call to police from a payphone fearing he could have been traced, but made the calls to the Ferrin family with no such reservations. It would seem rather foolhardy even by Zodiac's standards to reel off multiple calls that evening from payphones, with the police now in full investigative mode. If he did call the Ferrin family, one could argue he placed these additional calls shortly after arriving back at his residence, sometime between 12.50-01.00 am.
She stated they arrived at 1300 Virginia Street at around midnight and the mysterious calls came in "an hour or so later." This is an approximation, so a reasonable estimate could be anywhere from 12.50 am to 01.10 am (with a 10 minute leeway either side), tying in with the Zodiac Killer after returning from the Springs and Tuolumne payphone, sometime around 12.55 pm.
More telling is the assertion that they "told the officers it was that same time (that of Zodiac's call) that we had received the call at Darlene's house." Does this actually open up the possibility that the Zodiac Killer made the call to police dispatcher Nancy Slover and the Ferrin family from the same payphone at around 12.40 am, and "an hour or so later" was really 40 minutes. Or did they arrive at 1300 Virginia Street shortly before midnight, bringing this statement somewhat back into line.
The only argument in favor of the 01.30 am phone calls in the above two pages of the police report are the recollections of Mr Arthur J Ferrin and Mrs Mildred Ferrin, two and a half days after the fact. Did they really clock the time correctly when the call came in, or was it just another estimation that may be slightly incorrect.
Footnote: In the interest of fairness, although the origin of Robert Graysmith's information is unknown, in his book Zodiac Unmasked he stated "Fifty minutes later, four phone calls were placed through the operator from a booth at Broadway and Nebraska." Arthur Leigh Allen had worked at a gas station at Tuolumne and Nebraska 3 months before Blue Rock Springs attack. Broadway and Nebraska is an approximate walking distance of 20-25 minutes from the Springs and Tuolumne payphone. A murderer living somewhere between or equidistant to these locations has the opportunity to make the phone calls to police dispatcher Nancy Slover and the Ferrin family. However, verifying the Broadway and Nebraska site as the origin of the calls to the Ferrin family, or that the Zodiac Killer made any of them on July 5th 1969, is an altogether more difficult task.