The 'Dripping Pen Card and 340 Cipher' was mailed on November 8th 1969 and on the card he wrote "Des, July, Aug, Sept, Oct = 7". This of course is the exact chronological order of his known crimes, with the exception of August, which is believed to be referring to the Snoozy/Furlong murders of August 3rd 1969. This also may be the best evidence, although not conclusive, to his admission of the Lake Berryessa attack on September 27th 1969. However, December, July, September and October claimed 5 lives. So discounting August and the Snoozy/Furlong murders for now, where is the sixth. It is certainly nothing new to suggest that October, may not only be claiming the Paul Stine murder, but the unsolved murder of Cheri Jo Bates on October 30th 1966, but doing so retrospectively.
But what is more important, are the seemingly innocuous lines of text the Zodiac wrote on the card, namely "I thought you would need a good laugh before you get the bad news, you won't get the news for a while yet."
The Zodiac Killer is suggesting there is bad news, but it will not surface for a while. It has already happened, but may take time to come out. But apparently nothing did surface, because bearing in mind the 'Melvin Belli' letter on December 20th 1969, claiming the Zodiac was in search of a 'ninth and possible tenth victim', number eight had not yet surfaced. However, the Zodiac may have been correct when he said "you won't get the news for a while yet." It may have actually taken a full year to receive the news. The news being the link between the Zodiac and the Riverside murder of Cheri Jo Bates, revealed by Paul Avery in the San Francisco Chronicle article 'New Evidence in Zodiac Killings-A link to murder in Riverside' published on November 16th 1970.
It seems on the face of it a stretch to connect a November 8th 1969 card and an article published by Paul Avery on November 16th 1970, until we realize that the connection between Zodiac and the Riverside murder was not discovered by Paul Avery, only reported by him.
The earliest documented connection was made a year earlier in a memorandum mailed from Riverside to Napa County on October 20th 1969, after a phone call days earlier between Chief of Police Thomas Kinkead and Sheriff of Napa County Earl Randol. The letter from Kinkead detailed the similarities between the cases and intimated that the information may assist investigators in the Bay Area.
"It might be worthwhile to note that just outside the city limits of Riverside is located March Air Force Base, a SAC base. Physical evidence found at the scene of our crime indicated that heel prints found near the body were made by a heel that was manufactured for military and other government agencies, including prisons.
We were able to lift some latent fingerprints from the victim's vehicle. These prints were not identified. Our unidentified prints are on file with the FBI under the FBI file No 32-27195, Latent case No 73096. Copies of the latent lifts from your homicide were obtained from CII and sent to the FBI for comparison with the latent lifts in our investigation."
This correspondence was dated October 20th 1969. Nineteen days later the Zodiac Killer mailed the 'Dripping Pen Card and 340 Cipher' on November 8th 1969, listing possibly six victims we now know of, and declaring "I thought you would need a good laugh before you get the bad news, you won't get the news for a while yet."
Was the Zodiac Killer privy to this breaking news, something he knew would soon hit the headlines. Is it conceivable he worked in law enforcement or an agency closely linked to the unsolved murders. Does the 340 cipher contain any reference to the Riverside crime, or does the hint come the following day with the 'Bus Bomb' letter mailed on November 9th 1969, when the Zodiac opened with the line; "This is the Zodiac speaking up to the end of Oct I have killed 7 people."
Cheri Jo Bates was murdered at the back end of October, on the 30th of the month, nineteen days further into this month than Paul Stine. Was the wording on the 'Bus Bomb' letter chosen for a reason.
Confession Letter, November 29th 1966- "But only one thing was on my mind, Making her pay for all the brush off's that she had given me during the years prior."
Dripping Pen Card, November 8th 1969- "I get awfully lonely when I am ignored, so lonely I could do my thing."
The two phrases combined- "But only one thing was on my mind, Making her pay for all the brush off's that she had given me during the years prior. I get awfully lonely when I am ignored, so lonely I could do my thing."