Western Lake Properties purchased three large ranches to create Lake of the Pines, including the Henry Pilliard spread, which was originally settled in 1860 on 1200 acres, and still had descendants running cattle on it well into the middle of the 20th century. Bulldozers carved into a natural basin of meadows and pasture land rimmed by pine forests and oak woodlands to cut out the imprint of the lake. The reservoir's dam was completed in 1966 and the 230-acre reservoir filled by April of the following year. In 1969, the Boise Cascade development company purchased the project, marketing the lots to older workers in the Bay Area and Southern California. While the developer continued construction on the common amenities, contractors were busy constructing spec houses aimed at retirees who were scaling down, and building custom vacation homes for buyers planning to use them as weekend getaways or future retirement villas. link.
On March 22nd 1971, the Zodiac Killer mailed a postcard insinuating his involvement in the disappearance and likely murder of Donna Lass in South Lake Tahoe on September 6th 1970. A newspaper report in March 1971 stated "the site depicted on the 'Pines Card' was from an advertisement published last Sunday by several newspapers. It was an artist's rendition of houses among the trees at a Boise Cascade Company project at Incline Village, where construction has just begun on the development. While much of the Sierra area is under several feet of snow, Incline Village has only two feet on the ground. Police went to the area to determine if a search is possible'. Chief Lauritzen added "There's no point to a search at this time. It's unlikely a victim would be uncovered before spring".
The body of Donna Lass was never recovered in the location of Incline Village despite an extensive search. However, the forum thread created by Cragle may have opened the door to another possibility regarding the Boise Cascade Company.
Both Lass and Hakari were nurses, abducted shortly after finishing their shift at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel and Sutter Hospital respectively. How long they were kept alive from the moment they were snatched is unknown, but the suspicious phone calls after the disappearance of Donna Lass stating she had been called out of town due to a family illness, may have served the purpose of buying time by her abductor. If the same perpetrator was responsible for both, could he have traveled Interstate 80 from Lake Tahoe to Sacramento, and therefore was familiar with forest regions spanning both. Judith Hakari's body was eventually discovered nearly two months after her disappearance (April 25th 1970) buried in a shallow grave aside Ponderosa Way. Could her killer have disposed of Donna Lass somewhere in this region?
The July 13th 1971 Monticello Card contained extremely similar pasted phrases to the March 22nd 1971 Pines Card, stating "Near Monticello Shought Victims 21 ...... In The Woods Dies April". The postcard was referring to the April 11th 1971 murder of Kathy Bilek in the Villa Montalvo woods, near the neighborhood of Monticello in San Jose. The Zodiac Killer chose Monticello for one reason alone - it sat alongside the burial location of one of his previously claimed victims, Kathy Snoozy. He had claimed her murder under the month of "Aug" in the November 8th 1969 'Dripping Pen' Card, killed in San Jose on August 3rd 1969 along with her friend Deborah Furlong. The funeral services and burial of Kathy Snoozy were held at Oak Hill Memorial Park at 300 Curtner Avenue, right next to the neighborhood of Monticello. This is why the Zodiac Killer chose "near Monticello" rather than any other location closer to Villa Montalvo. He was not only pinpointing this location to suggest he had a hand in the murder of the San Jose teenagers, but specifically chose the area by the gravesite of Kathy Snoozy because her forename was identical to that of Kathy Bilek. Not only was Kathy Bilek murdered in April, in the woods, near Monticello - but her name could be inferred in the Monticello card from the Oak Hill Memorial Park burial site of her namesake. The Pines Card may have served a similar function through the choice of Boise Cascade. It was discovered that by placing the Sierra Club phrase over the Sierra Club of Clair Tappaan Lodge (just west of Lake Tahoe), the punch-hole fell over the Donner Memorial State Park.
The Vanishing Point film, which previewed in the January of 1971, had the usual trailers, and was released to the general public on March 13th 1971, the exact mailing date of the Los Angeles letter, presumably authored by the Zodiac Killer. Here is some of the wording from the trailer: "They want to get him and put him away, but there'll have to catch him first". The author of the Los Angeles letter stated "If the Blue Meannies are evere going to catch me, they had best get off their fat asses + do something". The trailer of the film continued with a radio host from KOW reporting the chase "And there goes the Challenger being chased by the Blue, Blue Meanies on wheels". So, was the Vanishing Point trailer the inspiration for the March 13th 1971 Los Angeles letter, with its mailing date deliberately manufactured to marry up with the release date of the film? The Los Angeles letter arrived six months after the disappearance of Donna Ann Lass, who vanished close to the end of her shift at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel & Casino, never to be seen again.
The final scene in the Vanishing Point movie was filmed in Cisco, Utah, but in the film it was portrayed as Cisco, California. This is the location that the film's main character, Kowalski, met his death. Cisco, California is 11.7 miles west of Clair Tappaan Lodge, the Sierra Club identified by former detective Harvey Hines as the location depicted on the Pines Card. Cisco was 15 miles west of the Donner Memorial State Park. In another strange quirk of fate, the officer overseeing the conclusion to Kowalski's death after he ran his 1970 Dodge Challenger into the roadblock of bulldozers, was the character Deputy Collins played by Robert Donner.
The Zodiac Killer linked the Monticello Card to a victim he had previously claimed (Kathy Snoozy) by choosing the location of Monticello - so had he done the same using the location of the Boise Cascade Company developments situated at Incline Village and Lake of the Pines? The Boise Cascade development at Lake of the Pines were marketing the lots to older workers in the Bay Area, which may have come to the attention of the Zodiac Killer from the newspaper coverage - and why he ultimately chose this particular advertisement regarding Incline Village. Lake of the Pines is situated just 4.4 miles west of the burial site of Judith Hakari alongside Ponderosa Way. Was the Zodiac Killer inferring a link to another victim through this advertisement, bearing in mind he had already been linked to the Hakari murder by the newspapers - or is it just a case of finding faces in the clouds?