As stated before, a serial killer usually starts his crimes close to home before venturing further afield, and although most letters were mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle, the traveling time and apparent knowledge of the infrequently used Lake Herman Road seemed to suggest our killer lived nearby and may have worked in San Francisco. But by examining the Blue Rock Springs Park attack in closer detail and following the timeline, it may take us closer to the killer's doorstep.
If we believe these were his first two serious crimes, involving murder, then his first instinct after each crime must surely be to head straight home to reduce the burden of carrying the 'smoking gun', and remove any incriminating evidence, particularly after the close contact murder of David Faraday in the Lake Herman Road turnout. Of course, other options exist. After the Blue Rock Springs attack he may have traveled westwards towards Vallejo, but this presents a problem and possibly a conflict of interests. Why would the killer, realizing that shots may have been reported in the location of Blue Rock Springs, head into a region where there is a greater likelihood that responding officers would have been approaching from, including Ed Rust, who was patrolling in downtown Vallejo? The safer option would surely be to head down a quiet, dark road on the eastern fringes of Vallejo and Benicia in relative anonymity, and again, in the same direction he headed after the December 20th 1968 double murder. Had the killer lived in the Vallejo region, then of course he may have turned right, headed home, disposed of the 'smoking gun' and returned back to the payphone, accounting for the 40 minutes of time between the attack and payphone call.. But if this were the case, why didn't the killer head towards this region after the Lake Herman Road attack, rather than away from it, further from home. If the time delay of Stella Medeiros and James Owen passing the Lake Herman Road turnout was greater than the one widely touted, then this assumption may be weakened, allowing the Zodiac to head toward Vallejo without having to pass Stella Medeiros en route.
The Zodiac Killer in his correspondence mentions Vallejo several times, including the July 31st letters, the 'Debut of Zodiac' letter (three times), 'Bus Bomb' letter and disputed 'Fairfield' letter, but despite the first murders being committed in Benicia, he seemed reluctant to ever mention this area, instead, forcing home the Vallejo connection. If he mailed his letters away from his doorstep in San Francisco, why the over emphasis on Vallejo, along with placing a phone call using a Vallejo payphone? Was this designed to center the focus towards the Vallejo area, and in particular the region around the payphone?
This topic has been covered before in 'East to Benicia' and 'Springs and Tuolumne', but this time we try to narrow down the Zodiac Killer's exact route after the Blue Rock Springs attack with a little more detail.
The easiest and quickest way to the intersection of Springs Road and Tuolumne, would be to join Intestate 80, before exiting somewhere by Solano Avenue. The Zodiac Killer then only had to spend as little as four minutes on the minor roads of Vallejo (not including the placement of the phone call), thereby reducing the risk of detection and giving him as little as two minutes immediate access to a main highway to make good his escape back to Benicia.
The phone call from Vallejo and the dialogue in his letters, such as: "In answer to your asking for more details about the good times I have had in Vallejo',.... 'I did not leave the cene of the killing with squealing tires + raceing engine as described in the Vallejo paper'.....'I was in this phone booth having some fun with the Vallejo cop' and "Ask the Vallejo cop about my electric gun sight which I used to start my collecting of slaves", may have all been designed to point us in this direction, when in actual fact, he lived in Benicia all along.