From Pier 64 Paul Stine collected his last paying fare, a stark reality about to be realized by the waving hand of a lone male in the theater district of San Francisco, in all likelihood a chance encounter, but nevertheless one that was about to turn deadly. Approximately 13 minutes later Paul Stine was to become the fifth victim of a merciless killer and although unknown at the time, two days later the uncomfortable truth was about to be realized at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Many questions have arose since that fateful day. Was the brief encounter of a white male by Donald Fouke when he passed the intersection of Jackson and Maple Street, that of the Zodiac Killer.
As the police car of Donald Fouke and Eric Zelms continued on towards Cherry Street, the figure from the rear window dissipated into the night, along with the answers that have so long been sought over the past four decades and more.
Armond Pelissetti, the first police respondent on the scene that night, had later conversations with Donald Fouke that seemed to indicate the man walking along Jackson Street had been stopped by Donald Fouke and Eric Zelms, a suggestion that Donald Fouke has always refuted. Armond Pelissetti in the documentary This is the Zodiac Speaking stated "It just so happens that area is extremely well lit and I cannot imagine him not seeing the shine of blood on the clothing if it had been Zodiac, I feel bad for him if he believes that was the Zodiac, I don't think it was".
As cab 912 rested near the intersection of Washington and Maple, the world was two days away from the uncomfortable truth, that this indeed was not a routine robbery, far from it, the Zodiac Killer had now brought his reign of terror to the midst of San Francisco. Now forty four years later we must never forget to remember it more than ever and pray that the memory of Paul Stine will outlast the tangible evil that walked away from Washington Street, one dark October night.
In memory of Paul Stine 12.18.39 - 10.11.69 R.I.P