On December 16th 1969, after an extensive search in and around the Walnut Creek home, a gold brass button believed to have come from the Navy-style peacoat of Elaine Davis which she was wearing at the time of her disappearance, was discovered behind her house. On the same day, a resident of North Gate Road, approximately 4 miles east of Elaine Davis' residence reported that her daughter had been stalked by a 30-35 year old male for several days. The young girl had been trailed to and from her high school bus stop, from which she traveled to Ygnacio Valley High School. She also received two disturbing phone calls asking if her parents were home. On the Monday at 6:00 pm "a car drove past the residence three times while the girl's parents were shopping. After the third time, there was a knock at the door and a man repeatedly said "I know you are home alone. Can I use your phone-my car has broken down". Lieutenant Holthus said the home was staked out but the man did not show up.".
Then, a San Jose housewife, Mrs Jeffield Sullivan revealed she had found the Navy-style peacoat worn by Elaine Davis on the day of her disappearance. She had actually discovered it on December 3rd 1969, only two days after the young girl's disappearance, on a remote stretch of Highway 17 between San Jose and Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, the woman at the time of its discovery was unaware of its connection to the Elaine Davis case, and after taking the coat home she took it to be dry cleaned, effectively wiping away any potential forensic evidence. The missing button found behind the Davis residence was matched to the other buttons on the coat, thereby determining unquestionably that the coat was that of Elaine Davis. The police stated the coat was discovered 65 miles south of San Francisco, a mile from Santa's Village, just shy of Scotts Valley. Santa's Village was a Christmas-themed amusement park located in Scotts Valley, California, United States.
This case is extremely similar to the December 10th abduction and murder of Leona Roberts, only 9 days after the abduction of Elaine Davis. She too was abducted from a residence - that of her boyfriend Greg V. Valo, at 749 Tormey Avenue in Rodeo. The residence of Elaine Davis and Greg Valo are only 13 miles apart (as the crow flies). Both murder victims were forcibly removed from their residence (likely by vehicle), both were presumably kept alive for an undetermined period, and both were eventually found in coastal regions. In the case of Leona Roberts, she was found at Bolinas Lagoon, Marin County, 42 miles from the 749 Tormey Avenue residence. Elaine Davis was discovered 79 miles from her 158 Pioneer Drive residence. Was the killer stalking the region of Contra Costa County, but making sure to deposit the bodies as far from 'home' as possible in an attempt to focus the investigation out of town?
In both cases however, it does seem an awfully long way to travel to deposit a body, unless of course, the perpetrator came from out of town and was driving back towards home. If Elaine Davis had been murdered relatively close to the time of her abduction, then there are a multitude of places the killer could have disposed of her body on his way to Light House Point in Santa Cruz, rather than risk the more populated area around West Cliff Drive. Looking at the trail of evidence it is easy to assume the killer traveled from Walnut Creek to Alamo, through Pleasanton and San Jose, towards Santa Cruz. Pleasanton is a city in Alameda County where the Zodiac Killer mailed the March 13th 1971 'Los Angeles' letter. However, it is the city of San Jose we shall focus on - situated just 26 miles by road from the area the peacoat was discovered on December 3rd 1969.
Only ten days prior to the abduction of Elaine Davis on November 21st 1969, the Zodiac Killer or somebody purporting to be the Zodiac Killer mailed a letter to the San Jose Police Department. The FBI file read "Re Butte tel to Bureau 11/21/69. Enclosed herewith for the FBI laboratory are two copies of the letter received by (redacted) San Jose PD, San Jose, California on this date. As noted, the message reads (redacted). The laboratory is requested to have the Cryptogram Section attempt to immediately decipher the message and furnish the results to the San Francisco Office. For the information of the Bureau and Sacramento, after a cursory analysis, officers of the San Jose, California PD, believe widow in message may be Mrs (redacted), San Jose, California. San Jose PD instituting 24 hour surveillance on Mrs (redacted)". From the tone of the wording, it appears that the letter was in someway threatening towards a woman in San Jose, resulting in police providing 24 hour surveillance at the woman's residence. Was the author threatening to abduct the woman from her home, and police believing the letter was from the Zodiac Killer, took the threat extremely seriously and instituted round-the-clock protection? If the letter was mailed from San Jose, or the Zodiac Killer had reason to be in San Jose on November 21st 1969, then it is extremely relevant that the abductor of Elaine Davis just ten days later in the Bay Area, would again be heading to San Jose on his way to Light House Point. If the Zodiac Killer was responsible for the abduction and murder of Elaine Davis, he would have took her through or near to San Jose on his way to the coast. Was he living or working there during this period, or had reason to be in the San Jose area. The San Jose letter and cryptogram, one could argue, places him in San Jose on November 21st 1969. If he returned there only ten days later it may be significant.
Could the Zodiac Killer have been responsible for both the Elaine Davis and Leona Roberts abductions on December 1st and December 10th respectively, dumping both the bodies in coastal regions? Certainly, the San Jose letter and cryptogram provides a tantalizing connection to the murder of Elaine Davis and her discovery at Light House Point. If you have any information pertinent to the murder of Elaine Davis, please contact the Walnut Creek Police Department.