Nikki Benedict would usually travel the 2.3 mile journey home from Meadowbrook Junior High School on the school bus, however, on this Monday she visited her friend Kathie in Halper Road to discuss an art project. Kathie was planning to escort Nikki along the initial part of her journey home, but was unable to accompany her friend because she had to stay home for her dinner. Nikki Benedict would have traveled south, before heading east alongside the Poway Road toward home, or traveled southeast from Halper Road to the intersection of Poway and Carriage Road, near to where her body was discovered. Whether she had been trailed by her attacker or had walked into his path has yet to be fully determined, but the attack was swift and deadly, with no robbery or sexual interference apparent. One eyewitness recalled a white man fleeing the scene, although no solid suspects have subsequently emerged from this sighting and the case has remained relatively trapped in time for just over 52 years.
I always find it helpful to provide a map regarding any crime scenes, so below I have identified the relevant locations in the murder of Nikki Benedict, despite the fact the topography has changed over the last half-century.
The question for most Zodiac sleuths, is whether any credence can be placed in his Los Angeles Letter of March 13th 1971, of "a hell of a lot more down there". The Zodiac Killer certainly claimed or insinuated many more murders than the canonical five attributed to him, so whether his exploits took him to Poway on May 1st 1967 is wholly dependent on which side of the fence you sit. The timeline bridges the gap between Riverside and Lake Herman Road - and the April 30th 1967 Bates' letters were mailed only one day before the murder of Nikki Benedict - and did promise "there will be more".
Here is a complimentary video venerating the memory Nikki Benedict. Zodiac Killer Insights.