12.21.68 "He states he saw two cars parked near the entrance to the pumping station. He stated the car parked nearest was a 1955 or 1956 station wagon, boxy type, neutral in color. The other was parked to the right and abreast of the station wagon. The cars were about ten feet apart. He stated he could not give a description of the make or color of the other car."
 12.24.68 "He definitely saw two cars, a station wagon and another vehicle, parked approximately three or four feet to the right of the station wagon. He did not see anyone in the cars or around them. He stated as he traveled approximately one quarter of a mile beyond, he thought he heard a shot."
He also stated that "just before he approached the scene, a vehicle passed him going in the opposite direction toward Vallejo. He could give no description of the vehicle. This occurred near the Borges Ranch."
James Owen recalled this vehicle passing him by the Borges Ranch, but no vehicles ahead or behind him as he traveled towards Benicia on Lake Herman Road. This route is an unlit, pitch-black road- and any vehicle's headlights or taillights would have been obviously visible to James Owen had there been one. There is a notable area just past Syar Industries, where the road is relatively straight and flat, and any vehicle ahead of James Owen would be noticeable in the distance.
His obvious failure to mention any such vehicle would suggest that when he arrived at the ill-fated turnout and saw the second vehicle alongside the Faraday Rambler, that it simply hadn't just pulled up that instant- it had been there a reasonable amount of time. David Faraday had taken Betty Lou Jensen out that evening on their first date, charged with taking care of the young woman, and supposedly under a curfew of around 11.00 pm. The autopsy of Betty Lou Jensen showed her bladder was full.
These elements therefore make it extremely unlikely that David Faraday, by all accounts, a responsible and caring young man, would allow a second vehicle to pull alongside the Rambler in a deserted and dark turnout and just sit there doing nothing, when they have no idea what the occupant of this vehicle had in mind. Additionally, we are of the understanding, that when the Zodiac Killer pulled alongside the Rambler, he would have immediately left his vehicle and fired the warning shots into the rear window and headliner of the Rambler to drive the couple from their vehicle. But if he was slightly ahead of James Owen (but out of sight) traveling in the same direction or had entered the turnout from the Benicia side, he clearly didn't do this, because James Owen stated that he saw no persons "in or around the vehicles." when he arrived at the turnout. He also heard no shots coming from the turnout as he approached. One would assume if he had heard a shot a quarter of a mile after passing the turnout, then he logically would have heard shots a quarter of a mile preceding the turnout- but he didn't.
The Zodiac Killer, by the fact that James Owen saw no vehicles in front of him, or entering the turnout from the opposite side as he approached the area in question (see below), would indicate the Zodiac Killer had been in the turnout for a measurable amount of time, but failed to initiate his attack on the Rambler the moment he pulled up. We know this, because James Owen failed to see any occupants in or around either vehicle. We also have to believe, David Faraday not only didn't pull out of the turnout in the amount of time from when Zodiac arrived, to the time James Owen arrived, but continued to remain in the turnout for a further 30 seconds (or quarter of a mile) after James Owen passed. The shot that James Owen supposedly heard being the beginning of the attack. Is it reasonable to believe David Faraday, past his curfew, Betty Lou Jensen needing the toilet and a 'mysterious vehicle' parked literally feet to the right side of the Rambler in pitch-black conditions, David Faraday would just sit in his vehicle without doing anything upwards of a minute or more.
The further we put James Owen away from the turnout on his approach to it, the more time Zodiac has to begin his attack, and the more time David Faraday has to leave- neither of which apparently happened. The closer we put James Owen to the turnout on his approach to it, the more likely he would have heard any shots fired, and the more likely he would have seen the Zodiac entering the turnout ahead of him, or from the Benicia side. Yet he still saw nobody in or around the vehicles as he passed.
Peggy Your who passed the turnout before James Owen stated "As they were driving west on Lake Herman Road at the turn off to the Benicia Water Pumping Station, she observed a Rambler station wagon parked with front end heading east, there were two Caucasians in the front seat, male and female, when the lights from the car came upon the station wagon, the male sat up in the seat. Mrs Your said it was a cold night and she noticed no frost on the station wagon" Are we to assume that when James Owen passed everybody ducked down in their vehicles? Because James Owen heard no shots on his approach to the turnout, by his statement alone, we could conclude that he was out of audible distance from the turnout and therefore a considerable distance away. But again, why did Zodiac supposedly just sit there doing nothing and why did David Faraday fail to leave. One could argue, if it's not logical it's not true.
Fifteen minutes later Stella Medeiros passed the turnout and saw the bodies of David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen lying on the turnout floor, cut down by six bullets to the head and back. In between these two eyewitness statements, James Owen saw nobody anywhere "in or around the vehicles."
We cannot rectify the open door conundrum easily. Neither can we explain the inaction of both Zodiac and David Faraday to any great satisfaction- and are we to assume everybody just vanished during this fifteen minute period.
However, it can be resolved if we take away the "dark car" that James Owen couldn't describe- because it may not have existed.
James Owen stated in the interview with Michael Morford “as I was getting ready to leave work the next morning, a worker on the morning shift came in talking about the crime. When I left work, I passed the scene, and there were police there working, so I stopped and told them what I had seen.” It has been suggested that James Owen embellished his version of that night, edging the two vehicles closer to one another, and possibly hearing a shot once he had passed the turnout, in his second interview. It wouldn't be the first time somebody exaggerated their recollection of events, as demonstrated by the second version of William Crow's story that night.
There are two schools of thought when approaching this. The eyewitness is just remembering more details about the events, or they are inflating their importance within those events to become more integral to them. This can be seen throughout the Zodiac case, then and now. The sequence of events that night on Lake Herman Road would be a lot easier to explain if James Owen saw one vehicle in the turnout that night, and the Zodiac Killer arrived after James Owen. But believing he may have invented the second vehicle or was mistaken, doesn't make it true.