Ronald Reagan was the Governor of California for two terms, the first beginning in 1967 and the second in 1971. He left office in 1975, declining to run for a third term.
Here is an excerpt from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
OFFICE OF THE GOVERER, Sacramento, California:
Governor Ronald Reagan today announced the appointment of Robert C. Cozens, 50, of Del Mar, as director of the State Motor Vehicles effective December 29, 1969. Cozens, a member of the San Diego county Board of supervisors with wide experience in transportation, highway and traffic safety matters, succeeds Verne Orr who has been appointed State Director of General Services.
As director of DMV, Cozens will also serve as Safety Coordinator for the State. He will receive a salary of $30,000 and will serve at the pleasure of the Governor. A Republican, he was appointed to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 1960 and was re-elected in 1962 and 1966. In addition to serving as both vice chairman and chairman of the Board of supervisors, he has also served as a chairman of the Local Agency Formation Commission, the San Diego County Comprehensive Planning Organization and Regional Transportation Coordinating Committee, the Airport Study Group of San Diego County, the Governor's committee on Traffic Safety, Traffic Operations to Improve Capacity and Safety Committee and the California Highway Functional Classidfication Advisory Comraittee.
Active in the County Supervisors Association of California, Cozens has served as general chairman of that group's Transportation and Public Works Committee, Aviation Committee, county Highway Safety Organization and City-county Sign Industry Committee. He is a member of the Southern California Regional Air Transportation Study Comrnittee, the Southern California Air Space Committee, the San Diego Stadium Committee, the United Community Services and the Engineering Grading Contractors Association.
A native of San Diego, he is a graduate of the Black-Foxe Military Institute and San Diego State College. During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and commanded a bomber squadron in the European theater. In 1944, as a lieutenant colonel holding the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three clusters, he was assigned to the Pentagon where he worked on the nation's missile program. Cozens and bis wife Patricia have three married children.
Tom Voigt of Zodiackiller.com stated "While I don't yet have as many details as I would like, at some point the Zodiac wrote a letter to the chairman of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in California. The letter was authenticated, apparently via handwriting, and was kept quiet for reasons unknown".
Without knowing for certain, I have concluded that the DMV Letter was yet another response to newspaper and magazine articles that the Zodiac Killer had read. In October 1971, a magazine publication entitled 'True Detective' comprehensively featured the murders of Kathy Snoozy, Deborah Furlong and Kathy Bilek, stating "At about the same moment, Park Ranger Ken Williamson was informing a member of the investigative team that he, too, had noticed a tall, bespectacled young man who had been a frequent visitor at Villa Montalvo. He was a loner and had impressed the Villa's ranger staff with his almost furtive conduct, said Williamson. The ranger had jotted down the license number of the strange youth's auto. The license number was forwarded to the California Department of Motor Vehicles headquarters in Sacramento, the state's capital 150 miles to the north of San Jose. The information teletyped back from the registration bureau was that the auto was the property of a Karl Francis Werner, living at an address on Shawnee Lane in San Jose".
After several 1971 communications such as the Monticello Card and 148 Character Cipher Letter mailed from the Zodiac Killer (including the March 13th 1971 'Los Angeles' Letter), it was apparent his obsession was focused on the savage knife murders of several females, including the belated admission to the Riverside murder of Cheri Jo Bates on October 30th 1966. Then came the unfortunate news from his perspective, that his claimed murders of Deborah Furlong and Kathy Snoozy as early as November 8th 1969, had been ripped away from him with the arrest of Karl Francis Werner in late April of 1971. His response was the Monticello Card and 148 Character Cipher Letter which unfortunately fell on deaf ears. The police had arrested the real killer of these three young girls and Zodiac's vain attempt to claw them back had exposed him for the "phony" he was. However, that wasn't going to deter the Zodiac Killer, and he may very well have fired off one last hurrah in the form of correspondence to the Sacramento Department of Motor Vehicles. As Chaucer pointed out, Robert C. Cozens was appointed Director of the California DMV in 1969 and was serving during this period in 1971.
If the Zodiac Killer had read the True Detective magazine or accompanying newspaper articles, detailing the capture of Karl Francis Werner through the diligent work of park ranger Ken Williamson at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, then he would have read the passage stating that the "license number was forwarded to the California Department of Motor Vehicles headquarters in Sacramento". The perfect recipe for his fifth and final communication of 1971, conceivably addressed to Robert C. Cozens, who was the director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles at the time.
Of course, the exact contents of the elusive DMV Letter remain unknown, so the above thoughts on the communication must be viewed with this in mind. But if there is one thing we do know for certain, it is the inability of the Zodiac Killer to resist responding to publications that concern him - and the arrest of Karl Francis Werner through number plate recognition at the Department of Motor Vehicles, may very well have been one of those instances.
Ken Williamson and the DMV Letter
The Story of San Jose
1971-The Epitaph of a Killer
The Sacramento DMV Letter