Many Zodiac enthusiasts and police officials have questioned the directional accuracy of the Zodiac phone call. Read or heard without breaks, gives the impression that the directions spoken by Zodiac are incorrect. However, despite his distances being off slightly, simply adding a comma or pause changes the whole meaning of the phone call. Nancy Slover, the police dispatcher, attempted to talk over Zodiac to acquire details - and in addition had to recall the phone conversation word for word, in context, at a later time - so we can assume it may not have been the original message verbatim. Let us add the breaks or pauses into the passage, which other than 'one mile east', which should be approximately 1.39 miles east on Springs Road, the rest is pretty much correct: "I wish to report a double murder. If you will go one mile east...... on Columbus Parkway to the public park, you will find the kids in a brown car. They have been shot with a 9 mm Luger. I also killed those kids last year.... Good-bye". The Zodiac was either not a master of the English language or toyed with authorities - so unless Nancy Slover recalled the message slightly incorrectly, then ideally the phrase should have read "on Columbus Parkway 'by' the public park, you will find the kids in a brown car". Considering Zodiac's compass accuracy at Lake Herman Road and Presidio Heights (Bus Bomb letter), it is highly doubtful he was was suggesting Blue Rock Springs Park was east on Columbus Parkway and the likely answer can be found in a misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the phone call under stressful conditions.
Having prior knowledge of Lake Herman Road and Blue Rock Springs Park as a magnet for courting couples, apparently suggests a connection with the area - and while that may be true - it may be a historical one and not applicable to his current residency.
However, the phone call itself is confounding, relayed to Nancy Slover at 12:40 am, 40 minutes after the Zodiac left the crime scene- despite the journey time to Springs and Tuolumne being only 10 minutes by car. The police departments located in Vallejo in 1969 and early 1970, were situated extremely close to where the Zodiac Killer placed the call at Springs and Tuolumne. The Sheriff's Office was located at the junction of Virginia and Tuolumne Street, and the Vallejo Police Department at 111 Amador Street. So, if the Zodiac was giving directions in relation to these, then the distance east to Columbus Parkway is marginally over 2 miles.
The Zodiac Killer could have made this phone call from anywhere, but decided to place himself only 667 meters from the Sheriff's Office (only 0.5 miles or one minute journey time by police car). Evidently a strange choice, unless your sheer bravado outweighs your fear of capture. Ironically, the Springs and Tuolumne payphone exactly bisected in distance the Sheriff's Office and the home of Arthur Leigh Allen at 32 Fresno Street, which sat 667 meters away. The choice of payphone could be argued as a reason for the Zodiac not being a Vallejo resident, as he appeared unaware of a police station only yards from the intersection of Springs and Tuolumne. Or that he didn't do his homework. One can't help thinking that this payphone was chosen for a reason.
The Zodiac Killer throughout his correspondence enjoyed needling the police, "Hey pig doesnt it rile you up to have your noze rubed in your booboos?
Curiously though, he missed the perfect opportunity, to not only embarass the police, but to make them public enemy number one, that would have likely surpassed all his other 'achievements'.
On July 17th 1969, only 13 days after the Blue Rock Springs murder, an almost unprecedented event occurred, when police and firefighters simultaneously went on a five day strike in Vallejo, with the city's streets patroled by a skeleton crew of non union police. This seemed tailor made for a killer who apparently kept up with current affairs and read the local newspapers for articles about himself. Bearing in mind Zodiac's first two attacks were on a Friday, here he was presented with Thursday through to Tuesday to stalk the dark streets almost unchallenged. Imagine the backlash toward police had he claimed a fourth or fifth victim during this period.
Was the killer closely allied with Vallejo, did he track the papers religiously or was he simply on holiday, returning fourteen days later to mail his first three letters on July 31st 1969. Either way, it seemed a missed chance to taunt the police.