The two major news publications, the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, dismissed his demands by only publishing his offerings on page four and nine respectively. The Zodiac Killer's disdain was immediate, when on August 4th 1969 he presented us with his sinister pseudonym "This is the Zodiac Speaking" in a follow-up letter, that concluded with "I was not happy to see that I did not get front page coverage". But imagine his horror, when two days later the San Francisco Chronicle (August 6th 1969) ran a comprehensive front page article about the murders of Debra Gaye Furlong and Kathie Ann Snoozy in San Jose. Here is an excerpt:
The two young girls, found dead Sunday on a sun-parched San Jose hillside, appear to have been victims of a sexual psychopath, whose blood frenzy led him to "overkill". Dr. John E. Hauser, Santa Clara county's chief medical examiner and coroner, said yesterday that the girls, Deborah Gay Furlong, 14, and Kathy Snoozy, 15, died in a "frenzied flurry of knife-wounds" inflicted so swiftly that neither gave any evidence of having struggled against the attack. Dr. Hauser, so shaken by the brutality of the crime he could scarcely find words, said the Snoozy youngster had 150 wounds on her back, 50 on the front and a "storm" of punctures on her neck. Deborah's body had about 100 wounds on her back and upper front and a dozen on her neck. Dr. Hauser said he was "puzzled" by many aspects of the brutal slaying. He said neither girl had been sexually molested; neither had suffered any wounds below her waist, neither gave evidence of having struggled to escape. Only the Snoozy girl, he said, had one small mark on her hand, suggesting she may have tried vainly to deflect the plunging knife. The coroner said both girls must have died very quickly and he is investigating the possibility they may have been drugged before the stabbing began. Blood and skin samples as well as stomach contents have been sent for further examination to area laboratories, he said. The results should be known in a few days. It is Dr. Hauser's opinion that the multiple puncture wounds were inflicted by one or two small knives, the largest wound the size of a pocket knife with a half-inch blade. "I've never seen a case with this many stab wounds," Dr. Hauser said. "You know, I've been in this profession a long time and sometimes I think I'm rather callous, but when I saw these girls, believe me it was terrifying. "The Nazi sex mutilations during World War II were nothing compared to what was done to these young girls.
No surprise then, that the Zodiac Killer wanted to outdo the August 3rd 1969 murders, by setting his sights on three young girls from Pacific Union College as they sunbathed on the shores of Lake Berryessa on September 27th 1969. Three murders with a 12-inch bladed knife would definitely have done the trick. But something clearly thwarted this attack and two hours later he focused in on Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard, determined not to be denied and secure his front page coverage. After the sixteen strikes into the young couple, he retreated and traveled back up the hill to lay claim to this attack as the Zodiac Killer. After writing the dates of his previous two attacks and this one on the car door of Bryan Hartnell, he emphasized the words "by knife" at the foot of the message. The Zodiac Killer was effectively saying "do I get front page coverage now". The brutal knife attack, he hoped, would get the recognition akin to the murders of Kathie Snoozy and Debra Furlong. Not only did he get the recognition, but it had an added benefit of the newspapers considering the possibility of his involvement in the Kathie Snoozy and Debra Furlong murders. This certainly didn't escape his attention.
On November 21st 1969 he mailed a threatening letter to the San Jose Police Department beginning with the words "There's no doubt I will do my Thing!". The letter initiated this response: '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).' It is clear that this woman had some connection to the Snoozy and Furlong murders, and by the Zodiac Killer interjecting himself into the San Jose investigation, he was attempting to solidify the notion of his involvement in them. Bearing in mind this letter was mailed to the San Jose Police Department and their response to secure the woman's safety, it isn't too surprising that the Zodiac Killer would threaten to murder a San Jose policeman in the Fairfield letter mailed a month later, on December 16th 1969. The Zodiac Killer thought he had now successfully cemented his claim to the Snoozy and Furlong murders. His choice of switching from gun to knife had paid dividends. My guess, is he was banking on these murders never being solved.
In the first, he was trying vainly to convince us that he was in fact the murderer of all three girls (Snoozy, Furlong and Bilek) by claiming that Karl Francis Werner was the fraud or phony. Paul Avery, arch nemesis of Zodiac, wrote an article on April 30th 1971 detailing the capture of Werner. The newspaper article stated "He (Werner) was immediately advised of his rights concerning any statements he may make and legal representation to which he is entitled, the detectives said. Werner was then taken to the scenes of the crimes. Late yesterday he was undergoing questioning. The detectives would not reveal what statements, if any, he had made concerning the killings of the three girls".
The Zodiac Killer responded sometime after he read this article (probably in the month of May 1971), mailing a 148 character cipher stating "Tis the Zodiac Speacking. Why can't you stop me. I can't stop killing. Stop listening t(o) phonys. If this is not on your front page in a week I will skin 3 little kids and make a suit from the skin". In this correspondence he claimed his victim count was 21, by writing "I done it 21 times". This, in accordance with his claimed victim count of 17+ in the March 13th 1971 'Los Angeles' letter. We can ascertain that this communication was mailed around the middle of 1971, because he fired off a second correspondence a short time later. The correspondence about to be discussed was withheld from newspaper publication (as was the 148 character cipher), so the fact that both contained a victim count of 21 and mailed in close proximity to one another, should be enough to consider both being mailed by the Zodiac Killer. The second communication we will show, is not only trying to claim the murder of Kathy Bilek - again attempting to show that Karl Francis Werner was a phony - but is also linking itself to the murders of Snoozy and Furlong.
On Sunday, April 11th 1971, Kathy Bilek (18) visited Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, having planned to read a paperback book (The Gabriel Hounds) and engage in a spot of bird watching in the seclusion of a remote, wooded portion of the park, near a small stream. Her body was found the next day by her father, Charles, while Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies searched nearby. She had been stabbed 17 times in the back and 32 times in her chest and stomach, although her killer had taken care to avoid stabbing her breasts. Her murder was also attributed to Karl Francis Werner. Wikipedia. The brutal murder of Kathy Bilek would again be claimed by 'Zodiac', not only in the Monticello card, but in another Zodiac letter, also mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle just before the Monticello card. Kathy Bilek was murdered in "April", exactly as mentioned in the Monticello card, and "in the woods" at Villa Montalvo (a wooded section of the park). Saratoga is a city in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It is located on the west side of the Santa Clara Valley, directly west of San Jose, The appearance of San Jose once again.
It was easy to get sidelined into believing Monticello was referring to Napa County, because the town was completely covered by Lake Berryessa, the site of Zodiac's third attack. However, the "Monticello" the author is referring to in the pasted card, is again in San Jose. Monticello is a neighborhood in San Jose, California, just over 9 miles east of Villa Montalvo, the site of Kathy Bilek's murder. In other words, the author of the card was saying "I killed Kathy Bilek near Monticello, in the Villa Montalvo woods in April". To view the proximity of Monticello to Villa Montalvo click here.
"I killed Kathy Bilek near Monticello, in the Villa Montalvo woods in April".
"Near Monticello Shought Victims 21 ...... In The Woods Dies April".
The November 8th 1969 'Dripping Pen' card would not be the only communication insinuating his involvement in the murder of Debra Gaye Furlong and Kathie Ann Snoozy, when the Monticello card arrived just over 20 months later, on July 13th 1971. The San Francisco Police Department had reason enough to place the Monticello card in 'suspected Zodiac correspondence' when searching for traces of DNA on potential Zodiac communications, indicating the high regard it was held in.
It is with little doubt that Karl Francis Werner was responsible for the murder of Debra Furlong, Kathie Snoozy and Kathy Bilek in 1969 and 1971, but the overarching question is, why did the Zodiac Killer describe the location of Kathy Bilek's body as "near Monticello"? The neighborhood of Monticello is 9 miles east of Villa Montalvo. Why did the Zodiac Killer choose to pinpoint this particular location, rather than any other neighborhood in between Monticello and Villa Montalvo? He could have pasted "near Willow Glen", "near Oster", "near Carlton", or any other location closer than Monticello. It is arguable that he chose this particular location for a specific reason.
The neighborhood of Monticello sits right next to the Oak Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Park, shown here. Here is an extract from the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper on August 6th 1969: "The other Furlong children are Glen, 16; Floyd, 12, and Pamela, 11. Furlong said he did not know and had not yet talked to Kathy's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Snoozy. Both Snoozy, a carpet layer, and Mrs. Snoozy reportedly are in a state of collapse. Her funeral has been scheduled Friday at 11 a.m. at the Place Funeral Home in Los Gatos. Burial will be at Oak Wood Cemetery in Santa Cruz. Funeral services for Kathy will be held tomorrow (Thursday) at 2 p.m. at the Oak Hill Memorial Park Mortuary in San Jose. Burial will be at Oak Hill Memorial Park."
The funeral services and burial of Kathie Snoozy were held at Oak Hill Memorial Park at 300 Curtner Avenue, right next to the neighborhood of Monticello. This, in all probability, is why the Zodiac Killer chose "near Monticello" rather than any other location closer to Villa Montalvo. He was not only pinpointing this location to suggest he had a hand in the murder of the San Jose teenagers, but specifically chose the area by the gravesite of Kathie Snoozy because her forename was phonetically identical to that of Kathy Bilek (and identical to how her name was reported in the newspapers). Not only was Kathy Bilek murdered in April, in the woods, near Monticello - but her name could be inferred in the Monticello card from the Oak Hill Memorial Park burial site of her namesake. The Pines card and '13 Hole' postcard were published in the newspapers, yet this card has always been withheld. What are the chances that the picture on the Monticello card contains sensitive material, deemed inappropriate for release by law enforcement, and may have something to do with Oak Hill Memorial Park.
Bearing in mind Kathie Snoozy, Debra Furlong and Kathy Bilek were all stabbed innumerable times, disfiguring their bodies, it is rather telling that the author of the 148 character cipher and letter should threaten 3 more young people like so: "Tis the Zodiac Speacking. Why can't you stop me. I can't stop killing. Stop listening t(o) phonys. If this is not on your front page in a week I will skin 3 little kids and make a suit from the skin" and "next time I will send a patch of human skin if there is some left over".
This shows how San Jose was integral to the Zodiac Killer throughout his campaign of terror, beginning on August 3rd 1969 and possibly ending on July 13th 1971, with the mailing of the Monticello card. I say possibly, because another communication dubbed the DMV letter may have been the final correspondence of 1971, again inferring his involvement in the Snoozy, Furlong and Bilek slayings.
As early as November 8th 1969 the Zodiac Killer was claiming the murders Debra Gaye Furlong (14) and Kathie Ann Snoozy (15), who were found murdered on August 3rd 1969 in the Bay Area of San Jose. This was his "Aug" on the 'Dripping Pen' card. He would later insinuate his involvement in the murder of Kathy Bilek (18), murdered in the woods of Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, due west of San Jose. On July 13th 1971, a potential Zodiac communication arrived in the form of a pasted card. It read "Near Monticello Shought Victims 21 ...... In The Woods Dies April". The author of the card was detailing the murder of Kathy Bilek in the woods of Villa Montalvo on April 11th 1971, just 9 miles from the neighborhood of Monticello in San Jose. He chose this neighborhood because it encompassed the Oak Hill Memorial Park at 300 Curtner Avenue. The cemetery where the body of Kathie Ann Snoozy lay - and chosen to hint at the forename "Kathy", pertaining to Kathy Bilek.
Assuming these communications were mailed by the Bay Area murderer, it would be fairly obvious that the Zodiac Killer was following the San Jose murders closely from August 3rd 1969, through his 'Dripping Pen' card of November 8th, to the eventual murder of Kathy Bilek, and up to his correspondences in the middle of 1971. Therefore, it would be no great surprise if he continued to monitor any newspaper or magazine articles regarding the murders of the three young females.
One particular section about Kathy Bilek caught my eye - that may have been the reason why the Zodiac Killer wrote a letter to the chairman of the DMV in Sacramento. It stated "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."
The Zodiac Killer, having previously mailed two communications (Monticello card and 148 character cipher) referencing the murder of Kathy Bilek and the victim total of 21, may very likely have fired off a third communication, this time to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Sacramento after reading these two paragraphs. As this magazine article was published in October of 1971, the DMV letter may have been postmarked with the latter months of that year - possibly October, November or December. The compunction of the Zodiac Killer in claiming, or interjecting himself into the middle of these murders, may have been the driver behind his contact with the chairman of the DMV. The content of this communication is unknown, but I guess he is continuing the menacing theme of his previous two correspondences, suggesting the identification of the vehicle belonging to Karl Francis Werner is somehow another red herring and threatening more murder and mayhem.