The two twelve-story south wings of the hotel were built in 1904, and the double-width north wing was completed in 1913, initially as apartments for permanent guests. With its acquisition by Western Hotels, the hotel was changed from a home of elderly San Francisco socialites, some of whom lived in large suites in the hotel, to a modern hotel focusing on tourism and especially conventions. The old Mural Room, decorated by Albert Herter in 1913 with seven murals comprising The Pageant of Nations, a banquet and ballroom which had hosted many of America's famous big bands, was replaced in 1970 by a six hundred room tower, designed to help the St. Francis compete with The Fairmont, its rival on nearby Nob Hill. Architect William Pereira designed the new building which was completed in 1972. The murals were rolled up and removed to storage.The St. Francis became the hotel where Republican presidents stayed when in San Francisco, while Democratic presidents usually stayed at the Fairmont. President Gerald Ford was almost shot while leaving the hotel in September 1975 by a woman named Sara Jane Moore. A former Marine named Oliver Sipple moved her hand so that Ford was not hit. Taken fom Wikipedia.
It seemed strange that Paul Stine upon approaching the San Francisco theater district and receiving a dispatch from the assistant traffic manager of the Yellow Cab Co, Leroy Sweet, to pick up a scheduled fare from 500 9th Avenue, he would then stop and pick up a random fare from the St. Francis Hotel. A random passenger flagging down a taxicab could in all probability have wanted to go anywhere, north, south, east or west, so stopping your taxicab on the off chance he just happened to want to go somewhere near to your scheduled destination of 500 9th Avenue, just over three miles away appears not the most likely scenario.
In other words Paul Stine had previously been given another scheduled pick up by dispatch from outside the St. Francis Hotel and aware of this Leroy Sweet was able to accommodate Paul Stine with an additional fare to 500 9th Avenue, as it was close by Washington and Maple. The second hypothesis is that Paul Stine was sent to 500 9th Avenue, but was then dispatched to the St. Francis Hotel as the caller had specified a destination of Washington and Maple and the Yellow Cab Company operator knew it was en route to Paul Stine's original fare.
But why would this detail be omitted from the Paul Stine report, not withstanding that the specificity of the St. Francis Hotel reference by Graysmith seems to point to known facts. Is it possible the detail of a phone call by the Zodiac Killer from a payphone somewhere in the region of the St. Francis Hotel was withheld, so the police could later verify the claims of any subsequent letter writer or other forms of contact from a potential murderer. The Hines report seems to suggest that indeed the Zodiac Killer did order a taxicab from a public payphone at Union Square near to the St. Francis Hotel on the night of October 11th 1969.
Toschi said that they had determined that the killer had called for a cab using the public payphone located at Union Square. Toschi said the cab then picked the killer up and drove to the corner of Washington and Cherry Streets."
This was the Zodiac Killer's third phone call.
Also pay a visit to Alex Lewis' site, providing a comprehensive analysis of Zodiac suspect Lawrence Kane.