During the Presidio Heights murder two weeks later, three teenagers saw the Zodiac exiting the taxicab and walking around the taxicab to apparently wipe fingerprints off the driver side door. This was the only time outside of the taxicab that a clear unobstructed view of the assailant was observed. This was a matter of seconds before the assailant turned around and departed the scene up Cherry Street. The three teenagers were viewing the suspect from approximately 60 feet away, at 9.58 pm at night, with only the aid of street lighting, however described a man sporting a reddish-blond crew cut. This description was backed up by one of the responding officers Donald Fouke, who had typed in his scratch 'a crew cut, light colored hair, possibly graying in rear.'
The police sketch was compiled depicting a man with short hair, a man viewed by four eyewitnesses. Many have questioned on how accurate this sketch may be, but they are confident of a short haired crew cut.
During the Lake Berryessa attack Cecelia Shepard spotted the man initially unmasked from 200-300 yards away to the point of 75 to 100 feet away. Taking the minimum distance she first observed the Zodiac of 200 yards (600 feet), he approached to within 100 feet, that means his approach distance was a minimum of 500 feet. This distance at a walking speed of 3 mph would take approximately 1 minute 50 seconds. Now we do not know if Cecelia Shepard was watching him the whole time, but she definitely stated she saw him before he had donned his mask, and definitely saw him approach the tree and duck behind it. Cecelia Shepard saw the man for considerably longer than the three teenagers at Presidio Heights, and sometime shortly after 6 pm on a clear sunny day. If you argue that the sketch from Presidio Heights is likely accurate, then clearly Cecelia Shepard's description is equally viable, if not more, she saw the suspect in daylight for a considerably longer time.
We have been told by David Collins that he took notes at the scene, so the recollection of events by Cecelia Shepard carries great significance, describing her assailant with 'brown hair that hung down across his forehead and was showing through the eye-holes.' Two weeks later at Presidio Heights, not only had his hair color changed, it was markedly shorter. The Zodiac Killer wrote in the Bus Bomb Letter on November 9th 1969
"I look like the description passed out only when I do my thing, the rest of the time I look entirle different. I shall not tell you what my descise consists of when I kill."
So the question is, if these two assailants are one and the same, what disguise did he employ. The Presidio Heights sketch exhibited a slight widows peak, not something you would associate with a wig, so is the only conclusion to be had, one of a killer who disguised his looks by cutting his hair and then dying it. However on the face of it, this appears to be a change as opposed to a disguise. Furthermore this would negate the Zodiac declaration "I look like the description passed out only when I do my thing, the rest of the time I look entirle different. I shall not tell you what my descise consists of when I kill." He most certainly didn't look the description given at Presidio Heights during the Lake Berryessa attack, as observed by Cecelia Shepard.
This discrepancy has to be addressed from the standpoint of tying together these three crimes and something that needs clarifying.
The attacker at Lake Berryessa failed to mail any correspondence regarding the events of September 27th 1969, but with Bryan Hartnell surviving the attack and outlining the events in great detail, maybe the Zodiac felt Bryan Hartnell had done a good job on his behalf. Nevertheless it did seem strange not to capitalize on this grand theatrical appearance.
If we take the final three attacks in sequence, his hair was short, almost blond, changed to dark hair, long enough to pass his eyes and then revert back to a short reddish-blond crew cut at Presidio Heights, challenging us to examine the claim "I look like the description passed out only when I do my thing, the rest of the time I look entirle different. I shall not tell you what my descise consists of when I kill."
Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell both described brown hair, long enough to reach the eyelets of the mask, and nobody got as close as them for such an extended period, described by Bryan Hartnell as an interaction that lasted 15 minutes. It was a sunny hot day in September, with clear visibility and Cecelia Shepard had the man in clear line of sight, unmasked, in excess of one and a half minutes. If the same killer emerged from the taxicab of Paul Stine and drove away from the Blue Rock Springs parking lot, we should consider that this short blond appearance was his disguise as he claimed and the 'real' Zodiac is the one who appeared on the shores of Lake Berryessa, when a wig on this occasion was rendered unnecessary by the donning of an executioners hood, suggesting the long brown hair by the eyelets, may be all the confirmation we require to indicate this was the true face of the killer.