A couple of years ago, I came across a series of articles in the Napa Sentinel about the Zodiac killings of the 1970’s.  I thought the articles had a lot of information, so I emailed them to myself.  Since that time, the Napa Sentinel has gone offline – for all I know they’re not in print anymore either.  I mentioned Zodiac in a couple of posts on my blog, and since then, I’ve had a few searches show up about it.  So I figured I’d post the articles, in their entirety, as I copied them.  They were part of a larger series on crime, but I only copied the section concerning Zodiac.  If you want to find out more, perhaps you could do a search on the writer, Harry Martin, and locate some contact information for him. 

Here’s an additional link you might be interested in –>> 10-18-02 Napa Sentinel story


Part Seven of a Series

by Harry V. Martin

Nearly forty years ago, the first of the Zodiac murders took place in Riverside, California. There have been many theories about the “Zodiac”, his motives, the number of victims, and who he was. For decades the Zodiac killer has thwarted law enforcement investigations. No one knows for certain how many victims have lost their lives at the hands of the Zodiac. He has claimed more than a dozen, but also indicated many would die that might not be identified with the Zodiac. The Police estimate that upwards to 46 people may have been murdered by this serial killer.

It is known or suspected that the Zodiac killed people in the counties of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, San Francisco, Riverside, Stanislaw, and Contra Costa, as well as Lake Tahoe. But some law enforcement officials believe that the Zodiac may have killed people in other states, as well. But did he?

The Vallejo Police Department considered Arthur Leigh Allen of Vallejo to be their prime suspect. The Sentinel has continued to oppose this concept. Upon Allen’s death DNA samplings were taken and it was found that Allen’s DNA does not match any murder. In 1991 a Vallejo judge issued a search warrant, allowing Police to search Allen’s home again. This was the second time in 20 years that Allen’s premises have been searched by the Police in respect to the Zodiac case.

Vallejo defense attorney William L. Beeman claims that he knows who the Zodiac is and at a press conference he presented his evidence to the Bay Area media naming his brother. A Vallejo Police Department inspector indicated that Beeman’s suspect is dead. There had been other speculation concerning the Zodiac, from claims that it may have been a law enforcement official, who is now dead, to a man who works in a Puget Sound boat works.

There are several connecting circumstances with some Zodiac victims:

They are almost all women. In three incidences, male companions were with the women; one died and two were seriously injured but survived. The one lone male victim was Paul Stine, a San Francisco Yellow Cab driver.

The Zodiac notes refer to slaves for paradise in the afterlife – a Satanic characteristic, When I die will be reborn in Paradice (sic) and all I have killed will become my slaves, Zodiac wrote. Professors at Stanford University indicate such phrases have roots in Satan-worshiping devil cults, such as the one run in San Francisco by Anton LeVey. LeVey was associated with Colonel Aquino the head of a Satanic church. Aquino was assigned to the San Francisco Presidio.

There were many associations with the San Francisco Presidio.

These are some of the known factors. But what the Sentinel has learned – and which has surprised at least one former law enforcement official who spent years working on the Zodiac case is that another suspect has many close links to the murders. Unbeknownst to the Sentinel at the time of its investigation was the fact that the Sentinel’s prime suspect has also been a prime suspect by the Police in San Francisco and in Napa – the persons name has never been disclosed to the media. When the Sentinel presented the evidence and the name to a former law enforcement official, he proclaimed that the man remains a prime suspect in the Zodiac case. Here are some of the links:

The Sentinel’s subject lived in a house bordering the Presidio and located at the exact location a slain San Francisco cab driver’s log listed a destination.

The message left by the killer of Cheri Jo Bates in Riverside included the initials rh , which matches the initials of the Sentinel’s suspect.

The deciphered code of the Zodiac indicates his first name is Robert the same as the Sentinel’s suspect.

The Zodiac sent a cryptogram of 13 characters which he says spells out his name. The Sentinel’s subject uses 13 characters in his name and signs all documents with a six-letter first name, an initial, and a six-letter second name. The symbol shows the repeat of one-set of three characters, and two sets of two characters all equal to The Sentinel’s suspect’s name.

The Zodiac used lyrics from the Mikado. The Sentinel’s subject not only starred in the Mikado in school, he starred in the role from which the lyrics quoted by the Zodiac came.

The Sentinel’s suspect owned property or was associated with an organization that owned property in which victims were found on or near; these include: property at Lake Berryessa, Clayton in Contra Costa County, Sonoma County, Vallejo and San Francisco, as well as a close association to the Riverside murder.

The Sentinel’s subject knew at least four of the victims.

A few of the victims had financial dealings with the financial institution associated with The Sentinel’s subject.

Documents showing the Zodiac handwriting closely match samples of the Sentinel’s subject’s handwriting; the material was extracted from the subjects garbage cans and employment file.

The physical features of the Zodiac match the physical features of The Sentinel’s subject.

The symbol used by the Zodiac is not a Zodiac symbol, but the symbol of a gunsight and its clue reflects the Zodiac’s last name. His notes to the newspapers and police also contain his last name on several occasions, but has been overlooked.

A deciphered anagram which Police interpreted as giving the name Robert Emmet the Hippie, was a clue left by the Zodiac. There is a statue in Golden Gate Park of Robert Emmet and at the time of the Zodiac notes, many San Francisco hippies frequently gathered near it, The possible significance of that statue is that it is close to an organization associated with The Sentinel’s subject, the same organization which owned property near or on which murdered victims were found.

Zodiac also referred to the 1932 movie The Most Dangerous Game and styled some of his patterns after the movie. The book describes The Sentinel’s subject’s last name which embodies the role of Leslie Banks in the movie.

One law enforcement official, presented with the evidence, stated, “All the circumstantial evidence fits perfectly”:

Though this man has been a prime suspect in the case, his fingerprints don’t match, law enforcement officials state. But what finger prints? The San Francisco Police indicate that fingerprints were left at the scene of the Paul Stine murder in San Francisco. Stine was murdered on Saturday, October 11, l969. On November 9, 1969 29 days later the Zodiac wrote to the San Francisco Chronicle, As of yet, I have left no fingerprints behind me. Contrary to what the police say. In describing the Stine murder. Robert Graysmith wrote in his book Zodiac, Particles of unburned powder exploded about the breech of the weapon, peppering the gloved hands of the attacker. The Zodiac also indicated in his letter to the Chronicle, In my killings I wear transparent finger tip guards. All it is is 2 coats of airplane cement coated on my finger tips quite unnoticeable and very effective


Cheri Jo Bates was killed on October 30. 1966, in Riverside She was a close friend of a female relative of the Sentinel’s subject and lived about 1-1/2 blocks away. Bates was supposed to go to the library with the friend- She was found dead with a note signed with the initials rh . The friend quit school the next day, did not attend Bates funeral. Her car was seen parked at Washington and Maple several years later in the same location where Paul Stine was murdered

Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday where known to Darlene Ferrin – they were killed on December 20. 1968, near Hunters Villas in Vallejo property associated with The Sentinel’s subject.

Darlene Ferrin knew her killer. In fact, the man she feared had followed her and met with her on several occasions. She told a friend, I guess he’s checking up on me again. I heard he was back from out of state. He doesn’t want anyone to know what I saw him do. I saw him murder someone.  This man may have been assisting Darlene financially because of her expensive clothes and funds she used to purchase a house. She banked at the same institution The Sentinel’s subject is associated with. She was murdered near the spot that Jensen and Faraday were killed. She was shot on July 5, 1969, again near Hunter’s Villas in Vallejo, property associated with The Sentinel’s subject. Darlene Ferrin’s first husband was associated with the San Francisco Presidio.

Cecilia Shepherd was stabbed repeatedly at Lake Berryessa on September 27, 1969. The attack took place near property owned by The Sentinel’s subject at Lake Berryessa.

Paul Stine, the cab driver, was murdered on October11, 1969, at Washington and Cherry Streets. His log sheet showed a destination of Washington and Maple Streets. Though The Sentinel’s subject lived at that location at the time, the property was owned by an organization that The Sentinel’s subject was prominently associated with. This is also right by the Presidio.

Kathleen Johns survived an attack on March 22, 1970, by the Zodiac on Highway I-5 in Stanislaus County. The Sentinel’s subject owns property in Patterson, near the sight of John’s narrow escape.

Donna Lass disappeared on September 26, 1970, at Lake Tahoe. The Sentinel’s subject not only owned property near where the victim was found, but he also had an association with Lass when she was a nurse in Santa Barbara at The Cottage Hill Hospital in Santa Barbara and she was closely associated with The Sentinel’s subject’s father – who died there. Lass worked in the Presidio at Letterman Hospital. Lass disappeared on a Wednesday while The Sentinel’s subject’s father died two days later. The wealthy father and Lass had run off together for at least six months.

There were many murders of young women in Sonoma County; in fact most of the Zodiac’s alleged victims had the same facial and hair features. These murders took place in 1972 and 1974; they included 12-year-old Maureen Sterling and 13-year-old classmate Yvonne Weber, Their bodies were found near Bolimas Lagoon. Twenty-four-year-old Marie Antoniette Antsey was found dead in Lake County- Lori Kursa and Carolyn Davis were also victims. There was also 15 year-old Yvonne Quilatang. The bodies of four of these victims were found near or on The Sentinel’s subjects property or property associated with the organization this subject had prominence in. The subject owned property and a ranch throughout Sonoma County just a few miles from each of the sites the victims were found at.

The Sentinel maintains copies of deeds of trust, sample signatures, personnel file information, death certificates, school year book, and other associated materials to substantiate this article. Though The Sentinel’s subject is a prime suspect in the case and by law can be named; the Sentinel did forward copies of this material and articles to the subject prior to publication of his name. The subject .has had an opportunity to respond and/or refute the material. The wealthy subject did threaten suit but dropped the issue after the Sentinel noted that at least we can have a Zodiac civil trial if we can’t get a criminal one. The Sentinel’s subject’s last name appears covertly at least three times in this article. His name will be published at the conclusion of this part of the Unsolved Murders series. The Sentinel’s subject is not Allen of Vallejo, The Sentinel’s subject lived and worked in San Francisco and has during most of the period of the Zodiac killings. He did live briefly in Southern California about the time of the Bates murder.

What has eluded police investigators for decades in the Zodiac case is the linkage of victims. In many cases, the police have looked at murders as a random pattern of unrelated victims,

There is a definite link between the victims of the Zodiac they and he knew each other and the murders were clearly related.

Cheri Jo Bates, who was murdered in Riverside on October 30, 1966, was not only known by The Sentinel’s suspect, but also was known by Cecilia Shepherd, who was murdered at Lake Berryessa on September 27. 1969. Both lived in Southern California.

Darlene Ferrin, who was murdered in Vallejo on July 5, 1969, knew Paul Stine, a Yellow Cab driver from San Francisco who was murdered on October 11, 1969. Darlene also knew Betty Lou Jensen, who was murdered in Vallejo on December 20, 1968.

Donna Lass, who was murdered on September 26, 1970, was closely associated with The Sentinel’s Zodiac suspect.

The Sentinel has learned that Darlene Ferrin was a frequent passenger in Stine’s cab and they lived in the same complex in San Francisco. She was working for the telephone company at the time. Ferrin apparently had threatened the Zodiac with exposure for a murder he allegedly had committed. She indicated that a story about the Zodiac would be published on July 5. Ferrin was killed early on July 5. Ferrin also apparently received a large sum of money from the Zodiac estimated at $25,000 ” which she used to purchase her house, Ferrin also had banking contacts in San Francisco with The Sentinel’s subject, When Darlene s family were provided photographs of The Sentinel’s subject late Thursday, they did indicate the subject was familiar to them. The youngest sister of Darlene immediately picked out the subject from three different pictures of three different men. The older sister did not make a positive identification, but indicated the subject was known to her and to her father.

At the time of Bates murder, records show that The Sentinel’s suspect filed an absentee ballot with the Registrar of Voters in San Francisco. He had indicated he was going to be in Southern California at the time of the election ” which coincided with the time of Bates death in Riverside. Sentinel investigative records show that The Sentinel’s subject was not only in Riverside on the night of Bates murder, but that he was staying with his niece, who was a very close friend of Bates and who was to accompany her to the College that night. The Sentinel was able to trace the niece s and The Sentinel’s subject together by gathering license plate numbers in The Sentinel’s subject s driveway.

Records also show that at the time The Sentinel’s subject sold his house in San Francisco, Lass resigned her Southern California nursing position. She took a job at Letterman Hospital in San Francisco, just blocks away from The Sentinel’s subject s home.

With these links, the motive for the killings could be that Ferrin had witnessed the killing of Bates in Riverside and was ready to expose the murderer. Various other people may have had similar knowledge and they were all systematically killed – not randomly as theorized for decades.

(To be continued next week.)


Part Eight of a Series

by Harry V. Martin

At least one law enforcement investigator of the Zodiac has admitted that the search for the Zodiac killer never focused on the victims and their backgrounds. Believing the Zodiac to be a random serial killer, police never sought to determine if any of the victims were related. If the victims had a relationship with each other, it would indicate that the Zodiac was not a crazy wanton killer, but a person who killed his victims to prevent them from revealing information.

The Zodiac letters did not appear until after Ferrin was killed – yet Ferrin was murdered in 1969. The first victim linked to the Zodiac was murdered in 1966, and two more in 1968. Why the delay in claiming credit for the murders? The first phone call the police received from the Zodiac was after Ferrin’s murder – there were no phone calls associated with the other three murders.

Ferrin also apparently knew her assailant, according to several witnesses, including Michael Mageau, who was shot along side of Ferrin on July 4, 1969. Numerous reports refer to a man in middle age, wearing horn rimmed glasses and driving a white vehicle as the man Ferrin was afraid of – who had come to her home and to her place of work frequently. He was a man she drove around at least once, and a man who attended a house painting party – though he was not invited. He was the man Ferrin said she saw kill a man. He was the man who brought her boxes of material, silver buckles and perhaps thousands of dollars.

Ferrin is the key to solving the Zodiac murders. But she is also the key to proving that the Zodiac was a hoax – he was not a random killer, he killed for a purpose – Ferrin knew too much, she had apparently witnessed a murder and because she was always meeting with this man, and arguing with him, and he was bringing her packages, she and he had some arrangement. Ferrin admitted to being afraid of him yet she still associated with him. He sat outside her home on numerous occasions; he ate strawberries at Terry’s Restaurant in Vallejo, where she worked. She did not want any of her family talking with this man – he was too dangerous. The man wore a medical alert bracelet and was ambidextrous, smoked Pall Mall cigarettes, and wore horn rimmed glasses.

On the night of her murder, Ferrin had an argument with this man in a restaurant parking lot and, according to Mageau; the man followed them in his white car. Mageau, it must be noted, has changed his story many, many times. After the murder Mageau went into hiding for over 20 years – though it is believed that he was living in Southern California during his self-established exile. Mageau apparently knows who the killer is – though he has not provided that information to the police.

Ferrin also knew Paul Stein (another Zodiac victim) very well, according to Ferrin’s family. They both lived in a boarding house in San Francisco in late 1966. Stein apparently drove Ferrin around San Francisco frequently. She worked at the Pacific Telephone in San Francisco in 1966. Stein drove a Yellow Cab. Ferrin was murdered on July 4, 1969; Stein was murdered October 11, 1969 – 99 days later. Ferrin was murdered by a man matching the description of the man who is believed to have killed Stein.

What must be learned is the full lifestyle of Ferrin. This Sentinel investigation will show the trails and the threads of the victims and how they link directly to the Zodiac. This series will answer some of the following questions:

Was Ferrin associated with a Satanic cult?

Was the murder of Cheri Jo Bates on October 30, 1966, associated with what she had witnessed at a Satanic ritual?

Was Ferrin blackmailing the Zodiac because she was a witness to a murder?

What connection does Crocker Bank have with the Zodiac case?

Did Ferrin see a man hacked to pieces and stabbed?

Is there more than one Zodiac?

Did the Zodiac take credit for murders he did not commit in order to cover up his real motives for at least five murders?

Was drug money and prostitution money being laundered and linked to the Zodiac?

What is the link between all the victims?

Was the murder of Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo on December 20, 1968, really a Zodiac murder?

Why did the Zodiac only start to claim credit for murders after Ferrin and not before?

What role did a Vallejo Police Officer have in the slayings of Jenson and Faraday?

Why was the door handle missing on Ferrin’s car at the scene of the crime and how did it get back on the car in the secured police impound facility?

Why was there only an ambulance driver and no medic in the Ferrin-Mageau shootings?

Were two people involved in the shooting of Jenson and Faraday – not just a single gunman?

Why was the door handle rigged in the Ferrin-Mageau shootings and by whom?

Did Ferrin reveal to the police the information she had on the Zodiac before her killing?

What was the really big news story Ferrin expected to be in the newspapers a day after her killing, which did not appear?

Why have the police denied having a voice tape of the Zodiac after the Ferrin killing?

Did a marijuana ring in Vallejo have anything to do with the Jenson-Faraday murders?

Was a Vallejo police officer involved in the Kathleen Johns kidnapping on March 22, 1970 in Stanislaus County?

Was the Process Satanic coven involved in the Zodiac case?

How did the Zodiac stab Cecilia Shephard and Bryan Harmell at Lake Berryessa on September 27, 1969, write the dates of other murders on their car, and phone from Napa Car Wash without getting blood anywhere?

How did the Zodiac get to Napa in 30 minutes after the Berryessa stabbings?

Are the Sonoma County murders related to the Zodiac or is there another killer?

If the Zodiac did not kill Jenson and Faraday, how was he able to describe in details the scene of the crime?

Why is Mageau constantly changing his name and moving?

What were the common denominators between the victims?

These and hundreds of other questions will be carefully explored and answered in this series. It will conclude with hard evidence in the Zodiac case, that at least three former lead investigators of the Zodiac case concur with.

How can the Sentinel succeed where others have failed over 40 years? The Sentinel used four approaches not used by the various law enforcement agencies. First, it searched records to determine the physical location of bodies to learn of any ties. Second, it explored the history of the victims rather than the Zodiac. Third, it explored the backgrounds of known Zodiac suspects and attempted to find any linkage between them and the victims. Fourth, it has networked with people who have been investigating the Zodiac for years, comparing their notes, theories and evidence.

As one law enforcement official said, he welcomes a fresh approach to an old investigation.

Law enforcement officials who have studied the Zodiac case, but not worked directly with the investigation, indicate that the case was terribly bungled, with each police jurisdiction jealously guarding their own leads and focusing on their own suspects. The only high marks given any investigator on the case, was given to retired Napa Sheriff s Captain Ken Narlow.

According to these law enforcement officials the agencies failed to fully cooperate with other agencies, thereby isolating murders within their own jurisdiction. Because of this lack of concentrated cooperation, many major clues were overlooked. The police were looking for a mad man, a serial killer who randomly murdered his victims.

Each law enforcement agency has its own prime suspect or suspects. Hundreds of names were brought forward – but in the search for Zodiac no significant background checks were made of the victims, who they were, or who they associated with and what links they might have had with other victims. The murder of Darlene Ferrin on July 4, 1969, in Vallejo will unlock the clues to the entire Zodiac mystery – but when finally solved, it will not reveal the murderer of nearly 50 victims – it will only account for less than 10, including a victim not even listed in the local Zodiac files -that is the murder of Dana Lull in 1974 in Las Vegas. It may also prove the Zodiac was not working alone all the time.

To understand the Zodiac, it is vital that the investigator understand Darlene Ferrin – without knowledge of her lifestyle, the clue to the Zodiac would never be revealed.

Darlene knew a terrible secret and it is probably because of that secret she was murdered – not randomly, but deliberately and with malice. The uninvited man who attended a painting party at Darlene’s mingled with three Vallejo police officers who also were in attendance. Ironically, it was one of those officers, who would have seen the murderer face-to-face without realizing it, who was the first policeman on the scene of Darlene’s shooting.

The suspect drove a light colored car during the time that Darlene knew him, and the day after she was murdered he traded the car in at a San Francisco auto dealer.

But let us trace the history of Darlene Ferrin, who she was and what happened to her. Darlene lived in Vallejo and graduated from Hogan High School. After graduation she went to San Francisco to work with the telephone company. Darlene lived in a boarding house-type facility. According to Darlene’s family, that boarding house or residential hotel was on Eddy Street. Also briefly living there was Paul Stine, a Yellow Cab driver who was a claimed Zodiac victim. The suspect was associated with the residential hotel in San Francisco on Eddy Street. Darlene’s first husband was a resident of the residence hotel. It was through this facility, that Darlene met Michael Mageau, the man who was also shot on the night of July 4, 1969. Stine later moved to Cole Street in the Haight-Ashbury, Darlene and her husband moved to Vallejo, Mageau also moved to Vallejo and the Zodiac suspect eventually moved to Balboa Street in San Francisco.

Though Darlene was into the occult and may have belonged to a Satanic or Witches coven, it was probably not the reason for her death. Whatever she practiced in the occult, she did not seem to take the entire thing seriously. However, her practice in the coven was associated with San Francisco and not necessarily Vallejo. A robe similar to those used in rituals associated with these organizations was found in the back of her closet in San Francisco by a family member. There has been a lot of speculation concerning Satanic associations with the Zodiac, particularly since his letters are suggestive in that manner. But it is possible that Darlene did have an association with several people intertwined in the Zodiac investigation that participated in similar rites. But all trails associated with the coven relate to San Francisco and not Vallejo.

Was Darlene into drugs and money laundering? Her associations with the Crocker Bank and her late emergence into some money cast a suspicion on the legitimacy of her activities. Darlene used layaway plans and did not buy expensive clothes she only had her salary as a waitress. She was generally chubby and wore braces, but in the last months of her life, she lost a lot of weight, became very attractive and suddenly could afford very expensive clothes and jewelry – at least expensive compared to her former lifestyle. She was able to purchase a home, but strangely enough that house was under her name and her father-in-law’s name – not her husband’s.

Though Darlene was married a second time, she was anticipating a divorce and commenced to "date" other men, including several police officers. She was very outgoing and friendly.

She had one frequent caller – a man who made her very nervous. He was a man that she warned her family not to talk with. She said she witnessed this man kill someone. Was the person Cheri Jo Bates in Riverside on October 30, 1966 – the night of a Satanic ritual? The answer to that question appears to be no. The man who may have killed Darlene and shot Mageau, was known by the two victims. The man also had only half a smile because part of his face was partially paralyzed from a cement truck accident. He was 41-years-old at the time. He had short, curly, light-brown hair in a crew cut style and a round face. The man was about 195 pounds and about five feet eight inches tall.

The suspect brought presents to Darlene’s house, including cloth for a dress, a silver buckle and what is believed to be money. The packages were generally left on the door step of Darlene’s house, but on one occasion her sister was given the package. The sister had visited with this man at Terry’s Restaurant in Vallejo where Darlene had worked, and he was at a house painting party in Darlene’s home.

Darlene is quoted as stating the following to her sister on February 27, 1969, 127 days before she was killed: "1 guess he’s checking up on me again. I heard he was back from out of state. He doesn’t want anyone to know what I saw him do. I saw him murder someone." Another quotation on Saturday, December 21, 1968, the day after David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen were murdered on Lake Herman Road: "This is scary. I knew the two kids who were killed on Lake Herman Road. Yeah, I’m not going up there again."

Darlene changed emotionally after the Faraday-Jensen murders. People close to her noticed a nervousness, a concern. She was scared of the man in the horn rimmed glasses after he returned from out of state in February 1969. She didn’t want people near him, she was not too friendly with him, yet he hung around her, brought her presents and lavished his affections on her. We know she was afraid of him because she witnessed a murder he committed, according to her own words. But it was a murder she did not report and yet she had many friends who were police officers. The suspected murderer also knew Mageau because of past relationships in San Francisco and also through his contacts with Darlene.

One of Darlene’s sisters has stated that Jensen was once a babysitter that Darlene used. There is no knowledge of how she knew Faraday – who was much younger than Darlene.

When Jensen and Faraday were found dead on Lake Herman Road – shot to death – the heater in their car was still on and yet the window was rolled down on that cold December night. This suggests that a conversation between the people in the killer’s car and the victims had taken place. No one claimed credit for the Jensen and Faraday murders – not at the time.. But after Darlene’s murder, the Zodiac took credit for both sets of killings.

One senior police officer not related directly to the case, but who has done extensive investigation on the Zodiac, suggests that Darlene and the Zodiac suspect were on Lake Herman Road on December 20, 1968. That Darlene may have had a conversation with Jensen at the scene. The murder that Darlene would have witnessed, according to this veteran police officer, would have been Faraday. She had indicated she saw a "man killed". Jensen fled the scene and was shot outside the immediate vicinity of the victim’s vehicle.

Darlene had indicated that a big story would break in the newspapers around July 5, 1969- "a really big story". She related that in the same concept as the information about witnessing the murder. What was Darlene talking about? It is believed that she was going to expose this man for the murder she saw him commit. There are no records that indicate she went to the police or to the newspaper – but the threat was there. She had an argument with the suspect in the restaurant parking lot hours before she was killed and the suspect followed her and Mageau to the scene where they were both shot

This suspect returned to San Francisco and on the day after the murder, traded in his car. The license number is known. The suspect disappeared, but not before writing a letter to the newspaper claiming credit for Darlene’s murder and the murder of Faraday and Jensen. Darlene was probably killed for two reasons – first, she was a witness to a murder and was threatening to reveal it’ and second, she continued to reject the man’s advances toward her and he could not handle that rejection.

The man was basically a loner most of his life, having a love-hate relationship with his mother. He also fits the exact same description as the man who killed Stine in San Francisco. He also has direct links to other murders associated with the Zodiac and even at least one that has never been publicly associated with the Zodiac.

Darlene is the key to the Zodiac killings – and most of the original murders were centered on people she knew. Hers was not a random killing of a mad man. The murderer may still be alive, and according to one police official, may still be killing people – not as the Zodiac – but because he is now paid as a professional to kill people. This suspect also knew Donna Lass, another suspected Zodiac victim, who moved to Lake Tahoe with him and worked for the same company “ one in security and Donna as a nurse.. The Zodiac killings, as we know them, have more to do with a lover scorned than a crazy, random killer. But also to do with wealth “ extreme wealth.

Law enforcement officials have been made aware of this suspect and they consider the information extremely credible. However, the detectives were ordered by a judge to close the file on his case – an unprecedented legal order. A handwriting analysis of the Zodiac and the suspect’s writing was conducted by law enforcement experts – they indicate the handwriting cannot be discounted. Six photographs – all of different people – were presented to one of Darlene’s sisters. She sobbed uncontrollably when she looked at one photograph. "It’s over," she said, indicating that she could positively identify the man. She asked to see a photograph of the man smiling his half smile. It was produced and she has positively identified the man as the one who Darlene had indicated killed someone and the man Darlene was frightened about and one of the Vallejo police officers at the house painting party has also identified the man from the same photographs. The man’s name has been repeated four times in the cryptograms the Zodiac sent. His photograph was also identified as a frantic man who fled Lake Berryessa on September 29, 1969 – the date Cecilia Shepherd was stabbed

He also taught code in the military.

(To be continued next week.)

Zodiac left several clues to his location on Washington Street

Unsolved Murders of the Napa Valley: Part Nine in a Series (part three of the Zodiac)

by Harry V. Martin

Bates had been beaten, stabbed repeatedly in the face and neck, and her throat had been cut so viciously she was almost decapitated. The first Zodiac letter in 1969 claimed responsibility for the gruesome murder – three years later. In the original letters to the Riverside newspaper, there was no concept of the term Zodiac, but a capital "Z" was scrawled on the letters. Bates’ father received a letter from the alleged killer of his daughter, stating that he had received the "brushoff’ from her. Following the letter to her father, a desktop poem was found in the Riverside City College Library. It read, "Sick of living/unwilling to die. Cut. Clean. If red/clean. Blood spurting, driping (sic), spilling all over her new dress. Oh well, it was red anyway. Life draining into an uncertain death, she won’t die. This time someone will find her. Just wait till next time." The desk scrawling was signed "rh". It is important to note that both Bates and Shepherd were stabbed repeatedly, the same as in the Tate murders. All the other victims associated with the Zodiac were shot. The method of murder of the two young women is out of character with other killings associated with the Zodiac.

The alarming thing about Bates’ murder is that the killer indicated she was not the first victim nor would she be the last. "Bates had to die. There will be more," stated a letter written six months after her death. Based on information the Sentinel received from a person associated with the FBI, Bates murderer has been in jail for decades “ Bruce Davis, who was charged with two murders – and was involved in the Sharon Tate-Mason Family murders in 1969; three years after Bates murder. Cecilia Shepherd was murdered at Lake Berryessa in 1969 “ she was a close friend of Bates and was probably murdered by the same individual. The individual did scratch into the car door of the victim s vehicle the date of the Bates murder. So how did the Zodiac know about the Bates killing? The Zodiac was in Riverside the night of the murder and a relative of his was a close friend of Bates. He knew about the murder. Only after the murder of Darlene Ferrin in 1969 did the Zodiac claim responsibility for the Bates murder “ though it was a false statement.

The Zodiac letters of 1969-1970 were compared with the death letter of 1966. Handwriting experts from the State Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification said a preliminary investigation of the handwriting indicated that there was "a high probability" that it was the Zodiac’s writing.

Some law enforcement officials believed that the killer was young enough to be a suitor of an 18-year-old girl in 1966, though previous estimates of the Zodiac’s age have ranged from 25 to 40. They also believe that he was a resident of the Riverside area who later moved to the San Francisco area. A member of the Manson family fit the description of the killer at Lake Berryessa and was also working on a construction site that Bates passed every day on the way to school.

The logic is flawed however, on the age of the Zodiac. The man who pursued Darlene Ferrin in 1969 – the person she saw kill someone – was much older. To indicate a young person was attempting to be an 18-year-old’s suitor and was rejected is based on no fact. The Zodiac could have been any age – as in Darlene Ferrin’s case – and still felt rejected.

At least two prime suspects in the case are known to have resided in Southern California about the time of Bates’ murder. One was the prime suspect of the Vallejo Police Department, the other is now residing in San Francisco. The rejected suitor theory fits perfectly with the Darlene Ferrin murder in Vallejo on July 4, 1969.

Bates’ car was disabled by her killer, which resembles an incident on March 22, 1970 when Kathleen Johns had the same problem with her vehicle. The incident took place in Stanislaus County near Patterson. A car with flashing lights attempted to get Johns’ attention. She stopped and a man told her that her car’s left rear wheel was wobbling and offered to fix it. A few minutes later he told her it was fixed, but when she drove off the wheel fell off. The man offered her a ride – the same as in the scenario about the Bates murder. Once she got in the car, the man left the highway and drove through a network of deserted farm roads. He turned to her and said, "You know I’m going to kill you – you know you’re going to die." She eventually bolted from the car. She has identified the popular sketch of the Zodiac as the man who made the threats.

The picture of the Zodiac is identical, according to family and police and a witness at Lake Berryessa, of the man identified with Darlene Ferrin and the man who was at Lake Berryessa in September 27, 1969 when Cecilia Shepherd was brutally stabbed.

The proclaimed Zodiac killed four of his victims with a gun – all in Vallejo – all related in some way with each other. The murder in Lake Berryessa and in Riverside were savage attacks with a knife. Zodiac may be tied to the murders of Deborah Furlong and Kathy Snoozy, who were stabbed to death in San Jose on August 3, 1969. Why the difference in the method in which the victims were killed. Because the Zodiac claimed them, does not always mean the Zodiac did them – was the claim a way of deception? Were four of the first five victims the real targets of this killer? Is there more than one Zodiac? Is there a team Zodiac?

The theories on Zodiac abound, and each law enforcement unit had its own prime suspect. We know that the killer of Shepherd and the kidnapper of Johns match the same description and photographs of a man who followed and spent a lot of time with Ferrin. We know that this suspect is well dressed, quiet spoken, has a brief military background in cryptography, and that this person had a direct association with Donna Lass who was believed to have been murdered in Nevada. At the same time, another suspect also had a close association with Lass, has handwriting that matches the Zodiac’s, lived in Southern California at the time of Bates’ death.

What we have found are two individuals, and perhaps a third, who can be closely linked to the victims. One of the difficulties law enforcement officials are having with the case is that each suspect fits the crime perfectly – except one or two flaws. For instance, one major suspect looks just like the Zodiac, has been identified with the victims, and yet his handwriting does not match. Another suspect has all the ties and his handwriting matches, but his fingerprints don’t. The third suspect has been recognized by some family members of the victims, but no one knows exactly how they know him.

What if there is actually a team Zodiac, in which each individual carries out part of the role? This would explain some of the discrepancies in the case.

Law enforcement never really checked the full backgrounds of the victims to ascertain their relationship, if any. Law enforcement has never checked the full background and links of several of their prime suspects to see if they match up. Law enforcement has not checked the linkage between properties where bodies were found. At least six of the victims died because they knew too much. What did they know?


The killer’s clues may have been telling the police exactly where he lived In its day, the search for the Zodiac was one of the biggest manhunts in history.

The murder of the San Francisco Yellow Cab driver Paul Stein on October 11, 1969, perhaps provided more information on the Zodiac than any other killing. The Zodiac, acting in a bold manner, taunted police with clues – some of them directly led to his house.


Twenty-nine-year-old Paul Stein picked up a passenger at Mason and Geary Streets on October 11, 1969. The passenger slipped into the front seat and told Stein to drive him to Washington and Maple Streets.

When they arrived at Washington and Maple, Stein was asked to drive one more block to Cherry and Washington “ one-and-one-half blocks away from the San Francisco Presidio and Julius Kahn playground near the Arguello Gate. Stein was shot at close range and his wallet, taxi keys and a torn portion of his shirt were taken by the killer.

Three teenagers, across the street from the shooting, witnessed the killer wiping down the interior of the cab and the door handle. The killer nonchalantly walked north on Cherry Street toward the Presidio. In fact, two officers responding to the murder passed him on the corner of Jackson and Maple, two blocks from the cab. The police were originally looking for a black man and drove right past the Zodiac. This incident, however, was not reported by the two police officers until two months later.

The killer was believed to be heading toward the Presidio in a heavily wooded area. San Francisco Chief Inspector Martin Lee indicated that the police had the whole area flooded with lights, had seven police dogs and a large number of patrolmen searching the area tree by tree and bush by bush. The dogs, according to Lee, were the "best in the country." He said, "A mouse couldn’t have escaped our attention."

The Zodiac taunted the police with clues, indicating he could observe all the activity going on. It would have been impossible for an individual hiding in the woods to have observed all the activity. In a letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle three days after Stein’s murder – and accompanied by a piece of Stein’s blood-stained shirt – the Zodiac wrote, "This is the Zodiac speaking. I am the murderer of the taxi driver over at Washington and Maple streets. To prove this, here is a blood stained piece of his shirt. I am the same man who did in the people at the North Bay area. The S.F. police could have caught me last night if they had searched the park properly instead of holding road races with three motorcycles seeing who could make the most noise. The car drivers should have just parked their cars and sat there quietly for me to come out of cover." The police were not even aware that a portion of Stein’s shirt was missing.

The 9mm semi-automatic weapon that killed Stein was not the same 9mm weapon used in the Vallejo murders. The handwriting matched previous letters sent by the Zodiac.


Another part of his letter – the one that panicked school districts throughout the Bay Area – stated, "School children make nice targets. I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning. Just shoot out the front tire and pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out." The Napa County Sheriffs Office had patrol cars follow the buses and planes patrol school bus routes.

A composite sketch was made of the Zodiac, which described him as a white male, 5-feet 8-inches, 35 to 45 years old, wearing glasses with a crewcut reddish hair, wearing dark blue type parka jacket and dark trousers. The two police officers and three children were involved in supplying information.

On November 9, 1969, the Zodiac again wrote to the Chronicle stating, "I thought that you’d need a good laugh before you hear the bad news. You won’t get the news for a while yet." In his cryptogram the Zodiac indicated he had killed seven people, up to the end of October. Zodiac had originally claimed the murders of:

* Cheri Jo Bates in Riverside October 30, 1966. (The Riverside Police are skeptical of the Zodiac’s claim.)

* Betty Lou Jenson in Vallejo on December 20, 1968.

* David Faraday in Vallejo on December 20, 1968.

* Darlene Ferrin in Vallejo on July 5, 1969.

* Cecilia Shepherd at Lake Berryessa on September 27, 1969.

* Paul Stein in San Francisco on October 11, 1969.

That is only six murders. But the killer of Cheri Jo Bates indicated in a letter that he had killed one person before her and would kill others after her. Though the person Zodiac indicates was killed before Cheri Jo Bates has not been publicly identified, it would account for the seventh person the Zodiac claims to have murdered. The Zodiac indicated that he would continue the murders but would no longer announce to anyone when he committed them. "They shall look like routine robberies, kills of anger, and a few fake accidents, etc. The police will never catch me because I have been too clever for them."

He further stated critical clues. "The dogs never came within two blocks of me and they were to the west and there was only two groups of barking about 10 minutes apart, then the motorcycles went by about 150 feet away going from south to north west." He offered to send a picture of his "bus bomb" but said the police would be able to trace it to him. He drew a picture of the bomb – but was it a picture of the bomb or was it a map? He said the police did not have enough manpower to stop the bombing by continually searching the roadsides looking for "this thing" and he said it wouldn’t do any good to reroute or reschedule the buses.

The Zodiac sent a new cryptogram which was never decoded nor made available to the public. Some of his letters were also partially kept from the public. These messages, combined with other clues can direct police right to the spot where the Zodiac lived, who he was and what involvement he had.


Based on an obscure police memorandum and documents in the possession of the Sentinel, and information from the unpublished portions of the Zodiac letter, here is how some of the clues unravel:

* The taxi driver’s trip sheet showed the Zodiac was picked up at Mason and Geary.

* The taxi driver’s trip sheet showed the Zodiac was destined for Washington and Maple streets.

* The Zodiac said he would shoot out the front tire and pick off the kiddies.

* Zodiac said the dogs never came within two blocks of me and they were to the west.

* Zodiac said the motorcycles went by about 150 feet away going from the south to north west.

* Zodiac said he disappeared in the Park one-and-one-half blocks away.

* The picture of the death machine bomb looks like the Kiddie School and the garage door handle of the suspected Zodiac’s house.

* There is a correlation between Robert Emmett the hippy and the Academy of Sciences compared to Washington and Maple.

Washington and Maple is exactly two blocks west of where police brought in the dogs. Washington and Maple is about 150 feet away from where the motorcycles were operating. Washington and Maple is a block and a half away from the Park area referred to by the Zodiac. The Kiddie School is in direct view of Washington and Maple, with a school bus sitting right outside. The term kiddies does not necessarily mean children, but the name of the school downhill and in view from Washington and Maple. One house in the vicinity which fits the Zodiac’s geographic clues was owned by the Academy of Sciences. The photograph the Zodiac indicated he could take that would reveal his whereabouts might have been the angle of the photograph which would give him away – it might have been an aerial camera view. The drawing the Zodiac sent of the school bus bomb has familiarity with the Kiddie School.


All the clues provided by the Zodiac zero in one house at Washington and Maple. Who lived in the house at Washington and Maple? According to real estate records, the house on the corner of Washington and Maple (75 feet on Washington Street and 127 feet on Maple Street) was owned by the California Academy of Sciences at the time of Stein’s murder. A statue of Robert Emmett appears in Golden Gate Park adjacent to the California Academy of Sciences building. The site of the statue was also the site of many hippie rallies. Thus, the clue Robert Emmett the Hippie (REH), with the other clues may indicate the house was owned by the California Academy of Sciences. The house is up-hill from Kiddie School.

San Francisco real estate records, Book B428, Page 145, show that the California Academy of Sciences owned the property at 3799 Washington Street until its transfer on May 26, 1970 – almost eight months after Paul Stein’s death. The property was transferred in 1970 to Robert E. Hunter, Jr., a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy. Hunter, a vice president for Crocker Bank, lived in Pasadena at the time of Stein’s murder. A woman had died in 1968 and left her estate to the Academy. Migon Augsbury’s estate was transferred by a title company at 111 Sutter Street. Hunter worked in the same building as the title company, when he was with Crocker Bank – he later went to work for Wells Fargo. The house was purchased by Hunter for $220,000.

So who occupied the house at 3799 Washington Street – the house that all the Zodiac clues lead to – on the night of October 11, 1969? There was a car parked in the driveway at 3799 Washington Street several years later. It was a 1968 Plymouth, license number VRP854.

This house would provide an excellent vantage point to oversee the entire police operation in the park and on the street.

What connection, if any, does the car have with Cheri Jo Bates, who was murdered on October 30, 1966? What other amazing facts can possibly be linked to this house and the Zodiac? What connection, if any, does this have to do with Donna Lass, who disappeared and is believed to have been murdered in Lake Tahoe on September 26, 1970? Was there other property owned by the California Academy of Sciences that has links to other murders in Northern California? What was found at that house that might draw closer links to the Zodiac case? What is the analysis of a secret police report – now in the possession of the Sentinel – to this scenario?

(Continued next week.)

ZODIAC: the man who occupied the house

Unsolved Murders Of The Napa Valley

by Harry V Martin

The first clues that must be examined relate to the ownership or occupier of the house. Although the Academy did not transfer title of the house to Robert E. Hunter, Jr., until eight months after the murder of the cab driver, Hunter apparently took possession seven days before Stein was slain. The information that Hunter took possession of the house before the murder was supplied by a neighbor, Henry Solorzano, who also worked in the real estate industry. Records show that Hunter’s home was in Pasadena at the time of Stein’s death. His position with Crocker Bank as a vice president required Hunter to travel throughout the state and especially to Northern California. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy, apparently the Academy had no difficulty allowing Hunter to occupy the house before the transfer of title.

But what proof is there that Hunter was even in San Francisco the date Stein was killed? A document in the possession of the Napa Sentinel provides absolute proof that Hunter was in San Francisco on the night the cab driver was killed. On Saturday, October 11, 1969, Hunter opened a title account with Brown Brothers Harriman Co., through the Pacific Union Club on Mason Street – The document is signed and dated October 11, 1969. It was five blocks from that location – at Geary and Mason – that the killer entered Stein’s taxi and asked to be taken to Washington and Maple. It is known that Hunter had taken possession of the house on Washington and Maple before the killing, that he was in San Francisco on the day of the murder, and that he transacted business near the place where Stein picked up his killer. This does not prove, however, that Hunter either took the taxi, was in residence while the police searched for Stein’s killer, or was the man that killed Stein.


This is just one in a series of coincidences that throw suspicion towards Hunter. According to the Napa Sheriffs Office and the San Francisco Police Department, Hunter was a serious suspect in the Zodiac. According to retired Napa Sheriff s Captain Ken Narlow, Hunter was one of the top 12 suspects in the case. There were hundreds of suspects, but law enforcement officials admit they did not have either the time or manpower to do thorough investigations of most of their suspects – including Hunter.

But other than the location of the house, is there any other evidence that would make Hunter one of law enforcement’s top 12 suspects? Once the house, itself, became suspect, a search was made of Hunter’s garbage – the search was not authorized or conducted by law enforcement officials. The garbage did yield the document which showed Hunter was in San Francisco the night of Stein’s murder and it also provided numerous examples of handwriting. An analysis of the handwriting collected from Hunter’s garbage and the handwriting contained in letters sent by the Zodiac showed a remarkable comparison. The same type of "t", s �, "d", "r", "e", a �, o �, "u", l � and "n" prevail in Hunter’s handwriting as it does in the Zodiac letters (see page 14). The fact that the house was suspect and remarkably identical handwriting is found there, still is not sufficient evidence to say that Hunter is the Zodiac.

Edward R. Rosaia, who had tracked the Zodiac case for two decades, decided to test his theory about Hunter and went out to Washington and Maple and knocked on the door. He went up to the iron and glass gates and rang the bell. When the door opened, Rosaia said he felt a cold vibration come over him. The door was answered by a man with red hair and glasses who was wearing a bathrobe. "He looked just like the composite drawing of Zodiac," Rosaia said. A family member of Darlene Ferrin did not recognize Hunter’s photograph as the man who followed her sister, but the family member did indicate she had seen Hunter before in association with her sister. Again, this is not sufficient evidence to say that Hunter is the Zodiac, only that he looks like him – or does he?


There is more. Rosaia noticed a vehicle parked in Hunter’s garage. It was a 1968 Plymouth, license number VRP854. A vehicle trace showed that the vehicle belonged to Mike John and Kathryn Petlansky. Who was Petlansky and what does this have to do with the case? The Sentinel has obtained a copy of the Petlansky marriage certificate – Kathryn’s maiden name was Hunter. In 1966 she lived in Riverside, one-and-one-half blocks away from Cheri Jo Bates. Kathryn has admitted that she and Bates were friends and that she was to accompany Bates to the library the night she was murdered on October 30, 1966. Kathryn and Bates both attended Riverside Junior College together. The day after Bates was murdered, Kathryn left school permanently. Bates’ father indicated that his daughter had visited a friend the night she was murdered – a friend that "only lived one-and-one-half blocks away". Kathryn Hunter denies any knowledge of Robert E. Hunter, Jr. Kathryn’s father and Hunter’s family all originate from the Midwest. She could not explain why her car was in San Francisco in Hunter’s garage – particularly since the vehicle belonged to her ex-husband. At the time of the Bates murder, Hunter was living in San Francisco. Records from the Registrar of Voters in San Francisco, however, show that Hunter was not going to be in San Francisco for the November 1966 elections – he requested an absentee ballot indicating he would be in Southern California. Bates was murdered on October 30, 1966. Again, this still may be a coincidence and does not prove Hunter to be either the Zodiac or the killer of Bates. One other coincident relative to the Bates murder is the message left on a desk at the college concerning the murder of Bates – it was signed with the initials "rh".

But more coincidences occur involving Hunter and other victims of the Zodiac. The death certificate of Hunter’s father shows that he died on March 28, 1971, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The senior Hunter had been responsible for the cancer wing at the Santa Barbara Hospital. The Zodiac’s 12th victim is believed to be Donna Lass, who not only lived in Riverside at the time of Bates’ murder, but was also a nurse at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital before taking a position with Letterman General Hospital in the Presidio of San Francisco. According to Lass’ roommate, Jo Anne, the police never asked her any questions about Lass or any relationships she had. She, Lass and two men from San Francisco, used to fly to Riverside frequently. Hunter is known to have visited his father at the Santa Barbara hospital frequently, but there is no evidence to link him directly with Lass – another coincidence? Lass disappeared in Lake Tahoe. A letter from the Zodiac indicated he had taken his 12th victim at Lake Tahoe. He left such messages as "peek through the pines", "pass Lake Tahoe areas", "Sierra Club" and "around in the snow". At the time of Stein’s murder, Donna Lass lived only a few blocks away from the murder scene and from Washington and Maple.

Another minor coincidence is the fact that the Zodiac used verses from Mikado, a musical. Hunter’s school year book shows that in 1940 he was in the cast of Mikado. A small coincidence at best.

There is more, however. Despite all these coincidences, there is no solid evidence that Hunter is the Zodiac, though he is one of the prime suspects. What about Hunter’s properties – do they match up with other unsolved murders? In several murders – some related to the Zodiac, others uncertain, bodies were found near Hunter’s property or property owned by the Academy of Sciences. This is particularly true in Napa and Sonoma counties, and in the Lake Tahoe area where Lass disappeared.


What is known about Hunter is the following:

He is one of the prime suspects.

He lived in the house that is possibly linked by Zodiac clues to the murder of Paul Stein.

His handwriting bears a close resemblance to that of the Zodiac.

He matches the description of the Zodiac.

He was in San Francisco at the time of the Stein murder.

He was near the vicinity in which Stein picked up his murderer and the destination given was that of his house.

He had taken possession of the house prior to Stein’s murder.

A car in his garage can be linked to Riverside connection to Cheri Jo Bates.

He was in Southern California at the time of the Bates murder.

He is linked to the hospital that Donna Lass worked for in Santa Barbara.

A member of Darlene Ferrin’s family has identified his photograph as someone associated with Ferrin.

He was associated with the Academy of Science which may have been pointed out in one of the Zodiac’s clues.

His name, as he uses it, has the 13 characters the Zodiac said are associated with his name.

There are many property ties to Hunter in the vicinity of some of the murders.

He has access to Egyptology, Greek and other symbols used by Zodiac. And had cryptography in the military..

Several bodies of victims have been found near his properties or that of the Academy of Sciences.

Despite all these ties, there is nothing to prove that Hunter committed any of these murders – all this information would be considered circumstantial. One law enforcement official, however, has indicated they were not that much aware of some of the links in the case. Regardless of all this information, Robert E. Hunter, Jr., is not the man who committed these murders. But there is the highest probability that Hunter knows the murderer intimately – that someone he knows may have used his property before and/or after each crime. The murderer does have 13 letters in his name and does fit the description of the Zodiac – and may even have two identities.

Confused – so were the police?

(To be continued.)

ZODIAC: who was the man with the red hair

Unsolved Murders of the Napa Valley – (Eleven in a Series (Part Five of the Zodiac)

by Harry V. Martin

He has red hair, wears glasses, was middle-aged and the side of his face is partially paralyzed – that is the description of the Zodiac. A man fitting that exact description was seen at the Washington and Maple streets house near where the cab driver was murdered. A man of that description was seen exiting Paul Stein’s cab on the night of October 11, 1969. A man of that description has been identified by the family and friends – including a Vallejo Police Officer – as the man who Darlene Ferrin feared and who is alleged to have followed her on July 4, 1969 – the night she was murdered.

Is he the man identified in Zodiac code as KAEN? On Sunday, April 19, 1970 – between the dates that Kathleen Johns was kidnapped in Stanislaus County and Donna Lass disappeared in Lake Tahoe, the Zodiac sent a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, and in it he made a cryptogram of his name – thirteen characters. Without much deciphering, the lettering was AEN K MYENAM – which was interpreted to possibly mean MY NAME KAEN.

There is another suspect in the case who uses many spellings of his name, Klein, Cain, Kain, and Kaen. This man has been in trouble with the law since 1946. Lawrence Kaen’s photograph has been identified by Darlene Ferrin’s family and a Vallejo Police Officer, as the man who followed Ferrin around, the man Ferrin was afraid of and the man Ferrin witnessed commit a murder. Kaen has red hair, wears glasses, has a slightly paralyzed face and therefore a partial smile. He fits the description of the man who followed Darlene the night she was murdered.

After Darlene’s murder, Kaen traded his white vehicle in at a San Francisco auto dealer. Kaen, like Robert E. Hunter, cab driver Paul Stein, Darlene Ferrin and her husband, and Donna Lass all lived in San Francisco around the same time. According to Darlene’s family, Stein and Darlene knew each other quite well. Lass, who lived in Southern California and moved to San Francisco, left the City at the same time Kaen did and they both went to work for the same Hotel-Casino – she disappeared shortly after that and a letter from the Zodiac indicated that she was his 12th victim.

Lass, while living near the Presidio, which has so many connections to so many Zodiac and related crimes, frequently flew to Riverside with two men, according to her roommate. It was in Riverside that Cheri Jo Bates was murdered – a murder claimed by the Zodiac many years later. The vehicle parked in Hunter’s garage at Washington and Maple belonged to a couple that lived only one-and-one-half blocks away from Bates’ home and it is known that Bates was close to the family. She was murdered on October 30, 1966. Cecilia Shepherd, who was murdered at Lake Berryessa, was also from Southern California and had close ties to Bates.

Kaen was a man of no wealth and a petty criminal, at best. Yet, after the Bay Area Zodiac murders, he was able to get a key position inside the mob headquartered in Las Vegas. In order to work directly with the head of the mob, one does not drop off a resume’. It takes connections to get inside the high echelons of the mob. A poor person like Kaen would need a reference, a sponsor, so to speak, to achieve such an exalted position. His boss was murdered after testifying to a Grand Jury and Kaen moved on to Lake Tahoe to again work with a powerful group – Donna Lass left at the same time and was employed under the same roof -the Sahara Tahoe on the South side of the Lake.

Eye witnesses report a man fitting Kaen and the Zodiac’s description was inside the house at Washington and Maple – a house singled out by Zodiac clues. The final clue to focus on the house was the word "kiddie" in the Zodiac’s letters. Right down the street from the house at Washington and Maple was the Kiddie School.

Kaen lived on Eddy Street at the Clark Hotel. This is the same address that Darlene Ferrin’s family has related to her. Kaen lived there in 1966-1967, Darlene Ferrin lived in the vicinity in 1966-1967, Paul Stein lived there at the same time. They all knew each other. It was right after Stein’s murder that Kaen left for Nevada.

The Vallejo Police Department found the information on Kaen to be very credible. He has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, South Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas and Riverside.

One key feature, not known in too many investigative circles, was that the man who harassed Darlene Ferrin and who she said she saw kill someone, is a man with a partial smile because his face was slightly distorted in a cement truck accident. Kaen has that same distorted face, as did the man seen at Hunter’s house.

What we know of Kaen is:

He lived in the same hotel as Darlene Ferrin and Paul Stein during 1966-67.

He has been identified as the man Darlene Ferrin was afraid of, the man she said she saw kill someone.

He and Donna Lass moved to South Lake Tahoe at the same time and worked in the same hotel. Both leaving right after the murder of Paul Stein, the cab driver, near Robert Hunter’s house and not too far from Donna Lass’ house.

He is believed to be the man in Hunter’s house at the time a car was parked in the garage. A car that belongs to people who knew Cheri Jo Bates.

He matches the description of the Zodiac with red hair, glasses and middle age. He was born in 1924.

He also lived in Riverside. Lass and two men flew to Riverside quite frequently. Hunter, Lass and Kaen all had that Southern California connection with some having ties to Bates.

He was not a man of means nor of any influence, yet he was able to land a job with one of the biggest mob bosses in America.

He traded in his car the day after Darlene Ferrin was murdered. The car matches the description of the car reported to have followed Darlene Ferrin the night she was murdered.

Kaen is definitely a suspect in some law enforcement notebooks. But how does he tie in to people like Hunter or to the victims?

It is possible that Darlene Ferrin, Cheri Jo Bates and Cecilia Shepherd all dated the Zodiac – a man that could not take rejection lightly. Darlene Ferrin is believed to have had a close relationship with Paul Stein, according to Ferrin’s family. Ferrin was in a car with another man the night she was killed. Shepherd was at Lake Berryessa with another man, as well. The killer of Shepherd wrote the dates of the Jenson-Farraday murder, and the date of Darlene’s murder on the side of Shepherd’s car.

It is becoming more and more apparent that the Zodiac did not work totally alone – he may have killed people alone, but he may have had a reason for the killings and the support from other people. But what is the motive? Jealousy? Drugs? The Occult? The Zodiac killings were professional hits and for professional reasons.

The owner of an airplane Darlene Ferrin is pictured by, and the owner of the boat Darlene Ferrin was to be on July 4, 1969, could blow the case wide open.

ZODIAC: he visited his victims after they died

"All the circumstantial evidence fit perfectly," said San Francisco Police Officer Jim Deasy. He was referring to the case involving the occupant of the Washington and Maple street house. He stated, however, "It was so good, in fact, that we had to check it out. Unfortunately, we were able to eliminate the man completely based on his fingerprints."

In a confidential document entitled: Special Report – Zodiac Homicides, issued by the California Department of Justice and stamped "For Law Enforcement Use Only", Special Agent Mel Nicolai wrote, "Pending receipt of any additional evidence, handprinting is the most positive method of identification or elimination of suspects. " Nicolai’s statement is made with full knowledge of finger prints left in the Yellow Cab of Paul Stine, slain near Washington and Maple streets in San Francisco on October 11, 1969. Zodiac wrote after the Stine slaying criticizing the police. He said he left no finger prints at any of the crime scenes. Handwriting, not fingerprints, is the key to the Zodiac, according to the Department of Justice who have the files on Zodiac.

The following evidence is to be found in each case, according to the law enforcement agencies in their respective murder jurisdictions:

CHERI JO BATES: October 30, 1966 – Stabbed to Death

The evidence consists of handprinting, latents (skin of killer), militarv heel prints, Timex wrist watch, typewritten confession letter.


December 20, 1968 – Shot to Death

The evidence consists of .22 caliber semi-automatic J.C. Higgins Model 80 or High Standard Model 101, .22 caliber Super X copper coated long rifle ammunition, .22 caliber bullets and casting, handprinting.

DARLENE FERRIN: July 4, 1969 – Shot to Death

The evidence consists of 9mm casings and bullets, handprinted letters.

CECELIA SHEPHERD: September 27, 1969 – Stabbed to Death

The evidence consists of latents, handprinting, white plastic clothes line, hollow core, military shoeprints.

PAUL STINE: October 11, 1969 – Shot to Death

The evidence consists of two portions of the victim’s shirt, handprinting, latents, 9mm bullet and casing, black leather men’s gloves size 7. (Note: Ferrin and Stine were shot with the same caliber bullet.)

The victims were either stabbed or shot. But notice that the victims who were stabbed were murdered by a man wearing military shoes. According to police reports, the shoe was issued by the Navy, which could include the Marine Corps. The murderer had to have access to the military between 1966 and 1969. This could generally mean the stabber would have been in the military or recently released from the military. If he was an older man, in his mid-30s, he would have to be a career military person. A person who served in the military during World War Two or who was born in the 1920s like Robert E. Hunter or Lawrence Kaen, would not have military shoes by the late 1960s.

The victims that were stabbed were Cheri Jo Bates of Riverside and Cecilia Shepherd of Southern California. The two are reported to have been friends and possibly school mates in Southern California. Bates was born in 1948 and Shepherd was born in 1947. Kathryn Hunter was born in 1948 and attended the same college with Bates, and her husband, Michael John Petlansky – whose vehicle was found parked in Hunter’s garage at Washington and Maple streets was born in 1946. All these people were the same age and were close friends. Darlene Ferrin was also born in 1947 and knew Shepherd. Bates and Kathryn Hunter were very close friends.

In fact, when Bryan Hartner and Cecilia Shepherd decided to go to Lake Berryessa for the day, she may have indicated that she knew of a private place to go to at the lake and would call a friend of Darlene Ferrin’s who owned the land in the area. Was this Running Deer Ranch at Lake Berryessa? Is this how the killer knew where to find her?

There may be some very pertinent clues that are etched virtually in stone. Prior to Cecilia Shepherd’s funeral, a male suspect fitting the Zodiac’s description went to the Morrison Funeral Chapel in St. Helena and asked to see her body. The Napa Sheriff’s Department had half a dozen officers at the funeral looking for anyone who fit the description of the Zodiac – but a description was not furnished until several weeks later after the murder of Paul Stine in San Francisco. The Zodiac may have signed the guest book, which is in the possession of Cecilia’s parents. If he did sign the guest book his handwriting could be matched with the Zodiac’s and his name checked. There is even a possibility that he would have left a fingerprint According to law enforcement officials they never checked the guest book. The killer of Darlene was also believed to have looked through the windows of her house after she was killed. All family photographs of Darlene and people she was associated with were stolen from her house some time ago, according to the family.

The military shoeprints from the Riverside murder and the Lake Berryessa murder would indicate a younger man was involved, but the Zodiac claimed the credit for the murders. Was he boasting of murders he did not commit? He had the exact dates of several murders written on the side of Cecilia’s car. But the list on the side of the door had no blood in or around the car, which means it would have been written before the murders. But the murderer approached from a different direction than from where the car was.

This would lead to the conclusion that the Zodiac was aware of the murders, but not necessarily involved. If the murderer was a younger man, it might mean that TEAM ZODIAC consists of not two, but at least three persons. This could also explain why the Zodiac did not claim any connection between the Jensen-Farraday murders and that of Bates’ murder until after the death of Ferrin – because one man did not do all the murders and the claims were consolidated to confuse the police.

There are those theorists – including members of Darlene’s family “ that think some of the murders may actually have been filmed. Two key suspects in the Zodiac case were photographers. Darlene’s family believes that at least two films showing Darlene are actually on sale from a San Francisco photographer -but having not seen any film clips, they cannot be certain. One photographer in San Francisco is familiar to the family and he admits knowing them – but no one knows the relationship.

Various clues and evidence on the Zodiac exists in many different files. Some of the reasons why the Zodiac case has been so hard to crack are multiple:

Links between the victims were not examined..

The relationship between some property where bodies were found and the murders has never been explored.

Reading the clues incorrectly has led to wild goose chases, such as the threat to attack a school bus when it may have been a clue to the Zodiac’s location.

There was not sufficient manpower to investigate all potential suspects.

Law enforcement, private investigators and reporters refused to share vital pieces of information with each other.

Each law enforcement agencies had their own theories and did cursory investigations of subjects outside their jurisdiction.

The Sentinel has commenced to network with the various sources, each with their own story, each with bits and pieces. It is through this cooperative effort that a composite picture is emerging. Next we will paint a picture of TEAM ZODIAC, who they are, where they came from, and why they killed.

(To be continued.)


Sixth in a Series on the Zodiac

by Harry V. Martin

Confusion – that’s the key word in the Zodiac case. The case takes many twists and turns, some surprising, some shocking. But the reason why the Zodiac case is so confusing is that it does not involve one man nor one reason. Evidence in one case sometimes contradicts evidence in another case. Ages, heights, weight all seem different. This, coupled with petty jealousy and hidden secrets in different law enforcement agencies and news reporting institutions, has compounded several simple cases into one conglomerate of distorted facts.

The state Department of Justice attempting to solidify and codify the various facts in the case has come up with a composite. This composite is contained in a classified document stamped "For Law Enforcement Use Only" – of which the Sentinel has a copy. Here is that composite:

All homicides have been committed on weekends.

All letters from the Zodiac have been mailed from Northern California and postmarked San Francisco -with the exception of one that was mailed in Pleasanton to the Los Angeles Times in which he admits committing the Riverside murder.

All letters are handprinted, with stamps on sideways or inverted.

Suspect misspells simple words apparently on purpose.

Contents of letters tend to indicate the suspect may possess knowledge of the following:

1. Cryptography

2. Meteorology

3. Explosive devices

4. Charts and terminology used in conjunction with the compass.

5. Latent print identification. (Wiped down cab and claimed he used clear plastic cement on fingers.)

6. Typewriter identification. (Mailed fourth or fifth carbon copy of confession letter in Riverside.)

7. Light opera. (One letter contained excerpts from the Mikado.)

8. He likes publicity.

9. Enjoys ridiculing police.

10. He’s egotistic.

11. He may be a cultist.

Suspect may possess the following:

1. Two 9mm semi-automatic pistols of different manufacture.

2. 22 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

3. 9mm Winchester Western ammunition.

4. 22 caliber Super X copper coated long rifle ammunition.

5. 45 caliber blue steel semi-automatic.

6. Portion of cab driver’s shirt – white with black stripe.

7. Paul Stine’s wallet and taxi keys.

8. Black hood with white circle and cross.

9. Clip-on sunglasses.

10. Windbreaker – ~ blue or black

11. Pleated baggy slacks – dark in color

12. Large knife having blade approximately 12-inches in length, 1 inch in width, wooden handle with two brass rivets and 1-inch wide adhesive tape around handle. May be encased in wooden sheath.

13. White plastic clothes line – hollow cord.

14. Portable Royal typewriter – Elite type – Canterbury shaded.

15. Black Wing Walker Boots 10-1/2 R

16. Handle type flashlight.

17. Small knife with blade 3-1/2 inches in length, 1 inch width. May have broken tip.

18. Felt pens.

19. Complete newspaper and magazine article accounts of Zodiac homicides.

The state Department of Justice bullet also indicates that the Bureau of Investigation maintains a file of all suspects that "have been eliminated as a result of handprinting comparisons". The state has indicated that the handprinting is the only solid clue they have. Yet, when the San Francisco Police Department indicated it checked out Robert E. Hunter, they indicated he was eliminated – not because of handprinting, but because of fingerprints. When a police officer from another agency checked the San Francisco files, they did not even have a file on Hunter – Napa County does have a file on him. A retired Vallejo Police officer, who has worked on the Zodiac case since July 4, 1969, told the Sentinel that police agencies – especially in San Francisco – did not handle background investigations of Zodiac suspects with much zeal or thoroughness. He, like retired Sheriff’s Captain Ken Narlow, stated that when one police jurisdiction suspected a man in another police jurisdiction, the request for investigation was handled by the prevailing jurisdiction with little effort. Thus, when the San Francisco Police Department was requested to check out Lawrence Kane or Robert E. Hunter, they did not do a thorough job or one with much enthusiasm.

In the case of the San Francisco Police Department, its chief Zodiac investigator was fired for writing his own Zodiac letters to the news media. The letters were written by the police officer in order to promote himself. That only compounded the case and may have even compromised it.

In the Vallejo slaying of Darlene Ferrin on July 4, 1969, it was learned that the first police officer to find her had been dating her – she was a married woman. He was later removed from the force and was under investigation for Ferrin’s murder. Another police officer involved in the case was also dating her and he was later sent to prison for having sex with a minor and domestic violence. A third, who resembles the features of the Zodiac, with red hair and glasses, was even more intimately involved with Ferrin. He too, was removed from the force. The first officer on the scene has stated publicly that Ferrin was dead. However, two officers who examined her at the scene not only found her alive, they felt she was going to live. The officer, who claimed she was dead, was the only person in the back of the ambulance enroute to the hospital with her. She was pronounced DOA at the hospital.

In Sonoma County, the Sheriff believes that all the murders relate to a Satanic cult, which other agencies pooh pooh. In Riverside County, the authorities don’t believe the Zodiac is even involved. The Vallejo Police Department is clinging to Arthur Leigh Allen as their suspect, the Solano County Sheriff’s Department is clinging to a man called Grant. With the retirement of all the first investigators in the case, the Zodiac file has been placed on the back burner by a second generation of law enforcement officials.

All law enforcement officials agree they have never basically checked out the relationship of the victims to each other, and only a cursory review has been done on the theory of more than one man. Thousands of suspects names have been placed into police files. That is why there has been a lot of confusion about the Zodiac. In one instance, a coded letter from Zodiac was never decoded or made public. No law enforcement official even realized that in one Zodiac’s letter he was trying to provide information on his location, by the Kiddie School. Instead, the police interpreted it as meaning the Zodiac was going to attack a school bus.

The Sentinel has been able to link most of the victims together, and is about to present the entire TEAM ZODIAC, plus a list of murders that have direct connection to one or more members of TEAM ZODIAC. It will also be shown that some murders directly claimed by the Zodiac are not, and that the Zodiac killer is probably not the letter writer – that has been done by someone else.

The Zodiac killings will be shown to be generally drug related and within the peripheral of organized crime. it will be shown that the Zodiac killings were purposeful, but not always sanctioned by organized crime, and in most cases were to eliminate people who knew too much. It will also show some police involvement in a few cases, but not all. It is also clear that at least two different people did the killings, but a third person may have done some murders more for personal reasons.

The house at Washington and Maple, the flights to Riverside, the connection of Donna Lass with two of the TEAM ZODIAC and her Riverside connections, the relationship of Darlene Ferrin with almost everyone involved – including the police, and the breaking of the Zodiac code will all be carefully detailed in the next few installments.

These facts are clear:

Zodiac was not a single person.

The Zodiacs were not satanic killers.

The Zodiacs did not commit all the murders alluded to in the Zodiac letters.

The Zodiac lived in San Francisco at the time of most of the murders and has ties to organized crime.

The Zodiacs have tremendous influence and access to law enforcement files.

Some of the Zodiacs lived in Southern California once at the same time.

The victims all knew the Zodiacs and had incriminating evidence on them.

Various clues in the Zodiac letters have been misinterpreted and they specifically state the location of property, name and even birth date.

The Zodiacs are believed all to be alive today and live in San Francisco or in the west.

The Zodiacs killed a lot of other people, some to distract law enforcement officials away from their original purpose of murder.

A few Zodiac murders and attacks have continued up until the mid- 198Os in California.

The Zodiacs are reading this series.

Three victims have survived Zodiac attacks, and at least two of them are able to identify him.

Each of these points will be carefully explained as the series continues – but we’re almost there.

Before we zero in on Team Zodiac, the list of their victims, and the motive for their murder spree, we must first examine a few more murders – not necessarily claimed by the Zodiac, but perhaps very pertinent to the case. These murders have a curious connection with the suspected members of Team Zodiac.

In 1970, the Zodiac wrote a letter stating he would no longer inform anyone of his new victims. This either meant that Team Zodiac had completed its pre-planned murders and would no longer create public attention, or that other murders would take place. Over four dozen murders have been investigated as potential Zodiac killings. But law enforcement officials say they can only attribute seven direct murders to the Zodiac. We disagree with the seven murders that law enforcement list. The listing of the victims was predicated on Zodiac notes claiming responsibility – but the Zodiac letters were not always truthful, they were written to deceive.

The only two guaranteed Zodiac murders were that of Darlene Ferrin on July 4, 1969 and Paul Stine on October 11, 1969. If Donna Lass was murdered – and it is believed she was – that would have been a third murder that could be linked to this crime.

The murders of Cheri Jo Bates on October 30, 1966 and Cecilia Shepherd on September 27, 1969 can also be directly related. The Sheriffs Department in Riverside County does not accept the concept that Cheri Jo Bates was a victim of the Zodiac. We believe the murders are connected.

The murders of Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday on Lake Herman Road have only been linked to the Zodiac because he provided full details of the murder site. According to a retired Vallejo Police Officer who investigated the case, the Zodiac letter did not contain any information about those murders that could not have been readily learned. The murders of Jensen and Faraday have no relationship to the Zodiac – and in fact, if the case was studied close enough, it would be learned that a least one Vallejo police officer was directly involved.

Zodiac claimed after the Paul Stine murder that Stine was his seventh victim. But even with Jensen and Faraday, that only makes six murders. Without them, there are only four murders. A young couple was killed in Santa Barbara before the murder of Bates – a murder that the killer of Bates alluded to in a letter which stated she was not the first victim, nor the last. The Santa Barbara murder was not witnessed by Darlene Ferrin, who would have been only 16 or 17 years old at the time of those murders. Yet, Darlene witnessed the murder of a man. The murder is believed to be the man who killed her. That would account for seven.

All these murders happened on weekends, which ties in with the travel and schedule of some of the suspects in the case.

But Team Zodiac killed for more than one reason. The first reason was to silence people around them that knew too much. Another aspect was to mislead law enforcement officials into believing a mad killer was on the loose. The final reason was pleasure, once the main task had been taken care of and in some cases rejection.

There was a series of murders in San Francisco and in Sonoma County that might have a direct bearing on the Zodiac case – mainly because the victims or their bodies show a proximity to property and or relationships with the Team Zodiac. The murders in Sonoma County are attributed to a Satanic concept. Many investigators attempt to link the Zodiac killings with the Process – an international Satanic organization. One investigator is linking the Process, Zodiac and Charles Manson into one plot. The closest thing that we can come to such a theory is that the Team Zodiac have direct links with organized crime. The national and international Satanic groups are an element of organized crime, dealing with drugs, prostitution, murder and pornography.

We will focus on the murders in San Francisco and Sonoma County. But first, Sonoma County. The Sonoma County killers all took place in 1972 and 1973 – two years after Zodiac went silent. Generally, we would dismiss these murders, but for an eerie connection which we will reveal.

Maureen Sterling was 12 years old and Yvonne Weber was 13. They were classmates at a Santa Rosa junior high school. They vanished on a Friday night – weekends were when all the Zodiac murders occurred

– February 4, 1972. The girls hitchhiked from the Redwood Empire Ice Arena. They met their boyfriends and then hitchhiked back to the Ice Arena. But they never came back. They got into a car on Guernville Road.

A month later, on March 4, 1972, Kim Wendy Allen, a 19-year-old Santa Rosa Junior College student was hitchhiking from San Rafael to Santa Rosa. She was found the next day dead, lying on an embankment 20 feet off Enterprise Road, a rural road east of Santa Rosa. She had died a horrible death, slowly being strangled for 30 minutes. She had been bound at the wrist and ankles. She was nude and had been raped.

About 51 days later, Jeannette Kamahele disappeared. She was a 20-year-old Santa Rosa College student last seen April 25, 1972, hitchhiking. She was seen climbing into a Chevrolet pickup with a wooden, homemade camper in back. The driver of the vehicle was described as white, 20-30 years old, with light brown hair in an Afro style.

Len Lee Kursa, 13, was the next to disappear. She was a runaway and a frequent hitchhiker. Her nude body was found on December 14, 1972, 50 feet down an embankment off Calistoga Road in Rincon Valley east of Santa Rosa Her neck was broken. Two weeks after finding Kursa, the bodies of Maureen Sterling and Yvonne Weber, were found off Franz Valley Road.

Seven months later, a motorcyclist traveling down Franz Valley Road found the body of 14-year-old Carolyn Davis of Anderson. She had been missing for 16 days. She also was hitchhiking down Highway 101. She was found within four feet of where Sterling and Weber were found. Theresa Walsh disappeared on December 22, 1973. She left Malibu and was heading home for the holidays. She was found on December 28 in Mark West Creek, east of Santa Rosa. Carolyn Davis was found on July 16, 1973.

The Sheriffs Department feels that one person is responsible for the killings. Three of the victims were found on Franz Valley Road, adjacent to property owned by the California Academy of Sciences. One body was found on Mark West Road adjacent to property owned by the California Academy of Sciences. But there is more, much more. Though the killings do not follow the regular pattern used by Team Zodiac, the warning note of Zodiac is that they would die in different ways. The Sonoma County Sheriffs Office believes these murders to be tied to Satanism – we don’t. We will identify the ownership of other property near where the bodies were found. But before that, it is important to explore links in the San Francisco slayings.

It is the links in the case more than the type of killings that begin to weave a comprehensive pattern.

Experts say handwriting matches Sentinel sample

unsolved murders of the Napa Valley – Part Seven of Zodiac Portion


by Harry V. Martin

A Department of Justice’s Document Examiner in the Zodiac case has indicated that the handwriting samples in the possession of the Napa Sentinel were the closest to the Zodiac’s handwriting he has ever seen. "I don’t know where you got this writing, but I want more of this writing. I don’t care if you have to break in the guy’s house to get it” he said.

A Question Documents Examiner for the Department of Justice and a professor at Stanford University, stated that nine out of ten handwriting samples given to him matched the Zodiac’s writing.

The handwriting expert, a Question Documents Examiner used in court trials, showed the handwriting to his various colleagues and they all agreed it was the Zodiac’s handwriting.

"Handwriting is the most positive method of identification or elimination of suspects," states a special report on the Zodiac homicides issued by the California Department of Justice and marked "For Law Enforcement Use Only."

The handwriting samples supplied to these various experts were taken from the garbage at the Washington and Maple Street home of San Francisco banker Robert E. Hunter, without his knowledge or consent. These samples were from accounting papers, phone messages, inventory lists, orders for opera tickets and other communications in the garbage.

Both Napa and Sonoma counties – which list Hunter as one of their top suspects – relied on the San Francisco Police Department to investigate the wealthy banker. The San Francisco Police Department dropped the investigation like a hot potato. A meeting was held when Joe Alioto was Mayor of San Francisco. Detectives Dave Toschi and Bill Armstrong were called into the meeting and given instructions that they were to investigate Hunter as the possible Zodiac. San Francisco resident Ed Rosaia provided the material to Tosehi – but there was an immediate personality clash. Rosaia and Toschi went to school together in San Francisco and their families knew each other. Toschi – who was later terminated from the Zodiac case for writing false Zodiac letters to the newspapers – felt that Rosaia was usurping his turf. Toschi’s ego was tied up in the Zodiac case and he didn’t appreciate Rosaia’s interference in the case.

Despite Mayor Alioto’s request that Hunter be investigated, there is evidence that he wasn’t. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Detective Sergeant Erwin Carlstedt, who considers Hunter a prime suspect, went to San Francisco to check on the investigation of Hunter. He reported that there was no "jacket" on Hunter. Every suspect has a "jacket" in the police files – but not Hunter. If a suspect was cleared, their name was put in the file. There was no file on Hunter. Carlstedt snooped around a little bit and found all the Hunter files Rosaia gave to Toachi filed in a obscure file under Rosaia’s name – not Hunter’s.

After Toschi was removed from the Zodiac case, Inspector James Deasy took over. He was significantly impressed with the information on Hunter that he requested a $150,000 state grant to "reopen" the Zodiac case. The grant was denied. A San Francisco Chronicle article quoted Deasy as stating, "All the circumstantial evidence fit perfectly. It was so good, in fact, that we had to check the suspect out. Unfortunately we were able to eliminate the man completely based on his fingerprints." The state Department of Justice indicates that only the handprinting could be used as a positive identification of the Zodiac. Deasy said that he believed the finger print found in San Francisco Yellow Cab driver Paul Stine’s taxi was phony. The print was found on the other side of the cab from where the Zodiac was sitting. Why was Hunter "cleared" by the San Francisco Police? Deasy stated, that Homicide Lieutenant Jack Jordan – who did not investigate the Zodiac case – told him to end the case. "The Lieutenant told me to drop it – to leave it alone."

When Deasy was questioned about fingerprints from the Riverside murder of Cheri Jo Bates, Deasy asked, "What prints? There’s no mention of prints in the Riverside report." A newspaper clipping from a Riverside newspaper stated that the San Francisco Police were given copies of the fingerprints. Deasy responded, "I hope that Lieutenant Jordan gets an egg on his face."

Toschi had done nothing toward investigating Hunter, and Jordan wanted the case closed without any investigation or reason. Why?

What evidence did the Police receive about Hunter? Why is he one of the prime suspects in respect to the Napa County Sheriff’s Department and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department, but not in San Francisco?

The evidence – circumstantial as it is – is massive. So massive, in fact, that this is why Deasy wanted a $150,000 state grant to continue the case. Was the grant blocked at the San Francisco level?

Rosaia teamed up with Dana Best, who provides paid lectures to law enforcement officials in seminars. The duo has dug into old records and the history of Hunter and his family – birth certificates, death certificates, wills, property acquisition, residency – to build a strong case, which has excited at least three law enforcement agencies. But because there is no active investigation underway in the Zodiac case, and because all the original investigators have retired, the case is virtually dormant.

In the meantime, a second suspect in the case, Lawrence Kane, consented to an interview in Lake Tahoe. Kane fits the description of the man who met with Darlene Ferrin, brought her packages and was at her painting party. He is the man Darlene indicated she saw kill someone. Kane, however, does not fit the description of the man who Darlene argued with twice the night she was killed. Kane does fit the description of the man seen leaving the scene of the Paul Stine murder – but so does Robert E. Hunter – the attorney, not the banker.

Here is a review of all the evidence the Police have on Hunter, plus details on Kathyn Hunter, who was a close friend of Cheri Jo Bates. Also facts about Robert E. Hunter, the attorney, and Zodiac incidents that have never been reported, and also who eye witnesses have named as the Zodiac. It also details property by property descriptions and their relationship with where victims were found.

The circumstantial case against San Francisco banker Robert E. Hunter is substantial enough to establish probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant. In fact, there is more probable cause for a search warrant in this case than when the Vallejo Police Department obtained a search warrant on the Fresno Street home of Arthur Leigh Allen year 14 years ago. This statement was generally echoed by an agent of the F.B.I., as well – a man not assigned to the case. These statements were made after a limited review of documents in the possession of the Napa Sentinel This, coupled with the fact that Hunter was a prime suspect in at least Napa and Sonoma counties, along with the statements of three handwriting experts that the material in Hunter’s handwriting closely matches that of the Zodiac, establishes even more reason to focus on this now 83-year-old man.

But what is that circumstantial evidence? Many situations are coincidences, but when dozens of these coincidences appear, law enforcement begins to build a case and use the term "probable cause". The circumstantial ties will be listed in relationship with the victims. All these murders occurred on weekends. Robert E. Hunter stayed in San Francisco on weekends when he worked in Southern California. He generally stayed at the Pacific Union Club or the Huntington Hotel.



It has been established, both through Cheri Jo Bates’ father and through Kathryn Hunter that Bates and Kathryn Hunter knew each other. Kathryn admitted knowing Bates, Kathryn lived 1-1/2 blocks from her. She attended Riverside City College with Bates. She left college suddenly the Monday following the killing, but before Bates’ body was found. Bates’ father indicates that Cheri was going to the library with the girl who lived 1-1/2 blocks from them. The same girl that left the college the day Cheri’s body was found. Kathryn, though a close friend of Cheri, did not attend her funeral.

Kathryn says she does not know Robert E. Hunter, but said she looked him up in the San Francisco phone book and found that three of them had the same name, Robert E. Hunter, Sr., Robert E. Hunter, Jr., and Robert E. Hunter III. Kathryn could not have obtained that information from the San Francisco phone book because Robert E. Hunter, Sr., lived in Southern California and died there, and Robert E. Hunter III lived in St. Helena.

Kathryn, according to various public records, lived alternately in Riverside and San Francisco. A vehicle was found in Robert E. Hunter’s driveway and in his garage with the license number VRP854. The vehicle was registered to Mike and Kathryn Petlansky. A records search shows that Michael John Petlansky married Kathryn Hunter on August 7, 1967. Strangely enough, Kathryn reports that her vehicle was repossessed, but the Department of Motor Vehicles state "vehicle reported sold". At the time of the check there was no other owner on file and Kathyn was divorced from Michael Petlansky.

Kathryn Hunter was a close friend of Cheri Jo Bates and is related, somehow, to Robert E. Hunter. By itself, this means nothing, but as more victims and circumstances become associated, the more the connection becomes established.

Because of Hunter’s banking assignments, he was traveling back and forth to Southern California, San Francisco and Fresno. Where was Hunter on the night Cheri Jo Bates was killed? According to the Registrar of Voters in San Francisco, Hunter filed an absentee ballot for the November 1966 elections because he was going to be in Southern California

The initials carved into the library desk in Riverside were “rh”.



Though photographs of Darlene Ferrin with an airplane number in the background has not been checked out completely yet, once the plane number is matched to an owner, it may reveal more information.

Darlene Ferrin did all her banking at the Montgomery Street branch in San Francisco of Crocker Bank. This is the branch and during the period of time Hunter was assigned to it.

On the night Darlene was murdered, she was seen at two different times arguing with a man who was about 6-foot, two-inches, sandy-colored hair and very well dressed. There were three witnesses to this. This is not the man that went to the painting party or who was hanging around Darlene a lot. Hunter is 6-foot, two inches with sandy hair and always Immaculately dressed.

Darlene was killed about a mile from Hunter Ranch Villas.

The first Zodiac letter was received and handwriting experts indicate that it has a close resemblance to Hunter’s handwriting. Darlene, while in San Francisco, lived with her father-in-law for awhile, a few blocks from Hunter’s home and near the San Francisco Presidio. Her father-in-law worked for the Academy of Sciences (Hunter also had ties to the Academy of Sciences and was living in a house owned by them before he purchased it.), her husband worked in the Presidio. Before Darlene was married she lived in the same facilities as Paul Stine and Lawrence Kane.



Cecilia Shepherd was murdered by a man 6 foot, two-inches or taller. She grew up with Cheri Jo Bates in Southern California.

She was killed on a small peninsula at Lake Berryessa. Hunter owned Running Deer Ranch, a 2100 acre property with a 3/4 mile frontage on the Lake, overlooking that small peninsula.

The man who killed Cecilia claims to have killed Cheri Jo Bates and Darlene Ferrin. The handwriting matches the handwriting of Hunter.



San Francisco Yellow cab driver Paul Stine, who knew Darlene Ferrin, picked up his killer near the Pacific Union Club. The log sheet indicates he was to deliver his passenger to Washington and Maple streets, but after getting there drove a block further down to Washington and Cherry streets.

Though Hunter was still living in Pasadena at the time of Stine’s murder, he was occupying the house at Washington and Maple, according to a neighbor, a few days prior to Stine’s murder. There exists documents that show Hunter conducted financial business through the Pacific Union Club on October 11, 1969, so there is sufficient evidence to place Hunter in town and in association with the structure at Washington and Maple.

The letter sent by the Zodiac claimed that right after Stine’s murder, he was located two blocks to the east of where the police dogs were, 150 feet northwest of where the motorcycle police officers were. He also claimed he could see what was happening in the Presidio with the police search. The only house that fits that description is Washington and Maple. But the Zodiac provided another clue that was never understood by the Police. He indicated in his letter about the Stine murder that he might shoot out the tires of a school bus and watch the kiddies come out. He draw a map. That map points not to a school bus bomb, but to the Kiddie School, with its green bus parked outside, down the street from Washington and Maple. The map shows a position "B" which is the house of Hunter and a position "A" which is the Kiddie School.

All the handwriting found that match closely to the Zodiac were extracted from Hunter’s garbage at Washington and Maple, and Kathryn Hunter’s car was parked in that driveway and garage.



Kathleen Johns was abducted near Patterson in Stanislaus County after having car trouble. When her potential murderer drove her to an isolated road near Patterson, she eventually escaped. She reports that she was followed near the Big Oak Flat Ranch in the San Joaquin Valley. Hunter owns property at Big Oak Flat Ranch.

When Kathleen was asked for an interview by the Sentinel, she consented. But she did not show up for the interview because she received a phone call warning her that she and her two daughters were being watched. The call startled Kathleen because at the time of her abduction she only had one daughter.

She did not show up for the interview, but after being called, she met her appointment. Explaining the phone call, she was provided with Hunter’s San Francisco phone number and a Sonoma number, as well. When she dialed the number she received a recorded message from both phone numbers. She was scared and stated that the voice on both recorders was the same man who warned her not to make the interview.

Later on, Kathleen submitted to hypnosis under the guidance of a trained hypnotist and a representative from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Under hypnosis she identified the same voice of the man who abducted her with the voice she had heard threaten her and which was on the recorded message.

Not only did Hunter have property at the point in which Johns was followed, but he also had business in the San Joaquin, Valley with Crocker Bask.



Donna Lass worked as a nurse for the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. She left the hospital to go back east with a prominent man. Robert E. Hunter, Sr., endowed the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with a cancer wing. He left the west coast to dedicate a medical structure at Yale at the same time Donna Lass made her trek back east with a prominent medical man. On March 31, 1969, Donna Lass left with a prominent medical person for the east coast. In April 1969, Hunter Sr., endowed the Robert E. Hunter Professorship of Radiology at the Yale School of Medicine. Hunter, Sr., died at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital after Donna Lass disappeared. Lass is the nurse that Hunter, Sr., went back east with.

A Zodiac letter indicated that she could be found by following his clues: "Peek through the Pines". In checking records, it has been learned that Robert E. Hunter, Jr., owned a cabin at Alpine and the property seems to match the clues the Zodiac gave to where Donna Lass could be found. The location was pinpointed and it appears that Lass’s sunglasses were found in the area, but no body.

Before Donna Lass went to Lake Tahoe to work as a nurse for the Sahara Hotel, she was a nurse at Letterman Hospital in the San Francisco Presidio. Many of the victims believed associated with the Zodiac had connection to Letterman Hospital and/or the Presidio. Hunter’s house at Washington and Maple streets is right next to the Presidio.

Donna’s roommate indicates that Lass frequently flew to Riverside with two men – one fitting Hunter’s description. It is known that Lawrence Kane, who knew Darlene Ferrin, and who works for the mob, left with Donna Lass when she went to Lake Tahoe. He went to work for the same hotel. He was also interviewed for this report. It is believed that Kane, Hunter and Lass often flew to Southern California together.

Before continuing with other victims that may be associated with the Zodiac, it is also important to note other connections. Hunter is associated with the California Academy of Sciences through the Museum Association. The Zodiac, according to Police, wrote lyrics from the Mikado, but from memory. A look at Hunter’s year book from Southern California shows that he was in the Mikado musical. These are small connections, but the circumstances continue to build.

In one letter, the Zodiac indicated the school bomb was planted on a Clayton property in Contra Costa County. He indicated the search should be completed before the fall. The property was specifically designated and it was sold in the fall. The owner of the property was Robert E. Hunter – but not the banker, the attorney from San Francisco. Attorney Hunter has red hair and glasses, is 5-feet, 8-inches tall similar to the description given of the man exiting Paul Stine’s car. There are a few poetic linkages to attorney Hunter in the Zodiac letters pointing to the cemeteries in Daly City and the ocean, a description of attorney Hunter’s home. The importance of these clues is not to point to the attorney, but to a concept that Zodiac might have wished to point to the attorney with the same name – either a diversion or a clue. A man of attorney Hunter’s description or that of Kane, answered the door in his bathroom at Hunter’s Washington and Maple streets home at the same time Kathryn Hunter’s car was parked in the garage.

We will next examine any relationships Hunter may have had with Sonoma County and San Francisco victims.

(To be continued.)

This was the end of the Zodiac portion.


8 thoughts on “Zodiac

  1. Greg

    With respect to the Santa Rosa slayings, there are a lot of errors presented here. Maybe some are due to careless copy-pasting. Some comments are contradicted by later ones. People look at these types of websites for facts and accuracy. This site provides too much confusion.

    I’m sorry you feel that way, Greg. I copied the articles verbatim from the newspaper web site. Unfortunately, it is now defunct.


    • Stephanie

      Regarding the Sonoma County, Franz Valley Road victims, I never could make sense of those killings being the Zodiac. I grew up in Santa Rosa and was about the age of the victims at the time of the crimes. I specifically recall reading in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that the murdered girls had been hog tied and tied in such a way that when they would writhe or move, it would cause the bindings around their throat to choke them. This never sounded like the work of the Zodiac.

      Hi Stephanie. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      I would tend to agree with you. All the news reports that I ever read about Zodiac involved guns or knives, never rope. But with the theory of a “Team Zodiac,” perhaps they all had different MO’s and one of them used ropes? I have no clue, simply speculating here, but I am persuaded that the team thing makes a lot of sense. I also think a lot of murders got pinned to Zodiac for simple convenience.


      • dana best

        zodiac did say slaves in paradice. by knife ,by gun, by fire byROPE


      • dana best

        the bodies dumped on franz valley road, with a symbol “speedy voyage into paradice ” were linked to zodiac because of the symbol. the property was owned by kenneth becthel main trustee at the academy of science, since the 50,s he put together field trips and expaditions togethr. he willed the property to fred drexil who turned it over to academy of science,s ala robert emmit the hippie. people pointed out that was several years after the bodies were dumbed there, so that dont count. but the property pepperwood ranch was already connected to the academy at the time of the body,s being dumped. so the washington and maple property was tied to robert emmit the hippie via academy of science. but also zodiacs suspects other property on arnold drive in glen ellen in sonoma was tied to robert emmit the hippie . because the property was owned by alma spreckles who donated the band concourse and alma spreckles fountian . right in front of the statue robert emmit the hippie. so there. robert emmit the hippie comes up three times regarding suspect and victims


  2. Nate

    Is this all the clippings you have on the case from this website? Don’t leave us hanging here. It’s very refreshing to read this investigation, though, and I’m sure it makes a lot of Zodiac “authorities” jealous. Yes, there are a few confusing aspects of the above reading materials, but none are truly outlandish.
    Team Zodiac theory is the only theory that makes sense to me, and I’ve thought this even before I read the above postings. The whole idea of sending letters to taunt, and to basically beg to be caught is quite strange. They had to be created to decieve. If Z wanted to be captured so badly, he probably wouldve gave himself up before his inevitable death. One more publicity filled hurrah, so to speak.
    The Z letters destroyed any straight and focused law enforcement investigation. It was brilliant, but also fairly elementary. And any retired Zodiac detective or DOJ representative that says that they all absolutely shared information, and there was no petty jealousies, is full of crap. Im a man, and i know how competetive men are in the work place. I myself have a hard time admitting when im wrong. Now imagine being involved in the investigation of MURDERED PEOPLE. Law enforcement fudged it. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    Circumstantial evidence is often times all we have to go on in police investigations. Lets not chuck common sense out the window, because we don’t have the perfect science to nail somebody. At a certain point, even though we don’t have people in prison for the Z murders, we have to assess the probabilities.

    This to me is better, than a bunch of idiot Zodiac experts who only set out to DISPROVE impressive investigations, and highly probable suspects. Until somebody else brings something this thorough to the table, im still going to lean on the Team Zodiac theory, and Darlene Ferrin being the driving force behind these murders. Calculated and purposefull, not random.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Nate. 🙂

    Yes, unfortunately these are all the articles I could find by the author about this subject. He’d written about other cases in the Napa Valley but no others I could find about Zodiac.

    I have to say, having frown up during that time and in that place, these articles make the most sense to me. The MO is too different – serial killers just don’t operate the way Zodiac did. Plus, the witness descriptions were always so varied – tall, short, heavy, thin, masked, unmasked, glasses, no glasses, etc. And I don’t recall anyone looking for a connection between the victims before, so that was an interesting aspect to me as well.

    After reading these, I no longer believe Zodiac was one man. I am convinced it was a group, and also that the victims were targeted and not random.

    Hope to see you again. 🙂


  3. I received an email from a gentleman named Howard regarding the Zodiac murders. Here is a copy of his letter to me, I thought it might be of interest to those who are looking for information and perspectives on the Zodiac killings of the 1960’s and 70’s in California.

    He also has a website.


    Website: http://www.thezodiacmansonconnection.com

    I met with the author of the now defunct Napa Sentinal at the Concord Mall in N CA many years ago. You posted his treatise concerning the Zodiac killer.

    I told him about a Zodiac tip/suspect I had received from my now Ex BIL on Zodiac in 1974. He was an Assistant DA for the LADA’s Office then.

    I started researching Zodiac when the book came out in 1987. It stimulated my interest in that old tip I got back in 1974.

    I told Harry Martin the editor then about Bruce Davis who was second in command with the infamous Manson family in 1967-70. He was CM’s best friend.

    I gave my reasons for believing that Bruce Davis was Zodiac or that he was involved in that criminal scenario.

    Harry went home and eventually devised an intricate case bringing in a number of people and complicated everything. He added much to what I had told him and that he had read in my book.

    I will only affirm a connection to Zodiac via Bruce Davis with CM as mastermind.

    As Zodiac expert Dave Peterson said I believe that ‘others’ were involved and ‘assisted’ in the Zodiac case. He asserted Bruce Davis was the main player.

    Please see my site as given above.



  4. William Weston

    You are to be commended for making available the articles written by Harry Martin for the Napa Sentinel on the Zodiac case. I fully agree with your conclusion that we do not have one deranged man killing people but a team of killers.

    I have linked your post in the comment section of my own blog at http://www.zodiackilleridentified.com which goes into detail about how conspiracy researcher Mae Brussell identified a Zodiac killer as Robert Linkletter, son of entertainer Art Linkletter. He was also the one who lost has glasses at the Tate house during the night of the murders.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your feedback, William! And for the linky-love. 🙂

      I had no idea that Art Linkletter’s son could be involved in this, nor that he might be involved in the Tate-Labianco murders, either. Wow, that’s some news! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      Vanessa, fka DarcsFalcon


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