Logistics is important.
On the late night of October 11, 1969, while zooming up Jackson heading to Cherry Street, Fouke and Zelms cruised past a lumbering man walking down Jackson and almost at Maple. Seeing he was white and did not presently fit the description of the supposed perpetrator, they passed on to the crime scene. Fouke’s last glimpse of him was turning onto Maple Street, heading north toward West Pacific along he Presidio. When the description of the supposed perpetrator was changed from a black adult male to a white adult male they realized they might have seen him. They sped down Arguello into the Presidio. They generically reported “a suspect had been seen heading toward Presidio.”
All well and good.
It came back to bite them later for a number of reasons. Of most interest here is the fact that ZODIAC made reference to seeing them. In his letter of November 9, 1969, he even said they had stopped and asked him if he had seen anybody suspicious. Off hand he said it was about 3 minutes after he left the cab that he encountered the two cops.
Years ago I walked that same path from Washington and Cherry to Jackson and Maple. It is about 3 minutes.
I walked it again with a camera here. I was walking fairly quickly, and I’m 6 foot 3 with longer legs. Walking normally (and for a man around 5 foot 8 inches) it is about 3 minutes to Jackson and Maple from the crime scene.
What does this tell us? It could be that ZODIAC looked at his watch as he left and noticed the time on the glowing dials and then looked at his watch again after Fouke and Zelms passed. But it is far more likely ZODIAC walked the same route in the day (or even on an earlier night), several days before the murder, to see how long it would take to get away– either to where he intended to park or to where he could slip into the darkness at West Pacific (where the video ends).
For a villain who labored on devising cryptograms and sewing an elaborate black hood it is hardly surprising he devotes enough time beforehand to time his escape route.
By admitting in his letter to the time element, ZODIAC confirmed he was the man that Fouke and Zelms saw, but by admitting to the time element involved walking from Washington and Cherry to Jackson and Maple the ZODIAC has told us many more things than he probably imagined.
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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.