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Lake Herman Drug Bust

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Tahoe27
(@tahoe27)
Posts: 5315
Member Moderator
Topic starter
 

Everytime I watch this video, it bugs me. It’s a clip of of David Fincher’s documentary. (I posted on another thread, but thought it a good topic). I can see why drugs were considered by law enforcement.

If you click on the photo, the video should start:

*David is previously arguing (at the pancake house) with someone about drugs–weed.
*David is told by SOMEONE some kids will be partying out on LHR. I believe it’s David’s sister who confirmed this.
*Hell’s Angel call–cops there about one half hour, when they leave a call of the murders on LHR.
*A drug bust (weed) at "The Cottage" at Lake Herman around the time of the murders. Owned by the City of Benicia. It was said a truck was seen leaving the gate earlier (where David and Betty Lou were killed)…also owned/locked by the City of Benicia.

Questions:

1) Who was David arguing with at the pancake house?
2) Who told David that kids would be going to LHR that night?
3) Who was it (if anyone) that got busted at "The Cottage". Was the weed inside? Locked? Sounds like it as they needed a search warrant. Why did they need a search warrant? Who had access–City employees?
4)Two officers passed the scene a few minutes before David and Betty Lou were killed and there were NO cars. Where were they?

And..

Why no mention of this in ANY Zodiac book ever? Seems like a weed bust just around the corner and cops having been there at the time is worthy of mentioning!


…they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs–other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac’s doorstep. L.A. Times, 1969

 
Posted : March 29, 2013 11:27 am
Tahoe27
(@tahoe27)
Posts: 5315
Member Moderator
Topic starter
 

Old mb replies pg 1:

sandy betts
Chief
Subject: LHR Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:37 pm

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Well it sounds like we should be looking for a city employee ? "Not the police", please don’t misunderstand that !

Tahoe, your question number 3 about the search warrant ? I believe in order to enter a persons home or residence, LE has to have a warrant, or what ever they find inside can not be used in a court of law, is what I understand to be why. Perhaps one of our posters who is or was in LE can explain it ?

bayarea60s
Chief

Subject: Sandy…T27 Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:06 pm

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I’ve heard these rumors before. I’m not saying they’re rumors, but I could never find anything/anyone responsible for the base of these claims. I will say back then I was involved a bit in the drug world. Not to be insensitive here, but David if he looked as the pics we’ve seen of him, would strike one as maybe a narc. Not that he was working for cops or anything, but he had a look of someone who might rat you out to others. And if he openly spoke against folks doing drugs, he could have brought on some dislike from others involved. Now I never knew of anyone personally who ratted someone out and was killed for it. Druggies would just tend to avoid someone they didn’t know, or knew was outspoken against drugs. But I guess it would all depend on who you ratted out and how it impacted them.

tahoe27
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:27 pm

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sandy betts wrote:
Well it sounds like we should be looking for a city employee ? "Not the police", please don’t misunderstand that !

Tahoe, your question number 3 about the search warrant ? I believe in order to enter a persons home or residence, LE has to have a warrant, or what ever they find inside can not be used in a court of law, is what I understand to be why. Perhaps one of our posters who is or was in LE can explain it ?

But Bidou states "The Cottage" was owned by the City of Benicia, so why would Benicia police need a search warrant?

I’m not totally convinced either that there couldn’t have been a crooked cop somewhere in the mix, but am not pointing the finger at any one individual.

tahoe27
ubject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:07 pm

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bayarea60s wrote:
I’ve heard these rumors before. I’m not saying they’re rumors, but I could never find anything/anyone responsible for the base of these claims. I will say back then I was involved a bit in the drug world. Not to be insensitive here, but David if he looked as the pics we’ve seen of him, would strike one as maybe a narc. Not that he was working for cops or anything, but he had a look of someone who might rat you out to others. And if he openly spoke against folks doing drugs, he could have brought on some dislike from others involved. Now I never knew of anyone personally who ratted someone out and was killed for it. Druggies would just tend to avoid someone they didn’t know, or knew was outspoken against drugs. But I guess it would all depend on who you ratted out and how it impacted them.

Small high school type dealers I would say would have just ignored him. Which is most likely what it was. David did have an altercation with someone about weed, but it could certainly be nothing.

But if David was onto something bigger, or this person with him at the pancake house was involved with something bigger, I think it raises some very good questions.

Could whoever owned the weed inside The Cottage have known the bust was taking place? Maybe this person was around that night? Didn’t have to know David at all. If by some chance the Hell’s Angels were behind it, they would have no problem taking care of business.

I just find it odd the murders of Betty Lou and David weren’t the only criminal activities happening that night….very close to each other.

Just thoughts….

bayarea60s
Subject: T27 Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:56 pm

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The HS dealers wouldn’t have ignored him, in fact they may have looked at him as more of a threat to them, then say a larger, more organized dealer. But I also don’t think a HS dealer selling weed would kill someone, punch him around maybe, much less it leading to a HS kid becoming Z and outsmarting all of LE.
I can’t imagine David getting close enough to Angel’s business to know, let alone rat them out, but if he did somehow, and didn’t take warnings well, then that’s a possibility. But again I really don’t think that would be the connection to Z.

Nachtsider
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:11 pm

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Our boy being affiliated with the Angels and gaining a taste for murder after being tasked with silencing David on LHR has an interesting ring to it. Maybe the subsequent murders were also a form of obfuscation, meant to stymie the drug connection and make people think a lovers’ lane psycho was on the loose.

Christ, I’m starting to sound like Harry Martin.

Guest
Guest
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:14 pm

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I agree Tahoe, I too find it very strange that the Angel’s were raided and the Cottage also, and then after they have ran a couple of guys in from that bust the cops are sent to LHR to find David and Betty Lou dead. I had no idea there was any drug busts that night until I read about it on the boards. Is this the reason that Lunblad and co, never thought LHR was the Zodiac because of the timing and proximity to the raids. It does make you wonder.

Quagmire
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:04 am

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It wouldn’t surprise me if LHR turned out to be a drugs related shooting given the background on that night. If this were the case, it wouldn’t surprise me either if it wasn’t connected to Z in any way but that Z claimed it as his work after it went unsolved for 6 months.

LE ruled out many possible Z suspects in the years that followed based on the fact that they could not have been at LHR in Dec 68. Perfect way for Z to get himself off the hook – publicly claim a murder he could not have been personally responsible for 6 months earlier and he automatically has an alibi for all the Z murders.

morf13
Chief

Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:49 am

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So what you guys are saying, is that there was police involvement on some level? Obviously, Zodiac (when he finally took credit for LHR 8 months later) wrote of details of the crime, name of ammo, amount of shots, position of the feet, etc. The only way he Zodiac would have those details if he wasn’t the killer, would be some kind of police leak.

Personally,I believe that LHR was a Zodiac crime all the way, and not some drug hit of some sort. Most drug hits,or hits done by pros, arent elaborate scenarios, there is simply a shot behind the ear, and at least another shot to ensure death. David was shot once, and Betty was shot many times, but in the back as she ran. If it was a "hit", I also think there would have been more than one person there to do it, and help control the situation. Since Bettty ran, and made it onto LHR before finally being cut down with bullets to the back, I think there was a lack of control there.

What interested me, was the same night, police got a call to look for a man out at Lake Berryessa who had not come home from fishing. I think they mentioned that in the Documentary. I wonder if that fisherman ever turned up (if there was a fisherman).

Quagmire
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:44 am

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morf13 wrote:
So what you guys are saying, is that there was police involvement on some level?

There are tantalising clues that there might have been police involvement but I feel that the police might have just handled everything poorly and Z took advantage of this – after all, part of his goal was to make the police look bad. If LHR was committed by someone with drugs involvement, it might not have actually been a "hit" as such. Could have just been a deal gone wrong and someone tried to sell drugs to the wrong kids by mistake and ended up having to shoot them and get out of there damn quick which ended up as an amateur, shoddy murder rather than a planned professional hit.

Although Z gave details of what actually occurred at BRS he only provided evidence of the final scene at LHR – body positions, ammo used, etc. Apart from LE and witnesses of the crime scene (such as Stella Borges) any number of journalists, ambulance drivers, crime scene photographers, etc would have this info and it could have easily have been unwittingly leaked to colleagues, associates, friends, etc.

I’m still 50/50 undecided over LHR (and feel the same way about Riverside) but I personally wouldn’t discount the drug angle and that Z just took credit and used this blueprint at BRS 7 months later.

Guest
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:53 am

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I think considering the proximity to the Cottage and all these drug busts going on that LE may have felt that there was some connection to the killing of David and Betty Lou. Quite a lot of them don’t feel it was a Zodiac Crime, does that indicate then that they tie it in to the busts, it’s possible.

It could also be possible that someone at the cottage that night fled the scene either on foot or in a car (only Owen’s mentions seeing a dark car lacking in chrome, he could be lying) or had been on approach perhaps with the intention of buying drugs. If Owens was early for work and also the question of where exactly was he sitting to see Borges but she didn’t see him. Do we have a map showing the exact position of the cottage?

bentley
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:41 am

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I recall reading that the cottage was on the grounds near the Lake Herman parking area Solar, which would put it about 1/4 mile away from the crime scene, towards Vallejo. Can’t remember where I got the info, if someone can confirm I’ll post a map.

tahoe27
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:00 am

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Yes, Bidou states it was "The Cottage" at Lake Herman…which was right around the corner.

I too still question the LHR killings.

Makes me wonder too why Zodiac wrote "last Christmas"….couldn’t remember the date at the time? He was so into dates but didn’t use it. He also states "the two teenagers AT LAKE HERMAN"….which makes me think he was familiar with the LAKE as he didn’t say "Lake Herman Road".

It’s why I question Zodiac at LB too. It was Septemeber, yet he didn’t write on the door any August killings, yet later when he writes…he claims an August killing. I question Zodiac killing Paul so close to the LB murders and wanting to provide PHYSICAL PROOF it was him–only 2 weeks later. Why? No doubt he would take credit for it, helps with misdirection–but I think (if he did not commit the LB crimes), he was pissed. That writing does not look like Zodiac’s to me, and his voice sounded "young"–not how Slover described it.

I think Zodiac very capable of making people think he was responsible for crimes he did not commit. Although, very lucky too that some of these folks weren’t caught. But if LE thought they were looking for Zodiac, as stated above, others could have been dismissed because they couldn’t have been in Vallejo or SF, etc. at the time.

Would be very clever.

Nachtsider
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:29 am

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I think it’s a bit of a stretch to contemplate that the killer at LB, if not Zodiac, looked so much like him, had similar handwriting and drove a similar car. And, if not Zodiac, what happened to this man? Someone sick enough to copycat a serial killer doesn’t just disappear.


…they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs–other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac’s doorstep. L.A. Times, 1969

 
Posted : March 29, 2013 11:40 am
Tahoe27
(@tahoe27)
Posts: 5315
Member Moderator
Topic starter
 

OLD MB REPLIES – PG 2:

tahoe27
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:36 am

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Nachtsider wrote:
"I think it’s a bit of a stretch to contemplate that the killer at LB, if not Zodiac, looked so much like him, had similar handwriting and drove a similar car. And, if not Zodiac, what happened to this man? Someone sick enough to copycat a serial killer doesn’t just disappear. "

I’m confused…how do we know what Zodiac looked like at LB? Or what kind of car he drove? If one doesn’t think the guy lurking around the lake was Z, then we’d have no clue. Other than dark, greasy brown hair–not described at BRS or PH.

And you are absolutely right. One so sick doesn’t just stop…who says he did (if not Z)? What about Cheri’s killer if not Z, what about all the other murders associated with the Zodiac crimes who quite possibly aren’t Zodiac? Scary scenerio!

Guest
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:55 am

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Thanks Tahoe for the map, that’s bloody close isn’t it.

morf13
Chief

Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:58 am

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Solar Pons wrote:
"Thanks Tahoe for the map, that’s bloody close isn’t it."

Was there an anonymous tip of some sort that led to this drug bust?

bayarea60s
Subject: T27… Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:24 am

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I’ve always thought Z stating just "Lake Herman" shows to me anyway that he was a local. Folks who live in the communities they reference tend to drop of Road, Ave, St, etc., It’s like saying everyone know what Lake Herman would be referring to. I wasn’t from Vallejo, a little familiar with it, but if someone just said Lake Herman to me I would ask them for a street name, thinking he’s just telling me the name of a lake.

Maybe Z doesn’t mention the August murder on the door because he hadn’t publicly claimed it yet? I know that hand writing experts were brought in and identified the door writing as Z’s. Course that’s not an absolute, but it does look similiar to me, and that’s certainly not an absolute.

I don’t recall Z claiming any murders as his, that he didn’t back up with evidence that he did it. Except in the cases where the media said the police were looking at it as a potential Z crime. He would throw out numbers of murders that he did, but didn’t identify the crime specifically. I’ve often wondered why he didn’t claim the LB case to the press.
You would think he would have. Only daytime killing we know of, and he didn’t boast about it. I don’t know why he didn’t, but I do believe LB was Z.

bayarea60s
Subject: T27… Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:33 am

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You bring up a very good point. Ca. had no shortage of wackos then or now. And there were many murders that were never solved. While I believe Z had his hand in some of them, I can’t believe he’d be responsible for all of them. So there were several murderers who got away with their crimes.

sandy betts
subject: LB Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:31 pm

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Zodiac did make a phone call to the police in Napa, to report the stabbings at LB.
Maybe he felt that call ,along with his writing on the car door was enough evidence ?
The dates I feel on the car door, were to show only his killings in the North bay area.
Because he didn’t include the dates any of his work in Southern Calif. I do believe he was the shooter in the Santa Barbara case in 1963, and Cheri Jo Bates in 66.
In his letter about the southern Calif. murders, he wrote it as his killings down south , as if they were separate in his mind. That is just my own interpretation of it.

bayarea60s
Subject: Sandy Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:43 am

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I agree with all you’ve stated here….

tahoe27
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:43 am

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Yes a phone call was made but the voice didn’t sound mature like Slover said it sounded. If the callers voice was one that sounded like Gaikowski to Slover, I don’t think there is a way that caller could fake a young sounding voice to Slaight or Hartnell….not Z or another involved with Zodiac….??

If he didn’t claim his Southern Cal stuff in September because it was separate in his mind, why claim it in November???

morf13
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:21 am

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I dont personally think a person’s voice is a good determination of their age all the time. Certainly not something to use to ID someone.

tahoe27
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:43 am

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morf13 wrote:
"I dont personally think a person’s voice is a good determination of their age all the time. Certainly not something to use to ID someone."

Of course I wouldn’t rule someone out because of that. I just think LB was the freakiest and people like to think it is proof positive the killer at LB was Zodiac. I still don’t buy it. I am 50/50. Obviously if this person was NOT the Zodiac, he was mimicing him and would have known he called the VPD…so calling the cops doesn’t need to be exclusive to Zodiac.

Yes Zodiac offered information to prove it was he who did the killings, but Stine was the ONLY time he mailed in absolute 100% proof. Why? Why the need to do this now–only 2 WEEKS AFTER LB? Why point out an August murder in November when you didn’t claim it in September…it was almost like he was shouting, THAT WASN’T ME! Just my opinion of course.

****** OFF TRACK WITH THE ABOVE! SORRY.

I am going to try and contact Bidou. I want to find out more about the drug bust that night.

Guest

Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:04 am

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I also am torn about LB mainly because of the lack of any information he provides. He gives us info about LHR and BRS including, patterned slacks and direction of feet, also Stines shirt etc, what do we get about LB "I also did in those people in the north bay" and that’s it. Nothing in other words.

Most decriptions by the dentist and his son and the girls describe more or less the same man and they all put him at around 6 foot tall, the man they seen may not be the killer, but I certainly think the timing and proximity of the man that the Rayfield’s saw and also his reaction to them, makes me think he is. At BRS and PH we are given a much shorter individual. Physically there is some difference. Also something else lately has puzzled me a great deal about LB but I’m not going into it here as I would get crucified, but it has given me doubts about LB being Zodiac. A little off topic, I know.

morf13
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:30 am

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Solar Pons wrote:
"I also am torn about LB mainly because of the lack of any information he provides. He gives us info about LHR and BRS including, patterned slacks and direction of feet, also Stines shirt etc, what do we get about LB "I also did in those people in the north bay" and that’s it. Nothing in other words.

Most decriptions by the dentist and his son and the girls describe more or less the same man and they all put him at around 6 foot tall, the man they seen may not be the killer, but I certainly think the timing and proximity of the man that the Rayfield’s saw and also his reaction to them, makes me think he is. At BRS and PH we are given a much shorter individual. Physically there is some difference. Also something else lately has puzzled me a great deal about LB but I’m not going into it here as I would get crucified, but it has given me doubts about LB being Zodiac. A little off topic, I know."

But writing experts said that the writing on Hartnell’s door was Zodiac’s, and matched the writing on the letters sent by Z, and later on, to the Bates desktop poem.

tahoe27
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:09 am

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Morf–I moved my reply here:

http://zodiackillersite.forummotion.com … c-t405.htm

I want to stay on track with the "drug bust", so please any comments about LB, can we put them in the above thread? I started the conversation about LB, so my bad.

tahoe27
Subject: Re: Lake Herman Drug Bust Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:28 am

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This statement was made by a reporter interviewing officer Howard "Buzz" Gordon of the VPD:

"There was an unknown reserve officer – Buzz couldn’t remember his name – who got fired. He was the only one found guilty and that was because subsequent to these charges, he was involved in a criminal drug case, and he made a deal with the DA – pled guilty to lesser crimes on both cases"

So fact of the matter is, at least in Vallejo, there was a cop worthy of being fired for his involvement with drugs.

Sure would like to know who this was.

bayarea60s
Subject: T27 Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:00 pm

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I believe this has come up before, maybe on TV’s site. I’m thinking this name was posted, but I could be wrong, but it sounds so familiar. Maybe Sandy can weigh in on this one? She may know….


…they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs–other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac’s doorstep. L.A. Times, 1969

 
Posted : March 29, 2013 11:52 am
(@regis_phillies)
Posts: 20
Eminent Member
 

Coming to this post many, many years later hahahaha.

I have also wondered about the drug bust that night.  In my younger days I dabbled in the underworld so my knowledge leads me to a few conclusions.

First, despite what Bidou says about this being a big bust, which it very well could have been at the time, 1.5 lbs isn’t a lot of weed.  It’s a mid-level dealer to street dealer (high school dealer?) transaction.  A search warrant still would have been required for the government building, but it indicates the police knew the cottage was a drop point.

It can be assumed the gate to the Lake Herman recreation area would have been locked, but someone could have parked at the turnout gate of the crime scene and walked along the creek to the park/cottage.

I agree there is something off.  First, I haven’t seen a clear timeline from Bidou.  Maybe I’m missing it.  But he and his partner supposedly had two suspects and evidence in tow.  They mention turning around once they get to the police station – did they drop off the prisoners and evidence first?  Also, if Bidou and his partner were heading to the Cottage from Benecia, they would have passed the turnout twice – once there and once on the way back.  I have only seen him saying they didn’t see anything when they left the drug bust.

I’d say there’s also the possibility the white Impala was somehow involved in the bust.  Could have been the vehicle of the dealer making the drop, or could have been the car of a lookout.  There’s just a lot of coincidence here.

 

 
Posted : April 5, 2023 5:42 am
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