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The Drive from Santa Cruz

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mrman7
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When I heard the investigators on the History Channel talk about Santa Cruz being part of the Bay Area and "close" to Vallejo I couldn’t help but laugh.

Most serial killers like to work within a comfort zone. They look for places with vulnerable victims that are in a close proximity to their home. Studies demonstrate that killers will most likely work within 1.25 miles of their home. If you look at the proximity of the first two Z murders in Vallejo and Benicia on a map it’s difficult to imagine that the killer was from anywhere but that area. It’s why Arthur Leigh Allen has always been a favorite suspect of law enforcement, investigators and journalists despite being ruled out pretty thoroughly by the evidence. Leigh was a weird guy with guns and knives who lived a few miles away from the murder. It’s also why I’m struggling with Ross Sullivan despite really liking him as a suspect.

Sullivan matches the composite, has strong connections to the Riverside case and some of the circumstantial evidence that’s popped up recently is hard to ignore. But then I put myself in Sullivan’s shoes in Santa Cruz when these murders took place and it doesn’t make any sense.

The drive from Ross’ residence in the Santa Cruz beach flats to Vallejo is not just a slog, it’s downright treacherous, especially at night when Z did his work. Highway 17 is noted as one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the entire country. Additionally, if you think about what Santa Cruz was like in 1968, the idea that Z would go to Vallejo or Benecia to find a couple of kids to kill is just ridiculous. UCSC was basically a summer camp in the woods in 1968. Most of the campus wasn’t even built and the culture was beyond bohemian. Kids were off in dimly-lit woods getting high and getting down left and right. If you wanted to find a perfect killing ground to pick off the unsuspecting and highly vulnerable young couples Z targeted, you couldn’t find a better place than Santa Cruz in the 1960s. It’s why Ed "The Coed Killer" Kemper had such a blast in that town during the same time period.

If Sullivan was Z, he would have driven nearly 100 miles through the most dangerous highway in the region to a respectable family town like Benecia where one couple was necking in a car when he could have driven 3 miles to a Bohemian turkey shoot in the woods filled with half-naked kids whacked out on acid. It’s ridiculous. Santa Cruz is not the Bay Area, it’s not Vallejo and it and it sure as heck isn’t within 1.25 miles of any of the murders.

Your dad is not the Zodiac.

 
Posted : November 30, 2017 11:53 pm
Tahoe27
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I agree. Santa Cruz would have no relevance to the Bay Area…that’s for sure. IF Ross was Zodiac, he’d have to have Bay Area ties…which some believe he had, just haven’t seen proof, imo.


…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 : December 1, 2017 5:09 am
(@susie)
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I get that and agree 100%. I feel the same way when people claim Riverside is close to Los Angeles. I do like Ross as a suspect, but I’m more interested in whether or not he truly did stay with his brother in San Fran so one of his brother’s friends stated. I can’t remember his name but he had been in contact with someone from this site. If I’m remembering correctly it was both San Fran and Berkeley that it was believed he stated with them. I don’t think there has ever been a direct tie to Vallejo.

 
Posted : December 1, 2017 5:47 am
duckking2001
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Yeah, but if he wanted to hunt coeds in the woods why did he shoot a cabbie in the middle of the city?

I don’t think Santa Cruz is that big of a deal breaker, moreso it’s Sullivan’s apparent lack of any connection at all to Vallejo. I agree that it doesn’t seem very likely for him to go there randomly.

I think a better question is did he have a reliable vehicle? That is a requirement for anybody being Zodiac.

 
Posted : December 1, 2017 2:31 pm
mrman7
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Yeah, but if he wanted to hunt coeds in the woods why did he shoot a cabbie in the middle of the city?

Good point, but remember, hunting young couples was Zodiac’s MO, killing Stine was just Z’s way to get more coverage in SF. A cabbie was the easiest target. If you look at the killer’s profile, he would have much rather found a young couple than Stine, but SF isn’t known for its remote makeout spots. There are plenty of cabbies.

You’re right though, the most important thing we’re looking for is someone with a reliable vehicle. Someone needs to pay a visit to the Vallejo DMV, find as many records as they can of males with valid licenses from 1968-69 with addresses in the Vallejo area. Compare license pictures to the composite sketch, if there aren’t license pictures get some yearbooks and do the same. We’d find our man.

Your dad is not the Zodiac.

 
Posted : December 3, 2017 8:29 pm
CuriousCat
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They look for places with vulnerable victims that are in a close proximity to their home. Studies demonstrate that killers will most likely work within 1.25 miles of their home. If you look at the proximity of the first two Z murders in Vallejo and Benicia on a map it’s difficult to imagine that the killer was from anywhere but that area.

Agreed they kill where they are comfortable but I have doubts Zodiac was "from" that area. He was familiar with it, but he didn’t seem to really know it. I say that because of the phone call he made after the Blue Rock Springs attack. He didn’t refer to it by name, which it seems a local would. He called it "the public park". I’m not saying he didn’t live in the area, just that he hadn’t spent enough time there to know the names like locals would.

 
Posted : December 4, 2017 3:29 am
mrman7
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If I’m remembering correctly it was both San Fran and Berkeley that it was believed he stated with them.

A connection in Berkeley would do it. With a reliable vehicle, Z could get up from Santa Cruz, establish a safe space in Berkeley with family or a friend and be within reasonable striking distance of the first two confirmed kills.

Your dad is not the Zodiac.

 
Posted : December 4, 2017 5:16 am
mrman7
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I’m not saying he didn’t live in the area, just that he hadn’t spent enough time there to know the names like locals would.

That’s a really good point. Do you think Z was from San Francisco then? Maybe it’s the opposite of what I’m saying. Maybe Z lived in SF and "commuted" out to Vallejo and Benicia on the weekends because that was a good secluded area he wouldn’t have been able to find in the city. Once he had established himself with Vallejo, Benicia and Lake Berryessa he figured it was time to strike in San Francisco — using a kill in his hometown as the exclamation point/coda to his kill spree.

Your dad is not the Zodiac.

 
Posted : December 4, 2017 5:23 am
(@stitchmallone)
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I’m not saying he didn’t live in the area, just that he hadn’t spent enough time there to know the names like locals would.

That’s a really good point. Do you think Z was from San Francisco then? Maybe it’s the opposite of what I’m saying. Maybe Z lived in SF and "commuted" out to Vallejo and Benicia on the weekends because that was a good secluded area he wouldn’t have been able to find in the city. Once he had established himself with Vallejo, Benicia and Lake Berryessa he figured it was time to strike in San Francisco — using a kill in his hometown as the exclamation point/coda to his kill spree.

That is exactly what I think! Also the Stine murder is the only one that there is no proof he used a car. He could have but there is no proof of one. probably lived a mile or so away or less and was seen walking by LE.

 
Posted : December 4, 2017 5:51 am
CuriousCat
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I’m not saying he didn’t live in the area, just that he hadn’t spent enough time there to know the names like locals would.

That’s a really good point. Do you think Z was from San Francisco then?

I have no idea, other than I don’t think he lived around Blue Rock Springs long enough to call it by name the way a local would. I’d say it’s possible he was familiar with all of these areas because of his occupation, or some reason that caused him to travel the areas a lot or even relocate often, that would be my best guess. Might have passed by these locations often, enough to know he could find couples hanging out there.

 
Posted : December 4, 2017 8:01 am
CuriousCat
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I’m not saying he didn’t live in the area, just that he hadn’t spent enough time there to know the names like locals would.

That’s a really good point. Do you think Z was from San Francisco then? Maybe it’s the opposite of what I’m saying. Maybe Z lived in SF and "commuted" out to Vallejo and Benicia on the weekends because that was a good secluded area he wouldn’t have been able to find in the city. Once he had established himself with Vallejo, Benicia and Lake Berryessa he figured it was time to strike in San Francisco — using a kill in his hometown as the exclamation point/coda to his kill spree.

That is exactly what I think! Also the Stine murder is the only one that there is no proof he used a car. He could have but there is no proof of one. probably lived a mile or so away or less and was seen walking by LE.

Didn’t Officer Foulke ( not sure if I’m spelling that right) say the person he saw turned going up the steps/sidewalk to a home? I think he also said he never went to check that home out? He needs a smack for being a lousy cop if that’s true.

But yeah, I’ve wondered the same thing, if Zodiac lived nearby. I never bought he ran into the Presidio and hid in the bushes. The guy was too smart, too mature, to calculated to have to do that. I’ve also wondered if he had his car parked nearby and simply got into it and drove away.

He always seemed to take his time and not be rushed, like he wasn’t in a panic to get away. He had his murders well planned, well scouted and an escape route ready. I don’t think he necessarily cared if he was caught, he half-way expected it at some point, but he wasn’t going to make it easy for the police.

 
Posted : December 4, 2017 8:11 am
mrman7
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. I’d say it’s possible he was familiar with all of these areas because of his occupation, or some reason that caused him to travel the areas a lot or even relocate often, that would be my best guess. Might have passed by these locations often, enough to know he could find couples hanging out there.

Good point. Real Estate industry fits that profile well which I believe was Kane’s occupation.

Your dad is not the Zodiac.

 
Posted : December 4, 2017 9:22 pm
morf13
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I agree. Santa Cruz would have no relevance to the Bay Area…that’s for sure. IF Ross was Zodiac, he’d have to have Bay Area ties…which some believe he had, just haven’t seen proof, imo.

I agree 100% Ross didn’t drive all the way from Santa Cruz if he was Zodiac, he had to have lived in SF bay area. According to one witness, he did split time in SF

There is more than one way to lose your life to a killer

http://www.zodiackillersite.com/
http://zodiackillersite.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/Morf13ZKS

 
Posted : December 7, 2017 5:30 am
mrman7
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According to one witness, he did split time in SF

That’s very interesting, could be the key. Do you recall which witness said that? PS heard you interviewed on the Crawlspace podcast. Good ep, hope to hear you on more shows.

Your dad is not the Zodiac.

 
Posted : December 8, 2017 4:06 am
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