Cheri Jo Bates was 18 years old when the Zodiac spotted her walking from her car into the library at Riverside City College on October 30, 1966. Cheri Jo had been a cheerleader in high school and was a sophomore at the college. The Zodiac disabled her vehicle before following her inside. He waited while she browsed through some books, then followed her outside, before offering to give her a ride when her car wouldn’t start. They walked together to an isolated area near the library, where the Zodiac viciously stabbed her 42 times.
Betty Lou Jensen busily prepared for a date with her new beau, David Faraday, on the night of December 20, 1968. The two had met just the week before and had been immediately attracted to each other. After David picked her up, he drove to Lake Herman Road and pulled off the road near the entrance to the Benicia water pumping station. The spot was perfect for young couples who wanted to be alone. David and Betty Lou were oblivious to the man who stood near their car until bullets began ripping through the back passenger wind and the roof. David was shot just behind his left ear at point-blank range, and Betty Lou was shot four times as she tried to run away.
Darlene Ferrin and Michael Mageau were friends who decided to spend the evening of July 4, 1969 together. They drove the four miles from downtown Vallejo to Blue Rock Springs Park, where they parked in the far corner of the parking lot. Just before midnight, a car pulled in a few feet from them, and Darlene seemed to recognize the driver, according to Michael’s later recounting of the events that night. The car drove off and then returned. The driver got out and began firing, shooting Darlene five times and Michael four times. Darlene died at the scene. Michael survived the attack.
Cecelia Shepard ran into her old friend Bryan Hartnell at Pacific Union College in San Francisco on September 27, 1969. The two drove to Lake Berryessa in Napa County to catch up on old times. Bryan spread a blanket on the ground near a large tree on the western shot of the lake, and the two lay down to enjoy the blue sky above them. Cecelia soon spotted a man hiding behind a tree and noticed he had a gun. The Zodiac approached them and ordered them to tie each other up. Cecelia and Bryan were stabbed numerous times before their attacker finally disappeared. Before left, the Zodiac carved the dates of the attacks on Betty Lou and David, Darlene and Michael, and Cecelia and Bryan into the door of Bryan’s Volkswagen. Bryan survived. Cecelia died in the hospital two days after the attack.
Paul Stine, a cab driver in San Francisco was on his way to pick up a fare on Ninth Avenue when he picked up the Zodiac on the corner of Mason and Geary streets on October 11, 1969, just one block from the home of Earl Van Best Jr. Paul was on track to graduate from San Francisco State College that December. When he reached the corner of Cherry and Washington streets, he pulled over. The Zodiac shot him at point-blank range above his right ear. Three teenagers witnessed the murder. Two police officers stopped the Zodiac near the Presidio but let him go because they thought the suspect was African American. They would later describe him to a sketch artist. This was the Zodiac’s last known murder, although he later claimed 37 victims.