The Zodiac Killer Part 1

Citizen Detective

08-04-2023 • 2 hrs 6 mins

Episode 20 The Zodiac Killer Part 1

On December 20, 1968, just after 11pm, 2 teenagers David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen were parked on sleepy and dark Lake Herman Rd on the outskirts of Vallejo, CA. The spot where they parked was one often chosen by young people to due it's privacy. On this night, they weren't alone. A killer pulled up beside their car. What happened next is not known, but what is known is that minutes later, a woman driving by the scene found both of them shot lying near David's car. She raced off to get help and brought police back to the scene. Responding officers found David barely clinging to life. He had been shot once behind the ear at close range. 28 feet away, Betty Lou lay dead, the victim of multiple shots to her back. The randomness of the double murder and clear lack of a motive cast a dark cloud over the coming Christmas holiday. As the holidays passed, the murders faded from memory.

Seven months later, on the night of July 4, 1969, just a few miles away from where David and Betty Lou had been killed, Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau sat talking on a different Lover's lane area in Vallejo; Blue Rock Springs park. Their peaceful night was interrupted around Midnight when a car pulled in behind them. It's driver exited the vehicle and carrying a flashlight, walked up to the passenger side of Darlene's Corvair. WIthout warning, the man shined the flashlight into the car and opened fire shooting Darlene and Mike multiple times. He walked back to his car not realizing that his victims were still alive. When Mike cried out in pain, the shooter came back to the car and shot both Mike and Darlene additional times. He then walked back to his car and drove off leaving Darlene in Mike badly injured. First responders rushed Mike and Darlene from the scene. Darlene would not survive her injuries. While Mike was badly injured, he would recover and provide police with a few details. While police were processing the scene 40 minutes after the shooting, a caller using a phonebooth in Vallejo called the operator and reported the attack. But he wasn't a witness, he was the shooter, and he provided details of his crime. He also took credit for the 1968 Lake Herman Rd murders. But the killer was far from done, and from that moment on, using the moniker 'The Zodiac', he would terrorize the SF Bay area for the nect 5 years.

This is part 1 of a multi-episode deep dive into one of America's greatest unsolved mysteries; the Zodiac Murders

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Continue the conversation about this case with fellow Citizen Detectives over at Websleuths:

https://www.websleuths.com/forums/forums/citizen-detective-true-crime-podcast.719/

The Citizen Detective team includes:
Co-Hosts- Mike Morford, Alex Ralph, and Dr. Lee Mellor
Writing and Research- Alex Ralph
Technical Producer- Andrew Gray
Production Assistant- Ashley Monroe
Suzanna Ryan- DNA Expert
Cloyd Steiger- Retired Seattle PD Homicide Detective

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