Jensen - Faraday Related Information


The first San Francisco Police Department report on this double homicide gives Zodiac's height as being 5 feet 8 inches. (Kathleen Johns said 5 feet 9 inches.) This jibes with Mageau's first description of the assailant. On 12/24/68 the Vallejo Times-Herald ran an article titled, "Single Gun Was Used In Slayings - Small Caliber Bullet Pierced Roof Of Auto." In the article, detective Les Lundblad says that the ".38-caliber bullet hole" in the roof of Faraday's station wagon was actually made by a small caliber bullet (.22) of the same size as those that killed the youngsters. "Moreover," he added, "it would not have been necessary for the killer (Zodiac), if he were of at least average height, to climb on the bumper of the car to shoot through the roof." (Emphasis ours.)



The following account is from a Mr. W. Crow who was driving the car that was chased on Lake Herman Road the night Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday were killed - December 20, 1968.


I received your e-mail concerning the Zodiac and, yes, I was the driver of the sports car that night in December 1968.  I was born and raised in Vallejo, and I was living with my parents at that time.  My former girlfriend who had moved to San Francisco was visiting her parents in Napa and had just purchased a sports car.  She dropped by our home in Vallejo, and since I was going to get up early to go hunting with my father the next morning, instead of going out, we decided to go for a ride and catch up.  She asked if I wanted to drive her sports car, and I went down Lake Herman Road to see how the car handled.  There is a place where a private road intersects the main road.  There is a gate across the private road maybe thirty yards down it.  It provided a spot known to local teens as a place to "park" and I will leave it at that.  This night I was in a small two-seater and "parking" was not in the picture.  I had just went through the gears and pulled into the private road area and turned the car around with the front pointing to and a few feet from the main road.  The engine was running and the lights were on.  I had never driven a car that had toggle switches on the dashboard.  As my former girlfriend was explaining to me what each one controlled, I noticed a car coming down the road from the direction of Benicia.  The car passed in front of me and then I noticed that it came to a stop and its taillights told me it was backing up.  Common sense suggested to me to put the sports car in gear and leave. I pulled out and started driving toward Benicia.  The other car backed into the area where I had been parked, turned around and in a second or two was behind me.  The car hit its bright lights and then did a bright off, bright on, bright off, etc.  I went through a few young testosterone moments where I was going "to pull over and kick this guy's ass".  My former girlfriend starting getting upset and I sped up.  The car behind me also sped up, and at one point as I was looking over my shoulder the car behind me came up on my side with its right front fender near the driver's rear quarter panel and appeared to be moving toward making contact.  I shifted to a lower gear and hit the gas.  There is a fork in the road where one continues towards Benicia and the other more towards the freeway toward Vallejo.  The other car was clearly chasing me and I waited until the last moment and then turned off.  The larger car behind me could not make the turn.  I went down approximately two hundred yards and stopped in the middle of the road.  The other car had stopped shortly after the turn-off.  Each of us sat there in the road. Again, youthfully stupid, I yelled about kicking his ass.  After some moments, the other car turned around in the roadway and went back down the road from which we had come. I kept making macho statements, but not totally without some sense about me, I drove home.  I did not see the car again.  I could not see the passenger seat, but the driver was a man with short hair and glasses.  I did not see his specific facial features.  The two from Benicia were killed exactly at the same place where I was parked that night when I first encountered the other car. Therefore, in my opinion, he either randomly came upon that spot or was from the area and knew of it.

Either that next morning or the day after there was a story in our local newspaper, the Times Herald. I believe there was a picture showing where the car of the slain couple had been parked. For sure there was a description. I put my shotgun in the car, as if he would really still be there and drove back out Lake Herman Road to confirm the location. I came home and told my mother that I had been where the couple had been shot shortly before and of the car that had chased me.  She suggested that I report it and I called the Vallejo Police Department. They explained that they did not have jurisdiction and referred me to Solano County Sheriff. I was interviewed and gave an account.  I have never seen the report, nor been asked any further questions.  A few years ago, a sheriff I knew who was reviewing the Zodiac records asked me if I was the W. Crow who made a report. I told him it was me and asked him if he could get me a copy of the report. I am still waiting.
There is a part of your e-mail that I find extremely intriguing.  I never told the sheriff who interviewed me that the car I encountered was a Valiant.  As I recall, as I was attempting to describe the car, the sheriff came up with a "Valiant".  In the years that have passed, when I have shared the events of that night, I have described the car as a four-door light-colored Chevy.  Until your e-mail I have never known that two hunters came upon a white Chevy or that any reference to a Chevy existed in the investigation.  I know this does not support the theory of two cars, but it is important to me that my account be accurate.
I can assure you that the events of that night remain vivid in my mind.  I still cannot drive down Lake Herman Road without goose bumps. I feel very fortunate.
W. Crow

Thank you is made to Mr. Crow for his account and to Zodiac researcher Tom Voigt for referring him to the author.


The above account by Mr. Crow is fascinating. The story speaks for itself but a few comments are in order.


The car Mr. Crow saw that night was a white four-door Chevy. This is the same make and color of vehicle that other witnesses saw that night on Lake Herman Road. Two hunters also came upon a car of that description that night. One of them even walked up to the car as it was parked at the now infamous water pumping station #10 (the location of the murders) and looked inside. He saw no one or anything that seemed suspicious.


On March 22, 1970, Kathleen Johns was involved in a similar situation. She was driving on Highway 132 in central California when a car came up behind her and started flashing its headlights and honking. Since Mr. Crow's account has never been made public before now (August 2004) there is no possible way that Ms. Johns could have known about Mr. Crow being chased in a similar manner by a driver who was probably the Zodiac killer. This revelation could give further credibility to Johns' testimony.


Mr. Crow testifies that they were being chased by a man with short hair and glasses. This matches the accounts given by both the San Francisco police officer and the three teenagers in San Francisco on October 11, 1969. Again, Kathleen Johns' account, of being abducted by a man with short hair, glasses and driving a light colored car, matches.


Zodiac seems to have worn his "disguise" of short hair and glasses that night but changed his appearance for the July 5, 1969 attack in Vallejo. Zodiac victim Mike Mageau saw a young man, short and stocky and without glasses on that night. In some accounts he did say his hair was short. His basic descriptions line up with Johns' description of her abductor who some believe (including this Website) was the Zodiac.


The scenario as given seems to indicate Zodiac was "cruising around" (as he wrote in 1969) looking for any young couple he could kill and began his search by chasing that sports car. We see how the white Chevy stopped and observed the couple, then sped away. This was similar, in some respects, to the Vallejo attack when Zodiac pulled up to the Ferrin car and then left. Of course that time he went back. Perhaps in both instances he was deciding just what to do. It can be speculated that after the chase the driver of the Chevy (Zodiac) saw the Faraday station wagon parked at the same spot the sports car had been at earlier and decided to attack them instead.


To further answer some questions regarding this incident Mr. Crow e-mailed this response:

(All emphases by Mr. Crow.)

Your e-mail asks two main questions. First, as to the lighting conditions. It is true that there are no street lights and that this is a rather desolate county type road. As I indicated, that evening I was driving my former girlfriends car to see how it handled. I pulled off the road and turned around. The car I was in was perpendicular to the road. My intent was going to go back towards Vallejo. The front of the car I was in was a few feet from the road and my headlights were on. I was determining what the toggle switches controlled when the car I described came from the Benicia direction and passed right in front of me. This road is not a thoroughfare and any other car on that road at night would be an event to take notice of. As I was watching the car pass, I noticed that he stopped and the back-up lights came on. It was at that point that I decided to pull out and go towards Benicia.
As to the speed and the road conditions. I am not sure where you got the "cold icy roads". This is a paved road and it was not iced over that night. I initially pulled out and started toward Benicia. I had no idea what the other car was going to do. It took time for the other car to back up, turn around and come in my direction and then catch up with me. The encounter with the other car did not take place over many miles and did not reach break-neck speeds. This is a county type road with turns and I was in a sports car. The two times that I sped up were incremental. Each time it took the car behind me time to react. At the point where there is a fork in the road he had caught up with me again, I waited until the last moment and then turned. Again, I am in a sports car with a manual transmission and he was not. Because of a combination of conditions he could not make the turn.
W. Crow



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