The Kathleen Johns Police and Sheriff Reports


This is the Zodiac speaking

  . . . So I now have a little list, starting with the woeman & her baby that I gave a rather interesting ride for a coupple howers one evening a few months back that ended in my burning her car where I found them.  

A portion of Zodiac's July 24, 1970 letter to the San Francisco Chronicle


It certainly is strange that Zodiac would claim an obscure victim when all other Zodiac victims were continuously mentioned in the media. And especially when it ended in his failure to kill said victim. Unless he was the responsible person and really did intend to "finish the job." Kathleen Johns has told the author that she did get threatening phone calls after the incident and eventually received a Halloween card in the mail!


This is the first time (December 2008) that these reports have ever been made public in 38 years!


Sgt. McNatt's initial Patterson Police Crime Report (P.P.D. No. 7425)


Note that the Sergeant uses the word "hysterical" three times in describing Ms. Johns' emotional condition when she arrived at the substation. He uses the word "scream" once to depict her reaction when she inadvertently saw the Zodiac composite on the wall of the station. She recognized this image as the man who was driving her and her daughter around that night.

It was a shock to see he was wanted for murder!


This discounts those who say the "stranger," or Zodiac, (as is believed by this site) had little effect on her and also what Deputy Lovett said, "I doubt this was a kidnap." Johns certainly was terrorized as if she and her infant were kidnapped!


A minute detail emerges when Sgt. McNatt asked Kathleen which view on the poster looked more like the killer and she selected the second drawing, which lends credibility to her knowing what he looked like. She could have said "yes he looks like the drawings," or "he may look like the composite," but she said he looked more like the amended drawing!


She also said she had not seen this likeness before, which is important.


Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy Lovett's Report (File No. C62677)





This report has a page missing and every effort is being made to find it. The missing pages from this series of reports were lost in a residential move.



This interview takes place around 3:00 AM on 3/23/70 with an exhausted, pregnant woman who has been in an emotional upheaval. Keep this in mind while she answers questions. The deputy was probably feeling the late night experience too.


The report says it was the "left rear wheel" that the suspect said was wobbling. Yet Ms. Johns told the author that it was the right rear wheel. The two truck drivers confirmed this fact. Kathleen looked at the rear of her station wagon to see why her car had "lurched forward" - especially since it was supposed to have been "fixed," or so her midnight helper had said. She told the author that the wheel was laying in a "grassy ditch or depression" along the side of the road.


 Ms. Johns stated to the deputy that the suspect was "friendly" towards her and made no threats during the beginning of the ride. Johns told the author that this deputy was not  taking notes!  She did say that this was the stranger's demeanor at the beginning of the ride but that later he did make threats. However, he did not touch her or her infant.


Note that the deputy writes "she became quite frightened" and that she feared that he may try to do some "physical act towards" her. This part was after the ride had progressed and the suspect had made those threats, as given in the Graysmith interview, (Johns told this author that she approved of that interview.) in a monotone voice, "You know you're going to die," "you know I'm going to kill you" and that he was "going to throw the baby out" of the window.


So a gap in the report is created by not mentioning those three often repeated threats made by the stranger. This is what "frightened" Kathleen, as given in the report. It has to be scary enough of an experience to cause a young, pregnant woman, clutching her baby, to leap from the car and run full pace into a nearby field and actually lay over the child to muffle its cries! Why go through all this if the driver, as in the words of the deputy, "merely" closed the door of his car, sat there and then drove away!  She did not, or would not, say "merely" as being his expression to lighten the gravity of the situation. The deputy seems to want to downgrade this event and not call it a kidnapping, which would create ramifications, like bringing in the FBI for one.


The stranger did close the passenger door and drive off. The deputy neglects to say this was because a truck driver stopped to inquire of him, "what's going on," as he saw the man playing his light across the field searching for Johns.  After the abductor "drove off at great speed" she would not go near the truck driver until she got a ride with some people, a lady and her son from Missouri.


San Joaquin County Sheriff's Crime Report (Case No. 70-7475)



San Joaquin County Sheriff's Deputy Ambrose's Supplement  Report (Case No. 70-7475)




The first page of this crime supplement report is missing and every effort is being made to locate it.



On page two an "incident" occurred that may have been related to the Johns abduction. Two men, Horton and Beaman, were driving on Highway 132 in the area where the Johns incident took place. As they were driving, a white 1959 Buick passed by them. (Or was it a white Chevy? Cars, with a short view time and especially at night, are misidentified all the time.) A short time later that same car was parked along-side the road and the driver was waving his hands trying to flag down the two men! They kept driving. When they read the next day, the 23rd, about the Kathleen Johns event they contacted the police and told their story. It was felt this experience by the two men may have been connected to the Johns incident. Later, the authorities were unable to locate these two men.


Robert Graysmith tells of incidents in the same month, March 1970, where female drivers were followed by a young man driving a white 1962-4 Chevy. Three different female drivers in the early morning hours were followed by the aforementioned driver. The man was stopped but he said he was lost and the police, unwisely, escorted him out of town!  On March 17th a female driver was followed by a white Chevy. The driver began "blinking his lights and honking his horn," the same thing that was to happen to Kathleen five days later! The woman was able outdistance him and she later reported the incident.


On page three an attempt was made to locate Johns' keys. In an interview with Robert Graysmith she said - and she told this author the same thing - that the stranger pocketed the keys. She didn't seem to have an ignition key, but her other keys were on a holder. They were never recovered.





Page four says that Johns did not ask the man to let her out. Why would she? They were in the middle of nowhere late at night and she had a baby and was seven months pregnant! She later said she was extremely scared of the driver. Even the skeptical reporting deputy does write "she was very scared" of the driver. She was, though, waiting for a chance to escape when she just couldn't take it anymore after she kept asking, "what's wrong with this station" or "why can't we go in that station." She had decided to try and stay outwardly "calm" as any possible wrong move on her part may cause the stranger to react violently. From her past experiences with patients (she was a nurse) she felt he was mentally ill.


  Finally, her chance came when the driver took the wrong turn off and she leaped from the car telling the man she was getting sick (as per the Modesto Bee account.) He probably thought that since she was pregnant this was true and he hesitated to do anything but park. But Kathleen kept running away from the car to a field to hide and to protect her infant. The report says this man did not chase her, but Johns was there and she told this author he did chase after her. Why it never went into the report she did not know.



This deputy did have a cold. Everyone knows how miserable this can be and can interfere with cognition. He claims on page five this is why he could not tell what kind of substance was used to set the station wagon on fire!  Also, Kathleen told the author the deputy did not take notes and acted suspicious of her story. This is evident on page six.



On page six Deputy Ambrose relates that it was "doubtful" whether she was "forced" to stay with the suspect and that it was "not understood" by him "whether this is a kidnap"! Only one of Kathleen's statements was written down and that was how that when asked by Johns if he "always helped people out in this manner" he said that when he "got through with them they didn't need help anymore." Note the report says the driver made "very weird statements" (note the plural) and one of which was the aforementioned statement. Where are the quotes for the other "very weird statements"? Remember, Deputy Ambrose did not take notes while questioning Ms. Johns.


  So the deputy failed to take down all of the statements made by the stranger as given by Johns. She told the author she did tell the deputy that the driver made threats, two of which were about "throwing the baby out" and that she was "going to die."


This is police reporting at its worst!


  The deputy seemed to have wanted this incident to stay out of the kidnap category. The FBI would then be called in and lots of work, including paper work would have to be done. This was a very conservative community and it would then be subject to reporters and the like. Johnsí friend, as well as Kathleen, said that they seemed to have regarded her as a "hippie type." Her manner of dress was unorthodox to be sure, but this should never have interfered with a professional investigation. The Napa PD reports on Zodiac are far more detailed and fact filled than these.


These reports are dismal - at best!


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