I was @ the zodiac's crime scenes in June 1971

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I was @ the zodiac's crime scenes in June 1971

Post by Don Pseuym on September 28th 2016, 8:28 pm

I have posted it at another Z site maybe members here would like to know about it . A interesting thing or two happened .
Dad and Mom wanted to take me and a older sis to D land really in 69 , His Mom died in late 68 and the family farm was to be sold ,but it did not sell or the brother of his did not really try  160 acers in mid MO not far off a major highway . By 71 though, it did , and we went ,a relative on Moms side was a asst. editor at a weekly newspaper in mid Mo. She and her brother who was the photog., at the paper wanted us to take pics of the zodiac crime scenes ,panoramic ones ,take 2 rolls of pics at each scene , so they could print some and sell the rest to other papers . But I at 12 was the only one in the family that could operate and load the Nikon N1 camera ,it was a pickel to do,  not a focus thru the viewfinder -had the 2 half moon system and a hard to see light meter.
I took some panoramic pics and the photog cousin said he never seen such good ones , but I ,we never took the N1  too much $$$ , if we lost it  , about 1/2 the price of our 70 Impala , with the big  lense  it was like a brick on a strap  Dad bought a 110 camera that we took .
we left the 1st tuesday of June  arrived at Sana Monica friday afternoon, went to D land on Sat. and half day Sunday, then to Cheri Bates  murder scene . I did not know why we were there .  we parked blocking the gravel drive  the place was empty not a person around , something happened with me a bit ,we left 15 min. later .
Then headed to San Francisco  on the way near Big Sur the only small  radio station broke into programing to say a man had been killed about 40 miles ahead and the killer cut out his heart and ate it , the DJ was at the transmitter  a tiny shed  in the dark woods all alone and asked his friends to come there to protect him . we went 20-25 miles and a car ahead of us was slowing down and stopped, a passenger ,a young man got out then walked to the other  side of the road and started hitchiking the other way , although we were the only car for miles ...scared us to pieces .
we made it to San Francisco late night and next day did a museum , Fishermans wharf  , drove the lumbard st.
dad tried to drive the streets he saw in Bullet  and jumped one hill .  
after dad did his Steve Mcqueen  impression in the impala we were in the Presideo came down washington to cherry st  but no place to pull off to park ,there were other families there doing what we were there to do , Dad went around the block and the family was gone but another had taken their place , we then understood we were 1 of 3-4 cars trting to stop where cab 912 did to take pics , about the forth time it was or turn , I never saw my parents so intriged seemingly about nothing. I was allowed to get out and Mom took my pic standing next to the mail box and I took one of her next to the bradford pear trees that were at that time  cut to a sphere the size of a beachball ,very wierd I thought , I remember mom taking a pic of the house where the kids saw zodiac and heard a "stop taking pics of us " come from it out a window, with that we started to leave dad setting at the intersection getting his bearings . Then around a corner comes this  lt. blue  metalic mid sixtys mid sized buick , or olds 4 door , it zoomed in headed right for us and slamed on the brakes  two guys jumped out ,mom screamed and Dad tries to backup quick , but the guys are right at the door and have police ID's  on neck straps . one guy had a italian decent look and very wirery hair like Toschi  but think he was not 6' toschi has like 6'2" right? They both question Dad a lot it seemed they were staking out the place up the street , but may have just seen the tourists cars and wanted to chase someone out  . The Toschi looking one asking "What are you doing here" "ever been here before" " why did you try to flee"  The other guy came to Mom's window asking if Dad had ever been here by himself . the Toschi looking guy came to my window and said to his partner " hey come here and look at  this kids eyes , I had black looking eyes until the  late twenties , then they let us go saying " Get" and slapped dads car hard . pissing him off

Then we  drove to Lake Herman road ,yes where it happened  sat there for 10 mins I think a cop drove by and honked for dad to move ,mom took the pics ,

Then just a min or two to Blue Rock Springs  ,I thought I was getting to go run and stretch in the park ,but no . they had just dumped a load of chat in a oval doubling  the lot , where we parked . dad let me get out and gave me a big orange pop and a slim jim  mom taking the pics  one of me standing in front of the big trees just in front of the  place where it happened.

Then on to Zodiac Island at Berryessa , I thought this place was so cool and was upset  to be told to stay in the car , Mom had asked a ranger or employee where the place was and got a  rude "I don't know" but we stopped at the ranger station or head quarters and they told her  it was just up a mile ?  we parked where the VW of Hartnel was parked BTW. Mom went down the trail ,disappearing  while dad stayed with us in the car, Mom gone for a while dad was getting anxious ,worried  Then here comes a blur sprinting back up the trail ,It was Mom Huffing and puffing saying someone was down there when she was taking pics .  she got in and said "Go, Go "

then we were heading home mom insisted we go to the 130 hiway where Johns was abducted but Dad argued what are you going to see and we do not even know exactly where .
we stopped at Vegas again ( dad & mom gambled on the way out )
something weird happened to me at the Cheri bates crime scene I'm not going to go into it .
in Vegas the weather men were talking about a peculiar storm around the Idaho Nevada border  but they said it formed near the SF area or N of it  it was only about a .5 to 1 mile wide intense storm  they were calling it -the Little Storm that Could-  laughing about it too, some of you might remember it because I remember it being talked of nationally a tiny powerful thing that would not die.
it parralleled us coming back to the north  we would be ahead of it but by time to leave the motel there it came on the TV  narrowing the gap too,  we went to Estes Park in colorado  and were only going up a tram 2 hours it was freezing cold mom left the camera in the glove box , we got back to the car around 2:30 and the car was like 160 degrees , most of the pictures wiped out
or the cousins took the others that were not , man they were pissed  they really wanted them and were upset I did not take the N1  
In 06 ? i think I saw the one of me next to 3 trees at BRS and the mail box at Wash & Cherry  but cannot find today ... but still looking

we got home the next night about 2 am  about 230 pm Dad wants to play catch with me on the street throwing pop ups it was blue sky day  ,looking behind Dad I see the sky a deep color blue  and tell him to look  he says it's fine keep throwing  finnally the 3rd time he looks and then the wind comes way up we ran to the front door just as that little storm that could finally caught up to us  it was like a tornado but straight line winds  rain so hard you could not see 3 ft .
5 people died from it in a massive wreck in mid Mo hours later ... then it disapated.


Last edited by Don Pseuym on September 29th 2016, 7:47 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: I was @ the zodiac's crime scenes in June 1971

Post by ophion1031 on September 28th 2016, 9:13 pm

Do you have any photos of the crime scenes? Sorry if I have asked you that before, I have a bad memory.
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Re: I was @ the zodiac's crime scenes in June 1971

Post by Don Pseuym on September 28th 2016, 9:35 pm

I am sure we had those two and maybe one of me up against the beachball shaped tree at Wash & cherry st. , because Mom didn't want them to publish in a paper with me in it  we had boxes of old pics I have looked 3-4 times, but her house is a mess after we moved her ...I bet I can find them though and would post.
it really jarred me when I realized what the pics were.
I think only 8- 10 pics survived the glove box heat ,she must have taken 4 rolls of pics too
It would have been so cool to have taken the panoramic pics of zodiac crime scenes with me being 12  and no one had any at that time .today they would be awesume ... I was not told  why though .
1 reason mom asked If I wanted to take the Nikon  I thought about it , I thought I'd be taking pics at Disney land and have to lug this brick around my neck . so said naw
I found out we were at the zodiac crime scenes about 6 months after the trip by over hearing them talk about it.

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Re: I was @ the zodiac's crime scenes in June 1971

Post by Don Pseuym on September 29th 2016, 9:19 am

I remembered every thing that happened at the crime sites except Blue Rock springs ,I knew more happened that I should remember ,typing this late last nite ,when I got to bed I tried again for 10 min. but nothing ,then just relaxing to sleep it came to me  over a half hour ,all of it .
Here it is and it's funny in a way .

I was occupied with the orange pop and slim jim and thought my parents were nearby , but looking around it seemed they left. I pointed this out to my sister  reading in the back seat ,she said no they're up ahead and they were 90' ahead , Mom in the lot looking at something , Dad I  think was using a portapotie . There were about 25 cars in this lot when we arrived but now a bunch more were coming to park ,It must have been a company picnic or family reunion happening ,  because near the playground they had two tables of food and a grill going . I walked down to Mom and wondered what in the hell she was doing looking in this dusty lot , this was in front of the 3 big trees where the shootings occured. Mom wanted me to go to the trees and she took my pic , but then was trying to get me to got back to the car.

there were two cars parked in front of the big trees but like two spaces on either side of them empty ,when a young 20 something guy sprints to the car on the left gets in and drives away in the lot . Dad shows up and they seem happy the car had moved They wanted me to leave them alone and go to the car ,but I stayed watching them ,for one I thought there was a good chance mom was going to be run over by a car.

Then a 30 year old guy comes to the other car parked in front of the trees about 7 feet from it he stops  looks at the ground then  did a broad jump to the door , like he jumped over something bad also did that thing when you almost step in dog poo, or almost step on a snake thats slithering  like it gave him the creeps and he is shaking it off. He drives the car away but parked in the back  row and is walking back to the party keeping away from the former spot  , about a 55 year old guy is waiting for him on the grass with a big grin,  chuckling ,as they walk away I hear him say "well at least thats something you will always remember from this trip" and laugh again.
Dad and Mom seem happy that the space is clear , dad heads back to the car then returns with a small empty  box taped up and painted safety orange and a 125' tape measure the kind you wind back up , I had seen it in the trunk back home and asked what was it for ,with no answer.
Dad then has me hold the end of it at the big trees base and put a stick thru the end to keep it there , next because he cannot see well enough to tell him where 76' or  78' is on the tape , which I do and he puts the orange box there  The gravel lot is like crusher runoff fine and compacted  I couldn't figure what the deal was , what they were looking at . There was a 2-3 sq.foot spot that looked dark brown to grey  and like animal fat type grease  not engine oil , stain there where the cars moved that mom came up to stareing at it. They took some pics of the box and tape from a few angles . one car came by and Dad thought he wanted the spot , the car a blue  Plymouth Fury looked like a unmarked police car The guy quite big  with his wife ,but he just starred at Dad then turned his head  away  out his window and drove on . When we left dad pulled into the spot in front of the trees to turn around but set there for 12 sec.

Back home Dad worked for a large dept store chain in the warehouse  it had an employee newpaper/ letter and was in a article showing the pic of the scene with a pic of him and the pres of either the warehouse or the president  of the whole store operations for KC, ( I remember Dad being so relieved that the pic made it ) holding the tape meassure that was at the spot ... the tape meassure became famous , people wanted to hold it ,view it ,... because it was a connection to that big story . I assume the orange box went on tour

Dad got a card for 15% off his items from the store too for a year and a half. and going to the store on Saturdays as we did ,Dad was hit with most of the sales people  because they saw the article ,some asking about the trip and Blue rock Springs .
That was the only big  vacation trip he got to take with us , but it was a big thing for him

Don Pseuym

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Re: I was @ the zodiac's crime scenes in June 1971

Post by Don Pseuym on October 1st 2016, 3:47 pm

one other note ,I was going to include it in the previous post but forgot to

After Dad had done all he was going to taking pics from all the directions , (I think dad initially disappeared because he was taking pictures from the hiway.)
Dad wanted me to carry the tape measure back to the car  ,so he could help Mom walk back thru the gravel  as she had fell when she was going  down there  and thought she sprained her ankle .
I started towards them and a car came through the lot a beige metallic 2 door  ,in it a couple with 1 or 2 kids in back .I think it was the woman's car as she was driving and the man sat very relaxed in the passenger seat . Dad saw them and gave a smile and motioned he was moving out of the way  ,the  woman driving a small buxsom  PYT  , not unlike Darlene ,was going to park in front of the trees ,the man realized it and sprang into action and cranked the wheel back to the left, she braked some and protested why and he explained it to her it seemed as they kept going .

as we started walking back to our car dad says to Mom " that would have been a good picture to have of that car parked there   .....it was a Corvair  66 or earlier much like Darlenes

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Re: I was @ the zodiac's crime scenes in June 1971

Post by Rocketman on October 2nd 2016, 12:08 am

What can you remember personally feeling at the crime scenes? Were you scared or nervous? Were you afraid of Zodiac coming back and finding you and your family there? Sorry for the questions, just curious is all.
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Re: I was @ the zodiac's crime scenes in June 1971

Post by Don Pseuym on October 2nd 2016, 9:44 am

No, the thing Rocketman was I at 12 1/4 years old was not told it was the killing crime scenes , I could not understand why we were arriving at these parking places to do what we did , my 15 year old sis did ( she took a long look when we got there spaning the scene ). I knew of the the zodiac killer in 69  but just of him ,no specifics.

I found out about it months later over hearing two strangers at a  dinner party of sorts my aunt had and ask my sister  later ,who confirmed it.
The 2 cousins mostly wanted to help pay for their Journalism degrees from MU.
Their Dad drove to Alaska to weld up the pipeline, and in 73 or 74 they had him drive by the zodiac crime scenes and take pics  , I heard the pics were so..so , but I think they did a article for the paper and used some

The photographer cousin first didn't want me to use /take the big Nikon and handed me a small 35 mm beat up camera , much lighter , cheaper but his sister wanted the Nikon , I would have taken that camera no problem.

I know what about the 73-74 pictures  , I will work on it some ,but the woman asst. editor past away, maybe the photographer man too ,the only one left, a younger sister cousin  is not friends with me and I doubt my sis will do it either.  
but yes I would like to see those pictures too..I think others had pictures by then ,so they missed the scoup.

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Re: I was @ the zodiac's crime scenes in June 1971

Post by Rocketman on October 2nd 2016, 8:50 pm

Were your parents into crimes/mysteries? Or were you just there to take photos? I'm just curious as to why your family took you there. My parents were too boring for anything like that. We went to a sporting event (Browns game, Indians game etc) a few times a year and that was about it.
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