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Post by ophion1031 August 11th 2015, 10:06 pm

Donna Ann Lass (25) disappeared from Stateline, Nevada on September 6th 1970, having finished her shift that day at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel, (now the Horizon Casino). where she was employed as a nurse. A few months earlier in June she had moved to South Lake Tahoe, from San Francisco, where she had previously worked as a nurse at the Letterman General Hospital in the Presidio, near the Paul Stine murder scene. She was scheduled to work her night shift at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel from 6.00 pm to 2.00 am, but was logged out at 1.45 am that morning for the last time.

Sometime following, an unknown man, who could possibly have been the abductor, contacted her employers, along with her landlord stating that Donna Ann Lass had been called out of town due to family business, all of which proved to be fiction and

Harvey Hines, a law officer who retired from the California Police Department in 1992, had an avid interest in the case, with close associations to the Lass family members, yet remained determined to crack the case, along with Mary and Don Pilker, Donna Lass' sister and nephew, all of whom were firm believers that the Zodiac Killer was responsible for the abduction and disappearance of Donna Lass.

Hines interviewed by the Tahoe Daily Tribune stated, "There was a lot of evidence inside Sahara Tahoe Casino that she left directly from there. She was a very personal person and she left a lot of personal items behind; an opened letter, a dirty uniform and on her log, a pen was dragged from the last word she wrote to the bottom of the page". Donna Lass had recently moved into the Monte Verde apartments on Pioneer Trail Road. Although her convertible was discovered outside the apartment complex, Harvey Hines firmly believes Donna Lass was abducted from work. However many observers speculate that Donna Lass arrived at her Monte Verde apartment, where her abductor lay in wait close by, or possibly she was trailed from her workplace to the apartment complex.

Her vehicle, a 1968 convertible was found locked outside her Monte Verde apartments on Pioneer Trail Road and no suspicious activity subsequent to September 6th had been noted with her credit card or savings account. On Labor Day September 7th Jo Ann Goettische, a former roommate and work colleague of Donna Lass at the Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, had planned to visit her friend in Lake Tahoe, however with Donna Lass absent from work on September 7th, her friend returned back to San Francisco none the wiser and from here on in the mystery deepened.    

On April 20th 1970, a letter was mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle, containing a cipher of only 13 symbols, widely known as, the 'My Name Is...Letter' . Harvey Hines believed he had decoded it to reveal the name of proposed Zodiac suspect Lawrence Kane, closely aligned to the missing woman, on the grounds he worked at the same South Lake Tahoe Casino as Donna Lass, in fact he worked for Alan Dorfman, selling Arizona real estate. His office was situated just down the hallway from the area where Donna Lass was stationed. See video of solution. Harvey Hines also drew further parallels to his suspect, citing the similar writing styles of the Zodiac and Lawrence Kane.

Kathleen Johns was abducted by an assailant on March 22nd 1970, that became known as the Modesto Attack. The Modesto abduction is a crime that sits on the edge of the Zodiac Killer story, with many enthusiasts feeling it has received unwarranted attention on such flimsy evidence, that basically relies on two key focal points. Firstly, the identification of her abductor from a composite drawing at the Patterson police station, in connection to the Paul Stine murder at Presidio Heights on October 11th 1969. And secondly, the Zodiac Killer himself claiming to be responsible for the abduction four months later, in a mailed letter to the San Francisco Chronicle on July 24th 1970. Kathleen Johns was lured into the abductors car, on a ruse that the wheel of her car was actually coming loose, offering her a lift to the nearest service station, however he took her on a two hour mystery tour through the outskirts of Tracy, California, before she managed to escape across a field with her young daughter, Jennifer. According to Hines, Kathleen Johns in the 1980's would recount her ordeal that night, pinpointing Larry Kane as her likely abductor. Also Pam Huckaby, the sister of Darlene Ferrin, who tragically died at Blue Rock Springs Park, stated that Lawrence Kane had been trailing her sister in the run up to that fateful night on July 4th 1969, although she, at the current time, has placed her faith in Lyndon Lafferty's claim that William Grant is the Zodiac Killer.

In the Donna Lass case the police authorities of Douglas County and El Dorado, were possibly in competition with each other to solve the case, as opposed to the current practice of interactive cooperation between the law enforcement agencies, and this may have hampered the investigation.

The Pines Card, 3.22.71, was mailed six and a half months after the disappearance of Donna Lass, and was believed to be have provided subtle hints to the mystery, but this correspondence has forever divided opinion on its authenticity as Zodiac material.

The following month after Donna Lass disappeared, two more cards were received at the San Francisco Chronicle, the first was the 13 Hole Postcard on October 5th 1970, containing a cross and 13 punch holes and the second was the Halloween Card, on October 27th 1970, featuring two skeletons.  

Six months after the disappearance on March 22nd 1971, the postcard mentioned above, allegedly sent by the Zodiac and known as the 'Pines Card', was received by the San Francisco Chronicle, personally addressed to the Chronicle reporter Paul Avery, inferring a link to the Zodiac, although this card made no direct mention to the Donna Lass disappearance.
The postcard was an advertisement for the Forest Pines condominiums, embellished with five lots of pasted text and the now familiar Zodiac symbol.

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