"I'm not afraid to kill again..."
At this point, he had already murdered two teenagers in December of 1968. And attacked another couple on July 4th, 1969 at the Blue Rock Springs Golf Course in Vallejo, California. The latter of which, the male survived.
He had already sent in his infamous letters to The San Francisco Chronicle. His moniker, The Zodiac, was already known to the world.
Then, on this day, September 27th in 1969, he committed his third, and most gruesome attack.
Two college students named Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard went to Lake Berryessa in Napa County California for a picnic. When they were there, a man approached them dressed in all black, with an executioners style hood. On his chest, was the white crosshair symbol. The Zodiac's symbol. (pictured above)
He approached them with a gun out, and told them "Not to move." He told them that he killed a guard escaping a prison in Montana. And that he wanted their car keys and money so he could escape to Mexico.
Bryan tried to reason with him. Offering him help since he was a pre-law major in college. In an interview after the fact, Bryan said he thought he could possibly "squeeze a paper" out of the situation.
The Zodiac then told Cecelia to tie up Bryan's hands. Which she did. The Zodiac then approached them further and tied Bryan's feet to his hands. He then did the same to Cecelia.
Tied up, Bryan then asked The Zodiac if the gun was even loaded. The Zodiac took the clip out of the gun, and showed him the bullets.
There was a terrible long silence. The Zodiac then pulled out a 12 inch knife and stabbed the couple repeatedly. Cecelia died two days later in the hospital. Bryan survived.
There were no reports of escaped convicts in Montana. And detectives later determined that the Zodiac's whole speech was fake and pre-scripted, intended to get his victims to put their guard down. He believed that if they thought it was a routine robbery, and nothing more, they would be more willing to cooperate.
Which turned out to work. Because Bryan has later stated that he did believe it to be a robbery and nothing more.
After the attack, The Zodiac hiked back up to the victims car. He wrote on their car door. He wrote the dates of all of his attacks thus far, and drew his crosshair Zodiac symbol.
Approximately one hour after the attack, The Zodiac called the police from a payphone to report it. The same way he did after the July 4th attack.
According to the police dispatcher, The Zodiac said:
"I want to report a murder... No, a double murder... They are two miles north of Park Headquarters. They were in a white Volkswagen Karmann Gia. I'm the one who did it."
He then left the phone hanging. Shortly after police arrived at the scene, where a wet palm print was collected from the phone. But it has yet to been matched to any suspect.