Will the Real Bruce Davis Pleeez Stand Up!

The "Zodiac"

& Bruce Davis in 2006

A wise friend of mine once said, while chatting with me on the topic of Bruce Davis and his many unaccounted for exploits, that maybe old Bruce hadn't committed the "right" murders to become as infamous as the rest of the TLB gang.

This statement made me sit back in my chair for a minute and wonder if this might not be true.

Had Bruce just been the fool-hearty member of The Manson Family, the dim-witted go-to guy, who just bumbled his way through Charlie's orders and got caught with Shorty Shea's blood on his hands by accident, with a Cheshire Cat grin on his face as he obediently surrendered to authorities just 'cause Charlie needed someone to take his place in prison?

The cop's daughter in me just couldn't buy this off-hand definition of the man some called Charlie's Right Hand. Thus, in response to my friend's statement, I said that maybe old Bruce did exactly the "right" murders so he purposely would NOT become as infamous at the rest. So that authorities would never really know who and how many Bruce did in fact kill, for Charlie, or just for his own pathological reasons.

And when that chilling thought settled in my subconscious, an oft repeated urban legend rumour resurfaced in my brain, that Davis had somehow been involved in the 1966-9 "Zodiac" murders which occurred in and around the Riverside/Vallejo/Napa/San Francisco area at roughly the same time The Manson Family were at large at Spahn's Ranch just north of Los Angeles. Davis's name also came up with law enforcement in regards to several other unsolved murders during the same period in and around the Greater Los Angeles area.

The "Zodiac Watch Worn By Another "Z" Suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen

Some 40 plus years later, the Zodiac, or "Z" murders, are still unsolved and police jurisdictions originally involved in the killings continue to receive "leads" to persons yet investigated as being the Zodiac killer.

None of those new suspect "lead" names however start with the first initial B and the last initial D.

And last week, authorities added another suspect name to the growing "Z" list and the news hit the A.P.wires, as Fox News wrote and televised and KTVU TV wrote and televised.

Even the late Bill Nelson, avid Manson Family researcher, had his own speculations on who the "Z" killer could have been and his suspects initials, like mine, started with a B and ended with a D...need I say more?

And let's not forget the countless, disgruntled emails I receive on my online posted hypothesis that "Z" was more then one perpetrator. My cop's daughter's nose itches every time I look at the multiple M.O.s, crime scene locales, handwriting styles, weapons used, etc.

"Z" was not one man, but at least two, in my humble opinion, and I get pounded by Webland lurkers on a weekly basis who refuse to even entertain this proposition.

Bruce may only seem like a peripheral player in just the Manson game but there were unsolved murders from Los Angeles to San Francisco where Bruce's name kept popping up with the authorities.

Two such instances involved the unsolved San Francisco murder of Paul Stine, attributed to the Zodiac, and the unsolved Los Angeles murders of Doreen Gaul and James Sharp.

Paul Stine, aged 29 in 1969 & At Crime Scene

On October 11, 1969, Yellow Cab taxi driver, Paul Stine picked up a fare at Mason & Geary Streets in San Francisco's Union Square with the destination of Washington & Maple Streets in the upper-class district of Presidio Heights.

For whatever reason, Mr. Stine bypassed Maple and stopped instead one block further west at the northeast corner of Washington & Cherry Streets, put his car into the parking gear and was summarily shot by a 9mm handgun once in the right side of his head.

The suspect, who was seen by teenagers across the street in a second floor residence [50 feet away], was in the front passenger seat, with the victim slumped partially over his lap [so he would have been covered in the victim's blood] and he seemed to be searching the victims pockets, leaning over the victim to the driver's compartment, wiping the interior of the cab with what the witnesses described as a "white rag", exiting the cab from the from passenger side door, walking around the cab to the driver's side door, proceeding to wipe the left side of that door with that same "rag" [which was later discovered to be the torn bloody shirt of Paul Stine, as a square piece of this shirt was enclosed in a Zodiac letter claiming responsibility for the murder].

The suspect then fled [walking, not running] north on Cherry Street towards the Julius Kahn playground of the Presidio. The suspect took Stine's keys, wallet and possibly his dark framed eyeglasses as he was wearing the same when he fled the scene. He was described by the teen aged witnesses as being around 5'8" tall with a stocky build and crew-cut hair [wig?].

SFPD Identi-Kit Sketch of Stine's Attacker

Bruce Davis grew up in the Riverside/Vallejo area of the North Bay and would often take trips back to his hometown area from Spahn's Ranch where The Family resided at this time. Unfortunately, Davis' exact whereabouts on the night of October 11, 1969, have not been established but neither has he been eliminated from this locale.

The one frightening connection Davis has with Stine is his ex-Family Member/girlfriend, and future murder victim, Doreen Gaul. It has been stated in Bugliosi's book, "Helter Skelter" that Doreen dated Davis at the same time she dated an unknown black man and this fact so enraged Davis that the couple separated shortly thereafter. It was also suggested that Doreen was a close friend to Stine as they both attended San Francisco State College for a time and it may have been this friendship which cost Stine his life.

On November 21, 1969, just one month and 10 days after the Stine murder, while walking to their classes located in the Scientology building in Los Angeles, Doreen, aged 19 and James, aged 15 were knifed to death in an unknown locale and dumped in an alley between Arapahoe Street and Magnolia Avenue. Both were stabbed over 50 times, their eyes were slashed and they were beaten about the head and face.
Doreen Gaul, age 19

The pair were slashed with either a long-blade knife or bayonet in an overkill manner suggesting that the murders were an up-close rage-fuelled attack, leaving
the undiscovered killing scene covered in blood. There were no known witnesses to these slayings, so no known suspect description was ever generated.

The LAPD interviewed Davis on his whereabouts at the time of the Gaul/Sharp murders, and was even given immunity from prosecution if he would name names. Davis denied knowing Gaul altogether and declined the offer, stating that he was already on Death Row for the Hinman/Shea murders, so immunity from these murders meant nothing to him. The police at the time, thought that maybe Davis was covering for Charlie Manson, as they never thought Davis had the where-with-all to commit murder on his own.

But the LAPD never contacted the SFPD, Vallejo, Riveride or Napa PDs (or vice versa) for information, so no one in authority at that time had a reason to connect the Zodiac and Manson murders.

And we already know Davis' penchant for NOT confessing to police on any aspect of any murder, even giving up a chance at freedom by confessing to the dump site that was Shorty's Shea's grave and letting that Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card go to Steve Grogan. And pleezzz do NOT try and convince me that old Bruce didn't know where Shorty was dumped...pleeezzz!

And like everything else, Davis' whereabouts on the night of November 21st are unknown.

He can't be conclusively eliminated nor included as the perpetrator of either of these three murders, nor many other unsolved crimes that took place in the same time frame and in similar locales.

And, like the Paul Stine case, the Gaul/Sharp murders remain unsolved.

With last weeks new admission of yet another possible suspect in the "Z" murders, the water gets ever muddier with the number of suspects, the ever-aging evidence and the faltering memories of the aged, dying or, yes, even the dead, who could have revealed the real perpetrator(s) of these crimes.

So, yes, we'll all sit on the edge of our seats until the DNA tests are done on this latest "Z" suspect. But the cop's daughter in me feels this is just another blind Zodiac alley that really should wind its way back to the prison that houses possibly one of the two Zodiac perpetrators, who's first initial is a B and who's last initial is a D.

And I'll continue to get disgruntled emails because of it...


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