section of the Preliminary Report on Project MK-ZODIAC examines clues
related to the events in Vallejo, California on July 4, 1969.
Perhaps someone reading this report will have more information which
may lead to apprehending the killer.
If you have any information about the events in Vallejo, California on
July 4, 1969, and/or the Zodiac, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* * *
It is possible that the Zodiac
went to the 4th of July parade in
Vallejo in 1969.
The Vallejo Chamber of Commerce produced a button for
the annual 4th of July parade.
The Zodiac researcher who is known as Zamantha was able to obtain this
the 4th of July button for this report.
Note: Project MK-ZODIAC has not been able to find any other image of
this button on the internet. If anyone is aware that any image of this
button has been posted on the internet prior to this report, please
provide a link.
is the button which was sold to the
sponsors of the 4th of July
parade at Vallejo, California in 1969.
Each year in Vallejo young women competed in a popularity contest in
which the winner was determined by whoever sold the most buttons to the
The winner was crowned with a tiara as Miss Firecracker and had the
honor of being the official hostess of the 4th of July events.
The winner and the runner-ups received prizes donated by local
Firecracker and the runner-ups were honored to ride in the 4th of July
parade and then the lighted boat parade in the evening.
On Tuesday, July 1, 1969, the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce announced
that Miss Firecracker of 1969 was Karen [last name redacted], a
20-year-old graduate of Vallejo Senior High School who worked at a
local beauty salon.
The first runner-up was Mary [last name redacted], a 16-year-old student at St. Vincent’s
High School, and the second runner-up was Christina [last name redacted], a 15-year-old
student at Hogan Senior High School.
Christina was the sister of Darlene Ferrin.
The Zodiac may or may not have bought one of the 4th of July buttons
from the sister of Darlene Ferrin.
* * *
Tom Voigt (who is the administrator at the website http://www.zodiackiller.com) has provided a copy of a letter dated July 14, 1969, which was sent to Christina from the Chairman of the Miss Firecracker Contest at the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce.
* * *
The 4th of July Parade
4th of July events in Vallejo were publicized throughout the San
Francisco Bay Area and attracted thousands of people.
John E. Kloske, the inspector for the Vallejo
Fire Prevention Bureau,
was the announcer for many of the events in Vallejo on Friday, July 4,
Throughout the day, beginning with the 4th of July parade, the
Volunteer Light Artillery Unit fired volleys in honor of the holiday.
The 4th of July parade started at about 10:00 a.m. at the
intersection of Amador Street and Tennessee Street.
The parade route went west on Tennessee Street, south on Sonoma Boulevard,
and then west on Georgia Street.
The reviewing stand was at Sacramento Street.
The parade ended at the Town Square at Santa Clara Street.
Dunbar was also the host of the A.M. San Francisco television show
On October 22, 1969, Jim
Dunbar became involved with the Zodiac case
when someone who claimed to be the Zodiac killer called the A.M. San
Francisco television show to speak with Melvin Belli, the well-known
San Francisco lawyer.
* * *
The Lighted Boat Parade
On the evening of
4, 1969, Christina, the sister of
Darlene Ferrin, rode in the lighted boat parade by Mare Island at
Darlene Ferrin was with Christina at the lighted boat parade.
Darlene Ferrin was wearing a jumpsuit with red, white, and blue stars
for the holiday.
The Zodiac may or may not have seen Darlene Ferrin at
the lighted boat parade.
Twelve entries would participate in the lighted boat parade in Mare
Island Channel which began at about 9:00 p.m. (at sunset).
The lighted boat parade started by Steffens Sports and Marine Shop near the intersection of Mare Island Way and Maryland Street (which is now Curtola Parkway).
The lighted boat parade went through Mare Island Channel to the Vallejo Yacht Club near the intersection of Mare Island Way and Florida Street.
Subsequently, Darlene Ferrin and Michael Mageau were shot in the
parking lot at Blue Rock Springs Park sometime around midnight.
The Vallejo Police Department received the first call from a passerby reporting the shooting 10 minutes after midnight on Saturday, July 5, 1969.
Darlene Ferrin was shot five times and was pronounced dead when her body
arrived at Kaiser Hospital.
Michael Mageau was shot four times and survived.
On July 31, 1969, the Zodiac would mail communications to claim
responsibility for killing David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen on Lake
Herman Road on December 20, 1968, and killing Darlene Ferrin at Blue Rock Springs Park on July 4, 1969.
Months after the
4th of July
parade, the Zodiac would make several
references to buttons in communications that were sent to the San
Francisco Chronicle in 1970.
Zamantha wondered what was the reason that the Zodiac was thinking
Zamantha thought that it was possible that the Zodiac might have been
thinking about the 4th of July button which was associated with the
sister of Darlene Ferrin.
“I would like to see some nice Zodiac butons wandering about town.
Every one else has those buttons like, [peace symbol], black power,
melvin eats bluber, etc. Well it would cheer me up
considerbly if I saw a lot of people wearing my buton. Please no nasty
ones like melvin’s”
“I have become very upset with the people of San Fran Bay Area. They
have not complied
with my wishes for them to wear some nice [Zodiac]
“I am rather unhappy because you people will not wear some nice
“Being that you will not wear some nice [Zodiac] buttons, how about
some nasty [Zodiac] buttons. Or any type of [Zodiac] buttons that you
can think up.
If you do not wear any type of [Zodiac] buttons I shall (on top of
else) torture all 13 of my slaves that I have wateing for me in
the Zodiac have been inspired to think about buttons because of a
lingering memory of the 4th of July button associated with the sister
of Darlene Ferrin?
* * *
"Dangerous Animal" and
were other possible clues which were in plain sight during the 4th of
July parade in Vallejo, California in
There was no reason to notice these possible clues at the time because
on July 4, 1969, the public was not yet aware that the serial killer
known as the Zodiac existed.
It was not until July 31, 1969, that the killer mailed three
communications to the Vallejo Times-Herald, the San Francisco Examiner,
and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Each message included a section of a three-part 408-symbol cipher.
On August 8, 1969, news reporters interviewed Donald Harden who
explained that he and Bettye Harden had solved the 408-symbol cipher.
In the 408-symbol
cipher, the message from the Zodiac began as follows:
"I like killing people because it is so much fun.
It is more fun than killing wild game in the forest
because man is the most dangerous animal of all."
were included in this cipher.
happened that the words “dangerous animal” which were used in this
cipher had also appeared in the 4th of July parade.
In the 4th of July parade there were contingents from many of the local
schools in Vallejo.
One of the contingents was from Castlewood Nursery School which was on Georgia Street in Vallejo.
The marchers from Castlewood Nursery School called themselves the
The Castlewood Clowns were in a contingent with a circus theme.
It is known that the Castlewood Clowns carried two signs in their
On one sign was written the words “dangerous animal” and on another
sign was written the words “feroceus lion”.
would be used by the Zodiac less than a
On July 4, 1969, no one could have known that the same words would be
used by the Zodiac who composed the cipher which was mailed on July 31,
Not only are the words “dangerous animal” a possible clue, but also are
the words “feroceus lion”.
The word “ferocious” was misspelled as “feroceus”.
The word “feroceus” is a portmanteau.
The word “feroceus” is a combination of the word “feroce” and the word
The word “feroce” is an Italian word meaning “cruel”, “fierce”, “grim”,
“murderous”, “savage”, “viscious”, or “wild”.
The word “ceus” is a Gaelic word meaning “crucify” or “torture”.
As explained in the previous report by Project MK-ZODIAC, the Zodiac
had a hidden word game based upon linguistics.
challenges each reader of this report to think carefully about these
Is it merely a coincidence that
the exact same words “dangerous animal”
were prominently displayed by someone in the 4th of July parade and
then used soon after by the Zodiac?
is it merely a coincidence that, next to the “dangerous
animal” sign, there was a sign with the words “feroceus lion” in which
the word “feroceus” happens to be a portmanteau consistent with the
words meaning “kill” in the Zodiac’s word game?
Are these clues which have been
over 40 years?
MK-ZODIAC hopes that this report will jog old memories which may be
related to the Zodiac case.
If you have any
information about the events in Vallejo, California on July 4, 1969,
and/or the Zodiac,
please email email@example.com.
information in this report has been obtained from various sources.
In the event that for any reason there is any discrepancy, please
return to the
message to the Zodiac, click here.
of the Zodiac Killer
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