The Lake Herman Road murder site
Crime Scene Location in Benicia, California
This is the location where the Lake Herman Road murders occurred.
The site is situated on the northern outskirts of Benicia, California.
On December 20th, 1968, Betty Lou Jensen (16) and David Arthur Faraday (17) were shot to death while they were parked at this turnout.
The two teenagers are believed to be the first victims of an unidentified serial killer called the Zodiac Killer.
On that cold Friday night, Faraday and Jensen were on their first date together.
Although they originally planned to attend a Christmas concert at a local high school, they decided to go to a friend's house and then visit a local restaurant instead.
At roughly 10.15 p.m., Faraday parked his station wagon at this gravel turnout on Lake Herman Road, which was a well-known "make-out" spot at the time.
Shortly before 11 p.m., an unidentified man pulled into the turnout.
After exiting his vehicle, the man approached the couple with a .22 caliber handgun and ordered them to get out. To scare them into compliance, he fired two warning shots into the station wagon.
This clearly worked, as the crime scene indicated that the young couple had exited the vehicle before the killings took place.
When Faraday got out of the driver's door and walked around to the other side, his assailant wasted little time shooting him in the head.
The bullet entered his skull beneath his left ear, fatally wounding him.
Jensen, who had just witnessed her date being murdered right before her eyes, attempted to turn around and run away. She only managed to make it 10 yards, as the killer shot her five times in the back, causing her to collapse forward onto her stomach.
Once he was satisfied that the two teenagers were dead, the Zodiac Killer jumped back into his vehicle and drove away.
A few minutes later, a motorist named Stella Borges passed by the crime scene and saw Faraday and Jensen's bodies lying on the side of the road.
Realizing that she had just stumbled across a horrific double murder, Borges sped into Benecia until she came across a police car. At that point, she managed to grab their attention by repeatedly flashing her headlights and honking the horn at them.
Unfortunately, the investigation into the murder of Faraday and Jensen was hampered from the start. Not only were detectives unable to determine a motive, but the cold weather meant that the ground was too frozen to capture any footprints or tire marks.
With no leads or apparent motive, the case quickly stalled.
In July 1969, the Zodiac Killer called the Vallejo Police Department to claim responsibility for the shooting of another young couple, Darlene Ferrin and Michael Mageau. During the same phone call, he also confessed to killing Faraday and Jensen seven months earlier.
Despite decades of investigation by law enforcement, authors, and amateur crime sleuths, the identity of the Zodiac Killer remains a mystery to this day.
Lake Herman Road murder site location
The address and the GPS coordinates for this location are as follows:
Lake Herman Road, Benicia, California, CA 94510, USA
To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:
The latitude and longitude coordinates for the site are:
The Lake Herman Zodiac site is roughly two miles west of the Luther E. Gibson Freeway. It is half a mile east of Lake Herman.
Details about the general area
Benicia is a small city in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Photos of the site and other related images.
The Lake Herman Zodiac site
This Google Street View image of the Lake Herman Zodiac site was taken in March 2019.
Note that this is not the exact vehicle that Faraday was driving.
Faraday was driving a 1960 Rambler station wagon, which belonged to his parents. The vehicle in the image above is a 1965 Rambler Classic 770 Cross Country that we added to illustrate the general location where the couple were parked.
It is believed that the Zodiac Killer pulled up on their right side.
This is a south-facing aerial image of the gravel turnout on Lake Herman Road.
The X characters mark the locations where Faraday and Jensen's bodies were found.
When the Zodiac Killer shot Faraday in the head, it seems as though Jensen attempted to flee westward. However, she was gunned down about 10 yards away from the vehicle.
Shortly afterwards, a passing motorist noticed the teenagers' bodies.
At the start of the investigation, the police quickly determined that the victims hadn't been robbed or sexually assaulted. As a result, they struggled to establish a motive for the shooting.
Google Street View
This Google Street View image of the site was taken in March 2021.
At the time of the murders, the turnout was much larger. It also had a reputation for being a lovers' lane (of course, the killer may have known this and specifically targeted it for that reason).
David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen
These are digitally remastered and colorized photographs of David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen.
Faraday was still breathing when the police arrived at the scene. However, he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital roughly 30 minutes later.
Jensen, who had been shot five times in the back, showed no signs of life.
This location belongs to the following categories:Crime ScenesSerial KillersUnsolved CasesZodiac Killer Locations
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