Blue Rock Springs
NOTE: Times below are estimated, based on a reasonable interpretation of various testimony
July 4, 1969 (friday) at 4 PM
Darlene Ferrin called Mike Mageau and the pair made plans to go to a movie in San Francisco later that night. Darlene told Mike that she would pick him up at home around 7:30 pm. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR8.html
Darlene hired a babysitter named Pamela (15 years-old). Pamela's friend Janet (14-years-old) went along to keep Pamela company. Darlene's father picked up the two girls at 7 pm, and drove them to Darlene's house at 1300 Virginia Street, bringing also Darlene's sister Christine. Darlene and Christine planned to go to the holiday festivities downtown, and Darlene told the babysitters that they would be back by 10 pm. She also said that they were planning to go to San Francisco after they got back. Darlene and Christine left the house at around 7:45 pm. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR21.html
Approximately 7:40 PM
At "approximately 8 pm" Darlene called Mike Mageau and told him that she "had to go with her sister, Christine, to the Miss Firecracker contest" and that she would call him as soon as she could. This call was most likely made from Darlene's house at around 7:40-7:45 if the babysitter's testimony (above) is accurate. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR8.html
~Approximately 10:30 PM
Darlene and her sister Christine were at Caesar's restaurant, where Darlene's husband Dean worked. Darlene left, saying that she was going to take Christine home, then go home herself and drive the babysitters home. Darlene again called Mike Mageau at around this time, and told him that she would be over shortly. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR8.html
~Around 11:20 PM
Darlene returned home "about 11:30 or shortly before that" and informed the babysitters that she had changed her mind about going to San Francisco, and that instead “they were going to have a party at 1300 Virginia Street after they closed Caesar's.” She cleaned up the house for a few minutes.
"At approximately 11:30 or shortly thereafter" Darlene Ferrin picked up Mike Mageau at his house at 864 Beechwood Ave, Vallejo, a 5 minute drive from Darlene's house. (Mageau estimated the time to be "approximately 11:30 or shortly thereafter," but the actual time Darlene picked up Mageau was probably closer to 11:40 PM). They were both hungry and decided to get something to eat. But after briefly heading west down Springs Road, Darlene said she wanted to talk to him about something, so they turned the car around and headed to Blue Rock Springs Park. They turned around at "approximately the location of Mr. Ed's" at 1339 Springs Road—an 8 minute drive from Blue Springs Park. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR8.html
~11:40 PM (estimated)
Sometime around 11:40 PM, Vallejo PD officer Richard Hoffman checked the Blue Rock Springs parking lot and found the lot empty. The officer estimated that he had been in the parking lot "approximately 15 min prior" to receiving a call from police dispatch at 12:10 AM, suggesting that would have been in the parking lot at around 11:55 PM. This time estimate is likely inaccurate if we go by Mageau's testimony. The actual time that officer Hoffman checked the parking lot was probably at least 15 minutes earlier, at 11:40 PM or so. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR5.html
In the documentary "This is the Zodiac Speaking," Hoffman estimated he checked the parking lot "a half hour or so" before the call at 12:10 AM. This would be closer to 11:40 AM. "Now I had just been out to Blue Rock Springs a half hour or so before that." "This is the Zodiac Speaking" documentary
~11:45 PM (estimated)
At around 11:45 PM, Darlene and Mike arrived at Blue Rock Springs Park... "to have a lover's lane type thing, and kiss and talk, and hold each other's hands," as Mageau later said. After parking, Darlene turned off the headlights and the motor, but left the radio playing.
After being in the park for "a very short time, a few minutes," three cars pulled in.... some young kids laughing and carrying on lighting firecrackers. The three vehicles left "within a short time." "This was just a very short space of time, a few minutes," according to Mageau. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR8.html
~11:49 PM (estimated)
"Shortly after this," another car pulled into the lot, coming from the direction of Springs Road and Vallejo. The driver pulled to the left or east of their car and turned off the headlights and sat there for a minute. Michael asked Darlene if she knew who it was and she said, "Oh, never mind." Mageau could not see the car very well, or the color of the car, but said it was similar in shape to Darlene's Corvair. The car then drove off at a fast rate of speed back towards Vallejo to the south. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR8.html
~11:54 AM (estimated)
Approximately 5 minutes after driving away, the same car returned and parked about 10 feet behind and to the right of them. The driver exited the vehicle, approaching the passenger side door of Ferrin's car, carrying a flashlight and a 9 mm pistol. The killer shined the flashlight into Mageau's and Ferrin's eyes before shooting at them, firing five times. Both victims were hit, and several bullets had passed through Mageau and into Ferrin. The killer walked away from the car but upon hearing Mageau's moaning, returned and shot each victim twice more before driving off. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR8.html and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac_Killer
NOTE: The actual time of the shooting, based on a reasonable interpretation of Mageau's testimony, and other factors, was probably close to 11:54 AM (see timeline notes below).
At "approximately midnight" gunshots were heard by a witness named George Bryant who lived 800 ft from the Blue Rock Springs parking lot. George then heard the car "take off at super speed and it burned rubber and was squealing its tires as it sped along the road." https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR15.html
After the shooting the car drove off again towards Vallejo.
~12:02 AM (approx)
In what seemed to Mageau to be 8 or 10 minutes later, a car came by with three "hippy types" in it: Debra ___, 19, Roger ___ 17, and Jerry ___, 17. The teens later said that they "guess the time they were at the park as real close to midnite, possibly a little before midnite." Mageau told them, "I'm shot and the girl's shot. Get a doc." The teens drove off to call police from Jerry's house at 938 Castlewood Drive, Vallejo, which was a 6-7 minute drive from the park. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR9.html and https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR25.html
At 12:10 AM, police dispatch operator Nancy Stover received a call from a female stating that 2 juveniles were being shot at Blue Rock Springs parking lot. Officers were then dispatched to the scene. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR4.html
As officers approached the scene of the crime, a Cadillac was seen driving south on Columbus Parkway. Officers pulled over the vehicle, which was driven by Andrew ___, age 19, who stated "Is this about that guy laying down back there?" Also in the car was Betty ____, 19. Both were placed under arrest and taken to VPD https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR18.html
12:12 AM (approx)
"5 to 10 minutes later" after the "hippy-type" teens left Mageau, the police arrived in Blue Springs Park. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR10.html
Approximately 40 minutes after the shooting, the killer called Vallejo police and spoke with dispatcher Nancy Slover: "I want to report a double murder. If you will go 1 mile east to the public park on Columbus Parkway you will find the kids in a brown car. They were shot with a 9mm Luger. I also killed those kids last year. Goodbye."
By 12:47, a PT&T (Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company) operator called Vallejo Police to report that the call had been traced to a payphone at Joe's Union, at the corner of Springs Road and Tuolumne Street. https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR13.html
12:40 AM to 1 AM ? (estimated)
Some time after midnight, Dean arrived at home with his employer and employer's wife. Finding out that Darlene was not home, "Dean left to find her." SOURCE? This is in Graysmith's book.
According to Bill Lee and Dean Ferrin, two phone calls were received "after they arrived at 1300 Virginia Street", but the exact timing of these calls is a bit unclear. There was only heavy breathing on the line.
“Stated that after they arrived at 1300 Virginia Street and waiting for Darlene that there was two phone calls where there was no answer on the other end” -- Statement of Dean Ferrin and Bill Lee (Ferrin’s employer). No time given for these phone calls. http://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR19.html
Vallejo PD police report on Blue Rock Springs crime (75 pages). https://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR1.html
Interviews with Vallejo PD Patrolman Richard Hoffman, Vallejo PD Sergeant George Bawart, Vallejo PD Detective Ed Rust, City of Valejo 355 Operator Nancy Stover, and victim Mike Mageau - from the documentary This is the Zodiac Speaking (2007)
The IHOP at 1400 Tennessee St, where Darlene Ferrin worked in 1966-1967 was right around the corner from Arthur Leigh Allen's house at 32 Fresno Street. Don Cheney told Tom Voigt in an interview that Leigh had been interested in a waitress that worked at the "pancake house" around the corner from Leigh's house. https://zodiackiller.com/CheneyTranscript.txt
Terry's Waffle Shop on Magazine Street, where Darlene Ferrin worked in 1969, at the time of the murder.
The phone booth where Zodiac called Vallejo PD after the Blue Rock Springs murder, was at the corner of Tolumne St and Springs Rd, a 9 minute walk from Arthur Leigh Allen's house, roughly between Allen's house and Darlene Ferrin's house on Virginia Street. It seems likely that Zodiac may have also called Ferrin's house at this time, which would indicate that Zodiac knew Ferrin.
Terry's Waffle Shop, where Darlene Ferrin worked at the time of the murder.
The IHOP (International House of Pancakes) at 1400 Tennessee St where Darlene had previously worked from 1966-7
Arial photo of the Blue Rock Springs park murder site