UnSubs Central

Your stop for killer book and film reviews about the world's most notorious serial murderers

“We are the keepers of the memories. A sacred trust given by one who has journeyed on.” Glenda Stansbury

While the Zodiac killer claimed to have killed 37 victims, investigators have only been able to confirm 4 attacks in which 5 people were murdered and 2 survived. They are:

  • Betty Lou Jensen, 16
  • David Arthur Faraday, 17
  • Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, 22
  • Cecelia Ann Shepard, 22
  • Paul Lee Stine, 29


  • Michael Renault Mageau
  • Bryan Calvin Hartnell

They were victims of a cold, sadistic killer. This is a moment to remember they were a mother, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, and friends.

Betty Lou Jensen

Betty Lou

Born: July 22, 1952

Born in Hawkins, Colorado, Betty Lou was member of the Pythian Sunshine Girls, an honor student, and a talented artist. A junior at Hogan High School in Vallejo, Betty Lou was looking forward to college and hoping to earn an art scholarship.

Jensen family w_pic

Betty Lou’s father, Vern was born in Nebraska and served in World War II as a Lt. Col. He retired in 1963 after serving 21 years as an Army officer and soon began working as a supply officer for the General Services Administration in San Francisco.

Verne Jensen Verne Jensen

Like her daughter, Betty Lou’s mother, Virginia, was an artist. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in art/history, she worked as a substitute teacher in the Oakland and Vallejo schools. Originally from Council Bluff’s Iowa, she would remain in Vallejo and continue working on her art until she passed away in 2009.

Verne and Virginia Jensen
Verne & Virgina are pictured on the left – courtesy of the Benicia Historical Museum

Betty Lou had one older sister, Melodie. As sister’s do, she helped Betty Lou pick out the purple dress with the white fringe that she would wear on her first date with David. Melodie had been married and had a child.

Betty Lou’s friend, Sharon, recalls that Betty Lou and David met at a party. As they attended different high schools, David would travel during the week from Vallejo High School to spend lunches with Betty Lou before returning to give her a ride home.

On the couple’s first official date, the evening they were killed, David met Betty Lou’s parents before stopping to visit with Sharon. Unbeknownst to Betty Lou, David was going to ask her to go steady by offering her his class ring.

David Arthur Faraday

David Faraday

Born: October 2, 1951

David’s family had moved to Vallejo from Petaluma in 1965. He’d been active as an Eagle Scout, holding the prestigious God and Country award. In his senior year at Vallejo High School, he was on the wrestling team and was a member of the Interact Club. Before Betty Lou, David hadn’t dated much.

David’s father, Thomas, worked at Pacific Gas and Electric and his mother, Jean, worked in the passenger reservations department at Travis Air Force Base. He had three younger siblings, Debbie, Robert, and Steven.

Jean, who would pass away in 2010, described David as “easygoing and friendly,” a boy who “never seemed to have any trouble in school.”[1]

Faraday Family

Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin


Born: March 17, 1947

Darlene was a mother to Deena, who was born on January 24, 1968.

Darlene was outgoing, lively, and social. Her husband Dean (Arthur Dean) called her Dee and her family called her Dar or Dar Dar. While Dean worked as a cook at Caesars Restaurant, Darlene worked at Terry’s Restaurant, a 24-hour diner.

darlene IHOP

From a big family (siblings: Pam, Christina, Linda, Johanna, Leo, Jr. Frank), Darlene’s parents Norma Jean (known as Jeannie) and Leo Suennen were married for 35 years until her mother’s sudden passing in 1981.

Leo Suennen
Leo Suennen, Sr.

Dean, continued to live in Vallejo, remarried, having two more children. Her daughter Deena would grow to have two children of her own.

Michael Renault Mageau


Born: October 29, 1949

Mike recovered from his attack at Kaiser Foundation Hospital until August 1969. Following his release, he disappeared from the spotlight, appearing only a few times since for interviews, including a lengthy one for David Fincher’s Director’s cut DVD documentary, “This is the Zodiac Speaking.”


Mike and his twin brother, Steve, both met Darlene at Terry’s restaurant. Mike says he was in love with Darlene and hoped for a future with her. He regrets that he couldn’t protect her, and would later say, “Basically, I’m fine…officially, I feel fine…but mentally, emotionally, the scars are still there.”[2]

Cecelia Ann Shepard


Born: January 1, 1947

Born in Nuzvid, India, Cecelia lived with her family in Loma Linda. A former graduate of San Gabriel Academy, she was studying music at the University of California at Riverside. A Seventh Day Adventist, Cecelia’s spent her first two years of college at the Seventh Day Adventist affiliated Pacific Union College, where she met Bryan Hartnell.

Described as “having a wide circle of friends,” sister, Carolyn, characterized Cecelia as gentle, loyal, and brave.[3]

Shepard sisters Kathryn, Carol, and Cecelia Shepard. Courtesy of zodiackiller.com

Cecelia’s father, Robert, was a teacher of physics and mathematics at Loma Linda Academy. Her mother, Wilma passed away in 2005.

Cecelia and mother
Cecelia and Wilma Shepard. Courtesy of zodiackiller.com

Bryan Calvin Hartnell

Bryan Hartnell_young

Born: July 1, 1949

Originally from Troutsdale, Oregon, Bryan was studying pre-law at Pacific Union College, where he dated Cecelia Shepard. Bryan survived the September 27th 1969 attack at Lake Berryessa, recovering at Queens of Angels hospital in Napa. Staying out of the limelight in the years following the attack, he married, had children, and worked as a probate attorney in Southern California.

Bryan interview

It wasn’t until David Fincher’s movie, Zodiac, before Bryan would increase his profile by working as an unpaid consultant for the film. He also made a cameo, walking past actor Dermot Mulroney, who played Captain Marty Lee, as he walked up the stairs in the San Francisco police department precinct.

Bryan LB directors cut





Bryan Hartnell on the set of the film Zodiac.

Paul Lee Stine

Paul Stine

Born: December 19, 1969

Born in Exeter, California, Stine grew up in Modesto, California. Married to wife, Claudia, they lived in the Mission District while he worked on his doctorate in English at San Fransisco State University.

Popular in high school, Stine wrote for the Hughson High School newspaper and worked for the Turlock Journal during his senior year. After graduation, he spent the summer working at Camp Curry, Yosemite before attending Fresno State College. To finance his education, he drove a Yellow cab at night and sold insurance during the days he wasn’t in school.

Paul studied Edgar Allen Poe and had a fondness for Shakespeare and classical music. Politically active, he worked for State Senators Bert DeLotto and Charles Garrigus while at Fresno State.

Paul’s father, Theodore, passed away in 1967. After his parents divorced, his mother Audra Thelma remarried Roy Harrison, who passed away in 1968. Paul’s siblings were Joe, Iva, Geneva, and Carol. According to Carol, Paul had a “wonderful sense of humor,” often pulling pranks on sister Geneva.[4]


Following Stine’s death, his brother Joe, a service station mechanic, would offer himself as a challenge to the Zodiac, saying, “For I feel if he makes an attempt on me, I definitely can handle him because I’m…I’m not the world’s best, but if he does, I feel he’ll be caught on this.”[5] He went as far as giving the Examiner his work and lunch schedule to, “make it easier for the Zodiac.”[6]



These are only the confirmed Zodiac victims, many more may exist. Add to that, too often unsolved serial killer cases claim other victims along the way, from detectives, to relatives, and friends. It’s with all of these victims in mind, that we take this minute to extend a mindful moment to let them know they are not alone.




End notes:

[1] Sunday Times-Herald, March 30, 1969, No. 89.

[2] Michael Mageau interview in, “This is the Zodiac Speaking” documentary film in the special edition DVD of Zodiac (2007); director: David Prior. Available to view at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI0jnsbZwys

[3] See: Tragedy Strikes at PUC – Two Students Are Attacked. Pacific Union Recorder: Newspaper of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Arizona-California-Hawaii-Nevada-Utah. October 16, 1969. Vol. 69, No. 15. p. 1. Available at: http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/PUR/PUR19691016-V69-15.pdf and https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/zodiackillerfr/from-cecelia-s-sister-t269.html

[4] See the October 11, 2013 chat room transcript at: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/zodiackillerfr/chat-transcript-w-paul-s-sister-t7049.html

[5] See the television interview at: https://diva.sfsu.edu/collections/sfbatv/bundles/190215

[6] Transcript of article from Wednesday, October 22, 1969 edition of The Modesto Bee at: http://zodiackillersite.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=612

%d bloggers like this: