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  1. #1
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    CA - Donna Ann Lass, 25, South Lake Tahoe, 6 Sept 1970

    Donna Ann Lass
    Missing since September 6, 1970 from South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, California.
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: November 3, 1944
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 25 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'4"; 135 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blonde hair; blue eyes.
    Dentals: Not available

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Lass was last seen in South Lake Tahoe, she left her residence without her vehicle or personal belongings. Foul play is suspected. Investigators think that Lass might have been a victim of a serial killer who called himself the Zodiac.
    Lass worked as a nurse at the "Sahara Hotel-Casino". Her last entry in the nurse's log book was at 1:50 a.m., and although her car was found parked at her apartment complex in nearby Stateline, she wasn't seen after leaving the Sahara. The next day, an unknown male called her landlord and employer, stating Lass wouldn't be returning due to a family emergency. The call was a hoax, and there has been no trace of Lass ever since.

    Investigators
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: South Lake Tahoe Police Department 530-542-6110
    Agency Case Number: 706436 NCIC Number: M-001415154

    Source Information:
    California Department of Justice
    Zodiac Killer.com
    The Doe Network: Case File 836DFCA
    Link:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/836dfca.html
    Last edited by Kimster; 03-15-2014 at 01:29 PM. Reason: featured cold case starting 3/15/2014

  2. #2
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    Family emergency...

    An interesting bit of information in this case is the story of a man calling both Donna's landlord and employer the next day to say that she would not be returning due to a family emergency. While police evaluated it as a "hoax", nothing further is stated regarding it. How would that person know who the landlord and employer were, and how would he know that she was missing so soon after the fact? If the person were actually identified by police, then his name should be published and he should have been charged with making false statements.

    It is possible that Donna's abductor knew her and was specifically trying to buy time by reporting that she had left town for a false reason. It reminds me of Fred Coffey leaving town so abruptly on a "family emergency" coincidentaly following two separate murders in locations near him.

  3. #3
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    Donna has long been considered a victim of the original Zodiac, though with little direct evidence to substantiate this. She has been thought to be the subject of the Zodiac's Lake Tahoe postcard. A later search near a Lake Tahoe development revealed the Zodiac's circle-and-cross symbol recreated in stones in a secluded wooded area (the construction has been variously described as being made of stone, wood, or a combination fo the two). An investigator into the Zodiac murders excavated the site and discovered sunglasses similar to those known to have been worn by Donna. The original postcard has been reported as being a hoax, but nothing has been proven conclusively.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    An interesting bit of information in this case is the story of a man calling both Donna's landlord and employer the next day to say that she would not be returning due to a family emergency. While police evaluated it as a "hoax", nothing further is stated regarding it. How would that person know who the landlord and employer were, and how would he know that she was missing so soon after the fact? If the person were actually identified by police, then his name should be published and he should have been charged with making false statements.

    It is possible that Donna's abductor knew her and was specifically trying to buy time by reporting that she had left town for a false reason. It reminds me of Fred Coffey leaving town so abruptly on a "family emergency" coincidentaly following two separate murders in locations near him.
    I have wondered about that phone call. At first I felt that whoever abducted Donna must have known her, because how else would he have known both her employer and her landlord? But now I'm wondering if the abductor saw Donna at the hospital (perhaps he was a patient, a visitor, or a deliveryman) and became fixated on her. He could have followed her home, and abducted her in the parking lot of her apartment complex. This would allow him to know the name of her employer (the hospital) and the name of the apartment complex she lived in.

  5. #5
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    Unless, of course, her abductor got this information out of her to buy time...Not pleasant to contemplate but we all know these things happen.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    Unless, of course, her abductor got this information out of her to buy time...Not pleasant to contemplate but we all know these things happen.
    That's always a possibility.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    Donna has long been considered a victim of the original Zodiac, though with little direct evidence to substantiate this. She has been thought to be the subject of the Zodiac's Lake Tahoe postcard. A later search near a Lake Tahoe development revealed the Zodiac's circle-and-cross symbol recreated in stones in a secluded wooded area (the construction has been variously described as being made of stone, wood, or a combination fo the two). An investigator into the Zodiac murders excavated the site and discovered sunglasses similar to those known to have been worn by Donna. The original postcard has been reported as being a hoax, but nothing has been proven conclusively.
    Donna is listed, along with 48 others as a "possible" victim of Zodiac. Of that lot, only six are considered "Definite" Zodiac victims. A major problem with the Zodiac case is the constantly changing MO.

    Zodiac was never apprehended or positively identified. Various potential suspects have been considered, but there were always discrepancies and inconsistancies which tended to rule each out of at least some of the attacks and murders.

    In the case of Donna Lass, there was a possible link to the very first major Zodiac suspect; Andy Todd Walker, who was given a speeding ticket in his white Chevy at Lake Tahoe at about the time Donna disappeared.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    Donna is listed, along with 48 others as a "possible" victim of Zodiac. Of that lot, only six are considered "Definite" Zodiac victims. A major problem with the Zodiac case is the constantly changing MO.

    Zodiac was never apprehended or positively identified. Various potential suspects have been considered, but there were always discrepancies and inconsistancies which tended to rule each out of at least some of the attacks and murders.

    In the case of Donna Lass, there was a possible link to the very first major Zodiac suspect; Andy Todd Walker, who was given a speeding ticket in his white Chevy at Lake Tahoe at about the time Donna disappeared.
    I haven't read anything about the Zodiac in many years and have forgotten most of what I read!

    I've always felt there was more than one "Zodiac", either working together or just two separate killers altogether. That might explain some of the inconsistencies and discrepancies.

    I read once that although a serial killer might change his MO, he never changes his "signature". The "signature" could be anything - what he takes from the victims, the method he uses to dump or bury the victims, etc. Do you know if there is one consistent "signature" linked to the Zodiac?

  9. #9
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    Signature...

    Quote Originally Posted by Marilynilpa
    I haven't read anything about the Zodiac in many years and have forgotten most of what I read!

    I've always felt there was more than one "Zodiac", either working together or just two separate killers altogether. That might explain some of the inconsistencies and discrepancies.

    I read once that although a serial killer might change his MO, he never changes his "signature". The "signature" could be anything - what he takes from the victims, the method he uses to dump or bury the victims, etc. Do you know if there is one consistent "signature" linked to the Zodiac?
    I would have to say that Zodiac's "signature" would be in the many messages and letters that he sent to the papers and police taunting them and actually claiming victims. The problem here is that it is suspected that copycats also sent in letters - whether the copycats were only sending messages about known murders/disappearances, or possibly committing the murders and sending messages in Zodiac style would be debatable.

    Probably the most definitive book on Zodiac would be the one called "Zodiac" by Robert Graysmith, written in 1976, and reprinted many times since then.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    I would have to say that Zodiac's "signature" would be in the many messages and letters that he sent to the papers and police taunting them and actually claiming victims. The problem here is that it is suspected that copycats also sent in letters - whether the copycats were only sending messages about known murders/disappearances, or possibly committing the murders and sending messages in Zodiac style would be debatable.

    Probably the most definitive book on Zodiac would be the one called "Zodiac" by Robert Graysmith, written in 1976, and reprinted many times since then.
    I've been thinking about the phone calls made to Donna's employer and landlord. If Donna was a victim of the Zodiac, given his proclivity for contacting people about his crimes, it seems within the realm of possibility that he placed the two phone calls. By placing those calls, in a way he entered Donna's world. It might have been a thrill to him, speaking to those people after he'd abducted and killed Donna.


  11. #11
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    Will the Real Zodiac please stand up?

    I wonder if "Zodiac" might be a combination of criminals. There have been several close possibilities, but no definite evidence linking any named/known person to the crimes was ever found. It seems that when the police had a strong suspect, he had alibis for at least some of the murders.

    I do not think that Zodiac is two (or more) persons working together, but rather that there was a "Main" Zodiac, who was the one who wrote all of the letters and notes to the police. In addition to him, there was another (or others), who were involved in various activities, including murder. A murderer might tip the police that he was Zodiac. On the same token, the guy doing some of the killing and most of the writing, might be happy for the recognitin and might claim victims that he did not kill.

    After a while, any well known criminal tends to get accused of committing crimes that he did not do. That is perhaps part of the problem in getting all the pieces to fit.

    In this case, a man calls Donna's employer to state that she would not be returning soon from a family emergency. How many other times did this happen where Zodiac made a phone call to cover for one of his victims?

  12. #12
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    Bumping this case up. It has been a year since anyone has posted on it.

  13. #13
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    In the news...

    Bumping this case up, due to recent news article about a retired Air Force Officer believing that he may have located her grave by Satilite Imagery.

  14. #14
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    Zodiac investigator positive about a cryptic Tahoe location

    After believing he cracked the case involving the 1970 disappearance of Donna Lass, a possible victim of the Zodiac killer, by using satellite imagery from the Internet, Clifton Calvez visited the site last week where he believes she's buried.

    And his theory, he says, grew stronger.

    A retired Air Force colonel in his 60s, Calvez has taken up the case of Lass, a 25-year-old casino nurse who vanished after her shift ended at Stateline.

    http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/art...NEWS/107060080

  15. #15
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    I wouldn't get your hopes too high on this "investigation". We all can come to our own conclusions, but Calvez looks like a kook to me.
    Order the book "Searching For Anna" directly from [URL="http://www.lulu.com/conte

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