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  1. #1
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    Sep 2004
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    CA - Elaine Davis, 17, Walnut Creek, 1 Dec 1969

    Elaine Louise Davis
    Missing since 1 December 1969 from Walnut Creek, CA
    Age 17

    Her name appears in the Book "Zodiac" by Robert Graysmith, as a POSSIBLE victim of the Zodiac killer. The book stated (in 1986) that she was still missing and gave no further details as to how or why she was considered one of his victims.

    She remained "missing" until a Jane Doe was identifed as being her in 2001. Here is the story...

    ----------------------------------------------
    Article from the San Francisco Chronicle:
    Wednesday, May 16, 2001

    Body of girl missing since '69 identified:
    Disappearance from Walnut Creek home

    By Charlie Goodyear, Chronicle Staff Writer

    A girl presumed murdered in 1969 -- and who was buried as a Jane Doe in a Santa Cruz cemetery --has been identified thanks to persistent investigators and advances in forensics.

    Last week, authorities exhumed the body of Elaine Louise Davis, 17, and confirmed her identity through dental records. Davis disappeared on Dec. 1, 1969, while baby-sitting her 3-year-old sister at the family's Walnut Creek home.

    Police found no evidence of a struggle at the scene. In a field behind her house they did recover a button Davis had been planning to sew onto her coat. Two days later, a motorist discovered the coat on Highway 17 near Santa Cruz.

    On Dec. 19, 1969, authorities found the body of a female floating off Light House Point. Investigators mistakenly estimated the age of the victim as 20 to 25 years old. As a result, Walnut Creek police never believed that the victim was Davis.

    Last year, Walnut Creek Police Detective Lew Doty was reviewing Davis' case as part of the department's regular examination of old unsolved cases. Doty noticed in the case file a reference to the body found in Santa Cruz as well as a dental X-ray belonging to Davis. He checked with criminalist Paul Holes of the Contra Costa crime lab, who told the detective that methods for estimating the age of a victim were less precise in 1969.

    Because Davis' body had been buried in a cemetery for unidentified or impoverished persons, authorities weren't sure they could locate her grave. But with the help of the Santa Cruz coroner's office and a forensic anthropologist, investigators were able to find the correct site last week and exhume the corpse.

    "There was a lot of damage to the body," Holes said yesterday. "There is no definitive cause of death and determining that now will be basically an impossibility." But modern forensics may yield additional clues, and police are reviewing the case for leads to follow up.

    "Maybe something will get jogged," said Walnut Creek Police Lt. Loren Cattolico. "Does someone know something? In 75 percent of homicides, the victim knows the killer. The house doesn't show any signs of ransacking. The kid she was baby-sitting didn't hear anyone at the door. I think she walked outside with someone willingly and didn't come back."

    Police said Davis' body showed some signs of cartilage damage in her neck, indicating that she might have been strangled.

  2. #2
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    So whoever took her, brought her to Santa Cruz and then dumped her off of the coast somewhere. Lighthouse Point is Santa Cruz; it's also close to Route 17 which is where her coat was found... I wonder if she went out into the yard for some reason and was snatched from the yard - it would explain why the child did not hear anyone at the door.

  3. #3
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    Elaine Davis, 17, Disappeared 1 Dec 1969 from Walnut Creek, CA identified 2001

    Elaine Davis
    From Walnut Creek, California
    Age 17
    Disappeared on 1 December 1969.

    Elaine was aparently abducted and murdered on 1 December 1969. She remained a missing person until 2001. An unknown body had been found in water in late December 1969, but remained unidentified until 2001 when authorities identified her as Elaine Davis.

    Hers was one of the cases which has been resolved using modern methods to compare and match unknown bodies with Missing persons.

    While now identified and laid to rest, her murder remains unsolved. Some feel that she was a victim of the Zodiac serial killer, who had claimed a kill about the time of her disappearance.
    Last edited by Cubby; 04-06-2010 at 09:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2004
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    5,074

    40 Years ago...

    1 December 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of Elaine Davis' disappearance. Although her body was found 19 December 1969, it was not until 2001 that she was positively identified.

    The case is still not solved, however, as no person has been identified as her killer.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2007
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    South Jersey
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    Anyone know the address off hand where this girl vanished from?
    Follow me on Twitter @TrueCrimeGuy or via my sites
    http://www.zodiackillersite.com/
    & TrueCrimeGuy.com

  6. #6
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    Oct 2014
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    69

    CA - Elaine Davis, 17, Walnut Creek, 1 Dec 1969

    On Monday, 1 December 1969, 17-year-old Elaine Louise Davis returned to her Walnut Creek home (158 Pioneer Avenue) with her mother and 3-year-old sister after shopping. It was about 10 p.m. Mrs. Davis left Elaine in charge of babysitting her sister while she drove to Concord to pick up her husband. Elaine was supposed to load the dishes into the dishwasher and sew a button back onto her coat that night. When Mrs. Davis returned 45 minutes later, she found her youngest child crying in bed and Elaine gone. As reported in Bay Area newspapers at the time, police did not find any signs of a struggle within the home. They did find that the doors were closed but unlocked. Police theorized that an intruder had entered through a sliding glass door located at the back of the house. A vacant lot was behind the house that sat on a 1/4 acre lot without fences. Left behind were Elaine's eyeglasses (she was nearsighted) and her purse containing $4. Elaine's coat was missing. Newspapers described Elaine as a shy girl, honor student, without a boyfriend, and no history of running away.

    During the initial searches of the Davis neighborhood, police found the loose brass button Elaine had planned to sew onto her coat the night she disappeared in the vacant lot behind the Davis residence.

    On 3 December 1969, her coat was found on Highway 17 at Scott's Valley, the needle and thread still in the fabric where Elaine had planned to attach the button.

    On 5 December 1969, one of her shoes was found at Stone Valley Road, alongside the northbound on-ramp to Freeway 680 in Alamo.

    On 19 December 1969, a badly battered and decomposed body was found floating off Lighthouse Point near Santa Cruz. The coroner mistakenly identified the body as belonging to a 25-year-old woman. The body was labeled a Jane Doe and interred in the unidentified persons section of Oakwood Memorial Park in Santa Cruz.

    In 2000-2001, a detective with the Walnut Creek Police Department reviewed the Davis case. In his search of databases of recovered unidentified persons, he discovered the 1969 Santa Cruz Jane Doe. The remains were exhumed for testing and determined to be those of Elaine Davis.

    Robert Graysmith lists Elaine Davis as #9 on his list of possible victims of the Zodiac in his 1986 book. There are discussions of the Davis case on Zodiac websites.

    If anyone has any corrections or additions, please post them.

  7. #7
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    Yes, she's only one of two in Graysmith's list of 49 that has no information other than her name and the date of the crime. Zodiac didn't beat any of his victims to death so, even though he did vary his method between stabbing and shooting, I think he can be fairly safely eliminated.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  8. #8
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    Aug 2009
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    How sad she was unidentified for so long. It probably speaks to the state of the body, which makes me question if a true COD was missed.
    'Every life has a measure of sorrow, and sometimes this is what awakens us.' - Steven Tyler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    69
    From reading articles from the San Mateo Times and posts on a Zodiac website, it sounds more plausible that Elaine was stalked rather than someone seeing her shopping that evening and following her home. The family had received obscene phone calls a month earlier. They must have been quite foul for the family to have removed their phone. Someone obviously waited and watched for the opportunity when she would be alone, and they took it. Without fences around her house and an unlocked sliding glass door that faced a vacant lot, it was easy for someone to grab her in the 45 minutes that her mother was gone. The description of Elaine paints her as a low risk victim - straight-A student, extracurricular activities, active in her LDS church. Quite a mystery.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2008
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    Links??

    ETA: I found this one, but it's the responsibility of the member opening the thread to provide at least one approved link.

    http://www.walnut-creek.org/departme...-homicide-1969

    Steph, do you have a link for the timeline and specifics you posted? Links to the San Mateo Times articles would be most helpful. TIA.
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  11. #11
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    Elaine Davis Kidnapping/Homicide (1969)
    Cold Case 69-121091


    On 12/01/1969, Elaine Davis a 17 year old girl disappeared from her Walnut Creek home in the evening hours. She was home alone with her younger sister when she was abducted through a rear sliding glass window. Officers found some parts of her clothing in the back yard. Officers also found clothing belonging to Elaine near the Interstate 680 in Alamo and along Highway 17 in Scotts Valley.

    On 12/19/1969 authorities found the body of a female floating off Light House Point near Santa Cruz, CA. At that time Investigators mistakenly estimated the age of the victim to be 20 – 25 years old.

    In 2000, a Walnut Creek Police Detective reviewed the Davis case. The Detective scoured databases looking for recovered unidentified persons and learned of the body recovered in Santa Cruz. With the assistance of the Santa Cruz County Coroner’s Office and a forensic anthropologist, investigators were able to exhume the body. Investigators were able to identify the body as Elaine Davis.

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  12. #12
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    Oct 2014
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    69
    The San Mateo Times articles were accessed through Ancestry and newspapers.com with subscriptions. I will add attachments of the most informative articles.Attachment 86652

  13. #13
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    Oct 2014
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    Here is the link to an article about the disappearance of Elaine Davis. Newspapers.com offer a free trial.

    https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/39016052/

  14. #14
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    Jun 2007
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    1,401
    This case is very similar to 3 other murders that occurred during a 4 month period in the same general area of Contra Costa county.

    Leona Roberts 16 was an abducted from her boyfriend's Apt in Rodeo on Nov 10 1969 and her body was dumped near the ocean in Bolinas Bay in Marin County.

    Cosette Ellison 15, was abducted from in front of her house in Moraga after the school us dropped her off. Her remains were found almost a year later in a ditch in rural Contra Costa County.

    Patricia King 15 was abducted after leaving an evening exercise class in Pleasant Hill on March 5 1970. Her body was dumped behind a football stadium at Diablo Valley College. She had been strangled.

    Some have speculated that these were all early victims of Phillip Joseph Hughes. His known cases are somewhat different but he had strong ties to Contra Costa County. Some have even attributed these cases to the Zodiac. My guess is they are all the work of one still unknown Serial Killer who suddenly "went Quiet".

    There were an inordinate number of murdered or missing young women in the Greater the Bay Area in the early 1970's. A number of serial killers from that time and place have been incarcerated but I think at least this on and two others, one in San Francisco and one in Sonoma Co were never identified and are possibly living "normal" lives today.



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