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Cecelia Shepard & Bryan Hartnell

A Picture of Cecelia Shepard
A Picture of Bryan Hartnell
Bryan Hartnell's Car Door with Etchings From the Zodiac

Cecelia Ann Shepard - Born: 1947. Died: Monday, September 29, 1969. (Age: 22)
Bryan Calvin Hartnell - SURVIVED and still alive. Attacked at age 20.

September 27, 1969, Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard were picnicing at Lake Berryessa, near Napa, California. While they were sitting on their blanket, Bryan heard something in the bushes. Cecelia became frightened, but it didn't bother Bryan until Cecelia, who was facing the intruder, told him that he was wearing a costume (as seen on the front page). Bryan turned around and the trio started a conversation. The intruder asked for their money, but Bryan just laughed, saying he only had some change, but he could have it if he wanted it. Figuring this was going to be a robbery, Bryan conversed with this man. The intruder told them he was a convict on his way to Mexico and he needed money and a ride. Bryan offered the man a check, and his phone number, as to get in contact with him to help him. According to one source, Bryan, with all honesty, wanted to help the man. Cecelia, the entire time, was pretty quiet and nervous.

Bryan started toying with the intruder, playing his game. The intruder asked Cecelia to tie Bryan to the tree, which, with some hesitation, she did, but very loosely. The intruder tightened the ropes and then tied Cecelia up to a tree, have the couple face each other.

From this point, there are conflicting stories. One source says that the intruder went to attack Cecelia first, but Bryan told the attacker that he couldn't stand to see Cecelia hurt, and to hurt him first, which the attacker complied with. Another source says that Bryan had no idea the attacker was going to actually attack until he was stabbed for the first time. Whichever way, Bryan was stabbed 5 times and then Cecelia 10 times. The attacker left, and both victims were weak.

Bryan tried to get Cecelia to loosen the ropes, which were actually a clothing line, but she was too weak. After some persistance towards Cecelia, and some of Bryan's own will, he was able to turn and try to yell for some help. Those passing by on boat thought it was a hoax, but one man did stop. For 15 minutes, he just sat there, watching them. He didn't want to get any closer to land then he was. He told them he'd go for help. He left, and Bryan was able to untie himself, and then Cecelia. Cecelia, weak from loss of blood, stayed put on the blanket, while Bryan managed to crawl towards the road. He was constantly blacking out, but somehow managed to make it almost all the way before the man on the boat came to get them with his truck.

Police received a phone call from a man claiming to have committed these attacks about an hour after the police were able to get to Bryan and Cecelia. The call was traced as to being from a phone booth in downtown Napa. The police also found a note from the attacker on the door to Bryan's car. (See link above for the picture.) It said:

Sept 27-67-6:30
By knife.

Also inscribed on the car was the Zodiac's symbol. At the crime scene, size 10 1/2 Wing Walker boot prints were found. These further suggested the Zodiac's military background.

Cecelia died within 48 hours of the attack. Bryan, after being taken to Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa, was lucky enough to survive. He is currently a lawyer in Southern California. Bryan did many interviews prior to the attack, but he is no longer discussing what happened with the media. During the time he was disclosing information on the case, he told police some information he withheld from the public. After he told this information to one person, that particular person suggested that the police a lot more then they were letting on.

After this incident, Ted Bundy was considered a suspect, but that idea was trashed after a 1989 fingerprint comparison.