Murder Inc. Exclusive: Were Elaine Davis, Leona Roberts, Cosette Ellison and Patricia King murdered by the Sherman Acres Cat Burglar?
Around 1968 to 1970 a cat burglar was prowling the Sherman Acres section of Pleasant Hill in Contra Costa County. The Sherman Acres Cat Burglar would prowl through homes rifling wallets and purses while the victims slept. He was described as 17-18 years old and six feet tall. He is said to have stood over beds and watched children sleep. The cat burglar was chased by the police out of one home and leapt over a six foot fence in the backyard to escape.
Joseph DeAngelo’s relatives lived nearby in Concord [source: 12-26-75 Unsolved Map]
On December 1 1969, 17 year old Pleasant Hill High School student Elaine Davis was kidnapped from her home in Walnut Creek. Elaine and her mother returned home at 10 pm and then her mother left at 10:30 pm to pick up her father from a Concord service station where he worked. When her mother and father returned home at 11:15 pm, Elaine Davis was missing. Her glasses and purse were left in the house and her three year old sister was still asleep in the bed.
The family phone had recently been disconnected because they’d been receiving obscene phone calls. Her brother Eugene Davis was a police science student as Sacramento State University. At the time, Joe DeAngelo was studying police science at Sierra College and would begin attending Sac State to study police science in September 1970.
A few days after her disappearance Elaine’s shoe was found off the highway in Alamo and her peacoat was discovered in Scotts Valley between San Jose and Santa Cruz. On December 18 1969 police organized a search of Scotts Valley, but nothing was found. The next day Elaine Davis’ body was discovered floating off Lighthouse Point in Santa Cruz but police foolishly concluded it couldn’t be her and the mistake wasn’t corrected until 2001.
Ten days after Elaine Davis disappeared from her home in Walnut Creek, 16 year old Leona Roberts was kidnapped from her boyfriend’s apartment in Rodeo, CA. She disappeared between 6 and 7 pm while cooking dinner. When her boyfriend arrived home, he found the Christmas tree in the apartment knocked over. A neighbor said she heard a scream around the time Leona disappeared. Ten minutes after the scream she heard Leona’s boyfriend’s apartment door slam and then saw a blue station wagon driving away. Another neighbor saw a man standing around the station wagon. He was described as approximately 25 years old, 5’8 with short blonde hair and wearing brown pants and a brown jacket. Leona Roberts had taken a job at a discount store in Pleasant Hill on the same day she disappeared.
Her body was found on December 28 1969 over 20 miles away in the Bolinas Lagoon north of San Francisco. She had marks on her wrists and ankles indicating she had been bound and despite the fact she was obviously murdered police idiotically concluded she died due a “viral infection from an unknown species”. Just like Elaine Davis had been ten days earlier, Leona Roberts was kidnapped from a residence in Contra Costa County but her killer had driven out to the coast to dump her body.
On January 4 1970, an 18 year old woman named Peggy Trainer living in the apartment directly behind Leona Roberts’ boyfriend received a threatening phone call from a man claiming to be the Zodiac. The man told Peggy he was the Zodiac and she would be his next victim.
On March 3 1970 Cosette Ellison disappeared from her home in Moraga. She was last seen getting off the school bus in front of her house. Her body was found on January 1 1971 in a ravine in the foothills of Mount Diablo.
Two days after the disappearance of Cosette Ellison, on March 5 1970, 20 year old coed Patricia King was murdered at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. She was found nude from the waist down and strangled with a pair of black tights near the football field. Patricia King lived in Pleasant Hill, a few blocks from the area prowled by the Sherman Acres Cat Burglar. Was Patricia King stalked to her college by the cat burglar and murdered?
Another two days passed and Judith Hakari was kidnapped on March 7 1970 outside her apartment in Sacramento. Torn strips of towel, just like the East Area Rapist used to bind victims, were found in her automobile. She was murdered and would later be found on April 25 1970 partially buried in Weimar, just north of Auburn where Joseph DeAngelo was living.
On March 12 1970, 17 year old Sonoma State College student Eva Blau disappeared from Rohnert Park. She was found murdered the next day, March 13, in a field in Santa Rosa. Her skirt and underwear were pulled down below the knees and a coat was placed on top of her body. She had marks on her wrists indicating she was bound with her hands in front of her. Police brilliantly concluded she died of a peyote “overdose”.
That night at 2:00 am, on March 14 1970, Marie Antoinette Anstey disappeared from Vallejo, CA. She was found murdered near Clearlake, CA on March 21 1970. Her body was nude and she’d suffered a blow to the back of the head. Her car was later found abandoned in a Vallejo animal shelter parking lot.
On April 10 1970 Barbara Keenan was murdered in her home in Orinda. She was found in the kitchen by her 14 year old daughter. Barbara Keenan had been shot to death with a .22 caliber weapon and had the cord of an electric iron wrapped around her neck. The murders of Elaine Davis, Leona Roberts, Cosette Ellison, Patricia King, Judith Hakari, Eva Blau, Toni Anstey and Barbara Keenan all remain unsolved by police.
January 9 1968 Bandaged Rapist Concord, CA
February 18 1968 Sherman Acres Cat Burglar Pleasant Hill, CA
March 5 1968 Sherman Acres Cat Burglar Pleasant Hill, CA
May 8 1968 Pleasant Hill Burglar Pleasant Hill, CA
1969 Sherman Acres Cat Burglar Sherman Drive Pleasant Hill, CA
Joseph DeAngelo 1969
February 14 1969 Towel Rapist Walnut Creek, CA
April 4 1969 Concord Rapist Concord, CA
November 21 1969 Zodiac San Jose Cryptogram San Jose, CA
December 1 1969 Elaine Davis Missing Walnut Creek, CA
Elaine Davis was kidnapped from her home Pioneer Ave in Walnut Creek, CA
December 3 1969 Elaine Davis Coat Found Scott’s Valley, CA
December 10 1969 Zodiac Letter Sacramento Bee Sacramento, CA
December 10 1969 Leona Roberts Murder Missing Rodeo, CA
On the day she disappeared Leona Roberts worked at the White Front store at 560 Contra Costa Boulevard, Pleasant Hill, CA
Leona Roberts was kidnapped from her boyfriends apartment in Rodeo, CA
December 16 1969 Exeter Prowler Exeter, CA [Source: 12-26-75.com]
On hearing children crying, Mother goes to their bedroom to see a “heavy set man” enter the darkened room by climbing through the window, then screams. That commotion awakens Billy Joe who fires a shotgun, but strikes the window and suspect escapes on foot. TCSO are investigating and EPD assist.
December 18 1969 Elaine Davis Search Scotts Valley, CA
December 19 1969 Zodiac Phone Call San Jose, CA
December 20 1969 Zodiac Melvin Belli Letter San Francisco, CA
December 20 1969 Elaine Davis Murder Body Found Santa Cruz, CA
Elaine Davis’ body was found in Santa Cruz but police erroneously concluded the body found wasn’t her at the time. It took decades for cops to correct their mistake
January 4 1970 Zodiac Phone Call Rodeo, CA
The neighbor of Leona Robert’s boyfriend (whose apartment she was kidnapped from) received a call by someone claiming to be the Zodiac
January 25 1970 Pleasant Hill Rapist Pleasant Hill, CA
March 3 1970 Cosette Ellison Murder Moraga, CA
Composite of a man seen with Cosette Ellison
March 5 1970 Patricia King Murder Diablo Valley College Pleasant Hill, CA
Patricia King lived in the area targeted by the Sherman Acres Cat Burglar
Patricia King was found murdered at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill
March 7 1970 Judith Hakari Murder Missing Sacramento, CA
Judith Hakari disappeared from Markston Road in Sacramento near where Nancy Bennallack would be murdered in October 1970 and near the area where the Wyda Way Prowler was prowling in 1960
March 7 1970 San Ramon Kidnap Rapist San Ramon, CA
March 12 1970 Eva Blau Missing Sonoma State College Rohnert Park, CA
Eva Blau lived near future Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murder victim Jeannette Kamahele
March 13 1970 Eva Blau Murder Santa Rosa, CA
March 14 1970 Marie Antoinette Anstey Missing Vallejo, CA
March 21 1970 Marie Antoinette Anstey Murder Clear Lake, CA
March 23 1970 Marie Antoinette Anstey Car Found Vallejo, CA
April 10 1970 Barbara Keenan Murder Orinda, CA
April 20 1970 Zodiac My Name Is Letter San Francisco Chronicle
April 25 1970 Judith Hakari Murder Weimar, CA
Judith Hakari’s body was found in a shallow grave in Weimar just north of Auburn where Joseph DeAngelo lived
May 8 1970 Letter to the Editor Martinez, CA
May 13 1970 Concord Rapist Concord, CA
October 12 1970 Zodiac Letter Edward Adams Orinda, CA
Edward Adams lived near the site of the recent unsolved murder of Barbara Keenan in Orinda, CA
January 1 1971 Cosette Ellison Murder Body Found Mount Diablo, CA
June 1971 Pleasant Hill Dog Poisoner Pleasant Hill, CA
February 25 1975 Pleasant Hill Cat Burglar Pleasant Hill, CA
In 1975 the cat burglar returned to hit one street over from where he had in 1969…