Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards Video


Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards

Back in 2011, John B. Averitt, Ph.D., who had been friends with Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards in high school, released the above five-part documentary (each part lasting approximately ten minutes) about the couple's still-unsolved 1963 murder. While skipping school as part of Senior Ditch Day, these high-school sweethearts were bizarrely gunned down on an isolated beach just north of Santa Barbara, California.

Although perpetrated 300 miles to the south of San Francisco and five-and-a-half years before the Zodiac's first Bay Area murder, many people who are familiar with the cases (myself included) believe Robert and Linda were killed by the man who would later go on to become the Zodiac. Moreover, because this crime is the earliest known unsolved murder which bears similarity to the later actions of the Zodiac, many of the same people further believe these 1963 homicides were the killer's first.

Because John grew up in the same small community as Robert and Linda and also attended high school with the couple, he is able to develop valuable insights about the circumstances and the details of the murders. He also does a thorough job of reviewing the newspaper reporting at the time. Overall, this is an excellent documentary, and I am happy that John invested the time and effort to make it.

One clarification I would like to add is that the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office did, in fact, find, interview, and clear the suspect mentioned in part four of the documentary, i.e. George Gill.

If you are at all interested in the tragic murders of Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards, please watch this video. And, of course, be sure to share any thoughts you have in the comments.


Michael Cole


  1. Richard Grinell 11 December, 2015 at 07:26 Reply

    I am not convinced this crime is in any way connected to the Zodiac Killer. It was five years prior to the first confirmed Zodiac murders, it was approximately 350 miles away and the location was so extremely remote, the likelihood Zodiac knew this specific area is a stretch. In the Domingos/Edwards case both bodies were dragged quite a distance into a shack and the girl was partially exposed and although it has been compared to Lake Berryessa, the whole facts of what actually happened that day remain cloaked in mystery. The claim that bindings were prepared is not uncommon to many murderers and serial killers, so is a big leap of faith to take this and traverse hundreds of miles in an attempt to compare it to Lake Berryessa. The Hood/Garcia case is again a stretch, but at least we know this falls within the Zodiac timeline and in view of the Melvin Belli Letter claiming a possible 9th and 10 th victim, this did occur just two months later in February 1970, then came the ‘My Name is Cipher’ registering 10 victims.
    I hope this case gets solved, but the likelihood is too much time has passed and any justice administered will be minimal, in respect to a murderer at the back end of his life, if not dead already. The only possible recourse is having an answer, as closure is never that, the door never quite closes on violence and murder.

    • Michael Cole
      Michael Cole 11 December, 2015 at 08:47

      Thanks Richard. I appreciate your perspective, although I happen to disagree with you on this particular point.

      Investigators initially believed these murders and the San Diego murders of Johnnie Ray and Joyce Swindle (seven months later) were related. After the case got confused by the red-herring “Sandy” person of interest, the possibility of the connection seemed to get lost. But, when George Gill (the man who built the beach shack) was found and cleared by investigators in December of 1964, there really was no reason to continue discounting the likelihood of the connection.

      This kind of thing just wasn’t that common back in 1963 (Robert & Linda) and 1964 (Johnnie & Joyce). Add to these circumstances the case of Cheri Jo Bates (which I also believe was the same person), and it’s clear to me that the man was living somewhere in Southern California during this time frame. He was still evolving, satisfied with the simple act of murder and working hard to hide the connection of his crimes. The move to San Francisco and the escalation of constructing a letter-writing persona was, in my view, the next step in his evolution.

      Given all this, I believe he was being truthful when he took credit for Cheri Jo Bates’s murder and when he made the statement “there are a hell of a lot more down there.”

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