December 20, 1968-(Friday) Vallejo Ca David Faraday & Betty Lou Jensen 11:10 PM
I remember the following about that incident:
On this particular morning, my dad said that we were going to Los Angeles to visit Aunt Joyce. We would regularly go to Los Angeles to visit Aunt Joyce so this was not an unusual event for me. He told me to bring some warm clothes because it was cold. I ran in the house to grab some clothes; my sister Norma was cleaning the house. As I quickly ran past her, she asked me what I was doing. I quickly explained to her that dad told me to grab some warm clothes because he is taking me with him to see Aunt Joyce. I left.
We drove a long while towards Aunt Joyce. After a while, dad stated we weren’t going to Aunt Joyce; and he stated that instead we were going on a road trip to find a friend. When we finally stopped, we stopped at a restaurant. We went inside. The waitress greeted us and sat us at our seat. My dad then asked the waitress if D was working there. She stated that D did work there, but that it was her day off. I asked Dad if he knew the waitress. He said no and stated that Jimmy had told him that D worked at this restaurant and that he wanted to see if she still worked there.
After eating and before leaving, my dad asked the waitress some questions about when the girl named D would be in next, and also asked this waitress if she knew where D lived. The waitress looked at my dad with a look of hesitation. Then my dad stated that he was an old friend of hers and that he was trying to locate her. The waitress did not tell my dad where the girl named D lived. She did tell my dad she would let D know that he had come in looking for her.
We left the restaurant and drove around town. The area was a very small town named Vallejo. We hung out driving around looking for the person named D. We stopped at a few phone booths and my dad checked for her name and address. I don’t know whether he found it.
Later early evening, we went back to the same restaurant we had gone to earlier. As we pulled into the parking lot, I asked my dad if we were going to eat here again. My dad replied no and then told me to wait in the car; then he stated that he was going to see if that person D was working. When he came back to the car, I asked him if he found her. He said, “no,” and he seemed a bit disappointed and upset. We drove off. It was early evening now and I asked my dad where we were going. He said he was looking for the girl named D; and we continued driving around town. He said he was going to go to a place where she might be. As we were driving on this road, don’t know the name of it, we saw some young kids (teens) pulled over on the side of the road working on their car; there was a guy and a girl. At the time we were passing by, the guy was leaning over an open hood with the driver’s door open while the girl was standing nearby.
When we passed them, my dad slowed down, stared at the young kids on the side of the road and said, “Debbie, can you see the girl? Can you describe her?” I made an attempt to see her but she had gotten into the car and I was only able to see very little of her. I responded that I could not see well enough to describe her. My dad then stopped and began backing up very slowly, heading back toward them and staring in their direction, toward the young kids.
Again, he asked me if I could describe the girl. As I looked over to where these young kids were while backing toward them, the young guy suddenly jumped into the vehicle and sped off. His car kicked up some dirt. My dad then began to chase them. He said, “I think that is her in the car.” We followed them; my dad was driving fast trying to catch up to them.
(This event is vivid in my memory because on my many occasions of accompanying my dad in the car, he never went over the speed limit—actually, most of the time he would not drive the speed limit—he drove like a turtle—that was a phrase we all used for dad’s driving)
At this time, Dad was driving very fast trying to catch up to the young kids in the car: he said that he was trying to look in their car to see if he recognized the girl inside as the girl named D he was looking for. He kept asking me if I could describe the girl to him. At one time, we came close to catching up to them. As we were trying to gain on them, (and I think the boy slowed down as though he was taunting my dad) with my dad closest to the passenger side of the vehicle, both occupants in the vehicle looked over at us and my dad looked over at them; the boy driving yelled something at us while waving his left hand out of the driver side window and the girl yelled something, too. I believe the boy yelled “chicken” and was taunting my dad. The boy and girl were making noises saying “balk, balk, balk, and yelling chicken.” My dad just looked over at them with a smirk on his face, not a friendly one. I could see that my dad was very upset at this time. Suddenly the kids in the other car made a sudden left turn and we were forced to proceed straight onto a highway. As we headed straight onto a highway, my dad stated, “Those damn kids don’t know who they are playing with.” I exclaimed, “Dad, do you know them;” “that scared me.” “You never drive like that.” He looked over at me and said, “I don’t think that was her. (I don’t believe my father realized that he had zoned out in front of me that evening—it was one of the first incidents in which I saw my father lose his control and then realize that he had done so in front of me).
We then turned around and headed back on the same road driving until we turned into a clearing to take a rest, and take a nap before our long drive home. At this clearing, there were no houses around. I remember seeing a gate in the distance. As I looked around, I saw a light come from a pickup truck. It looked like a farmer’s truck. I don’t remember how far away this truck was from us, probably about 40-50 ft away, one of the men, who got out of the passenger side had a cap on his head, he wore a jacket, and he had a rifle in his hand. My dad said they were hunters. I asked my dad what they were hunting. I didn’t see any animals. My dad said maybe they are hunting some wild animal or a bear. He chuckled. Then he said that they may be hunting a fox because they had dogs with them. He then went on to explain that the dogs find the fox for the hunters. I don’t know if he was kidding around. I kept on my toes just in case. A short while later, I could no longer see the hunters; however, I subsequently heard shots in the distance.
While parked at this clearing, my dad and I were trying to take a nap at this time. I was lying on the back seat and my dad was lying on the front seat. We both never really fell asleep. I know this because later, dad asked me if I was sleeping. I responded that I wasn’t able to fall asleep because of the dogs, and the shooting in the distance. Then I said that a car had driven by and its lights shined on us and that disturbed my rest, too. I said that I rose up to see where the car was because I heard voices in the distance after the light shining on us. My dad said, “I know; I looked up, too, when I saw the light shine.” He continued, “It was a man in a black car.” He said, “did you see the man. I said that I had not seen the man but that I saw a dark colored long car stopped by the gate. My dad then said that the man in the black car was stopped and was talking to another man.
As my dad and I were again lying there trying to rest, not sleeping, just resting, a car drove up and parked not too far from us, but it was slightly ahead of our car to the left of us. As the car pulled up, the driver had the music on loud enough for me to hear that it was on as the car drove by. The car parked and turned off its head lights. At that time, I sat up and peeked to see who it was. I saw a light colored station wagon parked slightly forward from us and on the left side of us—closer to my dad’s driver side. I said, “Dad, somebody pulled up in a station wagon; I think they are hippies.” My dad rose and looked over at the vehicle. He chuckled. He said, “Probably some kids,” and then lay back down. I again said, “I think they are hippies; we should leave.” (I could hear music coming from the car but I was unable to see how many people were inside at that time.) My dad did not seem interested. However, I was. I then continued observing the car while my father rested. I then said, “I think they are smoking” because I saw a light that seemed like a match come from the station wagon. My dad chuckled at my observation and concern; he then rose up again and observed the car.
At this time my dad sat up in the front passenger seat, opened his door and said, “Stay in the car, Debbie—I will go over to see.” At that time, he walked over to the vehicle; he went to the driver’s side. I could hear him talking. I heard a boy’s voice—I heard the girl talk, too, but I don’t know what either one said. The guy then stepped out of the car, and he looked over at our car. I could see this because his car door was open and the light inside the car illuminated him. He seemed to be making sure that I saw him by acknowledging me with a smile and a wave. He was a young guy with dark hair. My dad then came back to our car and said, “See, they’re just kids.” He said that he had told them that I was frightened because I thought they were hippies. At that point, I was satisfied that they were not hippies, and I was not scared.
My dad and I sat in our car for a little while longer talking. He then said, “I wonder if that could be D.” (the same girl we had searched for earlier at the restaurant) He said that he had not seen her in a while and was unsure of what she looked like now. He was talking to me and also seemed to be talking to himself. We talked a bit more. He then stepped out of our car to smoke a cigarette and stretch. He was standing outside with the driver’s side door open, smoking a cigarette. As he was standing there smoking, he was also looking around; he said that he was looking for the hunters. At that time, I stepped out of our car to stretch. I didn’t hear any dogs or see any of the hunters at this time. It was a very quiet, cold night, and very dark. I walked over to the driver’s side to talk to my dad. While I was standing on the driver’s side talking to my dad, I looked over at the station wagon. I noticed that the windows were fogged up and I noted that to my dad. He chuckled and said, “just kids smooching.” He asked me if I could see thru the windows and then jokingly instructed me to go closer to find out if they were smooching. I was embarrassed. I then hurried back into the car and sat in the passenger front seat. Upon my dad finishing smoking his cigarette, he gets back into our car getting ready to leave. My dad proceeded to back our car out of this area back onto the road. My dad was backing up very slowly with the car head lights on, all the while looking around. We were almost to the road and my dad stopped, he looked around, and said that he should warn those kids about the hunters. He then very slowly pulled forward toward the station wagon. As he was pulling up to the station wagon, I looked all around and I could not see or hear any one. My dad then shut off his head lights.. When he turned off the car head lights, he asked me if I could see. I looked around and responded that I could not see anything because it was too dark. My dad said to me that he had better turn them off so he would not shine them on the kids in the car. He said he would use his flash light to see. I did not see him with a flashlight in his hand when he exited the car. My dad stopped about 10 feet behind the station wagon. Our car was running and our head lights were off. Before my dad exited, I pleaded with him to please be very careful and I reminded him of the hunters and that it was very dark. Before exiting, my dad instructed me, “Debbie, lock the door behind me; no matter what you hear, do not come outside; stay in the car because those hunters may still be around. He reiterated to me that I needed to follow his instructions. He said all this to me in a stern voice. I said, “Okay,dad.”
(My thoughts are that my dad knew me very well. He knew that if I thought that he was in any type of danger, I would instinctively immediately go outside to try to help him. He knew that I would act first and think later. I was very protective of my dad. He knew this of me. I am sure at times this attribute of mine interfered with dad’s plans but he somehow knew what to say to control my instincts..
As soon as he walked out of the car, I locked it, as I was told to do, and I sat back on the passenger side. I couldn’t see much at first because it was very dark. Then I saw a light source from what I assumed was my dad’s flash light. My dad approached the station wagon from the passenger’s side. As I was trying to follow the light source, suddenly, I heard my dad say something in a forceful voice. Then I heard a shot (I thought it was the hunters.) I immediately looked around to see if the hunters were around, and then hurriedly looked back to where my dad was last in my view. I did not see any hunters upon that particular search. I then saw my dad’s shadow standing slightly bent by the passenger’s door at this time. The shot I heard seemed to come from where I last saw my dad by the station wagon, passenger side. At this point, I was frightened and extremely alert and determined to see what was happening. At that time, I sat up on my knees very straight; my mind and my eyes were racing to see what was going on. I saw my dad’s shadow with the flashlight source around the area of his right hand, waist high. He was walking around the front of the station wagon towards the drivers side of the station wagon. I lost sight of him for a second; all I saw was his shadow at this time, however, I recognized his voice. At this point, my dad was standing by the driver’s door, (I thought he was talking to the kids about the hunters) I heard him talking in a loud voice , but I was unable to make out what was said. Just then I heard voices from inside the station wagon and then I heard another shot and I saw another flash from inside of the driver’s side station wagon. I then heard voices again and I saw another flash—and I heard another shot (I didn’t know what was going on.) I heard what I thought was an argument; then simultaneously I heard a girl screaming ( all of this occurred very, very, very fast). At that time, I heard the girl scream, “Why are you doing this?” My eyes were then fixated on the passenger side because the passenger door suddenly swung open, the girl was scrambling to get out all the while screaming.
I lost sight of my dad at that time because I was watching the girl. Suddenly, as I was watching the girl running, I couldn’t see her for a second because she ran into the dark; then suddenly, I could see her again; there was a light on her back. The light source was not very strong but I could make out that she was running away from where we were. As she was running, yelling, I heard a series of shots (sounded like a string of them pop,pop,pop,pop,pop in fast succession. I saw the girl fall and then I could no longer see her because it was dark again. There was no light source illuminating her; and I could no longer see her, nor hear her at this point. When I frantically turned back to look for my dad, I could only see a shadow standing alone in the dark and then the shadow began walking toward our car. It was silent. I immediately put my head down and tried to hide. I didn’t know what to think at first. I was afraid because I could not see if it was my dad. I became numb with fear of what had happened; and again because it was so dark and I could not see if the dark shadow coming toward our car was my dad. My mind raced to try to process and understand. I immediately sat down; I was shaking with fear for my dad, for myself, and for the girl. Then I heard clack, clack (metal hitting the window) on the window on the driver’s side and I heard my dad say, “Debbie, open the door.” I was so relieved to hear my dad’s voice. I immediately slid over to the driver’s seat and opened the door for my dad. As my father was getting in the car, I moved back to the passenger side. My dad got in our car and he immediately proceeded to back out to leave. As we backed out of this area, it was very dark without any light source, I couldn’t see very well. I immediately exclaimed, “What happened, dad, I heard you upset and arguing.” “I was worried about you.” “I then said that I heard shots and then I heard the girl screaming,” I nervously continued. I was so upset. I said, “I thought the hunters were shooting at you.” (I did not tell my dad of what I had seen) My dad’s eyes looked glassy and he seemed distant—I almost did not recognize him. He then took out a brown paper bag from his jacket and placed it on the floor close to his right leg on the floor board of our car. He asked me what I had seen. I told him that I could not make out what was said, but thought that he had an argument with the young guy in the car and told him that I saw the girl running and screaming. He then proceeded to explain, he said, “When I walked up to the kids in the car, they had their music on; they didn’t hear me walk up.” “I had to raise my voice because the boy and the girl were arguing, and I startled them.” “He continued, “While I was talking to the boy, the girl began screaming because the boy lit firecrackers and threw them at the girl; that is why she ran off screaming.” Then he said that he was shining his flashlight on the girl to find her so he could help her find her way. I didn’t have any reason not to believe what my dad said.
After he told me this, I was relieved with his explanation that the whole event had been just kids arguing and playing pranks according to my dad. We then got on the road; the very same road that we went straight on when we were chasing those other kids earlier. We drove a while and stopped at my Aunt Joyce’s in Los Angeles and spent the rest of the night there.
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