PDA

View Full Version : The Zodiac Killer


Rapunzel676
09-01-2008, 06:34 AM
Might as well start this now, given the recent developments. Has anyone seen this: http://cbs13.com/crime/zodiac.killer.kaufman.2.805799.html? Thoughts? Personally, I think Dennis Kaufman is a publicity-seeking fraud but for some reason the FBI is actually taking him seriously.

Doppelganger
09-01-2008, 07:45 AM
if true its amazing

sdreid
09-01-2008, 03:20 PM
We've been down this road before so I'll wait for the DNA, palm print and ballistics match.

DarkPassenger
09-01-2008, 05:33 PM
I smell a monkey suit in a freezer...

jdrake
09-01-2008, 07:02 PM
Interesting.

I am skeptical about his claims (I think he even posted them here before the crash) but I am going to follow this to see what the DNA test show.

<gos back into lurking>

dougie
09-02-2008, 08:10 PM
Little bit of ftrack here perhaps,but last weekend bought a copy of Zodiac by r. graysmith in a second hand bookshop....was signed by r.graysmith 1976 i think......it just so happened that after coming out the bookshop (in workington) I bumped into Ricky Tomlinson( a minor/major tv celebrity here) so i got his autograph ,and as the only thing I had for him to sign was the zodiac book,I an m now the proud owner of "zodiac" signed by both the author And ricky tomlinson:laugh4: ..unique huh?..no its not for sale.......yet:rolleyes2:

belinda
09-03-2008, 03:15 AM
It'll be interesting to see what the results are


Dougie you mean that guy from The Office (UK)

Esther Wilson
09-03-2008, 04:23 AM
[QUOTE=belinda;39157]It'll be interesting to see what the results are


Same here.

Esther

Doppelganger
09-03-2008, 05:24 AM
been thinking this over it has a "too good to be true"feel to it ,like the ripper diary.

DarkPassenger
09-03-2008, 06:24 PM
Things like this emerge all the time. Ignore it, it had to be Arthur Leigh whatshisname.

Doppelganger
09-04-2008, 12:46 AM
Things like this emerge all the time. Ignore it, it had to be Arthur Leigh whatshisname.
arthur leigh allen ,if he didn`t do it then he knew who did.yes i know the dna did not match but i think they said he did not lick his own envelopes so the dna wouldn`t match.

jdrake
09-04-2008, 01:10 AM
arthur leigh allen ,if he didn`t do it then he knew who did.yes i know the dna did not match but i think they said he did not lick his own envelopes so the dna wouldn`t match.

Not to mention that he probably used someone's severed fingers to put those prints all over the taxi.

Doppelganger
09-04-2008, 01:17 AM
Not to mention that he probably used someone's severed fingers to put those prints all over the taxi.
lol ,funny i was referring to the cold case files show on the zodiac.

jdrake
09-04-2008, 01:36 AM
lol ,funny i was referring to the cold case files show on the zodiac.

I didn't watch the Cold Case Files show. I was just saying what I heard someone say that Robert Graysmith is now saying.

Sometimes I pity him. He's so married to his theory that Allen was Zodiac that he makes up ridiculous reasons that try to prove it even though DNA and fingerprints cleared him.

Sounds like a few Ripperologists that I heard of, now that I think about it:scratchchin:

Doppelganger
09-04-2008, 01:45 AM
just like the ripper ,long on theory but short on proof.

Rapunzel676
09-05-2008, 05:51 AM
I didn't watch the Cold Case Files show. I was just saying what I heard someone say that Robert Graysmith is now saying.

Sometimes I pity him. He's so married to his theory that Allen was Zodiac that he makes up ridiculous reasons that try to prove it even though DNA and fingerprints cleared him.

Sounds like a few Ripperologists that I heard of, now that I think about it:scratchchin:

My thoughts exactly.

nicole
09-08-2008, 07:57 AM
Hi all,

Does anyone have any comments on the latest Zodiac News Flash??

see here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZCYvWKwMxc

and here's the latest update on the Wikipedia Zodiac article.

"On August 29, 2008 television station KOVR (CBS 13) in Sacramento, California broadcast a story about Dennis Kaufman of Pollock Pines, California finding several items allegedly belonging to his late stepfather, Jack Tarrance (deceased 2006), that included a black hood with the characteristic Zodiac symbol sewn on the chest, a bloodied knife, and rolls of undeveloped film. The stepson claims to have developed at least one roll of film, finding gruesome photos. He also put together a handwriting comparison between Tarrance and the Zodiac, which revealed an uncanny resemblance. Furthermore, Tarrance's face bears a striking resemblance to a composite drawing of the Zodiac. Kaufman handed all items over to the FBI. The FBI subsequently began running tests to compare DNA found at several Zodiac murders. On September 1, 2008, station KOVR reported in a new story that the FBI had retrieved additional items from Kaufman including the black hood alleged by Kaufman to have been found in an old PA system that his stepfather had asked him about on several occasions. In a second follow up story published on September 3, 2008, station KOVR stated the FBI has collected the dentures of Jack Tarrance in order to establish a DNA profile for Tarrance. As of September 6, 2008, none of the items collected have been substantiated by the FBI and this case is still considered unsolved."

Nicole

The Good Michael
09-08-2008, 08:38 AM
Holy schneikies! Wow! Those are my comments.

Mike

robhouse
09-10-2008, 03:37 AM
This is the guy's website:
http://thezodiackiller.digitalzones.com/

Personally, I find his evidence pretty compelling. I mean, the audio of the phone calls and the transcripts are pretty amazing, as the guy basically admits he was zodiac. So maybe the guy's circumstantial evidence just happened to coincide with his step father wanting to take credit for the killings for some reason. (Which I dont see as plausible)

I think either it is a VERY ELABORATE fraud, or it is true.

Glenn Lauritz Andersson
09-10-2008, 04:00 AM
I agree, there are a lot of compelling stuff there.
However, it would be nice if FBI in some way could confirm it; I have always felt there is something not quite right going on with Dennis Kaufman; maybe it's his "obsessive crusade" approach, maybe it's the fact that he now tries to earn money on it by selling documentaries on his website. I don't know.

But it's interesting nevertheless; if it's really true that FBI received the material described, it would be a break in the case.

As for Arthur Leigh Allen, didn't DNA rule him out once and for all in 2002?

All the best

DarkPassenger
09-10-2008, 04:06 PM
So is this bloke the Zodiac or not?

nicole
09-11-2008, 09:10 PM
Hi DarkPassenger,

So is this bloke the Zodiac or not?

It seems that we must wait for a 'thumbs up or thumbs down' from the FBI. They have several items of Jack Tarrance that are currently undergoing a forensic examination. So until then..we're all in limbo....

sincerely
Nicole

sdreid
09-11-2008, 11:23 PM
Wouldn't there be a print match or not by now?

nicole
09-12-2008, 05:44 AM
Hi sdreid,

Wouldn't there be a print match or not by now?\

If you mean the Jack Tarrance's prints and the print left on Paul Stine's taxi, I don't think much will come of it. I'm of the impression that the print on Stine's car was nothing more than cross-contamination.

Several major suspects over the years (including Arthur Leigh Allen) have been cleared through DNA examination. The authorities have never revealed the source for the DNA which was appently left at one (or more) of the crime-scenes. (I wouldn't be greatly suprised if semen samples were taken from the Lake Berryessa crime-scene that didn't match those of Brian Hartnell -this is pure conjecture tho)

I'm looking forward to the results of their forensic tests!

Nicole

sdreid
09-12-2008, 07:01 AM
From what I understood, the DNA is from the letters.

I doubt that the print would be cross contamination because the witnesses that phoned in the crime didn't see anyone else around the cab until authorities got there and if it was a cop or medic then they would have checked all of them to make sure. That is, unless they are totally incompetent which I don't believe.

The Good Michael
09-12-2008, 08:16 AM
Stan,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought DNA wasn't used in forensics with regularity until the 80s. I imagine that there is a difference between worrying about contamination of fingerprints and contamination of DNA. What I'm saying is the meticulousness in prevention of cross-contamination should be much greater today than in the 70s because there is so much more to look at and be confused by.

Cheers,

Mike

sdreid
09-12-2008, 02:34 PM
Hi Mike,

That is true but it is hard to imagine that if this guy licked the envelopes that his DNA wouldn't be on there. Other people's might be as well but that wouldn't likely erase his.

Doppelganger
09-13-2008, 06:02 AM
i found this guys web site & was not to impressed ,its just another bad theory to throw on the pile

robhouse
09-13-2008, 06:40 PM
Look, I may be a simpleton, but as for saying another bad theory... how do you explain the transcripts of the phone conversations? How do you explain the black hood with the zodiac symbol.

This is clearly not another bad theory. It is (in my opinion) either the solution to the case, OR the guy is a fraud and he did all this as a complex hoax. Those are the only two options...

Well, or the other option is that Tarrance is pulling some sort of weird hoax on his step-son. Or maybe tarrance was so obsessed with the zodiac case, that he decided to sew this zodiac hood etc.

I wouldnt describe this as a theory. It is either the solution, or a hoax. Period. I dont see how that is debatable.

Pinkerton
09-13-2008, 08:44 PM
I've followed the Zodiac case for years. Sorry, but I've looked at the guys web page and find the evidence extremely UNIMPRESSIVE! There are glaring errors everywhere. Like Cornwall the guy seems to rely mainly on letters that have NEVER been actually linked to the Zodiac ("Exorcist" letter, "Red Phantom" letter, the Tahoe letter). The so called "similarities" in handwriting were extremely selective and not that impressive. He makes the claim that "Wingwalker" shoes were "rare" which they absolutely WERE NOT. They were sold at many army/navy surplus stores at the time. The guy had one of the thickest southern drawls I've ever heard which NONE of the witnesses who spoke with the Zodiac ever reported (Nancy Slover or Brian Hartnell). There has NEVER been any impressive evidence that Zodiac was responsible for the murder of Donna Lass in Lake Tahoe (working at a SF hospital in 1970 is about as circumstantial as you can get). Also one of the Sacramento murders, which had a tenuous link with that of Donna Lass, has recently been solved. Phillip Arthur Thompson was convicted based mainly on DNA evidence. There is a good chance he at the very least committed ALL of the Sacramento murders of the early 70's. I hope that there will be an attempt to go after him on these murders as well, but I'm not if DNA profiles were ever developed in these cases. It should also be interesting to see if anyone tries to link him to the unsolved Santa Rosa Hitchhiker murders in the early 70's (he has links to Santa Rosa) as well as the death of Valerie McDonald in San Francisco in 1981.

see:

http://www.newsmakingnews.com/vm,phillip,arthur,thompson,zodiac,12,11,07.htm

and:

http://www.newsmakingnews.com/laughlin,eric,phillip,arthur,thompson,verdict,4,8, 08.htm

So what about the Zodiac "costume" that was found? Well considering that the guy has made this claim about his stepfather being the Zodiac for close to 10 years (and police had written him off), I'm a little skeptical that he only recently "discovered" this outfit. Can't get the police to listen to you? MAKE UP more evidence! My guess it that this guy DOES believe his stepfather to be the Zodiac, couldn't get anyone to listen to him, so he constructed the costume himself along with "discovering" more evidence to get the police interested again.

This is my take anyway. "Zodiackiller.com" is a wealth of information about the Zodiac case. It is the equivalent of the "Casebook" of the Zodiac crimes. They have made most of these points about Jack Terrance already.

nicole
09-13-2008, 09:16 PM
Hi all,

Pinkerton, you say:
This is my take anyway. "Zodiackiller.com" is a wealth of information about the Zodiac case. It is the equivalent of the "Casebook" of the Zodiac crimes.

I'd have to disagree with you. The biggest difference is that the zodiackiller site (and in particular, it's 'main man' Tom Voigt) leans heavily towards one suspect Arthur Leigh Allen.

Nicole

Pinkerton
09-13-2008, 09:51 PM
Hi all,

Pinkerton, you say:


I'd have to disagree with you. The biggest difference is that the zodiackiller site (and in particular, it's 'main man' Tom Voigt) leans heavily towards one suspect Arthur Leigh Allen.

Nicole

While I'm not comparing the two sites in terms of their "approach" , in terms of being a repository of information, they both are the best sources of information out there. If you know of any others I would like to here them...

And just to be factual, Tom Voight (the owner of zodiackiller.com) GAVE UP on Arthur Leigh Allen as his main suspect a few years ago (see http://www.zodiackiller.com/FAQ.html). He now thinks ALA is unlikely to be the Zodiac, and along with Mike Butterfield (who will shortly be releasing a book on the subject) has exposed Robert Greysmith (the main proponent of the Arthur Leigh Allen theory) for the fraud that he is. Greysmith's book is full of innuendo, fiction, and flat out disinformation.

robhouse
09-13-2008, 10:14 PM
But I think the fact that the FBI are taking Tarrance seriously as a suspect, at least validates him as a suspect... Zodiackiller.com does not even mention Tarrance on its suspects page, even though it does still list Allen, and it gives huge preference for this other guy Richard Gaikowski. Does not seem very objective to me.

According to Dennis Kaufman, he has been smeared by these people for years... yes we must see both sides of the argument here. But clearly zodiac world is plagued by the same kind of persoanl attacks and political infighting as we have in ripperology. I am not sure who to believe, and I do not know that much about the case. But in my opinion, Kaufman's "evidence" is pretty persuasive. As I said before, either Jack Tarrance was the zodiac killer, OR this is a hoax perpetrated by Kaufman (and/or Tarrance himself). I find it a bit hard to believe that this is a hoax though...

RH

poorhoney
09-13-2008, 11:17 PM
Hi all,

Back to the cross-contamination, I always felt the prints could have been left be a previous fare and missed during the killer's cleanup attempt.

I felt better about this being the solution to the case before I read his website.

-Honey

nicole
09-15-2008, 07:29 AM
Hi all,

Pinkerton, you say:
While I'm not comparing the two sites in terms of their "approach" , in terms of being a repository of information, they both are the best sources of information out there.

Sorry about the confusion, Pinkerton...it's just that you had said (and I quote)

{Zodiackiller.com} is the equivalent of the "Casebook" of the Zodiac crimes.

And only now you clarify yourself by saying

While I'm not comparing the two sites in terms of their "approach" , in terms of being a repository of information, they both are the best sources of information out there.

Ah! Well now, that different! I'd have to agree with you there. Both sites are the premiem source of collected info on JTR and The Zodiac, respectfully.

And just to be factual, Tom Voight (the owner of zodiackiller.com) GAVE UP on Arthur Leigh Allen as his main suspect a few years ago

I quite aware of THAT fact, Pinkerton!! But it STILL hasn't stopped Voigt giving Arthur Leigh Allen the 'red-carpet-treatment', has it?? Voigt still gives ALA his own special sub-heading on the sites index. "Victims, Suspects, The Arthur Leigh Allen File,..." That would be the equivilant of Casebook's S.P.Ryder creating an index on this site something like "Victims, Suspects, The James Maybrick File" !! It's unthinkable and clearly biased.

Nicole

Philzilla
10-07-2008, 02:57 PM
http://www.zodiackiller.com/discus/messages/27/786.html

They dismissed Tarrance a while ago.
The reason why ALA still gets the "RED CARPET" is because of the greysmith book which is still the book to introduce the Zodiac crimes. People who come to the case come to it through the yellow book.
The ALA file clearly corrects the record about ALA. Biased it is not. It just recognizes that peopel interested in the case generally except ALA as the Zodiac, much like this site peopel come over with the impression Maybrick or Sickert are the ripper.

Lewis
10-20-2008, 07:16 PM
Things like this emerge all the time. Ignore it, it had to be Arthur Leigh whatshisname.

Arthur Leigh Allen(sp?) failed the DNA test as well as failing to match on some other forensic evidence. :oops:

sdreid
10-21-2008, 06:55 AM
A few days ago, TruTV did a one hour show where some "psychics" went after Zodiac. Of course, they could tell us absolutely everything about the killer except his name and address.

Stephen Thomas
04-30-2009, 11:53 AM
Woman claims her dead father was the Zodiac Killer

http://cbs5.com/crime/zodiac.killer.claim.2.997735.html

sdreid
04-30-2009, 03:20 PM
Thanks Stephen! Since we have DNA, that should be quick to prove or disprove.

I'm waiting for some 95 year-old woman to claim her dad was JtR which is possible.

Ally
04-30-2009, 03:26 PM
We were talking briefly about the new claims in the chatroom last night. If true all I can say is ..wow...truth stranger than fiction.

jmenges
04-30-2009, 06:45 PM
It seems like, in less than 24 hours, this has already been debunked.

http://www.mercurynews.com/crime/ci_12259404?nclick_check=1

Tom Voight, admittedly "obsessed" with the case as an outside observer behind the Web site, zodiackiller.com, said Perez's claim "is 100 percent bull."
"Deborah Perez contacted me about a year ago," Voight said from his Oregon home. "She sent me several detailed e-mails, and also several detailed voicemails, of which I still have. Her story was full of factual errors, the same errors that were published in the popular yellow Zodiac book she was obviously cribbing from."
Also, added Voight, "Perez claimed to be the cousin of Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin's ex-husband, Jim Crabtree, and that is how Perez's father, the Zodiac, knew Darlene and targeted her. Apparently, Perez was under the impression Crabtree was deceased or somehow unable to be found and asked about his alleged cousin. Well, Crabtree is a good source of mine and I let him know of Deborah's claim and he verified that she is full of it and a liar, to boot."
Crabtree said Wednesday afternoon that until he was approached by Voight "I had never heard of Debra Perez. She claims to know my parents or adopted parents and puts forth names that are absolutely not correct."

JM

Magpie
04-30-2009, 09:30 PM
This sounds like another "Daddy was the Black Dahlia Killer" scenario.

I hope for Mr. Voigt's sake that that's not the case, because otherwise Ms Perez might just make his life a living hell (which sadly I can vouch for first hand)

Archaic
05-01-2009, 01:51 AM
Hi, everybody. I was thinking about what would have happened if Dennis Rader had suddenly passed away BEFORE being caught... His family would have eventually found some very odd little boxes of scary photographs & grotesque souvenirs; the ones he used to enjoy privately up in his backyard tree-house. I don't know if Torrance is guilty, but it does seem at least possible; if the case is ever solved after all these years it will probably only be after the s.o.b. is dead. But the FBI has had plenty of time to look into Torrance; haven't they made some kind of official pronouncement by now?

Also, as regards the lady who just accused her own dead father of being the Zodiac Killer, I have a question: Is there a handy scientific word to describe people suffering from a weird compulsion to attract attention to themselves by accusing close family members of being heinous Murderers- something like 'Munchausen-Ripper-By-Proxy Syndrome'?

The Grave Maurice
09-08-2009, 01:36 AM
This, frankly, is a case that has never interested me very much, but I'm old enough to remember when it was in the papers. The Jake Gyllenhaal movie was on TV late last night and, since it's a long weekend here, I was able to stay up to see it. I found it fascinating. But, I need Stan, or another informed opinion, to tell me if the movie has the facts straight. If it does, I might try to lay my hands on a copy of Robert Graysmith's book.

sdreid
09-08-2009, 03:47 AM
Hi Maurice,

It makes some assumptions but it's about a close as these types of movies get especially with an unsolved case. I wish they hadn't given the first murders such light treatment though. Often the first attack in a series is the most important. Since it's based on Graysmith, it is overly fixated on Allen.

The Grave Maurice
09-08-2009, 03:58 AM
Thanks, Stan. Have you read the book? Is it worth getting?

Given your edit, I assume you think that Graysmith is off the mark.

sdreid
09-08-2009, 04:22 AM
Hi Maurice,

The book is a good overview so I think it's worth the read. Yes, I don't think Allen is the guy. None of the hard evidence matched him despite the volume of circumstantial stuff.

sdreid
09-08-2009, 04:53 AM
The Jake Gyllenhaal movie was on TV late last night.

I actually like the film The Zodiac (not to be confused with some trash that came out at about the same time and with similar titles) that came out the year before this one better I think. Both are good.

JennyL
09-08-2009, 06:29 AM
Like the director I lived in the bay area and was a little kid when the Zodiac killings went on, and the film is in my opinion is brilliant--one of the most accurate and haunting period pieces of those times ever achieved. It's more about searching for a killer, procedure and obsession than who really did it(though the film's implied conclusion is in line with the book it's based on).

I was curious too as too how much of it adhered to the facts; googling turned up a page dedicated to a "fact vs. fiction" list of inaccuracies. Even so the murders themselves were meticulously recreated, and I didn't think the deviations that were made were whoppers-they were trivial by Hollywood standards.

kensei
09-08-2009, 10:43 AM
I loved the movie "Zodiac" and though I know Robert Graysmith has many detractors and has gotten some things wrong, I guess I like to root for the underdog and I do believe he is correct that Arthur Leigh Allen was the Zodiac. Its often pointed out that the hard evidence failed to implicate him and that only circumstancial evidence points to him. But the hard evidence is in dispute- maybe the fingerprint found in Paul Stine's cab wasn't really made by the killer, maybe a psychopath's handwriting can be altered when he goes into a personality change, and the letter used to test for DNA has been disputed as being a genuine Zodiac letter (or even if it was he could have had someone else lick it for him). And as for circumstancial evidence, I've never understood why it should be considered synonymous with "worthless," especially when there is a veritable mountain of it against someone. And Graysmith is hardly the only player in the case who shares that theory. If anyone's opinion should count it is Inspector Dave Toschi (played by Mark Ruffalo in the movie), who also believes Allen was the Zodiac.

For a full run-down of the evidence that points to Allen, see the Bawart Report, a 30-point study by Vallejo detective George Bawart produced in 1992 when an arrest of Allen was actually being considered. (He died before it could take place.) The report is reproduced in full in Graysmith's 2002 book "Zodiac Unmasked," and here on the zodiackiller website:

http://www.zodiackiller.com/Bawart1.html

Taken all at once, it is hard if not impossible to brush off.

sdreid
09-08-2009, 03:20 PM
Allen enjoyed the attention.

Pinkerton
09-08-2009, 09:19 PM
The problem with Graysmith's book is not just that he is overly focused on one suspect, or that some of his information is inaccurate. Its that he completely FABRICATED some evidence in order to implicate his favorite suspect Allen.

If you have the time watch these YouTube clips produced by Michael Butterfield which lays out much of the false information that was put out by Graysmith.

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/graysmith.htm

Ryan_Miller
09-09-2009, 07:38 AM
In some ways I feel like the "Zodiac" Movie is like "From Hell" they take the most popular suspects, pop them into the plot and make it happen. This is great for Hollywood and entertainment sake (also understanding that the movies aren't made to produce facts as much as dollars), and I do enjoy both movies immensely. I just don't really think the Arthur Leigh Allen is the killer, though I believe kensei makes some good points. I actually am starting to wonder more about Jack Tarrance though. Has there been anymore work done investigating the Tarrance theory?

sdreid
09-09-2009, 03:53 PM
I believe Zodiac is going to be covered on MysteryQuest, a new show on the History Channel. They show the case in the promo for the one hour program but don't give a broadcast date. By all indications, it's at least two weeks (perhaps many weeks) out.

Rapunzel676
01-02-2011, 11:28 PM
This may be self-evident, but does anyone else think Zodiac was trying to imitate "Jack's" style in his (Zodiac's) communications with the police and press? There are some other interesting parallels but this is one that has particularly piqued my interest.

AdamWalsh
01-03-2011, 08:37 AM
Im currently reading "Times 17" by Gareth Penn - one the most astoundingly intricate "true crime" books you will ever read. They are incredbily rare and I got mine (one of only two copies I could find online anywhere) for $100.

Its basically solving the case using complicated mathematical code, radians, military code breaking etc to fit everything from letters to crime scenes to one man and its pretty genius. Apparently everyone that reads it cant believe the authors suspect isnt behind bars - its THAT convincing, here is a little about the author: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gareth_Penn

TomTomKent
01-03-2011, 12:03 PM
I do't know if arthur Allen Leigh (speeling?) was a good suspect for the Zodiac killings, but Graysmith certainly builds a feasible case for him being responsible to the roadside slayings and attempted kidnappings that Zodiac did not take credit for in his letters. Both Zodiac books by Graysmith are enjoyable reads despite clear flaws.

Dr. John Watson
01-03-2011, 05:13 PM
The problem with Graysmith's book is not just that he is overly focused on one suspect, or that some of his information is inaccurate. Its that he completely FABRICATED some evidence in order to implicate his favorite suspect Allen.

If you have the time watch these YouTube clips produced by Michael Butterfield which lays out much of the false information that was put out by Graysmith.

Butterfield is as obsessed with Zodiac as Graysmith is and undoubtedly considers Graysmith a rival for expert status. Both men are equally equipped and qualified as experts on the case, and Butterfield's website is a goldmine of Zodiac material. However, his charge that Graysmith deliberately attempts to mislead by manufacturing evidence is not supported by the facts. Some theories put forward by Graysmith may be weak and their validity questionable, but I think it's more a case of him keeping an open mind and considering all possibilities than deliberately falsifying facts. Without getting into an argument on this, I suggest reading all the available evidence on the case with an open mind and drawing your own conclusions.

John

Dr. John Watson
01-03-2011, 06:11 PM
Im currently reading "Times 17" by Gareth Penn - one the most astoundingly intricate "true crime" books you will ever read. They are incredbily rare and I got mine (one of only two copies I could find online anywhere) for $100.

Its basically solving the case using complicated mathematical code, radians, military code breaking etc to fit everything from letters to crime scenes to one man and its pretty genius. Apparently everyone that reads it cant believe the authors suspect isnt behind bars - its THAT convincing, here is a little about the author: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gareth_Penn

This 378-page book is either a testiment to one man's magnificant obsession or the delusional reasonings of a paranoid schizophrenic. No one can argue the extent to which Mr. Penn has researched and documented his case against university professor Michael O'Hare. If you begin this fascinating book, it will be difficult to put it down; and if you can finish the book, you might actually believe O'Hare was Zodiac. I did - for about 15 minutes. Then I returned to realilty. I'm not suggesting that Mr. Penn is psychotic, but his Times 17 did remind me of a psychoanalytic case study presented by Robert Lindner in The Fifty Minute Hour. In it, Dr. Lindner describes a patient who was so detailed and convincing in his claim that he was a space traveler, that over time the doctor actually begins to believe the delusion. At any rate, both books are certainly worth the read - if you can find them.

John

Rapunzel676
01-04-2011, 03:51 AM
Butterfield is as obsessed with Zodiac as Graysmith is and undoubtedly considers Graysmith a rival for expert status. Both men are equally equipped and qualified as experts on the case, and Butterfield's website is a goldmine of Zodiac material. However, his charge that Graysmith deliberately attempts to mislead by manufacturing evidence is not supported by the facts. Some theories put forward by Graysmith may be weak and their validity questionable, but I think it's more a case of him keeping an open mind and considering all possibilities than deliberately falsifying facts. Without getting into an argument on this, I suggest reading all the available evidence on the case with an open mind and drawing your own conclusions.

John

I couldn't agree more, and the same can be said for the other Zodiac "expert," Tom Voigt of zodiackiller.com. While I do believe that Graysmith got some of his facts wrong (as did many of the authors of the first Ripper books) and disagree with his conclusions, I think his book is a solid introduction to the case. It troubles me that the owners of the two best Zodiac sites -- as well as their members -- show such disdain for him and refuse to acknowledge that were it not for Graysmith, many of us would not have even heard of the Zodiac. Similarly, it's unlikely that the city of San Francisco would have spent the time and money to run the DNA tests that have ruled out many suspects without the interest people like Voigt and Butterfield have managed to sustain over the years. I don't care for Voigt (or some of his methods) personally but I would never dismiss the contributions he's made to the field of Zodiac research.

As far as Gareth Penn goes, I think the piece Michael O'Hare wrote for The Washington Times pretty much says it all. You can find it on Butterfield's site, http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/gareth.htm slightly more than midway down the page. I think Penn is a very smart guy and I admire his zeal in going after the truth, but I cannot agree with his conclusion or his methods.

What's left to say about Allen? If it weren't for the fact that he was a pedophile I might actually feel sorry for him. He clearly wasn't the Zodiac. I don't think any of the other named suspects make good candidates, either. The only conclusion I can tentatively support is the one reached in This is the Zodiac Speaking, by Michael Kelleher and Dr. David Van Nuys (a professor of psychology) after Van Nuys' exhaustive analysis of the Zodiac's letters. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who has an interest in reading the book, but the case they make for Zodiac's fate is a logical and compelling one.

jason_c
01-17-2011, 09:25 PM
If you go on youtube you'll find a number of clips under the heading of "This is the Zodiac Speaking". Im not sure if its in any way related to the book.
I've only watched a few of the clips but it is very in depth and interestingly talks to many of the first police responders at the scenes of crime.

sdreid
06-02-2013, 12:20 AM
Linda Edwards, 17, and, her high school sweetheart, Robert Domingos, 18, were shot and killed on a California beach on June 4 of 1963. Some have speculated that these might have been the first slayings of the Zodiac Killer. If you are in this group then this coming Tuesday marks the commencement of Zodiac's semi-centenary.

sdreid
05-13-2014, 05:37 PM
I see there's a new book coming out claiming that Earl Van Best Jr. was Zodiac.

Brenda
05-14-2014, 08:00 PM
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/05/zodiac-killer-is-my-father-claims-new-book.html

should be interesting.

Barnaby
05-14-2014, 09:43 PM
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/05/zodiac-killer-is-my-father-claims-new-book.html

should be interesting.

What is it with people accusing their fathers of being notorious serial killers?

Brenda
05-15-2014, 03:11 AM
What is it with people accusing their fathers of being notorious serial killers?

I don't know....hopefully this guy has some good research to back up his claims, otherwise people will just assume he's just another one looking to soothe his daddy issues with a large paycheck.

GUT
05-20-2014, 02:42 AM
What is it with people accusing their fathers of being notorious serial killers?

Some people will do anything for their moment of fame, even sell out their father.

Steadmund Brand
05-20-2014, 08:03 AM
My father was a serial killer of chicken wings.... but then again so is almost everyone in Buffalo.....I should write a book about it....

Steadmund Brand

Abby Normal
05-20-2014, 08:47 AM
What is it with people accusing their fathers of being notorious serial killers?

$$$$$

Beowulf
05-22-2014, 10:04 PM
My father was a serial killer of chicken wings.... but then again so is almost everyone in Buffalo.....I should write a book about it....

Steadmund Brand

That's a hot story!

MayBea
02-12-2015, 10:16 PM
I'm a total Arthur Leigh Allen as Zodiac supporter like Kensei (believing there was more than one), but I decided to take another look at the case and to finally read the original Graysmith Zodiac book. It gives me a different view of Zodiac than Zodiac Unmasked.

Now I'm intrigued by the first main suspect mentioned in the book who's real name was Bill Grant. The patrolman, mentioned in Graysmith's book and who first suspected him, wrote a book about him three years ago.

He claims first-hand knowledge of a cover-up and that the motive was revenge for adultery, so I have to be interested for sure.

http://www.amazon.ca/The-Zodiac-Killer-Cover-Up-Silenced/dp/0982936303

sdreid
02-13-2015, 03:42 PM
Oddly, the original police sketch, after Stine I believe, looks nothing like Allen but does look like Kaczynski. I really don't think it was either though.

Ausgirl
02-13-2015, 03:49 PM
I'm a total Arthur Leigh Allen as Zodiac supporter like Kensei (believing there was more than one), but I decided to take another look at the case and to finally read the original Graysmith Zodiac book. It gives me a different view of Zodiac than Zodiac Unmasked.

Now I'm intrigued by the first main suspect mentioned in the book who's real name was Bill Grant. The patrolman, mentioned in Graysmith's book and who first suspected him, wrote a book about him three years ago.

He claims first-hand knowledge of a cover-up and that the motive was revenge for adultery, so I have to be interested for sure.

http://www.amazon.ca/The-Zodiac-Killer-Cover-Up-Silenced/dp/0982936303


I have tended to give stories like this one a LOT more credence since I learned of the Scott Lee Kimball fiasco. Just some mind-blowingly bad/corrupt decisions all round, and Kimball got to commit another couple of murders while roaming free as an "informer"- which appears to be perfectly fine with all official parties involved. Except, when it became public knowledge.

There's a few other cases I could cite... So when people say "hushup conspiracy" where killers are concerned, I do not automatically look around for people in tin foil hats any more.

I'd really like to read this book.

Ausgirl
02-13-2015, 03:55 PM
Oddly, the original police sketch, after Stine I believe, looks nothing like Allen but does look like Kaczynski. I really don't think it was either though.

That Kaczynski spammer makes my teeth hurt. Guilty of everything! Evar! My ass.

I'm dealing with someone exactly like this elsewhere atm, one of those "my daddy it" nutters, and daddy is also guilty of everything, ever. And. They won't. Shut. Up. About it. Drives me up the freakin wall.

Sorry, I think I just needed to vent. :1tongue:

Rosella
02-13-2015, 06:35 PM
Wasn't there someone who asserted years ago that their father had killed the Beaumont children? They're everywhere!

The trouble with the Zodiac killer (as with Jack) is that several authors have written books pushing their own agenda and their favourite suspects. It becomes quite confusing after a time. I'd just love a book giving the facts as they are known, thanks. Any recommendations?

I don't believe Cheri Jo Bates was one of his, even if he did assert that she was his first, though strangely he may have known her as he had links to the Riverside district.

MayBea
02-13-2015, 06:57 PM
Oddly, the original police sketch, after Stine I believe, looks nothing like Allen...
Kathleen John's description doesn't match either - nose "not smallish", acne scars on chin, etc. I agree completely about the Stine composite and that's why I had to go with multiple Zodiacs.

Zodiac Unmasked gave me that impression but Graysmith's Zodiac gives me the impression of a lone wolf. That's why I think I'm ready to move on from Allen.

The Black Dahlia has to give even more credence to the notion of cover-ups.

MayBea
02-13-2015, 10:26 PM
I just went back to check Zodiac Unmasked and Graysmith hardly even mentions Bill Grant, even though he gave Grant a full chapter in his first book, as the first Zodiac suspect.

All he says in Unmasked is that the patrolman Lafferty has his own suspect from Fairfield and that there was a copycat Zodiac letter writer from Fairfield. It's as if his first book didn't even exist.

Lafferty does say that Grant's handwriting and, more significantly, fingerprints didn't match but, if there's a cover-up, then you might expect evidence to be doctored.

Harry D
02-14-2015, 02:51 AM
I have tended to give stories like this one a LOT more credence since I learned of the Scott Lee Kimball fiasco. Just some mind-blowingly bad/corrupt decisions all round, and Kimball got to commit another couple of murders while roaming free as an "informer"- which appears to be perfectly fine with all official parties involved. Except, when it became public knowledge.

When the police put out an APB for a black guy after the Stine murder, it does make you wonder.

barnflatwyngarde
02-14-2015, 07:44 AM
I am amazed that there has never been a book written on the Zodiac case that approached it from an an evidence based approach.

The Graysmith books run so fast and loose with the facts that they are utterly useless.

After that we have a plethora of books pushing a particular theory, normally along the lines of "my father did it" or a bonkers solution based on the deciphering of the codes used in the letters.

This has obvious resonance with the Ripper case, but at least we had Rumbelow, Sugden, Begg et al.

Come on PB, why not have a go at the Zodiac!

I would do it myself, but I've got a Golden Retriever.

The hairs!
The hairs!

jason_c
02-14-2015, 09:10 AM
I am amazed that there has never been a book written on the Zodiac case that approached it from an an evidence based approach.

The Graysmith books run so fast and loose with the facts that they are utterly useless.

After that we have a plethora of books pushing a particular theory, normally along the lines of "my father did it" or a bonkers solution based on the deciphering of the codes used in the letters.

This has obvious resonance with the Ripper case, but at least we had Rumbelow, Sugden, Begg et al.

Come on PB, why not have a go at the Zodiac!

I would do it myself, but I've got a Golden Retriever.

The hairs!
The hairs!

I haven't read all the literature but I agree with your sentiments. Ever since getting interested in JtR I have had a deep suspicion of almost anything I read about serial killers. Famous cases such as The Zodiac are especially poorly served by the book industry. Though it has to be said This is the Zodiac Speaking is probably the greatest documentary on any serial killer or true crime.

barnflatwyngarde
02-14-2015, 10:35 AM
I haven't read all the literature but I agree with your sentiments. Ever since getting interested in JtR I have had a deep suspicion of almost anything I read about serial killers. Famous cases such as The Zodiac are especially poorly served by the book industry. Though it has to be said This is the Zodiac Speaking is probably the greatest documentary on any serial killer or true crime.

Yeah that was a smashing documentary.
I found a link to the full documentary on Youtube (attached)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI0jnsbZwys

Will watch it tomorrow after we stuff Wales at Murrayfield. :anxious:

Robert
02-14-2015, 11:37 AM
"Outrage as Scots celebrate win by watching serial killer doc."

barnflatwyngarde
02-14-2015, 11:43 AM
"Outrage as Scots celebrate win by watching serial killer doc."
I neglected to say that I would have a beer in my hand for both viewings.

Some people call it social stereotyping, it is in fact the call of the genes.

MayBea
02-16-2015, 03:14 PM
Yeah that was a smashing documentary.
I found a link to the full documentary on Youtube (attached)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI0jnsbZwys
A great documentary full of great interviews with police, dispatch officers, victims, etc. As you say, smashing!

Note: Surviving victim, Mageau, says he recalls Ferrin say the guy in the other car was named Richard.
The R.O. (Responsible Officer) on the scene was Richard Hoffman, as seen in the film, and it turns out he is also a suspect, at least online. Ferrin was known to date police officers.
http://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/249360/zodiac_killer_suspect_richard_hoffman_match/

barnflatwyngarde
02-17-2015, 08:25 AM
A great documentary full of great interviews with police, dispatch officers, victims, etc. As you say, smashing!

Note: Surviving victim, Mageau, says he recalls Ferrin say the guy in the other car was named Richard.
The R.O. (Responsible Officer) on the scene was Richard Hoffman, as seen in the film, and it turns out he is also a suspect, at least online. Ferrin was known to date police officers.
http://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/249360/zodiac_killer_suspect_richard_hoffman_match/
Thanks for this Maybea.
I didn't know about the, police officer being a suspect.

This what, I love about the Forums, new facts about aspects of the case(s) that cause you reconsider your position.

Thanks again.

MayBea
02-17-2015, 04:29 PM
I didn't know he was a suspect either until I started searching for the name Richard, and he's really not officially a suspect.

I also believe Mageau's memory of the name "Richard" could be true, although it was not previously mentioned. There are or were two official suspects named Richard.

The first definitive naming of RH as a suspect came in 2008, one year after the documentary was made. (St. Brett, The Front Row Forum http://forums.leagueunlimited.com/archive/index.php/t-198976.html)

Hoffman clearly states in the documentary that he was on plain-clothes duty looking for juvenile offenders, which I assume also means he was in an unmarked car. So there is no question of him having to change into his uniform and get back into his patrol car as it was assumed when his name came up on zodiackiller.com in 2003.

Batman
02-18-2015, 11:58 PM
The Zodiac has left handwriting, fingerprints (partial) and DNA (partial). I would think any suggested suspects would have to match these. If a suspect doesn't match these, then its simply not the right person or forensics has made serious errors... but it means forensics would have to make errors with the fingerprints and the DNA and the handwriting (all 3) which is unlikely.

MayBea
02-19-2015, 10:38 AM
What you say about the evidence is true, Batman, unless, of course, there was more than one person involved.

But if you believe in the 'eliminated' suspects, you do have to believe there was either more than one killer (not completely out of the question) or the evidence was mishandled, misinterpreted, faked, or misused in some way(unlikely).

The Zodiac team theory doesn't look good anymore to me. That's what makes me give up on my 'eliminated' suspect.

Here's the preview of the Bill Grant Zodiac book by Lafferty. He claims he made his own tentative and unofficial positive match of his suspect's fingerprint with ones found at Lake Beryessa.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=QbFEBAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:%22Lyndon+E.+Lafferty%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jhrmVIGANo6NyATY3YD4AQ&ved=0CB8QuwUwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

MayBea
02-19-2015, 05:05 PM
There's a lot of antagonism toward the author and his suspect although there's no official announcement of the suspect being eliminated specifically because of the fingerprints or DNA.

Admittedly, my interest in the Lafferty suspect is on account of the similarity to the Maybrick story - a 50 year old whose wife committed adultery.

MayBea
02-19-2015, 07:22 PM
All the new theories involve some type of "funny business" - wife having an affair with a judge and the judge halting investigation into her husband (Grant), a ex-wife marrying a Zodiac investigator (Van Best), etc., which you would expect after four decades with no solution. I expect the answer to lie somewhere in that open vein of outside thinking even if the authors make glaring errors like Shawlgate.

http://blog.sfgate.com/crime/2014/05/22/zodiac-suspects-sex-scandal-shocks-cops/

sdreid
02-19-2015, 07:32 PM
Does anyone know how much international coverage this case got? I remember it on the national (U.S.) news when it was ongoing but I don't known about other countries. My guess would be that it at least got some coverage in Canada and Mexico. Later, there was a Mexican movie about the Zodiac murders.

kensei
02-20-2015, 12:27 AM
Does anyone know how much international coverage this case got? I remember it on the national (U.S.) news when it was ongoing but I don't known about other countries. My guess would be that it at least got some coverage in Canada and Mexico. Later, there was a Mexican movie about the Zodiac murders.

For what it's worth, if memory serves one of the Zodiac copycats committed his crimes in Japan.

Batman
02-20-2015, 07:49 AM
Greysmith says the chain of custody of the letters meant the DNA isn't trustworthy but forensics took it from the back of a stamp from what I remember.

The Stine partials have blood in them.

The handwriting is also identifying.

jason_c
02-20-2015, 06:39 PM
A great documentary full of great interviews with police, dispatch officers, victims, etc. As you say, smashing!

Note: Surviving victim, Mageau, says he recalls Ferrin say the guy in the other car was named Richard.
The R.O. (Responsible Officer) on the scene was Richard Hoffman, as seen in the film, and it turns out he is also a suspect, at least online. Ferrin was known to date police officers.
http://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/249360/zodiac_killer_suspect_richard_hoffman_match/


I really dont think the modern day Mageau should be given much credence as a witness. Not to be impolite about him but he's unfortunately "not quite all there".

On the other hand Bryan Hartnell is one of the most impressive witnesses/victims one could hope for. In fact if Hartnell hadnt been nearly killed I'd have had my suspicions about him. Im sure ripperologists would have convicted him by now had such a witness appeared in the ripper investigation.

Batman
02-21-2015, 05:16 AM
I really dont think the modern day Mageau should be given much credence as a witness. Not to be impolite about him but he's unfortunately "not quite all there".

On the other hand Bryan Hartnell is one of the most impressive witnesses/victims one could hope for. In fact if Hartnell hadnt been nearly killed I'd have had my suspicions about him. Im sure ripperologists would have convicted him by now had such a witness appeared in the ripper investigation.

There is a massive amount of evidence that human memory is simply flawed over longer periods of time. It's part of the reason why there are limitations on some types of crimes. So witnesses at this late stage recounting events could be the yellow brick road. I agree, grains of salt are needed.

There are a few schools of thought on Zodiac but what it boils down too is this... did Zodiac select people or did Zodiac just cruise places. Greysmith is in the selection crowd. Modern forensics pathology suggests he simply selected his targets based on their geographical location.

Yet with Stine this is not the case. The Zodiac had planned a route and planned an escape. Did he select Stine? I don't know if specifically, but he must have planned where he was going for an escape route, be it a nearby safe house or a car. The latter seems more likely as highway access was nearby.

In some sense I think I believe Stine was misdirection. I think these latter ciphers are meaningless and are not even ciphers. His first cipher was easily decoded by a couple. The latter ciphers IMO are just rubbish as he doesn't have the skill to do them. Its all just more lies.

I go with selection like Greysmith, but the suspect isn't Allen. Allen was likely a Zodiac 'groupie' of which there where many. I think he got into the case alot because he was investigated for being near a crime scene on the day of a murder. Another suspect Richard Joseph Gaikowski (GYKE) is a much better candicate than Allen but I suspect isn't the Zodiac either.

Mageau was with a married woman. She was murdered in the car with him. That probably compounded a lot. I mean wouldn't you think the husband probably did it? Well he likely didn't, but Mageau thought someone probably knew them because he dyed his hair and split from the hospital, even with pins still in him. Investigators have commented on him not telling the whole truth. I think he realized that he was a dating someone he shouldn't have been with. Probably realized she was being targetted by someone who she was afraid off.... which is evidence for her being stalked.

What seems more likely is that Zodiac knew the women, if even only be stalking. That when he discovered they where dating, he was furious that they had done this and so he continued stalking them and tried to kill them on a date.

I think he killed Stine to make investigators believe he was just randomly selecting people. His messages say the same, yet after Stine regardless of his claims, no other murder was attributed to the Zodiac.

MayBea
02-21-2015, 12:02 PM
I really dont think the modern day Mageau should be given much credence as a witness. Not to be impolite about him but he's unfortunately "not quite all there".
I know he was homeless and psychologically impaired but he wasn't shot through the head but the tongue.

I don't know why he waited until the documentary for the 2008 DVD release of Zodiac (2007) to say the name was Richard. He had already IDed Allen in 1991. Hoffman's name did come up in 2007.

http://zodiackiller.fr.yuku.com/topic/306/READ-THIS-First-on-Scene?page=2#.VOjVPc90yM8

I tried to rule out Hoffman as the caller who claimed responsibility which I thought would be easy since he went to the hospital with the ambulance. But Darlene was attended by a doctor and pronounced dead at 12:38. If it took all of 3 minutes to bring her in and find her dead, then he had time to get in another vehicle and get to the phone booth which was 5 minutes away (2 miles). The other officers didn't arrive at the hospital until they had gone to the phone booth and back to Blue Rock Springs.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR6.html

jason_c
02-21-2015, 01:07 PM
I know he was homeless and psychologically impaired but he wasn't shot through the head but the tongue.

I don't know why he waited until the documentary for the 2008 DVD release of Zodiac (2007) to say the name was Richard. He had already IDed Allen in 1991. Hoffman's name did come up in 2007.

http://zodiackiller.fr.yuku.com/topic/306/READ-THIS-First-on-Scene?page=2#.VOjVPc90yM8

I tried to rule out Hoffman as the caller who claimed responsibility which I thought would be easy since he went to the hospital with the ambulance. But Darlene was attended by a doctor and pronounced dead at 12:38. If it took all of 3 minutes to bring her in and find her dead, then he had time to get in another vehicle and get to the phone booth which was 5 minutes away (2 miles). The other officers didn't arrive at the hospital until they had gone to the phone booth and back to Blue Rock Springs.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/DFR6.html

Scroll forward to 30.05. Mageau makes some sense with his comments during the interview, in other places he is rambling, and this is the cleaned up edited version. It's hard not to feel sorry for him. But trusting what he says now(compared to what he said at the time) is likely to send you up the wrong track.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI0jnsbZwys

jason_c
02-21-2015, 01:51 PM
There is a massive amount of evidence that human memory is simply flawed over longer periods of time. It's part of the reason why there are limitations on some types of crimes. So witnesses at this late stage recounting events could be the yellow brick road. I agree, grains of salt are needed.

There are a few schools of thought on Zodiac but what it boils down too is this... did Zodiac select people or did Zodiac just cruise places. Greysmith is in the selection crowd. Modern forensics pathology suggests he simply selected his targets based on their geographical location.

Yet with Stine this is not the case. The Zodiac had planned a route and planned an escape. Did he select Stine? I don't know if specifically, but he must have planned where he was going for an escape route, be it a nearby safe house or a car. The latter seems more likely as highway access was nearby.

In some sense I think I believe Stine was misdirection. I think these latter ciphers are meaningless and are not even ciphers. His first cipher was easily decoded by a couple. The latter ciphers IMO are just rubbish as he doesn't have the skill to do them. Its all just more lies.

I go with selection like Greysmith, but the suspect isn't Allen. Allen was likely a Zodiac 'groupie' of which there where many. I think he got into the case alot because he was investigated for being near a crime scene on the day of a murder. Another suspect Richard Joseph Gaikowski (GYKE) is a much better candicate than Allen but I suspect isn't the Zodiac either.

Mageau was with a married woman. She was murdered in the car with him. That probably compounded a lot. I mean wouldn't you think the husband probably did it? Well he likely didn't, but Mageau thought someone probably knew them because he dyed his hair and split from the hospital, even with pins still in him. Investigators have commented on him not telling the whole truth. I think he realized that he was a dating someone he shouldn't have been with. Probably realized she was being targetted by someone who she was afraid off.... which is evidence for her being stalked.

What seems more likely is that Zodiac knew the women, if even only be stalking. That when he discovered they where dating, he was furious that they had done this and so he continued stalking them and tried to kill them on a date.

I think he killed Stine to make investigators believe he was just randomly selecting people. His messages say the same, yet after Stine regardless of his claims, no other murder was attributed to the Zodiac.

Some good points. I don't have much to add but did enjoy reading this post.

Batman
02-21-2015, 10:05 PM
I liked reading this thread too.

Ginger
02-22-2015, 09:41 AM
There's a nice website http://www.zodiackillerciphers.com/ , all about the ciphers, that includes a cleverly-designed webtoy (http://zodiackillerciphers.com/webtoy/) that lets you try various letter combinations without having to resort to pencil and paper.

Batman
02-22-2015, 03:15 PM
Yeah there is a few of them and they are really good. The amount of encryption heads out there running the ciphers through computers over the years just tells me that this guy did one cipher based on a simple system you can have learned from a library book. IMO, Zodiac is not and never was a bright person. Probably didn't graduate. However he certainly did enjoy artwork and cartooning etc. This is why I think the latter ciphers are just an artists hand putting together something to distract people. He tells lies.

Greysmith was a cartoonist. 'Recently' when he was interviewed he said that he would not have been surprised if the Zodiac was a cartoonist or some sort of an artist who drew. The Gyke suspect worked at a newspaper company called the ''Good Times'' and did journalism and artwork for them. He later when on to operate a movie theatre.

MayBea
02-26-2015, 03:24 PM
There's a nice website http://www.zodiackillerciphers.com/ , all about the ciphers, that includes a cleverly-designed webtoy (http://zodiackillerciphers.com/webtoy/) that lets you try various letter combinations without having to resort to pencil and paper.
I spent many hours with that web toy and a few more last night.

There is also this Word Search Gadget where you can search for scrambled words in the un-deciphered code. It's purpose is to show that you can find almost anything, not just E V Best Junior. But I do think the author of the Van Best book was on the right track and Zodiac may have his name scrambled somewhere in there because the code seems to be indecipherable and I found the word Diablo and others related to the case.http://zodiackillerciphers.com/word-search-gadget-earlvanbest/

MayBea
02-28-2015, 03:17 PM
Scroll forward to 30.05. Mageau makes some sense with his comments during the interview, in other places he is rambling, and this is the cleaned up edited version. It's hard not to feel sorry for him. But trusting what he says now(compared to what he said at the time) is likely to send you up the wrong track.
You're probably right, jason. Mageau thought the shooter was 26-30 but the police who saw the Stine suspect said he was 35-45 years old. The other Stine witnesses who definitely saw the Zodiac said he was 35-40.

I think people look younger, if anything, in the dark. He also walked in a 'lumbering' or perhaps laboring fashion and used old-fashioned words like "fiddle and fart". So I think we're looking at an older UNSUB. Same for the Ripper. Middle Age Crazy to the extreme.

Defective Detective
08-09-2015, 05:58 AM
I'm just now starting to study the Zodiac Killer in any kind of detail (I'm perhaps three-quarters of the way through Greysmith's book, which is apparently good despite Leigh Allen not being a plausible suspect).

My thoughts on the ciphers:

1. The fact that the first cipher was legitimate doesn't necessarily mean that any of the subsequent ones are. Is it not possible that the Zodiac devised the first cipher as a red herring, to absorb people and divert attention away from more productive avenues of inquiry, and then sent out meaningless ciphers later to keep the ruse going?

For the record, I understand that an FBI pattern analysis suggests there's something there and that they believe the cipher is meant to be read by rearranging the lines somehow. My suggestion though is that this can be faked - the symbols arranged to imply a pattern without it meaning anything.

2. That said, the 308 cipher does definitively demonstrate that the Zodiac was familiar with cryptography. Now , I don't understand anything about cryptography. To my mind, cryptography equals math, and math equals an obscure, arcanarcane subject which my prehensile brain cannot fathom.

That said, doesn't it sort of suggest that our boy had maybe a professional acquaintance with this dark art? I've always enjoyed the story of the cracking of the Enigma code (<33 Cryptonomicon, even if I don't understand half of it), and I was thinking about it in relation to the Vietnam War. Was cryptography employed to any great extent in that conflict? And were there maybe any angry, embittered Army cryptographers living in Southern California with an axe to grind against American society?

Alternatively, where else would someone have learned cryptography in the 1960s? Today it's more understandable that someone in the general public would have that kind of knowledge, given the prevalence of encrypted computer files, though it's still quite rare. I'm having a Hell of a time trying to pigeonhole the sort of person who'd have that knowledge in 1969. Would it be a traceable skill - I.e. one which a suspect would have to register in a class to learn, and whowhose name is on a school registry somewhere?

Defective Detective
08-09-2015, 07:58 AM
Uh. So.

I hate to make a double post in such short order, but...

I just read about the Gareth Penn/Michael O'Hare/Times 17 lunacy, and I realized that that brief sketch I outlined up there - of Zodiac as an ex-military cryptographer - fits Penn to a 'T'.

Not a novel suggestion, I understand, but after an hour and a half of trolling through the various Zodiac forums, I've come away with the zeal of a convert that Penn needs at least to be looked at with the same intensity as guys like Leigh and Gaik. One of the most genuinely bizarre subplots of any serial killer's story I've ever heard of. I am totally going to rip it off for a short story.

Harry D
08-09-2015, 12:08 PM
My favourite theory is that the guy who cracked the 408 cipher was actually the Zodiac. This guy (http://zodiackiller.wikia.com/wiki/Donald_Harden).

Harry D
08-11-2015, 09:56 AM
I have my doubts about Paul Stine as a Zodiac victim. Prior to this shooting, the Zodiac had only ever targeted young couples in secluded locations. Paul Stine was shot inside his cab in the middle of a public street. Of course, there's always the argument that the killer was becoming bolder, but I'm sure I read that Stine's keys and wallet were missing from the scene of the crime. Makes me wonder if this was just a robbery gone wrong. As for the killer mailing pieces of Stine's bloodstained shirt, if the person writing the letters was a hoaxer with an inside track on the case, there's a possibility it was torn off at the mortuary (and yes I know how Marriott-esque that sounds! :pleased:).

sdreid
08-11-2015, 12:04 PM
I tend to think Stine was a Zodiac victim but he is the one I'm least sure about.

Defective Detective
08-11-2015, 04:19 PM
I have my doubts about Paul Stine as a Zodiac victim. Prior to this shooting, the Zodiac had only ever targeted young couples in secluded locations. Paul Stine was shot inside his cab in the middle of a public street. Of course, there's always the argument that the killer was becoming bolder, but I'm sure I read that Stine's keys and wallet were missing from the scene of the crime. Makes me wonder if this was just a robbery gone wrong. As for the killer mailing pieces of Stine's bloodstained shirt, if the person writing the letters was a hoaxer with an inside track on the case, there's a possibility it was torn off at the mortuary (and yes I know how Marriott-esque that sounds! :pleased:).

It's bizarre to me that there's no police report specifying that Stine's shirt was torn at the scene. Isn't that something that you'd think would have been noted before the body was even moved from the cab?

Defective Detective
08-27-2015, 01:16 AM
I'd like to get a show of hands on this:

Would it be fair to say that the closest point of comparison to the Zodiac would be David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam? As far as a killer with a relatively similar modus operandi goes.

Now, I've seen some nutty crypto-conspiracist stuff on-line suggesting that both were members of the 4 Pi sect (somehow related to the Process Church - something I'll need to research further). I don't mean to suggest any such direct connection, however interesting - although It does seem plausible to me that Berkowitz might have read about the Zodiac Killer and have been inspired indirectly by him. This wouldn't be unheard of among serials: Bundy was inspired by the Ripper to try for a double event; BTK was most probably inspired to write pseudo-occult letters by the Zodiac; etc.

There are of course obvious differences. The Zodiac wasn't as wedded to his MO as the Son of Sam - the Lake Berryessa attack was in broad daylight, with a gun used only indirectly, to get the couple tied up; Paul Stine's murder was very different, sharing only the automobile element; and the Cheri Jo Bates murder, if we attribute it to the Zed, is very different from either the Zodiac's couple-killings or those of Berkowitz.

I also think that the Zodiac was a good deal more intelligent than Berkowitz - he seemed to have given much more thought to the actual process of murder, and it's unlikely that he'd be so easily tracked as through a parking ticket..

My view, and if you think I'm wrong then please correct me, is that the two represent organized and disorganized variations of the same type of killer.

- Both predominantly attacked young couples in romantic location

- Both at least seem to have preferred firearms as their weapons of choice

- Both wrote letters to the police, a comparative rarity amongst serial killers

- Both implied, but did not overtly demonstrate (as did, for instance, Richard Ramirez) a familiarity with the occult - I believe the difference between an implied and explicit familiarity is somehow important. My guess is that unlike Ramirez's gaudy Satanic schlock or Berkowitz's delusions, the Zodiac actually had a solid working knowledge of the occult.

Now, none of this is new, but I'm quite new to the Zodiac case, and I'm still looking for the best framework to view it in. What I've hit on is to look at him as essentially a more organized, more intelligent David Berkowitz, but I want to be disabused of this notion before it sets in if any of you think it's wrong.

Of course, if the similarities are the result of an underlying Zodiacal influence on the Son of Sam, then it might not speak directly to an underlying pathology.

RivkahChaya
08-27-2015, 03:04 AM
DISCLAIMER: all that follows is IMO (excepting the extraneous personal anecdote, which is true, but not proof of anything, other than how paranoid people were during the "Summer of Sam.")

It depends a lot on whether or not you believe Berkowitz's claim of having been commanded by his neighbor's Labrador Retriever. That is, obviously, the dog did not really do this, but do you believe that Berkowitz genuinely thought he did, or do you think that Berkowitz invented this in an attempt to pull an insanity plea out of his ass? (BTW, I've seen a recent interview with him: he converted to Christianity in prison, and is extra-super creepy now when he talks about being forgiven; actually, no matter what he talks about, he's pretty creepy). If Berkowitz was really taking imaginary orders from a dog (the dog really did exist), then he probably is just plain nuts, and that puts a big chasm between him and the Zodiac, who I think was as uncrazy as serial killers get.

Now if "the dog made me do it" was a put on, then yeah, maybe he was copying the Zodiac. I was about 10 or 11 when Berkowitz was committing his crimes, and my parents tried to shelter me from the fact that they were going on practically in our backyard, partly by visiting my grandmother for "The Summer of Sam,"* but I could watch the news as well as anyone, and I do remember people talking about whether or not "the Zodiac" had switched coasts. I had never heard of the Zodiac before, but I could use a library, and I could also ask a friend's parents who or what "Zodiac" was when my parents were not forthcoming. Anyway, there was lots of comparison of Sam to Zodiac in the press, and it more than compared, it actually equated the two. This made Sam all the scarier to adults, I think, because the idea that the Zodiac had been dormant, living among people undetected, and was now active again, was very scary.

Personally, I don't think that the two had much in common. Killing couples isn't terribly specific. I think that both of them were really targeting women, and then also killing the witness, and targeting women is the serial killer's bread and butter. Also, I think possibly women who were with men may have been a trigger for each one, but I don't think that is terribly unusual either. Most SKs who are triggered by that just wait for the women to be alone, rather than taking out the men as well. That may have something to do with the gun as choice of weapon-- total speculation there, though-- it's just hard to strangle someone when another person is standing by.

In sum, I don't think they had much in common psychologically. Superficially, there were some similarities, and people really responded to that initially, when Berkowitz first started killing, and I think that lingers in the public consciousness.


*We had had been living in the Soviet Union for most of the 76-77 school year, and come back to the US just in time for the Summer of Sam. Our house was in Queens, right in Sam's hunting grounds. We were supposed to visit my grandmother, who lived upstate at the time, for a couple of weeks, and then go back home to Queens in plenty of time to settle back in before school started. Instead, we stayed with my grandmother part of June, all of July, and most of August. At the time my parents said it had to do with the people renting our house wanting to stay. My mother didn't tell me until about ten years ago (I'm 48) that they were waiting for an arrest in the Son of Sam case, or until the first day of school forced them to go back.

Abby Normal
08-27-2015, 05:37 AM
I'd like to get a show of hands on this:

Would it be fair to say that the closest point of comparison to the Zodiac would be David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam? As far as a killer with a relatively similar modus operandi goes.

Now, I've seen some nutty crypto-conspiracist stuff on-line suggesting that both were members of the 4 Pi sect (somehow related to the Process Church - something I'll need to research further). I don't mean to suggest any such direct connection, however interesting - although It does seem plausible to me that Berkowitz might have read about the Zodiac Killer and have been inspired indirectly by him. This wouldn't be unheard of among serials: Bundy was inspired by the Ripper to try for a double event; BTK was most probably inspired to write pseudo-occult letters by the Zodiac; etc.

There are of course obvious differences. The Zodiac wasn't as wedded to his MO as the Son of Sam - the Lake Berryessa attack was in broad daylight, with a gun used only indirectly, to get the couple tied up; Paul Stine's murder was very different, sharing only the automobile element; and the Cheri Jo Bates murder, if we attribute it to the Zed, is very different from either the Zodiac's couple-killings or those of Berkowitz.

I also think that the Zodiac was a good deal more intelligent than Berkowitz - he seemed to have given much more thought to the actual process of murder, and it's unlikely that he'd be so easily tracked as through a parking ticket..

My view, and if you think I'm wrong then please correct me, is that the two represent organized and disorganized variations of the same type of killer.

- Both predominantly attacked young couples in romantic location

- Both at least seem to have preferred firearms as their weapons of choice

- Both wrote letters to the police, a comparative rarity amongst serial killers

- Both implied, but did not overtly demonstrate (as did, for instance, Richard Ramirez) a familiarity with the occult - I believe the difference between an implied and explicit familiarity is somehow important. My guess is that unlike Ramirez's gaudy Satanic schlock or Berkowitz's delusions, the Zodiac actually had a solid working knowledge of the occult.

Now, none of this is new, but I'm quite new to the Zodiac case, and I'm still looking for the best framework to view it in. What I've hit on is to look at him as essentially a more organized, more intelligent David Berkowitz, but I want to be disabused of this notion before it sets in if any of you think it's wrong.

Of course, if the similarities are the result of an underlying Zodiacal influence on the Son of Sam, then it might not speak directly to an underlying pathology.

Hi DD
I would say yes and also Monster of Florence.
All were thrill kill serial killers with little (if any) sexual motive, who targeted couples and primary weapon was a gun.

sdreid
08-27-2015, 06:40 AM
Texarkana Phantom

Defective Detective
08-27-2015, 03:36 PM
Texarkana Phantom

This isn't a new observation either - I'm pretty sure it was made before in this thread - but the Lake Berryessa attack is so close to the Phantom killings that I have to think there was some sort of connection.

That's not to say that I think Zodiac was the Phantom - I don't. But it wouldn't surprise me, if his identity were ever uncovered, to find that he'd lived in West Texas or Arkansas as a boy. (The Texarkana Phantom didn't get national headlines on the scale of something like the Black Dahlia in his day, did he?)

I agree with the poster who said that the Zodiac is one of the "least crazy" serial killers to live. There's something almost... postmodern about the way he referenced other criminals, the media, etc. He's not "my suspect" (I don't have one) , but I can see why someone like Richard Gaikowsi is so appealing in some quarters. My guess is that, whoever Z was, he was at least as smart as Ted Bundy, and probably moreso.

Abby Normal
08-28-2015, 06:12 AM
Texarkana Phantom

Yes very very similar also.

sdreid
08-28-2015, 03:47 PM
That's not to say that I think Zodiac was the Phantom - I don't. But it wouldn't surprise me, if his identity were ever uncovered, to find that he'd lived in West Texas or Arkansas as a boy. (The Texarkana Phantom didn't get national headlines on the scale of something like the Black Dahlia in his day, did he?)

Ralph B. Baumann, 21, confessed to the Phantom murders in Los Angeles in late May of 1946. I wonder what happened to him?

Jeanne Axford French, murdered in L.A. in 1947, had "Tex" written on her body in lipstick as well.

kensei
08-28-2015, 11:55 PM
When bringing David Berkowitz into the discussion, just to be thorough I think one must also consider whether his claim of not being a lone killer but a member of a cult that carried out the Son of Sam crimes is true. He was caught as a result of the Stacy Moskowitz murder in which an eyewitness insists that Berkowitz couldn't have been the shooter that he saw commit the crime, and Berkowitz himself claims he was only present as a lookout for that shooting. He also does not use the cult claim to try and make himself out to be innocent- he admits to pulling the trigger a certain number of times and says he belongs in prison. There were multiple eyewitness sketches of the Son of Sam, only a couple of which resemble Berkowitz. The others resemble John Carr, who along with his brother Michael have been implicated as being the other Son of Sam shooters. Maybe Berkowitz seems creepy when he does interviews in light of the knowledge of what he's done and because he is a generally eccentric character, but I saw one in which he was being asked specifically about the Carr brothers (whose father's name was Sam, and that is where the name is alleged to come from). Even though both brothers were deceased by then, his fear of them still seemed palpable as he clenched up and would only answer yes to their guilt with his eyes closed.

I believe Berkowitz's cult claim, whereas the Zodiac was a true loner.

belinda
08-29-2015, 12:48 AM
I agree with Stan Texarkana Phantom

mklhawley
08-29-2015, 05:41 AM
I agree with the poster who said that the Zodiac is one of the "least crazy" serial killers to live.

Interesting you should say this DD. Both psychopathy and sociopathy are not considered mental illnesses. I definitely see the Zodiac as psychopathic than sociopathic.

Sincerely,

Mike

Joshua Rogan
08-29-2015, 02:07 PM
Could Zodiac have been inspired by the Texarkana murderer, and added his own pseudo-occult overtones?

RivkahChaya
08-29-2015, 02:55 PM
I think Zodiac was equally "inspired" by all serial killers who went down in history under a nickname. I think he also thought the power they had when they held a whole city in a grip of terror was admirable. JtR and killers like the Texarkana phantom may not have set out to create terror; it was just a side effect, but I think it was a primary goal of the Zodiac.

Anyway, he may have been inspired to wear the hood he wore that one time by the mask the phantom supposedly wore.

But something to remember: The Town that Dreaded Sundown was probably intentionally made to reference the Zodiac, as it was made when the case was current. Reality may have been less Zodiac-like.

I'm like most people (who discuss such things regularly), though: the movie was my introduction to the case, and while I have read articles, I don't know much about it, while I know quite a bit about the Zodiac. I'm in the middle of a big project now, but I really should put "Read a whole book just on the Texarkana phantom," on my list of things to do, so I can discuss it more intelligently.

If you are well-read regarding the Texarkana phantom, and know the movie to be very accurate, then I apologize, but right now, my cursory knowledge seems to suggest a less Zodiac-like killer than the movie suggests.

Defective Detective
08-29-2015, 03:51 PM
When bringing David Berkowitz into the discussion, just to be thorough I think one must also consider whether his claim of not being a lone killer but a member of a cult that carried out the Son of Sam crimes is true. He was caught as a result of the Stacy Moskowitz murder in which an eyewitness insists that Berkowitz couldn't have been the shooter that he saw commit the crime, and Berkowitz himself claims he was only present as a lookout for that shooting. He also does not use the cult claim to try and make himself out to be innocent- he admits to pulling the trigger a certain number of times and says he belongs in prison. There were multiple eyewitness sketches of the Son of Sam, only a couple of which resemble Berkowitz. The others resemble John Carr, who along with his brother Michael have been implicated as being the other Son of Sam shooters. Maybe Berkowitz seems creepy when he does interviews in light of the knowledge of what he's done and because he is a generally eccentric character, but I saw one in which he was being asked specifically about the Carr brothers (whose father's name was Sam, and that is where the name is alleged to come from). Even though both brothers were deceased by then, his fear of them still seemed palpable as he clenched up and would only answer yes to their guilt with his eyes closed.

I believe Berkowitz's cult claim, whereas the Zodiac was a true loner.

Looking into the Process Church, I definitely feel there's something there, no matter how conspiratorial that sounds.