Was Edward Wayne Edwards the Zodiac Killer?

Exclusive to Zodiackiller.com

April 21, 2011
By Tom Voigt, Zodiackiller.com Webmaster

Portland, Ore. -- A couple of days ago, Angie and I met with retired detective John Cameron of Great Falls, Mont. Along with Cameron was Tim Spencer, a fellow Great Falls resident and Ed Edwards researcher. Earlier in the day, the two had spent a couple of hours discussing their findings with Zodiac expert Mike Kelleher and his wife, Cindy. (The Kellehers live somewhere in the remote mountains here in the Pacific Northwest.)

We met at Club 21, our favorite Portland dive bar located just a brief walk from where we live. Shortly before leaving, I had e-mailed Mike and asked, "How painful was it?" I always expect the worst when meeting with people in person about their Zodiac theory, because when it starts to go south -- which it usually does -- I feel trapped. But Mike e-mailed me right back and put my mind at ease. "Interesting and serious folks. Better than your average Zodiac chaser," he wrote. Phew!

Cameron had told me to look for "a bald guy and a guy with gray hair." I spotted them quickly upon entering the club; they were seated in the small, slightly elevated section that serves as the stage on heavy metal night. For now, though, the area just had poker machines and a few tables and chairs (in addition to a bald guy and a guy with gray hair).

I was wearing a sticker on my hoodie that said "My name is...ZODIAC."

Yeah, weird stuff sometimes takes place at Club 21.

(Club 21 is tiny and resembles a hobbit house. It was built about a hundred years ago. Originally a Russian church, in the 1940s it became a steak house and a few years later, a bar. My grandmother played piano there in the 1950s.)

Cameron had a tab going, so Angie and I quickly ordered a couple pints of Mirror Pond. Spencer was drinking soda, while Cameron had a glass of what appeared to be mop water (but probably Coors Lite). We made a very brief amount of small talk, but quickly jumped into the Zodiac stuff. Who could have guessed?

After explaining how he became to suspect Edwards was the Zodiac killer, Cameron broke out a portfolio full of research material. Spencer also contributed his own discoveries, and on Cameron's laptop we even watched the full version of Edwards' 1972 appearance on the game show "To Tell The Truth." Actor Alan Alda was one of the show's panelists and of everyone on that show, the only one still alive. (Edwards just died within the last month.)

Angie and I asked many questions, and we both came away feeling the answers we received were at least honest and straightforward, if not convincing. After a couple of hours and a few pints, we said good night and shook hands. Kelleher had been right about Cameron and Spencer, and I'm glad we got together.

There were a few compelling tidbits between Edwards and Zodiac that I'd like to see explored further, but I don't want to steal anyone's thunder by revealing them here. Maybe Cameron will join the message board eventually and clue everyone in.

Here are what I consider to be the major cons of Edwards being the Zodiac:

*As a confessed and incarcerated killer, I would think Edwards' DNA would long be in a databank and already compared to the Zodiac's DNA, with obviously no match. Cameron said Edwards' DNA had either never been taken, or never entered in the databank. While I believe Cameron was indeed told such a thing, I have doubts that what he was told is true. But what about the fingerprints? Wouldn't a manual comparison be a no-brainer, if not automatically done in AFIS?

*Edwards, who was based in Ohio, apparently committed a robbery in San Francisco during the 1950s, but at no other time can he be placed there, with the exception of allegedly driving through once with his wife.

*Edwards was in prison during the possible Zodiac murders of Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards in June 1963, as well as the Cheri Jo Bates murder in Oct. 1966. (In fact, Edwards was still in prison in 1967 when the Bates letters were sent.)

*Of the several pages of Edwards' handwriting I viewed at Club 21, nothing stood out as being particularly Zodiac-like aside from the occasional checkmark "r" or weird "g"...which aren't the least bit uncommon as it turns out. Overall, I didn't find Edwards' handwriting to be compelling.

*Edwards had an extensive criminal record from both before and after the Zodiac era. In short, he got caught a lot. Is a propensity to get arrested at all consistent with the elusive Zodiac killer? I'd say obviously not.

*At least a couple of Edwards' murders had a sexual and/or money element, something missing from all of Zodiac's crimes.

In conclusion, Gyke is still my favorite Zodiac suspect, but I do feel Edwards is deserving of close scrutiny.

Club 21