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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 9:42 am:   

Hi. I'm a new member and am just reading Graysmith's new edition of "Zodiac" (ie. the Yellow Book) after reading the old one a couple of times some years ago.

I realize there are a lot of smart contributors on this board who have done a lot of research. I don't want to waste their time or my own by basing my arguments/theories on fallacious information. Some experienced contributors here mock Graysmith's accounts as being semi-fiction. I asked Ed Neil on the "Zodiac Books" board if there was a reference where I could find a list of all these inaccuracies or fabrications by Graysmith. He said there were many references on the messageboard but it may be worth setting up a new thread where contributors could centralize them.

I hope I speak for more than myself in inviting people to expose factual errors in his two books, "Zodiac" and "Zodiac Unmasked".

Grateful for any help.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 10:03 am:   

I think it's a great idea, and I was more than a little surprised that those two books are not even listed as their own threads in the "Zodiac Books" catagory. Even if everyone hates them, I mean, come-on folks, they were pivotal in publicizing the case to armchair detectives like us. They should, at-least, merit book-cover photos and stand-alone threads where people can list page numbers and corrections.

When I first joined the group, I was specifically looking for corrections to RG's books, having heard many times that they were full of inaccuracies.

The fact that Graysmith got a lot of facts wrong doesnt surprise me. The case was shrouded both in secret and myth when he started to compile his book, and he wasn't even a reporter, much less a crime writer. He was basically a blogger and a cartoonist who had to rely on a lot of second hand accounts and vague memories.

However, I do fault him on the several times he could have found and interviewed key people, and he didn't. Also, as facts became evident and issues clarified, his books should have been revised, especially with a new edition just hitting the bookstores in time for the movie.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 12:57 pm:   

There used to be a list on this site. I can't seem to find it now, though.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 3:46 pm:   

Hi-

"However, I do fault him on the several times he could have found and interviewed key people, and he didn't."

This is the crux of the problem with Graysmith. The Stine eyewitnesses were not difficult to locate in the 1980s, since their family was still living at the same address. The problem is that he did not bother to contact them, despite the fact that they are crucial eyewitnesses in the case. Their story got distorted over the years due to RG's failure to speak to them and get the actual facts before the public. One of those facts is that they completely reject Allen as the person they saw kill Stine.

As for Officer Fouke, he contacted RG after the book came. In it, RG had Fouke speaking to Zodiac. Fouke complained about that version of events. RG responded that it was too late to correct anything because the book was "already out." Fine. So did he contact Fouke to get the facts straight for the sequel? Of course, not! In a most amazing coincidence, Fouke also rejects Allen as having been the person that he saw on Jackson Street that night.

Anyone see a pattern here?

Mike
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 4:11 pm:   

Amen, Mike.

I'm glad SOMEBODY made an effort to fill in the blanks and do research that was overlooked.

What else needs to be revisited?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 5:57 pm:   

These are not in any particular order, they're just off the top of my head (Yellow Book's claims are different than what I've listed below; I've included relevant page numbers so his mistakes/fabrications/whatever can be easily referenced):

Z did not chase Ferrin and Mageau from Mageau's house to BRS (pp. 25-26).

The LHR and BRS sites are four miles apart, not two (p. 26).

The incident at Sully Road, as far as we can tell, never happened (p. 277). There is no Sully Road in Santa Rosa that we can find and, going by Yellow Books's description of the area, it was actually on or near Franz Valley Road where 3 of the 8 SR coeds were dumped. Why change the name of the road since he correctly named it on p. 252?

There's no evidence that Darlene Ferrin knew Cecelia Shepard (p. 287).

Yellow Book never interviewed the Stine witnesses, as Mike pointed out above (p. 194).

Other than Z's solitary claim, all the evidence, including the words of Don Fouke himself (who was actually there), points to Fouke & Zelms simply driving past Z and not stopping to talk to him (pp. 85-86).

Both composites were done by the teen witnesses; Fouke and Zelms had nothing to do with the second composite (p. 107).

According to Mike's research, it was not foggy the night Z murdered Stine (p. 83).

There is no evidence that Z was a sexual sadist (pp. x, 257-260, 321).

The 4-24-1978 letter was a forgery (pp. 207-219).

There are other facts, but these are the first few that came to mind that Yellow Book got wrong.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 12:11 am:   

Another little tidbit is that the map of the LB crime scene is of Shale Point, not Twin Oak Ridge where Zodiac Island is located (Ken Narlow pointed the true site out to Mike Rodelli and myself in October 1999), which is about half a mile north of the peninsula indicated by Yellow Book. At Shale Point, there is an island not even indicated in his map; if one followed the map, he'd be scratching his head wondering how the peninsula fit in with the description since there are far more than 2 trees at the end (there were actually 3 trees on Z Island in 1969), and there's no depression around the peninsula for Z to have stalked his victims unnoticed (p. 79). It's obvious from his written description that he meant to indicate the island as the scene of the crime and not the end of Shale Point.

I have no idea if the island has a name or not, but I call it Graysmith Island because it's the wrong place. Not only that, based on the water level in the crime scene pics of Z Island, Graysmith Island would have been separated from Shale Point by a small stretch of water. Oops.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 8:23 am:   

Hi Ed-

Being shown the actual place where the attack took place by Ken in 1999 is still one of the highlights of my research into the case. I am deeply indebted to him for driving me out there that day. He said that he had not been out there in about ten years prior to that, as I recall.

Even if I never solve the case, I am happy to have contributed to it in ways like this. A "prominent figure" in the Zodiac case recently expressed an opinion to me that I am "wasting my time." Well, if you can contribute to the knowledge base of the case along the way and try to help get the case solved regardless of who Zodiac was, it is not a waste of your time. I am also proud of the work I've done with Jim on the eyewitnesses. I only wish that RG had held himself to higher standards in his research.

The last frontier for advancement, in my opinion, is to force SFPD to do the additional research on the DNA that the case deserves. Politics cannot be permitted win out over justice.

You were at work when Ken and I first went up there and didn't arrive until about an hour or so after he and I arrived. The directions you had given me and the photos you had sent me were of "Graysmith Island." As soon as Ken got out of the car, and we were still far away from the water's edge, he turned to me on tape and said that he did not think that this was the right spot. I told him that this was the site you had specified to me.

My only regret about that day is that I spent time walking that island and then, when you arrived, we both walked it again. By the time Ken decided to look for the right spot, the park was closing and we did not get to spend even a minute out on the peninsula with him. That was a real shame.

I still remember the guard coming along and calling the right spot by the name the rangers apparently use: "Zodiac Island." When he told us that the park was closing, Ken flashed his badge and got the guy to keep the gate open for us for a few minutes while we looked at the place from a distance. I wish we could have gotten Ken to give us a full tour. I know it would have cleared up a lot of misconceptions I've had until recently.

But in terms of errors by RG, this one is one that I can forgive him much more than his antics with the eyewitnesses. If this were his worst transgression, I would just write it off to human error.

Mike
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 11:58 am:   

Mike, your research with the Stine witnesses and Fouke is pure gold! RG definitely dropped the ball on that one; in fact, I don't think he dropped it, I suspect really didn't give a damn. As far as Z Island goes, it's one of the minor points in his list of errors and fabrications, this is true, but it demonstrates his incredible lack of attention to detail and suggests that he never actually even went to the site itself to see for himself what it was like; I suspect if he even bothered to make the trip out there, he ended up at Graysmith Island rather than Z Island. For any investigator, a visit to the crime scene is essential for an understanding of the case. Having one of the actual investigators point it out really helps, and if we believe what he wrote in that yellow book, then he actually did talk to Narlow. So why'd he indicate the wrong location? Sloppy detective work on his part, that's why, and if he can screw up a minor point like this, what about the rest of his research? Makes one wonder...

Anyone else have anything to add as far as errors go?
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 1:12 pm:   

Hi Ed-

Thanks. I've obviously been pursuing my own angle on the case but within that context, I've always tried to keep the interests of the overall investigation in mind, too. I think that the words of the eyewitnesses to the Stine murder have to be seriously considered whenever one speaks about Allen as the perp.

Sloppiness is one thing. But my sense is that it is quite possible that there was a method to RG's madness in not seeking out the people responsible for the sketch that did not resemble Allen. I'd love to know the truth about that one...After all, RG spoke to Darlene's babysitter but did not speak to the Stine eyewitnesses. Go figure. If he was diligent enough to seek out obscure figures with little to bring to bear on the overall investigation, why didn't he go after the bigger and more obviously important eyewitnesses?

This is defintely one of the grayest of his "gray areas"...at least in my mind. I hope that the publicity surrounding the movie based on his books will be a double-edged sword for him and that newspeople and others will begin to ask thmeselves some serious questions about his integrity.

Mike
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Seagull
Username: Seagull

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 2:41 pm:   

I do not own a copy of any of GS's books. I read ZU after checking it out from the library so I can't give you page numbers. The book is pretty well organized and has a good index so my contribution shouldn't be too hard to find. Regarding the Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders he has Carolyn Davis last seen in mid July of 1972 and has her decomposing body found at the end of July 1973. Her body would have been completely decomposed after a year and two weeks. She was last seen mid July of 1973 not 1972. It's this type of thing that sours one for the entire book. This is a fact that could have been easily checked and corrected at an early stage.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 5:58 pm:   

Thanks everyone so far esp. Mike and Ed.

It seems a lot of the errors are shabby attention to detail. However selectively screening out data/info that contradicts your case is a pretty major flaw. It was interesting though that I think VPD (or SFPD??) were giving new officers the Yellow Book to learn up on the case implying they weren't too unhappy with errors.

I assume his motives now may be more in making the basis of a good movie (that his character stars in)and the obvious windfall $$. Catching the Zodiac would be pretty low down the list if you believed he died 15 years ago.

Ed - I am particularly interested in the fabricated Z chase of Ferrin and Mageau. Did a chase occur, but it was never proven it was Z? Or was there no evidence of a chase at all? Did Mageau deny that there was any chase? I think this is a major event in the Z file because a chase would imply he was possibly stalking his victims. Also the sabotaging of the internal passenger door handle would be within the realms of behaviour of an organized serial killer, esp. in Z's case where he has shown some fear of what the male companions could do if they decided to take him on in defence (ie Male victims were arguably shot or dealt with first, males were only victims to be shot in the head, and at LB - Hartnell was warned not to try and be a hero and go for Z's gun).
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 6:55 pm:   

Hi-

The reason I believe there was intent in omitting interviews with the Stine witnesses and Fouke is that it should be one of the first things on your "To Do" list when you decide to write a book with the mandate of putting "every scrap" of evidence before the public! (That plus the fact that at least the young Stine witnesses were easy to locate in the 1980s, whne he was writing...)

Mike
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 6:57 pm:   

The alleged chase doesn't appear in the police reports that I am aware of. It isn't mentioned in "Horror-Scope For Murder (The Zodiac Killer)" in The California Crime Book (September 1971) or "This Is The Zodiac Speaking..." in Great Crimes of San Francico (1974), and I don't recall seeing it in any Z-related story in the various true crime magazines from 1969 through the 1970's. It isn't even depicted in the 1971 movie, The Zodiac Killer. The first place it's mentioned is that yellow book, published in 1986, so that immediately makes it suspect. If it truly happened, why was there no mention of it anywhere for 17 years? Either Yellow Book just made it up, or he got it from someone else who knew nothing factual about the crimes and never bothered to verify it. In checking the 1979 novel, The Zodiac Killer, it would seem the Ferrin and Mageau characters were followed by the killer from her job, and that may be the original source for the idea that they were chased.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 7:00 pm:   

Of course, there was no mention of it in the contemporary newspaper accounts either that I remember.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 5:14 am:   

Cecelia Shepard was stabbed ten times, not twenty-four times as Graysmith claims on page 74 of Zodiac.

Zodiac never once referred to his spree of murder and mayhem as a game of 'outdoor chess', contrary to what Graysmith says on page xi of Zodiac Unmasked.

Graysmith's statement on page 85 of Zodiac Unmasked that Zodiac's home-made explosive devices would target school buses by their number of windows is completely baseless - nowhere in the killer's bomb diagrams is this shown.

I do not feel that I owe Graysmith anything, as it was a source other than his books that first drew the Zodiac case to my attention. The sheer amount of misinformation and disinformation in his work is nothing short of deplorable, and I am more than willing to help point out the errors and educate everyone. Rest assured that I shall add more to the list in due course.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 6:20 am:   

Hi Nacht-

Not only does RG talk about the game of "outdoor chess" in his book but he says it in TV interviews. I think he may really believe that Z used this phrase. I wish he'd read over the letters again and find it for us!

BTW, the other thing that makes me think that RG intentionally avoided the Stine witnesses and Fouke is the incident where Fouke called him to complain about how he was treated in the first book and then RG didn't try to contact him to get the story right for ZU or, for that matter, this "commemorative edition", or whatever it is that is out now.

Mike
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 9:13 am:   

>Other than Z's solitary claim, all the evidence, including the words of Don Fouke himself (who was actually there), points to Fouke & Zelms simply driving past Z and not stopping to talk to him (pp. 85-86).

>Both composites were done by the teen witnesses; Fouke and Zelms had nothing to do with the second composite (p. 107).

These two points are brought up here repeatedly on this site, but according to Zelms' widow, who's interviewed by Howard Davis at
http://www.zodiacmurders.com/zelms_related.html
both officers did see and speak with Z that night, and according to the sketch artist, who Sandy spoke with, they did give their input on the composite drawing.

Are these interviews considered "suspect" for some reason that I'm overlooking?

I know that people assume, if the encounter was true, that Zodiac would have bragged about it immediately. However, it's easier for me to imagine that he thought he'd been undone by the meeting. When no one came knocking at his door, he realized that they didn't have him ID'd, and he could rub their noses in their boo boos.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 11:37 am:   

Davidmm, before the message board got hacked, there were at least ten threads of discussion regarding the alleged conversation between Zodiac and the police officers. It was before you and several others joined, so I'll try to repost those threads soon. However, in the mean time, suffice to say there's quite a controversy and I don't want to see this thread get off course with it.
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Mike_cole
Username: Mike_cole

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 11:39 am:   

Both the claim about (a) "outdoor chess" and (b) the bus-bomb counting the windows are featured prominently in the Cold Case Files episode, unfortunately...

As Sean pointed out the last time I brought up the "outdoor chess" point, the phrase can be found in the short-story version of The Most Dangerous Game:

'"You'll find this game worth playing," the general said enthusiastically." Your brain against mine. Your woodcraft against mine. Your strength and stamina against mine. Outdoor chess! And the stake is not without value, eh?"'
RG's either guilty of woeful journalistic negligence or intentional misrepresentation. It's hard to know which it is... Given his other transgressions, it probably doesn't matter much.

I explained how the bomb schematics were supposed to function somewhere on the old MB (which is currently down or I would link it...). Apparently, RG wrongly interpreted the schematic and never bothered to have his interpretations validated by someone more knowledgeable.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 2:30 pm:   

David, if you'd like, e-mail me and we can discuss some points about that controversy until Tom reposts those threads.

In ZU, pp. 419-420, Yellow Book claims that Linda and Pam, Darlene Ferrin's sisters, told him that Darlene and Mike Mageau knew who Z was, that they were followed to BRS and that Z called her by name; none of this is true as none of it is mentioned in the BRS report. In fact, Mageau states that neither they nor Z said anything to each other, Z just started shooting (BRS Report, p. 9 2), so it's obvious that Z calling Darlene by name is a much later fabrication or he would have told the police when he was interviewed. That it came second hand many years later from someone who wasn't there is highly suspicious. Yellow Book claims that Linda and Pam also said that Darlene allegedly knew that Z's name was "Lee" and apparently told Mageau, but this is contrary to what the actual report says less than 24 hours after the shooting; Darlene told Mike when he asked who was in the other car, "Oh, never mind" (BRS Report, p. 9, 3). If she knew, she never told him.

In ZU, p. 420, Yellow Book claims the daughter of the caretaker of BRS witnessed Darlene arguing with Z, "told her father there was going to be trouble," then Z shot her "seconds later." On p. 421, Yellow Book tells us the caretaker's son, George Bryant, witnessed 3 people arguing and heard gunshots 15 minutes later. In the actual report (p. 15, 1-2), George Bryant reports his dad went to bed at 11:30 PM, so the conversation between the daughter and father could not have happened. George then states he heard laughter and firecrackers but saw no one, so he could not have witnessed an argument between 3 people either. Furthermore, he thought it was someone celebrating the 4th and thought no more of it. Additionally, only George went to VPD with his information, but not the father or daughter (we don't even know if there was a daughter!), so where did this other information come from? Other than what's actually stated in the report, the rest appears to be total fantasy.

In ZU, p. 425, Yellow Book tells us all about the infamous "hidden road." He says that Z, after BRS, would have had only 2 choices when escaping: he could have taken either Lake Herman Road to Benicia, or Columbus Parkway back to Vallejo, but neither seemed to be viable options. He goes on:

To avoid being trapped, I believe Zodiac took a small road, just off Columbus Parkway, so hidden I had to make an abrupt turn to reach the road. It lead me in a dead straight line into the heart of Vallejo. At the end of twenty-four blocks I arrived at a familiar doorstep--the home of Arthur Leigh Allen.

Where does one even begin with this garbage? First and foremost, there is no "hidden road" just off Columbus Parkway, and there never was. The road he speaks of is the highly visible, well marked and easily accessible Tennessee Street, and while much of it is "dead straight," the first few blocks west of Columbus Parkway is not. Nor does it lead directly to Allen's house, one must make a right on Fresno Street to get there. And, when we were on the set of Alex Bulkley's The Zodiac, we noticed a 1959 (IIRC) map of Vallejo on the wall of the set for VPD, and it showed that Tennessee Street and Columbus Parkway did not even connect! I've not been able to locate a 1969 map of Vallejo to see whether they did at the time of BRS or not, but regardless, the "hidden road" nonsense is just that: nonsense.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 4:10 pm:   

One of the primary reasons I took "Dr. Zodiac" out of distribution is the fact that I unwittingly perpetuated a number of Graysmith's errors in my recounting of the Zodiac events.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 5:44 pm:   

Ed's comments about the hidden road are right on the money. There was no hidden road in 1969, and Tennessee St did not connect in that area. That was in my "hood", and I would have noticed it. I golfed at BRS and travelled back and forth to Benicia to fish, and visit the Benicia Arsenal.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 2:30 am:   

Another thing to point out is there is absolutely no evidence that Z stalked Darlene Ferrin. There was a bartender named George who would be classified as a stalker today (BRS report, p. 14 7, p. 23 and p. 24), but there was no contemporary report which even suggested that she knew Z, much less was stalked by him. The first time this idea was published was in "One Killing Zodiac Might Have Planned Carefully," by Bill Wallace (San Francisco Chronicle, 5-4-1981, p. 6).

However, a decade before that, the 1971 movie The Zodiac Killer depicts Jerry/Z as frequenting the restaurant where the Darlene Ferrin character works (he's first seen there the day after LHR and it's obvious she knows him as a regular customer), and he later kills her and the cook as they're sitting and talking in her car after work. The reason? Jerry loves rabbits and has several as pets, and they're serving rabbit stew at his favorite diner. So, a work of fiction shows Z knowing Ferrin, and this not only becomes fact, it becomes Z stalking her for months by the time Yellow Book is finished with it! And he even admits that he watched the movie (Zodiac, p. 179), so it's pretty obvious it influenced his writing.

This is yet another pure fabrication that needs to be forgotten...
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 6:22 pm:   

After reading the Mageau/Ferrin chapter in RG's book, you come away with the feeling that this murder is the key to solving the case.

I mean what are the odds that you select say 10,000 people at random, survey them and find out that one of them feels that their life is in danger by someone threatening them (more like you would need to survey 100,000 people to find one), then six months later one of the 10,000 people you surveyed is popped by a random serial killer and it turns out by fluke to be the same person who thought their life was under threat. But by incredible odds against, the person's killer is totally unrelated to the threatening stalker they mentioned earlier.

Also on the night of this person's murder, they are by chance wearing a dress made from material spookily given to them by the mysterious weird threatening stalker guy.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 6:46 pm:   

Unfortunately, Darlene Ferrin is not the key to solving the Z case, because other than being chosen randomly and being murdered by Z, there's nothing credible to suggest that there was any connection between them. If they knew each other, why was none of this brought out in the days and weeks following her murder? Why did we first start hearing about it 17 years later when that abominable yellow book was first published??? Sounds like pure unadulterated BS to me, either by Yellow Book or those he talked to (which still puts him at fault for perpetuating this garbage instead of checking it out first).

The sooner this crap is forgotten, the sooner people will stop barking up the wrong tree and then maybe, just maybe, we can get back to solving this case...
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 10:34 pm:   

It's also about time to reconsider the sketch of a 50 year old thin guy with a droop eye not looking anyhting like a heavyset 30 year old.
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Nancydrew
Username: Nancydrew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 3:30 pm:   

here are a few graysmith fabrications i can recall off the top of my head in no particular order. some were in his books and others were things he told people or say on tv. none of this stuff he has one shred of evidence to support and in most cases there's proof he's lying.

* allen got a speeding ticket at lake berryessa on 9-27-69
* allen used a sign in sheet in the riverside library on 10-30-66
* allen lived near the stine murder scene in 10-69
* allen owned wing walkers the same size as zodiac
* only 1000 pairs were ever made
* zodiac wrote a letter the day after allen was released from prison
* allen built a bomb inside atascadero
* allen lived on a hidden road that connected his house directly to blue rock springs

i'm sure i'll think of more.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 4:24 pm:   

Nancy, you're right that Yellow Book claimed that Allen lived on Lake Street just a few blocks from the Stine scene, but that is simply not true. There were a few Arthur Allens in SF in 1969, and none lived on Lake Street.

He also claimed that he checked the records at LB and found there were only 11 people at the lake that day! That's pure BS; there are no records of people signing in and out of the lake, because no one signs in or out of the lake... in fact, he got that morsel from this very message board! I had posted several years ago that we knew of 11 people in the immediate area of the crime scene (or words to that effect): Hartnell, Shepard, Z, the dentist and his son, the 3 sunbathing coeds, the unidentified man who was scoping them out, and Ronald Fong and his son, 11 in all. It's pathetically obvious that he read that and later stated it as fact that he checked it out by perusing nonexistent records!

He also claimed in one recent interview that he photographed the Z letters as they came in to the Chronicle. Not only does that strengthen the argument that he was the likely forger of the 4-24-1978 letter (since he would have been the only person outside SFPD who had copies of them all), how did he know they were Z letters before they were authenticated by Sherwood Morrill and, more importantly, why didn't he mention this way back in 1986 when Zodiac was first published??? Such an obvious BS statement is nowhere to be found in that book!!!
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Nancydrew
Username: Nancydrew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 4:59 pm:   

lol...i missed that one ed. only 11 people at the lake? on a holiday weekend? in the summer? what stupid bs. besides, what about the people hartnell passed in the vw whom they knew from school?

yes, it's really amazing what he forgot to put in his first book. based on the movie clips he and avery were best buds. if that's true i wonder why the only avery quotes in his books were taken from avery's newspaper articles!
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 5:52 pm:   

Ed, can we check the logbook from Lake Berryessa for that day? Maybe Z signed in using his real name!
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 5:57 pm:   

I didn't think of that! Damn...
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 7:13 pm:   

Nancy, I love your post of 3:30 pm. "Allen got a speeding ticket at Lake Berryessa".--hahaha. "Allen built a bomb inside of Atascadero." hohoho. "He lived on a hidden road that connected to Blue Rock Springs." hahaha--keep it coming.

How about the Rangers at the Lake that day? That would add up to more than 11! And, of course, there was nobody at Spanish Flat or Monticello!
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 9:04 pm:   

I know its only analysis, but I personally like his water theory though. If only the police had picked up on the pattern earlier. They could have had cops staking out every location in the bay area that was near water, or had a view of water, or had a street name that was related to water, or was near a fire hydrant. Z would have been handcuffed as he got out of the car at the Stine crime scene.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 9:13 pm:   

Veritable armies of policemen would have been required to accomplish that task, Stew - nearly every location in the Bay Area fits the criteria you present.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 9:34 pm:   

Sorry Nachtsider, I don't know the posting expression/nomenclature for "tongue in cheek". I was trying to be sarcastic.

Ed wrote:

He also claimed in one recent interview that he photographed the Z letters as they came in to the Chronicle. Not only does that strengthen the argument that he was the likely forger of the 4-24-1978 letter (since he would have been the only person outside SFPD who had copies of them all), how did he know they were Z letters before they were authenticated by Sherwood Morrill and, more importantly, why didn't he mention this way back in 1986 when Zodiac was first published??? Such an obvious BS statement is nowhere to be found in that book!!!

Now I remember reading in ZU (I think) where it said they used the 1978 letter for the DNA analysis because it had the best DNA sample of all the letters. Now if we can only get Graysmith DNA tested we might be able to get him convicted as Z. That would be ironic justice.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 11:02 pm:   

Since the 78 letter was a forgery, the only thing DNA would do is prove, once and for all, that RG forged it!
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 11:11 pm:   

I don't know the posting expression for 'tongue-in-cheek' either, Stew - my apologies for not getting your drift. But Graysmith getting convicted as Zodiac on a DNA match with the material found on the 1978 letter - man, that would really take the cake!

It might interest you to know that a friend of mine once commented that certain statements made by Graysmith in his books, including:

(1) "Zodiac had connections to the Virgin Islands" (page x of Zodiac Unmasked)
(2) "the stocky man put the hood and bloody knife on the front seat of his car" (page 72 of Zodiac)
(3) his description of the route Zodiac supposedly took before encountering Paul Stine, including the landmarks the killer allegedly passed (pages 82-83 of Zodiac)
(4) "Zodiac's disguise consisted of hairpieces" (page 399 of Zodiac Unmasked)
(5) "Zodiac had known Darlene, known him well..." (page 405 of Zodiac Unmasked)
(6) "Zodiac had once signed 'ENTERPRISE' at the bottom of a letter" (page 100 of Zodiac Unmasked)
(7) his linking the Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders to Zodiac (pages 252-255 of Zodiac)

led her to believe that the former cartoonist perhaps knew a little too much, and ought to be checked out as a Zodiac suspect himself. "After all," she told me, "Graysmith was in the Bay Area at the time of the killings and mailings, worked with symbols as a painter and cartoonist, and does look a tad like the Napa composite. I also read somewhere he weighed 200 pounds at one time, and that Zodiac was thought by some people to have worked with a newspaper. Shipping his books around and naming Leigh Allen as the culprit might have been a way to point suspicion away from himself."

All this really makes me wonder.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 13, 2007 - 12:55 am:   

Interesting speculation, but Graysmith doesn't appear to have the psychological makeup of a Zodiac, and if I remember correctly, he's a bit on the "tall" side.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 13, 2007 - 12:57 am:   

Tom, have we got enough circumstantial evidence to get RG up with picture on the suspects page?

On a tangent - if it is true that they used the 1978 letter for their DNA sample, that was inspired selection. I mean, with letters that contained bloodied victim's clothing, and others with info only Z could know, they picked what seems by consensus to be a highly likely forgery for their swab.

I'm wondering if someone else could confirm the 1978 letter as the one chosen for the DNA sample. I remember reading it somewhere but it could be another RG magic factoid.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 13, 2007 - 3:11 am:   

As one can readily deduce from my posts on this board, Doug, my personal opinions on Zodiac - including those about his psychology - are in agreement with yours, and do not support the hypothesis that Graysmith was involved. I merely found Sylvia's opinion to be a rather unique view of this strange case and thought it worthy of mention, if only as a curiosity that everyone here could mull over.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 13, 2007 - 6:37 am:   

I've thought of it myself, Nachtsider.
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Dave
Username: Dave

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 13, 2007 - 1:43 pm:   

Tom and Ed,

I recently chatted with both of you about the famous "painting party". Tom indicated that neither of the Allen brothers were invited or that there appeared to be no signs that either were. I believe it was Ed who told me that there really is no information such a party existed (at least as RG describes).

The motivation is obvious for RG, to forcefully integrate Allen into every Z murder in everyway conceiveable.

I would love to hear more thoughts on the painting party from either two of you and from the other contributors.

Thanks in advance.

Dave
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 12:19 am:   

RG's Faraday/Jensen crime reconstruction says that the killer went round to the victim's driver's side of the car and shot at the wheel housing. However the police report makes no mention of this (however there was a shot to the roof) and no shells were found on this side of the car.

He stated that she ran northward to Vallejo along the side of the road, but she ran westward or WNW.

He states that the killer ran after Jensen shooting her in the back five times as he ran, but all the shells, were found east of Faraday (ie toward the front of the Rambler) implying the killer took stationary aim.

He states that the body of Betty Lou Jensen was found "exactly twenty-eight feet six inches from the Rambler's rear bumper" but the police report says approximately ten feet.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 12:40 am:   

Graysmith is so patently a purveyor of B.S. that it's hardly worthwhile to expose him. And we shouldn't deceive ourselves that he cares whether he's exposed. As long as the book is selling, that's good enough for him.

He reminds me of a literary agent I got involved with who was obviously a shyster--at least to anyone whose hopes of finding an agent didn't blind him to the overpowering reality of what the bugger was doing. Did he care that 99 percent of the public knew him for a crook? Absolutely not, when the other 1 percent was gullible enough to send him money. Being known by everyone else as dishonest was simply a cost of doing business.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 1:03 am:   

Doug, the point of this thread is to list the most well-known fabrications/inaccuracies and the popular misconceptions Yellow Book has polluted this case with. While we're all very much aware of them, they're not in one place for people new to the case, and I think we're long overdue for a thread like this!

I should gather my thoughts and post the reasoning behind the theory (which is well-founded, btw) that Yellow Book forged the 4-24-1978 letter...
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 5:13 am:   

Hi Ed-

I think that the reason that SFPD ran DNA on the 1978 letter may have had less to do with incompetence and more to do with something even more damnable but a propos for SFPD: politics. I think that SFPD may have wanted to see if Toschi actually wrote the letter, to see how much political liability the department really had on that issue: How embarrassing would it be for the department down the road if a suspect were tried for the Z murders and questions about the 1978 letter were asked in court? If Toschi wrote the 1978 letter, very embarrassing!

I know from Fouke that the impression that he had (apparently from word that went around the department) is that Toschi did write the letter. He said that Toschi "blew" the investigation by writing it.

I heard that a lab person had a discussion with a fellow Z researcher about obtaining Toschi's DNA at the time. When the researcher offered to send the lab a letter from Toschi on which the seal was still unbroken (i.e., it had been opened with a letter opener), the lab at first accepted the offer, then called back to decline, saying that it alread had what it needed. They may have followed Toschi around and obtained a tissue that he had discarded, etc.

I also have to wonder if the reason Repetto and Atkins wanted to meet Graysmith was to take his soda can or coffee cup after that meeting and compare Graysmith's DNA to the 1978 letter! After all, there is no such thing as a "false positive" DNA test, as they said when they met with him. It's not like a pregnancy test, where a reagent has to change color! They call RG to tell him that Allen's DNA matched and then within an hour or so when they meet, they miraculously know that it is a "false positive?" Who was playing who?

Mike
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 6:32 am:   

Hi Doug-

I think that exposing Graysmith will not have the effect of making him change his ways or apologize for his ways, but then I don't think that such is actually the ultimate goal of the debunking. If publishers who do not fact-check their authors view him as a cash cow and choose to purvey his garbage for their own (and his) enrichment, that is not something that we can easily change. Caveat emptor...

What we are fighting against is the notion that "Allen was Zodiac but they just couldn't prove it." This, in turn, discourages any outcry from an uninformed and (worse) misled public and the media for additional DNA work, which allows SFPD to quietly close the case and put the evidence in a very dark place.

So I think that debunking Graysmith is the first step in a critical process that can ultimately lead to more (and sorely needed) DNA research.

Mike
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 6:57 am:   

Could be; could be. And I wasn't really suggesting that we not continue to debunk Graysmith; it was more of a rhetorical thing.

Still, good luck with SFPD. You know, the reason I think they've been "eliminating" suspects with their hallowed fingerprints over the past four decades is simply to get people (and suspects) off their backs.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 7:10 am:   

Hi Doug-

Well, you're right. But we don't need luck with SFPD. We need to have a reporter threaten them with exposure. They are image-conscious if they are nothing else and do not savor the type of publicity that would attend a story about how they are playing games with DNA evidence and hiding behind empty excuses that just sound like legitimate reasons for not moving forward. It is a shame that no reporter has ever followed up on the comments that Maloney made on this site. But that is for another thread. ;)

As for the latent prints that were associated with blood, I have heard rumblings from various sources about their quality in ruling out suspects, which some imply is actually very high. I just do not know what to think at this point, since I do not know enough about them to make an intelligent decision.

Mike
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 9:20 am:   

Mike, thanks for the fascinating insight into the possible motives behind the 78 letter's DNA-check.

Do you, or anyone else, have any idea why they didn't DNA-check the "cross drawn in human blood" from the Oct 5th 1970 "The Pace Isn't Any Slower" letter? Is it really blood, or is this another myth? Is it just a red sharpie?

I also want to add a big round of applause to the contributors to this thread. Excellent stuff, and I have no doubt that it'll prove to be instrumental in prodding LE into action.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 10:26 am:   

Hi David-

The reason nothing at all ever gets analyzed for DNA is that SFPD simply never does it! The evidence is there and the technology is there. They have some excellent evidence to analyze, that much is for sure. It galls me that they pulled off a major coup by finding that hair after they peeled back a stamp in 1996 but that they never followed up on that coup by getting the hair analyzed.

Mike
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 11:07 am:   

Hi-

I've noticed that this thread has seemingly drifted "OT" with a discussion of DNA. However, I think that the fact that it has now shifted to a discussion of DNA and the physical evidence is appropriate, since enumerating Graysmith's many distortions of the truth AND forcing SFPD into doing more DNA analysis are, in my opinion, the two most pressing issues in the case today.

Mike
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 11:25 am:   

Quite right, Mike. Specificly on-topic is the question of the "cross of human blood." Is that a RG creation, or has that been verified somewhere?
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 8:21 pm:   

Mike, you are absolutely right about the direction the case needs to go.

I think the appropriate pressure could probably be applied "if" a number of hard core researchers and supporters were able to put together some sort of coalition togehter. The goal would have to be defined very clearly, that being, doing whatever it takes to pressure whomever to get DNA the testing done. It might even mean fundraising to pay for it if need be.

To get something like this done, one person would have to take a leadership role, someone who can organize. Probably the best person to do this would be someone who has no pet suspect. All participants would have to agree to leave egos, suspect, etc, at the door and work together towards the goal of DNA testing and then agree to let the chips fall where they may. Egos (and RG) are probably the main reason the case has never been solved. As it stands now, there are a bunch of people independently going on tangents chasing their pet suspects. Everyone has some theory, myself included - all it does is distract. It's probably time to focus on the one thing that probably can solve it - DNA testing.

There are *a lot* of things that can be done to put pressure. Letter writing campaigns to the governor, publicity, websites, etc. Any one person doing this on his own will be viewed as a kook, just another kook with a strange theory. Even though this site is probably the leading site on the Zodiac case, I imagine there are many outside of us who probably view Tom as some kind of kook for even bothering with it. This is a situation where a group effort is important. If such a thing can even be done...
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 8:51 pm:   

Hi Kevin-

Good idea.

I am always willing to work together with other researchers for the good of the case. Let's get some good physical evidence and then worry about debating the merits of the various suspects. I still think that we need a reporter in order to get access the needed to SFPD and RPD but...

Mike
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 2:03 pm:   

Another myth that needs to be dispelled is that Z was an excellent marksman. He did not, as Yellow Book described, shoot BLJ as he was chasing her across gravel in the dark at a distance of 10 feet and hit her in a tight pattern in the upper right portion of her back (Gareth Penn claimed the shot group was the size of a half dollar, IIRC). Stew's absolutely brilliant work in Bullet Path Analysis shows that Z shot BLJ from 2 different locations and that the bullets were sprayed across her back (which we've known for years now, but no one's ever thought to trace the trajectories of the bullets till Stew came along)... I've posted more reasons as to why I believe Z was a poor marksman, but I'm kinda pressed for time now, I'll post more later...
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 11:01 pm:   

Sylvia would be immensely flattered if she found out that the Graysmith-Zodiac hypothesis crossed your mind as well, Doug. You're actually quite the celebrity this side of the pond - virtually everyone here is aware of your research and is a firm supporter of the idea that Zodiac, if not Ted Kazcynski, was one just like him.

But back to the show...

Allen's hair was brown, not blond (page 272 of Zodiac).

The dialogue between Bryan Hartnell, Cecelia Shepard and Zodiac as reported by Graysmith on pages 67-71 of Zodiac does not match what appears on page 26 and page 27 of the Lake Berryessa police report.

Zodiac never used inverted triangles in any of his cryptograms (page 144 of Zodiac Unmasked).

Karen Allen never underwent hypnosis, and did not produce samples of automatic writing that resembled Zodiac's cipher symbols (pages 198-200 of Zodiac Unmasked).

Graysmith has not exposed Zodiac's true identity, and America's greatest unsolved mystery has yet to be solved (back cover of Zodiac Unmasked).
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 12:19 am:   

Nachtsider, that's encouraging! I'm going to mention the European market in my book proposal; hopefully it will help convince an editor somewhere to take a chance on me.
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 12:34 am:   

Ed, I know for years you've pressed that he was a poor marksman, this is one of the few areas I still disagree with you on. Yeah, maybe he wasn't an "expert" as RG made him out to be, but the variety of guns he used showed a more than an average familiarity with firearms, overall. He also demonstrated the ability to shoot rather well under a stressful situation, probably better than average. While you may have an arguement in saying he wasn't an expert, you have never been able to demonstrate that he was a "poor marksman" either, sorry to disagree.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 9:00 pm:   

Kevin, Z was definitely not the marksman Yellow Book, Penn and others have made him out to be, and other than BLJ who was no more than 10 feet from his weapon as far as we know, I don't think the facts show he demonstrated anything remotely resembling exceptional ability (or even average ability). Even then, if Stew's analysis is correct, Z hit BLJ only twice while she was running (possibly not, if the Bulkley idea is correct), then 3 more times while she was lying on the ground dying. Once again, no exceptional or even average ability is demonstrated there; anyone can hit an unmoving target at less than 10 feet if they put their mind to it.

But, this is obviously something not everyone agrees with, oh well...
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 9:26 pm:   

If Zodiac was a good shot, why would he need an electric gun sight?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 10:07 pm:   

Back on topic: my analysis of Z's alleged exceptional marksmanship...

When we look at the total of 7 victims, 2 survived and are still alive today (Mageau and Hartnell), 3 died instantly (BLJ, Faraday and Stine, and yes, Faraday was still breathing, but he was for all intents and purposes dead with a bullet to the brain), and 2 survived for some time afterwards (Ferrin and Shepard). If he was as good with weapons as so many want to believe, why were not all of them killed instantly? Why'd he leave 4 of his victims alive?

When we look closer at the victims, we see that all but 1 were in the 0 to 4 foot range from Z's weapon: Faraday was shot in the head at contact range, and Jensen was shot possibly twice at a range of 6-10 feet, then 3 more times as she was lying on the ground. There appears to be no evidence that Z ran after her while shooting, so to state:

Betty Lou screamed and ran northward, parallel to the road and toward Vallejo. Racing after the girl, gun extended, less then ten feet behind her, the stocky man shot Betty Lou five times. He hit her in a tight pattern in the upper right portion of her back.

This was incredible marksmanship: a moving target, a moving gunman running over gravel, on an almost totally dark country road.
(Zodiac, pp. 6-7)

is not only totally misrepresenting what happened (Z being an "expert marksman"), it is contrary to the evidence (Z didn't run after her since none of the shells were found trailing towards her body) and the facts (bullets were sprayed across her back, she was not hit in a "tight pattern").

Mageau was probably no more than 12 inches away, and yet he survived being shot in the face, neck and chest, and Ferrin was perhaps 4 feet away and still alive when Z escaped the scene of the crime. She died en route to the hospital.

Z was, for all intents and purposes, on top of Hartnell and Shepard as he stabbed them (probably squatting/kneeling next to them, actually), and yet, both of them survived! I have stated before my opinion that Shepard might have lived had she been taken to Queen of the Valley Hospital much sooner, but regardless, if Z was such an expert with weapons and so bloodthirsty, how did he fail to immediately kill his 2 victims who were dead to rights?

Stine was another contact wound and he died instantly at the scene. However, if we look at the crimes described above, I cannot help but think that Z was generally incompetent with weapons, especially when we consider that most of his victims were barely a yard away from him, and 4 were, for all intents and purposes, 0 feet away, and he left 4 of them alive when he escaped the scene of the crime, 2 of which are still alive today.

Sorry, but none of this indicates to me that Z was an expert with any sort of weapon, but rather makes me question how bloodthirsty he really was.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 10:35 pm:   

That's the crux of it, Ed.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 9:22 am:   

I totally agree with you, Ed. He was no Navy Seal or sharpshooter. Couldn't have been. If his goal was to only mess up his victims very badly, and leave them suffering, he did that badly too.
Neither does it seem like he relished the act and therefore prolonged it. It's more like he was goal oriented, to cause terror, and did a sloppy job of the actual violence.

RG has portrayed Zodiac as a killing machine, but, in reality, he worked about as efficiently as his own "death machine" design.
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Exiled
Username: Exiled

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 10:06 am:   

Clearly Zodiac was well trained in basic weaponry. He may have learned his skills as a young hunter but he certainly was not "incompetent with weapons"....I do agree that the fugitive had no military exp., if so he would have been caught after the Stine murder. Zodiac was fascinated with weaponry and paramilitary activities, there were several gun clubs throughout the bay area in the 1960's and '70's(Solono county had 3 that I am aware of) I'm sure that our socially inept fugitive belonged to at least one of them. I am currently trying to get copies of the membership roll(lists) of 7 gun clubs(including the 3 Solono clubs) that exsisted between 1967 and '70. Thus far it has been a frustrating and tedious experience, but I have started to recieve some of the lists....it might end up to be nothing but its certainly worth a shot.
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Seagull
Username: Seagull

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:52 pm:   

Last summer I spoke to Retired Det. Butch Carlstedt of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Dept. I have tried to get him to speak to Tom but he is not willing. One thing he told me was when he took Bryan Hartnell to look at ALA for a possible ID, Butch took him to the parts house in Petaluma where Allen worked not to the hardware store in Vallejo. This actually makes more sense than a Sonoma County officer going to Solano County for an ID.

Also, Butch related that Bryan was absolutly positive that ALA was not Zodiac.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 4:51 am:   

That would be an excellent course of action, Doug - if the people in my immediate area are any indication of things, interest in the true crime genre is very widespread over here. I eagerly look forward to the release of your volume, and I am firm in my conviction that you will be shipping copies of your book by the bucketload no matter how you choose to publish it.

On goes the list...

Zodiac fired a total of nine shots at Blue Rock Springs, not seven (page 421 of Zodiac Unmasked).

Allen's friend Phil Tucker did not die of natural causes in August 1969 (page 263 of Zodiac).

Allen's father, Ethan, died in 1971, not 'just before the Riverside murder' in 1966 (page 268 of Zodiac).
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 9:33 am:   

Thanks for those words of encouragement, Nachtsider. I've got fairly good vibes regarding this one. For the sake of those who think I'm a rabid theorist with no regard for objectivity, I'm presenting the theory as the similarities between Kaczynski and the Zodiac, not as "Kaczynski is the Zodiac; read the amazing proof!" Readers can assimilate the data and make the determination for themselves.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 1:44 pm:   

Ethan Allen actually died on 3-17-1971, on what would have been Darlene Ferrin's 24th birthday. I'm amazed that Yellow Book didn't seize on that factoid and imply that Allen murdered his father on that day...
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Scott_n
Username: Scott_n

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 11:21 pm:   

Seagull, the official story (including I believe Graysmith's) is that Hartnell could not rule out Allen as the Zodiac when they went to the store and had Bryan see him and heard him speak.

Now you're saying that Carlstedt has Harntell as 'positive' that it was not ALA? That's pretty damn significant.
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Seagull
Username: Seagull

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 10:19 am:   

Scott n That is correct. Butch was quite clear about that. He told me this when I tried to set up a meeting between him and Tom. I had told him Tom had a lot of info on ALA and would like to speak to him. He said that Hartnell was positive Allen wasn't Z. I will say that Butch wasn't the warmest person to talk to.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 10:30 am:   

Hartnell started backing off his description of Zodiac as being really huge almost immediately after the event, and he's been going steadily back on it ever since. That's probably why he'd be discounting Allen now. I can't see what other basis he'd have for ruling him out--he didn't see anything of Zodiac's features other than a shock of dark brown hair.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 2:13 pm:   

I don't know, Doug...Allen wasn't even six-feet tall. It's hard for me to believe that Hartnell ever thought he was huge. Overweight maybe, but even then he never looked like Orson Welles.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 5:39 pm:   

Tom, Hartnell declared at the outset that Zodiac was huge (or words to that effect)--I'm not sure how he described Allen, if ever. The shots I've seen of Allen would lead me to classify him as fairly hefty, albeit in a fat kind of way.
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Oklahoma_mike
Username: Oklahoma_mike

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 8:33 pm:   

Another yellowbook fiction appears to be the story of the man who ran into a store at Lake B. on the day of the murder vry nervous and anxiously asking which was the quickest way to leave the area. I am not sure which page this is on as my book has fallen apart!
I once had the theory that this man was not the killer but a witness to the killing. The only problem is that Tom reports failing to find any corroborating evidence outside the book that this man ever existed!
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 9:03 pm:   

You're very welcome, Doug - nothing but encouragement you shall receive from me where your work is concerned. I deeply admire the tack you have taken with regards to presenting the readers with information to chew over and permitting them to draw their own bottom line - this course of action underscores your integrity and objectivity as a good researcher (which, I and countless others as well are more than certain, aren't even issues of contention to begin with).

Ed, I somehow feel that Graysmith did, in fact, seize on the factoid you presented and contemplated putting forward the notion that Allen 'helped' his ailing father to an early grave, but his editors cut this idea (perhaps along with many other ludicrous hypotheses as well) out of Zodiac Unmasked in order to prevent the book from becoming a monstrosity of a manuscript with a minimum of ten thousand pages...
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 10:36 pm:   

Mike, that alleged incident is on p. 190 of Zodiac.

In Zodiac, p. 260, Yellow Book claims he first heard about Allen from Toschi on 3-2-1980, and it was because Yellow Book asked him if any suspect wrote to him, assuming that such a suspect would therefore be Z. However, in the reissue of Zodiac, p. 346 and Zodiac Unmasked, pp. 499-500, we find Yellow Book approaching Toschi apparently in July or August 1977 (Allen was about to get out of jail), no mention of him asking about any letters written by any suspects, and Toschi telling Yellow Book (as described by Fincher with Toschi nodding in agreement), "There's this guy you might want to check out."

So, in the 1986 version of the story, Yellow Book is making an assumption about Z writing letters to Toschi using his real name, inquiring about it, and getting Allen's name. In the 2007 version, Yellow Book is wanting to help with the acse and Toschi tells him to check out Allen in Vallejo... 2 different versions of the story. So who do you believe? My BS detector just went off again...

Not only that, Toschi is saying that Yellow Book knew about Allen at least two and a half years before Graysmith claims he first heard about him. And that was also at least eight months before the forged 4-24-1978 letter was mailed. This absolutely proves that Yellow Book outright lied about when he first heard about Allen, and while not conclusive, it strengthens the case even more that he was the author of that forged letter.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 10:56 pm:   

Nacht, that's entirely possible and perhaps why he simply altered Ethan Allen's death from 1971 to 1966 to avoid speculation the editors didn't want...
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 2:34 am:   

There is yet a third version of how Yellow Book first heard of Allen (Zodiac Unmasked, pp. 182-183), and although he doesn't give an exact date, it is apparently a day or two after Allen's release from Atascadero on 8-31-1977; he asks Toschi if any suspect ever wrote to him, and Toschi reads Allen's typewritten letter. Then we read:

"Sorry I wasn't your man!" said Toschi in wonderment. A note like this, with its mocking tone, was exactly the kind of letter Zodiac would write. "He's the one," I said.

Wow... Toschi, the homicide detective, couldn't figure out why Allen would write to him, and Yellow Book, the discredited political cartoonist, knew automatically that Allen had to be Z based on that note? My BS detector went off again...

So, we have the 1986 version of the fable with Yellow Book hearing about Allen on 3-2-1980, the 2002 version where he heard about him apparently in early September 1977, and the 2007 version where he heard about him in July or August 1977, and all are different. Ya know, it's easier to tell the truth, that way, you won't get your lies confused...

On pages 321 and 324 of Zodiac Unmasked, Yellow Book claims that Z called Melvin Belli on 12-18-1969 claiming that, "Today's my birthday. I've got to kill!" There's no evidence that Z called Belli on that day and claimed it was his birthday, and even if there was a call, there's no way to prove it was Z since Belli's housekeeper, who took the call, had never heard Z's voice before and could not therefore identify him.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 12:44 am:   

In Zodiac, pp. 247-248, Yellow Book claims that Z used the astrological symbols found in Alan Oken's As Above, So Below for his ciphers. The fact is, As Above, So Below was first published in November 1973, 4 years after Z began constructing his ciphers... not only that, the list of symbols found at the end of the second photo section immediately preceding p. 207 is not to be found on Oken's book (not that I've been able to find anyway). Some of the symbols are definitely in the book, but I have yet to find all of them (I just skimmed it and found the symbols for the sun and the planets, but none of the others Yellow Book claims are there)... maybe he was looking at a later edition that did have them, but the fact remains that Z could not have used the symbols from any edition of that book for his ciphers since it hadn't even been written yet!!!
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 5:20 pm:   

More fabrications/inaccuracies to consider:

At 12:47, Pacific Telephone had traced the call to Joe's Union Station at Tuolumne and Springs Road, located right in front of the Vallejo Sheriff's Office and within sight of Darlene and Dean's little green house on Virginia. The stocky man may have looked in the house as he passed it after making his call. (Zodiac, p. 33)

Either Yellow Book never bothered to make the short drive from SF to Vallejo to check out the geography, or he purposely altered the facts to make his novel sound all the more sinister. The fact is, the gas station where Z's call was traced to is actually about 0.2 miles and several blocks north of the Sheriff's office (which is at the corner of Tuolumne and Virginia), and the Ferrin residence at 1300 Virginia is at the other end of the block and about 0.15 miles west of the Sheriff's office, around the corner and out of sight of the phone booth.

Another problem is that, assuming Allen was Z, his home at 32 Fresno is several blocks north of the phone booth; one must go on Tuolumne about a quarter mile, turn left, go 2 blocks, then turn right and it's the 4th house on the right hand side, about 0.4 miles away.

But then, we run into a problem. Yellow Book states that

... so, tired of waiting, Zodiac leaves at 12:25. He walks to the booth, about a fifteen-minute walk, and makes his call to the police. Then the roughly fifteen-minute stroll home, slowly so as not to attract attention, and perhaps irresistibly past Darlene's so that he could look in the darkened window. Was Zodiac's home in the direction of Darlene's from the booth?

With the phone booth in the center, was Zodiac's home within a fifteen-minute walking distance?

Few homes in Darlene's neighborhood had garages, and I felt that the killer needed a garage to hide his Chevrolet. [Allen] had one. Going by the Zodiac letters, he would also have a basement, another rarity in this neighborhood. [Allen] had one. His house at the time was exactly a fourteen- or fifteen-minute walk away from the phone booth.
(p. 293)

I've never timed the walk, but 15 minutes sounds about right. However, the fact is that Allen's place at 32 Fresno is north of the phone booth, while the Ferrin residence is south of there, roughly 0.75 miles apart (if one travels along Tuolumne). The language Yellow Book uses implies that Allen and the Ferrins lived close to each other, ie, that the Ferrins' place was on the way back to his own home, when in truth, if Allen was Z, they lived in opposite directions from said phone booth. Why would Allen walk south towards Darlene's place away from his home if he had just murdered her and would understandably be worried that he'd be spotted by cops? That makes no sense, and either through ignorance or by design Yellow Book distorted the truth to make his novel sound more exciting, and there is absolutely no excuse for either.

"I have here," said Lynch, "that Darlene came home at 11:00 and cleaned the house."

"No," said Janet. "It was actually around 11:35."

"There was a big discrepancy," said Janet, "between the police report and the time she really came home. They kept telling us that she had to be home at 11:00 and we kept telling them it was later. They didn't even bother to write it down. What time did you say she was murdered? Midnight. She didn't even leave until almost midnight 'cause we were watching a program that doesn't come on until almost midnight and she was murdered like five minutes later. How could she get out there in five minutes? And she picked up somebody else, too. We thought it was important. You can't get all the way out there that quick."

A hot pursuit would explain the speed.
(p. 40)

However, Yellow Book also wrote on the previous page:

Only one part of the story was altered: "Darlene picked me up at 11:40, and since we were both hungry we headed down Springs Road west toward Vallejo, but at Mr. Ed's we turned around at my suggestion and drove to Blue Rock Springs so we could talk." (p. 39)

I checked the TV listings for the evening of 7-4-1969, and the only programs listed as starting at 11:30 PM that night were The Tonight Show, The Joey Bishop Show, and 3 movies, Picnic, So Proudly We Hail and Forever Darling; no other programs are listed as starting until 1:00 AM, so babysitters Janet and Pamela were presumably watching either Johnny Carson or Joey Bishop. Why would Yellow Book harp on this? Obviously to make the mythical chase to BRS sound more believable. However, Mageau claiming 11:40 is correct; according to the BRS Report, p. 8, 3, Mageau did state that it was "approximately 11:30 or shortly thereafter," so it is apparent (and assuming that Yellow Book didn't just put words in her mouth) that Janet had a pretty poor concept of time if she considered a show that started at 11:30 as "almost midnight" and then couldn't understand how Darlene "was murdered like five minutes later" at midnight. The fact is, if Darlene arrived at Mageau's place at 11:40, then she left her house at 11:35 (it only takes about 5 minutes to drive there), which means that she was actually leaving at 11:35 and not arriving as Yellow Book claims Janet reported, so she and Mageau were shot about 20 minutes later, not 5, so there is no discrepancy whatsoever.

Another thing to consider is that Yellow Book claims that Allen was in jail from December 1975 to 12-30-1977 (p. 269). He also lists Susan Dye as possible Z victim #47 (pp. 254, 269 and 311); she was murdered on 10-16-1975. The facts are that Allen was arrested for child molestation on 9-27-1974, began serving his sentence at Atascadero on 3-14-1975, and was released on 8-31-1977 (see The Arthur Leigh Allen File). In other words, Susan Dye was murderd while Allen was in jail. In arbitrarily changing the dates of Allen's incarceration to fit his agenda, he unwittingly made it impossible for Allen, if he was Z, to kill Susan Dye!
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 8:28 pm:   

Cheri Jo Bates was stabbed four times, not forty-two (page 77 of Zodiac Unmasked).
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 9:01 pm:   

The "42 stab wounds" claim originated at this site. I had no reason to doubt my Riverside source, who is quite good (as evidenced by my Oct. 31, 2006 update).
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Stephen_w
Username: Stephen_w

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 12:39 am:   

Just a curious thought, has anyone contacted or tried to contact RG and ask about the inaccuracies in his book.
I am curious as to why he would fabracate missleading statements and call them fact.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 12:53 am:   

Ask Michael Butterfield about that.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 1:07 am:   

I had written above:

In arbitrarily changing the dates of Allen's incarceration to fit his agenda, he unwittingly made it impossible for Allen, if he was Z, to kill Susan Dye!

It should read: Yellow Book either didn't know or didn't care that it was impossible for Allen, if he was Z, to kill Susan Dye, and in arbitrarily changing the dates of Allen's incarceration to fit his agenda, he unwittingly left himself not only wide open for criticism for his sloppy research, but also to serious doubts as to his true intentions for altering the facts.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 3:00 am:   

Tom, I still find it exceedingly odd that F. Rene Modglin's 22 December 1966 Pathologist's Autopsy Protocol, which exhaustively detailed the Bates murder, contained no mention whatsoever of forty-two stab wounds.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 1:03 am:   

Another myth that Yellow Book has perpetuated is the note found at the bottom of p. 157:

Zodiac had a habit of writing letters on the anniversary of his attacks and murders and had written a letter exactly one year from the day of the killings on Lake Herman Road. On March 22, 1971, the one-year anniversary of the attack on Kathleen [Johns], Zodiac would write another letter.

To reinforce this myth, he wrote on page 181:

Wednesday, March 22, 1972

Armstrong and Toschi had good reason to sift carefully through their mail this morning: it had been exactly one year since Zodiac had written.

They came up with nothing.


Out of all the Zodiac correspondence, only one letter coincided with an anniversary of one of his attacks: the 12-20-1969 Belli letter, on the 1-year anniversary of the LHR murders. The jury is still out on whether Johns was truly abducted by Z, and there is still plenty of debate as to the authenticity of the Pines card.

Even going by Yellow Book's numbers and counting the disputed and forged letters, there are only two letters/cards out of 25 that occurred on anniversaries, which is only 8% of the total. If it were 50%, I might be tempted to agree with him, but the fact is, 1 single letter being mailed on an anniversary does not constitute a habit.

Z did not have a habit of writing letters on anniversaries. Period.

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