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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 5:55 pm:   

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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 6:07 pm:   

Hi Tom-

Good stuff. I've never seen the original with the red marker!

Do you know if there are any *other* prints that are not included here that come from the post between the front and rear door on the driver's side that are thought to be from the killer?

Mike
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 7:41 pm:   

Terrific find but I gotta ask whether these prints are actually sufficient to identify or rule out a suspect. From what I understand, SFPD considers them to be sufficient but from what I see here, it's hard to imagine how.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 12:29 am:   

Once again, here's how SFPD and the FBI described these prints, complete with the mention of the circling in red:

A latent impression, which is either a fingerprint from the lower joint area of a finger or a palm print .... [FBI Files, FBI Report dated December 2, 1969]

All of the latent prints in our case were obtained from a taxi cab. The latent prints that show traces of blood are believed to be prints of the suspect. The latent prints from right front door handle are also believed to be prints of the suspect. These prints are circled with a red pen. The other latent prints many of which are very good prints, may or may not be prints of the suspect in this case. [FBI files, SFPD Intra-Department Memorandum, October 19, 1969]

One latent fingerprint previously reported as being from tip area of a finger and two latent impressions previously reported as being either fingerprints or portions of palm prints ... [FBI 15:37]


So we have the door-post latents with their "traces of blood" which aren't identifiable, and the door handle prints, which presumably are straight latents with no traces of blood, and are identified in a later document as a single print from the tip area of a finger.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 12:47 am:   

Truth be told, everybody, I never had much faith in the latents procured from Paul Stine's cab, as anyone from careless crime-scene investigators (yes, this does happen) to paramedics could have been their originator(s). Rather, it is the prints found on the Zodiac letters that pique my interest. While some (particularly any discovered on the envelopes) may have been left by postal workers and newspaper staff, I feel that the odds of at least one of them being that of Zodiac (especially the Exorcist Letter's 'writer's palm' prints) is considerably higher than the probability of the cab prints being his.

Regardless of how much confidence you have in this evidence, Tom, I do feel that each Zodiac letter featured on your site should come with some brief notes indicating whether any latents were lifted off it and, if so, what sort of prints they were. In my opinion, including such information would be highly informative, at the very least, and permit visitors to this site the chance to draw their own conclusions.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 1:11 am:   

Doug, I don't mean to correct your diction, but you said "aren't identifiable". Did you mean to say Aren't Readable, if so whats your source for that? Did you come to that conclusion from just looking at the print's above? When you place those print's on a lighted glass it may tell a different story. Could you please clarify?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 1:41 am:   

Actually, Hawk, I meant to say "not classifiable." It's early in the East!

Two points about latents found on the letters: first, if Zodiac was so careless as to work the letters up without taking pains to conceal his prints, why are there so few? All of the letters, and envelopes, should be riddled with them. Second, the FBI was unable to match any of the prints (including those found on the letters) with any of the other prints.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 8:59 am:   

Nachtsider, I'm with you. The palm prints on the high-resolution scan of the Exorcist Letter appear 100 times clearer than anything taken from Stine's cab. I'd be interested to see if these match up with palm prints from any other letter, which would then give a clear definitive Z print to compare to any suspect.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 9:08 am:   

Have any of the letters been subjected to the Superglue Vapor technique of fingerprinting? Forensic technology has raced lightyears past anything in the 70's. Heck, has anyone even put the letters on a light table to make sure there's nothing written under the stamps?
Is the cab still in custody? Was it destroyed?
I'm guess that these questions are just retorical, and that none of these have been done to any of the letters.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 11:30 pm:   

I agree with Nachtsider on the proviso that the paramedics weren't fingerprinted.

Though we can't trust RG, he claims that Toschi said they never took the prints of the paramedics at the scene to use for ruling out false (bloodied) prints. IMHO this throws some doubt on the prints recovered. If it is true, why did they never get the fingerprints of these paramedics afterwards? Especially if they were going to use them to convict/disqualify a suspect.

Perhaps they felt if a suspect's fingerprints matched, it was provable evidence. The net effect though is that if they didn't match, it shouldn't rule out a suspect from the case as he may have not left any of his own prints.

One factor in favor of them being Z's prints is that he said in his letter that he was leaving false prints on the car. The whole point of leaving false prints is to let the authorities think they are those of the the perpetrator. By saying what he said, he was kind of defeating the reason for leaving false prints in the first place - as a non-match later would not absolve him.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 8:19 am:   

You're right, Stew. Him telling the cops that he was leaving fake clews was like his insistence that he didn't look like his "Wanted" poster. Zodiac would have wanted the cops to head down dead-end investigations, and that would have been more likely if he hadn't drawn attention to how brilliant he claimed to be. It smacks of deliberate, desperate, distraction. Which, of course, makes me trust the poster and the prints more.
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Sanfranguns
Username: Sanfranguns

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 11:08 am:   

Of course there is the possiblity that the reason the exorcist letter is the only one with palm prints is because Zodiac did go to great lengths to not leave any and in fact didn't write the Exorcist letter. I'm just sayin'...
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 11:22 am:   

It's also possible that Zodiac didn't kill the cab driver, but that's stretching practical logic all out of shape.

Is there anything about the Exorcist letter that makes it unlikely that Z wrote it? If the Exorcist letter wasn't from Z, then why aren't there fingerprints on it as well as a palm print?

It's sloppy-easy to just say, "Well, maybe it wasn't from him," and dismiss with credible evidence or speculate wildly.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 6:35 am:   

To Deoxys and Stew - my thanks go out to you both for finding merit in my suggestions.

In my opinion, Doug, failure on the part of law-enforcement to match the letter and crime-scene prints to one another and among themselves can be put down to the following:

(a) The likelihood that none of prints on Stine's cab belonged to Zodiac is extremely high, for reasons previously discussed. I believe that the nature of Cheri Jo Bates' murder points away from Zodiac as being the one responsible, and that the prints that the Riverside Police Department found on her Volkswagen are almost certainly irrelevant. When it all comes down to it, there existed only one crime-scene print that had any real credibility, and that was the still-fresh palm print that Napa detectives found on the phone booth from whence Zodiac made his post-Berryessa phone call that claimed credit for the stabbings. Considering the fact that this print was smudged and ruined during the lifting process, it can safely be concluded that we have no Zodiac crime-scene prints on file. Had this last item been properly managed, Zodiac would have been nabbed ages ago, and we would not be vigorously debating this case today.

(b) As I mentioned beforehand, the majority of the letter prints (with the exception of those on the ‘Exorcist Letter’, at least, which I shall mention below) were probably left by numerous individuals other than Zodiac, such as newspaper staff and postal workers, perhaps with one or more careless crime lab technicians (once again, this does happen) thrown in as well. There is also a very real possibility that a number of the letter prints (again, bar those on the ‘Exorcist Letter’, at least) were already on the paper and envelopes before Zodiac penned the dispatches – these could be the prints of the vendor(s) who sold the stationery to him, or he could have procured the materials from a table at a library or waste bin after their being handled by many people.

Please note that absolutely nowhere did I state that I consider every print found on the letters to be that of Zodiac. I merely mentioned that I firmly believe in the odds of at least one of them being his, and that my cash is on those discovered by investigators on the 'Exorcist Letter'.

I would really, really love to hear an elucidation for the origin of the prints on this message if its author, i.e. Zodiac, did not leave them. The manner in which they appear – the flat side of the palm, moving across the paper – is consistent only with someone writing on the page. Did somebody pretend to write on a piece of paper and put it back on the shelf or someplace where it would later be found by Zodiac, who wrote on it without touching the page? Come on, people – even if these prints are totally useless as evidence, it seems the zenith of unrealism to propose this.

In the event that some letter prints other than those on the ‘Exorcist’ note are, indeed, Zodiac’s, there does exist a reason as to how they could have ended up on the documents only in ones and twos, and as to why they do not match one another. Zodiac could very well have inadvertently and briefly touched the paper some time prior to writing the letters – how many days, weeks, months or even years this time gap may have been, we might never know – and completely forgot about the presence of these latent impressions when he decided to use the paper for constructing his communiqués. Each of these prints could have come from anywhere on his two palms and from any of his ten fingers – if different surfaces of his hands ended up touching the paper on each of the aforementioned occasions, there is little wonder that no match can be found.

I do not subscribe to the notion that Zodiac left no fingerprints behind – like us, he is human, and is hence capable of mistakes. Notice that even if he did coat the tips of his fingers with airplane cement the way he claimed, this course of action would still have left his palms unshielded, and someone who could not realize this glaring blunder is definitely not a criminal who astutely covers his tracks without fail.
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Sanfranguns
Username: Sanfranguns

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 1:38 pm:   

I didn't dimiss it Davidmm - I'm just giving an alternative possiblity. It's less wildly speculative than your response was wildly dramatic
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Mike_cole
Username: Mike_cole

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 3:50 pm:   

Per CCF, the Exorcist letter was the final letter (chronologically) authenticated by Susan Morton.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 4:48 pm:   

Just to play the devil's advocate, below is a shot of the Exorcist Letter on which I've adjusted the contrast to show the area of the palm prints. Notice how they're concentrated in only one area--just about the area where you'd expect them to be from someone with a normal-to large-sized hand writing on the first couple of lines, or even above the first couple of lines. Where are the rest of the palm prints; the ones pertaining to all the lower lines?

It could very well be that the paper the letter was written on was part of a page on which someone--not necessary the Zodiac--began writing something, and for some reason abandoned the effort.

exorcist
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 5:09 pm:   

I read that the clarity of fingerprints is completely related to the duration of time since the last hand-washing. It said that just a soap & water wash & dry would eliminate one's fingerprints/handprints for a while, until the skin had time to build back up the oils.
Dirty hands = good fingerprint lifts (especially if the perp has eaten greasy food.)

I'm sure that one of our LE folks could comment on it, but I wonder if the limited number of palm prints is due to something as simple as Z washing his hands while thinking of what to write after the opening sentences.

One of the facts that make me believe that this is Zodiac's palm print is the lack of fingerprints (due to his fingerprint glue.) If this had been from a stray person handling the letter, or propping up against a stack of paper, then it seems the palmprint would also be accompanied by a smattering of fingerprints.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 9:23 pm:   

Lets say that Kathleen Johns was in fact taken for that ride that Zodiac wrote about. The clothes she saw in back seat belonged to young boys. Maybe when the z was trying to write the note the boys were acting up. He gets upset at the noise they were making, and slams his fist on the table right were the letter was. That could explain how the palm print got there. The man I believe is the Z, puts powder on his hands and face, perhaps to absorb the oils that would leave prints. He is the only suspect that I know of, who does that. Even with the powder on, he made sure that he took the glass he drank out of the night he came into my work. Bottom line is,I think he was very careful not to leave prints, but when angered by the noise boys can make, he just forgot about leaving a palm print for one brief moment. Just another one of those thoughts that came to mind.
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L2829tad
Username: L2829tad

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 9:19 am:   

Douglas, Great work Sir,I'm also convinced that "Z" left nothing behind ...Zero...Zip...Nada...Unless We have two SEPERATE prints that match..We have NOTHING.....later......thardu......
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 9:41 am:   

Hi Doug-

I certainly find your analysis interesting. However, I have a counterpoint. Palm prints are left as the natual oils in the skin are absorbed by the paper as we write. These oils are present in only finite amounts on the hand. As you deposit them, so do you deplete them, and they are not quickly replenished. That could acocunt for the lack of these prints on the bottom of the letter. There were simply no more oils left on the palm by that time.

Mike
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 10:01 am:   

That's a valid point, Mike. And in this case there's really no way to tell whether, after composing numerous letters over the years without leaving this kind of print he suddenly grew stupid and careless, or, conversely, did a little dumpster-diving.

I'd really like to know the authorities' take on these prints. My knowledge of their background is somewhat fuzzy, although I vaguely recall it being mentioned that the technique used to enhance them is relatively new.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 11:22 am:   

Hi Doug-

The thing that supports this point of view is that the prints seem heaviest at the very beginning of the cluster (i.e., left margin) and seme to peter out as you go along.

Susan Morton seems pretty confident on the issue on that one show...she didn't voice any caveats with respect to the process. It is amazing that none of the other Z letters had any palms on them. I can't explain why none of them had it, but I was told that it is not uncommon for a letter to yield no palm prints at all.

Mike
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 2:23 pm:   

It would be the same thing, Mike, no matter who put the prints on the page. The question is, did Zodiac put them there, or was it someone else who either began to write then broke it off, or the last page of a multi-page effort with only a line or two at the top?

I wonder what's on the back side?
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 8:37 pm:   

Judging by the content of our recent posts, Doug, it would appear that I must acknowledge and respect your differing point of view, and that you and I should agree to disagree about the latents from Zodiac's letters. I would still appreciate anyone else's opinion on the suggestions I last pitched, though.

While we're on the subject of possible Zodiac fingerprints, I just realized that a crime-scene source of these might exist after all. Did law-enforcement subject the spent casings discovered at Santa Barbara, Lake Herman Road, Blue Rock Springs and Presidio Heights to fingerprint dusting? I feel that the odds of Zodiac loading said rounds into the pistol and rifle magazines with his bare hands are reasonable, at the very least.
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Mike_cole
Username: Mike_cole

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 11:48 pm:   

Below is an image of the letter after dusting (from the CCF segment). There is much smudging in addition to the actual print. IMO, the image is clearly consistent with the results one would expect from a right-handed author. I have little doubt the palm print is Z's.

Dusted Exorcist Letter
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 12:04 am:   

I believe I can see the image of Jesus...
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 12:21 am:   

They dusted it?
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 9:43 am:   

Tom, I can see at least two images, perhaps Jesus and Mary. I wonder how much this one would bring in on Ebay ? I have been making pancakes for days, and haven't gotten a good picture of anyone yet !
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Ubpclaw
Username: Ubpclaw

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 11:14 am:   

I made a grilled cheese that totally looked like Snoopy, that doesnt seem to go for as much though lol
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Anonymous
Username: Bomaye

Registered: N/A
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 1:01 pm:   

I had a piece of pizza with black olives that resembled Z with his hood on. I tried to sell it to D.Rader, but he was too busy trying to make his bologna sandwich resemble D.K's POI.
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Seagull
Username: Seagull

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 3:51 pm:   

Can anyone tell what size hand a person would have by that palm print? And how that would translate into a person's size by using proportion?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 3:56 pm:   

We'd need to know the exact dimensions of the page.
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Seagull
Username: Seagull

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 4:30 pm:   

That's something I wouldn't know, Doug. Maybe Tom or Ed know.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 4:58 pm:   

I printed it out at approximately 8x11, and at that size the palm print fits my own pretty well. My height is 5'9-1/2."
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Seagull
Username: Seagull

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 5:19 pm:   

Thanks Doug, that's interesting. It is about mid-range of all the different heights given for Z.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 2:22 am:   

Here's a different enhancement of the Exorcist Letter produced by inverting the colors. Based on the numerous wrinkles and fold lines visible, it seems obvious that the paper used for the letter was at some point loosely crumpled. The point is, who did the crumpling? The police? The people at the Chronicle? Zodiac himself?

inverted
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 2:46 am:   

I believe I can see the image of David Bowie...
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 5:54 am:   

Hi Doug-

Not to be obvious but the paper used for the 1967 letters was also crumpled. I remember hearing or reading that this technique was *supposed* to sabotage the retrieval of fingerprints from it but obviously, it didn't do a lot to disguise the palm prints on this letter.

Mike
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 9:04 am:   

It's interesting to note that the creases and wrinkles go across the letter-folds, which show that they were done to the open, flat, page, not after it was folded into the letter.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 9:47 am:   

The page, however, appears to be loosely, not tightly crumpled. Kind of the way it would be if you just balled it up just enough to enable you to hit the wastebasket.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 9:53 am:   

Hi Doug-

Yes. Good observation. It was seemingly not rolled up in a ball like the other paper appears to have been.

Mike
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 1:45 pm:   

Z would have been better off using gas or some "stove oil" to erase his prints like the Black Dahlia's killer did...
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Sanfranguns
Username: Sanfranguns

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 3:07 pm:   

There are obvious fold marks in the paper - but I'm wondering if the other wrinkles are just due to age. You know how paper gets thinner as it gets older... I'm probably wrong and it was probably crinkled up...
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 3:12 pm:   

The other letters are older still, but don't have obvious wrinkle marks on them.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 5:27 pm:   

Mike r, I read the same thing about crumpling up the paper many years ago. Maybe he ran out of glue that day. I wonder what that diamond mark is all about ?
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Sanfranguns
Username: Sanfranguns

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 2:01 pm:   

Yeah - thanks douglas - I was definitely over-thinking that one
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 4:02 pm:   

Hi Doug-

I was wandering the old deja threads when I stumbled over this post that you made in 1998:

"I've just had a conversation with Lt. Tom Bruton of the SFPD regarding
elements of the *ongoing* Zodiac investigation. (I must apologize to Bruton
for having misidentified him as *Frank Burton* on the Unabomber/Zodiac web
page.) Bruton was laconic but informative in our conversation, and based
upon what he told me I believe I can safely inform any and all Zodiac
theorists that if they think they can convince the SFPD of Zodiac's
identity they are utterly wasting their time and the time of the SFPD,
which has better things to do.

I asked Bruton about the existence of fingerprints from the Stine cab and
received the answer that many, many sets of incomplete prints were lifted
from the vehicle. When asked about the so-called *bloody* print he informed
me that there was one such print, that it could not be ascertained whether
the print had been made in blood, and that it had been lifted using powder.
I followed up the question by inquiring whether, as some have suggested,
traces of airplane glue could be found on any of the prints. He scoffed at
this suggestion, stating that nobody within the SFPD would have made such
an assertion.


Bruton underscored the fact that none of these prints can be identified as
a Zodiac print, and that the use of fingerprints is at best an
inclusionary, not an exclusionary tool."

Whether this was information or disinformation from SFPD, I don't know. I've heard conflicting information on this issue.

In the 1991 affidavit that VPD put together for s search of Allen's home, Armstrong is quoted as saying that "...there were so many fingerprints in this public cab, that it is unknown that [sic], if in fact, they have Zodiac's fingerprints at the crime scene or not..."

I am not naive enough to believe that Armstrong may have been being coy here and not tipping SFPD's hand. (I've heard confidentially that SFPD may have prints from the driver's side of the cab in which they have tremendous confidence.) However, taken at face value, this seems to throw doubt on the usefulness of the prints for exclusion.

Mike
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 5:52 pm:   

Mike, it's amazing, but I had completely forgotten most of my conversation with Inspector Bruton. What you're presenting here is as fresh to my mind as if I were seeing it for the first time. Yet I stated it, so I can guarantee you that it represents what Burton told me, with no prevarication.

And I think this all tends to support the veracity of what we see in the FBI files. From the Stine scene they've got one print from a finger tip (which does not contain the characteristics necessary for a classification) plus two prints that are either from the lower joint area of a finger or a palm (also not containing the characteristics necessary for a classification). These latter show "traces of blood." They are not "bloody prints."

SFPD and/or the other police agencies involved in the Zodiac case have latents lifted from the Zodiac correspondences, none of which can be matched to one another.

There are one or two palm prints from the Exorcist Letter which may or may not be palm prints of the letter's composer.

I would say that, yes, there is significant doubt as to the usefulness of the prints. For SFPD, however, the prints have been very useful ... in getting people with suspects off their backs.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 6:05 pm:   

Hi Doug-

Wel, I'm glad to have been able to take you on a trip down memory lane ;)

I can see your point: The cab prints, if all of this is true (and I am a veteran enough at this stuff by now to leave wiggle room for "prevarication"/politics on SFPD's part on virtually any point), then the prints may be used nowadays to eliminate theorists, if not suspects. ;)

Mike
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 10:51 pm:   

Mike, remember when we talked to Bruton in October 1999? He said the only thing that would get him out of his chair regarding a suspect is if we had writing, fingerprints, or DNA.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 12:08 am:   

He said the same thing to me, Ed. And if he can get a match on the fingerprints, it'll be objective proof of a suspect's guilt. It will mean that the doubt about the prints will have been settled on the side of those who believe they belong to Zodiac.

But his statement does not remove that doubt.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 12:13 am:   

Incidentally, Bruton's remark was somewhat obtuse, in my opinion. It wouldn't be incumbent on a citizen who suspected someone of bringing forensic evidence to the police before the suspect could be examined. It would be up to the citizen to convince the authorities that the person of interest would warrant the investigation that might lead to their developing him as a suspect.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 12:51 am:   

Quite right, they'd need something concrete, like the remaining 120 square inches of Stine's shirt tail or his driver's license to initially get their attention. Then they'd check his prints, handwriting from 1969-70 if possible, and his DNA...
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 4:56 am:   

Hi Ed-

I know that Bruton said something about that but I did not recall the exact quote. But think about this: If Bruton wanted DNA as early as 1999, then why? I thought that the viable DNA in the Z case was not developed until ABC came along.

I think it is a fact that SFPD tried and apparently succeeded in getting DNA off of the 1978 letter in the 1990s. In Mike's book, he states that Toschi was cleared of having written that letter and that the letter IS considered to be from Zodiac. Mike supposedly had good sources. I always felt that the letter was a forgery but now I have to wonder if it is considered to be genuine by SFPD. And if so, then what was the ABC show all about?

Did SFPD already have DNA from a letter by the time ABC showed up? Do they only have four alleles from both letters combined (1969 and 1978)? Did they already get the same (or complementary) DNA from two different letters? Very confusing.

Mike
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 6:33 am:   

On that document titled "Suspected Zodiac correspondence" it says, "DNA SAMPLE OBTAINED/NOT AUTHENTIC ZODIAC CORRESPONDENCE".
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 6:59 am:   

Hi Doug-

That is what I have always thought. That is from an FBI document? Actually, I see it now in ZU on page 434 but I hope there is a better source than that.

I wonder why Mike said the 1978 letter had been "accepted as authentic" (p. 198 of his book)...

Mike
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 7:03 am:   

Mike, I believe it's from SFPD. I think Tom posted the documents here some time ago (there were two sections, covering all the suspected correspondences). I know I didn't get them from Graysmith.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 7:10 am:   

At the outset, I believe the 1978 letter actually had been accepted as authentic--until suspicion crept in and they took a closer look.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 7:57 am:   

Hi Doug-

From reading Kelleher, I thought that it was at first accepted as being authentic, then was disputed and now ultimately seemed to be accepted as genuine again. I always thought it was still to this day considered to be a forgery, which is what made me wonder why they even botheerd to obtain DNA from it.

Mike

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