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Wrecknball
Username: Wrecknball

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 11:38 pm:   

Many have wondered if Zodiac may have doctored his handwriting in his communications with the media. That being said, wouldn't the LB car door be the best handwriting comparison against a given suspect being that we know the killer in this case was most likely in a hurry?? What do you guys think?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 12:16 am:   

I think the handwriting on the car was "doctored" as well. Not in the sense that any individual letterforms were changed in any meaningful way; simply that the writing is (1) printed; (2) big; (3) done with multiple pen lifts, where retracings would have been more common; and (4) done with the pen held more-or-less at arm's length. Note that while the writing resembles Zodiac's "manic" style, there's not the same degree of slant as in the manic; in that regard it's more like the Belli. The same ratio of height between caps and lower-case letters appears to be preserved. Apart from that, the printing is so generic that you'd have a hard time matching it to anyone.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 12:38 am:   

It's interesting to note that Sherwood Morrill authenticated the writing on the car door as Z's, according to page 23, paragraph 2 of the LB DOJ Report.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 9:49 am:   

I wonder if Morrill would have been so confident had he not known the details of the assault.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 3:26 pm:   

Perhaps. He was also quite confident about assigning authorship of the Desktop Poem to Z, and while I am personally confident about Morrill's overall competence and performance, I do have an issue with inscribing letters into wood versus writing words on paper. The two are not the same. The way Yellow Book describes Z as preparing his letters using the projector theory (Zodiac, p. 218), "It was almost as if he were not writing words but laboriously printing one single character after another," is precisely how one inscribes letters into a wooden surface: one single character at a time. It is therefore logical to assume that graphological traits that appear in the written word would not be discernible in an inscription. Any graphologists out there that would know if this is true or not?
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 12:38 pm:   

Ed, I agree. I posted awhile back about how writing on a wooden surface would have to alter graph traits. I respect SM but I too wonder how he authenticated the desk.
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 7:12 am:   

I wonder if the dot in the circle (sun symbol) had any bearing on his judgment.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 6:16 pm:   

Maybe it was already there and he wrote around it, maybe it was just a fun thing to do, or maybe he did it on purpose only to keep people guessing and wasting time when in fact it had no meaning. My money is on option #3, if anything.
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 7:26 am:   

Ed, not so much as why it was there, but whether Morrill used it as a an indicator of authorship.

I would love to see Morrill's notes on these missives.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 12:13 pm:   

Did Z ever place a dot in an "O" in anything he wrote (other than the ciphers)? If not, why would Morrill even consider it?
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 2:34 pm:   

Why wouldn't he consider it? Whether it's in a writing or a cypher I'm only curious as to whether it had any bearing on his judgment.

Personally, I don't think Cheri Jo Bate's killer wrote the desktop poem, and but for the sun dot I would think even less of the damn thing.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 4:43 pm:   

Commonly (or even rarely) placing it in one's usual writing is one thing; considering it appears as a symbol in a cipher with dozens of other symbols I think would (or should) set it apart from one's typical writing.
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 11:36 pm:   

Perhaps this is of an even more basic vein, but has anyone pondered just why Zodiac carried a felt-tip pen with him to L.B.? If caught with it, the pen would be a tie-in to his previous writings. Even more puzzling, how could Z be sure his pen would work on a car? (Did he practice on his own first?)

Why not just drop a note on paper somewhere along the trail to the stabbing site, "Zodiac was here, 6:30, nyahh nyahh" or such?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 12:00 am:   

He might not have actually carried the pen on his person. Remember, he was driving his own car, and it might have been in there.
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Seagull
Username: Seagull

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 4:04 pm:   

He also could have tossed it out of the window any where between Berryessa and Napa. Being caught with the pen before hand, if he were stopped for speeding or what ever, wouldn't have raised suspicion.
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Bargle
Username: Bargle

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Monday, September 25, 2006 - 5:34 pm:   

For what it's worth.
In my previous job at an auto dealership, in the parts department, we often had to write in large numbers on boxes containing replacement body parts, including doors. The size of the writing was close in size to what Z wrote on the Hartnell door. I noticed, over time, that my writing remained distinctly mine, regardless of size, as did that of other people in the department. I could tell which boxes had been marked by me, even if done years earlier. I think it is at least possible that Morrill could still correctly identify the door writing as Zs, even if it is larger than his everyday handwriting.
j_eric wrote: Why not just drop a note on paper somewhere along the trail to the stabbing site, "Zodiac was here, 6:30, nyahh nyahh" or such?
Too many things could go wrong with a dropped note outdoors. It could be blown away by the wind, rained on and ruined, picked up as litter and thrown away and probably some more stuff I haven't thought of.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, September 25, 2006 - 6:13 pm:   

Also as I brought up in the Driven To Crime thread it brings a car directly into the crime scene.
The LB crime would have been the only one linked to Zodiac that a car wasn't directly involved in. They had driven a car there but were not shot in the car as all the other confirmed Zodiac attacks.
Even Bates, if a Zodaic crime, involved disabling a car to set up the murder and in the Johns abduction, if it was Zodiac, it involved a disabled car and the burning of that car.
Given the urgency of time to get out of there he probably wrote rather quickly on the car door and I would think it would be a good example of the style of his true handwritng.
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Wrecknball
Username: Wrecknball

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, September 25, 2006 - 9:10 pm:   

Good point Johno.

Maybe the handwriting on the car door is actually an indication of Z not doctoring his handwriting in the letters, thus making it his natural style.

I do however think that Z was diabolical enough to have practiced a doctored style of handwriting to the point he could even use it while in a hurry.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, September 25, 2006 - 10:52 pm:   

See my comments above. There was no need for him to try to alter individual letterforms--all he needed to do was print in a big, broad style, with multiple pen lifts, and perhaps while holding the instrument more-or-less at arm's length. The result is so generic that almost anyone could have produced it.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 12:52 am:   

Doug could be correct in his observations and I can see how the writing could have been made with the pen at arms length but to do this would have required some skill or background as in an occupational background to do it as skillfully as it was done.

The letters in Vallejo are evenly spaced and don't run into each other which is difficult for a seven letter word to be so uniformed being written atr arms length. The dotted i is in uniform to the rest of the printing of the word.
The numerical writing of 12-29-68 and 7-4-69 are also uniformed in size and spacing to each other and the dash's don't run into the mumbers.
The first three lines are also uniformily spaced from one another.
The fourth line shows some signs of deviation with a larger e in Sept than in Vallejo and although Sept is tighter spaced the letters in it are uniformily spaced. The dash runs into the 6 which would be an example of writing at arms length. The exagerated bold colon runs into the 6 at the bottom and the 3 at the top and the line slopes upward and then downward.
It's intersting too that he takes a little extra time to spell out Sept as an abbreviation for September instead of the numerical pattern he has already established with the other dates and not made it a 9.
The final line beginning with the word by starts out uniformily spaced with the preceeding four lines but quickly wanders off with the word knife. The letter e is now larger than either e in Vallejo or Sept. The e is also hasty and inmcomplete but he does take the time to make sure the i in kinfe is uniformily dotted.
The loops in all four six's are slightly different.

I know Doug favors Ted Kaczynski who was an instructor and would have had experience writing at arms length on a chalkboard and many favor Arthur Allen who also would have had the same writing on a chalkboard background as a teacher.
I don't favor either as a suspect but the person who wrote this showed skill in doing it if written at arms lenght as if it was second nature to him. As Bargle pointed out a guy in a parts department could do it or an artist who paints with a brush on canvas could do it.
It's realy neatly done for someone who's in a hurry, has just brutally stabbed two people and was seen by the surviving victim as being nervous and shaking before the stabbing.
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Bookworm
Username: Bookworm

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 6:34 am:   

Z may have already planned Stine's murder, drawing some of his ideas from the JTR/Catherine Eddowes case. Cabs have writing on their doors. Printing. Compare with the graffiti written in chalk and the cut piece of bloody apron found.


http://casebook.org/dissertations/dst-graffito.htm l

"There were three lines of writing in a good schoolboys round hand. The size of the capital letters would be about 3/4 in, and the other letters were in proportion"

The graffiti was written in chalk on a darker surface.
It was said to be written on the jamb of a doorway. Catherine Eddowes cut apron was somewhere below the writing. Another version is that the graffitti was written on black brick with white brick above it, but the jamb is the official version. Hartnell's car was black and white like a version of the inquest reported the wall.

Bullitt, the movie, and graffiti both have two sets of double letters, perhaps indicating the way Stine would die. By bullet. Also, ammunition, bullet, graffiti, and Bullitt have double letters, mm, ii, ll, ff, tt. They could spell ffiillmm(film), tt(double cross)?

bullet (b«…l°¶ət, bul°¶ət) noun
A typographical symbol, such as a filled or empty circle, diamond, box, or asterisk, used to set off a small block of text or each item in a list. See also dingbat.

A cross and empty bullet is the Z symbol and cross hair of a gun.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 12:55 pm:   

Bookworm, I have always felt that the Z copied other crimes including Jack the Ripper, maybe not in the exact way,but notes to taunt the police,the starting and stopping in months,and the same amount of known victims as I recall.One of my suspects has put graffiti on walls near my home writing "7 in a row", and "Betts an Ax"on the wall at my job in Oakland ca."I was here B----H" at a table where I always sat and had coffee.He orderd two donuts at that same coffee shop ,a "cherry" filled and a "Maple" bar,how clever of him I thought.The girl who served him had no idea this was just part of his game of fun with me.He knew I would know.
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Bookworm
Username: Bookworm

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 7:09 pm:   

Sandy, I think I would be a little unnerved. At least you know who is doing it.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 8:43 pm:   

Hey, maybe Z wrote the message on the car door before the attack! That would explain his apparent good penmanship!
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 9:58 pm:   

I never thought of him writing it before the attack. That makes sense for a quick exit from the scene and they wouldn't have seen him writing on the car from their line of site.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 10:39 pm:   

They couldn't see him anyway. It's about 500 yards from Knoxville Road to Z Island, and there are hills and trees in the way. If you know where to look, you can barely see cars drive by along the road.

If he wrote the message before, that might explain why it took 70 minutes for him to call NPD. He wrote it at 630, hiked down, stabbed them and hiked back up, then sped back into Napa. I went to Z Island tonight, and it took me about 40 minutes to drive to where the phone booth was. That means he'd have to have left the crime scene no later than 7 PM, and given the fact that he was with them about 15 minutes altogether, that doesn't leave much time for the 1,000 yard round trip hike down to Z Island and back up the hillside. That therefore assumes that either Z's watch was wrong, or he didn't have one and incorrectly guesstimated the time...
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 8:39 am:   

The writing of the message before the attack would explain some of his behavior. He was nervous and talked to them for awhile. He may have been having second thoughts about killing them, but realized he had to because of the message. "I'll have to stab you people", because "by knife" was already written.
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 10:57 pm:   

Seem to recall I'd come up with the same theory that was posted among the 'lost' messages. My thought being--after the attacks, Z's hands would have been bloody. Either he washed off his hands in the lake (tidy but time-consuming!) or the Karmann Ghia might have shown blood stains with the writing if Z slipped up the tiniest bit and touched the car.

Also think about this: by 7 PM, it was getting dark. Not real easy for Z to see what he was writing.

However, someone (Tom V. perhaps? Ed N.?) thought my theory was flawed in some manner, or so I recollect.
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Bookworm
Username: Bookworm

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 9:12 am:   

Just adding more to handwriting message foretelling Stines murder, Bullit and JTR connection.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_Eagles_Dare
"Where Eagles Dare Released March 12, 1969."
The release date has Richard (Burton) III, Act 1, Scene 2 or 3/12 day before the date the LAT letter was sent two years later, 3/13/71.


"Eastwood referred to the film as "Where Doubles Dare" given the number of stunts and stuntmen that were required."
"ammunition, bullet, graffiti, and Bullitt have double letters, mm, ii, ll, ff, tt. They could spell ffiillmm(film), tt(double cross)?" Ammunition also has two i's and two n's; kill has two l's, which put together with the double t's and double c's of accident (didn't Stine have an accident some time before his murder?), you could have cclliinntt. Clint.

"Title from Richard III by Shakespeare."
http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/richardiii _1_3.html
Richard III, Act 1, Scene 3, Line 69-72 (The Riverside Shakespeare)
"Gloucester (Richard): I cannot tell, the world is grown so bad/ That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch. / Since every Jack became a gentleman, / Thereís many a gentle person made a Jack. /"
"Jacks: worthless fellows"

Speaking of Catherine Eddowes and Jack the Ripper. CE is also Clint Eastwoods initials. Perhaps Z wanted Eastwood to star in a film about him.
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 1:33 pm:   

Book - Eastwood did star in a film about him.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 2:31 pm:   

And it's interesting that Zodiac would comment about such movies as The Excorcist but not mention Dirty Harry and the Scorpio character.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 3:56 pm:   

Johno,I seem to remember the police felt that as long as they played along with his game,by giving him attention,he would keep up with the fear he instilled and loved so much .Perhaps there were other letters or notes we are not aware of.Who knows if the person who was checking the printing may have felt they were fakes. They are only people and they do make mistakes. I don't think we had forensic linguistic analyzing back then as we do now. That is what is needed now, because his printing may have changed somewhat, the linguistics will remain the same just like a fingerprint.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 4:14 pm:   

Vallejo Dave, If he wore gloves as it showed in one of the reports, all he had to do was take them off, his hands would be clean. Anyone know just how high blood would spurt upwards from a victim lying down in a stabbing ? Don't forget it was a thin blade.My guess is not very high at all.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 5:07 pm:   

Bookworm ,I don't know him I have just had to deal with him for most of my life. All I know is that VPD, Darlene's family,and Harvey Hines say this creep is Kane. I want to talk to this person face to face and have him tell me his name.I don't believe that will ever happen,so the next best thing is to find someone with enough moxy to go with me and knock on his door. I must say I am too chicken to go by myself even with my two friends "Smith and Wesson".
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 5:51 pm:   

Eric--Yes, I remember your theory about the writing on the car being done before the attack. I think it is a good possibility.

Sandy--I guess if the knife hit a major artery the blood would spurt up a little more than if he had missed a major artery. But still, since they were supposedly lying down, I don't know. Maybe this is a topic for Muskogee, Cyril Wecht, or Noguchi?--He must have missed a major artery with Hartnell.--and organs, otherwise he would not be alive today.
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Colette
Username: Colette

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, September 30, 2006 - 10:21 am:   

Blood can spurt at least 6 feet up from a small hole in a femoral artery while the person is lying down. It depends on blood pressure and which artery is punctured. Stabing is a messy crime.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, September 30, 2006 - 11:45 am:   

I don't think either one would have lasted as long as they did had a major artery been damaged.
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 - 1:59 pm:   

I agree with what Colette said. I've seen blood spatter on the ceiling on occasion with stab wounds, but there are a lot of dependent factors relating to blood spatter, such as victim movement; blade length, size, and sharpness; and victim factors such as heart rate and rhythym and blood pressure (as Colette mentioned). The wound edges on an artery can be a factor, as well.

While I agree with Doug that most folks don't last too long if a "major" artery is damaged (all generalizations accepted), there are some cases of major artery (even aorta) perforation who survive long enough to get patched, so it's not a hard and fast rule. If the patient happens to be in a position that compresses the breach in the arterial wall, he can survive longer than he otherwise might.

Anyway, I agree that Z probably had quite a bit of blood on his person. I also believe, as Sandy stated, he could have written on the door after the stabbing if he was wearing gloves and removed them prior to writing, with little risk of getting blood on the car.
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 10:08 pm:   

Having once cut my arm halfway off, I can personally attest to the fact that arterial blood spurts quite a ways.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 12:05 am:   

Something else has come to mind about the stabbing. If Zodiac was 200# or better and was sitting on top of Cecilia, how is it that she was able to turn over ? She wasn't a large girl as I remember. A guy about 165# is more plausible don't you think ?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 9:38 am:   

Sandy, I don't think Zodiac sat on Cecilia.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 6:20 pm:   

Douglas, Wouldn't that be a way of holding her down, so he could have better control of where he wanted to stab her ? Also to protect his privet parts, from a person moving around and perhaps bumping him where it hurts ?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 7:08 pm:   

She was stabbed once in the lower abdomen. Kinda hard to do if you're sitting on her, unless you're on her legs or chest, and Z certainly was not sitting on her chest.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 11:19 pm:   

Hartnell never mentioned that Zodiac sat on Cecilia, and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have left such a detail out. I think it's difficult to get an impression of just how quickly this whole thing played out, but based on Brian's account I'd say it took around a minute; perhaps even slightly less. Given Zodiac's organized nature the attack itself appears quite disorganized, and you'll probably recall we've discussed the possibility that he had no taste for this kind of assault. If he had, why then I can see him taking some kind of action to keep the victims from moving about, or cutting their throats rather than simply stabbing them in random places.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 12:41 am:   

She was tied and laying face down. Hartnell only says that Zodiac went over to her and began stabbing her in the back. She wasn't pinned down by he or his weight as she mangaged to flip herself over as he was stabbing her, probaly in a vain attempt to try to get out of the way of the knife. It seems to suggest that he stood above her and bent down with his long knife to do the stabbing.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 1:13 am:   

Or knelt/squatted beside her.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 10:09 am:   

It was only a thought. Hartnell said when the killer started to stab her he turned his head away because he didn't want to watch ? As far a stabbing her in the abdomen that could have been his last stab after he got off of her. Has it ever been made clear if the killer made some strange sound like heeehaaa or not ? That was when I got the vision of him on top of her as she tried to buck him off. I don't think the Z was after a quick kill like he did Stine. He wanted them to suffer, perhaps even to live and tell about his costume so the news papers would put him on the front page. Why else would he even ware one ? We will never know anything for sure, unless he himself tells us the truth about his crimes.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 10:35 am:   

Sandy, I've wondered that about his costume too. Did he want someone to survive and describe it to the public? Had his victims died, would he have used it again? Was it really just to prevent him being identified, or was it just another calculated move in his PR campaign?
Did he retire it because it had been seen? Unlikely, because it wasn't a "disguise" as much as it was a "uniform." Putting his logo on the front is hardly the most efficient way to disguise himself.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 5:38 pm:   

This thread is getting off track pretty fast...
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:52 pm:   

I doubt the writing on the car door would prove a better sample than the letters, even if attempts at disguise were made. If Zodiac envisioned writing on a vehicle before the attack, he most likely would have factored in any method of faking his handwriting --provided that he did disguise his writing.

I don't think Zodiac would have chanced writing on the car beforehand. What if something happened to interfere with his attack plans? Z would certainly not want to appear a failure. Perhaps someone who has actually visited the crime scene could touch on that possibility.

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