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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 4:11 pm:   

A few have thought that he wore it because this was being filmed as a snuff film. That would make the most sense to me, but everyone else has said that there weren't any other prints at the scene. And that Hartnell would have spotted another person. But if this did happen, the person filming it could have been far enough away that his foot prints weren't even checked out. Once the stage was set I doubt that Harnell was looking around the whole area to see if anyone else was hiding behind a tree holding a camera. Ed will have fun with this one lol.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 4:46 pm:   

Sandy, you know, that possibility never occured to me. My guess, though, is that there wasn't a cameraman around, the camera was on a tripod at a clear vantage point from the scene of the crime. (The area looked very uneven and hilly in Tom's video-tour.) I'd also speculate that Z dawdled and delayed the actual killing because he knew how long the film in the camera would last.
It would explain why he did it in broad daylight.
It would explain why he took his time before trying to kill them.
It would explain some of the extra time before/after the attack, because he had to retrieve his movie camera.
It would explain why he would choose a spot with such a wide berth of view, rather than a more-private area.
It wouldnt require anyone else to be present, especially with a zoom lens and a tripod, all that would be left would be three divits in the dirt many yards away.

I wonder if Z stayed on one particular side and faced one particular direction, so the camera could catch the most of the action?
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 4:58 pm:   

Zodiac's footprints went from the area along the road where the cars were parked to the crime scene and back again. Nothing there to suggest he strayed from the path to retrieve a camera.

By the way, back then cameras were big and bulky. Even today it's difficult to get a clear shot from several hundred yards away, so for Zodiac to have a camera with such capability back in 1969 it must have been as big as a house.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 5:19 pm:   

I wasn't aware that Z's footprints were in such a clear path, and you know the terrain, since you've been there. But, small and portable 8mm, and 16mm, cameras were widely available in '69. They certianly were not sufficent for "several hundred yards away," but great for closer photography and many included zoom lenses.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 5:34 pm:   

The path Zodiac took was clear enough to follow, at least according to the police reports.

For this to have been the result of a snuff film, Zodiac either had a system set up in advance of the couple arriving, which I find hard to believe, OR he set everything up after the couple was at that location without them noticing, yet found a spot for the camera that had a clear view of the crime scene. Then, for reasons unknown, he walked back to his car without leaving footprints before attacking the couple.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:49 pm:   

That's a fascinating idea, Sandy. It could also explain the nifty ceremonial costume, which the victims presumably would never live to describe. When you see a movie reenactment, Lake Berryessa almost seems staged, doesn't it?

I think it's an unlikely scenario and the evidence doesn't seem to support it but an interesting take nonetheless.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:55 pm:   

If (and it is a big if)the killer had a camera and put it by "the tree" that could be seen by one of the victims then how can we say that the camera couldn't see them ? The foot prints would still be in the right place, because we do know that he was behind that tree. Bringing a camera along on a nice trip makes more sense than bringing a costume, rope, gun, and a knife. We don't know how long the z was there before he started walking towards them.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:57 pm:   

Thanks Deoxy's. I love to get those juices flowing.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:18 pm:   

Sandy, Cecelia observed Zodiac several times upon his approach (and before he put on his mask) and voiced her concerns to Bryan. She never mentioned that he was carrying a movie camera.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:23 pm:   

In my opinion, Zodiac fantasized about his role in the attacks before he committed them. Zodiac wore the costume to live out his fantasy of the murder, not for a movie costume. The hood would serve as another tool to instill the sense of terror that he yearned to see. I do not believe that he planned for anyone to live long enough to tell about his bizarre attire. The hood, for that matter, with its logo, would be a good tie-in to previous murders, and he certainly did not worry about carrying, even wearing, it along with his knife and holstered handgun.

Zodiac took his time before this attack because his victims were not sitting ducks in a car. He had to judge the situation, especially since it was broad daylight and the only couple he could find was in a relatively wide open area. He needed to know if he could don the hood without falling into a strategic disadvantage. He took time after the attack to remove his hood and possibly his bloody pants and shoes.

He made the attacks in broad daylight for strategic reasons, not for camera light. What chance would he have at stabbing a young couple there after dark? He wanted the pleasure of multiple stabbing rather than the quick kill of a shooting, that is why he did not wait until dark when people out at night normally stay within the safe confines of a vehicle.
--------------------
Even though I personally don't think he filmed the attack, I have not seen anything of yet to completely rule it out. I do believe this is an avenue worthy of further investigation.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 8:24 pm:   

There's no more evidence to indicate Lake Berryessa was a snuff film than the other attacks were snuff films. The costume? For all we know, Z also wore a hood in the cab and at Lake Herman.

If Zodiac had carried a movie camera to the Berryessa scene, he would have required time to set it up properly, get it focused, etc. The idea he could do that unnoticed behind a tree so close to the victims is quite preposterous IMHO. Nevermine the fact that his footprints didn't backtrack. How did he retrieve the camera when he was done with the attack? Float?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 8:54 pm:   

If the camera was close by (ie, on Z Island) to account for the fact that Z's prints do not show him straying to another area for an unknown reason, Cecelia would have seen him with it and observed him setting it up, as Tom explained.

If there was another person with Z to film the crime, then why were there not 2 sets of prints originating from Z's car? Why wasn't the second set tracked to the place where the camera was set up?

If the camera was some distance away, such as on the ridge to the west across the cove (the only good and easily accessible vantage point), then there was absolutely no reason for Z to wear the hood, since the camera he was likely to have used could not possibly have picked up any facial features. Not only that, what could the camera have possibly recorded? Some guy with a black hood bending over 2 people that he might have been spanking instead of stabbing? What's the point of even filming the crime then?

If the point of the snuff film was to sell it, then why has no one ever reported seeing Z in a snuff film? And if it was for his own private use, then why the hood? BTW, I read some time back that the FBI spent many years trying to track down even a single snuff film, and were never able to turn up a single one. They don't exist.

Then, we have the problem of Z first parking, stalking his prey, looking for a vantage point to film, setting the camera up, attacking his prey, then taking more time to return to the camera, pack it up and hike back to his car. Z had just stabbed 2 people, so why in hell is he going to want to stick around any longer than he has to? Retrieving a camera set up anywhere other than Z Island itself would add several minutes to Z's escape time and make it more likely that he'd be seen and/or caught. Cecelia's observations and the fact that his footprints don't indicate that he went anywhere else other than straight back to his car completely discounts the idea of a snuff film, as does my reasoning above.

This is a dead issue. It originated in that despicable yellow book (pp. 225, 229, 232), and the only purpose it serves is to further confuse the case.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 9:42 pm:   

If Zodiac made a snuff film, I doubt he could resist the temptation to share it, even with just a few. Where did he develop his film? He surely wouldn't send it to a lab. ("I would have sent you pictures but you would be nasty enough to trace them back to developer + then to me") If he was a developer himself, wouldn't he have showed off some of his work? If he was in a snuff ring, wouldn't he have tried to keep a lower profile with the police? I doubt the target audience of such films could tell the difference between fakes and the real thing, anyway. Why would someone spend big money knowing the chances were good that they would get a fake show?

Note: The F.B.I denied the existence of the Mafia until the 1970s. Maybe the Valachi of snuff will turn rat someday.

More info on snuff films:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snuff_film#Recorded_m urders
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 10:01 pm:   

Well, that's because, so I've heard anyway, the mob had a pic of Hoover in a compromising position with another man and blackmailed him, hence the official denial. I doubt the same is true about snuff films.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:19 pm:   

Proof that snuff films "do" exist.

Warning: This film contains disturbing scenes and is not for the faint of heart.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2uUOxZ_2VFg

Another point against Zodiac filming at LB: Don't these older cameras make noise? If the camera was close enough to the scene to film, wouldn't it have been close enough to be heard running? (Provided the wind and waves didn't drown it out, of course.)
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:30 pm:   

There isn't much in the way of waves unless a boat goes by very close to shore... and if that truly was a snuff film, wouldn't it have been yanked from youtube already???
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Tommyt
Username: Tommyt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:36 pm:   

In the movie 8mm., the snuff films were conducted indoors. Can you imagine Z trying to run up hill with a 20-30 LB camera and tripod. I don't think Z would have been the stupid.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:04 am:   

Like I said... this is a dead issue.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:57 am:   

I think the Chinese fisherman (Fong?) actually took the pictures with a movie camera that he had pre-positioned in his boat. Someone prove me wrong!
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 2:20 am:   

It wasn't Ronald Fong, Doug, it was his son taking some home movies of his dad fishing! You can see Z Island in the background and Z stabbing Hartnell and Shepard...
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 3:25 am:   

Snuff films are something I regard to be a sexual sadist's activity. Considering that Zodiac was most certainly not a sexual sadist, I am sure that all and sundry will be able to deduce what I am trying to put forward here.
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Sanfranguns
Username: Sanfranguns

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 8:50 am:   

So Ed, are you saying that a film exists of Z stabbing Hartnell and Shepard that was filmed by people on the lake that day? That's fascinating
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 11:53 am:   

While I doubt the existence of genuine snuff films, I do think Zodiac read magazines that portrayed violence (true detective type) and possibly viewed movies such as those put out by Andy Milligan, Michael Findlay,and Herschell Gordon Lewis. Many of these mags and films contain imagery similar to the Zodiac crimes: men in hoods, lover's lane killers, stabbings, etc. I would not be surprised to discover signs of Z inspiration in movies and magazines depicting such gratuitous violence.

This is only a theory. That being said, it certainly fits the profile, in my opinion. It is something we'll only know for certain when/if the Zodiac is revealed.
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Seagull
Username: Seagull

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:23 pm:   

I have trouble picturing the Z crimes as snuff films. The victims were attacked where they were found, in rather public places. I would expect a snuff film to be made in a more private place to allow for retakes and different angles. The Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders would be more believeable as snuff flim murders because the girls were likely murdered elsewhere and then dumped.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 1:21 pm:   

Sanfran: I'm saying just the opposite. There is zero evidence that Z made a snuff film at LB, much less of the other crimes, and the facts indicate the impossibility of it, as well as common sense and logical reasoning. There were no snuff films made of the Z murders.
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Ubpclaw
Username: Ubpclaw

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 1:23 pm:   

Oh god my head hurts....
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 1:49 pm:   

Having filmed (and been filmed) at Lake Berryessa, I can say with some authority that to get a steady shot, one either needs to hold the camera at all times or implement a tripod. The wind, the uneven terrain, etc. I refuse to believe that Zodiac lugged a camera and tripod to the scene and it went unnoticed the few times Cecelia saw him before he donned the hood.

Also, in late 1968 my parents took advantage of a "tryout" offer from Sears and took home a new movie camera for a week. We still have that footage and it's grainy and out of focus most of the time, even though my dad was filming and had some experience. Long-range shots? Forget it.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 2:04 pm:   

Nacthsider, I think you've got it right. Zodiac wasn't a sexual sadist and undoubtedly would have had no interest in snuff films.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 3:08 pm:   

It's stuff like this that cannot happen that has muddied this case beyond recognition and serves no useful purpose. If you think this is bad and that we've already seen some pretty whacked-out kooks like Carl, Baba and Uncle Bubba's niece, wait till Fincher's flick comes out. You ain't seen nothing yet!
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 3:31 pm:   

I think we need to keep an open mind about ideas like this. Maybe not a snuff film but the idea of Z filming one of his murders is not all that far-fetched. OK... so it doesn't seem to fit the evidence in the case. Sandy brought up the idea, it was discussed and doesn't seem to work. I don't see how the case is compromised by discussing the idea.

Ed, what would you have thought about the theory of the Manson family killing to precipitate Helter Skelter based on Manson's infatuation with a Beatles album? It sounds a lot wackier than anything presented by Carl, Baba or myself (Uncle Bubba's niece might still have it beat) yet it actually happened.

BTK DID take photos at at least some of his crime scenes and other serial killers have done so in order to relive the event later.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 5:33 pm:   

"I like killing. It is even more fun than getting your rocks off with a girl."--Sounds like a wee bit of sexual sadism to me.

I know nothing of Snuff Films, but consider this: with all of the underground filming of porn and nudity going on at Spahn Ranch and Gresham St. in 67-70, anything is possible. LA Police found stolen video recorders from NBC at either Spahn or Barker. Films were being made, and BB, BD, and other family members were doing the circuit to SF and Sacto and back. I think this is a worthwhile discussion. It may bring out new info. And, IMO, there is a huge cover-up going on about famous Hollywood personalities attending these kinky events at the Spahn Ranch.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 5:44 pm:   

Good point Deoxys. If we take the same stubborn attitude of some of the close-minded folks in law enforcement, (or an agenda pushing author) then we lose our "peripheral" vison. I would much rather hear someone explain what their theory than to absolutely deny certain possibilities based on preconceived notions.

I am hoping that the interest sparked by the movie will bring forth new theories, withheld stories, and maybe some new evidence. I also expect a lot of naive movie-goers that believe everything they see and read; They'll be a nuisance, but another curious flick will come out and they'll move on.

I can say quite definitively that Zodiac did not film Berryessa or any other known attacks. On the same note, those that hold this idea should present more information to support it. If they don't have real evidence, they'll have to give up the ghost. Those that have a genuine interest in the case won't get mired in the mud that easily.

Despite the derision expressed at certain ideas presented here, in the end, I think everyone has had a chance to present their case.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

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

I'm in favor of reviewing any theory one can come up with, as long as the proponent of that theory can make a logical case.

Regarding the snuff theory, I haven't yet read a realistic account of how it could have been accomplished using the known facts.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 6:25 pm:   

Here's one, although I am just postulating. Maybe Z had a camera concealed inside his costume. Thus the slow unravelling of the events, and the slow motion, almost methodical stabbings, to get the best angle. After all, he could have just done a Bundy Drive scene real quick.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 6:28 pm:   

De, we definitely need to be open-minded about everything; however, we also need to apply the facts, logic and reason as well. Ideas like a snuff film won't compromise the case, however, it can easily be ruled out as any sort of possibility and so further discussion is not only pointless, but how does it advance the case?

Granted, Helter Skelter was bizarre and whacked out, but there's crazy and then there's crazy. For a paranoid junkie like Manson to believe the Beatles were sending subliminal messages through the White Album about a black-white race war is one thing, but to claim that Z wrote about nukes in the 340 cipher, that L Ron Hubbard was the grand poobah of the Zodiac Killer assassins and that a federal judge has actually taken it seriously and is checking it out is insane and quite simply not believable.

Granted, BTK did take pics and is without a doubt a sexual sadist, but Z did not have enough time to take any (perhaps at LHR to snap a quick Polaroid, but highly unlikely considering his subsequent crime scene behavior).

Dave: talk is one thing, but in which of Z's 4 crimes did he demonstrate anything even coming close to resembling sexual sadism? Rader masturbated over the body of Nancy Fox for hours; Z attacked blitz-style 3 times and left the scene as quickly as possible, and at LB, he left immediately after he finished stabbing them even though they talked for about 15 minutes beforehand. They might both be serial killers, but they are not the same kind of serial killer. Yellow Book advanced the sexual sadist theory only to explain why Allen's writing didn't match Z's (Zodiac, p. 267), despite his projector theory (pp. 218-219).
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 6:38 pm:   

Again, on top of being bulky, the camera would likely make noise. Where inside the costume could the camera have logically been concealed? The lens on the camera would have been noticeable, too. If there was a camera around at all, it would not have been on his person. Why would he conceal the camera if he was going to kill the only ones who would have seen it? This undeveloped theory is running out of film fast.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 6:50 pm:   

If I remember correctly, Ed, Graysmith also postulated that Zodiac masturbated while writing his letters. No mean feat that, considering he was running his projector at the same time.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 7:00 pm:   

"...Zodiac masturbated while writing his letters."

What did he hold the paper down with? Wait -- I don't want to know.

Actually Doug, I believe Dave Toschi came up with that idea. Maybe from experience?
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 7:19 pm:   

Perhaps Graysmith was also masturbating when he wrote Zodiac and Zodiac Unmasked? That would explain a lot, wouldn't it?

Tom & Ed, I'm with ya. Sandy brought up an item of speculation for discussion. You and others who know the case details inside out showed how it is probably an unrealistic theory. To me, that's how a discussion board is supposed to work. It's a beautiful thing when it works like that. I'm honestly not sure how Z's filming or not filming the events has any real bearing on solving the case anyway but I don't think we should discourage theorizing. Sometimes posters (including myself) rely on you to test a theory against the case details.

My point about Manson was that serial killers are generally not poster boys for logical thinking and mental health and Z was certainly no exception. Until we know Z, we will not know for sure what motivated and inspired him.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 7:24 pm:   

Not only would one have needed a bright source of light close by to film the LHR, BRS and PH crimes using 1969 filming technology, the light on Z Island was fading fast at the time Z stabbed Hartnell and Shepard. It's doubtful a camera could have picked up anything worthwhile (or even identifiable) in the shadows.

Seriously, this is a dead issue and there's really no further need to discuss the possibility that Z made a snuff film. Everything militates against it. Period.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 7:35 pm:   

Ed, why don't we wait and see if a snuff-theory proponent can give us a logical scenario for pulling it off at Lake Berryessa? I haven't heard one yet, but I'd like to.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 7:50 pm:   

I'm waiting too, Tom, and I'd love to hear it! I can't think of a way for it to be feasible given the facts, the technology of the time, logic and reasoning, but maybe, however unlikely, it might have been possible. Thus far, however, disregarding the known facts in favor of a theory that there's no evidence for just doesn't work, but that's just me.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 8:57 am:   

I'd just like to add, when you think of the high tech video being used at the time in Viet Nam and Hollywood, there may have been some equipment available for filming from a distance. This would mean there was an accomplice, maybe a military guy, but I haven't seen any evidence of another person in the area, except for the man walking with his cid.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 12:45 am:   

Something to consider is that Z might have used an 8mm or Super 8 home movie camera if he was making a snuff film. We inherited a Super 8 from my grandparents (which we used briefly in the early 80's), and the film runs only a few minutes. We know that Hartnell estimated that from the time Cecelia spotted Z until his departure, some 15 minutes elapsed (LB Report, p. 24, ¶ 7), and since Z also had to walk from the nearest vantage point to place a camera (the ridge across the cove from Z Island), that would add at least another several minutes, meaning the film would have run out long before Z even got to the island!
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 4:06 am:   

It is great to know that you and I think alike, Doug. Never once did I believe Zodiac to be a sexual sadist - I always regarded him as being more akin to these people in terms of behavior and psychology. My first exposure to this essay that you authored and Michael Kelleher's profile of Zodiac - both of which I consider quintessential analyses of Zodiac's actions and mindset - left me pleasantly surprised to find out that I was not far off the mark.

I don't see Zodiac's "I like killing because it is so much fun" and "It is even better than getting your rocks off with a girl" quotes as being indicative of a sexually sadistic streak on Zodiac's part, Dave. To me, the former smacks of posturing - much like the actions of the green trooper who brags that "A day without blood is like a day without sunshine" so as to convey the impression of being tough and dangerous - while the latter, as Doug has pointed out in his aforementioned essay, indicates that Zodiac had a 'sour grapes' attitude towards sexual relations.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 7:18 am:   

Nachtsider, here's an interesting quote from the crimelibrary.com site (incidentally I agree that the people profiled there are very Zodiac-like in their attributes): “I killed because people like me are mistreated every day,” he said. “I did this to show society: Push us and we will push back.” This is typical on the part of "disaffected" killers, as I like to call them. They have a hard time identifying a particular member of society who has done them harm, so they go after a class of victim that represents the entire range of persons who have supposedly (in their minds) injured them. Zodiac appears to be no different. In his first three assaults his victims were so alike that we're almost forced to conclude that he's viewing them, not as people who have personally done him any wrong, but representative of those people as a whole. Add to that a significant measure of envy, and you've got his motive encapsulated in a nice little nutshell.

One of the reasons why Zodiac has never been identified, I think, pertains to his mis-classification as a sexual sadist, or "serial killer" in the common parlance. People like Kelleher have since gotten wise, but as a whole, researchers and pundits are only slowly coming around. I think we've seen the same phenomenon with Jack the Ripper--obviously a sexual sadist, though for years people had him mislabeled as a psychotic.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 2:18 pm:   

Yeah, right. Zodiac was just a nice guy. "I like killing people" and getting his rocks off by doing so is an indication that he had normal sexual patterns.

He was never mis classified because he was never identified. --Z wasn't a Jack the Ripper copycat. He used guns 3 times and the knife once. Plus, he didn't do his own personal autopsies!

And, Snuff films are out there. Some of them in the Stockton area. How were they filmed?
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 4:01 pm:   

Did any of "these people" (school killers) commit their attacks across a time span of several years? No. They killed with no regard for the consequences. Some even killed themselves.

Zodiac, on the other hand, planned each attack separately, including his escape. Does not sound like "these people" at all. Zodiac was well out of high school. Sure, it is convenient to dismiss the words that Zodiac wrote, but the words came from his pen, his mind. The words are posturing: sexual posturing. Zodiac bragging of his conquests. He used violence like a rapist uses sex. He moved from victim to victim, just like a rapist.

Most of the school killers that you claim to be Zodiac-like were obsessed with media violence and were probably more apt to make or view snuff films than Zodiac. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris filmed themselves shooting stuff up before their attacks. They had other home videos bragging about their plans. They made a video for a class in which they portrayed themselves as gunmen gunning down "jocks." The video featured a great deal of fake blood.
A girl in the class said many of the videos were violent and sexual. They had no reason to film their actual attacks, as easy as it would have been, because they knew they were going to die. Zodiac did not plan to die, he enjoyed what he was doing too much.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 5:16 pm:   

When sexual sadists plan their attacks, they generally plan for some "quality time" as well. Zodiac didn't do this. He killed quickly and fled. Zodiac was a disaffected killer who wasn't ready to die in order to get his revenge, although in the PH event we see him tempting fate. Remember the axiom of Montresor: "A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser."
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 6:51 pm:   

As Montresor also said, "I have my doubts."
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 9:36 pm:   

Who exactly misclassified Z as a sexual sadist? I think the answer to that is found in the yellow book, p. 257, where Yellow Book himself asks Dr Donald T. Lunde a very leading question:

"Having seen copies of all the Zodiac letters, are you inclined to believe that Zodiac is a sexual sadist?" I asked.

"Most likely if I had to make a choice it would be that," said Lunde.


This exchange allegedly took place on 2-29-1980; other than in the introduction (p. x), this is the very first mention of sexual sadism regarding Z. It's extremely convenient and therefore highly suspicious because Yellow Book goes on to say (p. 258):

The sexual sadist often taunts the police in letters, uses deliberate misspellings, and under stress may use handwriting that is unrecognizable from his true writing.

He claims he first heard of Allen on 3-2-1980 (p. 260), a mere 2 days after his alleged conversation with Lunde, and on 4-25-1980, he discovered that Allen's writing "was the closest to the Zodiac printing that I had ever seen" (p. 281). Yellow Book also said (p. 267):

At this time (September 1972, when Allen's trailer was searched), no one had any idea that Zodiac was using some sort of tracing technique in his letters. Toschi was also unaware that, as I learned from later research, stress produces dramatic changes in the handwriting of a sexual sadist. I also obtained samples of [Allen's] real handwriting on job applications; it was tiny and very different from the samples he made for Armstrong and Toschi.

So, Yellow Book claims he discovered on 8-5-1978 that Z used a projector to disguise his writing (pp. 218-219), then a year and a half later started asking experts about sexual sadists' handwriting, then 2 days later claims he discovered Allen, then a month and a half after that found that Allen's writing looked liked Z's, but since Allen was Z and was a sexual sadist, the writing samples he gave SFPD under duress didn't look like Z's. Kinda convenient how he just thought Z might be a sexual sadist and then conveniently discovered Allen immediately afterwards, and already had the answer as to why his writing samples didn't match Z's...

And if Allen was Z and used a projector to disguise his writing, what was the point since his natural writing looked like Z's anyway? Oops...

All too convenient, methinks. I suspect the real chronology was that Yellow Book discovered Allen much earlier than he claimed and looked for a way to explain the writing away with two different and contradictory theories. Not only that, there is zero evidence that either Z or Allen were sexual sadists.

I can see a sexual sadist wanting to make a snuff film, but since Z was not... something else to consider as we get this topic back on track is that, since Z was likely using a home movie camera and since it was not likely to really show much anyway (in addition to running out of film long before he got to Z Island), what was the point of spending time to make the hood and placing his symbol on the front? The symbol could not possibly have been seen, and he would have looked like the Unknown Comic with that square hood; Z would have been better off using a ski mask. Sorry, the snuff film idea still doesn't make any sense to me.
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Sanfranguns
Username: Sanfranguns

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 1:48 pm:   

Maybe aliens abducted Z and that's why no one has ever caught him
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 3:41 pm:   

How about Snuff Stills? I've never seen that subject broached before. Oswald had a miniature spy camera. The tech was there. Maybe Z had a miniature camera concealed in his regal costume!
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 4:25 pm:   

Even stills would have to be developed by someone. Hartnell didn't say anything about the attacker taking snapshots. Instant cameras (requiring no lab) were available, even instant movie cameras, but they were large, bulky, and would have made noise.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 10:06 pm:   

Doug, your input is both fascinating and informative, and I once again voice my full support for the views you have presented here.

Yarbchris, you might want to give this document a shufti, paying particular attention to the material on pages 16-21 of the report (corresponding to pages 22-27 of its PDF format). If the personality traits and behavior detailed in said section do not seem even vaguely Zodiac-like to you, I know not what else to say.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 11:37 pm:   

Thanks, Nachtsider.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 12:19 am:   

They may seem Zodiac-like, but these traits are not limited to school shooters. The points in the linked document are so broad they could be applied to virtually any type of killer, sexual sadists included. The article is about assessing general threats of violence in school settings, not dividing each killer into separate profiles. Sexually motivated killers have also been known to kill their schoolmates. This does not mean that they fit the same profile as Klebold and Harris, or other suicidal mass murderers. Zodiac was not a school boy when he committed the murders, he was a grown man who wasn't forced to endure persecution and bullying in a school setting. He did what he did because he liked killing people. His words said so. His actions proved it.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 12:28 am:   

Yarbchris, I'd argue a couple of those points with you. We've discussed before how his actions weren't consistent with someone who enjoyed killing, and we haven't any way of knowing whether he was bullied at school. If anything he enjoyed the idea that his victims, and society, were getting their comeuppance, but not the process of meting out death itself.

In fact, killing in itself isn't necessarily what the sexual sadist is looking for--in many cases it's only the culmination of a more involved process, and gets carried out only in order to eliminate the witness.
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 10:39 am:   

I still don't see the whole sexual sadist connection anyway. I just don't see it.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 12:57 pm:   

This thread is supposed to be about whether Zodiac was shooting a snuff film. Like I have said on another thread, the term "sexual sadist" may be misleading as to the meaning I am trying to convey. I have no argument that Zodiac wanted comeuppance or revenge. Even rape is an act of perceived power or conquest. We have also discussed how his actions were consistent with someone who enjoyed killing. It is not an easy concept to understand unless one realizes that the sexual aspect is largely psychological, as opposed to physical. The physical part of the sexuality is the act of killing, which Zodiac substitutes for the act of sex. If you examine each attack involving a female victim you will find that the weapons and methods of killing are not the most lethal in Zodiac's arsenal. This is because he enjoyed the "killing" much more than the actual death. If death itself was his primary goal there wouldn't have been the two male survivors. Cecilia Shephard wouldn't have made it to the hospital. Darlene Ferrin wouldn't have been found alive, even briefly. Fear and terror were big turn-ons for the Zodiac. The taunts, threats, and the actual blood Zodiac included in his correspondence were another way of achieving his satisfaction. The hooded costume was a culmination of his killing fantasy. It was intended to increase the fear and horror that he craved. His actions were indeed very consistent with someone who enjoyed the act of killing.
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 6:52 am:   

Its seems a reach that anybody could say he was a sexual Sadist. I think he killed people plainly because he was disturbed. I don't think sex had anything to do with it. Sure he hated women more then men by his actions,but to go to the extreme of sexual sadist is a reach.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 9:52 am:   

As I've observed before, I think his problem had to do with sex, but only to the extent that he wasn't getting any and resented those who were--even to the extent that he may have rationalized that he was "cleaning up" society by his actions. After all, that was the essential plot of The Mikado.

Our great Mikado, virtuous man,
When he to rule our land began,
Resolved to try, a plan whereby
Young men might best be steadied.
So he decreed, in words succinct,
That all who flirted, leered or winked,
Unless connubially linked,
Should forthwith be beheaded.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 11:07 am:   

Disturbed? Indeed.

Don't get hung up on the term "sexual sadist." This is a broad classification that doesn't (IMO) adequately represent the Zodiac's profile. It is closer to the mark than some other categories LE might put the case under. If you're looking for signs of a physical sexual attack, you're not going to find it here. Zodiac was a sexually repressed person. Since Zodiac was uncomfortable with sex, at least in the normal sense, he turned to murder for satisfaction. I have used the term "pseudo-sexual behavior" to try and convey my thoughts on his attacks. Zodiac violated his victims with multiple stab wounds and gunshots in much the same way a rapist would violate his victim. Instead of living out some twisted sexual fantasy, Zodiac lived out his fantasies of murder. The sex was mental, perhaps even subconscious. Yes, his attacks were about power and revenge. Rape is also about power and revenge. Zodiac was afraid of sex. Sex made him uncomfortable. I think he might have even found the very subject shameful. He probably wasn't even thinking about sex when he committed his attacks, but his own sexual frustration was the demon that was driving him. I believe that Zodiac used violence as a replacement for sex. He may have watched violent movies and read violence-themed magazines (True Detective, Front Page Detective) to fuel his fantasies in the same manner as one would view pornography. It seems a reach to deny that sex was a motivating factor in Zodiac's crimes.
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 11:12 am:   

I find it strange that arsonists can get sexually aroused from lighting a fire.
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 1:38 am:   

I don't see it as a motivating factor. Sure something motivates him,but no solid proof that sex is his motivation. I believe zodiac would have written more about it if it was a motivation. Yes he attacked couples,but couples liked to go to secluded areas to be alone and that was a way for zodiac to kill and have a safer escape. Yes it seemed he hated women more,but if that was a reason alone then he would of found only women.You dont find to many people alone in secluded areas.
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 1:43 am:   

To many people as in a single person in a secluded outdoor area.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 2:38 am:   

You're most welcome, Doug, and I'll drink to the point you recently raised about The Mikado. Zodiac's clear identification with the character of Ko-Ko the Lord High Executioner, whose official role in the operetta was to execute all individuals caught in the act of flirting (read: engaging in suggestive, if not overtly sexual, activity), probably sparked in him some sort of twisted justification to murder the young couples whom he saw and despised as enjoying what he was not getting.

Yarbchris wrote: "He probably wasn't even thinking about sex when he committed his attacks, but his own sexual frustration was the demon that was driving him."

It's great to know that you and me are at least seeing somewhat eye-to-eye now.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 3:07 am:   

I agree with all who have commented on the strong element of sexual repression with Z. I find it very interesting that the only references Z makes about sexuality are the Confession Letter (IF this was created by Z) and the 3-part cipher.

The first, of course, is typewritten and anonymous, the second is only revealed by solving a cipher. Both of these references, IMO, read like the writer is TRYING to sound overtly sexual when the crimes committed are clearly not.

Confession Letter: "She went very willingly. Her breast felt very warm and firm under my hands"

3-part cipher solution: "It is even better than getting your rocks off with a girl"

Is it just me or do both of these statements seem contrived and disingenuous- like something either copied out of a Harlequin romance novel (1st example) or something you might tell your junior high peers to sound like one of the guys (2nd example)?

Kaczynski's background of sexual repression is a big plus in my book.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 10:38 am:   

Especially, Deoxys, since it was so bad he decided to have himself emasculated as a remedy--then backed off at the last moment, at which precise point, filled with humiliation and shame, he resolved to begin killing.

As I put it in Chapter 12 of my book:

For Kaczynski, such events most likely precipitated the month-long episode during the summer of 1966, when he found himself sexually excited nearly all the time, and fantasized obsessively about being a woman. As we have seen, this led directly to his considering a sex change operation, and the personal humiliation arising when he suddenly aborted the attempt — shame and humiliation so strong that they led immediately to a grim and terrible resolve. We must not deceive ourselves that this resolve had anything to do with the evil wrought by encroaching technology, or the effects of the technological society upon human freedom, or any of the other rationalizations by which Kaczynski pretended to act in later years. Kaczynski’s problem could be stated in a word, and the word was SEX.

In reference to that line in the Confession Letter, notice how the writer mentions how "warm and firm" Cheri Jo's breast felt under his hand, but follows it up with "but only one thing was on my mind." That, to my mind, is similar in tone to the "rocks off with a girl" comment.
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 12:39 pm:   

Those couple of statements Zodiac made prove what exactly? I think their weak statements to prove he was a sexual sadist. I think he would of said more about it if it were the case.
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Va_trent
Username: Va_trent

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 8:22 pm:   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-CUw1qbWkg&NR

I know, I know... but this is the first I have seen of it.

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