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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 5:47 pm:   

As seen in the below 1969 photo, the corner of Washington and Cherry featured two of the Zodiac's favorite things: A phone and a mailbox. Sure, it was a police call box and not a pay phone, but wouldn't that be even more fitting?

Corner

Here's the question: When claiming credit for the Stine murder, why did Zodiac mention the intersection of Washington and Maple instead of where he actually committed the crime, Washington and Cherry? Especially since the true crime location was so fitting with the phone and mailbox?

Was his letter written in advance? Did Zodiac intend to kill Stine at Maple, but couldn't for some reason? Perhaps Zodiac didn't scout the neighborhood well enough to see how fitting Cherry would have been?

Very odd.

Not only that, but did the Zodiac mail his letter from the mailbox pictured above? Or, could that have been his intent?
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Etphoto
Username: Etphoto

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 6:37 pm:   

Very good points Tom. Although, if Z wrote his letter in advance, why not just rewrite it with the updated information?

ET
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Tommyt
Username: Tommyt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 9:57 pm:   

Thats very interesting Tom. Like Ed was saying in chat the other night, he truly believes that Z was not from SF given, like you said, he did not know the area well enough to recall exact street corners. Likely, when arriving at Wash and Maple, he then realized that it was not the actual street corner where the phone and mailbox were located. By the time he committed the murder, he was anxious to get out of Dodge and did not even bother looking at the street sign for Cherry. Even-though he did not alway seem organized, he could have easily looked at a map to see what the actual street corner was after the murder. For that matter, I think that the letter could have been written prior. One thing that i noticed when I went to that intesection last summer was that it was that Maple is not that far from Cherry. I originally thought that he might have missed that street corner because of people outside their homes, but he would not have continued to shoot someone from only one block away given those possible witnesses. Did he mail the letter from the mailbox above? Thats a good question, but did the teens witness that? Can Post offices determine that?
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Nick
Username: Nick

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, July 14, 2006 - 1:09 am:   

I'll bet investigators searched that box for a weapon, wallet, etc. Of course they would have just glossed over any actual mail. How ironic if Zodiac had dropped the Stine letter in that box and it was just brushed aside.
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Sean
Username: Sean

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, July 14, 2006 - 8:49 am:   

Great stuff Tom and some very interesting obversations on how fitting a spot it was.I believe it's another indication that Washington and Cherry was the intended stop.Everything about this murder screams symbolism and we have different actions and coincidences that bolster that idea.
That he should show up at this site on this date is a startling coincidence given the story of Washington and the Cherry tree, written by an author who died on this exact date.
The taking of the keys and Stine's identification.(for which he had no use and never used)
The trouble he went to to retrieve that specific "proof" the "Bloody shirt", which when used as a methaphor meant "flagrant proof of guilt".
And also as you have pointed out, the mailbox and phone, things Zodiac had always made use of, indicates more symbolism.
Before this murder it was always an isolated spot that offered plenty of protection. He could easily, have got Stine to drive into the Presidio, picked a darker area between blocks, or got Stine to go to the top of Cherry or Maple right to the wall, but instead risked pulling up under a light at an intersection.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, July 14, 2006 - 12:48 pm:   

Sean, if Cherry was his intended destination, surely Z would have known the name of the street. However, he specifically asked Stine to take him to Maple, and in his letter, he wrote, "over by Washington St + Maple St," strongly suggesting he did not know the actual location. How do you figure Cherry was the intended destination since it is apparent he had no idea what the name of the street was?
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Sean
Username: Sean

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 5:05 am:   

Hey Ed,
First up, what you are working from is a single piece of information i.e Zodiac chose to write "Over by Washington and Maple".
At face value only, well yes, it is a fair assessment that Z may not have known the area, or at least it's one intepretation.
However, Zodiac has always done this, in naming the scenes.
When it was LHR, he wrote out at Lake Herman.
When it was Blue Rock Springs, he wrote the public park.
And when it was Lake Berryessa he wrote "people in the North Bay area.
Any of these, especially the second (we have the comments from Nancy Slover)could be seen to mean that Zodiac wasn't familiar with these areas either (using the same logic). Yet the evidence strongly suggests that he did know them well and probably was either living in or around or commuting through Vallejo.
So initally, for me at least, this begins to take the gloss off of any certainty or strong suggestion that he didn't know/may not have known.

Secondly...If what you suggest is correct, it means that Zodiac did very little planning. Is this likely? Well I'm confident that Zodiac not only knew all the other areas but trolled them for victims.....
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Sean
Username: Sean

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 5:23 am:   

I also think it's fair to say that Zodiac(even from the off) had S.F in mind for a future murder.
He immdeiatley included the S.F newspapers for maximum publicity and I find it no surprise at all
that he cam here, for what I believe was his last murder.
I believe it's likely that he planned this "well enough" picking a quiet area next to a park that offered him not only an escape route but one that
would be confusing enough to LE should they attempt to pick up his trail.
Anywhere else in the city would have severely limited his options and taken from this confusion.
To that end, I think he chose well and spent time chosing.He posted enough letters from S.F and may well (on the days he did so)have scouted this area
Simply put, the evidence from his other murders suggest planning and previous reconnaissance and I see no reason to suggest otherwise based on a deceptive statement which was part of his previous M.O.....
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Sean
Username: Sean

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 5:38 am:   

Thirdly...the practical side...If we believe his destination was Washington and Cherry i.e that was the spot he intended to murder Stine, then it makes little sense IMO that that would be the destination he would give to Stine himself.
He's coming into a residential neighbourhood and regardless of what he has previously seen or believed there is always the chance that there could be someone around or something to thwart his plans.
I see it as being quite logical that he first gets Stine to come up short and ensure the coast is clear. If he hasn't factored that in what does he do when arriving at Maple and there's a couple standing on the corner? He has to allow for these things and it isn't rocket science.
Yet this has been offered as an explanation as to why he moved further on. So, if W&M was his destination and there was no one around why did he move on in the first place?
On the flip side,if that was the reason, his next move was extraordinarly stupid. He moves exactly one block, pulls up under a light just short of the next intersection and blindsides himself from Cherry, when anyone could walk around the corner at any minute( having just passed someone on the previous corner).But then again, we have no account from any witness who was there, so we have no reason why he over shot W&M to begin with....
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Sean
Username: Sean

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 5:57 am:   

Next there's the question of the "prints". That's another discussion but it is relevant.
Scenario one...he has screwed up, didn't protect his prints and compounded that by leaning on the side of the cab. Obviously it's on his mind and he has to allow time to remove these later.
That's extra time that he can't count on. Wouldn't the logical thing be to pull up somewhere out of sight in a darker area. It's ridiculous, that he would then pull up where he did.
Scenario two...they're not his prints(or they are) and he's screwed up gathering items or leaving fake clues(as he said) and he has pulled up somewhere where he needs some light to do whatever he's doing. I think there's something else that we should not dismiss lightly and that may be that he wanted to be seen (again another discussion)
So then, all told thus far,I see plently of reasons as to why we shouldn't count on his written words here to dismiss other options that could be at play here.For me it was a question of examining each thing in and of itself and I believe there's an explanation that accounts for everything.
Just one more point before I get to that. it could well be that he did want to forge a link to W&M and that that was the reason he wrote what he did (as opposed to not knowing Washington and Cherry) So again we can't count on his words as proof of anything......
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 8:29 am:   

If Zodiac fully intended to go to Maple because it had the access to the park, then why didn't he have the cab take him to the end of Maple right to the access?

Sometimes I think Z intended to walk down Jackson to his car or a particular location but Foukes and Zelm changed his plans.

I have to rewatch the video, it seem Ed was talking about the Zodiac restaurant being near by.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2006 - 7:41 am:   

There is something else on that corner that Z liked--an SF Chronicle newspaper vending machine--You can see it better on the "A View to a Kill" thread.

Is this spot where Z mailed his letters, then "got off" about reading them in the Chronicle/Examiner?

I also wanted to point out that I had no idea I had been in PH and the Stine scene, until I got my computer in 2005, and went to Tom's site and read it and looked at the pics.---VD
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 9:46 pm:   

I went to Washington/ Maple & Cherry today to have a look around.

I drove East on Washington, just as the cab would have done. When I reached Washington & Maple, Cherry was one block ahead, and created a blind crest in the road. I could not tell if any cars were approaching, nor could I see anything coming North or South on Cherry.

It made perfect sense to drive one more block and stop. Then, from that intersection, I could see what was coming West on Washington, as well as South on Cherry. It looked very unlikely for cars to be coming North on Cherry with any frequency, since it was a short distance to the park.

So, I think that Zodiac may have planned to walk away on Maple, which is why it was fixed in his mind, instructed to the cabbie, and mentioned in his letter, but that he had Paul Stein pull to the top of the hill so he could see any oncoming walkers or approaching cars.

Also, the houses are fairly close together there, and many look like they've been there a long time. It's actually a fairly clostrophobic intersection, with buildings set close to the road. It would both be a place to easily turn a corner and disappear, as well as a place to be easily surprised by a walker. But, from Washington & Cherry, it would be pretty easy to spot an oncoming car.

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