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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 2:15 am:   

Apparently it really does exist:

!
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Colette
Username: Colette

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 3:49 am:   

There is that shuffling lope, interesting way of walking. No mention of talking to Zodiac.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 1:01 pm:   

Shuffling and loping are contradictory terms. I wonder what he meant by it?
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 5:51 pm:   

Some observations:

They spelled Stine wrong on the report.

While responding to the scene, how did they know the suspect resembled the Zodiac Killer--the white guy who they let pass? Fouke even describes his navy blue jacket as being part way zippered. Why so much detail observed if he was looking for a black suspect? Who typed this report? There is no signature. And how did he gleen that the guy was of Welsh ancestry?---I thought his partner that night was Eric Zelms. The report says his partner was officer Lalas #1348 of Richmond--and the report is not dated.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 6:39 pm:   

Dave, we old guys have to be careful that our presbyopia doesn't get the better of us. The report does say "E. Zelms," though I can see how you might have viewed it as "Lalas." And there is indeed a signature--quite a stylish one--in the lower-left corner.

But I agree; I think this is probably a bit too much detail, given the circumstances of the sighting. Given the auspicious nature of the case, I think I can see why Fouke might have dressed things up a bit.
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Colette
Username: Colette

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 12:48 am:   

There is a date at the top right hand...
Wed. 11/12/69
BTW, great find Tom!
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 6:37 am:   

OK, thanks, my eyes are getting worse. I have my doubts that Fouke typed this report. That signature looks pretty eloquent for his. Do we have anything to compare it to?

I do see Zelms now.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 6:44 am:   

If Zodiac was a Welshman, chances are he was drunk at the time. Does anyone know whether SFPD checked out all the bars in the vicinity?
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 1:01 pm:   

Hi, Dave; Bernie here.

It appears Fouke refers to his suspect as the Zodiac because the report is written a month after the murder. Stine is killed on Oct. 11th; no one knows who they're dealing with as it looks like a stand alone cabbie mugging/murder. The Chronicle gets the Z letter with the bloody shirt two days later on the 13th. Toschi and Armstrong realize who they have on their hands. Either talk gets around the Department or the investigators check with all the officers on the scene. Someone puts two and two together and figures out Fouke has probably seen their man. He's ordered to submit his report and does so on November 12th. He knows the Zodiac connection because he's been told by T&A or his boss in the chain of command. Sometimes it takes a while to understand the significance of a particular event in an investigation. A month is not even all that unusual.

Cheers,

Bernie
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 5:21 pm:   

Bernie, that is the clearest and best scenario of those events that I have heard. Thank You.

Doug, Let's not forget the watering holes on the Presidio.--The Officer's Club, The NCO Club, The EM Club, The Golden Gate Club, and all the PX's which sold beer. The beer was flowing at PSF, as it is at all Army bases.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 3:11 pm:   

Dave

Don't get me wrong; the above is only an example. For instance I believe Mike Rodelli quotes Fouke as saying he submitted the report on his own in order to clear up any confusion as to exactly what happened that night. It's been a while since I saw what Rodelli wrote but his site is currently off-line so I can't check it. The point is that Fouke was aware he had crossed paths with who was almost certainly the Zodiac by the time he wrote the report a month later.

Bernie
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, November 20, 2006 - 10:21 am:   

Bernie, there was a story in the Chronicle on 11-12-1969 about Z's recent letters, and they published Z's claim that Fouke & Zelms stopped him (which I have all but proven was yet another of his lies). I suspect Fouke's memo was motivated by that story.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, November 20, 2006 - 2:24 pm:   

I suspect that there wasn't too much fuss about the Fouke sighting until that letter came in and the creamed-chipped-beef hit the fan. Up until that point Fouke probably (honestly) admitted that he hadn't gotten much of a look at the suspect; not enough to trump what the teenage witnesses had seen. The letter, with its potential for embarrassing the agency, suddenly focused his powers of recollection.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, November 20, 2006 - 6:25 pm:   

FWIW, I still don't think that's Fouke's signature on the report. It looks too feminine to be his signature. Perhaps there are some other people who could provide info on this report.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, November 20, 2006 - 7:07 pm:   

There was some carping about GS being a 'deceiver' and making this memo up(although it's existance was known by some).Some posters were pretty vocal.
Whether you like someone or not or feel they use deceptive methods-when they are LATER found to be correct then this should be acknowledged.

Did Fouke deny using the term "shuffling lope?"Not to criticize,but I seem to recollect he did.

That signature says Donald Fouke.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, November 20, 2006 - 10:12 pm:   

Howard, Yellow Book has been proven to have fabricated many things in order to further his agenda; there is no doubt about that. Considering all the other crap he has poisoned this case with for the last 20 years, it's only natural to doubt his word on anything and everything. The existence of this memo happens to exonerate him on this single point only. He still has zero credibility where his story cannot be backed up otherwise. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, I'll give him that.

Upon closer examination, while Yellow Book apparently had a copy of this memo, and despite the fact that he wrote in Zodiac Unmasked, p. 22, "It is crucial enough to quote in full," we can see that he did no such thing. His version of the memo is not the same as the one Tom posted; it is absolutely incredible that he completely failed to accurately reproduce a simple memo!

I won't list everything, it's easy enough for those with a copy of ZU to compare, but here are a few examples:

... the Zodiac killer was observed by officer Fouke," he wrote, "walking in an easterly direction...

The words, "he wrote," do not appear in the memo, and serve no purpose otherwise.

... was that of a Negro male.

"Negro" is not capitalized in the memo.

The memo is broken down into 4 paragraphs, but Yellow Book couldn't be bothered to do so. He also added the word "Star" between "Patrolman" and "847."

I cannot depend on the word of an author like Yellow Book who claims to be an authority when he says he's going to do one thing yet fails in the exceedingly simple task of quoting a straightforward memo. Yes, good for him that he found a copy, but it's simple crap like failing to accurately quote something that makes people wonder, "If he can't get this simple thing right, what else did he screw up that is far more important???"
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 23, 2006 - 9:23 am:   

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Ed:

I agree it was lie on Zodiac's part. There's nothing I've read that indicates that Donald Fouke was anything but an officer of good service and integrity. And it wasn't his fault that he and his partner did not capture that murderer that night. They were given a bad description. I can imagine what he was thinking when he got the amended description. Speaking of which, I've read versions where the amended one was a general broadcast and others where they rolled up to the scene and Pellisetti told them. If it was the latter it means Z gained precious time in making good his escape. Any info out there?

Doug:

You probably hit the nail on the head on the timing. I'd forgotten about the letter's date until Ed mentioned it. Picture the uproar. I can see the Chief getting involved and telling Fouke to produce something.

Dave:

You may have something there. Howard mentions the "shuffling lope" denial which again, I think is in the Rodelli interview. I even tried a Google cache search on the page, but no results. Blast it! Any packrats out there who may have saved the Rodelli - Foukes interviews?

Cheers,

Bernie
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 23, 2006 - 11:41 am:   

I have them, Bernie. I saved them as html, but I suppose I can send them to you in text form.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 23, 2006 - 1:31 pm:   

Ed, I'd appreciate that. I was a policeman for twenty five years in Bayonne, NJ, and consider Don Fouke a pretty compelling figure in this whole thing. I wouldn't want put myself in his shoes. I'd hope he takes some consolation in the fact that no one else got killed by the Zodiac (that we know of) after their run-in. HTML will be fine. I'll add your email to my address book so it gets through.

Thanks,

Bernie
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, November 24, 2006 - 5:54 am:   

Ed you really love that yellow book!
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Sean
Username: Sean

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, November 24, 2006 - 11:08 am:   

Didn't Fouke claim (according to Rodelli)he wrote this memo less than a week after the incident and NOT a month later?
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, November 24, 2006 - 6:19 pm:   

Pardon me, I am a big cynic. Fouke didn't write anything on this report. It is all typed. Anyone could have typed it for him, and I suspect that was the case. I would like someone to compare Fouke's signature on this report with his normal signature on other reports.
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Saturday, November 25, 2006 - 11:34 pm:   

This report must have been produced from some notes Fouke took on the night of the murder. Even though policemen are "experts," it's quite unlikely he would have remembered all specifics about the suspect a month later, given the number of people he presumably would see around S.F. every day.

And where were all the things Z supposedly would have had to carry from the cab? (Gun, bloody shirt, keys, all in a bag or box of some sort.) If Z balled up the shirt and stuffed it in his pocket, it could have picked up telltale lint and fibers from his clothing.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, November 26, 2006 - 4:51 pm:   

J_eric:

The supposition about notes is quite probably correct. Stine's homicide call is the most serious type police officers will respond to in real time (outside of officer needs assistance). It's not every day you see a dead man, and every PO is trained to write something down in the notebook on a job like this. And no, policemen are not experts, simply men and women who have been trained in a particular profession. Some are good, some not so good.

Cheers,

Bernie
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, November 26, 2006 - 6:09 pm:   

I don't know if Z would need anything other than his own pockets to carry Stine's stuff. The wallet, keys and shirt tail could easily fit in his jacket pockets, and his gun could have been tucked into his belt.

There was some kook a year or so back who claimed to be a lawyer who knew Z's true identity, and said Z claimed to have had a satchel in which he kept a clean change of clothes because those he wore were soaked in blood from Stine's murder. IIRC, he also claimed the Chinese boys who witnessed the Stine murder should have seen it... need I say more???
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, November 26, 2006 - 6:39 pm:   

Right, Ed

Let's face it, the bulkiest item he had was the pistol, and he got it there without drawing attention. What he took from Stine was easy to stuff in his pockets and the darkness took care of the rest.
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Scott_n
Username: Scott_n

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 4:05 pm:   

A more relevant question is where Zodiac kept his hood, scabbard, knife, bib and rope during Berryessa.

Hartnell and Shepard's first sitings of him have never described him carrying a bag of any sort and that stuff was too big to have been carried in a pocket.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 6:05 pm:   

He could have carried all that stuff in a burlap bag, for all we know. The victims were in shock, they wouldn't have noticed.

Hey, how about them spelling Stine wrong on the police report above?
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 7:00 pm:   

Even better, as Colette also notes, why does Fouke not mention that he stopped the pedestrian to ask if he'd seen a black man and had a brief conversation with him? Was this noted in a prior report, or another detail the Yellow Book cooked up for easy readin'?

It seems that if Fouke had spoken with this person (Z or not), he would have included in his details how the man spoke (drawl, accent, etc.).

Here's an experiment for you Zodiactivists: take a pistol and stick it in your belt or down your trousers, and try to walk hurriedly with it. You may end up with a shuffling lope too. Perhaps I should mention to make sure the gun is unloaded before trying this. Sorry.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 7:14 pm:   

J Eric: I've pretty much disproven the myth that Fouke & Zelms stopped and spoke with Z. It was nothing more than a pathetic lie on Z's part, and it's something that people like Yellow Book actually believed and jumped on for some bizarre reason. Z made it up, and Yellow Book propagated it.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 7:43 pm:   

J_eric:

You're entitled to your opinion. We all are. I think it's pretty much determined that the Zodiac did not talk to the officers that night. And, as I have mentioned before, I was a policeman for twenty five years. The carry of a pistol/revolver off duty or in civilian clothes is not that hard. Again, he got it there.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 8:08 pm:   

I also doubt Zodiac spoke to SFPD that night. However, I don't see how 35-40 year-old recollections regarding timing/positioning can logically be used to conclusively disprove an encounter that would have taken less than 15 seconds.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 9:30 pm:   

Fair enough, Tom. I simply believe Don Fouke when he says he and his partner didn't talk to the suspect that night.

Cheers,

Bernie
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 10:45 pm:   

Timing doesn't prove or disprove anything, but when all the other evidence is taken into consideration (especially Z's own writings), the only conclusion I can draw is that Z lied and the conversation never happened.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 11:22 pm:   

Unlikely and disproven are far different terms.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 11:38 pm:   

I did say, "I've pretty much disproven..." Other than the questionable claims of a serial killer and an author of dubious integrity, there actually isn't anything to support the contention.
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Mike_cole
Username: Mike_cole

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 6:45 am:   

Ed,

For the record, it's my opinion that you've done no such thing. After all, it wasn't too long ago that you were using the same line of reasoning to state as fact (unjustifiably) that the above memo was *not* dated 11/12/69.

"If Yellow Book truly had the original memo, why did he assign the wrong date to it?"
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 11:51 am:   

Uhh, I'm not certain when depending on the word of a discredited political cartoonist who has been proven to have fabricated "evidence" is something a credible researcher should be doing. I have not trusted much of what Yellow Book says for years now unless it can be independently verified, and based on the information we did have at the time I wrote that, it was a reasonable question to ask.

Not only that, I'm still wondering why you (or anyone else) still actually believes the unprovable claims of a murderer and a discredited political cartoonist over that of the officer who was there who said it never happened. I'm still scratching my head over that one...
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Scott_ben
Username: Scott_ben

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 1:31 pm:   

Ed, if I may interject myself into the discussion, I also take everything Graysmith writes with a grain of salt however, I for some reason always believed Zodiac on this one. His taunting of the actually police officer in his letter "Hey pig How does it feel to have your nose rubbed in your booboos" or something like that. Add to that the police actually editing that part out of the note. Even a broken clock is write twice a day.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 3:29 pm:   

Quite right, Scott, and Yellow Book actually has been right on occasion. However, as I pointed out before, in his very next letter (10-13-1969), Z rambled on about how SFPD could have caught him if they searched the park properly. Huh? Why didn't he say that SFPD almost had him but let him go? Why say something vague about searching the park???

Not only that, he failed to mention it in his next letter on 11-8-1969, and when he finally did mention it in the 11-9-1969 letter, it was on page 3! Something as momentous as the cops stopping him 2 minutes after he left the cab and then letting him go is something he should have mentioned in the 10-13-1969 letter had it really happened, not in another letter 29 days after the fact!

Not only that, what he said Fouke & Zelms asked him is so generic as to be meaningless. They were looking for a black perp in a predominantly white neighborhood, and granted, this is just speculation, but logically they would have asked, "Hey, did you see a black guy run by here?"

None of what Z wrote makes any sense at all assuming Fouke & Zelms stopped and spoke to him. However, it makes perfect sense if it didn't happen and he added that lie as an afterthought 4 weeks later. And if it did happen, why didn't Fouke mention it in his report and why is he still denying it happened 37 years later? It's not like he was at fault for anything, he was going by the information he had at the time, so he had no way of knowing they man they spotted was the killer.

Regardless, we already had a 10 thread discussion on this, and I'd rather not go over it again. And I still don't understand why a murderer and an discredited political cartoonist are assumed to be truthful on this point while the officer who was there says it never happened. It's taken me literally years to deprogram myself from believing all the crap in that horrid yellow book, and this lie of Z's is one of the last things I have finally managed to let go of.

Either way, Yellow Book does get half a brownie point for actually telling the truth about the Fouke report (he would've gotten a whole point if he bothered to reproduce it correctly). Still doesn't mean I trust anything he says, however...
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 3:29 pm:   

The cops were looking for a black male suspect at the time. They wouldn't have asked Zodiac if he saw "anyone acting suspicious or strange in the last five to ten minutes."
They wouldn't have asked for an ambiguous interpretation of "anyone" which means man, woman or child of any race and color and "acting strange or suspicious" which could mean a homeless wino talking to himself.
They would have gotten to the point and asked if he saw a black man or a male negro in the area in the last few minutes.
It's like Zodiac lifted that line off of a 60's TV crime show.
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Scott_ben
Username: Scott_ben

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 3:50 pm:   

Yellow Book is an idiot I agree. However I feel some valadation of Zodiac's statements can be found in the police report.
There is no question to the fact Fouke & Zelms let one of the most sought after criminals of the 20th Century walk right past them. Am I wrong!!
This is no minor error. Yes, agreed they had the wrong description and they had no way of knowing at the time this was a zodiac killing they where responding to but by the time this report was issued days after Zodiac claimed they spoke to him they sure did. It as if the report is an actual repudiation of Zodiac's claim.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 4:06 pm:   

Eddie!
Better now,we hope!The upper case N is no big deal.Maybe a publisher error.It still renders the RACE of the subject in question as written by the Officer.

The "he says" ("he" clearly referring to F)was probably in brackets or this was the intent(what would GS be trying to do otherwise?)referring to Fouke as he writer.
Again,it does no harm to any of the main facts or as F saw them,as they were presented by Officer Fouke.



Many authors,and I have spoken/written to many of them over the years,have been victms of press proofing even when the author/s had rendered all corrections.
At some point it LEAVES his/her hands and goes to press.I have had this happen to me.

If GS had tampered with the stated facts as Officer F saw them,then this would be different.He did not do that here.

Neither one of GS' books has undergone a revision.Then,we can judge as to intent,etc.!
Any mistakes in either book can and should be pointed out if they run counter to the KNOWN facts(time will produce more Z related documents,etc.)of the case.
On this we agree.

Again,get welllllllllll!
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 4:07 pm:   

Ed,
I meant "he wrote.'Sorry for the ERROR!
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 1:45 pm:   

This seems top be a very emotionally charged thread. I hope to discuss a few points without it being inferred as personal. I may want to meet you guys at some point in the future, who knows.

It seems whether Foukes and Zelms stopped and talked to Zodiac or not is incidental. It doesn't crack the case wide open to know either way.

I have some quandry with the facts however.

1.If Foukes and Zelms had just driven by Z inadvertently, how can the level of detail given in their sighting a month after the event be reconciled? They give age range, weight range,height, hair color (with possible greying at back which may have been light reflection) and style, chest shape, color of jacket and style and level to which it was zipped, pants color, style and fabric(!!), complexion, possible shoe style, gait, and the suspect was stooped, but enabled the the officer to say he was possibly of Welsh ancestory.

2. The fact that Z didn't mention it for a month can be explained possibly like this. After being so close to the Police after the crime, he would have felt very vulnerable then and in the days that followed. If he kept quiet, the police would maybe never suspect they had seen Z at all and their sighting desciption would not exist. However after time had elapsed and he realized they may have not much on him, his desire to "rub their noze in their boo boos" maybe overcame the added risk of the sighting being added to the file (the officers being possibly used in a future line-up if he was ever apprehended). Also he may have learnt that the teenagers' description was pretty accurate so what more could the police sighting add (a month hence). I can only think of him chuckling at the thought of the subsequent investigation and humiliation which no doubt occurred.

3. This is not a judgement of Foukes and Zelms but a girlfriend of a police officer told me that police lie and conspire to lie under oath all the time. This is pretty lame evidence but it is fair to say that just like the rest of humanity, police can lie as well. To asssume otherwise would mean that if Z was a policeman, we'd never catch him. Again it doesn't really matter in the case (except to save some face) whether they are lying or not. The fact is they have a pretty detailed description of the suspected perp either way.

4. The event would have been a major highlight or lowlight of the officers careers I assume. It would have been probably discussed with their spouse. Whilst I can see the motivation of Foukes to omit an interaction with Z if it occurred because it only further embarrassses the officers without opening any new doors in the case, I can't figure out why Zelms' wife would lie, contradicting the Foukes report (or maybe she was ignorant of the report).

Again these are just meant as points of discussion. Please feel free to correct any errors in ant facts quoted above.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 1:48 pm:   

I agree that Fouke did seem to know quite a bit of detail for such a short, drive-by encounter.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 1:54 pm:   

Oh, I forgot to mention that psychopathic serial killers arguably lie much more than police do.
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Ubpclaw
Username: Ubpclaw

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 1:59 pm:   

I also think that if they were responding to the scene of a homicide they wouldve stopped anyone in the general area. Even if they were given the wrong description from dispatch (black male) they would still stop someone walking down the street to ask them if they had seen anything suspicious, as Z claims they did with him. Add that to Stews point about getting an extraoridinary amount of detail about him while driving by and I think youve got a cop trying to cover his ass and save face for the department as a whole.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 2:05 pm:   

Tom, I have driven by some potentially attractive people before and I sometimes have trouble confirming whether they are male or female. Somehow Foukes managed to assess that level of detail at night when he was supposed to be looking for an african american male (where one wasted minute could mean the difference of two blocks of escape by the perp).
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 2:46 pm:   

Cops are trained to observe details, and while there does appear to be a lot of detail for a 5-10 second glance, there is no reason for Fouke to have lied about stopping to talk to Z. They were looking for a black, not a white, perp and they were only 2 blocks from the scene of the crime, which occurred less than 5 minutes before. Since they were going by a bad description, how can they be faulted? Besides, as I've pointed out before, if they stopped Z, Fouke would likely have asked, "Hey buddy, you see a black guy run by here?" What Z claims they asked is so generic as to be laughable and indicates that he just made it up; besides, he would have stated precisely what was said in order to embarrass them further. Not only that, why'd he wait 4 weeks to even mention it? He mentioned something vague in the 10-13-1969 letter about searching the park properly, but if he was actually stopped and spoken to by Fouke & Zelms, why didn't he say, "You morons had me, but you were looking for a black guy instead of me and just let me go. Idiots."

None of Z's claim makes sense.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 2:49 pm:   

I don't know about in SF in 1969, but I do know that police in general are trained to remember a lot more details than an average person would. As far as stopping and talking to everyone, the feeling in those minutes was that time was of the essence to apprehend the described suspect.
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Ubpclaw
Username: Ubpclaw

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 2:51 pm:   

This is from the interview with Diane Zelms:

Diane said that Eric closely followed the Stine murder on television. He told her that when he and Fouke saw a WMA they quickly decided to question him. He said that they spoke to this man "face to face!" The man was polite, calm and answered all of their questions. There was nothing suspicious about him. They then quickly left to continue their search for a BMA as had been broadcast in the APB.


Officer Zelms confessed to his wife that when they realized the man they had talked to was the Zodiac they absolutely did not know what to say or do. They understood what the full ramifications would be if it became known that San Francisco police officers had confronted but failed to capture the Zodiac Killer! She was told, in all confidence, that Fouke made the final decision to say they only drove by a WMA and he was not stopped because they were looking for a BMA.


It would seem that Fouke knew that he and Zelms had spoken to Zodiac "face to face" and he wanted to protect a rookie officer. It would be quite unthinkable that the senior officer did not know if his partner had seen the WMA as Fouke wrote in his memo and has said in some interviews. Zelms admitted to his wife in private that he cooperated with Fouke because he didn't want to get a negative report and possibly lose his job. In light of the heavy criticism from some quarters about the failure of the SFPD to capture the Zodiac, if what had happened were to get out the effects would have been devastating


I know Z is no boy scout and you can question his truthfullness on a lot of things but cops arent angels and dont always tell the gospel truth, especially when it can mean their job.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 3:41 pm:   

The "cops are trained observers" stuff doesn't work for me. What, so I can spend a few weeks at the police academy and develop 100% retention? Sorry, that's silly.

Fouke wasn't a rookie, and if he couldn't help patroling San Francisco nine or ten hours a day, five days a week, memorizing insignificant details, I would think his head would have exploded long before he encountered Zodiac.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 3:56 pm:   

It might sound silly, but details have a way of staying in one's mind because of a significant event, such as unknowingly driving by the killer and being told less than a minute later that they were looking for a white perp and realizing they just passed the killer. Granted, it seems a lot of detail for a 5-10 second encounter, but it is surprising what one actually can remember at times. That does not, however, compromise his veracity IMHO.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 4:08 pm:   

There's really no reason to suppose Zelms job was in jeopardy as a rookie. The circumstances of the incident mitigate against any alleged lapse in judgement. They were given a description of a Negro male and that's who they were looking for as the shooter. The night was dark, there's no reason to suppose Zodiac was covered in blood to the point where it jumped out, and Fouke immediately informed dispatch of who they ran across when the proper info came out. In any event, no one on SFPD knew Zodiac from a hole in the wall until the Chronicle got the letter a couple of days later with the piece of Stine's bloody shirt. It may make for juicy speculation that F&K may have spoken to our madman, but in the end they followed what was given them. At any rate, I believe Fouke, who was at the scene, and not only filed his report a month later, but many years on pretty much confirmed it all with Mike Rodelli. I can't account for what Zelms' widow says. She was not at PH that night.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 4:21 pm:   

Tom, it's not that the cops get their powers of observation from their training, but that the type of person who is likely to succeed in police work has those qualities naturally. It's one reason why cops generally don't do too well with exotic cases like that of Zodiac--an acute mindset is generally incompatible with creative thought.

I think Fouke honestly believes he observed all those details mentioned in the report, but the notoriety of the case, and the pressure he may have been under once it was known that Zodiac was involved, caused him to work overtime wringing details of the sighting from his memory. How accurate such details might be is anyone's guess. For my part I'll give some credence to the generalities, but not the specifics.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 4:31 pm:   

Doug, correct me if I'm wrong, but Fouke was a patrolman for quite a long time and didn't rise very far in rank. So, exactly how much he succeeded in police work is up for debate IMHO.

I don't necessarily believe Fouke spoke with the Zodiac, but I wouldn't be shocked if it turns out he did.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 4:48 pm:   

If they were travelling at say 30mph and let's assume they wouldn't have picked up any detail until 50 yards away from Z, then they would pass Z in 3.4 secs, assuming they slowed down a bit to get a better look maybe 5 secs. If they slowed right down then there is no way that Foukes wouldn't have known that Zelms had seen him or not.

IMO (just a hypothesis) Foukes probably didn't lie, it is more likely that the department wanted it recorded without any contact with Z for PR/political reasons. It was pretty courageous of Foukes to give such a detailed description knowing that common sense would suggest it impossible from a drive-by sighting. Also the fact that there seems to be no record of interviewing Zelms could also suggest a potential cover-up.

Furthermore, if the reason they didn't stop was because they were looking for a WBA then there would have been no need to observe anything more than determining the pedestrian's race.

Re-iterating though that it makes no difference to the case other than to expose possible police malfeasance. But, oh ... doesn't a possible conspiracy smell good...

The upshot of it all is the police sketch from the teenagers and given the thumbs up from Foukes is probably right on and might help to explain Z's subsequent inactivity. Just imagine if you looked in the paper one morning and there is a perfect pencil sketch of you on the front page with the caption "Wanted for Murder". I imagine Z keeping a low profile with the neighbors after that, if not clearing out of town. And if he didn't look like that normally, why tell everyone that you look different in everyday life when you aren't doing your "Thing". The whole point of the disguise is to lead people astray. Not let 'em onto the fact that your hair or whatever is actually different (remember Lynch VPD clearing ALA in 1969 because his hair wasn't curly - not to say ALA was Z of course)

Just my two cents.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 4:51 pm:   

WBA ?? I meant BMA (I think?), I'm trying to avoid any noun that starts with "n".
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 5:02 pm:   

Tom, he might not have been among the best of police officers, but I think he probably had the primary attributes down to some degree. One reason for the confusion might be that the SFPD were caught with their general incompetence showing, and it would never have come to light had it not turned out to be such a high-profile crime. I think the police jurisdiction in the Green River case experienced something similar--a bunch of whores were getting killed and no one was making much of it until it was realized that a serial killer was on the loose and the community raised an uproar.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 5:17 pm:   

IMO, it would have been impossible to notice that amount of detail in a slow drive by at night, as stated above. I don't go along with the "Trained Observer" excuse either. I am a trained observer(insurance investigation and military), and I would have trouble coming up with that detail, even in broad daylight.

The cover up angle is interesting. Surely Zelms would have been interviewed about this, then 3 months later he is gone. And, if some of these details were fabricated, the compo cannot be an accurate depiction of the person they encountered.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 5:21 pm:   

Tom, believe it or not, there's plenty of cops who go a whole career without taking a promotion test, or if they do it's without picking up a single piece of study material and only take the test on the theory that lightning can strike at any time. There's even more who only take a test at the end of a career hoping to up the pension a little and aren't that disappointed if they don't do well. Some officers are perfectly content not getting promoted and are happy to stay on the street (or on a nice safe special detail, more likely). If a guy or gal can go thirty years and stay alive, and deliver the services the citizens expect, how unsuccessful a career is that, even though you don't get promoted?
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 5:29 pm:   

I have been thinking that whether Foukes and Zelms interviewed Z or not is really incidental to the case.

However now I feel that if (and only if) it was subsequently revealed that they had actually been up close and personal, then that really solidifies the police sketch. This would then IMHO rule out RG's unmasked Zodiac, ala ALA. Also the height is much easier to determine when your standing facing someone than when your lying down, peering down from an apartment window, or being shot at in a car (if it was found that they got out of the car - although getting out of the car would probably conflict with the Ed's analysis on the timing of events).

Given some of the circumstantial evidence it may be worth pursuing (I still can't work out any reason for Zelms' wife to create her story) as to where RG got this from. If I were in the SFPD (notwithstanding Foukes' attempts) I wouldn't have been too happy with this misfact in the Yellow book.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 6:21 pm:   

To Greygost and other Policeman: no offense was intended on my thirdhand judgment of police lying (and under oath). She was referring to her boyfriend and his colleagues at the time.

I have known a few Police officers, all straight down the line good guys, one being a reasonably close friend, and what struck me in talking occasionally about their job was the level of environmental stress there is in their day to day work, especially for patrolmen and those in homicide. I don't think the public generally appreciates how demanding and stressful the job is.
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Greygost
Username: Greygost

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 6:29 pm:   

Stew:

None Taken!

Post away, it's the reason we all love this site. And if all cops were saints we wouldn't have Internal Affairs, but we sure do.

Cheers,

Bernie
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Scott_n
Username: Scott_n

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 7:18 pm:   

What I go back to is this: what incentive did either Eric Zelms or his wife have to lie about the encounter? None that I can see. Whereas Fouke had plenty.

In any event, this whole inquiry is conjecture piled on top of supposition. If the only reason to try to unravel whether the questioning actually happened is to prove the accurancy of a composite drawing of a guy who was probably in a disguise in the first place, I just don't think it merits all the hubub.

The 'stop' if indeed it took place could have been a 5 second interaction ("you seen a black guy around here") followed by a shake of the head from the interviewee, followed by the immediate exit of the cop car. In other words, Z could have been stopped but still been lying about what was said--as Ed proposed. Both cop and crook could have been lying.

Finally, keep in mind one leap we are all making here--that the interaction reported by the Zodiac is the exact same incident that appears in Fouke's report. That is probably, but not necessarily, true and I think it's wise to stay open to other possibilities..
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 11:41 am:   

I agree with that, Scott. Too much contention over an interesting but essentially irrelevant issue. Whether or not Fouke spoke to Z, the best he can offer is a general physical description and confirmation that the teenagers' description and composite sketch reasonably resemble the way Z looked on that night.

I do wish that he had been given the opportunity to comment on the sketch when it was produced and his own memory was still fresh. His truthfulness (or lack of...) doesn't tell us anything about Z and we already know that Z was a liar.
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Sanfranguns
Username: Sanfranguns

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 12:44 pm:   

There's always another possiblity - that they did stop to talk to a WMA and it wasn't Z at all. Maybe it was some bystander legitimately.

I honestly don't know - I've seen cops lie like a rug personally so I could see it. But Deoxys is right - it is pretty irrelevant at this point, but it's a fascinating aspect of the case
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 1:29 pm:   

Maybe Mr. X was out taking a lumbering stroll around the neighborhood that night? :-)

I think Fouke's confirmation of a general resemblance makes that less likely, SFguns, but it certainly is a possibility.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 4:04 pm:   

I might be perceived as flogging a dead horse here. However the eyewitness accounts apart from the teenagers' were all scratchy at best.

Mageau (MM)got a look at Z's profile in the dark while lying on the back seat with his legs in the air having been shot thru the cheek and jawbone as well as knee etc. To say he was under stress would be a gross understatement. And it would have been difficult to be certain on height from that position. Z made sure he had the high-powered torch in their eyes prior to firing a shot thru MM's jaw.

In the police report MM seems a little reluctant to give a firm description and says that the face was large and he only got a good look at his profile, presumably when he was shooting DF for the second time.

Hartnell (BH) at Lake Berryessa perhaps saw some greasy hair thru the mask. The hair was obscured by a pair of clip-on sunglasses over spectacles (perhaps) that it seems Z was using to keep the position of the eye-slits over his eyes. BH was sitting or lying down the whole time so his height estimate would have been somewhat difficult esp. with Z wearing a mask over an unknown hairstyle. He cited 180-200lbs on the report and it was a policeman with an identical shoe size to Z that compared his footprint and thought that Z was possibly over 210lbs (correct me if I'm wrong)

It is somewhat questionable whether Kathleen Johns was with Z or not.

If Zelms' wife is telling the truth, then Fouke and Zelms' had a face to face at close range (presumably Zelms would have been in the passenger seat and closest to Z - but I may be wrong).

Exposing police lies or a cover-up is not important. It just would be good to know if the very detailed report that Foukes gave is accurate or not (which would allow us to rule out suspects over 6 feet for instance esp. with the teenagers saying he was "short"). If they observed him in a drive-by then there is not much significance to the 5'10" height estimate or the barrel chest or anything else. If they were face to face talking with the guy, then it would have been the best sighting on record.

I find it hard to imagine that Z could do more in disguise than dye his hair and put on fake glasses if he was observed in a "crew cut" with no facial hair at close range.

We cannot take any description and use it to find the killer in 1969. However we could use a good description (on height for example) to rule out some suspects.

Until the revelation of this report (thanks to Tom), we didn't have much evidence that Foukes and Zelms saw Z at all.

The fact that Foukes and Zelms drove on is understandable as you would assume the eyewitness got the race of the perp correct and time was precious.

Furthermore, if they attempted to apprehend Z with Z having a loaded weapon, who knows what would have happened.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 4:27 pm:   

Also, if Zelms' wife is revealing the truth, and had that truth been known to Toschi and Armstrong, the suspects could have been screened by these two cops (they heard him as well). There are plenty of people in jail who were convicted based on being selected by an eyewitness in a police line-up.

There is the possibility the person the police saw wasn't Z. However Foukes and Zelms would have subsequently seen the teenagers' description including clothes, and the composite sketch.

There is also the circumstantial evidence of Z citing it in a letter (why would he cite it if it never occurred - the police would have been laughing at him instead and you'd assume the paper wouldn't print it if it wasn't confirmed).

Also, arguably, there aren't a lot of people roaming the streets of PH at that time of night (if there were Z was taking a huge risk).
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 10:32 pm:   

One way to find out if the man Fouke and Zelms spotted was Zodiac would be to establish whether or not the details of their sighting were available to the public prior to the mailing of Zodiac's Bus-Bomb Letter of 9-11-1969, in which the killer describes his supposed encounter with two patrolmen.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 2:03 am:   

Nothing was known about the encounter by the public until part of Z's 11-9-1969 letter was published on 11-12-1969.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 2:24 am:   

Thanks a bunch, Ed - that pretty much settles the identity issue.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 13, 2007 - 2:55 pm:   

Sorry for the error, Bryan Hartnell stated in the police report that he thought the assailant was 200-250lbs, not 180-200lbs.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 11:46 am:   

Stew,
When you read all the reports BH STARTED from 160lbs(both MM and KJ said his weight was around 160lbs-with MM he said publically with Dave Peterson present that the perp was "about 160") to around 200+lbs.
BH said he could not be certain due to the loose or baggy clothing.

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