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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2007 - 6:43 pm:   

Continued from here.
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Socal
Username: Socal

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2007 - 7:20 pm:   

When you guys go to Washington and Cherry to take these pictures and look around, does anybody come out and talk to you?

Are people in the area aware of the past?

The reason I ask, is I have met some people that live a couple of miles away from Washington and Cherry. Both have lived in SF for about 7 years and practice law. Neither knew anything about the history or the case. I was the first one that told them about Zodiac and Stine.
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Colette
Username: Colette

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2007 - 9:11 pm:   

With my new job I have been giving eye exams. I noticed many of the young people have 20/15 vision. When I was young I could see very clearly at great distance and have never worn glasses. I say the kids might have seen Zodiac quite well.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 1:29 am:   

Socal: in all the years I've been going out to PH (since early 1993), I've never once had any problems with any of the residents. Of course, I don't knock on doors, walk into front yards and look around, etc, but just mind my own business. In 2004 on the 35th anniversary, we had some interesting happenings (comments from passersby), but that was about it. I'm sure the locals know about what happened on that corner.

Colette: I've no doubt the kids got a good look at Z, however, how long did they actually see his face rather than his profile? When he was in the cab, he was struggling with Stine's body (presumably pulling off the shirt tail), so they would have seen the top of his head or his profile with him leaning over. About the only time they could have gotten a good look at his face was when he walked around to the driver's side, and then they saw the back of his head as he leaned into the cab. According to a friend of theirs I ran into back in November 1999, Z turned and looked right at them (presumably, he looked into the darkened windows to see if anyone was looking and saw nothing), then closed the door and walked away. Did they see him well? I have no doubt whatsoever; however, I'm thinking they could not have seen his face for anything longer than 5-10, perhaps 15, seconds at most (the rest of that time they saw his profile, etc).

Comments?
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 3:05 am:   

From my experience, I would say people look a lot different close-up than at a distance. You're not going to get a detailed view of facial features, complexion, scars, or blemishes unless you are close enough to the subject. You also would not be able to tell if the person was wearing a toupee, wig, or other such appliance that could be used to alter one's true appearance. Remember Mageau may have "bulked up" to change his appearance, Zodiac may have, too. Unless you were standing face to face, I bet it would be hard to tell, especially when the subject is a stranger.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 3:03 pm:   

Don't eyewitnesses tend to overestimate their ability to identify people they saw? I remember seeing a program once that looked at the number of cases where people were convicted of crimes based on eyewitness testimony (they were "sure" he was the one in the police line-up) which were then later, through other evidence (usually DNA), found innocent.

Going for the teenagers is the fact that there were multiple opinions collaborating, and you'd imagine Foukes would have done something if the man he saw was grossly different.

I just wish they had a better artist (as Kevin pointed out, the proportions are wrong) as the quality of the sketch is not good. I also wish they had done a profile sketch (side-on view) as IMO that could be very helpful, based on nose and chin shapes.

Notwithstanding, as has already been mentioned, it is very rare for captured felons to resemble closely their police composite sketch.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 5:45 pm:   

There is an episode of Forensic Files in which there had been some rapes and burglaries, and this guy just happened to be riding his bike by one of the crime scenes when the cops were there. They thought it was suspicious, arrested him, and he was later positively identified by more than one rape victim as the perp. He was tried and, despite the lack of physical evidence, he was, IIRC, found guilty on the basis of eyewitness identification alone (obviously, the victims had a very good and lengthy view of the perp).

Some 5 years passed, and they discovered that, guess what? The man convicted of the rape and burglaries was in fact totally, 100% innocent. The real perps turned out to be two other men who committed similar yet unrelated crimes, and they all bore a striking resemblance to each other, and the man sent to jail was an unfortunate victim of circumstance who chose to ride by a crime scene at precisely the wrong time.

So, I know the teens who saw Z in PH may not have been under duress since they didn't think Z could see them, but the fact remains that even the best eyewitnesses are often dead wrong. When we factor in the length of time they saw Z's face full on rather than in profile or any other angle, I don't see how it could have been much longer than Fouke's sighting, ie, probably not much more than 10 seconds, so I honestly don't think it is all that accurate.

Now, here's an idea: we'd need someone with some artistic ability and 4 people, 3 to witness and 1 to play Z. The witnesses would be upstairs about 50-60 feet away, and Z would make like he'd just killed Stine, would struggle with the body etc, and the entire sequence would be timed (especially the length of time the witnesses could see Z's face full on and unobstructed). Then, the next day, the artist would sketch Z's face based on the few seconds the witnesses actually saw him. I'd be willing to bet that it would not be all that accurate and may not even look anything like whoever plays Z.

Personally, I think the sketch artist should have sat with each of the teens individually to generate 3 sketches rather than have them all collaborate on a single sketch. I suspect there'd be 3 different composites of Z had that been done.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 5:49 pm:   

I also have thought that the three teens should have produced three separate sketches.
*Sigh*
This case is a cornucopia of "if only"ies.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 7:03 pm:   

Hi-

They initially had the teens work in unison with the artist. The last sketch was done with just the one who had the longest uninterrupted view. This is according to what they told Jim.

I hope that what we are arguing is not whether the kids saw ptosis or scars on the face. I am willing to admit that from that distance the odds are strong that they did not. However, in terms of distinguishing Laurel from Hardy and the general characteristiscs of the face, I think they had every right to get that part correct. They feel that they did.

The say it was not Hardy.

Mike
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 8:06 pm:   

I've no doubt whatsoever that they could tell the difference between a fat tub of lard like Allen and a skinny junkie like Bruce Davis. I know, since I've been there many, many times, that facial characteristics are washed out by the lighting, so no ptosis etc could possibly have been observed. What I question is how accurate the sketch was given the few seconds they had to have had to see Z's face full on. It's not like he stood there for several minutes looking into the windows allowing them to commit to memory every little detail they could observe, was it?
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 8:08 pm:   

I don't recall seeing any pictures or video where Allen appeared fat.
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 1:07 am:   

The sketch is not anatomically correct, is not heavy set, and looks older. The crew cut doesn't look like a crew cut in the least. Even if you don't buy into that, the ptosis is most likely a result of the artist not being able to make two eyes look the same, as can been seen by his also not being able to get the glasses on straight. The nose at the nostrils is narrower than any human could possibly have, as is the width of the mouth. The eyes are set a tad too far apart. Small differences like this make huge difference in "likeness", but at the very least you have to have something that 98% of humanity shares. While I've seen worse, anyone trusting this artist's composite is only deluding him/herself. Sorry, just the facts.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 1:43 am:   

I dunno, he looked pretty fat (not obese, there is a difference) to me in the video where he's on the diving board, and in the Rita Williams interview, and I wouldn't mistake him for anorexic Lindsay Lohan...
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Sanfranguns
Username: Sanfranguns

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 9:21 am:   

I always thought of him as fat based on the pictures I've seen
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 9:45 am:   

Hi-

It doesn't matter how you characterize Allen--fat, obese, overweight, stocky, powerfully built.

Fouke agrees with the kids and said very emphatically that it was not Allen that he saw that night. Period. Why do we keep having this discussion? He viewed Allen as being way too big a man and "way out of proportion" to have been the person he saw.

Mike
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 9:49 am:   

I don't buy the notion that the artist was so inept that they couldn't draw glasses straight. Human faces are almost never symmetrical, and people's glasses rarely rest perfectly level either. Look through mug shots, a LOT of criminals are very peculiar looking and asymmetrical. (Wall-eyed, bent noses, off-set chins, etc.) Genetics, health, medical problems, and even accidents, all can produce strange looking individuals. Most people's ears are not the same height either.

The drawing's nose does possibly look too small, but the width of the eyes is not out of the realm of possibility. Those little imperfections are what makes people distinctive, and someone as off their trolley as Zodiac was could very well have a physical facial "distinctiveness" from bad genetics. If we start "correcting out" all the perceived "differences from the norms" then we wind up with a very different personality and person.

If the drawing didn't match the witnesses' memory, I think they would have been clear about that. A ton of money and attention was being spent on this case at the time, and if the witnesses had complained about the artist's rendering, I'm sure they would have been given another artist. Their memory, or their vantage point, may have been faulty, but I think we can assume the witnesses were happy with the drawing.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 11:17 am:   

Hi David-

According to what they told Jim, they did complain about the first sketch but the impression they gave is that one of the eyewitnesses felt is that after reviewing the first sketch, he or she felt that they could do a more precise job. So the artist returned at their request and did a second sketch. SFPD did not ask for one. When the two sketches were so close to each other, the kids felt confident in their work.

Until I hear definitive proof to the contrary, and there certainly has been some intriguing dissent voiced recently by Exiled on this board that may change the entire complexion of this issue, this is how the sketches were done...

Mike
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 1:02 pm:   

Mike, I can recall years ago a quote from Fouke (I believe to either Harvey Hines or a tv show) where he stated he wouldn't be able to be much help with regard to photos of suspects, because so much time had passed, plus he didn't get a good look to begin with. And that was years ago, I believe the late 1980s.

So, to say Allen couldn't have been the guy he admitted not seeing well is a bit overboard IMHO.
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Mike_r
Username: Mike_r

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 1:37 pm:   

Hi Tom-

I've never heard this comment before but my reaction is that if such is the case, we only have our good friends at SFPD to blame for this situation. They never bothered to show either Fouke or the kids photos of Allen back in the day. Why not? Allen became a suspect prior to the 1980s, right?

And they apparently laugh at the efforts of us "amateur investigators"...they should talk.

Mike
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 1:41 pm:   

My guess is they figured Fouke was a bad witness for some reason. Or, they simply already had their fill of circumstantial evidence against Allen and needed something more solid. If I'm incorrect about their reasoning, then it's anyone's guess why Fouke wasn't shown a pic.

Let's not forget Toschi and Armstrong weren't the only SFPD detectives involved with the Z case. For nobody within the department to have Fouke look at pics until VPD came along just doesn't sound right to me.
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 8:31 pm:   

"I don't buy the notion that the artist was so inept that they couldn't draw glasses straight."

Then why didn't he draw them straight?

"Human faces are almost never symmetrical"

Not true, they usually are.

"and people's glasses rarely rest perfectly level either. Look through mug shots, a LOT of criminals are very peculiar looking and asymmetrical. (Wall-eyed, bent noses, off-set chins, etc.) Genetics, health, medical problems, and even accidents, all can produce strange looking individuals. Most people's ears are not the same height either."

None of these variances would have been noticed from 60 feet - so why draw them that way?

"The drawing's nose does possibly look too small"

because it is narrow out of the realm of possibility...

"but the width of the eyes is not out of the realm of possibility."

The width of the eyes themselves were about the right width, but the distance from one eye to the other is too wide. That would be a rare individual.

"Those little imperfections are what makes people distinctive, and someone as off their trolley as Zodiac was could very well have a physical facial "distinctiveness" from bad genetics. If we start "correcting out" all the perceived "differences from the norms" then we wind up with a very different personality and person."

If you draw in imperfections that you can't possible know about ahead of time, you also end up with a very different personality and person.Once again, why draw imperfections when you don't know that they exist?

"If the drawing didn't match the witnesses' memory, I think we can assume the witnesses were happy with the drawing."

You can't assume they were happy with it - they would not have been able to dictate that the composite be re-drawn. If they weren't happy with it, what could they do about it? They weren't happy with the first one, and honestly, the first drawing doesn't vary a whole lot from the second drawing.

Okay, here you go -this should make it more clear:

http://www.kevin-moore.com/gallery/displayimage.ph p?pid=448&fullsize=1
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 9:23 pm:   

If the witnesses worked with the artist, I would think they probably approved the results. I doubt they nitpicked over minor details. I would accept what the actual witness described than what a person who has never seen the suspect imagines he might look like. The original composite is not going to be perfect, but guessing is no way to improve on it. As far as facial symmetry, some faces are more symmetrical than others. Studies have shown that people with less symmetrical faces have more difficulty coping with certain environmental factors.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 11:43 pm:   

I'm not exactly sure how law enforcement approaches the particular problems posed by the release of composite sketches, but in behavioral profiling there's a definite problem with being too specific in a profile that's being released to the public. If the profile is too specific, they run the risk of good suspects being overlooked by their friends, relatives, etc. on the basis of specificities that may or may not (given the vagaries of the situation) be correct.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 11:01 am:   

The conversation that took place between Foukes and Harvey was,Foukes said that the picture of Kane was the closest one he had seen to the poi he saw on Oct 11th 69. But because it had been so many years ago, he couldn't make a positive ID.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 12:22 pm:   

Sandy, I believe Hines was referring only to the hairline of Kane.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 7:50 pm:   

I just read the Harvey Hines report on Lawrence Kane again. Hines claims that in 1987, Fouke stated he had been shown "hundreds" of photos of suspects since 1969. Here's a link. Hundreds of suspects? Even if he was exaggerating, it still shows he wasn't ignored by law enforcement.

I can't find the quote I was looking for about Kane's hairline. It doesn't really matter anyway I guess.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 12:56 pm:   

The problem with ALA is that his physical presence (idiosynchatic "bigness" ) would have stood out to a witness. Whatever one wants to conclude about the Foukes sighting, fact is he gave the clothing color, style, and fabric for the trousers, the level at which his jacket was zipped, the person's hair color and possible graying at the back, and the fact that the person looked of Welsh extraction in the face. Its hard to imagine him being out by 4 inches on the height and 40-50 lbs on the weight. We can accept that a light man can look heavier in a big jacket but its difficult to imagine how a 240lb guy could look 180-200lbs. Also the teenagers (multiple agreement) said he was 5'8" - 5'9".
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 1:08 pm:   

Its also possible that ALA was involved in a duo that combined for the Zodiac killings and story. It is possible that ALA kept asking a few people after Cheney about his idea and someone showed support. It certainly would explain why he risked revealing himself by mentioning it to others, assuming the Cheney conversation took place.

ALA may have been responsible for the LB attack which seemingly displays an unusual MO, together with an unusual physical description that matches ALA. He may have been the one to make the call to police at BRS but not been the hands-on killer.

Just a speculation that is backed by some of the contrary evidence.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 2:28 pm:   

That's a good point, Stew, about the size factor. It's far easier for a moderate-sized guy to make himself look bigger than it is for a big guy to make himself look smaller, just as it's easier for a smart guy to make himself look dumb than for a dumb guy to make himself look smart. And I think egregious size would have stood out to a witness, and it would have been the one element of the description they'd harp on. Hartnell emphasized it at first, but began backing off almost immediately.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 4:59 pm:   

Looks like we are getting back to the Zodiac tag team theory again, which has been much discussed and disproven on the previous MB.

Fouke stated that there was no way in hell that ALA was the person seen by him and the teenagers at the Stine scene.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 5:18 pm:   

Foukes was probably loathe to judge pictures of faces put before him, but perhaps more confident that the guy he saw wasn't 6'2" and 240lbs. Just MH guess. However there's no guarantee that Foukes actually saw Z but it seems very highly likely.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 5:33 pm:   

It seems it would be only highly likely that he indeed saw Zodiac if the man he saw was wearing the exact same clothing that the teens decribed the killer as wearing.
Did the teens corraborate that Fouke's description of the clothing was what they saw?
It would also seem higly likely that the man Fouke saw was Zodiac if it was the only person he saw out walking. How many men did Fouke see walking in that area right after the murder?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 5:48 pm:   

I believe the teens' version was essentially the same as Fouke's. Check the initial police reports against the Fouke description just to be sure.

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