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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 7:59 am:   

Pat Tan was found hanging from a tree on Mt. Tam on 4-19-70. The official cause of death was suicide, but there are many questions. Could she be an example of Z changing his method of killing? The knots in the cord were apparently of naval style, and it would be hard for her to hang herself this way. Her feet may have been dragging on the ground. Of interest is that a key was found in her possession which was traced to her personal belongings in a locker at the SF bus station.

Howard has some info on this and I hope he will post links and comments, as well as all posters.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2006 - 7:20 pm:   

Dave, I have had conversations with Howard about this crime,and like you feel that this could be a Z crime. Isobel Watson was not far from this area when she was stabbed by a man fitting the Z's discription April 7th 1972 in Tamalpais Valley. These are not the only victims in that area that I believe are Z's. Edda Kane for one, she came from Germany,married John Kane. They lived in Hollywood Ca. before moving to Marin. She went to UC Berkeley,met a man there.Was shot in the head twice(with a 44, she was 44 yrs old)while on her knee's,on Mt Tam.I am probably the only person who believes that most if not all of the Trailside killings, are the work of the Zodiac and not David Carpenter.A witness at the Santa Cruz killing was a plastic surgeon ,for sure he can tell the difference between a pugnosed man and one with out. Carpenter has a pugnose.The person he saw was not Carpenter. Steven Haertle who survived,helped with a composite that looks nothing like David Carpenter. How Steven discribed the way the killer spoke made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.He said the man spoke in a "slow and deliberate manner".He did not studder the way Carpenter did,and still does.My suspect R.H.talks in a slow and deliberate maner do to a slight speech impediment.It was believed that the Zodiac was the killer before Carpenter was arrested.RH and Carpenter both worked as printers in Hayward at the same time.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:28 pm:   

Sandy, I too think that some of Carpenter's victims sound like Z victims. The young girl from San Rafael( she was a student at UC Davis) was killed near the outdoor ampitheater on Mt. Tam. A witness to this or Edda Kane said that the man had a large knife and was wearing a hooded sweatshirt.---When RH and Carpenter were working in Hayward, Carpenter also had a job refilling vending machines in Vallejo, according to The Trailside Killer.
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 6:13 pm:   

I gave Howard a long-winded opinion of the autopsy report on Ms. Tan about a month ago. I didn't keep a copy, but if Howard wishes, he can post it. I will say the report is consistent and thorough, which is unsettlingly rare to find. Based on the information in the autopsy report (which, keep in mind is *still* really limited compared to doing the autopsy/ being at the crime scene), I would agree that this death appears more like a suicide than a homicide, though I think it could be either.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 12:32 pm:   

Doc!
I didn't get your report as I have had some email problems-at times.
I will post it as soon as I get it and give it to Jim.

This could be one of those unknown(if indeed there were Z 'unknown' victims)victims in which Z in his 4/20/70 card writes,"I hope you have fun trying to figgure out who I killed."This card was sent the day Ms.Tan was found!

Try my projectt address...thanks!
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 2:03 pm:   

Dr.Sue's Tan autopsy notes are up on my site-www.zodiacmurders.com!

Stine should be next.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 3:57 pm:   

Howard ,I just visited your site again and read the Pat Tan autopsy report,very interesting ! I also read the others. It was thought two perps together did some of these killings. That works in with my theory. Great site !
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Oklahoma_mike
Username: Oklahoma_mike

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 10:09 pm:   

Trying to decide if it was suicide or another cause of death is often difficult, just as the case of Miss Tan. Usually the question is one between suicide and accident. Here, there was obviously no accident. Someone intended to kill Miss Tan. The quesion is, was it someone else or did she herself do the grisly deed? In trying to answer questions of this nature, it is helpful to do another type of autopsy, the psychologicl autopsy. Unfortunately, with the passage of so much time, most of the information needed will be forgotten or otherwise lost. However, if I were doing a psychological autopsy on Miss Tan some of the things I would want to know are:
Had she ever attempted suicide before, or talked about it, or written about it? Did anyone else in her family, out to first cousins, ever commit or attempt suicide? If so, how old were they, what method did they use and what was the setting? I would ask the same family questions regarding mental illness of any type, any relative or the victim ever treated or diagnoxed with ANY emotional or mental disorder? I would want to know Miss Tan's health history, had she been recently ill, or did she have any type of chronic illness? Had she ever had a substance abuse problem and if so had it suddenly became worse? Had she suffered any recent losses in her life, death of a friend or family (even pet)? Had a relationship or job ended, had she been turned down for school, or had a book turned down for publishing? IT need not be something you or I would think signifigant, but something SHE woujld find importance. For example, 10 years ago I had a knee injury and had to quit running. When i came out of surgery and was told I would not run again I had suicidal thoughts for several days. I did not act on any of them, but the thoughts were there. Most non-runners would never believe someone could kill themself over not being able to run again, but I know different. For Miss Tan, it was not evidently running, but it could be anything important to her that once gone, in her view, made life not worth it. I would question family and friends about this extensively. I would look at the date of her death, did it have special meaning to her? Was it the anniversary of the death of a family member or friend? I would look for changes in behavior in recent weeks. Did she give away posessions, write letters or visit friends she had not seen in years? Did she dispose of any property, however small? Did she give a pet away? Had friends noticed any change in risk taking, like crossing the street against traffic or suddenly beginning to take walks at night in the bad part of town? Did she like the outdoors? Did she like to walk in the woods to relieve tension? Any recent changes in sleep or eating patterns?
I could go on, but I had a root canal today and the pain meds are kicking in!
But I think you get the general drift of how a psychological autopsy works. Just like a physical post-mortem it does not necessarily prove things one way or another, but it can sure point you in a certain direction for investigation.
Vallejo Dave and Deoxys hopefully will have something to add to this idea.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 1:00 am:   

Excellent summary, Mike. I have little to add other than that the information for a thorough psychological autopsy would need to come from friends or family. This was almost certainly NOT done at the time since it surely appeared like an obvious suicide. Reading Dr. Muskogee's thorough report, I would tend to agree that it was likely a suicide, primarily based on the statement from her roommate that she was, in fact, severely depressed. I also seem to recall someone mentioning some significant substance abuse on the old Pat Tan thread.

The Zynchronicity with Z's 4/20/70 letter is undeniable but sometimes Zynchronicity is- well... just that.

Howard, I'd love to see the autopsy evaluation of Paul Stine- please provide a link when this is posted.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 1:10 am:   

I think the logical conclusion is that on the one hand she might be a suicide, but on the other hand, she might not.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 9:54 am:   

D,Some of my friends are for it and some are against it -I am for my friends!

S,coming from you it's good-thanks!

D,it should be done soon...
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 10:09 am:   

H, she either committed suicide or she didn't -- ergo, there's a 50-50 chance she did.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 10:12 am:   

OK Mike--very nice summary. It would be helpful if we could ask her relatives and friends these questions. Your comments about giving property and/or pets away are right on the money,IMO.

I find it odd that someone relatively new to the Bay Area would be able to find that particular spot on her own.
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 27, 2006 - 12:55 pm:   

OKMike, I hope your tooth is feeling better!

OKMike, the "psychological autopsy" you mention would be an excellent compliment to the physical autopsy. In addition, crime scene and/or autopsy photos would be immensely helpful, from my perspective.

If OKMike (or the other folks here who are well-versed in psychology) had a chance to interview family/friends, it could certainly give us more confidence leaning towards or away from suicide.

Sandy, I agree! Howard's site has some great information on it. Jim Nelson has done a fine job with the presentation of the material.

Dave, if Ms. Tan were an avid hiker, I can see her finding that spot, but I agree it seems unlikely that she intentionally picked it as a "favorite" last location, given that she probably wouldn't have had enough time to develop a particular fondness for it in the brief time she was there. Of course, she could have taken other Northern CA trips in the past and have found the spot previous to this excursion from SoCal.

I lived in the Bay Area only 2 years, but hiked all manner of trails very early on (including part of the Bootjack). Bootjack is well-marked, heavily traveled, and easy-to-find, if recollection serves me. It may not have been nearly as busy decades before when Ms. Tan was at the park, but, again, if she was a hiker, this would actually make more sense to me. A lot of us (hikers) like to find unmarked, poorly maintained, and remote trails so we aren't bothered by other people. A lot of us also like to hike alone (even though this is considered unwise for a number of reasons; though, until I read the Tan case, I never considered nature-loving, electrical cord-toting murderous psychopaths as one of them). This isn't necessarily the best explanation of how Ms. Tan ended up where she was, just a possible one that fits with my personal experience of hiking in the Bay Area.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 8:17 pm:   

Dr.Sue!
Thanks for your fine notes!

When one goes hiking it is a good idea to wear either tennis shoes,boots or hiking shoes of some kind- not sandles as Tan wore!
Just an observation.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 5:51 am:   

The fact that she had the key to her belongings at the SF bus station and intended to retrieve them leads me to believe that she did not ride the bus to SF with the intention of suicide.
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 3:18 pm:   

Howard...excellent point about the sandals. Thanks for pointing out your astute observation! While I have been known to tease fellow "hikers" mercilessly for utilizing such footwear, I don't believe I've ever seen a *serious* hiker wear such silly shoes. I think this is an important point.

Several thoughts for possible scenarios cross my little brain: 1.) Tan's not a serious hiker and was wandering around in inappropriate shoes; 2.) she's a serious hiker who only had sandals with her, for some reason, and decided the hike was important enough to brave the blisters sandals would likely bring; 3.) she only walked a short distance to her final destination (no pun intended)...I'd need a better idea of the terrain to tell if this is a possibility, but it might be possible that she walked in a short distance "off-trail." 4.) she did not reach her final destination willingly (ie, she was carried, dragged, or forced to walk under threat of violence).

These are just a few ideas, and I'd encourage y'all to pick them apart for likelyhood, probability, etc. Also, any other scenarios you might come up with could be helpful...these are just a few off the top of my head.

Dave, I don't know if we can say she intended to retrieve her belongings and, therefore, that she did not intend to commit suicide. I can't tell you why (maybe some of the psych folks can clear this up), but a large number of the suicides I saw autopsied had belongings in a locker at a train station/bus station/etc. I believe some had their belongings in such a location because they were homeless and this was a practical way to store their things. I would imagine that someone who's undecided about suicide might store her belongings "in case" she doesn't go through with it, but I'm just guessing.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 6:57 am:   

Howard,

Here's an idea...

I couldn't help noticing that Mt. Tamalpais kept popping up over and over again in my own research on San Francisco beat culture. The name, Tamalpais, comes from the Miwok Indian word for "Sleeping Maiden" because the silhouette of the mountain resembles a sleeping girl.

http://www.mtnhomeinn.com/legends.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tamalpais

You might remember the picture of the sleeping or dead woman lying on Mt. Tam on the cover of one of the San Francisco Oracle publications. I believe this was supposed to be a representation of the "Sleeping Maiden" legend.

http://www.regentpress.net/oracle/collectors-editi on.html

Many of the San Francisco beat artists and poets had an affinity for Native American culture and appear to have incorporated the legend of the Sleeping Maiden into their own culture.

Lew Welch, beat poet who ironically committed suicide himself in 1971, wrote a poem entitled "The Song Mt. Tamalpais sings (Maya Quarto)", which was published in 1969.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006EGDL0/102-62 19869-9846517?v=glance&n=283155

Gary Snyder, Welch's former roommate and fellow beat poet wrote "The Circumambulation of Mt.
Tamalpais".

http://wwwenglish.ucdavis.edu/Spark/v1n1/mttam/mtt am.htm

Michael McClure, BC's best friend from Wichita and popular beat poet, wrote a poem entitled "A Spirit of Mt. Tamalpais in 1972

http://wwwenglish.ucdavis.edu/Spark/v1n1/mttam/mtt am.htm

All of these guys were integral parts of the San Francisco beat culture, working on the SF Oracle and with the Diggers, at least. I've always found this 1968 Diggers publication cover very Zynchronicitous as well...

http://www.diggers.org/digpaps68/dp_memo.html

So what does this all have to do with Pat Tan? Perhaps nothing but I do wonder if she might have been familiar with this legend through Indian or beat culture. If she was depressed and bent on suicide perhaps she chose Mt. Tamalpais and became her own representation of the Sleeping Maiden?

If Z was involved, perhaps he was also familiar with this legend and, in accordance with his promise to make future murders look accidental, killed Pat Tan in a ritualistic hanging. You'll notice in the first link that Mt. Tam represented the "holy left eye" of the Great Turtle (representing the North American continent) to the Lakota Sioux Indians. The other holy eye? Why Mt. Diablo of course...
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 2:45 pm:   

Deoxys, thanks for this interesting angle to the case!

I'd ask a Miwok (assuming you can find one) if this legend about which you speak is correct or not. You would not believe the amount of crap out there that are supposed "Indian legends." While I've heard this "legend," I don't know its validity, and I don't know enough about the Miwok to comment on it.

I've never heard of Mt. Tam's importance with regard to the Sioux, and I'm kind of skeptical of that one...while the great turtle appears in many Indian creation stories, I've never heard of it being associated with the Sioux (or any of the plains tribes). That particular story is most commonly associated with the Iroquoisan tribes. I've seen it represented in other tribes, but never the Sioux. That being said, there's a lot about the Sioux that I don't know, so I'd check into it...it could be true.

Regardless of the stories' validity, if they were widely circulated as being "Indian legends" in the '60s, this could be just as important to Tan's death and any link to Zodiac.

Another potential factor is the fact that Ms. Tan was biracial Asian/White. I've known several people with this racial mix who look very much like Native Americans. It is possible she associated herself with Native Americans, as it was trendy at the time. If she was murdered, and if her ethnicity was important to the murderer, it's possible her assailant mistook her for Native American.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 3:35 pm:   

That's my take as well, Muskogee. The Indian folklore about Mt. Tam may well have been distorted over time but it does appear that this was known and somewhat important to an element of the San Francisco subculture. The San Franciso Oracle was published from 1966-1968 and Lew Welch's poem in 1969 so it does appear that there was interest in Mt. Tam as a symbol at the time of Z and Pat Tan's murder.

I've also posted about the coincidence of the San Francisco Indian Center burning to the ground on 10/10/69- the day before Paul Stine's murder. This fire sparked an already existing push by Native Americans in San Francisco to establish a new Indian Center on Alcatraz Island and let to the Indian takeover of Alcatraz the following month.

http://siouxme.com/lodge/alcatraz_np.html

Relevant? Who knows?
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 5:39 pm:   

Deo, just wanted to let you know I sold that Coyote Journal with Keenan and McClure in it.

Good ideas, but I smell a rat here. Why would Pat store her meager belongings at the SF bus station, and then bolt to Mt Tam with her sandals on?----Sandy brought up an interesting parallel on another thread. When she was walking down to Fish Head Beach, she had difficulty because of the type of shoes she was wearing.
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 2:38 pm:   

Deoxys,
Thanks for that bit of history! I'm embarrassed to say, I didn't know about the Indian Center burning, but based on AIM's vocal presence in the Bay Area at the time, I'm not surprised. Was the fire definitely arson?

My guess would be the fire was started by a local knucklehead who didn't like all these "Injuns stirring up trouble," but who's to say that Zodiac wasn't that knucklehead? I think it's highly unlikely, but good to examine in case there is ever any other information that points in that direction.

Thanks for the info on the poem's publication. If Ms. Tan was murdered by someone unknown to her, I think this is potentially relevant. A person with homicidal tendencies might find inspiration in such a poem.

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