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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 9:53 am:   

Here's one for discussion that I think appeared on the old message board, but could stand some new input. What's everyone's take on whether Zodiac disguised his writing?
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Racerx
Username: Racerx

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 10:43 am:   

No way. I haven't seen any proof that he did.Too many people have given this perp way too much credit for being "crack proof".
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 11:10 am:   

I think the writer had a tendency to slant his words, which puzzles me when I look at the Belli letter (except for a few places where he seems to revert + grow comfortable and mix some cursive in). Why did he write the Belli letter so uniform? The Dragon card is another example. The button, Johns, and list letters start uniform and then he quickly reverts to slant. Did he want to disguise his writing at times but then lapsed into a natural style? Why and how did he manage to make the Belli letter so uniformly straight (except for those few words)?
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Racerx
Username: Racerx

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 11:35 am:   

Looks to me that the "uniform" letter was the writers way of showing respect to Belli; a very high profile lawyer at the time.
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Ubpclaw
Username: Ubpclaw

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 12:29 pm:   

If the Red Phantom letter is to be considered authentic then I think Z is obviously faking his handwriting.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/RedPhantomLetter.html

Of course if Z suffered from multiple personality disorder that could make the argument a little more difficult since from my understanding your handwriting will differ depending on which personality was doing the writing.
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 2:21 pm:   

I think he disquised it with the slant only, he mispelled his words,but that was a taunt,I believe. It appears that he wrote them very quickly, although I believe he had plenty of time or he would of made a mistake.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 2:23 pm:   

My take on it is that the Belli writing was obviously disguised--very slowly and methodically printed with well-aligned i-dots, tight inter-character spacing, and even t-bars. The "other" style, which I refer to as "manic" also shows distinct signs of having been disguised. This is particularly obvious if you look at an enlarged copy of the color Stine letter. There, you can see numerous places where the ink has pooled, showing the various starts and stops. You can see that he uses multiple pen strokes even to make a lower-case "e" or "a." The letter spacing is tight, the i-dots are more-or-less well aligned, and there's an exaggerated slant that gives the overall writing a look of fluidity, which is belied by the careful manner in which the individual letters were drawn. There is also zero connectedness between the characters, which is anomalous in fluid natural writing.

I'm far from thinking of Zodiac as a "super criminal," but even so, the idea that an organized killer such as he undoubtedly shows himself to be would neglect to disguise his writing makes about as much sense as him neglecting to conceal his fingerprints during a planned killing.
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Racerx
Username: Racerx

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 2:25 pm:   

Good point; the Red Phantom letter is one of the major reasons why I don't believe the zodiac wrote it.It is much,much different from the other so called letters by him; Marshall maybe,but not Z.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 6:03 pm:   

I have no idea how Morrill could have concluded that the Red Phantom letter was definitely written by Z but I agree that it would be evidence of Z disguising his writing.

My thought is that the differences in writing probably just represent differences in Z's state of mind at the time. As Doug indicates, there do seem to be several distinct styles used. Perhaps it is an indication of Z writing letters while straight vs. under the influence, manic vs. depressed etc. To me, Z's mood and thought processes were probably just as changeable as his writing styles.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 7:00 pm:   

Something Doug said here makes sense to me. Z was an " organized killer". IMO, he must have killed many times before his Bay Area attacks.
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Linda
Username: Linda

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 11:40 pm:   

Not so sure about an organized killer being one that has necessarily killed many times before, but someone who is obsessive, compulsive about certain and/or various aspects of his life, which may spill over into his actions in whatever he does.
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Sean
Username: Sean

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 5:53 am:   

I think we have to look at Z overall and the comments he made and his actions.

1.He wouldn't give pictures of his masterpiece(bomb)because the cops would trace it back to the developer.
2.His weapons (which he never used a second time) were bought out of state.
3.His claim of a disguise
4.His claim of protecting the prints (not just gloves)but glue.

I think these things and his actions at avoiding detection shows someone who put an awful lot of thought into this.
I also believe the Citizen and Red phantom are Z missives.I couldn't say how far he went to protect his writing, but I believe he made an attempt.
He may well have provided enough to give himself away, but it's just too childlike as is.
I would think he reached the level of having his handwriting being deemed "inconclusive" at worst.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 9:41 am:   

I think that's the crux of it, Sean. He doesn't have to disguise his handwriting to the extent that the authorities will think it belongs to someone else. He has only to mask it to the point where it can't be conclusively matched to him. Several elements tend to corrobrate his attempt: the slant, the use of printing, use of a felt-tipped pen, circled i-dots and periods, multiple pen lifts, and no connectedness.
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 11:28 am:   

Good insights, Douglas.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 2:11 pm:   

Thanks, Breakout.
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Sean
Username: Sean

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 5:47 am:   

There'a also something else I wondered about.When you see these letters up close or good photographs of same you can see how thin the paper is in a lot of these.
I'm not sugesting that he traced this print because he wrote on both sides of the page, but it adds to the overall "messiness" (for the want of a better word) and the printing is hard to distinguish in places because of the ink showing through from the opposite side.
I don't know what he was at exactly (if anything)but I'd guess he had some purpose for choosing such transparent paper.
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Sean
Username: Sean

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 6:03 am:   

Something else I remembered....when you look at Zodiac's double "TT's" they are crossed individually. One would imagine if he was writing at speed (as suggested)that he may use the one stroke to cross both at the same time.
I just wonder how much we can rely on here and if slant isn't creating the illusion of him writing quickly.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 9:52 am:   

Good observations, Sean. Those ts are meticulously crossed, too: he never "misses" the upright with them. Note too, that even when he's putting a lower-case "e" together with two separate strokes, he manages to keep those strokes connected.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2006 - 9:56 pm:   

Breakout, I am so glad you noticed that Z did mix cursive with his printing. I went round and around with some of my Z sluths about that. All of you have brought up some great points. As most of you know I have some letters from my suspect,which one has a lot of Z like printing in it.His crowding letters and then odd spacing, is what I think makes his printing unique.And I agree with Douglas his mood had a lot to do with the style.I am not so sure that he wanted to disquise his printing ,because he wanted everyone to know he was for sure the writer. I don't think he enjoyed proving he was the writer,except with the Stine shirt.That one he liked a lot.I believe he has written more than we think , but they were shelved as fakes. Cursive is not as hard to prove or disprove as printing is. I myself print alot like the Z,I have been told.Mine has changed over the years as do most people,so if the Z was to send another letter it may not look the same as the others .
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 8:16 am:   

One thing I've noticed about Zodiac's handwriting is that he starts with the "manic" style, with its exaggerated slant, circled i-dots and periods, and angular characters, then proceeds to the Belli style, with its exaggerated neatness and rounded characters, then finally seems to settle on a composite style that's midway between the Belli and the manic. I'm certain it's all contrived. What's more, he doesn't give you much to hang your hat on in terms of unique character formation--it's all pretty plain vanilla stuff; copybook forms with the usual modifications such as tails on the lower-case "a," "n," and "u." And there's no connectedness whatsoever.
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Scott_ben
Username: Scott_ben

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 7:41 pm:   

I was thinking about the "manic" style you have been speaking of doug, by the way I think it is the best description of zodiac writing I have heard. One thing I wanted to point out. Many of the zodiac letters start with
"this is the zodiac speaking"

this is always written very neatly sort of in the Belli style and then from there the writing gradually errodes. I was thinking that zodiac might have pre-written his greetings before the rest of the letter. That might account for the diffrent styles. It seems almost as he continues to write he starts slipping into his manic style.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 10:22 pm:   

Scott_ben, you are quite right, though actually, I think both styles are contrived. The reason I think that is because even in the manic style you see none of the indicators of free-flowing writing, especially connecting lines. And if you look at the Stine letter (particularly the color one that Tom has posted on the site) you can actually see the numerous little ink blobs that indicate "stops." These blobs show that even characters such as the lower-case "e" were made with two strokes. And the circled i-dots and periods are (according to several papers I've read) a clear indicator of disguise.

Regarding your line of thought, though, take a look particularly at the Mikado paraphrase letter; the one with the P.S. about the radians. All through that letter he uses a composite style midway between Belli and manic that is actually pretty neat, although it has the manic slant. It's that way all through the body, until you come to the postscript, which is written in a jagged scrawl. I can't help but wonder whether he composed the body of the letter using some kind of elaborate technique, then decided to add the postscript later, when the means of creating that technique weren't readily available? How else to explain the disparity?
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 2:27 pm:   

Douglas, I was told by one "expert" that they don't pay a lot of attention to the start of most letters, they move on to the middle.He said that is where you most likely will see the real stuff.I find it very interesting that Z crossed his t's separately, as did the guy who wrote the Ramsey note. I have never seen that before.I agree with you that he did some disquising.One of my suspects Kane,was asked to print the alphabet.He disquised his A to a,I have real samples of his printing from the early 60's to compare with, it was different than the one he did for SFPD.These perps are very clever.

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