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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 12:11 am:   

There have been a number of threads here discussing Z's spelling (or lack of it) and grammar. Was this spelling natural or were mistakes made intentionally to make him seem less educated? Are the spelling mistakes a key to some hidden messages?

Thankfully, my job allows plenty of downtime to work on projects like cataloguing Z's spelling mistakes. I'll offer an analysis in a separate post but perhaps it will be useful to others to have a full list of these mistakes. Asterisks* indicate that the word is also misspelled in other letters. So... here goes:

4/30/67 Letters: No Errors

Desktop Poem: No Errors

7/31/69 Letters:
Christmas* (x6)
lyeing (x3)
pattrened/paterned
idenity
cyipher
cruse* (x3)
coupples*
untill*

Notes: "patterned" spelled correctly in Vallejo Herald-Times letter, "cipher" later spelled correctly x8 in several letters.

Debut of Zodiac Letter:
haveing (x2)
origionaly
tireing
backwords
trashing (thrashing)
squealling
raceing
shabbly
Christmas*
epasode
victoms*
silowets
pencel
celling?
darck

Notes: "dark" spelled correctly in the Little List letter, "NO ADDRESS" appears to have second D added after word was written.

Stine Letter
motorcicles
frunt?

Dripping Pen card
though (thought)
aufully
Des (abbreviation for December)

Note: "cipher" spelled correctly

Bus Bomb Letter:
comitt
entirle
descise (disguise)
unnoticible
efective
efect
wipeing
clews
bussy
useing
cruzeing
motorcicles
supicisous (suspicious)
waveing
dissapeared
doesn't (doesn't)
noze
rubed (rubbed)
positivily
ventalate
allready
aprox (abbreviation for approximately)
machiene
re root (reroute)

Notes: "to" misused in phrase "to many firetrucks", "Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer" and "photoelectric switch" spelled correctly.

Belli Letter
Christmas*
extreamly
dificult
loose (lose)
nineth
posibly
victom*
drownding
triger

My Name Is Letter
cerous
doo (do)
teritory
cid

Notes: "cipher" again spelled correctly, "kiddies" spelled correctly in Stine letter.

Dragon card
dont (don't)
every one (everyone)
butons (x2)
considerbly
bluber

Notes: "buttons" spelled correctly once and again in the Button and K. Johns letters.

Button Letter
promiced
anilating
untill*

Note: "coupled" spelled correctly.

Kathleen Johns Letter
woeman
intersting
coupple
howers

Little List Letter
wateing
Paradice*
twich
untill
pleass (please)

Notes: "dark" and "delicious" spelled correctly, "buttons" spelled correctly x5, "please" spelled correctly in Belli Letter, "Paradice" also misspelled in 3-part cipher.

Halloween card
No Errors

Note: backward N in "knife".

LA Times Letter
allways?
crack proof (crackproof)
evere (ever)
Im (I'm)

Exorcist Letter

saterical
comidy
him self (himself)
truley
sucides

Citizen Letter
No Errors

Notes: "consternation" (after initial error), "murder-glorification", "justifiable" and "sensibilities" spelled correctly.

Red Phantom Letter
No Errors

Notes: "psychological" and "anonymously" spelled correctly.

May, 1978 Letter

gona x2 (going to)
wont (won't)
Eldrige (Eldridge)

Notes: "theocratic" and "obscenity" spelled correctly, "gona" used in place of verb "shall" found in other letters.

3-Part Cipher solution

forrest
experence
Paradice*
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 1:32 am:   

O.K., now for the amateur analysis...

What struck me most in doing this is that the vast majority of Z's spelling mistakes appear to be very common mistakes which would not raise an eyebrow if they occurred in a letter from anyone else. The most frequent and egregious errors seem to occur during Z's "manic" letter writing such as the Debut of Zodiac and Bus Bomb letters and the My Name Is letter, which contains the gems "cerous", "cid" and "doo".

There seem to be several reasons for many of these spelling mistakes that do not appear, IMO, to be intentional. They occur throughout Z's letters over a span of several years.

Inclusion of silent e when adding "ing":
lyeing
haveing
tireing
raceing
wipeing
useing
cruzeing
waveing
wateing

Improper use of double letter combinations. Z appears to have no clue about when to use these and when not to:

coupple
untill
originaly
sqealling
Christmass
comitt
efect/efective
bussy
dissapeared
rubed
allready
aprox
dificult
posibly
triger
teritory
butons

Inability to distinguish use of s vs. z, s vs. c and c vs. k for similar sounds. This seems to be the source of many of Z's worst and most tantalizing spelling errors:

cruse/cruzeing
noze
cerous
cid
promiced

Confusion of vowel sounds:
backwords
epasode
victoms
pencel
motorcicles
frunt
entirle
ventalate
machiene
woeman
saterical
comidy

Interestingly, the "mistakes" made in the 3-part cipher (which I think are usually considered to be mistakes of cipher substitution) are consistent with Z's spelling in his letters.
forrest
experence
Paradice
It would appear to me that Z's cipher substitution was flawless but his spelling remained the same.

I also find fascinating the fact that Z appears to correct his spelling of certain important words at times and use them properly in future letters. The word "buton" is screwed up twice in the Dragon Card (and used properly once) but is then nailed in three future letters. The word "cyipher" is screwed up in one 7/31/69 letter, then spelled correctly in the other two and at least two future letters. I suppose if you're going to ask the readers to wear your buttons and figure out your cipher, you better at least spell the words right.

This all would lead me to believe that Z was a genuinely poor to mediocre speller but I don't think it necessarily reflects on his overall intelligence level. I would be very interested to see if any of the suspects presented made similar spelling mistakes in their everyday writing during the same time period. I don't, by the way, see any of these types of errors made in the Citizen, Red Phantom or May, 1978 letters. I'll have to eventually take a look at some of the other controversial possible Z letters.

I'm sure plenty of folks will disagree with the conclusions and perhaps come up with some of their own. Could someone like Arthur Leigh Allen or Ted K. meticulously misspell to obscure their intelligence? Perhaps... but they would have to have done so over many years and it does appear that Z, in some instances, actually made efforts to improve his spelling as time went on.

Curious to hear what y'all think...
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Tommyt
Username: Tommyt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 3:15 am:   

Deo, 2 things strike me with the mispellings. First of all, I have always believed that Z intensionally mispelled words because, like you said was a possibility, they are clues to something that investigators and researchers have not been able to figure out. And like you said, the correct spellings in later, or prior letters, lead me to believe that he is a capable speller. Secondly, I wonder if the misspellings of the words are a key reason as to why we might have not been able to decipher his codes, because the codes are written with misspelled words.
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 9:11 am:   

Deoxys, I like your analysis. I am of the belief that Zodiac was not as poor a speller as his letters would indicate, though I think your argument for his spelling "improving" over time is a good one and I'll be pondering it for a while.

I believe that at least some of his misspellings were his own private jokes that we may never understand and some were "plays on words." For example...he puts a "couple" of "p"s in "coupple." To me, this seems to fit his style.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 9:31 am:   

Here's a list of items pertaining to the letters that I think tend to show that Zodiac was probably a better orthographer and grammarian than he might have wanted us to know:

• Spells "patterned" correctly.
• Misspells "cipher" then spells it correctly one sentence later.
• Hyphenates "Exam-iner" correctly.
• Hyphenates "end-ed" correctly.
• Uses the semicolon three times in the Examiner Letter of August, 1969.
• Hyphenates "cover-age" correctly.
• Hyphenates "trans-parent" correctly.
• Drops the silent "e" from the end of "needle" in "needling” and from “irritate” in “irritating” but pretends that he doesn't know the rule in reference to simple words like "have" and "wipe."
• Hyphenates "disap-pear" correctly.
• Spells "ammonium nitrate" correctly, but can't manage "fertilizer."
• Spells "photoelectric" correctly.
• Spells "continually" correctly.
• Spells "billiard" correctly.
• Spells "inflicting" correctly.
• Hyphenates "irritat-ing" correctly.
• Spells "judicial" correctly.
• Hyphenates "comedy" correctly.
• Spells "capable" correctly.
• Understands the distinction between "to" and "too" and doesn't confuse them.
• Never confuses possessive pronouns with contractions.
• Never confuses plurals with possessives.
• Uses contractions correctly and correctly places the apostrophe. He does not use the apostrophe to form a plural; a common mistake even among educated people.

So far as Kaczynski is concerned, he has always been a generally excellent speller, and you can comb the entire corpus of his known writings and hardly find an error. A couple of exceptions that stand out are his ciphers, where he deliberately misspelled words to confuse any would-be cryptanalysts, and a strange passage from his 1971 essay in which he declares, "Think of all the misery suffered as a result of Victorian repressions, sexual perversions, frigidity, unwanted pregnancies, and venerial desease." "Venerial desease" was spelled that way in the handwritten original; it isn't a typo or transcription error. Why would he do such a thing? The consensus appears to be that he was addressing a subject that caused him much discomfort, namely, sex, and the resultant stress distracted him from applying his usually strict rules regarding proper spelling, or at any rate, caused him to overlook them.

From this we might speculate that Zodiac himself experienced a similar disorientation when composing his letters, with the excitement and stress of the process contributing to the misspellings.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 9:52 am:   

Doug, you pointed out the one word that, if Z was a poor speller, how'd he get that one right? Of course, that would be "photoelectric."
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 3:22 pm:   

You've done a heck of a job there Deoxys (I wonder how Zodiac would spell your name?)

Zodiac was a dangerous guy and just as dangerous and capable of killing while he's writing these letters as he was when actually killing.
I'm no psychologist but this is the way I see it; He is very capable of correctly spelling words but when he writes these letters his sensory perception and normative perception become confused in his brain.
In his sensory perception he is recieving stimluli and in his normative perception he is diriving a meaning to the stimluli.
As he writes these letters he is being stimulated by reliving his crimes to the point that it affects his perception.

He is capable of correct spelling but as he writes the letters about his crimes it excites him so much that his brain plays a trick on him. He misspells words and when not in this state of mind he would know the difference between correct and incorrectly spelled words but in this state of mind he looks at the words he wrote and they look normal to him. His normative perception has been altered by his overiding sensory perception.
He looks at the word "clew" that he wrote and he actually see it as "clue."
Only if he would stop writing and go about his everyday business and then go back and reread what he had written would he realize he had misspelled certain words.
The debut of the 'Zodiac letter' and the 'Bus Bomb letter' he is in his most urestrained passion and emotion and make the most errors. The more frentic his state of mind while reliving and describing his cimes and plans the more mistakes he's going to make in spelling errors.

Maybe someone here who actually has a background in psychology could expand on my theory or deflate it.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 7:56 pm:   

This was fun for me to do because:

a. I figured it could help others to have a "catalogue" of spelling errors and

b. I have no natural writing sample from my own person of interest to compare and can hopefully, therefore, be pretty objective. The analysis is subjective, of course, but the listing of errors is not.

I realized that I missed a number of errors in the Little List Letter because Z appeared to sign off prematurely on page 2. This letter appears to be another example of "manic" writing and Z is also trying to reproduce some more difficult words, making the same types of mistakes. These would include:

victoms*
nucenses
whrite (write or writh?)
implatt (?)
shakeing
thoes (those)
seranader
orginast
pepermint
phomphit (vomit)
Idiout
phraises
inthusiastic
provences
singurly
abnomily
shure
hummerest (humorist?)
uncompromiseing
wachamacallit
thingmebob

Doug, I agree that Z's grammar is actually pretty good. He does use appropriate hyphenation and his sentence structure is, for the most part, solid. He does, however, seem to use contractions randomly (Im, dont) but I suspect he is very capable of using these properly.

He DOES spell "patterned" correctly once out of three tries on the same day.

The "cyipher" misspelling is the most fascinating to me. To me, it appears that he spelled it with a y, realized it didn't look right, then added the i. The word "cipher" is then spelled correctly in the other two 7/31/69 letters and repeatedly in multiple letter afterwards.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/VTHLetter1.html

Similar with the "NO ADDRESS" in the Debut letter- it appears that it was initially spelled "ADRESS" but didn't look right and an extra D was squeezed in after the fact.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/ZLetter3.html

You seem to interpret the fact that Z uses the rules properly on occasions as an indication that he is forgetting to misuse these rules. I would suggest that it is more likely he is simply guessing on how to use the rules and occasionally gets them right.

Z does well with long vowel sounds but seems to consistently misuse ambiguous short vowel sounds that make spelling in the English language more difficult than most other languages.

Consider the word "photoelectric": there is little ambiguity in the vowel sounds whereas a simple word like "victoms" is more ambiguous. IMO, Z appears to be hooked on phonics! There is also the possibility that Z was using some type of schemata when writing about his bomb so "photoelectric" and "ammonium nitrate" may have been spelled out for him.

I like Johno's explanation of the "manic" writing errors. I do still think there is an element of guessing involved but Z seems less inclined to think about spelling rules in these type of letters. I honestly just don't see Z carefully misspelling selected words to disguise his intelligence in letters like the Debut of Zodiac, Bus Bomb and Little List letters.

Before breaking it down like this, I shared the belief that at least some of Z's spelling errors were intentional. That may still be the case, but I stand by the suggestion that Z was, by nature, a rather poor speller and that these types of mistakes would be evident in his everyday writing during the same period.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 10:35 pm:   

Sorry, Deoxys, but I don't buy the analysis. I know that some intelligent people are poor spellers, but the kinds of words they misspell aren't words like "bus" and "front," and they certainly aren't so ignorant as to not know simple rules of orthography such as dropping silent "e" when using the "ing" ending. To my mind, a person who uses literary allusion and knows what "photoelectric" and "ammonium nitrate" mean, uses excellent grammar and is very anal retentive about how he approaches things, isn't going to be making the kinds of spelling errors Zodiac displays.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 4:59 am:   

No need to buy it, Doug. The analysis is 100% free and certainly open to debate. :-)
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 2:29 pm:   

I agree with Doug on this one. "Photoelectric" and "ammonium nitrate" are definitely 3 words that Z would be highly likely to misspell, and yet, he doesn't, but instead misspells simple words that are exceedingly difficult to misspell, such as "clew," "frunt," "noze," "doo" and, my personal favorite, "cid." That indicates that, while yes, there may be genuine spelling errors (I even misspell words once in a long while that aren't typos), Z intentionally misspelled words to give the appearance that he was some type of uneducated low-grade moron. I have the suspicion that, if he is ever identified, he'll turn out to be a lot more geeky than anyone could have imagined.
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 3:07 pm:   

Considering Deoxys's and Douglas's discussions of the mis-spellings here, how do these spelling errors stack up to the mistakes made by people with various learning disabilities? I'm only tangentially familiar with the learning disabilities (dyslexia and the myriad of lesser-known disorders), but, could this account for his poor spelling on simple words, and the way he varies his spelling on some other words? If so, couldn't this account for his intelligence "coming through" despite his mis-spellings?

I lean away from this being the case, but I want to throw it out there and get the opinions of those who know these disabilities better than I do.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 5:21 pm:   

I once knew an agnostic dyslexic. He was never really sure if there was a dog.

I guess there's a small possibility that Zodiac could have been dyslexic, but to my untutored mind he doesn't show it with sufficient consistency to be convincing. And it doesn't seem to have affected the neat precision with which he put those ciphers together. And he seems to have a sufficient wealth of literary knowledge to suggest that he doesn't have a lot of problems with reading.
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Bargle
Username: Bargle

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 7:02 pm:   

In "The Cases that Haunt Us" by John Douglas, he writes about the spelling errors in the ransom note in the Lindberg kidnapping case. Example: We have warned you note to make anyding public also notify the police now you have to take consequences--
There, most of the errors he attributes to the writer not being a native english speaker. Getting the difficult words correct, he attributes to the writer using a dictionary for them.
We've speculated in the past that Z was a true crime buff. Perhaps he had read the Lindberg notes and took a similar approach. Deliberately misspelling easy words, but getting the difficult ones correct.

'Clew' is not truly a misspelling, but the older/variant form of the word. I think it may still be spelled this way in Great Britain. It also is nautical terminology for a certain part of a sail. Another water connection, for those who favor that idea.

Deoxys, there is actually one error in the 3 part cipher. When Z encoded 'dangerous', he used 'E' for the s, instead of 'F' leading to it coming out as 'dangeroue'. It appears to me to be an encoding
error, not a true spelling error.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 10:24 pm:   

Right you are, Bargle- my bad.

It does appear that Z made at least one cipher substitution mistake (it's hard to read the notations on the cipher key) but I still contend that "experence", "forrest" and "Paradice" were likely spelling mistakes consistent with Z's letters.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 3:53 am:   

I'm with Deo on this one. David Berkowitz (son of sam) misspelled simple words also, and he had the same M O as Zodiac. Think about that for a minute.
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Bargle
Username: Bargle

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 5:14 pm:   

Deoxys, agreed. The other errors are consistent with Z's non-cipher letters.
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Muskogee
Username: Muskogee

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 28, 2006 - 5:51 pm:   

HA HA, Douglas! I love jokes about religion...

Good point about the ciphers...doesn't look like the work of a dyslexic from that perspective, at all.
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Monday, October 30, 2006 - 12:40 am:   

Z knew enough to correct some of his mistakes, like when he claims to be "smarter an butter / better..." than the cops. He also changed a symbol in the 340 code. I still like the theory that Z was "rubbing our faces in our boo-boos" by intentionally using misspellings he discovered others had made.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 2:45 pm:   

A person who knows how to make home-made bombs before the internet, has interest in Gilbert and Sullivan, can draw sketches using engineering methodology, can elude capture including not leaving fingerprints at the scene (or maybe most scenes)or on correspondence, knows at least the word "radian", knows the function of a photoelectric switch and can spell it, has an interest in ciphers and cryptanalysis, reads the newspaper but then mispells the word "kid" using a "c". I think he faked a few mispellings at least. We could give him "ammonium nitrate" on the basis that he could have had the packet in the basement with him for reference, but cid, frunt, buss and doo?? I'm also with Doug and Ed on this one for what my opinion is worth.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 3:02 pm:   

You argue the point well, Stew. The only word I think he honestly misspelled was "squealling," by doubling the "l." But that's a logical misspelling that could be made by anyone.
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 3:58 pm:   

Doug - the version of that joke I heard included that he was also an imsomniac. He lay awake at night wondering if there was a dog.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 4:34 pm:   

Stew, I'll remember that for future tellings.
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Mike_cole
Username: Mike_cole

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 4:49 pm:   

The word I've always suspected of being unintentionally misspelled is "twich".
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 9:34 pm:   

On that same page of the Mikado letter, he threatens to "rub them down with deep heat." Is he talking about Deep Heat, the "Icy Hot"-type ointment for sore mucsles?? Is Z exposing a brand-name preference? It's not capitalized, so, is that another example of his deliberate typos?
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 11:06 pm:   

Probably so, David, although I'm not sure the reference has any particular significance. The stuff stings like crazy even when it's used for therapeutic purposes. Otherwise, a rub down with deep heat sounds downright pleasant- certainly a lot more pleasant than having pine splinters driven under your nails, being fed salt beef in a cage (unless you like salt beef and are into that sort of thing...), being hung by your thumbs etc. etc.

Is it possible Z was a massage therapist? I know one that has some Zyncronicitous connections to the case...
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 2:00 am:   

It wasn't a "deep heat" application alone that he threatened--he proposed first to hang his victims by the thumbs and let them bake in the sun--only then would the deep heat be applied.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 2:55 am:   

Hmm...

That doesn't sound nearly as pleasant...
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 9:33 am:   

To my mind most of those tortures sound like American Indian techniques.
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L2829tad
Username: L2829tad

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 10:14 am:   

Z was quite poetic,...
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 10:41 am:   

What gives you that impression, Doug? I've never given much thought to where Z got his ideas about torturing victims. He did seem to give his "little list" quite a bit of thought since he refers to it two days before in the K. Johns letter.

At first glance, this letter seems to represent Z at his most disorganized. The address on the envelope is scrawled and even "Calif." is misspelled. The first few lines are very controlled but the letter quickly degenerates into his "manic" writing style.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 12:41 pm:   

I agree with Doug about the American Indian techniques of torture. For instance, it was a common practice of some tribes to use pine splinters to torture victims. The pine splinters were often set on fire, as Zodiac threatens to do.

Zodiac may have misspelled the word "woman" to express his hatred for that sex. Milton habitually misspelled the word as "woeman" to indicate that she was "man's woe."
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 12:50 pm:   

Ooh, Yarbchris, the possible "Milton" connection to Zodiac's spelling of "woman" is cool and unique enough to add to the "Possible Zodiac Influences" thread! Ditto on the American Indian torture techniques. I wonder if these tortures had been featured in any pulpy fiction/soldier mags.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 1:27 pm:   

I did some looking and it seems Johno mentioned the Milton thing earlier. Like Johno, I also found that the British use the term "salt beef" as opposed to the more American usage of "corned beef."

http://www.zodiackiller.com/discus/messages/19/136 .html#POST871

Tales of this type of torture (pine splinters and baking in the sun) are common in historical fiction, as well as biographical accounts involving encounters with early Native Americans.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 2:30 pm:   

I've found references to pine splinters, torture by baking in the sun, skinning alive and tying over anthills in a number of historical references regarding the American Indians. I don't recall reading that driving the pine splinters under the nails was specifically done--they seem to have put them all over the body, which was a torture in and of itself. I did quite a bit of reading on the subject of Indian tortures because Kaczynski seems to have had quite a fascination for the Indians, and had a number of volumes regarding them among his possessions. I didn't add the information to my book, however, because I really couldn't figure out where to put it. And I really didn't think I needed it.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 5:59 pm:   

I didn't find the specific use of pine splinters under the nails, either. I did find where American Indians would pull the nails from the fingers.

If I'm not mistaken, Deep Heat is a British product, or at least the brand is more widely known in the UK.

"waiting" is often spelled "wateing" in old English and early American literature. Paradice spelled with a "c" is also common in such writings. "Pleass" in lieu of "pleas" was widely used in old England, as well.

Well before the 20th century, "twich" and "untill" were perfectly acceptable spellings.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 6:33 pm:   

The American Indians were particularly big on fire, too. I read one account where they tied one poor devil's foot to a tether attached to a pole, so he could run freely around but couldn't escape. Then they burned him with torches to the last extremity of human endurance. When he finally collapsed they scalped him, then dumped live coals on his bleeding head.

Of course that's nothing compared to the recent hanging of Saddam Hussein, where they actually taunted him before releasing the drop. How much suffering can a human being stand? :-)

Anyway, you're right, Yarbchris, about those variant spellings. It's just another example of Zodiac's educational level. I would guess he was fairly well-versed in the classics.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 6:54 pm:   

Another item that points to Zodiac's intentional misspelling of words vs. natural errors:

The Bus Bomb map shows the phrase "photo electric swiches (sic)" while the accompanying letter shows the phrase "photoelectric switches." Same mailing different spellings; This indicates that Zodiac probably knew better. Notice how "swiches" and "twich" (in different letters) both lack the necessary "t."
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 8:47 pm:   

The possible use of Old English and Milton spellings is fascinating. Is it just me or does the entire Little List letter read like a scene from Dante's Inferno?

For what it's worth, my buddy, BC, was well-versed in American Indian history and mythology and identified himself with Geryon, described in the Inferno (Canto XV) as a "deceitful demon whose luminous countenance and jewel-encrusted body obscure his hideous reptilian from, symbolic of his treacherous nature".

I think the specific word references certainly warrant their own thread here.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 11:55 pm:   

Deoxys, that would be a plus for BC as a suspect. I'm pretty well convinced that we're looking for someone who has a good, solid background in classical literature. Even the little jibe "Melvin eats bluber" is evocative of Herman Melville.

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