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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 9:22 am:   

I have mentioned this a few times over the years, it seems no one see's the importance of it but me but I'll throw it out there once again just for the heck of it.

According to the yellow book, one or more of the letters was written on teletype paper. Has anyone ever been able to really verify if this is fact? If it is indeed true, it has to be one of the most unique clues in the entire case. A show of hands, how many of you have ever actually used or had access to real teletype paper? I used it as a radio officer in the merchant marine, but I must say one doesn't exactly pick that stuff up at the five and dime. Honestly, I can't say I've ever seen it again since the last time I was in a ship's radio shack. That would go for wing walkers as well, not to say you "can't" get either. Typically, teletype paper comes in rolls which are 2 or 3 ply. The keys strike the top layer and produce a carbon copy on the layer(s) below.

The next question one needs to ask is who has access to teletype paper? Anyone working in a radio station would have access to it (Marshall comes to mind as he did work in a radio station and was a ham operator), anyone who was in the military and had access to radio equipment, as would certain ham radio operators. Outside of that, you just don't really come across teletype paper too often.

Examination of the bus bomb and the correct use of jumpering on the schematic, as well as the use of teletype paper point to someone who probably has some background in radio communications.

So of all of the kinds of paper that could be used, why did Z use "teletype" paper to write one of his letters and where did he get it from?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 9:48 am:   

I don't know how many letters were written on teletype paper, but it's interesting to note that, according to the final paragraph on p. 39 of the BRS Report, the first letter received by the Vallejo Times-Herald was written on paper sold by Woolworth's.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 4:04 pm:   

It had a watermark on it, Ed, according to the FBI documents, but I can never remember what it was. If you comb those files, though, you'll find it.

I had access to teletype paper back in the late '70s when I worked at a newspaper as a typesetter. I also recall reading an article in "Writer's Digest" back around that era that advised budding writers to acquire butt-ends of newsprint and teletype rolls to use in writing first drafts. Zodiac might have been a scavenger in that regard.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 8:29 pm:   

Provocative question, Kevin. Can you cite where Mr. Yellowbook says this in relation to the teletype paper? The watermark would also be interesting to know. These are the kind of minute details, IMO, that sometimes solve cold cases- worth looking into...
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 9:24 am:   

Yellowbook page 202, claims "The Riverside Zodiac letters were written on teletype paper." All of them? Which ones? Were *any* of the "Riverside Zodiac letters" actually determined to be authentic? This makes a difference obviously. Someone should nail this down once and for all. I'd do it except I live in Japan...
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 9:28 am:   

I'm looking at the "teletype paper" used in the "Bates had to die" letters and noticing it is lined. Teletype paper is not lined, sorry.
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 9:42 am:   

Someone refresh my memory - is the Riverside "confession" letter considered legit or is it in limbo?
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 6:51 pm:   

Here is some teletype paper. It's a rare 1st Ed pic of Kerouac's On The Road. He got the paper from Southern Pacific RR, when he worked for them. He died in 1969 in Florida, but had been in SF previously that year.

kerouaco2C:\mysettings\mydocuments\kerouac.jpg
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

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

I worked with teletype paper when a newscaster at WARC Radio years ago. The machine just kept merrily clacking away. We only used a little bit of the paper to read on the air; the rest was thrown out. No recycling in those days. So, anyone with access to the trash could have gotten some. BUT - finding BLANK teletype paper on which to compose a message - that might be a bit harder. Most of the trashed paper was covered with enough print to render it unusable for a letter. It was a fairly low-quality stuff, a bit like newsprint.

The type style was: IN ALL CAPS***KEROUAC GOT A FULL BLANK ROLL OF TELETYPE PAPER...AND THEN USED A TYPEWRITER TO WRITE HIS MANUSCRIPT...WHICH DROVE HIS PUBLISHER NUTS. BUT REMEMBER, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE FOR ANYONE TO BUY A ROLL OF TELETYPE PAPER...AT A STATIONERY WHOLESALER OR PAPER DEALER...AS THOSE ROLLS CAME FROM SOME PLACE! SNARF.

OK, enough teletype style writing for tonight. Kevin, no one ever said BATES HAD TO DIE was on teletype paper, not that I heard, that one was on "lined notebook paper", the sort of thing a student might use.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, October 30, 2006 - 9:46 am:   

If I remember correctly, J_eric, the day shift would generally discard the butt-ends of teletype rolls before the night shift began and replace them with fresh rolls--that way they could ensure that there was plenty of paper on the roll to capture whatever information was coming down the pike while no one was there. It was the same concept with the butt-ends of newsprint rolls--you wouldn't start a job with a roll that had just a couple hundred feet on it because you'd just end up changing the roll a few minutes later. Wasteful in paper, but saving in labor and efficiency.
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - 12:13 am:   

Our radio station was very small and my newscast, the last of the evening. Seem to recall there was a teletype shutoff switch and I'd turn it off to conserve paper and news stories. If a station broadcast 24 hrs., yes, it does make sense to change paper rolls in advance so that the old one did not run out. I think that happened to me once on a "newsy" evening. Replacing them wasn't very difficult, just involved feeding the paper around rollers and such - a bit like threading a typewriter ribbon. Everyone know what a ribbon is? (Sigh. These kids!!) Only took a minute or so.

Z didn't need a lot of teletype paper anyway to write THE CONFESSION. (I think that's the one on such paper.) 7 sheets' worth? He typed a bunch of carbon copies and mailed out the bottom one or two. Colleges with radio stations would be one source for such scrap paper, if we're going on the theory that stingy Z didn't buy his own roll.
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - 8:52 am:   

Okay the yellow books said the Riverside letter(s) plural were on teletype - another mistake. Taking one look at that confession letter, I can tell - it is teletype paper. The "Bates had to die" letters are not, so let's forget about them for the moment. I think yellow book also made a mistake by implying that the confession letter was many carbon 13 copies deep (page 168), no way. No typerwriter or teletype machine is going to make a copy 13 layers deep - he's off his rocker. Most likely, this is the 2nd or 3rd copy. Teletype paper is usually 2-3 ply and makes copies naturally.


While it's correct to say that it would have been possible for anyone to buy teletype paper if they knew where to look for it, it's not something the average Joe uses. I kind of doubt it was in stationary stores, I've certainly never seen it in stationary stores and I'd notice it. It's not something you just find laying around here and there. Radio stations, the military, ham radio operators. Yeah, I suppose you could find it in the trash, but by the way this thing was typed up, it also looks like someone who was "familiar" with it because of "how" it is typed up, at least to me. The author of the confession letter "most likely" had a connection to an industry or job where it was in use.

But - was the author "Z?"
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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - 8:55 am:   

Teletype machines, they usually printed in all caps now that I think back on it. At least a lot of the ones I used did.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 9:51 pm:   

Kevin,

I don't think there is going to be any definitive answer to the above question. Some ideas about the Confession letter are discussed here:

http://www.zodiackiller.com/discus/messages/28/761 .html?1162419343
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 8:32 am:   

There was an abundance of teletype paper available at 6th Army Headquarters at the Presidio. I was given a tour there, and was impressed by all the machines. Ironically, it is not that far from the Stine scene.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 5:45 pm:   

I'm sure there was a lot of teletype paper at the San Francisco Chronicle offices too. Hummm.

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