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Brian_d
Username: Brian_d

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, October 30, 2006 - 7:29 am:   

I was thumbing through Kelleher and Van Nuys book and reading their combined take on the Belli letter of December 20, 1969. The tone of this letter, at first glance, is different than Z’s other letters in that on it’s face, he seems to feel regret for his actions and appears to want to give himself up. Some have seen it as an attempt (including the authors) to lay a groundwork for a possible defense. The tone seems insincere and toward the end of the letter, the author seems to revert to form with subtle threats to his reader. I agree with the authors in that it seems to be more manipulation and attention seeking on the killer’s part.
What struck me while thinking of this letter was the motive for the Zodiac in writing this in the first pace. True, it was the one-year anniversary of the Lake Herman attack. But it was also roughly two months to the day after Belli was part of the Jim Dunbar program taking calls from the Napa Hospital patient advertising himself as the Zodiac. Needless to say, the real Z was aware of this and was probably relatively amused by the spectacle. Also, at about the same time as this broadcast, the San Fran-sicko Examiner ran an appeal across its masthead to the killer to give himself up.
I wonder if the ridiculous appeal and Belli’s participation in the broadcast fiasco weren’t the real thoughts in Z’s head as he wrote his Heirens-esque appeal to the famed defense attorney?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, October 30, 2006 - 9:53 am:   

I've little doubt of it, Brian. I think Zodiac must have been quite amused at the little charade that had been played on the Dunbar show. His "please help me" sounds more like a child's taunt than an actual cry for help.

One thing I don't understand is why the newspapers didn't get a correspondence during this time frame.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, October 30, 2006 - 7:28 pm:   

One thing I'd noted before is that, between 12-20-1968 and 12-20-1969, there were precisely 12 (known) Z events:

1) 12-20-1968: LHR
2) 7-4-1969: BRS
3) 7-31-1969: letter & cipher to the Chronicle
4) 7-31-1969 letter & cipher to the Examiner
5) 7-31-1969 letter & cipher to the Times-Herald
6) 8-1?-1969: letter to the Examiner
7) 9-27-1969: LB
8) 10-11-1969: PH
9) 10-13-1969: letter to the Chronicle with bloody swatch
10) 11-8-1969: Pen card, cipher & swatch to the Chronicle
11) 11-9-1969: 7 page diatribe & bus bomb diagram
12) 12-20-1969: letter & swatch to Belli

What we have is 2 attacks followed by 4 letters, then 2 more attacks followed by 4 more letters, totalling 12 events in precisely one year. I've opined that Z intended LB to be his swan song, and he'd simply vanish after that, but since Hartnell survived, he needed Stine to make up for that. Since his original plan went awry, he modified it, and later decided on completing the 2 attacks-4 letters pattern he inadvertantly started, since it would total 12 events from him over the course of a year. The Belli letter may have been intended to be the last, but 121 days later, he couldn't resist writing again because of the effect he'd had on the public with the handful of letters he already wrote.

Thus, LHR to LB was Phase One of his original agenda, LB to the Belli letter was Phase Two of the modifed agenda, and he added a Phase Three for fun in 1970.
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - 6:48 am:   

One thing is for sure, Z was very narcissitic. I tend to believe your view of the Belli letter, Brian. I am sure Z got a big kick out of how his "please help me" played out. It was probably similar to his glee when he watched the Exorcist and saw how we mere humans were terrified at the thought of devil possession while he knew that evil incarnate doesn't always work in such dramatic ways. Instead it is manifest in a rather plain and homely looking white man with dorky glasses attached by a rubber band to his head.
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Brian_d
Username: Brian_d

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 6:38 am:   

Interesting thoughts, Ed. While I believe there is truth in what you’ve written, there seems to be some contradiction in a statement you previously made concerning Z’s willingness to kill. The original intent of my post was to share an observation that Z, whoever he was, seems to have been a stone cold killer, incapable of compassion or simple empathy and was incapable of being “reached” at any point.
If he began with a self imposed one-year time frame to kill for whatever reason, killing would seem to be an inconsequential act to him, as Stine’s murder would appear to underscore if indeed it were precipitated by Bryan Hartnell’s survival.
I think we hashed it around on the old board of trolling vise targeting specific individuals. I feel he attacked when he had a window of opportunity and was searching victims on much of his free time. Do you feel his self imposed ‘clock’ would begin when he claimed his first victims, whenever that would be or December 20th was a hard date to him? Come to think of it, 12 are a popular unit of time measurement. Twelve numbers on a clock face, twelve ‘houses’ of the Zodiac, twelve months a year. Outside of the clock on the map inset, we have he clock mentioned in his bomb schematic. I believe I am the only one on the board who believes Z used his abortive threats for the purpose of getting certain words/clues into the paper without anyone suspecting. I believe the theme of time is underscored by what I’ve pointed out above in addition to Z’s penchant for commemorating anniversaries, which could have a dual purpose. One to mark ‘time’, the second is to bring his original twelve month agenda to peoples attention that you mentioned. I believe that the target of a ‘buss’ was merely to get Buss St. into the discussion. The ‘wide flange beam’ symbol also conforms to and accurately maps several streets in Vallejo, Buss St. among them. I think Sean pointed out that the Z and symbol also traced streets in the immediate area including the I-80 cloverleaf.
Just a few heretical thoughts…
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 1:14 pm:   

First of all, these are just thoughts and ideas I've had over the years based on observations I've made; they're not part of a comprehensive, cohesive theory (as of yet anyway). That being said, thank you for pointing out an apparent contradicton, although I don't consider it to be one (I'll get to my reasoning for that in a moment).

Secondly, there is no demonstrable proof that Z had a "penchant for commemorating anniversaries." Other than the Belli letter being mailed precisely one year to the day after LHR and bringing him full circle with 12 Z-related events in 12 months (and yes, I think it was purposeful, considering his name and the fact that there are 12 signs of the zodiac), there is nothing else that coincides with any Z-related date other than the Pines card, mailed one year to the day after the Kathleen Johns incident. In other discussions over the years, I've expressed doubts as to the authenticity of that card, Johns' identification of Z, and the veracity of Z's claim that he was the perp, so I don't consider it to be the second (and only other) instance of Z commemorating an anniversary.

I've argued that the facts indicate that Z was incompetent with his own weapons; that may have been due to one or more factors, including intoxication and/or being under the influence of drugs, fear of being caught and/or the situation getting out of control, and, of course, my own personal favorite ideas, that he may have been book-wise about them but rarely, if ever, actually used them, and that he really had no stomach for killing. I don't mean to sound callous, but at BRS, shooting Ferrin and Mageau sitting in a car, expecting the police and blinded by a flashlight was like shooting fish in a barrel; they were dead to rights, and yet, he failed to kill either of them immediately, and one survived. I mentioned in another thread that it was like he just kinda pointed his gun inside and started blazing away, hoping for the best, rather than taking careful aim. That is not the mark of a man who knows how to shoot and may perhaps indicate someone who doesn't really want to kill but had decided to anyway.

That he had no stomach for killing is evidenced by the fact that there was a 6½ month gap between LHR and BRS; if he was a sociopathic/psychopathic murderer, why'd he wait so long? OK, I understand that he would lay low for a while to make sure the cops weren't onto him, but that does seem to be rather a long time considering the 2½ month gap between BRS and LB, and the 2 weeks from LB to PH. Of course, there may be other factors we can know nothing of, such as being out of state for work or family-related business.

Regardless, if Z had no stomach for murder, that would not necessarily imply that it was inconsequential to him if he had a 1 year time frame that he set for himself. In fact, I don't think that was part of the original plan anyway; the plan was, for whatever reason, to kill 5 people. He murdered 2, was sickened by it, and after nearly 7 months, decided to forge ahead and killed another. Then he wrote 4 letters (the original intention was obviously to write 3, but Chief Stiltz wanted more information as proof, which necessitated the preparation of the 4th letter), and determined to meet his quota of 5 murders, Z prepared for LB and intended for that to be the end of his career in crime, hence the ritual hood and the departure from the use of a firearm.

That was part of the original plan; when Hartnell survived, Z must have been in a rage and thought, even though he didn't care for murder, he had to get his 5th victim out of the way, and the sooner the better. Obviously, the 4 previous murders didn't garner him much attention outside of Solano and Napa Counties, so he calculated his final murder to occur in SF for maximum publicity (perhaps to go out in a blaze of glory). In order to prove he was the killer and not be forced to write yet another letter with more facts to prove it, Z intended to take Stine's shirt tail as proof, and wrote his next letter.

It was at that point that he noticed his 2 murder-4 letter pattern, and decided to continue it. He must have also realized that the 1 year anniversary of LHR was coming up, and timed his letter writing to coincide with it, hence the Belli letter on 12-20-1969. Thus, Phase One was to kill 5 people but without a specific timeframe involved (LHR to LB), which was modified to Phase Two upon Hartnell's survival (2 x 2 attacks-4 letters pattern) to total 12 events over 12 months. Thus, while LB was originally intended to be his swan song, he altered his agenda to end with the Belli letter. That would mean it had no real purpose other than to complete his 12 events in 12 months. He had to write something, so why not have a little fun with the high-powered attorney who thought he spoke to the real Z 2 months before on Jim Dunbar's show?
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 5:41 pm:   

I watched that Dunbar show live in Vallejo, with Belli squirming and trying to be receptive to Z calling in. Actually, it was the looney from Napa State Hospital calling. I thought it was a farce at the time, and it turned out that's what it was.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 6:03 pm:   

Right, but no one had any way of knowing at the time whether it was truly legit or not, but it doesn't hurt to err on the side of caution rather than just write it off. Considering what we know now, ie, a 2 AM phone call to Oakland PD, I would have guessed it was someone who was either drunk, high, or both, who lost a bet or was dared to make a crank call. But it was obviously nothing more than a farce from beginning to end with absolutely no connection to Z despite what the caller may have claimed.

Z undoubtedly watched the show with amusement, and I would imagine that's why he actually wrote to Belli to complete his amended plan; that way, he would not only have some fun with him, but it would also confuse the cops who would look at the possibility that Z really did call OPD and some crank called the show later that morning, meaning they'd be wasting more time and manpower attempting to track down any lead in that area. Basically, we're looking at Z making use of a zynchronous incident to his advantage in order to write Belli an essentially meaningless letter just for fun and to complete his 12 events, and to engage the police in his game of misdirection.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 10:50 pm:   

Help me out here...

From my understanding, the 2 a.m. caller to Oakland P.D. requested to speak to F. Lee Bailey or Belli and for one of them to appear on the morning Channel 7 talk show.

http://www.carpenoctem.tv/zodiac/belli.html

VDave, how was Belli's appearance explained on the show? Did they say:
"Our guest today is famous trial lawyer, Melvin Belli, and he's here to take calls from the Zodiac Killer"???

If they did, it would surely invite every wacko to call in for his 15 minutes of fame. If they didn't explain the reason, why would this guy at Napa State Hospital randomly decided to call Belli on the show?

The patrolman with Oakland P.D. who took the 2 a.m. call apparently didn't believe that it was the same person that called the show to speak to Belli. It also strikes me that it would be highly unlikely for a patient in a state mental hospital to be able to make a call to ANYONE at 2 a.m. I can't speak for Napa State Hospital but most state hospital units will have one or two phones for patient use. These will generally be within sight of the nursing station and calling times are regulated. In other words, no state hospital patient would generally be ALLOWED to make a 2 a.m. call to anyone, much less police.

A few questions:

Is it possible that the initial call actually WAS placed by Z (whether or not he intended to actually contact Belli) and the stunt was then highjacked by someone else?

Did police ever actually identify the caller at Napa State Hospital or were the calls just traced there and written off as coming from "a mental patient"?

I agree with Ed that if Z had nothing to do with any of this, he still would have enjoyed the spectacle and decided to address a letter to Belli because of it.
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Brian_d
Username: Brian_d

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 02, 2006 - 7:21 am:   

First of all, these are just thoughts and ideas I've had over the years based on observations I've made; they're not part of a comprehensive, cohesive theory (as of yet anyway). That being said, thank you for pointing out an apparent contradiction, although I don't consider it to be one (I'll get to my reasoning for that in a moment).

Ed, thank you for your reply. I do not suggest you have a ‘grand unification theory’ regarding this case. Please understand I am not suggesting anything other than some thoughts of my own as sparked by evidence and thoughts of various posters on this board whom I believe are more informed than many. Not least of which is you Ed.


...and may perhaps indicate someone who doesn't really want to kill but had decided to anyway.

Huh? Who or what is compelling him to kill against his will? If he lost a bet, he’s got a decidedly unique sense of ‘honor’. If he didn’t want to kill, why attack the male first, nullifying the most likely source of resistance?

That he had no stomach for killing is evidenced by the fact that there was a 6½ month gap between LHR and BRS; if he was a sociopath/psychopathic murderer, why'd he wait so long?

The reasons he waited six plus months between killings are debatable. I never said or suggested he was a sociopath or psychopath. I think you hinted as much with the literal or metaphysical arm twisting into killing against his will. I suggest with my original post he was a cold blooded and thoroughly sober sane s.o.b. of a human being that evidenced his callousness by tweaking Belli’s nose, feigning remorse, only to proceeded to threaten mayhem if others didn’t play his game, albeit more subtly than the weekend dozen (hey! There’s twelve again!) Or the Exorcist letter.

Z prepared for LB and intended for that to be the end of his career in crime, hence the ritual hood and the departure from the use of a firearm. That was part of the original plan; when Hartnell survived, Z must have been in a rage and thought, even though he didn't care for murder, he had to get his 5th victim out of the way, and the sooner the better. Obviously, the 4 previous murders didn't garner him much attention outside of Solano and Napa Counties, so he calculated his final murder to occur in SF for maximum publicity (perhaps to go out in a blaze of glory). In order to prove he was the killer and not be forced to write yet another letter with more facts to prove it, Z intended to take Stine's shirt tail as proof, and wrote his next letter.

Like I said before, there is truth in this. Not necessarily the truth. Only Z can offer that solution. I think Z’s thinking was fluid and was predicated on daily developments in addition to any plan Z may have been working from. Surely, Avery’s goading very much figured into his selection of San Fran-freako for his curtain call?
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 02, 2006 - 7:49 am:   

Deo, I just flipped it on, and there was Belli on camera saying things like " Zodiac, if you're listening, contact me, or call me. I can get you help. I can help you avoid the death penalty".

Strange indeed.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 02, 2006 - 12:40 pm:   

Brian wrote:

Huh? Who or what is compelling him to kill against his will? If he lost a bet, he’s got a decidedly unique sense of ‘honor’. If he didn’t want to kill, why attack the male first, nullifying the most likely source of resistance?

My point was that these crimes (to me, anyway), don't seem to be like those of your standard serial killer/mass murderer. That's why I've wondered if Z really wanted to kill, or perhaps I should say, really liked killing. I've been thinking over the years that perhaps Z had looked at various unsolved murders, such as Jack the Ripper, and thought, "Gee, I wonder if I can do that and get away with it too?" Of course, he needs to be a sociopath to be thinking in those terms, and, if so, then he may have modelled himself after JTR to the extent that he wanted to kill 5 people just like his idol.

Wanting to kill and actually killing are two entirely different things. For instance, I have no problem watching Jason kill hordes of hapless stupid teenagers and adults in the Friday the 13th movies, but I remember in 9th grade when we had to dissect frogs, and I wasn't too crazy about it (especially the stench!), even though they were already prepared. I think if we had latex gloves, that would have made all the difference (this was in 1980, after all)...

In only one instance do we know without a doubt that Z attacked the male first, and that was Hartnell at LB; at BRS, it is apparent that Mageau was shot first, but he insisted in an interview in August 1969 that his memories were more "impressional" than anything since he was, after all, critically wounded most of the time. However unlikely, Ferrin may have been shot first for all we know. At LHR, we have no idea and can only piece together the possible sequence of events based on the evidence. How do we know that Z didn't gun down Jensen first as she ran with Faraday watching in horror, with Z killing him after? At PH, there was no female, so that's irrelevant.

In any case, killing the male victim first makes sense anyway, since he would present more danger to Z than the female. Even for someone that may not have had a stomach for murder, Z apparently had enough sense to kill the greater threat first.
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Scott_ben
Username: Scott_ben

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 10:03 am:   

Ed,
In his cipher did'nt zodiac say how much he enjoyed killing. Something like "its better the getting your rocks off with a women". I guess your suggesting that the actuality of the murders did not live up to his fantasies of how they would be or are you saying that was all just posturing on his part?
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Scott_ben
Username: Scott_ben

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 10:06 am:   

I think it more likely people are harder to kill then zodiac realized? Thats why people kept surviving his attacks. He was in such a hurry I think he never made sure they were dead. You know the old put one in the brain saying.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 12:06 pm:   

He also said he was collecting slaves for his afterlife, and although he only murdered 5 people, he lied about how many slaves he actually collected... obviously, he wasn't really collecting slaves, was he? Why lie otherwise? His "I like killing people because it is so much fun..." phrase is reminiscent of a guy who brags about how many women he's bedded, which tells us that he hasn't really. Maybe Z just said that so that the cops wouldn't pick up on the possibility that he didn't really like killing all that much...
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 2:14 pm:   

I think he liked getting his symbolic revenge more than he liked the act itself. For example, there are a lot of people I think deserve the death penalty, but I'm damned if I'd particularly enjoy carrying the sentence out. Not that I couldn't, mind you; just that I wouldn't relish the task.
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Scott_ben
Username: Scott_ben

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Monday, November 06, 2006 - 10:07 am:   

I don't know if I agree with you Ed. Which isn't very often!. Zodiac wrote this in his cipher. I don't believe he would go to all the trouble of writing the cipher only to put things in it that was not really important to him. Remember. Zodiac did not want that 1st cipher broken. If at all or at least not as quickly as it was. He wanted to accomplish something with these ciphers, I guess what your saying is that they were in reality just something to tie up the police's time and everything he spoke about should be taken with a grain of salt. However I do think Zodiac enjoyed killing. Why do it? Certainly nobody is making him. You are talking as if it was a bad career choice for him or something. Like he chose to take the job of serial killer and afterwords decieded he didn't like it. I don't think thats how it works. Something was driving him to kill. Hatred of women, the world, something. You don't stab complete strangers repeatedly cause you aren't into it!
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, November 06, 2006 - 5:46 pm:   

Scott, they're just ideas I've had that seem to explain what I see as problems with certain aspects of Z's crimes. And I don't think he just decided to become a killer, he may have read about various unsolved murders over the years, such as JTR, the Torso Killer, the Phantom of Texarkana and so on, came to admire them for their cunning, ingenuity or whatever, but looked at others who had been caught and thought, "Now, if they only did this instead, they would have gotten away with it!" He then began to wonder if he could kill and get away with it. Of course, he would also need to have little in the way of morals in order to do so, and set out to commit the perfect crime. Along the way, he realized that theory and practice are two entirely different things and he didn't enjoy it as much as he thought (in fact, I am still of the opinion that Z may have been sickened by murder), but he had an agenda that he determined to stick to for reasons of his own.

Anyway, like I said, just ideas...
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Scott_ben
Username: Scott_ben

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 - 12:42 pm:   

Ok. One thing to think about also is, you seem to be forgetting or not factoring in to the equation that who ever Zodiac was, he was a very sick man. In my view you are trying to rationalize the actions of a irrational individual.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 - 1:25 pm:   

Of course he was very sick. However, in an attempt to explain how he could come out of nowhere, kill 5 people in 10 months, write several letters then vanish completely without committing any other murders (at least, none that can be linked to him), I've had to think outside the box and yes, rationalize to a certain extent. Remember, Z is not your typical (if there is such a thing) serial killer; he's one-of-a-kind and much of what he did does not really make much sense looking at it from the usual point of view. Thinking inside the box hasn't worked since 1968, so thinking outside may help understand what's going on; that's why I'm seriously wondering if Z approached murder from an intellectual rather than an emotional point of view. In other words, it became very easy for the Nazis to murder 6,000,000 Jews because they decided they were subhuman, thus they weren't killing anything that would cause them to lose any sleep. Likewise, if Z was approaching his crimes from an experimental point of view, ie, "Let's see if I can do this and get away with it like JTR!" but found he could not completely detach himself from his crimes, that could explain some of the oddities I've noted over the years.

Also remember that typical profiling didn't work then and still isn't working now as far as identifying and apprehending Z goes, so I think it has become obvious that Z was not your run-of-the-mill serial killer and would not even raise an eyebrow today if he were looked at.

Either way, we're getting off topic here... back to the Belli letter...
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Scott_ben
Username: Scott_ben

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 08, 2006 - 6:08 am:   

The Belli letter to me is a total tongue in cheek
slap in the face to Belli. I think it was in direct response to the Jim Dunbar fiasco. Almost like imitation of the mental patient who called the show claiming to be Z.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 08, 2006 - 10:01 am:   

Does anyone happen to have any answers to the above questions I raised on 11/1? The more I think about it, the more I think it is POSSIBLE that Z did call into Oakland P.D. requesting to speak to a high-profile lawyer.

Whether he was serious about turning himself or just taunting is debatable but this would have been at a time when Z was surely feeling some serious heat with a composite sketch posted all over S.F. I've expressed my opinion, based on Z's subsequent letters, that the sketch was accurate enough to make him nervous and seek to dismiss it with the disguise claims.

I tend to agree with Ed, by the way, that Z did not particularly enjoy the physical act of killing in the way other serial killers like BTK, Jack the Ripper, Bundy etc. surely did. It seemed to be more of a means to an end and taunting society (police, newspapers, public) seemed to be the primary motivation.

I also like the idea about approaching his crimes from an experimental point of view. This is one reason that groups like the beats and Diggers are attractive to me in that they sought mind expansion by freeing themselves from societal influences, maximizing physical experiences and "doing their own thing".
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 08, 2006 - 12:41 pm:   

De, it's entirely possible that Z did call Oakland PD at 2 AM on 10-22-1969, but it's impossible to be certain one way or the other until such time as Z is arrested and admits to it. Considering there were only 3 people alive who heard Z speak (Hartnell, Slaight and Slover) and none of them took the call, there's no way the operator could know if it was Z or a hoax.

I really doubt Z was serious in the Belli letter; I've argued that the composite was not all that accurate and that Z mentioned it because that would get everyone thinking he did look like it. If that is the case, then, as Scott mentioned, the Belli letter was a direct response to the Dunbar show and, as I've opined, it was a way to bring to a close a possible agenda of 12 Z-related events in precisely 12 months (interesting how there was only 1 event for 6½ months, and the other 11 were crowded into 5½ months).
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Scott_ben
Username: Scott_ben

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 08, 2006 - 2:36 pm:   

The thing I believe is telling about the Belli Letter is the handwritting. It is by far the most legiable of zodiac's correspondences. Why? I think it had to do with it being sent to Belli. I think he had some sort of admiration for the outspoken attorney. Belli was pretty well known across the country but especially so in San Francisco. I think one could argue this bolsters the belief Zodaic was raised in the San Fran area. Nowhere was Belli so revered. Zodiac took the time with this letter that he did not ordinarly take. Its got to mean something. Either that or he had drastic swings in temperment which caused diffrences in handwritting. Mabye he was in a more playful good mood when penning this letter.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 08, 2006 - 4:44 pm:   

Ed, we can argue about the composite sketches but even if these were WAY off, I do still think Z would have been feeling the heat, knowing that he had been observed and wondering whether there was any useful forensic evidence left behind. He was certainly public enemy #1 in the Bay area in December, 1969, and could POSSIBLY have been CONSIDERING surrender.

Scott, very true, the handwriting to Belli is immaculate, perhaps in deference to Belli himself, but Z maintains his atrocious spelling. I think it is also possible that Z was attempting to "clean himself up" after the near catastrophe with Stine and the Belli letter represents a different temperament or perhaps sobriety after the whiny taunting letters in Oct. and Nov. 1969.

Can anyone answer how Channel 7 explained Mr. Belli's appearance on the 10/22/69 show to the viewing public? Or didn't they?
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Brian_d
Username: Brian_d

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, November 24, 2006 - 5:28 am:   

The reason I think Z chose Belli, at least in part, was his local and nationwide reputation. A slap in the face, as Scott says, from one dyed-in-the-wool media whore to another, so to speak.
We can argue the veracity of the composite drawing ad infinitum. Lets just say reasonable, non convoluted arguments can be made for or against it's accuracy.
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Brian_d
Username: Brian_d

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, November 24, 2006 - 5:59 am:   

Ed wrote:
In only one instance do we know without a doubt that Z attacked the male first, and that was Hartnell at LB; at BRS, it is apparent that Mageau was shot first, but he insisted in an interview in August 1969 that his memories were more "impressional" than anything since he was, after all, critically wounded most of the time. However unlikely, Ferrin may have been shot first for all we know. At LHR, we have no idea and can only piece together the possible sequence of events based on the evidence. How do we know that Z didn't gun down Jensen first as she ran with Faraday watching in horror, with Z killing him after? At PH, there was no female, so that's irrelevant
Ed, I 'm not trying to be confrontational but doesn't a preponderance of the evidence suggest that in the BRS attack Z parked his car in the cutoff technique (why would he walk between the cars in a lazy 's' path instead of just taking the shortest route from his driver's side to his victims driver's side) and using a flashlight he wanted to first kill the most likely source of resistance and make sure he approached the male first? That David stood there while his date was gunned down seems less likely than Z again wanting to neutralize the most likely source of danger to himself by killing David as he scrambled out after his date. Do I know this to be a fact? Of course not. I wasn’t there. But it is in keeping with the m.o. at Lake Berryessa and seemingly at Blue Rock Springs. That’s not to say the most reasonable solutions are the accurate one. If looking at the evidence forty years after the fact, and the Tate/LaBianca killings remained unsolved, who would have theorized that a Svengali-like jailhouse con artist like Charles Manson was intimately involved in fomenting something like a race war?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, November 24, 2006 - 2:06 pm:   

I understand what you're saying, Brian, and it is almost certain that Z shot Faraday and Mageau first, but, let's be honest, that's just a guess. The more I think about LHR, the more I have to wonder about Faraday being shot first. Jensen was out of the car and presumably running, so why would Z wait to kill her second? That makes no sense, which is why I question that version. And do we know that Mageau was shot first? It seems almost certain, but his memory was hazy about the events. That's why I said that the only one we know of without a doubt where the male was attacked first was LB.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 7:12 am:   

BUMP...

The call to Oakland P.D. is too interesting to ignore and appears to be part of the upcoming Fincher Z film. It is a mystery within a mystery.

http://www.carpenoctem.tv/zodiac/belli.html

Was the initial call from Z? If so, why? Who actually called to speak to Belli that day and why did they suggest a meeting in Daly City? Sorry, the mystery doesn't end for me because the call turned out to be from a "mental patient".
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 12:36 pm:   

Not just an anonymous mental patient, Deoxys...his name was Eric Weir (or Weil, can't recall at the moment).

All of the Belli-related calls were attributed to him.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 2:49 pm:   

It's always possible that the original call to Oakland PD was from Z, but then, any crank could've called and said his name was Z and who would've known one way or the other? The only three people who heard Z's voice were Nancy Slover, Bryan Hartnell and David Slaight, and none of them took the call.

Yes, it's part of the Z story, but personally, I think it was just some crank who got the ball rolling. Probably some idiot teenager smoking weed who was dared to make the call...
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 2:52 pm:   

There is an interesting Bay area Eric Weil on this page:

http://pool.dylantree.com/phorum5/read.php?5,41509 8
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 6:29 pm:   

Thank you, Tom. I had asked about how this was investigated in the 11/1 post above but no one responded.

Do you happen to know how this situation was presented on the Channel 7 TV show? In other words, how did Eric W. know to call in and try to speak with Belli on the show? I'm presuming, of course, that he even knew he WAS speaking with Belli. Any idea why the Daly City thrift store was chosen as a meeting location?

Ed is right, of course, that any Bozo could have called in pretending to be Z but, based on the Oakland P.D. officer's response and comments, it doesn't sound like it came from pranking teenagers:

"The Oakland patrolman who received the original 2 a.m. call was convinced he had talked to the real Zodiac and that the voice of "Sam" did not belong to the same man he had talked to".

If it WAS a teenage prank, I bet those guys will have a blast watching the chaos they caused in the movie!
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 6:31 pm:   

Wait... do you mean the call to Oakland P.D. was also attributed to this guy at Napa State Hospital? If so, how?
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 6:49 pm:   

There were multiple calls to the Dunbar show and those were all attributed to Weir/Weil.

The police had the Oakland police dispatcher listen to the Dunbar caller's voice, so that seems to indicate they had no proof the original caller was the same guy who called Dunbar's show.

Still, no proof the original caller was the Zodiac. I doubt it was, being how selective he was with his phone calls.
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Yarbchris
Username: Yarbchris

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 7:11 pm:   

If this was the same Eric Weil on Dylan's 1965 SF press conference, he was a little strange by some standards. The page, with photos of him included, describes him as having an intense stare. He confessed to putting a lot of thought into the meaning of Dylan's Highway 61 album cover, which displayed a quite mundane (at least to me) photo of Dylan. The page also says that Eric probably ended up doing time in prison not long after the press conference. I tested my previous link and it didn't appear to work correctly. Maybe this one will, in case anyone is interested.

http://tinyurl.com/yke2du

If the link takes you to a forum list instead of the right page, as it does sometimes for some reason, scroll down and click where it says:
Bob Dylan's 1965 San Francisco Press Conference--A Closer Look
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 7:12 pm:   

Thanks.

Can you please write a freakin' book so I can stop asking you dumb questions? :-)
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 7:17 pm:   

A couple of channel 7 anchormen and producers, and editors, were in my reserve unit at the Presidio. I wish I was still in touch with them so I could ask them questions about that call and day!

The Daly City thrift shop?--They must have honed in on a signal from that area.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 7:32 pm:   

Crazy Zynchronicity, Yarb. If this is the same Eric Weil, he seems to have been a hanger-on of the group I've been investigating for some time, some of which created or participated in the Diggers' movement in SF during the mid-late 60s.

http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/keenan/b1965-4.htm l

The names Dylan, McClure and Ginsberg appear in both of our links. Damn shame this guy wound up in Napa State Hospital...
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 11:54 am:   

Yellow book says that Belli's housekeeper had a phone conversation with a man claiming to be Z. Beyond the fact that Z most likely would be too smart to call Belli's house at the height of the tango between the two of them (for fear of a trace, I suppose), does anyone know if there is a grain of truth to this supposed call even occurring? Does anyone know the name of the housekeeper?
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Breakout
Username: Breakout

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 12:05 pm:   

Also, just wondering about Zodiacs use of "drownding." Could it be connected to his water-related locations?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 2:21 pm:   

That sounds to me like one of those archaic terms he likes to use. Dickens used it in a couple of places that I'm aware of.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 2:51 pm:   

This choice of spelling has an English/Irish connection here as I see it.

"The miller was hung at his own mill gate,
For drownding little sister Kate."
Old Ballad English-Scottish-many of these mae their way to the US.

"felt a father's love for his drownding ofspring..."
Autobiography of Joseph H.Barsden transcipt 1799-1816 Barsden was English and had mover to New South Wales at the time.

"That injun devil wouldn't make any more of drownding us than a couple of cats..."
Huck to Tom Sawyer chapter 10

'Get out of the way you young rascal or we'll run you over and drown you!'
Little Jacky look up defiantly and cries out-'Ye'll drownd me,will ye:
if ye do,I'll make it the dear drownding to ye!'

(Robert Dwyer Joyce's Ballads of Irish Chivalry,p.200)I found three forms of the word so I thought I'd post them.

Z seems to be influenced by all things English/Irish or GB.

I quoted the above to show Z didn't have to be a great scholar to know about this spelling.It was commonly used in GB and still is by some.The same for the word Christmass.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 3:07 pm:   

I've never thought that Zodiac was an unintentialy bad speller, but I always assumed that his unusual spellings were just to throw people off. However, especially in light of the many literary/UK citations that people have found, (like "drownding") I now think that Z's spelling was another expression of his arrogance. Back in school, I knew a couple of people who insisted in using the oldest standard spellings of words from the oldest dictionaries they could find. Then they'd butt heads with the teachers over the spellings in their papers. They'd sniff at the "modern" spellings, and say that "Dickens/King James/Shakespeare got it right and we shouldn't change it."
I had no idea that "cid" or "drownding" were ever considered correct, but I bet that Z knew.

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