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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 1:21 pm:   

Can anyone tell me what zipcode this letter was mailed from? Howard's book indicates that the letter was mailed from a "940" zipcode, indicating that it was postmarked in San Mateo County, but the postmarked appears to be unreadable:

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

Anyone?

I figured the Exorcist Letter should have its own thread anyway...
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 2:09 pm:   

It's one of the most significant letters, I think, in terms of what it tells us about Zodiac.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 5:11 pm:   

It is unreadable. I have no clew. It is my understanding that most of the Bay area had the 945 prefix in the zip codes. Maybe Howard could tell us, in 20 words or less, lol.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 6:20 pm:   

I think the "940" came from Graysmith. However, SFPD should have a copy of the envelope somewhere--they processed it for DNA.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 7:05 pm:   

You're right, Doug.

I checked and the Yellowbook (p.183) indicates "The postmark on the new Zodiac letter was "940"; that showed it had been mailed from an adjacent county south of San Francisco early the day before.

I'm not sure how he would make up something like that but he must have had a much better look at the envelope to read any zipcode numbers.

I think it is interesting to consider because it is the first (and perhaps only) letter sent by Z after the creation of zipcodes and Z adds the post office reminder from the stamp booklet to "use Zip code". It doesn't, of course, mean that previous letters were mailed from the same location.

I agree, by the way, that this letter is a significant one even if we might not necessarily agree why.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 7:31 pm:   

If it is a zip code, then it's actually only part of one. It's likely 940xx... I checked a site about zip codes, and this is what I found:

94002 BELMONT
94005 BRISBANE
94010 BURLINGAME
94011 BURLINGAME
94013 DALY CITY
94014 DALY CITY
94015 DALY CITY
94016 DALY CITY
94017 DALY CITY
94018 EL GRANADA
94019 HALF MOON BAY
94020 LA HONDA
94021 LOMA MAR
94022 LOS ALTOS
94023 LOS ALTOS
94024 LOS ALTOS
94025 MENLO PARK
94026 MENLO PARK
94027 ATHERTON
94028 PORTOLA VALLEY
94030 MILLBRAE
94035 MOUNTAIN VIEW
94037 MONTARA
94038 MOSS BEACH
94039 MOUNTAIN VIEW
94040 MOUNTAIN VIEW
94041 MOUNTAIN VIEW
94042 MOUNTAIN VIEW
94043 MOUNTAIN VIEW
94044 PACIFICA
94060 PESCADERO
94061 REDWOOD CITY
94062 REDWOOD CITY
94063 REDWOOD CITY
94064 REDWOOD CITY
94065 REDWOOD CITY
94066 SAN BRUNO
94070 SAN CARLOS
94074 SAN GREGORIO
94080 SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO
94083 SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO
94085 SUNNYVALE
94086 SUNNYVALE
94087 SUNNYVALE
94088 SUNNYVALE
94089 SUNNYVALE
94096 SAN BRUNO
94098 SAN BRUNO

Looks like Z could've mailed the Exorcist letter from anywhere in the Bay Area...

555CA--California ZIP Codes
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 8:27 pm:   

Thanks, Ed.

I was thinking the same thing until I looked at the postmark on the Citizen Letter. It appears that the postal service (in California at least) was using only 3-digit zip codes back in 1974. The Citizen Letter (which I personally think did not come from Z) is postmarked "Postal Service. CA 945", indicating that it was mailed from an area in Alameda County.

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

The Exorcist Letter, therefore, if it does read "940", would have been mailed from the general area you indicate around San Mateo County but the specific location would not be indicated by the postmark. The postmark on the Red Phantom letter, for what it's worth, appears to be indistinguishable.

What I find very interesting is the fact that Z was apparently very much aware that the new zip code system would indicate the area where the Exorcist Letter was mailed from. He makes a point, for whatever reason, to paste the "Use Zip Code" (along with other portions of the stamp booklet) on the envelope.

The significance of this, if any, is certainly debatable but it sure would be nice if we had more than one zip-coded letter to tell if the other letters mailed from SF were mailed from the same or nearby location. Can anyone with access to the high-resolution letter pics check out the Exorcist letter envelope to see if the "940" postmark is actually visible?
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 8:44 pm:   

According to the Crime Library the Jan 29 Exorcist letter was mailed from San Mateo or Santa Clara, the Feb 17 SLA letter was mailed from San Rafael, the May 8 Citizen card was mailed from Freemont and the Jul 8 Red Phantom letter wa smailed from San Rafael.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 10:28 pm:   

I didn't know zip codes had 3 digits in the 1970's... I was living in Australia at the time where we had 4 digit post codes. Regardless, the 940 zip code was still in the Bay Area...
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 09, 2006 - 12:34 am:   

I had forgotten that a high-res scan of the envelope exists. It does indeed read "940."
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 09, 2006 - 12:49 am:   

There we have it! A statement of 100% pure truth from the much-maligned Mr. Yellowbook.

So the Exorcist Letter was mailed from SOUTH of San Francisco and Z apparently knew that the new zip code system would show where he had mailed it from. This would seem like a rather odd location to mail from if Z was still residing in Vallejo in 1974, no?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 09, 2006 - 2:01 am:   

Why's that? If I wanted to keep LE guessing as to my whereabouts, I would have driven from Vallejo with a 70,000+ population to SF with what, 5 or more times as many people, just to mail a letter. It's not like SF is all that far away from Vallejo anyway (assuming that's where Z lived)... he could've driven there along I-80 in maybe 30 minutes, and been south of SF less than half an hour later to drop the Exorcist letter in the mail...
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 09, 2006 - 2:16 am:   

Ted Kaczynski got on a bus and travelled over 1,200 miles just to mail a letter from the Bay Area. It all depends on your motivation, I guess.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 09, 2006 - 9:44 pm:   

Ed, I'm just saying that it would seem odd for Z (if he lived in Vallejo) to drive past a large, anonymous city like San Francisco to mail a letter from San Mateo county. I'm certainly not saying he couldn't have done so from Vallejo or anywhere else in the Bay area (or Illinois if he was highly motivated, although that would add significantly to his gas expenses). :-)

I agree that one letter doesn't prove much. Now if we had two or more letters mailed from the same area, it would surely be reasonable to ask what Z's connection might have been to that area.

I find it frustrating that virtually any piece of evidence can and will be explained away because Z, as master-criminal, left that evidence as a false clew. I think Z made mistakes. The challenge is to figure out which clews were intentional and which were mistakes.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 5:06 am:   

I'm inclined to think that no intelligent criminal would post a letter in his criminal persona from anywhere near his home. It's not so much a matter of him trying to actively leave false clues as it is a matter of simple common sense.
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 9:34 am:   

I agree with Doug. And, just for thought, my company transferred from Kearny St. to San Mateo in 1971 to Alameda de las Pulgas. We had to move from Vallejo to San Mateo(Hillsdale). We did keep going back to Vallejo to visit my parents. It was only a 45 minute to one hour trip. I'm sure many others had similar experiences. It would be easy for anyone living in V to drop off mail at most points around the Bay. Sometimes we took the San Mateo - Hayward bridge, and went north that way.

BTW-which one of you sleuths want to take me on as a suspect?--Kevin, Hawk, Doug, Howard, Ed? I was in Daly City in 67. I was 23 at the time of the V attacks.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 5:14 pm:   

I have some new thoughts about the meaning of the configuration on the bottom of the Exorcist letter. I posted them in the "codes" threads, but perhaps I should discuss them over here in this active thread.

I'm not sure how to link to another thread yet!
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 5:21 pm:   

Dave, for my money you're just too "nice" to have been the Zodiac. You take abuse without getting vindictive, and your attempts at "retribution" when people get your goat can't even be described as halfhearted. Not the kind of personality I'd expect from a good Zodiac suspect.
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Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 5:42 pm:   

Dave, you can't be Zodiac, you're not Welch.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 12:39 am:   

V dave, I only have one question. Did you ever work at the Rock Quarry on Lake Herman rd?
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 3:17 am:   

VDave has been trying get me to wear his nice buttons for years. Perhaps he needs his own thread in "Other Zodiac Suspects"?
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Vallejo_dave
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 8:22 am:   

Deo, I don't want to interrupt your ideas here about zip codes. Please go on.

Hawk, I worked as a blaster at the quarry, right after I left the Hercules smelting plant.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 12:25 pm:   

Deoxys, The 3-digit zip code was still being used in the mid 90's. I keep letters that are suspect, the last one I received was dated March 16th 94 and the zip was Oakland 946. Ten yrs before that on March 23rd 84, I received one from San Rafael 949 was the zip. Zodiac mailed from so many different areas, it wouldn't be a surprise to me if did mail at least one from the area he lived. He liked the "in -your - face" clues as we all know. I do believe that there are other clues that have been over looked, perhaps because they seemed too silly to be from a grown man. He has never been your go by the book killer,he tried to show us that by changing weapons, areas, victims, even his style of printing. We can only guess about why Z did anything. Trying to find a logical answer to something that a mad man did, will take forever and a day. I am very sure that he enjoys reading the post on this site and other Z sites as well. This alone could keep him calm. I wonder which theater he will go to, to see the new Z movie ? I will be sitting in the back row for sure, lol.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 6:30 pm:   

Thanks, Sandy. VDave sent me a photo of a letter he received living in Vallejo in 1969 that has the full 5-digit zip code so I'm even more confused about what their system actually was. It seems that some areas may have instituted the 5-digit code long before others.

I'd be curious to know whether the "940" area where the Exorcist Letter was mailed from would have received a San Francisco postmark in 1969-70. If so, it is POSSIBLE that Z mailed the majority of letters from the same location or general area.

It's a damn shame that Z's letters didn't all contain zip codes- then we'd really have something to work with. I do still think Z's reminder to "Use Zip Code" on what many believe to be his final letter (with "farewell" overtones) and the only letter to be postmarked with a zip code is worth considering.

Didn't Mike Butterfield mention in chat about the drop locations of San Francisco letters being pinpointed or did I drink too much eggnog that night?
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 6:51 pm:   

Dave sent me pics of that letter as well, so it would appear that the list I reproduced above was not premature! lol

There was talk in chat once or twice about some mailing locations being pinpointed in SF. I'm not sure how they figured it out, unless every letter from every mailbox in SF was checked for possible Z letters. Very inefficient and time consuming, but it would appear to have paid off a few times...
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 7:32 pm:   

I think you're right, Ed. It seems that the post office was gradually beginning to institute the zip code system during the time Z was writing his letters. Apparently some areas utilized it before others. My guess is that the 3-digit code was kind of a precursor to instituting the 5-digit code but I'm surprised that Vallejo would be using zip codes in 1969 and San Francisco would not.

That actually would be a very interesting (although difficult and tedious) idea to look into. Which areas of the San Francisco postal area were using the zip code system during the time Z mailed his letters? If the area postmarked with zip codes at the time, we would know where Z DID NOT mail his letters from...

I'm pretty sure that Mike Butterfield mentioned the idea of drop locations being pinpointed because I remember being intrigued by it and I HATE eggnog! It would be an interesting question to ask of him if you run across him in chat one of these (late) nights.
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J_eric
Username: J_eric

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 1:58 am:   

The three-digit "ZIP code" you write of refers to an SCF or Sectional Center Facility, which is where mail from a number of communities in a County is handled and processed (including postmarking outgoing letters). For example, if you address a letter to "North Hollywood 916" it at least alerts the PO that it should be handled at Van Nuys, CA, the SCF for the San Fernando Valley. From there they have to add the final two digits. The PO frowns upon this usage today, and most local Post Offices will gladly let you look through a big ZIP Code Directory so you can find for yourself the full code for your letter.

BTW, I used to work for the PO as a Christmas Assistant. At SCF 105-106.

It may just be zynchronicity but I like the way the 945 Citizen letter comes out as ALA, Me, Da!
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 7:26 am:   

Thanks for that info, J_eric. Love the ALA Zynchronicity!
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 1:06 pm:   

And IF Z used,at least on occasion,drop box/s it complicates the matter.I posted on drop boxes in the past and how they were and are used to conceal one's real address at any given time.

No one knows where Z was living at any given time.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 1:11 pm:   

Z did say he'd "like to see some nice buttons around town," which could possibly imply that he lived in SF.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 1:35 pm:   

Forgot to mention that 940 was on the envelope of the Lass 'pines card' 12/27/74.
The 940 was Alameda County and in S.F. it was used from May '73 to '74 and part of '75.
Any other info or modifications would be appreciated.

Again,use of drop box/s would muddy the crime waters considerably.Speculation again!

David,
Could be,but all we know from his contact crimes Z was in Vallejo,Benicia,LB and S.F.
SB,RS,LT,etc.,remains open to many.I personally believe Z was at these places too.

Letter postmarks like Pleasanton,etc.,open other doors of discussion too.

Because a perp mails a letter from a certain area does not mean he lives there.If one commits a crime in a certain city(did Z live in S.F.because a great many of his letters were postmarked as from there or because he killed Stine in that city?)does not or prove he lived there only that he was there during the commission of that crime.

We can and do speculate to be sure as this is all we have or can do in an unsolved complicated cold case such as this.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 1:47 pm:   

Hmm... never noticed that phrasing, David. Z states in the Dragon card "I would like to see some nice Zodiac butons wandering about town" and the letter is, of course, addressed to the SF Chronicle. Z would presumably need to BE around town to see them for himself (not that he expected the demand to be honored).

I know. It's far too easy to read stuff like this into the letters. Howard is right, of course, about the possibility of drop boxes and Z could have traveled from just about anywhere to mail the letters. I've always thought, however, that the letters seem to indicate a strong identification at least with the city of SF from the get go long before Stine.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/DragonCard.html
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 2:28 pm:   

Ted Kaczynski spent the entire winter of 1975 in Oakland, so he might very well have been around on December 27 of '74. Howard, I'd like to see a good, high-res copy of that "Donna Card" as I've styled it in my new book. To my mind it's a clear continuation of the Pines Card and the Monticello Card--all three contain a common motif.
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Serialprofilingfan
Username: Serialprofilingfan

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 2:29 pm:   

also would it not be fair to say that if indeed lots of people in s.f. started wearing buttons the news photogs. would deffiantly be up on it as well as newsreporters
so he could very well be out of the city as it were and view it on tv...just my 1 cent opinion.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 2:39 pm:   

Yeah, but Z doesn't say he'd like for them "to be worn around town," he says he'd "like to see them around town." Granted, it's a small turn of phrase, but it's like saying you'd like to look over at the Golden Gate Bridge. It implies proximity.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 2:56 pm:   

A good discussion about where Z may have lived can be found here. Lots of (often contradictory) points were made about how certain phrases and allusions in the letters might indicate his familiarity or unfamiliarity with certain places.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/discus/messages/30/468 .html?1154836465

It might be a more appropriate thread to continue this discussion.

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