Allen's Zodiac Watch Message Board: Arthur Leigh Allen: Allen's Zodiac Watch

By Bill Baker ( - on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 - 09:37 pm:

I learned long ago not to believe in coincidence, however narrow-minded and restrictive that philosophy may tend to be at times. It has been mentioned before on this site, although not recently, that the timing of Allen receiving the Zodiac Sea Wolf diver's watch from his mother in August 1969 may be subject to that philosophy.

The Ferrin/Mageau killings at Blue Rock Springs occurred in July 1969. Zodiac's writings at that time had not yet included his Zodiac identity or logo. Along came the Lake Berryessa attack in September 1969, where the killer now wore a hood bearing the cross-haired circle logo, and all subsequent letters he wrote gave his name as Zodiac. Sometime between July and September, he assumed a new identity. Allen received the watch in August.

For those not familiar with Zodiac watches, which have been around since the 19th century, you might want to visit their web site. Besides the Zodiac name on the watch faces, there is also the cross-haired circle logo. There has been much conjecture as to how and why Zodiac happened to choose that name and logo.

Allen-as-Zodiac detractors have scoffed at Allen's possession of the watch, chalking it off to his inexplicable desire to be associated with Zodiac. Besides the fact it was a gift from his mother, how was Allen to know, before the fact, that the serial killer would opt for that name and logo? Coincidence?

By Ed N. ( - on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 - 10:11 pm:

Bill, Z's fourth letter was the first in which he referred to himself as "The Zodiac." As I discovered, that letter was mailed to the Examiner and received by them on Monday, 8-4-1969, not to the Vallejo Times-Herald on Thursday, 8-7-1969, as Graysmith claimed. In any case, Z's fourth letter was written in response to Chief Stiltz' request that the killer write with more information, and was therefore mailed either on Friday, 8-1-1969, or Saturday, 8-2-1969.

Now, the question becomes: just when in August did Allen receive that Zodiac watch as a gift? If he was Z, and was inspired by it to take their name and symbol for himself on the spur of the moment, then he must have received that watch either on August 1st or 2nd before composing that fourth letter.

Or, perhaps he expressed interest in such a watch to his mother, because he intended to take the name and symbol anyway, and she interpreted that interest as her son wanting one for himself, and so bought it as a gift for him.

What it comes down to is, if Allen was Z, which came first?

By Debra ( on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 - 11:58 pm:

Re the watch; are you referring to the information available on or information available on another site?

By Tom Voigt ( - on Thursday, September 21, 2000 - 12:03 am:

The information is posted here, and it is the actual report from Sgt. Mulanax.
Still haven't surfed through the info?

By Mike ( - on Thursday, September 21, 2000 - 06:24 am:


At the end of July 1969, the then unnamed killer used the crossed-circle symbol in the three-part cryptogram (as the letter "D") and as a signature for the "cover letters" to same. It would really tax the imagination to think that he had "dreamt up" that figure and THEN received a Zodiac watch bearing the same symbol by coincidence. It seems more likely that IF a Zodiac watch is the source of both the name and the symbol, Zodiac was familiar with it (well?) before he wrote his first letter.

If Allen did receive his watch in August, as purported here, that still means nothing, as he could have been familiar with the well known brand (since 1882!) well before he actually received a watch. (Maybe he even asked his mother for one!) IMO, too big a deal is made about the alleged gift of this watch from his mother as the "source" of the symbol. Since TIME is a central Zodiac theme and Allen did not live in a vacuum, he could easily have been aware of that brand name, as I was before I heard of this case, well before he would have received one as a gift.

At any rate, Bill is off with the timing of the use of the symbol. He implies that it makes its first appearance in September, at LB. That's not the case. For one thing, Zodiac did not have any "writings" at the time of the BRS attack, except for possibly some of the letters in Riverside. There, he used the "modified Z" as a signature, at least IMPLYING that a "Z" word was part of his consciousness as far back as 1966.


By Stromjunkie ( - on Thursday, September 21, 2000 - 11:06 am:

Btw- you post not much, but when you post something.....

May I ask...are you the same Mike which wrote the text about TIME....published on Wark's web ?

By Mike ( - on Thursday, September 21, 2000 - 11:56 am:


Yes. That would be me, although my views on that subject have definitely evolved since I came up with that idea in August 1998. (I had been seriously interested in the Z case, other than reading Graysmith, for literally only about three weeks when I developed that idea. Jake can vouch for that one, as my interest in the case and his site came about at almost the same time--and by coincidence, I might add. I just never posted it until November 1998.)

At the time, I was exposed to this bizarre idea of a radian (which was definitely not a part of my "working vocabulary", despite a Master's degree) and was told, from what I had read, that if I did not embrace and understand it, I could not truly understand the Zodiac case. (There was no knowledge of 42 stab wounds, etc. then, so I just assumed that Z had killed Bates.) My idea is STRICTLY an observational one: The time on the watch (12:23) can be construed to supplement the radian angle and create a straight line back to Riverside from the Bay Area radian (also assuming that the radian is not a figment of our imaginations, as some researchers believe). However, I am not one who now subscribes to the idea that Bates was necessarily a Zodiac victim.

Jake recently asked me to write a follow-up to my original ideas but I have not done so as yet. Part of the reason is that I do not wish to look like someone who can't let go of a pet theory (I can, BTW) ;). The truth is that I, myself, most assuredly did not kill Bates. However, that did not stop me from seeing the photo of the watch and realizing that it COULD conceivably be used to leave a clue about the Bates crime by relating it to a radian constructed in Northern California. Since I was able to put the Timex and the radian together, so is it possible that Zodiac did not kill Bates but simply noticed for himself the same use for the time on the watch. (After all, the photo of the Timex was published in Riverside not long after the crime was committed.)

Is this what happened? Does the watch have any bearing on the case? Who knows? I thought the idea was the coolest thing in the world when I first proposed it. The evil it inferred about Zodiac was simply shocking to me. Imagine leaving clues to your next murder over two years before it occurs! Now, I don't know if it has any relevance or not. I just don't currently think that it was Z himself who dropped the Timex in 1966.


By StromJ ( - on Thursday, September 21, 2000 - 12:46 pm:

Hello Mike,
I think I know what & who you are (speaking in humanoid categories).

Please allow me to think about your text...before I answer..O.K. ?

P.S. did collected your EU-famousity by questionmarks !!!

Personally, I like to read you, hope that will not change...

Strom J

By Chrissy Shaw ( - on Friday, September 22, 2000 - 02:16 am:

Dear Board:

Astrological symbols were standard fare in pop-culture of the day between 1966 and 1970-something. Much of the residual new age is a byproduct of this wave. Given the time period and the trends of the time, there is any number of, or perhaps a combination of places that the term "Zodiac" might have arose from in the person's mind who claimed it. We were entering the supposed "Age of Aquarius", even popular music hailed its never seen arrival.

I suspect an argument could be made that anyone who might have come to own a "Zodiac" watch at the time, may very well have been given a gift inspired by both personal need (A.L. Allen being a diver) and popular culture. It remains interesting, but hardly conclusive. It would be far more interesting if a survivor had seen such a watch on the suspect at one of the known z crime scenes.

Chrissy Shaw

By T&V ( - on Saturday, September 23, 2000 - 03:35 am:


Mike, thank you for explaining…but now you did confused us more than we usually are ;-)
So far we did understand you message, your greatest problem is this “42 stabs” info, right?
Did you saw the Bates forensic report…with your own eyes…b/w...with hallmark’s of authenticity?

Was the Timex simply dropped, or was it lost in struggle, what do you think?
Do you have some “mechanic” examination lab. report regarding this Timex watch, possibly from Washington?

We know that you didn’t harmed Cheri, but we wouldn’t wonder if some “detectives” tried to contact you for some real “bizarre” questioning ;-)
Did that ever happened, just curious? (…thinking about the reason why you did mentioned that in your post…)

Yours respectfully

Tony & Veronica, from ZHQ/Spain

By Mike ( - on Saturday, September 23, 2000 - 06:27 am:


I have never seen any official or other written report indicating that Bates was stabbed 42 times. However, I think that the info is good, so I accept it at face value unless proven otherwise.

As far as whether the watch was dropped or ripped off in a struggle, I cannot say for certain. My original idea was obviously that it was dropped intentionally by someone (Z) leaving a clue. But now it seems more likely that it was just ripped off during the struggle and apparently wound down and stopped at 12:23.

No, I have never been questioned by the police as a Z suspect. (Only my ideas have ever been questioned by the police! ;) I was just a little too young and living in NYC at the time of the crimes. I made that point to illustrate that anyone seeing a photo of the watch (whether it were me or Z or anyone else) could have determined that the time on it COULD be used, along with a radian constructed at Mt. D., to form a straight line back to the city of Riverside. The person who determined that did not necessarily have to be the person who killed Bates. I was simply using myself as an example to illustrate that point. The comment had no hidden meaning beyond that...

BTW, what is "ZHQ"? ;)


By Eduard ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 01:03 am:

Hi Mike,

Just like my European friends I'm very interested in your watch theory. Some time ago I saw that on the picture of the cab-driver (Stine)crime-scene, Stine's arm was out of the car. On this arm he had his watch that was turned to the sky (and that is strange because his handpalm was also towards the sky).
I think this is also a indication that Z. has a obsession with time and that you are right in your observations.
Like I said before, your theory is very interesting.

Eduard Versluijs -ZHQ Netherlands

By Anonymous ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 01:13 am:

Eduard ,
IF I may inquire:
1) where exactly did you see the picture of cab driver Paul Stine; where his arm was out of the car with watch and palm facing toward the sky!

By Mike ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 04:08 am:


Well, thanks for your interest in my idea. As I said before, the fact that Bates was apparently not a Z victim does change the dynamics, but not the core mathematical concepts, of the theory. I would say that as of today I am less convinced the theory has a basis in reality than I was when I wrote it in 1998, but anything is possible in this case!

You also failed to mention the kicker about Stine--he was also wearing a Timex! (It is making a bid as the second "official watch" of the case--behind the "Zodiac" brand, of course!)


By Ed N. ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 11:35 am:

Didn't Faraday also wear a Timex?

Anonymous: as for that pic of Stine, it is found in Time-Life's True Crime, Volume IV, Unsolved Crimes, p. 24. It may be located in another source besides that, but I don't know offhand. For whatever it's worth, Graysmith said that Stine's arm fell out when Walter Kracke opened the passenger side door (Zodiac, p. 86). I've often wondered if there was any significance to that.

By Tom Voigt ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 01:08 pm:

I've had that pic posted for a long time.

How could Zodiac "plan" Stine's arm to fall out and land in a certain position? Considering how sloppy the murder was, if Zodiac did try to plan such an event it probably went wrong...

By Ed N. ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 01:32 pm:

Shows how long it's been since I've perused the rest of this site! LOL... shame on me! Anyway, I'm not sure what Eduard was getting at, but my idea was, not that Z planned to have Stine's arm fall out in a certain position (just how could he ensure that anyway???), but that he placed his arm in such a way that it would fall out when the door was opened. The position in which it fell was unimportant. That it was his watch hand might have been, however, because if Penn is to be believed, Z seems to have had some sort of preoccupation with time (one of the few ideas from Times 17 that might actually have some bearing on truth and reality). But then again, maybe not. Maybe it was just coincidence. That's the problem with this case! We can only speculate until such time as Z is ever identified and caught.

I am suddenly inspired with a thought... maybe Z suspect Rambodine was really a watchmaker! Maybe he fixed clocks. Maybe he was an historian... that would explain his fixation with time!

By Ken ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 01:43 pm:

Many people wear their watches like Stine did. Being a cabbie, it was probably easier to check his watch with his hands on the wheel.

By Douglas Oswell ( on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 01:50 pm:

It seems to me that if Zodiac exited the cab on the passenger's side, he would have had to push Stine's body back into the cab as he shut the door, in order for the arm to be positioned in such a way that it would fall out when the door was opened again.

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 03:43 pm:

Did anyone check to see if the watch Stine was wearing WAS REALLY HIS??? Did anyone stop to think that Z might have PLANTED THE WATCH on Stine's wrist??? Was the watch DUSTED FOR PRINTS??? Does anyone know his widow's phone number so I can call her up and ASK A BUNCH OF QUESTIONS???

Sorry, it's been a long day...

"This is Your Brain on Drugs..."

By Ken ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 06:17 pm:

Come on, that's a stretch even for this board!

By Ed N. ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 06:55 pm:

Jake, I think it was Tom who once mentioned that Claudia Stine is in an asylum on the East Coast and probably can't answer any questions.

If the watch was paint-spattered, maybe it was Z's...

By Douglas Oswell ( - on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 07:06 pm:

Could the Zodiac events have been nothing more than a giant subliminal advertisement for Timex watches?

By Eduard ( - on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 02:46 am:

Good points everyone, (Sorry Douglas, I doub your idea). I don't think Z. lay Stine's arm in a way to fall out. There was too little time for that like Tom said.
Still I think Z. turned the watch on the arm to hint. Eye witnesses saw him do some stuff to Stine (including the shirt-stuff). Turning a watch on a death man's arm would be fixed in 2-3 seconds. Or maybe Z. was trying to steal the watch but could not pull it off (that would have left some markings on the arm!).
Ken, you could have come up with a solution for this problem, still we don't know for sure what the turned watch means.

By Douglas Oswell ( on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 08:19 am:

If Zodiac actually exited the front passenger's side door, I believe that there is no way Stine's arm could have fallen out upon the door being opened unless it had been propped up against the door. The only way for this to have happened, short of Zodiac pushing the arm back inside the cab as he closed the door, would have been for the dead Stine to have moved his arm into the proper position, an occurrence that I think is highly unlikely.

By Ed N. ( - on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 05:09 pm:

I've been told that the morgue is an interesting place, where dead bodies actually move etc, but this occurs many hours after death, and is due to muscular contractions, trapped gas passing out of the body or whatever. Stine wasn't dead long enough for that. Ergo, I think Douglas is correct, Z pushed, or perhaps placed, Stine's arm in such a way that it would fall out as soon as the door was opened.

I would think that, if his arm was hanging out when Z left the passenger side, and since Z was obviously in a hurry to do his thing before he left the scene of the crime to avoid being captured, he would have tossed Stine's arm back in to close the door, and it doesn't seem likely to have bounced back or something. For his watch hand/arm to be placed such that it would fall out upon opening the door would imply some time and care taken with placement, not haste with tossing the arm back in just to close the door.

If it was intentional, then what was the purpose? To harp on time? And if so, why?

By Anonymous ( - on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 06:15 pm:

Just a thought here...the Manson Family has a peculiar obsession with time. Manson would not allow Family members to wear watches and was known to have ordered new members to give in their watches. He also would order these new members to give in all their possessions as well. He told them that watches were not needed, for they were considered as man's artifical measurement of time. He forbade calendars, too and instructed his followers not to think of the day as "Tuesday or Wednesday" but as "now." He encouraged them to see time as fluid. Thus some members would have difficulty recalling dates of certain events. It was part of Manson's manipulation process.

I believe you can find in police reports that Manson and his close associates kept a collection of watches, credit cards, IDs, driver licenses, etc. The collection probably contained a lot of Timexs, who know! Maybe Z had one rewinded in advance and slipped it on the cabbie's wrist? Was this Timex watch in the cabbie's possession?'s an intriguing twist: in Vincent Bugliosi's book Helter Skelter, he recounted how that, upon Manson's entrance in the courtroom, his watch stopped! Weird, isn't it?

By Ken ( - on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 06:17 pm:

I agree with Ed N.

By Douglas Oswell ( - on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 06:55 pm:

Ed--I don't know if the act was intentional or not--perhaps the arm was simply in the way, especially after the body had been manipulated by Zodiac for the purpose of cutting the shirt. Of course it's a fairly large car and it's hard to see how Stine's arm would have ended up extended like that unless Zodiac moved it into that position. On the other hand, if you consider the possibility that when he was shot Stine was in the process of reaching back to accept his fare from Zodiac it might explain how he died with his arm in that position.

By Ed N. ( - on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 09:27 pm:

Possibly... but wasn't Z actually sitting in the front seat? Graysmith has it both ways: Z sitting in back, pages 83 and 84, and Z sitting in front, page 95.

Since Stine apparently had powder burns on his left hand (Zodiac, p. 91), and if Z was in the front seat, how do we explain that? I suspect that, if that is what happened, then as Stine waited for Z to take out his wallet, Z pulled his 9mm with his right hand, and with his left, grabbed Stine's right hand to hold it down. Then he pressed the gun against his head and fired as Stine vainly attempted to move the gun with his left hand.

If that is what happened, then his arm would probably have fallen over his stomach and onto his lap, and not above his head. If so, then it is entirely possible that Z intentionally moved Stine's left (watch) arm and positioned it so that it would fall out when the door was opened.

The thing that's always bothered me was why did Z take Stine's wallet and car keys in addition to the shirt-tail? Was he short of change or something? Or, since he was risking capture by killing in a posh neighborhood in a big city, did he take them so that, if arrested, the cops would think he simply robbed Stine, and would only be able to connect him to that crime and no other Z crimes since he used a different weapon?

Or was that another clue? By taking the keys, was Z perhaps hinting that Stine was somehow the key to unlocking his identity? Or are we reading too much into all this? Maybe the left arm falling out and theft of the wallet and car keys were "fake clews" after all.

Of course, this is all speculation, but what do you all think?

By Douglas Oswell ( - on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 10:03 pm:

It's strange because you know, the fact that he had the wallet and car keys meant that he could offer those things as proof that he was the killer, and he didn't really have to go to the time-consuming and risky step of cutting off a piece of Stine's shirt.

By Ed N. ( - on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 01:16 am:

My point exactly. Why then did he do all of those things? I think there was a method to his madness, but what?

By Jeffrey P. ( - on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 03:02 am:

Eddy, I thought your "exact point" was that Zodiac is/was a putz ?

There isn't any "method" in this case but possibly methadon ?

By Eduard ( - on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 04:55 am:

Why Z. took Stine's wallet and keys? I think he used them as trophy's to relive this crime again and again and....
Remember that Z. also took some spare change at Lake B.
Trophy's are common in cases of serial-killers.
Douglas sorry for joking towards you, your message after mine contained good info.
Anyone idea's about more trophy's that were taken from other victims?

By Ken ( - on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 05:27 am:

From what I have read, Z was in the back seat. He reached forward and put one arm around Stine's neck and pulled his head back and put the gun to his head. I agree that he probable took the wallet and keys to make it look like a robbery at first. You know that he was bursting with pride to think the cops thought it was a robbery when he knew the truth. This was a crime that Z committed with the sole intention of proving he was the killer and possibly to lay rest to doubts that he could kill a man.
I do think too much is being read into the watch and the arm falling out of the car door and such. This crime was not perpetrated in Z's normal comfort zone so he was probably nervous and wanted to get it over with so he would probably have pushed the arm back in the door and slammed it. Maybe not.

By Ed N. ( - on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 12:02 pm:

Jeffrey P: I still think Z was a putz. That doesn't mean he didn't have some sort of a plan.

Eduard: why take trophies from Stine when he took nothing (that we know of) from the others? That doesn't seem to have been part of his signature. If he actually took the change from Hartnell and Shepard, maybe it was (seriously, now!) to be used for gas because he was running low, and to call Napa PD because he was out of change! Maybe that's one reason why it took 70 minutes for Z to drive into Napa and make his phone call, instead of the usual 45 minutes. Maybe he drove around Napa looking for the cheapest gas or something. Who knows?

Ken: while Stine's murder was not necessarily in Z's comfort zone, why would he hurriedly toss Stine's arm in the cab, but then take the time he did to wipe part of the cab down to leave "fake clews" afterwards? It doesn't make sense.

By Douglas Oswell ( - on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 02:30 pm:

I find it very hard to believe that Zodiac seized Stine by the head before shooting him. It seems to me that that would be a very risky thing to do; you don't know which angle the bullet is going to be flying off at and you could very easily end up wounding yourself.

By Ken ( - on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 07:17 pm:

It's not so hard to believe the Z pulled Stine's head back to shoot him. If you put your arm around someone's neck while they are sitting, pull back and their head will come back and up. Aim the gun up at an angle and the bullet should travel up and away from your arm.
Ed N.: You may be right, but I still think too much is being made out of the watch thing. As I said, many people, myself included, wear their watchs with the face on the bottom of their wrist.

By Ed N. ( - on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 08:46 pm:

Ken, Eduard was the one who mentioned that. In fact, I'd never noticed that Stine's watch was turned that way, and even if I did, it wouldn't have struck me as being too odd (just like it never struck me as odd that Z mentioned the word "radians," because I knew precisely what it meant and figured it was standard knowledge taught in high school over here. It apparently isn't for some strange reason). For instance, in Australia, it was (I don't know if it still is) typical for some men to wear their watches that way, more so than here.

I was curious about the other aspect: his watch hand falling out. Perhaps I am making too much out of it, but it still seems pretty odd to me.

By mike in oklahoma ( - on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 12:12 am:

As to the question's raised in the murder of Paul Stine: I believe Z took souvenirs to prove he did indeed do it. He had been stung by news accounts of how he couldn't kill a man and always killed in remote, usually dark (except Berryessa) places. These stories, hinting at cowardice, were a bit too close to the truth and Z felt he had to prove he could kill a man in a populated area to 'prove' his bravery. We of course know different, it only proved his cowardice. As to the position of the arm, it is entirely possible it moved into position to fall out the door on it's own! This sounds fantastic, but the type of fatal head trauma the victim suffered often causes writhing motions in the limbs. The victim is unconscious and it occurs purely by reflex. Once again, we find the tendency of "researchers" to ignore a mundane reaction as a possible explanation and instead begin to build ever more fantastic theories that Z put hidden meaning and messages into everything. Just like an inkblot test, the patterns may be there, but in whose brain did they originate?

By Ed N. ( - on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 01:24 am:

Stine wasn't unconscious, he was dead! I understand the post-mortem reflex thing, but he wasn't dead long enough for that. In any case, if it was some sort of reflex, why his left arm? Why didn't his right leg suddenly jerk up and go through the window? No, I don't think it was some sort of reflex, I think there is a definite possibility that Z placed it there. Why? Who knows? And it's possible that he just placed it there without thinking about anything in particular, but just getting it out of the way. And it just happened to fall out as it did. Who knows? This is all speculation here.

By mike in oklahoma ( - on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 12:52 pm:

I still hold the liklihood of a reflex beats out Z placing the arm just so. Stine may have been dead the instant the bullet entered his brain but his body was NOT dead for several seconds. That's what leads to involuntary muscle contractions upon neurological trauma. According to the autoposy report, the bullet transited in or very near the parts of the brain associated with motor control. That's what causes involuntary jerking at the time of death. Had the bullet transited lower in the brain, in or just above the brainstem the body then goes limp. As to why the other limbs didn't move,who is to say they didn't? No windows were kicked out, but that doesn't mean they didn't move. I'm not trying to start an argument with Ed, who I agree with most of the time, this is just one of the times we don't.

By Ed N. ( - on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 05:01 pm:

We can't agree on everything all of the time! LOL Anyway, my point is that Z might have purposefully placed Stine's arm, not that he did. Then again, it might have been an involuntary muscular contraction or whatever. But since the point's been raised (and strangely enough, not until now), I think it's certainly worth discussing, in light of Z's apparent fixation with time. What it comes down to is that I'm not convinced either way, just like whether Foukes and Zelms actually spoke with Z or not. Neither angle would surprise me.

By Tom Voigt ( - on Friday, September 29, 2000 - 04:39 pm:

According to the initial SFPD homicide report, when officers arrived at the cab they found Stine positioned with his head and upper torso on the passenger side floorboard. Therefore, the picture of Stine that has received so much recent attention was taken after officers or paramedics moved his body.

By Douglas Oswell ( - on Friday, September 29, 2000 - 08:11 pm:

According to the initial SFPD homicide report, when officers arrived at the cab they found Stine positioned with his head and upper torso on the passenger side floorboard. Therefore, the picture of Stine that has received so much recent attention was taken after officers or paramedics moved his body.

That's an interesting bit of information, which tells us that people handled and moved the body prior to examining the cab for fingerprints.

By Ed N. ( - on Friday, September 29, 2000 - 08:55 pm:

Oops. That certainly suggests that the "bloody prints" might not in fact be Z's. If so, it's no wonder they were never able to match them to any suspects.

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Saturday, September 30, 2000 - 05:38 pm:

Aren't cops fingerprinted? During the Z years of '69-'74, a police officer might not have had his prints logged in a database, but the cab prints were checked at least once during the 1990s, when (supposedly) every soldier, cop, felon, and bail bondsman had his prints in the NCIC computer.

Anyone know for sure whether a) California police were fingerprinted, or b) their prints are in the same database as the bad guys'?

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Donald Blake ( - on Tuesday, October 03, 2000 - 11:32 am:

A great deal of the discussion on this board (at least initially, prior to Stine's arm becoming the focus) centered around 1) Allen coming into possession of the watch, and 2) the killer identifying himself in letters as the Zodiac. Much was made of the timing of these occurrences.

In the "Arthur Leigh Allen File" section of this website there is the following entry:

8/69: Allen's mother, Bernice, gave him a Zodiac watch as a gift.

Perhaps there is additional corroboration, and I apologize if this is the case, but the only source for this 'information' appears to be Allen's statements as contained in the VPD report of 8/4/71. The relevant portion of the police report reads, "Allen stated that the watch was given to him as a present from his mother approximately two years ago."

It should not be inferred that since the statement was made in August,1971 that Allen actually received the watch in August,1969. "Approximately two years ago" does not translate in any way to "Twenty four months prior to this date." Even if you take Allen at his word, "approximately" leaves a lot of room for error. (Additionally, a Zodiac watch was an expensive purchase in 1969, as it is today. Allen's birthday is in December, and there are no major holidays in August. The watch seems an extravagant gift without such an occasion.)

Based on the VPD report, there is little reason to fix the date of '8/69' to Allen coming into possession of the watch, even if Allen made what he considered a factual statement to the police. But why is Allen's statement--vague as it is--used to establish a 'timetable' date which purports to be factual? Allen could simply have been lying to the police. The officers themselves noted that Allen contradicted himself in the interview. Also, Allen denied being the Zodiac, yet he is this website's "top suspect"--so why is he to be believed regarding how and when he came into possession of the watch? He may have had the watch for only a day prior to the interview or for ten years. Maybe his mother gave it to him, maybe she didn't.

There are more interesting questions to be asked, such as, 'Why would Allen, if he were the Zodiac, walk into a police interview wearing a Zodiac watch?' However, meaningful questions go unasked because misstatements purporting to be factual once again lead to dead-end avenues of investigation.

By Tom Voigt ( - on Tuesday, October 03, 2000 - 11:50 am:

According to Arthur Leigh Allen's brother, Ron, Leigh was given the watch for Christmas in 1967.

Which date is true? The investigators at the time apparently believed Leigh. I'm assuming they eventually corroborated the date, but I don't know for sure.

Whether the watch came into his possession in 12-67 or 8-69 doesn't matter a lot to me, although I would like to know. The point is that he obtained an item with the Zodiac name and symbol not long before the events began.

I chose to use the 8-69 date in his time line simply because it was the date given from his own mouth. Was it exactly 8-1? 8-4? Who knows. But Allen seemed to want us to think so, which is also significant. And we do know -for sure- that he had the watch prior to the activities of Zodiac.

By Donald Blake ( - on Tuesday, October 03, 2000 - 02:11 pm:

I think you need to check the dates, Tom. If Allen obtained the watch in August of 1969, this date is not before "the (Zodiac) events began." LHR occurred December 20,1968, and BRS occurred July 4, 1969. Do these qualify as events? If police investigators did corroborate the August 1969 date for the watch, as you suggest, this is further confirmation that Allen obtained the watch well into the period of Zodiac activities.

Again, I stress how vague the statement "approximately two years ago" is. He did not say "early August of 1969," he gave a ballpark estimate, from which you would be hard-pressed to extract any meaningful 'clues'. But if he really did mean August 1969, and his brother said (although I've not seen the interview, I'll take your word for it) that Arthur got it for Christmas of 1967, this is a difference of one year and nine months. Someone's credibility is in question here. If the police did corroborate the dates Arthur Allen gave them, as you suggest, then Ron Allen cannot be trusted. I'm not saying he flat-out lied, but I for one cannot tell you the exact year any of my siblings recieved a particular Christmas gift. I can barely remember what I got last year. How many years later was the interview with Ron Allen conducted?

Let's stick to the primary sources, which in this case is the VPD interview. The portion of that interview which relates to the date the watch was obtained by Arthur Allen is hardly conclusive enough to build a theory around, or to construct a timetable strongly suggesting a suspect's guilt.

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Tuesday, October 03, 2000 - 02:52 pm:

Donald Blake wrote:
"The portion of that interview which relates to the date the watch was obtained by Arthur Allen is hardly conclusive enough to build a theory around, or to construct a timetable strongly suggesting a suspect's guilt."

Agreed, especially since the implication by Allen that his receipt of the watch shortly preceded the Zodiac murders can just as easily be ascribed to Allen's desire to be associated with the killer.

The evidence connecting Allen to the Zodiac case (general appearance, location) is largely circumstantial, and what isn't circumstantial can usually be seen as having been fabricated by Allen himself. Some see this as "taunting" -- an alleged behavioral similarity between Allen and the Zodiac. I see it as the behavior of a deviant who, ashamed of his own pedophilic proclivities, wanted to be regarded as a larger-than-life supervillain of great verve and cunning.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Tom Voigt ( - on Tuesday, October 03, 2000 - 03:28 pm:

Donald Blake wrote,
"I think you need to check the dates, Tom. If Allen obtained the watch in August of 1969, this date is not before "the (Zodiac)
events began." LHR occurred December 20,1968, and BRS occurred July 4, 1969. Do these qualify as events? If police
investigators did corroborate the August 1969 date for the watch, as you suggest, this is further confirmation that Allen obtained
the watch well into the period of Zodiac activities."
By "Zodiac events" I was referring to the letters. There was no name or symbol attached to the murders before 7-31-69. If Allen obtained the watch prior to early August 1969, that's significant since the Zodiac watch is the only place to find that name and symbol, aside from the killer's letters.

I have never placed much emphasis on the fact that Allen wore a Zodiac watch. It's merely an interesting tidbit of info, and that's why I included it in the time line.

By Christen (Christen) ( - on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 04:59 pm:

Was anyone aware that his brother Ron, whom works for the Santa Rosa Planning Commission was also given the same type of watch as a gift??

By Vassago (Vassago) ( - on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 04:26 pm:

If I may step in, Ed pointed out something that is IMHO worth being paid at least some attention:
the fact that in many countries in Europe, radians are discussed or at
least given bried attention in math class in high or even elementary schools.
(all I can remember from the math classes we had on radians is that *at the
time* I knew what to do with them, and forgot it all maybe a year later :)
The point is that it's another hint at Zodiac's possible connection with
Europe. Though I don't think he came from Europe, I think one could propose
that Zodiac wasn't formally educated in maths but simply remember his school
classes from the Old Continent (once again, it's just a possibility, not
necessarily my belief :))... Anyway, it seems to me that the belief the
Zodiac wasn't an expert at anything but had some, probably self-taught or
limited (as, say, taught in classes at elementary schools) knowledge on
a lot of subjects, is shared by many.


By Gregorypraxas (Gregorypraxas) ( - on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 08:43 pm:

The Zodiac watch is not the only place where the name Zodiac and the crossed circle symbol appear together.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) ( - on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 09:06 pm:

Am I the only one getting annoyed with all of these smiley faces?!?

By JK (Vassago) ( - on Wednesday, December 06, 2000 - 02:31 am:

Smileys are just what their creator Scott Fahlman wanted them to be in 1981, an indication that what they follow should not be taken entirely for
serious, instead of adding notes "please don't take it seriously" everywhere where necessary. That the script converts them into graphics is another matter...