Arthur Leigh Allen: Not a stamp and envelope licker?


Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Arthur Leigh Allen: Arthur Leigh Allen: Not a stamp and envelope licker?

By Anthony (24-193-2-223.nyc.rr.com - 24.193.2.223) on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 06:46 pm:

Though the possibility did cross my mind that maybe Allen just wanted attention and went extremely out of his way to appear to be the Zodiac, since his promissing career as a Naval man, a future Olympic hopeful, and intelligent individual, turned into nothing more than an ill-ridden diabetes infested child molsting sociopath minimum wage worker, never being able to hold down jobs for any significant amount of time. Today's update, Tom mentions that Cheney's DNA was now tested and cleared when matched to the letters, because Allen had a habit of having others lick his stamps and envelopes. Now, i've read both books and this site many times, and never have i seen it been mentioned that Allen had a practice of having others lick his stamps for me. Now maybe i missed it, but i don't even see it in the Allen files. If anyone has any new information for me that might make me more hopeful in Allen still being identified, i'd gladly appreciate it. As for now, my brother remains steadfast that the DNA clears Allen, i myself am hoping for a logical answer to why it doesn't match, or at least some information on this sight, or in graysmith's books that indicate the others licking the stamps for him, besides Tom mentioning in today's update.

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 07:23 pm:

Last October, after ABC's episode of Primetime Thursday featuring DNA analysis, the San Frascisco Police Dept. was contacted by several individuals who claimed Arthur Leigh Allen never licked his own stamps and envelopes; the taste of glue made him sick. (Most of the informants had known Allen from the early 1960s until he died in 1992.)

While many of these individuals also contacted me and are highly credible, I've been more interested in collecting information from them than publicizing their claims.

By Anthony (cache-rp06.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.253.38) on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 07:52 pm:

That's some interesting news Tom, yet how did these people KNOW in fact that Allen didn't like glue, i mean i could say that too, and still lick my envelopes. Did any of these so called witnesses see him have others LICK the stamps, and if he did in fact have others do this for him, who could possible not notice the destinations to the letters or the repeated writing to the papers, considering the Zodiac case was in fact so high profile and on the front of the pages in the major bay area papers

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 08:13 pm:

"how did these people KNOW in fact that Allen didn't like glue"

Because he told them so. It was either the truth, or an excuse he used to get them to do it, for whatever reason.

Several of the informants were members of a family who met Allen in 1963 while he taught at Santa Rosa Elementary School in Atascadero, Calif. (The family members included a single mother and her four children, whom Allen taught.)

Since October, I've spoken at length with many of these people and they have contributed several photos of Leigh and letters he wrote them from Atascadero State Hospital. Nobody in the family really believes he was the Zodiac, however they came forward because they realized that if Leigh was the Zodiac, it could be their DNA on the Zodiac's letters/stamps.

By Scream187 (hse-quebeccity-ppp3496983.sympatico.ca - 65.92.225.170) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 03:00 am:

Did they check members of that family's (we cant say their names?) dna against the partial dna they have from the stamps?

By Ray N (Ray_N) (24.231.194.161.bay.mi.chartermi.net - 24.231.194.161) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 09:14 am:

Note that this does not imply that Allen, if Zodiac, was consciously endeavoring to avoid leaving DNA evidence as a result of stamp and/or envelope licking. This is merely a credible explanation of how he may have inadvertently yet effectively submarined this entire anvenue of forensic investigation.

By Scott_Bullock (cache-mtc-ak04.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.96.201) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 09:52 am:

Tom, you wrote, concerning the possible contributors of the DNA that SFPD has in their possession: "The family members included a single mother and her four children, whom Allen taught."

I could have sworn that Dr. Holt said the DNA sample she extracted from beneath the stamp was from an adult male. Of what age and gender are we talking about with regard to the 4 children?

To be honest, the DNA means nothing until it can be affirmed that it actually belonged to the Zodiac. I can also conceive of the possibility that excuses can be made of the handwriting dissimilarities. But, personally speaking, of the 'big 3' -- handwriting, DNA, fingerprinting -- I'm having a hard time reconciling the latter. I mean, there were prints left in blood at the Stine crime scene, and a palm print that was found on one of the letters. In both instances, Arthur Leigh Allen can be excluded as to being the one who left the prints. To me, that is the most damning evidence against Allen's involvement in the case, DNA and handwriting notwithstanding.

By Cynthia (cache-rp06.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.253.38) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 10:20 am:

Tom, with regard to the people you have interviewed:
If Allen didn't lick his own stamps and envelopes, did anyone of these people that licked his stamps, claim not to know the correct postal rates? If ignorance is not the excuse, then did he just ask them to lick more stamps than needed? Did they routinely affix postage to/and seal up unaddressed envelopes?

I am not sure now, but was is common knowledge at the time that Zodiac used excessive postage? If it was, did anyone think, well I sealed up a letter with too much postage or I sealed up a greeting card with too much postage and each time Zodiac sent a letter or a card, respectively?

I'd be very interested in what kind of information you have gotten about this.

Honestly, I never thought he did it, but I like to keep an open mind about it, until a better candidate is located.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (24.231.194.161.bay.mi.chartermi.net - 24.231.194.161) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 10:55 am:

Scott,

The problem with the prints is essentially the same as one of the major problems with the DNA: we can't be sure they belonged to Zodiac.

First, the bloody print is somewhat of a myth. If it was indeed a print "in blood" as Graysmith suggests, they wouldn't have been able to lift it with dust and tape, which they did. It had a small, trace amount of blood apparently. But whose blood that was cannot be said. That could have been there for some time, or medical personnel could have been responsible for it. I'm not saying either of these things happened for sure, understand. I'm only saying nothing can be proven about the origin of the print, only assumptions made. We simply can't afford to rule suspects out based on supposition.

Secondly, the print on the letter is also highly suspect. Of all the Zodiac missives, they only found the one print(s). Do you think after five years he suddenly forgot not to touch the paper? Of course you don't, Scott. Where did he get that sheet of paper? Lying on a table at the library? I don't know, and neither does anyone else.

This post could easily be interpreted as a desperate attempt by me to keep Allen alive as a suspect. But what good does it do to eliminate him from consideration in the absence of irrefutable proof against him, or anyone else for that matter? It does no good, and can only potentially damage the prospects for correctly solving the case. In other words, we can't rule anyone out unless we're sure (read, we can prove) that the Zodiac was the contributor of any materials in question. Of course, this is not to say that the cops don't sometimes do this anyway, but the cops are also known to sometimes bungle cases, are they not?

As always, these are only my thoughts, not necessarily yours.

Ray

By Ray N (Ray_N) (24.231.194.161.bay.mi.chartermi.net - 24.231.194.161) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 10:58 am:

Just responding to above, let's not lead this thread off topic :)

By Eduard (Eduard) (ip503dbace.speed.planet.nl - 80.61.186.206) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 12:57 pm:

Was this DNA-sample coming from saliva of the Zodiac or other DNA material on the stamp (left by a postman,cop etc.)?
How did they processed the stamp to produce the DNA-sample?
Questions, That I like to know....

Eduard

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 01:50 pm:

Scream asked:
"Did they check members of that family's (we cant say their names?) dna against the partial dna they have from the stamps?"

I should know for sure this week.

Eduard wrote:
"Was this DNA-sample coming from saliva of the Zodiac or other DNA material on the stamp (left by a postman,cop etc.)? How did they processed the stamp to produce the DNA-sample?"

If you're asking specifics about DNA from the Zodiac's letters and stamps, you'd have to ask the person who extracted it.

I don't want to see this thread get off track. There is no big conspiracy here and I'm not inventing this to keep the masses interested in Allen. (I'll leave that stuff to a certain "author.")

For those of you wondering how anyone could lick stamps and envelopes and not notice they were somehow unusual or incriminating, keep in mind these were children. They trusted Allen and probably had never seen Zodiac's handwriting, letters, stamps, envelopes...and most likely didn't have a clue about postage and how many stamps were necessary.

Also, the likelihood is that if Allen was the Zodiac and had others lick his stamps and envelopes, he probably didn't actually write on the envelope until after it was sealed and had the stamps affixed.

I'm not trying to argue that Allen was the Zodiac. All I'm doing is presenting this fact: For whatever reason, Allen had others lick his stamps and envelopes and was in the practice of doing so all the way back to the early 1960s.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc5ff08.ipt.aol.com - 172.197.255.8) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 10:53 pm:

Scott wrote:

I could have sworn that Dr. Holt said the DNA sample she extracted from beneath the stamp was from an adult male.

I don't think age can be determined from DNA.

By Linda (Linda) (208-59-125-26.s280.tnt1.frdr.md.dialup.rcn.com - 208.59.125.26) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 03:33 am:

People that don't like the taste of licking stamps often times use water and a sponge. I would think it would be highly unlikely that the Zodiac (whoever he may be) would get another individual to "lick" stamps and/or envelopes in connection to correspondences involving a crime.

Furthermore, if the Z had another (unsuspecting) individual lick the stamps and/or envelopes, wouldn't we expect to find fingerprints on top of the stamps or back of the envelopes where the indivdual who did the licking also sealed them? If the licker/sealer knew nothing of the crime and was just an innocent stamp licker, he/she wouldn't worry about placing the stamp and/or sealing the envelope using hand protection such as gloves, etc. And I would suspect that the Z wouldn't care...the fingerprints of another individual would lead away from pointing to the real Z.

More than likely, Z licked his own stamps and then placed them and sealed the envelopes using some type of protection to cover his prints.

By Ed Taylor (nr8-66-161-176-26.fuse.net - 66.161.176.26) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 07:20 am:

Linda,

I think you're correct about using a wet sponge or rag to get the back of a stamp wet "if" you really get sick from licking. However, if DNA was obtained from the back of the stamp then obvisously someone licked it and no sponge was used. "IF" Z was concerned about fingerprints on a stamp then getting someone else to apply the stamp wouldn't solve anything. If (lets say) I was Z and got you to apply the stamp, and a fingerprint was developed from that stamp. Cops go to you and you tell them I asked you to apply the stamp.

It is my guess that Z is the one who licked and applied the stamps. The DNA obtained from the stamp and envelopes do belong to Z and elminate Allen as the murder. I did watch Cold Case Files and I must admit Allen looked pretty quilty.

ET

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (66.138.8.95) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 03:55 pm:

I can't help but think it strange that the fact that ALA never licked stamps or envelopes never came to light (at least not that I could find) until this late date and shortly AFTER the story about the DNA on the stamps not matching ALA. As the Saturday Night Live Church Lady used to say, "How conveeeeeeenient!". I'm not quite accusing anyone of prevarication, but whenever new evidence of a light, "oh, I can explain that, I just forgot to tell you about it earlier" appears I have to doubt. Just like what we used to call "Skinner's constant" back in grad school: that was the number that when added to, subtracted from, multiplied by or divided into the data you GOT yielded the answer you EXPECTED!

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 04:48 pm:

Mike, I didn't "forget" to tell, but thanks for the insinuation that I'm somehow dishonest, manipulative and/or conniving.

For those of you who aren't prone to jump to conclusions, quite simply, I can't always post information when I want to. There are times I have to wait until I have obtained it from at least two sources in order to protect the individual who initially provided the information.

Friday (the day before my latest update of Aug. 23) I spoke to Don Cheney for the first time in several months. He informed me he had been tested for DNA by the SFPD; they knew of Leigh's habit of getting others to lick his stamps and envelopes and wanted to rule Don out.

Obviously, I felt this was newsworthy. I was anxious to let the world know SFPD was doing their best with available resources, plus I was anxious to show how cooperative Cheney has been, as there are those who are somehow suspicious of him.

The only way I could reveal that Cheney had been tested without making him appear to have been considered a suspect was to reveal the detail regarding Leigh and his non-licking habit.

Here's a question: How many of you are going to be big enough to apologize to me when I get permission to reveal corroborative information?

By Ray N (Ray_N) (24.231.194.161.bay.mi.chartermi.net - 24.231.194.161) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 06:02 pm:

Linda:

If it's "most likely" that Zodiac licked his own stamps and sealed his own envelopes with his own saliva, then how to you account for the fact that SFPD tried testing other letters (prior to the semi-"successful" test of the Stine letter) but was baffled to find the amylase screens negative, meaning that no licking by anyone had taken place? If we find no licking on some letters, and licking on others, what is the logical conclusion to draw about what is "most likely" to have occurred and how might we "suspect" that we can draw conclusions about the involvement of any individual, Allen or otherwise?

By Ray N (Ray_N) (24.231.194.161.bay.mi.chartermi.net - 24.231.194.161) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 06:37 pm:

Mike,

It's most commendable that you stopped just short of calling Tom a lying @#$%&. Such discretion! What restraint! The fact is that the DNA evidence, if ever sufficiently developed, is going to match someone. Or it won't. If it does, that person is going to be convicted, unless of course it's DNA of the unnamed informants, in which case it will be the end of the line for Allen (unless of course we decide to adopt the conveeeeeeeeeenient position that Voigt is a slimy prevaricator). By taking on the role of one of the "vultures sitting in a barren tree" waiting impatiently for an opportunity to cast dispersions, as so superbly described by Bill Baker, you have effectively barricaded yourself into a tenuous position of unenviable description. Any way it turns out, you are going to be on the short end, because no new information revealed by a successful comparison will ever be able to disprove the observations of numerous individuals who knew Allen personally, over a fairly extended period of time, who no doubt would be on here challenging Tom using language similar to yours were his statements the product of confabulation (that's my "big word" for this post). It will, however, retain a strong potential to soundly make you wish you had clicked on the "cancel post" button after typing the wholly ill-conceived diatribe above. No doubt you missed class on the day they discussed how important it is to wait until all the evidence is in before reaching conclusions. So much for grad school. Think they'll give you a refund?

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (66.138.8.101) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 07:08 pm:

Tom, I apologize if it sounded like I was pointing at you for posting information you knew to be false. I have never had reason to doubt your word on anything you said on this site, and that goes for the majority of regular posters. As you know more than anyone, Tom, there is such an abundance of misinformation bandied about in this case that every new revelation should be taken with more than a grain of salt. Just because you are honest doesn't mean all your sources are, as you have informed us in the past. I have no argument with you posting the information, and understand that all information can't always be posted when you or I would like.
Ray, if I wanted to call anyone a lying &^$%# I would. Yes, I am ready to admit I was wrong as soon as adequate corrobatory evidence presents, as I have done before. I don't regret the post questioning the data but do regret letting it sound like Tom was dishonest. If I thought that I would never spend any time here.
That being said, if I were on a jury, any jury in any trial, and sudden testimony was presented which came up with similar timing I would wait for further evidence before accepting it.

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 07:19 pm:

Mike, anyone who has spent any time in the chat rooms has heard me mention these informants, even accidentally naming them after a cocktail or two. Long before that, I shared the info with several regulars to this website whom I trusted to not hound them.

There's been nothing secretive about this situation, except that I haven't subjected several innocent people to potential unwanted attention from thousands of Internet followers by posting their names on my website against their wishes.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (66.138.8.101) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 07:28 pm:

Tom, I haven't been to the chat room yet, so I did not have that information. I was not asking or expecting you to necessarily name any individuals.
Again, I apoligize for my poor choice of words which sounded like I was implying dishonesty of your part. No such intent existed, and I feel bad that I made it sound so. I can't blame cocktails but chock it up to fatigue, I was up very late last night observing Mars (and yes, I know how many jokes I'm setting myself up for with that fact).

By Linda (Linda) (208-59-125-224.s478.tnt1.frdr.md.dialup.rcn.com - 208.59.125.224) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 08:48 pm:

Ray... I'm definitely no DNA expert, but my impression was that there was no useable DNA found under some of the stamps tested, not that it was determined that they hadn't been licked because no saliva was present. To me that's two different things. Did they actually say that no saliva was found and meaning the stamps were not licked? If they did, I certainly missed it...

However, I would still have to speculate that Z licked his own stamps or (if the above is true), probably used a sponge or other method to secure the pieces. I just don't think that Z had another lick stamps/envelopes purposefully intending to deceive in that manner. No-one knew about tracing bodily fluids through DNA back then...

By Ray N (Ray_N) (24.231.194.161.bay.mi.chartermi.net - 24.231.194.161) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 09:05 pm:

Linda,

It is important everyone understands that no one is suggesting Zodiac purposely avoided leaving DNA evidence over concerns about non-existent technology. Only that he may have effectively subverted this entire line of forensic investigation entirely by a "happy accident", without the intent to do so. Allen, if Zodiac, would fit this hypothesis as a known avoider of stamp glue.

When you ask, "Did they actually say..." I assume the "they" refers to ABC. No, "they" didn't. And your impression was shared by many viewers as a direct result of the network not knowing or not caring what they were talking about. Fortunately, I don't get all of my information from the most trusted news source...

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) (mail.ci.colospgs.co.us - 204.131.210.1) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 03:19 am:

Tom wrote:
Friday (the day before my latest update of Aug. 23) I spoke to Don Cheney for the first time in several months. He informed me he had been tested for DNA by the SFPD; they knew of Leigh's habit of getting others to lick his stamps and envelopes and wanted to rule Don out. ... The only way I could reveal that Cheney had been tested without making him appear to have been considered a suspect was to reveal the detail regarding Leigh and his non-licking habit.

BRUCE MONSON:
Tom, this isn't a jab against you, and when the information comes out as to how many others (aside from Cheney) were tested for DNA based on the "Allen never licks his stamps" revelation, my question will likely answer itself.

But how likely is it, really, that SFPD would test Cheney's DNA to "check it" for a match on the stamps on the basis that Allen may have had him lick the stamps for him? This would have to make Allen (if Allen was Z) the biggest moron in the Western Hemisphere for not only telling Cheney every "key" piece of self-incriminating Zodiac trivia, but also have him actually participating by licking the stamps (double postage at that) and envelopes to some of his Z-letters! It makes for kind of an amusing picture if you think about it...

ALLEN: Hi Don! How they hang'in?

CHENEY: Hi Leigh! What's shak'in?

ALLEN: (wearing gloves and holding an envelope) Would you mind licking this envelope for me? I have to mail a bill for my mom, but I hate the taste of the glue.

CHENEY: Sure, no problem. (lick) Eck! You're right, that's disgusting! Say, what are the gloves for?

ALLEN: Yeah. Yuck, huh? Hehehe. Er, the gloves, a . . . I was thinking about giving them to my brother as a present so I'm wearing them to make sure they'll fit him okay. (looks away briefly with pursed lips) A ... could you also lick this stamp, er, two stamps?

CHENEY: Only if you give me a beer to wash the taste out. (hopeful grin)

ALLEN: (perplexed look comes over face) Hmmm. How 'bout you take the other half of my beer, and I'll get myself a new one?

CHENEY: Well, alright. Give them to me.

ALLEN: A . . . I'd prefer to hold the stamps and have you lick them in my hand.

CHENEY: (blink) (blink) What?!

ALLEN: Would you rather I lay them on the table and have you lick them there?

CHENEY: Leigh, you're one weird son-of-a-beetch! How about you shove those stamps up your ass!?

ALLEN: (pausing to seriously consider that option) A . . . Well, could you at least put these gloves on before licking them? Your hands look kinda dirty and you might get some dirt on the glue and cause the stamps to fall off.

CHENEY: ALRIGHT ALREADY! (lick) (lick) HERE! Now give me that beer!

You have to admit that sounds like a pretty odd lead.

Isn't it MORE LIKELY that the reason Cheney's DNA was tested was precisely because SFPD DID consider him a suspect, even if a weak one? Indeed, what if Cheney's DNA did match the stamp? Would the weight of such a finding be more damaging to Allen or Cheney as to involvement in the Z-crimes?

Bruce Monson

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 03:24 am:

Bruce wrote:
"Isn't it MORE LIKELY that the reason Cheney's DNA was tested was precisely because SFPD DID consider him a suspect, even if a weak one?"

If SFPD was in the habit of testing weak suspects, we'd finally be rid of these "Kane" threads once and for all.

Nobody in their right mind really believes Don Cheney had any involvement in the Zodiac killings...hence my conclusion.

By Ed Taylor (nr8-216-68-152-24.fuse.net - 216.68.152.24) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 06:51 am:

Bruce,

That exchange between Allen and Cheney was pretty amusing. I can see your point. Well done.

Shooting from the hips, my guess is the SFPD tested Cheney to eliminate him as a possible suspect.

Maybe this should be a new thread, but, since we are on the subject of DNA and SFPD testing possible suspects, I'm wondering if the California Correctional Institutes is collecting DNA from already convicted felons. Today - I'm assuming since its being done in other States - if a person is convicted of, lets say, murder, the State collects his DNA and enters it into CODIS. However, if a person was convicted before the testing began, did the State go back and collect those individuals DNA and enter those into CODIS? If Z was arrested for a serious felony in the late 80s and is now in the State Penn (which is some people's theory) has his DNA been entered into CODIS? Just a thought.

ET

PS: Sorry Tom if you wanted that in a different thread. If so, delete this post and email me and I'll post it elsewhere.

By Fred Stemmer (machine103.usequipment.com - 63.70.211.103) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 09:01 am:

Nobody right in their mind would go and test a "reliable witness", not even those SFPD top guns. So far for that entire Chaney “fish head chapter” fiasco. Allen out. Chaney out. Is there anything else what perhaps could surprise a few of us insiders?

By Muskogee (Muskogee) (209-223-48-21-dyndsl.oplnk.net - 209.223.48.21) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 12:36 pm:

There have been numerous other posts about the reliability of DNA by experts, like Ray, and those of us with some formal education and experience on the issue (like me). Please refer to these posts for information about why the DNA is not necessarily Zodiac's. They SFPD NEEDS to test multiple letters and see if the DNA they find is the SAME DNA. If it is, there is a very good probability that it's Zodiac's. Even then, it could be Toshci's, for all we know. I doubt he was wearing a hair net to control those wild curls when he was looking at letters.

Here is what needs to happen:

1.) DNA from multiple letters need to be compared to see if it's from the same person.
2.) This DNA needs to be compared to that from ALL the major suspects (easier said than done)
3.) This DNA needs to be compared to all law enforcement agents who spent considerable time studying these letters unbagged.
4.) This DNA needs to be compared to the DNA from the Bates case.

Steps 1 and 4 should not be difficult, other than cutting through red tape.

By Scream187 (hse-quebeccity-ppp3497158.sympatico.ca - 65.92.226.91) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 12:53 pm:

I agree with muskogee 4 things that need to happen and I've been saying the same thing for a while.

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 01:28 pm:

For what it's worth, my DNA source just informed me that a saliva DNA sample can't determine the age of the doner.

Regarding Don Cheney's DNA sample, Don told me that SFPD arranged for two deputies from Don's local out-of-state sheriff's department to retrieve the sample. If SFPD actually considered Don a suspect, I highly doubt they would involve any other agency, especially since he was so cooperative.

By Eduard (iproxy4.kennisnet.nl - 212.178.7.55) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 02:28 am:

Moskogee,

I agree 200% with your latest post.

Eduard Versluijs

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) (mail.ci.colospgs.co.us - 204.131.210.1) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 10:02 am:

You may be right, Tom. However, if it turns out that Cheney is the ONLY one they are testing, then I would find that more than a little curious; if, indeed, the goal is to test potential "lickers" for Allen.

That SFPD would involve the local sheriff's department to acquire a DNA sample hardly seems unlikely, given that Cheney lives "out-of-state."

Moreover, one might just as easily argue that it's easier to catch flies with honey rather then vinegar, and by presenting this "DNA sample request" to Cheney in such a nonthreatening (or nonaccusatory) manner would be more likely to get the desired results than damanding he comply.

Again, when and if you we find out that multiple others (e.g., family members and other "friends" of Allen's) are being tested for the same purpose, my question will essentially answer itself.

Bruce Monson

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) (mail.ci.colospgs.co.us - 204.131.210.1) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 10:16 am:

QUESTION:

While it is a plausible scenario that Allen *could have* had someone lick stamps for him and then stick them on a BLANK envelope(s) for future use, that doesn't seem to hold for the "licking" of the envelopes themselves since that is the last thing to be done after CONTENTS are placed within.

And would he have it addressed already? Probably not, but anyone who has written on envelopes with contents in them will know that it creates uneven surfaces (particularly around the edges) and makes writing on it more difficult, and will make the letter strokes change directions when the pen passes over them. For this reason it is more usual to address the envelope BEFORE inserting the contents.

How likely is it, then, that the Zodiac--if he was having someone else do his licking--would have approached another person with an envelope containing Zodiac writings? And would the mere "dislike" for the taste of the glue be reason enough to take such stupid risks? Highly unlikely.

Bruce Monson

By Ed Taylor (nr8-216-68-180-62.fuse.net - 216.68.180.62) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 12:17 pm:

Bruce,

I agree. Zodiac remains at large today because he didn't take stupid risks (the reason, by the way, our jails are over crowded). I stated earlier, in another post, that is it my guess Z licked his own stamps, the DNA doesn't belong to Allen, so . . . make your own conclusions.

ET

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 02:16 pm:

Bruce:
"That SFPD would involve the local sheriff's department to acquire a DNA sample hardly seems unlikely, given that Cheney lives "out-of-state.""

Bruce, if SFPD actually considered Cheney to be a strong enough Zodiac suspect to merit DNA testing, you actually believe they would allow an agency not versed in the case or with Cheney to handle the entire thing? Wake up.

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 02:18 pm:

Ed:
"Zodiac remains at large today because he didn't take stupid risks"

Zodiac didn't take stupid risks? Which Zodiac are you thinking of???

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 02:22 pm:

Bruce:
"How likely is it, then, that the Zodiac--if he was having someone else do his licking--would have approached another person with an envelope containing Zodiac writings? And would the mere "dislike" for the taste of the glue be reason enough to take such stupid risks? Highly unlikely."

If Allen was the Zodiac, by late 1969 he was already quite practiced at getting others to lick his stamps and envelopes for him, whatever his motives. And, considering these "others" were usually children, I doubt he would have felt it risky.

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 02:25 pm:

By the way, I only have testimony indicating Allen was in the practice of doing his stamp/envelope thing during the early to mid 1960s -- as yet, nobody I'm aware of has claimed it happened during the era of Zodiac's letters.

By Ed Taylor (cvg-65-29-208-206.cinci.rr.com - 65.29.208.206) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 06:43 pm:

Tom Wrote:

"Ed:
"Zodiac remains at large today because he didn't take stupid risks"

Zodiac didn't take stupid risks? Which Zodiac are you thinking of??? "

Tom:
Yeah, the more I think about the statement I made the dumber it appears. I guess just about everything he did was a risk. Yet, I still believe both the DNA and latent evidence pretty much clears Allen. (The bloody print on Stine's car, was that a print of value?)

ET

By Cynthia (cache-mtc-ak04.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.96.201) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 06:59 pm:

Tom's last post answered some of my next question, regarding when Allen was asking people to lick his stamps.

For some reason I thought that Don Cheney ended his friendship with Allen as a result of that conversation of Jan 1, 1969 but that he kept in touch with Allen's brother and sister-in-law. I don't recall if this is something I picked up here or with Graysmith.

Part of my question was, when were people licking his stamps, and the other part was, why would they need a DNA sample from Cheney if they were no longer friends by the time Zodiac started his letter campaign?

Another question...a couple of letters that Allen wrote were posted on this site...I wonder if the envelopes remain and the possibility of those being tested. I refer to the letter that Allen phonied up from Atascadero and the one that he sent to the son of a friend regarding an airplane.

By Muskogee (Muskogee) (209-223-48-21-dyndsl.oplnk.net - 209.223.48.21) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 07:25 pm:

Tom, that is correct about not being able to tell the DNA donor's age.

Sorry Eduard! You are one of the DNA experts here, and I forgot to mention you!

By Scott_Bullock (cache-rp06.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.253.38) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 08:23 pm:

For what it is worth, Tom told me in July of 2002 that Allen had the peculiar habit of not licking his own stamps, a full 3 1/2 months before the Primetime Thursday episode aired. I remember that, at the time, a member of the CA DOJ had told us that there wasn't any DNA in the Zodiac case. When someone mentioned the possibility that DNA could be found on the envelopes or beneath the stamps, Tom casually mentioned that, if Allen were the Zodiac, it wouldn't make a difference because Allen didn't lick his own stamps; certainly a curious piece of information, in my opinion, considering that nobody seemed to know that SFPD was doing DNA testing at the time.

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 08:35 pm:

Cynthia, Cheney did end his friendship with Allen before the Zodiac letters began. I believe SFPD were merely being thorough by asking Don to supply a sample. Either that or they wanted to eliminate the possibility of a descrepency in Don's memory of when he last had contact with Allen.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (24.231.194.161.bay.mi.chartermi.net - 24.231.194.161) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 10:14 am:

Frankly, I don't see the point in a Cheney comparison. So many people are totally missing the boat on this one. Bruce's issues with whether Cheney is or is not considered a suspect are completely moot.I just don't see why it's so hard to grasp the core issue. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by any comparisons with the currently held sample. No one can be counted in or out with it. It would be such a better use of time and energy to be back in the lab, refining the results to a level of quality that would be useable in court before attempting any more comparisons. Doing it with what they have only risks leading the investigation astray.

Personally, I'd be taking a very close look at Paul Stine's shirt. I know that the maintenance of that particular item of evidence has been shown to have been poor, but the chance nevertheless remains that there is Zodiac DNA on it. This kind of technology is getting so good it's scary. We certainly don't have to wonder if Zodiac had someone else tear the shirt tail off for him! Sure, it's a long shot, but it's becoming apparent that long shots might be all the police have left. What does it hurt to try? Even if nothing is found, there is plenty of Stine's blood on it. I can't help but think a Stine panel might be useful. It certainly can't hurt either. I guess the real question is how much money can be spent on this? My opinion is that the Cheney comparison was a regretable waste of this obviously limited resource.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (66.138.8.82) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 10:50 pm:

Tom, after Scott described in an above post how you had been told about Allen getting others to lick stamps well BEFORE the television shows reporting on DNA from stamps and letters, that puts it in a very different light. I earlier voiced strong suspicions about the validity of such statements because I interperted, incorrectly, you to mean that since the shows first aired several people had approached you with this information. If that had been the timing my suspicions would have been justified, and I think you would have been equally suspicious. Again, I never thought you were making up such yarns but suspected some of your sources were. I am glad to stand corrected.
The thought of ALA getting children to lick the stamps brings to me another suspicion, that his (Allen's) motivation was more likely not dislike of glue, but just an excuse to get children close where they would do things in front of him to fuel his pedophile fantasies. I think you get the drift without getting more graphic. While I still don't think ALA is a good Zodiac suspect I never thought or said he wasn't a total sleaze.

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 11:08 pm:

Mike, actually I think Scott's recollection is a bit off. I don't believe I had contact with the informants until shortly after the ABC show in October of 2002, but I could be mistaken. Regardless, my sources are excellent. They've sent me numerous photos and letters of Arthur Leigh Allen and are quite credible.

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) (co-ratlsnk-u2-c6d-33.clspco.adelphia.net - 68.70.110.33) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 11:37 pm:

Tom wrote: Bruce, if SFPD actually considered Cheney to be a strong enough Zodiac suspect to merit DNA testing, you actually believe they would allow an agency not versed in the case or with Cheney to handle the entire thing? Wake up.

BRUCE:
"Wake up"? Two things here, Tom:

(1) If SFPD was so concerned about whether or not another agency was capable of obtaining a DNA sample, and yet they DID WANT CHENEY'S DNA (for whatever reason), then why would they bother with said agency at all?

If your argument is correct, then SFPD really wouldn't care whether the Sheriff's department took the DNA samples from Cheney or Bonzo the Gorilla from the local zoo, because they don't have any suspicions about the Cheney anyway--they just thought it would be a hoot to initiate that expensive procedure!

(2) Maybe you're not aware of this, but most police departments do not do their own DNA analysis, but rather send the samples (blood, hair, semen, saliva, etc.) off to some state or regional lab, or even to the FBI, for analysis.

And to enlist the help of another police agency holding jurisdiction in the area where a potential "suspect" lives would not be at all far-fetched or even unusual, especially considering that the only thing that agency may be doing is the acquisition of those samples and making sure the chain of custody remains intact as they are sent off to the lab.

Ray,

I wasn't making a case for Cheney as a suspect one way or the other. My ONLY point was that SFPD's motivation for obtaining a DNA sample from HIM (if he is the only one they're testing under this premise) is most likely for purposes other than those being suggested here in regard to Allen's licking habits (or lack thereof).

Bruce Monson

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 11:49 pm:

Bruce, you need to come out of the pod more often...

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 12:00 am:

Here's a glimpse into Bruce's World:

"Hello, is this the Mayberry Sheriff's Department? Hi, this is SFPD. We think a resident of your county might be involved in the Zodiac murders. Even though we've been trying to solve the case for over 30 years, we'd rather let one of your uneducated deputies interview him rather than sending one of our knowledgeable inspectors on a two-hour plane ride. If he confesses, or if you find anything incriminating, please be sure and credit us, ok?"

By Ed Taylor (cvg-65-29-208-206.cinci.rr.com - 65.29.208.206) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 04:57 am:

Tom,

I think the fact SFPD asking another department to obtain DNA from someone living in their jurisdiction is no big deal. I can't read anything into it and can't understand the point you're trying to make. Are you suggesting because another department obtained the DNA you can't trust the results? Obtaining a DNA sample from someone is very simple, even Mayberry could do it.

ET

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - 12.206.165.69) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 06:39 am:

Bruce,
Regarding Bonzo the Gorilla and chain of custody:

Using DNA as evidence can be so incriminating, that I believe a control sample of a family member of the suspect should be taken to ensure against mistakes, mix-ups, or (not that it would happen)evidence tampering.

Did Allen just start licking his own envelopes or is there just no proof how he sealed his envelopes at the time of the murders either way?

By the way, it's been known long before the zodiac murders that DNA carried hereditary information and that DNA is found in cells. So Z if he had some education or did the research, may have had the forethought not to leave body fluids, knowing it was only a matter of time and technology that there would be DNA fingerprinting. Possibly a reason he didn't rape his victims.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - 12.206.165.69) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 06:45 am:

I know DNA was found on the letters but thought it could be a reason Allen didn't always lick his own stamps/envelopes. Having others do the sealing is strange.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar17-4-61-192-085.lsanca1.elnk.dsl.genuity.net - 4.61.192.85) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 09:13 am:

Along with homicides, I also have some experience working with pedophiles. It occurred to me that Allen's reported practice of having his young students lick his stamps might have been a contrived excuse so he could pruriently watch the lapping of their little tongues. Paint your own picture of what that might represent to him. I could be way off on this, but such things are well within the ways and wiles of child molesters.

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) (mail.ci.colospgs.co.us - 204.131.210.1) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 10:05 am:

Tom,

Since you never mentioned anything about "interviews" your Mayberry satire doesn't work. You only mentioned DNA, and as I have already mentioned, acquiring the "samples" and sending them off to a lab would not be a big deal for most any established police agency in the country.

The fact is police agencies today frequently help each other out in such respects. I see Bill Baker has just posted on the thread, so since you don't seem to believe me maybe you could ask him about it...

Lastly, Tom, I am not harrassing you here, nor have I attacked or belittled you or made YOU the focus of my comments. I merely brought up what I see to be VALID points regarding the DNA acquisition from Cheney. So I would appreciate it if you would cease with the ad hominem (e.g., "Wake up," "come out of the pod...").

Regards,

Bruce Monson

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 02:14 pm:

Bruce, have you ever dealt with any of the agencies involved with the Zodiac investigation? I have, so please don't waste your time trying to educate me on how they think and operate...ok?

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 02:29 pm:

Bookworm wrote:
"I know DNA was found on the letters but thought it could be a reason Allen didn't always lick his own stamps/envelopes. Having others do the sealing is strange."

Allen claimed the taste of glue made him sick. Glue is glue, whether it's on the stamp or envelope.

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 02:33 pm:

Bruce wrote:
"Since you never mentioned anything about "interviews" your Mayberry satire doesn't work."

Sure, why would an agency want to actually interview a suspect in person they believe could be involved in the Zodiac crimes, right Bruce?

And do I really need to explain the logic behind the idea that suspicious detectives might want to use the DNA opportunity to question the suspect and perhaps snoop around his property?

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 02:41 pm:

Bill, I agree with your possible motive for Allen's claims regarding licking. God, what a horrible visual that is!

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (66.138.8.176) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 03:54 pm:

Bill, I think you are exactly right about Allen's motive at having children lick the stamps. That is what I was hinting at when I said in my above post '(Allen's) motivation was more likely not
dislike of glue, but just an excuse to get children close where they would do things in front of him to fuel his pedophile fantasies." I have some minor experience observing pedophiles (when I worked at a Mental Health Center) and, as disgusting as such things are to those of us wired to respond as we are supposed to, to adults, pedophiles really do think like that. Kudos to you for having the guts to say directly what I hinted at.

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) (mail.ci.colospgs.co.us - 204.131.210.1) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 07:03 pm:

Whatever, Tom. Good grief.

Bruce Monson

By Howard Davis (Howard) (64.30.222.112.lcinet.net - 64.30.222.109) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 07:16 pm:

Whatever happened to a moistened sponge-they cost then about 20 cents-the artifically produced ones that is!
I am sure Ed will correct my cost estimate if it is in errot,which it probably is LOL

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 07:24 pm:

Howard, I have a feeling half the fun for Allen was manipulating kids to do these things for him...

By Howard Davis (Howard) (64.30.222.112.lcinet.net - 64.30.222.109) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 07:25 pm:

Got it...

By Tom_Voigt (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - 12.231.193.32) on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 11:28 pm:

Scott wrote:
"Tom told me in July of 2002 that Allen had the peculiar habit of not licking his own stamps, a full 3 1/2 months before the Primetime Thursday episode aired."

Actually, Scott's recollection was correct. However, it wasn't until after the ABC show in October that I could corroborate that rumor.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-235.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - 159.134.50.235) on Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 11:09 am:

What is curious perhaps is the positioning of the addresses on at least some of the envelopes.
The Belli letter clearly shows that the stamps we applied after the address is written.
However, with the bus-bomb letter of the 9th of November there is a clear argument to suggest that the stamps were applied first and then the address written.
The letters slope downward as if to avoid the stamps.The last stroke of the "N" falls short of the stamp, while the top of the "L" is so close, it appears it was written on top of the serrated border.The top stroke of the "C" also suggests that the pen got caught up in this edge.
On the earlier envelopes he positions the addresses right over on the left edge of the envelopes. Could this have been because the stamps were already fixed? Later on when only one stamp is used the position of the addresses moves back into a more central location.
Just thoughts!

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - 12.206.165.69) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 06:18 am:

This is just some trivia I thought was interesting. In October 1974 the month following Allen's arrest, the first self-adhesived stamp was issued. It was a 10 cent Christmas Dove Weathervane stamp (precanceled). Avery Dennison developed the adhesive.
http://205.180.135.119/corporate.nsf/0/1d08a4e70498c02888256a56007b20c7?OpenDocument

Collectors couldn't remove the stamp, so no more self-adhesive stamps were issued until 1989.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - 12.206.165.69) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 07:10 am:

Just trivia again, but according to ZU, Allen's mother Bernice died in January of 1989. This is year of the second issue of a self-adhesive stamp since 1974.(See my last posted link.)

By J Eric (J_Eric) (dialup-67.27.70.241.dial1.losangeles1.level3.net - 67.27.70.241) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 11:32 pm:

The various stamps used came out well after Allen was fired from teaching school, no?

But maybe he had the kiddies in his neighborhood licking for him. What if he had them lick stamps onto BLANK envelopes, say for example, "to write letters to Santa Claus"? Now, there would be no way for a child to know the postage stamps used would be excessive postage, 'cuz they'd figure he'd put their very bulky wish-lists inside. So Z (Allen or not) would have a ready supply of pre-stamped envelopes ready to go.

I hate the taste of glue, too. So that's how I'd envision it, diabolical killer that I am. :)

By Chris Harper (cache-dk01.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.209.5) on Thursday, October 09, 2003 - 04:51 pm:

Some of you are talking about this like the Zodiac(ALA or not)intentionally had other people lick the stamps to avoid being detected by DNA, but back then, nobody really knew what DNA was and surely criminals didn't worry about the tecnology of 30 years down the road. So if ALA is Zodiac he probably did have someone lick stamps for him just because he didn'y like the taste of glue. But then again when I look at it like that wouldn't the most likely people who licked the stamps be family members? And if that was so wouldn't the DNA that was taken off the stamps/envelopes be close enough to ALA for them to know it was in his family?

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar17-4-61-200-180.lsanca1.elnk.dsl.genuity.net - 4.61.200.180) on Thursday, October 09, 2003 - 06:21 pm:

Even back in the dark ages of 1969, it was known, however widely, that blood typing could be obtained from saliva, assuming that you were a secretor (about 80% of the population). But if Z, or ALA, disliked the taste of glue, why not simply use water? Please read the voluminous posts (which you obviously have not done) that address the issue of DNA on stamps, and heavily covered matters relating thereto. Your revelation that DNA evidence was unknown back then has been discussed at great length.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) (12-234-233-242.client.attbi.com - 12.234.233.242) on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:07 pm:

If I were Z, and hated the taste of envelope glue and stamps cuz it made me sick, I would be using pre-postage paid post cards or taping the envelope flaps with tape. Why communicate with something that is so traumatic to you that it literally makes you sick. I mean the smell of garbage is quite unappealing, but I still get up and throw it out myself.
Why risk being found out by having someone else lick your envelope or stamp for you? Z would be smarter than this.

By J Eric Freedner (J_Eric) (dsc15-lai-ca-206-217-18-171.rasserver.net - 206.217.18.171) on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 11:40 pm:

A real far-fetched thought: what if Zodiac had a dog and got the dog to lick his stamps and envelopes? Suppose DNA tests would show that. But if I were a crazed serial killer today, knowing about DNA, that's what I might do...