Pipe Bombs In Allen's Home

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Arthur Leigh Allen: Pipe Bombs In Allen's Home

By Bill Baker (pool0162.cvx4-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 04:42 pm:

An exercise in speculation/conjecture/hypothesis for the Allen-as-Zodiac proponents (and detractors, as well):

Regarding the pipe bombs, fuses, blasting caps and other assorted bomb-making paraphernalia found in the search of Allen's home in 1991, what had he intended to do with these items? Did he ever say?

Moreover, how long previous to their discovery did he acquire the components and construct the devices? If it was years earlier, and he no longer intended to use them for whatever purpose, why did he retain them, knowing that he was a Zodiac suspect and the police may well discover them? And face incarceration. Many people have opined that he intentionally had writings and other items in his home that were intended to taunt and tease the police, should they search his residence. Yet he also was in felonious possession of bombs and bomb-making components? Doesn't seem to be consistent, not that Allen was known for that. Did Allen retain legal counsel? If so, would his survivors consent to waiving the attorney-client privilege in order to learn what Allen told him/her?

Other than his age, which wasn't all that old, I'm still confused as to why he wasn't arrested for possession of the contraband. Was the warrant flawed? And if he was questioned in 1991, after the search, what if anything did he say about the presence of the items in his home?

To my way of thinking, other than the mere threat of using an explosive device to kill children, which is terrorism at its worst, that manner of killing would not have been consistent with Zodiac's known M.O., practical or psychological. So, then, what was Allen's intent in making/possessing bombs? It would be interesting to know how, when, where and WHY he purchased/appropriated the materials.

Along a different, but related path, regarding the firearms found in his home by police: Were the weapons subjected to a standard history search to determine where, when and how they were purchased? [Not a difficult task.] Did he say, when and if he was even asked? And the ammunition . . . Was he asked where and when the assorted caliber ammo was purchased? And where did he say he went to practice firing the weapons?

So many questions, so much time, so few answers.


By Tom Voigt (ac999650.ipt.aol.com - on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 05:46 pm:

Allen claimed that the weapons and bombs found during the 1991 search were left without his permission by a friend whom he met at Atascadero.
Even though the bomb diagrams were in his handwriting, Allen maintained he hadn't written them.
I can't fathom why he wasn't arrested.

By Bill Baker (pool0042.cvx11-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 06:48 pm:

Well, I suppose that would be a temporary and short-term excuse for the items, but I can't believe the police wouldn't have pinned Allen down for specifics. A friend at Atascadero? Who? Was he a fellow patient, or a friend on the outside? If so, when were the items left with him? Are the firearms as well as the bomb stuff included? I assume the bomb diagrams have been compared with Zodiac's writings (?). Sorry, Tom, I don't mean to plummet you with these queries, but as a retired-though-invested inquisitor, there HAS to be more to it. Would Ed Rust have some inside skinny? Would any of the other now-idle investigators that were involved in Zodiac know the answers? If, and when, I thrust myself back into the fray and pursue many questions with the voice of authority, perhaps I will still be left with unanswered questions. Perhaps not.


By sandy (c531918-a.ptbrg1.sfba.home.com - on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 09:47 pm:

Bill, I hope you keep on asking, someone needs to get to the bottom of this mess! It looks like someone wanted to railroad Allen,( at VPD) for the glory of solving the case. Nothing else makes sense. Ed Rust didn't believe Allen was Z, he thought L.K. looked like a better suspect.I read that D.O.J. never recieved anything from Vallejo on Allen as a suspect. When I spoke to D.O.J. I couldn't believe what they said,they don't have proof that Darlene was killed by Z. The only one they knew for sure was Paul Stine!

By Bill Baker (pool0104.cvx4-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 11:29 pm:

Sandy, the DOJ response doesn't surprise me, given that most bureaucrats are anal retentive and loath to extend their necks onto what they perceive as chopping blocks. The Stine killing was the only Zodiac-attributed case that they could categorically, and without fear of rebuttal, feel safe in proclaiming to be the work of the Zodiac, thanks to the irrefutable physical evidence that the portions of Stine's shirt represented. The other killings were presumed to be the work of Zodiac based upon sound circumstantial evidence developed by seasoned investigators. And properly so.

However, I can't reflexively agree that Vallejo PD was wont to railroad anyone. I suspect that they, like most other agencies intent upon solving a problematic and, later, notorious case, focused their efforts toward the suspect who presented the greatest promise at the time. I have admittedly zeroed in on a suspect in a murder, only to find that another person was responsible. That's what the criminal justice system and its legal safeguards is all about.

I would like nothing more than to unravel the mystery of the Zodiac killings. Not so I can bask in the glory of the solution, so people can proclaim "Look what he did." But rather, so I can sit back in my rocking chair, shawl in place, and say to myself, "Look what I did." Glory can be applied in humble ways.


By Bruce D. (pm3-02-01.sle.du.teleport.com - on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 12:21 am:

Stick with it Bill. Along with Glen Claston,you are the most pragmatic and analytical ones on this Board.
We need your dogged pesistence and determination to help solve this case.
Please stay with us .
Bruce D.

By Anonymous (slip166-72-176-118.al.us.prserv.net - on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 10:25 am:

What about the ex-con from Nevada, who told police that Allen said he was going to San Francisco to kill a cabbie? How closely was this man acquainted
with Allen(and for how long), and why would he accuse Allen of saying this?

By Chrissy Shaw (dial-115.farmtel.net - on Thursday, August 31, 2000 - 06:27 am:

Regarding no arrests with these devices, the answer might well be in the preparation of the search warrant. It may well be that what was specified on the warrant would exclude what was found. It could be that the issuing magistrate wanted the search extremely specific, or the investigators were rushed and enthusiastic in their preparation of the warrant. Incidental evidence not specifically listed can be a loop hole for defense to slide through in that it would be excluded. By the time a warrant specific to the evidence was prepared the said evidence may no longer have existed. Warrants to search have to be prepared in very tight parameters.

By Michael (ip205.lancaster5.pa.pub-ip.psi.net - on Thursday, August 31, 2000 - 03:21 pm:

Well Chrissy if a warrant is for a stolen car and you find drugs in a nightstand thats one thing but if you are searching in a location that a reasonalble person would look for the subject of a search warrant and finds contraband the search is legal. I have never seen a search warrant that was so narrow that only one specific idem could be recovered.


By Chrissy Shaw (dial-65.farmtel.net - on Thursday, August 31, 2000 - 08:24 pm:

It must be within the parameter of the issued search. If the item searched for say is a shotgun and I am giving for instance here, only places where such an item might reasonably be found are legally subject to search. Incidentals all require "Plain View" otherwise, less they be excluded, or found object obtained illegally. Since one can not see the warrant, and since one knows not only local, but federal authorities would have been interested in such devices, there can only be a legal obstruction towards the use of such evidence.

Had the evidence been subject to the search no law enforcement personnel anywhere would have walked away without A.L. Allen in tow for having those devices in his house.(exception would be if the room was leased to the supposed friend and he could prove that, but in that case the friend and possibly Allen might have gone down for it.)

Evidence and procedural rules are a tough bag to tote and I know from having my brothers murderer walk free on such a technicality. Given the circumstances one can brag and get away with murder. That was in California by the way.

By Michael (ip159.lancaster5.pa.pub-ip.psi.net - on Friday, September 01, 2000 - 09:15 am:

Thats my point. I really cant image what could be the subject of any Z warrant that could not be reasonably located in the same area with something as small as a pipe bomb. Or bomb digrams, or a gun. Thats no reach at all whether in Federal court or in Calif.


By Chrissy Shaw (dial-61.farmtel.net - on Saturday, September 02, 2000 - 05:16 am:

Agreed Mike, so either there was a legal exclusion or there were no such devices and it has been misreported. There simply is no other avenue when such items are found.

By Michael (ip23.lancaster5.pa.pub-ip.psi.net - on Sunday, September 03, 2000 - 04:14 pm:

Chrissy, You know i may just be that Allen was to the point that he was ready to kick the bucket. And unless they could clear the Z case once and for all they just figured why waste the money on a court case for a guy who was buzzard bait anyway.


By Chrissy Shaw (dial-84.farmtel.net - on Sunday, September 03, 2000 - 08:50 pm:

I certainly would not have let it slide, the County has a nice hospital room he could have answered hours of questions in(with attending physicians approval of course.) I would not want a liable issue for the county. Though not convinced he was z, I am in full agreement with the concept of having kept him under lock and key. The guy was a criminal and a educated mule pervert if nothing else.

By Displaced_Punk (Displaced_Punk) ( on Tuesday, December 19, 2000 - 11:58 am:

Firstly, if I recall, the warrant contained a laundry list of things to be searched for, and I do believe explosive devices or things related to such were most definitely on said warrant (as well as ANYTHING "Zodiac" related).

Yes, Leigh could have been nailed for the explosives, not only for possession of such, but for violation of parole (and the same can be said for the plethora of weapons).

After the first search, Leigh told my father (a close personal friend of his who was present during the 1991 search (for moral support)), "Thank goodness they missed my silencer that I hid in a rolled up sock," or something to that effect.

Although said explosives may not have been Zodiac's M.O., he certainly alluded to them as well as threatened there use in various letters and diagrams.

Lastly, I believe, Leigh was not arrested or prosecuted for the various crimes he was guilty of that were unveiled during the search because a) yes, he was indeed ill and b) I believe they - the police - thought he was about to crack the harder they pressed him.

Note: Leigh (and my father) grew up in Vallejo and while Leigh was being questioned (and given the "third degree") at the police station after the search, my father would remind the police of their errs of years past and of policemen that had dubious histories (i.e. "Aren't you related to ol' so-and-so, who..."); somehow - believe it or not - this would loosened the restraint on Leigh.

By Jake Wark (Jake) (spider-wg011.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, December 19, 2000 - 07:50 pm:

DP wrote:
"After the first search, Leigh told my father "Thank goodness they missed my silencer that I hid in a rolled up sock,""

They probably thought it was another dildo.

"This is the zodiac Speaking..."

By Gomper (Gomper) (slip-32-100-21-71.al.us.prserv.net - on Wednesday, December 20, 2000 - 12:46 am:



By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (ac8a44e4.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, December 20, 2000 - 08:58 am:

Jake, is that where you hide them?

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p53.as1.dungarvan1.eircom.net - on Wednesday, December 20, 2000 - 09:37 am:

Jake,"This little piggy went to market"???

By Jake Wark (Jake) (spider-wc074.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, December 20, 2000 - 07:43 pm:

One dildo and I go from expert to laughingstock. I'd like to see what's in YOUR socks!

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Ed N. (Edn) (spider-ntc-tc013.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, December 25, 2000 - 10:20 pm:

I don't know about anyone else, but I keep my feet in my socks. And I keep my socks in my shoes. And I keep my shoes on my feet.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (88.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, December 26, 2000 - 05:50 am:

I hope your rubbers are over your shoes.

By Bill Baker (Billbaker) (pool0234.cvx5-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 02:47 am:

Generally within this thread, and with respect to the firearms found in Allen's home, I still have serious questions as to the origin of these weapons.

It's a relatively easy process, at least in this computer age, to quickly trace legitimate transactions of firearms from manufacturer to seller to buyer. ATF does it all the time, as do other agencies. Even in the pre-computer days it was still possible, albeit slower, to track a gun's recorded history. This would/should be true of weapons sold via mail-order. I've never, to my recollection, had any experience in seeking a firearm's history when it involved a mail-order sale, although the seller in these cases would be required to maintain records for possible perusal by authorities, be it Federal or otherwise.

While many of the questions that appear on this site are more rhetorical than evocative, I would like to know from the Board if anyone is familiar with the mail-order firearms process, at least what it may have been in the 60's. Specifically, what identifiers the prospective buyer would be required to present to qualify for the sale. I would think that mailing a firearm (even before FedEx) would have required scrupulous accounting on the part of the vendor.

It would be of perhaps probative value to follow the history of the weapons that were found in Allen's home to confirm his claim that they were acquired by another person and only stored in his home as a favor. I don't know if thirty- or forty-something-year-old firearms are to this day still traceable, but if they are, then it may offer some answers to the Allen enigma. Personally, I tend to think that the guns found in his home during the search were subjected to such a check, probably soon after their seizure. I can only guess that the checks, if made, were inconclusive. That does not satisfy me.

Even if Allen was Z, I seriously doubt that he retained possession of any firearms that could have linked him to a specific crime. Dismissing his explanation for the presence of the weapons in his home as BS, I do think, though, that his method of acquiring the weapons, whether it be via mail order or whatever other means, might offer some insight into his motives for having them in the first place. Most law-abiding gun possessors retain records of transaction, if for no other reason than to prove ownership.

On the other hand, if Allen was Z, and any one of the weapons found in his home was determined to have been purchased via mail order, the vendor of that weapon must have kept records. And those records may well indicate other weapons that the same purchaser ordered previously or subsequently.

It's all probably moot, figuring that if the checks were made and they came back to Allen, then the records would have reflected that, which they don't. And if they came back to other people, they, too, would have been investigated, which apparently never happened. So, just what did the history checks reveal? If I'm wrong and no checks were ever conducted, can it still be done? And if they were, where did they dead-end? Sounds like there may be some room for expansion here. I know that firearms are often acquired without a paper trail, but knowing the last recorded possessor of a weapon would at least offer a place to start.

By Peterh (Peterh) (adsl-141-154-79-37.bostma.adsl.bellatlantic.net - on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 07:17 am:


An outstanding example of the mailorder firearms situation would be the Lee Harvey Oswald case. As I recall, his Manlicher-Carcano was easily traced to a mail order sale. It may have been from LHO's own records rather than serial numbers or other mfr information. Check the Warren report. I have a copy of the abbreviated published version that I can look at later today if you like.


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (157.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 09:37 am:

The cleaning kit for Kaczynski's 30.06 came from Sears. I'll look and see if the FBI items list contains a serial number. If so, I wonder if it's possible to trace this down to a specific time?

By Michael Mc (Michaelmc) (1cust53.tnt1.lancaster.pa.da.uu.net - on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 12:55 pm:

Bill As i recall prior to the GCA68. Buying guns through the mail was fill out the order form send in money order .....recieve gun through the US mail. I bought a surplus WW2 rifle circa 1967 and that was the procedure.