Allen Update, 8-4-01 Message Board: Arthur Leigh Allen: Allen Update, 8-4-01

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 09:55 pm:

I've just updated The Arthur Leigh Allen File to include a 1975 two-page letter Allen sent a friend while incarcerated at Atascadero State Hospital.

Interestingly, Allen used slang that was popular among a much younger crowd, just as Zodiac did.
"Hang Loose"
"My Bag"

Allen also seemed to have extensive knowledge of a wide variety of subjects, just as Zodiac did.

Click here to see it.

Now if he was only a Jewish frenchman...

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 11:34 pm:

He also appears to have been a gregarious type who formed acquaintances and interacted with people easily. Not too good a psychological profile for a Zodiac suspect, in my opinion.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 12:15 am:

Allen had all of about three friends throughout most of his adult life.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 04:04 pm:

Allen apparently wrote this letter with his left hand. If Allen was Zodiac, he probably wrote the Z letters right-handed, as he was ambidextrous.

Even with the "wrong" hand, many characters match up well with Zodiac's style of handwriting. Allen's "g" has has no loop at the tail, his "d" is usually cursive, and his "u" matches Zodiac's "u" from the Red Phantom tail.
I also think Allen's "r" and "n" are very close.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 07:59 pm:

Also, Allen's "o" is usually open at the top, just as in Zodiac's "Citizen" and Riverside letters.

In fact, the entire Citizen letter looks an awful lot like the style of handwriting Allen used in the two-page Atascadero letter.

By Joe (Joe) ( - on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 08:00 pm:

Allen also specifically mentions needing gas station maps as a reference indicating a familiarity Zodiac certainly had. Not incontrovertible proof of Allen's guilt, but certainly something that should raise an eyebrow or two among some of us here.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 03:17 pm:

Naah! Z was strictly a Phillips 66 kind of guy. Allen was into Exxon.

By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 12:26 am:

I thought I saw some similarities to the "Desk Top Poem".Look at the first sentence in the Atascadero letter, the word 'honored' and compare with 'her new dress' from the desk top poem. I dunno', maybe just seein' things.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 03:31 am:

This is a substantial piece of Allens handwriting style that is not a million miles away from Zodiac's.What does it take to get this analyzed by an expert?Is it possible?

By The Fife (Thefife) ( - on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 09:51 pm:

Tom V,

Do you know if that letter is both sides of a single sheet or two sheets?

Tom F

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 10:22 pm:

I believe it was two sheets.

By Rob Huffman (Robhuffman) ( on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 03:17 pm:

For the record, it was one sheet written on both sides.

By The Fife (Thefife) ( - on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 03:43 pm:


Thanks. I thought I perceived some bleed through but wasn't sure.

This could explain his close writing style in this letter: if he were wanting to have his letter fit on one sheet for some reason. Does anyone know if this close style is typical of Allen or just when he's concerving paper?

Tom F

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 06:00 pm:

Maybe he was a concervationist.

By Rob Huffman (Robhuffman) ( on Friday, August 10, 2001 - 10:34 am:

Perhaps paper was rationed at Atascadero. Or perhaps it wad due to the fact that he was merely a Depression-era child.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Friday, August 10, 2001 - 03:43 pm:

It is clear that your Dad and "Leigh" were close, can I ask you, respectfully, exactly what qualities your father found in this man as a friend? Maybe it could enlighten us a bit on Allen.
Then, and please excuse my to the point bluntness -- DO you as someone who knew Allen believe he is capable of being Zodiac, and in your personal opinion IS Allen the Zodiac?

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Friday, August 10, 2001 - 03:44 pm:

Excuse me -- WAS Allen the Z?

By Rob Huffman (Robhuffman) ( on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 - 04:50 pm:


My father and Leigh were childhood friends. They grew up hiking through the Benicia Hills. My father never met Leigh's parents until he had been friends with Leigh for some time, as Leigh lived in the "basement" - as his mother made him (and later she had a bathroom and kitchenette built so he need not ever come into the house proper) - and came and went through said "basement" door.

My father and Leigh grew apart in the late fifties and throughout the sixties. He kept tabs on Allen via a mutual friend. Apparently, perhaps out of pity, my Dad corresponded with Leigh whilst in Atascadero and resumed a friendship thereafter providing Leigh never talked about child molestation. The Zodiac was never brought up, aside from my Dad showing up for moral support when the police came with their warrants.

My father was always ambiguous regarding Leigh as a possible Zodiac suspect. He always said that Leigh was rather strange and quite violent, so it was indeed possible, but my father had no proof.

To me, Leigh was always a very pleasant, fascinating person and later a person afflicted with a plethora of illnesses, blindness being the most shocking, frankly. When I was old enough to know about such things, the idea of the molestation charges were hard to comprehend and digest. Moreover, the Zodiac allegations were rather fantastic.

I am aware of the "facts" presented in Graysmith's book and the more trustworthy fashion they are presented within this Website. And that, coupled with the stories of Leigh's upbringing and the violent behavior in his youth via my parents (my mother platonically dated Leigh) - ex. the fact that he carried chains around in his car in case he happened upon a rumble to jump in on - I find him a rather plausible suspect, despite the more friendly, funny, human aspects I am more in touch with.

Thus, Sylvie, I cannot truly answer your question.

I will note that - and this has always haunted me - that after the VPD cleaned-out Leigh's place the first time and took his... well, arsenal (posession of which was in violation of his parole and should have landed him in jail), Leigh told my father, "At least they didn't get the silencer I hid in a sock."

On a separate note, in reference to the closing of the 1970s Atascadero letter (i.e. Big Al), I was recently informed by my brother that Leigh had a fondness for Big Al of Disney's Country Bears fame and had a figure of said character.

For those of you unfamiliar with Big Al, see:


By Paul (Paul) ( - on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 - 08:00 pm:

sounds reasonable. i have a few buddies that are both pedophiles and murder suspects.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 - 09:00 pm:

I want to thank you for your gracious response.
For myself, it sheds more light on Allen. Others may be even more perplexed.
That just seems to be the nature of this beast.

By Socal (Socal) ( - on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 - 06:03 am:

Rob, interesting stuff. I might have missed a post here or there, but what was your dads first name??

By Rob Huffman (Robhuffman) ( on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 - 04:04 pm:


Go here for your answer:



Your sarcasm aside, imagine if someone you knew well and/or a family member was accused of such a heinous crime? Obviously, Allen was a convicted child molester, but, in regards to murder, he was just a suspect - and a suspect is merely a suspect. How many people - albeit often strange folks - are victims of suspicion, a status which destroys their lives. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? That aside, I am the one - not yourself - you has to deal with the fact that their late father took them camping at a very young age with a convicted child molester who had just released early from an institution for the criminally insane.

Am I going a bit off the deep end? - Claro que si. But since when was murder and sexual assault a laughing matter. I am somehow fixed into this web which I often try to shrug off; you on the other hand are merely a voyeur and I urge you to find a more positive and productive pastime.

- R.