Mr. Unpredictable Message Board: Arthur Leigh Allen: Mr. Unpredictable

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 11:16 pm:

Once the case is solved and we hold The 1st Annual Zodiac Awards, the prize for "Most Entertaining Suspect" has to go to Arthur Leigh Allen...guilty or not.

I mean, just when you think you have all the answers, Arthur changes the questions.

Case in point:
A few months ago I interviewed Buzz Fleming, Allen's principal at Valley Springs Elementary in Calaveras County back in 1966-1968. Buzz was at the helm when the charges were made regarding Allen molesting students. In fact, Buzz was the man who confronted Allen with the allegations.

You think you know Allen? Ok then, smart guy...guess what Arthur's reaction was when confronted by Fleming!

(This oughta be good...)

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 12:09 am:

Buzz Fleming: Allen... your a child molester and the Zodiac, admit it!

Allen: I'm insulted! Take that back! I'm not the Zodiac!

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 12:18 am:

I'm hoping he didn't say "tastes like chicken", but seeings how he was a member of n.a.m.b.l.a. anythings possible. Classic

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 12:42 am:

Allen said, "If the crime don't fit, you must acquit!" (I'm reminded of that because a certain lawyer was in the same building as me a few weeks back. Thank God I didn't find out about it until after he left...!!!).

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 12:42 am:

Allen: I'm sorry. Do you frown upon that?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 12:45 am:

Ok, guys are funny, but I'm trying to be serious here: the main argument against Allen being the Zodiac killer is that he was a pedophile. (As if that somehow disqualifies an individual from behaving in a Zodiac-type fashion.)

So, since we know so much about how pedophiles behave, let's have some predictions!

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 01:03 am:

Ok well then trying to be serious, I don't think Allen would have been overly offended by the accusation itself. Not that he would have admitted it but I think he would have reacted aggressively to being caught not the attack on his character. Rather then deny it, he probably said "you can't prove that" and sweated profusely.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 01:05 am:

Thanks, Ryan. Now we are getting somewhere.

Anyone else willing to be a virtual-Leigh?

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 01:06 am:

I know what happened, because Tom mentioned it to me some time back. But, I won't give it away... yet...

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 01:12 am:

I think he would have a grin on his face while asking if it could be proven.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 05:32 am:

I'll stick my neck way out and predict that he broke down and wept.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 07:00 am:

He threatened to take Buzz and the school down with him if he was formally charged, then pleaded and begged and finally cut the deal to turn in his credential and leave in return for no charges.

Any way you slice it, he got off without charges, and I would like to hear Buzz's explanation for that.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 09:02 am:

I think whatever words were used they would not have included an outright denial.In fact,there may well have been a veiled(but not provable)admission,followed of course,by a veiled threat!

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 09:30 am:

I could be way off here, but my guess is that Allen had a "What's that got to do with anything?" sort of reaction--as though it wouldn't really matter if he DID happen to molest children.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 09:47 am:

Probably a typical neanderthal type reaction like--"SHE CAME ON TO ME". "SHE WANTED IT".

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 01:41 pm:

Allen may have been caught in a rare moment with his guard down. If this was the case he may have put his head down and not replied. Could this be what actually occured? If he was Zodiac, any relpy he gave would probably have included an oblique admissive taunt.

Maybe something like, "Then you'd better get me out of here with a minimum of problems for me, don't you think?"

Tom, we're dyin' out here, TELL US!

By Bucko (Bucko) ( - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 09:18 pm:

This is tough, and although I really like Doug's guess-- he might have responded with an admission of guilt, but that the students misjudged his intentions and overreacted. Further, to save the children, their parents, and the school, any embarrassment and pain from the publicity of a trial, etc., he would reluctantly give up his job and resign.

By Melissa Presutti (Melissapresutti) ( on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 10:07 am:

I think he probably played it cool...Gave some kind of rational answers, hoping to cause Fleming to walk away stunned and probably second guessing himself. I think most people who are controlling try to keep that sense of control by making you question yourself about things you know are right. He was probably smug about it... not showing fear.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 10:19 am:

Perhaps he threatened Mr. Fleming. Maybe a knife was drawn. Allen may have told him "I'll get you for this, I won't forget your face".

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 09:06 pm:

Wow, Doug guessed it right on the nose.

Fleming learned of the allegations from the victim's mother, and immediately arranged for a substitute to take over Allen's class.

Once the substitute arrived, Fleming called Allen out of class and, upon Allen's admission of guilt, Fleming fired him on the spot.

According to Fleming, Allen began crying, stammering, and nashing his teeth like a little kid. He admitted molesting the student, saying "I'm sorry, I don't know why I do it."

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 09:46 pm:

If he broke down that easily, how did he withstand 20 years of Zodiac allegations?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 09:56 pm:

I believe Allen was a very prolific child molester, and the "crying routine" had probably worked many times for getting him out of serious trouble.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 08:29 am:

Tom was also right on the nose in his premise for this thread: the usual response of a molester is stony denial. (One reason convistions are so hard to get). The inescapable implication is that if he was not your usual pedophile, what else out of the profile was he capable of? Another question, not going directly to Allen as suspect, is why he wasn't charged? With an outright admission like that, it would have been an easy conviction. Being fired on the spot, what prompted him to turn in his credential as well? Buzz can't be accused of "passing the trash" since loss of the credential prevented his popping up in some other system, but it does seem Allen got off easy. How?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 08:48 am:

Tom, I can't credit my own perspicacity for guessing this. When I was in San Francisco doing the taping for "Unsolved Mysteries" I got into a somewhat lengthy conversation with Inspector Repetto of SFPD, on the subject of pedophiles. Repetto worked the sex crimes detail for some time in his early career, and told me that pedohiles were some of the easiest criminals to get confessions from; they almost always broke down in tears while making the admission. This makes sense, I think. There's no indication that pedophiles are necessarily sociopaths, and consequently their psyches must constantly be fighting the battle between their warped sexual desires and their natural sense of right and wrong.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 08:54 am:

Doug: Interesting difference of perspective between the police and educators/mental health professionals, who may confront the accused at different stages. My (secondary) research indicates that denial is the usual response in the setting Buzz described. Maybe by the time the cops come they are past denial into the bargaining or even acceptance stage.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 10:00 am:

Peter, that could very well be. Maybe it's because the police represent authority, with the power to punish. I'm not sure.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 10:05 am:

In the sixties, awareness of the rights of children was only beginning. Parents could use corporal punishment, even most schools. A conviction could have been difficult, there was still the tendancy to either blame or disbelieve the child. A few years later, Allen still hardly recieved just punishment. It is a whole different thing nowadays, of course -- many children are even taught to memorize the phone number of Child Protective Services at school.