Don Cheney Interview Transcript


Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Arthur Leigh Allen: Don Cheney Interview Transcript

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-186-54.client.attbi.com - 12.224.186.54) on Monday, April 08, 2002 - 01:31 pm:

Does anyone have feedback regarding the transcript I recently posted at The News Center of my interview with Don Cheney?

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldemc.dialup.mindspring.com - 209.86.186.204) on Monday, April 08, 2002 - 03:08 pm:

Although there might be some potential credibility problems with some of the claims he made which Jake has pointed out, I don't think it is wise to disregard his entire testimony. Even though he may be seen by some to be motivated to lie in order to make life hard for Allen, we have to keep in mind that his interview which he granted to you occurred after Allen died. Long after. With the guy dead and buried, one is left to question whether that supposition ever had any merit. What I find hard to believe is that Cheney was still mad enough to be wasting his time giving interviews accusing the guy 6+ years after his death. Also, Tom asks him leading some leading questions in the interview, giving Don plenty of opportunity to offer incriminating answers against Leigh. There is no pattern to these answers which serves to convince me he is deliberately trying to pin the blame on Allen. In short, I believe the guy is coming forth sincerely with no hidden motivations.

Also there were other things which came out in a way which makes his statement compelling. An example of what I am talking about here is the remark concerning Allen being interested in a waitress who worked at the IHOP near where Allen lived. This is just too much to think it was anything other than genuine information. Tom, did not lead him into it in the slightest way. To avoid this, he even stopped himself and started over on the question about which restaurant it was. In order for Cheney to have made that statement like he did under those conditions without it being true would mean that Tom would have simply had to feed it to him beforehand, and I can't accept that as a possibility. So I think the interview is valid. On it's own feet it remains hearsay, but it doesn't sound deceptive to me.

Thanks for providing the transcript, Tom. I often wondered if we'd ever get the whole story about what Don said.

Ray

By Metalex (Metalex) (129.210.209.158) on Tuesday, April 09, 2002 - 02:02 pm:

Has anyone been able to find out if there is anything to his story of seeing a different version (profile) drawing of the police sketch? He seemed pretty intense about his interpetation of what he claims to have seen in the newspaper that he read in the lunchroom. Also I am wondering whom else that Tom interviewed that was really close to Allen?

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-wg084.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.196.59) on Tuesday, April 09, 2002 - 05:49 pm:

Well, we know of Sharon, a very close friend of Allen's (I wish she'd rejoin the Board), who assured us (amongst other things) that Allen did not have a 7" wrist, was into Yoga (which Tom didn't know), never said a word about "titwillow", and in her opinion could not possibly have been the infamous Zodiac.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-186-54.client.attbi.com - 12.224.186.54) on Tuesday, April 09, 2002 - 05:55 pm:

Sylvie, I'm flattered that you would assume I know everything, but I don't. (Sylvie didn't know that.)

I wish you would get as much enjoyment from actually contributing something worthwhile to this message board as you do in focusing on me, but I guess that's asking too much.

By Eduard (Eduard) (145.89.224.178) on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 09:57 am:

Tom wrote to Sylvie:
I wish you would get as much enjoyment.....as you do in focusing on me.

Tom, there is your prove that you are actually an irresistable man for the ladies out there... LOL!!!

Eduard

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-wm084.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.199.189) on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 02:22 pm:

Sorry, Eduard, I do admire Tom but he looks exactly like my brother, who by the way I wish would join the Board. He won't, as he feels there is a conflict of interest with him having treated Mike Mageau for several years. He still will not tell me all he knows. Ah well.

By Bruce (Bruce_D) (pm3-01-23.sle.du.teleport.com - 216.26.16.87) on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 09:05 pm:

Just read Z Umasked. very informative. Just cemented the beliefs I had that Allen was Z. still I hope that someday they find his trophies like he may have hid in the panel of one of his trailers

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-186-54.client.attbi.com - 12.224.186.54) on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 09:49 pm:

Bruce, check out my latest update. Good stuff with Cheney...

By Eduard (Eduard) (rot2-p0257.dial.euronet.nl - 81.68.13.1) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 04:16 am:

Sylvie,
I was just kidding about Tom being irresistable for ladies (again LOL).

Eduard

By Jake (Jake) (spider-te012.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.195.177) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 07:20 pm:

Tom wrote to Sylvie:
"I wish you would get as much enjoyment from actually contributing something worthwhile to this message board..."

Oh, come on, Sylvie's response to the debate-team kid last week -- "go back to Hicksville and eat a pizza" -- was the best post we'd had all month. I'm still waiting for a chance to use it myself.

--Jake

By Bucko (Bucko) (spider-tl034.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.207.189) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 10:03 pm:

Many on the board have expressed their belief that Z was a highly intelligent killer. So if ALA was Z, he discussed with a friend that he would... call himself Zodiac, kill people, use the Zodiac Watch Co. symbol, and among other things write taunting letters to the police...and then within months proceeds to carry out the discussed plan! Even using the exact name, Zodiac. Doesn't sound too smart to me.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-186-54.client.attbi.com - 12.224.186.54) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 10:10 pm:

There were quite a few things Zodiac did that weren't too smart. He was more lucky than smart, IMHO.

By Esau (Esau) (12-246-187-137.client.attbi.com - 12.246.187.137) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 10:24 pm:

An example of more lucky than smart is SFPD putting out an APB for a BMA instead of WMA. That saved his skin. No pun intended......

By Socal (Socal) (66-27-111-140.san.rr.com - 66.27.111.140) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 10:28 pm:

Hey Bucko, if Z was stupid, what does that say about the intelligence of the Vallejo and San Francisco PD.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-mtc-th074.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.102.54) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 01:44 am:

Bucko wrote, ". . . if ALA was Z, he discussed with a friend that he would... call himself Zodiac, kill people, use the Zodiac Watch Co. symbol . . . and then within months proceeds to carry out the discussed plan! . . . Doesn't sound too smart to me."

Tell me, Bucko, does it require a genius to know that Zodiac and ALA, regardless if they were one in the same, were crying out for attention? Zodiac was begging to be caught and ALA was begging for the attention he received with regard to his status as a Z suspect. Now, you tell me, is that another linking between the Zodiac and ALA, or just another piece of "circumstantial" evidence? Either way, the "similarity" between the Zodiac and ALA can, once again, be made. Thanks for pointing that out, Bucko.

Scott

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-mtc-th074.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.102.54) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 02:04 am:

BTW, my honest opinion of this interview has already been eloquently stated by fellow board member Ray N.

He wrote, "Tom asks him some leading questions in the interview, giving Don plenty of opportunity to offer incriminating answers against Leigh. There is no pattern to these answers which serves to convince me he is deliberately trying to pin the blame on Allen. In short, I believe the guy is coming forth sincerely with no hidden motivations."

Personally, I have no way of improving upon this statement. That is exactly how I felt when I read the transcript (Thanks, Det. Baker!). D. Cheney could have made as many incriminating remarks as he desired and yet he simply stuck with the material that he could recall, regardless of its inherent value. I know it's brief, but it's my honest opinion nevertheless.

Scott

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-mtc-th074.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.102.54) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 02:29 am:

PS. Bucko, you still haven't told me how you like your crow to be prepared. I guess I'll just have to hope that you like it the way I end up cooking it -- well.

(That was you I had the bet with, right?)

By Bucko (Bucko) (spider-mtc-te033.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.103.163) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 07:50 am:

I don't think the real Zodiac was stupid. I find it hard to believe he would have had a conversation like the above with anyone and, at the very least, not changed the name he would use after implementing the plan. I believe Cheney may have been mistaken about the date and/or parts of the conversation.

I agree that Z was very lucky the night of the Stine killing and have said so on this board more than once. My personal belief has always been that Stine was a deliberate target which may have resulted in Z taking more risks and making more mistakes that night. This is only one interpretation. Tom, Doug, and others have stated other possibilities that may be more likely.

Yes Scott, I'm the one you have the bet with. I know you might not believe me, but I wouldn't mind eating that "crow"....if

By Jake (Jake) (spider-wq044.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.200.166) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 01:43 pm:

Scott wrote:
"Zodiac was begging to be caught and ALA was begging for the attention he received with regard to his status as a Z suspect."

Two hallmarks of the Zodiac's MO were a penchant for publicity and a need for situational control. I'm not going to say that Z was a genius or mastermind, but I'll submit that he was smart enough not to let the former compromise the latter by blabbing it all to some drinking buddy.

As for the menu, I think I promised to eat not only crow but also my hat and Tom's shorts if Allen turned out to be Z. This would be accomplished if Allen could be linked through some kind of objective, quantifiable evidence like fingerprints, handwriting, or DNA evidence. Prove a positive, no problem.

Proving a negative, on the other hand, is a little more difficult, as most of us are aware. In fact, as far as I can tell, the Allenistas are counting on this by refusing to budge until someone else is proven to be Z, which I see as a rather slim chance thirty years after the fact. This kind of makes the whole arrangement a little unfair, if you ask me.

Is anyone out there ready to name a definitive test or circumstance (short of the identification of a non-ALA Zodiac) by which they would be willing to admit that Allen wasn't the man?

--Jake

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb043.proxy.aol.com - 198.81.16.168) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 02:10 pm:

Jake wrote, "Proving a negative, on the other hand, is a little more difficult . . . the Allenistas are counting on this by refusing to budge until someone else is proven to be Z . . ."

Jake, I'm not sure about all of the other "Allenistas" (I like that word, btw), but that is certainly not my position whatsoever. I'm not waiting for someone to prove that ALA wasn't the Zodiac. I am waiting, however, for a better suspect and/or theory to surface. Provide that and I will gladly drop ALA from the #1 spot on the (my) suspect list. However, I see the chances of that happening thirty years after the fact to be pretty slim as well.

Scott

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - 64.30.209.40) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 04:51 pm:

From what we know about Zs psychology and other serial killers,they are very guarded and secretive.Many of them go to great heights and lengths,like Zodiac,to conceal their identity and evade capture.I find it extremely difficult to believe that such a hard core and very sly killer like Zodiac -that left so many seemingly "fake clews,"yet with full concealment,would tell anyone he was the Zodiac!Think about it.
I think he did a pretty good job-we're all here hotly debating every last detail of this still UNSOLVED non adjudicated case!And that's what he wanted too!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-186-54.client.attbi.com - 12.224.186.54) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 05:29 pm:

Cheney transcript thread! Cheney transcript thread!

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup-63.214.106.126.dial1.boston1.level3.net - 63.214.106.126) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 07:44 pm:

Reverse speech analysis on the Cheney tape! Reverse speech analisis on the Cheney tape! (Sorry, Tom, just trying to help).

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup-63.214.106.126.dial1.boston1.level3.net - 63.214.106.126) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 07:51 pm:

Actually, Tom I do now have some feedback on it. But in an effort to get off your least wanted list ("Maybe Peter and Sylvie" That hurt.) I'll just go in small doses. First thing I did was to boil it down to what DC said about Allen's comments on directly Z related subjects. Starting with the name "Zodiac" then going to directly related details. In order: killing generally, hunting humans, killng couples, killing kiddies/schoolbuses, night shooting Ineresting process, to see how much, or rather little, of 60 pages, was actually Z related. I know, I know its important to establish context. But its important also to get as complete coverage he directly relevant stuff as possible.

My next step is to compare the interview with what has been written about the orginal statement.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx2-90.linkline.com - 64.30.218.90) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 09:01 pm:

eeG reteP SR tsum evah edam na noisserpmi no uoy!

By Spencer (Spencer) (acc3a9f5.ipt.aol.com - 172.195.169.245) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 11:47 pm:

My biggest problem with believing Cheney is the multiple references (pp. 24, 58-59) to ALA explaining that he would disable a woman's car by removing its lug nuts. If this is true, then KJ MUST be a Z victim.

Now that Graysmith doesn't believe KJ is a Z victim, though, it's kind of hard to admit anything else Cheney said as evidence against ALA. That doesn't dissuade Graysmith, though. While quoting Bawart's report at page 401, Graysmith recounts the Cheney statement regarding the lug nuts, but at page 423, he quoted himself at the Zodiac conference saying, "Johns is the only one I thought was a little iffy . . . As years go by, I've come to believe more and more that the man who kidnapped her wasn't Zodiac."

Spencer

By Spencer (Spencer) (acc3a9f5.ipt.aol.com - 172.195.169.245) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 11:50 pm:

The page numbers referenced in the first paragraph of my post above (24 and 58-59) refer to the Cheney transcript, posted at this site. Those referenced in the second paragraph refer to Graysmith's Zodiac Unmasked.

Spencer