An Allen Trial? Message Board: Arthur Leigh Allen: An Allen Trial?

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 03:30 pm:

A while back there were some folks on here that posted about a Zodiac trial. I think it was in reference not just to Allen, but to anybody accused of being Z. The conclusions were that the case would be a defense attorney's dream and the prosecution would suffer a terrible defeat because there was no physical evidence, no eyewitnesses, and the fact that 33 years have passed. Well, with the Skakel verdict in, maybe these same people will realize that it's possible for jurors to decide cases that are well-presented without 21st century evidence. From an online news report:

"Some legal experts initially thought the prosecution's case would be a disaster, with no direct physical evidence, no eyewitnesses and the blurring of memories after the passage of 27 years."

"For all our fascination with forensics, for all the absolutes of science, confessions count, witnesses count," said University of California law professor Susan Estrich. "In many respects, the time lag made it an old-fashioned trial, a question of who — not what — do you believe."

Does everybody still agree that it would be impossible to convict Allen (if alive) in light of the results of this trial?


By Judy (Judy) ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 04:57 pm:

Ray, I still don't think Allen could ever have
been convicted.

There are many differences in the Skakel case.

Mr Skakel admitted that he was at the victim's
home the nite the murder took place. The murder weapon came from his family's golf set. He,
according to more than person, admitted he killed
Ms. Moxley.

While Allen may have lived in the area of the
killings, no one could ever really place him at
the crime scenes. The weapon(s) of the Zodiac
crimes were never found. And although he made
some rather tantalizing statements, no one ever
came forward to say he actually confessed to the

I am somewhat surprised at the guilty verdict. I
thought perhaps enough "reasonable doubt" would
be raised that the jury would vote not guilty.
Perhaps if he had taken the stand in his own


By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 09:21 pm:

Re: Surpirse at at the Skakal verdict;

Notice a pattern in the past 6 months or so? Every high profile trial (those that attracted nationwide attention) in the past few months has resulted in a guilty verdict? I think that since September 11 jurors aren't interested in hearing any escuses. If the prosecution presents a basicly sound (not necessarily airtight) case the jury isn't interested in what the defense has to say. Moral of the story?: Just incase I'm right, don't commit any crimes!

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 11:18 pm:

I was honestly surprised that they found Skakel guilty; it's about time a Kennedy served time in prison for committing a crime.

Not only did the scumbag admit he was at Martha Moxley's place that night, everything he told the cops he did that night tallied perfectly with everything the cops discovered the killer did. It was obvious twenty-seven years ago who the culprit was; it was that Kennedy thing that kept the cops from doing their jobs for some strange reason. One thing's for sure, scumbag Skakel lived over a quarter of a century more than the teen girl he murdered in cold blood. Let's hope that he starts losing anal retention now because Bubba is his cellmate...

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 11:23 pm:

But what about Allen?

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 11:26 pm:

I must agree with Judy though... that Allen could not be convicted in a court of law today, despite the Skakel verdict. No one even saw Z long enough (other than Kathleen Johns, if she was really abducted by Z) to make a positive ID, so eyewitness testimony would be useless (not that it's that good anyway).

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 08:44 am:

As I've said before, you could not even get probable cause on Allen, let alone a conviction. The guilty verdict on Skakel did not surprise me in the least,
Along with various witnesses to his confessions, there was, as Judy posted, the golf club that came from Skakel's home, there was this thing called motive, and Michael Skakel himself, in documented testimony to his own investigator places himself (and his semen) at the place of the crime.
They got the right guy.
Thank God for Dunne, Levin, Furman, and the hero of this story - Dorothy Moxley.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 11:10 am:

No way they could convict Allen or anyone for that matter of being z. Too many negatives and not enough pluses for any prosecutor to roll the dice. The trial itself would be a monster. Even with all the work that has been done, can you fathom the manhours it would take to bring this trial to a conclusion? Some time in the future we might have concrete, conclusive proof of who z was, but as far as the authorities are concered, he is the one that got away. Classic

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 12:45 pm:

Something interesting I didn't know until last night: Skakel murdered Martha Moxley on 10-30-1975, the 9th anniversary of the murder of Cheri Jo Bates. I wonder if he followed the Z case at all...

By Prisk29 (Prisk29) ( - on Sunday, June 09, 2002 - 12:35 am:

I have to agree with Classic. Unless a prosecutor had some ace in the hole, it is likely they would not take it to trial. In the Moxley case there were only about two real suspects; first the one Skakel brother, then the other. In the zodiac case, there are dozens that one can make a good case against. It really would have to be a slam dunk case (with definitive dna results or something of the like) for a prosecutor to really take a shot at it.

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Sunday, June 09, 2002 - 11:02 pm:

We're forgetting that the ONLY thing that could cause a prosecutor to bring a case against a Z suspect would be the discovery of some spectacular new evidence. With Allen, that is unlikely, as he's been dead about a decade, and presumably any hidden cache of evidence that he possessed would have been discovered long ago (or will never be discovered).

I think that if anyone found something like Paul Stine's shirt (and recognized it for what it was) in the possession of a white male of the right age who lived in, or travelled often to, the Bay Area in the late 1960's, a prosecution would be brought. One piece of hard evidence, accompanied by opportunity (living in or visiting the Bay Area) would be enough to take the case to trial.


By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 07:45 am:

Judy is right

On Skakel. He was the last to see her alive, had direct acccess to the murder weapon, made admissions: in effect, the only one who might have done it. I don't know what the break in the case was, exactly, but we sure as heck don't have anything like it with Allen.. Maybe we ought to get Mark Furman interested in this case. Just don't call him a s a witness.

On Allen: coulda mighta maybes, right down the line.

With no connection to the victims, and no diagnosis of any homicidal tendencies, despite psychiatric confinement, its hard to find the killer in Allen. With no murder weapon ever recovered or even specifically identified, Allen's general possession of weapons is not even close to tying him in. He can't be placed anywhere near any scene. The fact that he doesn't have a solid alibi doesn't help the prosecution: it's their burden to place him at the scene. An alibi is only a rebuttal to a prima facie case, which the prosecution doesn't have.

The classic set of evidence minimally needed to identify a suspect: motive, means and opportunity. Skakel: 3 for 3 on positive, direct evidence: rage toward the victim, direct access to the known murder weapon, placed at the scene. Allen: zero for 3: no connection with any victim (or other psychological disposition to random targets), no known murder weapon, never placed at or near a scene. On this basis, he shouldn't even be a suspect.

We don't know one thing more about Allen that we did when he was alive, when he was under police suspicion, or when his place was searched. Face it: Allen is the best of a very bad lot. If he were alive today, we couldn't get him arrested.

By Judy (Judy) ( - on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 11:42 am:

Tom, Peter got me thinking about Mark Furman.

Has he ever contacted you about the Zodiac case?


By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 09:04 am:

In the wrong thread I wrote . . .

"All that is needed to implicate Allen is right here on Tom's website and message board, as far as I'm concerned. In fact, the only thing that is missing, in my earnest but humble opinion, is physical evidence. It wouldn't be the first case in US history to have been tried without such a link, however.

If you really take a good hard look at Allen and then check your bases from the pov of a prosecutor, you'll clearly see that any number of prosecutors would be willing to put Allen on trial. From my point of view -- btw, I'm not a lawyer, nor do I claim to be -- and assuming I were a prosecutor, I'm confidant that I could nail Allen for Presidio Heights. Everything from there is a no-brainer.

(T)here is a good reason why most if not all of the physical evidence is missing in this case: Allen destroyed it shortly following Presidio Heights. Everything except Stine's shirt is my guess. Why? Because, as has been pointed out elsewhere on the board, Lynch's interview on 10/06/69 put a question mark in Allen's mind, and the only way to know for certain that he wasn't being watched by VPD was to commit another murder in a different city with a different MO and in a very audacious manner. As was pointed out by Tony in another thread, if Foukes and Zelms had approached the Zodiac at PH in a threatening manner, 'they most certainly would have been gunned down.' As it turns out, Allen wasn't being watched by VPD. After all, he wouldn't be interviewed again until nearly two years later, in July of 1971.

Oh yeah, there's more . . ."

Sorry about that Tom. I'll get ya a beer for that one, in less than a week!


By Judy (Judy) ( - on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 05:34 am:

Scott, I am most interested in knowing how you
could "nail" ALA for the murder of Mr. Stine.

Please enlighten us all on how you could accomplish this.


By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 09:38 am:

Motive, opportunity, proximity, eyewitness testimony (well, from those that are still alive), expert testimony, and dogged determination.

I wrote, "All that is needed to implicate Allen is right here on Tom's website and message board . . ."

What part of that statement was confusing?

Finally, I did write, "implicate," which was incorrect. I meant to write, "convict," with specific reference to the topic of this thread.

See y'all in Vallejo!


By Kevin (Kevinrm) ( - on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 06:36 pm:

Scott, don't go shotgun on me, but you would not score very high on any of those. Motive? Find one motive that Allen "specifically" would have to kill Stine, other than being a proven serial killer like Zodiac (which has not been proven). Proximity? Everyone who lives in Bay area was in proximity. Unless, of course, Allen was caught within 3 blocks of the crime scene, which he was not. We all know Mageau's eyewitness testimony would be shredded as well, and Harnell's testimony has Z with brown, curly hair - nothing at all like Allens hair (sure, a wig!, that's the ticket!) Next, I could be wrong, but is there any expert in any field that would take the stand and make a difinitive statement that connects any physical evidence to Allen? No. At most, there are cops who have a "gut feel" that it's Allen. There are also cops who have a "gut feel" that Z is a totally different person.

I can certainly understand why the cops would take a second look at Allen, but there are plenty of things about Allen that do not fit at all, and you just can't ignore these. To name only few: No clear connection to the films, Mikado, no clear experience with basic electronics as Z demonstrated in his not-so sophisticated schematics, not having any type of position or knowledge that would have given him access to teletype paper (re: Bates letter), and no clear example of Allen being associated in any way with cryptography, and handwriting that simply does not match. Just as Marshall is written off because a "gun cannot be put in his hand", so too could Allen be written off where there is absolutely no connection to any of the above.

Because I'm pretty convinced that Z is none of the suspects listed on Tom's web site, I'm willing to listen to other theories, such as "Kenny's". I just wonder if all this attention to Allen has been a detriment to finding Z?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Saturday, June 29, 2002 - 12:56 am:

"We all know Mageau's eyewitness testimony would be shredded . . ."

Mageau's testimony is only a problem for those who don't like Allen as the Z. Mageau, in no uncertain terms, pointed to Allen in an unbiased photo lineup, remember?

"Harnell's testimony has Z with brown, curly hair - nothing at all like Allens hair . . ."

Z was wearing a hood at LB, what could Hartnell possibly have known about the Z's hair? On the other hand, he'd be a great witness with regard to the Zodiac's height and weight. Personally, that is what I would focus on as a prosecutor.

Besides, with regard to eyewitness testimony, most already know that I don't give it a lot of credibility. However, I would think it appropriate to put the 3 teens on the stand and also Foukes and Zelms. Also, I would happily put Cheney on the stand as well as Ron and Karen Allen. Oh yeah, and Panzarella, also.

" . . . is there any expert in any field that would take the stand and make a difinitive statement that connects any physical evidence to Allen? No."

I'd love to have a handwriting expert, other than Morrill, take a look at comparisons between Allen's handwriting and the Zodiac's. There's the physical evidence part, and then I'd call some of Allen's therapists to the stand.

"No clear connection to the films, Mikado, no clear experience with basic electronics . . ."

Allen made references to The Most Dangerous Game, both the story and the movie; he was known to utter the "titwillow" phrase as a teacher; anyone can learn basic electronics if that is their desire.

". . . no clear example of Allen being associated in any way with cryptography . . ."

He learned semaphore in the Navy, a kind of cryptography.

"Scott, don't go shotgun on me . . ."

I'm trying very hard to quit with the disparaging remarks. As long as one's arguments are clearly stated and backed with some modicum of fact and reason, that shouldn't be a problem. With that in mind, you, Kevin, have nothing to worry about.


By Kevin (Kevinrm) ( - on Saturday, June 29, 2002 - 01:40 am:


A few comments. First, except for my last 6 months as a shorepatrol in Japan, I was a signalman while I was in the Navy, which means that I learned morse code and semaphore. Actually, I already knew morse because my hobby was ham radio way back in the 70's. Anyway, I'm completely sure that you cannot verify that Allen knew semaphore, because the only people in the Navy that learn semaphore are signalmen, which Allen was not. Even if he knew semapore, it's not cryptography. Occasionally (very rarely), a signalman may be asked to send an encrypted message, but he will have no clue what it means.

Next, Cheney is "heresay". Don't get me wrong, it's worth looking at, but this testimony would be weak in front of a grand jury, let alone a trial jury. Same with the the "titwillo" statements. We didn't hear about those until recently, too long after the fact. Possible, but it's a reach I think.

Weight, height, and gut are not far off, so I'll give you that, but Hartnell claimed he saw brown curly hair peeking out of that hood. He's only one of the very few confirmed living witnesses. This just does not match Allen in any shape or form, unless of course he was wearing a wig under that hood. Possible, but not likely.

The 3 teens. It's the only murder site I've actually been to, but it was during the day when I was there. From everything I've heard, and correct me if I'm wrong Ed, because I think it was you who went there at night and saw it for yourself, those teens really could not have had a very good view of the Zodiac's face from the distance at night.

Foukes and Zelms. Yes, they did get a good view. However, I don't belive they ever said it was "Allen" that they saw that night. No use bringing them on the stand.

Electronics. Sure, anyone can learn it, but not everyone does. If you could show that he actually DID learn and know it, even on a rudamentary level, then you might have something here. If he was a ham operator, and/or fixed electronic stuff like Marshall or Kenny's step-dad did, then you could show that. If he was a Navy radio operator, you could show that. Even an electrician or hobbyist would work. It would also explain where he was able to get that oddball teletype paper. In Allen's case, it's missing.

Take a look at Marshall. Even though I don't think he did it, he's a way better match than Allen. Silent film thing is solid. Electronics: solid. Lived in San Jose. Changed his name. Looks like the composite. No one can put a gun into his hands, but I wonder how well they looked at his background. If you can believe Graysmith, he wouldn't let the cops get his fingerprints (unfortuately, we get a only a tease here, as Graysmith tells us how incriminating this is, then drops the subject of Marshall forever.)

My point is, Allen has weaknesses. Yeah, he might be Z, but from what has been shown so far, it's not airtight by any means. That being the case, it may be a good idea to also look at other people, especially ones that no one else is talking about. I'd love to know more about "Walker" and some of these other characters.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Saturday, June 29, 2002 - 04:22 am:

Actually, I'd use Foukes and Zelms to cast doubt on the three teens' testimonies.

Allen's hair was long enough to comb. Despite popular belief, he wasn't bald. Perhaps this is what Hartnell saw?

Bomb making materials were seized from Allen, along with numerous weapons, during the search warrant issued in 1991. A bomb diagram was recovered from his home in August of 1992.

As far as Cheney's testimony is concerned, I'd ask him to submit to a polygraph test prior to taking the stand. Also, to my knowledge, Foukes and Zelms were never shown a photo lineup of any of the suspects.

As for the teletype paper, who cares? That was not a confirmed Zodiac missive, just as CJB is not a confirmed Zodiac victim.


By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Saturday, June 29, 2002 - 09:50 am:

If we are talking about a trial in the real sense, Foukes and Zelms would not be available.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, June 29, 2002 - 10:56 pm:

Kevin: yes, they did have an excellent view of Z from their second-storey window, however, the quality of the (current) street lights is such that any and all fine details are washed out, ie, the "ptosis" that appears in the composite cannot possibly have been noted under the prevailing conditions that night, etc. Assuming that the street lights in 1969 are similar to those of today, then just the basics could have been seen, that is, eyes, ears, nose, mouth etc, and relative distances between them, but not much else ("Yes, officer, I clearly remember seeing that he had this really small mole on his right earlobe..." "Uhh, ok, and what else do you think you saw that night in the fog?").

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, June 30, 2002 - 09:50 pm:

ALL of the NPD reports CLEARLY state that BH told investigators that he could see through the eye openings and that he could see "dark brown" sweaty greasy hair.He even spoke of the hooded man possibly having enough hair that could be "combed."I have all of the reports in front of me and it is a very clear and positive.
Johns said it was the amended Zodiac composite that looked more like the man that abducted her.
It is interesting to note that the teens depiction of Zs face(disgiused?)and Foukes'were similar.Who cares?Careful investigators that eval' everything.That's the professional thing to do.

By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Sunday, June 30, 2002 - 10:05 pm:

And where do you guys find wearing a wig as such a long shot? Hello! It's such a quick & easy disguise along with a pair of spectacles not normally worn by the perp. This guy was a proffesional serial killer if ever there was one! Yeah, I'm gonna use transparencies on my fingertips & palms, never leave evidence behind, but go out & kill looking like I normally do? WAKE UP!! We're dealing with someone who,IMHO, was more prolific in the annuals of crime than Jack The Ripper.Also, I'm almost certain he never used saliva on stamps or envelopes. If he'd done so, we'd have him.

By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Sunday, June 30, 2002 - 10:24 pm:

Looks like all we really have to show the court is imprints from size 10 1/2" Wing Walkers. Too bad they couldn't match weapons used to Allens arsenal. But of course, he tossed them after each killing. Looking at what was confiscated in his basement, he had plenty to go around.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, July 01, 2002 - 09:51 am:

Scott wrote:

"Actually, I'd use Foukes and Zelms to cast doubt on the three teens' testimonies."

Not if you are presecuting the case, you wouldn't. Your theory would have to be that the WMA F&Z spotted was Z. That very doubt of the teens ID implies that F&Z got a good view of Z and the teens didn't. So, can F&Z id Allen as the WMA they saw that night? If not, F*Z saw Z, not Allen.

And Tony:

Show the court the wing walker prints? You are kidding, right, bradda? Sometimes its hard to tell. What do the prints prove? Z wore 10 1/2s at LB. Allen wore 10 1/2s. Me too. And a zillion Bay Are residents.

Professional serial killer? YOu can get paid for this?

Transparencies? You believe that claim?

A wig? Under the hood and shades? Did he wear suspenders with that belt?

Much Aloha.

By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 07:38 am:

PeterH: I think I meant 'Proficiant' but I can't spell it! Oh, and thanks for the Aloha sweetie! T

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 08:29 am:

Peter wrote, "can F&Z id Allen as the WMA they saw that night? If not, F*Z saw Z, not Allen."

So, you're saying that if Foukes and Zelms could ID Allen as the man they saw that night then . . .

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 10:18 am:

I cant imagine, even remotely, Allen being convictable under a "reasonable doubt" system. Even if he confessed, I wouldn't want to prosecute under a "reasonable doubt-need real evidence" to convict system. In my opinion, this "American" approach has been ignored in some trials and arrests. The way I see it, potential GRK-Gary Ridgway should not be under arrest until/unless they can find more evidence against him. They have DNA that connects him to 3 dead GRK victims, but that only establishes that he was a john but not necessarily the killer. SO if true to the system, I cant see any one placed under arrest for the The Zodiac crimes including Kaczynski. To me, this displays the competency of this killer.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 02:00 pm:


Yes, if (big if) they could ID Allen . . . they would have by now. That makes 5 wits: 3 who definitely saw Z and 2 who very likely saw Z within a few minutes, under not great but decent conditions, and none has IDd ALA. Why?

Zander: the standard for arrest is not proof beyond reasonable doubt: its probable cause. That is the reasonably articulable belief that a particular person committed a particular criminal act. DNA connects GR to three of the vicims? Establishing that he was a john? Meaning that he had intercourse with them? Meaning that he was the last one to have intercourse with them. Meaning that they each died before doing much of anything after having intercourse with him. Let's see: same victim profile, same MO, same DNA. Anyone out there have a problem with probable cause on this one? Not me.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 05:54 pm:


To my knowledge Foukes, Zelms, and the 3 teens were never shown a photo lineup of any of the suspects. It's pretty hard to ID someone if never given the opportunity. However, I'll have to double-check that information, as it seems that I recall Foukes being shown an extremely biased photo lineup by Harvey Hines. Also, I agree with your assessment of Ridgeway.


By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, July 11, 2002 - 09:37 am:


Difficult indeed. Hence my point about communication among NPD, SFPD and VPD. Was any attention paid to ALA at all after PH?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Thursday, July 11, 2002 - 11:11 am:


I know for sure that Allen wasn't interviewed again following the one in October of 1969 until June/July of 1971.