For Allenites Only Message Board: Arthur Leigh Allen: For Allenites Only

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 11:32 am:

This should have a subtitle of "Non-Allenites Need Not Apply/Reply."

I feel I fit into this category. Call me resistant, call me stubborn, but I haven't abandoned this persistent doubt that Allen is out of the picture. I'm not sure what it will take to erase that doubt; I guess I'll know it when I see it.

With that securely in mind, I'd like to ask of the board members who have gone on record with their support of Allen as Zodiac to share their inner-most thoughts as to who would emerge as their most likely suspect if Allen were to be conclusively and incontrovertibly eliminated, once and for all. We all know that it is possible, as abhorrent as that might sound.

Generally speaking, there are four primary categories of posters on this board: The ones that believe Allen is the Zodiac; some that hold out for their own suspect; others that have no particular suspect in mind, but doubt that Allen is the one; and those that have no conviction one way or the other.

This thread is ostensibly intended to elicit comments from the first category only. There are many other threads available on this board for the other three to voice their positions. I respectfully ask that they don't contaminate this one with more of the same contentious posturing.

For you Allenites, please don't feel that you are abandoning or compromising your core beliefs, or in some way acknowledging defeat, but rather feel unconstrained here enough to allow an honest discussion of who, if anyone, you would turn to as an alternative to Allen as Zodiac. Dare I say it, this would include you, Tom, in particular.

Again, please don't consider it traitorous to admit that someone other than Allen might be in the running. I don't have an alternative, as it happens, and I'm not looking for one at this stage, but I do think that airing our honest opinions will demonstrate to all of our detractors that we are not the closed-minded die-hards that they portray us to be.

Whomever you come up with may be a far distant second to Allen, even so, I'd be interested in hearing what you have to say, and why. Hopefully, our many detrators won't seize on what we say with, "See! You have doubts, don't you!? Aha!" Hardly a chink in our armor, and hardly cause for a verbal coup de grace.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 03:09 pm:

Personally, it's going to be extremely difficult for me to let go of Allen, not because of what is generally known and accepted about the case, but because of the other evidence you are aware of that in my opinion rivals the weight of DNA evidence, particularly when inconsistencies exist with the samples and the items from which they are taken.

For example, one envelope, unnamed, was tested for the presence of Amylase on the flap. None was found and yet the letter had obviously been sealed (moistened) in some manner. This is beyond curious, it requires serious thought.

It must be understood that I am not "hanging on" to Allen per se, I just don't want things to go haywire at the end of the investigation. As evidence, DNA is so powerful it can be a loose cannon if not properly controlled. With that in mind, I'd like to see the following happen:

1. Since the current results might only serve in some instances to eliminate suspects, more complete results will be required to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for any suspect, known or unknown. Therefore, testing must proceed toward that end.

2. As the testing progresses, it must be determined if in fact a pattern of any type is emerging, insofar as the location where the DNA is being found and does it match any other samples taken either on the same letter or a different letter.

3. If any sample does not match any known suspects whose DNA profile is in possession of law enforcement or any other sample already obtained, it should be checked against the only probable source of contamination, should that exist. This is not to say that I think contamination has occurred, I only propose that this test would eliminate that concern. Specifically, I would develop a DNA pattern from Paul Stine's shirt and eliminate that possibility, remote though it may be.

4. Zodiac DNA can only be properly confirmed, IMO, if and when a broad spectrum of results indicates that the same person's DNA exists on more than one Zodiac missive. If more than one person's DNA is found, this will serve to illuminate other possibilities, painful as they may be to sort out. Who knows what will happen?

5. There are 8 stamps on the first 3 letters, another 6 on the Melvin Belli letter, the Halloween card Apollo 8 stamp which was not a widely used stamp and is identical to the stamp on the File Card. So there you have 16 more stamps, plus however many more envelope flaps. All of which taken together will undoubtedly produce more material and be able to provide a definitive answer to many questions. This is why I refuse to capitulate to the views of those who would rather grasp at a partial answer rather than patiently take the slightly longer path.

6. Someone with some genuine qualifications is also going to have to sit down with me and explain in no uncertain terms how Allen could have appeared to identify himself as he did in the letters and ciphers but only ended up getting "framed" by a series of unfathomable coincidences. Of course, this has a lot to do with why I've been such a proponent of Allen for so long, and dare I say it, it might have something to do with why SFPD isn't setting their bridge on fire just yet.


By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 03:56 pm:

Most of us came to this case after reading Graysmith's book.Of the three up for consideration
I always preferred Rick Marshall.Cannot put my finger on it exactly,his background and sense of humor maybe.If Allen was out of the picture I would look to him or an unknown.That is of course
without knowing what I do know.
While I would not have discounted Allen,for me the evidence just wasn't there.The DNA sample would probably have finished that interest,however as Ray points out correctly,the sample came from the stamp,yet there was no DNA on the flap.One thing that has always kept Allen alive for me was Law Enforcements interest. Different officers have been in charge in different jurisdictions over the years, he was always a favourite, even though the evidence did not appear to be there. There is definitely strong evidence being witheld with regard to Allen.
Right now I am faced with two definite facts;-
1. Allen's DNA did not match a sample taken from a Zodiac letter.
2. Allen's name has been deliberately encoded within the written Zodiac communications.

Because of this I will trust my own eyes.The only possible alternative is that he was set up.So perhaps I would next look to someone who knew him.

By steve merritt (Cashflagg) ( - on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 04:22 pm:

Allen is my best suspect. If he were to be conclusively and incontrovertibly eliminated...hmmm

How many people have considered Don Cheney? I'm sure some, but I couldn't find anything in the archives about it. (The site is very slow today and therefore I cut my search a bit short). Don Cheney seemed to know an awful lot about the Zodiac and was the one who helped shed light on Allen as a suspect.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 04:32 pm:

Ray, I expected no less of an articulate and reasoned assessment from you of the current state of affairs, and rest assured, I am in total agreement. I suppose, by creating this thread, my intention was to get out of the trenches of adversity brought on by recent events and hostilities, and open the windows for a little fresh air. How's that for mixing metaphors. I thought it might have a therapeutic value, being able to think outside the confines of our usual boxes, allowing ourselves to delve into a broader range of opinions, without abrogating any self-imposed loyalty to our basic convictions.

I, as well, find it extremely difficult to blithely accept any alternative theory simply on the basis of any perceived erosion of my own. However, while we await either further DNA testing results, or revelations that your own project promises to provide, it doesn't hurt to ponder the imponderable. Just for something to do as we bide our time.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 05:04 pm:

Lapumo, I was busy writing my last post and yakking on the phone, so I didn't see your post until afterwards. You know where my loyalties lie with respect to the work you and Ray have produced, so please don't think I have wavered in my support. I am of the same opinion that law enforcement's abiding interest in Allen, despite negative handwriting, fingerprints, and now, a DNA comparison (Maloney hasn't given up on him), does suggest that there must be something they know that we don't. As for Marshall, I've always thought that he looked more like the composite than the others, even if he differed in other physical aspects. As I've said, I don't have an alternative suspect, and if I did, Marshall probably wouldn't be it.

Steve, Cheney's remarks to the police about Allen occurred well after Zodiac had appeared on the public stage, so anything he knew about Z was common knowledge. He certainly could have seen Allen's watch when he said he did, and, as the killer of the kids at LHR, decide to adopt the name and logo as his own for his future ventures. As for dropping a dime on Allen, I can't get a handle on his motivation for that. Cheney seemed less dysfunctional than did Allen, although that isn't a hard, fast requisite for being a serial killer. All in all, Cheney's involvement is questionable.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 11:55 pm:

Even though I officially don't support one suspect over another, Allen has always been my favorite (probably because I read Graysmith first). If further DNA testing or anything else positively excludes him, the guy I'd like to focus on is Bruce Davis. Everything that Howard's found thus far I find quite compelling.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Saturday, October 19, 2002 - 10:53 am:

Ed, I tend to agree with you that Howard has, and continues to, proffer a very compelling case on Davis, backing up his suspicions with more than mere conjecture. If I were ever a suspect in a crime series such as this, I'd hate to have Howard out there, laboriously dogging my tracks and uncovering more about me than was ever known about Lee Oswald. If I had to espouse one of the known suspects over the others (Allen not withstanding), it would probably be Davis, thanks to Howard's assiduous and well-documented efforts.

By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 05:32 pm:

If Allen wasn't Z, why go through the trouble of forging a letter at Atascadero from D.A. Silver? On the other hand if ALA was Z, with his huge ego, why not leave a confession upon knowing of his impending death.(Oh, that's right, he died suddenly by his computer with a floppy disk titled 'Z' in the CPU.) Hmmm....

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 06:52 pm:

I have always felt Allen was an extremely strong suspect and was amazed at this recent turn of events. I, like Ray, feel additional testing must be done to definitively rule out ALA. I lean towards Bruce Davis or an unknown as my "runner up" Zodiac. I have only recently begun to consider Davis after reading Howard's thorough and convincing arguments.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, October 25, 2002 - 08:56 am:

I know I'm probably beginning to sound redundant, but I'll restate the scenario as I see it once more anyway.

Until the DNA is corroborated with additional samples, nobody can be excluded as a suspect, especially Arthur Leigh Allen. Otherwise, if additional samples are recovered, analyzed, and match the original sample, then Allen is out for sure and other suspects can also begin to be eliminated. However, given the inherent complexity of this case, it wouldn't surprise me at all to discover that they find as many different profiles as samples. Don't ask me why, I'm just saying it wouldn't surprise me.

There's also the possibility that the existing sample will never be corroborated by another sample [preferably, samples], in which case Allen is just as viable as ever except for in one crucial arena: a courtroom. It would be virtually impossible to get a conviction on Allen if that one sample of DNA were to be allowed into evidence. Or would it?

Sorry for the babble, I'm still trying to get the ramifications of SFPD's results worked out in my head. Have I missed anything?

Ray N., Lapumo, Daijove, for what it is worth at this stage in the game, I apologize for doubting you about the DNA deal with SFPD. You have to understand, it flew directly in the face of information I received from an extremely credible source that turned out to be wrong, albeit not maliciously. There has to be an adage or parable in there somewhere. Alan? Peter?

Anyway, carry on with the good work. You can take a dog out of the fight but . . .

By J Eric (J_Eric) ( - on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 03:27 pm:

Allen's still #1 with me. He may have gotten someone else to apply the stamps and mail the letters. Remember they were postmarked from various locations. Envelope moisteners were common on desktops in the 60's; I still have my father's. Could easily account for envelopes & stamps that show no traces of saliva. Was DNA testing available & generally known in the late 60's? Does anyone have info on Bruce Davis' mode of mailing letters? (Licking stamps, posting from various locations, etc.)

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:26 am:

I wrote, "Ray N., Lapumo, Daijove, for what it is worth at this stage in the game, I apologize for doubting you about the DNA deal with SFPD."

You folks responded with, " ."

What gives?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:33 am:

J Eric wrote: "He may have gotten someone else to apply the stamps and mail the letters."

If you had authored the letters would you then feel confidant in allowing somebody else to place postage on them and mail them for you? Also, why would said individual use more postage than necessary?

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 02:18 pm:

I only made one short post on the matter at the time to which you did not respond.I did not consider that you owed me any apology.Appreciate the thought though.

By J Eric (J_Eric) ( - on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 03:47 pm:

Quick jump back to Scott: an excellent question! I have no ready answer other than maybe Z specifically told the person to use all stamps he supplied (i.e., too many for normal postage). Speculation, of course; unless anyone knows that ALA ever had a "faithful sidekick" rather like "Igor" who did what he was told!

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 04:07 pm:

I have a fundamental disbelief that Z had a partner-in-crime, or even unwitting abettor, and if it is to be believed that Allen is/was Z, that applies to him as well. I fully realize that this theory is one of the "outs" to retain Allen as a suspect in light of recent DNA comparisons, but this one doesn't do it for me. I can't effectively argue why I should feel this way, but that's the way it is.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 08:42 pm:

The odds are decidedly against it.

By Scott_CT (Scott_Ct) ( - on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 05:59 am:

J Eric - When you start to try bending the facts to fit your theory, the game is over. I too liked Allen a lot, but it simply isn't defensible anymore in light of the evidence.


By Warren (Warren) ( - on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 09:40 am:

I too an an Allenite, and not throughly convinced of his exoneration by this recent DNA dog and pony show. However, if ALA is not Zodiac, I do not think that any of the other prominent suspects on this board is Z. I do think that Z's name is in an investigative file somewhere, as this seems to be invariably true with any massive murder investigation. Bundy, Sutcliffe, Ridgeway, etc. were all in the files long before their capture. The great thing about Tom's board is that it keeps the pressure on this Gordian Knot. Now we just need an Alexander. - The WB

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 01:00 pm:

Don't give up on Allen yet...

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 01:25 pm:

I agree, Tom. I began this thread as a pastime while licking our collective wounds until such time as a truly definitive and incontrovertible determination can be made, if ever. I was afraid that it would deteriorate into yet another forum for arguing Allen's involvement, or the perception that I was soliciting some sort of concession from the Allenites that he has been removed from the suspect list for all time. Neither was my intention. In my opinion, if Allen believers have become otherwise because of the SFPD testing, then perhaps they weren't secure in their convictions in the first place. As for the fence-riders that have fallen to the other side, well, I suppose this thread wasn't really created with them in mind anyway. I merely wanted to demonstrate that even Allenites were capable of considering alternative theories, even if they weren't convinced of their legitimacy.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 03:38 pm:

Let me go on record as saying that I'll be perfectly satisfied when a suspect is finally included, as opposed to excluded, by the DNA evidence.

By Ricardo (Ricardo) ( - on Saturday, November 09, 2002 - 06:38 pm:

If you assume that Allen was not the Zodiac and if you agree that Allen told Cheney and other people about the methods which were later used by the Zodiac, doesn't it seem reasonable to deduce that the Zodiac was someone (not necessarily Cheney) who heard Allen's stories before the Zodiac crimes and did the things described by Allen, realizing that then Allen probably would be considered the most logical suspect?

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Saturday, November 09, 2002 - 09:34 pm:

Ricardo, your line of reasoning is mostly sound, however, I dare say that virtually all of the board members that believed Allen was not Zodiac prior to the recent DNA comparison, are of the opinion that Cheney is either a liar or is mistaken about what he heard and when he heard it. Some further attribute Cheney's lies to his exacting revenge for Allen's alleged molestation/inappropriate touching of Cheney's daughter prior to Z's activity in the Vallejo area.

I have listened to the tape several times, and carefully, since I also transcribed it. Although I could be as wrong as anyone here, I did not feel that Cheney was being dishonest or evasive in his exchange with Tom. So, we're left with the same old conundrum: If Cheney was lying or mistaken, his statements carry no weight, but if he was truthful about Allen's remarks and accurate in when they occurred, then Allen probably is Z. If, as you suggest, someone heard of Allen's remarks and adopted them for for his own murderous purposes, then how does that reconcile with the fact that LHR preceded the remarks to Cheney.

And I would believe that Cheney was Z about the same time that I contributed money to the ACLU.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Saturday, November 09, 2002 - 09:58 pm:

One other consideration I didn't address, is if Allen made similar remarks to persons other than Cheney, prior to LHR. This is possible, but I tend to think it's unlikely. And if Cheney was being truthful and accurate, the appearance of the Zodiac watch, along with the Zodiac Killer persona, as mentioned by Allen to Cheney, was post-LHR, which would preclude another person adopting Allen's remarks, prior to Xmas 1968, and going on to become the Zodiac Killer.

It would also be a leap of faith to believe that Allen made such remarks -- indicating a serious personality disorder with criminal intentions -- only to have someone else with an identical mindset go on to be the actual Z following Allen's lead.

No matter how I turn it over in my mind, I can't find any way to make the facts align with your theory, not without abandoning common sense, reason -- and my sanity.

By Ricardo (Ricardo) ( - on Sunday, November 10, 2002 - 05:25 pm:

Under this message thread with the assumption that Allen is not the Zodiac, my contention is that it is not necessary to discredit Cheney's claims.

Allen's alleged remarks would not indicate a disorder because they were made in the context of Allen writing a novel (which explains why Cheney and others were not alarmed by the implications until after they learned the details of the Zodiac crimes)

(From the perspective that Allen was the Zodiac, it is hard to explain rationally why the Zodiac would have committed the crimes, knowing that other people probably would remember what he had told them. With the assumption that Allen is not the Zodiac, this can be explained.)

Suppose that if Cheney is correctly describing what Allen told him, Allen may have been developing his thoughts for years before the Zodiac crimes. Why wouldn't Allen tell other people about his ideas for a novel?

It can be proved that Allen met some people who were capable of criminal acts. Allen worked at Atascadero in 1961 and 1962. Also, Allen knew Spinelli in 1958 and Spinelli had a criminal record. (By the way, with the assumption that Allen is not the Zodiac, another suspect would be Spinelli, but I guess that Spinelli was cleared.)

By Nick (Nick) ( on Sunday, November 10, 2002 - 11:56 pm:

From what I can gather of Allen's lifestyle at the time, I would not be surprised to find that he associated with some pretty seedy characters. Perhaps Allen knew the individual responsible for the Zodiac murders. Perhaps this individual discussed both past actions and future plans with Allen. Allen would have gloated in the knowledge that he knew the Zodiac's identity. He would have been bursting at the seams to kiss and tell, but knew doing so would be his own death sentence. Maybe his conversation with Spinelli was just his way of giving in to his urge without providing any direct implication.