Here it is...again...Allen and the wig Message Board: Arthur Leigh Allen: Here it is...again...Allen and the wig

By Anonymous ( - on Monday, September 11, 2000 - 03:34 pm:

I've asked this before, but I feel compelled to repeat the question: Assuming Allen was the Zodiac, could he have worn a wig when he committed the murders?
Gonna do something now which has almost become anathema on this board...namely, quote Graysmith(I am certain there will be no shortage of corrections if the passage I quote is something that Graysmith made up, but as an average paperback-reading, 'net-surfing schmo--who, on occasion, even makes factual errors--I don't know if the following information was fabricated or not):
"Dark brown, sweaty hair seen through slits[of hood]. 'Could have been a wig,' according to Hartnell." (From Shepard and Hartnell description,
in the 'Zodiac Descriptions' section of the Appendices)
How 'bout it? Was a wig, stage makeup kit, or anything of that sort ever found amongst Allen's

By Anonymous ( - on Friday, September 15, 2000 - 04:35 pm:

Wig? Makeup? Anyone?

By Tom Voigt ( - on Friday, September 15, 2000 - 06:05 pm:

I'm not sure he would have needed makeup, although a wig is perhaps the easiest way to disguise yourself. (As well as glasses.)
As far as I know Allen was not found to own a wig.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 10:06 am:

When we look at the 1967 photo of Allen, it is evident he is plagued by that genetic male thing -- male baldness. Tom opines that perhaps he wore a wig. Yet when it is mentioned that Bruce Davis was sporting a crew cut in 1971, Tom quickly points out that when he was apprehended in Dec.'70, BD had a long stringy hairstyle. Tom, if you believe that Allen could think up wearing a crew-cut wig, then why not Davis? The point about the crew-cut comment was to show that apparently Davis has an affinity for such. As well, wigs WERE found in the Familie's belongings.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 12:16 pm:

Sylvie, when have I ever mentioned "December 1970"? In fact, I don't recall mentioning a "crew cut wig", either. Allen would not have needed such a thing.

Davis had long shaggy hair when he was arrested on OCTOBER 13, 1969, and that is what I have pointed out.

You might want to take more time thinking about what you post.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 03:09 pm:

Your post directly above mine seemed to imply that Allen would have needed and possibly used a wig.
Made sense to me, as I do think he would have needed one to get a "crew-cut" look out of that balding flimsy hair. As for the arrest, my apologies.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 10:48 pm:

What I have posted(please see)is that it would be easy to mat the (long) hair down with either spirit gum (the fav')or Vaseline and place a thin rubber 'skull' cap over ones head and then slip on a crew cut wig.I have seen this done and it is very effective-especially at night. "I look entirely different"without my disguise said Zodiac.

I contacted wig and costume houses and they said they had wigs or 'crew cut styled wigs for military costumes.'

Davis was sporting a dark brown(Hartnell) crew cut when arrested 12/2/70 the year of intense-some six Zodiac missives-compared to only TWO letters in '71-the year of Davis' L.A. incarceration.

People that KNEW Davis all told me that in 68-9 Davis would sometimes cut his hair short and shave off his beard(a "heavy set young man with a beard and brown hair" was seen in the library at RCC the night of CJB's death FYI)-the crew cut in '70 is proof he wore his hair in this style at times.

As far as the Zodiac"paunch"(Hartnell, Mageau )question I read on a post recently ;I spoke by phone to one of the State Park Rangers that saw Davis just after the October 13, 69 (he was released on the 27th-a year later comes the Z Halloween card!)arrest and he told me Davis had a "pot belly".He was about 6-8 feet away from him at the time.

Davis was "husky but short" (Mageau)an L.A. Times reporter said in an article 12/3/70 (same paper Z addressed for the FIRST -after only exclusive N.CA paper writes -time after Davis' L.A. arrest-there were no Z canonical murders that year).Not to say there were any Z 87s but provable ones is my point.I believe Lass was a Z.

By Boojum (Boojum) ( - on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 01:52 pm:

Davis' 1970 "crew cut" was actually the outgrowing stubble of a shaved head. The entire Manson gang shaved their heads during the trial. So that really does not establish that Davis "wore his hair in this style at times."

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, August 24, 2001 - 02:23 am:

Boojum:You are in error and you did not really read my post very well.

First:Davis was arrested 12/2/70 and photos and film by the media show him with a crew cut.If you want to call it very short fine!The shaved heads really began when Manson -their Leader -shaved his head on March 1971-not 1970.There are pictures of Davis with a shaved head.There is a close cut crew and a modified version-Davis wore both.In my post I state that I personally spoke to people that knew Bruce Davis and they told me that at times in '68-69 he wore his hair short in a crew and shaved his beard(he was the only male member to be allowed by Manson to have a beard as Davis was Second in Command)and at other times he wore his hair long and had a beard.

Sounds almost like the possible rendering at the end of Cipher One-Robert Emmett the "Hippi"!There was a statue of Mr. Emmett in Golden Gate Park and the hippies used to gather there.M wanted the 'hippies to get tough and get into Helter Skelter'or the Revolution ,so combining both terms/name of the Irish firebrand revolutionary R E ,would be a great 'subliminal projection to the wimpy hippies' when the Cipher I would be published.Big FYI-fun stuff!

Also, I wrote that it was easy to wear a crew wig-no prob'.Chief suspect Allen was by all accounts bald and by all witness accounts Zodiac had hair ;so if this be so, then Allen wore a wig-no big deal!Mageau is 'wobbigated'(or better yet discombobelated-close to Bebole!)on Zodiacs hair style or length-read all of his public/PD Reports.With Hartnell we get that he thought he saw sweaty /greasy(gee like Davis!)dark brown hair through the hood eye slits as he strained hard to do so ;so it may have been at least somewhat 'long'.Less likely my hair stylists tell me as a wig is not as subject to becoming greasy like real hair.

The "Xing" thing in the forehead did not start until July 24,1970 the same day as the postmark on the Mikado letter! Many of Z's correspondence line up with Manson events quite nicely.It always surprised me in the beginning to observe this.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 12:47 am:

Also, Hartnell speaks of the perp as someone with "combed" hair so this could exclude a crew.He said "I looked through his hair.I[it?]kind of looked like it was COMBED, you know,like this..[referring to his own'long'hair?)it was BROWNISH,you know,DARK BROWN HAIR...Officer...Okay.You said his hair looked dark brown.How could you see his hair?...B.H...'Cause I saw it from where those goggles[clip on sunglasses?]fit.I looked SO CLOSELY to FIND OUT.And when he turned you know they kind of flittered...I could SEE his hair.It looked kind of GREASY ."(EMP mine).I just don't think it was a wig as he saw "greasy" hair and if it was a wig there is less chance of there being oils on the 'hair portion.It is of interest Davis had ,according to PD reports and friends, "dark brown hair."And, of course, we know it could get greasy as some have reminded us!

Kathleen Johns told me that the driver of the hell car had crew-cut brown hair.I asked if it was dark in color and she said yes.Anotherwords she believes it was not blondish brown,etc.She also told me he was around 5'8"-she was 5'9".

By The Fife (Thefife) ( - on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 08:28 am:


I don't know if you remember some of those really cheap fake hair wigs that were floating around back then. The fibres they used in the wig tended to have a slight sheen to them. It is possible that Harnell was interpreting this sheen as grease. I think in darker hair it could appear that way. It would have caught the light of the sun I am sure. I knew a guy that had a toupee like that and he kind of liked it because it better matched the sheen of his own dark hair around the edge.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 08:42 pm:

The Fife,It seems to me if someone was going to put on a wig for a disguise,they wouldn't also put a hood over that. lots of people wore wigs back then,the way they were made,the hair along the hair line would go back towards the ear. The only others that would comb forward,would be the hippie type of hairdo or a pixie cut.(I use to style wigs for a Beautician) On a warm day, it would have been very hot to put on both a wig and a hood.What looked like greasy hair, was more than likely sweat on real hair.Kane had that color hair at that time,and he wore glasses. 9/27 is a Jewish holiday, Kane is also Jewish.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 12:33 am:


Hair goes nothing!I am adhering to what Harnell strained to see-hair color and possibly the style and facial features.Since he used the word "combed" (and "dark brown hair"-which just happens to be Davis' color)in his interview it indicates it was somewhat longer than a crew cut.

Next, as I have already stated ,I consulted with hair care professionals and they indicate that greasy hair-as reported by our eyewitness,would show it to be real hair ,as a wig would not be susceptible,considering the situation at that time,to grease.I forgot to mention that "greasy hair"implies that it is somewhat 'matted'and is different than an observation of the polymer plastic 'sheen'of a wig, and it -unlike the greasy hair-would have some body or 'fluff' as they say.

Sandy brings out an excellent point ,in that it would be unnecessary to use that elaborate hood to conceal his face/hair in daylight -along with the clip on sunglasses- to make certain no one could see through("best laid plans of mice and men" -BH managed to get a peek in there!)those slits;it just makes no sense at all.

In calls like this I go 'Scales', and in my view, it tilts more towards real matted greasy hair as opposed to the "sheen"of a synthetic polymer wig with body ;and since BH used the word "combed" it was hair that had more length to it than if it were a crew.I know this will not be accepted, but it's just an opinion I share with some hair professionals.It's all very interesting.

Your creative posts have great weight in any discussion and it's no different hair.I guess we are just splitting hairs on this one!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 06:56 am:

Why in heaven's name would he have worn a wig under an elaborate hood? It's possible, but not probable, in my opinion.

By The Fife (Thefife) ( - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 07:51 am:

Here's a reason to wear a wig under the hood: He was walking around up by the road and down toward the couple without the hood. He wanted that in any case, any time during his exposure that he would have some sort of disguise. He slipped the hood on for the murder only.

Tom F

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 10:06 am:


By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 01:00 am:

I'm throwin' in with Fife on this one. Isn't it possible that Z would have worn his disguise while he stalked/trolled(?) for his victims that day? Perhaps he even drove a different car than he normally did.

Furthermore, assuming for a moment that ALA was the perp at Lake Berryessa, keep these points in mind:

1. ALA, given the fact that he was overweight and consumed a lot of beer, would be prone to sweat with a hood over his head, regardless of the temperature that day.

2. ALA wasn't bald, and what little hair he had was long enough to comb. In other words, he wouldn't have necessarily had to wear a disguise. (In fact, I don't recall any mention of a crew-cut in any of the Berryessa testimony. Are we just attributing aspects gathered from Zodiac's other crimes to the Berryessa murder? If so, why?)

3. ALA had access to numerous automobiles and, most importantly of all, was very familiar with the area {heck, he practically implicated himself by admitting as much . . . and don't forget about that bloody knife that was found on the seat of his car . . . :0) ].

Some thoughts.


By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 02:23 am:

I did not base my statements on speculating whether the perp thought (or divining his actual thought processes!)it necessary to wear a wig where his back would be towards the road,etc., to walk down a deserted hill side;but on the appearance of the hair -its color,length and condition -greasy.

I specifically stated that Hartnell said the hair was capable of being 'combed' or rather he used that word to depict the perps hair length;and that he would not have made that statement if Mr. Hood had a buzz cut!The only time we get Z in a crew cut is at S.F.(and 132 if it is accepted KJ was abducted by Z)Mageaus account of hair appearance is like his car descriptions mixed, shaken and stirred!

I read a report of an officer that saw Allen in '69 and he said Allen was "bald."I don't believe he had long hair.Look at the pics of Allen on this site.I know this is about an indirect defense for Allen at LB and this is kool, but, if the shoe-or wig- doesn't fit then I won't force it.One can argue the apparent weight and ALA fits ,but even this is debatable as my posts bring out.Shoe size is much more workable.I am NOT trying to rule Allen out at LB or as a viable suspect.I pointed out that the hair description moves away from his own hair condition including color,etc.

So on and on it goes ,but this is how ideas are stimulated -and the interaction is great, and the debate helps shape and form opinions.

This is why in this case I did a weigh thing and it tilted-in my view-towards real greasy dark brown hair that was long enough to comb.This is why I wrote hair goes nothing!This is what makes the Z case so involved and issues like this so controversial-and it will go on from hair to eternity!

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 07:38 pm:

"and don't forget about that bloody knife that was found on the seat of his car"

There wasn't a bloody knife ever found on the seat of ALA's car after LB. He told the police, in a 1971 interview, that he had two bloody knives the day of LB, which he had used to "kill a chicken" (you can find this info on Tom's ALA page, in the section regarding LB).

The police did apparently recover a foot-long, riveted knife in their 1991 search of ALA's house, which Tom also mentions on his ALA page.


By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 07:37 am:

"There wasn't a bloody knife ever found on the seat of ALA's car after LB. He told the police, in a 1971 interview . . ."

Like I said, he was "practically implicating himself," in the '71 interview. Also, I don't believe Allen offered the information about the knives. Wasn't he questioned about them? Allen would never have been questioned about the knives in the first place if this was information that the cops didn't already have. Unfortunately, I can't remember who initially offered the information. A sister-in-law? Wife of a friend? I apologize, I don't have the material in front of me right now.


By Roger Redding (Roger_Redding) ( - on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 09:05 pm:

Scott, I'm with you on this. Since we don't know why else Allen became a suspect in the first place, somebody seeing a bloody knife in his car and reporting it to the police seems as good a way to become a suspect as any other way. I don't know that there's any documentation that supports this though.


By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, September 09, 2001 - 11:38 am:

Here is one of the Reports I based my statement on concerning Allens description.It's not meant as a rule in or out-you don't see me doing that on my posts as we are all on the same side with the same goal-we just want the Z CASE resolved:

"4:05 PM Went to Elmer Cave School and contacted Arthur Lee Allen WMA 35 years dob 12-18-33.Resides 32 Fresno St.,is single lives with his parents.Arthur 6'1",241,heavy build and is BALD."(Lynch)EMP mine

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 03:28 pm:

Allen wasn't entirely bald, I don't care what Lynch said. He had hair, and it was long enough to comb. Granted, he was balding, but the SOB still had hair. Could it be that the hair Allen did have was the hair Hartnell described? That's what I've been asking all along. This is why Hartnell's testimony, regarding Zodiac's hair, doesn't particularly move me. It doesn't clarify anything with regard to hair length, hair style, amount of hair, etc. Besides, Allen, assuming he was Z, could have simply shaved his head sometime between the LB crime and when Lynch interviewed him just over a week later.

The fact that ALA was bald when Lynch interviewed him could be interpreted as a significant clue: Z had hair at Lake Berryessa. One week following the LB crime, what would later prove to be one of the key suspects in the case - ALA - is interviewed by Lynch. Lynch observes that ALA is bald. Hmm? Furthermore, Lynch notes that ALA is 6'1", 241 pounds, with a heavy build. Pretty much matches the description of the LB perp, right? Is shaving one's head something that a clever guy like Zodiac might have thought of?

Personally, I feel Lynch's treatment of ALA as a suspect was shoddy detective work at best. Lynch essentially dismissed ALA as a suspect based on gut instinct, within moments after meeting him. It may prove to be one of the major blunders in this case. That's my opinion, at least.


By Boojum (Boojum) ( - on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 05:29 pm:

Now wait a second: Tom Voight just posted that ALA was UNDER 6'. Now you're saying that this cop reported ALA at 6'1". Which is it? I tend to believe Tom, but let's clear this height discrepancy up right now.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 06:55 pm:

I'm sure Lynch didn't have a tape measure; he was just estimating.

Allen's driver's licenses all said 6'0".
His official height, according to his rap sheet, was 5'11 and 3/4"

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 08:02 pm:

If someone is looking from a distance of course its not going to be 100% accurate.

So Allen's license and rap sheet are off by 1/4? This is probably due to the shoes he was wearing. He may have worn small old shoes with the sole worn out during the rap sheet, and maybe had new shoes with a thick sole during the licenses. Maybe he had new shoes during his license because he had to throw away his Wing Walkers for some unknown reason.

5'11 1/2... 6'0 1/4 who cares... its not that big of a difference.