Lake Berryessa: Unresolved Issues Message Board: Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell: Lake Berryessa: Unresolved Issues

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, September 27, 2002 - 11:23 am:

Hello all,

In light of Tom's most recent update, I think a new discussion of Lake Berryessa is in order. Cecelia's sister, Carolyn [a very wonderful woman, I might add], thinks it is possible that her sister may have subconsciously known that her death was imminent in the days just prior to her murder. This leads me to wonder if, in fact, Cecelia did know her killer. I've often reasoned that she didn't but now I am beginning to wonder.

With the 33rd anniversary of Lake Berryessa upon us, let's examine this particular crime with a renewed sense of reason, shall we? Also, this thread can pertain to any unresolved issue concerning Lake Berryessa, not just whether or not Bryan and Cecelia were random or targeted victims. I'm convinced, and always have been, that LB is perhaps the most significant of all of Zodiac's crimes. Okay folks, what is being overlooked here?


PS. Carolyn, thanks for taking the time to drive down for the meeting last Fourth of July. God bless you, your family, and please know that the spirit of your sister dwells within all of us.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Friday, September 27, 2002 - 11:45 am:

As you say Scott,this one held some particular significance for Zodiac.I think he chose this location because he planned a daylight attack.It was somewhat out of the way and given the time of year,there wouldn't be many around.I think there is more to the "car door" than we know at this time.I'm inclined to believe that he did want to murder on this particular day,for some reason.
Problem here is his choice of victim,it appears that it wasn't very likely that a young couple would be found here at this time of year.So did he drive up there in the hope of finding such victims or did he follow them up there?
Or,did he care who he killed?

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Friday, September 27, 2002 - 11:46 am:

Good idea, Scott:

I have always wondered what prompted Lynch to interview Allen. Tom has posted one page of Lynch's report recounting only the interview. Given the detail in this page, it seems likely that Lynch must have also recorded some mention of Allen's name beforehand, as in the entries preceding that for the Allen interview. Something like "Received a call from C.I. asserting that Arthur Lee Allen looks just like the Napa composite and is a real creep". Anybody know of any reference to Allen at all before the 10/6/62 Lynch interview?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Tuesday, October 01, 2002 - 09:11 am:

I see, there are no unresolved issues regarding Lake Berryessa, are there? Come on people, I need an LB bone to chew on over here!

"I have always wondered what prompted Lynch to interview Allen."

Me too, Peter. I'm also having my doubts about Morrill's abilities as a handwriting expert. How much faith can we really put into his conclusions regarding the car door? Is that all there really is tying Zodiac to LB?

Additionally, why include the time of the attack on the car door? Is this the only incident in which Zodiac references time in terms of hours and minutes? Why did Zodiac wear the hood? Why in the daylight? Why with a knife instead of a gun? Why are there [apparently] radically different descriptions with regard to Zodiac's height and weight? [Note: Ever noticed that even the amended SFPD composite doesn't include an estimation as to Z's weight? I find that highly curious. If "heavy build" was the best that could be ascertained by 3 teenagers and 2 cops, well . . .]

And the list goes on and on and on. Will someone please tell me anything which attempts to answer any of these questions? I mean, does anyone find it strange that the Zodiac never mentioned "Lake Berryessa" in any of his missives? He made reference to the "north bay," but isn't it possible he was simply referring to Vallejo?

Also, if we use Hartnell's car door as an instrument to gauge the number of victims as of 09/27/69 [Faraday, Jensen, Ferrin, and Shepard], and compare it to the November 9th, 1969 missive to the Chronicle in which Zodiac states, "up to the end of Oct. I have killed 7 people," are we really to believe that Zodiac killed two more people in the twenty days following the Stine murder? Some would say that Cheri Jo Bates could be one of the seven. But if so, why no mention of her at LB? That seems pretty iffy to me, what about you all?

Come on folks, choose any question you'd like, or make up one of your own, if it pertains to Lake Berryessa, even in some remote way, let's hash it out for all it's worth and see what's what. I've an inkling that something is amiss with this particular crime. Anybody care to help me figure it out?

Tom, what led Lynch to Allen in the first place? Is there any record of what originally led VPD to send Lynch sniffing in Allen's direction? My guess is that it must have had something to do with Lake Berryessa. It's almost as though Allen remembered the particulars of the incident better than Lynch did. That seems awfully strange to me.

I could go on and on so I'll stop here. My main objective with this post was to demonstrate that Lake Berryessa is a veritable goldmine of untapped information. Sure, much of it has been hashed and rehashed time and again but has anything solid or conclusive ever come of it? And if so, what? I really want to know what the prevailing thoughts are here on the board because I honestly do not know with 100% certainty.

A hearty, "Thank you," in advance for any and all who care enough to give it their very best!

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Tuesday, October 01, 2002 - 10:27 am:


I'll be happy to take a crack at one or two:

"the car door? Is that all there really is tying Zodiac to LB?"

Yep. At least in any direct sense. Other than the writing, there is not one factor about LB that only Z could be responsible for. Everything else about it that was in any way related to the previous Z attacks was public knowledge. Unlike LHR, BRS and PH, there is absolutley nothing but the writing that eliminates a Z wannabe.

"It's almost as though Allen remembered the particulars of the incident better than Lynch did. "

Don't be misled by what Z said to Mulanax, Toschi and Armstrong a couple years later. By then of course he knew the details better than Lynch. Lynch's report does not contain one word by Allen -- or Lynch, for that matter -- about Berryessa. None of that came out till at least the 71 interview, and some did not come out until 20 years later.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Tuesday, October 01, 2002 - 02:52 pm:

"I've an inkling that something is amiss with this particular crime."

I think Scott's inkling is justified. Despite all attempts to characterize this crime as consistent with the others, I think the conclusion is inescapable that although there are _superficial_ similarities with the previous crimes, both MO and personation are _fundamentally_ different at Berryessa.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Tuesday, October 01, 2002 - 07:42 pm:

"Tom, what led Lynch to Allen in the first place?"

Sgt. Lynch neglected to include that info in his report. My guess is a random tip.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Wednesday, October 02, 2002 - 08:16 am:

Peter, you wrote, "Other than the writing, there is not one factor about LB that only Z could be responsible for."

That is rather interesting, isn't it? I suppose it all depends on what your opinion is of Morrill's opinion, so to speak. It seems that is a can of worms very few people are willing to open. I wonder why? I also wonder if any arrest warrants were denied because the suspect's handwriting didn't match? EEEKS! We'd better hope that Morrill was right because if not, things could get much more ugly than they already are with this investigation.

Okay . . . so, where does everyone stand on Morrill's abilities as a questioned documents examiner? I mean, was he always right, 100% of the time, no questions asked? That seems a bit unreasonable in my opinion.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Wednesday, October 02, 2002 - 08:57 am:


I think you arte on the right track with this one. Without the Ghia writing, there is zero confirmation that LB was Z.

One way to look at it:
the Riverside poem
the Bates letters
all of the well-known Z letters, 1969-74
Arthur Allen's handwriting exemplars
the Ghia door
the 1978 "Toschi" letter

Of all the above, there is only one that Morrill identified as not prepared by Z: Allen's.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, October 02, 2002 - 12:38 pm:

LB a Z:
Monotone voice;young couple;physical description can fit BRS,PH;content of statements made can fit Zs letters;costume with cross/circle not unlike Zs strange nature;phone call to PD;weekend;full moon;willingness to show proof like Z-showed bullet to BH;holiday;typical Z victim count of known Z strikes-writing on car door with Zs symbol-and matched Zs by top Expert on Zs writing;victim count'I have killed 7 up to the end of Oct.';military shoes;Z wrote " BY GUN,BY KNIFE,BY ROPE"in Halloween card-costumes-LB-sent 10/ 27 same day as LB attack ,but about one year later FYI;'walked slowly' away from LB scene like at BRS,PH;used form of deception to gain compliance like at PH-acted like he was just another fare that wanted to be driven to a location,;authorities seem to agree it was a Z;340 seems to mentions LB.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Wednesday, October 02, 2002 - 05:59 pm:

Radically different weight & girth: the composite does not resemble the SFPD composite.

Maybe "Zodiac 2" wasn't the NYC Z. Maybe there was a copycat out here, at the time of the original. That would really twist the case up.

I'm off to re-examine that 1978 "Toschi" letter...

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, October 03, 2002 - 09:27 am:

Howards List:

"Monotone voice";Hartnell said he spoke calmly: where do you get "monotone" before or at Berryessa? All public info

"young couple"; public info

"physical description can fit BRS,PH"; not consistently and by some descritions, only in most general terms. LB was over 210: not likely at PH or PRS

"content of statements made can fit Zs letters"; such as? like the prison escape and flight to Mexico?

"costume with cross/circle not unlike Zs strange nature"; that's pretty general: Z never used a costume before or since. Maybe strange, but not like z at all.

"phone call to PD"; well-known

"weekend"; when else would a working guy play? HLR, BRS and PH were fridays. Only LB was a saturday

"full moon"; let's get this one straight once and for all: July 4 1968, moon was in third quarter. Dec 20 68, a day after the new moon, and september 27 69, two days past full. On any given friday for most of this period, there was a 50/50 chance of being within a day or three of either the full or new moon.

"willingness to show proof like Z-showed bullet to BH"; proof of what? showing a victim a bullet is like what? sending a bloody shirt to a newspaper? Z never made any effort to prove his connection, unlike all others

"holiday"; What holiday? Nope, not at LB and not at PH: Sept 27 and Oct 10.

"typical Z victim count of known Z strikes-writing on car door with Zs symbol": There is no victim count on the Ghia door, and no dates in the letters. well known dates, but never before or since did he tag the victim's car

"and matched Zs by top Expert on Zs writing"; as we said, the only thing that could not have been a copycat, IF authentic.

"victim count'I have killed 7 up to the end of Oct.';" wrong number, even including LB

"military shoes"; What military shoes: no evidence of military shoes in any other confirmed Z incident. CJB heel print indicated very differeent size shoe.

"Z wrote " BY GUN,BY KNIFE,BY ROPE"in Halloween card-costumes-LB-sent 10/ 27 same day as LB attack ,but about one year later FYI"; not the same day at all: one month apart. Public knowledge. And where does "fire" come from?

"'walked slowly' away from LB scene like at BRS,PH;" back to his car at BRS, then hauled ass to leave the scene

"used form of deception to gain compliance like at PH-acted like he was just another fare that wanted to be driven to a location,"; He used a gun and a knife at LB to gain compliance. Deception had nothing to do with it. MO was completely public.

"authorities seem to agree it was a Z"; all those authorities who never solved the crime

"340 seems to mentions LB". How can a cipher that's not even close to being solved "seem" to indicate anything?

Fact remains, of ALL of the above, only the handwriting could be conclusive. Everything else was public nowledge, and much, even most of the MO and personation at LB, was radically different from all the others.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Thursday, October 03, 2002 - 10:26 am:

"Fact remains, of ALL of the above, only the handwriting could be conclusive."

I'm still not sure how you can obtain 100% verifiable results from handwriting analysis. We're not talking about DNA or fingerprints here; we're talking handwriting, something that is not an exacting science.

BTW, the fact that LB took place in Napa County helps demonstrate that it could have been one of Zodiac's crimes: Four crime scenes, four different counties. I believe that would have to be considered a part of his MO.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, October 03, 2002 - 12:18 pm:


BRS and LHR are both in Solano County. There are, however, lots of things that COULD be consistent, just as there are many (more) that are not. None of them directly either confirms or eliminates Z from LB.

And I agree with you on the handwriting. I do not believe Morrill was infallible. I think he was wrong on a number of calls, certainly on the 1978 letter and I believe on all of the Riverside stuff.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, October 03, 2002 - 05:37 pm:

OK, so three counties and four crimes. However, LHR occurred not far outside incorporated Vallejo, but it was about 700-800 feet within Benicia city limits. So, who's jurisdiction? Benicia PD, or Solano SD? Since Lundblad headed the investigation, it eventually fell to SSD.

Everyone is fallible, and so it's entirely possible that Morrill made some bad calls. Even if it's a fake, the 1978 letter still looks good, but I've always had a problem with the desktop poem. However, even a cursory examination reveals that the writing on the car door is very similar to Z's known writing. And that's another problem we both have, Peter.

Regardless of personation etc etc, I still find it very difficult to consider that LB was actually perpetrated by a copycat, but we've been over that ground before. OK, so Z didn't make reference to it. So what? He made apparent claims to the murders of Snoozy, Furlong and Radetich, yet he didn't commit those crimes. If Z contiuned killing after Stine, he made zero reference to those victims other than his ever-increasing tally. Since his written word is not exactly trustworthy, I don't consider it wise to exclude LB based on what he did or didn't claim.

Basically, if Z was responsible for LB, then his silence regarding it is very telling indeed. It was obviously very special to him for some reason, which accounts for the departures from his usual signature, personation, MO or whatever you choose to call it.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Thursday, October 03, 2002 - 06:05 pm:

A lurker emailed me privately to suggest that Z may have been wearing a flack jacket under that get-up he wore for LB. I happen to own a flack jacket. It's just the right weight to add to the PH perp and adds just enough bulk to account for the discrepancies. It also, as the lurker pointed out, explains the hood.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Thursday, October 03, 2002 - 08:13 pm:

I don't want to be subject to accusations of having a one-track mind, or worse, of having an agenda, when it comes to proffering an opinion on LB, although it's bound to have that ring to it. I have a vested interest in the Z mystery, due in large part to similarities between LB and our 1963 murders; that comes as nothing new to most of you. Without LB as a Z crime, Z would be relegated to a position of mere curiosity for me with respect to our case. LHR, BRS and PH provide no such commonality with 1963, and would therefore have not interested me those many years ago. With that preamble, allow me to go ahead with a few thoughts.

I have had a nagging doubt for many years about Z's involvement in CJB. I am less than persuaded by Morrill's inclusion of the desktop writing as that of Z, but that's just my opinion. Without the writing connection, and the much-later acknowledgement by Z that he killed her, I doubt that the M.O. alone would have garnered wide-spread support of his involvement. Even the letters the killer probably sent didn't have the same flavor as Z's writings three years later.

Sorry, Howard, but I also have a problem with the Johns case. While there are aspects that beckon to me, such as the torching of her car sharing a common element with the attempted burning of the shack containing the bodies of our victims, there is little else to convince me that Z was the perp. If the truth be known, I probably give the Johns case a better chance of being a Z crime than I do Riverside, but they both fall short of compelling my support. Again, sorry, Howard.

If Johns is to be excluded, for the purposes of my post, of course, the element of fire (as in "by gun, by knife, by rope, by fire") was only found in 1963, and in that case, all four were employed.

Which brings me back to LB. Trying not to sound like a broken record, I still maintain that LB was Z's way of revisiting his botched performance in 1963, his effort to rehabilitate himself (to himself), by doing it right this time. Taking that theory a step further, I'm of the opinion that his most recent failure at LB prompted him to kill Stine as his swan song. Excluding Bates from the tally and adding the kids from 1963, his death count as of the end of October would have been seven.

And while we're discussing LB, I also think that Z would have worn a secondary disguise, under the hood that he put on behind the tree, and just before he confronted the couple. During the time he might have been cruising the park looking for victims, he would not have wanted to be remembered later by witnesses as having been there. He certainly wouldn't have wanted to be identified as walking to or from his car before or after the attack, so a disguise of some sort, other than the hood, would have been a necessity for him.

It's my position that LB was a Z crime, that his message on the car and the phone call was sufficient for him to take credit for the attack. Bear in mind also, that once he learned of Bryan's survival, the crime was no longer something he would have been proud of, because it represented the third time (including 1963) that he had screwed up. All of this means to me that Stine represented to Z a final public act, one that left no doubt as to his identity as the killer, and cemented his star on the Walk of Infamy.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 09:03 am:


That's what I call putting it all together. Best treatment I have read of LB as a Z crime. Particularly convincing that Tajiguas and LB were the same guy. I am still not so sure it was the same as the other three, however. Having already done Tajiguas, why would he adopt the very different MO/personation of BRS and LHR, and then go back to the full-blown daylight rope and knife ritual? I don't think it was practice: nothing about LHR and BRS was good training for the daylight stalk and direct confrontation at LB.

Ed: I do _not_ think the Ghia writing in gross is similar to the Z letters. There are distinct and obvious differences with many of the most characteristic letters, notably e and j. I think at least as strong a possibility is that the Tajiguas perp saw in the aftermath of BRS an opportunity to return to his own very distinct MO and signature and use the most superficial elements of Z's style to put the blame on Z. Since this second botched attempt was being attributed to Z, Z would still have the same motivation for PH as if he had botched it himself: I can kill a man even if this Z wannabe can't.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 09:11 am:

Mr. Baker,

I'm glad to see that you're posting again! Welcome back!

You wrote, "Without LB as a Z crime, Z would be relegated to a position of mere curiosity for me . . . LHR, BRS and PH provide no such commonality with 1963, and would therefore have not interested me those many years ago."

I understand that there is a commonality with your unsolved case in Santa Barbara to the crime that took place at Lake Berryessa, and they do indeed seem similar, but I am now at a loss in figuring out whether or not Zodiac committed LB. On the face of it, Peter is right: Without Morrill's conclusion regarding the Ghia car door, there is absolutely nothing tying Zodiac to LB. I'm wondering what your thoughts on this are? Is there anything besides Morrill's conclusion that connects Zodiac to LB?

"Excluding Bates from the tally and adding the kids from 1963, his death count as of the end of October would have been seven."

Very true. Is seems odd, then, that Zodiac would exclude the SB case [and Riverside, for that matter] from the writing on the Ghia, doesn't it? What are some of your thoughts in this matter?


By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 09:27 am:

Peter, you wrote, "Particularly convincing that Tajiguas and LB were the same guy."

Could this other perp also be the same guy that committed Mr. Baker's crime in '63? Is it possible that Allen was the Z wannabe who was actually responsible for LB, SB, and "Tajiguas" but, nevertheless, wasn't the Zodiac??

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 09:40 am:

Scott: I, too would like to have Bill's thoughts. In the meantime, here are mine:

On Riverside, I don't think it ever occurred to Z to claim that until the suggestion was made in the press. He didn't have anything to do with it. Congratulating the cops for stumbling across it is inconsistent with his having written to the Riverside papers and PD about it.

Leaving both Riverside and Tajiguas out of the Ghia tag is perfectly consistent with a quasi-copycat trying to direct attention to another perp. He would have no clue about Riverside at the time, and would not direct attention to Tajiguas for the very reason of disguising the connection. For Z not to claim all he could, however, is inconsistent with his apparent practice of claiming all his own hits and more.

So what was and was not included in the Ghia tag is consistent with two scenarios: (1) if it was Z, he didn't know about Riverside or Tajiguas, and had no motivation to claim them. (2)If another perp, he didn't know about Riverside and was specifically trying to hide the connection to Tajiguas.

Pick 'em.

I think your implication is correct that the one scenario that the Ghia is not consistent with is that Z or the LB perp did Riverside.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 11:09 am:


Guide me to the "Tajiguas incident" if you don't mind; I can't say that I'm familiar with it.

That is near Santa Barbara, right? Sorry, I'm missing the connection here. Also, why isn't it possible that said "second perp" couldn't be responsible for Riverside? Furthermore, I can honestly believe that Morrill was mistaken [subconsciously deceived] about the Riverside letters, so why isn't it possible that he was deceived at Berryessa?

Is California the capital of kook Dom, or what? Perhaps not so much now, but at one time or another I bet you couldn't whip out your Johnson to shoot a squirt for fear of relieving yourself on a kook who'd kill ya for it. Man, I really appreciate the Colorado Rockies! Just kiddin' Ed, Howard, Kendra, et al. I have to admit to feeling rather jocular at the moment!

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 11:24 am:

Look under "Other Victims" A couple of threads near the top of the list like "Tom, what about the Santa Barbara victims"

Basics are :June 4, 1963. Young couple, alone at beach well off the road near SB, gun and knife involved, tied up shot & stabbed, attempt to burn in an old shack. Botched in the sense that the fire never caught. Similar ammo to Z's .22. Det Baker was later (c.1971) investigating officer for SBSD.

The connection is that MO and personation match LB, except for use of the Z sign, which I believe to be superficial staging.

If its a second perp, there is no connection whatever with Riverside, especially MO and personation, any more than with a zillion other unsolved crimes. Second perp wouldn't have used Riverside on the Ghia at LB because he would likely not have known about it any more than a zillion others and it had not yet been connected with Z.

As for Morril, I can believe the same. He never saw an exemplar he didn't like for Z. Except of course the Allen samples.

As for California. I guess it does seem a little more normal there since I left 20 years ago. It only seems to get crazy when I go back, such as the Rodney King riots. Hmmm...

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 11:42 am:

To track general weirdness, subscribe to the Psychoceramics elist at Australia makes California look like Sweden when it comes to crackpots.

But the 1970s were very bullish years for serial killers out here. It's a strange phenomenon, one that provokes a lot of interesting speculation about cultural upheavals and their tertiary effects.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 11:43 am:

Ah! My apologies; I had no idea they were one and the same. I thought you were using the linguistic distinction to represent 2 separate crimes. My bad!

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 11:49 am:


To clarify: somehow my last post went up before I read your previous, and I did not respond to it (Could it be we're chatting in real time?)

But to answer that question: Yes: my premise, and I believe Bill's, is precisely that: the LB perp did Tajiguas in 1963. Where we differ is on whether he is also Z. Bill has posted a very cogent theory of Tajiguas, LB and the other 3 all being Z. Where I differ is that I am not so sure the Tajiguas/LB perp is Z. I think it is at least equally consistent with all the known facts, given the doubt about the Ghia tag, that the second perp did LB the way he did to direct attention to Z and away from Tajiguas, while getting his essential satisfaction in the deed. That's called staging. All of what I would call the core personation at LB is the same as tajiguas and very different from BRS and LHR. The rest I believe could be staging, making it look like Z without giving up anything that is really essential to the perp.

OK: one additional question about LB. This site describes the rope as plastic clothes line. Although fairly small diameter, this type of line would almost certanly bear partial prints. Were any recovered? was the line even dusted. After all, its the only scene of the "confirmed" Z kills where the perp left anything but shell casings. Along the same lines: shouldn't both the LB rope and the Tajiguas rope be in evidence vaults somewhere?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 12:17 pm:

"It's a strange phenomenon, one that provokes a lot of interesting speculation about cultural upheavals and their tertiary effects."

The opposite of cultural upheaval is psychological and philosophical enslavement. Remember Peter Kurten, the "Vampire of Dusseldorf"?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 12:27 pm:

"[S]houldn't both the LB rope and the Tajiguas rope be in evidence vaults somewhere?"


By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 12:49 pm:


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 01:16 pm:

Karen may be a sort of link. Her murder seems very Z-like yet it occurred in Santa Barbara.

Please note also that Sept 27 is an important holiday in the 7th Day Adventist church, of which BH and CS very much belonged.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 01:39 pm:


You made some good points,with qualification, at least insofar as my own beliefs are concerned.

"On Riverside, I don't think it ever occurred to Z to claim that until the suggestion was made in the press. He didn't have anything to do with it. Congratulating the cops for stumbling across it is inconsistent with his having written to the Riverside papers and PD about it."

You offer two points in one. Firstly, he wouldn't have included Riverside in his car door message if: (1) He didn't do it, and since his suspected involvement had not yet been announced, had not considered seizing credit for it; (2) He did it, but figured that no one would ever know he had done it. Secondly, if he had killed CJB, his 1971 acknowledgement of complicity was not consistent with his earlier Riverside letters. This is a point that I had not considered before, although for you or I to try and apply standards of consistency to the behavior of a deranged mind, guided by our own systems of logic and reason, would not always prove sound.

"Leaving both Riverside and Tajiguas out of the Ghia tag is perfectly consistent with a quasi-copycat trying to direct attention to another perp."

Perhaps, but it's equally if not more consistent with Z, having been responsible for Tajiguas and/or Riverside, electing not to include them as supporting factors in his claim of responsibility for LB, since neither crime had yet been publicly connected to him. He may well have had reasons for not wanting to open those cans of worms at that particular point in his "career," not the least of which may have been some concern over certain vulnerabilities, known only to him, which he preferred not to proactively reveal right then.

"He would have no clue about Riverside at the time, and would not direct attention to Tajiguas for the very reason of disguising the connection."

Respectively, I disagree and agree, for substantially the same reasons I gave above. I do feel that Z, whether or not he was good for Riverside, had no reason to take credit for the crime at this stage. I agree with your assertion that he was loath to reveal any connection with Tajiguas, for to do so might have placed him in jeopardy. This line of reasoning is my own rationalization for why Z never responded to the press release concerning his possible connection to Tajiguas that we aired in 1972. It was carried in the Vallejo paper (thanks to Dave Peterson) and other area media.


Thanks for the welcome. As you are aware, I have agreed with the vast majority of your positions and perspectives. Even so, I sometimes wonder why it is that you, and others, not only question Z's involvement in LB, but also seem unwilling to accept that he was capable of committing crimes that followed an M.O. eccentric to that displayed in BRS or LHR. Were it not for the letters and pieces of Stine's shirt, I seriously doubt that anyone would have made the connection independently. While I don't necessarily have complete faith in all of Morrill's determinations, I think that the Ghia markings are well within the scope of my acceptance of Z as the writer. That, coupled with the phone call and the signature hood, attach responsibility to Z just as strongly as it would to a copycat. The lack of any follow-up missives from Z, in which he would further his claims of responsibility, has already been addressed elsewhere. I've read all of the pro's and con's of Z and LB, and anything I say here will likely do little to tip the scale one way or another, but please consider that attributing the case to a copycat as a means of reconciling disparate and seemingly inconsistent elements, while certainly within the realm of possibility, is not in keeping with the old Occam's Razor or KISS principles. It would be akin to attributing the Z crimes to a team of two or more conspirators, just to make the pieces fit more readily.

You wrote: "It seems odd, then, that Zodiac would exclude the SB case [and Riverside, for that matter] from the writing on the Ghia, doesn't it?"

I think that my responses to Peter should explain how I tend to reconcile this.

Scott, to my knowledge, the rope from our case should still be in evidence, but bear in mind that ours was woven, not plastic. Perhaps, along these lines, maybe DNA material could be extracted from the rope. Hmmm, something I hadn't thought of before.

To both of you, and others: I have long maintained that our case and LB were, to my way of thinking, committed by the same person. I know some of you are inclined to agree, while others are either tepid or ice cold on the issue. Briefly restating the highlights of my rationale as it pertains to Z, I think that the 1963 case was the first of the series. Because of his loss of control at the scene, and possible consequences it represented to him as a result (I think it scared the hell out him and shook his confidence), he went into eclipse for a time. When he reemerged years later, his core motivation remained, but his method of implementation had undergone change. Once his confidence was at least partially restored with LHR and BRS, he consciously or subconsciously needed to atone for, or negate the stigma of, 1963. LB might well have been his intended last publicly announced crime, but as it turned out to be a less than bravura performance, the Stine case became a fait accompli for him, for whatever reasons.

I may be wrong in some or all of my beliefs, and I'm the last person to think that my opinions carry any greater weight than all others. I don't want to, and I won't, keep banging the drum on why everyone should believe as I do with respect to a connection between Tajiguas and Z; I've worn the drumhead bare already. But I do believe that LB was a Z crime as strongly if not more so than my conviction that LB and 1963 are connected. I may not have presented my thoughts as convincingly or completely as I should, but there are limitations in all of us.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Saturday, October 05, 2002 - 12:14 am:

Bill, very glad to see you back! Your posts are always enlightening and thought provoking! No matter how hard the rest of us try, the thoughts of a real police professional stand out.
When I first read the description of the Tajiguas crime I suspected it was the same criminal as in Lake Berryessa. As to the reasons Z (if indeed it was Z) never called attention to it I have had several thoughts. The most obvious is that the killer knew one or both of the victims. Since serial killers often begin with someone they know and graduate to strangers this would fit. The location on the crime seems to be a more informal and often more deserted area (though near a road) than Lake B., and when I read the article I was struck with the idea that itwas much more likely these young victims were followed or stalked. The killer would know at Lake B. that people would be there and if he searched carefully, might well find appropriate victims, especially on a weekend.
This informal beach, on a weekday, would be a less likely source, and the killer had his kit all prepared. The fact the killer evidently screwed up and had to resort to the gun for killing rather than just intimidation and control also hints at a beginner, he almost let a victim escape!
Lake B. was a well known area and thousands of people in the Bay area would have known about it but the beach at Tajiguas would be less well known, and hints to me the killer was living near there.
These are some of the reasons I think Z did both crimes, and why he did not want to draw atention to his first efforts: he knew the victims, could be placed in the area and did not want to remember screwing up. I also wonder if the idea of the hood originated after he almost let a victim escape? This could also be why he waited over 4 years to resume killing and first killed only at night and with a gun rather than knife. He was trying to get his nerve back to commit a killing the way he wanted to, along the lines of his fantasy and ritualistic needs.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Saturday, October 05, 2002 - 12:19 am:

Peters list:
From reports Slover indicated the voice was EVEN and consistant-it seemed rehearsed or stilted and not loud.We have adjectives(pl),so we have OTHER words besides "monotone",but they mean the same thing.Hartnell- from all reports and GS interview:the voice was not high or low,even, consistent,a pronounced way of speaking-it was not forced;phone interview with associate-the voice was flat or even.Both depictions are what we call monotone!Slaight said the voice was that of a young student in their early twenties and was calm-there was no emotion.We have Johns, which most reject as a Zodiac victim(Zodiac publically claimed her inspite of the fact she escaped-she was on his "list!").I don't.She did not read the news or watch it on t.v.,so she didn't know anything about Zodiac or his voice. She told us the drivers voice was flat-no emotion and free of high or low inflection,etc.FYI and it is remarkable as she could have had him yelling or a voice filled anger and emotion as many describe their serial killer attackers that they had escaped from!
Peter writes "public info", so no matter what is said he leans with great determination on this concept because of his copycat fixation.
"Young couple."so if it wasn't a couple at LB would it still be a copycat-like in Stines case?
I say the Z description can fit at BRS,LB and PH and not rule out the same man.I have posted on this a thousand times using ALL the PD reports -with full on quotes,placed together.Find which you don't like Peter and I will comment.
The letter content was a reference to the car door-I should have been more clear-happens.The hooded man was very commanding giving specific instructions like in some of Zs letters.He admitted he was "nervous' and in his letter to Belli he said he was 'depressed',another negative mental state.I don't have the PD reports just now ,but there was an exchange between the couple and the perp or as I believe,Zodiac,with a lot more content than GS gives in Zodiac.
"Not like z at all?"Reread his letters Peter!Slaves in paradise,shooting kids as they come off of a bus,"Some I shall tie over ant hills and watch them scream & twitch and squirm( all three words used in Confession letter FYI).Others shall have pine splinters driven under their nails & then burned...Others I shall skin them alive & let them run around screaming."How about the deep heat rubs for his victims?Z was extremly bizarre and capable of anything.Why not a strange costume?We can't see Bundy doing this.With Z it is easy!Are you researching the same killer we are?Why would a copycat go through the work to carefully sew that cross/circle if all he wanted to do was a copycat for the police and public,which was the door writing-which wasn't a letter and the police call?Why not just shoot the couple as any copycat would do with a .22 or 9MM and send a letter along with the phone call(no call from Z after Stine or LHR for that matter)?Now that's copycatin'!Why daylight when the other hits were at night?A copy cat?Bad job.Why not make it easy on your ol' copycat heart and do it in a secluded place to copy Z(copycats do this kind of thing ya know) and make it much safer for yourself?Why be so bold and daring like the real Zodiac at PH?LB was risky if you really think about it.Just turning this around.
'Phone call to NPD a copycat.'Yes,and it was structured to fit the Slover call in many ways when we compare them.He did a great job!
"Only LB was a Saturday."Wrong!BRS was on a Saturday.Stine was hit on a Saturday.Bates was Sunday,Halloween Eve a Harvest moon,Johns was on a Palm Sunday,a holiday( both FYIs).You assume he was a 'working guy'whereas many professionals felt he was incapable of holding down a steady job.
"Get it straight once and for all?"Peter you know next to nothing about the occult and astrology!Some followers believe that a full moon lasts up to five days.It isn't the exact minute the full moon goes to an exact degree.It is visible as 'full' for a few days.I have seen this many times.I consulted with an expert on astrology that examined the Z attack periods.I wouldn't go to a lawyer(if you did we could discuss-you have astronomy confused with astrology) that has no real knowledge on these matters,but thinks he does!I would go to someone who is conversant with astrology and the occult.Dave Peterson, a Z expert since 12/20/68 and lay astrology student who studied the occult and astrology for many years concurs that Z used new/full moons, as he saw them to be such-whether there was one or more days into a visible full moon.For example on 9/27 there was a full eclipse of the moon and the full moon was visible as such at night.They don't think two days PAST full moon-it is still a full moon manifested.The moon changes to the 12 signs every two or so days in astrology-like moon in Cancer,etc.This factored in also.It is interesting that the earth was in "aphelion" 7//5/69 ,so the sun,earth and MOON are in line and believers think this when the moon has its strongest pull,including the earth and sun at this time.
The showing of the bullet was something that your copycat didn't have to do,but was typical of Z who 'gave' out evidence,in one form or another.He tried to show proof as did the perp at LB.As with Z,it wasn't necessary.
All holidays- as an occultist would see them,can be within an hour or so(like Columbus Day)it was the holiday.Z said it was 'Christmas' when it was the 20th of"Des",but Yule Tide was there and he is saying 'close enough.'This is what HE thought-not you!Over by Maple and Washington' wrote Z-it was Cherry ,but close enough for him! 7/5/69 Z called it the "Fourth of July"-you wouldn't, but he did.9/27/69 Jewish holiday or Feast of Tabernacles.At 6:30 PM was the end of sabbath.I consulted with a Rabbi and he confirmed.
Info on car door was good enough as everyone knew what the count was!All he needed was to give dates.You can play with the fact he missed the two victims in August.Have fun with that.'Never before did Z tag a car.'Never before did he send bloodly squares of shirt either!Never before or since did Z send a Halloween card(opps another holiday!).
I will trust the top expert on Zs writing on the door as belonging to Z.You aren't an expert -he was and the BEST and most experienced on Zs writing.Afraid to go court with him as your Expert?-not me!
Wrong count?Z wrote:"Des [2]July[1] Aug [2]SEPT[1] Oct[1]=7 11/8/69.SEVEN Peter.The notched cross/circle shows the same.Z said "UP to the END of OCT[69] I have killed seven people."
CJB a military shoe size "8 to -TEN,"close enough!
"Fire" is from Johns and as det.William believes, the Tajiguas case of '63.Fits.Z also wrote "BY Knife."What fits this?"By Knife" on car door.Maybe the card writer was a copycat!
Walked slowly.Just saying perp did the same at BRS(don't bring car in) he WALKED slowly away from Covair-even paused and came back!Teens saw Z do same at PH.Just something that draws ya near not further away from a Z trait.Many others run like hades-not Z!
Deception at LB.Think.Compare.
Authorities can be correct on ID of perp and still not capture him.Think about it.
I go with Greg Mellon and others.The 340 is solved.If it is correct then it fits and sticks.Believe what you wish.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( on Saturday, October 05, 2002 - 11:20 am:

Right. Keep in mind that Samhain is a very important occult holiday. Dec 20 is about the time of the Winter Solstice, which historically is the reason why the Romans placed Xmas near that Pagan holiday.
I think Det Baker is correct in asserting that we cannot apply rational consistency to a psycho's mindset. I do think there was a method to Z's madness, but it probably would not be consistent with anything most people would relate to.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, October 05, 2002 - 01:17 pm:

Bill wrote:

This is a point that I had not considered before, although for you or I to try and apply standards of consistency to the behavior of a deranged mind, guided by our own systems of logic and reason, would not always prove sound.


... please consider that attributing the case to a copycat as a means of reconciling disparate and seemingly inconsistent elements, while certainly within the realm of possibility, is not in keeping with the old Occam's Razor or KISS principles. It would be akin to attributing the Z crimes to a team of two or more conspirators, just to make the pieces fit more readily.

Thank you, Bill! Just what we needed, the voice of reason and experience.

While yes, I agree there might be a slim chance of LB being the work of a copycat, it doesn't make a lot of sense for reasons I've outlined before in other threads, such as the copycat wearing the hood to prevent his features from being seen, when there were no composites at the time and he intended both of his victims to die. But, from the point of view of LB being an "absolution" of sorts for any perceived failings at SB by Z, then the hood takes on a different meaning entirely.

In any case, while it is certainly true that many murderers have certain signature elements that tend to be repeated in a series of crimes, one thing I think we can all agree on is that Z doesn't fit any one particular type of killer, and cannot be easily classified or pigeonholed. Rather, he seems to be an amalgam or composite of different types of killers, having borrowed whatever he liked from others before him. If this is the case, why then must we feel the need to reconcile "disparate and seemingly inconsistent elements" just because they don't fit the textbook examples by theorizing the existence of a copycat?

As I've pointed out before, the hypothetical copycat didn't copycat very well. While Z used a gun, didn't wear a hood, attacked couples in cars late at night blitz-style (with the obvious exception of Stine, but he was post-LB, and so cannot be considered an example for the supposed copycat), wrote letters claiming responsibility, did not tag his victims' car, and so on, we see that the alleged copycat used a knife, wore a hood, took his time chatting with his victims in the late afternoon after tying them up, tagged Hartnell's car, and so on. All very radically different than the original the "copycat" supposedly modelled himself after. It just makes no sense to me for a copycat to not copycat the killer he's trying to copycat.

And so, bearing Bill's words in mind, I see no reason to depart from the Z-as-perp scenario. Back in September 1969, the original investigators were certain it was Z and not a copycat. Why the sudden doubt now?

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Sunday, October 06, 2002 - 07:42 am:

Nothing sudden about it, Ed. It struck me from the day the story hit the papers that LB was very different.

And the "bad copycat" theory most certainly does fit Occam's razor. It absolutely does not need a team or conspiracy. All it needs is the Tajiguas perp, or someone else, taking the opportunity to get his jollies and directing attention to Z. It explains all the facts and is ten times simpler than all the convoluted speculation about why Z would take on such a different MO and personation for this one. And come on: a copycat would be closer to Z's style than Z was? Give me a break. The LB perp was close enough that all the investigators were convinced it was Z. That's all he needed. It worked. So why would he have to be any closer than that? You're saying that the fact that it was so un-Z like means that it could only have been Z.

And Howard: Thanks for reminding me why I stopped responding to your posts. July 4, 1969, the date the LB perp used, was a Friday. Five days past the full moon. So unless the moon is "full" for ten days, it wasn't even close. In fact it was one day shy of being as far from full or new as it gets. And what holiday is associated with Sept 27? And the moon changes signs every two days, but the significance of the full moon lasts for five? And there can be a lunar eclipse on a day other that that of the full moon? And on and on and on

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Sunday, October 06, 2002 - 10:37 am:

Peter, you wrote:

"And the 'bad copycat' theory most certainly does fit Occam's razor. It absolutely does not need a team or conspiracy."

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear, but when I said that attribution of the crime to a copycat, just to reconcile unresolved or discrepant issues, would be "akin" to placing responsibility for the Z crimes on co-conspirators, maybe I should have said "analogous," instead. These are two separate theories, and of course the latter would not involve a copycat, would it? Not to put too fine a point on it, the two have little if anything to do with one another, other than providing an illustration of a common tendency in which missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle become the focus of the picture, and not the conflux of the parts that are already present. Dare I say "analogous" to the tail wagging the dog?

In reading your last post, which was evidently in response to my remarks and those of Howard, you argued points made by both of us, without attribution, all in the same breath (2nd paragraph)and context, when most of what you were arguing against were points that Howard had made. While I found Howard's presentation very insightful and compelling, I'd hate for a reader of your post to confuse Howard's thoughts with those that I shared. FYI.

Another FYI: My presence on this board is to share ideas, not to debate the relative merits of opposing or differing points of view. I leave that to those of you who enjoy such confrontational posturing. I don't know enough about the cases to argue intelligently the myriad unresolved issues, and even if I did, I'm not inclined to do so.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Sunday, October 06, 2002 - 11:03 am:

Everybody here should memorize that last paragraph, or at least write it on a Post-It and stick it on the monitor.

Thank you, Mr. Baker, for your refreshing articulation of the sane approach to this case and other unexplained phenomena.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, October 07, 2002 - 09:11 am:


Actually, my comments were all directed to Ed's post, which included quotes from you. Thanks for the clarification on the relation to a team or conspiracy. That said, know that I did not just look for some Procrustean deus ex machina in proposing the bad copycat idea. It was developed through a fairly rigorous application of Occam's Razor. There has always been an assumption that LB was Z, but I have never seen a rational explanation why that MUST be so, unlike LHR, BRS and PH. So I began by suspending that assumption and looking anew at all the possibilities. My basic premise is that Morrill tended to err -- sometimes quite seriously -- on the side of finding a Z match, and could easily have done so on the Ghia door. Without the writing, there is not one single fact about LB that could not have been copycatted. Not one. This puts apart from LHR, BRS and PH.

If you put the bad copycat explanation beside the various explanations for why LB was so different from the two previous ones, it is inescapable that the bad copycat is far, far simpler. It explains absolutely everything about LB, includng the clear differences between the Ghia writing and Z's, in one short sentence. The explanation for why it was Z and why Z was so different at LB goes on for pages.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Monday, October 07, 2002 - 01:14 pm:

Mr. Baker,

You wrote, "My presence on this board is to share ideas, not to debate the relative merits of opposing or differing points of view. I leave that to those of you who enjoy such confrontational posturing."

I've no doubt that you were referring to people such as myself with that comment. However, I can assure you that my presence on the board has nothing to do with "confrontational posturing." With all due respect, I contend that without the type of debate you're alluding to, the message board would have very little, if any, contextual meaning. Differing points of view are most certainly welcome, but without an honest attempt to weigh the value of such opinions, how are said opinions able to move the case in a [hopefully] positive direction?



By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Monday, October 07, 2002 - 01:34 pm:


In saying what I did, I was explaining my own perception of my role on the board, and not in any way vilifying or otherwise condemning spirited but constructive debates. You and I are in complete agreement in this regard. As for me, and me only, I have no interest in engaging in urination contests with posters having differing views. You are fundamentally and farsightedly correct that nothing would ever be gained without subjecting stated opinions to analysis and critique. I would just as soon leave myself out of the fray, pop my head in just long enough to give my two cents' worth, and then seek shelter in my relative anonymity. Cowardly, I know, but my argumentative and confrontational ways have mellowed over recent years. I hope that this misunderstanding has not served to diminish the credibility of my contributions in your eyes, since, as I've said before, your positions are more often than not in agreement with my own.

Keep up the good work.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, October 07, 2002 - 07:29 pm:

BRS attack took place just after midnight according to the best timeline.I have gone through all the PD reports and other information and after midnight places the attack at Saturday the fifth-not Friday the fourth.Close but no cigar.
In my post I was careful to say that it what the Z saw in astrology-not what an 'official' ephemeris declares,which was three quarter moon.The full moon is visible as such for some days later in the heavens,whereas an ephemeris indicates it was exact on a certain day and time.Some occultists see it as full regardless and plan on the exact day of the degrees of 'fullness'and then carry out their purpose a short time later.
There was a Penumbral Eclipse of the moon on the 25th and it(the 27th) was only two days after the moon was exact or full on the 27th(Autumal Equinox Witchcraft Sabbat).
There also was a very tight square(90 degrees-symbolic of killing,etc.) between Mars(associated with knives,death,etc,) and Uranus(the bizarre or unusual)exact on the 27th and 'broke up'on the 28th.This would speak loads to an occulist.
There are different systems of astrology and methods of charting,like Zenth or Equal sector system or Placidius,etc.and popular astrolgy magazines differ on certain points.
A Druid new moon was on 9/6/70 the day Lass vanished.This is not found in an ephemeris or a calander.Peterson spotted it immediately.
The bottom line is one has to study the subject carefully as did Dave Peterson and in relation to Z and his crime times.
Monotone voice disputed by Peter.Just dug up report which says":Subject seemed to to be reading or had rehearsed what he was saying.Subject spoke in an EVEN,CONSISTENT voice(rather soft but forceful)."
In occult litrature(and in our own Julian calanders) the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles is called a"holiday."The calander I have on my office wall states as much.This special Day fell on the 27th of September 1969.

By Chrissy Shaw (Chrissy_Shaw) ( - on Monday, October 07, 2002 - 07:55 pm:

Dear Howard and Bill:

Hi you two, good to see you again. Bill, I am sorry if i lead you to believe that i was through speaking with you...i was more interested in staying put upon the subject which i had better do here or Tom will fry me for supper.

Howard I know that Hitler was big on astrology and I am aware that z was interested enough in astrology to to adopt the title for himself, but i really have a difficult time seeing a serial killer sitting down with charts while he is also reliving his last grab at power. Perhaps, but it seems a bit much for a serial killer, the codes withstanding. No wonder this guy could not get his own date for a trip to the lake, he was boring.

I surely do not see any clear evidence of more than one person around the Berryessa crime scene. It seems quite clear to me that this fantasy re-enactment was simply the ultimate direction that z was going in all along. He built courage up in the two homicide events prior and was ready to try(or try again if you would hold the views that Mr. Baker and i do regarding the 1963 beach homicides)at doing his most cherished fantasy killing in the real world.

From Berryessa i feel we see a post crime pattern in z indicating a loss as to what to do next that will give him the old time feeling of control and power.


By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, October 07, 2002 - 09:16 pm:

Forgot to comment on the speech content statementI made in my first post that Pete commented on.
The perp did speak of killing two people and he probably said this to instil fear in the couple.This was like Z- always saying he killed someone in order to create fear,etc.
"Copycat" is one who "mimics or imitates"according to the dictionary.
Let's see how well our hooded perp did and grade him.
Outdoors;costume;knife as strike weapon;binds couple;speaks to them;day light;couple not in car;accent;no letter;why go on- he failed the copycat course and definition!

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 - 06:02 pm:

Hi to you too.When picking an attack date all Zodiac had to do was check with an Ephemeris and find the basic aspects he wanted.It's easy,even I can do it!
Then he could consult an astrology magazine which gives astrology information for each sign and day of the month.I have already quoted from such a magazine.
Adding a holiday in to the mix thins out your attack periods,but we know Zodiac didn't do one a day!
I would say that Z was an amateur so the whole process for each planned attack would take one to two hours.No charts are needed so there is nothing to 'draw'up,etc.
I was the first to discover Zodiac used 'moon on the equator' which is found in any Farmers Almanac.A lot of information can be had in one of those publications and it's simple to use.

By Chrissy Shaw (Chrissy_Shaw) ( - on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 - 07:50 pm:

Thank you. Astrology simply seems to complex for me. It would seem that you have a far better grasp of this subject than I do. He used zodiac as a name and he seemed to give a great deal of thought as to impacts before he set out, so perhaps he did add such a twist.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Thursday, October 10, 2002 - 02:57 am:

"I hope that this misunderstanding has not served to diminish the credibility of my contributions in your eyes, since, as I've said before, your positions are more often than not in agreement with my own."

Not at all, Mr. Baker, your thoughts are always welcome and any thread that you contribute to is the better for it.


By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Thursday, October 10, 2002 - 04:02 am:

Glad to hear it. And please, my father was Mr. Baker; my name is Bill.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, October 10, 2002 - 01:47 pm:

Astrology and LB.There were two Grand trines(three planets in a 120 angle,but with three groups of three all in trine aspect-the very top astro' combo for a follower!)and they went EXACT by degree, at the cardoor time of 6:30 PM!
Many of the major planets were in Libra.So if someone or Zodiac was born during the Libra period(Sept.22/Oct.22,)as Dave Peterson believed back in '72, then seeing these planetary positions and aspects would be considered very favorable.
Also,the north lunar node was on the Ascendant and both were opposite to Pluto(the ruler of youth!and rules the head-hood?)which conjuncted the south node.Neptune(planet of mystery /costumes/ deceptiveness,etc.) is trine the north node and Ascendant(rules the physical and/or outward public persona).There is a ton more, all of which, to an evil adherant, would be a fabulous time to attack using a costume and knife(Mars -knives,cutting/piercing-square or 90 degrees aspect to Uranus planet of eccentricity or the bizarre).The 6:30 PM surprised me as I missed that some years ago.
This may sound strange to some,but is common shop talk amongst believers and all one needs is an ephemeris to plot a move at any given day.Knowing what I know about the subject and my astro' consultants it or 9/27/69 was an amazing time to act,especially if one was a Libra.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Thursday, October 10, 2002 - 02:32 pm:


This is what I was trying to elicit by starting my lunar events thread. This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Where did you get the information on this? Did you consult an astrologer or do you do it yourself? I ask because I want to see if I can verify this and check it against some other things. Great work, Howard.


By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Thursday, October 10, 2002 - 10:58 pm:

Lee Harvey Oswald was a Libra.

Where is he, now that we really need him?

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Friday, October 11, 2002 - 08:12 am:

Every anarchist I knew in high school was a skinny, funny looking, uncoordinated, nerd that wanted the attention that the other kids received. Some of the kids who weren't particularly popular chose to excel in school work, the debate club, volunteering their time to help the school's athletic teams and many other socially healthy activities. Many of them were my friends and when a bully messed with them I made them pay. The vast majority of them went on to be very successful. At my high school reunion they seemed to have the best cars and the best looking, classiest women. Then there were the nerds that weren't very intelligent, articulate, emotionally unstable and took their drug experimentation to an unhealthy level. They would state extreme or extremely stupid political views and I'd bet money that their odd views were concocted and expressed for the sole purpose of getting attention. It seemed that to them negative attention was better than no attention. While they seemed to revel in the off color spotlight that they created they just didn't seem to understand. Everyone else thought they were just weird. I even knew two anarchists when I was in boot camp in San Diego. They both wet the bed on purpose and pretended to be homosexual to try to get kicked out. One of them would never sleep. He sit on his rack all night weeping and mumbling about wanting to go home and missing his mother. If Lee Harvey Oswald were alive today I would seriously doubt he would be against President Bush to the point that he would try to shoot him. If Oswald was at a low point in his murderous career and needed some quick, local attention he would probably seriously consider taking out the first guy wearing Doc Martens, a peacock haircut, fake British accent shouting "anarchy in the UK", no job, living with parents or grand parents and wearing some type of clothes that try in some feeble attempt to make an ignorant type of political statement. Be afraid, be very afraid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, October 11, 2002 - 03:06 pm:

E mail me.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, October 11, 2002 - 03:13 pm:

Get Allens FULL birth data-city/state/time/mo./day/year,including time of day and I will have a chart done for you,including aspects, sector positions-the whole deal.

By Brian_D (Brian_D) ( - on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 09:51 am:

I think if the Zodiac were a Brit or Aussie or was influenced enough by their cultures to adopt words and expressions, I think he would have written the dates differently on Hartnell's car door: i.e Month Day Year instead of the common American way of Month Day and Year. I'm not aware if Canadians also use this manner of writing dates. Also if the Zodiac were momentarily confused and fishing in his head for the number of the month of September, he would probably reverted to the most natural way in his experience for writing dates: Month Day and Year. Just a thought.

By Brian_D (Brian_D) ( - on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 09:53 am:

Sorry. Euro manner of writing dates is Day Month and Year.

By Kevin (Kevinrm) ( - on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 11:19 am:

Good observation!

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 07:44 pm:

Bill, Based on your examination of the evidence in the Santa Barbara case, to you think there is anything which the killer touched would could now be tested for DNA evidence?

I too am inclined to associate SB with LB, the patterns are just so similar. (Note also, geographically, the SB site is nearly due south of Lake Tahoe) The count of 7, excluding Bates makes sense also, with the exception of Month, right? Though I suppose he could simply have mis-remembered the month as July instead of June.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 08:55 pm:

Obiwan, it's been many years since I had not only access to the physical evidence but to the evidence reports as well. I've recently been poring over the evidence in my mind, as I remember it, trying to think of something, anything that would be DNA-friendly. The only thing I can come up with, and it's so remote as to be wishful thinking, are the sections of rope the killer brought with him to bind the victims. It was woven cotton, rather than the plastic-wrap type used at LB. Since DNA material is contained in bodily secretions, such as sweat, as well as skin cells, I suppose it's possible that the killer's DNA could hypothetically be present on the rope from his binding of the victims. The question is if there was sufficient transfer of the assailant's genetic material, and more importantly, how time and packaging has affected the preservation of the material. Of course, elimination DNA from the victims would be necessary, and, short of exhumation, I don't know if it could be readily obtained. Blood relations could be used for narrowing the field, but that could be justified only if genetic material was found on the rope.

The only other thing I can think of is discarded cigarette butts that were found in the vicinity. I don't specifically recall if any were in evidence. There's no direct indication that the killer was a smoker, other than that the matches that were used in an effort to burn down the lean-to were most likely brought to the scene by him. As a smoker myself, my suspicion is that if he did smoke, he would have lit up at the scene. During stressful moments, and especially in it's aftermath, a cigarette has particular appeal.

I'm doubtful that my former agency would be terribly anxious to expend the money on such a far-out hunch, although the opinion of a DNA expert that it is quite possible could convince them to go for it.

I'm continuing to ponder the possibilities, but there just wasn't enough known contact with the victims to suggest any likely transference of material. The items he brought to the scene, i.e. cartridge boxes, expended casings, have all failed to yield usable prints. I'm not dismissing the ingenuity or thoroughness of the present investigators responsible for the case, but how I wish I had access to the evidence list.

As for his count of 7 at LB, I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I've long maintained that LB represented Z's self-rehabilitation (expiation?) for the 1963 debacle. Including our victims in that count would have been most appropriate, if they were in fact his first victims. I doubt that Z would have misremembered the month; it's not consistent with his style for detail.

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 07:53 pm:

Bill, thanks for your thoughts. I realized, what with contamination issues, that the evidence would not hold up in court, but perhaps might be enough to settle the issue amoungst us. However it doesn't look hopeful, based on your useful account.

As for his count of 7 at LB, I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I've long maintained that LB represented Z's self-rehabilitation (expiation?) for the 1963 debacle. Including our victims in that count would have been most appropriate, if they were in fact his first victims. I doubt that Z would have misremembered the month; it's not consistent with his style for detail.

Just to clarify: The Santa Barbara beach murders were in June, and "Jun" does not appear in the Dripping Pen letter.

So it seems what you are saying is that for Z, the Santa Barbara murders didn't happen in June, '63 any more once he committed the LB crime, ie that earlier date and time were "wiped out". Hmmm. In terms of record keeping, I guess I still favor the possibility that the date was misremembered. Its plausable that 6 years before the Z persona emerged, and on his first murder, he was not very interested in recording details, in order to use them to terrorize the public later.

However in terms of MO, and killer's intent, I agree completely that LB looks like an attempt to "get it right", and to replay this earlier episode, but with increased dramatic effect, and a greater sense of "control" over victims by the perpetrator. Its ironic then that LB was less successful from a murder point of view than the "flubbed" operation on the beach.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 10:00 pm:

He didn't really grasp the use of an edged weapon. He went nuts with it, the LB attack has a frenzied quality about it. All of the attacks do, except the Stine killing. Z seems to have lost all control during the actual attacks, during the act of murder. If he'd exhibited the control that we see in his timing and letters, he'd have cut the carotid arteries of both victims before leaving the scene at LB.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 12:14 pm:

At Lake B I think he wanted to inflict pain and a slow death. He new if they survived they would have a very scary story to tell. And much more of the attention in the papers,he seemed to crave. He knew they couldn't ID him. I think when he wrote the dates on the car,it was only about the 7 victims in a row in this area. He felt safe enough later to add the victims down south. Then when the police "maybe" spoke to him in conection to the z killings,he wrote the letter telling them that he would continue to kill, but would no longer let us know who or when. I believe he kept his word on that!

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 04:26 pm:

If Zodiac was familiar with Lake berryessa,then why here at this time of year? Did he "get lucky"
in that there was a young couple available or would he have killed anyone?

By Nick (Nick) ( on Sunday, February 02, 2003 - 12:49 am:

If Zodiac was playing the odds, then LB was probably a good choice in trolling for a prime setup at the time. Few witnesses, but likely an opportunity or two. Had it not played out so well, I still believe someone in the vicinity would have died that day. Once their in their zone, these guys can't turn it off. They will go to great length and assume any risk to consumate the act.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 04:15 pm:

I was thinking about the phone in Napa hanging off the hook. I don't know if anyone has ever mentioned this before, but maybe he didn't hang it up because he didn't want to risk a repeat of the incident in Vallejo where it rang and caused him (and his car) to be noticed.

And/Or, maybe he thought there a good chance someone would happen by and hang it up, putting a print on the receiver in the process. That would be what I'd hope for.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 11:36 pm:

Good thoughts on why Z may have left the phone off the hook, Ray...Of course, he may have wanted a trace to the booth for various reasons.Leaving that phone off the receiver would bring them to the booth or would it?

By Mike_Cole (Mike_Cole) ( - on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 10:32 pm:

Regarding the call-back avoidance idea, Jake Wark suggested the same thing in his article (2nd paragraph - about half way down). I agree with Ray and Jake, this sounds like the most logical explanation.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 08:02 am:

Have you seen the Audrey Hepburn/Cary Grant/Lee Marvin/George Kennedy movie, Charade? There are characters named CHARLES, TEX, another character Gideon looks like the composite of an older Z.

There are phone booth scenes, one where Grant leaves the phone off the hook when unknowningly was talking in the booth to Hepburn, next to her. Tex, LEE Marvin traps her in a booth and throws lit matches at her.

Lots of taxi scenes too.

Unfortunately I missed the end.

By J Eric Freedner (J_Eric) ( - on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 12:32 am:

I once spoke with someone at the phone company, why I cannot now remember, but the subject of pay phones came up. I mentioned always hanging up a phone in a booth when I'd see it left off the hook. This person thanked me because, she said, leaving a payphone off the hook RUNS DOWN ITS BATTERY. Apparently there is some extra system in it that sends a noise back to the phone operators alerting them that the phone is off the hook.

Running down a battery is what Z also caused to happen with Cheri Bates' car. And Z used batteries in his bomb diagram.

Can anyone out there confirm that payphones can be damaged in this manner?