2003 Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting, day by day

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: 2003 Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting, day by day

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (adsl-67-122-215-251.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 02:10 pm:

Day 1 (Friday/Saturday, June 20th/21st): Mike Butterfield was the first to arrive in San Francisco in the morning, and checked into the Grant Hotel in Chinatown. While waiting for the rest of us to show up, he made a trip to PH and Washington and Cherry. Roger Redding was the next to arrive around 4, Bill Baker arrived around 7, and Scott and Tom got in to SFO after 8; Sandy and I picked Tom and Scott and we headed to Chinatown. We checked into the Grant and met Roger there, and then found our way to the Sheraton at Fisherman's Wharf where Tom was staying. He had an interview scheduled for an upcoming TV show at 9 the next morning, and so the room was paid for by the producers, but some sort of mixup occurred, so Tom made some phone calls to find out what happened. The producer was out somewhere, so the five of us (Tom, Scott, Roger, Sandy and I) crowded back into my Saturn and we made our way to Mr. Bing's on Columbus in North Beach.

We met Bill, Kei, Mike, John and Lisa there, and managed to get a few beers in before we got news that the problem with Tom's room was taken of, and I drove Tom to the Sheraton and he checked in around 11:30. We returned to Mr. Bing's, and since everyone was starved, we ended up at the Taqueria el Zorro a block or two away, but Kei left early for the long drive back home. Tom wasn't hungry for Mexican food, and stopped elsewhere and got some Chinese, and we continued to chat about Z (among other things). We then stopped at Specs for some drinks and stayed till closing at 2 AM, but John left a little before then. By then, most everyone else was wiped out, and we headed back to our rooms. Lisa had parked on Broadway (which at some points can be very steep), and I dropped her off at her car and then drove Tom to the Sheraton.

In the morning, I was awakened by a call from the producer at 9:20 AM, who was looking for Tom. It seems they thought he checked out of the hotel at 12:15 AM, but he was at Mr. Bing's at the time! Go figure. They finally got a hold of him for the interview, and the rest of us lazily got ready and walked a block to McDonald's for brunch and sat around for the better part of an hour chatting about Z. On the way back, Scott, Mike and I stopped at a store and started buying souvenirs (3 t-shirts for $10.99 can't be beat!), and Tom checked in to his room at the Grant. So far, it's been a pretty easy trip, but there are still a few more days to go...

By Julia (Julia) (user-2ivfmt8.dialup.mindspring.com - on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 03:24 pm:

...And meanwhile, here in Vallejo, shooting continues on "In Control Of All Things." Today they were filming literally at the end of my block, so I walked out and watched for an hour or so. They placed a vintage phone booth at the corner and had an old 60's cop car parked near my house. During one scene, a funny little old man bustled along the sidewalk and was included in the shot without his even realizing what had happened. "Don't stop, he's perfect!" the director shouted to the crew.

It was great fun meeting you all last night! Looking forward to hanging out again, hopefully--

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (adsl-67-122-215-251.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 01:30 am:

Day 1, part 2 (Saturday, June 21st): We chatted in the lobby for a while, waiting for 3PM, when we were to meet the producer and camera crew at the Sheraton. After weaving through traffic, we got there around 3:15, and gave directions to Napa; they wanted to film Tom in front of a computer, and asked to use mine. We decided to convoy to Napa, and managed to stay together most of the way (I had two radios, and since Bill had the other car, he used the other radio, which was good, because they got caught by red lights and traffic and ended up way behind).

Traffic was horrendous, and we still had perhaps 25 miles to go when Bill had to get gas. We pulled off, but the producer (who was still in the lead) didn't see us exit, but the camera crew followed us. We also got a quick bite to eat, and she called us, wondering what happened. The camera crew took off, and we followed once Tom, Scott and Sandy got back from Jack in the Box. It took over an hour to reach Napa, and the producer and camera crew were waiting for us. They ended up filming for 20-30 minutes, and then we left for Lake Berryessa.

It took about 45 minutes to drive along Monticello Road to the lake, and there was still plenty of light left to film. Bill got his first sight of the crime scene, but we could not get out to Zodiac Island because it was actually an island! We had so much rain earlier this year that the spit that connects the island to the mainland was submerged. After filming the island, the crew filmed the seven of us (Tom, Mike, Bill, Scott, Roger, Sandy and I) for a little while at a nearby picnic table discussing the case; with any amount of luck, it will not end up on the cutting room floor (Tom will probably announce if and when it's to eventually air).

The producer and camera crew had to go to Yountville, so we bid them goodbye, then made our way to Moscowite Corners for a few pitchers of beer and discussion; Tom spotted a little frog in the bathroom and took pictures of it (I don't know if he'll post any pics of it though; e-mail and ask him, lol). Bill showed us satellite pictures of Santa Barbara and explained the Roberts and Domingues crime scene, which cleared things up a lot. We finally headed back to Napa at 10:30, and stopped at McDonald's near the State Hospital for a bite to eat, but they were closed, and ended up at Taco Bell and Chevron to use the facilities (beer will do that to you). On the way back, a flashing roadsign indicated that traffic was blocked at University Avenue due to an accident, so we cut across to San Rafael and took the 101 South into the city across the Golden Gate bridge. Tom needed to use the facilites by that point, and we stopped at a Food Mart that was still open for gas, but they wouldn't let anyone in (the cashier was downright nasty, so Tom flipped her the bird); everyone lasted till we got to the City, fortunately. We continued to San Francisco, and finally made it to the Grant Hotel. Tom, Bill, Mike, Roger and Scott decided to find a bar, but it had been a long day, so Sandy and I called it a night. I figured I needed the time to post this part also, but there is certainly more to come...

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc702d1.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 02:55 pm:

Day 2 (Sunday, June 22nd): We checked out of the Grant Hotel by noon, and decided to head straight into Vallejo so that Tom, Mike, Bill and Scott could check in to the Quality Inn (Roger had one more night at the Grant, since he was leaving early the next day). After check-in, we had brunch at the Good Day Cafe adjoining the Quality Inn (the Big Ben burger is awesome! Almost as good as the Geezer's Burger Mess), and Lisa finally joined us before we left.

We piled into two cars (mine and Bill's), and drove first to Art Allen's old place at 32 Fresno; Bill had never been there before. We got out and took some pictures, and minutes later, two guys pulled in to the driveway, so we took that as our cue to leave. They spotted us, and started saying, "Here it is!" pointing to the house, then asked what we wanted. There were a jumble of responses, so I didn't hear what was said, but I asked if the house was for sale, and got a negative reply. I said, "Don't worry about it then," and we crowded into the cars and took off.

Mike wanted to drive by the spot where Z made his phone call to VPD on 7-5-1969, which used to be Silvia's Union Station (not whatever Bob Graysmith claimed it was) at 701 Tuolumne at the corner of Springs Road, which is now an office building. Since we were so close, we stopped by the Ferrins' old place at 1300 Virginia and pulled up on Contra Costa and parked right by the side of the house. It had been repainted beige (because it was pink for so many years, everyone had a hard time recognizing it). Scott filmed the scene while I and one or two others took pictures, and then we drove over to Blue Rock Springs.

I realized that since it was Sunday, there would be a lot of people picnicking and that there would be a gate guard wanting to charge us admission. We only intended to stay a short while, and when we pulled up, I explained that we'd be there 10 or 15 minutes, and Sandy chimed in that we wanted to check the place out for a party. They guard waved us through, and we parked near the sulphur spring, but closer to the spot Ed Rust, in a recent interview, said Darlene and Mike were shot. Bill was disappointed since the site had changed so much (especially in contrast to the other sites which were still essentially unchanged). Mike, Scott and I walked up towards the groundskeeper's house and took some pictures, and Mike was able to see for himself how George Bryant basically couldn't see anything happening in the parking lot on 7-5-1969 because of the distance and the interposing trees. We ended up spending about 20 minutes there, and then headed out to Lake Herman Road, where it all began.

We pulled in to the attack site, and Bill visualized how the crime happened (it's one thing to read about it, but another thing entirely to be there and see the layout of the scene). We found a number of interesting things someone had written on the "no trespassing" sign, and took some pictures (I don't know if they'll come out, since it was almost all in what appeared to be pencil). The initials A.L.A. were at the top left, with "VPD - 0, ME - 37" underneath along with a cross-circle symbol. There was another old cross-circle symbol underneath that looked like someone used water or saliva to smear the dirt to form, and over on the right hand side someone attempted to use a black marking pen to draw the "Chinese" symbol from the Exorcist letter and what appeared to be "RH." There was another pencilled cross-circle symbol, and then "Tom Voigt is the Zodiac!!!" We all got a laugh out of that one. We slipped under the gate and walked partway down the dirt road, and Tom showed Bill the "wide flange beam" symbol Z used on the Halloween card, and how it compared to Mt. Diablo, and after a lot of pictures and Scott filming, we headed out to get a bite to eat.

On the way, we discussed a paragraph from Zodiac Unmasked (p. 482 in the hardback, p. 425 in the paperback), where Bob Graysmith claimed to have found a small, hidden road off Columbus Parkway where "[he] had to make an abrupt turn to reach the road. It led [him] in a dead straight line into the heart of Vallejo. At the end of twenty-four blocks, [he] arrived at a familiar doorstep--the home of Arthur Leigh Allen." We backtracked first past Blue Rock Springs to St. John's Mine Road (I pointed out that when Z called VPD on 7-5-1969, he said, "I want to report a double murder. If you will go one mile east on Columbus Parkway to the public park, you will find kids in a brown car..." (Zodiac, p. 33). He specified a starting point one mile west of BRS for some reason, and St. John's Mine Road is exactly one mile west of there. Why, I don't know, but the skeleton of a teen was found at that spot some years later whose murder is still unsolved (I'll post something about it when I dig out the stories I found).

We turned around and drove past BRS and continued slowly down Columbus Parkway, and first turned right on Ascot Parkway. It wound around quite a bit, and is a fairly new road in any case, so we turned around and resumed the drive down Columbus. We came to Tennessee Street, turned right, and proceeded to wind our way along the curving road until it straightened out and we arrived at Fresno Street. Lisa counted 24 blocks, but what we couldn't figure out is why Bob Graysmith made that road sound so mysterious when it is not only named, but well-known, well marked and easy to access. Plus, he had to make a right turn onto Fresno, since this "mysterious" road didn't actually lead in a "dead straight line" directly to Allen's house.

We stopped back at the Quality Inn, and changed cars. Lisa drove hers and led us to the Empire Buffet on Sonoma Avenue for Chinese food (great place!), and Mike called Graysmith to ask him about the mysterious street he found, but we really didn't expect him to answer nor call back. After dinner, we went to the Valano Club at 2304 Sacramento Street for drinks. On the way, we stopped by Character's, which used to be Caesar's Palace (Dean Ferrin's place of employment in 1969), and pulled into the parking lot. Tom noticed an old Caesar's sign there, and got out to get a close look at it, but some woman came out of the bar and asked what we were doing. Tom explained, but she eyed us coldly, so we continued on to the Valano Club.

It was getting late, and since Sandy's car was still parked at my place in Napa, I drove her back to pick it up (which later saved her 40 minutes driving home), and we returned to the Valano. The bartender overheard us talking about Z, and she told us that she dated Buzz Gordon (Sandy did too about the same time), and they also knew a lot of the same people and even worked at some of the same places back in the 1960's and 70's. She promised to bring some old photos of Mulanax to show us tomorrow night. The only other patron that night, Leroy, had also been around back in the 60's and told us that he once worked at Caesar's Palace.

Since pool was free on Sundays (and Wednesdays), I played Tom, then Sandy, then Lisa, and won all three (not bad for someone who hasn't really picked up a cue in a decade or more). Tom and Mike played on the other table, but I don't think they actually finished the game. We got the jukebox going as well, and Bill and Lisa even danced a bit; we also ordered 25.4 ounce Steinlagers for $3.50 apiece (2 beers for the price of one!). Sandy eventually left for home around 1, and three shady characters stopped in the bar as she was leaving. They turned around and left moments later.

Since Roger had to get back to the City, I volunteered to drive him. I figured we should leave no later than 1 AM, so after saying goodbye to everyone, I drove Roger back, and Tom came along for company; we left around 1:15. We dropped him off at the Grant and wished him a safe trip, and got back to the Quality Inn around 2:30 or so. They had bought some whiskey, vodka, cranberry juice, and lots of coke and diet coke, and Tom mixed me something with cranberry. I don't know exactly what was in it, but it was good! Around 3:15, I figured I'd better head back home, but we chatted more (it's sometimes difficult to get away when you're having so much fun). I finally left after 4:30, and noticed the sky was starting to lighten in the east; I hadn't been awake that late in a long time. I finally turned the light out after 5, and managed to sleep till noon.

This afternoon around 1, Sandy called to find out what was happening, and arrived at the Quality Inn, but no one answered their doors (they were all still asleep). She stopped at the Good Day Cafe to see what developed, and Tom called around 2. They'll be here in Napa in the next hour, and he told me that they stayed up till 7AM. There is a Yard Birds next door to the Inn, and it got robbed after I left, and VPD showed up. Too bad I missed it, but there was plenty of excitement anyway with the eight of us hanging out together all day. Today promises to be a good day (we might even get to see some of In Control of All Things being filmed).

By Warren (Warren) (w205.z064002105.hou-tx.dsl.cnc.net - on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 08:57 am:

Man, that's great! I was in Boise, so near, yet so far. My Saturday night was a great dinner out with my parents, then to my brother-in-law's medical office where we burned warts off each other with liquid nitrogen( I'm not kidding.)
By the way, after I finger the Z perp, I will start a board to get the crew off their addiction to junk food. Remember the maxim, "The funnier the ad, the worse the food."

By Muskogee (Muskogee) (140-pool1.ras10.txdal-la1.alerondial.net - on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 04:02 pm:

Warren said,

"...we burned warts off each other with liquid nitrogen"

Man, and I thought I was easily amused! No offense Warren, but I'm more envious of the gang in San Fran than of you right now!

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc13e0e.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 09:11 pm:

Day 3 (Monday, June 23rd): It started of slow and late today, as most everyone slept in (too much partying at night! I slept till noon myself). Sandy was up early (she always is), and called around 1 to ask what happened to everyone. She stopped at the cafe to wait for the others, and Tom finally called around 2. We arranged to meet at Rosita's (right across the street from where Z made his call to NPD on 9-27-1969), and he mentioned that the Yard Birds had been robbed that morning, but didn't give me any details. I thought I'd have enough time to deposit my paycheck and head back home, but Sandy called before I got to the bank; everyone was on the way and on American Canyon Road, so I ran in the bank, hurried out and back home to collect my cameras. I pulled into the parking lot that used to be the Napa Car Wash, just after the others (Tom, Mike, Scott, Bill and Sandy) did. It was about 3 PM.

We had brunch (or maybe a late lunch?), and the others filled me in on the robbery. It seems that at around 6 AM, two amateurs tried to break in through the front door or something, and grabbed some cash and took off. After a few hours of consuming liquor, Tom, who was outside and actually watching the crime in progress, didn't realize what was happening (I doubt the others would have either, they were all equally inebriated). Later on, some woman (presumably an employee) arrived, and Tom started yelling something like, "There's that woman!" over and over again. Mike had apparently gone over to talk to the cops who had since arrived, and they were wondering who was yelling so loudly, but Tom said he didn't remember doing that at all.

After lunch, Tom called Ken Narlow; he was at the Napa sheriff's, so we figured he'd be busy for at least another half hour. We didn't really want to wait outside Rosita's in the hot sun, so I suggested the Napa County Library (since it was air conditioned). Tom used one of the computers to check his e-mail, and I showed Mike the section that Gareth Penn claimed to have perused in 1981 when he, amazingly enough, discovered Z's true identity by thumbing through a few books about artists and sculptors. As I showed Bill the section that the Polk's directories were in (where I spent a lot of time checking things out in 1969 Napa), Ken called my cell phone, so I had to quickly step out to talk; he was at Rosita's, wondering where we were (we decided on the library after Tom spoke with him), and he hadn't taken as long at the sheriff's as we thought.

He drove over to the library, arriving around 5, and got to meet most everyone for the first time (Tom and I already had, and Mike had spoken on the phone with him before). We retired to a picnic table at Fuller Park, and Sandy and Mike stopped at Val's to get water for everyone (it was a pretty warm day in Napa). Not long after we sat down, Ken told us, "I can honestly tell you that I'm burned out on the case." I was quite surprised, but it has been 34 years after all. Bill told us how he inherited the Santa Barbara case around 1971, and that he sent out a teletype to various jurisdictions to see if anyone had any information, and it turned out that Bill Armstrong was the first to contact him, and later Jack Mulanax; both had noted similarities between Bill's case and LB. Bill eventually made the trip to the Bay Area, but was only able to speak with Les Lundblad, so this meeting with Ken was long overdue.

Ken agreed that it was highly unlikely that there would be two killers in California within a few years of each other that were so similar in MO, so there's a good possibility that SB may have been the work of Z (there's been some discussion on this already, so I won't go into it here, but do a keyword search and check it out). By 7, we called it quits, and Ken headed home (even in retirement, he's very busy and had a long day).

Tom called Mimi, one of the production crew on In Control of All Things and our liaison officer, as it were, and we figured we'd be there by 7:30 or so. Sandy and Mike left in Sandy's car, while Bill and Tom drove together and Scott rode with me. Sandy took Highway 29, while we headed south by the State Hospital; we were going to meet at the Quality Inn so Sandy could drop off her car (it seemed kind of silly to take 3 cars when we could all fit in 2). Somehow we crossed wires somewhere, and after waiting a while, figured they must have gone straight to the set on Marin Street. She called as we were leaving, and that's exactly where they were. We arrived at the set around 8 PM.

One of the things they wouldn't allow was to take pictures of the actors, but other things were fine (which was OK with us), so I took a few pictures of the set of VPD as well as the hero's car (it's a green 1960's Chevy Impala hardtop; if it was white, it would look similar to the car seen at LHR on 12-20-1968). Mimi told us that the set was dressed using old desks, phones, binders etc from Mare Island, so it looked pretty authentic. In one room (presumably the front desk area of VPD), we spotted a map of Vallejo that was dated 1959; Mimi didn't know for certain, but thought it was authentic. We looked closely at it, and saw that 10 years before the Zodiac crimes, there were no through streets (not even Tennessee) from Columbus Parkway directly to Allen's house; there was no way to tell whether it was still the same in 1969. We found out that some scenes are to be filmed at the Golden Bubble, just a short distance from the Valano Club.

We left the set at 9, and made our way first to Character's (Caesar's Palace), thinking we could eat there, but it turned out to be just a bar. I wanted to get a picture of that sign in the parking lot since we were there, and as I was warming up the digital camera, that same woman from the previous night walked by and looked right at me. I thought, "what are the odds against this happening?" and ducked out of the way, only to find out that she spotted Tom just seconds before. She went back into the bar, and apparently started telling other patrons that were back again, so we left in a hurry for Denny's. We decided on the IHOP by Allen's place instead, but they were closed, so we ended up at Nation's on Sonoma and Tennessee for hamburgers and pie. Sandy bade goodbye to everyone and left at 10:20, so we decided to head over to the Valano Club.

It was quiet and we had the bar all to ourselves, and it turned out the bartender didn't have any photos of Mulanax handy, since they were in an album her sister had. We started drinking the 25.4 ounce Steinlagers again, and played several games of pool until 2AM and played Dean Martin, Conway Twitty, CCR, The Eagles, the Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, Alabama, Alannah Myles and even Abba on the jukebox (I even found "Tequila," and was waiting for someone to jump up on the bar and do the PeeWee Herman thing). Tom will claim that he won most of the games, but it is a fact that he sank the 8-ball only twice to win! Every other time, he won because someone scratched on the 8-ball or sank it by accident. I nearly beat him in one game, but I scratched at the end (all 7 of his were still on the table, incidentally). All of that paled in comparison to the shot of the night, when I jumped the cueball over the 7-ball (which was right next to another one, so there was no good shot otherwise) and sank the 6-ball in the side pocket! Yes, it was planned, and everyone was amazed. I won the last game and nearly scratched at the end, but the cueball literally stopped one inch from the corner pocket. I took a picture of Tom's reaction when he lost (I'll post it as soon as I can, lol).

Tom found the guest book, and found that Johanna and Frank Suennen (related to Darlene Ferrin) signed it on 1-19-1995, and that Rick Hoffman (one of the first cops on the scene at BRS) was there on 11-24-1995. Since they included their addresses, we knew they were the right ones and not someone else with the same name. Tom, Mike, Scott and I also signed it. Since Bill was leaving around 11 the next day (I was picking up the others at 12), we said our goodbyes. With any amount of luck, he'll be back up this way again (or I'll be down his way). It was great to be able to finally meet him.

I dropped Tom, Mike and Scott off at the Quality Inn, and arrived home at 2:30, but it was 5 when I finally turned out the light. The 2003 Bay Area trip was almost at an end.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc13e0e.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 09:48 pm:

Day 4 (Tuesday, June 24th): I met Tom, Scott and Mike at 12 at the Good Day Cafe as they were finishing breakfast, and we left for the airport at 12:15. We arrived at SFO at 1:10, and I dropped them off and parked the car. Mike was leaving out of Oakland and taking BART from SFO, so he had to leave right away. We stopped at a bar for one last drink (Tom amazingly enough had a diet coke!), and Scott had to go at 1:45; his flight left at 2:15. Tom still had 2+ hours to kill, so we stopped at the Burger King there in the terminal so I could get a bite to eat. We chatted a bit, but Tom was kind of quiet; the end of these weekends are always kind of anti-climactic (that, and the serious lack of sleep!). I headed out around 2:30, and Tom said he'd try to get some sleep before he had to board his flight.

I drove over to Presidio Heights through heavy traffic along the 101, and took some pictures of the crime scene for Mike (he said his might not turn out), and left about 4. Since I was closer, I took the Golden Gate Bridge back to Napa via Vallejo, and took a picture of an unusual sign on Georgia Street that Tom spotted that kind of resembled the "wide flange beam" symbol of Z's Halloween card (I'd noticed it before some time back, but had forgotten about it); we didn't have time to stop by before we left. I stopped by the library to find out when that store opened, headed for home at 5:30 and arrived at 6. The trip is finally over, and it was a blast! This won't be the last, however: there wasn't a taskforce meeting this year because of scheduling conflicts, but next year...

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar17-4-61-195-092.lsanca1.elnk.dsl.genuity.net - on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 01:35 am:

I'll try to keep it brief, with a minimum of rambling, but I would like to extend some words of appreciation to everyone that participated in a most-insightful (for me) visit to the past.

I tend to think that most people who have become latter-day aficionados/aficionadas of notorious historical events must rely on information that is documentary, be it photographic, printed or anecdotal in its form, to represent facts, conditions and circumstances as they were at its actual inception, rather than having the benefit of first-hand experience. Allowing that most posters here fall within that description, including myself when it comes to the Zodiac crimes (even the 1963 case in our county which was the genesis of my interest in this particular pursuit -- even though I didn't assume responsibility for it until 7 years later -- one which has persevered [persevere: to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement.]) for decades, much of what we know, much of what we use to form the basis of our approach to the mystery, is merely an abstraction, only a representation of whatever the reality might have been at the time of occurrence. On the rare occasions that we are blessed with an opportunity to see things as they were, and not simply as we had imagined them to be, the manifold benefit, the enhanced perspective that emerges is one of incalculable worth to our basic understanding of the event.

My first tip of the hat must go to Ken Narlow, who gave me that most-precious glimpse into the past, the opportunity to see things through his eyes, his first-hand experience at Lake Berryessa. I watched his eyes as we sat there at the park, mulling over the information presented, questions posed, a thousand-yard stare that bridged more than thirty years as he undoubtedly replayed the scene before responding. While not wanting to romanticize the moment, I must say I couldn't help but to identify his expressions with those that I'm sure I have displayed when I reflect back on the indelible memories cached with similar indelibility in all too vivid and often disturbing detail. I'd never talked with him before, which is completely my fault, one that I will regret for all my years. Since LB was the pivotal crime that connected my theories to Z, I am sorely embarrassed that I never, not once in 33 years of my pursuit, took the time to pick up the phone and talk with him, much less drive up there and pick his brain. Unforgivable, and perhaps indicative of the failures to communicate that have been cited as a factor in the unsolved status we see today. As I told Ed and others on Monday, back when my theories were in their infancy, my lack of connection with Ken was probably a key reason why those theories "never got legs" to serve to establish the 1963 case with the mainstream Z cases (in my opinion).

(By the way, Ed, it was Mel Nicolai, not Jack Mulanax, who called me right after Bill Armstrong upon receipt of my teletype in 1971, or 72. I don't recall ever speaking with Jack.)

In any event, I want to publically thank Ken Narlow, in the sincerest manner possible, for taking the time to meet with us, and listen patiently as I described my case, after so many years of relentless pestering on Z-related issues from every quarter imaginable. You are a gentleman and a professional. I only wish that I had met with you when it really counted. In my day, that would have involved bellying up to the bar and letting the alcohol buzz work its magic.

Lastly, but obviously not without genuine appreciation, my gratitude to Tom and Ed, especially, along with Scott, Mike, Sandy, Lisa (Julia), and Roger, for your valuable commentary and insight. Even with occasional divergent opinions, there was never the slightest adversarial posturing that often occurs here on this board. As someone who actually worked in the trenches, I would have no hesitation in joining forces with any one of you to tackle the most problematic of cases. Thank you.

By Sandy (Sandy) (12-233-117-91.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 08:22 am:

Bill, I thank you sooo very much. I read about your case many years ago,I strongly felt this could be the work of the Z. After seeing the pictures of the area,it looked very much like Lake B. In my mind, and I am sure the others who heard what you and Ken had to say,the Z corrected the mistakes he made in Santa Barbara at lake B. I am so glad you were able to come. Hope to see you again.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc5d065.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 11:57 am:

Thanks for the correction, Bill! I tried to remember everything as best I could, especially since I was not taking notes at all. Thanks for the kind words... I'm glad you (and hopefully the others) had a great time, and I hope we can all get together again soon!

BTW, one tidbit I recalled is that Mimi, who we met on the set of In Control of All Things, is the wife of someone Scott was in film school with. He also knows the director personally...

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (cache-rp06.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 02:59 pm:

Yes Ed, it's a small world after all...

Also, Ed, as always, let me thank you for all that you did to make my trip as productive and comfortable as possible. You and Sandy are 2 of the most hospitable persons I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and I thank you both. I'll be calling on your services again soon, I'm certain.

Bill, I'm certainly the better person having made your acquaintance. Listening to the conversation between you and Ken Narlow was one of the most fascinating things that I've ever had the opportunity of being privy to. I feel certain that SB and LB are related, but I wish you wouldn't be so hard on yourself about it as if it had been a dereliction of duty or something because that simply isn't the situation. What's important is that somebody continues to look at this case proactively and, thanks to this fabulous website, there are people who continue to do so, including yourself. If it didn't matter to you, you wouldn't have come to the Bay Area for this trip, nor would you have met with Ken. Even Narlow himself said that there were many things that he would have done differently if given the opportunity to go back in time; the same can be said in all walks of life. I genuinely hope that I have the opportunity to meet with you again. You're a fascinating, fun going, and caring individual, and if I'm half the man that you are when I'm your age, I'll be twice the man of most.

I want to thank Lisa [Julia] for her graciousness and hospitality: I never knew it was possible to have that much fun in Vallejo...lol. Thanks for the conversation, the booze, and for introducing us to the Valano Club. It was certainly a pleasure making your acquaintance, and until next time I wish you the best.

Roger, I've told you 32,543 times that your much too insightful to be as quiet as you are, but I wouldn't want you any other way. It was wonderful to party and converse with you about all things Z and other topics of intrigue for a second time. Can't wait to do it all again.

John, sorry that we couldn't spend more time together, but we will one day soon I promise. Keep plugging away on the documentary because you have a good thing going there and it will be wonderful when it is completed. I hope that it goes without saying that I'm grateful for the relationship that we've developed in the last year. Until next time, take care of yourself and stay in touch.

Mike, what can I say that you don't already know and won't give people on the Internet the impression that I've fallen in love with you? Seriously though, you're an amazing individual and I'm very glad that we've met for many, many reasons. You know the score.

Tom, Mike, Ed, it is what it is fellas, let's keep the candle burning and great things will happen. I believe we're certainly destined for many great things.

Also, it was good to see you again, Kei. Our time was brief, but that is much better than nothing at all. Be well my friend.

Finally, I'm not sure if Ken Narlow reads this message board or not, but if he does and reads this, I hope that he understands how wonderful it was to listen to him talk about Lake Berryessa. I sincerely appreciate him taking the time to meet with us; a generosity that only a man of his character would be willing to offer.

It was a blast folks, and I can't wait until we can do it all again.

By J Eric (J_Eric) (dialup- - on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 10:30 pm:

I actually made it to the Grant Plaza Hotel by Sunday morning, which is not bad considering I had no road map of S.F. & found no parking place within a half mile. Figured the troops were at one or another crime site, but wasn't about to travel all over the Zodiacscape trying to keep up. Remember, no can cross Bay Bridges once I get to S.F.!! Next year I will simply go to Lake Herman Road and wait for the sleuths (or bullets) to catch up.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 11:50 pm:

J. Eric, sorry we missed you. I called your cell a couple of times but there was no signal. Maybe next time...

That was a fast five days and I'll be adding a big update soon. I'd like to thank Ed, Sandy, Scott, Mike, Bill, Roger, Lisa, John and Kei for making the trip so much fun. Visiting the movie set was great and spending more time with Ken Narlow was worth the trip all by itself.

By Sandy (Sandy) (12-233-117-91.client.attbi.com - on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 06:27 pm:

Tom ,Lets do it again soon !

By Nick (Nick) ( on Friday, June 27, 2003 - 01:12 am:

Man, you guys were just up the road from home and and here I was 2000 miles away. I'm just going to have to do a solo tour now, and hook up in earnest the next time around.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc478ef.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, June 27, 2003 - 01:42 am:

Nick: I live in the heart of Z country, so e-mail me and I'll give you the tour...

By Nick (Nick) ( on Friday, June 27, 2003 - 01:54 am:

Thanks Ed, I'll do just that.

By Tom Stout (Tom_Stout) (dialup- - on Friday, June 27, 2003 - 07:52 pm:

Are you sure y'all didn't visit Mt.Diablo and leave a cigarette or something smoldering there?
Cause ah, ever since y'all left, the place went up in flames!
As of right now, over 170 acres burned on the east side!

I'm glad to see that everyone enjoyed their stay in my hometown!
The Zodiac case has fascinated me since I was a child growing up in Z's neighborhood during his reign of terror.
THANK YOU to all of you, for your fascinating and informative posts!
Good luck everyone!
Tom S

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - on Friday, June 27, 2003 - 08:33 pm:

Thanks Tom. Next time maybe you'll join us.

By Sandy (Sandy) (adsl-216-100-136-121.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 01:37 pm:

Tom S. I live on the N.East side of the Mt.! The fire I would like to know more about, was the one I heard was made in a circle around the top of the Mt. It was late 70's or early 80's. Do you know anything about that one? Mt. Diablo was the place I suggested we could have the meeting, it's a good thing we didn't!!!

By Tom Stout (Tom_Stout) (dialup- - on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 06:48 pm:

You live in a beautiful area! Unfortunately, a combination of a wet spring and a heatwave in June makes for a dangerous fire season!
I hear Mt.Diablo now has four tons of vegetation per acre, adding fuel to the fire!
It took over 200 hundred firefighters with hellicopters and air tankers to put this last one out, which occured just east of "Morgan Territory Road".
The cause of the fire was not known. Investigators were not ruling anything out.
I hope the fire didn't effect you. By the sound of your post it doesn't sound like it did, thank God!

I don't remember the other fire you mentioned.
Sounds interesting though!

By Tom Stout (Tom_Stout) (dialup- - on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 07:34 pm:

That's 200 firefighters. Not 200 Hundred.
Yikes! It wasn't that big a fire.

By Warren (Warren) (w205.z064002105.hou-tx.dsl.cnc.net - on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 07:23 am:

I skipped write over that error, Tom. Even reading your correction, it still took a while to sink in!

By Julia (Julia) (user-2ivfna4.dialup.mindspring.com - on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 04:23 pm:

Dear Zodiac friends, here I am, finally back from Florida. (Talk about the anti-Vallejo...I'm in shock.)

It was a great pleasure to meet all of you and show you some of the "hidden charms" of Vallejo, lol. Next time, the bar at my house will be open too, and I'm a rather snazzy bartender if I do say so myself. I promise I'll stock up on those spectacularly massive New Zealand beers, too.

YES, Clark, the Valano does have darts!

What I loved about that weekend was that I made the acquaintance of so many marvelous individuals whom I liked immediately for both our shared interests in Zodiac and just for themselves, plain and simple. We made a terrific team of like-minded souls, and I'm only sorry I couldn't be there at the Lake, and for the meeting with Ken Narlow.

I still vote for a Webcam on Lake Herman Road. Ed?

Tom, (although this is perhaps the wrong thread, sirYESsir, but I'll put it there too if you like) I very much admire all the work you've done on this case; if it's ever solved, I feel sure it'll be due in large part to your efforts. Your website is admirable in every way.(Sometimes, though, I wish I could just tune in to your brain, Vulcan-style, as being a more comprehensive and direct route to total Zodiacal enlightenment.)

Oh, and how's the hat? Well, I hope! Bill, I'd like a copy of the evidence on that one, please!

Scott, I enjoyed our conversations immensely. I am sorry we didn't have time for more. I've always found you to be one of the most thoughtful and judicious posters to this site, and you were every bit as great in person. I'm sorry you live so damned far away. Hey, e-mail is free...

Ed and Sandy, what a relief you DON'T. Live far away, that is. I can't wait to see both of you--please stay in touch. It was so fascinating to talk to the both of you.

(Ed, where's that reaction shot of Tom? Dyin' to see it...)

Mike, I'll be in Chicago in August and I'd love to hook up with y'all--I'll e-mail you. Having read and greatly admired your Graysmith piece, I hope you'll let us know about your future efforts!

And Roger...I tend to be quiet too. Little do they know what we're really thinking, ha HA!

John--hope to hear from you as well--not to nag, but when it's finished...you know...just allow me the privilege of being in your audience, okay?

Last but not least--Bill, when Tom said "surprise guests," who knew he had something that special up his sleeve! You were at the very top of my "hope to meet" list. Please, I second Scott in requesting you, try not to take yourself to task over the past. Better late than never, truly. I can't wait to talk more about your cases with you, and to read your posts right here on the board.

Folks, let's do it again soon! And Scott, Tom, Mike, Roger and Bill, remember, you have another home away from home in Vallejo now!

"Lisa Dahlia"

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc38a2f.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 01:48 am:

They're finally here: my pics from the taskforce meeting (after numerous technical difficulties). The 2003 Taskforce Meeting.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 02:11 am:


Great job, Ed.

By Tom Voigt (Admin) (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 04:42 pm:

Here's a link to my update of the event.

By Peter Hirst (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-35-247.bos.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 12:10 pm:


Just read your post here, with particular interest in your contact from Nicolai. I believe Armstrong and Nicolai had developed Allen by then, even if they didn't like him enough to arrest. I wonder if you ever developed Allen independently for Tajiguas, in particular whether he has an alibi for 6/4/63.