Was the Zodiac a sexual sadist?

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: Was the Zodiac a sexual sadist?

By Ed N. (Edn) (spider-tq012.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 08:34 pm:

Graysmith opined in Zodiac that Z (and Allen) was a sexual sadist (pp. x-xi, 256-260, 267, 321-323). I have often wondered where he came up with this, and I suspect that it was an attempt to explain how Allen's and Z's writing differed, even though he also suggested that Z used a projector to create writing that was different than his own (pp. 218-219, 319; cf. p. 151). Despite formulating these two theories (August 1978 and February 1980), as late as March-April 1980, Graysmith was looking at Allen's normal writing and commenting that it looked like Z's. So much for the projector theory.

The sexual sadist theory, however, would have explained why the writing Allen produced for SFPD in September 1972 differed from Z's. But how, after looking at the Z crimes, does one arrive at the conclusion that Z must have been a sexual sadist?

According to Robert D. Keppel in Signature Killers, p. 154:

To the [sexual] sadist there is no thrill in murder, only in the prolonged and process-driven destruction of the helpless victim. (italics mine) Unlike other sexual assailants and killers, the sexual sadist enjoys the luxury of the power of emasculation rather than the experience of an on-the-spot sexual climax or even the death of the victim... The victim's death is often the coincidental artifact resulting from the violence of the crime, prolonged until the killer's needs have been met. (italics mine)

He continued on pages 176-177:

That is, sexual sadism is the pleasure and satisfaction derived from killing unsuspecting victims in different ways. This isn't just murder; it's sustained and orchestrated torture. (italics mine) The matrix is one of dread, dependency, degradation, and death.

Now, after reading this, I fail to see how Z could possibly have been classified as a sexual sadist. The only Z crime that even comes close to what Keppel describes is Lake B., but sexual sadists tend to escalate their crimes, not turn them into what appears to be a routine cab robbery. Z attacked his victims by surprise, he shot or stabbed to kill, and he immediately left them where he attacked them. I don't see prolonged torture in any of the crimes, not even Lake B.

While there are to my untrained eye some elements similar to sexual sadism in the Lake B. crime, overall, the Z crimes don't really seem to fit that profile at all. While Allen was definitely a pedophile and possibly a sexual sadist himself, the question is: why the theory that Z was a sexual sadist? Where and how does that really fit in to these crimes? Was the only reason Graysmith advanced it to explain why Allen's and Z's writing differed?

By Jake (Jake) (spider-tk051.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 09:06 pm:

I personally believe that there is some level of sexual dysfunction present in the Zodiac phenomena that compelled the killer more than a desire for publicity. Certainly he wanted to be notorious, but so do most young men and they manage to get through it without killing anyone. I don't have a particular theory about whether Z was abused as a child or anything, but I think it would be naive to believe that Z was motivated only by a drive for publicity. So many other -- in fact, almost all -- known serial killers have recognizable sexual dysfunctions that I figure Z will follow that pattern.

Sexual sadism, though, is a different matter altogether, as illustrated above by Ed. Torture is simply not part of the Zodiac's signature, and in fact only appears in the literature once or twice in ridiculous empty threats. Graysmith took what he wanted from the clinical definition and left the rest hoping no one followed up on it.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Ed N. (Edn) (spider-tq024.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 09:42 pm:

I agree that there was measurable sexual dysfunction as far as Z is concerned, but nothing approaching the level of sexual sadism. It was suggested in the papers that Z was a latent homosexual, but how and why this would translate into a need to kill young lovers is not clear. I think there was far more to it than that. Of course, 31 years later, all we can do is speculate.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-tk043.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 04:03 pm:

Ed N wrote:
"It was suggested in the papers that Z was a latent homosexual, but how and why this would translate into a need to kill young lovers is not clear."

We need to remember that this diagnosis wasn't exactly rendered by experts. The personalities that we now refer to as "serial killers" have, no doubt, been among us for a long time, but the deluge of high-profile cases like Bundy, Berkowitz, Bianchi & Buono, Dahmer, et al had yet to come in the late '60s, and the formal study of such characters was extremely limited at the time. Homosexuality may have been seized on as a "deviance" (not my opinion, but one that may have been held way back when) that could explain such outrageous actions.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Kalel (Kalel) (1cust164.tnt4.lax3.da.uu.net - on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 08:04 pm:

I believe Zodiac was a sexual loser or group of sexual losers who turned to ritual executions to salve his or their deep deficiencies. This case has never struck me as the typical serial killer model (Bundy/Gacey) - it more resembles (fairly exactly) the subsequent Son of Sam murders in New York - write down to the conflicting suspect composites.

By Oscar (Oscar) (dialup- - on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 12:56 am:

Kalel, you stated that you believed Zodiac was a "sexual loser or a group of sexual losers who turned to ritual executions..." What is your basis for calling Z a "sexual loser"? I am unfamiliar with this clinical term. Would you kindly clarify? Also, what is the typical serial killer model? If you are referencing the standard Wal-Mart profile- caucasian, single, age 25-40 etc.- why do you draw a casual distinction between Berkowitz and Bundy etc.? As well, what is your working definition of the term 'ritual'? Tighten it up!
p.s. Gareth Penn in 2004! Ride the wave.

By Ed N. (Edn) (spider-wn011.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 01:26 am:

Penn in 2004 for what? Getting sued by O'Hare? It would be about time...

By Oscar (Oscar) (dialup- - on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 04:17 am:

Happy is the O'Hare at morning, for he can not hear the Hunter's waking thoughts.
p.s. Penn in 2004! Ride the wave.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-tj083.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 04:08 pm:

Oscar wrote:
"Penn in 2004! Ride the wave."

2004 -- is that the latest date he's set for MOH to drive his car off of Point Reyes? Penn is like one of those cult leaders promising the Rapture who keeps revising his calculations when the End doesn't come.

If you're still a Penn supporter, you haven't read enough.

Vote Nader!

By Ed N. (Edn) (spider-wd024.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 06:23 pm:

This is a case where the Penn definitely isn't mightier than the sword...

By Oscar (Oscar) (dialup- - on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 07:50 pm:

I am not a Penn supporter at all.I enjoy the arcane workings of his delusional mind. Therefore, the not-so-cryptic "Penn in 2004" is a reference to that year's presidential race. Why not Gareth? I propose we write him in as a candidate. Penn would be far more entertaining than Bush, although Bush is the nation's current leading serial killer (he even enjoys frying the mentally retarded), and he would probably make more sense than Gore. Penn in 2004. Ride the wave!
p.s. Ed: Be careful! You may be sued.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-tj064.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, October 20, 2000 - 03:38 pm:

Oscar wrote:
"I am not a Penn supporter at all."

Roger that. The post above was my first of the evening, and I didn't catch the irony until later.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Oscar (Oscar) (dialup- - on Friday, October 20, 2000 - 09:44 pm:

I am usually ironic, but such is the nature of the beast. Penn has read too much Sax Rohmer.
p.s. Penn in 2004. Ride the wave.

By Kalel (Kalel) (1cust90.tnt4.lax3.da.uu.net - on Saturday, October 21, 2000 - 03:02 pm:


Thanks for the feedback. By sexual loser I meant that the person or people acting as Zodiac probably were not sexually active in what we would think of as "healthy" ways. Though I'm not sure that that is what drove Zodiac.

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) (dialup- - on Saturday, October 21, 2000 - 06:02 pm:

Thanks for the feedback. By sexual loser I meant that the person or people acting as Zodiac probably were not sexually active in what we would think of as "healthy" ways. Though I'm not sure that that is what drove Zodiac.

If I remember my 60's and early 70's correctly (I do with all fond remembrance!) sexual "deviation" was the norm for many of us. The only ones sexually deviant at the time were the straight laced ones who were too hung up to get it on.

Besides, I personally think Z was a straight lace with religious hang-ups, probably a smothering mother and a wife who acted just like his mother. (kiddie stuff in the car, etc.) He was probably in such a rut he needed to feel some power of his own. Just my opinion, but boy did I love the 60's!

By Ed N. (Edn) (spider-wn063.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 12:17 am:

Glen wrote:

The only ones sexually deviant at the time were the straight laced ones who were too hung up to get it on.

Hmm... kinda sounds like today, actually, although I wouldn't necessarily describe them as "hung up."

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) (dialup- - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 12:21 am:

Today I'd worry too much about AIDS, which was not present back then. Certain other annoying diseases did make the rounds though.

And yes, one does date themselves by the slang they use. What are they calling "hung up" today?

By Ed N. (Edn) (spider-wn063.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 12:31 am:

Hmm... other than what you did to, say, the telemarketer who called you on the phone at dinnertime, ie, "hung up" on them, I don't know.

And as my brother says, just make sure you wear a raincoat. Then you'll be OK.

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) (dialup- - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 02:32 am:

Actually, my focus on Zodiac's religious beliefs is fueled by a scientific interest. Thankfully I am no psychologist, because if I were I would have become a TV preacher, the best paying of all the psychological endeavors. A good mix of guilt and forgiveness, then a straight shot at the pocket book, the old bait-and-hook! Works almost every time, and pays very well. What's Falwell draw in, 350 million a year? Copeland does very well with his "if you're sick it's because you're ignoring God" thing. I think he does about 100 million a year.

Zodiac's crimes have no sexual activity involved. If it WAS Zodiac in the car with the woman and the baby, he had every opportunity but never even broached the subject. These crimes were about something else, IMHO.

Zodiac's 3-part cipher contains the only sexual passage in all his letters that I remember, and all it tells us is that he had sex with at least one girl and he enjoyed it. He must have enjoyed it a lot to use it as the primary comparison to his crimes. Questions of homosexuality or sexual deviance are mere speculation, since the only evidence we have is that he enjoyed having sex with females. Sexual deviance should have made him take the sexual fantasy a little further with at least one of his victims, and I think it quite notable that this did not happen.

When compared to the single statement about sex, Zodiac makes several statements about religion and religious domination of his victims, in this life and the afterlife. Again a very notable observation.

I was raised in a family which tended toward human secularism, which put me in a situation of having to kowtow to devout Christians and realizing the wrath of the Irrationalist when I offered my opinion on one thing or the other. In my case it was the devout LDS, drinking, smoking, womanizing, and always in church come Sunday morning.

As a result I've maintained a deep interest in organized religions and their teachings and I routinely classify a religious speaker by his guilt/redemption quotient, a number that counts negative/positive statements and returns a very reliable indicator. I also add a factual/interpretive quotient - how many of the speaker's statements reflect concepts in actual scripture, which I use to gauge the manipulative or charismatic ability of the speaker. These statistics are truly psychological in their design for sure, but it's informative enough. Had anybody used these with Jimmy Jones, the red flags would have gone up years before Jonestown.

Sometimes we read things that stick with us, which was so with me for an article in Scientific American some years ago. A 30-year study in eugenics was carried out on identical twins separated at birth, in an attempt to discern statistically which traits were genetic and which traits were social. The authors stated that an unexpected consequence of their study was that those children raised in fundamentally religious homes exhibited deeper psychological problems than their twins. The more fundamental the parent's religious belief, the deeper the problems demonstrated in the child. This always stayed with me because it truly matched my experience and also added strong verification of my personal "religious rating system", which accurately identifies the level of "fundamentalism" the speaker adheres to.

Zodiac fits my personal "profile" of this type of person from this peculiar social climate. Short hair, neatly dressed, quiet and controlled. Add the weekend killings and we have the 9-5 work ethic and the unwillingness to expose himself to peer or marital scrutiny by deviating from his normal schedule. Heck, his wife probably thought he was out bowling, hunting, or something! (probably hunting as Zodiac suggests.)

What also goes into this is that he was well-established with a circle of family and/or friends and had every desire to maintain that relationship unblemished. This above all was his fear and the thing that kept him from coming out and telling the world who he was. In essence, his connection to family/friend/church/social structure was what kept him from going over the edge and immediately declaring himself to the world.

I've seen it so many times I can't count, the desire to scream out ones actions, weighed against the fear of the consequences. The consequences the individual is concerned with is not jail or death, but how others in close relationships will view the individual when things become known.

This probably sounds far-fetched to many of you, that a cold killer can have a family life and a career, and it is of course just my opinion.

I would note however that I moved on to cryptography only after serving six years in the field the military determined I was best suited for, which was interrogations. I developed my rating system, while working in the service of our country, with over 500 subjects a year as a professional interrogator in a cold-war environment, interrogations being the most demanding of psychological professions. I also instructed interrogations for a term, during which I discovered from my students that true interrogators are not taught - but born - to the trade. The Eugenics argument is still alive and kicking!

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) (dialup- - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 02:42 am:

Ed, you can't be so young that you haven't heard the term "hang ups". It means inhibitions, things that keep you from doing what your heart tells you to do, etc.

------- you're just jerking my chain -------

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tm042.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 08:53 am:

Glen, I've wondered the same thing about Zodiac's sexual preference. He wrote "killing is more fun than getting your rocks off with a girl."

My impression of him though is a single, heterosexual man. He likes women but can't completely connect with them to form any lasting relationships.

I wonder if this is why he took his frustration out on couples? I wonder if he had an overbearing mother who emotionally emasculated him as a boy and he never found a way to stand up to her and is this why he has trouble with women?

I think the weekend bit is interesting too. Did he work all week faithfully then it all falls apart at the weekend? Or if he plans to target young couples, the best time is during a weekend night?

I think maybe he did love someone once and she rejected him and he couldn't handle it.

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tm042.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 09:06 am:

Wasn't it Cheri Jo Bates who broke off a relationship for another man?

Was Zodiac planning revenge against couples after that? If that was the Zodiac and the Zodiac abducted Kathleen Johns, it would suggest that he does deviate from the pattern of targeting couples.

He kills because he likes it then maybe something will trigger off the rejection cycle again and he targets couples.

Holidays are a time when you would miss that old boyfriend or girlfriend. Christmas, 4th of July..or some other date significant to him.

By Dowland (Dowland) (141.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 09:06 am:

Anyone who's looking for a good study of how sexual pathology can lead to murder needs look no farther than Ted Kaczynski. Kaczynski wasn't the product of a religious upbringing; quite the contrary. He was born into a family of atheist secular humanists who tried to teach virtue without religion and whose parents were fellow-traveling, working-class intellectuals devoted to fulfilling their frustrated ambitions through their sons. So successful were they (most particularly his mother) in the effort to turn their elder son into a respected intellectual with an important position at a prestigious university (Berkeley) that somewhere along the way they forgot to teach him how to function in society. By 1966 he was sexually dysfunctional, and the consequent inability to relieve his sexual tensions resulted in a reluctant desire for a sex-change operation and the resolve to assuage his injured pride by murdering people.

The important thing to bear in mind about Kaczynski is that, although he can be technically classified as a "serial killer," his motivations had nothing to do with those commonly ascribed to that class of criminal. He murdered in order to assuage his deep-seated feelings of hostility and envy toward a society in which he had no place. And whereas for the sexual sadist murder and its prelude become a surrogate for sex, in Kaczynski's case it served only as an outlet for those hostilities.

In 1969 Kaczynski deliberately removed himself from the society he so vehemently hated, and existed in a state of relative tranquility, until once again the civilization he hated encroached upon his woodland paradise. At that point he vowed revenge upon the entire society, and not just the certain individuals he had identified in the late sixties as causing his rage.

In the final analysis, whether you like him as a Zodiac suspect or not, Kaczynski's motivations ought to serve as a perfect model for the kind of personality displayed by Zodiac.

By Edward (Edward) (adsl-63-204-74-178.dsl.scrm01.pacbell.net - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 01:56 pm:

Been out of town and looking at what's been going on (or hasn't been), I thought I'd start something here. I'm sure Douglas and Linda will get in on this (I hope).

Dowland wrote:

"In the final analysis, whether you like him as a Zodiac suspect or not, Kaczynski's motivations ought to serve as a perfect model for the kind of
personality displayed by Zodiac."

A perfect model for the kind of "personality" displayed by Zodiac? What personality would that be? Kaczynski displayed absolutely no aspects of sexual sadism in his murders, nor, in fact, any element of a sexual nature at all.

Dowland also wrote:

"By 1966 he was sexually dysfunctional, and the consequent inability to relieve his sexual tensions resulted in a reluctant desire for a sex-change operation and the resolve to assuage his injured pride by murdering people."

So your evidence that Ted K's motivation was sexual in nature was the fact that he sought a sex-change operation? Murder was an outlet for "those hostilities?" Not sure what you mean there. Explain it to me if you would, please.

You also wrote that Ted K. was "technically classified" as a serial killer. According to whom? Because according to the Crime Classification Manual (Douglas, Ressler, Burgess') Ted's murders can only be classified as 127.01: Political Extremist Homicides. His motivations were political. Sociopathic yes. Sexual, no. His motivations have nothing in common with Zodiac's whatsoever.

Alright, Dowland, you've got me started. As long as we're on the subject of sexual sadism in classifying Zodiac...

In the past I had been a big proponent of Zodiac as a sexual sadist. But in looking at it closely, I came up against the facts.

The confusion in classifying Zodiac into one definitive category of murderer (such as sexual sadist) stems from the fact that he doesn’t fit into one definitive category of murderer.

According to the Crime Classification Manual, the term “sexual sadist” is defined as "someone who has established an enduring pattern of sexual arousal in response to sadistic imagery." Sexual gratification is derived from the victim’s response to torture. Their victimology covers white, female adults who are strangers. BUT, sadists are also known to prey on males & females as well as children. Sadistic murder has similarities to organized sexual homicide. Zodiac did not torture his victims nor sexually assault them (that we know of). But there are elements of this pathology in Zodiac’s murders.

Therein lies the problem: Zodiac’s crimes fit into several categories, but not one exclusively. The closest (IMO, and again, according to the CCM) would be “nonspecific-motive killing.” It’s victims are random male or female, adult or child, committed in a public place that poses high risk to the offender and no attempt is made to hide the bodies. Risk is important to the killer. He might strike in an isolated area, thus elevating the victim’s vulnerability. Sound familiar? The weapon of choice is usually a firearm, most notably high-capacity (such as the Browning 9mm), with wounds concentrated on vital areas (head, neck, torso). The offender is usually disheveled or unkept in appearance (Lake Berryessa). The problem here is that this type of offender kills almost exclusively in daylight and is unconcerned about being identified. Zodiac was the opposite. He was a mixture of organized, disorganized, sadistic, nonspecific-motive, and erotomania-motivated elements. He doesn’t fit exclusively into any one category.

I’ve tried to outline just some of the elements below...

1. Zodiac stalked his prey: organized.
2. He struck random victims of opportunity: disorganized.
3. He brought a gun/knife/rope to the crime scene: organized.
4. The bodies were left at the crime scene with no intention of concealment: disorganized.
5. Usually used a high-capacity firearm: non-specific motive killing.
6. The attack was blitz-style: disorganized.
7. Plans his murders: organized.
8. He left behind evidence (shell casings, fingerprints, handwriting): disorganized.
9. Victims are not known to the killer but meet a specific set of criteria: organized.
10. He turned victims on their stomachs to depersonalize them (LB): disorganized.
11. Items are missing from the crime scene. (Stine): organized.
12. He used a knife to stab victims when he had a gun there already: sadistic murder.
13. He wore a hood to hide his face: organized.
14. He wrote letters to the media: elements of both erotomainia-motivated murder and organized behavior.

So where does Zodiac fit in? Since he has elements of many different types of murderer (including sexual sadist) I believe “mixed sexual homicide” best describes him. So called because it is a mixture of organized and disorganized aspects. Ted Bundy is classified this way because he deteriorated in his methods, from organized to disorganized murder. Perhaps if and when the Zodiac is identified we’ll be able to categorize him more accurately.

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tf014.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 06:28 pm:

If the astrological map theory is correct, I would say Zodiac was organized. I would then conclude he purposely left bodies behind to show off his work but actually they too are clues because of where they are found.

It would be a little more clever than I think his crimes actually are but so far I think it does make sense.

What astrological map was he using? The best way for him to leave his mark would be to chart his birthday (or other significant date), place the center on Mt. Diablo (because it has been referenced to).

We don't know his rising sign but if the configurations of the planets in the suspects chart correspond to crime scene locations (we could guess the rising sign unless we know the actual time of birth but by then it's a mute point), I then think that was the method to his maddness.

He drew up an astrological chart, placed it over a map of the bay area with the center placed on Mt. Diablo and committed crimes in places that would correspond to the position of the planets in his chart.

I think it would be clever but maybe even too clever. I myself have not tested this theory and am unaware of the info on other chart theories.

This does fit in however with radians and the name Zodiac and symbol. An astrological chart is a wheel divided into twelve sections with the center as earth in which other planets rotate in astrology.

By Dowland (Dowland) (247.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 11:44 pm:

Edward, you're right in saying that none of Kaczynski's crimes displayed a sexual nature, but that's not what I'm saying. Kaczynski's murders and attempted murders were driven by an underpinning of sexual frustration that resulted in hostility against a society in which he couldn't function. That's not the same thing as saying that he used murder as a surrogate for sex.

Now, if John Douglas wants to classify Kaczynski as a politically-motivated killer, he'll have to explain the following quote from his 1996 book "Unabomber":

What does the Unabomber ask for? Simple: "With regard to revolutionary strategy, the only points on which we absolutely insist are that the single overriding goal must be the elimination of modern technology."
Let's be real here, folks. He knows that ain't gonna happen. Anyone this clearly intelligent who makes such ridiculous demands and has such ridiculous goals isn't interested in reforming society. He's got a personal ax to grind based on his own deep problems and inadequacies.

Kaczynski's "deep problems and inadequacies" sprang from his inability to develop social (and consequently sexual) relationships. He struggled very hard to find himself a prestigious place within the "technological society" that he professed to hate, but his social pathologies caused him to become an utter failure, not only in his own eyes, but in the eyes of his doting mother. Contemporaneous with that failure was the equally-devastating failure to achieve a sexual relationship with a woman, and this was especially acute during the years from 1966 through 1969.

Looking at Zodiac's activities we can readily see that he was motivated by two strong desires: (1) murder and (2) publicity. Zodiac's extreme egotism was prominently displayed through his desire for publicity, and the fact that it was an egotism predicated, not on pride, but rather on a deep-seated sense of inadequacy, is borne out by the nature of murders themselves. In Zodiac we see an obviously pathologically insecure person who harbors a deep resentment against young lovers and who soothes that resentment by giving them "what they have coming" as it were; a summary punishment reminiscent of Ko-Ko's role as Lord High Executioner in "The Mikado."

Whether his typology is "organized" or "disorganized" I believe is somewhat moot, inasmuch as such disparate traits can be found in virtually any killer, even those suffering from deep psychoses. But had he been a sexual sadist I'm certain we would have seen a clear pattern of behaviors such as rape and torture, and in truth we see no such behaviors.

In Kaczynski we see the same pattern of a compensatory egotist committing murder in order to assuage his hostility against a world he professes to hate, but actually envies. And like Zodiac, ego-gratification is achieved through attempts to speak to society through the media: explaining, elevating and manipulating. And the primary motivation behind the murders appears to be nothing more than a desire to punish a class of persons who have something to which the killer aspires but cannot attain.

Therefore, completely aside from my belief that Kaczynski may actually have committed the Zodiac crimes, I think that any study of his life and actions must be germane to a truer understanding of Zodiac's personality and motivations.

By Edward (Edward) (adsl-63-205-196-139.dsl.scrm01.pacbell.net - on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 11:25 am:


I addressed a lot of this, including the same John Douglas quote, in the Ted Kacyznski section elsewhere on the board under "OTHER SUSPECTS." Take a look. (If we continue with TK I think that's where we should move this particular discussion.)

It sounds like you're quoting from Douglas Oswell and Michael Rusconi's CD on the Kaczynski/Zodiac connection. If not, I highly suggest you get it. It's excellent, and right up your alley.

I agree that there may be certain similarities to the Zodiac/Kaczynski paradigm. But that ends when you compare the method's with which they both achieved their desired results. Did Ted evolve "his" bus bomb idea? Go from the clumsy method of shooting teens in parked cars to sending mail bombs to airline execs? I'm not saying it's not possible. But when you look at the Bay Area, particularly Berkeley, you find it was on fire in the 60's. Rage against the machine was the norm. Lofty ideals of US vs. THEM abounded. And bombs were built in the basements of the SAS and Weathermen to be used against the Establishment. All those juicy corporate targets and the chance to be seen for once as a hero by an entire generation and Ted chooses teenagers? IMHO it took the isolation in Montana to uncover his pathology. I've said it before: Ted was more interested in stopping the paving of paradise than in stocking it with slaves. I'm being redundant. Check out other suspects.

By Dowland (Dowland) (164.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 06:58 pm:

Edward--That's only assuming that a person who is in his mid-twenties and suffering from extreme social/sexual dysfunction couldn't have reacted to a pressing need and gone down a road that he may not really have wanted to go down. You know, when I was young I took up the guitar because it was all I had at the time, but in my mid-thirties I discovered the renaissance lute, and decided to give up the guitar (which I had never really enjoyed playing) and take a different tack.

But that's all material for a different thread. I'm simply trying to argue here that Zodiac and Kaczynski shared a least common denominator in terms of motivation.

By the way, I guess you could say I was the very first person to read Oswell and Rusconi's "Dr. Zodiac." That's because I wrote the bulk of it! I'm not trying to deceive anyone with my choice of screen names, but when Tom told me to choose one I was under the impression that the old paradigm would hold true, and that I'd have a place for entering my usual name. Sorry about that!

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0324.cvx4-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 12:06 am:

Hmmm...a ghost writer who plays the renaissance lute. Let no one say that it doesn't get weird around here.

By Edward (Edward) (adsl-63-205-196-86.dsl.scrm01.pacbell.net - on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 11:18 am:


Or should I say Rusconi? A closer comparison between killers and their motivations might be Zodiac and Berkowitz.

By Dowland (Dowland) ( on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 02:34 pm:

Actually, it's Oswell. As a matter of fact, I've always seen similarities between Berkowitz and Zodiac, or indeed, between any mass murder type and Zodiac. I believe Zodiac was closer to being a mass murderer than a conventional serial killer; someone who's looking for attention and is willing to go to great extremes to get it. And I'm fairly well convinced that there are mass murderers who aren't willing to commit suicide to make their point.

Douglas Oswell

By Twagner129 (Twagner129) (spider-tf051.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 08:35 pm:

I don't see much of a sadistic killer profile in Z. either. Whatever his inner motivation was, it seems to me he was after the notoriety as a reward as much as anything. I wonder if there are such people, motivated by the public awareness of their crimes as the principal factor in their killings? Oh course terrorist do this for political gain, mad-bombers motivated by anger, hate and inferiority do too; I agree with whoever posted that they felt that Z. had more in common with Ted Krucynski than Ted Bundy. Could Z. just be motivated by the delusional need for power and publicity without all the sexual innuendos?

By Moonmaid (Moonmaid) (bhprop.com - on Friday, December 01, 2000 - 11:15 am:

Hurley asked:

"What astrological map was he using?"

That's an interesting theory about the birth chart over a map of the bay area. If you have anyway of doing that, I've figured out (loosely, without a time of birth) a chart for Allen:

Sun- 26*(*: that's my degree sign) Sagittarius
Moon- Possibly 26* Taurus or 00* Gemini
Mercury- 11* Sagittarius
Venus- 16* Sagittarius
Mars- 28* Libra
Jupiter-20* Gemini
Saturn- 06* Scorpio
Uranus- 22* Cancer
Neptune- 25* Libra
Pluto- 24* Leo

This is a very rough estimate, of course. Without the time of birth, an acurate chart is almost impossible. But this was fun. Anybody have any other suspect's birthdays that I could chart???

By Jake Wark (Jake) (spider-tr033.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, December 01, 2000 - 02:57 pm:

Moonmaid wrote:
"Anybody have any other suspect's birthdays that I could chart???"

How about Jan. 22, 1943?

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Moonmaid (Moonmaid) (bhprop.com - on Friday, December 01, 2000 - 03:07 pm:

FYI, as an afterthought, in my "research" of serial killers and astrology, of 21 serial killers I've examined, 12 are either Gemini or Sagittarius. 8 represent 6 different signs. Allen is a Sag. Well, looks like I've got this thing solved...:)
Seriously though, regardless of whether you & I believe in astrology, we should look into how much Z believed in it.
I still think Hurley is onto something with the map!

By Moonmaid (Moonmaid) (bhprop.com - on Friday, December 01, 2000 - 03:31 pm:

Jake wrote:
"How about Jan. 22, 1943?"

Sun- 01* Aquarius
Moon- 10*-13* Leo (Depending on time of birth)
Mercury- 06* Aquarius
Venus- 17* Aquarius
Mars- 26* Sagittarius
Jupiter- 18* Cancer
Saturn- 05* Gemini
Uranus- 00* Gemini
Neptune- 01* Libra
Pluto- 06* Leo

Jake, who's b-day is this?

By Jake Wark (Jake) (spider-tr034.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, December 01, 2000 - 05:37 pm:

Moonmaid wrote:
"Jake, who's b-day is this?"

My mother's.

No, it's the Ivy League Oddball, Mike O'Hare. Almost certainly not the killer, but he's the only one whose birthday I remember off the top of my head.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tf043.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, December 02, 2000 - 07:56 am:

Jake! Your mother's! Lol! The bad son. So does she like writing up really complex ciphers? Known to have a big square hood? Take a close look at her the next time it snows. See how she likes to dress.

Hey Moonmaid! That's great! Sooo, to tie in astrology with Radians could be done right? You could have two planets 57 degrees apart. This whole thing can be looked at astrologically, if in deed it truly was.

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tf043.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, December 02, 2000 - 08:04 am:

Sooo, without knowing an exact time of birth, one could roughly draw the chart on a map and keep turning it to see if any of the planets locations match up to any crime scenes.

That's why I think Stine was killed where he was. Stine had to match the map.

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) (1cust203.tnt17.rtm1.nl.uu.net - on Sunday, December 03, 2000 - 01:40 am:

Hi Moonmaid try this birthday:
Dec. 29, 1933

By Moonmaid (Moonmaid) (bhprop.com - on Monday, December 04, 2000 - 11:04 am:

Hey Eduard!
Can I call ya Ed?

Here is the chart for Dec. 29, 1933:

Sun- 07* Capricorn
Moon- 06*-11* Gemini
Mercury- 25* Sagittarius
Venus- 18* Aquarius
Mars- 01* Aquarius
Jupiter- 20* Libra
Saturn- 14* Aquarius
Uranus- 23* Aries
Neptune- 12* Virgo
Pluto- 23* Cancer

Who's b-day is this?

I've got three suspects now that I can try to graph. It may take awhile.

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) (1cust141.tnt22.rtm1.nl.uu.net - on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 11:42 am:

Hi Moonmaid,
I don't mind being called Ed but there is already an EdN on this board so call me Eduard.
The birthday is that of my suspect Robin O'Neal who died in 1993.
thanks for your help

By Moonmaid (Moonmaid) (bhprop.com - on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 05:34 pm:


I just finished reading your posts regaring the "my name is..." cipher. Forgive me if this has been discussed on another thread, but I haven't read all of them yet. You mean to say that you actually found a man with that name that can be considered a suspect? That is so cool! Was he in the Bay Area in the late sixties? What info do you have on him so far? Truly, your deciphering of "my name is..." was cool.


By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) (erasmuscollege.nl - on Wednesday, December 06, 2000 - 06:55 am:

Moonmaid, Sure I will send you the stuff I found.
Send your email to eduardversluijs@email.com.
Thanks for your kind words,


By Chalandra (Chalandra) (tsway1-72.du.gate.net - on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 02:40 pm:

Hi Moonmaid,

Will you please try the birthdate of 12-24-44? I have alot of info on this suspect and am finding out more and more everyday.


By Moonmaid (Moonmaid) (bhprop.com - on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 03:35 pm:

Hey guys!

I started a new conversation cleverly entitled "Come here for any and all birthchart info" ;)

Chalandra, I'm working on your's right now and I'll post it over there.

See ya!

By Chrissy Shaw (Chrissy_Shaw) (dialup- - on Friday, October 11, 2002 - 12:33 am:

Ed N:

Hi. Are not these crimes a set of mixed presentations? There are two blitz attacks, representing a possible sexually inadequate personality, with mixed sadistic at LB. He conceals identidy due to some personal lack on the part of how he feels about facing people directly, and/or a desire to provide a level of terror in his victims whom he intends to kill?

JF and FM crime scenes there is no evidence that he prepared a great deal. Perhaps he wrote what he would say in the phone and I think it is clear he knew what his intent was before he ever left his home, but overall there does not seem to be a great deal of planning and stocking needed to commit these crimes. 1.Drive where couples park. 2. Find a couple and shoot 3. Leave and call police.

LB would have taken a bit more planning. He clearly shows an organization in the plan that took some time to sit and dream up. He will allow no fleeing prey, he still will not face his victim directly, he will control all things, he will kill while there is yet light. This indicates quite a bit more pre-assault behavior. He does what he does, then he falls right back into his comfort methods he's used before, with the exception getting up close and personal with his intended victims.

I mentioned a couple of years ago that I thought perhaps the media mentioned something along the lines that he was homosexual, because he left men alive at his scenes. If that indeed happened, and I was never able to confirm that, then I would expect he is someone with some kind of dysfunction in having a adult relationship with a woman, someone who would really brood over such things being said about him. I imagine a guy like this, were you to meet him at a party and say he was a fag, would slash your tires or some other less than direct retaliation towards you. I would also suspect he would find a way to show you it was he who got you back too.

In the S case he alters the blitz attack, almost gets caught, and I bet he went home and gave everything a good consideration. He knew if what he did was from rage and he acted too quickly, or he thought he was less vulnerable than he actually he was. I don't think we can ever know which of these two it was. I also think, once he knew he was safe again--within a few days, that he felt that the S scene was his best work yet.

I feel this guy may have been so socially sensitive that even his glasses were enough to cause him shame. It might be why he denied looking as the drawing showed him, because the glasses were included. Granted, he had reason to deny the drawing if he felt it looked at all like himself, but I would not exclude earlier attempts at blitz attacks and hoods to hide his face from victims. He hid his face from people he assumed would soon be dead and given his abillities to plan between FM and LB, I think he knew dead people tell no tales.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Friday, October 11, 2002 - 07:23 pm:

He would have to have been a surgeon to have intended to leave Hartnell alive, given the ferocity of the attack. That Faraday boy in the LHR attack died, and Mageau nearly did.

The homo theory was disinfo designed to flush him out, is what it was. It didn't work. These crimes weren't sexual. Too much impulse control. Closer to art, closer to the idea that Colin Wilson explored in his serial killer study, ORDER OF ASSASSINS. Thwarted creativity.

By Chrissy Shaw (Chrissy_Shaw) (dialup- - on Saturday, October 12, 2002 - 11:28 am:

I have not read Mr. Wilson's book, but thank you, I will check that out. I think Mr. Hartnell was fortunate is all, so i agree that there was no intent to leave him alive.

As far as these crimes being sexual, I agree that they seem not to have been carried out in a direct sexual manner. I am guessing that sex was a sore subject with him however.

I would agree that z felt himself and artist of sorts, but until I read the above mentioned book I can not know if we mean the same thing in our use of that term. I am just now reading Mark Seltzer's, "Serial Killers." I would not rush out and buy it.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-19105.linkline.com - on Sunday, October 13, 2002 - 12:07 am:

Slover said the caller( 7/5/69 )stated:"I want to report a DOUBLE murder."At Napa Slaight reported his caller said:"I want to report a murder-no a DOUBLE murder."
This indicates Z thought he killed both the females AND males.When Z went back to the Covair he shot Mageau AGAIN and of course, Darlene too.
Good post by Alan-Z would have to have been a surgeon at LB!
It is another Z myth that he attempted to leave the males alive.Stine sure would disagree!

By Chrissy Shaw (Chrissy_Shaw) (dialup- - on Sunday, October 13, 2002 - 05:36 pm:

I fully agree that he(z) had no intent to leave men alive. I think the fact he did might still be an expression of a more tight focus of rage towards females. There really is no knowing unless we have a suspect who matches the hard forensics from the various cases and that we might interview and review the life of such a man.

Howard, I sent a couple of emails your direction and have not heard from you. Would you attempt a email to me from my post here to see if you might have a problem, or that I might have a problem with the exchange? TY

By Ray N (Ray_N) (sdn-ap-009scfairp0271.dialsprint.net - on Monday, October 14, 2002 - 09:20 am:

There has been much discussion of the focus of Zodiac attacks over the years. I would urge those who are considering Z's outlook on his victims to consider the following:

1) David Faraday was (most likely) dispatched instantly with a shot to the head as he exited the car. Betty Lou was shot repeatedly but she was fleeing and the range was steadily increasing. Nothing but the infliction of fatal wounds can be surmised here of Zodiac's intentions.

2) Mike Mageau survived because, as Zodiac himself put it, he moved his head back just as the shot was fired and spoiled the aim. Otherwise, he would have been instantly killed. Still, he was shot in the head. As he moved to the back seat, more shots were fired at him. Yes, Darlene was killed. But Zodiac initially aimed for Mike's head, a clear admission of intent to kill. This is not unheard of in cases where the perp then goes on to assault the female sexually, but as far as we know this never occurred with Zodiac. Mike may have not been shot again since he apparently remained silent when Zodiac returned.

3. Brian Hartnell also survived, but we can't say it's because the attack was more focused on Cecilia Shepard. To the contrary, the mode of attack was nearly identical for both victims. Both were stabbed multiple times in the same critical areas. Hartnell was very lucky in that the blade missed inflicting fatal wounds by small distances.

4. Paul Stine, of course, suffered a contact GSW to the head. There's not much room for discussion here of the intent of the shooter. No female was even present. This should serve to cast doubt upon the entire sexual aspects assumptions of this series of murders.

It is very possible that the actual outcomes were not as Zodiac intended. The way I see it, all of the victims were left for dead. If we take the survival of a particular victim as something Zodiac intended, without any evidence to that end, then we risk going off on a tangent as far as his thought process. I see the Zodiac as an equal opportunity type of killer, bent on publicity for his crimes and the creation of a high level of fear. Such a person would be establishing his God-like powers and demonstrating, at least in his mind, that he was intellectually superior to the authorities.


By Chrissy Shaw (Chrissy_Shaw) (dialup- - on Monday, October 14, 2002 - 12:49 pm:

I again state that I feel z wanted both victims to die. I am influenced by Mr. Baker's cases, in that I include them in my overall view. I am simply comparing these cases with similar cases from other known persons, and based on that, I feel there is a sexual element. I agree with all you state regarding z's desire for power and control. These are my thoughts only. I do enjoy considering views outside of my own.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-pb-4550.linkline.com - on Monday, October 14, 2002 - 05:11 pm: