GARETH PENN AND THE CALCULUS OF STUPIDITY!


Zodiackiller.com Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: GARETH PENN AND THE CALCULUS OF STUPIDITY!

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0324.cvx4-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 209.178.147.69) on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 02:50 am:

Friends,
I recently finished reading Mr.Gareth Penn's "Times 17". This experience was akin to wrestling with a bag of snakes- exhausting, dangerous (mentally), and, ultimately, very boring. Now I'm not here to rip on Penn's worth as a writer, for I don't believe, as the Bard once said, in "much ado about nothing." Rest assured, Penn does not have a shot at lasting literary fame (although he is a solid candidate for the Bulwer-Lytton award). My biggest problem with Penn's entire line of (anti-)thought is that it directly feeds one of the greatest misconceptions about Zodiac: namely, that Zodiac was some kind of criminal genius; a veritable Dr. Moriarty, if you will. This is a pile of iguana-dip! In fact, Zodiac was a sub-par criminal!
My initial exposure to Penn was through the articles he wrote under a psuedonym, and the "Calculus of Evil" was, to my mind, far-fetched with some interesting moments. After using what is left of my diminishing youthful vigor to fight my way through "Times 17", I began to feel that Penn is, for lack of a better phrase, clinically insane. How could any person devote such time to the endevours attributed to poor Mr. O'Hare, and to what end would these acts lead? Penn, if we believe him, has the sort of 'personal relationship' with the Zodiac that I wish I had with my own mother- he gets more phone calls! I would postulate that no single person on the planet could be that involved with such pointless academic minutiae, with such a convoluted, esoteric 'master plan'. I don't mean to sound crass, but the actual case evidence destroys the basic premise of Penn's argument that Zodiac was a criminal genius.
Lest I be accussed of being a wag, an ouright guttersnipe, let me put forth the following 'evidence':
1. Zodiac never bothered to retrieve the shell casings from certain murder sites. Uh, can anyone spell ballistics?
2. Zodiac left his print(s) on the inside of Stine's cab, on the receiver in the Napa phone booth, and, if my memory serves me properly, on several of the envelopes he used to mail his letters.
3. He left witnesses: Mageau and Hartnell, and K. John's, if one lends any creedence to this story. Furthermore, Ferrin was still alive when the police arrived on the scene. If they had not been in such an isolated spot, she may have survived long enough to name her killer (if she in fact did know him) or give a better description.
4. He left his size 10.5 Wing Walker shoe print at Lake Berryessa. This may not have been Zodiac, as it is,in my mind, the most 'problematic' of the murders, but it is not a 'clean' hit.
5. He came very close to being apprehended directly after the Stine murder. Despite the denials of the SFPD, he was actually stopped for a brief time by a patrol car who asked him for information.
6. His three-part cipher was cracked. Yeah, I know I'm not playing fair, as the other cipher still sends Glenn and the like into apoplectic paroxysms.
7. He left behind numerous writing samples for the authorities to analyze.
8. Despite the claims made by certain Zodiacologists, he was a poor killer (sorry for the diction)-his kill rate was 71% (see, Gareth, I can do math too). At the risk of sounding grisly, that's barely a C- at Serial Killer High. Mageau survived despite the fact that Zodiac was only a few feet away.
9. Zodiac did not understand how to calculate postage, nor was he very good at spelling. As a write he was unimaginative and predictable.
I do not have the scars or grizzled countenances that some of you Zodiac experts have aquired over the years, as I am relatively new to the case. I realize that many of you can offer credible theories that would rebuff many of my points. I would add, however, that these points may be brilliant, but they are speculative in nature. I deal with fact. If you look at my list (and I welcome the veterans to add to it for us 'newbies')it becomes obvious, incontrovertible in fact, that Zodiac was a 'stumblebum'. A very, very lucky 'stumblebum'.
Does the aforementioned list of criminal bloopers strengthen or weaken Penn's assertion that Zodiac was a diabolical genius? You do not even have to do the math! I sincerely doubt that Zodiac, certainly not Penn's Fu Manchu-like criminal gennius, would willingly leave such glaring inconsistencies laid bare before the eyes of the police.
So, why does Dr. Victor Penn's 'monster' roam about through the lab? Well, Penn is not the only culprit to propigate this ridiculous notion, although he is, by far, the most vociferous and byzantine. Very few people can resist a compelling 'whodunnit', but this case is not he Gordian knot that it is made out to be. Yes, it is probably unsolveable at this point in time, but only because of suspect police investigations, the relatively primitive technology that was in existence at the time of the murders, and a plethora of wannabes like Penn who muddy the already murky stream of information. I doubt very much that the Zodiac would be as successful in this day and age.
I realize that I am opening myself up to the inevitable pointed thrust. Some people may say, "Okay, smarty, if the case is so darn easy to crack, be my guest!" Point taken, and I do not even pretend to have an eighth of the knowledge that the 'hardcore' investigators (Tom, Jake, Ed et al) possess. I do have, thanks to my Tuetonic blood, the righteous fury of the godforsaken 'rube' flowing through my veins, for I have been taken for a ride by Mr. Penn. I really think that if one steps back from this kind of speculative insanity vomited forth by Penn, one can see that Zodiac, while a diabolical cretin by virtue of his actions, is not the superlative genius or all-knowing entity so many seem anxious to recognize. Once again, he was a 'stumblebum'.
I will say this to any other 'newbies' out there: SAVE YOUR MONEY! DO NOT BUY INTO PENN'S DELUSIONAL, SOPHISTIC SHELL GAME! To the veterans who are smirking in remembrance of things past (like when they got suckered!), let me please beg for your understanding of my righteous indignation. Thank you.
Oscar.
p.s. Hey, Gareth, sue me! Your book will still stink.

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) (dialup-209.245.225.5.dallas1.level3.net - 209.245.225.5) on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 04:41 am:

Oscar, the Moriarty thing has already been done - unfortunately by me. I'm afraid I'm going to have to sue you for copyright infringement if you don't 'cease and desist' in your use of the copyrighted term "Moriarty" as applied to any and all critiques of Penn's illustrious manuscripts.

As set forth in the National Copyright Act of 2026, "Any and all uses of a word, synonyms, homynyms, or similes pertaining to that word, shall remain the copyright of the author for the duration of the author's life, after which time the ownership of said word and all its encumberances shall pass to the author's spouse or other responsible party."

Upon reading this notice, if you fail to stop using the term "Moriarty" or its equivalent phrases, to be identified with but not limited to, geek, idiot, fool, as-hole, sh-head, or even Zodiac, you may face the prospect of prosecution under Title 17 of the American Copyright Act of 2026, which entitles the holder of "the word" to full restitution under the law and also carries with it the maximum penalty of bailiff intialized penal whacking in front of a jury of your peers.

This will be your only warning before legal action is initiated.

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) (dialup-209.245.230.114.dallas1.level3.net - 209.245.230.114) on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 05:37 am:

6. His three-part cipher was cracked. Yeah, I know I'm not playing fair, as the other cipher still sends Glenn and the like into apoplectic paroxysms.

In all seriousness - after my last post where I let my smile crack a bit, you're beginning to get my goat! I can move into the four or five syllable range with the best of them, but our audience doesn't necessarily use the "medical terminology" you use to describe me as being in a "fit of anger" over these ciphers. I'd rather you describe my responses honestly to the public for what they are, a state of "cataleptic narcosis", induced by "long-term stimulus isolation", a direct result of my stint on this site! :-)

It certainly doesn't play into my ego when the likes of you continues to reiterate my already established thinking ad nauseaum. Get it straight right now, dude, GLEN AIN'T NO ZODIAC EXPERT, SO DON'T REPEAT HIM!

Punks, they're all punks nowadays. Guess I'm gonna have to get out my "halloween" costume and show them a thing or two. Guess what character I'll be doing at the all-hallows-eve party this year - you got it -Zodiac!!!! Maybe I'll win me an Oscar, and maybe his pretty girlfriend too! :-)


(for those of you who really don't get it, yes, come on, raise your hand if you're one of them - this is an attempt at humor, nothing more. I only kill people when All-Hallow's Eve falls on Tuesday, so I can't be the Zodiac.:-) or can I? Happy Halloween!

By Dowland (Dowland) (199.251.68.84) on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 08:57 am:

Oscar, I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Zodiac's criminal astuteness, with perhaps one qualification: in the end he was smart enough to know that he was stupid.

Douglas Oswell

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0087.cvx4-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 209.178.146.87) on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 07:53 pm:

Dear Glenn,
Maybe I'm dyslexic, but did you say that copyright infringement may lead to penile whacking in front of my peers? Hoo-gah! If this is the case, then let the Bard speak for me: "Lay on Macduff!" As regards the Moriarty contretemps, let me just say- with all due reference to Holmes- 'snuff said!
Your Pal,
Oscar.
p.s. Penn in 2004. Feel the wave!

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) (2cust158.tnt12.rtm1.nl.uu.net - 213.116.119.158) on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 12:17 pm:

Glenn I think I will have to sue you.
You used the word "the" many times.
You have taken this word from an essay I wrote about Zodiac.
This is your only warning before legal action is initiated.
Be afraid, be very afraid,hahahahaha!

By Gregorypraxas (Gregorypraxas) (spider-th073.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.213.78) on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 05:39 pm:

Oscar wrote: "He came very close to being apprehended directly after the Stine murder. Despite the denials of the SFPD, he was actually stopped for a brief time by a patrol car who asked him for information."

Where is the evidence to support this claim?

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0922.cvx5-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 209.178.155.157) on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 09:46 pm:

Gregorypraxas,
It is documented in Graysmith's book, and I have seen it mentioned several other times in varying accounts. One of the patrolmen died a few years after the event, but the survivor admitted that the event did occur- this is in one of the accounts. It happened. Zodiac barely got away. If the dispatcher had been on the ball, we may have missed the opportunity to converse on this board.
Oscar.
p.s. Penn & Teller in 2004! Ride the wave.

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0922.cvx5-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 209.178.155.157) on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 09:57 pm:

Glenn,
As I've got "your goat", I can only assume that you have not been tending the herd...how sloppy! Where shall I begin? So I "reiterate" YOUR "thinking ad nauseum?" Really? I don't recall ever having copied your thoughts, nor- with the exclusion of a reference to the diabolical Dr. Moriarty (which you apparently own)- do I recount ever having dealt with your self-proclaimed 'turf'- ciphers. (By the way, how is that going?) Satirical thrusts aside, please document how I have copied ANYTHING that you have ever said!
As for your feelings of "isolation" due to a lack of mental stimulation, let me just repeat- since I'm so good at it!- the old adage: only a fool persists in...Well, you get the idea. I think you need a friend, so let me just...hug you. Good luck with your killing spree!
Your Loyal and Doting Sycophant (oops! Another big word- sorry!),
Oscar.
p.s. "Tis too starved an argument for my sword."

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0922.cvx5-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 209.178.155.157) on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 10:01 pm:

Douglas O.,
Would you care to elaborate on your interesting, albeit brief comment about Zodiac being smart enough to know that he was stupid? It captured my interest, and I would like you to expand on this. Perhaps it was simply a catchy bon mot? Thanking you in advance.
Oscar,
p.s. Penn in 2004! Feel the heat.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (ac89c980.ipt.aol.com - 172.137.201.128) on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 10:53 pm:

Oscar,
There is no documentation that the two patrolmen spoke to Zodiac in Presidio Heights.
Eric Zelms died within a few MONTHS of the Stine murder, not YEARS, as you erroneously posted.
His partner, Donald Foukes, has always denied a conversation took place.
Stick to something you know.

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0178.cvx38-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 216.244.30.178) on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 11:31 pm:

Dear Tom,

John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, "The Cases That haunt Us" Scribner, New York, 2000. p.214-215.

Quote: "What happened next has been subject to different interpretations...And had they known the UNSUB was white, this story might have gone in any of a number of different directions. But since they were looking for a black man, THEY JUST ASKED HIM IF HE'D SEEN ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS."
Later quote: "When Robert Graysmith researched this miscommunication, he found the report had been filed away as confidential..."
Gee, I dunno'. It sounds to me like this is a pretty clear indication that a "conversation", no matter how rudimentary, did occur. We both know that Graysmith is a notorious hack, but would you speculate that Graysmith would completely lie about the existence of such a report? (Yes, I am aware that Bobby has had his wrist slapped for plagiarism, which is another form of deceit)
You may not like the "documentation", but I did not just vomit something forth for the sheer pleasure of getting your knickers in a twist! Have you spoken to Foukes? Do you think he would cop (no pun) to having spoken to Z? Please! As I'm sure you have, I have walked the Stine site and photographed it. There is one inescapable conclusion: it is a 'tight' area, and the cops wouldn't have been able to avoid Z. Given the circumstances, the cops would have stopped anyone walking down the street to garner any information they could. It is logical to presume that the conversation took place, even if it was nothing more than a shouted communique (As you know, they would not have had to have left their car).
Foukes had more of a reason to lie than Graysmith.
I'm glad I could at least provide you with some "documentation", even though they are secondary sources. I would hate you to think that I was-gulp!- playing 'fast and loose' with the facts, or, God forbid, just making stuff up!
If the secret report on Foukes' conversation with Z does exist, wouldn't you be able to procur a copy with your great connections?
I did goof in regard to Zelms, but I have a scant few months of experience with this case, in marked contrast to your years of slavery. Shoot me.
Your Pal,
Oscar.
p.s. I hope you feel better. Maybe you should have a beverage.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (ac8b291e.ipt.aol.com - 172.139.41.30) on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 11:49 pm:

You are using an invisible report as your "documentation" of a conversation between Zodiac and the officers? Boy, I can't wait for your book to come out...

I have everything SFPD has in terms of reports. Never did the officers admit to speaking with Zodiac. And if there is a "secret" report detailing this encounter, it's doubtful some author would have had access to it. One of the reasons the yellow book is filled with mistakes is because he wasn't actually allowed to see these items for himself...he had to rely on others.

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0178.cvx38-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 216.244.30.178) on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 12:07 am:

Tom,
Actually, the word you want is "alleged", rather than "invisible". Why do you presume that you have "everything" in terms of SFPD reports? What is your basis for this comment? As you said, it is "doubtful" that Graysmith would have had access to this mysterious report. However, doubtful does not mean impossible. Would you agree? Love him or hate him, it is quite obvious that Graysmith did have some access to 'inside' knowledge of the case. That he frequently goofed does not necessarily mean that he did not have access to sensitive information. He was not able to use proper investigative methodology, nor was his style particularly scholarly, but this does not mean he was not told things by people who were duking it out in the trenches of the case.
I would love to send you a complimentary copy of my book, but it does not involve Zodiac. When is the "Tom Voight Charm Manual" arriving in stores?
Ever Humble,
Oscar.
p.s. How is the mood around Quantico lately? I guess you could ask Mr. Douglas. At least he has been there.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (ac8b291e.ipt.aol.com - 172.139.41.30) on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 12:15 am:

Quantico is moon-miles from San Francisco.

If the author of that yellow book had a copy of this invisible report, he would have included it in his book.
I've had several conversations with former DOJ Special Agent Mel Nicolai, and he verified no conversation took place...at least there was never documentation of one. And he would know.

I know what SFPD has regarding the case because I've been there many times exchanging info. I've had access to everything except physical evidence.

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0178.cvx38-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 216.244.30.178) on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 12:31 am:

Tom,
Fair enough. My last point concerning the "invisible" report is simple: Graysmith probably never had a copy, but he might have heard about it, or he heard talk of what had transpired that evening. This is within the realm of possibility, is it not? However, I do tend to believe your assertion that the author goofed.
Is there any Zodiac-related author that you think is worthy of reading? You rip on authors like Penn (as do I...it's fun!), but I have yet to see any recommendation as to who us 'newbies' should be reading. What about Kelleher's upcoming book? Do you have high hopes for this? Obviously, I am going to have to burn my copy of Douglas'latest, as you don't think much of his work. Surface errors aside, do you tend to agree with much of his analysis? With any?
Your Feral Child,
Oscar.
p.s. Love the one you're with.

By Dowland (Dowland) (100.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.16.100) on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 01:32 am:

Would you care to elaborate on your interesting, albeit brief comment about Zodiac being smart enough to know that he was stupid? It captured my interest, and I would like you to expand on this. Perhaps it was simply a catchy bon mot? Thanking you in advance.

I'm simply postulating that Zodiac was intelligent enough to know that he had botched his crimes and was certain to be caught if he continued killing in a confrontational manner. Which is not to say that he might have begun killing again, at some later date, using a far less risky means of dealing death.

Douglas Oswell

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tm071.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.197.76) on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 07:16 am:

Douglas,

That's my impression of Zodiac too. I thought his letter about the police sketch photo was interesting. He went out of his way to elaborate on it in a way that I felt he goofed up somewhere and needed to cover his tracks. Mainly by having victims survive and be witnesses which makes me feel he killed only because in his mind HE HAD TO.

The goal was number one which couldn't be accomplished without killing which was number two.

By Dowland (Dowland) (199.251.68.84) on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 08:10 am:

Hurley--Are you saying that publicity was number one and murder number two? If so, I tend to agree.

Douglas Oswell

By Ed N. (Edn) (spider-wc012.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.193.22) on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 10:50 am:

Douglas and Hurley:

I both agree and disagree. I think that Graysmith (gasp!) might have been correct that, whatever Z's original motivation for his crimes, it became secondary to the new motive for the publicity he craved. After his disastrous murder of Stine where he was nearly caught, he then rode the wave of terror he had generated for the next year or so, which presumably sated that craving.

By Dowland (Dowland) (218.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.16.218) on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 11:01 am:

By the time Zodiac got to Stine I think the publicity motive had become more or less paramount, although at the outset it was probably the desire to exact a symbolic revenge against a particular class of people. There's no reason to think that Zodiac had anything in particular against cab drivers, but it appears that he chose one simply because it afforded an easy victim that would provide a platform for future bragging rights.

Douglas Oswell

By Ed N. (Edn) (spider-wc084.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.193.59) on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 11:06 am:

Quite right. BTW Douglas, check your mail...

By Gregorypraxas (Gregorypraxas) (spider-th074.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.213.79) on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 03:31 pm:

Oscar wrote: "We both know that Graysmith is a notorious hack, but would you speculate that Graysmith would completely lie about the existence of such a report?"

To dismiss Foukes as a credible witness, Oscar wrote: "Foukes had more of a reason to lie than Graysmith."

Confronted with the lack of evidence to support his claims regarding the Zodiac's alleged conversation with police, he wrote "It happened."

These statements demonstrate a very clear lack of knowledge regarding the case, as well as the behavior and history of Graysmith.

Graysmith WOULD lie about something like that -- in fact, he's lied about all kinds of things in the past, and if you, Oscar, doubt for a moment that he might fabricate a story about a secret document, well, then, you don't know much about the man and his methods. Only a fool would continue to wonder about Graysmith's credibility -- the jury has been in for years on that matter. And only a fool would cite his book as evidence of anything but a perfect example of what can happen when a person exploits a tragedy for his own purposes.

To imply that Foukes had a better reason to lie than Graysmith is to reveal your ignorance of the events of October 11 1969. The fact that you came to this group and so vehemently claimed the "conversation" took place (having no support for your claim other than two paragraphs from two books) is indicative of what you seem to believe constitutes "documentation". In case you haven't noticed, Graysmith has been caught in dozens of lies, fabrications, distortions, exaggerations and more. To suggest that he was an honest guy and that Foukes has something to hide, or imply that he had a better reason to lie than Graysmith, is only further proof of your ignorance.

It's easy to march into a group and announce that something is or is not true. What is difficult is to stick to the research and the facts. Apparently, you have no experience in the latter, and too much in the former. Understandable -- it's a mistake many of us have made. Hopefully, we learn from such mistakes.

The available "documentation" (in the true sense of the word) indicates that Foukes and Zelms never spoke to the Zodiac, and, according to Tom, they did not contribute to the composite sketch of Stine's killer.

Foukes is said to have given a conflicting description of Stine's killer to the producer of the TV program Crimes of the Century. There have been some largely inadequate explanations offered as to why there were TWO different descriptions of the man Foukes saw that night, and, to date, there have been no meaningful or even plausable answers to explain why the SFPD continued to circulate an allegedly erroneous description for three decades. On that same TV program, Foukes provided the ORIGINAL description of the killer -- not his updated, and allegedly more accurate description. Therefore, there must be serious doubts about this so-called "second description". Despite the fact that Tom has discussed this subject with certain sources who appear to have confirmed this description, the fact remains that there was NO attempt, officially or otherwise, to correct the description in more than 30 years, and there is NO available documentation to support the theory that the second description is anymore accurate than the first.

In short, there's something very fishy about the apochryphal alterations to this story, and no one should accept anything (even the words of a seemingly credible retired law enforcement officer) at face value. Without any real documentation, and without asking the hard questions of sources, the questions regarding the Foukes encounter will undoubtedly remain unanswered.

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0002.cvx38-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 216.244.30.2) on Sunday, October 29, 2000 - 04:20 am:

Gregorypraxas,
I'm sure that Tom is relieved to have found such a personable and able shining knight as you. Thanks for ripping me a new southern orifice, as it was probably due. However, I would like to point out something concerning Foukes/Graysmith.
IF Foukes did indeed "talk" with Zodiac that night( and I'm no longer saying he did), then my point was that he would have had obvious reasons for denying it. No cop would want to go through the pain of having to admit this, especially not to other cops, and especially not while Zodiac was terrorizing the Bay area to such a great extent.
Graysmith is a hack and, generally, not to be trusted. You have not read my other postings, nor did you read my posting to Tom very carefully. I alluded to Graysmith's problem with plagiarism, so obviously i know what the deal is here. Graysmith likes to sell books, as all authors do. However, he MAY have been passing on erroneous information that he had overheard...it is not outside the boundaries of possibility.
Unlike yourself, I have never passed myself off as a Zodiac expert; in fact, I refer to myself as a 'newbie', as I have only been studying the case for a year. I have read Graysmith, Penn, Douglas, and I have tracked down many of the Z-related articles, and I have a stack of the original newspaper accounts. So, I do my homework, but I am not perfect. I have also visited and photographed the Stine site, BRS, Lake Berryessa, and the Bates site. Obviously, I am trying to learn as much about the case as is humanly possible.
I don't mind if you prove me wrong, or even think a theory or idea of mine is weak, but don't impugn my character, and don't assume that you know a bloody thing about my methodology.
I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of your definitive Zodiac book. And, by the way, I have a set of pliers if you feel like removing your face from Tom's colon.
Hurt and Drinking Hemlock,
Oscar.
p.s. The difference between a sh-thead and an as-kisser is depth perception.

By Gregorypraxas (Gregorypraxas) (spider-ta068.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.205.39) on Sunday, October 29, 2000 - 05:57 pm:

If you think I am kissing Tom's posterior, well, then you don't know jack about my "methodology" either.

You may think that I did not read your post carefully, but, as with the above assumption, you are sorely mistaken. I did read your post very carefully, and the facts speak for themselves.

You posted a message in which you claim that Foukes spoke to the Zodiac, and you cited two books to support your claim. You implied that Foukes was lying, or that he had more of a reason to lie than Graysmith. If Foukes was so embarrassed by the incident, it is likely that he would not admit having seen the killer at all.

In all fairness, no one was attempting to "impugn" your character. Commenting on your inability to research the facts before making such declarations is not "impugning" your character, but, rather, simply pointing out that which is obvious. You, yourself, provided the information about your so-called "methodology". According to you, two paragraphs in a book make something true, and you have such confidendce in these books that you are quick to come here, post what you read as the truth and claim that it's silly to believe otherwise (you are referred to your own post). No matter how you look at it, your methodology stinks. Don't blame me for your faults.

Finally, I never passed myself off as a Zodiac expert. In fact, I don't care for that "title", as I believe the real experts are the police who investigated the crimes. Your assumption that I am somehow "kissing" up to Tom simply proves that you know nothing about me, my research, or my relationship with Tom. "Kissing up" to Tom is the last thing I can be accused of, and there is no portion of my post which even remotely "kisses up" to Tom, so I can only conclude that you have created this erroneous assumption simply because you didn't like being corrected. That speaks volumes on your character, as does the fact that you immediately resorted to vulgarities as well. You can call me all the names you like, and behave like a child to your content. That will not change the fact that you made sweeping, uninformed pronouncements here which are not supported by the facts. That you have become vulgar and hostile after being corrected is not surprising, either. It's the first resort of a tiny mind.

"p.s. The difference between a sh-thead and an as-kisser is depth perception." I would say you have demonstrated that you are very much the former, having proven that your depth perception is so terrible that you cannot see that your foot is in your own mouth.

By Bruced (Bruced) (pm3-02-34.sle.du.teleport.com - 216.26.16.162) on Tuesday, October 31, 2000 - 01:54 pm:

OSCAR vs. GREGORYPRAXIS
This is way better than TYSON vs. GOLATTA.
This makes up for those of us who paid all that money, and the fight ended in the 2nd round
Bruce D.

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0193.cvx5-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 209.178.152.193) on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 02:11 am:

Dear Bruced,
You got suckered into the Tyson-Golotta fiasco? I'm sorry. I would respond to Gregorypraxis, but I believe he- like Hitler during the final years- is engaged in a war on two fronts. He is getting his a*s handed to him by Glen in a radian discussion, and I just don't have the heart to kick a boy while he is down. However, if you read his one posting to Glen- you know, the one where he calls Glen an "imbecile"- you will realize what a vapid,pompous cretin he can be. You will notice that he wrote the following to my earlier salvo: (paraphrase) vulgarity is "the first resort of a tiny mind". Obviously, he talks the talk but can not walk the walk. What a self-righteous windbag- he's probably a congressman.
In my next missive, I'll devote some serious time to explaining to 'Mr.Wonderful'the difference between a primary and secondary source, and I will explain that my response to Tom was based, solely, on Tom's assertion that I was speaking off the top of my head. However, Gregory will probably be a befuddled mess by then, or he will still be walking around like some love-struck teenager after being called "brilliant". I'm sure that will keep him going for days. Actually, and I hope my bias is not showing through like the pauper's undies, but his radian paper was interesting reading.
So, my good friend Bruced, I bid a fond farewell. And, Gregorypraxas, wherever you are (you "brilliant" schmutz), enjoy your peace. Sayonara.
A Bus Driver Once Called Me "Smart",
Oscar.
p.s. "La langue est une raison humaine qui a ses raisons, et que l'homme ne connait pas."

By Gregorypraxas (Gregorypraxas) (spider-ta075.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.205.8) on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 05:04 am:

As Tony Randall would say: "Oscar, Oscar, Oscar..."

The only thing that Glen handed me was a lot of nonsensical and rambling idiocy about scientific standards in a discussion which required none. If you saw his response as some sort of victory, then you weren't paying attention. Glen simply proved that some people are so hysterically angry with Penn that it clouds their judgment and renders them incapable of objectivity.

Further proof that you do not pay attention comes in your remarks regarding vulgarity. I think you need to look that word up in a dictionary, as calling someone an "imbecile" can hardly be considered vulgar. That was simply an accurate assessment of Glen as he presented himself. And, if we are going to stick to the facts, you were the one who was vulgar by definition. I know it just kills you to have to admit that you were wrong, so I won't kick you while you're down by citing the evidence to prove it. Anyone who requires proof can simply scroll up and read your moronic remarks for themselves.

As for your thoughts on my radian post, I really couldn't care less.

As for primary and secondary sources, I don't need you to tell me the difference. I am well aware of the difference. You, on the other hand, apparently had to run out and learn that for yourself after our first exchange.

You may not like or agree with what Tom or I say here, and we may not always be right, but one fact is undeniable. Tom and I (and others) have devoted a great deal of time, money and energy to learning the facts, by talking to PRIMARY sources such as detectives who have worked the cases, witnesses, and others. We have attempted to gather all the available documentation such as police, autopsy and other reports (or -- other PRIMARY sources ). We have also sought information from many, many SECONDARY sources such as books, magazines, newspapers, etc. We've done the research. Have you? NO - You read a couple of books and went to a crime scene. I think you need to spend some time pondering THAT difference before you come here and start telling me, Tom, or anyone else what is or is not true, or what did or did not happen. I'm not saying we are the final word on anything, but one would hardly consider looking to someone such as yourself for anything but the workings of an impoverished and naive mind who believes that something must be true because he read it in a book.

You can call me a pompous windbag to your heart's content. It won't change the fact that you made an A** out of yourself here, and have been desperately back peddling ever since.

Finally, I have been called "brilliant" many times in my life. I'm smart enough not to let it go to my head, and I don't rely on others to validate or stroke my ego. I simply say what I think, and although I am open to criticism, I am not really all that concerned with what others think of me. I'm here to talk about the facts, not me, and not personalities. And if anyone on this board can be accurately categorized as a "vapid, pompous cretin," I would have to say it would be the person who read a book and thought that gave him the authority to tell others what is and is not true. Only an idiot would have done what you did here, and no matter how much you attack me you cannot change the fact that you simply didn't know what you were talking about, and you didn't enjoy being told as much. PERIOD. END OF STORY.

You wrote: "I bid a fond farewell".

Let's hope you're serious. So long, pal.

PS: I'll wager that the bus driver had been drinking at the time.....

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p124.as2.dungarvan1.eircom.net - 159.134.234.124) on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 12:35 pm:

No, I'am not interested in making any type of contact with Oscar's a**, before anyone suggests it. Neither am I looking to start a "who's got the biggest zodiac collection" argument with anyone. However, when I read "but one could hardly consider looking to someone such as yourself for anything but the workings of an improvished and naive mind who believes that something must be true because they read it in a book" really cuts to the bone. Several people including most on this board started by reading a book including Tom whose "zodiac is invaluable to him because it's what started his interest in this case" and Yes, alot were naive and yes, alot asked stupid questions and yes alot made a&&holes of themselves and yes including those who have done the research,and yes, alot will do the same in the future.It's amazing how the people on this board who "don't care what other people think" are the same people who react with such venom or those who are "brilliant" fail to notice the difference between crititism and a bit of sh&tstirring.Take time out point out mistakes without name calling,or if you do not have the enough tolerance for that dont answer at all.

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-wk071.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.198.181) on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 03:05 pm:

Welcome to the Zodiac Board of Love!

Well said Lapumo though I don't think there is any such thing as stupid questions and I hope character assessments are not made based on someone's lack of knowledge on this case, they shouldn't be anyhow! I think that would defeat the whole purpose of this board.

Communication with people who share a common interest.

Gregoryx I think was just letting off steam at Oscar and Oscar, I know it's your style of humor but could you please just let up on the personal attacks a bit?

Oy-vey! Aspirin, cold beer, gin & tonic...anyone???....

By Jake (Jake) (spider-wd011.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.193.151) on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 04:02 pm:

Hurley wrote:
"Oy-vey! Aspirin, cold beer, gin & tonic...anyone???...."

Um, can I have a Quaalude?

--Jake

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0476.cvx4-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 209.178.147.221) on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 07:10 pm:

Gregorypraxas,
I'm here to stay, baby! By the way, if you had read carefully, you would have noticed that I have spent the time and money to visit ALL the crime sites (plural..duh)! You got called on your sh*t and YOU don't like it. You obviously do not comprehend what you read, but that's your problem (a little remedial geometry wouldn't hurt either!). Those of us who offend the almighty 'experts' should bow our heads in utter deference to your...narrow-mindedness? I think not. By the way, talking to detectives is great, but they haven't solved the case either.
You have been called "brilliant" several times in your life! Well, there is no accounting for people's intelligence...or lack thereof. For your information, the bus driver in question was my father, and it made me feel...happy.
Eagerly awaiting your next "brilliant" dissertation".
Your Love,
Oscar.
p.s. You probably don't speak French, eh?

By Gregorypraxas (Gregorypraxas) (spider-ta054.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.205.69) on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 07:31 pm:

Oscar,

You didn't call me on anything, and you know it. That's why you continue to engage in these petty, childish and irrelevant rants. Want to talk about the facts? I didn't think so...you'd prefer to sit home and believe your bookshelf holds all the secret of this mystery. Go right ahead. Don't expect anyone to be impressed by that, let alone listen to anything you have to say with a straight face.

I defy you to show me ONE instance where I am in need on "remedial geometry". Go ahead. You can't. Why? 'Cause there's nothing complicated about what I wrote. A radian is a radian is a radian. Measure it. Learn it. Live it.

As for you, I think it's clear that you are far more interested in being an idiot than discussing the case. That's your right, but, in all honesty, people like you are a dime a dozen. You come here and all you do is engage in idiotic specualtion, claim that you're right cause a book said so, ignore the facts, and seem to delight in harassing people. There's nothing unique about that, or you, for that matter.

Grow up. When you're ready to start talking about the facts, we'll be ready. Until then, good luck trying to tread water on this group using your so-called "methodology" (Bwahahahaha....)

Bye!

NOTE: "Several people including most on this board started by reading a book..."

Quite right. There's nothing wrong with reading the book, having an opinion, or asking stupid questions. We all started out that way.

What I take issue with is the way Oscar presented his "opinion" masquerading as fact. When someone like Tom (who has done the research) tells someone like Oscar (who has not) that reliable sources indicate that Oscar is wrong, and Oscar responds with little more that "Uh uh! The book says you're wrong", well, then, I think that deserves a good slap upside the head. I never said that Oscar should bow to us, or anything like that. It would be nice if he was intelligent enough to realize that reading something in a book doesn't make it true, and that people who have done the research he has not done might actually know a little more than him. No one asks that he agree with us, bow to us, or any such nonsense. I'm often wrong, and I will be again. I don't mind being "called on it". In fact, I deliberately seek out the opinions of others in order to have them double check what I write, and I am always ready to admit that I don't know everything.

At the same time, I think it's unreasonable to ask those of us who have done the research to bow to those who have not. Especially when those people are as immature and rude as Oscar. I'm always interested in the opinions of others, whether they read a book or devoted their life to research. IT's the attitude that I don't appreciate.

You may not like what I say, or even how I say it. I couldn't care less. What I care about are the facts, and that's what I'm here to discuss. Oscar is not. Oscar is playing some grade-school "i know you are but what am I?" game.

I don't think you should be surprised that no one finds his "act" very amusing.

By Oscar (Oscar) (dialup-63.208.239.135.losangeles.level3.net - 63.208.239.135) on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 12:46 am:

Gregorypraxass,
Still here, babe. Hey! I thought you weren't going to talk to me anymore? What happened?
You still don't get it, do you? Do you know what a secondary source even is? Do you know that I clearly made mention of the fact that I was quoting a secondary source? Lapumo is correct in saying that I was into some serious sh*t-stirring. Why? The pot needs to be stirred. Obviously this worked, as a "brilliant" person such as yourself is still engaged...God knows you wouldn't dare be caught conversing with a-gulp!- moron.
Could Foukes have lied about what happened that night? Yes. Am I saying he did? No. Could Foukes and Zelms have passed Zodiac without seeing him? Possibly. However, it is mentioned that the cops passed a white man, although the dispatcher had led them to believe that the perp was black. Could a "conversation", given the circumstances and terrain, have occurred between that white man and the cops? Likely. Do we know whether or not the white man in question was Zodiac? No, but it is possible. Does Graysmith always lie? If nothing he has reported is true, then please inform those of us who are not as "brilliant". Specifically, what else has Graysmith lied about, and what are your sources (are they primary or secondary)? By the way, you mention that you have spoken to the detectives who work, or have worked on this case. Okay. Who is to say that they told you everything that they know? Why should they? Who is to say that what they told you was even truthful? If you think cops don't lie on occasion, then go to your library (a place with lots of books) and read the L.A. Times. If you believe this, then you've probably caught a chill waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive!
I have done the research, but, yes, I do not have access to your vaunted primary sources(you're a regular DICK Tracy, aren't you?). Mind you, these great sources were the same reason why the case is the quagmire it is today. Graysmith is no less credible than you, BASED ON THE EVIDENCE THAT I HAVE BEFORE ME. All I have is your word that you have done all you have claimed. Why would you then presume to know so much about me? Poor thinking, pal...and egocentric to the max!
Your refutation of my original posting was based on the fact that I used Graysmith as "documentation". It is a SECONDARY source, not a PRIMARY source. Technically, even a detective is not a primary source on a case;he is analgous to the historian using evidence as a primary source to develop a thesis that will resolve a case. The detective can not be a primary source, as he/she was not present during the commission of the crime. Therefore, interviewing a detective, or reading their reports, constitutes usage of a secondary source. The only primary source for the aftermath of the Stine murder would be the following people: the white man walking down the street, and Foukes (Zelms doesn't say much, as he's dead). Have you interviewed this 'white man?' Is it POSSIBLE that Foukes may have wanted to withhold information that would cause him embarrassment? Where you there? I assume not. Was I? Nope, I was still affixed to my mother's breast. (If you really want to get technical, Graysmith's book is a tertiary source, as it is based on secondary sources- police reports and interviews, which are themselves secondary sources created by people who were not eyewitnesses to the crime).
One may speculate about events in any source, be it primary, secondary or tertiary, but it is still "documentation". It may not fulfill your definition of documentation, but you may be dealing in semantics (yes,I am going there as well).
Joan of Arc was, according to the sources, alleged to have heard 'voices'. The only person who will ever really know if this was true is Joan of Arc (and God, who, if he exists, would be a primary source in this case). However, there is no "documentation" to prove that this in fact did happen. However, any historian who wrote about Joan of Arc without mentioning these 'voices', would be committing heresy(bad pun) and should be burned at the stake!
Before you go off on somebody for being "rude", I would strongly suggest that you read your first response to my original posting. How many times did you use the word "fool"? And you wonder why there will be no presents under the Christmas tree this year! Seriously. Your tone is self-righteous, arrogant, pompous, and extremely pedantic. So, pal, don't take a dump on my dinner plate and tell me I'm eating steak. I may be no angel(Amen!), but I have a sense of humor, and I believe that you could benefit by not being such a puerile wank.
No one finds my "act" amusing? Please tell me how my original posting was not serious in intent. Well, it is not an act, buddy. Lapumo has the brains to recognize what the game really is, why not read his post while you are at it.
Refute MY facts, or hit the road.
Oscar the Great (there's that humor again...HEE HEE!)
p.s. Jake, pass those ludes, dude! ZZZZZ....

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-wm044.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.199.169) on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 07:37 am:

Sooo, anybody solve any ciphers lately?

By Ed N. (Edn) (spider-ntc-tc024.proxy.aol.com - 198.81.17.29) on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 09:09 am:

No, but maybe by now Penn has found a way to prove that Elvis was Z.

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tl083.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.207.213) on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 10:00 am:

Ah, Yes.....You can draw a line from Graceland through Mt Diablo to Zodiac crime scenes!

....Zelvis!

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p11.as1.dungarvan1.eircom.net - 159.134.234.11) on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 10:41 am:

Oscar wrote:-
"SAVE YOUR MONEY! DO NOT BUY PENN'S DELUSIONAL SOPHISTIC SHELL GAME"
Fortunately,I did not take your advise on this one.I think Mr.Penn got it spot on except for one or two small misjudgements.As far as trying to make it an entertaining read, I think it lacked the literary flair of say ahh who?....ahhhhh,yes an Oscar.As far as his reasoning and final conclusion are concerened, brilliant, everything was right, it all made sense, with one tiny flaw,because he used the wrong calculations he came up with the wrong man.Now this is the REALLY BRILLIANT PART, it got me thinking,WOOOSSSHHHH,everything fell into place..
1.Name the real Zodiac
2.Prove it using the correct calculations
3.Share it with the people on this board first
4.Give the real credit to Mr. Penn for his original idea
5.Settle the argument between Ed and Gregory on the signifance of the watch
5.Give Oscar the chance to recoup losses incurred on his original purchase... BUT HOW
Iam going to write a book, and I want offer Oscar the oppurtunity to co write. I'll supply the proof in the final chapter and Iam hoping I can persuade Oscar to channel his talents in devising an entertaining sub-plot. Now the name of the book.. yes you guessed it... TIMES 18 .The proof(now remember, using strict mathematical formula) At the end of the first cipher are 18 "extra letters", and yes it's as you suspected the proof was there all along, the final 3 are ITI.Now calculators out,Thinking of the alphabet as used say, ahh, on a Zodiac watch,that is an interlocking continuous cycle, add 18 to each individual letter ITI and there you have it, his initials ALA.I wont give the full name out now in case a certain MR.Graysmith (whom I suspect may be monitoring this board for ideas on a book)is logged on.
Well Oscar are you interested??? will it sell?? of course you realise were talking 80/20

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p11.as1.dungarvan1.eircom.net - 159.134.234.11) on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 10:49 am:

ON the significance of the watch even. That's another reason I need you Oscar

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (ac8d4e7d.ipt.aol.com - 172.141.78.125) on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 10:58 am:

Allen owned a Zodiac watch since either December 1967, or July-August 1969...depending on which story you believe.
The significance is that before Zodiac's letters began, Allen had an item in his possession that featured both the name "Zodiac" AND cross-circle symbol. Not proof of guilt, but not every white male adult in the Bay Area had such an item.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p51.as1.dungarvan1.eircom.net - 159.134.234.51) on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 12:33 pm:

I actually do find that significant,but what I find more significant is the interest by detectives right up to the current day in Allen.Which would leave me to believe that there's alot more information about Allen being kept back.The "evidence" thus far would not warrant that attention.IMHO

By Sandy (Sandy) (c531918-a.ptbrg1.sfba.home.com - 24.176.152.45) on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 04:37 am:

Can anyone tell me if any other underwater watches were made between 66 and 69? Darlene and her ex did a lot of diving. One of the trucks that one of my suspects was driving, had a diving sticker on it.The man driving it, was who I am told is Kane. I would think someone who dives a lot would have a underwater watch. Any suspect who likes to wear this kind of watch, and has no interest in diving, might be suspicious.I don't know if R.H. dives, I do know he owns a boat , and liked to water ski.Kane also had a boat.

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tk052.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.206.197) on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 09:27 am:

Lapumo,

By adding 18 letters to ITI was a lot better conclusion than I came up with. I just unscrambled the letters (as if no one else ever thought of it in the last 30 years) and while I had a few letters left over, the only thing I got was I AM THE BROTH PIT!! (coo coo kachoo...)

By Sandy (Sandy) (c531918-a.ptbrg1.sfba.home.com - 24.176.152.45) on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 09:19 pm:

The clue I was given was something like --Me thee hippi Robeet . At the bottom of this clue was-- 5th letter E, 5 E's . ( Maybe some one can make sense of it?)

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) (s340-isdn2707.dial.xs4all.nl - 194.109.190.147) on Wednesday, November 08, 2000 - 02:06 am:

Oh No, The Zodiac is on this message-board!
It's Oscar!!!
Let's get 'm, boys and girls!
(just kidding Oscar, I find your postings very interesting).

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p32.as1.dungarvan1.eircom.net - 159.134.234.32) on Wednesday, November 08, 2000 - 04:51 pm:

sandy wrote;- " the clue I was given was something like"
Can you elaborate? Thanks.

By Edward (Edward) (adsl-63-205-197-35.dsl.scrm01.pacbell.net - 63.205.197.35) on Sunday, December 17, 2000 - 03:55 pm:

I recently spoke with Alan Cabal of "Times 17" noteriety. He told me that before he fingered O'Hare, Penn thought Zodiac was a nuclear weapons specialist out of Travis AFB.
Anyone ever heard that one before?

By Jake Wark (Jake) (spider-wc051.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.193.41) on Sunday, December 17, 2000 - 08:08 pm:

I used to follow Penn's pronouncements closely, and have detailed files on his various theories. His first published hypothesis ran in the Chronicle in '81, and he's quoted as suggesting just that. He also had a rather elaborate theory based on Lewis Carroll's work.

We had a poster a while back that quoted Cabal as admitting he had made all of the calls to Penn. Penn admits that at least some were made by Cabal, but can we write them all off as pranks?

--Jake
http://members.aol.com/Jakewark/index.html
"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Growup007 (Growup007) (cvg-nat254.clearchannel.com - 207.230.144.254) on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 10:16 pm:

Does anyone know where this book is readily available? After reading the glowing reviews I know I shouldn't, but I'd like to read it. The book is out of print right?

By Jake Wark (Jake) (spider-wg052.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.196.42) on Tuesday, February 06, 2001 - 07:53 am:

I think Penn is desktopping them out in small quantities. You can get it through Amazon.com, I think, but the wait is measured in months rather than days.

--Jake
http://members.aol.com/Jakewark/index.html
"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0046.cvx37-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - 216.244.24.46) on Wednesday, February 07, 2001 - 12:05 am:

Growup007 (nice tag!),

Penn was last spotted at Kinkos, desperately banging his head against the counter.
Oscar
p.s. Penn in 2004/ Gag on the turd!