What about the buttons....

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: What about the buttons....

By Jennifer (Jackyl1) (169.hyper.uia.net - on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 11:05 pm:

Hello to all. If this has been addressed elsewhere in the board, please direct me to it, thank you....
In three (I think) of the Zodiac's letters he mentions that he is upset because "you people" won't wear "nice buttons," and in one letter he refers to "nasty" buttons. Does anyone have any idea what he is talking about? Was this ever questioned or was it just chalked up to the guy being a weirdo?
Also, the letter to Melvin Belli looks like it was written by a different person until the last two or three words. Any speculation as to why, or is that not an issue? Jenn

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0179.cvx37-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 11:47 pm:

Z was referring to those ubiquitous "happy face" buttons that were so popular and annoying at the time. Another theory is that he was referring to the "Free Angela" buttons, as he was alleged to have been a member of the Black Panther party.
Always willing to help a newbie.

By Jennifer (Jackyl1) (169.hyper.uia.net - on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 11:51 pm:

Okay, but what is a "nasty" button, or was he just making conversation? Jenn

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0179.cvx37-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 11:53 pm:

A "nasty" button was simply an inverted "happy face" button- the smile is upside down. Get it? You should read about this in Maury Terry's excellent book, "Ultimate Evil".

By Jennifer (Jackyl1) (169.hyper.uia.net - on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 11:56 pm:

Okay. Thanks. Obviously I was not around in the day of the nice buttons. Jenn

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0179.cvx37-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 11:59 pm:

Not to digress, but have you heard the astounding theory that Z was a Welsh sailor with telepathic powers? Ask Jake, he will be glad to fill you in.
Maybe you should spend some time with Graysmith or Penn, eh?

By Jennifer (Jackyl1) (169.hyper.uia.net - on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 12:03 am:

Yeah I heard the Welsh theory. Not the telepathic part thoug. I assume Graysmith and Penn are authors on the subject of Z....but not too good from what I gather on this site. Jenn

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-83.linkline.com - on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 01:25 am:

Jennifer-You should read Zodiac by Robert Graysmith. You can even get it at a used book store either on line or in any city that has a good book store.RG has been much vilified, but he started real interest in the case.There is an admixture of accuracy and error in his book,but I have withheld judgement as to how and why each error entered until his new book comes out this year.For example, did he withhold some info so that there would be some evidence that the PD could use when and if a confessor was arrested or stepped forward ;or was it just lax reporting,etc?He may have been led astray by some in their recounting of events-at which point? This is quite common. All in all, the research took a heavy toll on his private life.Lets see what he has to say in the new book.Have you heard that a "pioneer is someone with an arrow in his back"?

Again,I would urge you to learn the old posts. If you want to know what a particular poster said over a period of time ,it's here- it's a click away.You asked about Z"buttons" well, click on "key word search". You may get a subject covered or you may not.

You got some warnings from Jake and det.Baker about me . They indicate I am 'biased' because I have a suspect and from time to time weave Zodiac info together with things that I think fit my guy. I have read a ton of true crime and have interviewed lots of detectives and it is NOT unusual for a detective (or researcher)to have someone they are 'high' on relative to an UNSOLVED case.Even going back to the 19th century we find the Ripper case is just one example of this FACT!Det. Baker is very high on Richard Leigh Allen(see Tom's excellent condensed report on this suspect-click suspects),but do I call him 'biased' -NO; I would think that a man of his intellegence and experienced discerment would have selected a good suspect!It's an UNSOLVED case here ,so I am open(I have a lot of info on suspects both known and unknown-I ain't stupid or so biased that I don't check and recheck these guys constantly; actually just this past week!). Now,Jake,as everyone knows, seems negative(even paranoid!) towards examining, or shall I say,'adopting'a "suspect'.Mr. J seems adverse to book writing on Zodiac with a suspect in view (and money making too-even if the author spent thousands of hours and dollars on the research-guess hippism or Amishism is still alive).If I even state a car(or the sky is blue!)was green, J will say it was gray or blue(the car not the sky!)-so always expect his reactions to my posts to be like I have described!He is highly intelligent and totally dedicated to the Zodiac case and his site is fabulous-but that's Jake.It's great fun and it's something to look forward to.If someone goes after you, keep at it -it's just the ol'crude cowboyism in an undeveloped 200 + year culture manifesting!Keep posting and ENZOY.

We need to weed- and that's one way to do it. Allen is a case in point. If the DNA tests come back negative -he has been weeded. On the other hand, if it comes back positive-KOOL!The Riverside PD is doing DNA on their suspect(read posts here on Cheri Bates and read Graysmith's book)to either weed or convict their suspect. It's detective work in an unsolved mystery.We need weeders as well as just info gatherers.

By Jennifer (Jackyl1) (63.gst.ont.cyberg8t.com - on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 01:53 am:

Much obliged, or something. Thanks. Jenn.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-th022.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 02:31 pm:

Howard, in fairness to both of us, I'll allow that almost every one of us is biased in one respect or another, and I don't think I've been any harder on you than Tom, Doug, or Harry Martin. However, if you say a car was green, you can bet that I'll cite police reports from Vallejo, SF, and Napa that call it teal or aquamarine. Call me paranoid, or call me accurate.

I'll also state for the record that you have a very open mind for someone with a suspect. Usually, people get so wrapped up with their guy that everything either has to fit or gets thrown out, which is why I try to avoid such speculation. Until the accurate truth comes out, I don't think we as amateurs have any business proposing suspects.

As to filthy lucre, I don't blame anyone for trying to recoup their investment, or charging for their efforts and intellectual property. Less noble, I think, is the marketing of someone else's work -- whether it's a police report or a manuscript -- but this is America, and I understand that everything's for sale. Frankly, I'm glad that the stuff is available now and not being kept hidden from the interested parties. Does this make me a hippie? I'll let Hurley answer that.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tk061.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 02:57 pm:

Ah, I thought I heard my name. Jake a hippie?? No waaay...I've read his website before and not once did he use the words, groovy, far out, way out, dig it or out of sight anywhere in his text...someone really should come up with a quiz for such things...

By Jake (Jake) (spider-mtc-th041.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 03:22 pm:

You must have checked my site after I cleaned all the stems and seeds out of it. I'm still worried that I offended Howard. Howard! I'm sorry! Call home!


By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tk012.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 05:51 pm:

Howard will be back...I bet he went to get ya some love beads...

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 07:37 pm:

This is Zoward speaking I am back with you. I have always been here. That city pig Jake is good but I am bu smarter and better he will get tired then leave me alone. I am waiting for a good post about me. who will post me. I am now in control of all things. yours truly:
O - guess


Will you and mommie let me have some fun!Jake I am still looking for some goodies(love papers) that you may not have.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (3.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 08:07 pm:

Perhaps I'm biased, but I believe that the best, perhaps even the only, way to approach an old case like this is to find a suspect and try to develop a connection. The worst you can be is wrong. That was my opinion of the Zodiac case long before the Unabomber came to light, and for a number of years it was my intention to scrutinize notorious criminals whose signature resembled that of Zodiac. With a case this old you're not going to be picking any needles out of haystacks. Even scientists work this way, by developing subjective hypotheses based upon simple observation.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0125.cvx4-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Saturday, March 17, 2001 - 01:49 am:

Douglas, you have inadvertantly or coincidentally proposed a strategy that I suggested, although not as eloquently, a month or so ago. I had branded myself a possible iconoclast for departing from the traditional investigative rule that the evidence should lead to a suspect, not the other way around. With a series of cases that has been worked and reworked for over 30 years without the evidence leading to a viable suspect (the recent efforts at DNA comparisons may yet validate the traditional approach), there is little harm now in trying to fit a suspect to the evidence. I also mentioned that I have worked cases where the evidence pointed at a particular suspect, at which time the suspect was then applied to the evidence, subsequently snowballing into a prosecutable case.

The use of one approach over another at any given point along the investigative continuum does not abandon, nor blind the investigator to, the alternative method. It is a marriage of strategies that often shifts the balance of power from one to the other and back again, depending on existing circumstances and needs.

Biased? Of course. Subjective rather than objective? Absolutely. But with this approach comes a greater responsibility to maintain one's perspective and not forsake the truth of the evidence in a potentially erroneous pursuit of the wrong suspect. It is also important that the integrity of the evidence is not compromised or re-fashioned in an effort to fit a square peg into a round hole. I hate to sound preachy, but when I look in the mirror and see my 56-year-old face, I figure that it is an AARP prerogative to share my (ahem) "wisdom."

My personal opinionated remarks in past posts that disagreed with you and Howard on your respective suspect preferences were in no way critical of the approaches you both are taking in trying to reach a conclusion to the Z mystery. My own inclination towards Allen is similarly styled, but undoubtedly based on far less substantive information than that gathered by you and Howard. If police investigators were half as thorough in their work as are the two of you, there would be far more solved cases and far fewer miscarriages of justice in this world. My hat is off to both of you.

Tom, forgive me. I know that this has nothing to do with the "buttons" thread, but I wanted to respond to Douglas's message without losing continuity.


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (230.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, March 17, 2001 - 04:33 pm:

Bill, I hope you don't think that I'm trying to take a kick at the police. Police agencies generally work by using time-testing paradigms that hold true in the vast majority of cases. I think it would be irresponsible of them to do otherwise. And since virtually all investigative personnel within police agencies begin their careers as beat cops it stands to reason that police detectives do not shine at the kind of creative thought processes necessary to solve crimes that are outside the paradigms, because such mindsets are incompatible with survival on the beat. They are also incompatible with the paradigmatic thought processes by which the majority of crimes are solved.

Sometimes, as in the Zodiac case, they get thrown a curve and end up swinging wildly. You can tell this is the case when they start bringing the psychics in, and begin giving credence to wild tales of incredible confessions and impossible blunderings on the part of the perpetrator, which we've seen on the part of the VPD and the SFPD. Because of this, I think that the Zodiac case is one best left to the amateurs, and the farther removed from official police work they are, the better.

By Jennifer (Jackyl1) (80.hyper.uia.net - on Sunday, March 18, 2001 - 11:21 am:

Why did he care so much about those da*n buttons? He said he punished them because they would not comply with his wishes for them to wear nice buttons. Is there any possibility at all that he was referring to something else besides those stupid "have a nice day" happyfaces? Or was he just trying to be humorous, if that's the word? Jenn

By Jennifer (Jackyl1) (58.gst.ont.cyberg8t.com - on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 12:05 am:

Also, sorry to drag on with the buttons thing, but in his letter re:Stine, he said that he had become "very upset" with the people in the San Fran Bay area because they had not complied with is wishes for them to "wear some nice buttons." When had he requested that anyone wear nice buttons before? Or was he just being humorous, once again if that's the word?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (ac893bb7.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 12:38 am:

Jennifer, I suggest you buy one of the available Zodiac books.

By Jennifer (Jackyl1) (162.157212.uia.net - on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 09:53 am:

Tom: 10-4, Rubberduck. Jenn

By Alan Cabal (Alan) (spider-ta031.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 05:38 pm:

Also keep his spelling in mind: "butons".

By Jennifer (Jackyl1) (68.gst.ont.cyberg8t.com - on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 11:03 pm:

When did he spell it "butons"? Oh, on the back of the Dragon card. But the rest of them are spelled "buttons." Again (sorry), are we sure that he wasn't referring to something more significant? Somewhere in this board someone mentioned that it could have meant "putons." Jenn

By Spencer (Spencer) (ac9588a2.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 06:06 pm:

As to the buttons, I wonder (as Jennifer has) if the several references to them are more significant than we (those of us who have posted on the board, at least) are acknowledging? I know that Jake links to a guy who offers a Zodiac patch (http://www.jeffhill.net). What if Zodiac had a button (or several) made at the time he was writing about them? I'm sure there is some way to track down all of the shops that would have produced buttons at the time (limiting them to those in Vallejo and San Francisco). Or, perhaps Zodiac got his own Badge-a-minit button maker?

Does anyone's suspect have a button maker, or did ALA have one (did anyone do a full inventory of his home after his death; perhaps whoever managed his "estate" or the heir/heirs who got his house)?

Just going out on a limb here (I can feel someone sawing it out from under me) . . .


By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-74.linkline.com - on Tuesday, June 12, 2001 - 12:45 am:

Spencer: FYI a "button man" was "a low ranking member of a criminal underworld organization."

Also,in OF boter (or button), means to thrust-hit it right on the button as we say.

From my frame of reference ,Zodiac was trying to control the populace by giving orders -even his obsession with 'wearing a nice Zodiac button' and then threatening to 'do his thing 'if they didn't comply-it was a "test"-I feel; and he kept hammering it home, but he could not get compliance.

A button is used in a campaign to advertise a candidate and promote his/her agenda.

As far as Zodiac leaving a letter out of a word like "buton", we have him spelling "blubber" with only 2 b's and in the same letter(4/28/70) he writes "buton"!

Zodiac does the opposite in his torture letter in reference to the Johns' terror ride where he writes it lasted about a "coupple" of hours.(7/24/70).

There may be something to the misspelling of buton, but we don't know for sure-it is god too lok at the possibbilities too be surre!

By Tony (Mahalo) (1cust39.tnt1.wailuku.hi.da.uu.net - on Tuesday, June 12, 2001 - 01:30 am:

Buttons were a fad when I was a kid way back in the late 60's,as were love beads,peace signs, etc..everyone had em'.Z got more than his wish when you think now we have t-shirts,web sites,Band names, Holloween costumes....I can't wait to get my hands on the lunchpail!!

By Bill Bratton (Willy) (c1465163-a.sttls1.wa.home.com - on Tuesday, June 12, 2001 - 10:11 am:

I had a button making kit at home. This was a standard kid's off-the-shelf "toy" back then.