Batman vs Dr. Zodiac : Exploring the Batman connections Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: Batman vs Dr. Zodiac : Exploring the Batman connections

By Zoe Glass (Zoe_Glass) ( - on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 11:44 am:

the Batman angle has been previously brought up on the board. does anyone have reference or memory of batman vs zodiac? any other of the caped crusaders adventures that seem applicable?

which episode had robin trying to solve a secret code by looking at its mirror image , that was solved when batman turned the paper upside down
in the mirror?

to be continued: same bat channel , same bat time

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 12:15 pm:

Back in the 60's, the idea that Z was inspired by Batman (or any similar comic series, TV series or movies, for that matter) was probably not even considered (if it was even recognized), and if it was, I suspect that it would have been discounted as too wacky to be credible. After the insanity of Helter Skelter, it isn't so far out after all. Bugliosi apparently had a hard time believing it himself, and was faced with proving that to a jury who would find it equally incredible. Thanks to his efforts, it seems that nothing is too weird these days to be considered as an inspiration for criminals.

However, the question remains: did the bat inspire the Z? It's becoming more difficult to discount as more information is being brought to light...

By Michael (Michaelmc) ( - on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 05:20 pm:

The whole TV...Batman whatever angle is a little outthere..IMHO. If "Z" was 30 to 35 yrs old in 1969 His TV viewing habits were developed as an adult. Tv was not that common untill the early 50's and Z would have been in his 20's. As i see it sometimes in the desire to explain the unexplainable we look to hard. The real meaning of all the symbols are really the product of the sick mind of "Z" and probably have NO meaning except to him. I see this as the least fruitful method in this investigation, taking the physical evidence and working it against suspects is the key to the solution. IMHO......Just a thought


By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 10:07 pm:

Michael: as I pointed out, the concept of Helter Skelter was (and still is) "out there" too. The whole Z-Batman angle might not produce fruit, but then, it just might. You never know. What if someone discovers a character in one story who has the name of a major suspect in the Z case? And that same character was a villain similar to Z? I think that would certainly raise some eyebrows. In any case, not following a possible lead is not good detective work. One never knows where it will go...

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 10:55 pm:

Michael, I had the same idea as you that is why I thought a Zodiac-Batman was maybe in the "golden age"(1930-1950) comic-books of Batman.

Ed, A character that looks like one of the suspects on a Batman comic...does that also raise eyebrows.
Look at my site under "The idea".

The Zodiac-Batman connection

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 11:22 pm:

Sorry for the wrong linking, see it at "The Zodiac-Batman connection"


By Bryan (The_Giant) ( on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 11:39 am:

I really like your site. keep up the good work.
Michael I know that you are always right, But My Uncle watched BatMan and he was 30ish, single.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( - on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 08:39 pm:

As Eduard suggests, if Z was inspired by Batman it need not have been the Batman of TV. A college friend and comic-book collector educated me on the fact that Batman was at his most popular in the comics of the 1950's and early 1960's (why do you think a TV show was made about it?). Even if there is no Batman-Zodiac connection directly your site raises the VERY interesting idea that Zodiac was inspired by comic book characters. It is not so much the symbols and costume he chose, rather WHY did he feel the desire to choose ANY symbol or costume? Gacy or Dahmer didn't, Berkowitz didn't, Bundy didn't, etc. Other serial killers take great efforts to avoid any exposure other than maybe letting their crimes speak for themselves.
When I mentioned in a post a few days ago the Z case sounds like a Batman episode I realized, the costume, the symbols, the coded letters and victim souvenirs sent to newspapers, THEY SOUND NOT LIKE ANY OTHER REAL SERIAL KILLER, BUT LIKE A COMIC-BOOK SUPER VILLAIN!
I discussed these ideas others have posted in recent days with my wife and she summed it up<
"Somebody who didn't fit in as a teenager, living his life in fantasy in the comic books, finally deciding to become a character of his own come to life". Maybe this whole idea is all wet, but it sure rings true.

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 11:41 pm:

Going to the movies is also a way to escape reality. But if Z. was so fond of movies why couldn't he be also fond of Batman-comics.
Comics are cheaper than going to the theater.
Mike, I think you raise some good points, thanks.


By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 11:51 pm:

Mike: it might sound "all wet," but Graysmith suggested almost the same thing, sans comic-book inspiration. He wrote in Zodiac, p. 61:

After the movie (The Most Dangerous Game), I stopped in the soft night air outside the theater, looked down the black streets wet with fog, and wondered if the inspiration for the Vallejo murders had been a children's code book and a movie.

That may have played a part in it. But the Batman angle, which I had never really thought too deeply about when I first read about it some years back, now seems to be more likely than Graysmith's scenario.

By Roger Redding (Roger_Redding) ( - on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 01:01 am:

Batman#1 was published in 1939. It is, If I recall correctly, the oldest continuously running
comic book (even Superman was discontinued for
a while). Anyone born 1930 or later is liable to
be a fan. People often carry childhood infatuations well into adulthood. I think we might have several like that in this group.
One of the most profound statements I've read here
was that of Mike's wife - out of the mouths of
babes (I'm sure Mike's wife is a babe). Z was likely a deeply juvenile personality.


By Zoe Glass (Zoe_Glass) ( - on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 07:10 am:

coptic clues from the batcave? anyone else recall
or have reference to the word "coptic" sourced from batman. half the lettering in the cipher is like that of the coptic alphabet. it apears as if we have at least two languages, one dead and one alive.

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Saturday, May 12, 2001 - 11:28 pm:

Eduard, excellent site on the Batman-Zodiac connection. I was intrigued and I started searching regarding the television show, which ran for three seasons, from 1966 through March 1968.

I found the following in an episode guide:
(the episode guide can be found at the following site:


Story by Stephen Kandel, teleplay by Stephen
Kandel and Stanford Sherman.
Directed by Oscar Rudolph.

Joker and Penguin collaborate in a series of crimes inspired by signs inspired by signs of the Zodiac. The Joker's moll, Venus, turns from
her evil ways to assist Batman and Robin, but all three are chained in a shallow pool, about to be eaten by a giant clam. With the Penguin apprehended in Part One, this makes for a pretty weak collaboration. Howard Hughes' former girlfriend Terry Moore plays Venus.

BatBits: These episodes were the series' first three-parter, simultaneously, simultaneously celebrating the show's one-year anniversary and helping to open ABC's second season.

Just something to consider . . .

What if the Zodiac worked as a crew member for the show?


By Esau (Esau) ( - on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 07:56 pm:

Does anyone know what happened to Eduard? He hasn't been around for some time. Eduard, please email me. I have some questions for you.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 10:55 pm:

Esau:Just click his site! Again, your discovery on the 3 Z's(with one hidden) in the '67 notes was great!Of course, it was largely ignored-good work. Your insight is superb -downright Beboblistic! Howard

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, May 14, 2001 - 04:09 pm:

I just watched (in the wee hours this morning) what was apparently the first Zorro episode in which Cesar Romero appeared (I'd only seen bits and pieces of the ones he appeared in). He played Estevan de la Cruz, who was Diego de la Vega's uncle by marriage (Diego's mother was Estevan's sister). Of course, Diego's alter-ego was Zorro, who wore an all black costume (kinda reminiscent of Z's LB costume), and his mark was, of course, a Z. Estevan, however, seems to be something of a con man, but it's kinda hard to tell right now, as they had a tendency to develop the storylines over several episodes (rather like Dr. Who).

Considering that Cesar Romero seems to be the only common factor between Charlie Chan at Treasure Island, Zorro and Batman's "The Zodiac Crimes," I shall continue to watch the current storyline to see what happens (Zorro is on the Disney channel from 12:00-12:30 AM); there may be something there that inspired Z.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 04:08 pm:

The TV show Batman starring Adam West and Burt Ward debutted this day in 1966.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 09:32 pm:

Not only that, the movie came out after the first season; it did not inspire the series, as I had thought for so many years.

By Jim (Jim) ( - on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 12:51 pm:

batman is the quintessential brooding character in comics! fitting into society as bruce wayne but removing himself as the batman. putting forth his brand of justice on the world from out of the darkness. is this a thread characteristic with Z? who is to say? or did Z model himself after that state of being?
you know that if I have been reading/collecting
x-men comics for 20+ years does that make me a mutant? ok, here come the jokes on that one.
then again how about the movie "unbreakable" and the connnection there to comics inspiring a person to do bad things? so maybe batman can inspire evil? but batman was/is not evil in core nature! then again maybe Z never thought of himself as evil or having a bad nature despite his acts?

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 07:33 pm:

Last night, I happened to catch on TVLand the second part of the second season Batman episode guest-starring Maurice Evans as "The Puzzler" (better known as Samantha Stevens' father Maurice in Bewitched and Dr. Zaius in The Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes). The episodes were #'s 65 and 66, and were entitled "The Puzzles are Coming" and "The Duo is Slumming," originally broadcast on 12-21-1966 and 12-22-1966. While the Puzzler was actually an enemy of Superman's, it seems the original script was written for the Riddler, but Frank Gorshin was unavailable, and so the villain and actor were changed.

What caught my attention was that, while the Dynamic Duo were attempting to figure out one of the Puzzler's puzzles in episode 66 (an envelope addressed to Batman with a paper in it with the word "puzzles" written on it in invisible ink), Robin suggested that it might stand for a phone number, but, in 1966, there were no z's on a telephone dial. Batman then said that the letter "Z" was an unusual letter, and they started talking about it and suggested various words that started with "Z," such as "zig zag" and a few others, one of which was "zodiac."

Needless to say, when one considers the broadcast date of episode 65, two years less one day before LHR, and the second mention of the word "zodiac" in a Batman episode, one must really consider that Eduard was on to something with the Zodiac-Batman connection.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 07:45 pm:

Something else about Batman and Zodiac's possible diguise. I was suprised to find while watching Batman Biography week on A&E that Ceasar Romero (the Joker) actually had a moustache while playing the Joker. He refused to shave it off so instead they put white makeup over the moustache to cover it up. I've watched many of the 60's Batman episodes as well as many re-runs, and I never once noticed that. Perhaps Z used some flesh coloured makeup to cover up any facial hair. The Oct 69 composite shows a clean shaven Z when in reality he may have had side burns, moustache, even a short beard while commiting the Stine crime.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 10:48 pm:

I'd spotted the disguised moustache and often wondered about why he never shaved it off for the part. Now I know why...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 02:10 pm:

Lots of posts on this interesting subject!I think of the stylized 'Z' at the end of the three '67 Riverside notes(one hidden-very Zodiac like- as discovered by Esau-great find!)which Morrell said were written by Zodiac ,which may have been one of influences the writer obtained from the BM series.
My book was the frist to connect BT to Z.
The "Zodiac crimes" is the header for a part of the BT series.There was a decoder,a small knife and codes were sent to the police and two men were involved,etc.
Ed is the first to really go into the BT Z and how the Z was used and why in the series.Ed is great at details-the best!
White Rabbitt told us that Manson used to rent old films and one of his/their favorites was Batman.Really big on Batman.WR told me Davis was too.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, August 20, 2002 - 02:54 am:

OK: we now know (so far anyway) that the word zodiac was first mentioned in the second part of the two-part episode entitled "The Puzzles are Coming" and "The Duo is Slumming" (#65 and #66, first broadcast on 12-21 and 12-22-1966), and that zodiac next appeared in "The Zodiac Crimes," "The Joker's Hard Times" and "The Penguin Declines" (#71, #72 and #73, broadcast on 1-11, 1-12 and 1-18-1967). Last night, I watched "Black Widow Strikes Again" and "Caught in the Spider's Den" (#89 and #90, broadcast on 3-15 and 3-16-1967), starring Tallulah Bankhead as Black Widow. What is remarkable is that part two was first broadcast the day before Darlene's 20th birthday, and, in that part, Black Widow used a device to take control of Batman, but Robin used it (after reversing the polarity! An old favorite) to return him to his old self. So that Batman wouldn't see what he was doing, Robin asked him to sing something to distract him, and he chose a Gilbert & Sullivan song! It wasn't from "The Mikado," it was about a buttercup. So, we have, within a period of 3 months, three references to something Z. This is really starting me wondering if Z was a die-hard Batman fan and got his ideas from there...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, August 23, 2002 - 06:44 pm:

The Gilbert and Sullivan song reference is good!Thanks to a BM fan I found the TV Zodiac crimes shows back in '89 or 90 and put them in my book.There must be something there.
The Bat knife and decoder are points of interest- 'plastic' on the finger tips is interesting, but your G/S song find is most interesting.
There was mention of BT at Shea stadium on June 26,the date of a '70 Z letter.FYI only!

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, August 23, 2002 - 08:29 pm:

It turns out the song Batman sang in "Caught in the Spider's Den" was from H.M.S. Pinafore, Act I, Song 2, entitled "I'm called Little Buttercup."

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Friday, August 23, 2002 - 09:38 pm:

I freely admit that I have not explored the Batman/Zodiac connection extensively (though I did examine a cipher said to relate to batman). But I am 100% convinced that the Zodiac killer is not Batman for the simple reason that Batman is a ficticious character!!!. Even if we could conclusively prove that Z was a Batman fan that would not help much, unless we are able to obtain a list of all known Batman fans in california 1966-1970. Anyone have such a list?? Any claims of Batman/Z date connections imply that Z was on the staff of the comic book or TV show that was producing batman. The identities of most such people could be check & most will have alibis.

For example: part two was first broadcast the day before Darlene's 20th birthday. The only possible way this could be meaningful is if Z planning to kill Darlene years in advance, AND he had editorial control of the release dates of and content of Batman shows. The only other explanation besides this (unlikeley if not preposterous) hypotheis is that these are total coincidences, of which there are probably very many more.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, August 24, 2002 - 12:14 am:

Uhh... I'm really glad you pointed out that Batman is fictional, obiwan. In light of this incredible revelation, I think we all need to abandon that line of investigation...

All kidding aside, the general idea is to possibly show where Z got some of the inspiration for his crimes, in much the same way that RG postulated that Z got the idea for his LB costume from Count Zaroff in The Most Dangerous Game and so forth.

As far as the near-zynchronicity involving Darlene's birthday, I don't believe it's any more meaningful than the Star Trek episode "And the Children Shall Lead," costarring Melvin Belli as the bad guy, being broadcast one year to the day before Z murdered Stine. It was just a "golly gee, will you look at that!" sort of thing, that's all.

One thing this line of inquiry might reveal is that, IF there truly are connections between Z and Batman, then any suspect should have the same interest also. Which means that we can rule out any suspect who didn't care for Batman.

Now, I'm not fully convinced that there is a connection, but what I've discovered while watching the reruns over the last few weeks has certainly piqued my interest (along with the other tidbits mentioned before in this thread and others). One idea I've been tossing around (Mike first mentioned in a post in this thread on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 08:39 pm) is that perhaps Z fancied himself as an arch-villain and that, if Batman were real instead of a comic-book character, then he'd be another nemesis like the Joker or the Riddler, and the various jurisdictions were like Gotham City's PD (a bunch of ineffectual buffoons, at least in the TV series anyway).

So, as far as I'm concerned, while this won't necessarily reveal Z's true identity (you'd have to go to the Napa library for that), I think it's kinda fun to think about.

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Saturday, August 24, 2002 - 06:51 pm:

Which means that we can rule out any suspect who didn't care for Batman.

Isn't it a little hard to check? Its possible ALA watched batman everyday, but never talked about it. Its possible that other suspectes collected every Batman comic, but then threw them out when they moved. I'd be reluctant to rule out any suspect this way even if a totally solid connection was established.

Though I see what you mean about the "arch-nemisis" idea; Z did take on a Batman-villian like persona, esp after the ciphers came out...I'm just not sure how much this will tell us about suspects/motives.

I think it's kinda fun to think about.

Ok, cool.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 11:59 am:

Thee have been a lot of posts-and a site, on this interesting subject.We are only pointing out areas from which Z may have gotten 'inspiration' for his crimes.
Manson,for example,showed Batman films he used to rent.He and Davis were really big on Batman.
I want to throw in the Irish villian Ned Kelly(see sites) as another possible'inspiration' for the hooded Zodiac at LB.FYI

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 05:56 pm:

Is anyone else watching Batman on TVLand??? If so, and you find anything interesting, let us know...

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 12:28 am:

"Is anyone else watching Batman on TVLand??? If so, and you find anything interesting, let us know..."

No, but I am watching Match Game on Game Show Network, and I'll let you know if my suspicions about Charles Nelson Reilly are confirmed.


By Jim (Jim) ( - on Friday, October 25, 2002 - 12:46 pm:

Ned Kelly was an Australian bushranger in the state of Victoria countryside....done in by former criminals turned cops...then being hung with the dying phrase of "such is life"...he was hooded with a 50+ pound cast iron helmet and chest and back armor too reaching down to his mid-thigh...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, October 25, 2002 - 06:10 pm:

See old posts on Kelly.See the many Ned Kelly sites on Google for his costume.
I think that Kelly,Count Zaroff(his goon Ivan has been ignored-see on Dangerous Game sites) and a hooded Aliester Crowley(my book has a photo of AC in ablack hooded costume with a cross on the chest ) the black magician,Batman comic characters,etc., had an influence Zodiacs LB costume.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, December 07, 2002 - 11:44 pm:

The Batman episode "The Duo is Slumming" (mentioned above in my post from Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 07:33 pm) was just on a few nights back. The dialogue in question is as follows:

Batman: Obviously! That's the puzzle. "Z" is the most enigmatic letter in the alphabet, (italics mine) old chum. Think of the words that begin with "Z": zigzag, zither, ZODIAC... (emphasis mine)

Robin: Zounds!

Batman: Exactly! "Zounds" is a Shakespearean interjection of wonder or surprise.

Most illuminating. I think there's no question that the Zodiac was (and still is) quite enigmatic. I think it's very likely that Z did watch this episode, was probably a fan of the live-action and/or the comic series, and derived some of the inspiration for his crimes from Batman, among other sources. On the other hand, maybe it's just so much zynchronicity.

The three-parter entitled "The Zodiac Crimes" is on TVLand Monday, December 9th, 1-2 AM and Tuesday, December 10th, 1-1:30 AM, for anyone who wants to watch it in case there are any Z-related "clews."

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 01:00 am:

Adam West
Magnetic North


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 07:14 am:

I always thought "zounds" was an Elizabethan oath--short for "His wounds," i.e., the wounds of Christ. To use it in the original sense was tantamount to blasphemy.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 07:58 am:

Douglas; correct on the etymology. Not quite on the usage. Like any oath, it could be used solonmly as any oath to express resolve and commitent in a worthy task ("Zounds, he dies")or frivolously {"Zounds! I was never so bethump'd with words")

Batman was obviously no Shakespearean Scholar. Betcha Z isn't either.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 01:44 pm:

Who said Z was? And neither was Fred De Gorter, who wrote that particular episode. In any case, I find the dialogue most interesting regardless of whether it inspired Z or not.

Another thing is that it was originally broadcast 23 days after the confession letter was mailed, and almost 2 months after the murder of CJB, but it was a little over 4 months before the "Bates must die" letters were mailed. It certainly was aired at the right time to inspire Z, if in fact it did inspire him for his name.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 07:35 pm:

Ed: Yeah, the timing is incredible, all right. Exactly 2 years, 8 months and 13 days before the world first received the words "This is the Zodiac speaking".

BTW: that's "solemnly" up there a couple posts back.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 08:11 pm:

Peter: are you trying to be obtuse? I'm sure I don't have to point out that the "Bates must die" letters were signed with what sure as hell looks like a Z, and while Z may not have murdered CJB, he certainly appears to have written the letters. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Z may have been planning his crimes 2 or more years before LHR and 2 years, 8 months and 13 days before he finally decided to write "This is the Zodiac speaking." It's not all that hard to believe, especially since Manson had been thinking about Helter Skelter for at least 8 months before actually committing the murders. I'm sure there are others who planned various aspects of their crimes months or even years ahead of the actual commission of them.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 06:54 pm:

Zodiac may have fancied himself as some sort of crime-fighter, along the lines of punishing society-offenders. I haven't seen "Batman" in a while, but if memory serves me, the Bat cave was a secluded place,... that may have appealed to Zodiac as a Bat-viewer. One way to imitate Batman, would be to have a place of seclusion(like the secluded Bat cave) from which to make plans or otherwise prepare, leave to "fight crime", returning later, etc..

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 07:14 am:

"Stately Leigh Manor?"

By Len (Len) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 08:35 am:

Perhaps "State Leigh Manor" aka Ataskadero? (Pardon the spelling; I'm too lazy to look it up.)

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 12:58 pm:

Here's some dialogue from the first few minutes of "The Zodiac Crimes" (written by Stephen Kandel and Stanford Sherman), first broadcast on 1-11-1967:

Joker: Well, in any event, I used my free time to cultivate a new hobby: astrology, the science of the stars, the science of the future!

Moments later, Joker says:

I've come to announce a new crime (emphasis mine) wave of Gotham City. This is the first of the zodiac crimes. (emphasis mine) Look for eleven more, and don't forget to keep score! (emphasis mine}

Z said in his 11-9-1969 letter that he would "no longer announce to anyone" when he committed his crimes. Of course, his crimes were the Zodiac Crimes. And, Z started keeping score with the Pen card of 11-8-1969.

After the Joker left and Batman and Robin showed up at police headquarters, the following exchange took place:

Batman: He may be planning a crime for each sign of the zodiac.

Robin: Holy astronomy! Aries the ram, Taurus the bull, Gemini the twins, Virgo the virgin...

Batman: Libra the scales, Scorpio the scorpion, etc, etc, ad infinitum.

It's also interesting that, of the apparent astrological symbols that appear in Z's ciphers, we find Aries, Taurus and Libra, specifically mentioned by Batman and Robin.

It's also interesting to note that "Scorpio" was the killer in Dirty Harry, and William Peter Blatty's killer in Legion was called "the Gemini killer." Definitely some zynchronicity working in these last two examples, but there is certainly enough in these excerpts to make one wonder.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 03:02 pm:

I'm kind of convinced after reading that, that there must be a connection. Perhaps Zodiac identified with the villians, they were publicity-seeking terrorists. Yeah, I'd say that's it, he did not admire Batman, but the villians. In fact, he may have viewed Batman as not much more than a disfunctional latent homosexual. Perhaps if one studied, let's say, the Superman comics (and shows) and was able to equal the Batman connections, then maybe it would negate it. But these things are just too good to pass by. Like when Batman answers the phone he says "This is the Batman talking", and the costume(not imitating Batman but the villians.) Perhaps the BM in Beoriete Methhpiti is another connection?

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Saturday, December 14, 2002 - 12:28 am:

Like Manson who saw himself as both Satan and Christ,I think Zodiac(if he was influenced by Batman,etc.)viewed himself as both Batman and the Joker-good and evil in one person.
Manson saw himself as fighting the evil in society(a BM-he was into BM)and also took on the role as a criminal (a Joker)to punish certain people in society he viewed as deserving death,but all of it,in his demented mind,was to bring about a 'new'world.He became both a hero like BM and a villian like the Joker, representing the dual nature of mankind(uh personkind).
I see Zodiac playing this kind of a role-fighting the Blue Meannies or pigs-and killing those whose Karma was up and to become his 'slaves.'Murder is the ultimate control of a human(uh huperson)-he's the criminal and hero all in one-in his warped mind to be sure.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, December 21, 2002 - 01:56 pm:

A few more interesting Batbits that caught my eye: in episode #91, "Pop Goes the Joker" (first aired on 3-22-1967), Fritz Feld makes a guest appearance as an artist whose works are "destroyed" by the Joker, but decides that they look like modern art which he can't do but always wanted to, and doesn't press charges. He doesn't appear in #92, "Flop Goes the Joker" (3-23-1967), however. What does this have to do with Z? Maybe it's a stretch, maybe zynchronicity, but Fritz Feld appeared in 3 Lost in Space episodes as a character named Zumdish! They were: #36, "The Android Machine" (10-26-1966), #47, "The Toymaker" (1-25-1967) and #72, "Two Weeks in Space" (12-13-1967). In the 1966-67 season, Lost in Space and Batman aired opposite each other in the Wednesday 8-9 PM timeslot, so it's entirely possible that Z watched one or the other (or both! I've switched channels between 2 or 3 shows at once, and I'm sure I'm not the first one to do so).

Another thing was episode #96, "Ring Around the Riddler" (9-21-1967). The Riddler challenges Batman to a boxing match, and has his challenge broadcast live on the radio station GTZR, so that Batman would appear to be a coward if he refused.

I don't know what it all means, but it's even more suggestive that Z was influenced by Batman. It certainly is thought-provoking...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, January 20, 2003 - 12:12 pm:

Your post of 12/11/02 is most interesting!I just now came back to it!
I believe there is something to the BM connection.This is why I placed the BM/Z references in my book some years ago.
Of interest to me was that CM and BD were really into BM and even showed films of BM features.
As an FYI ,CM was Scorpio(he constantly told others his sign)and BD was a Libra.
Your 12/7/02 post above on the use of "Z" in BM was of interest to me when I found this reference where CM says "I like that[name]yeah, maybe just Zezo...Yeah,Zezos ZeZe...Zadfrak.How's that,Zezos ZeZe Zadfrak... that way he'll always be at the END[Z] of the line...and the lines will be so long ,he just won't wait in them..."
This is one example of giving strange names to others ,coupled with his take on the meaning-and the use of Z is interesting.
CM called candy ZuZus and one follower he named Zero,etc.He was into the letter Z.
It wasn't until Zodiacs '69 August letter,as you know, he revealed the name Zodiac.It was as though he finaly decided this was going to be his pen name.
Either way,your observations,just on the content of BM were,as always,excellent.This includes ALL of your posts good sir!
The "rh" could be a reference to Red Hood who turned into the Joker.There was a college connection with BM being an instructor on campus,etc.Another poster gave this info and it is another possibility.All FYI

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, January 27, 2003 - 10:39 pm:

The latest Batbits: in episodes #29, "The Bookworm Turns" and #30, "While Gotham City Burns" (first aired 4-20 and 4-21-1966), Batman and Robin match wits with the Bookworm, played by Roddy McDowall, who made only the one appearance in the series. Bookworm was interesting in that he copied other villains or got his ideas from books, but could not come up with anything original. Sound like any real-life mass murderer you know? Bookworm was, near as I can tell, the only villain in the series to wear glasses, and they were black horn-rimmed glasses to boot. He also quoted from various classical works while on his crime spree.

In episodes #37, "Hot off the Griddle" and #38, "The Cat and the Fiddle" (first aired 9-14 and 9-15-1966), Catwoman returns to steal two Stradivarius violins (and money, of course) from a wealthy Gothamite named Zubin Zucchini in part two.

In #43, "The Greatest Mother of them All" and #44, "Ma Parker" (first aired on 10-5 and 10-6-1966), Shelley Winters plays gangster mom Ma Parker. In part one, they engage in a shootout with GCPD before the Dynamic Duo arrive at their hideout, which is located on Cherryblossom Road (but I think this is zynchronicity, since Z specifically asked Stine to be taken to Washington and Maple, not Cherry).

So, these are more possible sources of inspiration for Z's crime wave just a few years later...

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, January 27, 2003 - 10:50 pm:

Actually, now that I think about it, Ma Parker did wear thin wire glasses, but she was supposed to be an older lady. I guess that fits in with the typical image... in any case, I can't think of any male villains who wore glasses besides Bookworm.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 01:38 am:

Just now, while watching episodes #45, "The Clock King's Crazy Crimes" and #46, "The Clock King Gets Crowned" (aired 10-12 and 10-13-1966), Bruce Wayne commented to Dick Grayson after speaking to Commissioner Gordon on the Batphone, "When one is dealing with a villain like Clock King, one must use time (emphasis mine)... wisely." After visiting the scene of the crime, they stop at the place of employment of one of CK's partners-in-crime, only to find out she quit the week before. The name of the burger joint? "Dunbar Drive In." CK also wore a disguise consisting of a beret and dark glasses.

Needless to say, Z had an apparent fascination with time, and, if he truly were a fan of Batman and also made the call to Oakland PD on 10-22-1969, I wouldn't be surprised if he remembered the "Dunbar Drive In" Batbit and chose Jim Dunbar's show for the call-in he never made.

Also note the dates that these episodes were broadcast: part one was 3 years less one day before Stine, and part two was three years to the day before the Stine letter was mailed. Maybe this is just so much zynchronicity, maybe not, or maybe I'm looking too hard to find these things. It's really hard to say, but I certainly find it thought-provoking.

By Len (Len) ( on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 05:27 am:

If we can assume, for the purposes of this discussion, that Z was emotionally stunted at the level of a typical 10-year-old (I think not a bad assumption), then it would make loads of sense that he be influenced by this series. I do think the guy wanted to be perceived as some sort of supervillain--I mean, he goes on about those damn Zodiac buttons for four letters! The people he actually killed never got in more than two.

In short, Ed, I think that your researches during the wee hours of the morning are very useful and greatly appreciated.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 07:43 am:

I think Zodiac's motivations were very much fueled by fantasy. I'm reminded of David Cronenberg's Videodrome, when the character Brian Oblivion states, "The television has become the retina of the mind's eye." I would think that Zodiac probably exemplified that fantastic observation.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 11:32 am:

Videodrome??? Wow, I didn't know anyone else had actually seen that movie! I should have realized that, if anyone would have, it would be you Scott. Right on!

In the meantime, at the very end of part one last night, CK told Batman and Robin (who were about to be suffocated by sand in a giant hourglass) something to the effect that (I misplaced the paper I wrote the quote on, sorry about that) "Some people kill time, but this time, time is going to kill you!" Kinda reminds one of the "Badlands" letter, in which Z wrote about Kit and Holly killing time, although the reference was obviously to Badlands. However, were he a Batman fan, he might have remembered CK's words of nearly 8 years before.

Also, note that those two episodes aired less than 3 weeks before the murder of CJB. If, as has been opined, someone else killed her and Z wrote the letters, that might explain his strange fixation with time. After all, in the "Confession" letter (a month and a half after the CK episodes aired), "time" is also mentioned 3 times in quick succession:


Even if Z was not inspired by the villains in Batman, it is most curious indeed.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 01:02 am:

Fortunately, there were some 120 episodes of Batman, and at 10/week, they start the series over again every 12 weeks on TVLand. I kept missing the beginning of "The Puzzles are Coming" until just last week, and there were a few more interesting Batbits: the Puzzler fired a model jet into Commissioner Gordon's office with a note for Batman attached. It read, "I know a bank where the wild thyme blows. Inside out, the puzzle goes." Since they didn't actually show the writing on the note, I can only assume that it was spelled "thyme" and not "time" (since "time" is neither wild nor blows, presumably by the wind, in a bank). In any case, they are homonyms, and Z could easily have thought Puzzler was referring to "time."

Later on, as Puzzler and his cronies were getting ready to use paralyzing gas on some wealthy socialites in order to steal their jewelry etc, he remarked to Blimpy, "This caper calls for split-second timing." Moments later, Batman and Robin show up to foil their crime, and Batman says, "Just what I wanted: to catch you in the act, Puzzler. My timing is perfect!"

Three more references to "time" in one of the two episodes that mention the word "zodiac." It also now occurs to me: even Z's monicker, "The Zodiac," sounds like a typical comic-book villain's name, not unlike "the Joker," "the Riddler," "the Penguin," and so on, although it's a little more abstract than those.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 04:11 pm:

Something I'd noticed quite a while back, but not mentioned was that, during the opening theme of Batman, there are a number of bad guys in two groups shown attacking Batman and Robin. The first group appears to be mostly common thugs, while in the second group, Joker, Penguin and Catwoman are easily recognizable. Directly behind Catwoman is a guy wearing a white hood who resembles the Moonlight Murderer (or Jason in Friday the 13th, Part 2) more than anything else; there is someone in the first group who has a semi-hood affair, but nothing like a complete hood covering the entire head, and I haven't spotted anyone else with one. However, just today, I noticed that in the hooded thug's left hand there is a knife that is quite clearly visible (but you obviously have to be looking for it; in the 30 years or so since I first watched Batman, I never once noticed that). With all the other Z-like Batbits I've spotted over the last several months, I think this quite clearly indicates more than anything else so far that Z watched Batman and did get a lot of his ideas for his crimes from it, up to and including being a hooded, knife-wielding killer.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 09:26 pm:

In episodes #85 and #86, "A Piece of the Action" and "Batman's Satisfaction" (first aired 3-1 and 3-2-1967), The Green Hornet and Kato show up in Gotham City to put an end to a counterfeiting ring, but since they're believed to be villains, Batman and Robin think they want in on the ring, which is being run through the Pink Chip stamp factory, owned by Pinkie Pinkston and run by Colonel Gumm (Roger C. Carmel, who played Harcourt Fenton Mudd in Star Trek). Pinkie is kidnapped by Gumm, and she leaves a message for Batman in some alphabet soup (something that Gumm loves to eat). Batman looks at the soup, and the following exchange takes place:

Batman: Have you noticed that the j's, q's and Z's are missing?

Robin: Holy uncanny photographic neural processes!

Batman: Miss Pinkston expected Batman here tonight. No doubt she contrived to leave a message.

There is also a stamp exhibition, presumably at a hotel, in the Constellation room.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 11:27 pm:

Don't forget the Red Hood and his college crime,with BM teaching there,etc.RH is then transformed into the Joker after his 'death' and then,eventually, sends codes to the police and commits crimes under the signs of the Zodiac!They were called the Zodiac crimes.
Do we have the young mystical thinking Zodiac signing off as rh(and Z in '67) or Red Hood,in reference to his college crime,only later ,like the Red Hood,he resurfaces as the Zodiac(Joker to be sure,but he did send jester cards with dark and cryptic sayings, including lame attempts at joking in his missives)committing crimes as the Zodiac and sending codes to the authorities,etc.
I have been told that there was no Red Hood until much later.Wrong!
Good work,as always,on BM findings.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 03:18 am:

As I mentioned back on 12-21-2002 concerning episodes #91 and #92, "Pop Goes the Joker" (3-22-1967), and "Flop Goes the Joker" (3-23-1967), FritZ Feld guests in part 1, but I didn't catch his character's name until now: it was Oliver MuZZy. More zynchronicity? Or was Z closely watching an actor with one Z in his name play two characters on TV also with Z's in their names? Very odd, to say the least...

In part 2, the Joker plans to steal some quick cash from Bruce Wayne and stops by stately Wayne Manor with a hostage, only to have Alfred use a fireplace-type poker to knock the gun out of his hand. Joker grabs one too, and as they fence, Joker tells Alfred, "You Anglo-fink, I'll smash you to smidgins!"

Being a poor fencer, Alfred bests him and Joker escapes, finds his way into Bruce Wayne's study, and accidentally discovers the switch in the bust of Shakespeare that opens the secret door to the Batpoles (Alfred was repainting them, so there were no Batsigns all over the place). He figures it's a secret escape route, and quick-thinking Alfred activates the Batpole elevator so the Joker doesn't get as far as the Batcave. Alfred has a little fun with him on the Batpoles, and before he drops him back down, Joker pleads, "Alfred, old pal, have pity!" Alfred responds, "We Anglo-finks have a long memory."

So... more Z's, plus two references to England. As I recall, he used the name Alfred Pennyworth in at least one episode also, a distinctly English surname. There were also three episodes in the third season where they went to Londinium...

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 12:04 am:

In "Catwoman's Dressed to Kill" (#108, 12-14-1967), Catwoman's hideout was at 32 Pussyfoot Road. This is probably just zynchronicity, however, but it is interesting to note that ALA lived at 32 Fresno Street; the Bates letters were signed with what looked like a "2," a "Z," or even a "32," but that was nearly 8 months before this episode aired. One thing is for certain, this tidbit is interesting regarding Allen's status as a suspect...

By ZoeGlass (Zoeglass) ( - on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 08:29 pm:

236A episode . Has anyone seen this episode in which batman teams up with his enemies as they are all including batman on a hit list from the "captain" of a ship called US Sanitation . sailors under the captains comand are dressed in many different coustumes and called trainers and handlers.. I've seen only the first of what is a three part story...anyone else seen it? Any other time that batman has worked with an enemy?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 08:33 pm:

Zoe, what does that have to do with the Zodiac?

By TheBlackJet (Theblackjet) ( - on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 09:06 pm:

But Batman of course had his Robin. Did any of the Z suspects hang out with young boys or have anyone they could consider their "robin?"