How will this case ever be solved ? Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: How will this case ever be solved ?

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 07:05 am:

Hi everyone,

I just started this conversation just to see were we "Zodiac-researchers" stand.
first let us look at what we have on Zodiac:

A bunch of suspects a lot of people can connect to Zodiac. Only problem: all that evidence that is showing up is cercomstantial.

What we need is forensic evidence to prove who was/is Zodiac. So what do we have at this point?:

-DNA samples taken from Cheri Jo Bates-crime scene. Only problem is that this matches a suspects DNA this will prove that this suspect was her killer but it doesn't prove who Zodiac was (we still not know for sure if he killed Cheri).

-A fingerprint in blood on the cab of Stine.
Just heard a rumor that this story is staged by the police because they first handled this as a routine robbery and overlooked it. Just to be sure to let the public think they were Z. hot on his trail they let this story out.

-DNA samples from the envelopes...
Still no match found? If they took DNA from the envelopes what is the point of that if you don't try to match this DNA with DNA from suspects?

What will it take to catch Zodiac (A guy who is in the possession of...)?:
- pieces of Stine's shirt
- Stine's wallet
- Carkeys of the car at Lake B.
- A burried bomb
- A big Batman-comic collection...(what got into me?)

Can we do anything to help this case?
One thing for sure is we can help to keep this case in the attention of the media.

I have the feeling everyone has his own suspect and when someone else comes up with a name that is wrong.Let me give you this:
All evidence against your suspect is indirect and can't be used in a court of law (that is why the police never apprehended one of the suspects, only questioned them).

Probably I have made some mistakes, forgot evidence etc. But that was the point of starting this thread ,to discuss what kind of prove we have that will stay up in a court of law.

Any idea's or remarks?,


"The Zodiac-Batman Connection"
( again a site with only indirect prove!)

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 07:54 am:

If the CJB DNA matches up with any of the major suspects, including Davis, Marshall, Allen, Ted K, Allen, Penn, Kane, the S.F. businessman, etc. -- then that will be case closed for me.
There would still be more questions, but they would only be The Details, not WHO.
Which is why I wish they'd get up and do something.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( - on Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 09:45 pm:

Eduard, a very well-organized and logical post as usual from you. I share your same general ideas that virtually ALL of the evidence for any of the main suspects is circumstantial. The reason I am not hot for any of the suspects, including Allen, is that with what we have now, NONE of them is a good suspect, Allen just happens to be not as weak as the rest of them. They are like a school class where everyone is making terrible grades but one student is only making bad grades. That is why Allen stands out. Before those posters jump on me for saying their favorite suspect is a poor suspect remember Eduard is 100 percent right. They police were never anywhere near having what it would take to go for an arrest or indictment let alone go to court and get a conviction.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 10:18 pm:

Eduard, if the DNA from CJB does match someone, then that is a major step forward. They can then look into this guy's history to try and make connections to the Z.

I really have my doubts that any of the major suspects are Z. Although Allen is the strongest suspect, I find it hard to believe that he was hounded for 20 years while alive, another 10 after his death for a total of 30 years and while they have a mountain of circumstantial evidence, they do not one piece that proves it was him.

Eduard, there is no chance in hell that Z kept Stine's shirt, wallet or anything that connected him to the crimes. As far as the car keys go, didn't Z leave them there at the crime scene? I just watched the Case Reopened show and I think they said that on there. If Z did keep some stuff like the Stine shirt, the costume from LB or anything else then that eliminates ALL of the major suspects because none of that stuff was ever found. Z took so much time in making these ciphers, writing the letters and he's going to make the stupid mistake of keeping Stine's shirt in his home? Nope.

A buried bomb might be possible. There maybe be some DNA on there, but Z already described the bomb so if you found it, it probably wouldn't look much different. So I don't know if you could learn much else from the setup of the bomb to find where he may have learned how to make it.

A Batman-comic collection is also possible but have fun proving that he is the Z just because he has a comic book collection. Lots of people collect comics. If Z is alive, he may have visited your site. If he was influenced by Batman, he may decide to throw his comics away. First you need to find someone who has old Batman comics. Do you think you will convince the police to investigate this guy, just because he has Batman comics? You'll need more then that.


By Classic (Classic) ( - on Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 11:15 pm:

Z kept Stines shirt for some time, sending pieces of it in letters. Somewhere,somehow,someway there is a piece of evidence that can solve this case. Whether it is the costume from LB, Stines shirt,DNA from the letters or from the bottle at LB, there is something. Classic

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Friday, August 24, 2001 - 01:02 am:

I see that you put Penn on your suspects list, what evidence is pointing towards him being Zodiac?

I share you thoughts, thanks for backing up my thoughts about suspects.

What if the DNA matches someone but that suspect's history doesn't match Z's ?
What would happen then? Conclusions people would make:
- He wasn't Zodiac
-Zodiac didn't kill CJB
And the killer would be still a enigma....

Z could have kept certain crime-scene items...But certainly he wasn't so stupid to keep it in his own home. So your story about not finding Z-stuff in suspect's homes isn't viable.
Maybe Z. wants to have credit under his real name and when he dies he lefs us a letter with a confession and saying where the items can be found? Then the people would know who the guy was that evaded capture by the police for a long time and never was trialed.(This is just a way to explain a motive for Z. to keep the items stored).

Your bomb-thoughts I agree on, but maybe you can trace where the components where bought (slim change after more than 30 years)?
I don't think DNA can be found on a buried bomb (rain can sweep it away).
Or Z. must accidently droped a hair in the bomb and sealed the bomb after working on it.

About the Batman-comics, I was just a little bit joking, but...I know for 100% that a comic collector wouldn't throw his priceless comics away.He wants to save them for "old sakes" or at least sell them for money (the comic's I think Zodiac could have been using are now quite expensive to buy).
About your last statement: I know, you are right!

Sure,something can be someday found, but will it be reconised as Z-material (or will a old landlord throws away this raged cloth with strange stains on it, he found in a box while gardening?)?

Thank you all for entering your thoughts in this discussion.


By The Fife (Thefife) ( - on Friday, August 24, 2001 - 08:15 am:

Bomb: Didn't Z say that the tubes were made from carboard coated with shoe polish? I would doubt that those tubes look much like tubes after all these years in the northern California rain. Besides, I really doubt the bomb was ever actually laid and set.

DNA: I thought I read somewhere that they attempted to get DNA from the envelops and letters and there was not enough material from them to make a viable sample.

Does anyone know what is holding up such a simple thing as comparing Allen to the Bates DNA samples? Or is this one of those things that has taken place already and being kept under the lid?

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Friday, August 24, 2001 - 02:45 pm:

I like the theory that Graysmith is asking RPD to wait until his book has been out long enough for him to make a bundle.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Friday, August 24, 2001 - 05:06 pm:

So Feb 2002 Graysmiths releases new book.
March 2002 RPD releases Zodiac's identity.

I wish that theory was true. Man its almost 35 years after CJB was murdered. Do you think maybe this case is a lower priority than the PD will admit?

By Mark Coombs (Mark) ( - on Saturday, August 25, 2001 - 06:05 am:

Obviously, our top hope is the DNA but the whole thing is so shrouded in mystery, maybe we'd have better luck finding the Ark of the Covenant! All bitterness and sarcasm aside, I imagine that the SFPD and RPD are getting together on this and we'll know something this winter. Ryan, you're probably right about the priority status of the case, of course all of us on the MB would like them to get on this ASAP. Graysmith in collusion with the police?! My, how sordid! It sounds a little crazy, but who knows(as the almighty buck rears it's ugly head again!ha ha!).
Fife-as far as I know, they do have enough DNA to work with using the PCR technique that Eduard posted on the "SFPD Report" thread-June 8, 7:59 DNA Multiplying link. All that is needed is a few cells. If you've already read it, sorry, I found it interesting! Edward, did you consult with your friends on this?
Besides the DNA, I still think it's quite possible that some crimescene evidence exists somewhere hidden away. There is something, somewhere that can solve this! -Mark

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Saturday, August 25, 2001 - 10:35 am:

DNA- Don't they have DNA from all prisoners in the US they could compare it to? Unless he has never been in prison.

Age- How old would the Zodiac be right now? Does anyone have any ideas, and can the composite they have of the suspect be age progressed?

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Saturday, August 25, 2001 - 12:04 pm:

Zodiac was anywhere from 25-45 in the late 60's. He could so add 32 years, so now he's about 57-77.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Sunday, August 26, 2001 - 07:40 am:

Thank you. He could still be around.

By Mark Coombs (Mark) ( - on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 03:02 am:

Bookworm-I imagine they do have DNA databases for all the prisoners, I say imagine because I'm not sure all of the states are up to speed on this. California just got it's felon database up and running last June, so some states may be lagging behind. As far as I know, they don't yet have a fully implimented nationwide network to access all of the different states. It's possible the Zodiac was never arrested and never held a job that required fingerprinting, so that could be another blind alley as well. It would be a major improvement, that's for sure! -Mark

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 06:17 am:

The federal government should "invest" some money into a DNA data base. It could be a whole lot more practical than space technology right now. First things first.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 03:39 pm:


I'm curious as to the general thinking of the board not only on the question of will the case be solved, but what will it take to solve it?

Obviously, we have some physical evidence to look at, and everyone here pretty much knows what that is. My question to the board is, is there anyway that the board believes it could be surprised? Is there anyone here who believes they might be blindsided by some aspect of the evidence that has been completely overlooked by everyone? If so, which specific piece/pieces of the evidence might be looked at now as having the greatest/slimmest chance of conclusively wrapping this thing up? I'm sure the DNA/the wristwatch will get their share of votes, I just wonder if anything else will register in.

Just curious.


By Classic (Classic) ( - on Saturday, May 11, 2002 - 07:46 pm:

Ray, I don't know if the identity of z will ever be know, but I am positive that a prosecution will never be brought, even if z is still alive. This case would be a defense attorneys dream. The z trial would be the longest, most expensive trial in U.S. history. The Manson and O.J. trials would pale in comparison. More than one D.A. has been fired over losing a high profile case. They don't like that.

Actually, one more I read and become familiar with the case, the more I think z is going to end up like Jack the Ripper. Lots of suspects with lots of circumstantial evidence, but no definitive answers. Classic

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 10:37 am:


OK, fair enough. Can't argue with any of that.

Now let me pose this: Assuming that Z is dead, is there any way the police are ever going to close the case with a named responsible without benefit of a trial? Could there ever be some new powerful forensic evidence surface, or some aspect of available evidence brought to light that could warrant the police being satisfied as to the identity of the responsible? If so, what might that evidence be?

I'm basically trying to take the board's temperature on what would satisfy the individual members personally, beyond reasonable doubt, that any one suspect is guilty.


By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 10:51 am:

Let me develop my above question a little more fully. I'm sure most would accept DNA evidence. The DNA evidence that is available, however, would only assure us that a suspect sent the letters. Would anyone on here argue that the letter writer cannot be proven to be the Zodiac killer?

And, as to DNA, we must consider what it is about DNA that makes it so compelling. Simply, it is the staggering statistical odds against two people having identical gene sequences at the same location within the strand. So, my question also centers on this concept, in other words, could there be any other type of evidence developed on a similar mathematical basis, with comparable staggering odds against coincidence that could serve the same conclusive end in the event DNA sequences from the letters can't ever be developed? If so, what form might that damning evidence take?


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 10:56 am:

Physical evidence, such as property belonging to one of the victims, or possession of a weapon that could be matched to the crimes, along with a good psychological profile and evidence of movement within range of the crime scenes might do it for me.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 08:15 pm:

If no DNA/fingerprints/hidden cache of stuff still exists then a deathbed confession with a combination of:

- solutions to the My Name Is cipher, the 340 code, that 32 character bomb cipher
- reveal other hidden messages in the letters
- a sample of his hand-writing that strongly resembles Z
- more details of the crimes that only the killer could know
- Hartnell listening to this person's voice either in person or a recording and having him say the voice strongly resembles his attacker

OR my other theory which is a long shot but you die and a higher power exists and you ask him who Z was and he tells you. But you're dead so you can't tell us.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 07:05 pm:


That's very interesting that you remark about letters and ciphers. Could you give some specific examples of the kinds of messages that would convince you?

Also, as relates to proof, how would you justify being satisfied when no way to prove statistically that the messages did not occur at random? In other words, at what point would you simply say, "Well, that's got to be it" and just accept what's there? With DNA, it's possible to give pretty good ranges of odds against one person at random having a certain sequence.

What kind of message would convince you beyond a reasonable doubt?

(I ask these questions of Ryan and the whole board.)


By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 07:37 pm:


I tried to come up with an answer without using things like DNA that would confirm his identity.

If Don Harden, the man who solved the 3-part cipher, wrote a deathbed confession claiming he was the Zodiac with the solution, that means either Harden was the Zodiac or some maniac who took credit for a crime he didn't commit. As we've seen on this board, people have provided multiple solutions for the same cipher. This means either they are part of a Zodiac group, or they just found a possible solution.

I guess it would depend on this person's solutions. Graysmith says you can get Alfred E Neuman from the My Name Is cipher. Lots of people read Mad magazine so someone claiming they were Zodiac and here is the my name solution would not be very convincing. However the Kane solution is a lot harder to discount. If Kane provided solutions to all the other ciphers, hidden messages in the letters, Hartnell confirming his voice, other things like this, then it would at the very least raise his status as a suspect.

Any one of those things are not very convincing, but its the combination of these things that may do it.

Many people are next to convinced that it was Allen based on the amount of circumstantial evidence even though there is no DNA calibur of evidence.

So lets say someone does give a confession with some convincing pieces of circumstantial evidence, this would probably not solve it on its own, however this may lead to the police investigating his background to reveal more circumstantial evidence.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 11:20 pm:

Are you all familiar with the master-mind who was an American chess champion at only 14. Anyway, he could see the most unorthodox moves and winning lines, unbelievable really. My point is, that someone here on the board, like Ray has suggested, might have produced an angle, most likey unorthodox considering, that would more or less leave little doubt as to the identity of the killer in question. Of course, a person in this position might not be so eager to reveal his/her angle. So, I challenge you all, (knight takes pawn), to dig something up.

By Valentine Smith (Valentinesmith) ( - on Saturday, May 18, 2002 - 12:42 am:

How reliable is voice identification after 30 something years? Especially considering the stress of the initial incident and the physical and mental shock that immediately proceeded it.

I think the very reason that Allen has remained such a prominent suspect for so many (myself included, but I AM a newbie, and open to research and persuasion)is simply the mountain of circumstantial evidence. And in a case where there is so very little physical evidence, what else have we to work with?

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Saturday, May 18, 2002 - 06:38 pm:

many of the other suspects have a great deal of circumstantial evidence as well. Actually many people do. One of the best threads we've had on this Board was where each of us pointed out different aspects of ourselves so that we too could be molded into a case for being Z. I obviously couldn't do it (as one thing everyone agrees on is that Z was not a woman), but I made a great case for my Dad (a dental student at USF in '69, wore glasses, had a Zodiac watch, etc.).
I brought it up to my Mom and it even made her think for a 1/2 second.
That's the beauty of this case, it could turn out to be almost anybody, even a respected orthodontist.

By Valentine Smith (Valentinesmith) ( - on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 01:17 am:

Ha! I actually read that thread last night. Quite a lot of fun. I was just stating that my own admittedly limited knowledge consists of an awful lot from Graysmith's first Zodiac book (haven't read Unmasked yet) and what I've read on this site, and a couple of others.

I haven't dug through ALL the threads enough yet to get a feel for all the regulars and their own personal theories and biases and such. I haven't even had time to truly formulate my own to be honest!

Hopefully, within the next several weeks I'll be able to actually add something useful to the board!