Which would you rather know?

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: Which would you rather know?

By Classic (Classic) (spider-tr051.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 07:20 pm:

T'was the night before x-mas and you are just finishing off a 12 pak of Genny cream ale when Santa comes barreling down the chimney. He says you can have one of two things, but not both. You can either know zodiac's true identity or you can know why z did what he did, the radian, how many victims,codes for the ciphers(but not his name)etc. everything but his identity. Which would you rather know?

Perplexing isn't it? Very possible too(except for Santa). Someone could be proved, based on DNA evidence, guilty, but never divulge who, what, why,etc. On the other hand, a satchel could be found in a bus station locker which has overwhelming proof it belonged to z with a total explanation of everything, except for a name.

I guess I would want to know why rather than who. Sort of like the movie Seven. The person is insignificant or secondary to the big picture. Anyone else?

By Roger Redding (Roger_Redding) (user-33qs1r7.dialup.mindspring.com - on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 07:34 pm:

I would rather know why than who, too. First of all, if we knew everything else, I think there's a pretty good chance we could figure out who; second - well I have a second reason, but I'll have to think about it a bit.


By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) (d150-4-219.home.cgocable.net - on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 08:16 pm:

I'd rather know WHO then WHY. Maybe his dog told him too, maybe he was molested by his parents, maybe he was mentally disturbed. Whatever.

Give me his name. Now.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (12.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 12:52 am:

I don't think his reasoning was such a mystery after all. We can deduce his motivation, but not his identity.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-td043.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 09:30 am:

I think his reasoning was very complex, there was clearly a method to his madness but who can ever really know why.
On 11-6 in Florence, Montana there was (IMHO) a very Z-like crime. A man dressed in a black fedora and black hat walked into a beauty salon and slashed to death 3 women, no sign of robbery nor of sexual assault.
Son of Zodiac?

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb40650.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 10:04 am:

Screw the why, I want to know who. Just like everyone's favorite traitor, Johnny Jihad (aka Johnny Taliban). I couldn't give a d*mn about why he betrayed his country, I just want to see the treasonous moron fry (Ol' Sparky!!!). So, give me Z's identity any day.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p219.as1.clonmel1.eircom.net - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 10:28 am:

I'm with the "Who" brigade.You could know the "why" and still be left scratching your head.If the "who" turned out to be one of the main suspects the "why"would be easier to figure!

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-20-81.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 10:42 am:


I agree that "who" is the main question. If we knew that, the why's would probably fall nto place. It seems less likely, although still probable, that "who" could be determined if we had the "why" for sure.

I don't think the Walker case is an apt comparison, however. In that case, we don't even begin to know the "what". One thing we do know, however, is that Walker was with the Taliban long before the U.S ever considered them an enemy and started bombing Afghanistan.

Before you start slinging epithets, wouldn't you care to know _whether_ he "betrayed his country" or committed "treason"? You may have your mind made up, but its not going to be as simple a case as many would like to believe. A lot of State and DOJ people don't think they have much of a case. We're all going to learn something from this one.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-tc084.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 12:20 pm:

Ed, are you working too hard? You used to seem, well, kinder and gentler, now you are fantasizing about shooting at unknown entities in the forest and seem to want to hang this 20 yr old Bay Area kid for treason. Mellow. Here you had a very young idealistic, naive and vulnerable teenager who went in search of the meaning of life and wound up in Pakistan, in cult like fashion he gets taken in by one of these fundamentalists schools and viola before you know it the guy is with the Taliban. Excuse me, but this was the same Taliban that the U.S. gave over 50 million in aid to because they said they were getting rid of opium poppies.
Now are you going to let the rest of these Talibanies go home (as has been agreed to for the most part), then throw the book at this young kid for treason?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-63-186.client.attbi.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 12:21 pm:

Sylvie wrote:
"On 11-6 in Florence, Montana there was (IMHO) a very Z-like crime. A man dressed in a black fedora and black hat walked into a beauty salon and slashed to death 3 women, no sign of robbery nor of sexual assault. Son of Zodiac?"

Sylvie, what in the hell does that have to do with this thread, Which would you rather know??
You've been posting for over a year now. Get with it.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-tc084.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 12:24 pm:

Sorry Tom, I get it now -- Ed has been hanging out with you a bit too much.

By Boojum (Boojum) ( on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 12:39 pm:

A black fedora IS a black hat.

Was he wearing two hats? Did he have two heads?

By Classic (Classic) (spider-tr044.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 12:57 pm:

Knowing who wouldn't necessarily help explain why. Suppose DNA comes back and shows that Allen was z. Did he kill Bates? Did he write the desktop poem? Solution to the codes? Did he plan the radian/map from the start or did that come later? Did he know any of the victims? How many,if any, others victims were there? Was there a bomb? What "special" thing is buried? This list is by no means comprehensive. If it was Allen, how would we find out any of these things? And remember, this excersise is ONLY one or the other, not which one can I use to figure out the other. Yes, it would be great to know both,but...Classic

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb6c420.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 05:03 pm:

Peter: it is an apt comparison, as far as I'm concerned. I don't care what his reasoning was, and I know I'm not alone in that. I don't care why a rapist rapes, he needs to be dealt with. I don't care why a serial killer murders, he needs to be dealt with. And so on. And that includes traitors like Johnny Jihad. I wonder how many women he beat and/or shot to death while in the Taliban? How many crimes against humanity did he commit? Sadly, we will probably never know, because the media appears to want to turn him into some kind of misguided hero. Criminal lawyers might want to make his case out to be complex or whatever, and perhaps legally, it might be. Just remember that the legal system found OJ responsible for the deaths of two people and he was ordered to pay $33.5 million to the Goldmans, but he is still free and hasn't paid a nickel. So, I'm not interested in what the legal system may or may not say. They have no interest in right or wrong, or good and evil, only legalities.

Sylvie: I am kind and gentle. Whether I work a lot or not is irrelevant. I'm tired of seeing criminals use the system and get off with little or no punishment, the lawyers who don't care whether the criminals they defend are guilty or not but are only concerned with getting paid big bucks and legally outmaneuvering the system to get them off, and the victims who are often made to pay and are themselves victimized by the system. And I'm sick of the way the media portrays scumbags like they're really misunderstood or something. So, is it OK if I sound a little angry?

In the end, I still would rather know who Z was. I really could care less what the reasons for his crimes were, although I would understandably have the mildest of curiousity about it. But I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldc9v.dialup.mindspring.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 05:47 pm:

Attaboy, Ed.

First of all, we basically already know from the profile why he did what he did. He did it for the same reason all serial killers do it: He couldn't deal with his Mommy or his p*nis.

["P*nis" is profane, but not "zygomatic arch"?]

But it's kind of like asking would you rather know Gary Ridgway's name or his reasons? I guess it's not significant to know who killed 50+ women and was walking around free as a bird last week. Why did he do it? Uh, ok, let me think...

Would you rather know who knocked down the WTC or their thought processes which led them to their decision?

Classic, how would you respond if you were a member of one of the victim's families? I mean, you are aware that some people actually died and their families went through h*ll, right? I'm with Ed on this one, stupidity like this is enough to make one a little angry.

It's so nice to have these interesting and thought-provoking new threads popping up.

By Classic (Classic) (spider-wo033.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 08:22 pm:

I wasn't trying to validate or glamorize anything. Certain crimes ,like GRK,I would rather know who than why. Same for JTR and the WTC. Since it is unlikely, although possible, that z could be brought to justice there is a difference in the two questions. Suppose Allen was z and it was proved absouluetly, positively without a doubt tomorrow. Would your interest of the other aspects of the case disappear, Ray? Instead of visiting this site so much, you should spend a little time at a site that deals with manners Ray. You sure could use some. Classic

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tc061.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 10:28 pm:

Whoa there folks, talk like that could rapidly result in fisticuffs! We are all entitled to our opinions, right?

I'm with Ed and Ray on this one; the who is infinitely more important than the "why" as far as the Z case goes. I mean, who cares about his twisted motivations? Exactly how is it going to help, especially at this point? There's already enough material out there on such subjects. In my opinion, everything is secondary to Z's identity. After all, that is the primary objective in any criminal investigation, right? Use every means at your disposal to identify the perpetrator of the crime then, if one cares too, they can "study" the twisted SOB.

As far as Walker goes, he chose his path, just like Zodiac did. He deserves whatever he has coming to him. I also believe that he should be put to death for treason. This idiot wasn't "brainwashed" as his parents seem to think. I believe he was fully aware of his goals and intentions. Nobody put a gun to his head and told him to move to the Middle East. He obviously knew enough to lie to his parents about his activities and whereabouts. For all we know, he could be the a**hole who shot and killed Spann, the CIA operative. If it was up to me, I'd have the SOB drawn and quartered!

Okay, I apologize for going off on a tangent. To put it simply, I'd rather know "who" than "why" and I believe the Walker kid is a traitor.


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-td032.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 11:20 pm:

Scott, Ed, et al, the anger is completely understood but we have this little document called the Constitution which, for one thing would protect this kid from being tried for treason as for that to happen there must have been a formal declaration of war. This is not the case, so they'll have to try him on something else, though as a citizen it cannot be military, just a regular old jury of his peers.
Okay, okay back to the thread -- it is kind of silly I'd say, as naturally we would have to know the WHO to even begin to know the WHY.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-td032.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 11:37 pm:

BTW Guys -- one other thing to think about -- speaking of the brutal treatment of women, Saudi Arabia is just one half smidgen better for women than Taliban Afganistan. Women are also forbiddden from going out without a male relative, are forbidden from driving, cannot study law, cannot work in any profession with men, are also publically executed if their husbands even think they looked at a man, have few if any rights. YET we have U.S. servicemen supporting that regime right there in the midst of it all.
OK er yeah why, who.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb5b8b8.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 01:21 am:

Sylvie: they'd better get that SOB one way or another, even if it's something like being "shot while trying to escape." I don't really care, as long as business gets taken care of. As far as Saudi goes, I don't know why we deal with them either. We don't need their oil or whatever, we have plenty here, but the powers-that-be have decided to make them wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice. Too bad I don't make policy, that would change overnight.

In any case, I would still have some curiosity about why Z did what he did, but, for me, that's irrelevant when his identity is considered. I do find reading about how these criminals' minds "work" absolutely fascinating, but, it's not like something I couldn't live without. I'd speculate, sure, but if it came down to one or the other, ID wins hands down every time.

By Bucko (Bucko) (spider-tk052.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 07:20 am:

For once I am in complete agreement with Scott. We all make choices in life, all of which come with certain consequences, period.

I would want to know Z's identity. Once known, maybe at least part of the why could be learned.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-17-144.bos.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 09:27 am:


I went back and read your posts when asked, and now I ask you you do the same. I focussed on the what, NOT THE WHY. I didn't say one word about reason or justification, or what the legal issues might be. I said the comparison to Walker is unapt be cause we know exactly what Z did, and we have no idea what Walker did. Your "wondering" proves that. much as you might not like it, there's a big difference -- in fact, apart from the law -- in what the Taliban did in Afghanistan and treason by an American. When you sling words around like Ol' Sparky and treason, I think you have a responsiblity to what you are talking about. And until you know what Walker did, which you don't, you don't know jack. BTW, in the category of what he did, and who did what to whom, one thing we do note is that two CIA agents identified Walker as an American, ran good cop bad cop on him while he was in handcuffs (yes, I saw the tape) then threw him back in that stinking hole of a POW camp in Mozar. Treason, shmeason. Nobody cared a rat's tail about him or what he had done until after the prison revolt. That's the what. He didn't even have the opportunity to raise a finger against any US personnel or interststs until the CIA worked him over. You don't care about the why of that move?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td044.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 07:37 pm:


You should look at the Constitution a little more closely. The U.S. doesn't have to declare war to try someone for treason. If two witnesses can/will verify that Walker conspired against American interests, he can be tried for treason and/or espionage. There are plenty of legal ways to deal with the likes of Walker. It's simply my hope that he is dealt with in a manner that will result in the forfeiture of his life. We don't need some U.S. President of the future pardoning him thirty years from now like Fmr. President Ford did with "Tokyo Rose."

Also, you wrote, "Saudi Arabia is just one half smidgen better for women than Taliban Afganistan."

Sure, you're absolutely right. However, this is a war about terrorism not equal rights for women. It's not in U.S. interests to dictate another country's socio-political environment unless said environment is directly affecting the United States in an adverse manner, which, as far as Saudi Arabia goes, it is not. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia IS NOT a safe haven for terrorists cells, due in part to the fact that we have American troops there. If a new government can be formed in Afghanistan that allows for the rights of women then great, that's one less hurdle they will have to overcome in the future. However, it should be obvious that that is not the reason why we are at war with the Taliban and the terrorists groups that they harbor. Right?


You wrote, "He didn't even have the opportunity to raise a finger against any US personnel or interststs until the CIA worked him over."

The CIA only worked him over after he had been captured. What the heck do you think he was doing prior to being captured? Sittin' in a sauna smokin' kind bud with three chicks? No. He was carrying an AK47 with the intent of killing Allied personnel, carrying out orders directed to him from the Taliban and/or Al Quida, and doing this knowing full well the situation at hand. Did he drop his weapon on Sept. 11th and leave Afghanistan? No. Instead, he chose to stay and battle it out alongside his Taliban counterparts. So, exactly what do you mean when you say, "until you know what Walker did, which you don't, you don't know jack"? It seems to me that common knowledge is all that is required to understand "jack."


Thanks for the kind remarks. It's true, we often disagree, but it's good to know that we value some of the same things.

Tom V,

I apologize for going so far off topic but sometimes one can't resist. This was one of those times.

As for Zodiac, I'd still rather know "who" than "why." The "why" doesn't mean sh*t compared to the "what" and "who." Some might argue against this, making claims that the "why" could help to eliminate the "who" and "what." Perhaps there is some merit in these ideas -- biological, physiological, psychological, sociological, etc. -- but these merits, unfortunately, require that we first know the "who." One can only hope that one day we will be able to preempt the "mechanism" that creates such monsters. However, I'm more inclined to believe that humankind, by it's very nature, is inherently hostile and violent. There is nothing in the history of humanity that dictates otherwise. It's the yin and yang effect; you can't understand joy without also understanding sorrow. There's good and there's evil, that's all there is too it. Zodiac, obviously, was evil. Big deal. That's life. Who Zodiac was is all that matters. Take the criminals off of the street first, then deal with the "why."

Some thoughts,


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-tb071.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 11:37 pm:

when I mentioned the status of women's rights I was referring to an earlier post by Ed relating Walker, abuse of women in Afganistan.
I know this is not about women's rights at all, if it were the U.S. would not have, as I said before, given about 50 million to the Taliban a little while back.
I do believe that constitutionally speaking I am correct here -- the deal for treason is -- Walker for example would have to had to have fired at U.S. forces with at least two witnesses (there I think you have no problem) but, as well, only in a state of formally declared war (which is simply not the case). My Constitutional Law class was many years ago, but that has stayed with me and interestingly last night I heard famed defense attorney Ron Kuby say exactly the same thing on CNN.
As for Saudi, if it is not a haven for terrorists it is simply because instead if dealing with them, they EXPORT them, just like they did with Osama. A full 14 of the 19 of the highjackers came from Saudi Arabia, that should tell us something. I hope someone is reading them the Riot Act.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-63-186.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 07:50 am:

Sylvie, I'm not going to warn you again about staying on-topic.
This is a thread called Which would you rather know?, and it is NOT about the status of women's rights.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td023.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 04:33 pm:

For those still interested in the John Walker discussion, turn your attention toward the "John Walker" thread that was created in the "General Conversation" area of the board.


By EviI (Evii) (spider-wj081.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, December 15, 2001 - 01:09 pm:

I'd rather know who. Seems to me that shrinks & profilers would be able to figure out what makes him tick once he's in custody (That's assuming he's still alive).
btw, re Johnny Walker, the American Taliban:
I don't see the media turning him into a "misguided hero". The papers here in NY keep refering to him as the rat, the traitor, the turncoat.
Anyway, it doesn't seem to me as though what he did was treason. A betrayal of one's country won't always fall under the legal definition of that term, after all. He went & joined the Taliban long before America committed troops to an undeclared war there. Once that happened, he was locked in to the course he'd already set. You know what the Taliban does to deserters? Or defectors? Or men who try to surrender on their own, w/o their leaders negotiating a mass surrender for the entire unit? They shoot 'em to death. No trial, no court martial. Besides, was his American citizenship still intact? Or had he renounced it? If he did that, then he's just another Taliban, isn't he?
On the other hand, I find it hard to sympathize w the lil punk. The Taliban are a mysogynistic, bloodthirsty, nazified band of thugs. So any misfortune that befalls any of 'em is a-okay by me.
Craig Stallone

By Boojum (Boojum) ( on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 06:21 pm:

They were our allies when the brat joined them. We gave them $43,000,000 on May 17 for their efforts in the War On (Some) Drugs. We haven't declared war on them.

No case for treason. I'd rather know who did it, the why part is easy. We should never have given women the vote.

By Jim (Jim) (216-102-77-163.scoe.org - on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 11:34 am:

I would rather know the who, because alter on you could determine the why from interviewing the individual! there will always be some kernel of truth in their statements and that is what we would have to discern for ourselves through further study, correlations, and confirmations of information.

By Roger Redding (Roger_Redding) (user-33qs1dn.dialup.mindspring.com - on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 05:51 pm:


I would rather know the who, because alter on you could determine the why from interviewing the individual!

Unless he's dead...


By Jim (Jim) (216-102-72-90.scoe.org - on Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 08:37 am:

true enough,then again I would think that Z's hubris knew no bounds that he undoubtedly left something behind somewhere that will eventually be found to lead to the why of what he did! ah, that is in another thread room again!

By Wendi (Wendi) (dpc6682009017.direcpc.com - on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 06:37 pm:

since this is not about women's rights...but basic curiosity...as a woman, and someone who hates loose ends...I want to know who, and follow the trail from there.
Were this purely a fictional series of events, I'd choose the clues anyday, but I feel every victim deserves closure of some sort...even if a trial and conviction isn't possible.