Anecdotal Z stories Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: Anecdotal Z stories

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 02:15 pm:

I thought this might be an interesting thread to start about stories from people who claim to have encountered Z, but otherwise have no corroborating evidence in the form of eyewitnesses, police reports, etc.

I heard this story from a woman who claimed that she had encountered Z; I believe she told me it was in the summer of 1970 (this is one of the stories that Howard asked me to tell, btw). She was apparently a runaway at the time, around 15 years old, and was hitchhiking in the LA area, when someone picked her up. She got some bad vibes from him and realized that he was going to kill her (he may have told her that too, I'm not certain at this point), especially when he sped up to prevent her from jumping out. They approached a red light, and he was forced to stop because there were cars stopped ahead of them; she was certain that he would have run the light otherwise. She jumped out of his car and escaped, and some time later, while reading the local paper, she came across a story about Z with a reproduction of the composite, and recognized him as the man who abducted her. Unfortunately, she did not file a police report about the incident, and so it must remain an anecdotal story.

She was not particularly interested in a photo lineup, because she saw no point, but she didn't give me a definite no, so one never knows... however, one thing that is odd about her story is that Z is generally associated with the Bay Area from 1968 to 1974, so what was he doing in LA? True, it's not like the 400 miles between the two areas is insurmountable, but it is unusual nonetheless.

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 02:56 pm:

That sounds like the hundreds of "I survived Ted Bundy' stories author Ann Rule has collected over the years.Thats not to say it's not true but an urban legend aspect creeps in.
Speakiing of which a book I read a few years ago -published circa 1972-called Occult World of California mentioned Z and a story making the rounds of New agers about him.Supposedly he went ot a psychic and asked how long he had to live and didn't like the answer.I don't recall if the tale had him killing the psychic or not....

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 03:34 pm:

About three years ago, I went to an urban legends website which encouraged submissions from readers. While looking for versions of the old Vanishing Hitchhiker story, I came across an almost-unreadable, paragraph-long account of the "Phantom of Cordelia" legend mentioned in Graysmith's book.
Having never visited Northern California, I have no idea how prevalent this story is. Does anyone from the area remember hearing the story, and is it still told today?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 04:02 pm:

On the morning of December 20th, 1998, having stayed the night at a Benecia hotel, I passed through the lobby and overheard the staff discussing several Lake Herman Road ghost stories.

The only one I remember told of a woman, dripping wet, who appears on the road at night.
(I think there was also another story involving a dog, but I don't recall the details...)

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 04:33 pm:

Oddball, I grew up in that area and I never heard of the "Phantom Of Cordelia" until I read "Zodiac". I've asked some of the older guys I know and they too have never heard of him. It does make an interesting anecdote for a book though..........

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 04:43 pm:

A dripping wet spirit woman?See, Z was into water!Scott, a friend of mine is friends with the girl in Utah that did escape from Bundy.She was in court and testified against him and she has the photos and court documents to prove it!

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 04:44 pm:

I won't vouch for the veracity of any anecdotal story, I just report 'em. However, I've known this particular person for perhaps a year and a half, and have no reason to disbelieve her either. In any case, I thought it would be interesting to hear some of the urban legends etc about Z.

As for the "Phantom of Cordelia," I'd always thought that was a Graysmith creation, because I'd never heard of it otherwise.

When I went out to LHR on the 25th anniversary, I half expected to see a ghostly replay of the events of 12-20-1968, but didn't. I've not seen anything out of the ordinary in that respect, except for being followed by cops on two anniversaries (one was actually driving out of Gate #10 at about 11:15 PM, and proceeded to tail me all the way back into Vallejo... that I was driving a white car at the time probably didn't help).

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 11:27 pm:

Esau and Ed: Yeah, I was wondering if the "Phantom" might have been concocted by Graysmith. It does look good on paper, doesn't it?

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 12:55 am:

It does, but what doesn't make sense is why would a serial killer/mass murderer suddenly settle for chasing women along lonely roads at night near Cordelia? And, if he's been at it since the mid 80's (or earlier), why hasn't he been caught yet???

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 10:27 am:

Another story to add...

A few years back, this guy who worked for a white-water rafting company told me the following story:

Shortly after Allen's name was published (in The Napa Sentinel), he borrowed a truck and a clipboard and stopped at Allen's house and asked something like, "Is this 32 Ventura Street? I have a delivery..." and Allen laughed and said, "No, you have the wrong street, it's the next one over." He then left, and told me that he just wanted to see the guy everyone thought was Z.

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 03:34 pm:

Howard did you know pop legend Debbie Harry of Blondie claimed to have escaped Ted's clutches?It's true.An interesting story in Ann Rules latest edition of her teddy book menitons a Seattle girl who claims he taled her in his VW then when she pulled in her driveway drove in at an angle to block her exit.Only her parents arrival saved her.I know Ted B is officially ruled out as a Zodiac suspect but sounds very LHR ish to me.Another woman claimed he pulled the distributer wire to her car in the parking lot of a bar one night....points to ponder.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 05:11 pm:

I had not heard thatand I had read the books on Teddie too!.Interesting.He could be slick,but also,quite clumsy at times-a real contradiction.

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 07:52 pm:

Sort of like Z-man !