The Zodiac Composite Drawing Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: The Zodiac Composite Drawing

By Joe Harris (Joe_Harris) ( - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 09:57 pm:

Hello, everyone. This is my very first post here.

This probably amounts to absolutely nothing, but something that has puzzled me for quite a long time is the strong resemblance I see in the composite drawing of the Zodiac Killer and the composite drawing of D. B. Cooper, the airplane hijacker, who also was never officially identified or captured. The general description of both struck me as similar in other aspects, as well. In addition, D. B. Cooper struck on a plane flying between Portland and Seattle, which isn't too far from Vallejo and SanFrancisco.

Again, these are just insane ramblings on my part, so feel free to consider me goofy (or worse). I just thought I'd toss this out before those who are the Zodiac experts to see if this has occurred to anyone else. Or, most likely, confirm how goofy I really am. Thanks, everybody!

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 06:39 am:

Welcome Joe,

I thought about this also but D.B. Cooper's skincolour was olive. Mmmm, Zodiac could have used make-up.
Your idea is not as goofy as the idea some guy had that Zodiac used Batman comic books in his crimes.


By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 05:06 pm:

Welcome!When you think about it, the entire Zodiac case is bizarre.It is only be passing ideas around that we can pull on them and see if there are "fits."I mean we can't even decide- with certainy- on the fingerprint issue,and other components in this baffling case!Some 'old' concepts can become 'new' ones that are accurate and the reverse is true also!I am not addressing Cooper per se,but this shows that you are looking at different angles.We need flexibility,but wisdom and caution are the rules or guidlines in this case.Keep up the good work.And Eduard is goofy and batty-but in a brilliant kind of way!

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 09:52 pm:

Welcome aboard Joe,
almost every other angle has been checked out. Something that seems goofy just may be the key to actually solving the case.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 10:08 pm:

What's interesting is that not long after DB Cooper, there was some guy killed in a shootout with police (I don't remember the details now, but it was on Unsolved Mysteries a few years back), who bore some resemblance to the composite of Cooper, and it was suggested that they were one and the same. Now, if he was Z, then that means Z's been dead for over 25 years now...

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 07:50 pm:

Ed that would be Richard McCoy who pulled a similar stunt over Utah in 1974.He was a 28 year old former paratrooper -I read a book about him a few years ago called D.B.Cooper the Real McCoy but don't remember all the details.So I can't say if he'd be Z.I do know thta many in the F.B.I. vehemently deny he was Cooper....

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 02:03 am:

A new Zodiac composite can now be seen on my website. On the same page I explain how this composite was being made.
Here is the link:
"New Zodiac composite"


By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 03:20 pm:

Eduard: good work!

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 06:26 pm:

Excellent Eduard. I found that reddish tint in the hair to be really interesting.

At the same time however it makes me less optimistic that the Z will ever be revealed. No criminal has gone as far as Z not to get caught. There are aspects of his career that we will never know. If he took these types of makeup steps, any composite of him will be comprimised. The only thing you'd have a hard time faking is height. But adding the makeup adds years to his actual age. It makes me wonder what else he did to disguise his identity.

Zodiac is as close to a criminal genius as you can get.

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 12:16 pm:

Hi guys,

Oddball, thanks for the kind words.

I share your beliefs, It will be almost impossible to catch this guy.

Thank you both for your reply.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 03:20 pm:

E Bat,
Great work!We need various perspectives and if only one point hits-it's worth it.There have been discussions in the past posts on Zodiac and disguises.
Height has been discussed also.I did research on shoe lifts,as I had read about them in 1960s antiidentification books(and detective magazines).If shoes/boots with thick soles are used,they could take ones height up,say,two inches.Then,if shoe lifts are placed in the shoes/boots,one can then elevate their height another two inches.Thick socks were recommended also."Not a problem to go 5'11"-6.0+if you are shorter!Guess one would walk kinda'funny!The lifts alone can cause an abnormal stride when walking.Just think of LB.You have a hollow space between the top of the head to the top interior of the (I believe converted grad'cap)hood giving Z about two inches of height.Then you are wearing military issue boots so what was his actual height?Although Graysmith did not bring this out,Hartnell said,in a police report, Z could have been as short as 5'8"(Mageau said Z was "short",about 5'8"-the same as the three teens estimate).
"I look like the description passed out only when I do my thing,the rest of the time I look entirle different.I shall not tell you what my descise consists of when I kill."Maybe Eduard has gone some distance to prove Zodiacs statement."The police shall never catch me,because I have been too clever for them."Say what we will-but it's 2002 and his first N.CA attack(officially that is)was 1968.How many years is that?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 03:58 pm:


I really appreciate the effort and time that you put into the composite drawing. However, in my opinion, it's flawed. Creating a new composite that consists of half of the features taken from the LB composite is extremely speculative at best. After all, that particular composite cannot be verified as being the Z. There is no way of knowing without a considerable amount of doubt that the girls at LB saw the Zodiac. Therefore, if it is not the Zodiac then your composite is, straight off the bat (no pun intended), at least fifty percent wrong. Just giving you my honest opinion.


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 05:18 pm:

You site is ever-enjoyable. But I, like Scott have serious doubts that the man seen at LB was Z.
Even if it were to have been, why is the combo so wide-eyed? Neither composite has Zodiac so round-eyed, both have him with quite almond shaped eyes.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 10:55 pm:

Scott: I share your scepticism about the Lake Beryessa composite. I mentioned in some of my first posts here that the man watching the girls sumbathe is not necessarily Z. If we were to casually check to see how many young women sunbathing at a public lake find themselves stared at I believe we would have a high percentage.
One other inconsistency; Virtually everyone from Graysmith to most posters here remark on how Zodiac must have been very well aquainted with the areas in which he committed the crimes. But some conjecture this same man ogling the girls, who rushed into the store in a panic asking the quickest way to leave the lake, was Zodiac. This is not consistent with someone who knew the area well. In all his other crimes Zodiac must have planned his escape route well ahead of time, and Lake Berryessa was his most developed crime. I do not see him panicking. Further evidence that he had his route planed out is the fact he found the phone booth to make his call without a lot of delay. One cannot have it both ways. If Zodiac was very familiar with the region we can't have him asking directions. And I don't buy he was in a panic after the killing. The surviving witness describes him as calm and he certainly kept his cool after killing Mr. Stine when police officers drove by.
I have suspected that this man might have been a WITNESS, someone who saw part of the crime and did not want to get involved.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 12:02 am:

Mike wrote, "Further evidence that he had his route planed out is the fact he found the phone booth to make his call without a lot of delay. One cannot have it both ways. If Zodiac was very familiar with the region we can't have him asking directions."

Excellent point, Mike. I can virtually guarantee that Z knew well beforehand that he was going to make that call in Napa if he found any victims at Lake Berryessa. Ed N is very familiar with LB and the route from LB to Napa. I'm sure he'd agree with your keen observations. The Zodiac, IMHO, was very familiar with Lake Berryessa. In fact, considering his evasive maneuvers on the night that Stine was murdered, I'd have to say that he was familiar, or had, at the minimum, scouted PH beforehand also. LHR and BRS, well, they're so darn close to each other in terms of distance, and yet the 2 crimes were committed seven months apart. It seems highly probable that Zodiac would have to have been familiar with Vallejo in general.


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 07:14 am:

Speaking of the Lake Berryessa composite, there's one individual who resembles it so closely that it almost makes me wonder. Have a look and tell me what you think -- he's a bit older in this photo, but the effect is the same.

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 09:50 am:

There's a considerable resemblance. Who's the guy?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 09:52 am:

I would guess any overweight television news personality would be a close fit due to the haircut.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 10:34 am:

Was the brother known to smoke?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 10:47 am:

It's David Kaczynski. Yes, in an FBI interview he admitted that Ted had never smoked, but he had.

Maybe it's not fair to drag Dave into a discussion of Zodiac, but I don't think he's entirely innocent of involvement in his brother's activities, and there's evidence to prove this. Dave has mentioned how much he admired his brother; almost slavishly, in fact, back in the late 60s. They were tooling around Canada and Montana during the summer of '69 and it was actually Dave's idea to move to Montana in 1970. Directly after graduating from Columbia in that year he ran right out to Great Falls and took a job at Anaconda Copper. Ted joined him there in the spring of 1971 and together they purchased the small parcel of land upon which Ted built his cabin. David eventually moved to Texas, where he lived in a shack that was, by some accounts, more primitive than Ted's.

Those who have read "Dr. Zodiac," know that I've developed a suspicion of Dave based on an unpublished novel that was written in 1990 by one of Dave's Texas friends named Joe LaFollette. This unpublished novel, called "Technophobia," was about an insane Berkeley professor (a linguist, in fact) who wars against technology and murders people. (Someone I know who has read the manuscript says the murders are by stabbing.) The point is, how would LaFollete have had any intimation about Ted's anti-technology murders, given that knowledge of the Unabomber didn't become common until around 1995? It looks very suspicious to me, and if Dave wouldn't think it's fair to have his photo compared to our own Napa composite, why, I think he has only himself to blame. The inferences, I think, are clear.

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 01:15 pm:

Ryan wrote:
"Zodiac is as close to a criminal genius as you can get."

I still say Z's disguise was nothing more than a pair of glasses, and if he'd really worn glue on his fingertips then the print men would have found some kind of evidence of this instead of consistently finding loops or whorls or whatever. Z was quick, lucky, and cool under pressure, but a genius? I really doubt it.

Mike wrote:
"Further evidence that he had his route planed out is the fact he found the phone booth to make his call without a lot of delay."

I'm with you, Mike, but it took Z over an hour to make his phone call from the car wash, which was less than 20 miles away.

Maybe he had to go home to Monticello and clean up first...


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 04:12 pm:

I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss Zodiac's intellectual capacity on the basis of the goofs he made while committing his crimes. Leopold and Loeb were both undoubted geniuses, but anyone familiar with that case knows how badly they botched it. In fact, it was faith in their "genius" that got them busted in the end.

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 07:04 am:

Hi everyone,

Wether you liked it or not I made the composite because I thought it possibly could prove that Zodiac was only one guy and not a team.
Thank you for your reactions,


By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 02:03 am:

Mike: that incident at Moskowite Corners has always bothered me, but I never really thought why until you mentioned it. It just doesn't fit. Narlow remarked to me that, had Z called from the lake or its environs, they would have sealed off the only three exits from LB in short order and Z would not have escaped. So, I think it's certain that Z must have known LB fairly well, and realized that, which is why he waited to get to Napa to make his call. I suspect that he also travelled north along Knoxville Road (rather than south, directly to Napa 27 miles and 45 minutes away. We discussed this at length beginning on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 10:22 pm.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 02:38 pm:

If there were a confedrate,as even some top Z investigators have speculated,the second man could have made the call from the carwash(and thanks for the tour of that area;hey,there was even a stream next to the carWASH which is now gone!)and it could be a non- rush for the killer or Z.The voice/age concept that BH gives in the reports doesn't seem to jib with Officer Slaights, which was that of a young male in his "EARLY twenties".It certainly would have greatly aided Zs escape from a difficult area,especially if something would have gone wrong.One call from a phone near the lake to the carwash and the Slaight caller would have all the basic info needed to call Napa PD(the same could be true for BRS where the"mature" caller,according to Slover, seemed to be 'reading' his statement).The NPD caller did make a mistake by saying "murder",singular, instead of "double" murder,which he finally said.The "feminine voices" that Slaight seemed to have heard when the caller put the phone down without hanging up is interesting.With speaker/receiver sensitivity in '69, this means the ladies had to be fairly close to the descended phone -maybe.All speculation,but we should look at all angles and not be fixed and preset in our views.I try to get fresh approaches on all details of this crazy case!He said he was "crackproof"(except his head!) and "too cleaver" for the PD!Hmmmm?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 05:30 am:

Back in 1995 some unknown individual posted a message to an anarchist newsgroup purporting to be from the Unabomber. This message, among other things, offered instructions for making anonymous telephone calls to the authorities. Its author suggested using pre-recorded background noises to sow confusion while making the calls.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 09:19 pm:

Graysmith remarks in Zodiac that the young man that was watching the three young ladies at the AW near LB was "smoking one cigarette after another".This seems to agree with the PD reports.When they saw the same man later at the lake watching them (Esau -where you then?)writes GS in ZU,he was,again,"smoking cigarettes," according to "Lorna" one of the three girls.My question is ,which suspects smoked?From what can be determined here is that,if this is Zodiac ,as GS contends and that's his right,then he smoked!
The PD reports indicate that Hartnell was 'straining' to see every detail he could as he hoped to be able to report,like KJ,as many details as he could to the police.If the hooded man,and this is only a question to provoke possible discussion,was the same person the three girls saw earlier,would BH have smelled cigarette smoke on the hooded stranger?
Remember,he probably kept smoking after the earlier sighting, so the odor would have been reinforced.
Now,I know several smokers.In the past,even when outdoors,if they have had just one cigarette I can smell it!BH did not report any odors from Z that day and he was in very CLOSE contact with him!This is all just wild speculation,but more in the form of inquiry.Is this far afield posters? I think we should,as we have done in the past,look at all ideas,angles and,post!

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 12:59 am:

Howard, that's a good observation. Almost all of my friends are smokers, and they reek(my apologies to smokers here on the board)! It does seem like something he would have noticed.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 03:27 am:

It depends upon whether Hartnell was a smoker himself. They catalogued his effects and I don't believe any cigarettes were mentioned. We know what brand of condom he preferred, but not a whole lot more.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 02:04 pm:

From all that I could find BH was not a smoker.He was a Seventh Adventist,as was CS,and this faith greatly frowned on drinking and smoking.It is one of the few religions(next to Mormonism) that advocate healthy food and life style,etc.I know he could have smoked, but no report ,to date, indicates that he did.

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 05:04 pm:

Howard, I'm not sure but I'd think that The Seventh Day Adventist church would frown upon an unmarried couple "getting busy" in the great outdoors so I don't think that Bryan's religion would necessarily keep him from smoking. By the way Howard, I wasn't the guy watching the girls sunbathing, I was busy killing chickens that day......

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 07:51 pm:

Good work on the smoking points. It is true that cigarettes are anathema to the SDA's (it is diferent with sex, because that is well, natural).
Therefore, as a non smoker he would have been particularly sensutive to a tobacco smell.
Thus I would have to conclude (what I always thought anyway), that the 3 girls did not see Z,
just some horny chain smoker.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 10:33 pm:

I've started a new thread under Theories called
"Lake Berryessa, A witness?" to expound on the idea I posted on this thread that maybe the man asking directions at Moskowite Corners was a witness. I thought it was getting a bit far afield on this thread about the sketch.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 10:53 pm:

Solus cum sola non cogitabantur orare pater noster.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 11:36 pm:

To me ,it is distrubing that those cigarette butts were not collected.I think the three women were interviewed on the 29th ,or some two days after the incident at LB.They indicated in their interview that the man was "smoking cigarettes"at both the stand and later near the lake;so this would be a tip to go and retreive any evidence where the girls said they saw the stranger.Most likely it would be at his second location ,as he was smoking in the car and may have used the ash tray and/or threw them on the lot and by then,on the 29th,they would have been removed.Now,if there is some report that I have not seen indicates this was done ,then I do not have any complaints!If the man was Z,it would have been a strategic publicity coup of no mean proportion if he could have donned his costume,bound three young women(especially since they WERE females!) and then stabbed them as he did to BH and CS.In his mind,it would have been tempting to attack three women and that would generate much desired press!You can almost see the wheels turning as he "stared" at the girls.Was he just 'looking' at some young ladies or was he planning something?He is a mystery to be sure.

By Scott_CT (Scott_Ct) ( - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 07:03 pm:

With respect to the witness accounts at LB that the man they saw was smoking one cigarette after another, would it be safe to assume the police went to the spot where the girls saw the man standing, and collected the cigarette butts? If so, using today's DNA extraction aand testing techniques, they may very well be able to get a DNA signature from the discarded butts. That could be then be compared with any other DNA evidence collected from the CJB murder or any other Z case (if they have any) as well as to whatever databases exist to compare DNA samples.

Does anyone know if any of the above has been done?

Apologies to all if I'm covering old ground here. I've read many of the threads here and have yet to see this discussed, but I may have missed it.


By Scott_CT (Scott_Ct) ( - on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 07:45 pm:

ACK! Here I state that I've read many of the messages here and then go and post a message re:collecting the cigarette butts only to see the last post in this thread (before mine) has Howard stating that the cigarette butts weren't collected! Sorry about that.

However - that begs a larger question, how could the police NOT have collected the cigarette butts!?! Even before DNA testing, that should have been SOP for the cops, just to see what brand it was, how many he smoked, etc. It's almost inconceivable to me that they wouldn't have tried to collect them. Did the cops ever offer up any reasons why this wasn't done?


By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 05:23 am:

Scott_CT: Obviously there were no 'Sherlock Holmes' working on this case. I'm sure there are many fans of the fictional detective on this MB that have read the stories as much as me. Remember the multiple times in which He could tell the brand of cigarette or cigar simply by reading the ashes? "SHERLOCK", Where are you???

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 11:47 am:

If the peeping Tom(sorry Tom!)@ LB was Z,then he was a chain smoker,or at least smoked moderately?
They had salvia typing then.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 12:51 pm:

I'm starting a new thread in this topic for discussion about what investigators did not do that might have advanced the case.

Please see:
Z Blunders