Z Blunders

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: Z Blunders

By Tom Voigt (Admin) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 01:01 pm:

The Napa County Sheriff's Department would have been wise to immediately search the shoreline of Lake Berryessa on 9-28-69 in the area where the "strange man" had been seen spying on female sunbathers.

(I have no record of this happening, and have talked to several investigators who don't recall it being part of the investigation.)

Had this search been performed, investigators might very well have determined if the shoes worn by the stranger were size 10.5 Wing Walkers...thus giving us several more witnesses/descriptions.

I'm not knocking the NCSD, as they were the premiere Zodiac investigators of the jurisdictions initially involved, and I guess there is a chance this search was performed and left from the official report.

Any other examples of an important, case-related detail being overlooked?

By Kendra (Kendra) (pluto.cds1.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 04:54 pm:

It has always bothered me that Foukes and Zelms were never shown photos of major suspects or taken to see these suspects (such as Leigh Allen's place of employment)for i.d. purposes. I'm sure part of the reason was due to S.F.P.D.'s denial that the 2 officers actually saw Z (which of course could not explain where the ammended composite came from, duh). These witnesses are especially important because their description would in no way be affected by fear (for their lives) or other distactions, thereby enforcing an i.d. to be more genuine, I think.

By Scott_CT (Scott_Ct) (pcp01265120pcs.danbry01.ct.comcast.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 05:11 pm:

I guess if we're going to discuss blunders made in the investigation of the Z cases, one of the biggest would have to be the infamous encounter between Z and the patrolmen (Foukes and Zelms) after the Stine murder. Main blunder being made by the dispatcher in broadcasting a description of the suspect as a black male thus causing Foukes and Zelms to not really scrutinize the white male they encountered near the murder.

The thing that really bothers me about this one is the discrepancies in the "reports" of this encounter as well as the official report itself. As to discrepancies - Cops did talk to Z, cops didn't talk to Z, Z says cops did question him, Foukes supposedly says no conversation took place, Jake says he hears they did, Graysmith (lord help us) says they did, Zelms dies shortly thereafter and therefore says nothing...and on and on. Why all the discrepancies in this account?

As to the "official" account by the two officers. To wit from Jakes site:

"Subject at no time appeared to be in a hurry walking with a shuffling lope, Slightly bent foreward head now. The subject's general appearance to classify him as a group would be that he might be of Welsh ancestry."

Walking with a "shuffling lope"? What exactly does that mean? "Slightly bent foreward head now"? What does he mean by "now"? As opposed to before? Before what?!? And the Welsh ancestry thing is just bizarre based on nothing more than a physical observation. Only way I'll believe that is if you could show me other police reports from either Foukes, Zelms or any other SFPD for that matter where a suspect was described as being of Welsh ancestry simply from observation.

On a final note - does anyone know if Foukes ever tried anything like hypnosis in order to really clarify his memory and description of the suspect? If not and he's still alive - I think that would be a worthwhile endeavor. Cops are trained observers. A trained observer under hypnosis may yield a wealth of detail thus far missing in any other description of Z (assuming this guy was Z).


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (54.philadelphia03rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 05:35 pm:

I might be able to explain the "shuffling lope." As David Kaczynski told the FBI in his Declaration of February 18, 1997:

(I) The FBI asked me if there was anything unusual about my brother's gait. I replied that his left foot is noticeably pigeon-toed and affects the way he walks.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 05:53 pm:

Leigh Allen also had an unusual walk, much like from a Zombie movie.

Oops...looks like I'm helping sidetrack this discussion.

By Scott_CT (Scott_Ct) (pcp01265120pcs.danbry01.ct.comcast.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 06:22 pm:

Tom & Doug - Interesting notes about the gaits of TK and ALA - I didn't know that about either of them.

I think it may be reasonable to assume that a conversation did indeed occur between the "White Male" and the cops. It is also understandable (albeit regrettable) that the SFPD didn't want that to get out becuase of the potential embarrassment it might cause. It would explain the discrepancies and also would help better explain the Welsh ancestry remark. I don't think Foukes or Zelms were dumb. On the contrary - I think based on the suspect's physical characteristics and a conversation, it might be a very astute observation (although an accent could have been affected by Z). It's also what I think a trained cop would do when coming upon a murder scene and a potential witness is spotted - you'd stop and ask him if he saw anything.

If Foukes is still alive (and that should be easy enough to check - if he's a city employee on a pension you can bet the city knows whether or not he's alive or dead), it would be a fruitful area to explore. I think if the above is true and he were approached correctly - Foukes may have much to offer.


By Scott_CT (Scott_Ct) (pcp01265120pcs.danbry01.ct.comcast.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:14 pm:

More Blunders:

Screwing up the lift of the palm print off the phone booth phone.

As mentioned before - not collecting the cigarette buts from LB (or any other physical evidence from any other area of LB except the murder scene).

And the list goes on. You can't change the past, and hindsight is always 20/20, but if I were assigned with solving this case today, and were given the resources to do it right, there are a number of things I would do, that I think might help erase the sins of the past:

1 - Gather together all of the physical evidence that exists in this case and subject all of it to today's advanced forensic techniques. Not just some of it - all of it. DNA, advanced fingerprint development and identification techniques, trace evidence analysis, etc.

2 - Vigorously re-interview all of the surviving witnesses (Kids at Stine murder, Mageau, Hartnell, Foukes if he's alive, sunbathing girls at LB, Johns if she's for real - all of them. Strongly suggest that the best witnesses undergo hypnosis for better recall, especially since so much time has passed.

3 - Extensively research the pasts of my top suspects. The Z personna didn't pop out of nowhere. If you've got the right suspect under the magnifying glass, I'll bet there will be strong clues in his past leading up to his "Z-nith".

4 - Exhaustively review all of the Z letters by experts in cryptography, forensics, psychology, handwriting analysis, etc. I think there are definitely missed clues in there, although they may not be the obvious ones Z "tells" us to find.

At the end of the day you probably won't find a smoking gun, but I bet the accumulation of all of the analysis would probably allow you to both eliminate the "bad" suspects, and if you're lucky - nail the real Z with a mountain of strong circumstantial evidence.

I know that I'm dreaming - but it doesn't have to be a dream. This is all do-able. As Mulder would say - "The truth is out there".


By Kendra (Kendra) (pluto.cds1.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:27 pm:

Step one: locating Foukes. Step two:convincing him to do hypnosis. How receptable would he be? Would he acknowledge the foul-up at PH or deny it? His response to step 2 would (or wouldn't) lead to step 3:HYPNOSIS! (And have Jeannie Boylan there as the sketch artist)

By Kendra (Kendra) (pluto.cds1.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:32 pm:

Another Z investigation blunder: waiting 20+ years to search Leigh Allen's Vallejo Residence...need I say more?

By Scott_CT (Scott_Ct) (pcp01265120pcs.danbry01.ct.comcast.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:32 pm:

Oops - I forgot one above.

5 - Close examination of all of the victims looking for any relationships between them, or between them and Z. I personally believe that not all of them were chosen at random, but rather a few may have been selected for one reason or another. Maybe physical characteristics (witness the remarkable resemblance in the photo's of Betty Lou Jensen http://www.zodiackiller.com/Jensen.html and Darlene Ferrin http://www.zodiackiller.com/FerrinMageau.html), or perhaps a direct link - i.e. Z knew at least one of them personally.

Sorry for the flurry of posts in the past few days. I've been thinking about this case for a long time, and this is the first opportunity I've had to z-compress so to speak.



By Tony (Mahalo) (hnllhi1-ar1-4-65-062-188.hnllhi1.dsl-verizon.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 08:44 pm:

My top 3 blunder list(there's many more).
1. Various Police records destroyed or not allowed to surface over the years.
2.Foukes & Zelms. Welsh ancestory. Where did they get this unless they talked to Z & he had (faked?) a british accent? (Good point Scott_CT). I mean, did he LOOK like Tom Jones...?
3. Lynch not following up on Allen. Ever!! Just didn't seem to fit Z to him. What??

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) (d150-160-190.home.cgocable.net - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 09:41 pm:

My favorite Scott_CT blunder:
Vigorously re-interview all of the surviving witnesses ... Johns if she's for real.
Tom posted that Johns died Kathleen Johns, 1947-2002.

A top Z blunder was losing the tape of the phone call Zodiac made to the police that Steve Baldino claimed he heard.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (coral.tci.com - on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 10:39 pm:

Scott_CT wrote: "More Blunders: . . . As mentioned before - not collecting the cigarette buts from LB (or any other physical evidence from any other area of LB except the murder scene)."

Even if the NSD had collected and preserved all of the cigarette buts, what good would it do? There is absolutely Zero DNA to compare it with. The only DNA evidence that exists in this case is that taken from Arthur Leigh Allen. So, let's say that you compare the DNA from the cigarettes to that of Allen's and it matches. Big deal; all that shows is that Allen was at Lake Berryessa that day, not that he was the Zodiac. Conversely, if there isn't a match, again, big deal. There's no way of knowing if the man the girls saw was the Zodiac.

Also, "Gather together all of the physical evidence that exists in this case and subject all of it to today's advanced forensic techniques. Not just some of it - all of it. DNA, advanced fingerprint development and identification techniques, trace evidence analysis, etc."

Again, what DNA? Also, the physical evidence that exists has been thoroughly examined, and none of the fingerprints have enough points of comparison to try and match it to a suspect's. That was true 32 years ago and it's still true today. Also, even if there were enough points of comparison from the prints to do an exhaustive examination, there's still no evidence that any of the prints belonged to the Zodiac. Therefore, if one were to compare the prints to every major suspect in the case and the results were a no match, what has been proven? Absolutely nothing; not if we don't know if the prints even belonged to the Zodiac.

Just some thoughts.


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (81.philadelphia06rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 03:30 am:

I don't whether correcting blunders would have made any difference in the case, but the one aspect of contemporary life that would have made the Zodiac case easier to solve is a national media capable of disseminating information to the entire country in a short period of time. If reproductions of the letters, details of the crimes, composites, descriptions, etc., had been made publicly and nationally available there's a good chance someone would have recognized something familiar.

By Scott_CT (Scott_Ct) (pcp01265120pcs.danbry01.ct.comcast.net - on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 12:02 pm:

(laughing) - good point, Ryan - you definitely got me there. I missd that post from Tom and didn't know that Kathleen Johns died this Spring. Even further illustrates the need to try and re-interview all of the living witnesses (perhaps using hypnosis) before it's too late.

Where can I find out more about the Z tape that Balidini said he heard? I did a keyword search here on Baldini but there wasn't much info related to the tape recording on the message boards. I'll search other areas of the site now.



By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) (d150-160-190.home.cgocable.net - on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 02:24 pm:

Scott_CT, its Baldino, not Baldini. On Tom's tape, there is Geraldo Rivera's Now It Can Be Told segment and Baldino briefly talks about hearing it and then it disappeared. Not much more is known about it.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldeps.dialup.mindspring.com - on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 03:33 pm:

Unfortunately, Foukes and Zelms are dead. I think Foukes' widow lives down here near me. It might be interesting to talk to her and find out if her husband ever confided to her that he possibly talked to Z. SFPD claims it never happened.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc1e720.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 08:49 pm:

Ray: are you certain that Foukes is dead? I've heard it said before, but there's been nothing to back up that claim, like a death certificate, obituary, etc.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldfmk.dialup.mindspring.com - on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 03:22 pm:


Neither have I, however, I'd be happy to lay some work on this. How much information do you have on him, full name, dob, anything like that?


By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc38aeb.ipt.aol.com - on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 11:12 pm:

Unfortunately, Ray, I have next to nothing on Foukes at all. I had expected him to show up in Polk's in the late 60's/early 70's, but he's not listed (but I did find Dave Toschi, however). Maybe he lived outside of SF, I don't know.

By Scott_CT (Scott_Ct) (pcp01265120pcs.danbry01.ct.comcast.net - on Sunday, July 21, 2002 - 05:33 am:

Ryan: - Just received Tom's video in the mail and watched it yesterday. I saw the snippet where Baldino mentioned hearing the tape. Is the tape mentioned in any of the official police records on the Z case? I agree with you that if the tape did indeed exist and then was somehow lost, that would be a huge blunder.

I find it interesting that there seems to be so little information about this "key" piece of evidence.

To those of you that have come to know the various investigators and other policemen involved in this case - do you think Steve Baldino is a credible source? In other words, do you accept his word that a tape did indeed exist?


By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) (d150-160-190.home.cgocable.net - on Sunday, July 21, 2002 - 09:37 am:

Scott_CT, I don't know if it has been mentioned in any of the reports.

By John Prisk (Prisk29) (dsc04.lbv-ca-3-123.rasserver.net - on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 01:31 am:

Ed N,
This may sound really uninformed, but what is Polk's?

By Sandy (Sandy) (ppp-64-175-141-248.dialup.wnck11.pacbell.net - on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 04:17 pm:

John it is a city directory ,found at most library's. They go many years back, that was one way Ed found Kane had changed his name to L.C. Cave in S.F. It is also called a reverse city directory,it will give you what kind of work the person you are looking up, had.(if they had a job)Kane was "retired" most of the time just killing time. Going from town to town, looking for something to do,or someone to do-in.He must have been too busy to come to the 4th of July meeting at B.R.S., he was invited!

By Sandy (Sandy) (ppp-64-175-141-248.dialup.wnck11.pacbell.net - on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 04:47 pm:

Kendra, I was told that Foukes spoke to Harvey Hines in the mid 90's. When he was shown the Kane arrest picture from San Mateo,Ca. 1968, he said: he looked the most like the man he had seen in 69,but it had been too many year's to make a positive ID of him. From what I gleaned out of that meeting,I would say Foukes would do what ever he could to help solve this case. I believe if he had died, The S.F.Chron.would have done another Z story,telling about the encounter Foukes and his partner had with Z.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) (12-234-233-242.client.attbi.com - on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 07:05 pm:

Personally, I think Foukes meant to say "Irish"..
in Tom's Z video, I believe that someone also describes Z as having "reddish" hair.
I guess from this we can assume that Foukes was lousy at geography. Generally speaking, Irish characteristics are reddish hair, a pale complexion, and freckles. (My brother's wife is 100% Irish, and looks it.)
I'd be interested to see if "Welsh" was the term in Foukes' report or if he was maybe misquoted or mispoke or was it written down as Irish and contrived as Welsh? I guess I'll re-watch the video and concentrate on Z descriptives. If I am not mistaken, Foukes is on the Z video. Time to re-watch.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acbfadcf.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 08:20 pm:

If this hasn't been mentioned before: how about Armstrong and Toschi apparently not bothering to question Foukes and Zelms about their possible Z encounter, but also the police artist apparently not bothering to interview them regarding the composite he made? Talk about Blunders with a capital "B"!!!!

By John Prisk (Prisk29) (dsc04.lbv-ca-2-84.rasserver.net - on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 10:59 pm:

Thanks Sandy. Cool deal...

By Kendra (Kendra) (pluto.cds1.net - on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 12:20 am:

Sandy-Thanks for the info. I had no idea that Foukes was shown any photographs of any suspect. Too bad it was 20+ years after the fact.

I don't think Foukes has died, has anyone found anything on this yet?

By Kendra (Kendra) (pluto.cds1.net - on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 12:37 am:

Ed-There could be a slight possibility that Armstrong and Toschi did interview Foukes and Zelms and just never made the information public. They are all employed with the SFPD, and SFPD has denied that the two patrolmen ever made contact with Z that gloomy night, due to embarrassment issues. So I wouldn't be surprised if F & Zelms were questioned and the info kept "inside"

Ed again-I agree, no interview with F & Zelms regarding composite? BBBBBBBLUNDER

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 01:16 am:

In Zodiac Unmasked, Inspector Toschi (retired) reminisces about how broken up Foukes was regarding the blunder.

Now that I think about it, Foukes and Zelms simply must have spoken with Toschi and Armstrong.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc32fbc.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 01:58 am:

They probably did, but I don't recall it being explicitly stated ("Foukes and Zelms sat down with Armstrong and Toschi for over an hour and went over their encounter with the Zodiac in minute detail, point by point..."). However, in Zodiac, p. 107, we are told that a memo was sent to homicide. In Zodiac Unmasked, p. 22, we are given the complete memo that Foukes wrote on 11-12-1969, and Toschi is then quoted as saying he spoke with Foukes (one must wonder why RG didn't quote from the text of the memo 16 years ago in his first book).

But then, we are told by RG in an interview last year that Foukes saw Z turn into a private residence on Jackson Street, while Foukes' memo states that he saw Z turn north on Maple and head towards the Presidio. What really happened? Maybe they did speak with Armstrong and Toschi, but we're not even sure if they really spoke with Z or not that night. What it comes down to is, if they didn't interview the patrolmen, then it was a blunder.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (coral.tci.com - on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 02:54 am:

As Sandy pointed out, I'm also under the impression that Hines showed Foukes a picture of Kane some 20 years after the fact. However, as is the case with anything having to do with Hines, the way in which he approached Foukes was very biased. Apparently, all that Harvey did was show Foukes numerous pictures of Kane taken at various different times and locations. Then Foukes pointed to one of the pictures of Kane and said, "Yep, that's him."

Sorry folks, I hate to say it, but Hines is an idiot, pure and simple.


By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tc054.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 07:31 am:

Considering that the first SFPD composite was revised, can't we safely assume that either one of two things happened? Either one/all of the teens remembered some detail and took it upon themselves to let Toschi and Armstrong know about it, or it was revised because of Foukes and Zelms; the latter being the most likely of the two scenarios, in my opinion.

Also, Toschi never much cared for the SFPD composite to begin with, from my understanding. I think he was too smart of a cop to allow his investigation to hinge on some artist's rendering of what someone else saw, know what I mean? Essentially, to some extent, composites are a form of hearsay; especially in a case like this where the margins of error are pretty large in every direction.

Finally, it is time for me to release my own "Z Blunder": Det. Lynch's interview of Arthur Leigh Allen on October 6th, 1969. If he'd pursued the interview with a little more vigor and open-mindedness to possibilities, it's very possible that this case would have been solved 33 years ago and Paul Stine could still be alive. I don't mean Mr. Lynch any disrespect, but let's face it, if Allen turns out to be the Zodiac, then Lynch's initial interview of him, by far, has to be the biggest blunder of the case.


By Kendra (Kendra) (pluto.cds1.net - on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 04:25 pm:

I believe that F & Zelms did at least pass Z, if not talked to him. They were so close to the scene (at Cherry and Jackson, according to RG) and responded within minutes. I don't think Z would have had enough time to escape within that amount of time. Two things on Z's side: 1, broadcast for suspect BM, and 2, at this point no one had suspected it to be a Z crime. The police thought that is was a random cabbie mugging at first. Also, Z wrote that he had passed them (p.s. 2 cops pulled a goof abot 3 min after I left the cab). For him to write that and from the close proximity of F & Zelms, again, I believe that they did encounter Z.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldeuh.dialup.mindspring.com - on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 05:09 pm:


That's pretty strong language, but you certainly come down on the right side of the fence with respect to Hines as an investigator. The guy didn't reason very well with respect to his investigation of the disappearance of Donna Lass. Here we have a picture of a Lake Tahoe resort. Well, ok, I suppose that needs to be looked at. However, the emphasis of the card seems to be not on the resort but on the trees and the edge of the card. There's no compelling reason to think that Z was telling the police where to go dig up a body. It should have been well apparent that is not a Z MO. But, lo and behold, there just happened to be a missing girl in Lake Tahoe. There are missing people from all over America at any given time. But Lass just had to be a Z vic. Why? Because she was abducted/missing. And her abductor had to be Zodiac. Why? Because she was from Lake Tahoe. So he goes up there and looks in the woods and finds patterns of rocks. OK. These had to be semiphore code symbols. Why? Because they were cross, circle, square? Her body must have been buried there. Why? Because what else do rocks on the ground mean? And Kane had to be the Z. Why because he was born in 1924 and everyone from up there though he was kind of weird.

Then we add his photo lineup technique, and voila! Another hack with an agenda.


By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-32.linkline.com - on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 08:21 pm:

I think you are correct(do I get some of your baked goodies-anything whole grain?).One of the reasons I say this is that second 'amended' composite could be one indication the officers did speak to Z just as he boldly wrote.
Interestingly,it was the amended drawing that Kathleen Johns told me looked more like the man who abducted her.That is what she told SGT McNutt when he asked her.FYI
To refine the first composite and create a second one derived from the three teen witnesses'observation is a possible indication the two officers,especially Zelms- he was on the passenger side with the window down,I assume,did see Zodiac fairly close up in order to briefly question him to see if he saw anyone suspicious in the area(as per Z).
I say it would be Zelms that got the best view of Zodiac because Foukes ,being senior officer, was driving and along with the stress(affects eyesight as it restricts balance of the ocular oblique and recti muscles)he was under didn't have the clarity Zelms did.
We need Zelms' report,if there is one.I would say he must have done his own report of the incident.
The fact that F broke down in Toschis presence indicates he must have least passed Z.
In Fs report he says that "I do not know if he[Zelms]observed this subject or not."!This shows me he probably lied(nothing new!)in saying "This subject[Zodiac]was not stopped."Supposedly BOTH officers were 'devastated' in learning they encountered Zodiac and failed to apprehend him.
I think, as GS indicates, F was afraid of a reprimand-or worse,so he softened the report to say he "observed" the suspect,but did NOT stop him because the "description was that of a Negro male."Was he covering for Zelms for some reason?Were they protecting each other?Was he influenced by someone higher up to amend his account?
It is impossible that F did "not know' if his partner or Zelms,saw the subject or not!It is impossible for me to accept this.It shows deception.The report is tainted.
Detective Bawart said Foukes certainly did NOT want talk about his encounter that fateful night and that it was a 'low point in his career.'
I have posted on the shadows cast by the trees and the foggy evening,etc. restricting a full clear view of Z.We know Z did state "I look like the description passed out."
Ray,our excellent poster,has a good idea in contacting Zelms' widow.She may even have his reports!

By Kendra (Kendra) (pluto.cds1.net - on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 09:42 pm:

Howard, of course you can get some of my baked goodies! I'll send them to you when I send you the hood! Yes, I agree with you. I suspect that F & Zelms SPOKE with Z, but that, of course, cannot be corraborated. If they WERE at Cherry and Jackson (as RG states...)when they got the call about a BM suspect, then I see no reason why they wouldn't question ANYONE seen in the vicinity if they'd seen anything suspicious.

How about pumpernickel? I'll definately try my hand at whole wheat, too...

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 - 12:47 am:

Scott, you are right: Hines IS an idiot. He's a criminal, too. (He called me a couple years ago and threatened me. Why? Good question...)

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-28.linkline.com - on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 - 12:52 am:

I have read the statement you made and it has been made by others i.e.that it would be reasonable and professional to question -in person-anyone seen in the vicinity, that night,and I agree with it,but it really came home to me for some reason that it would be their duty and something they were trained to do,that is, to question,rapidly,that ztranger walking down the street.
There was no BMA seen anywhere ,so it would be logical for them to do a fast run by and ask the WMA if he had seen anyone acting abnormally(like half of S.F.ers!)in the area.
I still think Z had the advantage and could have easily shot both of them if they would have pulled over and showed any interest in detaining him.Toschi told the distraught Fouks this very thing.
There are several examples of two officers pulling someone over and that person quickly shooting both of them.Some have thought Z was a coward and that he wouldn't have shot the officers!
I believe Zodiac believed his statement when he wrote there was 'more glory in shooting a cop than a kid'!No doubt in my mind that they were easy targets that night-even a "coward" would have taken advantage of the situation if he had to.
Now,about those whole wheat rolls you are going to send...

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 - 02:11 pm:

One of the greatest blunders is the fact that valuable Zodiac letters and files,etc.,have vanished because of poor PD security.This is gross deligence of duty and lacks professionalism and this includes the crooked personnel that stole them for their own self centered purposes.It is an outrage.

By Tony (Mahalo) (hnllhi1-ar1-4-65-052-129.hnllhi1.dsl-verizon.net - on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 - 03:58 pm:

I'm pretty sure Toschi & Armstrong grilled Foukes & Zelms about who they saw that night. Kinda makes you wonder why they stayed so hot on Allen.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 - 04:02 pm:

The Welshman issue was discussed and I found it was just a figure of speech to depict someone that was of a English/Irish/Welsh background,etc.See posts on Welsh/man.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) (12-234-233-242.client.attbi.com - on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 09:50 pm:

Thanks Howard..
I was attempting to infer that since Foukes was a cop, and most cops are trained to "look at subjects with scrutiny"..this could be the most useful description of Z that we have. Unfortunately, we have either a slur by Foukes or a mistatement, my point was that Z, according to Foukes, had a distinct look unto himself and this could be a key in what Z really looked like.
I also know that street lights at night can mess with actual hair colors etc., but I am sure, (because the Pacific Heights area in SF can be pretty dark) that at some point, Foukes and Zelms had to shine a flash or car light on Z, then once realizing he wasn't Negro, move on.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-85.linkline.com - on Friday, July 26, 2002 - 11:36 pm:

Remember,we are dealing with a man that firmly says he wore a "disguise'(and that he won't tell 'what it consists of'),which can mean latex proping,thick black prop glasses,wig(dyed/tinted?)or hair drawn back and tucked in collar,chest padding as suggested by 60s anti detection publications,heel lifts(sure would give you a "shuffling lope"-place wedges in your boots/shoes and watch yer self lope like a gazelle!I rememeber one writer saying to disguise ones walk by 'limping' so that if you are ever looked at by the authorities and you didn't have a 'limp like stride' it would move you furthur out of the picture of suspicion.He included 'chest/body stuffing', so as to confuse witnesses if you were lined up.These guys had great imaginations!
Do we really have enough hard evidence what Zodiac really looked like?If he was wearing a disguise-what did he look like WITHOUT it?Questions that cannot be answered with finality.
It would be intersting to have an anatomical artist do a computer analysis starting from the second composite and see what he/she would get.I had such an artist do transparencies of my guy and the Z amended composite for purposes of bone/skull/tissue structures,etc.comparison,but this would pale in comparison to solid creative computer analysis.
The flat cardboard like Z 60s style Zodiac face representation needs a three dimensional depiction for better scrutiny.And Yes,lighting/tree shadows,angle of sight by the witnesses and that it was evening with fog and so on would have to be taken into account in doing this work.Several such Z faces could then be observed,but which one would be Zodiacs actual face?Clay/skull work could be included.
The "Welshman' remark was not a slur,but was/is used by some of the old school of racial description to refer to the nationalities I listed.It eliminates Arabic,Latin,Greecian,African and so forth.

By Tony (Mahalo) (hnllhi1-ar1-4-65-055-104.hnllhi1.dsl-verizon.net - on Saturday, July 27, 2002 - 01:05 am:

Are there reports it was actually foggy the night of 10/11/69? Usually a pretty nice time of year in the City by the Bay.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) (12-234-233-242.client.attbi.com - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 04:13 am:

Looking at Tom's photo's of the crime scene that night Tony, it looks clear, but could have been foggy, in some parts of SF, the fog doesn't hang low to the ground..however it sometimes hovers and obsures moon and star light. October and November are quite nice months for SF. Didn't
Mark Twain say..the coldest winter he ever experienced was the summer in San Francisco?...

By Tony (Mahalo) (hnllhi1-ar1-4-65-062-022.hnllhi1.dsl-verizon.net - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 05:57 am:

Gregusay; Yes, I've worn my thermals to many S.F. Giant games. Samual Clemens was right on the 'Mark'. In Sept., Oct. however, the stands are full of people in shorts & T- Shirts.

By J Eric (J_Eric) (dialup- - on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 09:30 pm:

"Blundered" into this thread a bit late, but would like to add: anyone ever try for fingerprints on Kathleen John's burned out car? Someone had to put the tire back on. Usually tires are last to burn in a car fire. Also, did anyone walk the distance between where KJ said her car was disabled on 132 and where it was found? Might have been a few lug nuts, strands of rope, etc. along the way, as I doubt the perp would have done a real careful job of putting the wheel back on.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc4c1a2.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 11:03 pm:

After visiting the scene of the crime many times, I'm not so sure that she actually pulled over at the Chrisman Road offramp by the Arco, and that Z returned, replaced the tire and drove it 2+ miles east to Bird Road to burn it. She said she pulled over by I-5 (Zodiac, p. 135), and, if so, she could not have been at Chrisman Road, which is 3 miles west of I-5 at I-580. Therefore, she must have pulled over at Bird Road, and the very first thing with lights they would have seen a couple of minutes after leaving her car would have been the Arco. Bearing in mind that she described her abductor's car in contradictory terms as being both "a late-model two-door" (p. 138) and "It wasn't as new as a '68. It was junky" (p. 135), she might have considered that 2+ miles was "by the ARCO station" (p. 140), when in fact it wasn't.

By Tom Stout (Tom_Stout) (dialup- - on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 08:02 am:

Good work Ed!
I have investigated hunderds of car torchings in my day as a claims examiner. Because that car was torched, it opens the door for me to offer my opinion as a professional as opposed to an amateur.
Her story is most likely a hoax.
It may have been at great sacrafice, but that's also very common.
C'mon! Zodiac wasn't THAT stupid!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 11:13 am:

The premise for this thread was not to discuss blunders on Zodiac's behalf, but on the part of law enforcement investigating the cases.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (cache-dh03.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 11:11 pm:

Then change the header. It reads: "Zodiac Blunders."

By J Eric (J_Eric) (dialup- - on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 12:30 am:

Whether or not a hoax would depend if burned-up car had 3, or 4, tires on. Why (and how) would KJ get from her old car to the side of the Freeway some distance away? And why would Z take credit for this crime? In my opinion, both Z and law enforcement made the blunders in this one. One possible explanation: when Z went back to KJ car to get the keys (KJ then being in the Z car), Z left some sort of small incendiary device inside the KJ car to start the fire. He would not have had to return. Did sheriff ever determine exact source of the fire?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 03:07 pm:

I wrote:
"The premise for this thread was not to discuss blunders on Zodiac's behalf, but on the part of law enforcement investigating the cases."

Alan wrote:
"Then change the header. It reads: "Zodiac Blunders.""

Alan, thanks for your generous help. However, I'm quite aware of the title of this thread. After all, I started it.

Here's a question for you: Do you formulate opinions about a book by merely reading its title? I hope not. If so, you're an idiot.

Once again, for the third time, here is what we are discussing in this thread:

The Napa County Sheriff's Department would have been wise to immediately search the shoreline of Lake Berryessa on 9-28-69 in the area where the "strange man" had been seen spying on female sunbathers.

(I have no record of this happening, and have talked to several investigators who don't recall it being part of the investigation.)

Had this search been performed, investigators might very well have determined if the shoes worn by the stranger were size 10.5 Wing Walkers...thus giving us several more witnesses/descriptions.

I'm not knocking the NCSD, as they were the premiere Zodiac investigators of the jurisdictions initially involved, and I guess there is a chance this search was performed and left from the official report.

Any other examples of an important, case-related detail being overlooked?