Good Eyewitnesses? Bad Eyewitnesses! Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: Good Eyewitnesses? Bad Eyewitnesses!

By Tom Voigt (Admin) ( - on Sunday, August 04, 2002 - 12:41 pm:

In another thread Sylvie wrote:
"I believe the teens at PH saw what they said they saw. Period."

Sylvie, I suggest you actually visit Presidio Heights under similar lighting and weather conditions before you etch any opinion in stone. If you do visit the scene, you will find that it's virtually impossible to see distinct facial features from the distance the witnesses were from the cab...even without any fog.

Based on the description given to the police by the teenagers they could have seen any white-male adult with short hair, wearing glasses, not obviously tall or short and with no facial hair. However, here's something new to consider:

The Presidio Heights witnesses were having a party. They were teenagers. It was the late 1960s. When I was a teenager at a party, by the hour of the murder I wouldn't have necessarily been in prime condition to turn into Sherlock Holmes with Bruce Lee Vision.

(Oops, I forgot; rich kids don't drink or smoke!)

Regardless of their state of intoxication, if any, the description from the witnesses is only good for generalities. White. Male. Glasses. Short hair. Just because a police artist filled in the gaps doesn't mean the Zodiac looked just like the drawing.

At Blue Rock Springs, surviving victim Mike Mageau wouldn't have even seen the Zodiac until after the violence started. Oh, now there's a trusty eyewitness. Bullets are flying in the dark, yet we are supposed to believe that a terrified Mageau was able to determine the Zodiac was precisely 5'8"? Gimme a break.

At Lake Berryessa, the Zodiac was in costume. Enough said about that.

The descriptions could fit Allen, Kane, Kaczynski or Davis. Or virtually anyone else.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 10:33 am:

"If you do visit the scene [PH], you will find that it's virtually impossible to see distinct facial features from the distance the witnesses were from the cab...even without any fog."

I guarantee that it is impossible to determine any specifics, such as pitosis, for example. The last time I was at Presidio Heights was with Kendra, Roger, Ed N., Tony, and a couple of other people who aren't members of the message board. Ed N. stood roughly where the Zodiac would have been, and the rest of us stood on the sidewalk in front of the residence where the teenagers were. Ed quickly debunked the "pitosis myth" by opening his eyes for a time then closing them completely. Not a single one of us could tell when they were opened and when they were closed. Therefore, in Tom's statement I quoted above, I'm not only in 100% agreement, but I think the word "virtually" can be dropped entirely and without reservation.


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 05:31 pm:

Then you are calling the teenagers liars.
They hardly did this for publicity. And there was more than one. What - a collective hallucination?
Why would they not just say "forget a composite, we could not see a friggin thing."???

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 05:41 pm:

Oh sure, Sylvie...I'm calling them liars. Duh. Way to get the point.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 06:18 pm:

Call it a form of group hysteria, Sylvie. Teenagers do it all the time.

By John Prisk (Prisk29) ( - on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 01:49 am:

Not taking one side or the other, how is it that the revised composite looks so similar to the teens? Does that not seem to indicate the kids could see him at least a little? Ideas?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 01:56 am:

John, you are right: the teens did see him just a little. That's my point. The distance didn't allow more than a general description.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 03:49 am:

The composite was revised to reflect Foukes' internal memo, which had the Zodiac looking older and the crewcut description changed to read "short brown hair." There are no specifics in either composite, only generalizations.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 11:17 am:

How wide is a Yellow cab?Zodiac went around the cab on the left side and was IN the STREET ON the LEFT so this gave the teens a closer view which the SFPD reports says was "unobstructed."They were up looking down,not on the grounds in front of the house.The report seems to favor their line o' sight by using the the word "unobstructed".There was a FULL moon that night too!There is more light at night.This is another reason Johns had such a clear view of the driver-it was a full moon.Then,when he was finished wiping the left side of the cab and as he was in the street,he stopped and looked up directly at the teens and stared at them.Some think Z mentions 'kiddies make good targets' was an indirect threat to the teens.I think this is when they got the best view of his face.
Either way,Foukes'/Zelms'(?)view and related composite does not differ that much from the teen view.Compare them.
Sorry,but a teenagers eyesight,according to universal research(due to high amounts of HGH causing the oblique and recti muscles that cause eye orbit focus to be sharp and clear-this drops after age 25-30 in the general population-you old dudes/dudettes don't count!)is not only extraordinarily clear for distance viewing,but night accomodation vision is excellent.
For the the Johns /Zodiac advocates,of which I am one,she told me that when she 'glanced up' at the composite at the police station,the amended version looked like the perp who abducted her.The first view did too,but the second version seemed to be closer.SGT.MC Natt even said this in his report.
Zodiac said the the composite 'looked like him ONLY when he murdered, but that normally(if I can use that word to describe anything about Z!)he appeared entirely different.'
There are many cases where a witness saw a suspect at the PH distance and a composite was drawn and when the perp was apprehended he looked like the composite.This is at night too.Let's not make this harder than it is.
I am bringing out the 'other side' as this is what the Zoard is all about .
The Zodiac Vortex site is interesting as the suspects are morphed'from the composite and different disguises are depicted.
This will remain a topic of hot debate.Big deal -the WHOLE case is!

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 03:10 pm:

Also,in looking at a picture of Stines very wide cab,the rear area was away from the curb by about three feet!This moves the car even closer in the street to our three witnesses.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 03:47 pm:

Howard: Those are some good observations: full moon, eye contact, closer cab, superior teen eyesight at night and the matching "second opinion" of the cops. I also would include the significance of pointing out that the killer had a reddish tint to his hair. Also, at LB, the observation that a wig is unlikely to be greased through, suggesting it was the killers real hair. These things don't necessarily seperate Kaczynski and Davis, but, in my opinion, make it hard to place Allen at the scene(s).

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 09:50 pm:

Speaking of "superior teen eyesight"we know that they have a high amount of visual purple in the eyes thus giving them "superior"NIGHT vision.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 - 12:40 am:

"These things don't necessarily seperate Kaczynski and Davis, but, in my opinion, make it hard to place Allen at the scene(s)."

Personally, I think the "teens have better eyesight" argument is pretty weak. I've seen plenty of teens that are in need of eyeglasses and/or contacts. Saying that the teens had good and/or superior eyesight at Presidio Heights is purely speculative. What is actually known about the eyesight of the 3 teens? Also, keep in mind that, despite there being a full moon that night, the scene was blanketed in fog.

As for Lake Berryessa, keep in mind that Allen was not bald; he wore his hair combed back. If his hair had fallen forward onto his forehead, this could easily be what Hartnell saw and described. Also, when you take into consideration Hartnell's descriptions regarding the Zodiac's size, weight, and height, I don't see how Davis or TK fit into the scenario. Also, where is the proof that, of the 3 suspects mentioned, anyone but Allen was familiar with Lake Berryessa? As for TK, where is the proof that he wasn't in the Midwest with his brother on 9/27/69?

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 - 03:43 pm:

You set a 'standard' too and one that BH never set.BH started at 5'8" and a beginning weight ESTIMATE was at 200lbs.He set no fixed height/weight,etc.He constantly says "I don't know"in the reports.
I don't know how much hair Allen had then and even why he would comb it forward when a large hood covered the perps head!
I stay away from other peoples suspects as it is their right-due to their better informed opinions on these kinds of matters.I am relating what BH said he saw.
The above observatons on PH are based on ALL the indications,including the officers description.If Z was 'stopped" by the two officers as Z says, then they both had a good view-fog or no fog.I did not base my assumptions(and that's what all of us have!) on just the three teens.Even if the teens were ALL wearing glasses we have CORRECTED vision then!And that natural good night vision too.
I was with Ed at PH in December and there was fog.I was across the street and could see him clearly and I am slightly myopic.Let's not make this harder than it is champ!
"I look like the description passed out only when I do my thing,the rest of the time I look entirely different."Now,that does make it hard-because if Z was in "disguise" then all debating on his subject is imprecise and basically fruitless.
Of course,KJ told me that the Z poster amended version looked liked the man who abducted her.This is only for those that hold she could have been a Z victim,just as Z claimed she was.
I can see if ones fav' suspect doesn't look like the composite then there would be a natural prejudice against its accuracy.

By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 - 04:51 pm:

Maybe hastely putting on a hood of that size moved what little hair Allen had foward. Looking "entirely different" the rest of the time is a key as Howard & I occasionally like to point out. Was Z lying about this or telling the truth. Thats the $64,000 question. When I was a kid, every 3rd WMA I saw fit the composite. The only people who resembled ALA were Hoss Cartwright & Curly Howard of The Three Stooges. Thats one reason of the many that I'm still hot on Allen. The ablity to to change his looks so drastically.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 - 10:36 pm:

Also,BH said that the perp was "possibly 20-30 years by voice[which was a "drawl" or an accent] concept."Offcer Slaight said the caller from the Napa carwash was "...young sounding ,possibly early twenties." Mageau said the shooter was"young".
In another interview BH said the perp was "...medium to short in height...";he starts at 5'8"-the same as Mageau-who said he was "short (or 5'8")- and the teens with their 5'8"estimate.
All of this and the above shows that it is hopeless in trying to maintain that BH set the height/weight/age,etc.,of the attacker at LB.
He did not waver on hair color/costume(with the exception of gloves/shoes/boots)and weapons and the general conversation with details like "he would kind of shift around ,he acted like a very nervous person..."
I think that we have pretty much exhausted BHs accounts.All I can say is that a good lawyer could really give BH a hard time on the witness stand.I know I could not accept his statements as gospel and I would have serious doubts.It's not his fault-it's just how he remembered that terrible incident-and without a measuring tape and scales!It's human inability to always accurately estimate such things as height/weight/age,facial features,etc.Tests have shown the reality of this sad fact also.
I put together ,in my mind, all of the witness accounts I have read about of suspects in the past and many were close or far off the mark.We need hard evidence here.
As far as Allens hair goes all we have are photos and those could tell us just how bald he was in 1969.That would be debated too-like everything else!
Getting someone to 'believe' in a certain suspect proves and does nothing for a firm or solid solution of the case.This is not evangelism.
Each person is responsible for their own suspect and I fully support anyone(regardless of who their suspect is)that is trying to solve this horrendous case,God bless them!

By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 - 04:13 am:

And also Howard, the Welsh anscetory remark by Foukes & Zelms. Was this guy using different accents as part of his disguise?

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 - 10:07 pm:

We have discussed the Welsh remark made by Foukes.Please see posts.It was just a little used figure of speech to depict someone who was English and/or/Scottish/Irish and of course,Welsh,or those of Celtic ancestry.
It would seem from BHs account that the perp was attempting to disguise his speech.
BH said it was kind of a "drawl."In the dictionary a drawl is when someone speaks"slowly with vowels greatly utter in a slow lengthened tone."BH said that the voice wasn't 'to high or low pitched.'The perp had a 'certain manner of speaking.' It was a 'calm voice or a monotone ,just like KJ described to me."It was like a students" voice BH related to GS.When I first read this depiction of the hooded mans voice(and that of KJ)I immediately thought of those in Scientology and the Process(see posts)and the classes they take to accentuate their voice or speak in a monotone.This is to assist in controlling and clearing emotions,temperment,etc.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 - 10:45 pm:

I went back to PH this past weekend and took a couple of photos and re-traced where Zodiac may have been seen last. He had a clear shot to Pacific from Cherry street, but made a right on Jackson and "appeared" to turn right into a residence. So I have to assume when Foukes and Zelms rolled up on him (from Arguello) he was on the right hand side of Jackson. So whoever was the passenger got the best look at Z. The description offered a "reddish" tint to his hair..(hair dye?) but again I assume that Foukes implied an Irish/Welsh appearance.
Two things of note..
Washington @ Cherry streets is maybe a maximum
of 35 feet across. I took the pic from the curb right in front of 3899 Washington, and I am right up on the murder scene. The teens window behind and above me was approx. another 20-25 ft. away.
Also to my immediate left is a streetlight pole
that could have or could have not been there in 1969, but if it was, the area should have been well lit.
Either way, I hope this pic helps..If Tom wants I have other pics of the area and can e-mail to him to see if he'd want to link them to this website.
Since I am now an official Zodiac freak, I'd even be willing to take a pic..(no flash) on 10/11/2002 around 10:00pm to give more of an idea of what the area was like.
Here's the link to the pic i took..

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Thursday, August 15, 2002 - 12:57 am:

I was on a roll, so for the benefit of non-bay areans or people who haven't seen the Stine crime scene personally..I did a quick labeling of an aerial photo of the Presidio Heights crime area as well
here's the link to that photo.

By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Thursday, August 15, 2002 - 06:29 pm:

Gregusjay: Thanks. Great photos. I've been to that crime seen several times & the perspective you show tells a lot. Those kid's got a pretty good look. On the ariel shot you traced possible routes on, I think he went straight into the park. He would've been had if he stayed on the streets.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Thursday, August 15, 2002 - 08:18 pm:

I think you're right Tony, for some reason (I believe I read it somewhere) I mistakenly believed Foukes and Zelms arrived on the crime scene from Arguello, but today, after watching Tom's video, and listening intently to Foukes description of what happened, I have to guess they drove to the corner of Washington and Cherry then proceeded north on Cherry, spotted Z, looked him over, then turned left and "proceeded on Jackson street towards Arguello". When they got to Arguello, the call came on the radio for a white male adult. Foukes then states that they then went back to search on West Pacific st, on the opposite side of the retaining wall and the "last direction where we saw the suspect going."
It is a straight shot into the Presidio woods from North Cherry St. Z must have hauled ass into the woods after crossing West Pacific. The arrows show Foukes and Zelms possible route. The X, the approximate point where they could have seen Z.
And of course the straight line is Z's escape to the Presidio and freedom.."never to have been seen again"...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 12:35 am:

Good work!We must subtract the teens' distance FROM the left side of the cab (where Z was and the fact he STOPPED and looked up at the teens and stared at them)which was a very wide vehicle and it was parked about three feet FROM the curb.
From what I can find I have to agree with GS,that this affluent area was "well -lit"(plus a full moon).
I am trying to get street light placements from S.F.When I get this information-unless you get tit first- I will post it.
It is good of you to share your research with us.

By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 03:52 am:

Thanks for the aerial Gregusjay. I wonder if he really hung out, hiding in park,(Please...Zodiac lie??) but most probably had a vehicle on West Pacific waiting for his well planned atrocity.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 07:37 pm:

Gregusjay, those pictures were great! I await you or Howard finding out about streetlight placement on the night of the murder. As for the moon, unless I have the date and time wrong, the Moon would not have been up, as it would not rise before about 7 a.m.! I checked this out on 2 different PC astronomy programs and both agree to withing an hour.
For the record, if there was a streetlight at the intersection or even in the block nearby I think the teenaged eyewitnesses gave a reliable description. With my main hobby of astronomy, I have several times been amazed at what a teenagers' young eyes could see!
From my reading, the only reason there is 'serious question' as to the eyewitness reliability on the board is that the sketch doesn't look like so many people's favorite suspect! If the sketch looked even partly like Allen, you can bet we would read so many laudatory comments and testimonials as to the reliability of these brave teenagers' eyesight that our eyesight would fail from reading them!

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 03:40 pm:

You know if it were not for the Stine murder, I would most certainly entertain Allen as The Zodiac. I honestly believe the EYEWITNESSES destroy the Allen as Z theory. This pesky problem that men have, i.e. a balding head, is just one major issue that takes it off Allen.
Tom, how can you dismiss BD as Z due to hair and include Allen? They both would have to have been wearing a wig. And of the 2 I would have to lean on the side of BD since an assortment of wigs were found in Manson Family belongings, but none chez Allen.
Folks, take a look at Allen in 1968. We are talking about peach fuzz on the top of his head, by the end of the next year, it would have to have been worse.
Now maybe the teens could not see that pimple on his face or how many cavities he had, but one thing that everyone notices is hair, and that would have been easy to see.
I have very long hair and when anyone descibes me whether they know me well or not, first thing they say is "long beautiful hair" (sorry to brag).
As a female speaking, let me tell you if there was even one girl in the group of teens, she noticed his hair. Especially since 99 out of 100 females hate a receding hairline. (We lie to you guys.)
It's just the way it is.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 03:48 pm:

Regarding Allen's hair, not one of his friends/acquaintances/co-workers that I've encountered has ever mentioned the word "bald" when describing his late-1960s appearance.

Again, with the Stine murder we are talking about witnesses who had a view not one detective has put faith in.

It's just the way it is.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 05:46 pm:

Technically I'm not bald either. I just have a big spot about the size of a tennis ball with no hair on the very crown of my head.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 05:51 pm:

Doug, if someone didn't see you from a perspective that showed your bare scalp they probably would describe you as having a full head of hair. Which you apparently don't have.

The point is this: from 60-feet away, at night, nobody is in a position to conclusively tell the difference between a crew-cut man and a balding man with short hair.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 01:07 am:

I beg to differ.
Noone said Allen was bald, just in possesion of a rapidly reclining hairline.
Put it this way: there is a continuim of 5 men.
1- Kojak 2-White House spokeman Ari Fleischer
3- Drew Carey 4-Mel Gibson 5- comedien Carrot Top.
Okay, I put 1969 Allen at #2.
I place PH Z composite between #3 and #4.
Now from 60 ft at night a healthy teenage girl can definitely tell the difference. Yes even if it was foggy.
Therefore if you really want to place Allen at the scene that night, I'd stick with the wig theory.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 02:39 am:

I have a photo (which I borrowed) which clearly
shows the lamp post across from the kill site..
As you can see from the photo, this street is narrow. I know that at 75 feet,(curb to curb) Van Ness Ave is the widest street in San Francisco.
Washington at Cherry can be no greater than 35 feet. If Z was on the left side of the cab as Howard says, the view has to be cut to a conservative 40 ft max. The witness house, has no front yard and is much like the house in the photo..right up on the sidewalk.
I'd be willing to physically measure the street, and inspect the light post.
Tom could it be Allen altered his appearance in anyway? The composite does mention Reddish hair, and I have to admit, that Foukes verbal description of the suspect could match Allen. WMA 35-45 Yrs about 5' 10", 180-200 lbs. Medium heavy build..
We have to assume the cops had a closer look at Z, but why no objection by the witnesses to the composite when it was released? There was an actual amendment so at least it was edited to
reflect more of what Foukes and Zelms saw.
link to photo

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 02:45 am:

oh by the way, that's not my porsche in the photo.. =)

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 03:16 am:

I hope not; that thing's a beater!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 03:19 am:

"...from 60 ft at night a healthy teenage girl can definitely tell the difference"

Why would you contradict detectives who investigated the case, especially since you've never examined the scene?

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 12:03 pm:

The detectives were not there, the teens were. That is why.
Oh, and you have to ask yourself what reason they would have to lie, it is not like they became millionaires out of this.
And wait, aren't these the same detectives that didn't do a thing with Allen?
Anywayz, okay Tom, I am going there.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 01:06 pm:


re: Allen's hair. Baldy is in the eye of the beholder I guess. Take another peek at the 1968 Valley Springs yearbook picture. I would call that bald. And then take another look at Lynch's report:

"Arthur . . . is bald".

Bald by any other name is just as short and spare.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 01:24 pm:

Good one on that street light.I posted 2/24/01 under Prints From Letters the as to what IT states.It says "50 feet" and it was "unobstructed".You will note that the teens could even see most of what was going on, including the 'struggling',IN the cab(which was later confirmed when it was know that Z was tearing a portion of Stines shirt and wiping the cab as confirmed by Z) and not only that, but they SAW that SMALL white hankie or rag in Zs hand even BEFORE he brought it around to the left side of the cab to wipe it down!Pretty darned good observation!AND this is at the view that is FARTHER from the teens line of sight!
Z DID go around to the LEFT side of the cab which was parked some THREE FEET in the street(which places the cab even CLOSER to the teens!).
If someone knows how wide that 60's beast(cars buffs please!)was it puts Zodiac out in the street- NOT on the other side of the street,behind the right side cab but CLOSER to the three teens.Then you can measure from out in the street -not the sidewalk on the cabs right side.
Then on top of all this ,Zodiac stops and looks right at the teens and stares at them while IN the street at the closer position!
The two patrolmen were MUCH closer and their composite fits the teens decsription very nicely.
Even ol' Z had to give em'all an A-"I LOOK LIKE THE DESCRIPTION...."Also,it is remarkable Johns immediately thought this "descripton" matched the man who abducted her and it was confrimed by Z who said he took her for an "interesting ride."Believe.Disbelieve?-I accept,thats'what opinion is all about.
This gives a much better view or one that is closer -but what seems to be moving farther and away from what was ORIGINALLY seen.Why?

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 01:53 pm:

Thanks Howard,
If anyone is interested, I borrowed the photo from a website that marks "notorious" places in SF. You can see photos of other murder sites, and what the current "Church of Satan" house looks like..other "notorious" places are there as well.
If Tom doesn't mind, all the author wanted for the photo was a plug for his website which or the notation.

"Photo:" website is by Hank Donat.
Again, Thanks Hank!

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 02:24 pm:

"This gives a much better view or one that is closer -but what seems to be moving farther and away from what was ORIGINALLY seen.Why?"
I think the photo with the beat up porsche has some sort of lens filter to give a more fisheyed
perspective to the photo and the photographer could have used a wide angle lens to get more in.
The photo I took last week was just a straight shot from directly across the street from the scene. The porsche photo appears to be more on the bend of the corner and from lower angle.
Our cameras could also have different "fields of vision." Unfortunately, I am not a professional photographer, but my camera makes up for a lot of my incapabilities..Here is another photo of the murder scene, same spot, but I angled the camera up, more towards the house, notice no stop sign in this photo.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 03:34 pm:

Sylvie, the SFPD composite was a result of the witnesses to the Stine killing and the officers who spoke to a suspicious man, right? And SFPD was ultra-hot on Allen for years, right?

Question: If SFPD believed the Zodiac MUST look like the composite drawing, would they have wasted their time investigating suspects who didn't look exactly like the composite? Of course not.

For the millionth time, SFPD, just like all of the other jurisdictions, realized the description given by the teens was good only for the generalities it provided: white, male, glasses, short hair, heavy appearance, not obviously young or old.
How did SFPD come to their conclusion about the accuracy of this description? Because it is a proven fact that eyewitnesses are notoriously inaccurate, even under the best of viewing conditions, which the Stine murder definitely was not.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 03:36 pm:


Of course the detectives were not there. But neither were you, so why should we believe you when you tell us what a healthy teenaged girl can see from 60 feet away at night. First of all, that is an interesting description, "at night". Not only is it dark at night, requiring some artificial light source to see anything, there was fog complicating the equation. Then we would have to know the quality and direction of the lighting, which we don't. That means neither do you. That means you have no idea what was/was not seen.

On top of all of the above, nobody has to lie to fall prey to optical illusions and color shifts due to artificial lighting. I think all that was being suggested was that the witnesses themselves may not have known what they saw because of these factors. They could have been just as sure of themselves as you are, and been dead wrong.


By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Monday, August 19, 2002 - 12:17 am:

I hope my input and photos to this discussion (and others) doesn't paint me as "Anti-Allen" as far as being Zodiac goes. Truthfully, at this writing, I have no "favorite" suspect. I am trying to stay objective and keep an open mind with this case. I am somewhat new to the messageboard, and I am still trying to weed through all the theorem and rhetoric that comes with the case. I am in the process of trying to obtain more reference material such as actual reports, witness statements, etc..(BIG thanks to Tom for the video, the meeting and this great website!)
I was at the 4th of July task force meeting, and
was in awe of all the interest and amazing things that this case generates.
I hope my "two cents" helps when it can, as I don't intend to undermine anyone's hard work.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Monday, August 19, 2002 - 02:49 am:

It's good to have you aboard, Gregusjay. You've already offered some extremely good input to the board. Did we meet at the meeting on the 4th? If so, did my buddy and I give you a ride into SF?

Welcome aboard!

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Monday, August 19, 2002 - 07:09 am:

Unfortunately Scott, I don't think we've met,
I was at the meeting from roughly 12:15 pm to about 3:00pm, I had to be at my brother's later that day for a family event. I understand you're pretty hard to miss (6ft 10?), so I don't remember seeing you (unless you were sitting down). Sorry...Hopefully there will be another gathering and we can swap ideas.
I drove myself from Fremont, I no longer live in SF but still have close friends there.
Thanks for the welcome!

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Monday, August 19, 2002 - 09:42 am:

What?? We were not talking about me being there, I was like 4 yrs old. We were speaking of the TEENS VS THE SFPD. (Actually at that time my parents did not live too far but I don't think I was looking out the window that night.)
I refer you, all, to Jeanne Boylan who recently said children and teens, esp. of the female variety make the very best eyewitnesses for composites. She is in the position to know.
I concur.
I bring the attention back to 5 yr old Sarah who after seeing little Samantha Runnion's killer for just seconds (at dusk) was able to give an exceedly good description. The composite helped break the case. Then we have the hauntingly accurate composite of Davis, the Polly Klass perp, given by preteens. Furthermore the composite of Ted Bundy, given by certain teenage girls he had approached was so good, it was as if he sat for it in person.
I think they would have noticed the Ari Fleischer balding hair, and if they did not the officers would have.
So you have two choices with Allen as Z at PH.
Either he was not there, or he wore a "rug".
I'm open minded. But let's face it, PH is the very best description we have.
With Hatnell's description, we are looking for a man somewhere between a midget and a giant.
Here we have something concrete.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, August 19, 2002 - 02:00 pm:

Boylans observations carry much weight in our area of discussion-she is a true expert and I prefer to hear her views as she knows the subject first hand.Good examples too.Thanks for the feed.
We have a total of five witnesses- the three teens and the two officers for the composite as none of the detectives saw Zodiac.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Monday, August 19, 2002 - 05:33 pm:

Right Howard,
Jeanne Boylan is not only a lovely person (inside and out) but she is an extraordinary composite artist.
When she was recently interviewed, on a major cable news channel, she had been asked about the 9 yr.old sister of Elizabeth Smart (who she eventually did make a sketch with and for some reason the SLC Police have not released) and the interviewer (kind of your old school type) asked her "just how much a little girl could describe", she immediately replied contrary to what most believe, children and teens make the very best composite witnesses, esp. girls.
That answered what I had suspected for some time now.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Monday, August 19, 2002 - 06:15 pm:

The Satanic Ritual Abuse hysteria of the '80s and the subsequent national witchhunt (brilliantly described and thoroughly trashed by Robert D. Hicks in his IN PURSUIT OF SATAN [Prometheus Books, 1991, ISBN 0-87975-604-7]) makes it pretty clear that children are only as reliable as the adults questioning them. And ALL teenagers are drama queens, it comes with the territory.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Monday, August 19, 2002 - 10:35 pm:

Gregusjay, I think your input has been great for the board. The images of Presedio Heights and your description of pacing off distances gave us all something very lacking in the entire Zodiac case, objective, testable data! The photos helped me get a feel for the area. I have been to San Fransisco, but not that area, and it looked somewhat different than I imagined. The houses are actually closer to the street, with less obstructed view, than I had pictured in my mind.
Also, I'm glad you are here because you have no favorite suspect. I feel the same way, and I think the posters with no such ax to grind frequently bring most of the new ideas. Thanks again for the pics!

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 - 11:35 am:

The Planner called me today and told me there was a street light at the south/west corner which lighted that area or corner.There was plenty of light to see Zodiac especially when he came around to the left side of the cab.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 - 05:33 pm:

Howard, Mike,
I saw the concrete around the existing light pole on that corner, and it is actually older than the concrete that makes up the current I assumed it was there back in 68/69..I should have snapped a shot of that too..On my next trip, I will try to get a shot of the scene ala "Abbey Road" standing in the middle of Washington facing towards the crime scene..I will try to get both houses in the photo..Mike, this is a very "posh" area of San Francisco (despite the ratty porsche) these homes go for easily $1 million or more (I'm no realtor either). I will try to get some shots of the possible escape route Z took as well. There is a looped street in the Presidio that Z could have parked at but I am not sure if this was only accessible to military personnel..The Presidio used to be a military installation until recently..Howard, might know if it was "off limits" to civilians back then.
I think if Z took off down W.Pacific, he would have been easily spotted by the cops. He almost had to cut throught the woods to a waiting car.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Friday, September 06, 2002 - 10:47 pm:

I received an outside e-mail from a Len Cassamas he lived near the Presidio on Washington back in the 60s..I asked him if it'd be ok to use what he wrote me and he gave the thumbs up! Thanks Len. (He's waiting to join this message board when some space is available, I feel priveleged to be here!) Here's what he wrote...

"At the time Zodiac was active, I lived with my family
at 3184 Washington St. (I was only 10 years old at
the time--Lake Berryessa happened on my 10th
birthday--and that's my alibi and I'm sticking to it.
I spent alot of the summer of '69 (not just a song to
me) in both the Presidio and in Julius Kahn
Playground. In fact, I probably knew the stretch of
the Presidio from Lyon St. to Julius Kahn Park as well
as anybody in the City at that time.

So, for your information, the Presidio was a military
installation, but was used mainly for housing for Army
officers and their families. (A friend of mine from
school lived there--his father was a major.) It was
also open to the public. My parents used to take me
for picnics over at the World War II memorial on
weekends. Many a day I tramped through those woods
that are between Lyon St. and Julius Kahn Park. I
never called it Julius Kahn Playground, although that
was apparently the official name.) I can now picture
Zodiac, on the night he shot Paul Stine, crouched in
those woods having paranoid fantasies about sirens
from fire engines being used to cover the sound of
patrol cars and packs of trained dogs hard on his

We moved East in July of 1970, so my memories are
shrouded in the dust and cobwebs that have accumulated
over the course of 32 years, but from what I have been
able to piece together, there are accurate ones under
the debris.

I hope this was helpful.

Len Cassamas