DISMISSING TED: A Double Standard

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Other Suspects: DISMISSING TED: A Double Standard

By Gregorypraxas (Gregorypraxas) (spider-ta054.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 07:45 pm:

DISMISSING TED: A Double Standard

The wrath of the "madman" known only as the "Unabomber" led some to believe that the Zodiac may have returned with a new name and a new M.O. The arrest of Ted Kaczynski generated more theories, and revealed some interesting similarities between the mad bomber's life and career and Zodiac's campaign of terror. Michael Rusconi and Douglas Oswell noted these similarities, and have since authored a book which presents their theory that Kaczynski was the Zodiac. A website also offers a brief summary of the theory, and a list of possible "connections" between the two infamous criminals.

The strange, destructive and often tragic life of Ted Kaczynski provides legitimate reason to suspect that he may have been the notorious "Zodiac killer." However, the SFPD has stated that Kaczynski is "not a viable suspect," and the theory that he was the Zodiac is frequently met with skepticism and even laughter. Most researchers, theorists and so-called "experts" have dismissed Kaczynski as a Zodiac suspect, usually basing their opinion on three facts:

1) Kaczynski's crimes were very different than those of the Zodiac
2) Kaczynski's fingerprints to do not match those believed to be those of the Zodiac
3) Kaczynski's handwriting does not match that of the Zodiac (according to some reports)

Oddly enough, many of those who dismiss Kaczynski as a suspect believe that others suspects are the Zodiac. Many of these individuals believe that Arthur Leigh Allen was the Zodiac. This opinion is usually based on the fact that some detectives believed that Allen was the "best suspect," and the erroneous notion that there is a "huge amount of circumstantial evidence" against Allen. The undeniable fact that Allen can be excluded using the same three arguments listed above is often ignored or explained-away with convoluted and inconsistent rebuttals.

Far from being the "best suspect," Allen is more accurately described as the "most investigated suspect," or, quite simply, the "ONLY" suspect. Allen was dismissed by the SFPD using the same evidence used to dismiss Kaczynski. The VPD is the only police agency which believed that Allen was the Zodiac, and there are only a handful of detectives who appear to have shared that belief.

There is no evidence linking Allen to the Zodiac crimes, and the "huge amount of circumstantial evidence" against him consists of little more than innuendo, hearsay, incredulous tales, exaggerations, distortions, and outright lies. Although Vallejo Detectives Jack Mulanax and George Bawart appear to have conducted thorough and largely objective investigations of Allen, it is clear that the results of their efforts are often misappropriated and misused by some of Allen's accusers. A few officers have given inflated and sometimes incorrect assessments of the evidence against Allen, which, when combined with other information, have created the impression that Allen simply must have been the Zodiac.

In the final analysis, Allen emerges as a suspect who has been thrown to the top of the list in the absence of any suspects who are, in fact, truly "viable." Therefore, the dismissal of Kaczynski is all the more puzzling, and raises legitimate questions regarding the methods of both police and others in determining just who is, and who is not, a "viable" suspect.

Robert Graysmith, "THE expert on the Zodiac case," stated that Allen had a Zodiac ring and watch, and that police found several pipe bombs when searching his Vallejo home. According to Graysmith, "this is the kind of hard evidence" that he does not find when examining the other suspects. Needless to say, if the watch and ring actually were "hard evidence," then Allen would have done some "hard time." Although the Zodiac often did speak of using explosives, he never mentioned any pipe bombs. Therefore, Graysmith's conclusion that these items constitute "hard evidence" against Allen is not supported by the facts.

Graysmith has often stated that the Unabomber's M.O. is very different from that of the Zodiac's, and cites this fact as good reason to dismiss Kaczynski as a suspect. Allen was a convicted pedophile with no other criminal history, save a 1958 arrest for disturbing the peace (the charges were later dismissed). Kaczynski, on the other hand, was convicted of murder, and during the course of his criminal career, he wrote several letters to the news media. Graysmith apparently chooses to ignore the fact that Allen's crimes are far different from those of the Zodiac while using the same issue to justify his dismissal of Kaczynski.

Two people said they saw Allen with a paper that appeared to have some symbols which may have been similar to the symbols used by the Zodiac in his coded messages. Police did find pipe bombs in Allen's home but did not find any evidence of any coded messages among his possessions during searches in 1972, 1991, and 1992. Kaczynski's use of codes is well-documented. When the FBI searched Kaczynski's Montana cabin, they found several bombs, as well as diaries documenting criminal acts which featured many coded entries. Kaczynski had created a coding system for writing these diaries which required more than basic knowledge of codes.

Graysmith has been instrumental in perpetuating several vague and entirely unsubstantiated theories regarding Allen's mental state, including the exaggerated claim that Allen had "five distinct personalities." Genuine cases of multiple personalities are extremely rare, and there is no evidence to support Graysmith's incredulous diagnosis. Ted Kaczynski's murderous and hate-filled antisocial personality is now a matter of public record. In many ways, he fits the so-called "profile" of the Zodiac in more ways than does Allen.

Among Allen's possessions, Vallejo police found an audio-tape recording of Allen molesting and apparently "torturing" a young boy. Allen admitted that he derived sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on the young boy, and that he also enjoyed sadomasochistic pornography. However disturbing Allen's sexually deviant desires may be, there is no credible evidence linking Allen to any crimes other than child molestation.

Kaczynski evidently stabbed several dogs in what can only be described as an extremely sadistic manner. He is said to have once hidden in the car of a female coworker, knife in hand, angry over some perceived romantic betrayal. Although he did not act on that violent impulse, the evidence indicates that Kaczynski also had fantasies of shooting motorcyclists and pilots who made too much noise. Eventually, Kaczynski would kill and maim many people using his homemade explosives.

Allen maintained several jobs, and, in most cases, was fired only after his deviant interest in children became a problem for his employers. There is some evidence that Allen may have had relationships with women, and he was able to maintain several friendships. He certainly was capable of interacting with other people in social and personal situations.

Kaczynski led a life of paranoid seclusion, and was unable to maintain any personal relationships, even with his own family. His bizarre and often hostile behavior cost him his job, and he then set off to live alone in the forests of Montana. There, he hunted for food, rarely bathed, and lived in a small shack, absorbed in his writing and bomb-making. He lived like this until he was arrested in 1996.

A thorough analysis of the case against Allen raises very important questions. Why is he considered the "best suspect"? By what standard has he been set apart from the other suspects?

Two individuals claimed that Allen had made incriminating remarks which appeared to demonstrate advance knowledge of the Zodiac's crimes. One of the individuals was less than credible to say the least; both had reasons to lie about Allen. Michael Mageau, the surviving victim of the Zodiac's shooting at Blue Rock Springs Park in July 4, 1969, is said to have identified Allen as the man who shot him. By identifying a man who does not match the description of the killer he originally gave to police, Mageau has effectively destroyed his credibility as a witness. If he was wrong when he described the killer in 1969, then his identification of Allen more than twenty years later has no foundation and cannot be considered valid.

Allen lived in Vallejo. He owned a Zodiac ring and watch. He made pipe bombs. He owned guns. He was odd.

THAT constitutes the "huge amount of circumstantial evidence" against Allen. His fingerprints do not match those believed to be those of the Zodiac; his handwriting does not match that of the Zodiac. In 20 years, police were unable to develop any credible evidence which linked Allen to the Zodiac's crimes.

By THIS standard, almost anyone could qualify as a "best suspect." VPD reports are littered with instances where someone told someone something about someone who said or overheard something about the Zodiac, or reports that someone might be the Zodiac. Many of these "suspects" were said to have confessed, or owned some item which seemed to be a possible link to the Zodiac. Most of these suspects had criminal records and/or a history of bizarre or deviant behavior. Their fingerprints and handwriting did not match the Zodiac's. By the standards used by Allen's accusers, ALL of these men must be Zodiacs.

The seemingly relentless accusations against Allen would appear to be a desperate attempt to avoid the unpleasant fact that no one has the slightest idea who the Zodiac is or was, and, absent a miracle, his identity is likely to remain a mystery. Without the "best suspect," there is only the void of the unknown. This stark reality does not sell books, and audiences are not satisfied by a mystery without a solution. The theory that Allen was the Zodiac provides an entertaining and comforting resolution to an otherwise unsolved and troubling case.

The facts are inescapable: If the fingerprint and handwriting comparisons are deemed irrelevant by Allen's accusers, then they have no legitimate basis to exclude Kaczynski from the list of "viable" suspects. The Allen Double Standard not withstanding, Kaczynski requires further scrutiny before exclusion, as do other suspects, including Allen. After all, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Oswell and Rusconi have presented a thorough and credible theory which suggests that Ted Kaczynski may be the Zodiac. To date, I have yet to see Allen's accusers provide an equally thorough and credible argument to justify the conclusion that Kaczynski is not a a "viable" suspect.

Those who continue to tout Allen as the "best" suspect would do well to address this issue. Their continuing failure to do so only serves to further this double standard, and their seeming inability to provide coherent and consistent arguments regarding the available evidence raises doubts about their objectivity.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (ac8728b8.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 08:12 pm:

Gregorypraxas wrote,
"Far from being the "best suspect," Allen is more accurately described as the "most investigated suspect," or, quite simply, the
"ONLY" suspect. Allen was dismissed by the SFPD using the same evidence used to dismiss Kaczynski. The VPD is the only
police agency which believed that Allen was the Zodiac, and there are only a handful of detectives who appear to have shared
that belief."

Ted wasn't eliminated as a Zodiac suspect simply because of his handwriting and fingerprints. What ruled him out was the fact that BOTH the FBI and SFPD were able to place him in other parts of the country on 5 known Zodiac events. To date, nobody can do the same for Allen.

How can you claim VPD was not the "only police agency" that believed Allen was Zodiac?
Obviously, SFPD thought he was too. After all, they did secure a search warrant against him as Zodiac.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (18.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 09:02 pm:

To the best of my knowledge Kaczynski has no alibis for the Zodiac crimes. I pumped Inspector Repetto of SFPD for a considerable length of time to tell me whether any alibis existed, but Repetto told me there were none. What they mean when they say that Ted was in another part of the country on the dates of five known Zodiac events is that he was domiciled away from the scenes; in other words, his formal address was in Lombard, Illinois, where he lived from approximately fall of 1969 through late winter of 1971.

Two years ago an attorney named Ross Getman set out to disprove the Unabomber/Zodiac hypothesis, and in so doing spoke with the lawyer for David Kaczynski as well as FBI agents who assured him that (1) there were no extant envelopes or letters bearing dates corresponding to Zodiac events and (2) Kaczynski had no alibis.

Some might believe that Kaczynski's being domiciled 2,000 miles from San Francisco speaks loudly in disfavor of the hypothesis. Yet on two distinct occasions relating to Zodiac events (spring/summer, 1970 and winter/spring, 1971) Kaczynski drove his car to the western United States, apprising no one of his whereabouts. In the winter of 1974, (time of the Exorcist letter) Ted left his cabin in Montana, telling his family only that he would be "away camping." He spent the entire winter of 1975 in Oakland. These movements, especially those from Illinois, cast far more suspicion on Kaczynski than would those of a man already domiciled in the San Francisco area.

It's interesting to note that, as the Unabomber, Kaczynski traveled considerable distances in order to avoid drawing attention to his actual place of residence. In some cases he deliberately refrained from murdering people in the vicinity of his cabin, for no reason other than to avoid drawing suspicion toward himself.

It's also interesting to note that immediately after his first fatal bombing in December, 1985, Kaczynski mailed a letter to the San Francisco Examiner, taking credit for the series of bombings earlier in the year. In that letter he offered "proof" of his credentials by listing details that would be "known only to us and the FBI who investigated the incident." I find this very interesting for several reasons. First and foremost, of course, was the publicity-seeking letter. Second, like Zodiac, Kaczynski waited until he had established his credibility before mailing the letter. Third was his choice of newspapers, the Examiner. Fourth was the similarity in tone and construction to the August, 1969 Zodiac letter, in which Zodiac said that he would "state some facts which only I & the police know." Note the inverted order of the personal pronoun in both statements: "us and the FBI," and "I & the police."

A misconception that needs to be put to rest is the notion that Kaczynski was a politically or philosophically motivated killer. He was nothing of the kind. There's far more than adequate evidence to show that his anti-technology ravings served as little more than a smokescreen for the hostility he felt toward a society into which he couldn't fit. They offered him an ego-saving apology for his inability to find happiness, career success and sexual release.

If anyone living in the San Francisco Bay area in 1969 had a reason to murder young couples in lovers' lanes, that person was Kaczynski, who had both the motivation and the means to do so. Further, as the Unabomber, Kaczynski possessed every characteristic that one would expect of a likely Zodiac suspect, not the least of which was the use of murder to gain national publicity.

Now if we could only find his Zodiac watch ....

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (ac92b6c4.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 09:28 pm:

Doug wrote,
"To the best of my knowledge Kaczynski has no alibis for the Zodiac crimes. I pumped Inspector Repetto of SFPD for a
considerable length of time to tell me whether any alibis existed, but Repetto told me there were none."

Doug, wasn't Repetto the cop that didn't recognize Graysmith's now-famous sketch of Zodiac? (I love that story.) Repetto and his partner were busted down to auto detail for bookmaking on the job. Anyway, I wouldn't place any emphasis on info you might have obtained from him.

Doug also wrote,
"What they mean when
they say that Ted was in another part of the country on the dates of five known Zodiac events is that he was domiciled away
from the scenes; in other words, his formal address was in Lombard, Illinois, where he lived from approximately fall of 1969
through late winter of 1971."

If the FBI and SFPD were under that assumption, it would account for many more than five events.

By Gregorypraxas (Gregorypraxas) (spider-ta087.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 11:06 pm:

There is no evidence to indicate that anyone can accurately account for Ted's whereabouts during the Zodiac crimes. Please cite a source for your claim, Tom.

In the absence of such information, I think it is clear that it is only an assumption that Ted was in Illinois. As he demonstrated during his bombing career, Ted easily left Montana to go to California. Although he left a trail of evidence in that regard, it is possible that he left Illinois and did not leave such a trail during the Zodiac crimes, or that evidence of such a trail no longer exists after so many years.

I say that the VPD was the only agency that believed Allen was the Zodiac because, based on the best evidence available, it seems to be the truth. The SFPD may have thought he was a good suspect, but it is clear that they were eager to entertain the idea that someone else was the Zodiac in the decades after that search. The comments of many police officers (some in print, some in private) indicate that it was only the VPD who seriously believed Allen was the Zodiac. Officials in the CADOJ didn't believe Allen was the Zodiac, and, with the exception of a handful of detectives (some questionable sources themselves), I have yet to see any documentation that indicates that anyone but the VPD considered Allen a "viable" suspect after 1972. So, I stand by my statement. I don't care if I'm proven wrong -- I only care about the facts. If you can prove me wrong, please do so. I'd be happy to learn from anyone on this matter.

I think it is interesting that some people poo-poo anything that they don't agree with when it comes from someone they find to be less than credible, yet gobble up whatever fits their theories regardless of how unreliable the sources may be.

I also find it interesting that, in responding to my post, Tom did not address the issue at hand, but chose instead to harp on the fact that someone said that someone thought Ted was not in the Bay area at the time, and that the SFPD requested a search warrant. If you have evidence to support the claim that the FBI can accurately place Ted somewhere other than the Bay area during the crimes, then this is a valid rebuttal. If you are simply basing an assumption on the fact that Ted was supposed to be in Illinois, then it's not a valid rebuttal.

The fact that they requested a search warrant in 1972 indicates that the SFPD thought Allen MIGHT be the Zodiac, IN 1972. The fact that, by all appearances, the SFPD never pursued him as a suspect in the decades afterwards, should indicate how "viable" a suspect the SFPD really believed Allen to be.

Just my opinion. Thank you.

PS: The real issue is this: If you believe that Allen is the Zodiac, then you must ignore the fingerprint evidence and handwriting analysis. If you ignore the fingerprint evidence and handwriting analysis, there is no legitimate basis to exclude Ted as a suspect. I'm not saying I believe that Ted is the Zodiac. I just don't think the double standard is fair.

By Edward (Edward) (adsl-63-204-73-35.dsl.scrm01.pacbell.net - on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 11:37 pm:

Douglas wrote:

A misconception that needs to be put to rest is the notion that Kaczynski was a politically or philosophically motivated killer. He was nothing of the kind. There's far more than adequate evidence to show that his anti-technology ravings served as little more than a smokescreen for the hostility he felt toward a society into which he couldn't fit. They offered him an ego-saving apology for his inability to find happiness, career success and sexual release.

That's your opinion, Douglas. You sound as if you're attempting to pass that opinion off as the grail by "putting to rest" the "misconception" regarding Ted's motives as if you know definitively what those motives were. I take exception to that, even though you certainly know more about Ted than anyone else. You say there's more evidence to suggest Ted's manifesto was a "smokescreen" and that it's a "misconception" to think otherwise. If you don't think Ted's motives had anything to do with technology or his perception of it's effect on him, and that his motives were a result of his sexual and social inadequacy, that's fine, it's your right. But it's opinion. Not grail.

I've never called your theories a misconception just because I may disagree with them.

I did enjoy your last line: Now if we could only find his Zodiac watch ....

As for Gregorypraxas (who sounds suspiciously like Michael) the facts regarding Arthur Leigh Allen are well established. They're all over this site and this message board. That he was served with search warrants means someone who knows much more about Zodiac than us convinced a judge there might be evidence of his involvement in the Zodiac crimes in his residences. Was this police ineptituede? My uncle worked for CII and Allen was always his personal favorite. (Although I did get him onto Michael O'Hare for a moment after the article in California Magazine came out.) Perhaps I do have a double standard when it comes to Ted Kaczynski. I suspect he's not the Zodiac, but I don't pretend to know for certain. The story of the Zodiac cannot be denied: in the minds of many officers involved in the hunt for Zodiac, Allen was the best suspect ever developed by those responsible for justice, hence he was served three times, (once after his death) and years apart, with a search warrant. This speaks volumes in and of itself. As time permits, I will take you up on your challenge to debate the reasons for Allen as Zodiac.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (acac8711.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 11:45 pm:

Gregorypraxas wrote,
"I also find it interesting that, in responding to my post, Tom did not address the issue at hand, but chose instead to harp on the
fact that someone said that someone thought Ted was not in the Bay area at the time, and that the SFPD requested a search
warrant. If you have evidence to support the claim that the FBI can accurately place Ted somewhere other than the Bay area
during the crimes, then this is a valid rebuttal. If you are simply basing an assumption on the fact that Ted was supposed to be in
Illinois, then it's not a valid rebuttal."

I don't recall basing my conclusions on that I thought Ted was "supposed to be in Illinois" on the dates in question. I was very clear in my post. Both the FBI and SFPD eliminated Ted as a Zodiac suspect based on the fact that he could be placed in other parts of the country on five dates of Zodiac activity. My source is within SFPD, and has always given me accurate info.

Regarding Allen, he was investigated into the early 1980s by not only VPD, but Sonoma County and the DOJ. The Napa SD was interested in him, but since Allen was in another county they relied on VPD to supply information.
My sources are guys like Mel Nicolai and Jim Silver (DOJ), Ken Narlow (Napa SD), Toschi, Mulanax, Armstrong, Bawart, etc etc etc.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (78.philadelphia08rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 08:47 am:

Both the FBI and SFPD eliminated Ted as a Zodiac suspect based on the fact that he could be placed in other parts of the country on five dates of Zodiac activity. My source is within SFPD, and has always given me accurate info.

Tom, if this is the case, then there's absolutely no reason in the world for the FBI or the SFPD or anyone else to be secretive about it. To my mind it would have been a lot more credible of those agencies to make a public statement to that effect, rather than simply writing off the connection with the handwriting/fingerprint analysis, which we all know is highly speculative at best.

Tell you what. Either give me the name of your source and I'll contact him with a request for the specific documentation of those five events or contact him yourself and get the documentation. If the alibis can be confirmed there's no reason to continue thinking of Kaczynski as a suspect.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (acac8008.ipt.aol.com - on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 11:50 am:

Doug, I haven't named my source because he asked me not to. However, there is nothing stopping you from calling SFPD and doing a little fact-finding.

Like you, I also would like the exact circumstances that prompted the FBI and SFPD to rule out Kaczynski.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (acac8008.ipt.aol.com - on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 11:51 am:

Oops...I wasn't suggesting you haven't been fact-finding.
Let's just say my source is probably who you think it is.

By Linda (Linda) (207-172-144-235.s44.as3.fdk.md.dialup.rcn.com - on Monday, November 13, 2000 - 09:00 pm:

Gregory... I agree totally with your summary on double-standards. And, too, until the FBI and/or SFPD can identify "specifics" as to the whereabouts of TK during the years in question, Ted's whereabouts are truly "speculative," as Doug has indicated.

I don't know why, but for some reason, the FBI has seemed uninterested and has avoided presenting definitive documentation about Ted during these key "Zodiac" years - of course, prior to the emergence of the Unabomber. Why, I don't know, but, as Doug did suggest, if they have definitive knowledge of his exact whereabouts, I would think they would be more forthcoming and want to eliminate any further speculation about his involvement in other crimes. What we do know is that Ted's brother, David, prior to his identification to the FBI that his brother was in all probability the likely author of the Unabomber's manifesto, was very cautious in trying to, hopefully, protect Ted from the death penalty. If David knew that Ted may have been involved in earlier crimes (outside of the known "revenge against technology" crimes identified as those of the "Unabomber') he may have negotiated with the FBI to avoid Ted's earlier past in lieu of his coming forth and identifying his brother.

As Douglas has pointed out before, Ted has always wanted to represent himself as a sane individual and that his actions as the Unabomber were justified of him in his revolution against technology. Any indication that Ted had a prior history of senseless acts of violence such as those of the Zodiac, would certainly detract from that defense, make the death penalty more viable for the Unabomber crimes and, I would imagine, provide the opportunity for separate prosecution for the Zodiac crimes... most likely resulting in a possible death penalty.

In any event, again, I totally agree in regards to the double standard. There is clearly more than enough circumstantial evidence and similarities to keep TK right on top of the list as a good and "viable" suspect!


By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0974.cvx26-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 12:03 am:

At the risk of sounding like I'm-gulp!- defending you, I would like to ask if the content of the "Z" videotape that was found in Allen's home has ever been divulged. How about it? What do your sources say about this?
p.s. Penn in 2004. Florida uber alles!

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) (acab5e60.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 02:04 am:

Allen videotaped himself denying he was Zodiac, tongue lashing his brother and mooning the cops.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) (netcache-3002.bay.webtv.net - on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 09:23 am:

Wow, Victor here, just noting that this fantastic "DISMISSING TED: A Double Standard" section has been ignored for exactly Three (3) years & 1 day! (Last Post: Nov. 14, 2000). Happy Anniversary!
Doug & Tom: whatever happened to the search for finding even A SINGLE alibi for Ted Kaczynski's whereabouts during ANY of the known ZODIAC crimes?
Come on, it's been over 3 Years since this Extremely vital lynchpin of THE UNABOMBER's guilt or innocence has been hotly debated. (Unless I have missed something on another part of this message board.)
The fact that no one has been able to cite any credible evidence establishing The Unabomber's activity on any day of the 5 or so accepted ZODIAC murders tells me that none exists. So THE UNABOMER is Still a "good" ZODIAC suspect! (My favorite.).
How about an alibi- ANY ALIBI- for at least even ONE SINGLE DAY of the TWENTY-TWO (22) or so dates & locations from which ZODIAC mailed his notorious letters & codes??? That shouldn't be hard to do.
This gives us a total of (about) TWENTY-SEVEN (27) seperate dates to show where Ted was, any of which would definitely ELIMINATE Ted Kaczynski as THE ZODIAC. But it hasn't happened. So our man Ted is still "in the running".
Why won't the FBI just do a DNA test & get it over with?? I know it costs money, but this (ZODIAC) is an extremely important legal case with historical implications. The "hero status" to whatever agency & individual identifies THE ZODIAC would be enormous.
Is anybody out there?
This is a vital part of THE ZODIAC mystery. We deserve answers.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-141-151-61-238.phil.east.verizon.net - on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 06:31 am:

One of the biggest "alibi" problems with Kaczynski concerns his movements during the summer of 1969. His brother told the FBI (and later, the New York Times) that "shortly after" leaving Berkeley (June 30, 1969) he and Ted took a two-month camping trip to Canada, where they looked for land to buy. David has never said whether they returned to the Bay Area during the trip. If they didn't, one could assume that Kaczynski couldn't have mailed the first of the Zodiac letters in early August.

Recently, however, I've been in communication with a woman from Idaho who claims that she met Kaczynski at a dance at the University of Idaho in the spring of 1969. During their extended conversation he told her that he and his brother were looking for land to buy and that they had already looked at a number of locations in Idaho.

Her account reads:

I already told you about the timing so I wont go into that.
I went to the dance and this guy who looked a little older than I was came
over and asked me to dance. He had longish hair at that time and for the U
of Idaho that was pretty much unusual. We danced a few dances and he was
pretty interesting so we ditched the dance and walked down to the student
union buiilding to the cafeteria. We got some pop and found an out of the
way (still in the cafeteria) place to talk. I am a pretty curious person and
I love to talk politics so we talked till late.
I keep hearing how he doesn't know how to be sociable but he seemed very
nice and we talked about a lot of things including his stay at Berkley. He
said he had been a math assistant and I was pretty impressed. I told him he
must be pretty smart and he just laughed about that. :D Anyway I asked about
how it was down there in Berkley. Now you should know I was a republican at
that time. So I thought Berkley was pretty much like a zoo.
He did not like Berkley. He said he had joined a young republican group once
but said they were just there for the partying and were not serious. In fact
he admired the SDS more even though their politics were diametrically
opposite his. At least they were committed to their cause.
I told him well maybe but bombing places isnt a great idea. He asked why I
thought that and I told him that no matter how careful you are to just
destroy a place you are eventually going to kill innocent people. He said
that people always die in war and that was what it was.
While I agreed that a cause can be war I still insisted that there has to be
other ways to get your point across. I dont know if he thought I had made a
good point or not. We also talked about his opinion of technology so that
was not something that developed later. He was pretty adamant about it too. I am trying to
remember what else we discussed. I know we talked about his
dislike of leftwing causes. Which was pretty funny when they were saying
when he was first caught that he was a leftwing person.
When he introduced himself he said his name was Theodore Kaczynski and I
couldnt say his last name. He laughed. He told me he prefered being called
Theodore but most called him Ted. You could tell he really hated it and I
sympathized cause I hate being called Sue. It was easy to remember his first
name cause thats my grandfathers name. I got the impression that he used the
name as a gauge to tell if peple were going to listen to what he was saying
or just go off on their own lines of thought. I think I picked up on that
cause I do that myself.
There were other things we talked about but thats all I can think of at the
I asked him why he was at the University of Idaho cause it was a bit out of
his way. He said he and his brother David were up there looking at property
to buy. Somewhere quiet and out of the way. He said they had looked at a
bunch of places but didnt like any of them so far.
He said his brother was off talking to the people showing the property. Now
this is something that puzzles me a lot. I definately had the impression
that David made the decisions and Theodore went along with them. I asked why
he was at the dance and he said David told him he had no social life and to
go find a dance and socialize. He said David was worried that he didn't
socialize enough. I keep hearing how David looked up to his brother but I
have to wonder if it really wasnt the other way around. David got along easy
with people and he didnt that easily.
On this same issue I did not notice that he could not handle being around a
woman. He was certainly nice and considerate to me. In fact the sweetest
thing happened when he took me to my dorm.
He opened the door and let me through then he shook my hand. Then he said
that it was one of the nicest nights he had spent because I not only
listened to him but actuallly understood what he was talking about and
formed my own opinions on them and discussed them. Then he said the other
thing he enjoyed so much was that I didnt try to jump his bones or expect
him to jump mine. (my wording not his) He said there was so much pressure to
do that normally that it was one reason he didnt lilke to socialize much. I
never once got the impression he didnt feel attracted to women but he didnt
like the pushiness he had seen. I admit that I was very flattered and
remembered him positively for it.
Years later I was in SLC when there was a bombing. A sketch came out in the
paper and I kept looking at that sketch. It really bothered me. I told ken
that I would swear I had seen that person and it was at the UofI. Then I
realized it reminded me of the Theodore I had met at that dance. I told ken
(my husband) that was who it looked like and reminded him of what I had told
him of Theodore. Later when he was captured I was shocked to find it really
was him. And disappointed that he hadnt agreed with me in the end about

Sorry this is so long and rambling. I am sure I havent included everything
but I, at least, have always thought it was interesting that the Theodore
isnt quite the man normally portrayed. I am not a groupie of his and in fact
after SLC when ever I thought of him it was with a dark feeling of

If this account is true, it casts considerable suspicion on Kaczynski's brother and pushes back by a couple of months the Canada trip.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) (netcache-3002.bay.webtv.net - on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 10:28 am:

Excellent post, Douglas! I was wondering if the lot of you had "gone home" on this vital "Dismissing Ted" issue. Fascinating discovery of this "Sue" lady.
3 points:
1) When did "Sue" actually meet Ted? Should be easy to discover based on;
a) When the "Spring semester" (if that's her timetable) at the University of Idaho actually ended in 1969. Yearbooks would be an obvious 1st start.
b) She makes reference to already having "gone over the timing" with you. What did she mean?

2) What did DAVID KACZYNSKI mean by "shortly" when he says he & Ted left for a 2 month trip "shortly after" Ted ended his teaching stint (June 30, 1969) at Cal State Berkeley? Does that mean 2 days? 1 month, which would be July 30, 1969? You can see the implications in the difference between the two.
3) During this 2-month extended "road trip", there MUST have been an obvious "paper trail". They both must have needed hundreds of dollars to pay for even the most basic necessities such as: Gasoline (Lots!); food; camping equipment & maybe hotels along the way. They probably also had to 'shell out' a good amount for other expenses such as car repairs, entertainment, replacement fishing gear, or whatever.
What this means is that one or both of them had to have created bank withdrawls and/or credit card bills during this "2 month" period. Where are they? How about "Collect calls" to their parents in Illinois from Canada, Idaho, or places along the way?
These should shed light on exactly when their prolonged journey took place.
I (and lots of others) are anxious to hear your thoughts on this matter.
ALSO: was there ever any such thing as an acutal "book" from your web site that I can buy? I have WEB-TV, which can't handle CD-ROMS.



By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-141-151-61-238.phil.east.verizon.net - on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 10:20 pm:

Victor, she told me it was definitely spring of 1969. She wrote:

Let me tell you why my memory is that it was the spring of 69. I graduated
from high school in 68 and went to the University of Idaho that next fall. I
spent my freshman year living in a dorm.
That spring there was a dance at one of the mens dorms and a group of girls
from mine decided to go there. Some how i got dragged along. :D
I dont remember the exact time but it was not cold outside so it had to be
in the later spring. I even remember what I wore that night which I dont
usually. White slacks and a bright lemon greeen nehru jacket. lol. The
jacket was just a light cotton with no lining so it couldnt have been very
I only spent my freshman year living at the dorm so it had to be that
spring. Also I normally wore my hair long but had cut it that year in the
early spring. That is one of the few times in my life I wore it short. I
guess you would have to be a woman to remember that stuff. Anyway that
was where I met him. We had a very long conversation that night and in
retrospect it is amazing
what things we discussed.

We're still not sure what "shortly" means because that's the only information that David has given us. It might be an hour or a day or a week or more. If it turns out, as I suspect, that this trip actually began some time in April or May (based on Sue's recollections) it implies that David has been covering for Ted.

I'm not too sure whether it would be possible for anyone without subpoena power to track down a "paper trail," from 1969, especially regarding credit cards. The Kaczynskis were well schooled in living life out-of-doors, and they could probably have gotten by on a minimum of funds. This was essentially a camping trip, and it must have been relatively awkward living out of Ted's Chevelle.

The "Dr. Zodiac" book is currently being shopped around by a literary agent. I've taken the CD version out of circulation because self-publication doesn't sit well with many publishers. To date it's been turned down by every major publishing house it's been submitted to, but there may be some hope for the smaller houses. I'd like to exhaust a few more attempts before giving up and going back to the CD format.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-26-159.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 07:42 am:

Seems to cast doubt on the Summer of '69 alibi all right. But how does a two-month camping trip and a dance at U of I match up with performance TK's teaching duties through the Spring of 69 at "Cal State" Berkeley? Surely he was missed.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-141-151-61-238.phil.east.verizon.net - on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 10:06 am:

Could be, Peter, but if I'm not mistaken, most formal instruction in a spring semester ends around May 1, or even a bit earlier, with semester exams running a week or so afterward. His responsibilities to the end of June might not have involved anything that would have required his continued presence on campus. Do we have any Berkeley alumni hanging about who could shed some light on the subject?

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-26-159.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 07:39 pm:

Then what were the U of I students doing hanging around the men's dorm? Better get with some U of I studes while you're at it.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-26-159.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 07:52 pm:

Also, Doug:

Susan says Ted and David were looking at a couple of places in Idaho. Clearly they had not made the Canada trip yet, or he might have mentioned that, don't you think? this doesn't screw with his alibi at all that I can see. He takes spring break with his bro in Idaho, and then two months camping when david says he did. Nothing Susan says is at all inconsitent with that. And the first Z letter was July 31.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-141-151-61-238.phil.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 05:44 pm:

Could be, Peter, but it's not likely. Then again, it depends on how much time Columbia was reserving for spring break. David would have needed to get out to Berkeley from Columbia and back, which would have occupied at least a couple of days, assuming he was going by air (which wasn't the Kaczynskis' habit, and would have been quite expensive for someone of his modest means); two or three days would have been consumed in travel to and from their destination, and they would have needed more than just a couple of days to find what they were looking for--all this just to come back a couple of months later and repeat the process. And why wouldn't he have mentioned this to the FBI? David's account of the Canada trip is virtually everything that's known about Ted's life from spring of 1967 through the late fall of 1969. Why wouldn't he have divulged this supposed earlier excursion?

David claims that in June, 1969, he met Ted in Wyoming, and they drove in Ted's car to Canada, looking for land to buy. I'm more inclined to think that they started in Berkeley and made their way north, hitting states like Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and eventually Montana, before making their way to Canada. That's just my gut feeling, of course, but I think as time goes on we'll start to develop a clearer picture of exactly how things transpired.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-26-159.bos.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 07:02 pm:

Now you have another problem. Squeezing in a two-month trip to Canada during a time he would not be missed from the Cal campus (surely he had finals to grade, even if he was blowing off classes), and then getting him back to the left coast in time for the July 4th festivities.

Also disagree with the travel time. Its about 15 hours driving time between Moscow and Berkeley.

And . . ."Columbia?"

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-141-151-61-238.phil.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 04:01 am:

Peter, we don't know that it was two entire months. As to being missed, remember, he's in an occupation where teaching classes is his primary responsibility and he's a short-timer. Once classes were over I don't think it unlikely that he could simply coast out the rest of his time until June 30, which, so far as I know, didn't mark the last day he actually worked at Berkeley, but the last day on his contract. I've been in situations like that myself, where I've given extended official notice and simply used my vacation time to avoid the last two or three weeks.

"Columbia" brings up an interesting point. David was a student at Columbia University at the time, and one wonders how he might have found the time for an extended trip during an academic semester. By his own account he once took an entire semester off to visit with his girlfriend--which semester, he doesn't say, but I've a sneaking suspicion it was Spring, 1969.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-26-159.bos.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 08:00 am:


Douglas: you make a couple of excellent points, especially the fact that showing up for classes was Ted's primary responsibility. So when were classes over? Betcha it was well into May. I was in college in California at the time, and my girlfriend (Karen, q.v.) was in the Cal system (UCSB) her calendar was exactly the same as mine: classes began last week in September and ended about May 20. I would bet that Ted had to be in Berkeley teaching on that same schedule, and spent at LEAST a week more grading papers and exams. Anytime before that, he would have been missed, except on a weekend or break.

So why would David have to go to from Columbia to Berkeley?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-141-151-61-238.phil.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 09:57 am:

Peter, David was an undergrad at Columbia in 1969.

"Short-timers" tend to get away with things that wouldn't be tolerated by regular employees. By that juncture, Ted had decided to hang up academia forever. Perhaps he had made some kind of arrangement with the math department; perhaps he took his exam papers with him and graded them on the road; returning to Berkeley as necessary to attend to his duties--as you've observed, it's about a 15-hour drive each way. Perhaps the Canada trip wasn't an extended trip at all, but a series of trips, with Berkeley as the brothers' home base.

Just to get off on a tangent a bit, I don't mind saying that I'm confused and suspicious about the relationship between Ted and David Kaczynski. On the one hand, there's very good circumstantial evidence to suggest that David knew Ted was the Unabomber years before his capture; probably from the beginning. Yet Ted, despite the fact that he hates David for his "perfidy," has remained quiet about any complicity David might have had. Ted demanded publication of the Manifesto knowing full well that his brother would be able to trace it back to him, yet proceeded anyway. David, on the other hand, has constantly sought to protect Ted, and never came forth publicly until his wife read the Manifesto and pretty well forced him to get the ball rolling on voicing her suspicions to the authorities.

Now this "Sue" person comes forward (I know her true identity, but she's asked me not to disclose it) and casts what amounts to a cloud of suspicion over David's only account of his dealings with Ted in 1969.

I'm not saying there might not be an innocent explanation, but given all the circumstances, I'm inclined personally to doubt it.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-26-159.bos.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 03:23 pm:

OK, here's a postulate. Suppose Ted is Z. Suppose David knows this, and knew it for some time. How long? Suppose the timing works out on the Canada trip, or the trip never happened. After all, what better reason would David have for coming up with a Canada alibi than to cover the Z connection, especially if it alibis David, too? Throw the whole Canada story out. Is it likely that David did not know about Z during all this time he spent travelling with Ted? And did you really mean to say above that David travelled to Berkeley? We know this? If David knew about Z at the time of the killings, and was travelling with him, he was at least passively complicit in the hits. Maybe he even did one of them. Sure would explain why two of them were so different from the other 2, but still clearly connected.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-141-151-61-238.phil.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 09:40 pm:

Here's something that might or might not make your hair stand on end.

I don't doubt that the Canada trip occurred. I believe Ted's mother confirmed it, though she claimed she couldn't recall whether it happened in 1969 or 1970 (the Sally Johnson psychological report has Ted going off to Alaska looking for land in the summer of 1970). If there's any falsehood to the story (based on what I'm hearing from Sue) it's probably because David is trying to conceal the actual dates of the trip while sticking as close to the truth as possible. So far as his travelling to Berkeley is concerned, we have only his word that he travelled to Wyoming to meet up with Ted. Whether they went back to Berkeley, no one at present can (or will) say.

I don't really perceive David as the type who would of his own active volition get involved in killing people. But if you look at his relationship with Ted, it's easy to see how he might have become complicit in one way or another, without really understanding what he was getting into. First and foremost, he claims that he idolized his older brother and admits that Ted had the advantage over him intellectually. In 1969 he was only 19 years old. Like Ted he had skipped a grade or two in school and started college early. His college record indicated no extracurricular activities or associations, yet we know that he shared most of Ted's philosophies, and spent a great deal of time alone with Ted discussing and arguing those philosophies. Given that Ted was eight years older and more experienced, I can perceive that David's mind would have been so much soft clay in the hands of Ted. I can see the relationship evolving very much like a Muhammed/Malvo type of thing, especially if it involved any criminal activities. Ted wouldn't have had to explain what he was about in terms of his true motivations, but may have (still speaking hypothetically) presented his plan as some kind of revolutionary act--Ted, after all, has admitted to fantasizing himself during his college days as "an agitator, rousing mobs to frenzies of revolutionary violence."

Who knows; perhaps the FBI, after spending nearly 20 years and millions of dollars in an unavailing effort to capture the Unabomber, decided it was worth overlooking a few youthful peccadillos to finally get their man? It makes sense to me.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-43-111.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 10:50 am:

I think Mr. Napa looks more like Ted than David

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-43-111.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 10:52 am:

Hey, remember: According to the Mohammad prosecutors, Malvo was the trigger man.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-141-151-61-238.phil.east.verizon.net - on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 05:58 pm:

True, Peter, about Malvo. But I'm thinking in terms of a duo where you have a strong-willed older man with a personal agenda, and a weaker, younger man who's eager to please. The latter may pull the trigger, but it's strictly the former's game.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-34-212.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 11:49 am:

So am I. That is precisely Malvo's defense. david need't have been the trigger man to fill the role you suggest, or to turn up as the one identified at any of the Z locations.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-141-151-61-238.phil.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 03:04 pm:

I agree, Peter, but at this juncture I hardly dare speculate. Patience.