Who else could it be?

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Other Suspects: Who else could it be?

By Classic (Classic) (spider-tr051.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 02:13 pm:

I was rather disappointed at the lack of other suspects in ZU. I realize that the book was mostly an argument for why Allen was z. However I think some of the other suspects should have been included to give a better picture of the situation.

For arguments sake, if Allen turns out NOT to be z, who should be investigated next and why? There are some interesting options. I don't really know much about the S.F. businessman to say whether he is a good suspect or not. For me, the two most intriguing are Marshall and Walker. Marshall seems to have more circumstantial evidence against him, but something always struck a nerve in me about Walker.

Tom, you have talked to Walker at length. If z is not Allen could it be Walker? Classic

By GilbertSullivan (Gilbertsullivan) (netcache-1113.public.svc.webtv.net - on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 09:29 pm:

It seems Graysmith wrote this last book with blinders on. In the first one he at least gave us a short list of possibles. There was one with some interesting credentials, then he dropped him like the proverbial hot potato. He never really said why; just narrowed search on a guy who looked nothing like either of the sketches from authorities!?? I have sketch of a *possible* suspect that resemble the sketch. A troubled marksman!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-186-54.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 09:51 pm:

Classic, "Walker" has a very thick, booming Boston accent. I'd be astonished if he were the Zodiac.

By Prisk29 (Prisk29) (lbv-ca27-68.rasserver.net - on Monday, May 06, 2002 - 01:56 am:

The reality of the "evidence" (weak as it is) as I see it is this: A wise man recently advised me that the current info can be taken and applied to almost any suspect one cares to implicate. I chose to see if this was generally the case; so I applied it to someone who I am fairly shure is not the Zodiac. My dad. He was born in Montana and lived only 80 miles of so from Deer Lodge. As a teen his family move to San Francisco, where they lived for about two years before moving back to Montana. He owns a large bayonet that he got while serving in the army from 1956-60 (or so). He owned a typewriter of the same type siezed from Arthur Leigh Allen. He was the same age and height as per the witness' statements. He had black horn rimmed glasses and a very clean haircut that matched eyewitness statements. He even named my sister Cecilia.
The problem with all this "evidence" is it is circumstantial. There are a TON of facts that clearly show my pop is not the Zodiac. But if you never hear any of this info exonerating him, and you have chosen to back him as your #1 suspect then you have backed the wrong horse and you would never know it.
Scientificly, it is better if you try not to prove your personal favorite is Zodiac; rather try to prove he is not. If it comes to be that you can not prove his innocence, and your work is reproducible, you can be shure of its validity.
Thanks for the time.
Best wishes,

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Monday, May 06, 2002 - 05:18 am:

John, I take a slightly different tack. The first thing one must do is demonstrate similarity in three areas: (1) psychological makeup; (2) location; and (3) common criminal signature. Once you've established these three you can start working on the minor details.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acbef62f.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, May 06, 2002 - 09:55 am:

That's the thing with the SF businessman; Rodelli and I uncovered a lot of circumstantial evidence that pointed to him being Z (he did the lion's share of the work), however, that's all it was: circumstantial. There was nothing we could find that would even suggest why he would decide to compromise his successful business with murder, which was why I was not all that crazy about him as a suspect the longer we looked at him. All we could do is speculate, so about the only thing we ended up doing was add another suspect to the list who was no more or less likely to be Z.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-186-54.client.attbi.com - on Monday, May 06, 2002 - 10:44 am:

Ed, see you in Riverside.

By Prisk29 (Prisk29) (lbv-ca27-20.rasserver.net - on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 01:21 am:

I would have to say certainty in a suspect is not a minor detail; but I do see your point. Thanks for the feedback.

Best wishes,

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (124.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 01:31 am:

John, by "minor details" I was referring to elements such as whether the suspect owned a gun, lived in Montana, wore a Zodiac watch, used cryptography, etc.

By Prisk29 (Prisk29) (lbv-ca27-20.rasserver.net - on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 02:27 am:

I had gathered as much. My point was to suggest that ones certainty in their p.o.v. is just as important as your three points.
I rather suspect we both have a similar approach. I was, in my earliest post, stating the minor circumstantial items are of less importance if you don't have a good base. Your three points suggest the same importance in a good solid foundation. Thanks again.

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-1028.stbg.splitrock.net - on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 02:56 pm:

Who else could it be ? That's exactly what I asked myself when I read the Zodiac book 10 years ago. Being well-read in serial murder, I was led to believe that none of the 3 candidates suggested in the book could be the "Zodiac". What did I learn from the book ? Zodiac was a very unique character, one of a kind perhaps, not the ordinary "dime a dozen" lust-killer. Why was he unique ? It's a collective approach. He was not a "sex-slayer". He was a publicity-seeker. He was a bomber or otherwise looked to bombing as a "killing means". He was "noise-disturbed" and "anti-working-stiff" proven by his statement that the police could have caught him if they hadn't made so much noise. People of the "noise-disturbed" type feel that people should be punished for making excessive noise, or are otherwise paranoid enough to think that people are making noise just to bother them. So Zodiac is saying that the police could have caught him but their punishment for making noise is that they didn't catch him. When he writes about "keeping the cops happy" he is sarcastically pointing out how people pathetically need to stay busy to stay happy or their version of being content. So this was my objective approach ten years ago on who else it could be. So, if it helps, I would say that this is a rather unique individual, I would guess unique enough to be one of a kind.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (75.philadelphia05rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 03:35 pm:

I think I get your drift, Zander. Would you be inclined to think that no matter how hard this individual tried to reform he'd eventually go back to his old tricks?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-ta053.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 03:58 pm:

The Jay Maloney of serial killers?

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-1253.stbg.splitrock.net - on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 07:28 pm:

I would say the standard jailed, killed, or moved. However, due to the intelligence displayed by this elusive killer, I would lean away from jailed. Also, this killer could seek publicity and not necessarily get it. But, yeah, if this guy attempted reform of some fashion, I would guess he'd eventually gravitate back to his publicity-seeking murder ways. Remember, this killer is like an alcoholic with a big barrel of wine. He's got a bad habit, and it ain't going away.

By GilbertSullivan (Gilbertsullivan) (netcache-1113.public.svc.webtv.net - on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 11:25 pm:

Z had a need to annoy police. He may have been a failed cop at one time. Thinking cops were "stupid", he wanted to humiliate them. *** I believe he got caught once - then became more cunning. He was fighting both a mental and physical battle - he lost at least one.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-183.al.us.prserv.net - on Wednesday, May 08, 2002 - 01:54 am:

Zander: interesting analysis, particularly your point about noise disturbance. Do you feel that Z's anger originated with a rejection in childhood or adolescence?

By Tony (Mahalo) (hnllhi1-ar1-4-63-135-048.hnllhi1.dsl-verizon.net - on Wednesday, May 08, 2002 - 04:56 am:

Zodiac was a terrorist in the purest sense.'In light of recent events'(no pun intended) compare what Z did with the terror that is now being inflicted on our country. Letters, bombs, making a statement, whether political or personal, catch me if you can...he got off on TERROR! How does one profile that??

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Wednesday, May 08, 2002 - 05:44 am:

Not to be a contrarian or anything, but I don't think he got off on terror per se. I believe he got off on the publicity engendered by the terror he caused.

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-1228.stbg.splitrock.net - on Wednesday, May 08, 2002 - 09:16 pm:

Oddball. My opinion on Zodiac and the "noise-disturbed" angle is this: This person is of rare high-intelligence, necessary to negate conditioning. I would guess that the effects of "conditioning" wore off Zodiac until he reached the point where he was highly disgruntled and angry. Imagine that rats are conditioned to chase cheese all day. They will because rats are stupid. But, pretend there is a smart rat. He will eventually reach the point where he will not only wonder why he is chasing cheese, but will become angry and may want to seek revenge on those responsible for putting him in the maze. I would even guess that a person becomes "disaffected" due to the erosion of "conditioning" necessary to cope with a highly disfunctional culture. But, there are a lot of components combined to create a killer. Most serial killers are eldest sons, as an example.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldfib.dialup.mindspring.com - on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 09:14 pm:


I go along with this. It's a case where you don't have someone who is psychologically compelled to offend, you have someone who is out to prove to those who put him in the maze that he is smarter and better than them. If he can succeed, at least he will feel better about being in the maze because he will have "shown them". One doesn't even have to be technically crazy to be pushed to this point, only hypersensitive (at least when compared to the other rats). I believe this is what we will find as the true motive for all of this.


By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-0001.stbg.splitrock.net - on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 11:10 pm:

Ray, I love these objective threads, it's the only way to go. In line with your post, I've always thought that the reason, or part of the reason, why Zodiac challenged with codes was to sarcastically say "Here's something you have a chance at solving". A patronizing slap in the face, if you will.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (120.philadelphia05rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 12:22 am:

Zander, I wonder if that's why, perhaps, Kaczynski continually teased the authorities by placing pieces of wood inside his devices, and the constant allusion to wood in his addresses.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-183.al.us.prserv.net - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 01:36 am:

Zander, Ray: I think you guys could very well be on the right track.

By Linda (Linda) (208-59-124-182.s182.tnt1.frdr.md.dialup.rcn.com - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 03:46 am:

I agree wholeheartedly. The writings of Zodiac reveal so much about him. The tone inflicted into each of Z's letters and/or solved code shows his need to feel superior, ridicule and address revenge on those individuals and/or things he felt had harmed him.

One note on noise-disturbed individuals...I believe noise disturbance is a trait of some that suffer from autism. I don't know a lot about autism, but I believe there are various levels of severity and that being sensitive to various type noises is a strong trait amongst those that suffer from the disease.

I'm not wondering if our Zodiac suffered from a mild form of autism...

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38lden9.dialup.mindspring.com - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 03:54 pm:

You know, I can't help but notice all of the different affectations that have been ascribed to Zodiac. Everything from sexual sadist, drug crazed, wacko, kook, maniac, lunatic, scizophrenia, autism, brain tumor, etc, etc, etc.

I find this a very curious phenomenon. It seems that the public has a very great need to explain away the abberant behavior of individuals who have a negative impact on the fabric of society. In other words, something always seems to have to be found that makes the person out as abnormal in some way. The more pathology involved, the more comfortably we generally are with the explanation. In a way, knowing that something is identifiably wrong with the perpetrator is a way for us to distance ourselves from that individual and know that we could never do anything like that. And neither could the neighbor downstairs when we make too much noise.

What we seem to absolutely be unable to accept is the notion that a regular, normal, average everyday person with high intelligence could just get tired of this world, the society in which we live where we take advantage at every opportunity and care very little about anyone except ourselves. It is possible that someone without any disorders at all could become sufficiently angry at the world to simply seek revenge for perceived suffering. Such a person could easily stop killing at will, when he has decided he's made his mark.

Just some thoughts.


By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td012.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 05:30 pm:

Excellent post, Ray. I couldn't agree more.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (90.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 06:59 pm:

Study Kaczynski, Ray.

By Linda (Linda) (208-59-124-16.s16.tnt1.frdr.md.dialup.rcn.com - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 07:11 pm:

I'm far from ascribing that Zodiac was autistic, a sexual sadist, drug crazed, etc., etc. (although he was definitely a disturbed individual). I just brought the point of autism up because there was discussion concerning noise-disturbed individuals who feel that people should be "...punished for making excessive noise, or are otherwise paranoid enough to think that people are making noise just to bother them." There are indications in Zodiac's writings that he did not appreciate noise made by motorcycles...and he certainly chastized the police for doing so. Many who suffer from autism find certain noises unbearable and often withdraw and/or react in a variety of ways.

Coincidentally, one of the leading suspects is known to be adverse to noise and motorcylces, is known to have retreated to solitude and, additionally, as a young child was so upset by certain noises that he was tested for autism. (I'm sure you know I'm talking about TK).

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldfc5.dialup.mindspring.com - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 07:50 pm:


I was not impuning your post, merely making an observation of all that has been claimed about the man. Although the noise sensitivity issue is plausible, there has been a leap made, IMHO, that has no corroboration in evidence. In other words, it's an assumption. If we look at it from a taunting angle, which we know for sure was a Zodiac characteristic, we might just as easily reach the equally plausible assumption that he was simply making fun of the search efforts. Perhaps his intended meaning was simply that he found all the racing around to be humorous, childish, stupid, and obviously ineffective. This then does not prove him "noise disturbed" as was asserted. The point about hypersensitivity is nontheless plausible, even appealing, however we choose to interpret his specific remarks. After all, we know something out of the ordinary was going on in his head. Of that there is plentiful evidence.


By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldfc5.dialup.mindspring.com - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 07:52 pm:


Yes, the possibility I described fits TK like a glove. But even if it fits, you can still aquit!

Sorry, couldn't resist.


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (99.philadelphia05rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 09:33 pm:

In this case, Ray, I wasn't referring to him as a prospect for a suspect, although the prospect is, I think, a good one. If you take a look at him in his totality you'll be hard-pressed to come up with a decent diagnosis of mental illness. His real problem was social backwardness, which led to an inability to achieve sexual gratification and failure in a career field. That made him very upset--understandably so, I think. The truly remarkable thing was that he took a perfectly valid perspective that was being espoused by people like Jacques Ellul and whipped it up into a worldview that enabled him to salvage his ego and foist the blame for his failure on society itself. As long as he clung to that worldview, his ego was safe, and he could justify his acts of vengeance by the assurance that he was actually taking the high road and saving society from itself. Warped though that worldview might have been, I believe that the entire process of rationalization and ego-salvaging to have been quite "normal" in psychological terms; a normal defensive reaction to an extreme situation. The murders, of course, were criminal acts; which he knew perfectly well, and he could have refrained from committing them. But he weighed the pleasure of assuaging his feelings against the possibility of getting caught, and decided to take the chance.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-18.al.us.prserv.net - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 10:25 pm:

As an artist and musician, I work primarily from the right side of my brain--and, as cliched as the image of the paranoid, hypersensitive loner-as-serial-killer has become, that's my hunch about Zodiac. I think the paranoia angle--that Z was the kind of person who thought others were making noise, or doing whatever else they did, just to irritate him--COULD bring us closer to understanding his motivations.

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-0039.stbg.splitrock.net - on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 10:34 pm:

"And neither could the neighbor downstairs when we make too much noise." Ray, let me take a wild guess: You know nothing at all about the "noise-disturbed" outlook. Obviously, you don't or else you would easily recognize it in Zodiacs writings. But I'm not blaming you, it's a rare outlook, but since you don't know anything about it, maybe you should defer to someone who knows all about it. When Zodiac denies he left the scene with a raceing engine and squealing tires, he was insulted that he was described this way, but I'm sure you don't realize this.
Ray and Scott, once again, with all due respect, you show signs of not properly understanding the world of serial murder. "Such a person could easily stop killing at will" Ray, the average serial killer feels helpless, voided and needs the power thru murder, control to feel it's worth going on. That becomes their identity. And these are the types that avoid publicity. Just imagine an alcoholic who is trying to recover and in that effort cannot touch a drink, or even fall into a situation that could lead to temptation. I believe that when Kaczynski first planted that bomb in 1978, it wasn't the beginning, but Ted going back to the bottle. When Ted Bundy was asked if he could do it all over again and do it right(no killing), what would he do ? He answered that he would become a lumberjack or otherwise remove himself from society as best possible. Sound famaliar. Actually, it probably doesn't.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (79.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, May 11, 2002 - 07:53 am:

Consider, too, Zodiac's paraphrase of the Lord High Executioner's area. In a somewhat long-winded way he's trying to make a simple statement; namely, that there are lots of people who do things that annoy him against whom he would like to take summary vengeance.

While we're at it, let's consider a couple of sentences from Kaczynski's Manifesto:

Thus people will would spend their time shining each others shoes, driving each other around in taxicabs, making handicrafts for one another, waiting on each other's tables, etc. This seems to us a thoroughly contemptible way for the human race to end up, and we doubt that many people would find fulfilling lives in such
pointless busy-work.

Is it coincidence that, of the things Kaczynski describes here as "contemptible," two are occupations engaged in by Zodiac's victims?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (252.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 07:40 am:

I believe that when Kaczynski first planted that bomb in 1978, it wasn't the beginning, but Ted going back to the bottle. When Ted Bundy was asked if he could do it all over again and do it right(no killing), what would he do ? He answered that he would become a lumberjack or otherwise remove himself from society as best possible. Sound famaliar. Actually, it probably doesn't.

It does to me, Zander. Kaczynski deliberately removed himself from society toward the end of 1969, and even though he later tried to convince everyone that he had planned it that way years in advance, we mustn't lose sight of the fact that he signed up with a prestigious University in 1967 and continued to try to make a splash in the mathematical world for the next two years. He was trying to get away from something, and maybe it's premaure to state this, but I think it's damned suspicious that his brother aided and abetted him in his quest for isolation. Not only that, but his brother dropped out as well, and they both ended up in the same place (Montana).

All of the documentary evidence shows that Ted managed to move along on a more-or-less even keel until around 1975, when once again he got ticked off, this time by technology encroaching on his solitude. Just as you've observed, Zander, it would have been like a reformed alcoholic going back to the bottle.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-ta081.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 01:01 pm:

Zander wrote, "Ray and Scott, once again, with all due respect, you show signs of not properly understanding the world of serial murder. 'Such a person could easily stop killing at will' Ray, the average serial killer feels . . ."

First of all, you have absolutely no idea about what I know and don't know with regard to serial murder. Secondly, since when have either Ray or myself ever labeled the Zodiac as an “average serial killer”? Finally, what's with the hostility? Remember, profiling is not an exacting science. You don't really expect certain members of this board to allow you to spew forth your ideas ad nauseam without any rebuttal do you? I don't see any threads that are labeled "Zander's Soapbox," do you?


By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldcdo.dialup.mindspring.com - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 08:03 pm:

To whom it may interest:

My pointing out other possibilities regarding serial homicide as it relates to Zodiac stems from my position that Zodiac has possibly been improperly labelled as a serial killer. While it's true he did commit a series of homicides, profiling assumes that the perpetrator's motivations and psychology follow established patterns for serial murder. Not everyone who kills multiple times is a serial killer per se. There is such a thing as mass murder, which is different in many respects to compulsive serial killing.

Since standard thinking along the lines of an escalating serial killer does nothing to explain the radical jumps in victimology, methodology and whatever one's take on "signature elements" happens to be, one might conclude that this is an entirely different animal we are dealing with. This calls the entire process of profiling into question. In other words, they might be painting the picture of the guy with the wrong brush. A person such as that we are dealing with may simply be carrying out a campaign of murder with a specific objective not linked to the traditional developmental and triggering factors which drive serial killers.

For example, a person who kills several witnesses to a crime he has commited may be profiled as a serial killer who had a bad childhood, etc. when in fact all he was trying to do was cover his tracks if the common link between the victims is not discovered. I am not suggesting this is what Zodiac was doing. Profiling has to do with the whys more that the whats. Until we know what Z was doing, it seems very possible we have no idea why he was doing what we don't know was done.

This is why this case has gone down so many dead end roads in its lifetime. This thing is outside of the normal, established paradigms that often serve to illuminate the whats and whys. I simply submit that there are more possibilities than are offered by traditional thinking on serial murder.

If that means I don't understand the psychology of serial murder, then so be it. If alternative views are threatening to some, so be it. Defering to the opinions of the knowledgable and credentialed has put this case in the purgatory in which it has existed for 30 years. Maybe it's time to do a little thinking outside the established box.


By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-0062.stbg.splitrock.net - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 08:10 pm:

Ray wrote "such a person could easily stop killing at will.." Then you wrote how you couldn't agree more. Okay, that leads me to believe that you two aren't well-read in serial murder. That's my opinion. There is a reason they are labeled "serial" killers. They are compulsive types. "EASILY" stop killing. That's like an alcoholic who quits drinking one day and becomes a bartender on the next. It's not likely. I started this out by writing some objective observations I made before ever hearing the name Kaczynski and you and Ray didn't like how unique Kaczynski and Zodiac were starting to sound, so you went into "attack mode." Honestly, I don't appreciate this "anything's possible" approach because collectively "anything's possible" becomes "it's not possible", and you learn that from reading about other cases. No offense or patronizing intended, but I will challenge a comment if it appears in my opinion "off the wall" or otherwise if I feel someone is "spinning" in order to promote "their suspect".
Okay, this is how I describe Zodiac, and I realize I may only be in agreement with myself. I view Zodiac as similar to a terrorist, in that he is angry, feels persecuted, and wants revenge. He also wants the larger force(so to speak) to know that he is striking back(like when a terrorist org. takes credit for a terrorist act). So he seeks publicity. I believe his main focus is revenge and publicity helps him get more victims(anyone who is scared by Z). I would say that Zodiac is a paranoid type, possibly hears voices, allowing him to feel constantly persecuted by society in whatever ways. But he is probably a milder skitzo than someone like Son of Sam. I would say Zodiac is similar to any other person capable of killing people at random on different occasions(serial killer): lacks empathy, very angry,(It is theorized that Bundy was so angry he blamed everyone for everything: that kinda makes sense out of random murder(Believe it or not I find Bundy and Kaczynski to be very similar)), and is a "psychopath" which I view as the upper level of "sociopath". His main focus is not "sexual sadism" as suggested by the author, but since he wants people to suffer and mentions "torture", I wouldn't disqualify him as a "sadist" but it certainly doesn't appear to be his "thing".

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-0062.stbg.splitrock.net - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 09:19 pm:

Ray and Scott, you are both solid posters. We believe in different suspects/theories. No problem. Honestly, I liked the "gun" thread. The effort put into field-testing and such was good and kind of "eerie", recapturing Zodiacs and the victims possible movements those nights. Actually, I shouldn't suggest that you two aren't well-read in serial murder. There are a lot of theories to kick around here.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb071.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 09:38 pm:


When I wrote, "I couldn't agree more" I was referring to Ray's entire post, not just one aspect of it. Nevertheless, if you believe that it is impossible for a "Zodiac type" to stop committing murder or, even better, that the Zodiac himself must have continued killing following Stine, then I ask just one thing of you: Provide evidence which supports this idea. Otherwise, everything you say will be relegated to the speculation pile where it belongs. Not to say that your concepts are not intriguing, but without evidence to support your assertions, your claims are nothing more than another mouthful of Greek salad.


By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb071.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, May 12, 2002 - 09:54 pm:


You are right, "We believe in different suspects/theories. No problem."

Exactly, no problem at all. Diversity is what makes this board interesting.


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (198.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 01:48 am:

Scott, do you mean "stop killing permanently," or "stop killing for an extended period of time?" Kaczynski, for example, took two relatively long hiatuses as the Unabomber. The second of those hiatuses occurred because he had been spotted by a witness planting a bomb, and he needed the time to develop a small, effective package bomb.

The sexual sadist has a hard time stopping because his activities are tightly integrated into his sexuality. His sexual fantasies involving torture and killing persist until he acts them out. The disaffected killer, on the other hand, acts from a sense of wounded feelings. The gratification he receives from killing and injuring others is more cerebral. He desires it, but he doesn't actually need it, in the immediate sense.

Zander, the desire to make people suffer doesn't necessarily indicate sadism, strange as that may seem. For instance, if someone broke into your home and murdered your children, I believe you might want that individual to suffer a painful death and you'd be entirely justified in your feelings, without any imputation that your motives were sadistic. Similarly, even though there is no doubt that Kaczynski wanted to inflict the maximum suffering on his victims, we have to look at his worldview, or his rationale, and ask whether he thought himself justified in so doing.

To further illustrate this point, consider the incident mentioned in Chris Waits's book, in which Kaczynski has some of his equipment damaged by a wood rat. He vows to capture the rat and then torture it to death in the most hideous manner he can devise. That seems to be at odds with the portrait of Kaczynski painted by his family and even himself. But if you look carefully at his motive, you'll conclude that the reason he wanted to torture the wood rat wasn't that he received direct gratification from torture per se, but that the wood rat had injured him personally and he wanted to take vengeance upon that particular wood rat. The same would have been true with people, I believe.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb083.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 01:48 pm:

"Scott, do you mean 'stop killing permanently,' or 'stop killing for an extended period of time?'"

Actually Doug, both. There is absolutely no evidence to support the assertion that the Zodiac continued to kill following Stine's murder. That is, unless you choose to believe the Z's "scorecard" which, at best, seems rather dubious.

"The sexual sadist has a hard time stopping because his activities are tightly integrated into his sexuality. His sexual fantasies involving torture and killing persist until he acts them out."

I'm not so sure that I would characterize the Zodiac as a "sexual sadist." I tend to agree with you, Doug, that his psychological profile was much closer to that of a mass murderer. If he'd planned on continuing to kill following Stine, he wouldn't have needed Stine's shirt to authenticate his missives. At least, that is my take on it. Why send a scrap of Stine's shirt if all he had to say was, "By the way, that couple found in the neighborhood by . . . was my work"?


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (44.philadelphia06rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 03:36 pm:

It's good to see that more people are moving away from the idea of Zodiac as a sexual sadist. If his typology is indeed closer to that of the mass murderer, though, he forms a rare type. The average mass murderer (I prefer to call them "disaffected killers") generally can't see his way past a single, overpowering statement that ordinarily ends either with his death or capture. Zodiac doesn't seem to fit the mold in that regard. He's not willing to commit suicide to make his statement. I'm reminded of what Montresor observed in Poe's The Cask of Amontillado, to-wit: "A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser."

Now that, too, is a Kaczynski trait. Kaczynski observed in his autobiography that when he first contemplated getting revenge on the people who made him angry he would do it in a suicidal manner. On second thought, however, he resolved that it would be better to kill in such a way that he could kill again.

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 04:42 pm:

If he wrote the Riverside "confession"note and the "torturing slaves in the afterlife"letter(1970)then I think he was a sexual sadist.Incidently you said mutilation was a long way from Z.It is mentioned in the Riverside broadside"I'll deposite her private parts for the whole city to see".Boy that sure sounds sexual and sadistic!Also as I mentioned earlier on my post on canabalism mutilating people might be a future step for Zodiac if indeed he started out hunting game.Its one of those skills a hunter learns......

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (203.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 05:55 pm:

Mike, never go by what they say, only by what they do. And remember, per my previous post, a person can desire to inflict suffering on other people from different motives. Recall, if you will, the time when Kaczynski hid in the car of a woman who had spurned him, with the intention of mutilating her face. The motivation behind his intention was anger over being rejected--not the desire to gratify himself sexually by seeing her suffer.

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 04:37 pm:

Yes your right about motives, but a sexual thrill
can also enter into many crimesi.e.pyromaniacs who start fires for sexual release,fetish burglars who like to touch clothing or shoes etc.
Even the act of making a bomb could be almost erotic to someone obsessed with it.I suppose theres all kinds of Freudianism's rapt up in
bombing-phallic,orgasmic symbolisms etc, but I'll spare you that!
Point is crime itself is often sexual on many levels as many compulsive criminals would tell you.
One last thing-a word of caution on looking to what Z did.Fact is we just don't know how much he did(murders)where and when!The 5 we know for sure may have simply been picked out of a rich pot purri perhaps only for there recentness,widespread publicity or whatever.Generalizing from them could be misleading.There could be a heck of a lot more down there..........

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-0006.stbg.splitrock.net - on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 10:54 pm:

Scott B. : You are asking me to prove that Zodiac was no longer interested in publicity-seeking murder after Oct.11. I can't prove that but I also can't prove that Zodiac wasn't a one-armed juggler. It's a simple equation to me: Zodiac was angry, hated society/people, felt persecuted or otherwise blamed people for his troubles. Whatever Zodiacs problems were, they were bad enough to lead him to commit random murders. (Wait, I really can't prove they were random either?) Pick one. 1.One magical night in October, the Zodiac decided, Hey, this existence ain't so bad afterall, why have I been raising so much hell as of late. Shame on me. I shall be a model citizen from now. 2.The Zodiac would be tempted to kill/ seek publicity chronicly. Let me ask you this: Why are you so interested in Allen, since, nothing can be proven: Wouldn't the whole Allen case be Greek salad ? Okay, I'll play the prove-it game that you endorsre. Clearly then, Kaczynski is the best suspect. He is a proven: killer and bomber who sought publicity thru letter writing. Since the game is prove it or relegate to the speculation pile, Kaczynski is the best bet since that beats anything you can prove about other suspects. Clearly, what I've offered as proven concerning Kaczynski is meaningful concerning the Zodiac case, or should I have to prove that too ?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (6.philadelphia04rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 11:16 pm:

Clearly then, Kaczynski is the best suspect. He is a proven: killer and bomber who sought publicity thru letter writing.

Zander, you forgot to add that he wrote to the same newspaper (Examiner) using the same kind of language and made a threat against a major target that he later retracted--once again, to the same newspaper (Chronicle). Just a couple of minor details.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tc064.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 01:00 am:

Zander wrote, "You are asking me to prove that Zodiac was no longer interested in publicity-seeking murder after Oct.11. I can't prove that but I also can't prove that Zodiac wasn't a one-armed juggler."

First of all, let's make a clear distinction here; murder, publicity-seeking murder, and publicity are clearly three different things. Let's take a look at the evidence that is available. That the Zodiac was willing to murder for publicity is obvious. That he sought publicity is also obvious. However, what the evidence doesn't show is that the Zodiac ever committed a murder just for the sake of killing. Nor does it show that, following the murder of Stine, that the Zodiac continued to kill for the sake of publicity. On the other hand, what the evidence does show is that the Zodiac continued to seek publicity without necessarily having to commit murder, ala Stine's shirt. Also, I can "prove that Zodiac wasn't a one-armed juggler." I don't recall any witnesses ever saying that the Z only had one arm, do you? Or, did you mean, "Could juggle with one arm?"

You wrote, "Pick one."

Are you honestly trying to tell me that the 2 options you listed are the only options available? That's the kind of conventional thinking that has bogged this case down from day one. Things are rarely ever that "black and white," especially when it comes to this case.

"Kaczynski is the best bet since that beats anything you can prove about other suspects."

What I can prove is that Kaczynski has never been interviewed, questioned, searched, or even suspected as a suspect in the Zodiac case by any actual Zodiac investigator in the 33+ years since the first murder.* On the other hand, well, do I really need to state the obvious with regard to Allen's status as a suspect? But then, I suppose I should take your word over the word of actual police officers (city, county, state, and federal) that've investigated this case, uh?

Also, I'm betting that Howard's suspect would give TK a run for his money based on the criteria that you've set forth. Also, let's not forget the as*hole who's been stalking Sandy for the last 30+ years. He may not be the Zodiac, but he sure as hell wants Sandy to think that he is. Do you have any theories as to the psychological motivations for that?


*(Doug, you are a wonderful investigator and have plenty of material to support your position. All that I am implying here is that you weren't "assigned" the Zodiac case while working for a particular law enforcement agency. Furthermore, I'm also not implying that you are simply an "armchair" investigator, either. Your contributions to this case are much more commendable than that.)

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-15.linkline.com - on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 01:01 am:

My suspect is a proven hands on killer as Zodiac was.He is the prime suspect in several murders according to authorities.TK killed with bombs from a distance.Z threatened to blow up a school bus full of children,not adults single or in groups.This does not mean TK can't be Zodiac-he is a viable suspect as all are aware.I am just following your line of reasoning.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-15.linkline.com - on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 01:06 am:

I forgot to mention that witnesses said that Davis was 'always saying he was going to dynamite or blow somebody up.'He was 'just boasting... they said...it was all talk!'

By Classic (Classic) (spider-wp053.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 07:04 am:

Doug, Why is Ted in that "Supermax" prison? It seems to me that there are more heinous murderers in less constraining prisons. Just curious. Thanks, Classic

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 07:24 am:

Classic, I believe that Ted's incarceration in the Supermax was due to the sentencing judge's discretion. A news article reported, "... Burrell called Kaczynski's crimes "unspeakable and monstrous" and urged that he be sent to a facility "where he can be clearly monitored to prevent any future acts of violence or intimidation."

Howard, your suspect is certainly better than Allen, but there are a quite a few things that make him far less viable than Kaczynski, especially in terms of criminal signature and psychology. There's also the problem of him apparently being in prison during a number of the letter mailings. But I'm willing to keep an open mind.

Scott, you wrote, On the other hand, what the evidence does show is that the Zodiac continued to seek publicity without necessarily having to commit murder, ala Stine's shirt. That, however, is exactly what Kaczynski did. As soon as his bombing technique was proficient enough to gain him sufficient credibility he began his idle threat campaign that culminated in the entire airline establishment of the west coast being shut down for a day or so. Like Zodiac, he retracted the threat in a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, saying, in effect, that it was only a joke.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 12:27 pm:

I am curious if you have information on TKs signature.Did he murder anyone using a knife and or a gun?I thought he sent bombs in the mail and killed adults that he disagreed with from a political standpoint.I would like to see any info on other victims he PERSONALLY killed.I don't know TKs bio as well as you do,so when you mention your guy matches better than my guy I became curious.Are you going to publish something on this?
I have already addressed the Z letters and my guys background very carefully since 1987,etc.and I don't see a problem.It was easy to get letters in/out of jail!I have done a lot of research on this subject.Manson,while in a top secure area, sent and received letters!The FBI did a report on this showing how he did it.
You note a CHANGE in Zs communications after my guy is jailed 12/2/70 as to the Z postmark/and the addresse in '71, when he only sent two SHORT missives and the one on 3/22/71 is the Pines pasteup.Davis, like Manson, was assisted in his crimes so he could and did have help in letters being sent and received.He is in the L.A. County jail and for the first time the L.A. Times is sent a Z letter!All he has to do is write "down there " in referring to Southern CA to give an illusion he is in Northern CA.Great alibi!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (14.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 03:42 pm:

Howard, you are confusing modus operandi with criminal signature. Guns, knives and bombs are means of carrying out a crime. Signature is what the perpetrator gets, emotionally or otherwise, out of the crime. Based on what I know about Davis, any killing he committed was bound to carry the signature of a sexual sadist, i.e., killing for the purpose of sexual gratification. Kaczynski and Zodiac, on the other hand, shared the common signature of murder for the sake of assuaging envy and achieving national publicity.

I don't see anything in the background of Davis that would mark him as having the psychological profile we see evidenced in Zodiac and which we have been discussing at length on this thread and elsewhere. This point is arguable, but it is only arguable on the basis of the supposition that anything is possible.

Kaczynski was never known to have killed anyone with a knife or gun. However it is virtually undeniable that he shot a miner with his 30-30 rifle and came within a whisker of killing the man, who was permanently disabled (see Waits). Then, there is the incident wherein he hid himself with a knife in the car of a woman who had spurned him, meaning to mutilate her face (see the Sally Johnson Psychological Report). The FBI told this woman (Ellen Tarmichael) that she was very lucky she had not been harmed (see Douglas's Unabomber). Undoubtedly the only thing that saved her was the fact that Kaczynski advertised his rage to the entire staff of the business where they both worked, posting insulting limericks about her all over the facility. Had she been attacked he would immediately have been suspected.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-19.linkline.com - on Saturday, May 18, 2002 - 02:10 am:

I know the difference between MO and Signature-one is one of the three Stooges and signature is what you sign on a credit card receipt.Right?
No,Doug,I am not confused-I really do know the difference.But thanks for the reference.I simply made a mistake in my use of terms that night-rough day.
Referring to your post of 5/15/02 7:24 AM ;I say this is not criminal romper room-my suspect is "more viable" than your suspect-naw naw na naw na!Let's be more mature.I have not said that about your suspect.See my past posts on all suspects from my first post till now.
All suspects are in the same slow boat to Zhina-NO hard evidence, no conviction and that means your guy is on the boat too-so let's be a little more humble and cut the East coast snippy stuff.
You have never read Bruce Davis' psychological reports ,so how do know he doesn't fit the Zodiac profile?I have them and they took years and lots of money to get them.I will publish them when I am ready-or when my webmaster is ready!I can tell you that he fits quite nicely.I have studied psychology since the 60's and know the field fairly well.I don't see a problem.
I have shown to all those who will listen,that Davis is a good suspect and I can overcome objections just as you have had to do with TK!
I resent your comments.That I would spend my time and money researching a suspect that was not truly "viable" is insulting to my perception and my profession as a researcher since 1963.
Ted is not ahead or behind the pack of suspects- he's running right along with all the other"viable"suspects.It's an unsolved case,so we all have to be a little more humble and that is viable!
If I converted this whole Board to my suspect-or to anyones suspect, the case would still be UNSOLVED for lack of hard evidence.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (235.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, May 18, 2002 - 07:57 am:

Howard, I detect here an implied insult to your ego. I believe you are only assuming that I'm guilty of showing due lack of humility, in the way that poor people automatically assume that the rich are arrogant. But fair enough. I won't post about Kaczynski and Davis in the same breath, and no one's feelings will get hurt. Let's carry on, shall we?

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-0010.stbg.splitrock.net - on Saturday, May 18, 2002 - 09:08 am:

Howard, I'm not so sure that I would group all the suspects as equal here. Look at the GRK case: you had: the truck painter, the cabbie, the fur trapper, the lawyer, and the escapee. One was an extremely compelling suspect(now under arrest), the other 4 were either "profile-rejects" or were otherwise distractions. I'm not suggesting that the Zodiac suspects are all poor except Kaczynski, just pointing out that suspects are not necessarily of the same caliber within an unsolved murder mystery. I believe that Zodiac targeted couples, in part, because he was resentful or otherwise suffered persecution from shapely, young and beautiful girls. I think, that in line with this is, Zodiac wasn't enjoying the company of pretty young woman, so to speak. When he writes in code: It is even better than "being with a girl": I believe this displays paranoid persecution in that Zodiac is writing that he is denied this but he has something "even better" as an answer to the persecution he suffers. To me, this doesn't seem to be in line with what I've read about the Family life, in a manner of speaking. I will admit that this is opinion but I'm leaning more towards an angry loner suffering at the sight of young ladies, with no "bean-spilling" possibilities. Howard, I do appreciate the objective and no-nonsense approach that you have towards this case.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-ta032.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, May 18, 2002 - 04:38 pm:

I had some of the same issues with Davis as Z.
I thus searched out everything I could find on the sexual side of the Manson Family. In one of the books there was an entire chapter devoted to just this. While all the men certainly had a bevy of beauties to choose from, Manson had the ultimate control. When a newbie such as say Linda Kasabian would arrive they would all be expected to have sex with her (even some of the women), but what was interesting to me was when certain Manson women were interviewed many years later, they were asked about their sexual encounters with certain Manson men. While all of them remembered there sexual seances with Manson in minute detail, the consensus on Davis was that it was totally forgettable. Nothing special at all. And while Watson and say Beausoleil were remembered as very "horny", Davis seemed almost asexual. I guess one can take what they will from that.
I am not convinced Davis is Zodiac, though I find him a good candidate. Ted K is also very good. My problem with TK is that he simply seems too d*mn smart to be Z. Zodiac has always seemed as lucky as he was intelligent. I just don't know if I can picture Z going to Harvard at 16, and being at such an astronmically high mathematical level. TK is up there with John Nash.
Davis, on the other hand is not unintelligent by any means. He did quite well in high school where he was editor of the yearbook. (He really did get dumped by a "brownett" in his senior year.) Later he goes on to college and has a very erratic record to say the least, he has a number of F's, some D's and C's, a few B's and A's. He continuously attempts chemistry.
This type of an academic history tends to fit the psychological profile of say Kelleher. Keep in mind as well that Davis was brutally abused by his stepfather and his mother was apparently complicitous in this. He did not have a positive mother/son relationship.
You are right about Howard's approach. Not only is he a thorough and highly regarded investigator but one can have an honest disagreement with him and he is man enough, and gentlemanly enough to keep to the high ground and never, ever sink to personal attacks.
One last point on the Manson women. They all named Davis as the one they were truly terrified of. I found this interesting as I would have assumed it would have been Watson. Not at all, according to the gals. It was definitely Davis.

By Linda (Linda) (208-59-124-159.s159.tnt1.frdr.md.dialup.rcn.com - on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 06:25 am:

Hi, Sylvie... I'm moving my response to your message over to a new thread called "Kaczynski - Removal from Society."

See you there...


By Judy (Judy) (waf-dc26-168.rasserver.net - on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 07:43 am:

Howard, when will you or your webmaster be "ready"
to share the reports on your suspect? Why the


By Linda (Linda) (208-59-124-27.s27.tnt1.frdr.md.dialup.rcn.com - on Sunday, May 19, 2002 - 07:55 am:

Howard... I tried to visit your website through this Web's links, but couldn't get through. Maybe you're updating it now. Although I have not read your book yet, I plan on obtaining one so I can understand your point of view (and similarities/connections) on Davis as a suspect. I'm sure your research is professional and thorough. I will certainly look forward to reading it.


By HJNelson (Hjnelson) (66-81-18-27-modem.o1.com - on Tuesday, May 21, 2002 - 12:47 am:

Judy and Linda:

I have only just been able to recover from serious system problems. I was just this weekend trying to put a few changes up on zodiacmurders.com but the server for the site has also been experiencing some problems and I have been unable to access the site. Hopefully very soon things will be working again for all concerned. Thanks for your patience.

Jim - Howard's Web guy

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 05:33 pm:

In answer to your 5/18/02 post,which is appreciated as I like openess,etc.I can readily assure you that my remarks had nothing to do with an 'insult to my ego'-zero.I will stand on my record of posts over the years,which have not been ego centric.You will note how I handled Curt when he blasted me.It was his right to do this and I commended him for his honesty.That would have been an opportnity to show my supposed egotism!
We can't all "like" all of the posters and the content of their posts,but we can have a free and open exchange of ideas.
Of course,I don't mind you even 'attacking' my suspect and/or mentioning him along side of your suspect,as long as the facts are straight.If they are not, then I will respond just as you have done when your suspect has been misjudged as a Zodiac suspect.
You have done an excellent job of elevating your guy to Zodiac status by clearing up misconceptions as to why he can't- and why he can -be a viable suspect.It was difficult work to get to the evidence-this I realize.I have worked hard to do the same for my guy.
We are not here to 'convert' the posters to our suspects as this will do NOTHING to solve the case.When we start to say 'my guy is better than yours' that's when I step in-no ego display meant.
No problems on my side-so it's zonward!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (93.philadelphia-18-19rs.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 06:04 pm:

Fair enough, Howard.

By Tony (Mahalo) (hnllhi1-ar1-4-65-051-246.hnllhi1.dsl-verizon.net - on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 10:27 pm:

Howard: Your post on 5-18 sounds like the title of a Beatles movie. It's been a "Night-Rough Day". Anyway, although Allen is a great suspect, there's something in me hoping he's not Z and we can witness his live capture in our lifetime.

By Judy (Judy) (0-1pool20-22.nas31.philadelphia1.pa.us.da.qwest.net - on Monday, May 27, 2002 - 01:41 pm:

Jim, thanks for the update. Looking forward to the
new update as soon as it is up.