The Zultimate Challenge Message Board: Other Suspects: The Zultimate Challenge

By Tom Voigt (Admin) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 09:00 pm:

It seems virtually every Zodiac suspect is accompanied by a laundry list of circumstantial evidence connecting them to the Zodiac.

Just how valid are these connections?

Let's try an experiment. I'm going to name a celebrity we are all (?) familiar with. Let's see how many ways you amateur detectives can connect him to the Zodiac. Ready?

Allan Melvin

View pic

By Bucko (Bucko) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 10:20 pm:

OK, I'll bite. For starters, he looks suspiciously similar to the Stine composite drawing.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 10:28 pm:

In 1966, the suspect was in California and starred in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show called The Gunslinger.

In 1969 he made his first appearance on The Brady Bunch in an episode called Sorry, Right Number.

The Zodiac was known for using both a gun and a phone.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 10:32 pm:

Wasn't Allan Melvin good friends with Steve Mcqueen?

He was definately an actor with many acquaintances. Also, didn't he befriend Arthur Leigh Allen in the late 60s?

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 10:41 pm:

Well . . . at first blush, I recall him in uniform, from Gomer Pyle and Sgt. Bilko (Phil Silvers). More obviously, with the name Melvin, that evokes the image of a certain portly attorney; and the name Allan, I guess would be an alternative spelling of you know who.

He has one of those screen faces that is so familiar yet unplaceable. I'll continue to mull it over and maybe do some research.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 11:33 pm:

AKA Sam "the Butcher"

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 11:43 pm:

Sam Franklin from the Brady Bunch, as in SF's Franklin street?

And, perhaps, Sgt. Hacker from Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., as in the hacking deaths of CJB and CS?

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 01:00 am:

Alan Hale was originally offered the part of Sam the butcher by Sherwood Schwartz, but he turned it down because he thought that Sam was "too low class." Of course, we all know that a few years before on the Gilligan's Island episode "You've Been Disconnected" (originally aired on 1-13-1966), a telephone cable washed up into the lagoon and the Professor was able to make a phone so they could call for help. And Z used a phone on two occasions...

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 03:24 am:

Doesn't appear to be a lot of information around outside of his various roles in films/tv.Bet one could make many such connections with other actors.
Born on 18th of Feb 1923,would make him 45 in 1968!.
Could connect him to the board,he appeared in many episodes of the Andy Griffith show including;- Barney's first car" as JAKE and another epidode called HOWARD'S Main Event.As to Zodiac,Melvin also appeared in an episode of "My favourite Martian" called "Heir today gone tomorrow".

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 07:19 am:

I'm in the presence of masters.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 09:28 am:

His longest running and best known role was on All in the Family. We know which Family, too.

By Bucko (Bucko) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 11:01 pm:

Melvin's father was a "film" salesman. Allan Melvin also did a stint in the Navy.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 12:33 am:

Wow...he's already a better suspect than Lawrence Kane!

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 06:30 am:

A significant part of Melvin's income was from work on a show called "Talespin", which included an episode entitled "All's Whale That Ends Whale" with characters like Moby Dimple. Point is, this stuff put food on his table, and to publicize the fact that he would do such work to survive, he obviously created the self-promoting message "Melvin Eats Blubber".

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 08:04 am:

Anybody looking at the ciphers? Surely there must be a connection there.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 09:35 am:

Yes, Alan. In the "My name is..." cipher, I clearly see "Mr Allan Melvin". BTW, if you rearrange the letters in Allan Melvin you get "Ted Kaczynski."

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Thursday, December 12, 2002 - 12:21 am:

Melvin's character in The Brady Bunch, "Sam the Butcher", was seemingly ambivalent toward sex and marriage (much to Alice's dismay.)

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Thursday, December 12, 2002 - 09:08 am:

As to being ambivalent towards Alice, that I can understand.

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Thursday, December 12, 2002 - 05:39 pm:

Warren wrote:
"As to being ambivalent towards Alice, that I can understand."

How dare you sir! Alice was one hell of a woman and quite the sexpot.


By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, December 12, 2002 - 06:15 pm:

They did finally get married (referenced in the TV movies), although Sam never showed up after the series. BTW, he was only in 8 episodes over the entire 5 seasons, believe it or not!

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Friday, December 13, 2002 - 07:25 am:

But Spencer, sexpot to which sex? I believe she was "outed" by one of the rags - National Enquirer, I seem to recall.

By Bucko (Bucko) ( - on Friday, December 13, 2002 - 09:38 am:

Melvin is said to enjoy sailing. Interestingly, autograph collectors claim he can display mood swings. It is said, while some autograph requests are graciously met with a returned signed photo, others are torn to pieces and returned to the sender.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 10:38 pm:

He also did cartoon voices and was the original voice of Magilla Gorilla..which was first run in 1964. So they both were active in the 1960s.
Melvin eats blubber..could be an obsure reference to the "Sam the Butcher" character.
"Magilla Gorilla the Zodiac Killa" is a nifty rhyme and could be a cool rap song.
That's about all I have.