Halloween Card 27/10/69

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Letters: Halloween Card 27/10/69

By H. (webcachew08b.cache.pol.co.uk - on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 - 02:51 pm:

In a previous conversation it was discussed that the 'manic, blotchy' text in the dripping pen card was not Z's.

Looking at the Halloween card to Paul Averly (sic) in Graysmith I find it hard to tell exactly which of the lettering was down to Z and which was part of the design.

The rhyme '...you ache to know my name...' seems very appropriate in light of claims to reveal his identity but this looks to be part of the card itself. No?

Also according to 'the SHOCKING true story of America's most BIZARRE MASS MURDERER' the 14 eyes and the skeleton within the card and the pumpkin on the front were added by Z. And the inking was done in "white ink such as artists and draughtsmen use" - how much of the lettering did Z do himself because it all looks white?

Plus the eyes seem to be peering from out of a tree - was that added by Z? He should have handed the thing in for a art assignment.

By Spencer (Spencer) (tcache-tl01.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, June 20, 2001 - 01:21 am:

Does anybody else think that the symbol on the Halloween card that looks vaguely like this /\/\ (at the far bottom of the second side, in the middle, to the left of the Z and the cross-symbol) resembles the two bigger pyramids at Giza in profile? For an example, look at the following image: http://www.ancient-mysteries.com/GizaNec/3pyr_s/3pyr_s.html

Compare it to the image on the Halloween card, available in the "Letters" section of zodiackiller.com


By Ed N (Ed_N) (tcache-ntc-tb01.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, June 20, 2001 - 02:15 am:

I think it looks more like Mt. Diablo, as shown on my site.

Mt. Diablo and the composite Taurus symbol

By Eduard (Eduard) (erasmuscollege.nl - on Wednesday, June 20, 2001 - 04:36 am:

And I think it looks like a bat.


By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p76.as2.dungarvan1.eircom.net - on Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 03:52 am:

I think it looks like two letters from the Phoenician alphabet joined together.
The inverted "L" on the left=C
The falling "F" to the right=J.

By Thomas R (Thomasr) (c121313-a.grlnd1.tx.home.com - on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 08:21 pm:

This is a wild-hair theory, but what if the "LF" symbol is a map overlay? If you put the center point of the symbol (where the "L" and "F" join) on Mount Diablo, could it possibly point to other sites?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (21.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 09:58 pm:

I perceive it possibly to be two Runic characters, those standing for "L" and "A" conjoined in the middle.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-21.linkline.com - on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 01:26 am:

Why Los Angeles of course!Just kiddin'

By The Fife (Thefife) (host020.bro.capgroup.com - on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 10:17 am:

Just for the record, it's not the "A" rune you are thinking of but the "AE". An "F" with the cross strokes pointing down to the right.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-211.linkline.com - on Friday, August 24, 2001 - 12:34 am:

On the envelope of the 10/27/70 Halloween card the word Paul Averly(misspelling like on the Tahoe card and Waverly Dr.-(Paul)AVERLY in "LA" was the scene of a Manson crime 8/9/69-"wave" as in water) has the l Av underlined by Zodiac."LA" or Los Angeles or 'LV' for Las Vegas; both cities are connected to my suspect.

The symbol in the left hand corner has been described as a "flange beam" in construction (Davis worked construction)or a stylized "pelican"(Louisiana is the "Pelican State"-Davis was born there 10/5/42)or the Greek and Hebrew characters/symbols for Taurus complete with four dots as seen in a popular astrology book.This view was presented by Graysmith.This has some merit.Right above in the astrology book there is Taurus and Venus(Venus is said to rule both Taurus and Libra- my guys astro' sign-Taurus is Mansons Rising sign and is opposite of Scorpio his birth sign, of interest if one is into astrology like they both were).

The four dots are interesting to me as Manson signed his name at times with four dots.There is occult meaning-four is also the universal number representing NEWS-the four directions and four corners of the world.Zodiac comes out to a four in numerology as does Manson and Bruce(both were heavy into this subject).Manson said that he "was Christ [God]four times in world thought, Satan four times and Abraxes[look this up] four times."The use of a war time non presidential stamp -rare-that says "In the beginning God..."is of interest to my postulate of Manson inspiration.There is "4-TEEN" on the Halloween card.

In the 4/20/70 (Hitlers B Day-a Taurus-Mansons idol)missive Zodiac had circled three symbols for Taurus-they were NOT three circled 8's as some say-this is ignorance of astrology.

Some may wish to look into the prison pig-pen code derived from the Rosicrucian/Masonic alphabet-which both M and D were familiar with.

I think Zodiac was highly symbolic and as one code Expert wrote to Dave Peterson Z used multiplicity in his meanings-there was a duality.All FYI

By ZK (Zk) (ip-24-197-136-036.spart.sc.charter.com - on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 02:28 pm:

If you look at the skeleton's hand near 4-teen, you'll see a "T" plainly. It's even visible from the yellow Zodiac's pic. This kind of reminds me of when Jack left an M(Montague?) in blood at the Kelly scene. But now look under the "T" and you'll see what's best described as a 3-stroke "K". So I wonder if Ted faintly etched his initials there.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acbfcd7b.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 04:38 pm:

I think you have a very active imagination, Zander. Also, it's an "FM" that is visible on the wall in the photo of Mary Kelly's room, possibly the initials of "Fanny Maybrick," Ripper suspect James Maybrick's wife.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acadd61d.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 05:01 pm:

H. brought up an interesting point in the first post way back in September 2000: Z sure seems to have had an artistic streak in him if he added 12 eyes (plus 2 more for the skeleton on the front of the card). Is it possible that Z was a commercial artist of some sort? Possibly even a (frustrated) comic-book artist (keeping in mind the Z-Batman connection discussed in General Zodiac Discussion: Batman vs Dr. Zodiac : Exploring the Batman connections), who worked for a small company rather than DC, who published Batman?

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 08:01 am:

Since you mentioned construction: could the eyes represent bees, which live in trees. The eyes are bi-colored with the lighter color in the form of C's. There was a construction regiment in the Navy called "SeaBees" formed after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The men drafted for this group were builders of Boulder Dam, sky scrapers, etc..

Their work was specifically construction and fighting. There logo is a bee flying with a machine gun. There are naval histories that discuss their work in more detail. They were also used in the exploration of Antarctica (base construction).

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 11:29 am:

If anything- they represent Zs victims-the count lines up with his claiming of victims at that point of time.
There is,as Dave Peterson said,the "Evil Eye" used in witchcraft and the dark side of the occult-it was a HALLOWEEN card!

By Wendi (Wendi) (dpc6682009030.direcpc.com - on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 10:47 pm:

I personally like the writing around the large dark eye on the left.
Where can I find an original of this card, without Z's modifications? Any idea?

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 10:06 pm:

Write the Gibson card co.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 07:13 am:

Was the "I feel it in my bones..." verse original to the card? The printing is pretty even. I know they said Z used white ink on the card, that's why I ask.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 11:30 am:

The "I feel it in my bones"was on the original card. All the rest of the adds-including lettering and eye drawings- we know Z did,so the only little mystery that remains,as far as I know,is from what other card or source did he obtain the orange pumpkin(and the skeleton inside the card too)he pasted on the cards printed skeleton.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 08:35 am:

The Halloween card was the reason Avery obtained a gun. Did he give the gun up before he received the anonymous letter about Riverside or before he went to Riverside or was it after his Riverside investigation?

Graysmith doesn't give a date when Avery got the gun, just that he got into trouble "right away" and gave the gun up. The next date in ZU after the gun incident, is November 13, 1970, after Avery had gone to Riverside.

I ask because I feel that the Halloween card (besides being near the date of Cheri's murder)
may be suggesting the Riverside murder BEFORE the anonymous letter was received leading to Riverside.

From what I understand, this is the timeline. Is this the order of events?

>Halloween Card received.
>The press releases a story about the threat to Avery.
>An anonymous letter leading to Riverside is received after the threat to Avery.
>Avery gets permission to carry a gun.
>An incident causes Avery to give the gun up.
>Avery receives info on the Riverside murder.
>Avery goes to Riverside.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 04:06 pm:

Ok, it's in Graysmith's first book. Avery got his gun after the anonymous letter and his visit to Riverside if the gun incident happened on Jan.3rd, 1971 "right away" after he got the gun. It took a long time considering the threat.

Graysmith describes the skeleton inside the Halloween card as in a "mock crucifixion position." I feel this could suggest Captain Cross of Riverside.

The web in the upper right corner near the hand of the skeleton could suggest Z's cunning at disabling Cheri's car (VW "bug")and her entrapment.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 04:41 pm:

In your book, you have a cheerleading picture of Cheri, and her arms are extended in a "cross" position too.

Maybe Z saw the picture in a yearbook.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 05:09 pm:

Much of what we render in the Zodiac case is speculation,even in regards to case fact.It is when we extrapolate these facts(like the Halloween card and its contents)into probabilities that have a legion of uncertainties and possibilities as to just what Zodiac actually meant.
He was symbolic and dualistic(and occultic IMHO)in his thinking. So based on his provclivities and background, we conjure up what we THINK he meant by using this or that symbol,etc.
All of this is a source of information and insight,but that is all.
In establishing a suspect we analyze his background and interests,etc., to see if they parallel or even match Zodiacs known murders and letter contents.
We know this has resulted in numerous suspects and the future will yield even more as the researcher base expands and more individuals are examined.There will be matches and parallels just as we have with the Ripper Case.
In the Ripper murders,,historical figures that the researcher has never known, except for accounts,will be selected based on the number and kind of similarites that are found to match the Ripper and his crimes.
Matches are uncovered because the MORE people that are studied the more their personalities and characteristics will unfold and line up with the Ripper in some way.
The same holds true with letter and card content,but with this difference-we base our conjectures as to what a Zodiac symbol or cryptic remark meant based on OUR knowledge and what we THINK he meant.This won't solve the Z crimes,but leads to fractionated evidence-real or imagined(leads to nowhere village)- that could possibly result in a solid holistic solution.But,this MUST also be connected with DNA,writing analysis,fingerprints,an established confession,if suspect is still alive,etc.
When Z uses the'rope,fire,gun and knife' wordage in the Halloween card, we can pretty well estabish he is referring to his canonical crimes,but CJB with out stretched arms represented by the skeltons mock crucifixtion pose is quite another speculation!
Some researchers debate whether or not Averly was the '14th' victim on the card or whether Z was actually referring to some other future victim!
Ol' Twain said"There are two times in a person's life when they should not speculate:when they can't afford it and when they can."
To blazes with Mark-it's the Zodiac case-"have fun" as Z said!

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (cache-dh03.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 08:40 pm:

"Have fun" is also a famous quote from Ken Russell's wild film, THE DEVILS. It is uttered by the Pope.

When was that film released?

Eventually everyone is suspect.

By ScottN (Scottn) (pool0792.cvx34-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 09:16 pm:

Howard, in my opinion the cognitive process you are describing is very similar to what some psychoanalysts (Donald Spence is one) have recently turned to to revive that practice against charges that Freud fabricated case histories-- acknowledging that we often build a narritive truth, as opposed to historical truth, when we attempt to explain behavior.

It's the process of building an understanding forged through an open acknowledgement of biases and indiosynchracies of the examiner of the information (the analyst or in this case the detective). That understanding is merely a story that synthesizes disparate facts; that gives them a theme and a context; in other words, it is a narritive truth that is not to be confused with an historical truth-- the identity of the actual Zodiac. That determination awaits independent confirmation through dna, fingerprints, etc.

When we walk through a multi-layered process like Z's construction of the Halloween card, at every turn we are adding our own layers of purported fact based on our understanding of what he might have meant. The addition of the extra skeleton and the pumpkin are perfect examples. Even if we stay as "pure" and "objective" as possible, we must certainly be influenced by the mental pictures we draw as to the motivation for a human being to include these in the card.

Spence and others allow, and even encourage that process, AS LONG AS the analyst is clear that he is projecting onto the material in order to construct a cohesive story. By contrast, Freud would never have owned up to what part his own mind played: his diagnoses are presented as FACT.

While we aren't analysts, and while this is a hard dynamic to get one's arms around, I think we can learn from what's ocurred in that arena.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 07:37 am:

Add to that, we have so much to unlearn about these cases.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 06:59 am:

14th Victim. The card says "You are doomed." I would take that personally too if the card were sent to me. Is thee a copyright date on the card? I was wondering if Z bought it that Halloween season.

The pasted skeleton looks very delicate, too delicate for normal scissors. Maybe he used something like an exacto knife to cut it out.

By ScottN (Scottn) (pool0321.cvx3-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 12:21 pm:

Interesting that he would own an exacto knife, Book. Only layout artists tend to have those, at least based on my experience.

By Muskogee (Muskogee) (209-223-48-115-dyndsl.oplnk.net - on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 04:45 pm:

It looked to me to be one of those skeletons you hang on the wall in elementary school along with pumpkins, ghosts, etc. But, then again, it was very tiny for that.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 05:40 pm:

When we read the 14 (in the palm of the skeleton)or 14th, we ASSUME Z is referring to Avery.Some believe that Z is giving his new total victim count as 14 and the implication is Avery will join them,but that Z doesn't include a 15 or 15th for "slave" summation inclusion-not yet,that is!
The skeleton pasted by Z on the card seems to be in a mock crucifixion position(see position of feet besides the outstretched arms)and this COULD hark back to the 10/5/70(see old posts by the posters here)imitation blood cross i.e.crucifixion symbol postcard.
Of interest is that both productions or cards,have the same"In the begining..."commemorative stamps with a 13 victim count(remember his previous two letters weren't published, as of yet and the 10/5/70 card gives the correct number of victims as 13 and uses the word "crackproof"like an authentic Z missive) and addressed,like the Halloween card(and the 3/22/71 Pines card),to "Paul Averly"-a nice Z like misspelling.
Using an Exacto knife is specuation too,but is a good one.We would need to see the cutting outline of the skeleton microscopically, to see if a scissors or an Exacto was used.
I wouldn't be surprised, as the author of both works goes into extra detail which took added effort and unnecessary labor- like cutting small strips of tape(Exacto?-see if cut pattern matched the 10/27/70 card cutouts)on the 10/5/70 postcard and hand drawing the eyes,etc.
This is The Zodiac Speaking renders a suggestion that the formation of the hand drawn words -'Rope/Fire/Gun and Knife'were in the form of a trying to be funny'HI'as the skeleton could appear to be waving.Lame attempts at humor were not unlike some of Z's other letter/card statements.But there is a cross pattern for sure -that does relate to the position of the glued on skeleton and the blood-like cross on the 10/5/70 paste up.
Actually,all of the cards that Z sent were of a common variety and could have been purchased at any card shop.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 06:34 pm:

Subject> Illogical Conclusion #174,962:

Message> The Exacto knife reference makes about as much sense to me as Graysmiths overhead projector thing. What is this supposed to do, narrow down the suspect field to graphic artists? Some of the thinnest paper there is is used to make sewing patterns. No, I'm not suggesting Zodiac was a seamstress with a bad attitude. I'm saying that people who sew use patterns made of the thinnest paper and they use scissors to cut out their patterns, not Exacto knives. Bottom line: Show me some paper too thin to cut with scissors and I'll show you some paper too thin to be used in a printing press.

Interesting that Z went to so much effort and/or trouble to make this card and the others. Was he trying to entertain us? Does that even make sense? No. Like all his writings, he is communicating something to us. Hmmm. What do you imagine that might be?

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 05:36 pm:

Of course,I did not make reference to a possible trade or interest Z had if he did use an Exacto.
After researching forensic files on cutting instruments perps use and how and why experts analyize them ,I see why it is vital to ID the kind of instrument/s and,hopefully,the very cutting tool/s used,so I made reference to the Exacto and the post.
I can, though, think of one case where the fornesic technicians and the detectives couldn't understand why the perp used a scissors for cutting when a knife would have been better for such a task.By examining the flaws and pattern of the scissor blades they were able to match it to the cloth the perp cut.
People with ADD(world authority on ADD Dr.D.Amend found that many criminals have ADD-Z no doubt had ADD)and there are some six kinds or types,frequently perform tasks the 'hard way' and utilize means that are not time effective.
It didn't happen this way,but let's say that pyscho Z did use an Exacto for whatever reason,to cut out the pumpkin and a skeleton from another card or production,then after examination, it was found that instead of a scissors he used an Excato,which isn't impossible.
One should NEVER assume, based on what THEY think they would do IF they were the perp what they would do or use in the commission of a crime.As one scenario,yes,but only that.All ideas need to be explored.
It is discovered quite frequently that a cutting tool has defects or distinct'patterns' on the blade-knife,scissors or,in this instance the possible use of an Exacto.
When the analysis is being done on a suspects known instruments, a microscopic examination is done to see if the cutting edge pattern on the paper,cloth,leather,etc.,is identical to the suspects instrument blade edge pattern.If there is a match,we have another nail in the suspects coffin.
Obviously,I think it is too late to do such an examination now,but in the active period of Zodiacs reign of terror,any Z suspects cutting instruments-Exacto or whatever kind of tool found that was his, should have been examined against cut patterns on any of Zodiacs paste up jobs like the Halloween card.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 10:15 pm:

I forgot to mention that bits of paper,leather, cloth or whatever, get entrapped in the instrument used for cutting and this provides a possible further material for a match.
In the case of an Exacto(not to exclude any scissors found on the premises),paper debris(along with any color on and/or in the material) could get caught in the tightening mechanism- or area where the scissor blades are conjoined- and be extracted to compare to,in this case,the orange colored pumpkin and the white and black skeleton.The colors would then be analyzed also to check for a match.I like it!

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 06:13 pm:

Evidence has been re-evaluated when better technology is available. They should investigate what was used to cut the pieces for the card, even if it wouldn't specifically lead to a suspect.

I was thinking more about the delicate nature of the skeleton's edges and how it seems to be cut very close to edges of that cartoon figure. The weight of the paper would be a consideration also.

By Sandy (Sandy) (12-233-91-30.client.attbi.com - on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 05:21 am:

Don't be to quick to close the door on the idea that Z could not be a graphic Artist. I myself when cutting out something as intricate as that skeleton was, would use a exacto,it would take forever to cut it with scissors, and it would not be as neat! From what I have seen, he seems to like to draw. "Not" to give him any credit,he has a somewhat creative mind,even though it is a sick one.

By Muskogee (Muskogee) (209-223-48-54-dyndsl.oplnk.net - on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 05:43 pm:

Do we know that Z cut the skeleton out, or is it possible that it was a free-standing skeleton from the get-go (as a decoration of some sort)?

By J Eric (J_Eric) (dialup- - on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 09:07 pm:

Like the sort of decorations that might be found at a school Halloween party or decorated school room?

By Muskogee (Muskogee) (209-223-48-54-dyndsl.oplnk.net - on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 04:26 pm:

That's what came to my mind, J. Eric. But it's really small for a decoration.

By Muskogee (Muskogee) (209-223-48-54-dyndsl.oplnk.net - on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 04:45 pm:

Does anyone else think it's strange that the "N" in "knife" is backwards? I can't think of, or find, any other instance in which Z made an "N" backwards.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 05:06 pm:

I brought that feature out in my book years ago.Very strange...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 05:12 pm:

Oh,and thank you Sandy!Sandy is an artist and would have more insight and experience in this area of discussion than most.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 05:18 pm:

Please note there is a vertically placed"y" in "By" just above "Knife"-the same word that contains the reversed N!
Sorry for the string of posts!

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (cache-mtc-ak04.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 05:40 am:

No apology necessary, Howard. This is fascinating.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (12-206-165-69.client.attbi.com - on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 06:56 am:

I think the backward N looks like the position of the arms of the cover skeleton.

My opinion on the vertical "y" is that it represents the turn of a handle or the turn of a key (like starting a car.) Some house doors lock from the inside like that too. Some garage door handles lock like that, mine does anyway.

It could be another connection to Cheri, because from experience I know the engine handle of a VW bug makes a quarter turn to lock it or open it, it's been to long to remember, but it does turn like that either way. I don't think the Karmann Ghia locks like that, but it too is a VW, and a knife was used in both murders.

By Muskogee (Muskogee) (209-223-48-54-dyndsl.oplnk.net - on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 05:20 pm:

Ooh, good catch, Howard! I missed the vertical "y" until you pointed it out. I can't figure out any obvious reason he did this. My inclination is to think he wrote the "y" vertically by mistake and didn't want to make the card messy by scratching it out, as he did in his letters (it would detract from his little pattern of words on that side of the card). His only other option would be to buy another card.

I feel the "N" being backwards is certainly deliberate. Unless you are truly dyslexic, it's downright difficult to write an "N" backwards, even if you're TRYING to do it on purpose. If he were dyslexic, I'd expect to see other evidence of this disability, which I don't.

A question about the pumpkin, which aparently was attached to the pelvis of the skeleton on the front of the card: Does anyone know if IT was a decoration or if it was cut out by hand?