"Badlands" Letter

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Letters: "Badlands" Letter

By Jake (Jake) (spider-th022.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 03:56 pm:

What I need to do is quit my job and buy a computer with a bigger hard drive and a faster modem so that I can download and organize all these APB files. If any forward thinkers out there have put them on disk or CDR, drop me a line.

Anyway, another little tidbit I found recently is the information that the "Badlands" letter wasn't a letter at all, but rather a postcard, according to several FBI reports from August '74.

While an SFPD Inspector (probably Toschi, but his name was redacted) confided in the Bureau that he felt this postcard and the "Count Marco" letter were fakes, the FBI Laboratory later reported that they "were probably prepared by the writer of the ZODIAC letters" (Report of the FBI Lab, 9/8/74).

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-1033.stbg.splitrock.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 09:50 am:

The "SLA" letter was written in the same year as the "BADLANDS" letter. They are both possibly the work of Zodiac. If so, the "SLA" letter shows or otherwise confirms that Zodiac likes to play games, or otherwise notices patterns, with words. Like "SLA" =s "Symbonese? Liberation Army", Zodiac may have noticed that his desktop poem "Sick Of Living" holds the initials "SOL". "Sol-", of course, is relating to the sun. Maybe this is why he put the sun symbol in "TO", that's also within the title. SOL/sun symbol. Even if the dot in "O" in "TO" was a pre-existing mark on the desk, he may have purposely circled it, creating the sun symbol.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 10:56 am:

A poster with the name Hurly(who knew astrology)came up with the same observation(see her old posts) that the o on the desk bottom -not top(see posts)has a dot in the center which can depict the sun in astrological symbolism.

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-1072.stbg.splitrock.net - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 01:02 pm:

I believe the "Badlands" letter/postcard to be most revealing. Appreciate the following comparisons. Z-"I would like to express my consternation concerning your...lack of sympathy for the public.." FC-"I would like, ideally, to break down all society.."(non-charade version). Z-"In 1959, most people were killing time." FC- "Most modern people must be constantly must be constantly occupied or entertained, otherwise they get bored." Z-"KiT and Holly were killing people" FC-"The idea was to kill a lot of business people" FC-"We've had to kill some people." Z-"In light of recent events, this kind of murder glorification can only be deplorable at best" FC- "We strongly deplore this kind of indiscriminate slaughter that occured in the Oklahoma City event." (That one's espicially tight). Z- "not that glorification of violence was EVER justifiable" FC- "..it seems doubtful that rational, long term social planning can EVER be successful."(In both cases, the writer(s) emphasized "ever") FC-"The article will not explicitly advocate violence" Kaczynski(SOF)-"Its unethical ever to use violence". Z-" Why don't you show some concern for public sensibilities and cut the ad ?" FC-??? The writer has sarcastically closed with an answer to the beginning "concerning your...lack of sympathy for the public..by running the ad.
Though it appears I have gone haywire over the "Badlands" letter, it is my favorite and since Zodiac has revealed that he can spell, maybe he has revealed more.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (129.philadelphia05rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 02:09 pm:

The only thing that bothers me about the provenance of the Badlands letter is that there's no real confirmation that it came from Zodiac. The handwriting is completely different from any other Zodiac style, although it's a pretty good match for the SLA letter, also unauthenticated. Be that as it may, your points are well taken, Zander, in terms of the similarity in style to the Kaczynski writings. There's also the point that this letter was mailed from Alameda County in 1974. We don't know where Kaczynski was at that point in 1974, but he spent the winter of 1974 in Oakland (see the Sally Johnson Psychological Report). Additionally, you might find it interesting to compare the question mark on the Badlands letter with two exemplars from a copy of the New York Times letter found in Kaczynsi's cabin. See http://home.att.net/~mignarda/question.gif.

By Spencer (Spencer) (acc1703a.ipt.aol.com - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 06:11 pm:

>"In 1959, most people were killing time."

Remember, though, that this line is a direct quote from the advertisement for the movie Badlands, so its probative value as to Z's writing style is questionable at best.


By Spencer (Spencer) (acc1703a.ipt.aol.com - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 06:13 pm:

Oh, also, "Kit and Holly were killing people" is also a direct quote from the advertisement.


By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-1087.stbg.splitrock.net - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 08:08 pm:

Doug, that question mark comparison is interesting. At this point, though, I wouldn't be surprised if both Kaczynski and Zodiac double-dotted their question marks(just kidding). There are so many "hot" comparisons between your suspect and Zodiac, then it's either, well that's another coincidence or it's the same writer. Look at the rarity involved in constructing a sentence with: deplore, in...event, this kind of.. followed by a two-word desricption of murder. To me, the reader is left with limited options: high coincidence? same writer! or the unlikeliness that Kaczynski was imitating from the Zodiac case. Of course I can understand taking a professional approach in that "Badlands" is unverified. I do believe whoever wrote it was disguising his handwriting because of the odd combination of intellectual/sloppy writing. Maybe I'm going overboard here, but when I read the sentence "It's unethical ever to use violence" said the bosun, from Ship Of Fools, I was amazed at how similar that sounded to the "ever,violence" sentence from "Badlands". "EVER" appears emphasized once again and I sense a rather unique sarcasm in both.
Spencer, I didn't know that those were unoriginal quotes. In my defense though, I was trying to compare the whole letter and some are kind of weak and the "deplore, in...event, this kind of (two-word murder catch phrase) is meant to be the main comparison and "ever, violence" comparison as a minor. I really could just substitute Zodiacs "I like killing people" for "KiT and Holly were killing people". I admit it's weak either way. Even though "Most people were killing time" is unoriginal, a line like that has a lot of meaning to Kaczynski. It's similar to "I gave the cops sum busy work to do to keep them happy". Though the average reader doesn't read too much into lines like these, they actually snowball into meaning so much more. Believe it or not, a line like "Most people were killing time" might be foundational to 2000 words of diatribe in the "Manifesto". At any rate, I agree with you Spencer in the weakness of some of my "Badlands" comparison. I wonder what you think of the "deplore" comparison ? Or anyone else ?

By Linda (Linda) (208-59-124-210.s210.tnt1.frdr.md.dialup.rcn.com - on Monday, May 06, 2002 - 01:25 am:

Zander... Great job on all of the new similarities you've identified. To me, the word "deplorable," would be an unusual one for Zodiac to use if he is the type of unintelligent perpetrator some think him to be. If the "Badlands" letter could be proven to be one from "Z," then the connection with Kaczynski's use of "deplore" is another very unique one.

As you've probably realized from my posts, I believe a key element in identifying the Zodiac will be in the writing. Every single person has certain words or phrases that they enjoy using and/or hearing themselves use. Even on this board, if no names were used, I'll bet almost every one of us could name the writer of a given message using comparisons of writing style, words used, grammar and punctuation.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (160.philadelphia06rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, May 06, 2002 - 02:10 am:

Actually, Zander, "most people were killing time" is arguably one of the Manifesto's central themes--the idea that modern people spend too much time in "surrogate activities" that have nothing to do with the maintenance of life.