Top-Secret Zodiac Letter? Message Board: Letters: Top-Secret Zodiac Letter?

By Tom Voigt (Admin) ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 01:47 pm:

Here it is, from May 1978.

(Also see The News Center for details.)

By ScottN ( on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 02:57 pm:

Some letter, Tom. I'm sure Howard will be all over the Susan Atkins reference.

Interesting that he says "Nothing will happen until I do. You people just wont let me have it any other way." Given that the controversy surrounding Toshchi authoring the 'other' 1978 letter was in full swing as of 5/4/78, it seems he was following the situation carefully.

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 02:59 pm:

Scott, I do believe Howard was the first person I showed it to...

By username ( on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 02:59 pm:

I don't believe it. It's not from 1978, it's not the Zodiac. Too many fraudulent reports make me a sceptic. Maybe we're all trying to keep the exitement alive and believe that this silly stuff is relevant. Can somebody show me something with REAL significance, please? I think Mr. Voigt has a stack of useless but intriguing information that he releases in intervals to keep the dream alive for everybody. Show us all that you have, Mr. Voigt, and end these Graysmithian deception!

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 03:05 pm:

My My, what a temper you have,username....


By Tom_Voigt ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 03:07 pm:

I don't recall endorsing the letter as being authentic. Maybe it is, maybe it's not.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 03:07 pm:

Absolutely great letter, Tom. What does everyone think of the handwriting? Wonder if we can get a reliable expert take on it. Any more info on the circumstances of its delivery? Envelope? Addressee?

Interesting new focus on LA scene: Gates, Davis, Family, Boone. Thought Z was strictly NoCal in his social consciousness

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 05:33 pm:

At the very least, it's quite interesting. I'm certainly no expert when it comes to handwriting analysis, so I'll leave that to those of y'all who are more knowledgeable on the subject. I would love to see a few "official" handwriting experts opinions, as well as those of all the regulars here.

As far as content, something about it feels un-Zodiac to me (I know, very scientific). My gut feeling is that it's a fake written by someone with great knowledge of Z's style who has an agenda with regard to social issues.

Who knows, though? Perhaps Z had a different axe to grind by '78 or was expressing it differently. I am really on the fence with regards to my opinion of its authenticity based on content.

If it is fake, someone did his homework: I completely believe Z would use such phrases as "...are in for a treat," "Please hold the applause," and "...has his work cut out for him."

By Blayne (Blayne) ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 06:05 pm:

I don't know about seems the writing, and all of you are WAY better at this than me, doesn't really match. It's very angular and I don't recall any other letter looking much like this. I agree that the writer uses a similiar style of verbage though.

Still very interesting...

By Saucy Jacky ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 06:10 pm:

The Top Secret KCAL letter is the real deal.I had real laughing fits when I read that one.Susan Atkins and Tex Watley are stupid pinheads.Tom,this Zodiac website of yours is the best and most informative on the subject yet.I urge everybody to get a copy of Tom's newest video. Thanks,Exhaunt.

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 06:57 pm:

I don't think this was Z, but the letter is intriguing.

By Scott Carlson ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 07:20 pm:

I do not think that this is a zodiac letter
ever think maybe Allens old friend in Long Beach maybe sent it?

By Mike_Cole (Mike_Cole) ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 08:29 pm:

The handwriting expert from Cold Case (or was it Primetime?) said the first things he looks at in a proposed Zodiac letter are the 'k's. The Zodiac had a distinctive and somewhat rare three-stroke 'k'. This letter does not appear to have 'k's of this type. Although certainly not conclusive, this fact suggests the letter may not be authentic.

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 10:23 pm:

The one thing that stood out to me more than anything else was the inordinant number of pen pauses the author made in writing the text. Note: You can see these in the blobs of ink that accumulate whenever your pen stops in one place.

Just about every letter shows these blobs of ink at various points--often in mid-letter--which suggests the author may have been trying to mimic the Z's handprinting, or otherwise writing in something other than his/her own hand.

Bruce Monson

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 10:32 pm:

That might be true, however a much better job could have been done if the writer's intent was to copy earlier letters.

By john prisk ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 11:20 pm:

I dot know. At the risk of beating the statement to death: I'm no expert in handwriting. Some parts look similar and other parts look ridiculously different; primarily the use of so many hyphens. The author (whomever he/she may be) also seemed to pack a lot more writing into a tighter space. The author also ended his salutation of "This is the Zodiac speaking" with a period. That is a bit uncharacteristic if I'm not mistaken. Also the author tends to inappropriately capitalize certain words; something the earlier letters didn't do.
The different look (and the pen hesitation marks) could be caused by what appears to be a different kind of writing implement. Although I'm not swayed by the use of the vulgarities.
I guess I'm leaning towards the letter being a fake.
As an afterthought, wasn’t there a discussion of a letter with similar text to it on the M.B. here right around mid-summer?

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 11:22 pm:

John, the ABC show over the summer showed a poor copy of the letter.

By Stromjunkie ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 01:00 am:

Very interesting!


By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 01:03 am:

I am glad that Tom finally posted the Channel Nine letter.
I was quite surprised that so many have already adjudged the letter as a fake!Truly incredible.
I have spent a great many weeks and late night hours carefully analyzing each letter,sentences and various other characteristics with all known Zodiac letters and notes, that are innate to this remarkable missive with ultra violet light and magnification.Slowly, a new world unfolds.
The lap top I am using seems to get an 'error' and I lose any post of length,but I have some preliminary comments that I will post this week from my notes.Many will be very detailed.Oh joy!Just click to another thread!
Some quick observations.It is incorrect to say that Zodiac always made a three stroke k(or that he always made the same style of d-wrong!).Even Document Expert for the state of CA, Sherwood Morrill ,indicated that Zodiac changed this form of ks.One example is the '74 Citizen letter.
A forger would want to make certain that a three stroker would have been employed in the CN letter-in my view and for sure an FYI.
Zodiac,in most cases, did not end his salutation "This is the Zodiac speaking with a coma or a period for that matter,but in the 10/13/69 letter he terminates his bizzare greeting with a period!
A computer expert at TRW,a friend of mine,said that he studied the letter and that he believes the writer ended the salutation with an equal sign,but in haste, changed it.Examine it carefully with magnification before ya yelp aloud.
If so, this would be like the very Western Union(see Confession letter-which is presented as a WU telegram IMHO all in caps and the Pines card for the equal sign)usuage of an equal sign in a telegram.See examples of this on the net.
Z makes the rules, which he then changes at will.This is just one instance of a single unique feature observed in Zs writing patterns.
I believe he changes his style or mode of writing( as per '69 anti indentification book advice) to disguise his ordinary writing habits for obvious reasons.
I have examined Zs writings since '87 and it still is a fascinanting journey.
One of the things one looks for is similar pen lifts and depressions to find a match and the CN letter certaily doesn't fail us in this examination.
If they and other patterns don't match, then fake is cried;but if we have a match then it is a forgery!Write it off if you do and write it off if you don't!
Keep in mind, this is a letter that clearly is written in anger and with a Z-like in a hurry to write and mail.
Also,it has been some four years since he has written,so there would be some 'changes'(which would also be contrived) with some old traits evident.
Can anyone say that the '74 spate of letters(like the '74 Exorcist "note"for example?) were exactly like the earlier missives four years back?No,of course not-unless one is like a cross-eyed teacher that can't control her pupils lol.
Someone told me in private that the letter was a fake because the writer in the CN letter used "hey,"which was unlike a Zodiacism.I had to kindly point out that Zodiac used "hey" twice in his 11/9/69 diatribe.Lots of fun! Zore later.

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 02:38 am:

Howie, bring it on!

As most readers aren't aware of, Howard and I met in private not long ago and discussed the letter thoroughly. I look forward to his thoughts being posted right here, as they are quite insightful.

By kat markle ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 04:19 am:


By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 04:52 am:

It looks like a fake to me. The handwriting isn't even close, and it lacks the twisted wit of the verified missives. It looks like something somebody like that White Rabbit character would write.

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 09:06 am:

Howard wrote:
"Z makes the rules, which he then changes at will."

Very good point, with regard to all things Z, not just his writing!

What some of the readers may not know is the amount of time and effort Howard has put into analyzing this letter, as well as other evidence. Keep that in mind when you read his comments!

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 10:09 am:

I just love agreeing with Alan!

By Rachel Orsini (Rachel_Orsini) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 10:11 am:

Hi Guys~
Does anyone know if anything about Zodiac aired on Channel 9 in the weeks/months leading up to the letter? I apologize if this question has been addressed previously on the MB.

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 11:30 am:

Rachel, this latest letter came just days after the notorious "Toschi Letter" of late April 1978, which got huge publicity. It's very likely Channel 9 covered the entire scandal, as did just about every news-media source in California.

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 01:25 pm:

Howard, I'm an admirer of yours and I appreciate the hours of analysis you've done on the letter; I was just going with my gut feeling. I won't say the letter is a fake, because I am by no means familiar with handwriting-analysis techniques. It's just my opinion that this was not the work of Zodiac. What makes me doubt this missive, apart from the appearance of the handwriting, is the harsh language; as John pointed out, this doesn't quite sound like Z.

By Jim (Jim) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 02:04 pm:

where there is one there are bound to be others ... keep up the search, something of significance will come out, and it will be a real letter too. not so say that this one is or isn't....... there must be more out there: sent to private citizens perhaps, businesses that fell into disfavor with Z, etc.

By Raewyn Ivory ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:09 pm:

That really is an intresting find, isn't it? In regards to hadwriting, it dosen't seem very Z-like to me. However, I'm no expert at handwriting analysis (You knew it was coming). I realize that over time handwriting style DOES change, but not usually this drasticly; especially not in adulthood when (And this is a good guess from expieriance, I think) most people have developed their own styles for doing everyday things; writing being one of them. Also, I just don't think Z would ever toss capital letters in there willy-nilly wherever he pleased. One more thing in the way of handwriting; Z never struck me as a huge user of the semi-colon and one appears right at the beginning of the letter- Just dosen't seem quite right to me.

Handwriting aside, though, this letter (at least to me) seems pretty darn Zodiac-like in tone. The little taunts and twisted bits of humor, in my opinion, make the letter all the more convincing.

Whether it's a forgery or not, I don't know. I honestly can't say for sure. After having read it, though, I figure that whoever's written this, Z or not, clearly knew how to just about mimic the tone and brand of humor that came with the Zodiac's notes. I'd like to be able to lean toward it being authentic, but the handwriting style aspect of it keeps tugging me back. All I can say for now is that it sure would be intresting to have a proffesional in handwriting analysis take a look at this...

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 06:50 pm:

No coments regarding handwriting from me, either, as my knowledge on such is very limited. I look forward to Howard and anyone else who has such knowledge posting their analyses.
With regards to content, it does not sound like Z to me in that the author hints at a political or at least semi-political agenda with the lists of intended victims. Z never really made any other statements with such hints (he may have hated all police but never singled out the chief of, say, SFPD, Vajallo PD, etc, as did in this letter).
Now let me flip flop. IF the "Toschi" letter of about the same time is generally considered a fake, that raises the chances of the LA letter being genuine as I do not believe the two letters were written by the same person. This letter is much more coherent and organized than the "Toschi" letter.
So, content wise, and comparing with the other letters closest in time to this one, there is certainly evidence both ways.
Thanks, Tom for another great bit of information.

By J Eric Freedner (J_Eric) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 08:55 pm:

The Zodiac symbol at the end looks pathetic! Kill Pat Boone and let, say, Mike Curb and Charles Keating survive? Awww c'mon now, that's unfair. "Judas" of the Manson Family--has Z gotten into religion now? And what's this about "see you in the News"? Should be the TIMES! (In '78 the Valley Daily News was far from being a major paper in California.)

Bottom line: I am not afraid of this letter-writer, whoever he may have been. Sounds like either a Manson family member or wannabe but without the spooky chill of The Mr. Z.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 09:18 pm:

Pat Boone was in the 1959 movie Journey to the Center of the Earth. "obsenity" could be a reference to the end of the movie, where Boone is in a pine tree unclothed.

In the first chapter of the Jules Verne's original book version, a lot of hyphens are used. There are three repeated closely like in the letter "---" and "harry-harry-harry-" in the story.

Both the Toschi letter and this one talk about acting in a movie. Both letters have a two character mistake? crossed out.

"has his work cut out for him" There is also a skeleton found near the end of the 1959 movie. Could this be a reference to the skeleton on the Halloween card?

Just some thoughts.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 09:30 pm:

Look down the page of the Jules Vernes first chapter. There's a three part cipher.

By Scream187 ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 09:46 pm:

I dont have time to read everything that was said just now. But I'll say it is a fake not because of the hand writing or anything like that. Not because of the way he says things. But because of what he says. it really doesnt fit at all in my opinion. I read it once, and thats enough for me to tell it just can't be zodiac it doesnt have the same "feel" or "spirit" at all...

By Sterling91274 ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 10:28 pm:

It's an interesting letter, but the Pat Boone reference leads me to believe it's fake. It just doesn't have the same sarcastic, sinister tone as the previous letters. Keep up the good work, Howard.

By Ann (Ann) ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 10:49 pm:

I would value the opinion of a handwriting expert, and as it happens, we have it.

I read this some time back, and had it bookmarked. I had hoped that there would come a time when the letter could be viewed. Having now seen it, I would tend to agree with this expert.

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 11:03 pm:

Ann, according to that story, nobody outside of law enforcement had seen the Zodiac's handwriting until 1978. The truth is, virtually all of the Zodiac's letters had been reproduced in various newspapers and on TV soon after being received.

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 01:15 am:

Here's video of the story.

By Animis_Opibusque_Parati ( on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 05:38 am:

ROTFL, cheap fake. Most likely written by a pissed off drugged hippy, dreaming of becoming a homicidal Manson-follower, with an agenda against "tha Man!". Certainly not by a military/force buff that the Zodiac was. The handwriting wouldn't even look similar to an 8 year old, and the Ks and Zs are only one clue. ("Citizen" isn't from the real Zodiac, either, so go on, Couch Expert, continue comparing more fakes to this fake in order to prove that it's "real", hah...)

And the actor mention? Pathetic! "Ooh, dude, I'll better throw in some reference to the real letters, so that, like, they think I know what I'm talking about, huh huh! Never mind that if I was the real Zodiac, I wouldn't need to make any cheap lame references! Now, what did he write there? Oh, yeah, something about the movie with his story! Yeah, I'll use that! Groovy! Now, where's my joint..."

It's ridiculous how many of you are so pathetically hungry for ANY news on Zodiac
that you'll jump orgasmically at even something as laughably fake as this. And you "Allen did it!" crowd, you're so desperate in pinning the guilt on this poor two-times-cleared innocent loser SOB that you're already starting with "Allen's buddy mailed the letter..." lunacy... God! Yeah, Allen faked his handwriting, his DNA, his blood type, his psychological profile, his... Well, I'm sure he just had a twin nobody knew of, and they pulled it off together - yeah, that's it! Right? ROTFL, again.

Jeez, if I ever feel BobbyG-ish enough, I might forge 50 such "letters" on old paper, and sell them to the most gullible posters above on eBay as "startling Zodiac correspondence newly discovered in the postal archives of the now defunct LA Sleazebaggano Magazine". Bargain starting price of $100! Do you want a letter signed "Zodiarthur", too> Will do!

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 08:10 am:

Tom writes:

"Ann, according to that story, nobody outside of law enforcement had seen the Zodiac's handwriting until 1978"


Excellent work.


So what?

C'mon, Tom, really, that's not even a fair approximation of what the story says. It says police didn't release photocopies till 1978. Obviously the letters received by the papers didn't have to be released by police to be public. Do you think its just possible that some nut didn't see them until they hit the news again 8 years later?

Besides, even if that's what it says, what's your point? It also says all the letters were posted in San Francisco. So what? Did it get the Susan Morton quotes wrong, too? Did she really say:

"And I find that not only is it different -- I mean the SAME -- but this other -- I mean this writer, this same writer -- also has an extremely characteristic "D" which is nothing -- oops, I mean JUST -- like the Zodiac's."

"It is just consistently different, oops I mean the SAME,its the SAME, and that is a really telling feature in a handwriting comparison. Not just that a letter is different -- damn, there I go again, I mean its the SAME -- it's different (read SAME) every time on many occasions. I'd love to see the original but I don't think I would change my findings. This is not -- I mean IS, IS -- a Zodiac letter."


Again, Ann: thanks.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 08:20 am:

Oh, and Animis:

Interesting take. I can tell you from personal experience that a somewhat more subtle critical tone may be better received on this site.

Even though you are right on in substance.

How's life in South Carolina?

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 10:22 am:

I would venture that the letter writer is an African-American.

By haha ( on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 11:32 am:

Good Mentzer joke, Warren! I'm sure William would agree. Use the old Susan Smith strategy " some black guy did it".

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 11:34 am:


Try putting together a coherent statement, and maybe we could address your "issues."

Peter said:
"Even though you are right on in substance."

The only substance I think he's "right on" is an illegal one.

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 11:57 am:

To "Animis": If you again post in a confrontational, obnoxious manner...well, don't bother; it will be deleted.

Peter, the story implies the letter was sent right after police finally released what Zodiac's handwriting looked like and therefore a nut could have hoaxed it. Period. I said nothing regarding Susan Morton, so please go put words and assumptions in the mouth of someone else. (You know, for a guy who consistently points out the silly, meaningless mistakes of virtually everyone else on this board, you sure make quite a few all by yourself.)

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 12:28 pm:

The known Zodiac literature doesn't threaten specific people. This document reads like a Manson Family wannabe. It reads like White Rabbit.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 12:36 pm:

Tom: "the story implies the letter was sent right after police finally released what Zodiac's handwriting looked like and therefore a nut could have hoaxed it. Period."

That's more accurate, but its still your inference and in any event a far cry from what you wrote. Its even further off the point that Ann was making, which was on the value of expert handwriting analysis. What was the point of directing that comment to Ann, who was looking strictly at the handwriting issue?

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 12:43 pm:

Peter, I obviously directed my comments to Ann because it was she who posted a link to the KGO story in the post directly before mine.

These useless nit-picky posts of yours are going to be deleted from now on. I guarantee nobody finds them the least bit helpful, informative, insightful or entertaining. I know I sure don't.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 01:45 pm:

Sorry, Tom, I guess I wasn't clear: the question is not why you responded to Ann as opposed to anyone else, but why that particular comment rather than one that responded to her topic of handwriting. Would it have killed you to offer a gentlemanly thank you to her for her valuable contribution of the article rather than nit-picking it on a topic that had nothing to do with the topic she provided it on?

Do you have anything to offer on Susan Morton or her analysis? I'd sure value her take on Morrill's work.

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 01:56 pm:

Peter, if you want me to offer a "gentlemanly thank you" to everyone who makes a "valuable contribution" at the message board, why is it just now becoming an issue after all these years? Whatever.

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 01:58 pm:

Regarding handwriting experts, this latest letter apparently has at least one claiming it's an authentic Zodiac correspondence. Who it is, I don't know.

By Ann (Ann) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 02:16 pm:

Thanks, Peter. I was glad to be able to contribute something of interest. As I said, I had run across this article a while back, and thought to post the link, but had decided that there wouldn't be much to say unless we could see the letter.

What I find so amazing is that things such as this are surfacing. First we had the 'lost letters' found in a basement or garage of a retired officer and now this has come up, which I do think is more than likely a hoax, but interesting to see nonetheless.

I'm waiting for someone to say, "We have now found the voice tapes."

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 05:32 pm:

This is the Couch Expert speaking,
A comment was made that Zodiac did not write a word all in upper case letters or that he would not do such a thing.
On the Zodiac envelopes Z wrote all entire words in lower case with a cap at times,except the word "CHRONICLE" on the 11/9/69 envelope and "AIR"(twice)on the 3/13/71 envelope.Note on the 10/27/70 Halloween card most are upper case,but he uses lower case i's and y's!
The Bates '67 notes intermingle lower with upper case too,BUT not the one addressed to the RS Press Enterprise!FYI
What is so interesting is that Z will write some things in his communications only once,creating unique 'clues' to catalogue and in other places he will be consistantly inconsistant(see what he does with one example).
For example he placed six exclamation marks after "Thing"(note cap T)when the most I can find is two in succession in all the other missives.
He carefully placed a period after all S.F.s on the envelopes,but disregarded this on at least one envelope-the Citizen envelope of 5/8/74.
Sometimes he will place a dash after a word to continue his sentence,but skip this rule in many other letters,even within the same letter!
I am only bringing out a few of these features to set the tone for my other comments.
In the 5/8/78 CN letter the word "gona"(sic)is used twice,but he also uses the more formal "going"and it is correctly spelled.The word "gotta"is spelled correctly.
In the 4/26/70 letter Z writes on line 6"butons",but on line 8 it is "Buttons."When one examines Z's traits they will find the double letter incorrectly dropped with one less character-butons.
Copy the letters Tom has kindly posted and check for these traits.Hopefully,you will post your findings(instead of these immature tirades Tom has to fight).
This should be a group project as we are all in this together and are equal posters-so help out if you would.
Note the "4"in the 'kill list' in the CN letter.Note that the horizonal center line or bar stops at the vertical line.Please see the 4 on BHs car door,the 7/31/69 letters,etc.,etc.See the 4 on the 4/29/67 envelope to Joseph Bates FYI
Z wrote he had a "list"of people he was supposedly going to kill.He mentions a bus(Z spells bus as buss and then correctly as bus-see all references in all letters)load of "kiddies"he was going to kill.
Zodiac, in the CN letter has a 'list'of proposed victims also,but never followed up-the same as above.The list contains an exact NUMBER(five) of "targets"(10/13/69) and WHEN(three weeks) he will kill them.
In the Chronicle letter 7/31/69 Z threatens to kill an EXACT number of people(12)and WHEN -the weekend of the first of August.
Z had a fondness of enumerating using numbers as to what he wished to explain,etc.I find this trait is in the writers kill'list' in the CN letter.
"Wont"in the CNer lacks the apostrophe,but "She's"correctly has it.Check Zs letters for this same spelling trait.
Exclamations are employed as we find in Zs letters.
Dashes are used in the CN.See the R.P. letter 7/8/74,4/20/70,5/8/74.
In CN we have a cap in"Break and "News"(this could still be addressing or refering to Channel Nine News as a title- so it may not,technically speaking, be an incorrect cap usage example).
This is not unlike Z when he writes:"Blast"4/28/70- or"Thing"11/8/69;"Buss"6/26/70;"Map"6/26/70,etc.
"Dear"CN.This is classic Z-Dear Editor,Dear Melvin(We are told Z never used a persons name-well,the 12/20/69 letter does,including the envelope!).
In the CN a select populace is addressed.In some of Z's letters, he addresses an entire chosen population.
Calls the Chiefs 'pigs'in CN.
I knew Z would separate words that are connected like "him self"in the 1/29/74 note.His letters offer many examples of this trait.In searching for one in the CN I failed to find any examples.One night as I was reading the letter for the millionth time I saw -for the millionth time-"some thing"and it leaped off the page-there it was!The suble clues can be the best ones.
"Hey"is used in a derogatory manner in the CN. Z used"hey" twice in a disparaging manner 11/9/69.
In the CN some i's are dotted others are not.We see this as a trait in Zs letters.
There is that one Z-like crossout in the next to the last line.This does not occur as often as some seem to think in Zs writings.There is one crossout in the 12/20/69 letter,two in the 5/8/74 Citizen,etc.Interestingly enough, there is a crossout in Code II!
More later,I am burned out for now!

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 06:20 pm:

A person writes in the same manner they speak.Zodiacs letters have a voice , his voice. I find it hard to believe he would use the word "gona".The Q in his "quota" is very different than the Z's Q which was done before like a 8 in the Melven letter. However, it has that Z voice !I can't say it is a fake yet.

By jonathan ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 07:28 pm:

This letter is very interresting. mister Davis' internet site, said that Zodiac had a link with the Manson family, and in this letter, the person who write this talk about the family..... i think thats the only Z letter who talk about Manson in some sort of way. but i dont think thats a true Zodiac letter; i think thats a hoax made by somebody too enthusiat with the Zodiac case. but this letter have impress me.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 07:52 pm:

For some reason, (maybe it's the look on her face) I don't trust Susan Morton's conclusion that the letter is a fake. I gather that she just read the other letters and did a quick personal comparison of them and is just giving her opinion. If it isn't a fake, we would have to assume Z transplanted to southern cal and never acted on his promise to kill people. Maybe he did try to get into acting, he has a lot of references to theatre and is definately dramatic.
Every time I see Drew Carey I think of Z lol.

By Ann (Ann) ( - on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 10:38 pm:

Howard, Tom has stated that the Zodiac letters were published long before the year '78. I would think that any 'admirer' of Zodiac could have spent a good deal of time in a wasted life studying the style of the criminal.

I just think that the printing is different in many ways and the manner of expression isn't characteristic of Zodiac. Also, as someone has mentioned, there are hesitation ink marks all over the page, which is something document examiners look for in forgery.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 07:14 am:

Howard has done a bang-up analysis on the letter. If the letter is a forgery (I have doubts as to the ethnicity of the author; I wonder who was working at CN at the time) then at least Howard has demonstrated a damn fine forgery.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 08:01 am:


I think the look on her face is polite restraint of her amusement that anyone would think it was a real Zodiac letter.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 08:09 am:

The reference to Eldridge Cleaver is interesting. Cleaver had a book out in 1978 called "Soul on Fire", a sequel of sorts to his famous "Soul on Ice". However, by 1978, Cleaver had renounced the radicalism of the Black Panther Movement and was converting to Mormonism (!). Cleaver was also involved in a cop killing in Oakland in '68 or '69, can't remember which. Did the author of this letter feel betrayed by Cleaver, as he felt betrayed by Susan Atkins?

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 08:09 am:

Warren: A damn fine forgery in which the handwritng doesn't match?

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 08:19 am:

Peter, like there is a great consistency among the other letters? Also, anyone have a take on the odd period placed over the sp in "speaking"? I swear I have seen it before.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 08:27 am:

Found it! There is an odd mark over "speaking" in Larry Kane's handwriting sample, courtesy of Tom.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 09:02 am:

The consistency of the printing in the verified Zodiac letters is sufficient enough that some clever wag created a font out of it. It would be very much out of character for Zodiac to actually name intended future victims.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 11:47 am:


Yes, there is. Where there is inconsistency, authenticity is in much doubt, includng many of the samples that Howard uses in his analysis, such as the "Citizen" letter. Very few if any of the letters can be authenticated through content. This group would be limited to the first few, which described the cirtcumstances of the LHR and BRS attacks. The ONLY method for authenticating any of the others is through the handwriting. Sorry, but stylistic imitation is necessary but not sufficient for a forgery. Handwriting duplication is also necessary, and in this case absent. Parody, maybe, but certainly neither authentic nor a forgery.

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 12:01 pm:

Warren, I'm curious, why do you think the author was Black?

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 02:01 pm:

Peter, without the originals, none of us can say whether handwriting samples match with any certainty. I lean towards fake not because of the apparent handwiting diffences (if it was in cuniform, I wouldn't rule it out based on handwriting alone) but rather for subtle clues in language style and content.

Muskogee, I have had to review several threatening letters to different corporate clients over the years. Some were written by whites, some by Blacks as we would later find out. Consistent with the ones written by Blacks was the use of the N word, and disparaging comments about a black person to camouflage the race of the author. And as an example, use of the word "gona", which I saw many times. Of course this does not necessarily mean the writer was Black, only I would not rule it out. A last point, the use of the word "theocracy", which was a much used term in the writings of Malcolm X, Dick Gregory and Eldridge Cleaver, making me wonder if the writer was a follower of their works. I doubt if a white reader of these works would use the N word, which I also think is way out of context with known Zodiac missives.

By disco stew ( on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 03:43 pm:

First of all, plenty of white people use the N word to this day, they're just more careful about where they use it. Second, I doubt a black person would be too upset by anybody betraying the Manson Family considering that they were a bunch of Nazi psychos. Third, plenty of white people use bad English like "gona". Also, I sense that Z's misspellings were mostly intentional. I think this is probably a forgery, but none of us can be sure one way or the other yet.

By john doe ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 04:26 pm:

hello everyone good to see people are still following this. i watched the segment on history. not a bad job they did on it. not a great one either.

By Phiddlephart ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 09:53 pm:

One thing that seems to be missing from the letter is the Zodiacs use of the word and (the lower case amperstand he almost always uses rather than spelling out and). He doesnt use the amperstand in all his letters, but he used it quite often in his letters begining with hs July 31, 69 letters thru his Citizen letter in 74.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:35 pm:

There are many problems with this letter from a questioned documents standpoint. Without benefit of formal training in the discipline, allow me to opine:

1. The writing is of more an open style than Zodiac with loopier, wider letters.

2. The phrase "This is the Zodiac speaking" starts out looking fairly good, but then trends towards the writers own hand throughout the rest of the letter.

3. The "k" is not of the 3-stroke variety, although there does appear to be some hesitation at the vertex of the second movement.

4. "In the next three weeks", the author neglects to cross his capital I. Zodiac never did this.

5. The lower case "r" is not of the checkmark style at any point. In fact, the horizontal is pretty high in most places.

6. Zodiac favored the right side of the lower case "t", with more of the horizontal on that side, except when he occasionally formed it as a "t". This author makes a high horizontal, cruciform "t", or favors the left side occasionally.

7. Capital "B" is totally wrong for Zodiac.

8. Author uses capitals inappropriately in "Break", "News" and "PLEASE". Zodiac did not do this.

9. In the middle of the page, the lines take on a "wavy" characteristic, going down, up, and then down again. Towards, the end of the page, the writing starts slanting up to the right instead of down like Z.

10. Author forms a "loopy" numeral 2. Zodiac did not.

11. On the second to last line, author scratches out the word "to". The way it is scratched out is significant. The angle of the lines, from high left to low right suggests the author holds the pen in the right hand with the wrist sharply curved and with the fingers even with or slightly above the line being written. This is the only comfortable position from which that angle of line is drawn with the right hand, clearly the hand used in this letter. Zodiac did not hold the pen in this manner, but in the traditional thumb-and-index-finger-below-the-line way.

12. The author neglects to dot many lower case "i". He does dot some, in an effort to mimic Zodiac but does not do it enough to mask the apparent fact that he was not in the habit of dotting i's. (Or using apostrophe.)

13. Author demonstrates characteristic problems in forming lower case "m" and "n". This is not a Zodiac trait.

14. Lower case "d" is formed with one continuous stroke, unlike Zodiac.

15. The numeral "4" is not consistent with Zodiac's style.

Conclusion: This letter was definitely not prepared by the same individual who prepared the confirmed Zodiac letters.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:58 pm:

Sandy and I checked out the copy of the letter they had on display in San Francisco for the LAPD exhibit a couple of months back, and my first thought was that it was a hoax because of the handwriting and content. However, handwriting does change over time (after all, the CN letter was written nearly 9 years after the first 3 on 7-31-1969), and Z had already exhibited some 3 or 4 different writing styles in his known letters, so the claim that the CN letter is "different" therefore doesn't carry that much weight. Howard's mentioned some very interesting parallels between it and Z's previous communications as well. The other thing is, since the Toschi scandal was big news at the time, that might have motivated Z to write again... the interesting thing is that Z must have been in the LA area at the time, rather than the Bay Area. If authentic, which of the suspects were there in May 1978?

By Nick (Nick) ( on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 01:32 am:

Was it the Yerba Buena display? Did they have the original or a black and white still? Just curious.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 06:47 am:

While Zodiac did change his general writing style
a few times,I do not believe the individual letter characteristics changed significantly.
Even when we compare the earlier letters to the Citizen letter for example, we can still see the formation of individual letters are generally the same.Take Zodiac's lower case "h" as one example.
Completed in one stroke by Zodiac,it is also distinct in that the "loop" comes out of the base
of the vertical stroke.There are many examples that are consistent throughout even though there is a change in general style.
The only two examples I can find of the letter "h"
similar to the ones used in this letter come from the Red phantom letter in the words "hell-hole".(A letter this one seems heavily influenced by)
After that the writer reverts back to the same formation, even though the style is much different.We now have a two stroke "h" with the loop exiting half way up the vertical stroke.
I am not so sure a change in writing style would account for the discrepancies here, given that this letter appears to be written by one attempting to disguise his writing.As others have pointed out there are many stop/starts here,even within individual letters.(best example the 4 stroke in "t" in the word "something" on the third line).
The other alternative is that Zodiac was disguising his hand even more.I can't think why he would want to do that at this stage.He did not write in a few years and would surely want to be taken seriously.
The point Ray raised about the dotted "i's" is significant I believe.At a rough count there are only eight dotted here out of a total of thirty two(ish). At twenty four missing, it's probably more that the rest of Zodiac's correspondence put together.
Howard makes a very good defence of this letter being Zodiac's.However it's hard to say how much is relevant given that many of these letters were printed in the newspapers.Any would-be forger is going to have many of these characteristics included.We have seen individual communications
display some of these odd characteristics. What makes me most suspicious is that this letter appears to have the vast majority of them in one place.
One other thing I believe we see here for the first time(I stand to be corrected)is the authors use of one stroke to cross the double t "tt" in "gotta". This is something Zodiac always avoided,even when it was the easiest thing to do.
(Button and Mikado letters for examples).

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 09:21 am:

warren: Its not what "any of us" can say: its what handwritng experts said at the time and conmtinue to say consistently. there is a core of Z writings that is definitely from the hand of one person, and an even smaller core that could only have been for the same person based on content. Other writings, such as the LAPD document, can be positively eliminated based on handwriting. Similarites in style and content are reasonably explained by imitation. the far more likely explanation, therefor, is an imitator with very different writingt, rather than the real person with very different writing.

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 09:46 am:

Warren, interesting! I guess it's all there in black and white.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 12:44 pm:

Think of the gymnastics we went through with the Singapore letter. At least this one makes you stop and wonder. It seems fake to me, but not because of the handwriting. Suppose for a moment he typed this letter, what would we say based on content? Would we rule it out or in?
Since I believe in taking a position, write or wrong, I will say that the author was LAPD.

By jonathan ( - on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 04:14 pm:

that's cool because the case is "closed" since at least 20 years and every months, new infos appear and appear....i'm happy because it seems that the Zodiac case will never die and that's great, because this case is the most enigmatic, most chaotic case i've ever seen. im from Quebec city Canada and here, the Zodiac is nothing more but a legend, something that happen, yes, but who is not important. however, for me, this case is very important, i have made research for about 2 years now and i can't stop searching about Z. i would love to thanks Tom for searching all these informations about our killer. That's very helpful and i hope Tom will write a book, better than Zodiac by Graysmith, with true facts beside of some false actions. keep the good work Tom and please, don't erase my post because i think i speak for everyone heres on this message board. thank you.

By Julia (Julia) ( - on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 06:21 pm:

I note an assumption some folks here seem to make--that people, including Z, don't change. Not only did he make his own rules, he must inevitably have changed in many ways through time and experience as we all do.

In the process of (possibly) preparing to move, I've uncovered a lot of stuff I wrote in times past. I use lots of different slang, vocab., etc. than I did a few years back--and that's not even getting into the content or substance! Not to mention, my handwriting is substantially altered from my college days, right down to the kind of fine points mentioned in various posts here. I don't even dot my "i"s the way I used to.

Bearing all that in mind, I feel that the underlying character and substance of this missive make it a rather better candidate for an authentic Z-note that many here have opined. It's certainly better than those Singapore letters, anyhow.

For example, the Pat Boone comment has both the trademark sarcasm and a genuine righteous anger that seem very Z-like to me.

Also, although it looks like we have a felt-tip in use here, I'd say it seems to have been running out of ink! IMO, that would account for the spikier, jerky quality of the lettering.

By Julia (Julia) ( - on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 07:23 pm:

Pardon me if I've missed this info, but where was the letter postmarked? LA? Or do they only have the letter at this point? I'd love to see the envelope.

By nick777 ( - on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 08:11 pm:

In his first letters Zodiac is a real leaner,down and to the right.Somebody used to using a clipboard,writing on the run,possible authority figure,USAF Maint.Sgt or similar factory position?I see a mathmatical image"Pi",in some of his spelling.Just my impressions,I don`t mean to repeat or echo others,The Riverside desk writings look to be up to the right,July 31,69 down to the right,7/31/69 cipher almost perfectly square,"Please Rush To Editor"down and to the right,just mentioning this trait I noticed.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 10:49 am:

Let's see: the character formation isn't the same; the inter-word spacing isn't the same; the left margin isn't the same; the slang and racial slurs are completely atypical, and the missive appears a very short time after the 1978 letter (a forgery, by all accounts) puts Zodiac right back in the public eye. Apart from that, I'd say it just might be the real McCoy.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 12:05 pm:

Hey you posters!! lol
The assertion is made that that the cap in "Break" and "News"in the CN is not a Z trait.
Here's my "little list":String,Bombs,The Blast,Thing,Radians,code,Sun,Night,Timer,Fry,Paradice(sic),Ask,Twisted Shoes,Police,Mirror,Bat,Person,as some examples.Note-some words are used twice with a cap and some of the same words are spelled without the cap.

The belief is that the 4 in the CN letter is not the same as the 4s Z used.The CN 4s center horizonal crossbar does not cross the vertical bar or line.
All 4's that are employed in the 7/31/69 letters display the same style except for one 4(4th).Even in the August '69 letter where he writes"40-45"the 4s are the same as in the CN letter.BHs car door 4 shows the same style.The Halloween card has the same type of 4."4-teen,"in palm of skeleton "14."On the Joseph Bates '67 envelope it is the same,but another Enterprise communciation has a slight crossover on the vertical bar.

It is said that the straight back or non loop ds in the CN do not match Zs looped ds.
See the straight back ds in the 7/26/70 letter and the 12/20/69 Belli letter as some examples of osteopathic/chiropratic ds!

A mistake not unlike Z in the CN letter-uses "a" instead of a.FYI

The semi -colon seems a non Z after "speaking"in the CN.A computer expert at TRW told me the writer used an equal sign,but quickly(the letter was written swiftly with anger)changed it-but we will say it is a semi-colon.See the S.F.(most of the time Z placed a period after Examiner envelope where Z seems to have used a sloppy semi-colon after "Editor."
An equal sign was used on the Pines card and in rendering victim counts at the end of Zs letters,BUT he changed this ,at times,to a dash!Pin him down-I do not think so.

It is said that the CN letter mentions victims names and in a threatening manner which is never fond in a Z letter.
Z wrote a letter to "Melvin"(about as personal as you can get with a name Belli.His name is on the front of the letter too.Another Italian that was threatened(Belli was just told he needed to "help" Z or he could not control himself from taking another victim or"nine"- kind of a 'threat' or warning)was Marco Spinilli.That letter was a threat and it caused Marco to move to Hawaii for a time!
We should not forget that the Hallowen threat card was sent and adressed to Paul Avery and he was probably the 14th victim Z warned about on the skeletons palm and on the inner portion of the card itself.
Z made numbered lists(and this as in the CN,including victims) as we find in the CN.He named how many he would kill(12) and when he was going to do it FRY Aug-1.Same as in the CN letter-5 victims and in three weeks.As with Zodiac,the writer never came through.I am referring to the bus bomb -kiddies,Avery,Spinellithe "dozen,"etc.

It is affirmed that Z never used a lower case i with caps or started a notation/sentence with one.
See the 4 lower case i's that should have been upper case in the Halloween card and on the Times "AIR" Mail(twice-the CN letter is sent to another concern some 7 years later).The granddaddy is "i" just after the Ps.(Z sometimes used a period after the s in ps and not at all then after the p and S-consistent guy-is the p here meant to be a cap and the s lower case-if so we have another misplaced cap?)in the 1/29/74 Z "note."
Gotta go!Oh,did Z use one crossbar for two ts as in the CN?Check it out.More to come...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 12:15 pm:

I mean used an "a' instead of "an."
There are supposedly no 'checkmark' type r's-as found in Zs missives- in the CN.
Please see the following words in the CN.I will be doing side by sides in time:DeaR,
line 2 aRe/foR/tReat/thRee-
line 3 aRe/-
line 4 RepoRt/-
line 8 otheR-
line 9 thRee-
line 10 DaRRel(none here lol)
line 11 theocRatic/cRap-line Rest/woRld-
line 13 EldRige/CleaveR/niggeRs/theiR-
line 14 afteR-
line 16 heRs/actoRs-
line 17 youR/BReak/RemembeR/whoeveR-
line 18 woRk/foR. total: 29 'checkeRs'out of some 143 words!Some are identical to Zs r's.

By B.Becker ( - on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 02:16 pm:

It's probably not even worth commenting on, but here goes...

SFC Nov 9, ‘69

I shall no longer announce to anyone when I comitt my murders, they shall look like routine robberies, killings of anger, & a few fake accidents, etc.

April 24, ‘78

Tell herb caen I am here, I have always been here.

And Finally…Tom’s letter -

I have decided to begin killing again – PLEASE hold the applause.


In 1969, Zodiac made a claim. He would kill, but the media wouldn’t know. The letter/s to ‘herb caen’ is consistent with this claim. I’m here and you don’t know what I’ve been up to, it implies.

This latest letter, however, clearly breaks away from that claim; changes perspectives, big time. The person who wrote this letter is speculating (like we all do) that Z killed nobody after Stine, so must 'begin killing again.'

It does not seem likely to me that Z would admit this, even if it were true. He had a self-created image to protect. He had morphed into a silent killer back in '69. This '1978' letter should signal an end to silence about his crimes, not the beginning of a new crime wave.

So, in fact, this author got the perspective wrong; didn't quite understand who Z was. And thus 'the hoax' collapses.

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 02:32 pm:

Nice theory, except the April 1978 letter you cited is a proven hoax.

By B.Becker ( - on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 06:11 pm:

Doesn't matter one way or another, hoax or least the April 1978 'hoaxer' was on target. If he was not the Zodiac, he understood where the Zodiac was coming from. May '78 does not.

The Zodiac quit sending letters...that does not mean that he didn't do exactly what he said he would, in which case, he would not be resuming the killing, he would be resuming the letters.

And if he didn't kill anyone without notifying the press, why would he admit it?

This May 1978 letter, in addition to amazingly disimilar handwriting and linguistic choices, has a totally different perspective. To me that signals new author.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 11:21 pm:

When does one TRUST the WORDS of a psychotic delusional murderer of no mean proportions like Zodiac-a brutal criminal?
Did he ever say he was going to DO something and didn't do it?Did he blow up a bus full of children?Did he ever indicate he was going to shoot out the tire of a school bus and then pick off the children as they ran out of the bus?Did he do it or did he 'change' his mind?Yes,he switched to a bus bomb threat(and that's al it was-just more publicity seeking),but was it carried out?
Zodiac claimed he shot a man in a car with a.38.Do you believe this statement?Does this 1970 statement CONTRADICT his previous remarks (11/9/69)about 'run silent run deep?'You seem to place great trust and confidence in this maniacs word and then build an arguement on his word ALONE.
So you don't think that a mentally ill criminal could write he 'decided to start killing again?'
For the sake of arguement,let's say that Zodiac 'decided' to kill and not inform the police and public.Could he have - for some reason - later stopped killing(many murderers are imprisoned for other crimes and the original perp seems to have ceased killing or let's say he got burned out as some serial killers do)and due to certain feelings and circumstances only threatened to kill some people in 1978 he didn't like?He seemed to have detested Marco Spinilli and Paul Avery and,of course the police,etc.False rage or not this is how he reacted in letters.Do you believe him?
In the CN letter he displays anger(real or not it's there) as in the past(even against two movies he didn't like or said he didn't care for!), against certain individuals, which include two prominent "piggy"police Chiefs.
The lesson is, Zodiac could be very unrealiable in his actions and statements- so, if he implies he stopped killing, but now these five people will bring him out of his little vacation from killing ,we take it with a grain of gun powder!
Zodiac could be very dramatic ,so as to attract publicity,etc.and what better example do we have from the drama King himself than 'I shall begin killing again?'What a great proposition!A N.Y.PR rep couldn't do a better job!
The CN letter doesn't 'look' like a Zodiac letter?How does the R.P. writing and content reflect other Z letters?How about the citizen letter compared to the 7/31/69 set-this includes exact Z writing characteristics?The 1/29/74 "note" looks like a Z production?Everything is the same as in other Z missives?None apear difeent?
The '71 L.A.Times missive is somewhat unique(wasn't this missive out of left field and to a paper and city he had not contacted before and then silence until the E note in '74 -which was very weird)and seems closer to the CN as does the citizen letter as per Tom,who is no dilettante Zodiac researcher!He has spent thousands of hours with Z documents and has a better collection than law enforcement and you seem to brush aside his comments!Wow!
More will be brought out about this letter.It is in the very early stages now.
There ARE many similarties even though there are some four years since Zs last known letter.How long have you spent carefully studying the CN and comparing it to other Z letters?Did you use magnifcation with ultra violet light to enhance details missed by the naked eye making careful comparisons with EACH letter and or word?Or was it the Ms.Cleo Factor?
We really don't know what his real writing was like.Do you think he wouldn't disguise it?He was a hardened criminal and vowed the police would never catch him.He most certainly diguised his real writing style and vocabulary,etc.He DID'NT want to get caught did he?Change your writing from time to time and throw off the police if they should come aross you as a suspect.
In another thread I will give my views WHY Z decided to write WHEN he did and WHY he selected those so called victims.IT will ONLY be an FYI of course.
You are correct about one thing-it doesn't matter if the 4/14/78 letter was a fake or not-it could have simply stimulated Z to write.The '74 Zebra killings brought him out in January of '74,so why not a "I am back with you..."letter that got him tons of publicity?Some believe that Z captialized on other unsolved murders and hinted he was the perp just to get attention and create public fear which gave him a great sense of power.He wasn't beyond anything.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 11:29 pm:

That was the 4/24/78 letter-my mistake.

By B.Becker ( - on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 11:46 am:

Wow...what can I say. I made an observation, Tom responded. I responded to Tom. I am not brushing him off, merely pointing out that it does not matter if April '78 was real or a hoax, although if it has actually been determined a hoax by someone stepping forward and confessing to 'hoaxing' it, it then draws the authenticity of the Nov '69 letter into question as both authors are speaking from the same perspective. Doncha think that's kinda odd?

Zodiac was successful because Zodiac was a loner. Loners don't have affiliations. therefore they do not talk to others and do not get turned in. People who affiliate with communes are not loners. They need others. Even Charlie himself needed others. (used them yes, but needed them nonetheless).

Would Zodiac understand the politics of a group like the Manson family...highly unlikely. Would he care about Susan Atkins? Only if he came upon her sitting in a car with one of the boys on some dark lonely lane. Bang-bang.

Likewise the mini-celebs listed (incorrectly: should be left justified and not bracketed) in the note. Only if parked in some remote spot. He wasn't your doorbell ringing/screen slicing garden variety psychotic killer with a merry band of accomplices. He took his victims where he found them.

How many people died in 'robberies, killings of anger, & a few fake accidents, etc.' in the state of Ca in those 9 years? Or extrapolate that and include say - Montana? It's fun to speculate that the killings stopped in '69, but is there any proof? And if they didn't why the change in perspective by the person who would know for sure?

By Tom_Voigt ( - on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 12:03 pm:

I'm constantly amazed by those who draw conclusions without first bothering to examine all available evidence. BBecker, it was DNA, not a confession, that determined the April 1978 letter was a hoax. That info has been available on this website since June 8, 2001.

Zodiac once said he intended to shoot out the tires of a school bus and "pick off the kiddies." He never followed through. Zodiac also said other things that weren't true.
BBecker, if you want to believe every word in Zodiac's letters (even though it's quite naive), go right ahead. However, it's not "proof" of anything, nor is finding a perceived contradiction good reason by itself to assume the May 1978 letter is a hoax.

By Tom Voigt (Admin) ( - on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 12:22 pm:

Let's continue this discussion at Top-Secret Zodiac Letter?, Part 2.