Melvin Belli Letter Message Board: Letters: Melvin Belli Letter

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Friday, November 10, 2000 - 12:29 pm:

Elsewhere on this site I think it was Jake said he though that there never was a bomb. This too is something I also believe. Why? I dont know. But when I read it ,it reminded me of something else That I have a problem with and that's accepting that the melvin Belli letter was a "cry for help".I could never reconcile the first half of the letter and what it was saying with the detail about the bomb in the second half. Even if the bomb did exist this does not sit well for some reason. However if the bomb did not exist wouldn't this show this letter up for what I believe it is , -another chance for Zodiac to Terrorize.Again I might be way off base on this one but given the analysis by experts over the years , I just thought I'd open it up for discussion.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Friday, November 10, 2000 - 12:49 pm:

I don't have it in front of me right now, but one of the FBI documents mentions an unconfirmed letter mailed at about the time of the Belli letter that is also couched in terms of a cry for help.

By Jake Wark (Jake) ( - on Friday, November 10, 2000 - 03:17 pm:

Doug, if you come across it again, could you drop us a clue as to which PDF or GIF section it's in? That one must have slipped past me.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Friday, November 10, 2000 - 10:07 pm:

Jake--See the seventh set of PDF files.

By Gomper (Gomper) ( - on Sunday, November 12, 2000 - 05:48 am:

I don't think the letter to Belli was a cry for help, either--just an attention-getter. "Please help me, I am drownding", in particular, gives me the impression that Zodiac was laughing his a** off when he wrote the letter. It doesn't appear that he had the slightest intention of actually seeking help(although I would like to read the unconfirmed letter that Doug mentions above).

By Edward (Edward) ( - on Sunday, November 12, 2000 - 11:01 am:

The letter in question in the FBI files (to the best of my ability) reads as follows:

"Qc 34: Copy of envelope addressed to “San Francisco Chronicle,” postmarked Fairfield, California, December 7, 1969.

Qc 35: Copy of handprinted communication beginning: “This is the Zodiac speaking I just need help I will kill again” and ending “...I will turn myself in OK.”

Result of examination:
Qc 34 and Qc 35 probably contain some distortion and were not written as freely as the other threatening letters in this case. For these reasons it was not definitively determined whether Qc 34 and Qc 35 were prepared by the writer of the other threatening letters in this matter; however, some characteristics were noted that indicate Qc 34 and Qc 35 may have been prepared by the writer of the other questioned letters. Qc 34 and 35 are retained. The results of the cryptoanalysis will be furnished separately."

I've never seen this letter, nor, I imagine, has anyone outside of the investigation. It is interesting to note that there evidently was a code involved. Whether it was ultimately determined to be a copy-cat is anyone's guess.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, November 12, 2000 - 12:29 pm:

There were lots of letters going around in December of 1969, just prior to the mailing of the Belli letter. I'd also love to see copies of the two "paste-up" letters formed from pages of an astrology magazine, especially the one that contained the notion "C HARRY OTT." According to the FBI files, this notation was interpreted to mean "CHARIOT," which is very logical; however, "C HARRY" might conceivably have stood for "CHERI," or Cheri Jo Bates.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 12:07 am:

Doug-Zodiac sent that 12/10/69' paste up to the Sac Bee paper and it was a tear out of an astrology magazine, as ya probably know.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 05:32 pm:

I'm inclined to think it was Zodiac's work myself, but do we have any positive evidence?

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 03:13 pm:

Zodiac wrote (MELVIN EATS BLUBBER) and this was a play on Herman(MELVILLE EATS BLUBBER). From what I read:{{ Melville attacked the idea of "self-reliance"}} and {{Melville thought very little of Emersonian philosophy}}. Anyone who is at all green, will be offended by a book like "Moby Dick". My own additional opinion is that it's the work of a latent homosexual.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 05:26 pm:

In gay terms, might "eating blubber" be a euphemism for a certain homosexual activity? I'm reminded of Ted Kaczynski referring to a group of loggers as "jagoffs."

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 06:41 pm:

Zander, what is the Green Party's position on "Grape Nuts"?

Douglas, have you had any influence on getting Teddy K's DNA compared to Dr. Hottie's results?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 01:54 am:

Esau, with the Dover, Delaware PD I have absolutely no influence at all, much less the police agency of a major metropolitan area. I suppose they'll do the comparison if and when they feel like it, and on their own terms.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 04:10 am:

I'd think a Green would find a lot to like about Moby Dick. Ahab isn't exactly a sympathetic character. In one of the book's many aspects, it is addressing the human desire to subdue nature.

I doubt Z ever read Moby. It's primarily a cautionary tale regarding hubris, a character flaw which Z had in abundance.