Riverside Desk-Top Poem

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Letters: Riverside Desk-Top Poem

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (ac8c1c14.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, March 08, 2001 - 12:08 pm:

Since nobody has commented on my latest update, I thought I'd start a new thread.
I've posted the best view of the Riverside desk-top poem ever made available. Was it the work of Zodiac?
Click here to check it out.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p46.as1.dungarvan1.eircom.net - on Thursday, March 08, 2001 - 02:10 pm:

Was CJB wearing a dress that night?

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-wo022.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, March 08, 2001 - 02:45 pm:

Well, that's the best I've ever seen of it. Has anyone noticed the astrological symbol for the sun used in place of the letter "o" in the word to in the "Unwilling to die" statement? Or was this just a mark on the desk or photo making it appear that way?

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-wo022.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, March 08, 2001 - 03:06 pm:

Oh, the astrological symbol for the sun was also used in the ciphers.

By Esau (Esau) (proxy2-external.scrmnt1.ca.home.com - on Thursday, March 08, 2001 - 04:49 pm:

Lapumo, according to Graysmith CJB was wearing faded red Capri pants and a yellow blouse on the night she was killed.

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-wo053.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, March 08, 2001 - 06:41 pm:

If you read this poem in relation to the CJB crime, it sounds as if someone were stalking her/ watching her. At some point before the night of the crime, she was wearing a new red dress and he is stating he will get her next time. I'd be curious to know if CJB had a "new" red dress at the time of this crime.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-142.linkline.com - on Friday, March 09, 2001 - 11:47 pm:

The 'poem' is unusual. I think the writer was on some kind of drug due to it's structure and content. I do know that there are mentally disturbed individuals that do not need drugs to compose such a sick poem,but I think there were drugs in influencing his mind at the time of composure.

Sherwood Morrell State Expert felt it was Zodiac's printing.Since the writer was depressing a blue(blue was later to be Z's fav' color in writing) ball point pen into hard wood ;it would be somewhat different to analyze due to the work surface and restriction of movement.There are certain letters that seem to compare to Z's ptinting.Lineal base pattern ,proportionate heights between letters, spacing, etc. seem to be similar.Master Z researcher Dave Peterson studied the poem and researched it's background, etc. and thought it was Z's work.

I interviewed Fred Baumann the photographer that took some of the Bates death photos and the desk top poem. I mentioned the desk TOP poem and Baumann corrected me -'it was not on TOP of the desk it was under the desk lid.' I could not get him to change his remembrance of the shoot. He said he had to lie down to get the shot!I was not there so I defer to his remembrance until new light is shed on this matter.He is a very intelligent man and conservative in his speech and assesments.The "rh"at the end are in lower case while the first letter of the first word is a capital.Would this exclude a proper name?Did he mean to say "right hand" which was a musical term as the desk had been in the music room.Was it RH the blood factor? He made reference to "blood" and it's color-"red", when exposed to air.I posted in the past on the different theories as to what the rh stands for.

The statement where he writes as though her blood is being could be another glimpse of Z's active fantasy life("blood spurting, dripping, spilling") as depicted in the typed '66 letter where he says he lays awake nights(insomnia and/or drugs?) thinking about his next victim and then graphically describes two different girls.

Is he saying she won't die THIS time(I am watching her, but won't kill her yet-except in my imagination?) or this TIME someone WILL find her- possibly indicating there was another victim that has,at that time, not been found? "She[Bates] is NOT the first".

Z displayed a distorted sense of humor in some of his 69-74 letters. Does this statement do likewise"...oh well, it [her new dress]was red anyway"-refering to the supposed spilling of red blood on her red dress?

"Sick of living /unwilling to die"?Was this Bates or her suicidal alcoholic mother(who eventually did kill herself)? If it was a true assessment of either one or both women then it implies intimate knowledge of family matters.Did Bates relate to someone that she was 'sick of living but didn't want to die 'or was it a guess on the writers part?Later,he writes (if it's from the same writer)"Bates HAD to die" as though it was some sort of karmic destiny.Does this imply an interest or belief in occult/metaphysical teachings which say the victim kills themselves, but uses another to do the deed this all being on a subconscious level. Or was he already forming his 'slaves in the afterlife' belief?As '60s metaphysical teacher Dr. Joseph Murphy said "All murder is self murder".

The writer seems to see himself as a poet or song writer of sorts."Life draining into an uncertain death...cut clean.if red/ clean."

"she won't die"implies the writer sees her soul as going into the afterlife/ Who knows any of this for sure-we would need him to reveal his feelings to be sure. I just wanted to render some thoughts. I know some feel this is a suicide revelation of sorts;I did take this into account as another possibility. I personally feel this inscription was by Bate's killer and that the person could have been the young Zodiac.

One last question. Did the Zodiac attend music classes, say adult night school? From my side I inquired if a Bruce M. Davis ever attended RCC and they found one but refused to give me any info on the student stating privacy laws. Those that have a suspect can at least check and see if a student by your guy's name ever attended RCC. At least you will know that! Unless ,of course,he used a fake name!

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-142.linkline.com - on Friday, March 09, 2001 - 11:54 pm:

Sorry for all the misstakkess in my poost!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (ac8f109b.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, March 09, 2001 - 11:59 pm:

I had a certain yellow author specifically ask Dave Toschi exactly where on the desk the poem was written, and Toschi said he viewed the desk at the Riverside Police Department and that the poem was definitely written on the top of the desk.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (143.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 07:56 am:

Making it the first-ever instance of desktop publishing.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (143.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 08:06 am:

Here are a couple of quotes from Ted Kaczynski's autobiography, in which he references the events of September, 1966, shortly following his aborted decision to seek a sex-change operation:

"My first thought was to kill somebody I hated and then kill myself before the cops could get me. (I've always considered death preferable to life imprisonment.) But, since I now had new hope, I was not ready to relinquish life so easily."

"Sick of living/unwilling to die" indeed!

Also, from the same time period:

"... Unfortunately, however, the people I killed usually would spring back to
life again very quickly. They just wouldn't stay dead. I would awake with a
pleasurable sense of liberation at having broken into violence, but at the same time
with some frustration at the fact that my victims wouldn't stay dead. However, in the
course of some dreams, by making a strong effort of will in my sleep, I was able to
make my victims stay dead. I think that, as the years went by, the frequency with
which I was able to make my victims stay dead through exertion of will increased."

I'm not suggesting that Kaczynski made a special trip to Riverside in October of 1966 for the specific purpose of killing a young woman. But he was undoubtedly canvassing at least one U.C. campus at the time (Berkeley) and seems at least to have physically been in California at some point between September, 1966 and June, 1967.

By Colette (Colette) (spider-mtc-td012.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 06:21 pm:

rh might be "real hunter" or even "red (bloodied) handed". Ted K did hang out in libraries/campus all over the country his entire life. Also the letters about wearing buttons(zodiac or melvin-blubber)has a college ring to it.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-wg023.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 06:43 pm:

Colette wrote:
"Also the letters about wearing buttons(zodiac or melvin-blubber)has a college ring to it."

A friend had an English professor in Madison who wore a button that read "Melville eats Blubber." This was 10 or 15 years ago; I suppose it could have been inspired by Z, but I'm inclined to think it was the other way around.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Alan Cabal (Alan) (spider-tm033.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 08:12 pm:

"Melville Eats Blubber" does indeed predate Zodiac's "Melvin Eats Bluber."

I always figured "rh" stood for "red herring."

By Esau (Esau) (proxy2-external.scrmnt1.ca.home.com - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 09:27 pm:

I've always wondered it the desk top poem was unrelated to this case. Maybe an amateur poet wrote it.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (acb509eb.ipt.aol.com - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 10:15 pm:

RH Bradshaw was the prez of the school at the time Bates was killed.

Whoever wrote the poem sure had handwriting that resembled Zodiac's handwriting.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (196.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 10:44 pm:

A book was found in Kaczynski's cabin ("Growing Up Absurd" by Paul Goodman) that contained a reference to "blubber," as a commercial product, ostensibly a kind of cat food.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0174.cvx11-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 10:52 pm:

Jake, the English prof wearing the "Melville Eats Blubber" button sounds more like an allusion to Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (acb509eb.ipt.aol.com - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 11:03 pm:

Now that we have a good view to work with, I'm surprised I haven't read any opinions here on the board regarding similarities between the poem and Zodiac's handwriting.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0001.cvx38-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 11:03 pm:

Or was that already so abundantly obvious that my comment rates a "Well, Duh!"? If so, forgive the slight.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-53.linkline.com - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 11:19 pm:

I will accept Toschi's statement that the poem was on top not the bottom. This is why I asked the photographer several times if he were sure he was in a prone position -as he asserted -to shoot the poem and he said he was.He said the poem was under the lid not on top as I affirmed to him. It was like 'I am the one who shot it not you'-he was respectful,just firm.Maybe he got another shoot mixed up with that one!

If we stay in context as to the poem's content and/or where it was located then rh is either the Blood Factor or Right Hand which a music expert told me was a possibility-or both concepts were in the writer's mind as this was a Zodiac trait. Since the two letters were in lower case then we might exclude a person's name or nick name. The first letter S(sick) was a capital so at least he observed the cap; so if he meant a person's name he probably would have rh in caps instead of the lower case he employed. My question is why would he refer to the president of RCC and/or mean red herring? This is just for the sake of stimulating feed back as I don't have a favorite rh meaning!

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-53.linkline.com - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 11:26 pm:

Good observation Bill.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-tb011.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 11:45 pm:

It's interesting to note that the letters "rh" are the final letters in ArthuR LeigH Allen's first and middle names...

By Alan Cabal (Alan) (spider-wa062.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 12:02 am:

Moby Dick was the ultimate red herring. If Ahab had stuck to hunting whales, he'd have died fat'n'happy in a bed in Nantucket.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-53.linkline.com - on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 12:11 am:

Tom-Did you read my post?I bring out there were similarities between the poem and Zs later writing.The f's are what first caught my eye.The absence of the apostrophe in "someone ll find her" can be compared to the "dont" in the Jolly Roger card(4/28/70).Compare the f in "find (her)" with the f("knife" 9/27/69)on Harnell's car door. Note the curved base bar.The g's tails go straight down the same way as in the Z letters.The t's seem alike too.Hurley's observation of the dot in the o in"to (die)"possibly being a symbol for the sun is correct-that is, the symbol, but whether it was meant to stand for the sun(which was in Scorpio/death? 10/30/66)is unknown-but good observation!

Going back to the rh, I remembered that the Red Phantom letter (7/8/74)uses caps for "Red Phantom" Z's pen name. On the outside of the envelope the letters RP are in caps.Just an observation.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-tb011.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 12:13 am:

Didn't Herman Melville also write Billy Budd? Or am I thinking of someone else?

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0262.cvx11-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 01:36 am:

Being far from any kind of expert in handwriting analysis, my two-cents' worth:

I noticed that the desk-top r's differ from Z's usual check-mark style r's. Also, the d's from the desk-top writing are pretty much vertical, unlike the characteristic slant of Z's d's. Plus, Z's d's have a looped vertical stroke (I know that pressing hard with a ball-point pen into a desk top doesn't allow normal fluidity of writing, so that element is moot). The k in "Sick" is likewise dissimilar, with Z using a very definite three-stroke k, the second stroke always coming into contact with the first. The tails of the desk-top e's have good follow-through, while Z's tend to be abbreviated. The p's and y's on the desk top appear to be made with one continuous stroke, while Z's are made with two distinctive strokes. I also noticed that the bottoms of the desk-top f's all drop below the line of the other letters, which is not the case in the vast majority of Z's f's. With respect to the i's, all of the desk-top i's are dotted, with the dots more or less directly atop the letter, as with Z's dotted i's. However, Z did not consistently dot his i's, such as in the 10-13-69 letter.

On the positive side, as Howard pointed out, the t's appear very much alike, with the cross mark at the center of the letter, similar to a plus sign. The v in the desk-top word "living" is nearly identical with the v in "cover" in Z's 10-13-69 letter. I agree with Howard that the g's have the straight tail often found in Z's writing, but looking at g's within some of the same Z letters, he tends to put a slight hook on some and none on others.

I'm sure there are other points of similarity and dissimilarity which could be found with greater study, but my personal, unexpert opinion is that the writings are not by the same person (with all respectful deference to the late Sherwood Morrill).


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (124.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 06:41 am:

I agree with the above.

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-tf051.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 07:39 am:

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Somebody stop me! I just can't help myself...with all due respect to the photographer of this desk, if indeed it had been written on the bottom of the lid, doesn't that mean its view is hidden by the bottom of the desk and all one would need to do to photograph it is open the lid? I know...it doesn't matter...details, details, details....

Also, the sun symbol in the title of the poem seems quite pronounced...

(Thanks Howard for all your input and observations...)

By Sandy (Sandy) (c531918-a.ptbrg1.sfba.home.com - on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 08:50 pm:

The Riverside poem gives me the feeling that the writer was very depressed.The sick of living/ unwilling to die, sounds like a cry for help about himself. The rh could be his initials in lower case, because he was feeling low at that time. He was afraid he had left too many clues, to brag about this crime in northern Calif. The banjo looking d in the word blood is very z like. He didn't do the three stroke K every time he wrote. The dot in the o, could be he hesitated because someone was walking towards him. Oddly enough, the same looking banjo d is also in the Ramsey note.

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (adsl-141-154-81-179.bostma.adsl.bellatlantic.net - on Monday, March 12, 2001 - 02:51 pm:

This poem has seen more Procrustean force-fitting into a theory of the work of Z than just about any other piece in this whole saga. We can create some kind of connection between just about any two phenomena in the universe, and that is what I think is gong on here. This poem has about as much to do with CJB as Little Orphan Annie.

Some thoughts on the poem, from an actual poet. There is no basis for concluding that there is any connection at all between the poem and the Bates killing. The only thing they have in common is a young woman cut with a blade. Everything else is entirely antithetical to the CJB killing and its participants

First, this is not by some killer about a victim.This is an autobiographical piece. The fact that it is written in the third person is unremarkable. Many such poems are. It is a common convention, usually used to understate and establish a certain aesthetic distance between the author and the audience, as if they are both observing an event rather than participating in it. Especially useful with highly personal, confessional poetry.

Seond, this is not about an attack, but a suicide. It's written from the point of view of the young woman, not some attacker. These are her thoughts, her impressions, her experience. "Sick of living/unwilling to die" describes the young woman. Her attacker is writing from inside her mind? Not. And Z never wrote from the victims' perspective either.

She won't die this time? Someone ll find her? Is that CJB? Are you kidding? 42 stab wounds but she'll live? Or did CJB survive some previous episode, so that "wait till next time" makes some kind of sense?

Sick of living? Any reason to believe that remotely describes CJB? Unwilling to die? Just the opposite happened here, didn't it? She struggled to live, but was not unwilling enough.

rh is some kind of code? Again, you're kidding, right? They are placed where convention calls for them as a signature. They are consistent with the usage of the entire poem. RH are undoubtedly the young woman's initials. The capital S in the title -- the only cap in the piece -- does not indicate a conventional use of caps inconsistent with rh as signature, but only a slight lapse from the otherwise entirely consistent use of lower case. Very likely an immature poet imitating uncomfortably the widely emulated (in that period) e.e.cummings.

Neither the subject, style or content of the poem are "sick". Again, suicide and other self destructive behaviors were widely written of at the time (see Sylvia Plath -- who did take her own life -- William Burroughs and Alan Ginsburg for starters).

Sure, its a great picture, Tom, but totally meaningless, unrelated to any investigation of Z, other than as a demonstration of how easy it is to concoct menaing where there is none.

Just to test the theory, I have forrwarded the piece to a couple of hundred poets, with minimal explanation of the source and context (no mention of its relation to a murder, Z or otherwise) and have asked for analysis. I'll let you know the results.


By Jake (Jake) (spider-wg063.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, March 12, 2001 - 04:22 pm:

Thanks Peter. A while back, someone submitted the notion that it was written after a failed suicide attempt, and I think it's a wise one. The poem sure reads like that without the Z-goggles on. Were it not for the timing and the debatable handwriting, I think we could write it off entirely.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Jacob (Jacob) (1cust1.tnt5.iowa-city.ia.da.uu.net - on Monday, March 12, 2001 - 04:55 pm:

It resembles stereotypical goofy teen suicide mentality, drenched in bad drama, and I have had no idea why it has been tied to this case for as long as it has. I'm sure that if the author was aware that his/her (probably her) work was being scrutinized to this depth (red herring?!?), it would cause enough humiliation to prompt a valid suicide attempt, and the world would be without another bad writer. I believe the "power ballad" was created to pacify this mentality, so does anyone know if any members of Journey were at RCC in '66?


By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-wn042.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, March 12, 2001 - 06:05 pm:

This desk is tied to the case simply because it was found not long after CJB was murdered there.

Someone explain the prominent sun sign symbol used in the word "to".

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-50.linkline.com - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 12:20 am:

I for one ,will stick with Sherwood Morrell who was the ultimate authority on Zodiac's handwriting, and Dave Peterson who was with the Zodiac case since 12/20/68 ,until just a short time ago when his health began to fail(I hope his research on the 'poem', and other information,will be printed ,in time-he has a very extensive collection of data on Zodiac that is truly astounding).When the'new'people can positively break that Two Stranded Rope then I will stick with them-but it ain't so yet!Nuff said before I get hit by them and Dave!

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0260.cvx11-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 12:47 am:

Sandy, any disagreement I may have with your observations should in no way reflect on my own regard for your contributions here. Z's d's are almost always slanted more than the other letters in the same word, and almost always with a loop on the upper stroke. The d's in the poem are all vertical and in angle-agreement with the other letters of the word in which they appear. The banjo effect you referred to in the desk-top word "blood" is not characteristic of Z's penchant for non-uniformly slanted, looped d's. I didn't look at all of Z's writings before posting my opinion, but I did refer to enough samples to conclude that the desk-top d's were not consistent.

In every sample of k's in Z's letters that I examined (not all, mind you), the first stroke, a vertical line, was met by a second stroke, with the third stroke beginning at the mid portion of the second stroke and angling downwards. If there is an exception, or more, to this, then I can probably show you many variations in my own writing. I was merely going by predominant consistencies in Z's writing that did, or didn't, square with the desk-top writing. Forgive me for saying so, but if you are convinced that Z wrote the poem in Riverside, then nothing I could say about my personal observations would prevent your putting your own perspective spin on the comparison between the writings. I'll defer judgment on the matter to others.


By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-105.al.us.prserv.net - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 01:29 am:

I agree that the poem doesn't appear to have any connection to Cheri Jo Bates. But did the Zodiac write it? I believe so. As Howard pointed out earlier, whoever wrote the poem was scratching it into the surface of the wood with a ballpoint pen--This is bound to make some of the letters look a bit different.
Still, all in all, the writing seems to be Zodiac's. Many of the individual letters match up to other examples of Z's "sloppy" style(he had two
distinct ways of writing--sloppy, which was most of the time; and the neat, practiced style seen in
the Belli letter and on the Jolly Roger greeting card), and the poem overall has the cramped appearance of the killer's other writings.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0260.cvx11-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 01:50 am:

Hurley, hypothetically, if the dot in the middle of the o in the word "to" had not appeared, or if it was a pre-existing flaw on the wood surface and not an artifact of the author, would the sun-sign symbol then be a non-factor? And would your apparent fixation on the astrological significance of that detail be less of a guiding element in your opinion as to the beliefs of the author of the poem? You have demonstrated over the months a keen insight into the intricasies of the Zodiac mystery. I would hope that the appearance of a dot in the middle of an o would not sway your judgment. It might well be purposeful on the part of the author, and indicative of an astrological significance, but then again it might not.

We all have our opinions, valid or not, but common sense dictates that we keep an open mind to the possibility of being proven wrong. That is our built-in defense that preserves our spirit and gives us the will to persevere, despite controversy.

I haven't heard/seen any comments on the significance of what words and letters were emphasized on the desk-top writings. By that I mean the over-writing and bold-typing of certain letters and words. I tried to string them together, but that wasn't productive. I do think that the empathy had some significance to the author. Perhaps that might lend itself to better insight into the person that probably penned the poem. [Alliteration not intended]


By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-23.linkline.com - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 02:00 am:

Bill-Good analysis(as usual)on the poem. I do note a 'check like' r in "uncertain",and due to the fact we don't have enough words to deal with and the writer was putting pressure to indent into the wood ;it would take an Expert like Morrell to properly assess both writings-but it's fun to play Expert!The three stroke k you speak of was duly noted by M and he and the other Experts thought z was consistant in his k's but he changed at times. I found at least two 'non three stroker' k's in the 5/8/74"Badlands" letter -"killing" and "kit".In the 4/28/70 "Dragon" card there are several normal'non checker' r's.The d's in the poem are 'straight backers',but one d has a curl at the terminal -"die". I might give up the d in "dress"as a wanna be.Now, as to the slanted looped d's in Z's later missives ,we see this is overblown (like the r's)also as the 6/26/70 letter has several 'straight backed' d'as does our 66/7 poem!I also found some in the 12/20/69 Z cry baby letter too.There is only one b -"blood"-in the poem and it is not unlike b's in the Dragon card and in other Z productions.I feel certain had we more letters we would have very similar b's too.

Seeing that there is about a three year gap between the poem's inscription and Zodiac's 69-74 writings, it would take an Expert to note any changes ,and in wood depression writing, to come to any desernable conclusions. I worked with the late Henry Silver (he was 87 and had examined handwriting for over 50 years and had eight years professional training in an handwriting Institute)on a Questioned Document in 1976/7 and he showed me all the twists and turns in the examination of writing.It is not simply determining whether letters LOOK the SAME,but it is comparison of the proportionate heights between letters( and capitals and lower case letters,)the lineal base pattern, letter spacing,slant, etc.Morrell(with some 40 years experience) used a special high powered microscope and a Transilluminater, I believe,and thousands of hours of comparisons ,and it was that mind that determined the poem was Z's work. I will stay in his camp until the indians flush me out -if they ever do!

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-wo021.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 03:53 am:

Hi Bill..

Ah, I've never said that I believe Zodiac wrote the poem...it's just all circumstantial but after seeing that symbol etched in the desk...I definately wouldn't dismiss the desk as of yet.

The symbol appears to be placed their deliberately. If you notice, the desk (or photo?) seems to have tiny little "flecks"/ dots over it. That seems to be the case further down into the poem in the word "oh". But that title word "to" seems to be carved in and really inked up making it very noticeable. And then of course Zodiac used that symbol a few years later in the ciphers.

Also too, there is the argument that Zodiac wrote letters about the CJB case but didn't do the CJB crime.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0260.cvx11-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 04:17 am:

Howard, you are as gracious as ever in your exceptions. I only wish that other posters were as charitable in their opinions. Acknowledging our differences of opinion, allow me to be candid.

The d in "die" is just as vertical as the others, and the curl at the end is just as atypical as the other d's that do not slant and do not have a looped vertical stroke. And it is all the more atypical of Z's tendency to abbreviate the tails on his letters. The r in "uncertain" is hardly a check mark, but rather an inverted L, with no angle to the second stroke.

Howard, I'm not passing judgment on the issue of who authored the desk-top poem. I'm merely giving my opinion as to the compatibility of the desk-top writings and those of Z. Z may have inscribed those desk-top writings, and if he did, he may or may not have killed CJB. I don't know. And whether the killer was Bruce Davis or Leigh Allen or the Unibomber or whomever, the desk-top poem will probably never be a factor in the ultimate solution. And all the people who have clung to some other-worldly answer to the mystery will be sadly disappointed.

I predict that the killer will have had no specific interest in the occult, in astrology, opera, or any other scheme that appeals to those that yearn for more than the mundane killer that Z actually was. Z, I believe, was a loser and a wannabe. He had no greater claim to fame than that of a basic loser who followed his own fantastic scenario of avenging his failure at achieving the relationship with a woman that his victims enjoyed. He killed the woman as his symbol of unachievement, and he killed the man as the enviable rival he aspired to be.

Hell, I don't know who killed who and why. I do know that Zodiac was/is a person that is not recognizable by normal standards. Zodiac is, by my estimation, a seemingly normal guy who had hidden frustrations which evolved into murderous impulses, resulting in death.

He may have authored the desk-top poem, but if he did, I suspect that Z would have been more attributable, suggesting his own involvement. The "rh" factor, well, that is undoubtedly without solution.

That exhausts my guesses for the day. And you?

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0260.cvx11-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 05:38 am:

Hurley . . . and I would really prefer to address you by your first name . . . I have no better idea than you as to the desk-top author's intent. I confess that I tend to be highly skeptical of persons that argue pro or con about the likelihood of the desk-top author being Z. After all, no one knows, beyond biased and subjective speculation.

I've noticed that you have lauded Howard for his opinions in his remarks about the poem, and I join you in your regard for Howard's presentation as it relates to Z. Bear in mind, though, that Howard steadfastly believes that Z is Bruce Davis, a member of the Manson family, and is hosting a website that promotes that premise. I can't dismiss Davis as Z, but I can suggest that you regard posts on this board with an eye towards understanding the personal agenda of people who may have an intended spin on what they purport to be objective opinion.

Hurley, I've noticed your sense of humor, and I am very much a kindred spirit in that regard. We may disagree, yet I have an inkling that we may have more in common than our disparate positions might tend to dictate. Sounds like a come-on, but I am not prone to such machinations. I'm probably as anal as you are.


By Peter_H (Peter_H) (adsl-141-154-75-101.bostma.adsl.bellatlantic.net - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 08:12 am:

Isn't the "Expert" Morrell ths same expert who authenticated the 1978 Toschi letter? Did he ever see a sample he didn't authenticate? Did he know the context of the RCC poem (I'm betting he did) or was he just given it blind and then said "Hmmm, I've seen this somewhere before . . . "? I'm betting he looked at with the Z-Goggles (great turn of phrase, Jake, it applies to so much here) ...

BTW, the poets jury is still out, but the early returns closely track Jacobs comments above. Can't wait to share the results.


By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-mtc-tg022.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 03:11 pm:

We could speculate on anything till the cows come home....but I gotta say it...the d in die in the "sick of living/ unwilling to die" statement...looks like un upside down Aries symbol...gee, didn't we see that in the "My name is cipher"?

Hm..me anal? I don't know about that but I do have an eye for detail. I'm not exactly the type of person you want to move furniture around for or hang paintings for...

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (adsl-141-154-75-101.bostma.adsl.bellatlantic.net - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 03:36 pm:

In the "My name is cipher??" Nope. Not even close IMHO. That one could never even be mistaken for a "d". By the same token, show the poem to a couple dozen astrologers, out of context, and see how many say "hey, the "d" in "die" is the sign of Aries!"

And BTW I'm not speculating, I'm a asking non-rhetorically what was the basis for Morrel's analysis of the poem? Does anyone know?

My analysis of the poem is not speculative, either. Its based on having seen a zillion like it in high school and college literary mag reject piles. As one of my poet respondents wrote, every teenage girl since Emily Dickinson wrote that poem in one form or another.

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-mtc-tg012.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 05:48 pm:

Peter, Peter, Peter....(what the hell does IMHO stand for?)

The upside down Aries symbol in the "My name is cipher" is just that, an upside down Aries symbol. It looks nothing like a d and I never said it did.

What I did say was that the d in die in the desk top poem looks like an upside down Aries symbol. As I stated, pure speculation but it does look like a stylized upside down Aries symbol in place of a small case d.

Z did use an upside down Aries symbol in his cipher.

I have never once written any such poem, teenage years included (nor did anyone else I know). I did however used to write beautiful, scathling, satirical limericks and poems. (..and still do when the need arises!)

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-ta033.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 07:13 pm:

"IMHO" = In My Humble Opinion.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-46.linkline.com - on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 02:23 am:

Peter-Two AM is it for me ,but there is an inverted symbol for Aries in the the "My name is" cipher.As a matter of fact ,the other symbol Z uses is it's opposite -Libra.Z used the symbol for Taurus (not "circled 8's" as Hines states in his ignorance -just fact -not being sarcastic)both of which in Astrology are ruled by Venus (T and L).I have checked with an Astrologer with experience that goes back to the 60's and he says it is beyond question. I know Hurley and I feel the same on this -if one is NOT thoroughly versed in Astrology they should step a little more lightly in this area and be more cautious in their pronouncements. My professional Astrologer friend expresses my sentiments in much stronger terms!

More on the handwriting and poem PM Wedsday.Hurley you Neptunite(or is it nightunite! go to sleep!)I do like your sun symbol discovery!

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (adsl-141-154-83-119.bostma.adsl.bellatlantic.net - on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 08:39 am:

I did not mean to suggest that there is no Aries sign in the cipher. Of course there is. The point is that the d in "die" looks absolutely nothing like the symbol in the cipher, or any other form of an upside down Aries sign. Oh, ok, wait a minute, I just put on my Z-goggles and hey! The "d" looks _just_ like an upside down Aries sign, except that one horn is curled and goes completely around in a circle, while the other one is straight, bent at the angle where is joins the verticle stroke and broken off near the base. That must mean that the killer is either really horny, which makes CJB and probably all the other proven Z crimes overtly sexual, or broken, crippled, like a ram with one horn. Oh and look, its also its used among a bunch of other symbols that look like letters of the English alphabet, which means that they are really ciphers, too and that Z is such a genius that he made his first Zodiacal cipher appear to be phrases and even a complete sentence. And hey, didn't CJB drive a VW bug? And didn't her killer _tamper_ with it? Where have we seen that before? LB!!! Any car buff (there's that _car_ thing again!!!) can tell you that a Kharmann-Ghia is nothing but a VW chassis disuised as an Italian sports car. Hey! There's that _disguise_ thing again. Where have we seen that before. None other than LB again !!!
Well, there you have it, an early Z cipher disguised as plain English, directly linked to a crime involving of all things a car, and then _another_ crime (wait till next time!) involving tampering with a car, in fact one just like the first one but _disguised_, by a killer who was disguised and used . . . wait a minute . . . a knife! There's that _knife_ thing again! Where have we seen _that_ before . . .

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (adsl-141-154-83-119.bostma.adsl.bellatlantic.net - on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 09:24 am:

Ok, sorry, Hurley, I get carried away when I put on my Z-goggles. I just put them down and feel much better now, thanks. Whew. Ok the results are in from a buncha poets who don't have any Z-goggles. The results are consistent, very little variation from the following typical comments:

"This is a fairly typical example of adolescent angst. There's not enough compassion indicative of the subject to suggest that it's written about
anyone else. To be quite cold, it's a lousy poem--only of interest to the author and (hopefully) their parents, teachers, etc.

I'd say the author of the poem is also its subject , probably a young woman (teens or twenties). The rest is anyone's guess. I'd hazard that she's American--but Canadian works just as well. There are no distinctive words, such as "labour", to give away a Nationality, but English schools were still drilling kids with more traditional ideas about poetry in 1967, and if they were anything but North American, they wouldn't have likely had any exposure to this sort of terse style.

As I noted before, there's no indication that the author is a sophisticated enough poet to be writing about anything other than her own self-pity. It's interesting that the author looks at herself in the third person, but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that she had attempted or planned to attempt suicide. Contrary to the opinion of high school guidance counselors everywhere, nearly every teenage girl since Emily Dickinson has written this poem in one form or another. Teenage years are agonizingly alienating, and bad poetry is often a good outlet for things the author would never really enact. On the other hand, the cry for help is somewhat legitimate--just as it is in a typical suicide attempt. (The slashed wrists method rarely works quickly, giving the victim plenty of time
to be found and brought to medical attention. I've always been willing to bet that, on some level, we all know this.)

>What are “rh”? Why do think so?

Well, judging by the placement, I'd say it's the authors initials.

>What about the poem as poetry? Quality? Originality? Impact? Sources,
>style, influences?

Uhm, this ain't exactly Keats. Or Ann Sexton for that matter. If it was written in or before 1967, it's obvious that the writer had read some Sexton
or Plath, maybe some Beats, if only because it's free of the more lyrical structure that was still dominating Academic texts at that time. Likely,
the author was fairly well read, and probably fairly smart and rebelious to be seeking out "non schoolbook" reading material, but that's about it. I'd hazard a guess that it was not a serious attempt at poetry, but an expression of overall (and typical) angst. Most nascent poets write an
early dozen or so suicide poems, if only because they're depresed and they think they SHOULD write about it.

And again:

"Besides being involved in slam I have a degree in literature, so I know a little something about
interpretation. I’ve got a little time on my hands and your inquiry intrigued me so here’s my two cents.

"My first impression is that the author is young (19-25)and probably depressed or bi-polar, given the subject of the poem which is suicide.

"The dot in the center of the “o” probably indicates an eye, which may be a clue to the author’s state of mind. That of an emotionally detached observer. May also have something to do with the poem being in third person rather than first.

"The “she” of the poem is difficult to determine. The author is probably referring to herself in the third person in an attempt to disassociate herself from her actions (see above). The lines:

life draining into an
uncertain death.
she won’t die.
this time
someone ll find her.
just wait till
next time.

Would seem to indicate a failed suicide attempt, as well as a threat or determination by the author to try again.

" Of course the author of the poem may or may not be synonymous with the speaker, however, given the poem’s lack of sophistication this is unlikely. Usually a poem written from another person’s point of view would use much richer images and be more developed in its language and metaphor. Robert Browning, and Poe for example often wrote poems from the point of view of disturbed or mad individuals. This poem however seems like a simple attempt by the poet to
communicate her thoughts.

[What are “rh”? ]

"Probably the author’s initials or the initials of a pen name.

[What is the significance of its having been written where it was, on a desk
in a library?]

"The poem was left in a public place as a cry for help. The author is most likely emotionally disturbed and subconsciously wishes that someone would discover her problem and help her. The poet was probably a student of the school.

[What about the poem as poetry? Quality? Originality? Impact? Sources,
style, influences?]

"The author is a novice poet. The structure of the poem would seem to indicate that they are familiar with poetry (possibly a student) but they are not well versed, so to speak. It is more of a message imitating poetry.

"The poem lacks originality in that it does not make a sensory connection with the reader. The red dress (I won’t get into Freud here though it would be easy) and the blood are the only mages. The speaker of the poem seems to be void of emotion as the use of words such as “anyway” and “some one ’ll” indicate. The speaker is either self loathing or pathological or both.
But hey, that’s just my opinion and I read too many mysteries anyway."

So that's it from the literary quarter. Z was an angst-ridden teenaged girl. Who knew?

BTW, wouldn't it have been easy for the school to have checked enrollment for an R.H. at the time?
What about now?


By Peter_H (Peter_H) (adsl-141-154-83-119.bostma.adsl.bellatlantic.net - on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 09:33 am:

On the other hand, check out http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/clapton/371/massive.htm. Features a 1995 album called Massive Killing Capacity by a group called Nuclear Blast. Check out the lyrics to "On Frozen Fields", then click on the graphic of the album cover for the blow-up, and look real close. Where have we seen that before . . .

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-mtc-ti044.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 07:12 pm:

PeterH...it's Ok, I said the Aries symbol as a d was really speculation...stop putting that vinegar in your coffee...

By Hurley (Hurley) (spider-mtc-ti044.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 07:23 pm:

More speculation on the d as an Aries symbol...because it looks like it to me..and it appears the tail of the d was traced twice not once like the rest of the d's appear. The Aries symbol is one stroke and I think it crudely shows in the etching of the desk and at the base where the "horns" form...but hey, that's just speculating...

And as always, gotta thank Howard for his support! He understands the symbols.

By John R (Johnremtct) (spider-wa013.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 10:35 pm:

Here is a thought. How old was the Poem when found? If it was under the desk months may have gone by as opposed to if it was on the top of the desk. In any event I am interested in the time between the Poem and the letter from "Patricia Hautz". Could enough time have gone by that Z forgot which pseudonym he used and "rh" should have been "ph" or "Patricia Hautz" should have been "Robert Hautz"?

By Jake (Jake) (spider-th022.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 02:34 pm:

We don't know when it was written -- only when a janitor found it in mid-'67. If it really was written on the underside of the desk (and I'll trust the photographer over Toschi on this one), it could have been there for years.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By John R (Johnremtct) (spider-ti023.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, March 17, 2001 - 12:07 am:

Again my point, that if the poem was Mid-67 and the "Patricia Hautz" letter was November 1, 1967 Z may have tried to use the same pseudonym for both but forgot the initials he had used for the poem.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-15.linkline.com - on Saturday, March 17, 2001 - 02:46 am:

John R-Very interesting. In this weird case there are many possibilities!For you to come with your scenario shows mental sagacity!

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-93.linkline.com - on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 10:39 pm:

I decided to contact the Riverside photographer who took ,not only the Bates death photos, but the desk poem as well.

After some doing I got him through a reporter I spoke with in the past. The reporter indicated that the photos are their property even though they were taken by the photographer.

The photographer called me at work today. He began questioning me-in detail- on various projects that I had mentioned to him when I visited him some years ago.I was very impressed as I thought he would not have even remembered my visit.

I asked him about photographing the desk poem. He was firm -you could NOT see the poem as you looked at the desk top,he said he had to "lift" the top to photograph the poem as it was hidden from view. It was an old desk and so many of them were built differently.But,he said it didn't make any difference ,you could not see the poem. He had to angle his shot to snap the poem as it was in kind of an odd position. He says there was an account of his work on the Bates case written up in a true crime publication, including how he took the poem shot,but it's packed away in his files and he has to think about the magazine's title.He was engaged in some activity and had to go. He does not have the same interest in the Bates case and Zodiac as we do;which is good in a way,as he does not have a theme to protect or promote relative to the Z case.

I asked him several times in different ways if he was sure of his recollections and he would not change his account. I then told him what Toschi said -that the poem was on top and could be seen. His reply,'I don't give a da*n what anyone says I was the photographer and I know how I took the shot.'He said the desk was in a room and he came in -he was not invited by the police( it was without permission!) and he noted that he had to raise the lid and assume somewhat of a prone position (not flat on his back)to get the right angle to shot the poem-it stuck in his mind as he expected the poem to be visible and it was not!I tried to go over everything as before and he gave me the same account. I did everything I could to get him to give me all the details including questioning his remembrance of the shoot.I got the same thing.

He mentioned that he wrote a book that was doing quite well and that was about it. We have each other's e-mail address so I plan to bug him again!

My thought is that the desk top was removed when Toschi saw it and that the area where the poem was could be seen upon a first examination and it seemed it was on the top.Recall that the Hartnell car door was removed and taken into custody. I have seen doors from rooms and small appliances in custody why not remove just the desk lid and place it in storage until it would be needed?If the lid was turned on the side that had the poem it may have seemed like it was on top. We need to look into this further.

I would say it was a good clue to withhold from the public so that if you had a "confessor" you could ask him 'where did you write the poem'?If he says on top you got a good clue that this guy is probably not your man. I KNOW the RPD is withholding certain things -I was very lucky to learn and SEE .If they deny that the poem is not outwardly viewable, then someone needs to prove it -do not take their 'public' statements for fact!

There are so many styles of desks- and their tops -it's hard to judge at this point. On line may have photos of old school desks. The photographer mentioned that the style of the desk allowed for the 'hidden' poem.I can go either way on this,but we need to be shown.I know I took Toschi's word on this but now it's time for some fresh examination to verify one or the other men's account-top or bottom!

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-93.linkline.com - on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 11:09 pm:

Peter H- Morrell was a consummate technician. He was a perfectionist in his work and as impartial as a professional could be. The state of California- CII- made him their top Expert on Questioned Documents for close to 40 years.You do not get that position by wearing "Z goggles" or ant kind of goggles in an examination!

Morrell rejected many suspects handwriting when compared to Zodiac's exemplars-this included Allens-even though Toschi and others 'wanted' a match.There was no favoritism.He used high powered microscopes and transilluminaters and sometimes spent days working late into the night examining each writing sample before he would make a final analysis or opinion -there were no "Z goggles "as you jokingly state.

When Paul Avery brought the Riverside samples to Morrell he not only examined those, but he looked at Avery's as well!He was very impartial.Anyone was considered a suspect even a police reporter!

Letters purporting to come from Zodiac's pen were brought to Morrell as he was not only the best but he was world authority on Zodiac's handwriting.M rejected most all of these as forgeries. Those that he did confirm were few.Some Experts thought Morrell was wrong on certain missives, but in time an entire panel would confirm them and this included the FBI.

As far as the desk poem goes he doubted it at first,but when he used magnification along with standard identification methodologies he confirmed the poem as Zodiac's work.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (ac80b90e.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 12:22 am:

Howard, good job. I'll contact RPD and see if I can cooberate the photographer's story. He sure sounds adamant.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-93.linkline.com - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 01:03 am:

Welcome to the Letterman show!I have carefully gone over everything again relative to the two handwritings and I still think they are by the same hand.

Each k in the poem is a non stroker k as sometimes found in Z's later letters . Morrill and other Experts thought Z was consistent in this regard ;but he changed in the Citizen letter by using a non three stroker k as in the poem.

Each d in the poem is not unlike the d's found in the 12/20/69 letter and in the Dragon card of 4/28/70.

Each d in the poem is like the d's in the 12/20/69 letter to give one example.They are not slanted/looped and to the right like many of Z's missives are.

The fifth letter in "uncertain"in the poem is an r not an inverted L(humor time -I guess then one would call an inverted car a dysLexus!) as you state.It appears like some of the check mark likes r's in Z's communications. We must look for examples in the poem of inverting a capital or even a lower case letter within a word and we do not find it anywhere in the poem.We also do not find any misspellings in the poem to give us a trait here. The word is "uncertain" and should have at the fifth placement an r and I affirm that it does.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-46.linkline.com - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 02:33 am:

I believe that the desk top/bottom/upside down or what have you poem is a Transference just like Zodiac's reference to the Mikado.Z identifies with the Lord High Executioner and quotes him applying his proclivities and actions to himself. "I have a little list[The Executioner], starting with the woeman and her baby..."as an example of substitionary placement.See other examples within Z's torture letter.

The Exorcist note is in the same vein and more closely identifies with suicide as in the poem-"...and an echo arose from the sucides grave..."I do not think you will get the procrustean or as I call it the Poseidon Effect(P was a son of Poseidon-water again-just kiddin!, and would cut the legs off travelers(I know hitch hikers) to fit them in his bed-or stretch them -sounds like Z's statements !) by applying the poem to Z's use of the Mikado.

I think that the desk poem is focused on Cheri Jo and he transfers his thoughts/feelings about her to the young vivacious girl that is secretly 'sick of living but is unwilling to die'and in his mind's depths feels the same way which came out in the 12/20/69 letter -and I think I know why.She /Bates"HAD to Die" 4/30/67. He sees her as slashing her wrists with the typical flowing blood,etc.,but the death is "uncertain" and she is 'found ,but "just wait(that is what he must do for now-"wait'/transference for an opportune time)till next time "-a euphemism for her violent death; as when she is found "this time" she will have succeeded, that is, she will have been killed-he being the instrument of her 'socially acceptable' suicide i.e., murder/sucicide.

Some in the Mind Sciences or Scientology , believe that when one is murdered the person is actually 'using' the other person as an "instrument" to take their life because subconsciously they "wanted to die". They say "all murder is really self murder".The '67 Bates/She "had to die"notes sound very much like a person that believes in some lind of Karmic destiny-she just "HAD" to die-and I was the instrument!

Did the young Zodiac hear rumors of a suicide attenmpt in the Bates household?Mrs. Bates was an alcoholic and did try and take her life(she later succeeded).Cheri's father was separated from her at the timee of Cheri's death in 1966.More later.

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (adsl-141-154-74-240.bostma.adsl.bellatlantic.net - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 05:44 am:

Howard: Thanks for the info on Morril. I have asked about him before, but never got anything like a full picture. Would like to know your source for Morril's analysis of the poem ( and Ghia door as well) Are any of Morril's written reports, or other direct accounts of his findings available? Anyone else? Do others of you share Howard's view of Morril, or care to corroborate? (BTW Tom, take note: that's "c-o-r-r-o-b-o-r-a-t-e"}. One other issue still nags: did or did not Morril authenticate the 1978 Toschi letter, and is it or is it not well established that the letter was a forgery?


By Jake (Jake) (spider-th052.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 06:51 am:

Peter H wrote:
"did or did not Morril authenticate the 1978 Toschi letter, and is it or is it not well established that the letter was a forgery?"

Morrill, who had retired in '73 but was consulted informally, was the lone dissenter on the 1978 letter -- four experts from various jurisdictions examined it and ruled it a forgery. There's a pretty good rundown on the "1978 Letter" page of my site, linked below.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (ac912051.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 12:02 pm:

PeterH, take note: that's "b-e-e-r"

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 01:57 pm:

SOS!Going back over my past visit to RCC I remember that a teacher that was at the school when Bates was killed expressed an interest in my research and kindly showed me around the campus. When I asked about the desk that the poem was found on he told me that the janitor was stacking desks for storage and he spotted the poem on the UNDERSIDE of the desk! This makes sense as the desks were stacked for storage and many were upside down for storage purposes. I believe the desk had been in the music room and the "rh" could stand for "right hand" a music term as my music expert tells me.I do not think these 'initials' stand for his name unless it's a pen name.I am always open and will change on the spot if there are facts.I cannot believe that I forgot the tour and the teacher's remarks about the desk. Sorry.Asking the RPD anything leaves me a bit uncomfortable as I contemplate my past experiences with them-and this includes others. I hope Tom gets solid verification. I would ask to see the desk.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (csdu-24230.communicomm.com - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 08:37 pm:

It was me who put forth the idea (posting then as 'Mike in Oklahoma') that the desk-top
poem described not a murder or homicidal fantasty
but rather a failed suicide or at least suicidal
fantasy. I was flattered that several of you remembered my comments. I will be follwing up this brief note with another one describing my reasons for this conclusion in detail. Be patient, I will follow up, I'm busy with work and VERY busy with my main hobby as well. I want to
take my time and so it right. It's good to be back on the board, I took a hiatus for a few months as I started a new job.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0360.cvx38-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 09:09 pm:

Judging by the contortions that the photographer had to endure just to take pictures of the poem, as described by Howard (and I tend to accept that the writing was on the underside surface of the desktop), it makes me wonder how extraordinarily awkward it must have been for the person writing it. Considering that he/she would have had to exert some pressure with the ballpoint pen to leave the imprinting, and that the penmanship remains fairly consistent throughout, the writing process must have been quite difficult . . . and quite determined.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-tc081.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 09:31 pm:

Mike: I never forgot your comments, I just couldn't remember your name!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (33.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 11:18 pm:

Perhaps it was one of those little desks whose top flips up and off to one side.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-36.linkline.com - on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 03:00 am:

Det. Wm. -It depends on the desk style. Remember that the poem, according to the photographer,was not readily visible as one looked at the desk top.It would depend on the position of the poem and how the writing would be exposed by lifting the lid. It goes back to desk construction.

From what I was told the desk was found in a storage room upside down and the poem was spotted by the janitor(called sanitation technicians today!)and he reported it.This is where the inscription could have been made while the desk was in this storage position. There would be no need for 'contortions' or the like on the part of the writer at that time.This would have given him privacy to write the poem.

I know when I first read about the poem I could picture the writer sitting at the desk and inscribing the poem on the desk top, but this may not have been what happened-he may have written on the desk in that storage area while it was in an inverted position.

The photographer later heard about the desk through his contacts and when he got there the desk was in an upright position and now we have a photographer having to play the angles to get his shots.

You can ignore this part as it is very much conjecture. RCC was experiencing a large reconstruction project that began around 1965 and lasted till around the end of 1967. There were a lot of construction workers around the school. I have the year books and there are several pictures of the construction and the men doing the work at the time.Old Poly high was affected also.

When we spoke to Stephanie Guttman ,Cheri's girl friend at the time, she said that the workers would "flirt" with Cheri and she would ignore them.I think there is a possibility that one of the "workers" did not like her "brush off's"("during the years prior"65-66? says the '66 letter)and did something about it.Stephanie may not have witnessed an incident where Cheri Jo could have insulted the worker. People that knew her told me she could 'suddenly snap at a guy and become very insulting and cutting if she didn't like his attentions'!According to evals'on the killer's mind set he would be "highly sensitive" and blow rejection out of proportion and rage would build over time only to erupt into an act of retaliatory violence i.e.murder.

A construction worker would have access to rooms and storage areas as they did the wiring ,piping,and general construction work, etc.This I got from people that were at RCC at this period.Since my suspect was a welder(there is even a picture called "The Welder"showing a welder doing some work in the auditorium in the year book!)pipefitter, painter(the Timex watch was paint speckled)and lived in both Anaheim- which is 30 mins from Riverside-and Riverside itself ,I find it a point of interest. Reports state he "dropped out in Nov.'66[the time the 11/29/66 typed letter was sent]and became a transient undergrounder".Davis abandoned his car at this time and his sister told us the police called her and wanted to know what to do with it as they could not locate her brother and she told them to impound it-he never claimed the car.

I later found out that the General contractor for the RCC project was Near CAL of Anaheim -just down the street from where Davis lived. He later moved to Riverside.

Ignoring my bias,I think that it could have been a construction worker in that storage room(where teachers saw workers doing construction tasks)and he inscribed his fantasies about Bates on the desk.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0091.cvx38-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 03:57 am:

Forgive me Howard, but in saying that "it could have been a construction worker" that "inscribed his fantasies about Bates on the desk," and asking for us to ignore your bias, are you suggesting that: (1) The construction worker could have been a welder named Bruce, or (2) It might have been a construction worker that had no connection with Bruce/Z? Are you asking the readers to ignore your bias, or to buy into it? And would the killer have written of his fantasies, rather than the reality of his acts? Or was it written before the killing? If so, when were the desks moved from the library?

Also, with regard to the desk, if the poem was written while the desk was inverted, why wouldn't the photographer have been able to photograph it in situ, as it was found? Why, as you described, did the photographer have to assume a near-prone position to take the shots? Or do you suspect that the author assumed a similar position when writing it?

It would seem that whatever position the desk or desktop was in at the time the poem was written, the photographer could have easily, and without disturbing any potential evidence, placed the desk in the same position in order to take his pictures, without having to lay down. Unless of course the writer laid down in order to write it. The difficulty the photographer had in taking the photos would suggest that the writer might have had the same attitudinal presentation when he/she penned the poem. What I'm trying to say, Howard, is that you may be right, that the poem was written on the desk somewhere other than in the library.


By Peter_H (Peter_H) ( on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 04:52 pm:

Anyone on this thread, or on this board for that matter, ever hear of Occam's Razor?


By Jud Johnston (Jud) ( on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 07:55 pm:

Well said, Peter H. I hope I insult no one's erudition by paraphrasing Occam's Razor: The simplest explanation that fits the facts of a circumstance is the one most likely to be true.

I tend to side with Peter H. on this subject. The poem seems like a suicide poem to me. It could have been there years before the crime, based on the information available. I have a hard time believing that Zodiac wrote it, because it isn't about Zodiac. It's about the victim/suicide. What glory is there in that for Z?

Still, I am especially intrigued by the line "if red/clean", which is opaque to my engineer's brain. Any thoughts on a more literal meaning of this line?

By Joe (Joe) (adsl-63-204-73-129.dsl.scrm01.pacbell.net - on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 08:06 pm:

Try a keyword search for Occam's razor on the MB.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (158.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 10:37 pm:

Jud, the line "if red/clean" might be taken to signify "if either red or clean," or "if it is red it is clean." Not a very good construction, but I think that's what the author had in mind.

You mentioned your "engineer's brain." I should remind you that, based on someone's remark on another thread, pigeonholing a person (even oneself) on the basis of his profession is quite incorrect politically!

By Oscar (Oscar) (pool0259.cvx11-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 11:43 pm:

How creative! Good thing I can keep my focus in the bright rays of this brilliance.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Friday, March 23, 2001 - 07:31 pm:

Doug- Good analysis. Could Z- or we will say the writer -have said 'clean cut' or 'a clean cut' will produce "red" or blood?Or something along these lines. You are qualified to judge better than I. I note that he used "clean" twice and the first time he uses "cut"it's right before clean. 'It's a clean cut-if it's red (or blood)it's a clean cut (or successful cut so the blood is now "spurting, dripping,spilling"),or words to that effect.I am just paraphrasing and expanding ,so keep me in line.

I will be e-mailing the photographer that took the desk top/underside/side and /or hanging chad poem (that will certainly cover it all!)so I will go over-again- the details of the desk's setting and his position while taking the photo even though he insisted again that you could not see the poem looking down at the desk top. Your mention of that 'flap top desk' style or desks designed in that manner, could answer to the problem every one seems to be having.If I can see that desk it would be great;but you know they won't go for it. I will not take their word for it , have to see it.I have my reasons!

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-128.linkline.com - on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 08:58 am:

ZOZ! The photographer of the poem has E'd me.To the best of his knowledge and remembrance he gave me the following.

He does not remember who called him on the poem(it was about five months after the Bate's 187) but he went to a storage room and the desk was there in an upside down (or on it's side)position , but not right side up-it was on a stack of desks.He shot the desk in that setting and he had to angle around to get a good clear shot.

He submits that the grain was clearly visible in the picture(see Tom's great photo-it's the best I have seen)but the desk top was polished and the grain was greatly dimished.

The indication ,at this point, is that someone inscribed the poem while it was in the storage room(the desk came from the music room-"rh" or right hand a music score term?)in an upside down position.The only persons that really had access to the locked storage rooms were the custodians and during the 1966-7 construction project at RCC , the construction workers. The teacher that was there at this time told me that he saw construction workers in the storage rooms doing electrical and wall modification work.Since students were not allowed in the storage rooms, and they were locked anyhow; this could possibly eliminate a suicidal female (as has been suggested) from the list of possible authors.

The magazine that did a story on the Zodiac and Bates connection used the photographer's photos. The magazine was Argosy March 1970 (or 1 or 2). He can't remember which, but there was and March was the month and "$4.95 book ,Intrigue and murder on the racetrack "was on the cover".we can go on line and search for the copy.I hope this helps.

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (adsl-141-154-80-101.bostma.adsl.bellatlantic.net - on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 01:33 pm:

None of this eliminates a suicidal female. Where was the desk before the storage room? When was it put in storage? That poem may have been read a hundred times and long since been forgotten, until it was noticed after the Bates attack and seen in that context.


By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 06:41 pm:

The photographer has stated that he did not move a flap on the desk to snap the pictures.I never said that a suicidal female was eliminated-I said that "this could POSSIBLY eliminate" one-there is a big difference.

It seems hardly possible that someone would write underneath a desktop when they could easily impress the surface or top with a pen!Now,if the desk was,as our witness says,upside down in the storage room ,it leads us more in the direction of someone who had access to the locked room and simply inscribed the poem on the desk as it was in a upside down or stacked placement. It does not matter how long the desk was in the room; we are concerned with the position of the desk in that room.

Morrell declared the poem Zodiac's handwriting(it, plus the Hartnell car door, may be our only 'unfiltered' Z writing). This does not violate the 'suicidal female'THEORY -and that's what it is -as Z could have been 'role playing'(was rh red herring?) as he did when he identified with the Lord High Executioner- a good example of his transference mind set.Was the Patricia Hautz letter I discovered another example-was it really Z role playing?Z really did some "role playing" at LB-but,of course, now some even doubt Z was the responsible!

I think the poem was inscribed before she was killed as it says "just wait till next" ,that is, her death won't be "uncertain" it will be sure.More later.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0171.cvx11-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 08:03 pm:

Howard, from what you've learned from Fred Baumann (photographer), as I mentioned in an earlier post, I agree with you that the poem was written while the desk was inverted, as it was in the storage room. Out of curiosity, was the storage room within the library building? It's probably been explained elsewhere, but since it has been generally understood that the desk with the famous poem came from the campus library, I had always assumed (erroneously) that it would have been in the public reading area when the writing was discovered (and written).

If the desk was in the storage room when the poem was written, I can't help but to wonder what the author's intention may have been in writing it in a location where few if any people would have been likely to read it. If it was his/her intention to have it read, why not a more public place (subtlety, or a time-delay device?)? And if not, why write it in a semi-public place at all? With the time and effort of inscribing the message on a desk surface, why not just put it on paper and leave it more accessible (though less indelible)?

The point I'm making is that if the poem's author and that of the typewritten letters were one and the same, then the style, personality and methods of publication are in stark contrast. Taking it a bold step further, if it is to be believed that Z was responsible for the poem and the letters, where is his characteristic fondness for cruelty and self-aggrandizement to be found in the poem? The only explanation I could offer, and it is so weak I hate to even mention it, is that Z wrote the poem before he committed the murder, while it was still just a fantasy, and therefore more of a fanciful musing that he fully intended to make a reality.

I'm not asking these questions rhetorically, since I have no idea what the answers might be. It just seems that the notion of Z inscribing a poem, this poem, on a desktop bottom, while it is in a storage room, is so unlike the personality that we have all come to know and love. Howard, I defer to your opinion and those of others who can shed some reasoned light on the matter.


By Esau (Esau) (proxy1-external.scrmnt1.ca.home.com - on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 05:38 pm:

Speaking of the Patricia Hautz letter, does anyone know of a link where I might be able to view this letter?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-197.linkline.com - on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 02:56 am:

Esau-I will speak for the Web Master(just kidding- I can't even speak for -or is it type for myself!). Go to the victim's page at the Bates section and you will find it.

I am the one who found the letter in Riverside and sent a copy to Tom.I am doing a section on my website relative to the HautZ letter.

Look at the one mo. from the time of the Bates article the writer refers to(a Z trait).Check out the last name in German as per Lampumo-skin.What famous last letter is there in "her" last name?I am seeking the envelope at this time.

By Esau (Esau) (proxy2-external.scrmnt1.ca.home.com - on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 05:41 pm:

Thanks Howard. I just read the Patricia Hautz letter and have the chills. It certainly looks like the writer may have been trying to get the newspaper to give some publicity to the killer.

By Tony (Mahalo) (1cust105.tnt2.wailuku.hi.da.uu.net - on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 06:45 pm:

Wow Howard, good work finding the Hautz letter.Chilling indeed.Even though the letter is dated Nov. 1 1967, We'd be interested to see the postmark date on the envelope.If it's Oct. 30,'67
I'll jump out of my skin!Anniversaries? Either way it's close.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 11:46 pm:

Thank Tom for posting it-he is a pioneer in making these documents and many other Z information sources available to thousands of people worldwide!

I am in contact with the librarian who gave me the copy of the 11/1/67 note and I will post any new info that I may get.

If the writer was Zodiac then this is another example of his role playing or transference as with Ko Ko and the Mikado.The costume at LB is another example in my view. He may have taken the role of a suicidal female in the desk poem( on it's side or upside down /right side up or hanging from the storage room ceiling!).

My site will give my observations of the HautZ letter soon:www.zodiacmurders.com.More info is being added very soon. It's a work in progress.

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (adsl-141-154-80-101.bostma.adsl.bellatlantic.net - on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 09:44 am:

Yes, thanks for the post,Tom, and Howard for the note. Now, are we all sure its "Hautz"? There is clearly something wrong with that cap H, like it was a lower case H that the author stuck a tail on. Maybe a "K"? I dod a quick Google search for "Patricia Hautz, and the only hit was that post. "Patricia Kautz", however, turned up several, maybe dozens, all over the place. Its clearly the more common surname, making it at least statistically more likely that the author was "Patricia Kautz". Anyone do a search for Kautz in the Riverside area at that time?


By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-57.linkline.com - on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 02:22 am:

Peter-I have a very clear copy and it is H not K, but your research is good-you like to question and then dig-great!

The so called different opinion is really-if applied correctly- a reflection of either the truth or error and it is up to us to reconcile the opposites. A boring and insipid life it would be if all of the pieces were all placed together-no thanks!

I hope to have some more info on the letter soon.Whatever I get I will post. Howard Hautz

By Scott White (Scott_White) (a010-0689.stbg.splitrock.net - on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 08:56 pm:

My contribution to the Riverside mystery is to say i think the poem is similar to a line in the 340 code " a spill game " though most conclude it's" a pill's game " But also the poem is signed rh r=18th letter h=8th letter adding up to the 26th letter which of course is Z. But does the lower case rh imply its not a signature ?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 09:49 pm:

Scott- These things are interesting and each seems to come up with amazing concepts-like the rh and it's total of 26 and the letter Z.We,of course, cannot establish this is always what the writer had in mind, but it certainly shows you are creative in coming up with the calculation.The "spill" is a curiosity also. Keep thinking!

One thing I got from the poem photographer recently and I might as well post it here; is that he says that he did not move a "desk flap" over to get the picture; he shot it while the desk was on it's side or upside down. It was over 30 years ago so this is the best he can do for us. He is still firm that the poem was 'concealed' and that he had to angle for a good shot as seen on Tom's site in the Letter Section!

By Zoe Glass (Zoe_Glass) (max1-10.evansinet.com - on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 06:58 am:

perhaps this poem was written by a traumatized child,(witness?) notice the i's are small.the phrasing and structure simple and direct.
the form of the poem suggest it might be a pro/con list, what bleak choices. how is it the poem was found anyhow? where they looking for something or someone else?

By Bryan (The_Giant) ( on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 03:30 pm:

What would a Child be doing in a collage Library? And by chance witness a murder and not tell an older person but write it on a desktop that stored in a storage room.

By Scott White (Scott_White) (a010-0687.stbg.splitrock.net - on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 10:17 pm:

Bryan, have you ever played real baseball. Probably not, just computer baseball. But Bryan I must disagree. The child angle is an excellent thought and would explain the lower case rh, as well as the short sentences. The poem could reflect the trauma the childs suffered that shows in the violent imagery of the poem. When children witness someone badly injured they tend to focus on the blood as opposed to the injuries. Notice there is no description of how she is hurt except the ambiguos " cut ", while there is much focus on the blood . Very interesting point.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (pool0274.cvx4-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net - on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 11:44 pm:

I couldn't help but to notice that Zoe has trouble finding the shift key. Does that mean she is probably a child because she doesn't capitalize properly? The choice of various words, such as uncertain and unwilling, and generally the arrangement of words into an amateurish but not childlike semblance of poetic style, leads me to think that the author was post-pubescent.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (ac8a5131.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 02:33 am:

I question how many children would know how to properly use a colon.

This is a tad silly...

By Bryan (The_Giant) ( on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 09:41 am:

You would

By Zoe Glass (Zoe_Glass) (max1-47.evansinet.com - on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 06:54 pm:

in any case where your primary suspect is a pedophile there would more likely be impressions
of children than not. this poem could be one of many such impressions

there seems to be some discrepancy as to the placement of the poem on the desk and so the same may be true in the cause of finding the desk.

By Terri H (Terri) (dhcp065-024-048-076.columbus.rr.com - on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 09:59 pm:

What I took Zoe to mean by this was that this is/was a disturbed adult going back to a vivid childhood memory and venting ever so quietly, yet, so loudly through words in the form of a poem. Odd place to put it (on a desk) but I think that this piece was meant to just leave a personal mark in a secret place but if found would be uttered at least under one's breath and this in itself could be considered a form of fame to the author. By compelling someone to read something you wrote, in a sense, is a feeling of empowerment.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-250.al.us.prserv.net - on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 02:05 pm:

I think that's a good point, Terri. For what it's worth, during my "troubled teen" period, I would scrawl bits of poems and song lyrics in odd places...I didn't want to just scream that I was upset or depressed or whatever, but I did want there to be some small record of it.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-100.linkline.com - on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 12:40 am:

Det.Wm. It has taken me awhile, but I apologize for not answering sooner-sometimes I skip posts and I forget to go back to them. I apologize to anyone that may have requested input or just made a comment that I could post back-sorry.

I was the first (big deal I know!)to point out that Poly high and RCC were undergoing renovation and general construction 1965-67 and that this drew a lot of construction workers to the project and that one of these men could have been responsible for the Bates' 187.

I found that some of these men flirted with the vivacious former cheerleader and that at least one former girlfriend said Cheri ignored them and even rebuffed them at times. Knowing her hair trigger temper she could have gone off on the wrong guy and gave-in his eyes-the ol' "brush off" as the typed letter says.

I know very well the killer could have been anyone -including the local boy BB -and it would not disturb the Zodiac case or anyone's suspect, including mine!I just pointed out my guy as a possible and if that is "bias"- as I said -then just ignore the personalization and ponder the construction worker angle.

I have spoken to and know many detectives and some of them have been "high" on a suspect and as they said they 'lean on so and so'.They check to see if they can put "their guy" in a certain place or does his background give us anything,etc. So that's my stance, only in my case ,I keep going back over suspects and who knows ,maybe they knew the perp and there was some kind of involvement.

I am contacting a librarian(for the third time!) that was at the school in '66 and she told me -and others- that she felt that a Ross Sullivan killed Cheri. He is a really good suspect-he's even been to the mental institute(who hasn't in CA!)and did not come to work the day after the crime.

Do I have "bias"-yes, but to the best of my ability ,I try and compartmentalize and keep looking into other territory. Life is too long to follow that which is false. I remind myself that in all my projects-of which this is one of 30 +. I did a 1,000 pg. book on an historical controversy and I am still searching all the angles and I am ready to modify or add any new info-I have no pride of opinion; what and where can that get you? No where fast!

Back to the storage room. As far as I could find out from the old timers at the school ,only the custodians or those construction workers were allowed in the rooms. I am sure that if a teacher wanted in a room they would have a caretaker open the door. What I am saying is not just anybody could enter those rooms where school equipment was stored.This is where the photographer comes in.When the desk was discovered he went down there and got the picture you see on Tom's letter section. That desk was either upside down or on it's side and he told me he had to 'angle' the shot to get a good(he is a perfectionist)picture.

He keeps insisting that the poem was on the the underside of the desk and NOT on top.I reason-rightly or wrongly- that whoever wrote the poem did so probably when it was in an upside down position in that storage room.

The desk was removed from the music room(So the "rh", as a guess,could be the music term "right hand" or 'do with the right hand'.I consulted with a music expert with about 35 years experience and this is his conviction)and exactly when this was done I don't know at this point.

I think that construction workers and or custodians moved the desks while construction was going on in the music room and other rooms.One report says that the desk discovery was 1/68.

I think that it is a possibility only, that someone ,while in the room alone ,inscribed his poetic substitionary intent about Cheri(remember Mikado and Z's identification with him)that day. Maybe she was wearing a "red dress" that day and he saw her and this was on his sick obsessive mind so he wrote. This is not unlike Zodiac.The typed letter writer said "ONLY one thing was on my mind[obsessive compulsive/monomaniac]. Making her PAY for the BRUSH OFFS that she had given me during the years[pl.] PRIOR."[EMP mine]

To me it makes sense that if the desk was in an upright position(whether in the class or in the room }it would not be practical to inscribe with a ball point pen that will stop writing when in that position -and the inscription shows no such fade outs.So I only assume, that he wrote on the desk bottom while it was in an upside down position while in storage and where he had privacy. And enter photographer!

I am burned out on this as I have done all I could to get the photographer to remember every detail of the incident(and yes he got a little angry) for the sake of history, and I was at first excited ,but it seemed I had to struggle with posters (what's new)and I did not even take the picture!That's why I keep some stuff to myself-including documents- as you get pounded just presenting and that is not professional!

Det.,we need your queries and input -can you keep on the Board in your new soon to be location?Laptop?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-100.linkline.com - on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 12:59 am:

Also, forgive my errors in typing,etc. I am new to computers and always relied on secretaries and editors, so I am trying, but I regress.I have undergone testing at a NEURO science Institute and I am about 75% right brain and have difficulties in these kinds of tasks.I passed all the tests except on spatial factors etc.I flub out. My scientist friends teased me ,but they can't even type-and they even forget their car after they drive off!Again, sororryry.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-241.al.us.prserv.net - on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 04:16 pm:

It's very interesting stuff as always, Howard. The desktop poem is one of the most intriguing aspects of the Zodiac case, and I appreciate being able to read about your research.


By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-ta071.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 08:29 pm:

I'd not considered it before, but in order for the poet to inscribe the poem on the underside of the lid, the desk by necessity must have been inverted. As far as I know, pens that can write while inverted were not around in the 1960's (or certainly were not in common use anyway), but rather date from the 70's (unless I miss my guess). That certainly suggests that it was written while the desk was in storage.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-89.linkline.com - on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 11:28 pm:

Thanks for over looking all my erorwersrors! Howard

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (csdu-24165.communicomm.com - on Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 12:09 am:

As promised here is my detailed reasoning behind my belief that the Riverside "Desktop Poem" had nothing to do with the murder of Miss Bates but rather describes either an actual failed suicide attempt or a fantasy of a suicide attempt. I apologize for tending to 'lecture' in this forum, but in this subject I don't know how else to do it.

In order to understand suicidal thoughts, intent and actions, it is necessary to understand depression. A depressed individual is best identified from non-depressed by specific thinking patterns. As a person becomes more and more depressed, they begin to exhibit specific distortions in thinking. There are a number of such distortions but their content may be summarized under three broad headings: 1-Negative view of the self; 2-Negative view of the world; and, 3-Negative view of the future. As depression increases, these themes become increasing distorted and approach the point of totality. That is, a person actually begins to believe that the world is totally horrible and unbearable, they are totally worthless and incompetent and thus incapable of doing anything to better the situation leading to the third theme, that the future will become only more horrible and unbearable. As these distorted thought patterns increase, suicidal ideas begin. A very important point to the understanding of suicide, and one of the most misunderstood by the general public. is this: A suicidal person does not find death attractive or desirable. They do not seek death, they seek to avoid life. They believe life is unbearable and unfixable, with death the only escape.

Once suicidal thoughts begin, they may be charted on a continuum from fleeting and not at all serious to actual intent to die. Likewise, suicidal behavior can be looked at this way. Most people are familiar with the idea that there are suicide attempts in which the person intends to die, and attempts where they do not really seek to die. The latter are usually called "suicide gestures" and imply that the person is perhaps trying to manipulate others, call attention to their depression so others will take them seriously, or get some other secondary gain. But there is behavior between that of a "gesture" and a "genuine attempt". This is known as a "suicidal gamble". In a gamble the person has progressed further into depression and danger to themselves as they would in a gesture, but has not made a definite decision to die. They "leave it up to fate", or their Supreme Being, or luck to decide if they should die or not. Their thinking is very fatalistic (no pun intended). They are a definite danger to themselves, but not to the point of making the final choice to die.

Another aspect is whether or not the depressed person has advanced in illness to the point that they are beginning to have weakened contact with reality. This goes beyond the distorted thinking mentioned earlier. Every suicidal person does not develop such psychotic thinking, but it does happen to some.

As to how the above applies to the desktop poem:
The first line "Sick of Living, Unwilling to Die" perfectly and succinctly describes the elements of a depressed person who doesn't want to die but wishes to avoid and escape from life. Other signs include the line "draining into an uncertain death", and "life draining". The overall morbid and hopeless mood of the poem fits well into the negative distortions of thought described above. The idea that nothing matters anymore in a totally negative world is expressed in the line about blood on the dress, "oh well, it was red anyway".

The lines "uncertain death" and "she won't die this time, someone'll find her" demonstrate that this is a 'suicidal gamble'. The victim cut herself not knowing if it would be fatal or not ("uncertain death") but ("this time") it is not. The line "just wait till next time" shows the negative, hopeless view of the future and the fatalistic thinking that the depressed mood will eventually win and destroy the person, just as the thinking of a strongly-depressed person who takes a suicidal gamble would demonstrate.

Finally, the lines "cut, clean, if red /clean" hint at the beginnings of loosening reality ties and psychotic thinking. Severely depressed individual who is so overwhelmed they are beginning to decompensate may show such 'magical thinking'. Such a person frequently sees their suicide as a chance to atone for their perceived worthlessness and failures. Blood may be perceived as a purifying ritual (i.e., washed clean by the blood of the lamb). Depressed patients who show such psychotic thinking are much more likely to choose some form of cutting or self-mutilation as their suicide method than patients who are depressed but not psychotic. I believe the author of the poem was beginning to decompensate as also illustrated by what others on the board have pointed out; the poem is not well constructed from a literary or creative sense. Some parts of it, especially the "cut, if red / clean" lines just don't seem to fit. Much of the poem has on overall loose feel to it. Such loose associations are found in individuals who are beginning to lose touch with reality.

The desktop poem in no way describes the murder of Miss Bates or anyone else. I believe it is totally unrelated to the case and was simply seized upon by authorities at the time who were desperate for any lead. Aside from my psychological analysis, it doesn't even describe the actual details in the murder. The victim was not wearing a dress, red or otherwise. The victim's life didn't drain into an uncertain death, nor was it true that she wouldn't die this time, she did die.

I wish to make clear I am making no judgement as to the identify of the author. I am not trained in handwriting comparison and do not have an opinion as to whether or not it is Zodiac or the author of any letters

I suspect my analysis will be controversial to some, but I stand firmly on it. Lately there has been too much discussion about posters' I.Q., job history, etc. for me to bore you with mine. If anyone wants to question me about my credentials and experience that allow me to make the above analysis with confidence, I will not respond to such on the board but will gladly do so in private e-mail. I promise never to make such a lengthy post again.

By Bucko (Bucko) (spider-mtc-ti062.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 08:01 pm:


I hope everyone takes the time to read your post. A very informative and interesting perspective.


By Linda (Linda) (207-172-73-252.s252.tnt1.fdk.md.dialup.rcn.com - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 05:22 am:

Mike: Your analysis of the poem is well done, very logical and sounds like the most plausible scenario for the origin of the poem. My guess is that the fingerprints of the author (if the desk had not been polished by someone at the school before being introduced to the police as a Z connection) are still somewhere on the desk.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-we073.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 05:41 am:

I'm right in line with you guys, and have noted it on my "Riverside" page. Nothing's certain, but this theory is quite compelling.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (223.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 07:29 am:

Good, but with one qualification: how many young girls actually take their lives with a knife? I believe poison is the method of preference amongst that set.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p52.as1.dungarvan1.eircom.net - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 09:12 am:

Douglas youve hit the nail on the head.Statistics
will show that the majority of young girls will overdose or use poison.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (acb44028.ipt.aol.com - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 09:55 am:

Of course, since we are talking about a young girl who has handwriting like Zodiac, she would probably use a foot-long knife with a sheath and rivets.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p123.as2.dungarvan1.eircom.net - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 10:42 am:

IMHO it was not a young girl,based on the above.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-52.linkline.com - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 12:12 pm:

Mike has done a very accurate analysis of how the writer wished to portray a suicidal victim in poetic form.Sherwood Morrill CA State Examiner of Questioned Documents affirmed the poem was Zodiac's handwriting and maintained this analysis up to his death.

Even a serious student of Scientology at that period knew about the basic components of suicide as they-and still do -study psychological maladies as part of their 'courses.'Excluding any courses the writer may have had in the mental health field or any books on the subject a pop cult could have given the needed info for such a short 'poem.'I am not a Scientologist, but I researched the organization as my suspect studied their beliefs.All the suicide info was there. I am not bringing my suspect forward in this discussion per se, but to show that even a welder(who says he was "very depressed and angry "at the time so he joined the Group to get help) had access to this kind of info by just joining a cult-and many young people were at this period there being a Center in that area.

The writings of Zodiac display this sort of thinking ,to say the least!The typed '66 letter is a study in itself.Have we forgotten Z's 12/20/69 "drownding"(depression) letter where he says he cannot stay in control and that he was about to lose all control.He relates to Belli that he "cannot reach out for help",etc.And the 1/29/74 Exorcist note where he identifies with the Mikado symbolically "He plunged him self into the billowy wave[I am "drownding"]and an echo arose from the SCIDES grave". (EMP mine). This is a Z trait of symbolic and substitutionary involvement (Mikado/Ko Ko /"He") and I believe we have that in the poem-Bates as the "She/her".Check the 7/8/74 Count Marco letter for some interesting data.Also the torture letter's(7/24/26/70) rich mine of examples relating to Z's state of mind.There are other examples.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-to023.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 12:44 pm:

Now, the writing is Z's, the poem was written in a style indicative of a young (late teens-early 20's?) woman, and it was inscribed on the underside of a desklid which was sideways or upside down while in storage (where only a small, select group of people had access). What does all this mean? Did Z somehow gain access to the desk and write the poem while attempting to imagine what CJB might have written were she suicidal rather than his victim? What was the point of it all? Why a desk in storage instead of a letter to the cops? It's all very weird, to say the least...

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (43.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 12:57 pm:

According to the Riverside newspapers a stabbing/slashing incident involving a young girl occurred a short time before the Bates incident, in almost the same location. Perhaps the poem pertained to that affair.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (acb42f8d.ipt.aol.com - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 12:58 pm:

I have a DOJ report indicating the desk was being removed from the library when the poem was noticed by a janitor. Apparently, the desk was on its way to storage when the poem was discovered.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-tb031.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 02:28 pm:

OK, so scratch being inscribed in the storage room. We still have a young, suicidal woman writing in Z's hand, or Z writing as if he were a young, suicidal woman. He didn't write poetry in such a style at any other time that we know of, nor did he write on the underside of any other desklids (that we know of). All in all, very bizarre. What's up with that? Any ideas?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (97.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 04:07 pm:

Well, Ed, just for grins we have the prospect of Ted Kaczynski in 1966, fantasizing about being a woman, depressed to the point of suicide, and seeking to murder people as an antidote to his depression. All documented, of course.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-wa051.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 05:11 pm:

Tom and Ed, is the writing really Z's? I know Morrill said so, and it does have a masculine "look" to it, but none of the classic elements are there. The K has two strokes, the D isn't that looping cursive one we all know, and the Rs are humped, rather than checkmarked. It's similar to the "Bates had to die" notes, but I don't think it's a solid match.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-ta062.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 11:13 pm:

Jake, I can only go by Morrill's assertion (but I must admit that I'm not sure how one can ID writing inscribed upside down onto the bottom of a desklid, but Morrill must've known what he was talking about). And Douglas, quite right about Kaczinsky.

However, assuming that the writing was Z's, we still have a problem (whether or not Kaczinsky was Z). Why was he writing a poem under the guise of a suicidal young woman (perhaps CJB), on the underside of a desklid at RCC? As far as we know, he never did that before, nor since, regarding any of the other victims.

I don't have any answers, I'm just wondering if anyone has any bizarre speculative ideas that might make sense of it.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-87.linkline.com - on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 12:31 am:

Jake,Have you read all the posts relative to those letters in the poem as compared to Zodaic's later missives.I went through each and everyone of them -no tricks -just observations.One example,AGAIN.The k's of Zodiac were thought to be consistent by the experts,including Morrell, but they changed to two stroke from his standard three strokes.If you want more examples see what I have already posted!Det. Wm. and I went back and forth on this issue.
Again,the one who photographed the desk was an eyewitness and he said the desk was NOT in an upright position and it HAD been in a music room(DOJ reports are not always accurate including PD,FBI reports;I know -I have the copies-I should do a post on some of their inaccuracies,etc.) and the poem was on the underside and could be seen as it was upside down or in such a position that it was somewhat difficult to photograph.

Zodiac was a madman. It is very easy to understand that anything he could and would do was not 'ordinary' and we can't keep exercising "our"normal thinking processes into his acts and thoughts-this is one reason the case is NOT solved!

If at some point,our psycho is near a desk and is fantasying about Cheri(after all he says he stayed up nights thinking about his "next victim"!)why not etch? Nuts do this on walls, rocks, mirrors. I saw one inscription that stated some very negative (putting it mildly)things about a girl that the inscriber knew.It was done when he had some privacy-no big phenomenon!

Note Zodiacs''poetic'use of the Mikado and working his own fantasies into the words by the page!The 1/29/74 note is another example.The typed letter:"I am not sick.I am insane. But that will not stop the game"[a bit of a rhyme]At least, he admits he is "insane" so now we understand that what he says and does will not be "normal"-not then or later!Z wrote under other names like-ZODIAC,RED PHANTOM,A Citizen, A Friend, and Patricia Hautz,rh,Yours truly,(?)etc.This was his turn of mind.

Of course, doing ciphers (and mailing them to Editors with details of his murders- with a blood soaked shirt now and then for good measure- it was like he was describing a baseball game)is exotic for a serial killer-but we accept that and the'slaves in paradise' and 'killing is more fun than sex with a girl','torturing his slaves when he is reborn in paradise' and 'rubbing them down with deep heat to increase the pain',etc.

Hey,the poem is Zodiac childs play and is not some big mystery unless we persist in thinking and following "normal" lines of thought and inquiry.The 'poets' are stuck in "normal" thought patterns on this subject.Actually,the WHOLE case is bizarre!

Your inquires/work Ed have been GREAT, but all of us know this ain't business as usual and we aren't dealing with a "conservative"like Ted Bundy!

I haven't been lecturing anyone -just declaring the case ,I guess!Do we have a case?Yeah!

By Parry Haskin (Parhas) (spider-wb084.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 07:19 am:

Hey Mike,
I guess you must be a well regarded psycholinguistic analyst, psychiatrist, or at least had a psychology course in college to make such an analysis of the writing on the desktop. You may very well be right, but your analysis is, like so much else on this board extremely speculative. An expert like Morrill authenticated the writing as that of z, and should not be disregarded. I think everyone agrees that z was depressed at some points in his life, even to the point of writing about it, as has been well documented. I can't add much to the conversation on this topic other than to say that there is, in addition to the depressed tone, a taunting one also, which we all know is another trademark of z.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (proxy-dover.mednet.af.mil - on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 07:29 am:

Ed, I wasn't trying to ascribe the poem to Kaczynski. He may or may not have been anywhere near RCC at the time of the Bates murder. (We know he was seeking employment with UC at the time, and the biography that accompanied his application was hand-dated December 22, 1966; other than that we know absolutely nothing.) But the point was that suicide/homicide can go hand-in-hand.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p131.as1.virginia1.eircom.net - on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 11:44 am:

The first question here is whether this "poem"
refers to suicide or murder.There has been some very intelligent and insightful analysis of this and I hope I am not going to lower the tone of this discussion with a layman's observation.
However in this verse the author writes:-
"blood spurting,dripping,spilling;all over her new dress.
Would this not point to a throat being cut(murder)
as opposed to wrists(suicide).
Yes,I know it's possible to get blood all over a new dress by cutting wrists,but isn't the former more likely?Nobody cuts their throat in a suicide attempt especially a young girl.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-tc063.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 12:02 pm:

Howard: I don't doubt that the desk was inverted or on its side when the photographer took the pic. Considering Tom mentioned yesterday that there was a report indicating it was discovered while being removed to storage (presumably after it was stacked on another desk), that indicates that it must have been inscibed upside down before removal. Of course, this is assuming that the report is accurate. If not, then perhaps it was inscribed after being stored.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-to022.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 07:22 pm:

Zoward-- I had the feeling I was repeating someone, but I didn't go back to double-check. Point taken, and I reiterate it's just opinion.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (csdu-24161.communicomm.com - on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 07:47 pm:

I'm happy to see my analysis of the 'poem' as referring to suicide rather than murder and thus
not conected to Miss Bate's death has generated a lot of discussion. Allow me to respond to some of
the responses:
As regards the 'unliklihood' that the poem refers to suicide since cutting is a less likely a suicide method than overdosing, being in the minority means that, it happens less often, but happens nonetheless. Ask any experienced ER nurse or staff member at a mental health ward, they will have seen suicidal patients who cut themself. Self mutilation is not rare among the depressed. I believe the lines "blood spurting, dripping, spilling" could certainly apply to a suicidal person's cut wrists, and, believe it or not, yes, some suicidal people DO try and cut their own throats!
Notice in my analysis post I clarified that the poem could refer to a fantasy about a suicide. Depressed people usually fantasize about the act long before they ever try it. They sometimes fantasize about different types of suicide and suicides by other people as a way of desensitizing themselves to the idea. Indeed, recurrent thoughts of death or suicide is a specific diagnostic criteria for severe depression.
I also stated I make no claims as to who wrote the poem. While I side with Jake the more I study the Bates case in that perhaps evem Mr. Morrill was mistaken about the writing, I do not claim Z could not have written the poem.
As to Ed's question about a scenario to explain some of this, with the caveat that I suspect Z did not write the note, here's how he could have:
Many have speculated that Z did not kill Ms. Bates but wrote the letters, that he was a student at Riverside and seeing the media attention the case received helped fan the flames of his own homicidal intent. Almost every profile of Z, amateur or professional, has made the point Z likely suffered bouts of depression (Howard is right on about this point). Depressed people sometimes keep 'diarys' or other records of their depressed feelings, but are secretive about it. Thus; perhaps Z was a student at Riverside, suffered bouts of depression and wrote a fantasy scene about it on the UNDERSIDE of a desk, to keep it private (depressed people are often very private). This could have happened long before Ms. Bates was killed and would have nothing to do with it. The murder occurred, and after an article in the local media discussing the upcoming 6-month anniversary of the death was moved to write the first of his many letters. One final thing Howard alluded to: The desk was found in a music classroom? A perfect location for a Gilbert and Sullivan fan!
I do not claim lots of confidence in the above scenario, but it COULD have happened. I hope everyone will poke holes in this scenario as it is mostly speculative. I still stand firm on my analyis of the poem as the product of a depressed person describing suicide rather than murder.
One final bit of Zynchronicity. The model of depression and suicide I alluded to my analysis was published in 1979 by Dr. Beck of the Univ. of
Philadelphia. I had the privilege of hearing about it firsthand from Dr. Beck that same year at a convention in. . . San Fransisco!

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-tb084.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 12:39 am:

Glad to see that the use of my term "zynchronicity" is really catching on!

If we accept the above scenario, then something interesting becomes apparent: Z must have actually been a student at RCC (something that seems to have been dismissed long ago)! The poem was discovered while the desk was being stored after being removed from the music room. Thus, it was inscribed upside down on the desklid's underside, while it was still in that classroom.

About the only way that's possible is for Z to have been in that classroom between classes, to allow for the time to write it. Given that pens back then (and even today, for the most part) don't write while inverted, he must've spent quite some time shaking the ink back down to the tip every few seconds.

Now, I suppose Z could have been a construction worker, passerby or whatever, but it seems more likely and less suspicious/risky if he were a student taking a music class and hanging out there between periods. Does this sound plausible, or is it out there?

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p133.as1.virginia1.eircom.net - on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 04:06 am:

One gets the impression that this poem actually did take some time to write.Apart from the obvious
problems outlined by Ed above,it appears to have been written by someone in deep thought,almost daydreaming.You get the feeling this was someone comfortable with the surroundings,with time on their hands,rather than a passerby or infrequent visitor.I would agree with Ed on this.Another thing I was always struck with in relation to this was the "confession letter",in it the author
refers to CJB as "Miss Bates",it has a kind of
"Teachers persona" attached to it!.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-tb051.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 11:16 am:

Here's the link to the new thread:Riverside Desk-Top Poem, Part II. This one's getting kinda big...

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-3.linkline.com - on Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 02:24 am:

Just a note before I retire for the night!Why turn a desk upside down in a classroom and start your Papermate ride? To me, the desk was already upside down and this could place it in a storage room where this is more likely. We now need to find out all the details relative to this grand Zesk's fate-the chicken or the egg-the storage room or the classroom-which came first!The upside part-of course!

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 - 09:14 pm:

Could an autopsy reports' findings relate to the "rh" at the end of the desk poem or ode?

In the Bates autopsy(if you are faint of heart this is not your kind of post)the right hand and its' trauma are described as follows:"14. a 1.5 cm greatest diameter fresh abrasion with dark blue discoloration ...at the base of the dorsum of the right thumb. 15. ..."crisscrossing" abrasions ...of the dorsum of the right hand...16. ... two abrasions , each about 1 cm...at the base of the dorsum of the right middle finger...17. ...a 2-3 mm fresh abrasion of the skin of the dorsum of the middle of the right 4th flager...18. considerable dried blood over the [right] hand and especially about the fingers and under the unpainted moderately long (2-3 mm) but not carefully manicured fingernails...19. ...two fresh 3-5 mm ...abrasions in the skin over the 2nd IP joint ...of the right index finger...20. ...an irregular 1.3 ...abrasion of the skin over the 2nd IP joint of the ...right little finger...21. ...a more or less AP ...abrasion type laceration ...of the medial aspect of the right little finger...22. ...a curved and interrupted ...deep laceration (2 cm overall)...of the base of the lateral aspect of the right index finger..."

Now, the left hand :"24. ...a more or less Y shape laceration in the skin of the dorsum of the left hand ...25. ...an irregular laceration of the skin of the dorsum of the left hand in line with the middle finger."

When you compare both hands it is very clear that it was the right hand that received the most trauma and this the killer would know. Was this the rh or right hand at the end of the poem? Just FYI to be sure as this- the rh - has not been solved ; but I was struck by the difference in the degrees of trauma of both hands upon comparison.

Right Hand(right hand goes over the left during the playing of the instrument) is a music term and according to Peterson the desk was found in the music room.

Was this one of Z's dual meanings? Of course, this would fix the poem as inscribed after the homicide.The "Just wait till next time "seems to indicate at some point in the future.This could be debated endlessly. Again, this was given to stimulate thought ,for in so doing, some other idea removed from the proposition may arise.

This leads me to ask myself the question:Am I involved in the Bates case because she may have been killed by Zodiac or was the Z element the attraction and I will continue to research her death even if were found Cheri did not die at the hands of Zodiac?I will keep studying this case no matter who was the perp as I feel I know her as they say,and feel sorry for her and her families plight.

Do we realize that not just one person was murdered that night, but potentially many others? Cheri wanted to become a mom; and lets say she had two or three children and then those children would grow and later have children. Do the math- a whole generation was cut off from life.

Is it any wonder the NT states in Rom. 13 that "The government does not wield the sword[capital punishment]in vain."Whole generations of human beings are prevented from experiencing life not to mention the lingering grief(a living death one family member called it) experienced by the loved ones.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (7.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 - 11:34 pm:

Howard, I concur with your sentiments on the death penalty. However, as someone has observed (can't remember who it was) I think it's somehow odd that we reserve the best death for the worst criminals.

That stated, it appears from what you've shown us of the autopsy report that those wounds were defensive in nature. It makes sense that if he's got a small knife and he's slashing and stabbing away, she's going to be using her hands to try to ward off the blows, or try to seize the attacker's hand. Lots of injuries of this nature might indicate that (1) her attacker wasn't physically able to subdue her out-of-hand; and (2) the weapon wasn't adequate to the task, perhaps indicating that murder wasn't the original intent.

By Classic (Classic) (spider-mtc-tj071.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, April 26, 2001 - 01:09 am:

If her right hand bore the brunt of injuries doesn't that mean that her killer was attacking her with HIS LEFT HAND.!?!? If you are facing someone and you both put your hands together the right hand is against the left and vice versa. That would mean that the killer is either left handed or ambidextrious. Is "Barnett" either of these? I didn't think so...Classic

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (ac958595.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, April 26, 2001 - 11:47 am:

Assuming you are correct, why are you so eager to believe Barnett wasn't left handed or ambidextrous?

By Jake (Jake) (spider-tm064.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, April 26, 2001 - 02:42 pm:

Maybe her right hand bore the defense wounds because she was right handed?

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (175.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, April 26, 2001 - 03:01 pm:

The way I picture it, assuming she's being approached from the rear, a right-handed assailant would wield the knife in his right hand and attempt to hold her down, perhaps in a semi choke hold, with his left hand/arm. That explains how the watch got torn off, unless you're one of those who think that the watch was deliberately set and placed to connect the Riverside event with a set of murders at points of time several years distant in the future. Her left hand/arm are immobilized, and she attempts to free herself, and at the same time ward off the blows with her right. In the end she's so exhausted she simply can't struggle any longer, and he takes advantage of her prostration to cut her throat, taking several slashes to do it.

By Classic (Classic) (spider-mtc-tb083.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, April 26, 2001 - 03:07 pm:

Tom: I will believe Barnett is left handed or ambidextrious when I see him in person using his left hand to write something. Anything that comes from RPD is suspect for reasons I've stated before. Could Barnett be a lefty? Sure but I doubt it. z and Barnett-two suspects that are both lefty? What are the odds.

Jake:It doesn't matter if she was left handed or right handed. You are going to block an attack from the side it is coming from. Think of a boxer,whichever side a punch is going to land on that is the hand you use to try and block it. Since this was a knife attack the hand that is on the side the attack is coming from will bare the brunt of the injuries while the other hand is trying to grab, push,pull,etc. Classic

By Bill Bratton (Willy) (c1465163-a.sttls1.wa.home.com - on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 10:53 pm:

Regarding the Z handwriting comparisons to the desk poem, I'm having a hard time understanding something. Per Graysmith this poem was "scratched in ballpoint pen" (his photo caption). Was this writing surface capable of allowing a natural handwriting style to be recorded in ballpoint?

I'm thinking that school tabletops are varnished on both sides, and that you'd have a very tough time writing on this with a ballpoint, without applying an awful lot of pressure, in order to get a solid ink flow on such a slick surface. Even if the top is un-varnished (strange for a school desk) a ballpoint would still need a good bit of pressure. This wood looks like pine. If you did use this much pressure, it seems the pen tip would want to "ride" the woodgrain and accordingly distort any natural writing style. I really don't see any exaggerated lines along the grain structure, so maybe the comparison is valid.

Is Graysmith wrong, and was this really written by felt tip, with very light hand pressure? My mental impression of the writer is altered by whether he/she is straining to force the ballpoint ink in, or if they are effortlessly writing as if on paper. If it's really done by ballpoint, I don't think I can't buy into any handwriting comparisons. If it's felt tip, then I'm ok with it. Anybody got accurate info on the medium? Anyone who's seen the desk would know the type of pen and if it left depressions. The key is that if the pen tip "grooved" the wood surface, it couldn't provide an accurate handwriting comparison.

By Bill Bratton (Willy) (c1465163-a.sttls1.wa.home.com - on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 09:28 pm:

Ok, I think I've answered my own questions. Last night, when I wrote the above post, I was using Graysmith's paperback as a photographic source. The very first post on this thread, however, is from Tom Voigt who links to the "best ever" photo of the poem. Tom is right. It's a more revealing photo. It is taken with an oblique light source, rather than the Graysmith photo's soft overhead "wash" light. I'm certain that these are completely different photos, not processing differences from the same negative. The reason I mention it is a tip of the hat to the photo technicians who had the smarts to take a second snap with an alternate lighting position. It answers just what I needed to know. Kudos to whoever the photographer was.

With this oblique light source it is clear that there is a light varnish on the wood due to the lower right hand reflectance. The light source is from the lower right side.

The answers for me are all captured within the last line "next time". I'm working from an 8" x 10" glossy computer print right off Tom's link.

1) Look at the right vertical of the "N", the last "leg" which forms the letter. Clearly there is a very bright highlight to the left of the inked area. This "leg" is "grooved" into the wood, and the vertical left wall of the indentation (a depression into the page...and into the wood) is reflecting light at the highest brilliance. Proof that the force used on the pen was significant enough to crush into the wood.

2) Alternately, this photo shows areas where the ink gets weak and didn't transfer. This might be indicative of either a dry pen tip, or less applied pressure. See top of the "E" in "time".

My own conclusions, none of which are evident in the book's photo reproductions:

> A ballpoint pen, in fact, was used (albeit a nicely flowing one)under somewhat strenuous pressure.

> Many letters show re-runs, over an already made letter, in order to adequately fill in the depression with ink. The re-runs might also be due to the writer's psychological reaction to that word or phrase (someone else needs to assess this). These overprints clearly "fatten" and darken the letters. In Tom's print the differences are striking. A good photo quality print is indispensable.

> Because I don't see any area of "loss of control" where the pen might run away along a bit of hard woodgrain...I can only assume that this is old, aged wood, which might exhibit relatively the same surface hardness for both dark (usually harder) and light grain (usually softer). Pine wood of today would probably not react the same way.

> Ultimately I can't believe that a handwriting comparison of this, to a Zodiac letter on paper, has any meaning. The conditions required to make the desk poem do not allow a persons natural style to evolve. The fact that the writer is applying heavy pressure, and concentrating on pen control obviates the possibility of any personal writing traits being identifiable (unless there is some grossly unusual character formation trait, which is not the case here).

> Yes, my conclusions come only from the areas of high light incidence. I'm expecting to hear that it's not the same throughout. Well I disagree ahead of the complaint. Writing on varnished wood requires a consistent method to get a consistent result. The ink adherence is consistent, therefore, I believe that the method is consistent.

3) Just like on a CD re-issue I've got a bonus track too! Check out a high quality print off Tom's link. You'll see that there are at least two, I believe three large sections that the writer "X'd" out after he'd written it. It wasn't with the business end of his pen, but with some other hard object (the back end of the pen?). He attempted to cross out the first, second, and I think the third paragraph. You'll see light enhanced grooves with no ink anywhere. There also appears to be a faint single line scrawl through the last paragraph.

I've said my peace and I know there are plenty of folks out there waiting to give me both barrels, so let her rip! I just ask that you look at a print of Tom's "best" photo before you assail me.

By Bill Bratton (Willy) (c1465163-a.sttls1.wa.home.com - on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 09:57 pm:

An addendum: I'm not saying that this isn't the Zodic's actual, own, hand at work....I'm just saying that it could never be proven in a court by any handwriting expert. Furthermore, I'm speculating that the guy who's already "authenticated it" was working from the Graysmith photo, and did not consider that it was written with ballpoint on wood. I doubt that he's ever been asked to do so before...and if by some chance he has...then I proffer that he's well aware that, with this evidence, we've fallen well out of the scope of science's capability, and now have hold of some interesting, but totally irrelevant evidence.

By Bill Bratton (Willy) (c1465163-a.sttls1.wa.home.com - on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 08:39 pm:

Just noticed that there is a dot placed in the middle of the "O" in the phrase "unwilling to die". This was later a Zodiac cipher symbol.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-41.linkline.com - on Friday, May 18, 2001 - 02:30 am:

Bill: See all the past posts on the poem. I know the man who photographed the poem ,Fred Bauman. See the posts and then see if you have any questions.

By Bill Bratton (Willy) ( on Saturday, May 19, 2001 - 12:43 am:

Howard-I'm covering old ground I see. Will try to avoid that in the future, and do more reading and less posting. Thanks, Bill