Riverside Desk-Top Poem, Part II

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

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-tb051.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 11:14 am:

I thought I'd create a new thread, the previous one was getting pretty big.

P.S. Here's the link to Part I: Riverside Desk-Top Poem

By Ed N (Ed_N) (spider-ntc-tb051.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 11:21 am:

The other thing, Lapumo, is that unless Z actually turned the desk over to inscribe his poem, then he was of necessity lying on his back on the floor under the desk when he wrote it. It certainly would have looked most odd if Z was a stranger rather than a student, and someone walked in and asked what he was doing on the floor. If he was a student (or even a teacher?!), then he could have said, "I just dropped my pen," or something equally plausible...

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p57.as1.dungarvan1.eircom.net - on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 11:31 am:

Of course it could have been done during "cleaning hours" when the desk was inverted to clean the floor!
P.s Ed,check your E-mail

By Esau (Esau) (proxy2-external.scrmnt1.ca.home.com - on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 12:04 pm:

Check out the Bates letter #2. The "E" in "MORE" looks like the writer used a "Z" to make the two horizontal strokes for the letter "E".

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (33.philadelphia08rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 12:10 pm:

Esau, I just noticed this today. Good observation.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-60.linkline.com - on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 02:04 am:

Esau-I noted that Z ages ago, but what your post did was to make me realize that now ALL three notes end in Z! I told you I had ADD-just a little slow! THANK YOU for this!Also, see my recent post on Zonta -Z International.

Another thing is that something also bothered me about the April 30 dating of the'67 notes.I realized that my research had uncovered that the infamous Aliester Crowley(my suspect's idol-Stine was killed on Crowley's b-day; also, bloody cloths were sent to enemies in witch craft)thought highly of April 30 as"... the Sabbath, the assembly of witches, especially that occurring on Walpurgis Night,30 April, at which time , it is said ,all the powers of evil foregather and DISCUSS the havoc they have wrought["Bates HAD to die there will be more"]] in the world during the PAST year and make plans for future ["There will be more"]forays." (EMP mine)

Of course, we do not have to say anything about Halloween Eve and that full moon in Taurus(rules the THROAT).

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-60.linkline.com - on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 02:24 am:

I forgot to mention that Crowley wrote poetry like "Thy slow blood trickles on my swollen side...And Through all thy veins, like curses my blood runs." When I find the full set of poems I will search for a similar desk poem!"

By Terri H (Terri) (dhcp065-024-048-076.columbus.rr.com - on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 09:00 pm:

I believe that Zodiac is the author of the desktop poem although I haven't determined how he would have had the time to do it without anyone seeing. My guess is that he had a clever way of sneaking into the RCC library after hours. My take on the poem is that he was a young boy when he watched his mother cut the head off of a chicken. You need to read it again and picture in your head what is going on. As far as the author making a connection to the reader, this was not the intent. If it was, he would not have hid the poem. This event probably happened at a very tender age and it was traumatic for him to watch. I also find it interesting that he bolded the letters inscribed on the desk. I think it may actually be a hidden message. (Francis Bacon substitution cipher) - see the link below to try and figure it out:

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (ro02-24-29-217-79.ce.mediaone.net - on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 09:48 pm:

I think the Desktop poem is directly related to the three Bates Letters.
>The Desktop poem was signed "rh"

> In the first Bates Letter to the Riverside Press, the word "Die" looks more like "Pie" to me. I think it was meant to be read Die, but also look like Pie.

At the bottom of the letter that funny looking mark could be ^2, which on a calculator means, "square."
> The third letter to the police department looks similar to the first, with Die looking like Pie, and the funny mark at the bottom of the page.

>In the second letter to her father, the D in Die looks more normal, and that mark isn't at the bottom unless it is in the last E.

The Desktop and the Bates letters together could be a formula for the volume of a circular cone.
volume = PI x r^2 x h divided by 3.
>rh is radius and height
>PI are the 2 Die words written like Pie.
>squared could be the mark at the bottom of the first and third Bates Letters; ^2.
>divided by 3 would be the three Bates letters sent by the killer.

That boxy hood the Zodiac wears could be a right rectangular prism, which has a formula of
volume = B x h , where B is Base (length x width) and h is height. The B could be symbolic for Bates, too.

PS. My keyboard can't make the PI sign.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (ro02-24-29-217-79.ce.mediaone.net - on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 06:13 am:

I want to add that the volume of a cylinder is Volume = PI x r^2 x h. If I am correct in my guess , would it be possible that one of these solid figures, the cone, rectangular prism, or cylinder, represents Mt. Diablo.

Since Cheri Bates was a college student could a cone represent a dunce cap for some reason?

Also, I would like to add that the circumference or perimeter of a circle is 2PI x r. Two of the Die words look like Pie.

In the second letter to Cheri Bates father, doesn't the "Th" combination in the word "There" look like the PI sign?

By The Fife (Thefife) (host020.bro.capgroup.com - on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 11:48 am:


I just want to know: Are you serious?

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) (d141-193-74.home.cgocable.net - on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 11:54 am:

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup- - on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 01:54 pm:

"She had to pie"? Let's see if I follow you: Pi IS the Greek equivalent of our letter P. So now combine the Bates letters with the rh poem with all the drippng imgery, and you realize its not about blood at all. Bates had to P.

Let's get back to serious, folks. Penn is more credible than this nonesense.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (157.philadelphia08rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 02:49 pm:

Greeks pronounce "Pi" as "pee," not, "pie."

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 05:39 pm:

Terri:Please see old posts regarding how Zodiac could have made the desk BOTTOM inscription.It is also possible that the young Zodiac did not mean for the poem to be read by others(this is not unusual as many people have inscribed something just to express their feelings about an event or person in their life)as it -according to the photographer I spoke to-was inscribed on the underside of the desk flap while the desk was in storage-and if the above posts are to be accepted-it was done in between trig' classes!.It also could point to someone who worked for RCC or even part time(like a construction worker or janitor) and had easy access to the desk.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (ro02-24-29-217-79.ce.mediaone.net - on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 10:42 pm:

Ok, so you disagree with me. However I did say Die read as Die, but looked like Pie in the two letters.

I know others have mentioned e. e. cummings in relation to the desk-top poem. So here I am sticking my neck out. Cummings was a Cubist (painter and poet.) The Zodiac wore that geometric hood. So my idea about the geometric formulas isn't impossible.

" Cummings was most directly involved with Cubism, specifically describing his own painting style as Cubist. "
http://www.eecummingsart.com/cummings.html This is a sample of his work.

>Dunce cap and cone: Cummings uses the term "supersubmoron"


"'Space being (don't forget to remember) Curved'
E. E. Cummings
(in response to Richard B. Vowles analysis of the poem in Explicator)
Dear Sir--
please let your readers know that the author of "Space being(don't forget to remember)Curved" considers it a parody-portrait of one scienceworshipping supersubmoron
in the very act of reading(with difficulties)aloud,to another sw ssm,some wouldbe
explication of A.Stone&Co's unpoem
--thank you
E. E. Cummings
December 11 1950"

>Further validation of the formulas is Euclids Elements found on this site: http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/java/elements/toc.html

The Zodiac's first cipher, the 3-part cipher (408 character cipher,) is 390 characters, plus the 18 character signature. Take 390 and divide by 30 = 13, with 18 extra characters.

Euclids Elements has 13 books. The 13th book is called "Regular Solids" and it has 18 Propositions. This could be a clue to the ciphers.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup- - on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 07:17 am:


How could the photographer possibly know where the desk was when the poem was inscribed or when the inscription was made? All he knows is when and where he took the picture. According to Tom, whom I have no reason to doubt, the poem was discovered by a custodian when he was moving it into storage from the library. Plainly, the poem was inscribed while the desk was in use in the library.
Also, if the poem was on a "flap", it was not on the bottom of the desk, but on the underside of the desktop. Meaning that it was no great trick to make the inscription. Just turn the "flap" over and there is your writing surface.
Finally, why a "young" Zodiac? Not that I believe for a minute that the poem has anything to do with Z or Bates, but its author would have been as few two years younger than he was at his the time of Z's first known attack, and as many as three years older than at his first probable attack (Tajiguas).

By The Fife (Thefife) (host020.bro.capgroup.com - on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 11:14 am:


I have to take my hat off to you. I just looked this up.

The 408-character cipher is 390 + 18. I took the ASCII code values for these two numbers (408 & 390) and get 52+48+56 = 156 and 51+57+48=156. They’re both equal!

So I go to the 340-character cipher and get an ASCII total of 51+52+48=151. To come up with a number with the same ASCII total I find 51+51+49 = 151 which is 331. This is 340 - 9. I go to the 340-character cipher and the 9th character from the end is the ZODIAC SYMBOL!!!

I think you’re onto something here! The solution is just around the corner.

If e.e. cummings was into Cubism does that make him a Castro-ite Communist? Are you saying that Z was a commie, too?

The Zodiac symbol leaves 8 characters to the end of the cipher. I looked up the ASCII character represented by 8 and it's the BS character. When things come together, they just come together, don't they?

By Boojum (Boojum) (41.new-york-06rh16rt-ny.dial-access.att.net - on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 12:52 pm:

Anybody who's spent any time at all with the Hebrew Qabalah knows that you can make number substitution ciphers say anything you want. Paranoid schizophrenics do it all the time.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 02:10 pm:

Peter H:I have covered this issue in great detail already(go to the posts!)-plus I went through the effort to personally contact the photographer that was called over to RCC as soon as the poem was discovered.

I spoke to him at his home and by e mail with the same statements emanating from him.He was there -I and you - were not ;so until others show me there was another witness that negates his testimony then I will accept it with proper proofs.

Fred was the one who took the original photos of the desk and the other Bates photos which are jointly 'owned' by the paper and the photographer.I understand his son works for the same paper.

The "flap"or desk top was connected or fixed.Probably not a good choice of words here as it was not movable according to the photographer.

I went through all age estimates and I get 26-30 years- and I am firm on that.I took voice tone into consideration.For example,Officer David Slaight said that the voice (at LB-Napa ) sounded like the voice of a man in his 'early twenties.'

What do you mean by the time of Z's "first known attack"?That couple (12/20/68) sure didn't testify as to age or anything else!Now Mageau -the remaining part the of couple two (7/4/5/69)in Z's second attack ,did say he looked "young" according to Dave Peterson who was at he interview.

You don't BELIEVE Zodiac was the writer of the poem and the responsible for Bates ,then tell me why you "believe" that.There are lots of indications Z was the guy .I posted on that too.I am firm on this subject also.Z said he did it-can you prove he didn't?Just asking-"inquiring minds want to know!"

By Parry Haskin (Parhas) (spider-ta083.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 02:53 pm:

Please don't get peter started again. His off the wall theories on LB and a bomb still being buried in the East Bay are evidence enough that his understanding of this case is sorely lacking. His Tajiguas theory is just another example.
That case has never been conclusively linked to z.
I don't know that he has ever been west of the Mississippi River, and it is obvious that he has not seen the case files. He just likes to pontificate, and when disagreed with, reacts in an immature way.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (ro02-24-29-217-79.ce.mediaone.net - on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 08:57 pm:

I haven't studied the ciphers yet. I suppose that's good, then it's not like I'm trying to make something fit.

I just started studying the Zodiac, so I couldn't answer the communist question.

Another thing I noticed was that if you take the two Die words, that look like Pie, and separate the Pi for PI, then you have two e's left over from the two words. Cummings name starts with E. E..

Did you notice that Joseph Bates address has the numbers 5, 1 , 9, and 4 in it? To compare with your 51 + 51+ 49.

Second letter to Joseph Bates, Cheri's father.
Definition: Dad: "child's cry dada"... "Father." Webster's dictionary.

E.E. Cummings was into Dadaism, also. This is sort of a definition. Which uses the term nihilism: "loosely, any violent revolutionary movement involving the use of terrorism." (doesn't fit with the art thing, but does with the Zodiac) Also, Marcel Duchamp is important.

Marcel Duchamp http://www.beatmuseum.org/duchamp/marcelduchamp.html He died in Paris on October 1, 1968.

You say PI in Greek is pronounced "pee" and two PI's would be "pee pee." This is a Marcel Duchamp sculpture entitled, "Fountain." It's actually and old urinal.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-17.linkline.com - on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 02:04 am:

I understand and appreciate what you are saying; but I will answer the posters statements -it does not matter who writes them.We all can go 'click -click' to a post that we don't see value in(including mine-which I wouldn't blame anyone for!).

Maybe it is -at times-the answer to that so called 'far out' poster that may have some new concepts ,ideas or information .I know there are limits.That's where the Webmaster comes in as it is his site and this must be respected ,period.He's paying the bills.and putting in the hours,etc.

I won't say how I know, but he says some of the things he does-due to his background- to "challenge", at least, in his view.He is from the East and we all know they can be, shall we say ,a bit abrupt and boisterous-it's America and Americans!We can be very crude-it's still a new country growing in culture(some that is!)and we see it all time.

Just about every sincere poster has value to some degree.Even one piece of info or an opinion could be of interest-who knows?

By Parry Haskin (Parhas) (spider-mtc-tg034.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 06:19 am:

You're much more patient than I am with such characters. It just gets old at times reading the same old stuff from some posters. You're right, maybe, just maybe, something coherent and positive can result.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (ro02-24-29-217-79.ce.mediaone.net - on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 07:10 am:

Thank you. I'm going to have to do a lot more research on the Zodiac, especially by reading post and keyword searches before I post anything.

On my post on "Riverside Desk-top Poem - Part II," I posted a sculpture by Marcel Duchamp. "Fountain." There are holes in it. Nine. I think Darlene Ferrin was shot nine times. It may have been coincidental.

Posting artwork like the fountain isn't my taste, but I felt it was important. Fits the Zodiac's taste with his Dragon post card.

Speaking of radians, Marcel did another sculpture called "Bicycle Wheel." http://www.beatmuseum.org/duchamp/bicycle.html

"bicyclical" means "of or forming two cycles." Could be a clue. Have to think about it. A bicycle has spokes with a center, radiating out to the circumference of the wheel. Mt. Diablo is at the center of the radian circle with the x's.

Also, some of the Zodiac letters begin with "This is the Zodiac speaking" (paraphrase). The radians and x's marked at points of murders, could mean the Zodiac has "spoken," (bicycle spokes.) Just trying to put myself into the Zodiac's shoes and mind.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup- - on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 12:14 pm:


Too late anyway: I am already started.

I have read your detailed posts on the desk and poem, and very much appreciate the thoroughness of your research. I do not question either the credibility or memory of the photographer as to things in his personal knowlege. I do question one fact: your statement that the photog said the poem was inscribed on the desk while it was in storage. He would have no personal knowlege of that. On that point I take Tom's statement as authoritative; the poem was discovered by the janitor as he was moving it from the library INTO storage. This means that the poem was inscribed while the desk was in service in the library, and could be as old as that particular use. It also indicates that it was exposed to a much wider set of possible authors -- probably including non-students -- than if it had been in storage when it was inscribed.

On the question of Z's youth; I do not doubt your overall age estimate; I was responding to your use of the phrase "young Z" which I took to imply that he was significantly younger when the poem was written than when he became active. IF the poem was by Z and had to do with Bates, then he was not significantly younger when he wrote it. In fact, if Z also did Tajiguas, then he was older at the time of the writing than at his first activity. BTW the Tajiguas theory is not mine: I buy it, but it was developed by Bill Baker, in my opinion one of the top posters on this board for credibility and analytic acumen. I do believe that Tajiguas and LB were probably the same perp, though not necessarily Z. In any event, if he did the Bates poem, then you have not "the young Z" at least in the implied sense of being undeveloped, but one already "becoming" the Z we know and ... er ... love.
On the question of authorship, I have posted in detail on why I do not believe the poem has anything to with either Z or Bates. In a nutshell, its subject (the objective correlative) is not an attack, but a suicide attempt, and a failed one at that. There was no "next time" for Cherie. Second, it is a common subject, not at all bizarre, twisted or excessively disturbed by poetic standards, but one that as one critic put it has been written by every teenage girl since Emily Dickinson. I would not take that literally, but it is far more likely that it was done by a pubescent Plath than a nascent Z. Of course it can't be proven, any more than it can be proven that Z wrote the poem or that Bruce Davis was Z. I did not understand that this was the standard any of us were working under.
Finally, "lots of indications" that Z did the poem? He never claimed it expressly, but only referred to his "Riverside activity", which if anything may have been the Bates murder but certainly does not even hint at anything else, least of all any literary pursuits. And he lied about a lot of similar things. There is absolutely nothing but a very forced and tortuous inference linking the poem to Bates, and the only indication I have ever heard of linking it to Z is a presumed handwriting analysis I don't know that anyone has ever seen. I have heard over and over that Morrill ascribed the poem to Z, but I have never seen any direct evidence of that, much less Morrill's analysis itself.

And Parry: you should know whereof before you speak. I never said I thought the bomb was still -- or ever was -- out there. I believe that likely locations that Z had scouted -- one in particular -- can be deduced from the bus bomb and Mt. Diablo materials. A recent site visit supports the deduction. Oh, and FYI: I have spent many years in California, including the entire period of known Z activity. I shared the terror, and lost a very dear one who shared it with me to a very similar killer in 1971. As to the poem itself; you can replicate the blind experiment I performed. Run it by a couple of dozen knowlegable literary types -- English profs, poets, critics even psychologists -- without disclosing anything about the historical context other than where it was found and what year, and see what the interpretation is. Betcha the consensus is closer to teenage angst than serial killer. And a lot less literary talent than the writer of the Mikado parody.

O willow, titwillo


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-ta031.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 04:05 pm:

I teach creative writing (and French), and am well aware of jr. college type writing, their expressions of emotional pain. However, if I had been handed this poem, reading it for the first time by an anonymous author, I would deem it to be written by a male--about a female. The writing seems masculine.
Second point, it's quite obvious that Bates was stalked so there may have been different (unnoticed) tries at her life. Finally the killer got "lucky" because she had just broken up with the boyfriend who she normally would have been with that Sunday night.
Furthermore, I know the type of old desk it was. It would have to have been flipped over on one's knees to have been engraved as such, certainly causing a spectacle in an open library (or placed upside down on the floor). Thus, Howard's version is more plausible.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup- - on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 07:31 am:

Sylvie: Howard's version of what? How the photo was taken? I have said I don't doubt that for a minute. But if you mean that the poem was written while the desk was in storage, that just doesn't square with the facts. Does it, Tom? The poem was discovered by the janitor while it was being moved into storage. Clear? That means the poem was written while the desk was in service. This is not something that we have to get out Occam's razor for. One of the known facts is that the poem was inscribed while the desk was in service in the library. Sure, if we didn't know better, the storage version would seem more plausible, but it just ain't so. So we are left with Conan Doyle's maxim: when you eliminate the impossible, whatever is left, no matter how implausible, must be the truth. Since it is impossible that the poem was written in the storage room, the implausible scene of the poet either supine under the desk or over the upturned desk must be the case.
As for the poet: I agree that the poet could have been male; I just think its less likely. Just what is masculine about this writing? The casual use of contractions and colloquial expressions?
And what about the objective correlative? The title sets the subject completely. If one is sick of living but unwilling to die, that hardly suggest homicide to me. It's "To be or not to be" almost perfectly paraphrased. In fact, you would do well to review that very well-worn soliloquy, as well as some the homicidal musings from Macbeth. Compare the imagery with what little there is in the desk poem. Look at Plath, cummings, Ginsberg, you name them, and then tell me how this poem is about a homicidal stalker rather than a failed suicide. I agree, BTW that Bates was probably stalked, at least on the night she died, and that her killer knew her. But she had not been attacked, much less cut, efore so there was no "next time", unless you believe the killer attacked her, thought he had failed to kill her after 42 wounds including a slashed throat, then wrote the poem before he learned that she had died.
BTW, it would be very helpful if you or someone could describe this desk and the location of the poem in detail. There have been so many versions, mostly speculative, about this, but have no photo of the whole desk. Some have said the poem was on the underside of a lid or flap, others on the bottom of the desk, etc. CVould someone who knows tell us the exact configuration of the desk, whether it had a lid that filped open or not, whether it had any kind of storage compartment in it,whether the underside of the top was the same as the bottom etc? And what position the desk was in when the photo was taken? Why for instance, the photographer had to lie in the floor but not flat on his back?

By The Fife (Thefife) (host020.bro.capgroup.com - on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 12:08 pm:

Sylvie, et al.,

I second Peter's request for a detailed enough description of this desk so we understand what we are talking about. A simple stick desk or a hinged top desk over a small supply area?

When I look at the picture on-site here of Bates studying in the library, the desks seem to be fastened into some sort of frame. That looks like it would preclude being flipped over in almost any manner.

Tom F

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (csdu-24148.communicomm.com - on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 09:57 pm:

I agree with Peter H on most of his ideas about the desktop poem. As I described in a detailed post last April there are very strong suicidal themes in the poem, the types of specific thinking to be found in suicidal individuals is clearly there. For those who wish to check, the best source to start with is: Cognitive Therapy of Depression, by A. Beck, J. Ruch, et. al., 1979, and I forget the publisher right now. For those who disagree with me, check that and/or other established research on depression and suicide for yourself. Don't take my, or anyone else's word at face value. I think you will find it supports my ideas well.
The other reason I do not think the poem has anything to do with Miss Bate's murder is that all the details in the poem are wrong. In the poem, the 'victim' is wearing a red dress, not shorts and blouse of a different color, and the victim does not die in the poem. With all this evidence, both psychological and content, the burden of proof appears to be on anyone who thinks the poem has ANYTHING to do with the murder of Miss Bates.

On another issue, a few recent posts in this thread have tended on rudeness, blaming and attacking the poster rather than the ideas. I won't name names as we can all recognize this. I would hope we could remain above such. As an example of more professionalism, Howard and EdN have at times disagreed with me here on the board but I have never felt insulted because they remained gentlemen and attacked my ideas rather than me. If I met either of them I'd gladly shake hands and enjoy the discussion.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-240.linkline.com - on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 02:11 am:


Ya dumb ass varmet what ya mean "professional"?I should horse whip ya! Just kiddin'-my dad was from Oklahoma and just wanted to make you feel at home on the range-er Board! My old posts give my opinions on the poem,etc.Thanx.I agree with you -I think EdN is a scholar and a gentleman.I can't even type !

By Sandy (Sandy) (c531918-a.ptbrg1.sfba.home.com - on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 09:52 pm:

How about if the killer worked late hours at RCC,like a clean up person. He sees Cheri Jo in a red dress (a few weeks before he kills her). He fantasizes about killing her in that red dress,then makes up his mind to do it another time, when he can think about it, and plan it out. He then writes the poem in a storage area on a desk that is turned upside down. Z liked to write, maybe it was easier for him to express himself,rather than to speak.Perhaps he had a problem forming words due to brain damage, like Kane has?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (165.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 06:58 am:

Sandy, I don't think that anyone who had brain damage severe enough to cause a personality disorder would have written in the concise, lucid style that Zodiac used in his letters.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (ro02-24-29-217-79.ce.mediaone.net - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 08:07 am:

I think the poem was written on a desk-top because he was planning on doing ciphers, it's a clue that he will flip some of the symbols, number, or letters.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-tc064.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 09:23 am:

Sandy, my thoughts exactly. It also explains why Cheri Jo would converse for a while, then walk into a dark alley with this person if she had seen him around the campus, esp. in some work related fashion. Most murder victims are either known in some way by the perp or engage in high risk behavior such as prostitution or hitchhiking. Cheri Jo seemed to be sensible enough not to walk into a dark alley with an unknown -- that's called Being a Female 101, so she must have known of the perp in some way. (A customer at the bank maybe?)
PeterH, I really think "Sick of Living.... is not necessarily the "title" of this poem, instead I think it is a different sentiment. There can be a fine line, so they say, between murder and suicide.
Douglas, I am not the expert on TKaz that you are but didn't he actually have a form of brain damage himself as an infant, in which he was hospitalized for weeks? I've read there are some forms of brainn damage that do not diminish intelligence at all, indeed enhance it, but do act as a type of impulse-control destroyer.
Finally if we want to discard Kane as a Z suspect, I am not buying it for the case of severe brain damage. Sandy has apparently seen him plenty and we have not heard of him being a total incompetent. We know he sold real-estate, we know he had a driver's license later on, and all this did not come from a sudden explosion of new brain cells. Perhaps he is not Zodiac, but not for this reason.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (80.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 10:10 am:

Sylvie, Kaczynski was never known to have suffered brain damage of any kind. As an infant he was hospitalized for several days during treatment for an allergic reaction, and his mother hypothesized that maternal deprivation might have caused some kind of alteration in his personality. Some have suggested a form of autism, but at this point there's not enough evidence to form a definite conclusion.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (acb4084a.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 11:21 am:

Bookworm, you are seeing things.
Zodiac never did anything that would imply he was as abstract and clue-crazy as you would have us believe.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup- - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 09:09 am:

Sandy & Sylvie. Once again, the simpler explanation is for more likely. Fact: the poem was not written while tyhe desk was in storage: it was discovered while on the way to storage from the library.
Notice all the speculation, explanation and imagination it takes to fit the poem into the homicidal mould of Z/Bate's killer? Compare that with the simplicity of this explanation: suicide poem unrelated to either.
And, Sylvie, c'mon: Not the title? It certainly is not a different sentiment: it states the theme and summary of what follows exactly, states it as a description of the author/subject. The very next word is the first action of the poem: cut. It's placed where the title normally is, is the only capitalized part of the piece, performs the function of title, and so on and so on. A fine lne between suicide and homicide? Who exactly is the "they" that said that? Any other evidence that Z or Bate's killer did not have a good idea of where that line was?
Anyone up to taking the "Desktop Challenge"? Run the poem by a couple dozen psych/lit experts, a blind test with no disclosure of source and context, other than that it was found on a college desk, and see what the interpretation is.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-tb014.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 10:07 am:

One quick comment on the "storage to library" scenario. This assumes that this particular desk was placed in the library from the beginning and never moved. Keep in mind that those desks are (were) moved often. If more desks are needed in one room due to an excess of students, they'll be moved there, then back to the library as students inevitably drop. Then there are (were) times when space is needed in the library and the desks will be placed in storage for a while and then back. So that desk could have travelled, was not necessarily stationary.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-tb014.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 10:12 am:

I meant "to storage from the library".

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup- - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 11:12 am:

We don't know any such thing. All we know is that the poem was discovered while the desk was being moved from use in the library to storage. Evrything else is pure speculation, and the odds are that the poem was written while the desk was in service. This does not assume anything: sure the desk coulda mighta maybe moved all over the place, but the fact remains: the poem was not discovered while the desk was in storage. So what is more likely? BTW, if the poem was written during a previous stint in storage, then it is overwhelmingly more likely that it has nothing to do with Bates. It was discovered shortly after the killing, so if was written other than when the desk was in service, before its last Library use, then it certainly had to predate the killing, probably by years rather than months, unless you are suggesting that desks get moved in and out of storage far more often.

By Boojum (Boojum) (141.new-york-06rh16rt-ny.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 01:53 pm:

As an aside, this entire message board seems to be drifting close to the reefs of Gareth Penn country when it comes to "pure speculation." Granted, Negroes with bebbole machines and brain-damaged shape-shifting stalkers are pretty inspiring images, but where is it leading? It might make for a nice sequel to TWIN PEAKS, but I don't think any of it is advancing the cause of nailing the perp, or even providing a coherent narrative of the known facts.

Barring some new evidence, we are left right where we were at the beginning: puzzling over the tracks and offal of some weird and horrible teratoma.

By Bruce (Bruce_D) (pm3-03-22.sle.du.teleport.com - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 04:17 pm:

I heartily agree with you. All this speculation is innocuous-BUT I ,like you ,don't believe it will lead us anywhere, but some of the people who post on this board do come up with things that are so wild that reading the board is more fun than watching the THREE STOOGES.
Bruce D.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-ta053.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 08:51 pm:

Boojum and Bruce,
I agree with both of you, this is amusing, interesting and sometimes very funny speculation, and the really hilarious thing is that the answer is right under our noses. I've said before -- match ALA with CJB samples and we'll all have an answer, at least about that coupling, and I bet a kajillion dollars that when we find out that those two do not match, the first thing that all the Allenites will say is "well, that was really NOT a Zodiac crime after all."
It is all just a matter of time, folks.

By Boojum (Boojum) (206.new-york-07rh15rt-ny.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 08:58 pm:

"Time" is a major recurring theme in the Z texts.

I don't think anything is "right under our noses." We're in the library. What if it was Col. Mustard, in the Kitchen, with the Candlestick?

By Bruce (Bruce_D) (pm3-02-21.sle.du.teleport.com - on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 09:27 pm:

The answer may be right under our noses,but I seriouly doubt it. What is an Allenite,anyway. I believe Allen was Z based on all the circumstancial evidence. If he isn't, I certainly won't jump off the tallest building.There are many suspects,but Allen is the best and I'M NOT GOING TO REHASH ALL THE IFS ANDS and BUTS that have permeated this Board since its inception.
My father was an Oakland Police Inspector while all this was going on-THE ZODIAC KILLINGS.
At the time ,he said that Z would probably never be caught because all of the police jurisdictions were most likely withhoding information from each other-in order to make the "BIG BUST" for themselves.
If the powers to be don't want the truth revealed,ie.JFK assassination, FORGET IT.
Never forget that in the land of the free and the home of the brave-never let the facts get in the way of the story that the authorities want you to believe.
Bruce D.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p45.as1.clonmel1.eircom.net - on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 12:59 am:

Bruce wrote:-"If the powers to be don't want the truth revealed".
Does that mean you believe Zodiac's identity is actually known? If so what do you base that assumption on?

By Bruce (Bruce_D) (pm3-03-13.sle.du.teleport.com - on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 08:07 am:

I'm saying Z's identity may or may not be known, but what I'm getting at is that the investigation was so flawed when the crimes took place that the law enforcement agencies would rather let sleeping dogs lie than dredge up the past when to them nothing can be gained because they "know" that Z will never kill again.
"THE TRUTH REVEALED" entails not only the investigation into who was Z, but also the truth of the various police agencies hiding evidence from each other. Remember that back then that was the standard. With the information highway ,there is much more sharing today.
Graysmith, Tom,Lapuno,Scott Bullock,Fife,me,etc., etc may have our curiosity piqued because of the nature and savageness of Z's crimes ,but if the powers to be deem we do not have "the need to know"-why release any pertinent info. to us.
Bruce D.

By Oddball (Oddball) (tnt10-216-180-65-148.dialup.hiwaay.net - on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 11:12 am:

All the hoo-hah aside, doesn't the handwriting in the desktop poem look identical to that in the Z letters? No, the poem doesn't seem to have anything to do with Bates, but it seems fairly obvious that it was written by our guy.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup- - on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 06:56 am:


"[d]oesn't the handwriting in the desktop poem look identical to that in the Z letters? "


I don't think that what is "fairly obvious" to the layman or casual observer is a standard that is going to get anywhere in this investigation. By that standard we should conclude that a flat Earth is the center of the universe. Is the similarity between the poem and confirmed Z writng supported by rigorous handwritng analysis? I have been looking and asking for months for some direct evidence that Sherwood Morrill or any other expert reached this conclusion. I have not found it on this site, Jake Wark's, or any other I know of. I have heard repeated statements that Morrill matched Z and the poem, but I have never seen any direct evidence of this. Can anyone provide this?

By Oddball (Oddball) (tnt10-216-180-65-2.dialup.hiwaay.net - on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 12:57 pm:

Yeah, Peter...Flat earth, blah blah blah. If the casual observer's opinions have no value whatsoever, then what are most of us doing on this board?
I would like to have some assurance that Morrill examined the poem, too. Still, at this point, my feeling is that Zodiac wrote it: the handwriting(to me, and evidently to a lot of other people)looks the same, and Z did acknowledge his "Riverside activity".


By Spencer (Spencer) (acb527c8.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 01:34 pm:

"I would like to have some assurance that Morrill examined the poem, too."

According to Graysmith's ZODIAC (p. 172 in the paperback), "'The handprinting scratched on the desk is the same as on the three letters, particularly like that on the envelopes, and this handwriting is by the same person who has been preparing the Zodiac letters that have been received by the Chronicle'" (the internal quotes are quoting Morrill to Avery on November 16, 1970).

As to what Morrill examined in making his determination about the poem, the following is written (on page 171): "Avery boarded the plane for Sacramento [on November 12, 1970, returning from his trip to Riverside] carrying the actual letters and envelopes from Cheri Jo's killer, and a photo of the desktop poem."


By Oddball (Oddball) (tnt10-216-180-66-101.dialup.hiwaay.net - on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 01:48 pm:

Thanks Spencer. You know, it's been so long since I read the book that I had completely forgotten that passage, so the reminder is much appreciated.


By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup- - on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 10:27 pm:

Graysmith. Quoting Avery quoting Morrill. Direct evidence? That's at least double hearsay from one of the least reliable sources known. How about something Avery published himself? At least that would reduce it to single hearsay from a reliable source. Direct evidence would be something Morrill actually wrote. Like a report. Anybody ever seen one? Morrill got his material from Avery? RPD gave Avery the actual letters and envelopes? Material evidence in an open case? And we know they were from Cheri Jo's killer? Don't sail too far west, guys.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (ac87da31.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 11:04 pm:

According to Morrill, Zodiac wrote the desk-top poem. I have a DOJ report that says so.

However, most original investigators felt Morrill's authentication was dubious since the poem was not your standard handwriting sample.

By Oddball (Oddball) (tnt10-216-180-65-225.dialup.hiwaay.net - on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 01:22 am:

Since Morrill did examine at least a photograph of the desktop poem and, since I do trust my own eyes, I will adhere to the notion that the handwriting is Zodiac's. This doesn't mean that I think Z killed Cheri Jo Bates, or that the poem had anything to do with her at all. It simply means that, to me, the poem appears to have been written by Zodiac.
I am perfectly willing to entertain contrary ideas. In this instance, however, I have not seen or read anything that makes me doubt the handwriting is Z's. But please, Peter: Feel free to gather from this that my mind is closed, that my reasoning is faulty, or any other ridiculous conclusion you care to jump to.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 06:57 pm:

Desktop Poem and Acronyms

Kathleen Johns - 10 month old girl and 7 months pregnant.
March 22, 1970-Incident-tire problem "tire" darkened in the words "cut" and "if red/"
Kathleen Johns Letter : (P2)"All children who are up in dates and implore you with im platt"
July 26, 1970

Acronym going down: ccicb (space for leap year) a dci al u sdt sjn

ccicb Outside letters going down = cb for Cheri Bates Inside letters = cic for kick.
eear (darkened) could = year*

(space for leap year 1968)

a dci al u sdt sjn
a cid al(l) u(p) (in) d(a)t(e)s lpae(letters used to complete words) = leap (year)
a kid all up in dates (leap + year*)

My name is...Letter: "But there is more glory in killing a cop than a (cid) because a cop can shoot back."
Edge darkened letters (down) read: a cid l die = a kid (wil)l die

> And inside darkened letters read: over "over h t t time" could be "hover t-t time"(like a stutter)
"His demeanor was dogged in the extreme, and 'dat d-d bug' were the sole words which escaped his lips during the journey. " Edgar Allen Poe, Complete Stories and Poems, "The Gold-Bug" Doubleday, 1966. P.77 (Could be a book Zodiac used)

Cheri had a "bug," which is a nickname for a VW. Journey could be the walk to get help the Zodiac took with Cheri before he killed her. He told her it was "time." Also, "dripping spilling" have the words "lip and lip" if you combine the middle of the words, combined are 2 lips.

Hover is what a bird of prey does when it's ready to strike.

>Katherine Johns Letter: (P2)"All children who are up in dates..."
sjn = September June November- April missing compared to August having no murders as the other months did written at the bottom of the Dripping Pen Letter. Dripping is used in the desktop poem also. April is when Bates and "My name..." letters came.

The months on the desktop have only 30 days, Cheri was killed on the thirtieth.
The months on the Dripping Pen Card have 31 days.
1968 was a leap-year.

Thirty Days hath September,
April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting leap-year--that's the time,
When February's days are twenty-nine.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 11:52 pm:

I think Bookworm is the Zodiac.

By Eduard (Eduard) ( on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 03:42 am:


I knew that at some point Zodiac would spill the beans and would make statements about his crimes here on the MB. (LOL)


By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 09:31 am:

Kathleen Johns - 10 month old girl and 7 months pregnant.
March 22, 1970-Incident-tire problem "tire" darkened in the words "cut" and "if red/"
Kathleen Johns Letter : (P2)"All children who are up in dates and implore you with im platt"
July 26, 1970

>"and implore you with im platt."
If you take the word platt and add an h, you get phlatt, which would be pronounced "flat." Tires get flats. Could platt be a Zodiac word for "tired," as a play on the words flat and tire?

"and implore you with I'm tired." Maybe the Zodiac targeted a woman with a child driving late at night. He could have planned how he was going to stop her at the time the desk-top poem was written, if the Zodiac wrote the poem.

In the newest version of Dick Tracy, there is a young boy by the name of "Kid." I'm not familiar with old Tracy movies or comics, so wouldn't know if he had the "kid" character in mind when the desk-top poem was written, or like in his later threats, meant real kids.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 03:11 pm:

In the Desk-top poem the Zodiac uses the word "clean" twice.
>cut (like the clothesline)
>if red/(clothes red with with blood?)

Taking clothes (in later possible Zodiac murders) and using clothesline may have something to do with one another symbolically. Only the clothesline is used on real victims, and/or he could have his victims clothes hanging somewhere on a clothesline.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (cb23775-b.rmvll1.il.home.com - on Sunday, October 21, 2001 - 12:48 pm:

"The Gold-Bug" and the Desk-top poem. In this Poe story, LeGrand locks his treasure map in his desk:

"Presently he took from his coat pocket a wallet, placed the paper carefully in it, and deposited both in a writing-desk, which he locked.

Notice the word "deposited" is the same term discussed on this message board, in relation to Cherie's job at the bank.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (157.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, October 21, 2001 - 08:31 pm:

It might very well be that Cheri Jo was murdered by someone who knew her very well, but was relatively or even completely unknown to her.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-129.linkline.com - on Sunday, October 21, 2001 - 11:57 pm:

Cheri worked at the bank(I saw the bank twice but it had been closed down) and RCC according to her death certifcate.The perp could have seen her at RCC ,as she worked part time as a clerk typist and /or at the bank.
Cheris old girlfriend told us she was with Cheri when construction workers would make comments to her,but she always ignored them.
Others guys had flirted with Bates,according to the former girlfriend ,and some experienced Cheris sometimes acid tongue and temper-she could get pretty rough when angered and it could be very sudden!

By Bookworm (Bookworm) (cb23775-b.rmvll1.il.home.com - on Monday, October 22, 2001 - 02:13 pm:

Ray, the Chowchilla bus driver, who was kidnapped with the children had a wife who worked for the Chowchilla bank. It is reported that she would have known the combination to the safe.(Kidnapped at Chowchilla, by Miller and Tompkins.)

Just thought this would be another coincidence.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 08:13 pm:

It was pointed out previously:

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

Here's another connection, equally tenuous, and also involving First and Middle Name:

Advance the letters RH by 2 in the alphabet and you get: T. J. , the First and Middle initials of
Ted John Kaczynski

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 08:20 pm:

When I first saw the initials "rh" I could only think of my former collegue at SFSU, Ron H. who works at the exploratorium.

Therefore I was dumfounded with surprise and amusement when Terri cited this website on cryptography:


In connection to the desk poem, without realizing that the author of that website's initials are R.H., the website of my former collegue!!! I was not aware he was into cryptography.

I guess this is what is meant by "zynchronicity"?


ps. I can assure you that this RH is not Z. He was just a cid when the Z crimes took place.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 08:37 pm:

Esau noticed:

Check out the Bates letter #2. The "E" in "MORE" looks like the writer used a "Z"
to make the two horizontal strokes
for the letter "E".

True. The "E" also looks like the Greek letter sigma, used for summation in mathematics

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-1083.stbg.splitrock.net - on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 09:22 pm:

r and h are the second to last letters in Theodore John. Another interesting coincidence is that most people writing the Zodiac symbol would write the O then the T(cross). r follows the o, and h follows the T in Theodore. Lower case rh, no period-not initials. rh=z numerically. The code killer had the "z" in '66 but probably not "zodiac" based on the "This is the murderer" first message introduction. Maybe he already had the gun sight(Z symbol) in mind by '66.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-20-65.bos.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 06:45 am:

Is Bookworm back with us and in control of all things?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (proxy-dover.mednet.af.mil - on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 10:35 am:

Interesting stuff on "my" suspect, but I've just about completely given up on these soft connections. I prefer the psychological and signature connections, which are far stronger and make Kaczynski an ideal candidate for study, even if he isn't Zodiac.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 05:50 pm:

rh also stands for
Ridiculously Hokey
Really Hilarious,
'R'yan i have to much time on my 'H'ands

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38lde7o.dialup.mindspring.com - on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 06:18 pm:


You see, according to the real serious researchers here, if you maintain your own fascinating Zodiac website or start Al-Quida Death Pools or theorize at length about Bigfoot, that's fine, but if you endeavor in some other area such as cryptography with an eye towards actually solving something related to this case, then you have too much time on your hands. Just thought you might need to be "straightened out" on this...

Seriously, you have made some impressive and interesting observations. Your posts on this thread are being read, taken seriously, and pondered plenty. Disregard the naysayers and hecklers, and keep it coming.


By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) (d150-160-190.home.cgocable.net - on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 10:24 pm:

Ouch Ray.... I'm...

Really Hurt


By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-1065.stbg.splitrock.net - on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 08:28 am:

I'd like to believe I'm a bit more reasonable than the Book. But, wait a minute..The Zodiac struck in December and September... he set a fire...there's a clue in the embers.. Motorcycle gang members? No, the Worm has not (re)turned. PS. I appreciate it Ray. Ryan, I tried to hook you up by clicking on to your site on consecutive days allowing for your number of entries to jump from 236 to 238. But actually i like your colorful site.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-87.al.us.prserv.net - on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 09:12 am:

C'mon everybody, it just makes the board feel like a tense place when we bicker. There's room for us all here. :)

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-mtc-tj032.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 11:32 am:

r h is for Ryan's "really hot" site.

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-1210.stbg.splitrock.net - on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 09:02 pm:

Expanding on the previous posts and Obiwans "TJ" observation: Let's say Ted Kaczynski has just finished sketching his desk top poem. He is thinking of a way to sign it. He passes on "THEO" and "TED K". He then realizes that if he were to sign it "TJ", he would then have the last 2 letters of his poem "TJ" following the first 2 letters of his poem "SI"(SI)ck of Living....). But he passes on "TJ" as too revealing and so he goes the opposite direction with "RH". Months later Ted prepares his '67 Bates letters. He needs to sign those too. He considers "RH" but is paranoid about the handwriting or even . So he passes on that but realizes RH=Z numerically, so he decides to go with "Z" as a signature. The "Z" on those two notes has a funny hook to it. That is the upper part of a small "r" fused with the "Z", showing how "Z" is borne out of "rh". Later, Ted evolves "Z" into "The Zodiac" using letters from his name. Good?

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 10:54 pm:


Well, since you asked, I find these "rh" connections, including my own, week at best, since with only 2 constraints...almost anything is possible. However isn't there a much stronger (though admittedly still indirect) Bates link to TK in "THE CONFESSION"? (http://www.zodiackiller.com/FBIConfession.html)
I recall that it is signed


with 12 "_"'s indicating 12 letters in the name, in agreement with the 13 char. cipher (assuming Z-symbol=space). Can anyone confirm (or reject) this?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-205.linkline.com - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 09:46 am:

See my remarks on past posts on the "By------------."You don't count the number of dashes.The spaces below the dashes matched to each character beneath the line are to be numbered.It is deceptive( I believe Z knew this) when you try and fit 12 letters as several more fit.I suggest you do what my associate did and get a simple ruler and vertically draw lines from each letter below the line and see how many letters you get.My suspects name fits on this non forced grid nicely.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (43.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 10:04 am:

Since a typewriter uses a monospaced font, it's a simple matter to count the number of characters below the dashes that correspond to the dashes. Doing this, I get twelve dashes.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 11:43 am:

It is an 'optical illusion' which is very Z like!.I thought the same thing.I told a friend that my suspects name didn't fit on the 12 dashes ("By------------")or line in the Confession letter.She took a ruler and did some vertical measuring.She then asked me after some time how many letters did my suspect have in his name.I said 18 and much to my surprise she said perfect!She then showed me, by using a ruler and the lines/characters just below the 12 dash line, how that leaving one space ,just as the writer did,you get exactly 18 character 'spaces' on the 12 dash line.My guys name is:BRUCE MCGREGOR DAVIS or 18 letters long.The fit is as she said perfect.I even cut out each letter(really wasn't necessary as the vertical ruler lines clearly demonstrate the 18 character fit) from the Confession that spells Davis'full name and carefully pasted them on the 12 dash line and it was an excellent fit.Jake and I went around and around with this, but he was fixated onthe 12 dashes and couldn't see what I was asserting.It's really very easy to(a little misspelling like the Confession!)see it, but since it is so simple it is 'difficult.'I had to be visually shown!I always thought the killers name could or that he meant that his name would 'fit'on the 12 line BY------------ ,but my guys 18 character name didn't SEEM to fit and I layed aside any thoughts of this seeming contradiction of my personal belief or theory and I went on and looked at other aspects of the case thinking that possibly I was wrong for assuming the killer/author meant for his name to be placed on the BY line.It was my friend that changed my mind-I was not looking for a solution!To have my guys full name, including a somewhat unusual middle name, which is 18 letters,to me is interesting.FYI stuff that's all-it doesn't crack the Zase!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-63-186.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 12:07 pm:

The 12 dashes could mean TedKaczynski, or ArthurLAllen, or RickMarshall, or MichaelOHare, or LawrenceKane, or RobertHunter, or WilliamGrant, etc.

However, if the dashes truly were meant to replace letters in the name of the author, I have to think one of the 12 dashes would then represent a space between the first and last name.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 01:15 pm:

What I am trying to say is that you don't-and shouldn't, use the 12 dash line!I think that it is a ploy which Z is infamous for(witness all the 'throw offs'/blocks in his codes, especially the 340!).Why didn't he stop at 10 spaces or dashes?I believe he stopped there or at 12,as it gives 18 SPACES for 18 characters.I was focused on the NUMBER(12) of dashes which it took to compose the BY 'line'too, until my friend showed me how it or 18 letters, could fit.It is easy to approach it from the 12 lines instead of going below and using a ruler to vertically line out just HOW many characters actually do FIT on 12 lines or dashes and it totals 19 ,with one dash or space,for the space after Y in BY as was the writers trait.The one FACT is that 18 characters of the SAME size as the typed letter in the Confession FIT with ease even though it does not SEEM to fit when we focus on the NUMBRER of dashes.We may have a 20 dash 'line' in a general,say, work form and yet it can hold many more characters on it than the 20 dashes(using one letter for each dash) it took to compose the line.In this case, though, all guess work or 'fitting', is ruled out because my teacher friend used the letters in the Confession to make the 18 character determination!Anyone can use a ruler and try it.Draw the vertical lines based upon the letters' spaces below the 12 dasher and you can then "see" it.Or one can go the hard way, as I did, and cut out each letter from the Confession composing your guys name and paste them on the 12 dash 'BY line' and see if there is a fit.There will be enough room for one space after the Y in BY and it will then comfortably take 18 typed characters to the end.This is not a case solver- it's just another feature that has been looked at from time to time.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-63-186.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 01:35 pm:

Howard, I agree. However, for those looking for a name in the dashes, I think they need to account for the space we put between our first and last names.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 12:22 pm:

I am saying that the middle name is included in my set up-not just "first and last names."According to my teacher friend and from what I later found there is 'squeek' space to accommodate a space before and after the middle name!And also,space for the gap between the Y in BY and the first "name."This is why I went to so much trouble to do a paste up.This would be,in my opinion, a code-like presentation, so there really isn't a need for those two micro spaces before and after the middle name.The first space after the Y in By------------ was created or actually present to follow what the writer had done in his letter and that is use proper spacing when beginning a sentence,etc.The code-like factor would be used to help disguise the name by compressing three names together when most people would be looking for two names- the ol' "first and last"and using 12 dashes to further throw off detection.I think that if the writer meant to actually show his name with a dash for letter he would have done a space layout BY - - - - - - - - - - - -.The connected dash stream gives an optical illusion ,as I have said, and it would lead one to ASSUME his name was composed of 12 characters, which I don't believe was the case based on Z's taste for deceptive subliminal type codes,etc.Technically, we could say in our culture,that ones full name includes the middle name too and Z was writing within our cultural boundaries.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 02:24 pm:

Could someone please explain what the "12 dash" stream refers to? The graphic of "THE CONFESSION" posted at this site clearly shows a solid line, known as an underscore: "By___________________". And its definitely 19 spaces, not 18. I did the same grid layout as Howard describes, and the by-line matches perfectly with 19 spaces below it. One might be deceived if one looks only at the first line of text, in which the corresponding text begins with an empty space (just before "dead"), includes a period followed by a double empty space, and ends with another empty space (after the t in "not"). This may therefore not look like 19 spaces, but it is. If you extend the lines projecting the by-line to the second line of text, however, you will see that it matches perfectly with 19 spaces beginning with the T in NIGHTS and ending with the M in MY.
It may also be of interest to note that on machines of the vintage of the confession typewriter, every character and punctuation mark, including bland spaces, gets exactly the same size space.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 05:33 pm:

Alas,we agree!The "stream" is, as I mention in a prior post,is the unbroken line(as opposed to a line with 12 dashes that are separated which the writer did not write-see above posts and old posts) consisting of 12 typed dashes as found in the '66 Confession letter.I already mention the 19 spaces with 18 spaces(which is my emphasis) going to my supposed "writer", my suspect, whose ENTIRE name ,which includes the middle name.My teacher friend hit on a good discovery(which ,I think ,explodes the 12 character name fit theory), regardless of whose name 'fits' on the proverbial dotted line.Thanks for spotting it and confirming what I was(very poorly!)trying to say.I am right brain dominate, so it's a problem with me.Good work.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 09:19 pm:

Doug: I enlarged the version of the confession found on this website (but NOT FOUND in the "Zodiac letters Section", Tom...), and I agree with Peter H. that the length of the line which follows "BY" is equal to the length of 19 characters, by comparison with the text below. (If you do not agree I can show you.)

However there is another question, not answered by the poor quality graphic I have: How many times did the author hit the "_" key to generate that line. There seems to be concensus that this number is 12, in spite of the idea that "monospaced font" was used. Does anyone have evidence from the original document, in which
the individual "_" strokes were seen, proving there were 12? Thanks.

This is a question which can be answered without reference to any suspect...ie we should answer this question first then wonder about suspects.

ps. Tom's point that if there are 12 spaces, and IF they indicate a name, it could be ANY 11 or 12 lettered person is well taken.

pps. Howard, I could not find your previous discussion under "BY____________" could you cite the URL? Thanks, obiwan

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (193.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 11:25 pm:

Obiwan, we must be looking at different versions. I have a copy of the original photo that appeared in the Riverside newspaper and I can actually see where one dash leaves off and the other begins--there are 12 of them. However, I believe that the version which is purported to have been the "carbon copy" (it isn't) mailed to the Riverside PD has more dashes. If this is so, it probably means that the number of dashes didn't bear any particular significance to the writer.

See http://home.att.net/~mignarda/dashes.jpg for a closer look at that particular area of the Enterprise letter. It's not as good as looking at the original, but perhaps it will help.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-94.linkline.com - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:29 am:

The posts above and then search dashes in the Archive.I used the FBI copy and it doesn't matter what went where -the RPD or the
Press Enterprise,THIS COPY WAS WRITTEN or typed by ,I believe,the young Zodiac,and there ARE 12 SPACES!You can FIT up to 19 characters (one space for a space after the Y in BY------------ and that will leave 18 spaces for an 128 letter name)and it doesn't matter if there ARE 12 spaces or dashes ,they FIT!If they don't fit you can quit!Glad you understand -it gets exasperating.I ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer,but I sure saw there are a hell of a lot more letters down there!

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-94.linkline.com - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:32 am:

I meant 12 letter name not 128!See,I ain't a gud typist either!A cid could type better.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 08:30 am:

Part of the cnfusion here I am sure, is that some keep referring to "12 dashes" and even depicting the entry with dashes. Even if the sections making up the by-line are separate, they are not dashes, but underscores. If they are separated, they would more accurately be reproduced in text as "By_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _". So let's at least drop "dashes", can we?
Now to the problem of the twelve underscores. First, can someone please post, or refer to a post, of a version of the letter that shows twelve strokes? The image at this site appears to be a square-on photo of the original received by the Enterprise, FBI evidence stamp and all. It is hard to believe that there could be a much better image, and it clearly shows a solid underscore line. Now, it also appears that the line is composed of separate segments that do not align perfectly, as would be expected with any typewriter of this vintage, but it is impossible to discern the number of strokes involved. To me, the source and quality of this photo calls into question the quality of the Enterprise photo or any other that shows twelve separated underscores. Remember, an image of a newspaper photo is an image of a poor quality reproduction of a photo of an original. The Image posted at this site is an image of a photo of an original. Doug: the link you posted is appreciated, but it shows a version that is not even legible, much less articulating separate strokes in the byline.

An additional problem I have with the twelve-stroke interpretation is that it would appear to be mechanically impossible on the typewriter in question. As I pointed out yesterday, and as the rest of the letter shows, every character and punctuation mark occupies exactly the same size space. Thus 12 of anything -- including underscores -- would occupy twelve spaces, if connected, or 23 if evenly spaced. This line is clearly 19 spaces.
BTW, there is an additional argument that the byline, however created, was consciously intended to cover exactly 19 spaces. That is, it stops two spaces shy of the margin. If the typist were just adding underscores at random, it seems more likely that he would have simply kept striking the key until the carriage hit the margin stop. Instead, he hit the return lever short of the margin and skipped the next line to begin the text. Seems conscious and deliberate.
One final observation: I understand that this letter is a carbon, so that the type may not be precisely identifiable or matched to a particular machine, such as Allen's. There is, however, one characteristic that might be compared despite the number of carbons involved. All of the letters typed at the right margin are only partially struck. I would tink this would be more likely an idiosyncracy of an individual machine, having to do with an adjustment or damage to the margin stop, rather than a general characteristic of a make or model. I wonder if Allen's machine has ever been tested for comparisons such as this.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 08:43 am:


I just went back and reread your post of early this morning and have one clarification. In the version I am lookng at, there is no space after the Y in BY. the next stroke is the first underscore in the line itself. Beginning with that stroke, the line itself, without any spaces before or after it, includes 19 spaces. Again, where did you find "the FBI copy" that shows 12 spaces? the one posted at this site, stamped by the FBI, shows a solid line.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 08:51 am:


Just had another thought. Is it possible that the Enterprise photo you are working from is of a facsimile typed up by the paper to improve legibility? It could easily be done to look like the copy actually received by the paper. Just find a machine of a similar make and model, set the margins and the shift lock, and off you go. Only the model used for the facsimile did not strike underscores exactly like the actual typist's machine.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (138.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 11:00 am:

Peter--No, this is the real thing. It's a photo of the letter, with the envelope, sitting on a desk blotter. I included a very good, high-res copy on the "Dr. Zodiac" CD which can be blown up to about 400 percent.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 11:35 am:

It doesn't matter how many dashes/slashes/strokes or underscores,the BY line accommodates 19 spaces as determned by the outline and grid I have mentioned in my posts.I have a clear copy of the Confession,but not at the office.The copy I do have has been marked up with the grid I used.This is simple and basic and we are trying to complicate it.There are 19 spaces for a name -period(please don't take "period" literally or we will have another discussion on the micro gap at the end of the line!).Some of your comments and insights on this are excellent.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:04 pm:

Thanks, Howard. I am still interested as to how the discussion got off on separated dashes to begin with, when the FBI lab copy so clearly shows a solid line. But we edo agree on the bottom line: its 19 spaces of type.

Doug: Thanks for the response. The real thing. And it shows separated underscores or dashes? Hmm. I do not doubt you, and so am even more curious as to how one is to account for the very different appearance of the FBI lab image at this site? Is your picture of the letter, or one showing the spaces, posted anywhere I could look at it?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:18 pm:

Doug, why don't you start a new thread in the Zodiac Media topic with ordering info for your cd? The thread could also act as a feedback area for people who have seen it.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:43 pm:

A bit of a monologue here, I am afraid, but I am getting somewhere answering my own questions.

Something is wrong here, folks. I have determined that we have two significantly different CONFESSION letters, both of which are associated with the same Daily Enterprise envelope. The one posted at this site, along with the envelope and stamped with the FBI las mark features the following.

The title "THE CONFESSION" all caps but not underscored;

the by-line (BY_________________) consists of the capitalized word and as solid underscore of 19 spaces, followed by one skipped line before the beginning of the text

several partial strikes at the right margin.

a final line of text beginning with "ALSO. IT WAS JUST A WARNING."

cc: to chief of police and Enterprise indented exactly four spaces

At Jake Wark's site there appears an image(http://members.aol.com/Jakewark/conf2.jpg) of a letter showing:

title underlined

a byline of BY followed by 12 articulated underscores covering only 12 spaces of type, followed by at least four skipped lines before the first line of text

no apparent partial strikes at the end of lines

a final line of text beginning "JUST A WARNING."

cc: the same but indented at least 10 spaces

Even if some of this interpretation is too detailed to be justified by the legibility of Jake's image, the layout of the page, the underscoring of the title and, yes, the 12, not 19, spaces in the byline are irrefutable.

Different letter.

Same envelope, however.

Any questions?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 05:53 pm:

Remember, there were some 13 carbons sandwiched together with teletype paper and Z removed the copies deep in the stack.All I can come up with is that the reason the Confession , as shown on Jakes site,is underlined, is that it was closer up on the stack near the original sheet and the carbon picked the line up.The police copy must have been taken furthur on in the stack ,so the line under the word "Confession",at that point,would have faded or could not come through.Z had more of an interest in giving the Press Enterprise a 'clearer' copy (closer up the paper stack)per se, as they would be the vechicle giving him his desired publicity-"This letter should be published for all to see"(Zome things never change ,right up to 1969-74!)and so this would be the clearer copy for publication.Keep in mind, all the evidence shows only one letter and just two CARBON copies.Z kept or destroyed the rest of the cabons and the original Confession from which the carbons were made and the RPD and the Press Enterprise got one carbon each.This is what made detection of the kind of typrwriter so difficult.The question it why did Z go through all that work.It was all unnecessary if he would have just tossed the typewriter!We have presented our theories on this in past posts.It may have been a 'public' typewriter that couldn't be removed and one that may have been fairly close to RCC ,hence, the need to disguise the typing or kind of typwriter used to type the letter.Or maybe he was just plain Zheap!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (219.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 06:22 pm:

I have a suspicion that the copy of the Confession letter posted on this site is a facsimile reproduction that was produced by the RPD. If not, there's something about the two that's quite interesting, to wit, all throughout the RPE copy the writer uses double spacing after periods, while in the RPD letter single spacing is used throughout.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (219.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 06:43 pm:

Okay, I take that back. The RPD copy starts with double spaces and ends with single spaces.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (219.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 06:50 pm:

Peter, the best I can do for web purposes is at http://home.att.net/~mignarda/confess.jpg.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 09:33 pm:

Ok, I'm glad I asked, because now I have a clear answer. As Peter makes clear, there are definitely two letters, the one shown on Douglas' and Jakes websites above, and the one shown here at http://www.zodiackiller.com/FBIConfession.html

The one on Douglas' site clearly was sent through the mail; it is folded. The one here is either a second letter send elsewhere, mistakenly associated with the Daily Enterprise by the presence of an envelope below it, OR, as Douglas suggests, a neatly prepared police version of the letter which has made it into the files.

Assuming both letters were written by Z, then we must admit there is little we can gain from his name, given the variety of letters used. If the "other letter" was written by police then we are, as before, at liberty to speculate as to the meaning of the 12 underscores found on the genuine letter.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 09:03 am:


Can't be. They are absolutely two different letters. Its not just the underscore on the title. the lines don't foot the same. the cc is ndented differently, many lines, notably the last, begin with different words, there is different spacing between the by-line and the start of the text, and most important for our purposes, one byline is clearly 12 spaces and the other is 19. Two different letters, separately typed. Yet both are displayed with the same envelope.

Douglas: Where do you get "RPD Copy"? Both are shown with the Enterprise envelope. I don't see any evidence that either was an RPD facsimile or any reason for doing that. And there's a heck of a lot more interestng differences than spacing.


You got it. And as to the 12 underscores, they cover 12 spaces. Not 18. Not 19.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (79.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 09:15 am:

Peter, the RPD copy comes from this website. My Press-Enterprise copy came directly from the source. If I remember correctly they charged me $20 for it, or something like that.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 11:58 am:

Douglas: The one on this site is clearly associated with the Enterprise envelope. In what sense, exactly, is it "the RPD copy"? Since it bears the FBI lab stamp, it lends some credence to the idea that it is either "the" or "an" Enterprise copy. How do we know it has any connection to RPD?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (159.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 12:24 pm:

Peter, to the best of my knowledge only two "copies" were received: one by the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the other by the Riverside Police Department. I'm pretty sure I can vouch for the photo I got from the Press-Enterprise, but whether the RPD copy seen on this site is the genuine article I'm absolutely unqualified to say. It might have been simply a copy that was typed by the RPD for submission to the FBI; perhaps they were relucant to submit the original, although there was no reason not to send a photostat, and that in itself might suggest that what we see on this site is genuine. I just can't say for sure.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 01:47 pm:

Peter H. wrote: The one on this site is clearly associated with the Enterprise envelope.

Really? Just because images of the envelope and the letter appear on the same webpage, or for some stronger reason? My guess is that Tom V., acting on his best information, put together images of
The Confession, and the D.E. Envelope which he had collected over the years. Tom, if you could recall & clarify the source of the "Confession" image you placed at http://www.zodiackiller.com/FBIConfession.html
That would help! Thanks.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup- - on Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 06:08 pm:

Doug: Why do you keep saying RPD? Other than process of elimination, which requires several asumptions, there is no more reason -- and far less -- to associate Tom's image with with RPD than Enterprise.


I meant , of course, "associated on the page where it appears" with the enterprise envelope. And it quite simply is. I do agree that only Tom,who posted the mage, can clarify its source. Tom?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-63-186.client.attbi.com - on Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 09:19 pm:

Those are the only high-quality images I have of the confessions/envelopes...that's why they are together.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 08:38 am:

Tom: Thanks for the clarification. Can you identify the source for the letter? Is it in fact the RPD version? I mean, the FBI's source? Another image at this site (htpp://www.zodiackiller.com/FBIreport1.html) which refers to the RPD version, would seem to confirm this, but there is not sufficient detail in that document to confirm it.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 10:42 am:

Howard sent it to me.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 11:36 am:

Over to you, Howard. Can you tell us the source for the Confession letter here?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 03:45 pm:

I got a copy from the FBI along with information pertinent to the Confession.I will summarize the report that came with the letter later as I am at work.The copy was sent to the FBI by the RPD.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 06:35 pm:

Here are some points of interest from the FBI Report:"Enclosed for the Bureau are 2 Xerox copies of a typed carbon of a letter received by the Homicide Squad,Riverside,California,Police Department,on 11/29/66...only two copies had been located thus far,one mailed to the Homicide Squad and the one[other?]for the"Enterprise,"the local newspaper.Both of these were CARBONS and were postmarked "Riverside"but mailed without stamps.The carbons are typewritten...Riverside Police Department ,advised that they had searched the news releases that had been made and none of them mentioned that the "middle wire of the distributor" had been removed from Miss Bates' car.He[Captain Cross?] advised that other points in the letter,such as the details of the manner of the murder and the CALL[I have always said that he most likely,as did Zodiac, called!] TO the POLICE Department,made it appear that the writer of this letter is actually the murderer."(EMP mine)Since a typewriter comparison had to be made by the FBI,the copy that was sent to the police had to be an exact reproduction or Xerox and NOT a typed copy done by one of their typists!This would be unprofessional and absolutely ridulous and counterproductive to what the RPD was trying to discover at the time!Whether two different productions or not,there are enough spaces comprising the line,in the letter the police got from the killer,to have an 18 letter name and one space after the Y in BY!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (95.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 11:17 pm:

If these are indeed not exact duplicates, but two slightly different versions of the same letter produced by the killer, it would parallel the scenario of the August 1, 1969 letters: multiple letters each differing in slight degrees from the other.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-85.linkline.com - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 12:54 am:

I was going to discuss the August first letters as it certainly is a fact.Good you brought it out!If there are two somewhat different Confession versions,with the same content,it would show or lend credence to same authorship in regards to the Zodiac letters.The copies of the Confession seem to be identical though.All of the reports I have read seem to indicate both the RPD and Enterprise copies are duplicates of one master letter.I was told this by a RPD detective also.The copy you kindly enlarged for us can not,as you know, be used for detailed analysis- and that includes that contraversial line."

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-187.bos.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 09:28 am:


Thanks for the details. I take this to mean that the image posted at this site is the one you received from FBI, and which is referred to in the FBI memo, posted elsewhere at this site, as being from RPD. Note, however, that this image and the Press-Enterprise letter absolutely cannot be "duplicates of one master letter" for the reasons I stated above. However you line up indentations, line spacing etc., the one incontrovertible difference between the two is that the lines don't foot. Among other things, the last line of text begins with different words in the different versions. This cannot be accounted for by the difference in angle of view, scale, leginility, perspective or any of the other differences in quality between the two images. It can only be accounted for by the letter having been typed twice. Whether it was typed twice by the author, or a close facsimile reproduced by a police or FBI typist, is tough to say, although I tend to agree that it is unlikely that RPD or FBI would have done this. On the other hand, the second does not have exactly the same content. In the enterprise version "minutes" is spelled correctly, while the FBI/RPD version shows "minuts". At the same time, "blond", "brownett", and "choaked" all match. While the P/E version is not entirely legible, based on word count it appears to be identical in other respects. I wouldn't conclude whether this is more likely due to an extremely meticulous author or slightly sloppy police typist. I do think that it shows a lot more care in reproducing multiple versions than Z or the author of the "had to die" letters ever exhibited.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-187.bos.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 09:31 am:

P.S. Also note that the image of the FBI/RPD version does not show the odd top and bottom edges of the paper, nor does it show the creases from folding to fit the envelope. On further consideration, this is beginning to look more like a facsimile.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 11:02 am:

Thanks.Your interest in the Confession is good as this ,as ya know,is a way to get at the facts.The copy that is on this site is the one the FBI sent to me and is a true copy or Xerox of the letter/carbon the RPD received from the killer.They have another copy which the report says is indentical to the one you see on this site.All reports,including secret RPD reports, state the same thing- that two carbons of indentical nature and wording, were sent to the police and the newspaper and no other copies surfaced.Keep in mind ,that the FBI criminalist' carefully examined both copies and came to the same conclusion.The copy on the news desk could have been a version typed up(wild speculation I know) for public consumption with some changes to throw off a would be "confessor"(just like Zodiac, the killer/letter writer, took delight in confessing).The copy is not clear enough for a final conclusion.I will speak to a source again and see if I get the same answer.The author,if he did do a duplicate, sure went through some unnecessary work!Incidently,the Enterprise Head librarian told me years ago, that a fourth note of the 1967 three note series, was sent to the papers.Remember,and I give Jake Wark credit for this;there was a local AND a county newspaper then and the killer sent a note each ,to both papers for( like Zodiac) full coverage!They privately gave that fourth original note to the RPD.I can say they have material that is not known to Zodiacologists and I am not just referring to this fourth note.I was just lucky one fine day!It is this envelope that contained that fourth note that I published, for the first time, in my book.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 11:17 am:

The Press-Enterprise copy isn't very good, but I've got a photo of the original and, with a magnifying glass, you can make out most of what's there. However the word that appears as "choaked" in the RPD copy seems to be "chocked" in the PE copy, and it's impossible to say by looking at the PE copy whether or not it says BROWNETT. But the line endings are distinctly different in the two copies, and the PE copy has an XXX (possibly a strikeout correction) where it reads "... WHO SAID [XXX] NO WHEN I ASKED HER FOR A DATE ..." (That could explain why the line endings are off.) Also, the PE copy uses double-spacing throughout, which gives the distinct effect of what typesetters call "rivers," or big areas of white space in the text.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 11:18 am:

I should have said double word spacing after a period.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-187.bos.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 11:36 am:

Douglas: Thanks for the additional detail and confirmation. The PE copy may not be perfect (its hard to believe thaere isn't a flat, clear copy of it somehwere) but its good enough to show differences that cannot be accounted for by the vagaries of photo-reproduction or multiple carbons. Is there any question now but that there are two different versions? Having established that, there remains the possibility that they were typed on two different machines, even if by the same author. Could that account for the uncertainty as to whether this is "elite" or "pica" type?.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 12:46 pm:

Peter, that's a tough one because the copies aren't really good enough for comparison. My eye tells me that there are two different typestyles used. The RPD type looks like what we old-style typesetters used to call an "Egyptian," that is, square-serifed, kind of like the Courier that comes on most PCs. The one on the RPE letter looks a bit more ornate; if I had to compare it to something I'd say Palatino, only monospaced of course (that is, each character has the same width value) and not quite as heavy on the weight. It resembles somewhat the font that Kaczynski used on his doctoral dissertation, though whether it's the same or not is impossible to say.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-187.bos.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 01:47 pm:

If this was a manual typewriter, it is highly unlikely it was other than pica or elite. If it was one of your more exotic typefaces, it was overwhelmingly more than likely it was typed on an IBM Selectric, which was introduced in 1961 and had interchangeable type face "balls" instead of separate keys. Ted K probably had access to such a machine, and anyone on the RCC campus might have. I think the FBI analysis was fairly definitive, however, in narrowng it down to Pica or Elite, and a manual typewriter.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 04:38 pm:

Please note that the FBI copy has "CC.CHIEF OF POLICE - ENTERPRISE."Wouldn't this be an unecessary(and ditto for writing two separate letters) designation ,if there were two different copies-one each, sent to both organizations?Peter-Morrill,as you know, said it was "Canterbury shaded with Elite type"-Royal portable/ manual typewriter(the same kind-a pR, that an old school mate of my suspect saw him typing on while he was Editor in Chief-she used it, on occasion, herself).The EP letter is NOT clear enough for comparitive matching.For example, Doug is an expert on type,printing,etc. and he can not really say if a certain word has the same misspelling as found in the other copy of the Confession and through no fault of his!

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 07:19 pm:

Isn't it possible that the FBI or RPD, in their effort to determine which kind of typewriter produced The Confession, typed out their own version of the entire document on one or more of the popular typewriters of the time? If so they would be looking at the typefaces and not bothering too much to check if "minuts" was misspelled or how many "_"s came after "BY".

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 03:54 am:

Howard, one might think so, but if the copies we have available are genuine then there is no doubt whatsoever that they're not carbons or photocopies of one another, but separately produced. That's not even up for debate.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-187.bos.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 08:14 am:

Howard: Doug is absolutely correct. Why is it so hard to accept? Sure it may not make sense that there is a cc to both PE and RPD, but there it is. Actually, it doesn't make sense even if they were carbons. The letter is worded in a way that suggests that it was primarily intended for only one addressee (the phone call reference). Normally, a cc: notation indicates the secondary addressee only, and would not include the party to whom the letter was primarily addressed. So the double cc: makes just as much (or as little)sense whether the letters are actual carbons of each other or not. None of this changes the fact that certain things that are absolutley readable and comparable on both copies are different. The EP letter may not be clear enough for comparison of typeface, but its plenty clear on a nu ber of other points. The XXX's and the different footing of the last line are just two examples. And "minuts" and "minutes" are also unmistakable. Doug's right. its not even debatable.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 08:32 am:

Speaking of the "cc" aspect, my wife, who started her career as a stenographer, has pointed out that the z-like symbol on the bottom of the April '67 letters has an equivalent in Gregg shorthand; "you have not," or something similar. Maybe the writer had some background in secretarial work? Maybe "he" was actually a "she," and the whole thing was a hoax.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 02:47 pm:

I am not totally rejecting it!I have known about this issue for some time.Jake has mentioned it.I am saying that from all of the official reports I don't see a reason-AT THIS POINT- to accept a second document that is different.We don't know if the desk copy is an original from the killer or a typed up version for the front page photo.I said that I am checking some areas and a source,etc.So hang on and in there!I have no pride of opinion and will change my view/s with evidence and that's what is needed, not just that news desk photo.To tell you the truth, it would be a great leap towards pinning Z to the crime,as Doug pointed out recently,Z did do dups'with some differences(including the envelopes) for his three letter series kick off campaign!

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-187.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 06:56 am:


That's the spirit! Come to think of it, we don't know absolutely which copy could be a facsimile, do we? I mean, couldn't either one ? Hope your checkng comes up with something . Good hunting. In the meantime, why don't we start a new thread just for the Confession. I just noticed this is a Ddesktop Poem thread, and Tom has been pretty indulgent in not reminding us of that.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 02:29 pm:

Keep in mind that a true copy HAD to be sent to the FBI in order that an accurate analysis of the kind of type and machine that was used by the killer/writer.The report that was attached brings out that it was a Xerox of the copy that was set to the Homicide Squad at Riverside. You are right-another thread is in order.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-187.bos.east.verizon.net - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 07:29 am:

Howard: I started the new threas at "The Confession(s)" in the CJB section. Let's take it over there.

By Oddball (Oddball) (pcp02495035pcs.flrnc01.al.comcast.net - on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - 12:04 pm:

Just a stray thought I had: with Zodiac's fondness for musical theater, is it possible that "Sick of living, unwilling to die" is a reference to the "I'm tired of livin' and scared of dyin'" line from "Old Man River"?

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (user-2ive71m.dialup.mindspring.com - on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - 02:22 pm:

Interesting thought. I'd tend to doubt Zodiac being a Gershwin buff. I can't explain why, but I have always felt that he/they may have been more than a bit negrophobic, so I'd rule out anything from PORGY & BESS on two counts. But that's nothing but instinct.

Gershwin is extremely sentimental. Gilbert & Sullivan were almost exclusively arch and snide, like Z. I don't know where I get the idea of Z as a negrophobe, but there it is, in my head.

By Oddball (Oddball) (pcp02495035pcs.flrnc01.al.comcast.net - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 11:52 am:

You're probably right--"Old Man River" was a tad too syrupy for Z.

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-36-38.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 12:21 pm:


Good call on ruling out Porgy & Bess.

But don't rule out "Ol Man River". Its vintage Oscar Hammerstein, from "Showboat", which is about as "negrophobic" as they come (Paul Robeson's rewrite notwithstanding).

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-36-38.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 12:46 pm:

On second thought, don't rule out Porgy&Bess, either. Its about as sentimental as MacBeth.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (user-uive8c6.dsl.mindspring.com - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 02:39 pm:

Thanks for the correction, Peter. I'm not a big Gershwin fan myself, and my exposure to OLD MAN RIVER has been pretty much limited to Jeff Beck's version.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-151-197-42-120.phil.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 03:35 pm:

"Old Man River" is "negrophobic?" Far from it. It reeks of empathy toward the negro. You might as well say that "Huckelberry Finn" is negrophobic, because Jim is made to speak in the vernacular of the colored slave.

By Oddball (Oddball) (pcp02495035pcs.flrnc01.al.comcast.net - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 03:56 pm:

Well, I don't think "Old Man River"(my sole experience with that tune, by the way, is from my deejaying days at a very odd radio station) is negrophobic, but I can see how Z might not be inclined to reference it if he himself was a negrophobe. Anyway, the similarity between that particular line in the song and the opening line of the desktop poem struck me the other day, and I thought I'd mention it.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (user-2ive7iq.dialup.mindspring.com - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 04:40 pm:

Doug, I didn't say OMR was negrophobic, I said an irrational instinct on my part tells me that Z was negrophobic. Go back and read the posts.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-2718.linkline.com - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 05:31 pm:

Cheri Jo was killed right next to the African American club house.An old professor at RCC since the 60's, told Ed and I this interesting fact.FYI

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-151-197-42-120.phil.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 07:07 pm:

Alan, my remark wasn't directed toward anything you posted. It was in response to Peter.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (user-2ivebjc.dialup.mindspring.com - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 08:55 pm:

Oh, okay. I won't kill you then.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (dpc6682009038.direcpc.com - on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 10:49 pm:

I still maintain my position that the desktop poem is a complete red herring.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-151-197-42-120.phil.east.verizon.net - on Friday, December 19, 2003 - 04:02 am:

Alan, you've been killing me for some time now.

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-36-38.bos.east.verizon.net - on Friday, December 19, 2003 - 06:52 am:

Actually, Doug, what I said was that "Showboat" is "negrophobic", which is a little hard to dispute, but I'll stand by the statement as to OMR as well. What it reeks of -- in Hammerstein's original lyrics -- is sentimentality and condescension, otherwise Robeson would not have rewritten it for his own performances.

Check these out:


Quick, before the Thread Police arrive and make us move or get back on subject.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-151-197-42-120.phil.east.verizon.net - on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 06:37 am:

You may be right, Peter, but I wouldn't predicate any such opinion on those lyrics. I believe it's wrongheaded to impute a character's motives to those of its artistic creator. Robeson may have altered those lyrics simply because they hit a little too close to home, and in so doing made the characters less sympathetic than they otherwise might have been. From a humane standpoint that's laudable; from an artistic standpoint it borders on the dishonest, depending on the extent to which it's done.

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (pool-151-199-36-38.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 08:29 am:


I am with you in principle in distinguishing between author and character in interpreting motive and perspective. My prime example of that would be the common quotation from Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV Scene 2, as if the intended death of all lawyers expressed the sentiment of Shakespeare rather than the ignorant anarchist
Dick the Butcher.

This, however, is not that case.

Robeson in fact altered those lyrics to better reflect his personal dedication to raising the dignity of all pepole and advancing democratic principles. It had nothing to do with the character and everything to with Robeson's political philosophy. It was also done with Hammerstien's blessing. Oscar had dedicated the song to Robeson to begin with, but just didbn't go far enough in providing a perspective Robeson could own.