New "Zodiac" Letter Received November 22, 2002 Message Board: Letters: New Zodiac Letters?: New "Zodiac" Letter Received November 22, 2002

By Tom Voigt (Admin) ( - on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 07:31 pm:

Here's a link to my latest update.

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 07:51 pm:

Creepy. I hope that the sender didn't include the sort of "DNA samples" that no one -- and I mean no one -- wants to receive in the mail. It would certainly be disappointing to find out that the Z was really nothing more than a wacked-out hippie named Robert Emmett killing people in a daze.


By Clark Kent (Clark) ( - on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 08:03 pm:

Let's assume that the letter produces matches with some prints and/or the DNA profile. Is there more biographical information on the second page? Do you think there'd be enough info to identify the sender? Are there any suspects with connections to Singapore?

Thanks for posting this. If the letter was to prove valid, the "Priest" description might bring about some memories from some sixties survivors (assuming they're not like Rabbitt). Hmm, the Priest they called him... can't be William Burroughs, can it?

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 08:28 pm:

Since this is not the first person to confess I am a bit skeptical.

1. If he did confess/prophet the crimes, wouldn't one of those crackheads come forward by now?
2. If he was high as a kite I find it hard to believe he could have wrote all those letters, planned the ciphers, and was careful enough not to get caught. And on top of that, he is not sure if he is just hallucinating?

I'm not going to get too excited until they test this letter out. Until then I feel its probably either a hoax, or this guy was so high he truly does have problems separating the hallucinations with reality. I doubt this is Zodiac but I would be happy to be proven wrong.

Thanks for posting it the letter, it is certainly interesting. Based on what was shown I don't believe this but perhaps there is some damning evidence it what Tom did not show.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 08:32 pm:

If the letter is legit the guy could merely be using drugs as a scapegoat.

The handwriting to me looks quite a bit like Zodiac's style in the Red Phantom letter...

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 08:43 pm:

Probably just another kooky confession. But,while I'm always a sceptic, the letter has just the right creepy feel to be plausible. Now, if it had two stamps I'd REALLY start to wonder!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 08:51 pm:

The Red Phantom letter only had one stamp...

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 09:08 pm:

I hope this has nothing to do with the new movie where the original Zodiac comes back and uses this website.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 09:11 pm:

I considered that, too. However, the film isn't anywhere near completion...

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 09:18 pm:

I must say that it certainly looks interesting, however, I'm not sure that I believe that some junkie could possibly have done what Z did, especially for so long, as Ryan explained above. While the writing does remind me of the Red Phantom letter in some instances, there are other examples that appear to be typically Z, such as the few misspellings and three-stroke "k." Also, would not this junkie's friends have remembered some "priest" who was able to "clairvoy" Z's crimes and come forward with the story? Whether anyone believed them or not is irrelevant, it is interesting FYI that surely someone would have recalled and probably told Graysmith (especially since everyone else had something to tell him). I have to wonder why he wrote Tom from (presumably) Singapore, instead of just turning himself in to SFPD? Is it that he wants to "come clean" but is afraid of the consequences of his actions? It remains to be seen what happens with this... (if he really wants to prove he's Z, why not send Tom another swatch of Stine's shirt, or Stine's driver's license? Surely he still has them after 33 years, and will certainly get a lot more attention than more DNA and more fingerprints that I'm sure SFPD gets deluged with every day).

By BKratzer (Bkratzer) ( - on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 09:37 pm:

Unless this comes up with some kind of DNA match, I would say this is a hoax. The Handwriting has too many inconsistencies. Mixing cursive with printing. The Zodiac letters did not have curisve mixed with printing. The D's are totally different and so are the U's. The letter also doesn't seem to hold to the Zodiacs way of speaking. I think he would have used I more. Zodiac loved to use the word I. The I's are also very different.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 10:30 pm:

Correct-and much more!

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 12:41 am:

Reserving my judgement...but, of course, sitting on the edge of my seat!

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 12:58 am:

Judging this letter based on the handwriting is very subjective. Why does it have to be exactly the same as the Zodiac letters from 69-71?

I do not have any handwriting analysis experience, however there are a number of things that have to be taken into account. Let's assume this letter is legit.

- Over 30 years have passed. Is your handwriting exactly the same as it was 30 years ago? Age could be a factor. Could a high weight gain or loss affect handwriting? Finger size and moving the arm across the table? I'm an amateur so I can't really say.
- Zodiac was obviously disguising his handwriting. Sure it would have been more convincing if this letter was written in Zodiac Killer font, but any nutjob could spend a bit of time and trace the handwriting and produce a convincing copy. ie. the 1978 letter.
- BKratzer pointed out numerous differences and said "The letter also doesn't seem to hold to the Zodiacs way of speaking". If this is legit, then the personality of this letter will be very different. The 69-71 author was bragging, taunting, terrorizing etc. The Nov/2002 author denounces his previous behaviour and says "No longer is this necessary, for I am not that person anymore. I have changed." BKratzer also said "I think he would have used I more. Zodiac loved to use the word I." I counted and from the portion of the letter Tom showed, the word 'I' appears 22 times out of 26 lines. How many more times would he have to use the word 'I' to be considered authentic?
- The author also acknowledges heavy drug use. This could affect the person's attitude and personality.

As I have previously stated, I am skeptical of this letter. However I don't think we should just write it off because the letter is not 100% Zodiac Font. There are plenty of reasons why the letter would not match Zodiac's 69-71 letters.

If a robbery occurs, and the suspect is described wearing white clothes, would you rule out a gothic person because they always wear black clothes?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 01:02 am:

I'd say that is excellent reasoning, Ryan.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 02:13 am:

WOW! If nothing else, this is a FASCINATING turn of events in the Zodiac saga. It appears totally plausible (if extremely bizarre, surprise, surprise) except for his telling his friends the crime details before they occured: by now you'd think at least one of them would have come forward & reported this. Unless they all wound up dead from drug overdoses, which is not likely. Who knows? Maybe now someone who sees this letter, as in the Unabomber case, will have their memory jogged & be able to identify this "psychedelic clairvoyant". Question for TOM: Why did you withhold the Entire contents of the 2nd page of his letter? I am not asking you to divulge its contents, but rather to give us a reason why you felt you had to omit the whole page? Was it because it contained specific ZODIAC crime details heretofore unmentioned? Come on, dude, can't you give us a "clue"?

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 02:36 am:

Oh, by the way, Tom, did his letter really come from SINGAPORE? I kinda doubt it.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 02:49 am:

I just compared the scanned fingerprints with some fingerprints on the Z video Tom sold me. I know believe the letter is phony and the fingerprints and DNA he sent to the authorities is his way of getting in contact with Dr. Hottie.
Case closed.

By Len (Len) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 06:20 am:

The great thing about this is that the evidence presented will either pan out or not. Let Dr. Hottie and her curvaceous associates take care of it. As for me, I'll wait in impassive silence. (My life's actually more of a mild frenzy, but please, leave me my illusions.)

By Mark_C (Mark_C) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 07:17 am:

I second the wow! It certainly is intriguing looking, yes the handwriting is different but if he actually is the Zodiac, maybe this is the first time he's written without doing any tracing. I'm skeptical of course...I did notice a french 7 on the envelope. Good point Ryan, I think most people with some practice could trace the Z font, this doesn't appear to be. I'm sure there are many phony letters in the files. I'm still leery of the Red Phantom letter, I've never thought that was legit...just my opinion obviously. I agree with Ed, if this is really Zodiac, how about some more of the Stine shirt and/or his ID? I do think this is a rather elaborate way of getting in touch with Dr. Hottie-why do it this way? Interesting stuff...

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 08:05 am:

"Question for TOM: Why did you withhold the Entire contents of the 2nd page of his letter?"

I felt it would be best to save something...mainly because they always do that in the cop shows. Seriously comment.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 09:06 am:

EXACTLY Tom. I wish you would have only withheld one or 2 sentences, instead of the Whole 2nd Page! Witholding vital evidence to later "prove" it was the serial killer has proven disasterous & fatal in many of these cases. For instance: 1) The "DC Sniper Case" of late: Cops kept secret the fact that the Sniper(s) had written in their note (left at the final, 10th murder scene) that they wanted the $10 million ransom to be deposited in a JAMAICAN bank account. Many who knew the killers "John Mohammed" & "John Malvo" know that they had threatened to become snipers & had a Jamaican connection. Too, the "operators" who manned the FBI's "tip hotline" after that 1st 24-hour period of 5 murders, withheld the fact that they had been contacted by a man claiming to be the sniper who was trying to extort $10 million ransom. (The autorities STILL claim they know nothing about these calls!) Apparently each phone "incident" where the receptionist hung-up on The Sniper & "forgot" about the call resulted in the killer slaughtering yet another innocent victim. This happened not once, but at least 5 times! As the Sniper himself wrote: "so your incompetence has cost you 5 lives...". Example 2) The Manson murders: Police withheld the fact that "Helter Skelter" had been written in the victim's blood on the refridgerator in the LaBianca double-murder house. At least one associate of Manson's says that at this time Charlie was absolutely obsessed with his homegrown concept of "Helter Skelter". He further stated (I think in the book "Helter Skelter", or was it "The Family"?) that if he had known this phrase was plastered at the murder scene, he would have instantly recognized this as the work of psycho-Charlie & his lackies. He also thought that "Chuck" was a violent creep & would have turned his ass in. QUESTION for TOM: Did your letter contain the famous Zodiac "cross-in-circle" logo??

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 09:56 am:


By Warren (Warren) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 10:14 am:

Tom, do you have enough stroke with authorities to get this looked at quickly, at least for a preliminary opinion (say fingerprints)? I'm sure with the recent program they are getting inundated with hoaxes. Damned interesting letter and if a hoax, it sure is novel. Wonder if Sandy used to date him (sorry, Sandy).

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 02:27 pm:

To Zodiac.

By BKratzer (Bkratzer) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 07:47 pm:

I found these articles on the net relating to forgivness:

SAN QUENTIN STATE PRISON, Calif. (Reuters) - Robert Lee Massie, who spent more than 30 years on and off death row for two separate killings, was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday, finally getting his wish to die rather than spend the rest of his life in prison.
Massie, 59, was pronounced dead at 12:33 a.m. PST, 13 minutes after receiving the fatal mix of chemicals at San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco. It was California's first execution in more than a year.

Massie spent his final hours with his lawyer and spiritual advisers. His last meal was two vanilla milkshakes French fries and fried oysters.

He remained alert and calm during the procedure, which was witnessed by members of the media and family members of the victims.

His last words were, ``forgiveness, giving up all hope for a better past.''

Additionally I found:

"I've also heard that forgiveness means giving up all hope of having a better past. The fact that this happened cannot change, and the fact that I found out about it cannot change. All I can do at this point is to express my feelings,share my inner struggle to forgive,and then give up all hope of things having happened differently.

If this letter was written by the real Zodiac, is he finally getting a conscience? Is he writing this to ask for forgivness? Does he feel the need to finally, after 30 years get this off his shoulders? Tom's response in his latest posting is very similar to the response given by the Maryland Police Chief Moody to the sniper communications, both cryptic and bizzare. How will this cryptic message help? Who is this individual in the picture associated with the forgiveness quote?

If this letter is from the real Zodiac, maybe he could prove it's authenticity by providing the solution to the unsolved cipher.

A final comment on forgivness for the Zodiac, if this is actually you.:

The Nature of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not a way of forgetting the past. Indeed, if we have been harmed, we should not forget it. We can learn from the past about how to avoid being harmed in the future. Nor is forgiveness a way of exonerating the one who has hurt us. We recognize that the harm did happen, that the other person is responsible for this and must come to terms with their own guilt. When we forgive, we are not sacrificing anything or giving up our sense of self-worth. Indeed, we are doing just the opposite by taking a stand that says that we are strong and finally free of playing the role of victim. Forgiveness is a way of declaring our integrity.

Forgiveness is a way of saying, It s time for healing. The pain of the past should now be put behind me. Thus, forgiving is a reflection of self-assertion and positive self-esteem. It means that we have better things to do in life than continuing to live under the influence of the one who has caused us pain. Forgiveness implies that we no longer need to hold grudges we no longer need self-pity or hatred, and we declare our independence from victim hood. Forgiveness signifies breaking the cycle of pain and abuse, giving up the belief that the other person should hurt as much as we do. It means abandoning the myth that if we hurt the other person, it will make us feel better. To forgive implies giving up the unrealistic hope that an apology will have the same meaning to the one who has hurt us as it has for us. It tells us that we are moving our energy from the negative to the positive.

Forgive: a verb meaning to give up resentment against or desire to punish - Webster's Dictionary

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 08:16 pm:


Is there a specific (disclosable) reason why you've posted a picture of Dr. Landrum Bolling in your message to the Zodiac? Bolling was in Portland last month (October), at PSU for a speech on Middle East peace.


By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 10:24 pm:

Spencer (and everyone else): I can't add any details right now.

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 10:58 pm:

Hello All,

I found the Singapore postage stamp on the letter to be of great interest, and having some experience with philately it occurred to me that the stamp might be part of a commemorative set as opposed to a standard singular postage stamp.

I was correct. The "Taxi" stamp used by the author of this letter was part of a "Land Transportation" set (cost $18), produced by the Singapore postal service in 1997. It is still available for purchase today, including by
overseas buyers.

There are also a couple additional variations available on this same "Land Transportation" set: Option 2, Option 3.

If the alleged Zodiac here is an avid stamp collector (typically the ones who buy collectors editions like these) his name might be listed in some philately database. Moreover, if he was so careless as to purchase this set via an overseas transaction there would be a paper trail, to include a mailing address!

I couldn't tell from the letter whether it had been posted in Singapore, but it would seem consistent with the other materials included within the letter (btw, Tom, what are these items?). The reason I bring this up is because earlier in this thread Ed Neil had asked a valid question about why this person, if he is in fact the Zodiac, did not provide definitive proof to that effect in the form of another piece of Stine's shirt or driver's license. One possible reason could be that he either destroyed these items long ago (unlikely, I agree) or perhaps does not have access to them at the moment. He may, perhaps, have buried these things somewhere in the U.S., but is now residing in Singapore, and therefore chose the only tangible physical evidence available to him, e.g., DNA and finger prints.

Of course, it's equally likely that this is all a hoax, but then why provide tangible evidence like DNA samples and finger prints, things that will quickly demonstrate a hoax should they fail to create a match?

Wouldn't a hoaxter want to try and play the field a while, lead us on, perhaps going to great lengths in trying to mimic Zodiac writing style and mannerisms? It seems odd that he would display such boldness with the presentation of HARD EVIDENCE like DNA and finger prints (the very things we always say we need in this case), and yet be so lackadaisical as to allow his hand printing to show dissimilarities to other Zodiac literature.

Also of interest is that the Singapore postal service offers a "Zodiac" collector series, although only three among the set appear to be available. You can see them here.


Bruce Monson

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 11:05 pm:

I imagine Tom's busy talking with the FBI, CIA, certain police jurisdictions, etc. He can't divulge too much about this new Zodiac letter because, well you know...
We can only hope that he brings his head above water long enough to throw us a few tidbits now & again untill something "breaks" in this "epasode", which may be never, knowing the wileyness of The Zodiac (if that's who this is).
But kudos to Tom for doing all he's done in this case. Who knows, he may have even helped to 'solve' it!

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 11:46 pm:


Is he trying to tell us something about "Mercury" poisoning Here?

Product name: Tse Koo Choy
Manufacturer: WangHing Co., Ltd., Hong Kong
Toxic ingredients: Mercurous chloride, santonin
Adverse reactions: Mental and sensory disturbances, mental deterioration, pink to red coloring of extremities, tremor, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 11:51 pm:

Thankfully I have yet to experience such symptoms...

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 11:52 pm:

"mental deterioration"

On second thought...

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 11:59 pm:

It's understood on the details. I think we're all just so fascinated and excited (heck, even Bruce is back) that we're posting questions regardless of whether you'll answer them now or in the foreseeable future.

I'm going to guess that perhaps the portion of the letter being held back contained a code key, so that Tom (and whoever else sees future communiques) can confirm that the sender is the same, as evidenced by Tom's posting of some bizarre series of numbers in the "To Zodiac" thread.


By Nick (Nick) ( on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 03:10 am:

"I must say that it certainly looks interesting, however, I'm not sure that I believe that some junkie could possibly have done what Z did, especially for so long".

We're talking about smack and acid, right? Two years is just about right.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 06:49 am:

"Just about right" for what Nick.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 09:54 am:

The question most raised here in response to Tom's bizarre letter seems to be why didn't he send along other identifiable items (Stine's shirt, etc.) to establish him as Z. If we are to believe what the writer says, he spoke of wanting to disspell any possible delusion that he was merely hallucinating that he's Z. That leads me to think that he has no such items, and is basing his identification with Z solely on the graphic psychedelic flights of fancy he experienced at the time of Z's crimes, and the detail with which he related these images to his fellow tripsters when he got back to earth. If he possessed any information or physical items readily connecting him to the Z crimes, it's doubtful he would be expressing his confusion and asking for confirmation via DNA and fingerprints.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 10:12 am:

I could possibly understand this if we were talking about murder alone. However much time would have been required to compose the ciphers in particular.Hard to see how a guy in the condition he claims to have been in could have conducted such a campaign.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 11:02 am:

The adverse reactions sound like my Saturday night to Sunday morning linear progression.

Merchant marine connection?

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 12:59 pm:

Right on, LAPUMO. I totally agree with you. How the heck could this guy have done all this on some cracked-out LSD/heroin "brown-out"? His campaign included not only extremely elaborate attacks, but very lucid follow-ups. He often recounted his crimes in writing & took great pains to make sure he wouldn't be traceble. Not the mark of some flipped-out junkie- But who knows?????????

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 01:12 pm:

Hey TOM: This is the KODIAC speaking- oops, I mean Zodiac. Er, well no this is just me, Victor, with yet another question for you: DO YOU REALLY THINK THIS LETTER IS FROM THE ACTUAL 'ZODIAC KILLER'? On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being absolutely 'sure'), how do you rate of Mr. Singapore's probability of being "THE Zodiac"? Inquiring minds want to know.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 01:20 pm:

Victor, I can't comment yet. But I will, perhaps soon...perhaps not. Just depends.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 01:23 pm:

And what of the scripted phone calls to the police after some of the murders? Conversely, think of certain members of the original Saturday Night Live cast, who by their own admission were doing heroin and other drugs and would absolutely nail their performances. Perhaps if the Z has indeed written, the "brown-outs" may be his way of plausible self-rationalization to assuage his guilt.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 01:30 pm:

That means that Z would have to be an actor in order to pull off his crimes... in any case, one would think that, when he came down from his high and had Stine's wallet, shirt and car keys in his possession, he'd realize that he was Z and not clairvoyant.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = absolute hoax and 10 = absolutely authentic, I'd have to rate it a 5 (could go either way) at the moment.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 01:56 pm:

Now, Ed, let's not go out on a limb.

By Jim (Jim) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 02:20 pm:

Perhaps being Mr. Sinapore would keep him out or the mix all these years until now? Did he go there to get "cleaned up" and now needs to clean his conscience? it is a very intriguing tangent here but to really think that this is the true Z? what are the odds of that? Oh man that 2nd page must be a doozy? is it a new cipher? is it a piece of Stine's shirt stapled to the paper? or some other evidence known only to Z and his history? curiouser and curiouser......
why not write the SF paper again, even if it an explanation to his whereabouts and actions 30+ years ago....he seemed to have such a connection there in wanting things to known by the public, why not again? why write a lone private citizen, when the world could know....that had ben one of his enduring traits (the need to garner attention), so base level that one would think tht it would not diminish?
just a few thoughts...

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 02:23 pm:

I appreciate there is detail you cannot go into at this time.Perhaps though you can answer a general question.....Is there an indication of
some encoded message or cipher contained in this letter?

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 04:38 pm:

Clark Kent mentioned the possibility that this guy's prints could match up with prints already on file, or with the new DNA profile. I believe that this will be the case, assuming we have the real Z here; why else would he come forward after so many years?

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 04:49 pm:

>why write a lone private citizen

Tom's hardly a lone, private citizen -- he does run the most visited Zodiac Killer website, has connections with law enforcement/media, regularly posts new material that he acquires, and has this message board where everything about the case is discussed ad nauseum.

Furthermore, the writer may have wanted the letter scanned and posted quickly, which the Chronicle has a history of not doing with regard to fresh Z letters; Tom did it the day he got the letter (albeit with a small portion withheld).


By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 06:53 pm:

Yes, good question Lapumo. What about it, TOM??

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 07:32 pm:

I'm stuck on the Singapore connection. I can't make anything out of that postmark, but Singapore is just across the border from parts of Indonesia, where "Bob Barnett" (or whatever we're calling Cheri Jo Bates' ex-boyfriend) lives/lived.

Now, as I recall, someone claiming to be "Barnett's" son made a post to this board a few years back, generally busting Tom's chops for dragging Dad's name through the mud. Subsequent to that, and perhaps in part due to Tom's zeal in popularizing the case, "Barnett" was ambushed at the airport and made to give a court-ordered DNA sample for comparison with the Bates evidence. IF that post was legit (which would demonstrate some familiarity and emnity with Tom), and IF this letter was sent from Singapore (which is where a Singapore stamp would be accepted as postage, right? I mean, you couldn't send a letter from Detroit with one of those, could you?), then to my mind, we have something approching means, motive, and opportunity for a "Barnett"-executed hoax.

Could mean something, could mean nothing.

On the handwriting tip, mine has changed an awful lot over a decade; 30 years and a wholesale lifestyle replacement could probably account for the difference. As for content, I'll opine with a more-than-passing familiarity with narcotics and hallucinogens that the last thing on a junkie's mind is a junk-irrelevant murder spree, and that only a lunatic of the most violent and antisocial order would pull a Lake Berryessa on acid, even during the baddest of bad trips, but, again, that's just my take.

We'll all be chewing on this one for a while, I think.


By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 07:46 pm:

Victor, I agree: very good questions. Unfortunately, no answers anytime soon.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 07:48 pm:

Jake, I've corresponded with both of "Barnett's" kids several times, although not recently.

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 08:11 pm:

Jake wrote:

"[Y]ou couldn't send a letter from Detroit with one of those [a Singapore stamp], could you[?]"

Probably not (although with our postal service who really knows?). However, someone who had a friend going on a trip to Singapore could ask his friend to frank the letter and drop it in the mail there (if Gareth Penn is to be believed, that's what he did when corresponding with his suspect via mail). While it is unlikely that this is the case (given the fact that the writer knew that its existence would get out), it is possible that the writer lives right here in the good ole U.S. of A.


By Jake (Jake) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 10:10 pm:

Tom -- fair enough. All I'm going on is a coincidence of location. I don't know where "Barnett" was/is; Indonesia's a whole series of islands, and my saying that it's across the border from Singapore is probably akin to saying that Vancouver is across the border from the US. There are a whole lot of miles between there and, say, Oklahoma City.

Apropos of Penn, anybody know the current whereabouts of our favorite Z-prankster, Alan Cabal? He's a jet-setting journalist-type, always flying around the world on assignment for the NY Press... Think he might be covering the Bali bombing? Alan! Call home!


By Kevin (Kevinrm) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 10:12 pm:


Where did you come up with "merchant marine"? The thought crossed my mind also, as I used to go to Singapore all the time when I was in the merchant marine. As a matter of fact, I do have one radio officer pal, just about the right age, ex-special forces, whacky, who is living in Singapore right now. I trained under him, and we went to Singapore, Yikes!

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 10:28 pm:

Someone posted that Z never mixed his printing with cursive? Ask someone at DOJ, it is a fact that he did. I was told this many years ago. The Belli letter, look at the Q in require. The Nov.9th 69 letter, the end of contrery looks like cursive to me. Some of the letters looked very much like zodiac's others not even close, that 7 is nothing like Z's.The man Darlene was afraid of was a traveler.Unless this jerk sends something from a known victim,I say it is just a very lonely person with too much time on his hands.If he is reading this post: Put up or shut up!

By Nick (Nick) ( on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 12:26 am:

The last I heard about Allan is that he had left the NY Press, a hip right-wing alternative weekly,
and was habitating somewhere on the left coast.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 12:35 am:

I'm sure he'll get in touch soon.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 04:41 am:

This is the KODIAC speaking....C'mon TOM, can't U at least tell us if there was a Cipher in there? And if so, what was the nature of it?

By Len (Len) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 06:26 am:

I'm not saying that I think this guy is the Zodiac (Ed's got the probability of that spot on), but sending the letter to Tom was a very cagey and perceptive thing to do. Back in the olden days, sending letters to a newspaper was the best way to get your message out to the largest audience; here in the technical vastness of the future, Tom Voigt is the single best venue if you want to get maximum publicity from the smallest amount of effort.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 07:21 am:

Drug out the old BS detector last night, poured mature scotch over it and warmed it up with Cohiba smoke. After a few "Answer hazy, try again later" responses, and more applications of ethanol, it responded "Hoax, better luck next time." A properly lubricated detector rarely lets you down.
BTW, and at risk of souding more like a moron than IBS indicates, where did the "Mikado" take place?

By Jeff (Jeff) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 07:23 am:

It's been stated before that David Farraday was possibly killed because he knew of a big drug deal. Perhaps the author (if in fact this letter is legit) knew David and thought he was going to mess up his getting drugs and murdered him and his date. Maybe the subsequent killings were a cover up; maybe after a couple killings they became "fun" for the author....

By Len (Len) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 08:12 am:


"The Mikado" was set in Japan. Your BS detector sounds like a fine machine, and I have to agree that, properly oiled, these machines are quite effective devices.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 08:25 am:

Len -Thanks!
Kevin - I have always thought that Z, whoever he may be, had naval or merchant marine background. Even in his age range now, he could still be in the merchant marines. I was on the Texas Clipper, which was part of Merchant Marine program at Texas A&M. Even though we did a Mediterranean tour, those MMs that had been to Singapore loved the place.

By Donna (Realtor) ( on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 09:31 am:

I think it's the Zodiac. I think the handwriting matches very well. He still does that same thing with words that end in "tion." He still does those odd S's and the long tailed lower case R's. The lower case Y's are still the same and he is still not sure how he wants to make a lower case G. Other letters that still look the same are k, Th, f, m, p, h, V, c, in, P, b, B, w. The lower case D's have changed a they are sometimes linked to the next letter. The upper case I's have changed but it's been 30 years... He still starts off writing large and more carefully than he can maintain throughout the letter and the slant of the writing leans more to the right as the letter goes on. He still makes spelling errors connected with double letters (corupt) and uses various ways to spell words with S sounds (sences, Christmass).

I wish I could see a lower case Q. Is there one in the new letter that I've missed?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 09:43 am:

Tom, I hope you aren't suffering any adverse side effects from exposure to the Tse Koo Choy? How were you able to determine that the packets no longer had any traces of the stuff? Way to be "heads-up" my friend! I seriously hope that your are well at the moment?!

As to the letter, any updates? My initial reaction is that much of the lettering looks relatively close, even with a layman's eye. It lacks the characteristic downward slope of Z's known missives but this can be explained in a variety of ways. Namely, it's 30+ years down the road [and handwriting can/will change in that amount of time], and also because the author appears to have been using lined paper beneath a sheet of blank paper. I'm no questioned documents examiner, but my initial layman's observation tells me to be cautiously optimistic and pursue this missive tooth-and-nail if for no other reason than this: Even if it turns out not to have been originated by the real Zodiac -- which, at the moment, would be a pretty large undertaking unto itself to prove that it wasn't -- somebody obviously went out of their way to make it look as though it came from the "real" Zodiac. [I note once again, this is all from a laymen's perspective and, therefore, purely speculative.]

Anyway, looking forward to future updates. Barring actual bodily injury to you, this is fantastic news!

Jake, if all of this turns out to be a hoax, you get my vote for your theory as to the most likely culprit. Thanks for contributing to the discussion as of late. I, for one, wish you were a more frequent poster because I admire your no- nonsense style and well-informed position when it comes to discussing this case.

Excellent discussion folks!

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 10:40 am:

Author is french or german, most likely german, knows english well, just not well enough.

By Jim (Jim) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 10:48 am:

If the letter is sent to Tom then perhaps the writer does frequent this site. Based on previous patterns of Z I am still surprised that one has not been sent to the paper, or has it been checked out yet if another copy has been, or an additional letter?
I wonder if the second page contains some sort of key to the cipher code and work is being done to confirm the final translation of the original codes?
again why to a set individual for the letter and not just an open letter flooding the internet, tied to a virus maybe.....? just random thoughts being thrown out here.
you know if the prints match up with those on file and it isn't Z then who the hell would it be? of course the letter writer would have to have intimate knowledge of the crimes and therefore make them an accesory, right? and with more than one person involved make that then a conspiracy? so this letter could be from the letter writer not necessarily the perpetrator of the actual murders?
man so many questions, can we make it until Tom reveals more about the contents of the letter? guess we will have to!

By Len (Len) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 11:15 am:

Warren: Would you mind elucidating?

By Vassago (Vassago) ( on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 12:10 pm:

A most interesting development. Right now, though, I'll join most posters here and based on the publicized contents, refrain from any "yes or no" judgements and consider it to be a 4 to 6 on the 10 scale. On the other hand, if someone (Zodiac :) put a gun to my head and yelled "FAKE OR REAL, DECIDE OR DIE!", I'd say "fake" :). There are probably too many differences in the handwriting even if you consider the time and his claims (unless Graysmith is right with his "handwriting faked with a projector" idea... boy, would I feel weird then, considering that the projector is the part that I laugh at most often right after G's HERB CAEN "translation" of the second cipher... oh well, even then I'd still have trouble to accept the Zodiac bringing his projector to write on the car door! :), not enough details, the unlikely MO, and more... of course this is only based on the partial scan, perhaps there's something in the other part that would make me change my views radically - I'm just saying what I feel now.

BTW, Mr Voigt, can you divulge if the self-proclaimed Zodiac writes anything regarding any possible motivation he had (or felt he had) and/or the ciphers? (Not *what* he writes but _if_ he writes anything on those topics at all - I'd simply expect them to be mentioned if it's the real Zodiac)

If it's a fake, why did he enclose the fingerprints and DNA samples? Why not spend time to imitate Z's handwriting and language patterns instead? Well, I'd say - IF it is a hoax - that the reason would be simply prolonguing the hoax's life. He'd know that a good handwriting expert can probably be found in any bigger city in any country over the world, and hired by anyone; a handwriting- based hoax could be debunked very soon, then, and his fun would be over quickly. On the other hand, you wouldn't just go and have fingerprints analyzed, and as for DNA - fuhgetaboutit! Heck, there's even a question if the powers that be are going to be interested in checking them at all. Therefore, by providing fake evidence that could only be analyzed in proper labs, the hoaxer would make his fun last longer. Even if the analysis of his handwriting were negative, the DNA and prints would still leave doubts - and, of course, hope. :) And they would leave it for probably a long time, until (or even if) they were analyzed. The hoaxer would provide fake evidence so he could sit and laugh for a longer time, while everyone would be licking their lips, waiting impatiently for lab test results :) (Again, IF it's a hoax :)

Reasons? Hey, hoax for the sake of a hoax. Or maybe someone's dangerous idea of a practical joke. ("Hey, Lee, remember how last semester you glued my pants to the ceiling the night before we had the exam? Well, I took my time but I did something better last week! You'll laugh your ass off - I convinced a whole bunch of people that you're a mysterious serial killer who's never been caught! Nah, don't worry, it was in America and I sent it there, nobody will be coming here, looking for you... great joke, innit!") Or, if it's not real and not a joke, then it could be a genuine (albeit rather pitiful) attempt at framing someone to whom the DNA sample and the fingerprints belong.

Interestingly, though, the location - Singapore - made me return in my mind to some (older) speculations that Zodiac might not have been a born American, and/or that English wasn't necessarily his first language? (Well, at least I know *I* toyed with this idea, but I seem to remember others speculating so, too)

(BTW, there seems to be no point of posting any more information about it to alt.true-crime. Right now, I'm sad to point out, almost everyone there is obsessed with the subject of one "Joe1Orbit", who used to be a controversial poster there, claimed he'd become a mass murderer soon, blahblahblah, and now is in jail - the Joemania on atc is somewhat annoying ATM, and personally, I think I'm going to stop reading the group for a while until it calms down)

By Vassago (Vassago) ( on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 12:15 pm:

Argh, auto-conversion of points'n'parentheses into smiley images... !%^%^%!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 12:25 pm:

Vassago, we hate ALL types of smileys at this board...

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 12:32 pm:

Pre-scripted letter, a collection of syntax and spelling errors, formal style of grammer, and he blows it on the first page, penultimate line.

By Len (Len) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 12:44 pm:

Warren: As Arte Johnson used to say, "Verrrry interesting."

By Jim (Jim) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 01:19 pm:

with all of the information on Z at this site, anyone could probably cook up a pretty decent hoax? or cleverly craft the current conundrum?

By Kendra (Kendra) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 01:19 pm:

Didn't John Walsh claim to have received letters from Zodiac? I wonder if the handwriting from the new Z letter matches that of the Walsh letters....

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 01:23 pm:

Kendra, I believe Walsh claimed his were written in blood. The letter I received was not, however I'm not sure what red substance was used for the fingerprints.

By BKratzer (Bkratzer) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 01:30 pm:

The most striking similarity in this new Zodiac letter is the way the writer makes the lower case i's The are almost identical to the zodiacs letters. If the other, real Zodiac letters, are examined, it will be seen that not even the Zodiac was consistent in how he put the dots on the i's. (Sometimes right over the tope of the i's and at other times up and to the right over the followng letter. It almost seems to me that the writer has meticulously put the dots on the i's in almost the same place as those in the real Zodiac letters. While I keep an open mind, this seems to me to be an attempt copy what the zodiac did.

Someone has mentioned the merchant marines as a possibility, but I doubt this, because anyone who served in the merchant marines would have most likely been fingerprinted for identification purposes.
Many jobs in water transportation occupations require a merchant mariner's document or a license from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Merchant mariners on ocean-going ships are hired for periods ranging from a single voyage to several continuous voyages and may be away from home continuously for months.
Jobs aboard ocean-going vessels have high pay but competition for them remains keen, and merchant mariners might have to wait months between work opportunities.

It's a high probability that these finger prints won't belong to anybody that the feds have on record.

Tom, since you had the original letter, can you comment on the size of the persons's fingers? Did this person seem to have big hands? (based on the size of the prints?) The photos make it appear so. Mabye someone who is overweight?

Final comment, goes to the gramatical correctness of this letter. Seems to me to be too gramatically correct. The Zodiac wasn't that great of a speller. (ie. my self myself). The writing almost seems feminine.

Two people involved in this? hmmmmmmmmm

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 01:50 pm:

Another idle observation: The writing looks to me like a blend of printing and cursive (not cursive as used above by Sandy, which seems to more accurately describe serifs, but as defined by Webster: "flowing often with the strokes of successive characters joined and the angles rounded"). Most of the letters are connected, linked to one another within each word, as would be found in handwriting, rather than in printing. I don't see any evidence of this in any of the Z letters I sampled. His words contain letters that are separate and distinct, with little or no linking.

I wouldn't be surprised if the writer of the Singapore letter is writing in his own natural cursive style, which suggests printing, but is more flowing as would be found in cursive but not characteristic of printing. This is not an unusual manner of writing, as many people have adopted from early on a flowing variation on the basic printing they learned in the first years of school, and this is how they now normally write as adults. If he was to deliberately print the same message, I wonder how different it would appear, and if it would compare more favorably or less so to Z's writings.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 03:21 pm:

Hmm. I am wondering if (and if not, why the H-E-double toothpicks not) this letter is in the posession of SFPD? Since they have an active investigation, and the expertise to perform forensic examinations on it, would it not be logical to give it to them?

If Tom sees fit to pursue this privately, at least for the moment, perhaps a fund can be set up to have a private DNA analysis run. SFPD would only have to have Dr. Holt compare the results. I personally see little similarity in the handwriting, but an expert opinion is of course required.

All of this assumes that Tom is not dismissing the letter as a hoax. Don't really know what to make of his withholding part of the letter. What with the numeric sequences he replied with, I find it hard to imagine some sort of cipher was not included. Nevertheless, the sender claims to be Zodiac, and all such letters must be given to the authorities. The sooner the better.

One can easily imagine the consequences for the investigation should the DNA match. And yes, I favor this tack even though it might potentially dash the illogical theories about ALA to which I desperately cling!

Death to all hoaxsters,


By Jake (Jake) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 04:06 pm:

I would hope that SFPD sent a courier straight to Tom's house to pick the letter up tout de suite upon hearing about it. I wouldn't assume that they'd begin DNA testing on it immediately, but I would assume they'd give the prints and the handwriting at least a cursory examination. Tom, can you comment?


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 04:16 pm:

One element I would always look for in trying to judge the authenticity of such an admission is specificity. If the confession is couched only in general terms, as this one appears to be, I'm inclined to be dismissive.

By Mark_C (Mark_C) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 04:37 pm:

I'm having doubts like BKratzer about the prints matching any on file in any criminal database as well as the DNA. If this is an elaborate hoax, this person isn't going to want his little game ended early with a match. He wants to appear as if he wants to come clean by including the samples. Now if they DO match, I was wondering if anybody knows what kind of extradition policy they have over there with the US regarding murder?

Jake-thanks for enlightening us on your take of the Z crimes being committed during "altered states". I would think it would be incredibly difficult to keep the train of thought on the tracks (or from flying into the cosmos!) while trying to stick to detailed plans. I can hardly see how someone could keep the letter writing together while tripping out, much less commit the murders.

I thought Det. Baker made an excellent point about why the letter writer hadn't included any evidence-he wrote that he wasn't sure if he was hallucinating if he was the Zodiac or not. Possession of the Stine shirt etc. would certainly remove any doubt on his part. Of course there's the possibility that he might've hidden it here in the States as someone suggested earlier, and is so wacked out that he isn't sure about THAT either...certainly intriguing...

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 06:12 pm:

Whatever the deal is, this letter's the best conversation piece since the DNA results came back, and I think the last major item before that was the release of Zodiac Unmasked. Speaking of which, is Graysmith totally jealous or what? You heard from him, Tom?

Anyway, it's good to see things hopping again.


By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 06:27 pm:

Although I doubt the author of the letter is the Zodiac (unless there is strong evidence we have yet to see) I have to say, this website would be the IDEAL place for the Z to send a letter. The newspaper editors would probably dismiss his letter as a hoax. Even if it were to be published, the headline, "Possible Zodiac Letter After Decades of Silence" on page 6 wouldn't attract that much attention. Z would want to be the center of he is here.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 07:33 pm:

Just for kicks, I've been keyword searching the new letter here. It appears to me, in my opinion, that the new letter and a particular poster have a lot in common. But I won't mention any names.

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 08:20 pm:

Doug, you're right about the letter being a bit too vague, at least the portion of it we've seen. Assuming that our mystery man is perpetrating a hoax, is he counting on a not-too-speedy examination of the prints and the DNA evidence he's offered? I don't want to get my hopes up, but if he's NOT the real deal, I think this guy has made a very strange move.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 09:49 pm:

I think he's trying to pull some chains. If I were obliged to hazard a guess, I'd say this whole thing originated with a disgruntled person who has an axe to grind with Tom.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 10:18 pm:

Here's some zynchronicity to the new letter in a past post: ((There is some belief that Z wanted to confess. Maybe some priest had key info. *** More puzzle: like elliptical billiard balls)). Of course this is only pointing out a zynchro, not a suspicious parallel.

By Nick (Nick) ( on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 12:29 am:

I got to thinking, there's really no such thing as "an LSD and heroin addict". Once you board the smack train you lose all desire for other pleasures. It just consumes you. I'll take it that this letter writer means he progressed to heroin.

By Law123 (Law123) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 12:40 am:

I see a lot of similarities in the new letter compared to several others (where you see the i sometimes dotted directly above sometimes forward) also such as the July 31 1969 letter look at the k, f, and s: there are similarities keeping in mind there is some printing and some handwriting..still you can see a basic uniqueness.

A family member was a graphologist and whether you believe in that or not it got me to look carefully at handwriting. There are unconscious things people do when they write.

The similarities I see are subtle but unique. If one wanted to copy Z's writing you would expect more obvious similarities. But still it could be just a very intelligent hoax. Logic seems to say hoax, right? But at this time I have strong feelings that this is not a hoax.

Also, if I were Z and wanted action Id write to Tom instead of a newspaper or police.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 04:19 am:

"And that nice IM PRIEST that is rather rife the judicial hummerest I've got him on the list"

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 07:07 am:

Ergo....IM PLATT !

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 01:28 pm:

OK, then. Can anyone account for the author writing "ant" instead of "and" towards the end of the first page? Most of us make errors in typing on the boards, but I don't think I've ever seen "ant" in script.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 02:29 pm:

There are, of course, various misspellings, such as "bizzare," "sences," "corupt," and "ant" (instead of "and," as Warren pointed out above).

He also writes "blown away" as "blown-away," which is not correct so far as I know (I've never seen it written that way, has anyone?).

The author uses some unusual syntax, such as "No longer is this necessary..." and "Still the interest as to the events I perpetrated..."

"... and I am enclosing evidence in this correspondence to match DNA and prints on file and in Quantico."

Of course, he would know that the best evidence would be Stine's ID or another swatch of shirt; Z took them for a reason, and I hardly think he would have thrown them away. In fact, once he came down from his high and saw he had the wallet, shirt and car keys, why would he think he was suffering from a "delusion that [he] may have only been hallucinating [he] was the Zodiac?" Doesn't make a lot of sense, especially when we consider that the author makes the claim that "[he] would share his recollections with those around [him] who were pretty much in the same state as [he]. They as well as [he] would be blown-away to then see on the news the very events [he] described hours earlier." Since Z mailed the next letter with the swatch of Stine's shirt two days after the murder, how then can he account for the discrepancy in time, hours versus days? In other words, he came off his high, rushed back to tell his friends about his latest "vision" immediately after the murder while still blood-soaked, then mails Stine's shirt two days later, and yet still thinks he was delusional? Doesn't make a lot of sense.

In fact, it sounds to me like the author is claiming he got high, rushed out to whack a couple of people, then rushed back to tell his buddies all about it. Didn't they notice he was gone for a period of time? Wouldn't that have struck anyone as the least bit suspicious? What did he do with the guns? Didn't he notice after he came down that he had a gun that had recently been fired or at least was missing several rounds? Didn't he realize he had a bloody knife in a sheath at his waist?

What about the hood? Did he get high, suddenly decide to sew a hood, somehow manage to survive the drive to and from LB along twisting, treacherous Monticello Road (it's bad enough while lucid; I can only imagine how bad it would be while flying high!!!), stab two people, write a semi-coherent message on the car door with a felt-tipped pen he just happened to have handy, drive back into Napa along the same treacherous road, and decide to call the cops and yet somehow evade them? Then he rushed back to his buddies and told them about his latest vision??? Sorry, but I simply do not believe this in the least. The author is clearly lying if he is Z, or it's a pretty lame hoax perpetrated by someone who has not thought out the logistics of the situation.

These are just a few observations, for whatever they're worth. The more I look at it, the lower it goes on the scale of 1 to 10. It's at about a 2 or 3 now for me, meaning that it looks more like a hoax than authentic. But then again, anything's possible, and maybe it truly is from Z who's trying to piece together what fragments of the past his brain damaged mind can recall.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 02:44 pm:

ED, I have to totally agree with you. Excellent reasoning. Zodiac's attacks & follow-ups were far too elaborate (ciphers, etc) to be conducted by some "dazed & confused" junkie who thought he was hallucinating. But then again, Truth is stranger than Fiction sometimes. We'll just have to see the DNA & print results, I guess.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 03:13 pm:

Another thing that struck me is that the odd syntax suggests to me that perhaps English is not the author's native language. Also, BKratzer's observation that the writing appears feminine is suggestive too. Perhaps the author is female and wrote on behalf of a male friend or something, or the whole thing is a hoax perpetrated by a woman from Singapore just for sh*ts and grins, using a male friend's DNA and prints (since the prints appear larger than what a woman's might).

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 03:36 pm:

The odds syntax might also be an indication that
there is an encoded message.Of course if there was I would not see this as being consistent with what the author claims he is trying to accomplish.
I think the misspelling are out of place here too.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 04:30 pm:

The "ant" might be the work of someone whose native language is German. In that language, "and" is rendered "und," with the final "d" sounding like English "t."

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 04:38 pm:

Further, he puts a line through his numeral "7," which is an ingrained European trait.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 04:39 pm:

Good point, Douglas. I counted "and" nine times before it's spelled "ant," so that suggests the author may have had a momentary lapse and spelled the word semi-phonetically. If it's an attempt to duplicate Z's misspellings, it's very obviously contrived after having been spelled correctly nine times before.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 05:10 pm:

German?Let's see who do we -or Tom,Knows that's German?Hmmm

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 05:22 pm:

While each of the 4's resemble Z's (ie, open at top), a quick perusal of the letters reproduced in Zodiac has not turned up a single example of Z writing a 7 in the European style; I'll bet that a perusal of all the other examples on this site won't turn up any either. I submit that that's a very hard thing to either learn if you've not been taught to write it that way, or unlearn if you have. It looks like the author slipped up there. Oops.

Another thing: why were the two pinkies not printed, but the other four fingers were?

By BKratzer (Bkratzer) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 07:34 pm:

I have just discovered another item that points to this individual being not of
American origin. Examine the document at:

This is from research conducted in Singapore. You will notice the letter f in the newest (claimed) Zodiac letter is definitely of European origin.

Ed N makes note of the 7 being a slip of the writer’s concentration, thus reverting back to an ingrained habit of writing the 7.

Examine the word interest in the third paragraph. The writer slips up here and puts the hook at the bottom of the t. This is a definite European trait. It is also seen again in the word clairvoyant.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 07:49 pm:

Wow...I leave the board for a couple o' weeks and all hell breaks loose...
A very interesting, exciting and compelling development.
Wow Tom, If this really is the guy congratulations! If not, then i am sure sooner or later we'll know who Z really is... I feel we are getting closer. I know a lot of Navy veterans retire abroad, so who knows? This could be Z. I am sure Tom's notified the authorities..and we'll get an answer soon.

By BKratzer (Bkratzer) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 09:59 pm:

Greygusjay states: I know a lot of Navy veterans retire abroad

Interesting fact to note here. The Zodiac’s communications ceased in the year 1974. What events could have happened that would have facilitated this cessation in communications?

The Zodiac was suspected to have a military background.
The Zodiac was well versed in the use of cryptography and ciphers.
The Zodiac had enough electronics knowledge to design a bomb (Electronics Background)
The Zodiac’s footprints were made of Wing Walker (military style boots)
The Zodiac was above average intelligence
The Zodiac, in one letter refers to the bomb’s “Trigger Mech:” (Military Terminology)
The Zodiac had excellent sewing skills (Skills also taught by the military)
The Zodiac used military terms “to hold it in check”

In 1974 the Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard was finally closed.

Naval operations at HPA began in 1941 near the start of WWII. The Navy increased ship building operations to quicken production of liberty ships during WWII. From 1941 to 1974, the principal facility activities were ship building; naval ships and submarines were also modified, maintained, and repaired. In addition to repair activities, the facility was used for base housing, naval ordnance training exercises, radiological defense research, and research on exposure to radioactive fallout.

Also, the sender of this most recent letter bothers to send fingerprints and states they are on file and in Quantico (FBI) It looks to me like the writer of this letter had plenty of time to read the article at:

A 1969 FBI report categorized SFPD's prints into "thirty latent fingerprints, three latent palm-prints, and one latent impression (fingerprint from lower joint area of a finger or palm print)". Only two, belonging to Paul Stine and an unidentified police officer or newspaperman, were ever identified. The number of fingerprints submitted to the FBI Lab by San Francisco and Vallejo Police was later raised to 38, a figure that does not include the lifts made by the Napa County Sheriff's Department. While the great majority of these prints are probably unrelated to the case, there is a high degree of probability that some of them do belong to the killer, and that he could be identified through a match with one or more of them.


By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) ( - on Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 11:55 pm:

This is a longshot, but along the navy line of thought, I believe some U.S. Navy ships were classed "LSD" (landing docks). I wonder which of this type, if any, were stationed in the Bay area from 1969-74? Of course, I doubt there were many ships classed as "heroin." ;-)

Bruce Monson

By Len (Len) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 05:53 am:

Ed: I give to you my highest rating, which is that of "well reasoned." Thanks for the posts.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 08:14 am:

Whether the author is truly Z or not, and assuming he is following this discussion, probably from a Singapore Starbucks, I would expect a follow-up letter, shorter, and containing info that he thinks only he and the police know.

By Tom Stout (Tom_Stout) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 08:17 am:

Hello from San Francisco!
I believe some of you are underestimating the tenacity of a good junkie.
Growing up in Oakland Ca in the 1970's, I was surrounded by them. I have seen heroin addicts perform incredible feats of endurance for prolonged periods of time, as long as there was a fix waiting for them at the end of the day.
I agree that once you're addicted to heroin, no other drugs matter, unless there around you all the time! I have seen junkies smoke weed ,drink booze, pop pills, ect.. just because they were available to them. I know that in the 1960's and 70's "acid" was available like candy.

I have always thought the Zodiac letters reeked of LSD.
Speaking of the Z letters...
I don't think they are still around. We know Z didn't want to be caught. Those letters (And the other "stuff") must have made him nervous. Can you imagine having to relocate somewhere? Ok, My clothes are packed, dishes boxed up, Oh where is my Zodiac evidence? After 30+ years? I don't think so.
Finally, since I've made my case that this letter could be from a serial killer, acid head junkie, I am of the opinion it's a hoax perpetrated by the people making the upcoming Zodiac movie. If the letter is not from them, then somebody in their marketing department should be fired for not thinking this up!
Thanks for the time!
Tom Stout

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 10:50 am:

I'd say from a darkened Singapore bar drinking Singapore Slings!I think Starbucks is a little too much like Sunday school for our new "Zodiac!"

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 11:49 am:

Tom S: while I don't doubt that junkies can do amazing things under the assumption that they're going to get another fix, what doesn't add up for me is that the author claims that he got high, then went out to kill some people, taunted the police, constructed an elaborate hood, wrote coherent letters and even devised a cipher that has defied all attempts at decryption (not counting Graysmith's dubious "solution"); after all that, he came down from his high and didn't notice he had blood-soaked clothing after the Stine murder, was in possession of Stine's shirt-tail, wallet, and car keys, had a bloody knife, had three different guns that had been used and several rounds were missing, etc, etc, etc, and he thought he was hallucinating? I simply do not believe the author, but, that's IMHO, for whatever it's worth.

The drug angle is also not a new idea, despite what the author of the letter seems to claim; Graysmith mentioned in Zodiac, p. 243, that as early as August 1979 when he "solved" the 340-cipher, the cops had thought Z wrote the letters while high. In fact, they probably thought so since 1969, so why the author thinks this was a missing piece of the puzzle is beyond me.

By Metalex (Metalex) ( on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 02:31 pm:

From overseas sources, rumor has it that the Z movie will be kinda like a Blair Witch Project clone and that is the reason for this letter hoax to prelude the film and stir up attention. If the letter were even close to being legit does anyone really think Tom would keep it? SFPD claims that they still have a cabinet filled with fake Z letters and they still receive them almost monthly. Hopefully the new movie will be more entertaining then the Blair Witch "mockumentory".

By Donna (Realtor) ( on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 02:37 pm:

There's no reason to dismiss the possibility that the letter came from Zodiac just because there are things in it that don't add up. Our boy from the '60's and 70's wrote lots of stuff that he never really did: That he would make a bomb and blow up busses. That he would get a gun and kill the kids as they came bounding off the bus. That he had killed 17 !!. That he gave the cops credit that they discovered his Riverside activity. We don't even know if he did the Kathleen Johns episode, even though he wrote that he did. So, it stands to reason that he would still write LONG letters that include fantasy stuff. In fact, we should expect that he would do the fantasy thing. Therefore, writing that he did the killings while on heroin and LSD, going back and telling his friends, yadda yadda yadda, are actually SIMILARITIES in the new letter that make me think it's the same wacko, only 30 years later.

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 03:28 pm:

I don't buy the idea that Z was hopped up on "LSD and heroin" during his murders. While anything's possible, and I agree w/ Tom S. that users can display amazing feats of endurance and strength, your typical heroin user really only cares about his next hit, not planning the details of a serial killing.
While I only have limited experience w/ LSD users, I have had a large number of heroin-using patients (many at San Francisco General, no less!) and have yet to see one who's lucid enough or focused enough to do what Z did.
Again, it doesn't mean it couldn't happen, but I think the odds are decidedly against it.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 05:26 pm:

I'm with you, Muskogee. I think there's a common tendency by the public at large to associate serial killers and other monsters with drug users and psychotics. It's like a staged crime scene. Experienced investigators will tell you that the average schmuck has absolutely no idea what a crime scene is supposed to look like, with the result that would-be stagers usually screw it up quite badly. In my opinion the same is true of this letter. Anything's possible, but, as you say, the odds are against it.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 08:22 pm:

There is obviously more to this letter than meets the eye.. whether real or fake, we all make assumptions of how the 30 year older Z is supposed to write now and account for his actions then? Fact can be and often is stranger than fiction. Let's ride this thing out before discounting it as a hoax. A good detective leaves the circumstances of all possibilities open until logic and or fact cancels them out.
Suppositions and conjecture can lead to an infinite number of theorum and dead-end scenarios
that can only frustrate a case. Let's give this letter the chance to play itself out and see what we get.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 09:34 pm:

Actually, as early as January 1970, Joseph DeLouise "got vibes from Z" and claimed that he used speed and goofballs before the murders (Zodiac, p. 132). So the drug angle is actually nearly 33 years old.

The more I look at the letter, the less and less I am convinced of it's authenticity; as phony as it appears to be, it woul$n't surprise me in the least if this is a publicity gimmick. I already figured that English was not the author's native language, and since Douglas opined that it might be German, when we throw Metalex's observations into the mix we come up with the following from Zodiac Media: Zodiac movie now in production on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 10:36 am:

From German-born director Ulli Lommel:

"I am delighted that you're on board. I believe we can do quite a lot for each other in connection with our current production "The Zodiac". The lead character is a 22-year-old man who has become so obsessed with the Zodiac, the he actually believes he is the Zodiac. He starts executing people just like his idol, until the real Zodiac, who hasn't killed anybody in 30 years, gets a hold of the copy cat. The rest is still a secret.

The film will be shot in English, and I will give you quotes from time to time throughout production to use on your website. We will be filming until December 21 (my birthday), and expect to be completed by the end of February.

I would like to shoot several scenes where the young and the old Zodiac check out your website for details regarding the 1969-71 murders, and I would feature in close-up some of the content. Also, in return for your permission to film some of the content of your website, I would like to
offer you one or several credits, maybe you have some ideas, if not, I'm happy to propose some. Certainly your name, the name of your website etc. should be featured prominently among the film's credits to ensure maximum awareness level and PR. I will also send you one of the first video copies once the film is completed (scheduled for approx. February 25, 2003).

Please understand that by granting us the right to film contents of your website, you also grant us the right to use it as part of the film and its exploitaion in all media world-wide. Let me know if you have any other requests or ideas."

I think we've found the source of the hoax. I doubt it's Ulli Lommel himself, and probably done without his knowledge; I reckon it's probably someone (possibly a woman) with some connection to the production crew who either knows someone in Singapore, or has recently vacationed there.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 09:51 pm:

I was afraid it would be. A publicity stunt where one pretends a serial killer is still alive is not only in bad taste but also holds consequences for the hoaxer ie. Toschi. Valuable time and resources go into examining these hoaxes.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 10:06 pm:

It's a good thing us amateurs are here to take care of the details these days. That way, the cops can take care of the big stuff, like hanging out at the donut shop looking for all those serial killers, rapists, wife beaters, child molesters, drug dealers, etc etc etc...

By ParkGrubbs (Parkgrubbs) ( - on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 11:26 pm:

There must be something a lot more compelling in the unreleased portion of the letter, otherwise I doubt Tom would be taking it as seriously as he is. He's been badgered by enough cranks and obviously knows better than to encourage them. I've never seen him give this much attention to anyone else; he even devoted the current site popup to them. The lsd/heroin thing could be there for any number of reasons (part of a legal smokescreen strategy? Distorted memory of a twisted mind? Someone with the unusual sort of psychology that would lead them to become Zodiac might have any number of reasons for anything they might say or do) and there's also the possibility that the letter isn't really from Zodiac but from someone who knows something worth finding out and has chosen this approach for an unknown reason. Also, Tom seems in the past to have been somewhat "high on Starr" (and with good reason IMO); why would he be showing this much interest in a probable hoax, especially if it contradicted his favorite theory?

By BKratzer (Bkratzer) ( - on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 12:43 am:

Another thing to consider regarding the Zodiac.

If he, in fact, had a military background. He most likely had some training in cryptography and ciphers.

Approximately 1 hour north of the San Francisco, up until 1971, there was a military intelligence facility, a part of what used to be the Army Security Agency, where the Zodiac, if in fact associated with the military, could have been stationed. This was called Two Rock Ranch. The people stationed here were all involved in Communications Intelligence (COMINT) and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT). There was one military occupational speciality, 98B Cryptoanalyst, that would have been specifically trained in this area.

Individuals trained in this Military Occupational Speciality, where required to have very high IQ's and excellent math ability. The Zodiac was of above average intelligence. He may of used the techniques described in : The document is Field Manual No. 34-40-2 (FM 34-40-2) and has
"Headquarters. Department of the Army. Washington, DC, 13 September 1990"
on the first table of contents page. Title is "Basic Cryptanalysis",

The manual is located at:

I am not sure why TOM sent a cipher to the originator of this latest Zodiac letter, but the contents of the cipher almost look like the dinomic system the old Soviet Union used to use during the Cold War.

06 70 79 07 80 70 07 30 68 06 90 78
06 70 69 07 10 85 06 50 82 06 50 78
08 40 69 06 90 68 06 60 89 06 50 78
08 90 77 06 90 84 07 20 79 06 90 46

Anyone who spent any time in the field of COMINT during the Cold War would have seen this many times.

If someone could come up photographs of individuals stations both at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and Two Rock Ranch during the time-frame of the Zodiac attacks, maybe this might lead to something.

The real Zodiac would probably be in his 60's or 70's now. I reall9 don't think this latest letter is from him. However, I will reserve final judgement until I find about about the DNA that was sent in.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 07:36 am:

Sounds like "the letter's" rating has dropped down to about a 2 or 3 credibility on the 1 to 10 scale. HEY TOM; (or any other industrious researcher out there): Can U at least give us an idea of HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE to get Results of the DNA & fingerprints in the "letter"? That wouldn't be giving away any crucial contents of the letter itself. Can anyone out there make inquiries to the "authorities" ("Dr. Hottie", etc.) that might be analyzing these DNA & prints? Since the recent TV Special on "The Zodiac" gave this case so much national publicity (and even featured Tom's website), I would think that trying to find a match for this new, high-profile "evidence" would be a fairly high priority.

By Vassago (Vassago) ( on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 08:04 am:

He's German because he wrote "ant"? I'm 99% sure that he ended it with a "t" because the following word begins with a "t". This "skipping" is a mistake likely to occur when the writer is not concentrating on the word he's printing, or on the act of typing itself (or when similar phonemes are situated next to each other)... and wouldn't the real Z. be likely to think about the past events when writing such a "confession"? More common in typing, but not very unusual in handwriting, either. (Though I too am still more inclined to think that it's fake)

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 09:53 am:

Gregusjay- I agree that we should keep open minds regarding this letter. I'll be suprised if it's real, but, as ParkGrubbs mentioned, Tom would not devote so much time and interest to this letter without good reason. I'm sure there's a good deal we don't know. (Alternatively, this is just an elaborate plan for Tom to get to meet Dr. Hottie).

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 06:43 pm:

Zero on the scale.
Singapore Slinger.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Friday, November 29, 2002 - 08:05 pm:

It will be interesting to see if this past weeks post are the ones used in the upcoming Z movie. If I were the director I would say: This is perfect for my movie! The timeing couldn't have been better, or vice-versa.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, November 29, 2002 - 08:25 pm:

Amazing!!! Peter and I seem to be in general agreement about something! It's about time...

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Saturday, November 30, 2002 - 01:04 am:

Ed! Only "general?" What about SS's sex? C'mon, man, we can do it! Go with me on the details! BTW, I like the movie tie-in theory, too. Or its someone not with the production company who read the movie thread and is doing a life-imitates-art number. either way, other posters on this thread could be supplying Ulli with material as they write!

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Saturday, November 30, 2002 - 09:00 pm:

OK, finally. I've been authorized by Tom to tell you all that THIS HAS ALL BEEN A HOAX to pump up the movie that's coming up. All just hype. Suckers! The "Pop-Up"; this very thread; everything...No, I'm just kidding. I'm sure Tom has his ways.

By BKratzer (Bkratzer) ( - on Saturday, November 30, 2002 - 10:02 pm:

I don't think the law enforcement authorities would see this as a humorous hoax, considering all the time and money that would be spent to investigate it.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Sunday, December 01, 2002 - 04:35 am:

Wow Tom; Thanks for your latest Update. I (and many others) didn't realize that "the letter" was actually 'toxic', as you just mentioned. Your 1 to 2 sentence "joking" about it above (Way above) gave us no indication of its seriousness. I'm so glad you are in good health. Did this sicko really include poisonous material in his letter? What the heck is that TSE KOO CHOY substance anyway? I mean lots of actual medicines have "side effects" not too different than those posted by BRUCE MONSON, above. Is it a medicine? Some hospital-used "opiates" can also lead to "mental deterioration" if taken for long periods of time...I assume it's not just a poison used to kill people. Oh well, like all the other questions on this "New Zodiac Letter" thread, I'm sure you'll have "NO COMMENT".

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Sunday, December 01, 2002 - 08:42 pm:

Peter: I should have said 2 out of 3. I'm almost 100% convinced it's a hoax, it's a 1 on the scale for me. If I think about it more, it'll probably drop to a zero quite soon.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Sunday, December 01, 2002 - 11:27 pm:

Uh-oh. If the ED-Meister thinks it's a "1" on the "Victor scale" (hey, since I made up the concept, above, can't I name it after me?? Sorry about the bad pun.), that spells non-good things for "the letter". Unless something Big happens quick here, we're on the ropes with this one. Is there no hope for "Mr. Singapore"???

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 12:41 am:

I like that! Victor scale... although I think the general consensus is that it's a pretty poor fake.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 05:50 am:

"Something big" is entirely in the hands of Mr. Big. That would be the remaining 2/3 of the letter. Hard to see what's the big deal about so much of a letter that has absolutely nothing to recommend it as authentic based on what we have seen.

I mean, come on:

"an unsuspecting public"?
"gra`hic deeds"?
"my peers"?

If the prints were on file they could have been matched days ago. And if the DNA samples were good, how long can that take? the hard part -- Dr. Hottie's analysis of the letter samples -- is done. And why go the round about route of sending prints? If they ara authentic, they can be matched quickly and certainly. Why not just send a name and address? My guess is that the prints are frome some "unsuspecting" citizen who has never been within a zillion miles of a US federal databank, and the DNA -- if any -- is from a potbellied pig.

Don't you hate a tease? What say we boycott the Singapore Slinger until Something Big comes through?

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 06:45 am:

Peter H.: SILENCE! I will Not tolerate your insolence! No, seriously though, I like your logic. A Boycott sounds excellent, but it's too much FUN poking fun at this. At least the posts can be satyrical & sarcastic. I agree that this subject is better left alone untill something reasonably believable comes along. But in the meantime, "The Singapore Slinger" shall submit to sustained satyrical submersion.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 07:41 am:

To the Board:
Your human interest story about Zodiac, the boy who has screed, was very interesting. Perhaps a story about the boy who would hoax could be more rewarding. If people were to read of the life of a boy that turned hoaxster, they might stop to think about the lives of their own children. "Are we laying the blue print for another hoaxster?" might be one of the questions brought to mind by such a thread. With hope,

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 10:23 am:

Peter: 1st learn to speak English gooder. Then you will be understand-able. Are you boy talking about the one who speaks English?

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 10:29 am:

Oops, I meant to rite, "To Warren". I vas mistooken.

By J Eric (J_Eric) ( - on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 05:21 pm:

First impression: it's a phony, but a great pot-boiler. Tom, don't forget to check the paper & envelope for type/possible country of origin. Singapore stationery differs from USA, and people there usually write to us on tissue-paper to save a few kopecks of postage. (I've gotten a letter or two from Singapore record producers in my time, may still have them around.) I think they also use metric. If writer is Z and is/was drug addict, why move to Singapore where, I've heard, the penalty for drugs is death? Also, if letter contained packets and fingerprints, how did it avoid a Customs declaration as to contents & sender? I had to fill out such a declaration to mail a measly 50-cent refund to someone in Canada because the envelope "felt bulky!" Lastly--is $1 Singapore the correct postage for outgoing letters to the USA? It wouldn't--ahhh--be double the going rate, would it?

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 09:55 pm:

Warren: kinda sounds like Patricia Hautz...

By BKratzer (Bkratzer) ( - on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 12:12 am:




By Donna (Realtor) ( on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 06:43 am:

The latest response strikes me true. The handwriting on the envelope from Atlanta appears to match the November 2002 letter. I'm guessing that the response indicates that 1)The person is here online with us, 2) Understood your code to him, 3) Responded with language that let you know more than you can divulge and 4) That you are now entering a negotiation phase, no doubt with expert police involvement, to obtain the "cut out" (Stine's???). Don't forget to ask him about JBR.

BTW, you're doing a fine job with this. There have been times when I wasn't sure, but you are handling this "most dangerous game" with finesse. Bravo and best regards.

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) ( - on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 07:40 am:

Brief Off topic:

Speaking of "Patricia Hautz," Ed, I was wondering if anyone else has noticed that it really looks more like (F)atricia and not (P)atricia? Look at the letter { and compare the uppercase Ps and Fs.

Bruce Monson

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 11:16 am:

Can Donna and I be looking at the same envelopes? Following the same story? Tom is doing a fine job with what, exactly? Atlanta and Singapore are the same hand? Anyone else think so?

Atlanta looks something like the authentic Z printing, but is there any connection at all between Atlanta Peach and Singapore Slinger?

Maybe the Peach can identify the Slinger . . .

And BTW: just how many personalities does Warren have?

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 11:42 am:

See past posts on the Hautz letter.We got that letter from a RS reporter several years ago.

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 12:02 pm:

Donna wrote:
"That you are now entering a negotiation phase, no doubt with expert police involvement, to obtain the "cut out" (Stine's???)."


I believe thad the reference to Tom "offer[ing] a cut-out" refers to the use of a middleman in delivering information to/from either Tom or the police.


By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 01:05 pm:

Those of you laboring under the delusion that this is one of my pranks may safely forget all about that notion. I'm busy stealing dancing Santas and replacing manger statues with gnomes, plaster ducks, and skinned rabbits.

This is a very busy season for me.

This sure is interesting, though. It's probably those movie people.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 01:57 pm:

The writing from the latest envelope does not appear to resemble that from the 11-13-2002 envelope or letter in the least. It's either two different people, or SS has gotten better at forging Z's font. Or maybe it's the real Z... if it was from the Bay Area rather than Singapore or Atlanta, I might be tempted to believe it was Z. Now that I've said it, if one does arrive postmarked SF or something, I won't believe it.

Alan: welcome back.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 03:21 pm:

Ed, I'm not so sure I'd rule out a singular perp just yet. The second envelope doesn't leave a lot to work with, but look at the zip codes on the 2 envelopes, for example; the script, especially the number "7," looks very similar to me.

Personally, I'm going to save passing judgment until Tom tells us what the contents of the second envelope were. However, I do agree that the "forging [of] Z's font" looks much better than on the first envelope. Nevertheless, I think that both letters are connected; I'm sure that Tom has hundreds of such envelopes, why just post these two?

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 03:29 pm:

I don't know if anyone's noticed this yet, but the latest letter is dated 11-29-2002; the "confession" letter was dated 11-29-1966. Coincidence? Zynchronicity? Is the hoaxer attempting to link CJB with the known Z murders to give an air of authenticity? Or is it really Z trying to tell us something?

By Carolyn (Carolyn) ( - on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 08:51 pm:

Haven't really seen this issue addressed well yet: If Zodiac was in his 30's or even late 40's at the time of his crimes he could nog be almost 80! This writing definitely appears to be that of a more energetic younger person - I would say not over mid 30's! Hmmmh, has anyone seen an elderly gentleman hand an envelope over to a nurse at a local geriatric ward in Singapore recently?!!

By Donna (Realtor) ( on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 09:17 am:

Y'all need to get out your reading glasses, print out the letters and envelopes, get under a good light, and spend some time looking. Just look. Spend AT LEAST a half hour. Then tell us what you see. You won't see what you need to see with just a quick glance.

If you don't have an interest in actually doing the work, don't knock those who have.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) ( - on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 09:27 am:

I'd think the age range would fall more like
55 years to 70 max. based on the youngest age of 25 and the oldest at 40 years at the time of the crimes. Either way, I am sure he's taking advantage of Senior discounts at various merchants and restaurants.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 10:36 am:


That's exactly what I did. More like an hour. Measured slant, slope, alignment, looked at stroke pressure (those little poitny ends of individual lines) all kinds of detail. the differences are obvious: Seriph stule, curves in straight strokes, consistency of style, obviously more practiced, even artistic hand, in Singapore totally absent in Atlanta. The only gross similarity in the whole sample is the 9 and possibly 7 in the zip codes.

What did you see?

By Donna (Realtor) ( on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 12:27 pm:


You may have just been asking a rhetorical question but I'll act like you weren't.

I see lower case m's that stairstep up and have points on the humps. I see y's that have backward tails. I see lower case K's that are bigger than the surrounding letters. I see words ending in "tion" where there is a space after the "t" and with the "ion" written closely together. I see lower case I's that have a hook at the bottom and go down below the baseline. I see lower case F's that look like big flags and are crossed lower down the staff than the tops of the surrounding lower case letters. I see upper case D's, P', and B's that are sort of pointed downward where the upper curve meets the straight line. I see lower case E's and C's that are sort of tilted upward at the 2 o'clock position. I see lower case G's where sometimes there is a tail, sometimes not..sometimes a hook, but always they vary as though he never figured out how he wanted to make one. I see 2's that never have a loop where the curve meets the baseline and heads back to the right. I see 9's that have the same hook at the bottom that the y's have. I see upper case T's where the horizontal line is very long...longer than the perpendicular line. I see lower case R's with very long final strokes toward the right. I see lower case S's that look like they have a point where the first curve ends and the second curve begins. Etc.

I see "controlled" writing at the beginning of letters that quickly loses its erect posture and begins to lay over to the right. I see a person who usually writes 2-3 pages; one is rarely enough.

Zodiac's lower case Q's are real weird. I wish there was one in the new letters. Oh well.

Anyway Peter, I can tell that you have some actual training in this handwriting stuff because you know all of the right terminology. I have no formal training in it and don't have to tell you that I know NONE of the terminology. But I have had 28 years experience of having to read other people's handwritten notes, in thousands of records in many states. I've learned to read some really poorly written documents. It has come in handy to be able to figure out whether a particular passage was written by the person who signed it or not, or whether all of it was written at the same sitting or written with an interruption. I've developed the ability to know if I've read a document before because I can remember what it looked like, not necessarily what it said. And I've developed the ability to recognize handwriting again if I've read something by that person a time or two before.

I realize that what I'm saying I can do is not something that would hold up in court and I know it does not prove to you or to anyone else that I know what I'm talking about. I'm saying that, for me, what I see satisfies me that this is the same hand. The Zodiac's letters and the Singapore letter and the Atlanta envelope all appear to me to be the same hand. The fact that the slant changes is just another trait of Zodiac's handwriting that he has displayed all along and continues to display.

Brevity is not my strong suit...

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 01:25 pm:

What gives? The Singapore Slinger used punctuation in his envelope address whereas the Peach envelope is totally devoid of same. If forced between the two, I'd say the second envelope is more like the old Z that we have come to know and _____.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 01:33 pm:

Now that I think about it, has the new Zodiac flushed out the old Zodiac? Will they stalk each other like "Enemy at the Gate"?

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 05:01 pm:

For what my two cents are worth (not much- this is certainly not my area of expertise), I think the two letters look very different to me (Peter H- great explanation). The second one looks more like the Zodiac letters to me. Warren's suggestion is VERY intriguing...

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 05:42 pm:

Uh, oh... wasn't that kinda like the premise behind the new movie? New Z starts killing to emulate his hero, which brings the original Z out of retirement...

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 03:13 am:

DONNA: Absolutely Fantastic job! Your analyzing Zodiac's handwriting with that of "Mr. Singapore" & the Atlanta envelope was stupendous! I think it is the Most thorough analasis of Zodiac's writing that I have ever seen in print, or anywhere! You are indeed gifted in this area. And your use of "common" terms is way more helpful to us than the egg-head psycho-babble of the so-called Professionals...I only wish your run-down could be listed in alphabetical order (Ex: Upper case "A"s, then Lower case "a"s, etc.) so that we (including "the experts") could more easily use it as a guide ourselves. What about the criticism that the Atlanta envelope looks almost nothing like the Singapore one?? Can U enlighten us?? VICTOR

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 08:00 am:

Donna: In your post I was responding to (and no, it certainly wasn't rhetorical) you said "The handwriting on the envelope from Atlanta appears to match the November 2002 letter."

That's the comparison I was making.

You must be comparing the Singapore letter with the Z letters, because 90% of the elements you mention do not appear on the Peach envelope.

Even then I have questions. I think it is important to be careful with written descriptions of observed similarities. A verbal description of visual sinmilarities or differences, taken separately from the visual comparison itself, is often a menaingless abstraction. By thay I mean we can often agree on a set of words that fits two phenomena, while recognizing that the words do not provide sufficient detail or concreteness to make the comparison meaningful. Example:

Those two clouds are identical: They are both big, white and fluffy.

The same words can often be used to generally describe two things that are obviously different to the eye. I'll run through all your details when I have time, but look at these examples for now:

1) "I see words ending in "tion" where there is a space after the "t" and with the "ion" written closely together."

In the Slinger letter, there are two occurrances of the tion sequence, one in "recollections", which is as you describe and the other in "information" the end of the fragment, which is not. There, the i is close and connected to the t, with an abvious space between the i and the on.
In a quick review of the Z letters, I found only one occurrance of tion, in "Attention" in the "debut of Z" letter, that is as you describe.
In any event, to use the plural in this comparison is extremely misleading. You have a sample of two from the Slinger letter, one of which matches the verbal description and one of which is clearly different.

2) "I see 2's that never have a loop where the curve meets the baseline and heads back to the right."

There are 4 2's in the Slinger address. Three of them have obvious loops (two of them are tight but indicate that upward and then back stroke of the open loop, and the fourth is a very tight but clear movement of the same type, although it forms a sharp angle rather than an obvious loop. the Peach envelope, and Z, exhibit 2s that have the obvious, open angles without any suggestion of a loop, as you describe.

Let's put this plainly: do you really think Z's 2s look like the Slinger's?

Even if Slinger's 2s fit your verbal description, the difference in the angles you refer to is so obvious upon that observation the verbal description is extremely misleading.

3)"I see "controlled" writing at the beginning of letters that quickly loses its erect posture and begins to lay over to the right."

I don't see this at all in Slinger. It certainly does not begin with anything like "erect posture". The very first stroke is about 5 degrees off vertical The spacing gets a little cramped toward the bottom (actually about the middle, since the sample is redacted)but the average angles of the vertical strokes are absolutlely consistent.Z's writing lost a lot more than its erect posture as control deteriorated. In the few samples where this occurred, it went from the controlled block style to a distinctivley different manic scrawl by the third paragraph. There is nothing like this in Slinger.

4)"I see a person who usually writes 2-3 pages; one is rarely enough."

This one, forgive me, is what Carl Sagan would call a "howler". First, How could we possibly know what Slinger "usually writes"?

And look again at Z's missives. Of the 18 Tom has posted (after the Bates and confession letters, all of which are one-pagers) only one is two pages, the Button letter. Not only is one page not "rarely enough", it is usually enough: it is by far the most common length (7 of 15, or ten of 18, if you count the cards) of all the known Z letters. And that's counting the Chronicle/Examiner/Times letters as three, when if fact for this comparison they could be one.

If you count the Bates letters and The Confession(which I don't) that's four more one pagers, making 14 out of 23.

OK, enough. Brevity is not my strong suit either. The good news is that Z's relative brevity let's us both out as suspects.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 11:10 am:

I too think the letters are a hoax, but they do present some intriguing possibilities. If the writer is z, he made no mention of an accomplice. How are we going to get allen in the mix now? Not unless allen wrote the letters before he died, with powers that escape most high school guidance counselors, he correctly predicted what path in life Tom would take.Hmm, there is that school link again. Eureka! allen had one of his former students mail the letters in return for allen having given him a passing grade! Move over Graysmith, I'm writing my own book. Next I shall tell you who the REAL killer of Bob Crane was.(strictly toungue in cheek) Classic

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 11:21 am:

You know, if I were the Zodiac, I could think of nothing finer than to increase the risk that I'd spend the remainder of my old age in a prison cell.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 03:43 pm:

Doug, allen is dead, he can confess all he wants now. Seriously, you have a very good point. He got away with it, why chance it, especially with the technology now available? Did the publicity from "Primetime" draw him out? If so why didn't the shows from America's Most Wanted,The History Channel or Geraldo draw him out? Ok maybe not Geraldo. The copycat crimes would have been a perfect opportunity to make a comeback. Classic

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 04:29 pm:

Ronald Biggs, the most famous (infamous?) member of the group involved in the Great Train Robbery, who escaped to Brazil and could not be extradited because he fathered a child there, voluntarily gave himself up in May 2001 and returned to England to serve the rest of his sentence; he will probably die of old age in jail. I wondered, "WHY???" He got away with his crime, so it didn't make a lot of sense; all he had to do was father another kid. Then I thought, you know, I bet he has no 401K, no retirement, etc. Why not go back to jail, where he'll get three squares a day, a roof over his head, free medical treatment, etc, etc, etc. Maybe, if these two letters are from Z (which I doubt), then maybe that's what he's thinking: have the state look after him in his old age.

By Law123 (Law123) ( - on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 06:49 pm:

I have thought about this too...why would Z risk arrest now? 1. with the DNA news recently they may get a match soon anyway and be on his trail 2. writing these letters may not expose him to more risk of arrest thatn DNA testing will expose him too already unless the letters helps law enforcement find his current location...but he's obviously trying to keep that secret with these anonymous letters with probably misleading postmarks...but still the new letters (IF they are authentic) will give police some fresh leads on his location thats true..a little extra risk but Z gains a lot, for example -- rather than waiting for DNA results to reveal his identity Z can be one up on the police again by coming out of hiding with teasing letters before the DNA results are completed-- thats true to Z's "signature" of upstaging police, looking smarter than them etc (now its Z 38 SFPD 0)...I am not saying the letters are authentic, we don't have enough info to determine that (Im sure the FBI and TOM have more info).

Z if you need a good Calif lawyer Im available!

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 09:06 pm:

The lettering on the envelope postmarked in Atlanta displays variances in boldness, which everybody here has already noticed, I'm sure. My first reaction was to attribute that to intermittent dryness on the nib of the pen (can't tell if it was a felt-tip or ball-point or other, but it looks more like the former), and the reflexive rotation of the writing instrument (as we habitually do with pencils) by the writer to present an "inkier" surface on the paper, resulting in bolder then fainter then bolder pen strokes.

However, attributing such inconsistencies to readily explainable phenomena we can relate to, to the diabolical and devious renderings of the likes of Z, could be misleading. With the recent postings regarding the use of a copying device in vintage Z letters, and the uncanny resemblance of the Atlanta envelope writing to the real McCoy, I can't help but to consider that this recent mailing to Tom, whether the Z-man himself or a pretender-to-the-throne, is not just a wacko but someone who has a more calculated and sinister agenda, enough so that he/she would assume/resume the guise of a vicious killer.

If the author is Z, and not knowing the contents of the envelope I can't very well speak directly to motivation, it would be my lay opinion that advancing age and closer proximity to death brings on a humanistic tendency to atone for, or expiate the sins of, ones life. I think that would be true, whether an atheist or theist. Faithful to his character, he would not be obvious in anything he says, maintaining his mystique to the very end, employing further cryptic, though perhaps intentionally more transparent yet challenging veils, not wanting to make it too easy for his inferiors. The intended result though would be to unveil himself, and thus attribute his ultimate disclosure to be of his own volition, instead of being identified through any skill on the part of his adversaries.

Law, are you in No Cal or So Cal? Criminal or civil? Governmental or private? I don't expect enough info to ID you, but it sometimes helps in determining how the mindset of individual attorneys should be evaluated.

Sorry folks for the occasional diatribe, but although I'm probably not the oldest poster here, I'm pretty close, and age has its prerogatives. Waxing philsophical is part and parcel of that self-indulgence.

By the way, why is the word mnemonic not spelled in such a way so as to be more easily remembered, or phonic spelled like it sounds?

By Law123 (Law123) ( - on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 11:00 pm:

I am a private attorney. 10 years experience. Criminal law, child custody, a few others. I have practiced in the courts in Vallejo, South Lake Tahoe and Riverside. So I'd be familiar with all the venues Z has acted in that we know of atleast. I am based in So Calif now.

I have thought about cases where a convicted serial killer already on death row (or who is sentenced to life and is elderly with less to loose) may clear up unsolved cases while protecting his interests, too. In fact there is a convicted serial killer in another state who I believe may be responsible for unsloved murders in Calif in the 1970's. I haven't offered to be his lawyer, but I was curious enough to ask for some info thru a third party contact concerning his possible activities in Calif in the 1970's. He traveled a lot; was in the Northwest where he killed atleast two women; I am told he has/had family in Calif; he was divorced in early 1970's but has not admitted to any murders in the early 1970's (I think his first admitted killing was around 1978); he's impulsive I suppose you'd say "disorganized" or "organized/disorganized" killer. He will be just driving around and decide he sees a woman he wants and without prior planning rape and murder her (torure; mutilation...)but although impulsive and risk taking he is cunning and clever and takes actions to avoid getting caught. I am confident he is responsible for a lot of murdered women in the US. Anyway thats another topic sorry I got off topic and wandered.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Friday, December 06, 2002 - 06:22 am:

The mnenomic trick for remembering the proper spelling of "mnemonic" is "'M' is for memory." Don't forget that.

The English language makes very little sense, Bill. For one thing, about a third of modern English is mispronounced French.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Friday, December 06, 2002 - 07:28 am:

And all of French is mispronounced French. (I had seven years of it)

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Friday, December 06, 2002 - 10:45 am:

It doesn't help that "mnemonic" is Greek. It's from a word indicating a tomb or sepulchre.

By Donna (Realtor) ( on Friday, December 06, 2002 - 01:16 pm:

I'm looking at all three: Singapore letter, Singapore envelope, and Atlanta envelope. And I don't count postcards as letters...that's why they are called postcards.

The Singapore letter is longer than one page because Tom said so.

The 2's look alike to me. So what if he wrote one with a loop? I'll give you that one actually does have a loop. The other 3 don't.

I'll look for more examples of the "tion" thing when I get a chance.

I think the slant changes; not much but it looks like it changes a little bit to me. Really not a very strong point in my favor though. You can have this one.

I guess you agreed with the rest of my statements because you didn't disagree with them. Thanks very much.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Saturday, December 07, 2002 - 05:15 am:

Donna wrote:

"I don't count postcards as letters"
A case where LESS than one page was enough.

"The Singapore letter is longer than one page because Tom said so"

So Singer "usually writes 2-3 pages"?

"The 2's look alike to me."

Try measuring the angles at the point

"I'll look for more examples of the "tion" thing when I get a chance."

So you did only look at the one?

"I guess you agreed with the rest of my statements because you didn't disagree with them."

No. I only gave you 4 examples. I'm not done looking at the rest, but I have yet to find a point of agreement.

By Law123 (Law123) ( - on Saturday, December 07, 2002 - 10:44 pm:

Graysmith's book Zodiac page 243 "The mention of drugs confirms police theories that Zodiac wrote the letters when he was high"

I bring this up because the letter Tom got mentions use of LSD and herion.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, December 07, 2002 - 11:59 pm:

Law: I mentioned that 10 days ago in a post on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 11:49 am.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 11:15 am:

Hey! Are we letting the Singapore letter get in the way of independent discussion of the Peach? Let's consider this: (1) the Peach envelope writing is a ringer for Z, (2) Tom's response to Peach mentions "conclusion", "safe[ty]", "more to offer" and a cut-out, and (3) Tom is witholding the entire Peach letter.

Looks to me like a lot more going on in Atlanta than Singapore.

Of course, a third possibility is that Tom gets three of these a week and is just teasing us to get through a lull in the action . . .
Tom: can you at least comment on this general evaluation: Atlanta is unrelated to Singapore, and is more promising?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 06:10 pm:

The first letter coincided with ABC's Primetime Thursday telecast in Singapore.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 07:39 pm:


By Carolyn (Carolyn) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 10:34 pm:

Any chance we will ever know anything more official about the source of this letter? Did I miss something - were the fingerprints ever checked by the police? Can't recall hearing in that regard. Or shall we just chalk it up to Primetime Thursday running in Singapore?!!

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 04:08 am:

It wouldn't surprise me if the prints could not be checked even if they do bel;oing to the writer. They appear to be limited to the second and third, or just the third joints of the fingers. The two or three times I have been printed, only the first joints were taken.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 09:26 am:

What about it Tom??

By Donna (Realtor) ( on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 04:16 pm:


Here are 4 words ending in "tion." All of them appear to me to have a bigger space between the "t" and the "ion." In fact, in one of them, the "ion" is on the next line.

Debut letter: Page 2, 6.5 inches down: "That drew his attention to me & my car."

Bus Bomb letter: Page 1, "I look like the description"

Bus Bomb letter: Page 4, "Bought on the open market with no quest ions asked."

Bus Bomb letter: Page 6, "Bomb can be adapted to new conditions."

I still think the 2's look alike, and the other letters and numbers that I wrote about before.

On the length, when you consider the body of work as a whole, this guy writes letters that are long...many Z letters are longer than one page, which is another characteristic that the Singapore letter shares with Z exceeds one page. Maybe that is a clearer way to state what I tried to state to start with.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 07:10 am:

So Zodiac has sent a new message. This time on a car door. Postage must have been a killer. Note proximity to holidays, as in previous known Z screeds. May have to take him up on his offer. But man, that door handle is obscene.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 09:12 am:


BB-1: the space between the on and n is larger than between the t and i.

BB-4: the whole word is split at the line ending

Singapore has two samples of tion, and only one matches your description. You have identfified four of z's, and 2 match. You can argue with the numbers all you want, but there is no significant correlation here. And you can see anything you want in the 2's, but they are measurably different.


I have seen and think the car door is the best sateracal webmaster promotion I have ever seen. Especially the little subliminal smudges that look like upside down images of the Bates letter squiggles.

By Len (Len) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 09:29 am:

I live in Atlanta and was going to go on a manhunt looking for someone slinging Singapores and writing French 7s on car doors, but I've gotten bogged down with work and family and fretting over expenses. But if I see some guy between the ages of 50 and 70 trying to get into a bar with Paul Stine's license, I'll jump him if he seems properly arthritic or emaciated.

Alan: Good to see you back. I figured you had disappeared into the jungles of Costa Graves, I mean, Costa Rica.

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 06:57 am:

Peter H. With regard to your trashing of Donna's handwriting analasys: Some of what you say might be correct. I think you must keep in mind that handwriting definitely changes over the years.
I used to work at a bank where we were instructed on the different aspects of handwriting. And it is a definite fact that as people grow older their writing can change dramaticly. What was my position there? Oh, that would be "telling".
But anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that neither you or Donna is going to have an easy time proving or disproving the authenticity of Tom's letters based on handwriting analasys. It's the "contents" of those letters that will have to prove their value. By the way, have you ever heard of anyone who writes BACKWARDS? That is, someone who starts copying at the end of their previously written communication and proceeds in a reverse direction to the beginning? I wouldn't put it past the original Zodiac to have done this in at least some of his writings to throw people off. Pretty tricky, huh?

By Donna (Realtor) ( on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 03:24 pm:

You're right, we can't prove anything. We can only guess and post what our guesses are. However, when the samples that were sent with the Singapore letter are tested (whatever they were), Tom might be able to tell us if they came from Zodiac or not. Maybe we will know a whole lot more in the near future. The only reason many of us have posted stuff here is that we may eventually prove to have guessed right, which will feel good....or wrong, which is probably what will happen anyway...or maybe somebody will post something that makes a lightbulb go off in somebody else's head that helps some puzzle pieces fall into place. So, yep, we know we ain't proving anything here. We're all just shooting in the dark.
Which letters or cards do you think Z might have written backwards? I'd like to look at what you see.

By Donna (Realtor) ( on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 03:37 pm:


You wrote:
BB-1: the space between the on and n is larger than between the t and i.

You wrote:
BB-4: the whole word is split at the line ending
Is there an echo here?

You wrote:
Singapore has two samples of tion, and only one matches your description. You have identfified four of z's, and 2 match.
Since you seem to be good at math, tell me this: What are the odds that Tom would get a letter from someone puporting to be Zodiac, which could be from anyone in the world, and have even ONE sample match a "tion" word???? Huh??? You said that of 4, two whatever the odds are that you calculate in the first part of my question, double it.

BTW, when I took statistics, if something matched two out of 4 times, that was considered to be the same as pure chance. However, here we are dealing with a set of letters of at least 5 characters, written freehand, over 30 years, with an infinite number of ways that each part of each letter can be formed, and an infinite number of distances between each of these letters. So I think there is an extremely significant degree of confidence here that we have found two words with the same characteristics out of all the ways these letters could have been formed.

I cannot do the math. Et tu?

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, December 12, 2002 - 08:53 am:

Donna: First to clarify my last post.

Bus Bomb letter page one has a t-i-o-n sequence in which there is a space between the t and i, then the i and o are together, then there is a larger space between the o and n: t io n.

in BB-4 the whole word is split because of a line space problem, and can't be conmpared to the sequential pattern you are looking at.

You are trying to show a correlation between two consistent patterns: a spacing in the t-i-o-n sequence that shows a space between the t and i and a tight grouping of the ion. To do that, you have to show a consistent pattern in both samples. You have a sample of two from Singapore and four from Z. From Singapore, you have one that fits and one that doesn't. So right away, you have no pattern from Singapore. So even if you have a pattern from Z, you can't possibly establish a correlation.

In Z you also have the same distribution of data points that fit and those that don't. So there is no corrletaion (well OK a .5 correlation, thats as good as none) on the Z side. So mathematically you could say there is a .25 correlation, which is insignificant, but the real problem is that you have no pattern on one side comparing with no pattern on the other.

Even if you change the pattern you are looking for to "a larger than average space between the t and I (which would now include BB-1) you have a .75 correlation on the Z side alone, again from a verry small sample. Change it a gain to " a break of any kind between the t and i ( now including BB-4) you have a perfect cotrrelation on the Z side, but again from a too snmall sample. Even then the result is a match with only half of the singapore sample, for a correltaion of .5. Even if you had statistically adequate sample on both sides, this is a meaningless correlation.

And you are not dealing with infinities. You are dealng with one basic variation: equal spaces or larger spaces. The fact that the letters are over a period of 30 years doesn't help, either: the sample is still too small.

I think this is a perfect example of someone seeing what thery are looking fro whether it is there or not. Case in point is your perception of similarities between Z's 2s and SS's 2s. They are objectively, measurably and visibly different, yet you insist they look similar to you. Well, they are both numeral 2s, that's for sure. Why don't you get a bevel guage or a straight edge and protractor, and do some measuring. At the point of the 2, where there is a clear loop in the Singapore sample, measure the angle formed by the following two lines:
1) from the left most point on the point along the bottom stroke at that point, and
2)from the same point the upper stroke at that point.

The first thing you should notice here is that the SS strokes are curved, so you will have to find the tangent at the point. If you do this right, you will find that SS makes a very tight angle, and Z makes a very open one -- sometinmes even a curve -- at the same point. In fact, measured correctly SS makes angles of between negative 30 degrees (where there is a clear loop) to zero,where there is a closed loop or just a back track on the top stroke, to 10-15 degrees, where there is a slight hesitation and then a slight upward movement before completeing the stroke.

Next measure the horizontal thickness of the mark at that point, and compare it with the thick ness of the stroke itself. This last will show you that Z always made an open anglebetween two fairly straight strokes or sometimes obtusely curved at that point, whilt SS makes a very tight acutely cured angle or a loop, between two curving strokes.

If you still think the 2's look alike after performing this comparison, then I defer to you whatever conclusion you care to draw: Arthur Allen is risen and commutes between Atlanta and Singapore.

By Donna (Realtor) ( on Thursday, December 12, 2002 - 10:29 am:


None of my conclusions have anything to do with ALA.
Let's wind this's getting out of hand and as you say, I tend to find what I'm looking for.
Thanks for the info, though.

By Law123 (Law123) ( - on Thursday, December 12, 2002 - 09:11 pm:

peter...sorry but I think you don't know everything about handwritting analysis...maybe one branch of it, not everything though.

All the measuring and stuff just isnt what handwritting analysis is about..

imagine the "signature" aspect of a serial killer..say torture cuts with a person would see that as a signature another might measure the cuts and the angle of the cuts etc etc and conclude they dont match in all the victims so it cant be the same killer.

There are things people do that are unique in handwritting..they may not do it every single time .. size can change....lots of things can change but you have to look for the unique signature that still shows thru.

Ok Ill check later to see how I am wrong. LOL just keep it under 1,00,000,000,000 words or less please

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Friday, December 13, 2002 - 02:10 am:

PETER H: Yes, what about "LAW 123"s observations? Do your handwriting theories also apply to Zodiac's M.O.? Since the stab wounds from the Lake Berryessa killings don't match up with the weapon or bullet wound angles from say the Lake Herman Road double-murders, then they can't be from the same killer? And since the Berryessa wound angles don't even match from the 2 victims at that scene then do we conclude that they were stabbed by 2 different people? Or since each wound depth & angle from Lake B. didn't exactly match any other there that day, then were they stabbed by 13 different attackers (or however many knife cuts there were)??
MORE IMPORTANTLY; if each Zodiac note didn't even match up using your "ruler & T-square" handwriting measurements to every other note, then by your logic must we decide that there were 23 different writers of "universally accepted" Zodiac letters? I'm not trying to be too sarcastic here, but can you do your "ruler & protractor" analisys on the actual Zodiac letters and tell us if they even match up to each other? Thanks, VICTOR

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Friday, December 13, 2002 - 07:23 am:

The measuring is only to point out that the 2's are objectively different, in response to Donna's assertion that that one character looks the same to her in both samples. I was notpresented or intended to support any overall conclusion standing alone.

And I am not talking handwriting analysis, but identification, which certainly does involve measurement. Length, depth and shape of stroke are very important.

Looking for the unique aspects is exactly the key, and what Donna pointed does not approach unique, either in the singapore letter or Z's characteristics.

C'mon, Law, just take a look: do YOU think the Z 2s and Singapore's 2s look alike?

Or that the incidence of t-i-o-n combinations is significant. If its not about measuring, its at least about common sense.

You are putting words in my keyboard to suggest that my handwriting take has to apply as you suggest to MO or crime signature. Which are two distinct things, BTW.

Crime signature is somewhat more like handwriting than MO, in that it is deeply rooted in personality, tends not to change (perhaps even less than handwriting) so much that it cant be identified with that personality.

MO changes much more readily, such as between LHR and PH.

I don't believe that wound patterns have anything to do with Z's signature: they are a function solely of Z's highly changeable MO.

Finally, if the ledters don't match using rigorous handwriting identification techniques, then they don't match. But iIt obviously doesn't depend on any one detail like the angle at one point in one character.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Friday, December 13, 2002 - 08:54 am:

"A little knowledge . . ."

By VSCANTU (Vscantu) ( - on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 07:57 pm:

Oh well, I guess all this talking is great fun to the person or people that put up this FRAUD in the 1st place. The problem with FRAUD is that it distracts from the real task at hand. And the CON ARTIST that put this forward is no better than "Kenny Kilgore". So the Bulls**t in "the letter" or letters is just that: Bulls**t.
Ha, ha. The joke's on you and me and anyone else who takes this subject as serious. No fingerprints, no DNA, all Bulls**t. What a funny time for you. You're all a bunch of Suckers who aren't worthy of anything but scorn. You're wasting your time. Look for more of the same here.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 10:13 pm:

Bill B.

With all due respect (and it is considerable):
Dangerous, maybe, but a hell of a lot more cogent than anything else I've seen offered on Donna's speculations. And that goes double for Tom's coy withholding of key material. If TV wants to make a half-assed post of supposedly significant material, then we get to make half-assed comment on it. Garbage out/garbage in.

Anyone disagree with my conclusions?

Anyone care to argue that Singapore's writing looks like Atlanta's? Or Z's? Knife wounds have to match? Knife/gunshot wounds are signature? MO has to match?

Of course I know I've stuck my neck out on this. Just waiting for someone to chop it off, and so far, I haven't felt a nick. Victor Cantu is absolutely right. This is BS. Singapore and Atlanta. Fraud. Abetted by Tom's editorial policy.

I don't know the first thing about handwritng comparison. Or analysis. I'm not kidding. I'm just making a few common sense assertions, hoping someone who really does know something will jump in with something substantial.

Hasn't happened on this topic, just like it hasn't happened on the Berryessa writing. Or Anon's inane assertion that he could convict Allen.

I'm feeling especially feisty at the moment. Singapore Slings.
Tom Teases.
Z is too big a sissy and too bad a forger to do LB.

Anybody got a problem wit dat? Bring it.

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 03:35 am:

Peter, you're unbearable. You become involved in a discussion, someone disagrees with you or says something that rubs you the wrong way, and your arguments degenerate into insults. Do you wonder why people find this annoying and distasteful?
I don't think Singapore and Atlanta look alike, and I'd love to see some substantial info as well...but maybe everyone doesn't agree with my opinions. Or yours. That's the nature of a free discussion.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 07:34 am:

Even though I've been hit by Tom's shock collar on several occassions, I have to defend him on this one. Tom is more than generous in giving everyone an opportunity to voice their opinions and has done a good job of offering the pros and cons of the major suspects. We are all allowed to draw our own conclusions. I think the latest Z letters are hoaxes but he ran them up the proverbial flagpole. I certainly have been wrong before. Thank God that at least we have this flagpole.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 10:54 am:

Oddball, Warren, I don't mean to be taken so dam seriously all the time. C'mon, have a little fun once in a while. Just trying any way I can to stir up a little THINKING on things. Maybe shake a little more material loose from Tom, too. If the letters are not to be taken seriously, why withhold anything? I think that very act implies, correctly or not, that he is taking them seriously. But we don't have enough, especially of Atlanta, to formulate anything solid. And that sure as hell doesn't mean I don't appreciate all this board means. Who was the first to acknowledge the Hartnell interview? I just think the pot gets a little stagnant and needs a little stirring once in a while. I don't think that amounts to an insult; it certainly wasn't intended that way. Criticism of Tom's approach on some things (and praise on others BTW: I thought the recent Ghia door ad was brilliant and I wich he'd kept it), sutre, but Tom's a big boy and has taken a lot harsher criticism and certainly isults than anything I have ever served up.

SO how about it? Is there really supposed to be a realtionship between MO, crime signature and wound patterns? Bullet trajectories? Victor C and others posed the question. What it has to do with Atlanta, Singapore and Z handwriting escapes me, but how about it?

By Valentine Smith (Valentinesmith) ( - on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 02:55 pm:

Well, while the Singapore letter is certainly creepy, nothing that Tom revealed about it struck me as especially credible. From the handwriting on down. BUT...there is that second page he withheld.

That second envelope, though. Caught my eye. Entire letter withheld. Hmmm. On a purely superficial level, it LOOKS more like "Z". But then again, it's been proven here recently how easy it is to do a passable looking "Z" letter.

What I'd like to know is does TOM think that they were both sent by the same character?

By Oddball (Oddball) ( - on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 05:19 pm:

My personal feeling is that there's just too little information to go on, at this point, to engage in a valid discussion of the letters. I'm curious about the prints and other stuff that Singapore sent, and I'm intrigued by the handwriting on the Atlanta envelope...but all we have are very small pieces of the puzzle.

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 06:09 pm:

I agree with Valentine, Warren, and Oddball. Do I think the letters are hoaxes? Yes, based on what little info we have. Do I think Tom is trying to pull the wool over our eyes? No. If this turned out to be the case, I'd be very surprised and disappointed. I very much trust his judgement on this and if he can't tell us something, I'm sure there's a good reason. The police probably AREN'T taking any of this very seriously, and I expect there to be a long delay in any formal analysis. I just hope they get to it eventually.

Thanks, Peter H for keeping the thread alive and feisty.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 06:26 pm:

Right on, Oddball. NEI.

My pleasure, Muskogee.

And Valentine: I'd like to know what Tom thinks, too. Tom? How about it?

By Donna (Realtor) ( on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 10:59 am:

I think something is up. Tom is giving away too much all of a sudden; stuff he has been withholding for a long time. Wonder why....

By Law123 (Law123) ( - on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 12:53 pm:

I was thinking the exact same thing as you Donna but I didnt say it because Im new on the board so there's a lot I dont know. I was hoping Tom thinks the Z case will be solved soon. But thats wishful thinking as its not likely, but I do wonder a lot. Whats going on with those new letters?

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 01:40 pm:

I hope its not like dumping of the archives before a disaster. Regardless, dig deep and zip some dead presidents along to the great northwest and help support Tom's site. For the price of just one designer beer a day you can help out a worthy webmaster.

By TheBlackJet (Theblackjet) ( - on Saturday, December 28, 2002 - 12:20 pm:

But this leads to the question, has a serial killer ever turned himself into the police and confessed? Not that I'm aware. Most are arrested or they allude capture all together. Zodiac, if he is still alive, played the "game" like an expert and got away with it. Why would he suddently turn himself in?

One theory I've thought of is maybe he knows that authorities are on his trail. Perhaps he was content to let ALA take the fall for all of this, but with the new DNA evidence he knows it won't be long before they come for him, and he wants to confess now hoping it will allow him to escape the death penalty. I dont' know just throwing that out there.

By Tom Stout (Tom_Stout) ( - on Saturday, December 28, 2002 - 01:11 pm:

Black Jet!
Has a serial killer ever turned himself in?
Earlier this year, Ward Weaver from Oregon city, Oregon darn near confessed to kidnapping and killing two teenage girls who he had buried in his back yard. From what I understand, he was never considered a serious suspect in these crimes until he brought suspicion upon himself!

If Zodiac wrote these recent letters, maybe he has the same motive as Ward Weaver?
Making a name for himself!

Like Father like Son....
Ward Weaver's "Dad" sits on San Quentin's death row for similar crimes.

By Law123 (Law123) ( - on Saturday, December 28, 2002 - 03:35 pm:

Ed Kemper called the police and turned himself in, he was the Santa Cruz coed killer. It may be partly due to his finally killing his mother which may have been who he really wanted to kill all along. Instead his rage was taken out on hapless coeds.He was a disorganized killer (correct me if Im wrong on that please Det Baker).Kemper seems to me the opposite of Zodiac who planned his crimes so well in advance down to the last detail compared to Kemper. I dont see Z turning himself in unless he knows he will be caught anyway and wants to upstage the police thereby keeping the game going. Bundy kept playing the game of "Im smarter than the police" during his trials, he manipulated the press, grabbed the spotlight etc.

Even if they match Z's DNA to a known suspect how will they track down his current whereabouts? He has had years to change his identity and make a new life somewhere in the world.

And whats' up with these new Z letters anway? Tom?

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( - on Saturday, December 28, 2002 - 05:30 pm:

Kemper certainly didn't take obvious pains in his planning to the degree that Z probably did, but this, alone, does not qualify the former as disorganized. Kemper did plan ahead, as evidenced by the fact that he would put just enough gas in his car beforehand so that he wouldn't run out while he cruised around for victims, but not too much so that the addition of bodies in his trunk would cause the rear end to ride too low, which could conceivably have been a giveaway to an alert cop. He brought his murder weapon with him, rather than relying on whatever happened to be handy at the time, and he did take steps to cover his tracks afterwards. The more elusive serial killers are organized, some more so than others. And Kemper didn't have the disdainful hostility toward his pursuers as did Z. What he had was superior intellect, and despite his murderous penchant, he was highly circumspect when it came to his activities.

You and I agree, Law, that Z is unlikely to concede the game unless he feels that his capture is inevitable, and would do whatever he could to control the outcome to his advantage. If Z were to ever decide to cash in on his notoreity by "allowing" the police to identify him and thereby bring him down, I suspect he would do so in a manner that made it abundantly clear that it was through his own artful manipulation, and not police ingenuity. Otherwise, he would be conceding their superiority. In fact, he would probably not make it easy for them, however he planned it, just to let the world know that he was the better player and maintained control right up to the end of the game.

Regarding your question as to how could a known suspect be tracked down if a DNA match were made, quite simply, if it turned out to be a "known suspect," I'd imagine that police agencies, not to mention civilians acquainted with him, would have kept tabs over the years on his current whereabouts. The very fact that they had the suspect's DNA for comparison in the first place implies that he would have, at some time, been under suspicion for criminal activity, whether for the Z crimes or not. Even if this were not the case, once he was identified, it would be only a matter of time until he was located. Consider the fate of most Nazis.

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 09:46 am:

Is fear of California's death penalty any real deterrent? We fry 'em over here (Texas) on a regular basis.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 01:13 pm:

As far as I know we don't fry them,they get a little shot and go to sleep forever. Even then it takes forever for that to happen. If z was worried about the death penalty he wouldn't choose any D.P.state to do his thing.He believes he will never be caught. I believe he will,soon! And yes I believe the death penalty is a deterrent for some.

By TheBlackJet (Theblackjet) ( - on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 05:31 pm:

Perhaps he didn't think he would be caught when he was murdering but has since changed his mind with the advent of the new DNA technology. Alot can happen to a person in thirty years.

By Juno (Juno) ( - on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 12:07 pm:

Any more developments concerning this one?