ABC's Primetime Thursday: Return of Doc Hottie Message Board: Zodiac Media: ABC's Primetime Thursday: Return of Doc Hottie

By Tom Voigt (Admin) ( - on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 07:51 pm:

This Thursday, July 24, ABC is repeating their Primetime Thursday Zodiac episode. Rumor has it they have some new info to add, although I'll be watching to see DNA babe Dr. Sydney Holt. She makes science fun!

By Linda (Linda) ( - on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 04:34 am:

Any inkling of what the new info relates to? Maybe more DNA discovered under other stamps/envelopes?

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 07:53 am:

Dr. Hottie can replicate my chain anytime.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 08:00 am:

Careful, Warren, she might unwind your double-helix.

By scott ( on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 02:29 pm:

A friend of mine who works for Disney said that the original October broadcast for this show had high ratings and to look for some new info.

Should be interesting.

By Steve ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 06:38 am:

Did that DNA test completly clear Arthur Lee Allen as the Zodiac killer?

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 07:05 am:

What about the new letter that was found? They showed it briefly, but they didn't go into detail about what it said.

By Melissa Lee ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 09:34 am:

Yes, all 3 men considered as suspects were "cleared" by the DNA evidence. Arthur Lee Allen's DNA had no matches with any of the genetic markers found on the stamps of two of the letters.

The "influential businessman" was cleared as well. The last guy whose initials were CCC and whose son believed it was him, was also cleared. Although, the good Doc had to take the letter to her desk and make some more comparisons before excluding him. The first two, including Arthur Lee Allen, were dismissed by her easily.

By Melissa Lee ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 09:39 am:

What's eerie is that the two named "suspects," Allen and the other guy, both had things about them that seemed to connect them to the crimes. The last guy, CCC, even had redish brown hair and they did find a redish brown hair stuck to the back of a stamp, but it could not be used for DNA.

By MikeR ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 10:27 am:


The hair shown on the ABC show was apparently retrieved from the letter in 1996. The fact that ABC seemingly photographed it in situ last summer indicates that the mDNA that should have been run on it was not. I'd love to know why they let so much time pass without analyzing the hair for this useful evidence.

mDNA can be compared to any siblings of the same mother and would make a dynamite investigative lead in a suspect who has living brothers (or sisters). I hope that this situation has been rectified by now. The mDNA could also be used to compare to the mDNA from the hair from Riverside.

The one aspect of the hair that seems to have escaped the attention of the posters here is that it was from a stamp from the 10/13/69 "Stine" letter. The most likely place for a hair that gets onto a stamp to come from is a beard or moustache. Just think of the logistics of licking a stamp. IF the hair were from a beard or moustache, it would prove that there were two poeple involved for obvious reasons. This would then negate the DNA that came from any letter because of the possibility of a letter writer and a killer.

However, the source I checked with had several trace experts look at the hair. Their conclusion (based solely on its appearance on TV) was that it was a limb hair. I'd love ot have someone take a close, microscopic look and verify or refute that idea.


By Melissa ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 10:57 am:

The "Hottie Doctor" referred to in this thread stated that it was not a "root" hair and there was no avaialble DNA of any type, Mitochondrial or otherwise, derived from the hair.

By ksagendo ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 10:59 am:

So what's the next step? With the genetic makeup now revealed is there a database where they can make more comparisons? Or are more DNA samples needed from possible suspects?

It will be very interesting to see if a definite match is made, is the suspect alive or dead at this point? Let's hope a real breakthrough comes through soon.

By johnson ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 01:57 pm:

is the show going to be continued next Thursday?

By MikeR ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 04:36 pm:


Obviously, the hair, or at least part thereof, must be destroyed to be analyzed for mDNA. mDNA is contained in the structure of the hair, as opposed to nuclear DNA, which is only in the very root of the hair.

I hope that if SFPD has destroyed the hair by now to get mDNA, they had the best expert on trace evidence weigh in on just exactly what kind of hair it was. If not, then we've lost an important piece of evidence.


By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 04:55 pm:

Melissa, is right about the hair not having a root . I am told two story's about the color of the hair found on the stamp,one it was blonde, and now reddish/ brown. Which is it? I recieved a email today telling me some news about a woman who has some DNA they will be checking ? I didn't get to see the show,could someone confirm this please ?

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 07:55 pm:

MikeR wrote:

The one aspect of the hair that seems to have escaped the attention of the posters here is that it was from a stamp from the 10/13/69 "Stine" letter. The most likely place for a hair that gets onto a stamp to come from is a beard or moustache.

Actually, I made that observation 9 months ago in the Zodiac Media thread, "ABC to feature the Zodiac case Thursday, Oct. 17" on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 02:17 am.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 07:56 pm:

It's in the 4th paragraph, btw.

By MikeR ( - on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 04:29 am:

Hi Ed-

Sorry I missed your comment. We both noticed it at the same time, I guess. Did you ever follow up on it and get a different opinion on the hair than I did?


By maryann gardner ( - on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 04:29 pm:

Have all the suspects listed on this site been ruled out by the DNA? I just got interested in this case after seeing Primetime.


By Linda (Linda) ( - on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 05:46 pm:

Not all. In fact, the most high-profile suspect, Ted Kaczynski, whose DNA should be already available, has not been mentioned. When I contacted Inspector Kelly several months ago, he would not comment on TK and told me he couldn't say anything since this was an on-going investigation...this leads me to believe that they, hopefully, are thoroughly investigating Ted.

If you're just getting interested in the Zodiac case, the Unabomber/Zodiac connection site is extremely interesting; take special note in the "Comparison of Styles" and "Linguistic Analysis" sections. See:

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 06:19 pm:

Hi Folks,

When this show originally aired, there were some threads started that can be easily searched for on this site. It was discussed at length how the latest DNA test did not rule out Allen. Don't let ABC and John Quinones do your thinking for you. Get on the message board and read, read, read. No one was eliminated as a result of that test, and ABC airing the program again isn't going to change that.

ksagendo: the next step is to gather more samples from the letters in SFPD custody and compare those results against each other. Unfortunately, they aren't doing this.

By MikeR ( - on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 09:28 am:

Hi Ray-

I have read all of your posts on the DNA and find that you have an excellent grasp of the material. I was convinced the night of the ABC show in October that the DNA had excluded several suspects, including my own. In fact, I felt that night as though I had been run over by a fleet of Mack trucks, given Fouke's testimony placing Z near my suspect's home. I even blurted out a hasty apology via ABC to my suspect in my state of what could only be called a "numb stupor" ;). But within ten days, Eduard, who used to work in a DNA lab, as well another man, who is an expert in the field of DNA, gave me some perspective on the DNA results that made me realize that at best, more work had to be done.

Let me ask you this: Do you feel that a competent scientist working in a publicly funded lab at a university, where he was subject to peer review before publishing his/her results (as is the usual case with scientific expermentation--publication of methodologies, raw data, interpretation, conclusions, etc., to which SFPD is VERY sadly not subject) would have gone to the wall with one small fragment of DNA from envelopes that had plenty of opportunty to have been contaminated over the years--especially since the PCR technique was used by SFPD? Would he or she back him or herself into a corner, by stating dogmatically that this was definitely Z's DNA (or anyone else's, for that matter)? Of what use were the three new (and exciting, per the show) envelopes that showed up, if they were not even analyzed for the show? That was simply amazing to me!

By MikeR ( - on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 09:29 am:


My own feeling is that SFPD should have asked for more time to analyze the three new letters, to see if they could improve upon the number of alleles, as well as to make sure that all of the DNA matched and was homogeneous between letters, before EXCLUDING! (not just including!) suspects in a high profile case. If ABC said that they had to go to air before the samples had been analyzed, SFPD should simply have said that they could not draw any firm conclusions about the suspects based on what they had on hand.

A prominent DNA expert told me that the "devil is in the details" of DNA analysis and that he could not comment on their work without being given access to the nuts and bolts of their analyses. I'd like to see SFPD allow an independent expert review their findings, in light of the fact that SFPD amplified only one small fragment of a possible contaminant DNA and made broad, sweeping conclusions from these results, which I'd call "preliminary results" at this point, not knowing what they may have done since.

If the DNA matches across letter after letter, then I'd be more comfortable with the results. How do you weigh in on this?


By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 06:14 pm:

Wouldn't a limb hair have a taper on one end ? I would think it should be easy to figure out. A man who has just had a hair cut,might have a few loose ones on his shirt ,or still in his hair that could fall onto the envelope. If he also had his beard or moustache trimed,the same thing could happen. If that is what it was, then the hair would have two blunt ends.Which is it ? I would like to know . The odds of it being a limb hair without a root, I think would be very high.

By MikeR ( - on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 06:32 pm:


I still think that the MOST LIKELY scenario is to have a beard or moustache hair fall out. When you lick a stamp, you pass it downwards past your lips. The glue becomes "activated" and could pick up a hair from just below the lower lip. However, the four experts who looked at it at my behest (through a third party) agreed on a limb hair. I think it does taper, BTW.


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 10:19 pm:

I'm more inclined to think that this hair, whatever its nature, simply wafted in on the breeze.

By JustinCase ( - on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 12:47 am:

Hello there.

I think the fact that the DNA evidence ruled out the "businessman" and ALA, but that he and ALA are both circumstantially linked to the crimes furthers the possibility that Zodiac was more than a one-man operation ala Son of Sam.

My personal theory is that Zodiac is connected to the (former?) Process/Scientology/shadow U.S. Intelligence umbrella. Note the many connections the Zodiac case has to the Presidio.

By MikeR ( - on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 04:56 am:

Hi Doug-

I am not inclined to agree with you here. First of all, Z was described as having reddish-brown hair by Fouke. Seems like too much of a coincidence for the hair on the stamp to be of the same color. Also, while it is possible that the hair was on the stamp before Z licked it, the stamp is only sticky after it is licked. The odds of a stray hair just happening to float onto the stamp between the time it was licked and the time a few seconds later that it was applied to the envelope seems to be minimal.


By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 06:44 am:

"Process/Scientology/shadow U.S. Intelligence umbrella"

What do these people do?

Does anyone know if the red hair is the natural color? Zodiac bragged about disguises.

I wonder why they saved brain tissue from Allen rather than a blood sample, unless they also have a blood sample? Does tissue preserve better?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 10:34 am:

Mike, you could be right, which is fine by me, as Kaczynski has red-tinted hair, and no shortage of it!

By MikeR ( - on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 10:44 am:

Hi Doug-

There you go! ;) Glad I could help! I have no idea what color hair my guy had back then but I do know that he probably dyed it at the time. It is inferred in an article. It was brownish, though.

I sure hope that SFPD had that hair analyzed by the best trace guy in the country, if they used it up in getting mDNa. I'm sure that they did run mDNA on it by now, since any repsonsible lab/department would do so. The results I got on its origin are only preliminary, since these trace evidence guys only had access to a videotape of the hair and had a tough time getting it under a light microscope. ;)


By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 02:38 pm:

Bookworm, in the standard autopsy, they usually save small pieces of all the solid organs. They take blood samples for immediate tests, but I don't believe these samples are saved (the organ pieces are preserved in formaldehyde, but the blood would degrade).

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 06:54 am:

Wouldn't fomaldehyde, being a chemical, corrupt the DNA? Blood does degrade, but what about old samples found on clothing, etc. What form of DNA sample is best at being naturally preserved the longest: saliva, blood,tissue?

By Darrell ( - on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 06:14 am:

Hi All,

Sorry I'm a new guy trying to catch up to the crowd here. I watched the program on A&E, that is how I found the web site (great site). At the end of the program they said new DNA was being extracted from 3 more letters. I actually watched the Primetime special back in October and saw that the DNA from the first letter excluded the suspect name in the "Zodiac Unmasked" book (Allen). I remember there were other suspects on the Primetime show that is excluded. One being a prominent bank executive/businessman:

1) What are their names? Is it Collins? And Citizen Q?
2) Is Citizen Q the same as someone name Rodelli? Are they the same person a the "prominent" bank executive/businessman?
3) Has any other suspects DNA been compared to the DNA extracted from letter #1?
4) Has the DNA extraction been completed yet from the 3 new letters? If yes then I'd repeat question #1 for that DNA. And does it match DNA from letter #1?

5) Is there transcripts from the letters on this web site? I found some of them hard to read.

Sorry for asking about what is old ground for most of this crowd.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 10:51 pm:

Collins was one suspect, and the SF businessman, who I have called "Citizen Q," was another, and he is not the same person as Mike Rodelli. I'm not sure who you mean by "the "prominent" bank executive/businessman," since Q has nothing to do with banks as far as I know (other than in the normal operation of his business). Robert Hunter Jr. was vice president of Crocker Citizen's Bank, perhaps that's who you mean (he's a very poor suspect, and was not profiled on Primetime).

By Muskogee (Muskogee) ( - on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 02:03 pm:

I don't know enough about DNA preservation to comment on that. All I'm saying is WHY they still had brain saved in the first place. The formaldehyde preserves the cellular architecture so it may be studied years later, if a reason to do so arises. I would think blood or tissue would be the best naturally preserved sample, but, again, I'm not sure. I have worked a little with DNA, but not in a forensic capacity. My forensics work has been limited to autopsies, gross samples, and histologic samples.

It's a very good question that you ask, in my opinion. I will check the ol' textbooks and see if I can come up with anything for you. Does anyone else know the answer?