KTVU 10 O'Clock News Zodiac Report last night!


Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Zodiac Media: KTVU 10 O'Clock News Zodiac Report last night!

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (adsl-64-165-200-244.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - 64.165.200.244) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 08:12 am:

The Channel 2 10 O'Clock news ran a story on the hunt for the Zodiac last night with some actual new information. Using new digital technology the SFPD was actually able to life a palm print from the 1974 Exorcist letter. Evidently, they always knew that the print was there before but could never lift it until now. The weird thing about the print is that it is actually a side palm or hand print left by the letter writer while he was dragging his hand across the paper to write it.

The story interviewed Robert Graysmith and plugged his new book. They also discussed Robert Leigh Allen and showed excerpts from Ch. 2's 1991 interview with him which are probably the same place that Tom got his sound bites for this site from. The story said that Allen is the best suspect but his fingerprints did not match the bloody fingerprint left on Paul Stine's cab and other letters. Graysmith said that he still believed it was Allen and that when Allen was in Atascadero, he had other people send out his mail for him and could have done the same with the Z letters.

Ch. 2 also said (this was a somewhat long segment for TV news) that SFPD was once again attempting to extract DNA from the stamps of the Z letters. Why they are "once again" trying to do this, I don't know and wasn't explained, but it is a telling bit of info. I seem to remember that the SF Crime Lab ran into a bit of trouble a couple of years ago over substandard practices. Maybe they botched it.

By Curt (Curt) (1cust127.tnt4.krk1.da.uu.net - 63.27.1.127) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 09:15 am:

Thanks for posting this report. Another poster (Sandy) just remarked on this same thing in another thread and stated that the Fox News Channel was also running a report on this latest developement (but I've been watching Fox today and haven't seen it yet).

If you hear anything more, please share!

Curt,
Labyrinth13

By Jake (Jake) (spider-to023.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.204.53) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 10:59 am:

According to an email, KTVU reported that "Tonight KTVU Channel 2 did an update on the Zodiac case. SFPD found a palm print on the Exorcist letter that was created by the writer's palm as it moved across the page as he wrote. The print was found thirty years ago but at the time there was inadequate technology to read the print. SFPD has the only palm print computer in the USA that can bring out necessary identification details in smudged prints. The print was clarified using the computer and compared to a palm print taken from Allen at the time of his autopsy. The print is NOT Allen's. The palm print was also compared to 300,000 other prints in the SFPD database with negative results."

A well-known voice of reason cautioned us that the Bay Area media often throws discretion to the wind when it comes to the Zodiac (cf SF Examiner, 5/18/01; Calaveras County Ledger-Dispatch, 6/2/01; et al.) and that this isn't necessarily news without some kind of SFPD confirmation.

Thanks to Youse Know Who!
--Jake
http://www.ZodiacSpeaking.com

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (c1783462-a.epotlnd1.or.home.com - 24.248.50.12) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 12:57 pm:

I'd like to announce a big sale on all of my Allen stuff. I'd always suspected he wasn't involved...

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (c1783462-a.epotlnd1.or.home.com - 24.248.50.12) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 12:58 pm:

Just kidding!

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) (cgowave-0-224.cgocable.net - 24.226.0.224) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 02:46 pm:

Gareth Penn would also like to announce an even bigger sale on all of his Mike O'Hare stuff.

Just kidding.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (c1783462-a.epotlnd1.or.home.com - 24.248.50.12) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 02:56 pm:

Jake wrote:
"A well-known voice of reason cautioned us that the Bay Area media often throws discretion to the wind when it comes to the Zodiac (cf SF Examiner, 5/18/01; Calaveras County Ledger-Dispatch, 6/2/01; et al.) and that this isn't necessarily news without some kind of SFPD confirmation."

Jake, this "well-known voice" sure likes to state the obvious.

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (adsl-64-168-27-7.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - 64.168.27.7) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 03:12 pm:

I don't recall the KTVU story saying that the palm print wasn't Allen's. It said that they were checking it and from watching to story, I wasn't sure that the authorities had even had a palm print of Allen's to check it against. The KTVU story said that they were going to check it against their database of palm prints and that for the last 10 years SFPD had been taking finger prints as well as palm prints. The story only cleared Allen in relation to the bloody finger print on Paul Stine's cab.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (c1783462-a.epotlnd1.or.home.com - 24.248.50.12) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 03:15 pm:

The only way the print is significant is if it has been compared to all persons known to have handled the letter prior to the initial testing for fingerprints.
Before anyone assumes this has been done, a certain cartoonist turned "author" has told me many stories about the manner in which Chronicle employees treated suspected Zodiac letters. Not that they weren't careful, they just weren't fingerprinted. Not even the cartoonist.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (c1783462-a.epotlnd1.or.home.com - 24.248.50.12) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 03:22 pm:

Mcgarrett2000, according to a good San Francisco source who taped the segment, Kelly Carroll of SFPD stated that none of the prints matched each other, or Allen. I'll have a video of the segment tomorrow.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-tj021.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.213.181) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 03:49 pm:

Tom wrote:
"this "well-known voice" sure likes to state the obvious."

For all the good it does one: do the words "Matthew Hedger" mean anything to you? (And never mind how many people still think Cheri Jo Bates was stabbed 42 times.)

Thanks, incidentally, for reporting that this is, in fact, news (per Insp. Carroll). Did Robert Graysmith tell any stories that would explain why SFC employees would be dragging the sides of their palms across Zodiac letters?

--Jake
http://www.ZodiacSpeaking.com

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (proxy2-external.epotlnd1.or.home.com - 24.4.255.69) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 04:21 pm:

Jake, most people understand how the news media operates; it's not even an issue, so your source's comments are strange, IMHO.

Feel free to contact Det. Shumway at RPD for an explanation why, if incorrect, he told me Bates had been stabbed 42 times. He even allowed me to quote him. What does that have to do with anything, anyway?

I would think the partial palm print belonged to whoever wrote the letter, but those who handled it need to be eliminated.

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (adsl-64-165-199-151.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - 64.165.199.151) on Sunday, November 04, 2001 - 06:30 pm:

Jake and Tom,

I never worked for the Chron, but I did work for the EX for a bit and part of my job was to oversee the transfer of the massive Examiner archives from the Hearst building on Fifth and Minna over to where ever the paper's new owners the Fang Family wanted them. One of the things that I unearthed in a houselike Hearst storage annex on Minna (up the st. from the Chron/Ex bldgs) was a room filled with boxes upon boxes of handwritten letters to the editor that appeared to mostly be from the early 1970s. Many of them were about the Patty Hearst case, but who knows? Sadly, I only had about 35 mins with these things but there they all were shoved any which way into boxes and forgotten about. Not cataloged. Not labeled. Just rotting. Of course none of them were considered Zodiac letters, but, still, one wonders what Rodelli could do with a treasure trove like that.

Ok, all of that being said, the Z letters probably got passed around a bit by interns, copyboys, secretaries and other news room crew before making their way up to the editors and then to the police or Calif. DOJ. Who knows how they were treated. I would hate to think what the Riverside and Vallejo papers did with their Z letters. As much as some of you may hate to trust Graysmith on anything, I wouldn't really question him on this issue.

Tom is pretty much right as well -- without taking prints off of everyone who handled the Exorcist letter at the Chron and ruling them out, the evidence is contaminated. Pure and simple.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb7c406.ipt.aol.com - 172.183.196.6) on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 12:50 am:

Thanks for posting about this, gentlemen. Since I work weekends, I missed the story, but was told about it.

As Tom wrote:

The only way the print is significant is if it has been compared to all persons known to have handled the letter prior to the initial testing for fingerprints.

Before anyone assumes this has been done, Robert Graysmith has told me many stories about the manner in which Chronicle employees treated suspected Zodiac letters. Not that they weren't careful, they just weren't fingerprinted. Not even Graysmith.


So, the question now becomes: besides Z, who obviously handled the letter (without gloves???), who was employed at the Chronicle in 1969-74 who also had access to the letters, actually handled them and might therefore have rested his or her hand on it and left behind a smudged palm print? Until that can be answered with any certainty, I think we should treat the existence of the palm print with caution.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-to034.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.204.59) on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 05:36 am:

Tom wrote:
"Feel free to contact Det. Shumway at RPD for an explanation why, if incorrect, he told me Bates had been stabbed 42 times. He even allowed me to quote him. What does that have to do with anything, anyway?"

I have the autopsy report, and there is no question that Shumway was mistaken ... or lying to you. I'll take a page from Howard's book and advise you that my evaluation of his motives has been covered here on the board. The Riverside and Calaveras County non-stories are entirely relevant, given your snide response.

If you want to cling to the idea that some reporter was trying to smudge Z's printing by dragging a fist across a suspicious letter, that's your business (literally), but Graysmith's Q rating has taken a nosedive. You guys sure you still want to hitch your wagon to that star?

--Jake
http://www.ZodiacSpeaking.com

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (proxy2-external.epotlnd1.or.home.com - 24.4.255.69) on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 01:27 pm:

Jake, my comments weren't snide. We were discussing irresponsible reporting when you mentioned the 42-stab-wounds tidbit, as if I was just another hack who wasn't concerned with finding the truth.

For your info, in my quest for facts I went straight to the source, Det. Shumway of RPD. We had many lengthy conversations at my expense, and I had him repeat crucial information many times to make sure I got it right. I also got his permission to quote him by name.

If he was mistaken or lying, your problem should be with him, not me.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (proxy2-external.epotlnd1.or.home.com - 24.4.255.69) on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 01:30 pm:

Jake wrote:
"If you want to cling to the idea that some reporter was trying to smudge Z's printing by dragging a fist across a suspicious letter, that's your business"

As I wrote earlier, I would think the partial palm print belonged to whoever wrote the letter, but those who handled it need to be eliminated.

By the way, why are you being so confrontational?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (229.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.16.229) on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 03:15 pm:

There is no way that such a print could be used as an exclusionary tool, simply because we can't say who might have handled the paper before or after Zodiac handled it. For all we know (and it's not all that implausible) he might have fished it out of someone's office trash. That's certainly more consonant with his not having been a total idiot, which I suspect he was not.

Using the palm print as a tool of inclusion, however, is another thing.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (proxy1-external.epotlnd1.or.home.com - 24.4.255.68) on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 03:53 pm:

If I had been Zodiac, I absolutely would have tried to use paper other people had handled. Both Ted K. and Allen had easy access to such paper due to their professions.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (229.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.16.229) on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 04:08 pm:

Not only that, but Kaczynski was a practised trash-picker.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - 64.30.209.40) on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 07:25 pm:

The one real discovery that could be (besides the digital technology to lift the palm print and running this print through the palm print data base)of vast importance is a final determination by Experts examining the lifts/depressions,spacing,patterns of movement,etc.of the palm print to prove that the writer and the print are one entity or the author.Then it would make no difference if paper was used that had been handled by others before the writing began.This is something that anyone could have done no matter what his background was and regardless of what kind of a job he had or didn't have.It proves nothing as to the killers identity unless s/he(well it's Frisco!) was associated with the author after analysis demonstrated a match to a friend or associate.So far no match to the data base.

The late renowned Henry Silver could have shown ,after analysis, if the print belonged to the writer by the criteria enumerated above.
I only hope more Experts are consulted that have an expertise' in determining if a print and the patterns it displays on the letter in question shows it was the author or just a handler of the letter.It seems at this point that , at least tentatively, the 'partial' palm print and script have the same origin or that it was the killer-unless he had an associate(strictly FYI).

Obviously wisdom and professionalism dictate that all persons that could have handled that letter be checked against the print.There are two detectives assigned to the Z case and one hopes they will do the investigation that is needed in this area.Everybody email them!

By Jake (Jake) (spider-mtc-ta013.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.105.23) on Monday, November 05, 2001 - 09:51 pm:

Tom, neither of us are charm school graduates, but phrases like "sure likes to state the obvious" are generally considered snide and I'm sure you're aware of this. If you wanted to agree, it would have been pretty easy to do so, but you opted instead for a method that would make you look like a know-it-all while putting someone else down.

Given the spirit of your comment -- and please correct me if you were simply acknowledging the thoughts of another educated researcher on the case in whose opinions you're interested -- I thought I'd throw out a few examples of news reports you've generated and contributed to that were eventually shown to be incorrect or vastly overestimated in the way that this palmprint might be, both of which shared a distinct lack of public law enforcement confirmation. If I misjudged your motive, I apologize and deserve to be reprimanded.

--Jake
http://www.ZodiacSpeaking.com

By Eduard (Eduard) (s340-isdn2519.dial.xs4all.nl - 194.109.189.215) on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 - 05:27 am:

Tom,

I agree with Jake...
Det. Shumway isn't a good source of info if you look at what he told you and what actually is written in the autopsy report on CJB.
The autopsy report you can read on Howard's site "the Zodiac/Manson Connection.
Click here...

Eduard

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-tc031.proxy.aol.com - 198.81.17.31) on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 - 11:29 am:

The ones that were "Trash-pickers" par excellance were the members of the Manson Family. They did it every day.
Howard, you are a proper gentleman to be sure, but as one who was born in Oakland and spent my whole childhood in San Francisco, it PAINS me every time I read FRISCO. I can't explain it, but it is very traumatic to a San Franciscan.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38lddos.dialup.mindspring.com - 209.86.183.28) on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 - 11:04 pm:

Dear Board,

Frankly, I'd like to see a post from anyone here who meets all of these criteria:

1) Has an IQ over 50.

2) Would send a letter to police claiming responsibility for a homicide if even suspecting there might be some of your prints on the paper.

3) Would have the presence of mind to lean into a taxi to "wipe it down", but just not happen to notice that you are supporting yourself with a bare hand against the door post.

Apparently, the board feels these are characteristics that accurately profile Zodiac. This makes him out to be the dumbest, luckiest, and most unobservant criminal in history. If we are to put any effort into prints in this case, it should only be to identify. It sure seems to me that, while they don't come right out and say it, many here are coming awfully close to that dangerous old concept of eliminating suspects with fingerprints.

Come on, folks. I don't care who anybody's sources are, this thread is getting way ahead of the evidence. Kind of like me and my new web browser - I upgraded so I could do online banking, only now I find out Bank of America doesn't support Navigator 6.2 ... yet!

Shields up.

Ray

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (proxy-dover.mednet.af.mil - 199.251.67.253) on Wednesday, November 07, 2001 - 05:23 am:

Ray, here's another criterion: confesses to crimes both before and after their commission.

By Zoe Glass (Zoe_Glass) (max2-29.evansinet.com - 63.69.48.29) on Wednesday, November 07, 2001 - 06:05 am:

Well heck, missed the segment, sure sounds like publicity of a publisher. We've been down this road enough to have an expectation. So don't hold your breath !

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (proxy2-external.epotlnd1.or.home.com - 24.4.255.69) on Friday, November 09, 2001 - 02:56 pm:

Jake, regarding Hedger/Shumway:
"I thought I'd throw out a few examples of news reports you've generated and contributed to that were eventually shown to be incorrect or vastly overestimated in the way that this palmprint might be"

I didn't generate the Hedger story. Matthew Hedger did, and contrary to your statements it hasn't been proven false in any way.
I didn't generate the Shumway information. Det. Shumway did, and while the autopsy report doesn't back up his statements, they are still significant.

By Ryedawg (Ryedawg) (mail.wroctv.com - 24.169.97.201) on Tuesday, November 20, 2001 - 05:33 am:

I'd agree that Z would be ignorant to leave a print on a letter he sent, and there's a great chance it isn't his, but let's say it matches AAL (if they don't have his palm print or haven't checked it) Ted K or any of the other top suspects(if they haven't been checked, wouldn't that be a pretty good indication they're Z. How else would their prints magically appear on the letter.

I just don't see why the palm print isn't of importance yet because someone may of touched it in the newsroom or wherever and it could be their print. If it matches a good suspects everyone that may have handled the letter or worked in the building doesn't need to be checked and cleared.