Mike Kelleher / This Is The Zodiac Speaking

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Zodiac Media: Mike Kelleher / This Is The Zodiac Speaking

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - on Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 03:47 pm:

Mike has agreed to join this message board on the condition that we don't turn this forum into a flame-fest.

Since I don't see that as being a challenge, let's welcome Mike and start the questions and comments.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) (d150-160-190.home.cgocable.net - on Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 06:48 pm:

Mike, you mentioned Jake, Doug Oswell and some others, why was there no mention of this site? I would have thought with the message board, most to all of the letters confirmed and unconfirmed, and plenty of pictures and info that even cops and crime shows were unable to find, that there should have been some mention of this site. Whether or not you agree with all the people and there opinions, this would have fit in the Armchair Investigator chapter.

If its because most of the people on here are amateur when it comes to crime solving/psychological profiling, thats probably who the majority of the True Crime book audience is, just amateurs. So why not include this site in the book?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-101.svn.net - on Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 07:25 pm:

Hello Ryan:

I didn't mention ANY websites in the book. There are a number of reasons for this but, mostly, it is because sites tend to change, come and go. Since it's such a transitory business and because books take about 2 years to go into print, I was concerned that the information would be out of date before it reached bookstores. Besides, that wasn't the thrust of the book.

What I did instead was try to find individuals who represented the best of armchair investigators because they fill an important role in the investigation. In early 1998, I emailed each one that had an address available. Most of them were not very cooperative (or worse), many did not answer me at all. Jake and Doug both answered in a courteous, professional way. They also offered their work for me to review. Since they were the best of those I had contacted, I included them in my book as the best of the amateurs I had come across.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-63-186.client.attbi.com - on Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 08:24 pm:

It doesn't matter now, and there is no law that states everyone writing a Zodiac book needs to contact me. However:
I'm confused, because my site was launched in March of 1998, but Jake's didn't come about until August of that year...and I don't recall getting an e-mail.
(In fact, I remember being annoyed because I wanted to make contact, yet even after posting at the newsgroup you frequented I still hadn't heard from you.)

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-067.svn.net - on Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 08:39 pm:

Hi Tom:

Your timeline is correct. Neither you nor Jake had a site at the time. Back then, I was working the alt-true.crime group, searching out individuals who might be interested in the upcoming book and who would be willing to give me a new perspective on the case. Yes, you were one of them and you did make some postings. You were using a different pen-name (or, username, forgive my ingnorance) back then. In fact, we did exchange some posts. In the end, I felt that you had been rather condescending to me because my knowledge of the case was not at all strong. However, don't take this personally. I received many of those kinds of responses. I privately sought out the individuals who eventually made it to the book because of their willingness to work with me.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-63-186.client.attbi.com - on Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 08:42 pm:

The worst part is losing to Bill Nelson. Yuck!

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-067.svn.net - on Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 08:55 pm:

Please don't feel that way, Tom. You didn't lose to anyone. Nelson got the nod for an entirely different reason, which involved me wanting to at least touch upon that theory in the back of the book. That was an editorial choice on my part, pure and simple.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-th072.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 11:07 am:

Thank you for taking part on this Message Board, it is very kind of you, and I mean this in all sincerity. My apologies for the occasional nastiness of the Board -- it seems to be the nature of the beast. I've been rereading your book and I confess I catch some new insights, some food for thought. I agree with your point of view (unlike Tom's) that Kathleen John's was indeed a definite Z victim. I also have also thought, as you point out in your book, that he was completely unjarred at the existence of the child, and this was most likely the cause of his hesitation.
I am curious as to why you did not delve into any of the known suspects. Are there any suspects that you are particularly keen on?
I personally also find Kera's suspect very interesting, the Police apparently did so too for
a while. I'd like to obtain more info.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-078.svn.net - on Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 12:15 pm:

Hello Sylvie:

Thanks for the kind words. I feel that there has been too much warring of words on all sides, so Tom and I decided together to try to put an end to it all and get things back on track.

I said as little as possible about suspects in my book because I wanted it to remain as objective as possible. Profiling is not a science. It is often wrong, sometimes right, mostly in-the-middle. I wanted to write the book in such a way that the reader could draw his or her own conclusions about a suspect. So, the bottom line is that I stayed away from that subject as much as possible. If you've read the book than you know that I never excluded a suspect. When certain law enforcement agencies did so, I reported it. However, that doesn't mean that I agree with them.

Yes, I do have a favorite suspect. However, I don't discuss this issue for two reasons: 1) my opinion is no better than anyone else and I don't want to get into a competition of assumptions, and 2) I have a book coming out later this year that deals with my favorite suspect. It is a fiction book and deals with not only my suspect but also some related crimes in Northern California. The only vehicle that would work for this kind of thing was fiction. When it comes out, the title will be "Suspect Zero," which, in itself, should give you some idea of where I'm headed.

As to Kera's suspect, she contacted me quite some time ago. We met, exchanged information, and put an investigator on the case. I feel that Kera is a truly outstanding, credible woman. However, I never discuss those cases in which someone has come to me for help. There are a few of these and I feel that confidentiality is most important. If the individuals want to speak out, that's fine. But, I don't believe it's my place to do so.

Hope that answers your questions.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb62a93.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 01:32 am:

Mike: glad to see you're on board! I'm curious, perhaps you can explain what I missed regarding the inconsistency in logic regarding the Confession letter versus the SLA letter on the other thread that I commented about.

Also, I know I get a little nitpicky and/or trivial at times, it's an old habit from my Air Force days, please forgive me (I inventoried munitions and we had to have 100% accountability at all times, or someone had to explain to the general just where his bombs got off to). Minute attention to detail sometimes gets the better of me...

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-077.svn.net - on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 05:05 am:

Hello Ed:

Thanks. As to being nitpicky, let's just consider that in the past and move on, ok? It's a new day.

Now, I don't read the other threads, contrary to popular belief. It's acutally someone else who does that (and does it rather selectively). In fact, because of time constraints, this will be the only thread that I'll be visiting.

So, please run the inconsistency by me again and I'll try to give you an answer. Page numbers would help a lot, if you can. Unfortunately, in my business, you move right on to the next book when you're done with the first because of lead-time, contractual arrangements, etc. Besides that, I'm probably older than anyone on this board, so my memory is certainly not as sharp as it used to be. :-)

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-mtc-tj062.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 10:37 am:

Hmmm... "Suspect Zero" spells Manson affiliation to me. I know you don't want a guessing game though. Your next book sounds interesting.
You know, I think many of us were expecting a Graysmith type thriller. But I think if you take this book from a sheerly psychological standpoint it becomes a whole different thing.
Certainly all of us on this Board have to respect your academic credentials.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (marinhousing2.org - on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 11:04 am:

Hello Sylvie:

To my way of thinking, academic credentials mean very little. I've met so many folks who have the credentials but make no sense at all.

As to my book, you're correct. It was never meant to be more than an in-depth psychological profile, which is what I do. I just thought it would be a different take on a cold case, using some of the tools that were not available at the time.

As to my new book, no, I'd rather not discuss it. It will either make sense or it won't, depending on the reader's ability to keep an open mind and read between the lines. That's really how I prefer to write.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-19-225.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 12:46 pm:


Welcome to the board. "Suspect Zero". Great title, and I believe accurate, if it means what I think it does. As in "Patient Zero?"

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (marinhousing2.org - on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 01:22 pm:

Hello Peter:

Yep, same idea.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-63-186.client.attbi.com - on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 10:29 pm:

David Van Nuys is also welcome to join the discussion, if he should desire.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-080.svn.net - on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 06:19 am:

Thanks, Tom. I'll let him know.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb44540.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 02:52 am:

Mike: what I find inconsistent is that the Confession letter is dismissed as a genuine Z communique (but written by the killer of CJB, who you opine was someone other than Z), presumably because there were many dissimilarities between it and the later authenticated letters (pp. 14, 25), while the SLA letter, despite the fact that it is so different (as well as the Badlands and Count Marco letters (p. 199), for that matter), is accepted as genuine (p. 235). It's difference in tone and style is shrugged off as being due to Z having some sort of dissociative disorder (pp. 199, 235), which certainly could explain why the Confession letter is Z's work rather than someone else's.

In other words, one is different, therefore it's not Z's, but another is different, therefore it is Z's and proves he had multiple personalities. Both can't be correct if Z had more than one personality, unless he developed a second one (or third? fourth?) between 1966 and 1974 (p. 178), which is extremely convenient for dismissing one letter and accepting another. Who's to say that, if Z did in fact suffer from such a disorder, it could not have manifested itself much earlier in his life, say, before 1966?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-112.svn.net - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 05:05 am:

Hi Ed:

You raise an excellent point, which should be addressed. First, notice that throughout the book, David and I did not agree on all points. This is important to keep in mind as I explain.

I selected the letters to be used in the book long before I contacted David for the first time. My selection was based on three individuals who were investigating the case for me (and, of course, myself). My belief that CJB was not a Zodiac victim is because of the nature of the crime, the victimology, and the lingering effect. This is covered in the book. David came to the same conclusion based on reading the letters blind, in sequential order, and without knowledge of the case. He had not followed it at the time, or even after the time, since it's not in his field of interest. In fact, this is one of the reasons why I chose him.

I included the SLA letter, as well as the other non-traditional letters, on the basis of the investigation (mine) and that I felt it safer to include them rather than to exclude them, no matter where they led. This, in itself, was a controversial point, as you know. Nonetheless, I thought it better to include them all.

As to DID (MPD), I knew very little about it before this case. However, I did learn quite a bit later. It is the type of disorder that progresses as one ages (from the early years) and typically shows up later in life. It does not have a cyclical development pattern, even though its manifestations can be cyclical. Could it have manifested earlier, say before 1966? I think that's a possibility, if Zodiac suffered from the disease. David is of the opinion that he saw the development throughout the course of the crimes/letter writing. This is the basis of his final diagnosis. Since the book was based on a linear exchange of mail (as explained in the forward), I just let it develop as it did, without trying to alter or manipulate it. I felt that this would give the reader a sense of two points of view on the case, one from a behavioral profiling standpoint, another from the psychological standpoint.

Now, in the book, I tried to stick to my end of the business (profiling) and let David stick to his (psychology). Of course, these things tend to overlap at points. I absolutely believe that Zodiac's crimes involved a good deal of dissociation from his victims, as I mentioned in the book. However, that is a very different concept from a profiler's point of view. I am simply not qualified to form an opinion on DID. That is David's realm.

So, the bottom line is that I can see why you might perceive a contradiction here. I don't because I see the book as written by two individuals who agree on some things and not on others.

Make sense? If not, let me know and I'll try it again.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (proxy-dover.mednet.af.mil - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 06:15 am:

I'm not too sure I'd want to try and square the differences between known Z communications and those of doubtful authorship by proposing a condition such as multiple personality disorder whose symptoms (supposing the condition exists, which is arguable) comprise a well-known set of psychological manifestations that Zodiac does not evince. I think, too, that we should be wary of ascribing any kind of psychotic qualities to him, because even in the best of circumstances, professionals in the field have been thrown a curve by criminal behavior which appears senseless on its face but which, if we examine the perpetrators' underlying motivations, actually does make sense, however warped. Kaczynski's case was instructive in that regard. Psychiatric opinion appears to have been split between two camps, one of which could find no evidence of psychosis, either functional or organic, and a second which perceived his anti-technology worldview as both paranoid and delusional and thus inferred psychosis on that basis alone. Based on the Johnson psychological report, I'm inclined to think that the first of the two won out, while leaving both camps exceedingly confounded. This could get us back to the age-old conundrum of what constitutes "abnormal" behavior. I can't answer that conundrum, but I think it's accurate to say that anyone suffering from psychosis extreme enough to lend itself to multiple personalities or egregious criminal behavior is going to manifest his condition in virtually everything he does, or in any way he presents himself to others. Zodiac doesn't. He's too focused; too much in control, even to the point of ceasing his criminal activity when external circumstances aren't right.

At this juncture I think it would be wise to put asterisks beside those events that cannot absolutely be ascribed to Zodiac, i.e., the entire Bates case, the Johns kidnapping, and all the apocryphal correspondences.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (marinhousing2.org - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 07:04 am:

Good Morning, Doug:

First, let me clarify one point in your post. I've had long, similar discussions with David along these same lines. He makes it clear in the book (and to me personally) that he belives that Zodiac was NOT psychotic. DID (MPD) does not, in any way, imply a psychosis from a clinical psychologist's point of view, at least as I understand it.

As to your other points, I tend to agree. Remember, this is from MY point of view (profiling). Early on, I had to make a choice about what to include and what to exclude. Hence, I threw the kitchen sink in there. My point was not to delve into the crimes but to work Zodiac's profile and let David work the psych end.

Personally, I believe that Zodiac was focussed and had at least two clear motives for killing, as I wrote in the book. There were likely even more motives. I do not subscribe to the theory that he killed because he was a whacko. Far from it, and I also made this clear in the book. However, David has a different point of view and I must repect that.

If you look at our two summations at the end of the book, our respective positions become more clear. But, the bottom line for me is that I'm not nearly as interested in the traditional or clinical psych aspects of the case as I am in the behavioral profile of the killer. That was my interest all along.

As to the asterisks, yeah, that would have worked. Then folks would be accusing me of "leaving things out." So, I don't know. In the end, I picked what I thought would be the best course, knowing full well that the book would stir up some doo-doo in certain circles. Perhaps my biggest mistake was in assuming that folks would understand that this was not a true crime story but, in essence, a dual, in-depth profile where the two parties were coming at it from different perspectives.

Thanks for your feedback. It's helpful.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 09:12 am:

To tell the truth, Mike, I've never taken too much stock in contemporary psychology. But my understanding of MPD has always been that it associated with severe psychological impairment. Whether the professionals refer to this as psychosis I'm not sure. Whatever the case, by all accounts it's a mentally debilitating condition.

When I wrote "Dr. Zodiac," I encountered the same problems regarding the "soft" connections, such as Riverside and the apocryphal letters. The SLA letter, for example, fits right into my theory, because Kaczynski used Norse symbolism in his graffiti, and there were other elements such as his association with Wagnerian opera. The Johns case was tantalizing too, because the verbal description of her abductor (as it appears in Graysmith) is a dead ringer for Kaczynski, with the possible exception of the acne scars, and we don't know about those because he's never shaved his beard. Since those events tended to buttress my argument, and since they wouldn't have harmed it were they proven to be false leads, I included them. And, as you've observed, I would no doubt be accused of leaving things out, as indeed I have, because one of the chief complaints about "Dr. Zodiac," is that I neglected to mention all the major suspects except Kaczynski. Of course if I had included them, the book would have been 1200 pages instead of the 600 it turned out to be! This is a ponderous case, and when one writes about a particular aspect of it (such as you've done) your readers need to understand that you're not trying to tackle the whole thing. Perhaps they'd be less critical if only they'd bear this in mind.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tc081.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 03:26 pm:

Mr. Kelleher,

I truly hope that we can put all the ugliness from the past week behind us?

There was a huge debate some time ago as to whether Zodiac "stalked" his victims or "trolled" for them. It seems obvious that you are of the opinion that Zodiac didn't know any of his victims and chose them randomly. Ironically, I'm of the exact same opinion. (I also don't believe that Zodiac murdered Cheri Jo Bates, but more on that later.) I'm wondering if you will tell us your single biggest argument against the idea that Zodiac "stalked" his victims? Also, is "trolling" really a word that can be ascribed to serial murder cases? If so, would I be correct in saying that most serial killers troll for their victims rather than stalk them?


By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-071.svn.net - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 05:55 pm:

Hi Scott:

I agree about the ugliness. Consider it completely forgotten.

Probably the most potent argument for Zodiac choosing his victims randomly (trolling) is that Zodiac's first three attacks were clearly location specific. That is, he chose the location of the attacks as more imporant than the victims themselves. He was searching out couples in areas that he had previously chosen and found comfortable, indifferent to who those couples were. In most respects, this was also true of Stine. In that case it was a revenge murder, or a murder to prove a point. His intention was to murder a taxi driver at a specific location. Any taxi driver would have done just as well for his purposes but the location of the kill had to be precise.

Interestingly, many serial killers begin their careers by killing someone whom they have seen before or even know. Then then will escalate to unknown individuals who may meet a certain "victim type," which can be based on physical characteristics, profession, or some other personal characteristic. Female serial killers will often murder individuals known to them, while males serial killers generally prefer strangers. It appears that Zodiac began with strangers, which is not that unusal. Of course, this is predicated on the fact that you believe he did not kill CJB. Bates' killer clearly knew the victim and lingered for some time prior to the kill, which is a very different course of action than Zodiac (even at LB).

Trolling is a good term for how most male serial killers react. They are always on the "lookout" for that special victim, either passively or aggressively. Female serial killers generally lie in wait and spend time getting to know thier victims. Zodiac's crimes indicated that he had little interest in the individuality of his victims but a great interest in where they were to be attacked.

Hope that helps.

By Classic (Classic) (spider-mtc-tj032.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 09:33 pm:

Interesting post Mr. Kelleher. Wouldn't CJB be a strong z victim, considering that serial killers start with what they know? I think z's letters also show this. Zodiac is not mentioned right away. The name zodiac wasn't used until after BRS. It appears that he was evolving and growing more confident. Starting out easy and then moving on. I am not 100% sold on CJB being a z victim, although I think it is likely. I have always been 100%, for some odd reason, on the fact that z knew at least one of his victims. Classic

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-ta063.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 09:37 pm:

Yes, that does help, and thank you for responding.

Do you adhere to the idea that while a criminal's MO can change, that invariably his/her signature will not? If so, what do you think accounts for Zodiac's change of MO at Lake Berryessa? Also, do you feel that Zodiac left behind enough elements of his signature at LB to have been definitively connected to the crime? In other words, if Zodiac had not left the writing on Hartnell's car door and Hartnell himself had not survived, do you feel that there would still be enough signature elements to connect Zodiac to the LB crime? Finally, if Zodiac hadn't been connected to Lake Berryessa (Hartnell doesn't survive, Zodiac doesn't leave a message on the car door or make the call in Napa), do you feel that, in time, Zodiac would have taken credit for the events at LB? I know these may sound like strange questions, after all, we know that Zodiac was responsible for LB. However, in my opinion, the answers to these questions will likely shed some light on the "number of victims" debate. Does that seem reasonable?


By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-092.svn.net - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 10:09 pm:

Hello Classic:

We can drop the formalities here, if you like. "Mike" is just fine.

CJB's murder was, in my opinion, an almost classic crime of passion. It was very personal, involved an extended interaction with the victim, and was a high-risk act. In itself, this makes the particular crime an unlikely start for a serial killer. Even though some serial killers begin "close to home," they rarely exhibit the kind of passion that was evident in the Bates' murder, at least in their early murders. Also, the typical serial killer is a sexual predator. Now, Zodiac was clearly not a sexual predator, and Bates' killer was not either, strictly speaking. However, Bates' murder did show some signs of sexual overtones in the way in which she was attacked and killed. I think I discussed this at some length in the book.

Your point about evolving is right on the money for most serial killers. They do evolve. Zodiac also did this. However, not all serial killers evolve strictly in the commission of their crimes. Fantasy, role-playing, and even delusional behavior can be forms of evolution for a serial killer. For example, suppose Zodiac was in fact evolving by involving himself in the Bates murder after the fact (with the anniversary letters)? This, too, is covered in the book.

The Bates murder is a sad chapter in this whole saga because it is a crime that should have been solved but was not.

Good comments, Classic. Thanks.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-63-186.client.attbi.com - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 10:24 pm:

The Cheri Jo Bates case is an absolute enigma, even today. (I still can't figure out why Det. Shumway allowed me to quote him on that "42 stab wounds" fiasco.)

In the "crime of passion" scenario, IMHO, the best candidate to be Cheri's killer is the man I call "Bob Barnett"...however, his DNA didn't match what was found under Cheri's fingernails.

Maybe Zodiac really did kill Cheri (a stranger), and the reason overkill was apparent was not because he knew her, but because she fought back so effectively.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-072.svn.net - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 10:32 pm:

Hi Scott:

No, those are good and pertinent questions.

I've always viewed the LB attack as both ritualistic and as a form of "coming out" for Zodiac. It was an intense evolutionary step in his killing career. Much of this was triggered by Avery's taunting of Zodiac in the Chronicle. It was, in effect, Zodiac's way of "rubbing their noses" in it, with specific intent towards Avery. Stine was much the same, in this sense. Since Stine was his only single male victim, it is also very telling. That was covered in some detail in the book.

Zodiac's pattern, beginning in December 1968, changed predictably in terms of claiming credit for his attacks and always attempting to reach a broader audience. After his second attack, he made a telephone call, which was a rather minor "coming out" statement. Then he began his dance with the media. LB was an extension of that evolutionary process.

The LB crime was filled with fantasy-driven themes. The MO changed to include a much stronger element of control and domination than he had shown in the past. The previous crimes were blitz-type attacks. In fact, this move toward increasing domination and control is not unusual for a male serial killer, although Zodiac took it to an extreme. His deliberate clues were of the same nature -- taking credit for his crimes. They were also an extension of his growing need for domination and control, which presented itself most clearly in the costume, the minor lingering, the multiple stabbing, and the conversation with the victim(s). Also, this was an evolution in risk-taking action.

Finally, if he had not left such blatant clues, you can be sure he would have claimed credit in some other way. He had already established that pattern and would later complete it with Stine. However, it seems clear to me that, at LB, Zodiac intended to ensure that no one could possibly miss his involvement in the crime. It was also one of his unique strokes of "marketing" genius.

Yes, I absolutely adhere to the MO/Signature theory, which was first proposed by Douglas. Although I don't agree with him in some areas, this concept (his) is very sound. It's not unusal for a serial killer to change his MO as he continues to kill. In my trade, we refer to it as "becoming" or "learning the trade." In other words, serial killers become better at what they do as they continue to kill. This means that they also enhance their MO, sometimes consciously, sometimes not. However, the signature, which is what they derive from the process of serial murder (and the act itself), never changes. This is the key to understanding the mind of the serial killer, if it's even possible. ;-)

Good questions. Thanks

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-072.svn.net - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 10:41 pm:

Hi Tom:

Well, I would never exclude that possibility. However, everything about the Bates' crime screams out to me that:

1) Bates knew her killer, which is outside the Zodiac pattern.

2) The killer had some kind of relationship with Bates, even if from afar, which is also outside the Zodiac pattern.

3) The claim to the crime that the killer made was careful, circumspect, and created in such a way as to not appear "Zodiac-like" at all. Most of this is unconscious or semi-conscious material. I think David refered to one as a "poet" (CJB) and the other as an "enumerator" (Zodiac). I don't have too much of a problem with that comparison.

So, for me there is one bottom line question: What are the probabilities that Zodiac killed Bates? I feel they are low for the reasons mentioned in the book. Am I absolutely sure. Hell no! The more I delved into the project, the more unsure I became about a lot of things.

As to law enforcement information being somewhat circumspect, I learned long ago that these are not the best sources of information for a variety of reasons. I'm sure you've also learned this in your research. That's why I use my own investigators, who are folks that can tell the doo-doo from the gems (at least most of the time).

Take care.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (53.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 11:06 pm:

I've postulated that the Bates affair might actually have begun, not as a murder attempt, but a rape attempt that turned ugly when the victim wouldn't cooperate. Considering that sexual inadequacy was probably a key motivating factor for Zodiac, I wonder if we shouldn't take that into consideration when examining the Bates case? I found it interesting, too, that an attempted rape, with a knife as the weapon of coercion, occurred in the city of Vallejo just a couple of days after the LHR event. Could the perpetrator in that case have been our Zodiac? It's impossible to say, but I find it tantalizing that the two events occurred within such a short space of time, in the same small city. See http://home.att.net/~mignarda/attack.pdf.

One thing to bear in mind when examining the LB attack is its proximity to the Manson murders, and we should never lose sight of the fact that for the publicity-hungry Zodiac, those gory murders, which received world-wide press, would have completely "stolen his thunder," perhaps leading him to make an attempt at trumping Manson and his crew. That might explain why you have the sudden change in M.O., yet no discernible progression in the succeeding crime at Presidio Heights.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb4690b.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 12:34 am:

Thanks, Mike. I understand that with two authors, there will never be complete agreement! lol In any case, I still find it odd that difference in tone and style etc counts one letter in but another one out. While I'm not 100% certain that CJB was a Z victim (I've wavered on that over the years based on new evidence as it's made public), I'm not sure I can discount the Confession letter as being a genuine Z communique based on the same reasoning that includes the SLA letter as proof of multiple personalities. But, that's just my opinion.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-076.svn.net - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 06:09 am:

Hi Doug:

As to the Bates' murder, I think it could well have started as a lesser sexual crime attempt that went awry. However, I don't agree that Zodiac was necessarily sexually inadequate. In fact, as I mentioned in the book, I think it was possible that he had at least one relatively normal relationship with a woman earlier in his life, which probably ended very badly. Yet, I understand that this is speculation, so it's always open to different possibilities.

I agree that Zodiac would have claimed credit for a newsworthy crime that he didn't commit. He certainly proved that point several times. Still, I'm convinced that the LB crime was his and his alone. He just made it too obvious that he was the perp and that, in itself, was part of the crime.

The Presido crime was not within his usual pattern. But, as you know, I believe that this was a special crime based on circumstances that Zodiac did not forsee and could not tolerate.

Thanks, Doug.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) ( on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 06:15 am:

Hi Ed:

Of course, I see your point. Of all the books I've written, I've never had a co-author except for David and my wife. Each was a C/A on one book. My wife was easy because we've been together for decades and it was a realtively simple book on serial murder. This book was a complete departure for me, and a difficult one to write. I actually gave a good deal of thought to "cleaning up" certain aspects that I knew would pose problems like the one you mentioned. In the end, though, I thought it would be more honest and real to just let the dialogue flow, good, bad, or otherwise.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tc012.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 06:52 am:

Hi Mike,

With regards to Lake Berryessa you wrote, ". . .if he had not left such blatant clues, you can be sure he would have claimed credit in some other way."

That's exactly what I think. That's why I feel that Z's missive from November 8, 1969, in which he claimed 7 victims, is complete bull. I would be highly surprised to find out that Z really had murdered someone in August of 1969. As you conclude in your book, this simply didn't happen.



By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 07:17 am:


I am very interested in your comments about Lake Berryessa and "becoming". Hypothetical (partly) question: Assume for the moment that the handwriting on the Ghia door is inconclusive as a match to the letters, and there is no other physical evidence tying the LB perp to the writer. In other words, it is no longer a given that the LB perp is the letter writer. What can you conclude about whether the LB is the same personality as LHR and BRS perp? (P.S. to Tom: I promise not to inject my own views here: I would just like to have Mike's)

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (marinhousing2.org - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 07:27 am:

Hi Peter:

If the LB murder was absent ANY evidence of Zodiac's involvement, I would probably not connect it to his previous crimes. Although the signature is the same, the victimology the same, the type of attack and the way it was carried out would lead me to believe that it may well have been a different killer, even perhaps a form of copycat with escalation. This was a far more personalized attack than the earlier two, and far different in many ways.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb40e57.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 05:26 pm:

Mike: I'm curious as to your position that Z was not likely affiliated with the military (pp. 205-206). David suggests that he had some sort of military background (pp. 47, 49), while you refer to Z dressing in an apparent paramilitary style (pp. 75, 87; granted, that does not necessarily imply military experience), and also suggest that his choice and skill with weapons might support the military contention (p. 60).

While I agree with you on the points you address in pages 205-206 (I've pointed out more than once that Wing Walkers were available at military surplus stores back in the day, which therefore doesn't prove that Z was military), there were other points you may not have been aware of, as enumerated by Graysmith (Zodiac, pp. 314-315). Specifically, what strikes me as suggestive of a military background is the military type of way that Z numbered pages (as seen on p. 102 of your book, where the first page of the 11-9-1969 letter is reproduced), and Z's use of military-type phrasing ("waiting for me to come out of cover" from the 10-13-1969 letter and "pick of (sic) all stray people or coupples" from the 7-31-69 Times-Herald Letter, Page 2.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-067.svn.net - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 06:00 pm:

Hi Ed:

Yes, I was aware of those other points from Graysmith. However, I didn't find them sufficiently persuasive to change my point of view, which is expressed pretty completely in the book. In fact, I viewed them as indications of Zodiac's obsession with paramilitary themes -- a subject that I also covered throughout the book. In there, I gave several reasons why I don't believe he was ever in the military (acutally, many). From a profiling perspective, though, his fear of male power is very convincing for me. This is a trait that is often found in serial killers who target couples or, more often, single females.

Of course, nothing is for sure about this case. However, I would be very, very surprised if he was ever in the military (if we ever find out for sure, one way or the other).

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 06:16 pm:

Mike wrote of Zodiac:
"his fear of male power is very convincing for me."

You could also look at it as being respect rather than fear, which you learn in the military. (At least they try and teach that...)

I believe if Zodiac had truly been intimidated by males, he wouldn't have targeted couples. And if he had, he would have exhibited overkill on the males.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-067.svn.net - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 06:30 pm:

Hi Tom:

Actually, from the point of view of a serial killer, respect would have dictated exactly what you descibe, or its reverse, in the extreme -- in other words, sure kills on males or exonerating them. The targeting of couples is another matter altogether (and one that I also talked about quite a bit in the book). This is a more complex issue having to do with love, relationships, early experiences, etc. However, WITHIN the structure of the couple, Zodiac had a clear problem with his male victims in two cases. Also, in the Stine case, this was an exceptionally cowardly act, certainly not one that would show any kind of respect for males. In fact, the Stine murder could best be described as a "cowardly assassination" rather than a more respectful execution.

Now, Tom, my usual caveat applies on these kinds of issues. This is from a criminal-behavioral point of view. Your results may vary.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 08:35 pm:

Mike wrote I agree that Zodiac would have claimed credit for a newsworthy crime that he didn't commit. He certainly proved that point several times.

Could you cite one, or preferably "several" examples? Are there any crimes for which Z took credit which we know absolutely for sure he didn't commit?

He said "I shot a man sitting in a parked car with a .38.". As I recall, such a crime did occur, but if I have this correct someone else was convicted? I'm fuzzy on this so if anyone can fill me in, Thanks.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-070.svn.net - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 09:03 pm:

Hi Obiwan (love that nick):

Yep, it's all in the book, including a table of related events that link some media coverage of the same ilk. If you have it handy, they'll jump out at you like a sore thumb. Yes, there are crimes for which he claimed credit and for which other perp(s) were arrested, tried, and convicted. I don't want to rehash them all here, basically because I'm lazy. I also don't advocate you buy the book just for this :-) Your local library probably has it.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 10:35 pm:

Mike, thanks for replying. Can anyone else give me 1 example of a crime Z CERTAINLY did not commit but took credit for? Does anyone else have information on the .38 claim (such as an archived discussion on zodiackiller.com which I missed?) Thanks.

By Sandy (Sandy) (ppp-64-175-140-21.dialup.wnck11.pacbell.net - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 10:40 pm:

Obiwan, Mike is correct. The coward zodiac, wanted the police to believe he killed two young girls in SanJose Aug 3rd 69. Two years later the killer was caught. No one knows who Z killed in Aug 69, if anyone at all. This was a way for Z to get the attention he so craved, something he probably didn't get from his mother. I think he enjoyed the attention, as much, if not more than the kill.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb4425b.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 11:15 pm:

Mike, it's certainly not proof of any sort, but it's also not enough for me to discount it completely. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that Z was in the military, but perhaps he didn't complete his enlistment due to fear of male authority...

By Esau (Esau) (12-246-187-137.client.attbi.com - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 11:23 pm:

Hi Mike, welcome aboard. Do you think it may be possible that Zodiac wasn't alluding to Snoozy/Furlong and Radetich? I've always wondered that since VICAP was not in existence during the Zodiac series there may be some out of state murders that he committed that authorities haven't yet tied in to the series. What people say are claims for Snoozy/Furlong is an increase in score at the bottom of a letter and for Radetich it's "I shot a man sitting in a parked car with a .38". That's a far cry from the details he writes of in letters after the Faraday/Jensen, Mageau/Ferrin and Stein killings. Does Zodiac seem like the type that may be confident enough to do his thing away from his comfort zone?

By Esau (Esau) (12-246-187-137.client.attbi.com - on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 11:31 pm:

Ed, I used to have a roommate that was never in the military. He had more equipment and knowledge of equipment than I ever had when I was active duty. I notice that when I go to the local Army/Navy store and I talk to the owner he likes to point out the customers that are either vets or wannabes. The only difference I can spot in them is that the wannabes look more like military than the vets do. The military is full of men with fear of male power. They are usually the trouble makers and rebels. Personally I see evidence pointing both towards military and non-military. It's hard to say.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (193.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:00 am:

While we're on the subject:

"While at the University of Michigan he sought psychiatric contact on one occasion at
the start of his fifth year of study. As referenced above, he had been experiencing
several weeks of intense and persistent sexual excitement involving fantasies of
being a female
. During that time period he became convinced that he should undergo
sex change surgery. He recounts that he was aware that this would require a
psychiatric referral, and he set up an appointment at the Health Center at the
University to discuss this issue. He describes that while waiting in the waiting room,
he became anxious and humiliated over the prospect of talking about this to the
doctor. When he was actually seen, he did not discuss these concerns, but rather
claimed he was feeling some depression and anxiety over the possibility that the
deferment status would be dropped for students and teachers, and that he would face
the possibility of being drafted into the military
. He indicates that the psychiatrist
viewed his anxiety and depression as not atypical. Mr. Kaczynski describes leaving
the office and feeling rage, shame, and humiliation over this attempt to seek
evaluation. He references this as a significant turning point in his life."

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-94.linkline.com - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:43 am:

Good questions.But,instead 'out of state'-which is viable, why not follow Zodiacs "there are a hell of a lot more down there'[Southern CA]statement?

By Eduard (Eduard) (hmm-dca-ap01-d12-113.dial.freesurf.nl - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 02:46 am:

Mr. Kelleher,

Welcome to this board. I haven't read your book,yet. But I saw your posts on the two MB's.
I'm impressed by it!

Eduard Versluijs
"The Zodiac-Batman Connection"

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-070.svn.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 07:24 am:

Hi Ed:

That's a GREAT observation! It could well have happend that way. Thanks for the insight.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-070.svn.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 07:31 am:

Hi Esau:

Thanks for the welcome.

As for Zodiac being out of the area, this is an issue that has troubled me all along. Frankly, I don't know, and the folks who were working with me during the research phase couldn't shed any light on it, one way or the other. My "gut feeling," which isn't worth a heck of a lot sometimes, leads me to think that he didn't stray too far from the Bay Area. But, in the end, I just don't know. I feel that I was able to link him comfortably to local crimes that he clearly did not commit, so that seems to establish a strong enough pattern of behavior for me. Also, it's important to note that the Chronicle and even the SF Medical Examiner, in public, linked him to crimes that he didn't commit. The whole scene was nuts back then.

As to whether or not Zodiac would kill away from his "comfort zone," by which I assume you mean the Bay Area, I think not after Stine.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-070.svn.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 07:34 am:

Hi Doug:

That was interesting, wasn't it (the psych report piece)? Good point.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-070.svn.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 07:38 am:

Esau wrote:

"The military is full of men with fear of male power. They are usually the trouble makers and

Actually, I'd like to make a contrary observation here and say it this way:

"The military is full of men (and sometimes women) who have significant problems with authority figures. They are often (initially) the trouble makers and rebels, but are sometimes re-directed to becoming strong authority figures themselves."

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-070.svn.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 07:40 am:

Hi Eduard:

Thank you. I've been enjoying hearing from others on this thread.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td014.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 04:29 pm:


You wrote, "However, the signature, which is what they derive from the process of serial murder (and the act itself), never changes." (Emp. mine)

I've always understood this to be "personation." Is this a recognizable and/or applicable term that is used in modern criminology? If so, could you give a brief explanation of the difference between signature and personation?

Additionally, with regards to the hood worn at Lake Berryessa, is it reasonable to say that the hood, in and of itself, is representative of MO (it was used to disgusie his face), signature (it bore the Zodiac emblem), and personation (it meant something to Zodiac; a meaning that was known only to him)? As you can see, I have a particular interest in Lake Berryessa (also Lake Herman Road), and I appreciate any and all insights.

Finally, are you familiar with the "Moonlight Murderer" case that took place in Texarkana in 1946? Despite certain dissimilarities, the Zodiac case is strikingly similar, don't you think? I'm not sure if there is any significance to the similarities, but for some reason I feel confidant in saying that Z probably had some knowledge of the case. I'm not sure why.


By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-071.svn.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 06:11 pm:

Hi Scott:

Sure, "personation" is fine. There really is no substantial difference, just a technical one. In fact, the two terms could almost be used interchangeably to define what the perp personally derives from the crime itself. The signature is the view from a profiler's point of view, while personation is the composite profile of what the perp finds so compelling and satisfying (and need-fulfilling) about murder.

The LB killing included a definte change in MO, and an obvious escalation. Zodiac had evolved as a serial killer, which is common. The hood was very symbolic. In that sense, it was an enhancement to his previous crimes. In essence, it epitomized Zodiac's drive for control and domination, to attack not just physically, but also by fear and terror -- an "executioner's hood". The symbol on the hood was much the same -- the emphasis of an "identity" (in symbolic form) that he had established in the media (with their full cooperation, sad to say). And, yes, I agree that Zodiac had some special ideas in mind at LB, driven by practice (prior kills), a good deal of fantasy, and by the image of an inscrutable killer/terrorist/genius that had been well established by the Chronicle and its reporting of his crimes. He was, in effect, affirming that public media persona and adding to it. Was there even more personal meaning to him? I'm absolutely sure of it, as you pointed out. However, at this point we just don't know what it was and he didn't leave much of a psychological trail to follow relating that attack.

No, I'm only passingly familiar with the Moonlight Murderer. If you could point me to some material on it, I'll take a look. Maybe I can set aside some time to review the case and get back to you.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-071.svn.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 06:16 pm:

To Scott:

Here's PS :-)

Profilers often tend to have a demi-god attitude about things and love to create their own theories, terms, and tactics. In truth, much of what a profiler does comes through some good training, a lot of experience, and a lot of mistakes. As I may have mentioned before, it's certainly not a science. So, when you find certain profilers throwing around different terms with different definitions, they may often be talking about the same thing but trying to put their own mark on it.

Pretty good condemation of what I do, wouldn't you say? :-)

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (219.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 06:33 pm:

Mike, if Kaczynski was behind that hood, I believe he might have used his regalia from Michigan for the purpose; the mortarboard and gown would have been ideal for making the flat-topped headpiece. If so, it would have symbolized his renunciation of academia three months earlier; something that caused him considerable conflict with his family (and no doubt himself, though I doubt if he'd admit it).

I'm not too certain that inciting fear was Zodiac's primary motivation in using the hood. I'm more inclined to believe that it symbolized something personal to him; whatever that something might have been. I believe this because it appears to have been part of his plan to set his victims at ease as to his actual purpose, the better to convince them that they should allow themselves to be restrained. Terrorizing them would have been counterproductive; it might even have made Hartnell (a large man) more inclined to fight.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-111.svn.net - on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 07:00 pm:

Hi Doug:

No, I didn't mean to imply that the PRIMARY motivation was to incite fear. Far from it. I think the motivation was more complex, and probably an array of purposes, many of which we don't (yet) understand.

Well, we disagree somewhat on the "putting them at ease" issue, but not that much. I would prefer the terms I used up a few messages, control and domination. Remember that control does not have to be overtly hostile. In fact, it is often better used in a symbolic manner, by gestures, inferences, etc., etc. However, we're actually not that far apart in our opinions.

Terrorizing his victims was, I believe, very much a part of the protocol at LB. Remember that terror implies control, taken to a level of domination that, in this case, resulted in murder. It's really not an uncommon tactic, especially for serial killers.

Then there's the fear of male power thing that we've alreaed discussed . . . blah, blah . . .

That part of the TK theory is interesting (as to the outfit). I read your book so long ago that I can't remember if you mentioned it in there. However, sure, why not? Now, I'm not saying that I subscribe to the TK/Z theory. But, for the sake of argument, if the two were the same, why not use that kind of symbology in combination with practicality. There is nothing about your idea that would fly in the face of behavioral profiling. In fact, far from it.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (57.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 12:45 am:

Mike, I did indeed mention the idea of the college regalia. It was just a thought, based on a photo of Kaczynski in cap-and-gown that ran in the Washington Post.

I'm more inclined to think that the public was the true object of the terror Zodiac sought to inspire. I believe that the entire scenario at Berryessa was calculated to perpetrate the stabbing with as little risk as possible. I don't think there's any way he would have approached two people--even two lone women--and carried out a knife attack without taking adequate pains to see that there was no chance of his victims fighting back. Once Hartnell and Shepard were immobilized, he didn't so much as taunt them, though he had them both at his total mercy. If you follow Hartnell's account, the actual stabbing couldn't have taken more than sixty seconds. In the commission of the crime he leaves a lot of ambiguity as to his motivations. But its aftermath is classic Zodiac--a chilling graffiti, followed by a (perhaps) risky phone call to the police.

Of course, if this were all cut-and-dried, the bugger would have gotten himself caught thirty years ago, and we wouldn't be discussing it now!

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-076.svn.net - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 08:38 am:

Hi Doug:

Well, what you say is on the money. My take (in the book) was that he was inspired to pursue the "bigger" target of the public after compulsively following the media accounts of his first attack (December 1968). It was somewhere along that timeline that he discovered (or realized) that he could hold the Bay Area hostage (symbolically) if he played his cards right. He started with law enforcement and then immediately moved on to the media, which really set him apart from the vast majority of other serial killers. My belief is that these two (law enforcement, public) were his real targets right along, although he was probably not conscious of it until he realized how successful he had been with his first attack. Of course, that would translate into: "Zodiac realized that the rest of us were inept fools."

I think your regalia idea is a good one.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (79.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 09:20 am:

Thanks, Mike. I'm impressed by your overall take on Zodiac, and I think that while some people may cavil over certain aspects of your work, those ideas will eventually catch on. I'm reminded of John Douglas's original 1996 take on Kaczynski. While everyone else was goo-gawing and drooling over his anti-technology smokescreen, Douglas saw right through it. After the psych report came out, others started paying attention.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tc041.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 01:13 pm:

Doug wrote, "Terrorizing them would have been counterproductive; it might even have made Hartnell (a large man) more inclined to fight."

I'm not sure about that, Doug, simply because of the fact that Zodiac approached Bryan and Cecilia with a gun trained on them. Intimidation, domination, terror . . . what's the difference? I imagine that the hood added something to the terror factor, simply because it was so bizarre. I do like your "college regalia" idea. IMHO, it's the best explanation I've heard thus far concerning the hood's boxy appearance.


Is it reasonable to believe, as I do, that the hood was also intended to "inform" any potential eyewitnesses? In other words, because the hood was not a simple balaclava or, say, nylon stockings, any potential eyewitness who saw the hood would immediately commit it to memory because it was anything but clandestine and ordinary. And yet, at the same time, it still protected Zodiac's identity. Does that make sense?

This is what I mean when I say that I feel the hood represents not only MO, but signature and personation as well. That it was a part (although a new part?) of Zodiac's MO is obvious; it served to protect his identity. That it meant something significant to Zodiac (personation) is also fairly evident. However, I contend that it is also signature by virtue of the fact that if Zodiac had been seen by an eyewitness (other than Hartnell), said eyewitness could have placed Zodiac at the scene via his testimony. Therefore, if Zodiac had been spotted, his "personal" identity would have remained undisclosed but his "public" identity as Zodiac would have been perpetuated. And, consequently, Zodiac would have had no need to write on Hartnell's cardoor or make the phone call in Napa because the eyewitness would be able link Zodiac to the crime based upon his/her description of the hood.

I've had people argue against this concept saying that Zodiac never intended for Bryan and Cecilia to survive and, given the remoteness of the area, the possibility of eyewitnesses were slim. Well, if that's the case, then the hood wasn't meant to serve as a part of his MO either, right? I mean, if the possibility of eyewitnesses was remote, then why wear the hood in the first place?

Anyway, I'm starting to babble. I'm just interested in what you have to say about all of this. In my opinion, the hood either served all three functions (MO, signature, personation) or it only served as personation, which I doubt. What do you think?


By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-081.svn.net - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 02:10 pm:

Hi Scott:

Sure, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that explanation from a profiling point of view. One may argue that Z intended to kill his victims, but the impact of the hood, and it's element of protection of ID from everyone, is still valid.

The fact is, the hood disguise is a very complex issue unto itself, as you've pointed out. Some of the elements are obvious (like disguise, symbology, fear, public ID, etc.). Yet, I also believe that there's a good deal more than that "behind the hood." Ok, poor joke, but you know what I mean.

I could also babble on about the hood for several thousand words and still feel like I was just touching the surface. It is, as pointed out by you and others, a truly unique element. In fact, I think one could make the argument, from a purely psychological point of view, that Z would have worn that hood even if there was no danger of ID whatsoever.

As to it becoming part of his crime signature, I'm not sure. From what we know now, I'd say probably not, just to be on the safe side. I think that in order to know that for sure, we'd have to know a heck of a lot more about the hood itself and how his crimes would have continued to develop, if he continued his serial killing career. In the end, it's an enigma, and a great one.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (224.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 03:56 pm:

Scott, my friend Mike Rusconi is a strong proponent of the belief that Zodiac meant for Hartnell to survive the attack, at least long enough to tell everyone what he saw. I think the Graysmith account is somewhat exaggerated, but if you look at the police reports and the Hartnell interview it's not so certain that the attack on Hartnell was calculated to be fatal. And I'm not so sure that Cecilia Shepard would have died if she hadn't turned over and allowed herself to be stabbed from the front.

So far as signature is concerned, I like John Douglas's take on it the best. He believes that signature comprises those elements of the crime that satisfy the perpetrator emotionally. In that sense, if we believe that the hood held some significance for Zodiac, why then, I think there's good reason to speculate that the hood might have comprised a signature element. On the other hand, we'd need to see that element repeating itself in a future crime or crimes in order to really pin it down.

Speaking of terror, come to think of it, I don't think Hartnell has ever been on record as saying that either he or Cecilia experienced that emotion as a consequence of the confrontation with Zodiac.

By Melissa Presutti (Melissapresutti) (177.sanjose-08rh15rt-ca.dial-access.att.net - on Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 01:48 pm:

Hi Mike,

I just wanted to let you know that I have not yet read your book, but I do plan on doing so. First, because I respect your profession and I'm very intrigued by profiling and working towards one day doing it myself. Second, with all the publicity, good and bad... given on these threads, you can't help but want to get your book. So take the negative comments as advertisement. It definitely peaks curiousity. If the reader does not understand the art of profiling than the literature will seem foreign as well. Congrats on what you've accomplished..

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-090.svn.net - on Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 02:46 pm:

Thank you, Melissa.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-7.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 08:49 am:

Hi, Mike:

Could you elaborate a bit on your take on John Douglas's concept of "personation" and "signature"? My understanding is that the important distinction is that signature is personation that is repeatedly sufficiently to perform an identity function of some kind. In this view, the hood, the conversation, the car writing, the phone call, etc. are all personation, but only the phone call and the use of the Z sign itself (as distinct from the act of using the z-sign at the scene) even approach "signature". Is this how you use the terms?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (marinhousing2.org - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 10:36 am:

Hi Peter:

I really try to stay away from being too specific about attributing elements of a crime to personation and/or signature. There is a very good reason for this. If you want to develop a reasonable profile, it's necessary to see linking elements, missing elements, and try to predict future elements (among a lot of other things). To begin classifying these elements too narrowly from the "get to" leads to a peculiar kind of blindness that often happens to those who profile. Remember, this is not a science, despite what some profilers would like you to believe. It is very common to view certain elements one way for a specific crime and then realize, later (after another crime), that those elements are something altogether different.

As to signature, which is something I've found helpful for many years, I define it as what the perp derives from the crime itself (or, more accurately, the series of crimes). Usually, this is of an emotional, sexual, or similar kind of satisfaction. But, it's always a satisfaction. Personation is technically a bit different but, as I mentioned somewhere in an earlier post, for me, that difference is not especially important. I try to always look for the signature and link elements that relate to the signature in an effort to ultimately understand motivation.

Hope that helps.

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

Yes it does. Thanks.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 12:01 pm:

Mike, I like that assessment best. John Douglas subscribes to it as well. We shouldn't confused what the perpetrator derives emotionally from the crime with the means by which he derives that satisfaction.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb031.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 12:45 pm:

Doug, you wrote, ". . . my friend Mike Rusconi is a strong proponent of the belief that Zodiac meant for Hartnell to survive the attack, at least long enough to tell everyone what he saw."

I've been contemplating this statement for a couple of days and, well, it just doesn't make sense. Is Rusconi saying that Hartnell knew Zodiac and/or was somehow involved with the crime at LB? He can't possibly mean that Zodiac stabbed Bryan and intended for him to live, can he? If so, how, exactly, would Z have been able to accomplish that?

I do find the concept of Hartnell knowing who Z was kind of interesting. After all, almost everything we know about LB is derived from Hartnell's testimony. Perhaps he was embellishing a little? Maybe there was no hood? Perhaps Bryan set Cecilia up, killed her, had an accomplice stab him to make it all look legit (like at the end of Scream), and blamed the entire thing on Zodiac? I mean, Bryan was/is a smart guy. Chances are pretty good that he'd read about the Zodiac crimes and, if he had a particular motive to murder Cecilia, perhaps he could have pulled it off basically as described.

I know it probably sounds like it, but I'm actually not being facetious here, nor am I trying to be grotesque. I've always felt that there was something different about the LB crime to begin with. Perhaps it is because Zodiac didn't commit the crime at LB? As has been argued in the past, and corroborated by Mr. Kelleher in this very thread, if Hartnell had died, and there was no writing left on the car door or phone call made in Napa, it would have been practically impossible to connect Zodiac to Lake Berryessa. Am I accurately representing this idea, Mr. Kelleher? However, with Hartnell's testimony, and an accomplice to do some dirty work (stab Bryan, write on the car door and make a call to the police in Napa), you have a perfectly executed crime that looks like it was commited by Zodiac. Interesting. I'm not saying that this is what happened, there's every reason to believe that Zodiac was responsible for LB. However, is it that infeasible?

Mr. Kelleher? Members of the board? What do you folks think? Is it a workable concept or not? BTW, hasn't someone already conceived this idea? If so, who?


By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 01:00 pm:

Scott, I think you might need to start a new thread for that one...

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 01:08 pm:

Scott, Rusconi simply believed that Zodiac intentionally refrained from inflicting as much damage as he might have. To all appearances Hartnell didn't get stabbed as thoroughly as Shepard, although, as I mentioned above, that could be because he remained somewhat passive throughout the ordeal while she struggled and moved about. To my mind, nothing is graven in stone. And I believe there is always a possibility that Zodiac didn't commit the Berryessa crime, but I strongly doubt it, because in order for a copycat to have done it we would have had to have a second killer running around the Bay Area at the same time with virtually the same signature, motive, and handwriting. The reason why I believe he didn't dwell on this crime was that the police and media were beginning to impute certain characteristics to him (especially homosexuality) that he didn't find appealing.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb031.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 01:12 pm:

Tom, not a bad idea, but I wouldn't mind having Mr. Kelleher's point of view on this first.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (marinhousing2.org - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 01:58 pm:

Hi Scot and Doug:

Sorry to answer in this thread but I don't follow any other ones (no time). Yes, I tend to believe that absent ANY of the clues that were found, it would difficult or impossible to link Zodiac to the crime.

I do not subscribe to the theory that Zodiac intentionally let his male victim live. I discuss this at some length in the book. Bottom line is that there is no compelling reason to believe so. In other words, with the lack of any such indications, I think it's too great an assumption, for me.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-th043.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 02:30 pm:

Really fascinating different take on LB, Scott.
I think LB and CJB are the two most interesting, and perplexing of the whole Zodiac File. I also think, IMHO, there are similiarities.
Mike, I like your emphatic statement on p.17 "One way or the other, there is the Riverside Connection--and it cannot be ignored."
Absolutely, it's too obvious. But here's the thing Mike. You dismiss Zodiac as the the killer
of Cheri Jo, for one reason because the facts of this case seem to indicate that Cheri Jo knew her murderer. And so? Why does this eliminate Zodiac?
The two do not seem to have to be mutually exclusive.
Another reason being that he wanted to kill couples. I will stick my neck out here, like Scott did, with (perhaps) another possibility -- until just before, Cheri and Barnett were quite inseperable. Perhaps Zodiac, not knowing that they had just broken up was expecting for Cheri Jo to show up with her boyfriend, or for him to come along, did Z stall for so long for that reason? After all we do know that, at least to a certain extent he had been stalking her. Just a thought. At any rate, you do explain away why he would want to kill a lone Stine, but Kathleen Johns was very visable as a lone female and yet you do agree he went after her, without explaining why (apropos to your couples-only theory).
Now that we are lucky enough to have you with us, could you shed some light on this.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-103.svn.net - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 04:08 pm:

Hi Sylvie:

Actually, all the issues you brought up are covered in great detail in the book -- Bates, Stine, Johns, etc. I think there is little else I can add to that material at this point. On these kinds of points we could have an endless debate, with endless speculation, and both be dead wrong.

As to your theory, I always like to answer these things in a similar way: Sure, it's possible. Most anything is possible. But, what are the probabilities?

The fact is that we all make some assumptions about Bates. I certainly did. What I tried to do in the book was tie these assumptions to Zodiac's known behavior as closely as possible, given what was learned of his later activities. That's the advantage of hindsight. But, in the end, it's all a matter of probabilities, for now.

Right at the beginning of Chapter One there is a quotation that sets the theme for the book. It reads, "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate." That's known as Ockham's Razor, and I wanted it to be the backbone of where I was "coming from" in the book. For us plain folks, it can be translated simply as: "Why look for the complex answer when the simple one is more likely to be correct." Poor translation, I know. Just mine.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 04:12 pm:

Tom kindly(much thanks goes to Tom for his generosity in publically posting documents that he acquired with difficulty and lots of money and time-which a lot of people take for granted!) posted the secret DOJ Report that affirms that the Head of Questioned Documents ,Sherwood Morrill,believed the LB car door writing was the same as that found in other authenticated Zodiac missives.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td082.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 04:13 pm:

Doug wrote, ". . . I believe there is always a possibility that Zodiac didn't commit the Berryessa crime, but I strongly doubt it, because in order for a copycat to have done it we would have had to have a second killer running around the Bay Area at the same time with virtually the same signature, motive, and handwriting."

Doug, that's what makes a copycat a copycat, isn't it? Copy another's MO so as to disguise your own? Besides, the MO wasn't the same and the signature elements are, as previously noted, pretty scant.

Hartnell was a law student at the time, right? Hmm. Was there anything significant about LB that Hartnell couldn't have possibly learned from the news articles up to that date? I'll have to check on that. I have to admit, however, that the handwriting on the car door presents a major obstacle to this line of reasoning. Was it only S. Morril who concluded that the handwriting on the door matched Z's? Or did BCII also conclude the same thing independently from Morril? I'll review that as well.

Yeah Tom, I know . . . in another thread. Just maybe . . .


By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td082.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 04:25 pm:


We were posting at the same time. I know what Mr. Morril concluded, obviously. However, his particular specialty is not an exacting science is it? I do agree, on the other hand, that this is the biggest obstacle in thinking that Z didn't commit the crime at LB, regardless of who the "other" perp may have been.


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (20.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 04:30 pm:

Scott, the MO might have been copied, but I doubt if you'll ever find such a thing as a deliberate signature copy. I'm speaking of signature as the element of the crime that satisfies the perpetrator emotionally. I can perhaps perceive some sexually-sadistic serial killer trying to plant a red herring by pretending to be Zodiac, but in that case I think he'd end up inserting his own signature elements into the crime. As a matter of fact, since the prevailing sentiment has always been that Zodiac was a sexual sadist, one would expect some pretty grisly hands-on work from someone trying to imitate him. Of course it would be all wrong, but the copycat wouldn't know that.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-62.linkline.com - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 08:48 pm:

Welcome aboard.In your book you mention that Bill Nelsons book promotes the theorythat the Manson family was involved in the Zodiac crimes. As anyone could have easily discovered by actually reading Nelsons book -it was my work/book The Zodiac/Manson Connection,that asserts that Manson and Bruce Davis (not the "Family"-this is a erroneous notion that some ,including you,have of my research and book)were in complicity in the Zodiac scenario.What I am saying is that Nelson got his postulates about Bruce Davis,etc.,from my work and you ,in a sense, gave him and his book 'credit' for my presentation ,which I have had since I started researching Zodiac in 1987(based on a pristine tip I got in 1974).Nelson brings all of this out in his book and you chose to ignore it-including my web site at zodiacmurders.com.This is unprofessional and it places an author of a pioneering concept(be it true or false)of appearing to be an egotist in attempting to claim his rightful status.I don't think any poster on this fine Board believes I am that kind of person-the WORK comes first-ego is out!This post is but one example of this fact-and of others who thought that I 'copied' Nelson after reading your book!How did you find out about Nelsons book-and not mine?Did you even read it? You refer to Penns book, which actually has not enjoyed a wide readership(and his theories even less!), as it is little known to the public.My book was on Americas Most Wanted-at least I got that exposure,but you seemed to ignore that.I am still amazed that you ignored Toms site,which IS the premier Zodiac site- anywhere!No one can deny this ,as he has gathered more documents and made more breakthroughs than even the authorities!Even if Tom did 'talk down' to you in some way,professionalism would have ignored this and reported the WORK-which is beyond reproach.I am simply presenting and as you know it's easy to misunderstand ones post.I hope you will answer and I thank you for your time.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-074.svn.net - on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 09:21 pm:

Hello Howard:

As to websites, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, I decided to not include ANY of them for the reasons already mentioned (it's up several messages from this, near the top of the thread).

I believe, and will presume, that your reference is to page 245, which reads as follows:

"Bill Nelson. Author of 'Manson: Behind the Scenes,' which theorizes that the Zodiac murders were actually crimes committed by the infamous Manson family."

You said:
"it was my work/book The Zodiac/Manson Connection,that asserts that Manson and Bruce Davis (not the "Family"-this is a erroneous notion that some ,including you,have of my research and book)"

Actually, I don't hold that notion, nor have I ever expressed it. And, yes, I have read your book.

You said:
"Nelson brings all of this out in his book and you chose to ignore it-including my web site at zodiacmurders.com."

Once again, Howard, refer to the early part of this thread about websites. As to what Nelson said in his book, I ignored ALL of it. I merely summarized it in the quote above.

You said:
"This is unprofessional and it places an author of a pioneering concept(be it true or false)of appearing to be an egotist in attempting to claim his rightful status."

Well, that's a rather challenging phrase, wouldn't you agree? I'm flattered that you would give me the power to define your "rightful status" but, believe me, I don't hold that kind of sway over anyone, nor would I want to. As to my "unprofessional" behavior, I made an editorial decision. It was also based on some communications in early 1998 in alt.true-crime, which perhaps you have saved. At any rate, there was a time that I floated a proposal in that group about your work and theories, basically to invite you to participate with me. Do you remember that? Perhaps not. It was a while ago. At any rate, it's history now and I really don't want to dredge it up. You will either recognize my reference or you won't, agree with it or not. You have an absolute right to that, as do I.

You said:
"the WORK comes first-ego is out!"

Howard, I don't want to start a civil war here, and it's obvious that you are upset (perhaps justifiably, from your point of view). However, you've told me I am unprofessional, that I've denied you your rightful status, and then go on to say that the work comes first. I find this a bit confusing.

You said:
"Even if Tom did 'talk down' to you in some way,professionalism would have ignored this and reported the WORK"

Once again, please read earlier in the thread. Tom and I exchanged information on this (again, earlier in this thread), which explains my decision and why I chose the amateur investigators that I did.

It seems clear to me that you are upset because you were not cited in my book. Yet, I also noticed elsewhere that you think the book is basically junk. I would have thought that you wouldn't want to be mentioned in a book that you regard as basically useless.

Now, we've both exchanged our points of view in less than pleasant terms, for which I apologize. Hopefully, we can all move on. I, for one, won't go into this mode (or respond to this kind of mode) in the future.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-85.linkline.com - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 12:30 am:

I am glad you were frank and open-it was a good solid retort.Thank you.I had read your reasons for not placing websites in your book,so I was giving you my opinion ,which focused on Toms site.Now,that you know his site is here to stay and how that, due to the preponderance of documents and the opportunity to purchase even more hard to obtain papers -will you not give his site credit in your second edition?Hey, since you are a poster all the more reason!

I will apoligize for my own false misconception of your supposed belief about the Families involvement in the Zodiac crimes.I will then rephrase and assert that you misunderstand Nelsons position.He believes that Bruce Davis was probably the Zodiac and wrote the letters ascribed to Z and that Manson was the master mind.So I was partially right!I hope you will change the summary as given in your book.

How did you find out about Nelsons book?Did you speak or contact him?How did you know of my book and when did you get it?

So, you don't believe that if a books author makes statements about an author or anyone for that matter,that is not proper crediting for an original concept(giving seeming credit to another author)for his/her work ,that it doesn't FORCE or place pressure on that individual to have to PROVE that he/she was indeed,the originator?You know it does 'change status'-we all know that.We do have power to harm others reputation.Why deny it?

I must admit that I don't remember being asked by you or anyone else to join any discussions.I have always been more than willing to share my ideas on the Zodiac case,and this includes my research in number of other fields,which I have willingly engaged in.During you mention I was very new to computers.I had avoided them for years.I could barely operate a computer,much less e mail and search out sites.All of that came very slowly-a fault of mine.So I don't recall even communicating with you.If it was through Bill Nelson or someone else I couldn't have had antthing to do with that.I qm puzzled by your reference to be sure!

Now,about being mentioned in your book and that I am supposedly "upset"because my work wasn'tin the book,etc.Wrong!I was only refering to the fact that seeming credit goes to Nelson and his book for a concept(that with great difficulty,and lots of money, over a period of many years) I developed.If you wouldn't have mentioned Nelsons book there would have been no response from me!Do you see?Then I wouldn't have mentioned the "professional" issue.

I never called your book 'junk'.The few posts that I authored gave some mistakes with one post saying that I was going to post on some of the positive valid points and layout of your book.I will too.In my revision your book will be in the credits with a recommendation to read it and that includes my website.If you have a site that will go on too.I do not wish to suppress opinion for any reason.I am for moving on,it's just the few questions that I have asked I would like answers to.Again,thanks for you direct reply and rebukes which I appreciated.I know everyone is glad you are taking the time to reply to questions.You, and all of us ,just want the Zodiac case resolved.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-85.linkline.com - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 12:36 am:

Sorry for all the errors.Just noticed them!I miss that spell checker!I can't type as it is and now no checker!

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb714dc.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 02:23 am:

Mike, on page 59, you say that Z had "intimate familiarity with the local geography" and a "thorough knowledge of the local geography". You go on to say, "This argues for the likelihood that the killer lived in the nearby area and selected it for his first attack because he was comfortable with it".

I assume by this you mean that Z almost certainly lived in or near Vallejo. Now, this is one of the problems I have with Kaczinsky or O'Hare being Z, because neither actually lived in the area (although TK was at Berkeley, perhaps a half hour's drive from Vallejo at most). I've argued before that here in the Bay Area, people from Vallejo go to the City, for instance, but people from the City don't go to Vallejo. It's just how it is here, and that's why I've always thought that Z must have been local. I imagine that there's always the possibility that Z was from farther afield, but is it even a realistic possibility?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-075.svn.net - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 06:08 am:


Let's put it this way: If I do another book on
Zodiac, you will be included, and it will be more than a passing reference. No websites will be included, though. Tom, you will also be included, but not as a website operator (which, as you know, is too transitory for my taste). Given what has happened the last week or so on the board, I believe it would be the right thing to do.

I really don't want to get into more detail about my decisions and what I've done, unless it relates specifically to what I've written in the book. I feel it will just lead to arguments, which I truly don't like.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-075.svn.net - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 06:18 am:

Hi Ed:

As I've mentioned before, I'm always working on probabilities, and that's what this issue is all about. It seems clear to me that not only did Z have an intimate knowledge of the area, but that such knowledge was gained at night (probably as well as day, but not as much). That argues for someone who lived in or near the area, was very familiar with its byways, and also had a strong knowledge of what occured in various locations, such as a lover's lane. Perhaps that last point is even the most important because it indicates a more than passing familiarity with the area.

Your point about folks travelling to Vallejo is on the money. I've lived in the SF Bay area all my life and know that what you say is correct. I would have loved to use that very thing in the book, but it would presume knowledge on the reader's part that wouldn't necessarily exist.

Do I think that Z lived in or near the area of his Vallejo crimes? Yes, I strongly believe it. How close to the crimes? Impossible to say. How deep was his knowledge of the area? Pretty deep, which indicates to me that he didn't just move in a few days before December 1968, but had probably been there for some time.

Now, having said that, there is another possiblity. He may have been familiar with the area from living there some time previous to December 1968 and then returned to the area. I think that's a good possibility. Still, that implies that he also had strong familiarity with the area, etc., etc.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb031.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 08:41 am:

As long as we're talking about possibilities and probabilities . . .

Isn't it possible that Lake Berryessa wasn't the only time that Zodiac donned the hood? I'm not very good with statistics, but it seems to me that the mathematic probability of Zodiac wearing the hood at Lake Herman Road is something like 33.3%.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (marinhousing2.org - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 10:23 am:

Hi Scott:

Well, as important as probabilities are, so also is what we think we know about Zodiac. There isn't even a hint of evidence that he donned that outfit before LB. So, for me, it's a bit of a stretch. If he had, and we knew about, I think we would know a heck of a lot more about the man himself. That would, in my opinion, make a world of difference about the case.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx2-11.linkline.com - on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 08:07 pm:

Tom always has said even if Z did approach a couple,or anyone for that matter,wearing his hood/costume ,we certainly would not have heard about it-well,maybe some victim reports!Dead men tell no tales!The only reason we knew about that garish costume is because a victim did survive.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-61.linkline.com - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 12:58 am:

The important thing is that we all go forward in our search for a solution in the Z case.We should all work together.I know you agree.Arguing ,and I fully agree with you,should be out.Debating to seek and find answers should be in.The past is forgotten.I hope you keep posting on a regular basis-I know a lot of people want you to stay on Board!As you can see,one by one,people are now reading your book,which is well written and organized.I hope ya sell a million!

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-067.svn.net - on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 04:54 am:

Thanks, Howard. That was very nice of you, and I appreciate it.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb48cb6.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 12:51 am:

Mike: something that we've discussed elsewhere on the board concerns the similarities between the LB attack and a double murder that occurred on 6-5-1963 in Santa Barbara. Robert Domingos, 18, and Linda Edwards, 17 (her 18th birthday was two days later) were at a remote beach on the Hollister Ranch, 25 miles west of Santa Barbara, when they were approached by someone who apparently attempted to tie them up, but they escaped. He gave chase and shot them 19 times (26 shell casings were eventually recovered). He then dragged the bodies some 20 feet and placed them in a small shack, one on top of the other, and other than cutting and ripping her bathing suit off, there was no sexual molestation. The killer unsuccessfully attempted to set fire to the shack, and left the bodies. Four boxes of .22 caliber Super X long rifle ammo (the same or similar type used at LHR) were found in the shack next to the bodies, and were traced to nearby Vandenberg AFB's PX. There were apparently two suspects, one of which was questioned and cleared, but the other was never identified (according to two teens implicated in another murder, who blamed this second suspect for the double murder, he was about 18 and from the Bay Area).

Bill Baker, one of our regular posters, worked the case since the early 1970's and noticed similarities between SB and LB, and a story appeared in the Vallejo Times-Herald (1972, I believe) linking the crimes. He suggested, and I expanded on it, that LB was actually a reenactment of sorts of SB six years earlier (because of some real or perceived botching of the crime), and that the entire series of Z crimes was actually Z "getting back in the swing of" killing again to prepare for his "absolution" at LB, which was to be his grand finale. However, since Hartnell survived (he botched his "absolution"), he had to take another male victim, hence Stine.

Anyway, that's kind of it in a nutshell. Bill can supply more details concerning the SB murders I'm sure, perhaps there is more that parallels LB. What do you think (all other theorizing aside)? Is it possible that Z was the author of both sets of crimes?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (247.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 03:40 am:

Ed, there is indeed a similarity between the SB murder and Zodiac at LB; however, before trying to link the two I'd want to see some effort by the SB killer to advertise his identity to the public.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-088.svn.net - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 05:35 am:

Hi Ed and Doug:

Yes, I'm familiar with that case. In fact, there were any number of other murders that I investigated when I started with the book, simply because I didn't want to narrow my thoughts to the known Z crimes. I was never able to make a strong enough connection for that crime, or others in the Santa Rosa area, to make it to the book. Anyway, the purpose was to do a deep psychological profile as the primary issue. So, I wanted to stick to those crimes where most or all of the known Z elements were present.

Doug raised one point that troubled me about that crime. So also does the movement/placement of the bodies and a few other elements that were not sufficiently Z-like for my taste. It would not surprise me to sometime learn of other Zodiac crimes, but I wasn't able to nail them down to my own satisfaction. I suppose if I had written a more traditional true crime book, which, maybe, I should have done ;-), I would have moved more into those areas.

Anyway, the bottom line for me is that I excluded it (and others) from the book because of such a tenuous link, but I still remain open to the possibility that there are other crimes "out there" that may well be Zodiac's business. In fact, I actually wrote this kind of scenario into my fiction book.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb477ae.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 01:59 pm:

I wasn't sure if you'd heard of it or not, which was why I included the details (also for those newer posters who missed out on the discussion). While there was no letter that we know of, there also was not after LHR. Nor was there a phone call after LHR, for that matter, but we see that as being classic Z behavior. But then, Z wrote on Hartnell's car door, and he didn't do that in the commission of any of the other crimes. And so on.

Obviously, I'm no expert, but various signature elements appear to be present in some crimes and not others. Since SB took place six years before LB, is it possible that Z was still a fledgling killer and the signature elements and MO were not sufficiently developed at that point? Since the beach was remote, the killer, if he was Z, certainly had plenty of time to move the bodies and attempt to burn them, whereas he had no time during the other crimes. He may have later decided that burning the bodies was not to his taste and so didn't bother with it six years later.

Anyway, both of you are correct, there are indeed similarities, but nothing conclusive. As to the Santa Rosa murders, I've never thought they were committed by Z, because the killer targeted single females (for the most part), no men, souvenired jewelry, and tended to dump the bodies where they would not easily be found, all of which is totally unlike Z. I think the only reason Graysmith tied them to Z is because Allen lived in Santa Rosa at the time, which strengthened his position that Allen was Z. While I don't discount that possibility, anything's possible.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (239.philadelphia08rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 03:20 pm:

In trying to tie a suspect to Zodiac, one of the things I would look for is whether the killer is acting from a sense of vengeance, or mission against a particular class of persons, or whether he's more of the sexual-sadist type. If the latter, he's almost sure to handle the victims in some way, either pre- or post-mortem. Zodiac can be said to have done this in only one case, i.e., Presidio Heights, and that was for the purpose of obtaining a piece of the victim's clothing to authenticate his crime. The SB case is different, indicating that the perpetrator was driven by a different set of needs than Zodiac.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-097.svn.net - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 04:38 pm:

Hi Doug and Ed:

I pretty much agree all around. There is no way to conclusively know about Zodiac's crimes either before December 1968 or after Stine. Sadly, this may never be known. So, I took a conservative position in the book. It's one of those mysteries in life that drives me nuts. I excluded them for the reasons we've already discussed and, for now, I suppose that I'm relatively satisfied with that. I sure wish we had more data to work on, though.

Doug, it's clear to me that you understand profiling quite well. With what I know about these crimes, that is virtually idential to my own opinion. It is also one of those very few consistent patterns that can be traced through many different serial murder cases.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 05:08 pm:

If I were out to obtain a trophy from a victim in order to authenticate my crime, I surely wouldn't go about it in such a disgusting manner.

Why not order Stine to hand over his wallet and keys before shooting him? That way you get the "proof", but don't get all disgusting in the process.

The fact that Zodiac willingly got down and dirty in Stine's cab speaks volumes, and IMHO suggests a real bloodlust...contradicting the Lake Herman Road and Blue Rock Springs crimes.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-070.svn.net - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 05:50 pm:

Hi Tom:

I would like to hear more about your last paragraph, if you feel like it. In other words, give me a run-down on the "speaks volumes" part.

I suppose that this may be off-topic. If so, sorry. My rather crippled life constrains me to one thread and I even have trouble with that! Hell, maybe it's just plain old age . . .

Anyway, if it's off, just ignore my question.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (18.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 06:19 pm:

Tom, I believe that the reason Zodiac killed Stine in the manner he did was in order to catch him unawares and murder him with a minimum of effort. If he ended up having to shoot him four or five times it might have seriously complicated his plans. I believe he shot Stine in the most cowardly manner possible. Stine probably never knew what hit him. I don't think he would have confronted Stine in the close confines of the cab, where anything could have happened.

I try to look at Zodiac's nature by taking the entire corpus of his crimes into account. If he were the type who enjoyed reveling in the blood and misery of his victims, there was no better time to do it than at Berryessa. Once he had his victims hogtied they were completely at his mercy. He could have taunted and tortured them to his heart's delight; he could have skinned them alive if that had been his fancy. He could have killed Hartnell then raped and tortured Shepard. He could have ensured that they were dead, then performed some post-mortem ritual, such as posing the bodies, or masturbating over them, or any of the innumerable grisly things that sexual sadists like to do.

So far as bloodlust is concerned, it's obvious that Zodiac wasn't too fastidious about the gore. Perhaps he had gutted a rabbit, or a deer or two in his day?

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 08:48 pm:

before trying to link the two I'd want to see some effort by the SB killer to advertise his identity to the public.

Douglas, that would certainly provide a good Zodiac tie in. However if this was in fact the first Zodiac crime, he may not yet have been thinking about taunting the police. Indeed he may have assumed he would be caught for this crime, (dead or alive) and when that didn't happen, realizing he could kill without being caught, he gained the bravado to taunt the police.

Still, one would think that eventually Z. would want to brag about this crime. Perhaps he did when he said "there are a hell of a lot more down there", and perhaps he didn't want to call attention to this one because, being his first murder he had been sloppy, ie could have left finger prints, etc.

ps. Just because TK said he developed a "desire to kill" in '66 doesn't mean that he for sure never killed before then. Say, where was TK in 6-5-1963, U. Mich?

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (csdu-2493.communicomm.com - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 09:29 pm:

To add my 2-cents to the issues raised by Douglas and Obiwan re: the Santa Barbara killing; if this was the work of Zodiac it could well be his first attempt (that it was almost botched would back this up). As Mr. Kelleher and others pointed out elsewhere in these posts, it is not unusual for a serial killer to begin with someone known to them personally. If that were the case with Zodiac he would be much less likely to write letters or make phone calls to draw attention to the facts.
As to the other question posed in this thread regarding the "outfit" work by Zodiac at Berryessa
I suggested in a post several months ago that the question of why Zodiac bothered with a costume if no witnesses to it would survive misses one very important point. Zodiac did intend for there to be one surviving witness to the crime committed while whearing the cosutme---himself!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (47.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 03:46 am:

Obiwan, your observation might well be so, but I'm still seeing two dissimilarities, namely, the handling of the bodies and the lack of publicity-seeking in the SB case. I think that decreases the odds of a connection, although it doesn't reduce them to zero, in my opinion.

Heaven knows where Ted was on 6/5/63! For all the information extant about Ted's movements, all we know is that he was doing his graduate work at the U of Michigan. Not that he couldn't have driven out to California, because we know now that he was partial to long car trips (or bus trips, for that matter) but I imagine that in June of '63 he was probably either in Ann Arbor or with his parents in Iowa, working one of those "routine summer jobs" that he mentioned in his 1966 faculty bio. But you never know!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (47.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 03:48 am:

Mike, you make a good point. Zodiac was bound to please himself, if no one else.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p175.as1.clonmel1.eircom.net - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 06:51 am:

I have not,as yet read your book(it's not readily available this side of the pond yet), however I am looking forward to it as the behavioural side of things fascinates me.It has long been specualted upon and we spend much of our time here looking for clues to Zodiac's identity, contained within his written communications.Have you formed an opinion on this matter?.In other words,would you rate the chances of this being the case,as unlikely / possible / Probable?.How far do you think he would go?.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-187.bos.east.verizon.net - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 07:44 am:

Doug and Obiwan have hit upon an item I would like to hear Mike's take on. I also tend to believe that SB and LB were the same perp. Lack of publicity is not a factor: remember that Z did not make any contact until after BRS, so its no surprise or inconsistency that none was made after SB.

SB could also account for Z's claim of 7 hits after only 5 were known.


By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 02:42 pm:

Det.Baker has NOT given,and wisely so,ALL the information on the SB '87.He has,with careful professionally worded posts,indicated there is a possibility, that it was a Z deal.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-066.svn.net - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 04:24 pm:

Hello Sean:

From the point of view of this book, it wasn't my intent to nail down an identity for Zodiac. It was merely to work up a deep, psychological profile about him. I do have my own opinion, of course, but that's not something I really want to comment about. As mentioned earlier in this thread, I have a book coming out late this year that offers an opinion. It's a fiction book.

Do I think the case can be solved. Absolutely. In fact, I think it WILL be solved.


By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb6e744.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 10:53 am:

This thread is getting kinda long... let's continue with Mike Kelleher / This Is The Zodiac Speaking Part II.