Mike Kelleher / This Is The Zodiac Speaking Part II

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

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb6e744.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 10:51 am:

The first thread was getting way too long... let's continue the discussion here.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb6e744.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 11:02 am:

Mike: along Lapumo's line of inquiry, I'm curious about what you think of Penn's idea that Z constructed his letters with "invisible geometry" and myriad other things? While most, if not all, on this board regard Penn as having no credibility (I'm one of the most outspoken concerning his ideas), I do credit him with being the first to mention Z's apparent obsession with time. He pointed out that the Badlands letter, for instance, seems to have been constructed around the word "time," which appears to have been written in first. Anyway, I'm curious what your thoughts are on Times 17, since it focuses on the letters as you did, but in a completely different way. With all we know about Z, would he have even bothered with anything like Penn suggests? Or was Penn reading into the letters something that wasn't there in the first place?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-066.svn.net - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 04:31 pm:

Hi Ed:

Thanks for making the new thread.

I spent a heck of a lot of time with Penn's work, and I corresponded with him. In the end, it just doesn't work for me for several reasons. My top two are that the theory has some fatal flaws inherent in it's own design, and it is much too much of a "force fit" for my taste. I'd rather take a more direct approach. Now, having said that, I have a good deal of respect for the amount of work, time, and energy that Penn put into his theory, which is why I mentioned him in the back of the book. In the end, though, I find it to be unnecessarily complex and also inconsistent. If one has to reach so far, one is always on the verge of stumbling.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 05:07 pm:

Mike, when I wrote "The fact that Zodiac willingly got down and dirty in Stine's cab speaks volumes", I meant in terms of narrowing down a good suspect.

The known-Zodiac crimes weren't from a cookie cutter, such as the Green River or Bundy murders. As similar as the LHR/BRS attacks were, if Zodiac hadn't taken credit for the Berryessa/Stine attacks, I doubt anyone ever would have suspected him to be responsible.

The common thread seems to be a desire for attention, however I doubt that need existed when Z began his murderous behavior. Back then, the simple act of killing was probably enough to satisfy him; no phone calls or letters were necessary. (Which is why I think Z is a good suspect in the Santa Barbara murders.)

IMHO, a good Z suspect won't be from a cookie cutter, either. That's why I'm so flabbergasted when people write Allen off as a suspect because of his status as a pedophile.

Maybe Allen isn't the typical candidate for being a serial killer, but "typical" serial killers aren't good candidates to be the Zodiac.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 07:25 pm:

Good comments!And Z isn't alone in utilizing various methods to murder people.I researched many serial killers that changed weapons,place settings,type of crime victims,etc.Of course, there are the 'classics' that stay pretty well within the signature/MO,etc.,but Zodiac wasn't,as you say,"a cookie cutter" serial killer-he cut the cookies the WAY HE wanted to!Even his divergent letters-complete with various 'mistakes' display this fact.The gaps between mailings could be short of of long duration.We can't seem to pin him down,but he sure has had the authorities-and all of us, pinned down the ol' mat!

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-068.svn.net - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 07:39 pm:

Hi Tom:

Yeah, I see where you were going with that. You've raised a good point. More modern thinking about serial killers is that they are not nearly as predictable as once thought. Those kinds of absolutes are really from the Ressler days, when not that much was known about serial killers, at least from a profiling point of view. The fact is, many serial killers can vary wildly during their careers. Almost all of them evolve in one way or another, and not always in a predictable way. There used to be a hard and fast rule, again from the Ressler days, that serial killers never voluntarily stopped murdering. Today, we know that isn't the case. So, our entire view of serial killers keeps changing fairly rapidly.

The point of Zodiac evolving in his career from a blitz-style killer to a media manipulator is also on the money. I took some pains to point out this evolutionary process in the book. It's one aspect of the whole ordeal that I strongly feel is at the heart of Zodiac's crimes and, therefore, his motivations.

As to pedophiles not becoming serial killers, that is also rather old thinking. We now know that it happens. Not often, but it does happen. This, also, can be a kind of evolutionary process, which goes back to the earlier discussion of MO versus signature. In other words, there is no good reason to eliminate a pedophile as a suspect in a serial murder case on that basis alone. At best, it's only a general indicator. One of the earlier serial killers, who was also a pedophile, was Ed Gein. If one looks closely into the case and doesn't just rely on cursory media (or hyped book) reports, it's clear that good old Eddie went that route. There have been others since, although, as I mentioned, not many.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p235.as1.clonmel1.eircom.net - on Saturday, February 16, 2002 - 07:25 am:

Sorry,you may have missed my question with the change to the new thread.There has been much speculation and investigation into whether or not Zodiac would have left clues to his identity or even his name,contained within his written correspondences.Do you think this is unlikely/possible/probable given your view of him?
How far do you think he would go?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-079.svn.net - on Saturday, February 16, 2002 - 07:59 am:

Hi Sean:

Sorry, I DID get confused with the threads. Chalk it up to old age and a perpetually confused state of mind :-)

This is an excellent question, by the way. Zodiac made a big deal about his first cryptogram, saying that when it was cracked we would know his identity. Then, when it was cracked, the message was clear that he would not give out his identity (the "slaves" thing, etc.). Of course, this excludes the last line, which is still unresolved. So, he gave us mixed messages from the first. That was something he did well (giving mixed messages).

Personally, it would not surprise me at all if we learned that he did give out his identity somewhere in the messages or codes. I looked long and hard at this aspect of the case, reviewed every theory I could get my hands on, and even tried a few of my own. All of them had flaws. Most of them were "over-reaching" the target, force fits, etc. Still, in the end, my gut tells me that an egoist like Zodiac would have a heck of a hard time NOT letting us know who he was (is).

So, that's not very scientific is it? I mean, talking "gut" and stuff. My profile of the guy tells me that he would do just what you suggest, but I've never found good, solid evidence of it.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb7c92c.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 06:00 pm:

Mike: I've not yet finished reading the book (I'm a slow reader, and don't read every day), so I don't know if you remarked on a possible Z-British connection or not. If so, what page(s) should I look up, and, if not, what do you think about that?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-093.svn.net - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 07:23 pm:

Hi Ed:

Yes, I did talk about that in the book. I don't have it in front of me now, but I know it's mentioned in the final profile (mine) and in the section that deals with the analysis of the Mikado. There are also other references in a few sections. The bottom line is that I proposed that Zodiac was born here (U.S.) but that his mother was probably of Commonwealth ancestry. I remember going into some detail about that in the book. But, again, I don't have it in front of me. Sorry.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb6ff9c.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 08:05 pm:

OK, looks like pages 158 and 220-221. The reason I'm asking is that we have another thread going about the British connection, and one thing that might work is if Z was Canadian rather than English or Australian. This would explain how he knew what a radian was without learning esoteric math (I was schooled in Australia, and learned what one was by 9th grade). Also, Z may possibly have used two different Browning High Power 9mm in the commission of two of his crimes, which was apparently favored in the Canadian military but was apparently never popular here (I'm no gun expert, but other posters certainly know more about such things). If Z were in the Canadian military, that could explain his choice in weapons and apparent military connection as well. I'm curious as to what you think: is it viable at all?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-093.svn.net - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 08:29 pm:

Hi Ed:

Well, sure, it's viable. I spent many years in Canada, mostly on the East Coast, where there is more of a French influence than British. The term "radian" should be also known to teenagers in the British school system and related systems, which would not necessarily apply to Z. As to the Browning, my memory tells me that the RCMP favored it as a primary weapon in those days. I don't remember what the military was packing.

Now, having said that, I've speculated in the book that Z was not from Canada or any of the Commonwealth countries because the "Northern California" ears could detect no significant accent of any kind. If you believe those reports, it would seem to eliminate the Commonwealth as a birthplace, as well as Canada. Western Canadians have a subtle but distinguishable accent that sounds like our (U.S.) folks from North Dakota or the environs. On the East Coast, Canadians either have a bit of a French accent, full French accent, or that kind of "twang" that sounds a lot like New Englanders. This excludes "Newfies," who have an accent unlike any other in the world.

Anyway, that still leaves lots of room. For example, if he had been from Alberta, he would probably speak much like any Californian except for a few "ooots" here and there, and the ever-present "eh" at the end of many sentences. In the Midwest of Canada, I found that many, many folks who had no distinguishable accent at all, at least to my ear, except for the ending "eh," which might be significant in relation to eliminating Z as a Canadian.

So, where does that leave us? I'm not sure, Ed. I still tend to favor the theory in the book, for now, because there is some other Z-related information to support it (writing, Mikado, etc.) However, there's no way I could eliminate Canada as his birth place. It's viable.

How's that for long-winded? Typical writer.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (15.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 09:35 pm:

Just to complicate things, I work daily with a young British man who lived and was schooled in England up until the age of 13, when his parents moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I was quite surprised when I first discovered his English origins, for he has no trace of any accent whatsoever; his accent is perfectly "American," although he can turn it on and off at will, alternating between the American and English.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb4078d.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 02:02 am:

Rutger Hauer worked for seven years to lose his accent, and when I first saw him in an American-made movie (don't remember which one actually, it was probably either The Hitcher or Wanted Dead or Alive), his accent sounded like Californian English to me. What little accent I had after more than a decade in Australia was lost within a year or two of returning to California. Perhaps if Z wished to blend in he could have lost his accent within a relatively short time compared to Rutger Hauer, since he already had one close to the one he wished to sound like.

Either way, the British connection was recognized as early as August 1969 (by Bettye Harden, no less), so, if it's not just our over-active imaginations, it's there in some form.

By Eduard (Eduard) (hmm-dca-ap01-d12-210.dial.freesurf.nl - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 02:53 am:

Rutger Hauer is from Dutch origin. Before he played in Hollywood productions he played in Dutch movies. One of his co-actors in a movie called "Soldaat van Oranje" was...Jeroen Krabbe.


By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-106.svn.net - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 07:03 am:

It's true that some folks "lose" their accents quickly, while others don't. That's an excellent point. What I learned (about a hundred years ago) was that those "native" speech patterns or accents, tend to re-appear under stress. That's one of the issues that I considered putting in the book but decided against. It seemed too speculative. I suppose, for me, it all came down to "probabilities" again. Am I sounding like a broken record? Probably. In the end, it all goes to show how tenuous profiling can be.

Doug raised an interesting point also. I, too, have a good friend from the Commonwealth. He's been on this side of the pond for over 30 years. Usually, he sounds just like anyone else from California. However, under two conditions his accent surfaces: 1) when he's angry or upset, and 2) when he's been tilting the bottle a wee bit. So, who knows?

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb7a8c6.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 10:06 am:

Eduard: I'd never seen Soldier of Orange, so I don't know what he sounded like back then. But there's no trace of accent these days.

Mike: it's true that people tend to revert to their native language/accent when under stress, but the only time we can be certain that Z spoke was at LB. Granted, it was certainly stressful for all involved, but what if Z was drunk or high at the time? Would that not reduce stress levels enough that he could speak without an accent?

I suppose such explanations are getting kinda convoluted; Occam's Razor would suggest that Z was actually Californian with some sort of British influence. It's the simplest explanation after all.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-075.svn.net - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 11:43 am:

Hi Ed:

I would think that under that kind of stress, any accent would tend to surface. However, you could certainly be right -- he could have been loaded on one thing or another anyway. That's a real possibility.

I went for the most simple, straightforward explanation in the book for the reasons you mentioned. It's just the most likely explanation at this point, given what little we know.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-mtc-tl042.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 12:59 pm:

You're correct about accents changing under stress, (passion or anger also). As many on this board know I lived in France for 10 years and after about 7, the French did not know that I wasn't one of them. But when it got really hot, as it tends to do in Provence, the accent would emerge. Equally if I was nervous. I don't think that a controlled substance would have had the effect of making an accent go away without one being able to tell that the person was drunk, stoned etc.
I have to agree with you here that this person has a heavy English influence probably from a close family member. Either that or he was an Anglophile.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 07:19 pm:

his accent sounded like Californian English to me.

Ed, what does a Californain English Accent sound like? Please please describe! I grew up in California and claim that there is no such thing as a "California Accent". Please prove me wrong! There is, of course, California Diction (perhaps this is what you mean), ie use of words like "gnarly", "dude" and the ever popular "like". But what distinguishes the accent? (For example New York and Mass accents are distinguised by not pronouncing R's. Southern accents pronounce "e" like "ay", ie "on your lay-eft". ) What about CA?

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-wo082.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 08:00 pm:

it's one of those strange things but everyone thinks that they don't have an accent. I can promise you that the people in London think they speak "normal" and we Californians have a huge accent.
The English people I used to work with in France used to tell me they were amazed that I spoke French without any accent so why didn't I lose my California accent after many years in Europe. So trust me, there is a CA accent.
Now alot of the Canadians, esp those from Br. Columbia tend to sound the same, so I would not rule out a Canadian at all.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb6133e.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 08:05 pm:

Obiwan: even an accent that doesn't sound like one to the speaker is still an accent. To me, those from eastern or southern states have accents, and they'll tell me I have one. But perhaps I should not call it a "Californian accent," since most people in the western states all sound pretty much alike to me; I guess it's generally recognized as the typical "American accent" because of Hollyweird.

I'm not sure how to describe it since it's my native accent, except that it doesn't sound like the others.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (csdu-24118.communicomm.com - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 10:25 pm:

Mr. Kelleher, I have yet to read your book but I understand there is some discussion of the possibility that Zodiac exhibited what is commonly called multiple personality disorder. If there is any possibility this is accurate different alter personalities can have different speech patterns and accents. I do know that survivors of known serial killers have remarked that the perp's voice changed markedly at some time.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-63-186.client.attbi.com - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 10:41 pm:

Here's a link to order the book, should you desire:


If the link doesn't work, just visit www.barnesandnoble.com

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-072.svn.net - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 06:46 am:

Hello Mike:

My co-author, David Van Nuys, proposed the MPD theory (which is now called DID -- Dissociative Identity Disorder in DSM IV). Although we both have a background in psychology, his is more deep than mine, which is why our two profiles at the end of the book differ somewhat. I am more interested in the profiling aspects of the case from a behavioral/criminalistic point of view. If Zodiac did suffer from DID, what you say is correct. True cases of DID often exhibit such different alters (personalities) and they do come out with different speech patterns and even accents, not to mention a whole host of other differences.

My only problem with this idea is that I'm not 100% convinced of the DID theory. I absolutely subscribe to a dissociative disorder, but perhaps of a less invasive type. Anyway, I wanted the book to reflect our two points of view on the case. So, there are areas of disagreement. If you get a chance to read the book, you'll see that we don't always agree. In my mind, this may be one of those points of disagreement.

Tom: Thank you.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-187.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 07:25 am:

There is a definite SoCal accent, if not NoCal. In its most extreme form, it is also known as ValSpeak, of which the prime example is Moon Zappa's "Valley Girl" of a few years back. And no, its not just vocabulary, but an almost deliberately lazy flattenening and extension of the vowels. For sure you've heard "fer sher" more than once? Also try :

meeyan = man
neow waey = no way
fehk = f**k

Or, used in as complete a sentence as may be heard on Venice beach "Fehk, meeyan, neow waey, fer sher?"

The effect is enhanced, as Mike says, by drugs and alcohol. Stress? Not on the beach, man.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb48999.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 10:14 am:

Valspeak??? Gag me with a spoon!

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-187.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 11:40 am:

You got the idea! But then, that's just the polar example.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 02:35 pm:

Peter, Thanks for those examples. They remind me of the gnaaaahhrly times I had in venice. I agree all of those examples are in use in some parts of So. Cal, mainly LA. However, in order for me to call this an ACCENT, I would have to see those same pronunciations throughout the language...I do not think this is the case.

Each of the words you mentioned is an emphasis word used to dramatize a point. It makes sense that such words would be distorted by those who want to exaggerate and call attention to themselves. But the distortion of a few words does not constitute an accent to me.

For example there are some people who pronounce Missouri "Missour-UH". This, in its self is not an accent because such people don't say, for example. "ThUHs UHs a kUHd from Hawai'UH" (This is a kid from Hawai'i). Its just a localized single word wierdness.

Also a part of "Valspeak" is rapid pitch changes, which are as unmistakable as they are grating to the ear. But this is not an "accent" in the sence of pronouncing all "A"'s in a certain way, etc.
(this is not to say that you can't tell a vally girl when you see one....)

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 02:57 pm:

Any more questions for Mike?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-103.linkline.com - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 12:12 am:

There is,or could be, vocation (and/or hobby)to consider ,as per the radian reference of Z's.For example, my suspect,as one of several jobs, worked as a road survyer and when you pick up any book-even a beginners manuel on surveying ,one can readily see the radian discussed ,as well as magnetic North, a Z '66 map reference.Of course, I am confining my remarks to these two.Any comments-not on suspects,but the vocation/and or hobby angle?

As to other British connotations ;this could be simply an interest manifested as Z wrote at times.My suspect travelled to Great Britain at least three times-and as early as '63.The Timex that was ripped off at the Bates crime scene was most likely purchased at a PX in Great Britain.Gilbert and Sullivan could be an outgrowth of this kind of British influence or interest.I just refer to what I know about my guy,but anyone else could do the same.What I am getting at is Z didn't have to come from any of the countries mentioned.What do you think?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-109.svn.net - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 05:31 am:

Hi Howard:

As to the hobby/avocation possibility, yes, I agree. I think I mentioned this in the book, that Zodiac could well have picked up the term this way -- a sort of avocational concept. Personally, I tend to think that is just what it was, simply because I find no other indications of how Z could have learned it (i.e., advanced education, etc.). In other words, the term stands alone in his communications, which tends to make me think it may have been avocational.

I'm not sure that travel would account for such a deep, possibly even unconscious, use of British terms and concepts. Perhaps, if the guy stayed in the UK for some time, he could bring that back with him. On the other hand, Z didn't use a classic UK style consistently (for example, colour for color, etc.). So, I guess I really don't know, Howard. The theory that I laid out in the book seems to account for both ends, but it's just that -- no more than a theory. Personally (again), I think Z was born here, probably in California, and received the UK influence in his early years (in the book). However, I'd be willing to back off that theory for a better one.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb623a1.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 03:14 pm:

Mike: speaking as someone who was born in California, and lived in Australia for 11 years, I did not bring back any bad habits, so to speak. I spelled words the "correct" way for Australia while I was there, and refused to spell that way when I returned to the US (although, every once in a long, long, while, that "u" sometimes sneaks into "color" and similar words...).

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-112.svn.net - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 04:07 pm:

Yeah, Ed, that's my understanding for most folks, and it was my personal experience also. Still, I suppose one cannot rule out the possibility raised by Howard and still keep an open mind. Even though I would rate the probability low, I wouldn't completely exclude it.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 04:38 pm:

Is that where you picked up the habit of tracking your mileage?

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb53aee.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 05:09 pm:

In Australia, Howard? No... it's probably OCD...

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p128.as1.clonmel1.eircom.net - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 10:01 am:

Hi Mike,
I have read your posts with interest and I respect the fact that you do not wish to discuss
the cases of individual suspects.Perhaps my questions go more to a lack of understanding on my part.As far as Zodiac and this case goes,I see someone who is intelligent,egotistical and independent,who,perhaps,viewed this whole
"escapade" as "his masterpiece".
I therefore find myself facing particular hurdles that I can't seem to get over, when it comes to Ted Kaczynski and Bruce Davis. Both Douglas(Ted K) and Howard ( Bruce D)have made excellent individual cases against these suspects that leave us with a lot to consider.
However in Kaczynski's case,I am bothered by the fact that,while he apparently kept diary's most of his life,no record of the Zodiac crimes have been found in his possession.
In Davis's case,I have difficulty reconciling my view of Zodiac with someone who was apparently under the influence of another person ie Manson.
Again,let me repeat, that the purpose of these statements is not to get into a detailed discussion on individual suspects,nor to dismiss other strong connections made against these suspects, but rather to grasp in my own mind if these particular "hurdles" are real, or are built by my own misconceptions.
I hope I am making sense :)

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (marinhousing2.org - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 01:52 pm:

Hi Lapumo:

Well, I must confess that I really don't understand exactly where you're heading with this. My book draws a very different conclusion about Zodiac than the one you expressed in your post, so we are starting off pretty far apart. Anyway, the point of the book was not to name a suspect or evaluate any specific suspect in a public way. It was to develop an in-depth profile of Zodiac, drawn from his words and deeds, along with the environment and circumstances at the time. So, I've refrained from dealing with specific suspects and would like to keep doing so, at least for now.

I hope that comes close to answering your question. If not, we can try again.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (77.philadelphia03rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 03:36 pm:

Lapumo, Ted didn't start keeping diaries until 1979 when he started work on his autobiography. When that was finished he began to keep a journal of his day-to-day activities from that point onward, although it's fairly obvious from looking at the entries available that he didn't update them on a daily basis.

It's important to understand that Kaczynski didn't develop his anti-technology worldview until 1971 when he picked up a copy of Jacques Ellul's "The Technological Society." It's also important to understand that, while parts of this worldview may be valid from a philosophical perspective, he adopted it in order to salvage his ego from the imputation that he had been a failure in life. From that time on, he wouldn't have to blame himself for being a loser in his career field and a loser in love. He could cast the blame for those shortcomings on human society in general, particularly its technological aspects.

I've often mused that if Adolf Hitler had been admitted to the art academy in Vienna there would have been no World War II and no holocaust. Having failed as an artist, he spent the rest of his life convincing himself that the Jews were to blame, and built an entire worldview upon that belief. To have blamed himself would have meant that his entire universe, i.e., his ego, would have come crashing down. Nothing would have remained for him but death.

In Kaczynski's writings we see that imagined scenario played out in fact.

However, understanding that this weltanschauung of Kaczynski's didn't develop until 1971, we have to ask ourselves how he might have responded to his ego-crises prior to that time. His resolution to begin killing people began as a reaction to the humiliation he experienced when he visited a psychiatrist to seek advice about a sex-change operation.

Absent any other world-view, he might very well have reacted by committing impulsive acts of violence; lashing out against the class of people whom he envied and hated the most. However, post-1971, once his world-view was in place, he would have looked back on those acts with something approaching horror, or at the very least perceived them as the first irrational impulses of an undisciplined mind. Naturally he would want to distance himself from them, the more especially as he has risked his life (and continues to risk it) in an effort to prove that he is not, in his words "a sicko."

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 10:03 pm:

Dear Mike K.: Would you mind answering the following Yes or No question? (its part of an ongoing survey of sorts): Prior to your work on the Zodiac Case, could you define the term "Radian"??? (Y or N)?
Thanks. ps. anyone else who feels like it can answer also...

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc35e7d.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 11:32 pm:

I did, as I've explained before...

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (pm2-085.svn.net - on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 05:24 am:

Obiwan: Yes.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 06:10 am:

Obiwan, I'm not sure how valid your results will be in taking a "radian" survey on this board. Most of the regular posters here are either college educated or above-average in intellect. The average Joe six-pack doesn't have much interest in arcane criminal cases, probably because he doesn't have the intellectual background necessary to deal with the various theories. In fact, apart from e-mail and porn sites, I'd imagine that the average Joe six-pack doesn't have much interest in the internet.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 08:11 pm:

Ed, Doug, Mike...Thanks for your responses. I agree, this board is a peculiar self-selected group. Thanks.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-246.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 06:30 am:

While my comments are directed at Mike,I would welcome input from anyone else also.
My comments/questions goes to "Victimology".As we come to get a better understanding of criminal behavoiur through profiling techniques ,analysis of voilent crime,the VICAP project etc one of the areas discussed is "Risk Groups".Some sections of the community are more at risk than others.
Hence,when these guys strike,often their targets are prostitutes,women alone etc.
Zodiac has come to be depicted as a guy with sexual hang ups,unable to form a mature relationship and therefore the targets of his venom are those whom he is jealous of.(yes,I know thats a generalization).
While I agree that this part of his psychological
make up must form some part of the equation,I'm also wondering if these "young lovers" were killed because of WHERE they were,rather the who/what they were?.
Could it be that Zodiacs real targets were Law Enforcement and/ or society in general and he was just plain evil enough not to care who he killed?
That being,as long as he could do so in remote areas where the chances of him being caught were also,remote.
In his opening letters,he does threaten to kill couples OR any stray people who are alone at night.He then threatens school children and goes on to kill a taxi driver in a remote part of town or at least an area that allows him an easy escape route.
If say,the green River Killer was a "writer" would we not expect a tirade against prostitutes?.
If these couples we the main targets in this case, is this something we should have expected?.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (marinhousing2.org - on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 06:58 am:

Sure, there are risk groups and risky behavior, and serial killers will often take advantage of the situation. However, there are also serial killers who defy those behavioral patterns. The bottom line is that there isn't any formula, despite what you may read in certain books on profiling. Rather, it's all a matter of probabilities based upon what is learned/known about the victim(s) and the perp(s). Profiling often fails when one tries to standardize behavior and predict an outcome. That's a rather old-fashioned way of going about the business. Thankfully, that formula-driven methodology is dying off (no pun intended).

I went into great detail in the book about Zodiac's preferences. In a nutshell, his attacks were location-specific because he understood the probablities of finding his preferred victims in those locations. The victims were selected at random becuase they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, not necessarily because their behavior was risky (although one could make that argument). This was also true with Stine, although from a different motive and perspective. I also covered this at length in the book.

As to what we should have expected, who knows? As I said, there is no formula. Based on hindsight, everything seems pretty obvious now. However, at the time, who would have predicted the Stine murder based on Zodiac's pattern? It would have been impossible.

Hope that answered your question.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p51-183.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 09:04 am:

Hi Mike,
Thanks for your reply.As to answering my question,well,you probably did but I don't get it.:).Not fully anwway.I have read your book and I understand that this "science" is based on probabilities rather than strict formula.Please forgive my ignorance,I am fascinated by this subject and only want to learn.
Perhaps,I am being overly pedantic,when there is no need to be. Zodiac knows the area well,has travelled the roads many times and has acted out these murders in his mind several times before he actually murdered.(Which in one sense is,perhaps,"formulaic").However, his fantasys of murder are not confined to this group.
At the same time,he is probably not an agile man,he's a coward, and he is ultra-careful.This might suggest that he has taken the decision to kill in an isolated area as opposed to the city.
This combination prompted me to wonder,if he sought out couples in particular OR,couples happened to be killed because of where they were.
His opening letters suggests,he dosen't care,once their isolated or alone.
Again,I understand that these couples represented something that was missing from his life,hence he targets them.The picture is complete and we have a profile that fits.
On the other hand,if there is a possibility that he really did not care,then perhaps we have a different agenda.
Am I splitting hairs,or have I lost the plot?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (131.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 10:20 am:

Given the circumstances, Lapumo, there's always the possibility that Zodiac's victims were simply chosen for their availability. However, his writings reinforce the idea that his killings were acts of vengeance against a particular class of people who represented the objects of his envy. First he gives us the statement that he finds killing "even better than getting your rocks off with a girl." He writes about his loneliness. Then he lays out his entire theme in allusions to and paraphrase of, certain elements of the Mikado. Clearly he identifies with the character of Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner. What is Ko-Ko's official function? Simply stated, it is to execute all individuals caught in the act of flirting. Since the Mikado was a 19th century production, we can read "flirting" as "indulging in sexual activity." He goes on to give us a quote from the song "Titwillo," which is essentially about a lovelorn bird who commits suicide in despair over his "blighted affections." And, on the same correspondence, he gives us a drawing that contains what appears for all the world to be the depiction of a sperm overshooting an ovum. These elements buttress and enhance the evidence we can glean from the victimology alone.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (marinhousing2.org - on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 01:06 pm:

I think Doug has answered the question nicely. The concepts that he pointed out were, in fact, part of that elaborate fantasy which, in turn, became the basis for physical acts of violence. None of this is especially unusal in terms of how serial killers go about their business -- how their crimes evolve. What set Zodiac apart was not his crimes "per se" but his other activities with which we are all so familiar. Again, Stine is the exception here, which clearly makes the case for not trying to apply a formula to an individual who is lethally violent.

Are long, well-developed fantasies a kind of formula? I would say not, at least in terms of murderers. They are more like living organisms that evolve rapidly, become more complex over time, and take on new/intricate facets at a frightening pace. They sprout from a small, usually understandable seed but can become a tangled, chaotic jungle to all but their owner.


By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 06:18 pm:

I'm glad I opted for pranks instead.

So are you, most likely.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-56.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 08:46 am:

Hello Mike,
I'd like to revisit a previous question with regard to Zodiac/victimology and approach it from a slightly different angle.Don't know if it's relevant or if I am going to make sense,but here goes:-
Would it be fair to say that Zodiac's choice of victim (and location)evolved from a direct connection? By way of explanation,let me take two examples,first Lake herman road.
Let's assume,(for the sake of this discussion) that this was Zodiac's first and backtrack to the time before the murders.As part of the process is it more likely that Zodiac was a person who drove around country roads previously as opposed to someone who hatched this plan outside of this envoirnment? Is he reacting to what he actually sees on a regular basis?
Secondly, the same question with regard to his choice of School children as potential targets.
He could afterall have chosen children in general.
Is it likely that he chose this specific target
because of some direct connection?
On the surface,we assume that he chose these victims beacuse of the impact it would have and the distruption it would cause for law enforcement.However, is there something beneath the surface (such as a direct connection) that made this choice more likely,as opposed to some other vunerable section of society?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (cache-rh01.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 06:16 pm:

Well, I'm not sure that I entirely understand your question, but let me share a few of my observations and see if they help:

1. I believe that Zodiac's choice of victims was not identity-specific but, rather, was related to their larger social identity (i.e., "couples"), and to the location of the crimes. The Stine expection is discussed in my book.

2. Where is one likely to find "couples?" Lover's lane areas is a fairly standard answer to the question (among others). The Vallejo murders also indicate a careful choice of locations to provide Zodiac with an element of surprise and security. LB is much the same but an evolved crime as discussed in my book.

3. Much of what Zodiac did was designed to terrorize the public. So, what better than a bus load of school children? In other words, a "collective" of our youngest, most vulerable members of society.

Hope that helps.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-114.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 10:10 am:

Mike, thanks for your indulgence in my wayward meanderings. You have indeed answered some of my queries but let me elaborate on the points you have made.
Let me see...Allow me to advance this,possibly exaggerated,hyopthetical:-
Zodiac is identified and it is found that he matches some or all of the following criteria.

1.This guy was a loner,who (before any murders)spent much of his time cruising isloated areas and/or had reason to do so,perhaps he was a hunter!
2. Is employed at a school,or has some connection
with school children.
3.Doesn't like taxi drivers.

None of this information detracts from his primary motivation.Perhaps though,if this proved to be the case,it would show some underlying mechanics at work.I appreciate I am putting the cart before the horse here and perhaps none of this is relevant at this stage.However it goes to the heart of my question.
Is there anything at this stage, given Zodiac's choices,that could amount to a "tell"?
On the specific points the following questions come to mind:-(which probably amount to "gut" calls)
Is this guy killing within his own envoirnment?
One he is comfortable and familiar with as opposed to a city dweller perhaps. Both sparked to kill for the same reason,however,the difference is one killing in his own backyard, the other driven to troll unfamiliar territory.

2.School children
His objective is to terrorize and he has picked the most logical target.However, could his choice have been fuelled(at a deeper level) because of a direct connection? Suppose Zodiac had threatened to blow up hospitals or target another group, would it be cause for closer scrutiny or is this "most logical choice" good enough in and of itself?

Yes I have read your book and Zodiac's prmary motivation appears to have been to prove a point.
Again I just wonder if perhaps his choice of "taxi -driver" could have hidden or underlying significance.

I appreciate there isn't much meat on this and perhaps there is not much you can add.
Thanks for your time.

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (ac85bb1d.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 05:31 pm:

Well, I don't have too much to add to what I posted earlier.

As to his comfort level at the crime scenes, it's typical that serial killers begin closer to their primary residence rather than away from it. It is a matter of comfort and security. There are exceptions, though.

I believe that Zodiac was familiar with the Vallejo area, Napa area, and SF. They could all be considered "close" to his home base without stretching logic too much. I tend to think in terms of him living in the East Bay, or at least working there, during the period of the first two attacks and possibly beyond.

As to whether or not he had a specific problem with school children, who can say? I suppose one could use the old (and worn out) cliche about serial killers having terrible childhoods, etc., but this has proven to be wrong as often as right. I wouldn't want to make a guess on that point.

I don't seen anything particularly symbolic about the selection of Stine, or his murder. It was an execution, period. Nothing nearly as symbolic as LB. Since taxi-drivers take you where you want to go, Stine was a perfect victim choice for Zodiac since he could murder his victim at a site of his own choosing. I think the murder site, in this case, was far more important than the murder victim, to Zodiac's way of thinking.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-254.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 01:53 pm:

Thanks Mike, that answers my original questions.
Your reply does raise another interesting one in my mind. Had Hartnell died do you think Zodiac would have evolved differently?

By Mike Kelleher (Mike_Kelleher) (ac99111a.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 10:40 pm:

Probably so. Avery made a big deal about Zodiac's "inability" to murder two males, raising questions about his virility, sexual orientation, etc., which ultimately led to Stine's death (see the book). It's possible that, if Hartnell had died, Stine might have been spared. On the other hand, another couple may well have been targeted. It's all speculation, but interesting to ponder.

By Eduard (Eduard) (ip503dbace.speed.planet.nl - on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 12:04 pm:

Or...If Avery and other reporters hadn't written about Z being a sexual desturbed loser etc. Stine would be still alive.

Or....if Stine didn't pick up Z, Stine would be still alive.

Or...If Z never would have been a serial killer Stine would still be alive.


Like Mike K. said it's all speculation.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (user-2ive7lf.dialup.mindspring.com - on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 03:35 pm:

But Avery had a point. And it's worthwhile to note that Stine was the only certain victim killed while alone. It backs Avery's point in a perverse way: he couldn't kill a man accompanied by a woman.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar17-4-61-192-181.lsanca1.elnk.dsl.genuity.net - on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 02:44 am:

Alan, there has been much speculation and analysis as to why Z primarily chose couples as prey, namely that he was perpetually unsuccessful in such relationships, and out of, for lack of a better term, spite, he targetted couples. Perhaps the intensity of this animus was greater for the females, and the males were killed simply because they bore witness to his exactions of payback. His emphasis in the attacks was upon the females, while the killing of the males was strictly utilitarian, which might explain his failings in properly dispatching the males, who were not his primary targets, due to a comparative lack of focus.

Killing Stine almost certainly was, in part, an effort on Z's part to establish, publicly, that he was capable of killing a man, thereby parrying real and potential critical jabs which suggested not only his ineptness when it came to killing men, but also brought into question his own manliness. It was, of course, an unintended footnote to the Stine killing that he blindsided the driver with a shot he didn't see coming, suggesting that Z hadn't the huevos to take on a man face to face, mano a mano.

To my way of thinking, Z had a hatred of women, whether from his own experiences with his mother, his lack of sufficient paternal influence, or his consequent failings in establishing any meaningful connections with women he coveted, that this led to his choice of victims. The fact that men were in the picture is simple: They were engaged in a relationship he was unable to achieve on his own, and killing them while they were so engaged was his way of highlighting his rage, in effect identifying what he found so unacceptable and injurious to his own sensitivities. That the men had to be killed was, again, out of necessity, not as a primary focus of his obsessive, and maniacal, quest for vengeance, but as a means of establishing personal and public equilibrium.

I have tried, unsuccessfully as it turns out, to avoid, for the sake of objectivity, my own suspicions that Z created the LB scenario as his retrofitted swan song to his perceived failings in 1963, hoping to rehabilitate and re-establish his credibility as a legitimate rectifier of wrongs. Were it not for the survival of the male element at LB, Stine would probably still be alive.

The very fact that Z, after Stine, no longer identified with specificity his victims (if any), strongly suggests that his self-imposed withdrawal from seeking public attribution for specific victims, was evidence that Stine, and probably LB, was the denouement he ham-handedly offered to his audience.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-151-197-42-120.phil.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 05:35 am:

Right after the LB murders, the notion began to float about that Zodiac was either a homosexual or a latent homosexual. One article from around that time (October, 1969) stated, ". . . . he probably doesn’t do too well with girls. In fact, he has unwittingly indicated a sexual inadequacy. . . . He could be Mrs. So- and So’s boy, who never says boo and still lives at home."

It's probably not coincidence that a year after this was published (October, 1970) Zodiac sent the Halloween Card, with the word "Boo" printed on the inside.

I think this can help us infer that Zodiac killed Stine in order to mask the sexual inadequacy that was being implied in the newspapers at the time, and perhaps even to convince himself that he wasn't being motivated by that affliction.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-30.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 10:34 am:

The question I asked Mike to speculate on was "Had Hartnell died do you think Zodiac would have evolved differently"?
Speculation,yes,however I could not agree that it is pointless speculation.With respect, I think you've missed the point on several levels.

You wrote;- "Or if Avery and other reporters hadn't written about Z being a sexual disturbed loser etc. Stine would still be alive"

That was actually part of the question, a chain reaction, so to speak. Had Hartnell died these stories might not have appeared and Zodiac might not have killed Stine.
You have taken that at face value and categorized it with such nonsense as "if Stine did not pick Z up" and if Z wasn't a serial killer". Your'e talking fate and pot luck which has nothing to do with the question I asked.
I asked Mike to speculate on Zodiac's evolvement as a killer( based on his interpretations of the case, advanced here and in his book).
The murder at Lake Berryessa signalled a departure from Zodiac's other crimes, in that he engaged the couple in a prolonged discussion.Perhaps no longer content with murder alone he wanted to prolong the agony through mental and emotional torture.
This is something he did not have to do, so perhaps, we are witnessing him "evolving" here.
Getting back to the original question, which goes to Zodiac's thinking/motivation.Given the fact that he derived much pleasure from this, could we expect to see him "evolve" along these lines?
Could it not be argued(if Zodiac was responsible) that the abduction of John's was an attempt to revisit a similar type of scenario?
Zodiac could not rely on finding an individual or couple in an isolated area where they would not be disturbed. Perhaps an abduction was the natural(for the want of a better word) progression.
Admittedly, it's something I am having problems coming to terms with but was Zodiac "snapped out"
of a spiral or progression with the Stine murder? Or was LB the exception? Or am I talking a load of rubbish?

By Peter_H (Peter_H) (pool-129-44-183-93.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 11:29 am:

Bill: The discussion above brings to mind that ALA lived with his mother. In another thread, I asked a question that you may not have seen yet, and that is wheter ALA has an alibi for Tajiguas. On the face of it, he would seem to, as Tom has him teaching at Travis AFB during this period, and 6/4/63 was a school day, but you never know. Do you have anything more specific on our Momma's boy/MDSO and his whereabouts on that day?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-151-197-42-120.phil.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 01:38 pm:

Lapumo, I really believe that the prolonged discussion at Lake Berryessa was calculated to convince the victims to cooperate; that, in short, they wouldn't be hurt as long as they didn't resist. Based on Hartnell's account, I'm inclined to think that Zodiac wasn't too thrilled about the whole event.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-78.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 03:47 pm:

Yes Doug, I agree that getting the victims to co-operate dominated a major portion of this.However the question is whether that was the sole purpose.
When we combine the protracted discussion,with the costume and the fact that it was during daylight hours it seems(IMVHO)Zodiac himself wanted something more from this one.At least it makes me want to question it!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-151-197-42-120.phil.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 04:57 pm:

I've always thought that the notoriety given the Manson murders might have been behind Zodiac's actions at Berryessa; especially his use of a knife. Shooting people at close range in parked cars is pretty small beer compared to what Manson and his buddies did just a short while earlier.

By Eduard (Eduard) (iproxy2.kennisnet.nl - on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 04:00 am:


"You have taken that at face value and categorized it with such nonsense as "if Stine did not pick Z up" and if Z wasn't a serial killer". Your'e talking fate and pot luck which has nothing to do with the question I asked".

Lapumo, you didn't get the point of my message.
Maybe it was because my message was a little bit sarcastic (see nonsense in it).
Point to it is that using speculatation (what if..) in conjuction with another speculation (Z's evolvement) to proof another speculation (Z abducted John's) is a bit too much speculation build a theory on.

Lapumo wrote:
"I asked Mike to speculate on Zodiac's evolvement as a killer( based on his interpretations of the case, advanced here and in his book)".
Could it not be argued(if Zodiac was responsible) that the abduction of John's was an attempt to revisit a similar type of scenario?
Zodiac could not rely on finding an individual or couple in an isolated area where they would not be disturbed. Perhaps an abduction was the natural(for the want of a better word) progression."

The above makes it clear what I mean...
Through speculation you are trying to get a grip on Zodiac's progression. And when you think you established that,you are trying to proof by using this that John's was a Zodiac case.


Speculation + speculation about progression = Z?

Z? + John's (speculated) = Z was John's abductor

With respect, this is not a very scientifical way to produce a theory. You can go endlessly through with speculation but this will let you drift away from the facts needed to solve this case.


P.S. Do not get me wrong, theories are ok, most of them have let in the past to great discoveries in science.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-231-193-32.client.attbi.com - on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 04:13 am:

Anyone else with questions specifically for Mike Kelleher? If not, perhaps a new thread is in order.

By Eduard (Eduard) (ip503dbace.speed.planet.nl - on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 07:51 am:


By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p51-69.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 05:12 pm:

Perhaps you would allow me to respond to Eduard until such time as he has had a chance to read it.I am asking this because you have allowed his post to stand which totally misrepresents my position.I am mindful as to how such things derail
interesting and informative threads and I have no wish to do so.Perhaps the misunderstanding is my fault as I have not clarified where I am coming from.Please delete as you see fit.

I have been reading Mike's book and am interested in his views. I asked him to elaborate on certain points to gain a better understanding.
Much of it called for speculation.I think Mike nailed it best when he said " It's all speculation,but interesting to ponder".That's it,it doesn't get any more complicated than that.
Alan,Bill and Doug have all added contributed positively.
I don't think I have "established" anything (as you say). I am not trying to build a theory and I am not trying to prove any connections.
I am simply asking questions(hypothetical) and reading the very insightful views of others.End of story.
If you require further explanation please contact me privately and I will be happy to explain.

By Eduard (Eduard) (ip503dbace.speed.planet.nl - on Sunday, December 14, 2003 - 01:31 pm:


I understand your point of view. It wasn't a fault on your part to write what you wrote.
If you really wanted to learn about the way of thinking of other researchers you were asking the right questions... For solving this case we need a little more than that alone.

Just as a friend I wanted to warn you to not go too far into speculation. It costs time (like all researching all other things in this case) which you better can spend on more constructive things.

Time is running out for the people investigating this case....
again, this is not an attack just a point of view on my side.


P.S. I will no longer desturb you communication with Mike.

By Nick (Nick) ( on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 01:52 am:

It's called brainstorming.