DNA seems to clear only Zodiac suspect - SFPD


Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Zodiac Media: DNA seems to clear only Zodiac suspect - SFPD

By steve merritt (Cashflagg) (ip64-48-108-250.z108-48-64.customer.algx.net - 64.48.108.250) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 10:00 am:

This in todays SF Chronicle:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2002/10/15/MN47255.DTL

Working with DNA evidence, San Francisco homicide inspectors believe they have cleared the only person police ever named as a suspect in the Zodiac killings that terrorized the Bay Area three decades ago.

Genetic traces from envelopes that contained the serial killer's apocalyptic and police-taunting letters in the 1960s appear to have cleared a school teacher and child molester whom Vallejo police and others once identified as the Zodiac, according to inspectors Kelly Carroll and Michael Maloney.

"Arthur Leigh Allen does not match the partial DNA fingerprint developed from bona fide Zodiac letters," said Carroll.

Allen was named by Vallejo Police Capt. Roy Conway as his department's Zodiac suspect after Allen's death at age 58 in 1992.

Maloney and Carroll, who took over the cold case investigation in 2000, also said they recently discovered additional evidence in the Zodiac case that may soon allow them to create a full DNA profile of the Zodiac, who killed five Bay Area residents in 1968 and 1969.

The killer, who struck in Solano and Napa counties and in San Francisco, sent coded letters announcing his crimes.

The killer's taunting messages to police -- "This is Zodiac speaking" and "I am in control of all things" -- have recently been compared to the tarot card message left for police by the sniper who has killed eight and wounded two more in the Washington, D.C., suburbs.

"I am God," was scrawled across the tarot card of death found near the scene where a 13-year-old schoolboy was shot and critically wounded.

The Zodiac sent 21 letters about his crimes to Bay Area newspapers in the late 1960s. Each was signed with a cross within a circle. His crimes and cryptograms baffled police and fascinated amateur detectives for three decades.

Books have been written and Web sites are maintained -- all with theories about who the killer might have been.

The serial killer's known crimes began with the fatal shooting of two Vallejo teenagers on their first date. He then killed two other people, one in Vallejo and another in Napa County, before his final homicide, an execution- style slaying of a San Francisco cab driver in October 1969.

"When I die, I will be reborn in paradice (sic) and the (word missing) I have killed will become my slaves," one of his coded letters stated.


LETTERS TO NEWSPAPERS
Several envelopes in which those letters were mailed to newspapers, including The Chronicle, allowed the San Francisco police DNA lab headed by Dr.

Cydne Holt, to reach its new conclusions.

Although they had been analyzed for handwriting and traditional fingerprints, DNA analysis, Carroll pointed out, "was science fiction back in 1969."

An effort was made to DNA-test the letters six years ago, with inconclusive results. But powerful new technology has been developed since.

Holt retrieved saliva traces beneath a stamp and was able to replicate a DNA sample large enough to test.

That sample was compared to brain tissue recovered from the 1992 autopsy of Allen, who was identified as the elusive killer in two books by Robert Graysmith, the most recent of which, "Zodiac Unmasked," was published this year.

Vallejo police had originally zeroed in on Allen, a former teacher and trailer park resident, after the first two Zodiac killings when an acquaintance told officers that Allen fantasized about committing mass murder. Until the end of his life, Allen denied he was the Zodiac, or that he had killed anybody.

"This damned thing has been haunting me for 22 years," Allen told an interviewer in 1991. "The only thing in my favor is, I've never killed anyone."

10-HOUR LIE-DETECTOR TEST

Since he was targeted as a Zodiac suspect in 1971, Allen told a reporter in 1991, he had been fingerprinted, interrogated, made to give handwriting samples and subjected to a 10-hour Justice Department lie-detector test.

Despite the fact that he passed every evidentiary test, he said, Vallejo police subjected his home to a search again some 20 years later -- taking handguns, some explosives and his Zodiac brand watch.

Inspectors Carroll and Maloney say the new DNA lab results eliminate Allen as the person who licked the envelopes and stamps from the confirmed Zodiac letters.

And now, say the inspectors, they may have evidence that will lead to the killer's identity.

"We have something we haven't had to this point, a partial DNA fingerprint, " said Carroll. "It is not enough at this time to submit" to DNA databases of known criminals, he said, but other new evidence that is still being analyzed, "may yield more useable DNA" within weeks or months.

In April, Maloney and Carroll found three other Zodiac letters, all dated July 31, 1969, that had not previously been in possession of the San Francisco Police Department. Evidence from the case, Carroll pointed out, has been "fragmented" among different law enforcement agencies.

"They had been overlooked for a period of time and were essentially rediscovered a few months ago," Carroll said. One of those envelopes has now been subjected to genetic testing without yielding useable results, and two remain to be tested.

Informed of the scientific tests that appear to clear the man he named as a suspect, author Graysmith, a former Chronicle editorial cartoonist, commented: "I've always wondered if there wasn't more than one person involved, someone running interference for Allen. It's what makes it one of the great mysteries of all times."

Indeed, since the Zodiac's first killings, police in the four jurisdictions where he killed, as well as investigators for the state and the FBI, have checked out an estimated 2,500 suspects without making an arrest.

Carroll said testing could proceed faster except that the SFPD laboratory is understaffed and underfunded and has a backlog of cases. "There are tremendous demands on Dr. Holt's extremely limited resources."

E-mail the author at mikeweiss@sfchronicle.com.

By steve merritt (Cashflagg) (ip64-48-108-250.z108-48-64.customer.algx.net - 64.48.108.250) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 10:14 am:

smoke amd mirrors. This article says nothing.

"Arthur Leigh Allen does not match the partial DNA fingerprint developed from bona fide Zodiac letters," said Carroll."

That could be anyones fingerprint.

"Inspectors Carroll and Maloney say the new DNA lab results eliminate Allen as the person who licked the envelopes and stamps from the confirmed Zodiac letters".

Again, so what. He didnt lick the stamps or envelope. That doesnt mean he isnt the Zodiac.

It looks like the SFPD read the TV guide and saw The Hunt for the Zodiac on Thursday and dont want to look like they've stopped working on it.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-pb-4550.linkline.com - 64.30.222.109) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 11:13 am:

Steve,
Then we must now seek the person who moistened the stamps!
This could be the breakthrough we have hoped for,not the elimination of a suspect, but the MEANS to ascertain complicity in the Zodiac scenario.
Those that would gloat over the recent findings that have a suspect other than Allen,should excercise restraint as their suspect could be the next to be tested.
This should not be 'my suspect is better than yours,'but we should focus on the case and uncover as much new information as possible and the posters have done a remarkable job of presenting various views on Zodiac case fact of the past.They have sure helped me understand this complicated case much better and I have enjoyed reading their opinions even from the so called'old' Archives!
Again,I hope all of us will carefully assess this new information carefully and not use it to cajole,but evaluate it in balanced fashion in the days to come.
Let's hear from the authorities and those that are experts on Allen like Tom and some of the others.
We are all in this case together and should encourage one another and share case views and facts.Tom certainly has with this excellent site!

By steve merritt (Cashflagg) (ip64-48-108-250.z108-48-64.customer.algx.net - 64.48.108.250) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 11:42 am:

Howard,

I agree with what you said. It seems to me though that the article is all filler and no killer! (sorry, i couldn't resist.)

I do hope some others ring in on this one. There seems to be a real Zodiac frenzy right now. I hope it yields something of substance.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - 208.211.19.90) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 12:46 pm:

This story reminds me of last November's KTVU bunk. If Allen has actually been ruled out, SFPD would say so...with no qualifiers.

This looks like someone's attempt at manufacturing news from old sound bites.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-40-16.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.40.16) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 01:58 pm:

I dunno,Tom. Sounds like new sound bites to me. And which part of "appear to have cleared a school teacher and child molester whom Vallejo police and others once identified as the Zodiac, according to inspectors Kelly Carroll and Michael Maloney" is not saying so?
Not that we all necessarily agree with this conclusion, but they apparently said it.

By Kevin (Kevinrm) (ip68-98-108-6.ph.ph.cox.net - 68.98.108.6) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 02:29 pm:

Personally, I think some of you folks are being unrealistic here. No offense, but this pretty much does rule Allen out. Unless, of course, he got someone else to lick the stamps - possible but highly unlikely. Since DNA testing was not in use at the time, there would be no reason for Z to have someone else do this. Either that, or the whole story above is just BS, which I do not believe. The two suspect theory is stretching it a bit I believe.

Steve, you are right, they are probably releasing it now to avoid being blamed for stalling. I'm not blaming anyone for thinking Allen was Z, as he WAS a good suspect. But, it's appearant he was not in fact Zodiac, time to move on...

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p51-183.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - 159.134.51.183) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 02:31 pm:

They have tested one Letter/Stamp.It did not match Allen's.He cannot be "ruled out" on this alone.It would be interesting to know which letter was used for the test.

By steve merritt (Cashflagg) (ip64-48-108-250.z108-48-64.customer.algx.net - 64.48.108.250) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 02:40 pm:

The only thing they've done is prove he didn't lick the stamps. The partial print on one of the letters could be from anyone who touched it, not necessarily the zodiacs. So as far as clearing him from being the Zodiac, they've really done nothing.

"Inspectors Carroll and Maloney say the new DNA lab results eliminate Allen as the person who licked the envelopes and stamps from the confirmed Zodiac letters."

and...

" "We have something we haven't had to this point, a partial DNA fingerprint, " said Carroll. "It is not enough at this time to submit" to DNA databases of known criminals, he said..."

So they really haven't proved much of anything, pro or con ALA.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - 208.211.19.90) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 02:42 pm:

Peter:
"I dunno,Tom. Sounds like new sound bites to me. And which part of "appear to have cleared a school teacher and child molester whom Vallejo police and others once identified as the Zodiac, according to inspectors Kelly Carroll and Michael Maloney" is not saying so?"

If Allen had truly been 100% ruled out, why would SFPD use such vague language? (Assuming the quotes are accurate.) Being ruled out and "appearing" to be ruled out are not the same.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (207.233.36.252) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 02:43 pm:

Okay,
the composite looks nothing like Allen, the fingerprints do not match, the Allen handwriting is a no go, no record of Allen ever killing before or after, apparently the DNA is a miss.
Gee, when will someone just admit that the Allen as Z theory is out of gas????

By steve merritt (Cashflagg) (ip64-48-108-250.z108-48-64.customer.algx.net - 64.48.108.250) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 02:49 pm:

Kevin,

good point re: DNA on the stamps. I don't know about DNA testing, but I had an uncle who refused to lick stamps and envelopes, he'd either get us to do it or he'd use a sponge. That's my line of thinking. I dont think they've ruled ALA out as the zodiac, yet. Personally, I dont care who the killer is...I have no real vested interest. I live in the SF Bay Area and I find the apathetic attitude of the SFPD on most things, especially this case to be very offensive. The thing that is strange here is that this claim of new DNA evidence flies in the face of what we heard of the July 4th meeting.

Okay, now my brain just hurts, time to get some lunch!!!!

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acac91d2.ipt.aol.com - 172.172.145.210) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 03:14 pm:

Now that they have at least a partial DNA profile, they need to compare it to two other Z suspects who are currently incarcerated and therefore should easily be able to obtain DNA samples from: Bruce Davis and Ted Kaczinsky. If they can actually put together a complete profile, then they should compare it to Allen again, just to be 100% certain either way. However, considering that SFPD has the worst record for solving homicides in the nation (only 50%), I have the feeling that, even with DNA, they'll somehow screw this up too.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - 208.211.19.90) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 04:11 pm:

Sylvie, in May 2001 the San Francisco Examiner claimed on their front page that SFPD was going to name Allen as the Zodiac based on DNA evidence. Obviously, that turned out not to be true.

Then, last November, KTVU-TV in San Francisco reported that SFPD had lifted a fingerprint off of a Zodiac letter and it didn't match Allen's. That too turned out not to be true.

Now we have the latest installment of this saga.

Does anyone really believe that after finally eliminating Allen as a Zodiac suspect, after 30 years of work, using cutting-edge technology, SFPD would quietly and casually tell the Chronicle, "Oh, by the way, Allen doesn't appear to match"?!? Gimme a break.

I'll wait for something substantial before I make up my mind.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (23.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.16.23) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 04:31 pm:

Ed, if they have DQ-Alpha typing, it should be easy to compare with Kaczynski, because his is a matter of public record. This isn't the most accurate typing there is--another person suspected of being the Unabomber had the same type--but it could still be useful.

By Jake (Jake) (cache-mtc-ak04.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.96.201) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 04:40 pm:

Sylvie wrote:
"Gee, when will someone just admit that the Allen as Z theory is out of gas????"

Never, ever, ever.

Tom wrote:
"Does anyone really believe that after finally eliminating Allen as a Zodiac suspect, after 30 years of work, using cutting-edge technology, SFPD would quietly and casually tell the Chronicle, "Oh, by the way, Allen doesn't appear to match"?!? Gimme a break."

But let's bear in mind that, when a sub-Jimmy Olsen character from a Nowheresville paper without a Web site wrote the old "Titwillo" story (still waiting for that follow-up!), everybody was climbing over each other to holler "Case closed!!"

David G. Myers wrote:
"Belief Perseverence - persistence of one's initial conceptions, as when the basis for one's belief is discredited but an explanation of why the belief might be true survives."

I'd like to know which letter they used. If it isn't the one from '78, it looks like it's all over for the fat man.

--Jake

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acbe076d.ipt.aol.com - 172.190.7.109) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 04:52 pm:

Personally, if and when they can actually come up with a complete DNA profile, I'd like all the main suspects tested (perhaps all those 2,500 in SFPD's Z file back in their heyday if possible???), just to be certain. However, I have the suspicion that, if asked, SFPD would only laugh at the suggestion of a comparison with BD and TK, which would indicate that they have no particular desire to actually close the case at all if they don't wish to do some real detective work versus PR work and follow up on certain leads.

By Kevin (Kevinrm) (ip68-98-108-6.ph.ph.cox.net - 68.98.108.6) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 04:56 pm:

Okay, "if" the DNA comes from the stamp of a certifiable Zodiac letter, and/or "if" they in fact did find DNA (both of which they are asserting here), then there are only two possible scenerios. Either a) Z got someone else to lick the stamp, or b) Z licked the stamp and he simply is not Allen. It only takes one verifiable Zodiac letter with someone else's DNA on it besides Allen to rule him out, unless you buy into the two suspect theory. I mean, sure, he could have had someone else lick the stamp, but that would mean having to expose himself to a third person - not likely. Kind of doubtful he went up to someone and said, "hey, would you mind licking this stamp for me?"

I thought SFPD was asserting that Allen was Z? Would it not be in their best interest to have this DNA fit somehow? It appearantly doesn't, and I'm sure they were not thrilled with the results. That's probably why they held it back so long...it didn't turn out to be the man they had been saying was Z all along. As Steve said, they are probably just now releasing the data due to the publicity that is sure to follow because of the sniper in MD.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 05:32 pm:

Jake:
"But let's bear in mind that, when a sub-Jimmy Olsen character from a Nowheresville paper without a Web site wrote the old "Titwillo" story (still waiting for that follow-up!), everybody was climbing over each other to holler "Case closed!!""

Jake, in the article you are referring to there were substantial quotes from real people speaking of specific situations. Comparing that to the glorified innuendo in today's Chronicle is silly, IMHO.

By Jake (Jake) (cache-rp06.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.189.171) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 06:07 pm:

Tom, puh-leeze. The "real people" quoted in the CCLD article were:

1. An anonymous woman
2. An unnamed "educator"
3. You

Not a single law enforcement agent was quoted, or even consulted. No counterpoint was examined, or even broached. Are you sure you want to go there? You're right: comparing the articles is silly. Comparing the reactions, on the other hand, is telling. IMHO.

--Jake

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 06:22 pm:

Jake:
"The "real people" quoted in the CCLD article were:

1. An anonymous woman
2. An unnamed "educator"
3. You"

I have the names of those quoted if you'd like them.

"No counterpoint was examined, or even broached."

And that was done it today's Chronicle article? I think not.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (39.sanfrancisco-12rh16rt-ca.dial-access.att.net - 12.81.119.39) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 06:51 pm:

I'd like to think that somebody out there is getting REALLY nervous right now. This doesn't bode well for the ALA theory, but Tom's right: politics, politics, and damned lies are major factors to be considered here.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 06:58 pm:

Question:
Did I, the biased Allen supporter, jump up and down and freak out when the Examiner published their front-page, Allen-is-the-Zodiac story in May 2001? Nope. If you'll recall, I was skeptical and attempted to find out the facts.

My attitude hasn't changed with the latest Chronicle story. In a nutshell, we've all been through this before. Several times. And still...here we are. I guess some people refuse to learn from the past.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (sdn-ap-014scfairp0048.dialsprint.net - 63.183.136.48) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 07:15 pm:

There's no way Allen is eliminated on the basis of one DNA sample from one letter. I'd like to see the three letters accompanying the first cipher sections analyzed. If we could get different samples from those different letters to match each other, I don't think we'd have any room left to manuever. We'd have to say that is Zodiac DNA, so whomever it does not match is/was not Zodiac. But I think there are those who are just a bit overly anxious to eliminate Allen. What was it that was said? Some of us are being unrealistic? Does that include SFPD? If you'd pay attention, they haven't eliminated Allen. Maybe they're being unrealistic too, or maybe they know a thing or two about the evidence that the naysayers aren't aware of. Let me see if I can think of an example....oh, yeah, like the DNA testing that was going on even when it wasn't, according to some sources. Why do we have to move on right now? Move on to what? Why don't we just do a little more testing and make darn sure Allen was not Zodiac? I don't suppose any of us could wait that long....

Ray

By Jake (Jake) (cache-mtc-ak04.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.96.201) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 08:17 pm:

Tom wrote:
"And that was done it today's Chronicle article? I think not."

You might not have read it all the way to the end, Tom, but #1 All-Time King Hell Allen Proponent Hall-of-Famer Robert Graysmith was consulted and quoted. Or did you have someone else in mind?

--Jake

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 08:22 pm:

Since when does that author count?

What if the CCLD article used Pam Huckaby as a source or opposing voice?

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc000bb.ipt.aol.com - 172.192.0.187) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 08:25 pm:

I think Graysmith is a legend in his own mind...

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (12.81.120.193) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 08:53 pm:

Graysmith is what we in the trade call a "hack", nothing more, nothing less.

Any NY Press staffer could probably drink him under the table and still come up with better copy by dawn.

Nonetheless, the books get people into it, and they sell. I can't say I don't envy the little swine, to a certain extent. It beats working.

By Jake (Jake) (cache-mtc-ak04.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.96.201) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 08:58 pm:

Tom wrote:
"Since when does Graysmith count?"

Okay, well, ya got me there. Hey waitaminute ... does Graysmith drive a light-colored Chevy Astro van?

"What if the CCLD article used Pam Huckaby as a source or opposing voice?"

That'd be about par for the Calaveras County course, I'd say.

--Jake

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-187.al.us.prserv.net - 32.103.46.187) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 08:58 pm:

It's great to be back on the board when so much is going on. I'll also reserve my judgement; this doesn't look too good for the Allen-as-Z hypothesis, but it doesn't blow it out of the water, either.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 09:04 pm:

By the way, Pam is awesome.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 09:10 pm:

Oddball:
"It's great to be back on the board when so much is going on."

You aint' seen nothin' yet...

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw1.ciw.edu - 192.70.249.30) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 10:44 pm:

Before we use DNA to (dis)prove the Allen=Zodiac theory, lets first prove the FACT that Zodiac=Zodiac. What I mean is: I'd like to see DNA from each of the letters compared. Only then would I accept this as a DNA profile of SOMEONE who touched the letters.

I presume that the earlier DNA tests mentioned in this latest article coincide with those which were done after Ted K. was caught, and which failed to find a match between TK and Z.

Here's my highly biased guess as to the odds of the new DNA matching:
Ted K: 20%
Kane or others: 10%
Manson: 1%
Toschi: 30%
Morrill: 30%
Graysmith: 10%
Batman: -1%

By Kendra (Kendra) (pluto.cds1.net - 216.174.197.132) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 12:21 am:

Obiwan, interesting that you put down Toschi as 30% odds of the dna matching...higher than Manson (Davis)? Huh...Batman should be higher, man.

By Kendra (Kendra) (pluto.cds1.net - 216.174.197.132) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 12:27 am:

I know that this has been stated before in this thread, but we must remember that the "new" DNA evidence only eliminates ALA as having licked the stamps (by the way, I'm very impartial when it comes to Z suspects). Like Ray said, it would be interesting to compare this DNA sample with DNA samples from other Z letters...that would truly narrow down the possibilities. Also, maybe compare this DNA to the DNA collected from CJB's fingernails (anyone, does that really exist?) This would for sure link Z to CJB's murder. Call me "Crazy"...

By Kevin (Kevinrm) (ip68-98-108-6.ph.ph.cox.net - 68.98.108.6) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 02:27 am:

Even if the DNA from two samples match each other, we'll still get those who will argue that it in "no way eliminates Allen!" Like, all it really takes is one letter, but if that isn't good enough, then why would two? If Allen could get someone to lick a stamp for one letter, then there's no reason why he couldn't do it again, and again (despite not having any kind of motive to do so back in 1969).

Seriously, I want to know: how many tests do they need to run to rule this guy out?

By Ray N (Ray_N) (sdn-ap-011scfairp0373.dialsprint.net - 63.189.169.119) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 07:44 am:

Kevin,

It's true what you say. All of the stamps could have been "licked" by others in theory. You are anticipating Allen proponents carrying on with this theory ad infinitum even in the face of incontrovertible DNA evidence. I can't speak for others, but I will capitulate to such evidence. Only problem is, we don't quite have it.

First of all, before we even have the "who licked the stamp" conversation, we need to know the location on the envelope where the sample in question was taken - the stamp or the flap. If the sample was taken from the flap of the envelope, that's going to be a much more difficult case to make for someone other that the writer doing the licking. Even so, there is something you don't seem to be grasping about all of this that doesn't have anything to do with any one particular suspect. Additional tests would serve not only to conclusively eliminate Allen, but to conclusively eliminate any other suspect, not just sorta kinda suggest that they were not the letter sender.

For example, let's look at the three letters accompanying the first cipher. Those are a matched set. We know this because the three message portions inside make one coherent message. That means we know for a fact that all three of these letters were from Zodiac. So, if we find DNA samples from more than one envelope that match each other, that's very good evidence. It is particularly good in this instance because the stamps on these letters, and some of the others, are special. It's the old overpostage thing, and the theme of the stamps seems to have some pattern, plus on some of the other letters the stamps have an unusual orientation. All of these characteristics suggest a personal touch, in other words, that Z put them on himself. Not like he gave it to a postal worker and said, "Hey, could you put a stamp on there for me?" The letters so posted would have correct postage, would likely not have matched themes, etc.

So, as an example, say we have stamp samples from the first cipher letters that match each other and also match samples from the Halloween card and/or the file card? (both of these cards utilized the Apollo 8 stamp.) Or what if we were able to match it to any other letter? Not only could this authenticate questioned letters, it would validate the samples as being Zodiac DNA. The more matching samples we had the better. With the condition of everything, offhand I'd say 2 or three would satisfy me, but the more the merrier. There would then be not only a way to conclusively eliminate any supsect, but there would be no way for any suspect who matched to explain his way out of it. Then, and only then, would any suspect theory, Allen, TK, Kane, Graysmith, Penn, et al be officially "out of gas". Also, wouldn't it be nice to have eliminated all of the known suspects but then get a hit from a database? Having a complete profile would make this possible, but it appears a complete profile is only possible in this case with more testing. So, in short, there is no reason to not do more testing, except of course for those who fear their pet theories and egos might be damaged by it.

Ray

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-40-16.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.40.16) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 08:54 am:

Tom wrote: "If Allen had truly been 100% ruled out, why would SFPD use such vague language? (Assuming the quotes are accurate.) Being ruled out and "appearing" to be ruled out are not the same. "

Copy that, Tom. Since that, stories confirm that the investigators' individual opinions are that Allen is done, but SFPD has not officially ruled him out. I'm not sure the distinction is that important, but there you are.
Having said that, I must agree both with those who observe "it only rules out Allen as having licked that stamp" and those who observe the unlikeliness of anyone other than the writer doing so. Occam's razor time, folks. Which is more likely: Z getting a second person to lick the stamp or doing it himself. First, why would he? The most that could be taken from saliva at the time was blood type. Second, in order to account for that, he would have to find out his buddy's type. "Say, Ralph, could you lick this for me? And by the way, what's your blood type?" "Sure, Big Al. What's the matter, you sending a letter you don't want traced through your saliva? Why don't you just get a dam sponge? Or you trying to get me implicated?"
Finally, it must be pointed out that the fact that the finding has limited significance does not mean tha it has no meaning at all and can be disregarded. It does mean that there is a growing body of direct evidence: handwriting, prints, partials, and now DNA that turn up no link to Allen. It should be acknowledged that as grows, you would think that some of it must connect to the killer. Otherwise, the explanations of why it does not get more and more complex. The fact that none of it connects to Allen is significant, because the complexity of that explanation remains the same: It wasn't Big Al.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (sdn-ap-008scfairp0151.dialsprint.net - 63.189.136.151) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 09:23 am:

At least now we know it wasn't chipmunk saliva!

By Jake (Jake) (webac-001.labs.umb.edu - 158.121.6.128) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 11:34 am:

Tom wrote:
"By the way, Pam is awesome."

Of course she is, which is why you chose her as your example, right?

Ray wrote:
"So, in short, there is no reason to not do more testing, except of course for those who fear their pet theories and egos might be damaged by it."

Well, the real reason not to do more testing is the one suggested by the Chronicle -- "the SFPD laboratory is understaffed and underfunded and has a backlog of cases. 'There are tremendous demands on Dr. Holt's extremely limited resources.'" Assuming a benevolent philanthropist were to donate a large sum of money to the SFPD crime lab (Tom, another fundraiser may be in order!), I don't think anyone would argue against testing additional letters -- test them against each other, test them agaist additional suspects, test them against Gareth Penn, Vic Tayback, and every drooling postal clerk in Frisco, you won't get any arguments here. The closest thing I have to a pet theory is that Allen didn't do it, and my ego, frankly, is wrapped up in more important things.

The real question for me is not whose non-Zodiac DNA may have somehow gotten underneath stamps and flaps, but which letter they got the sample from. If it came from the "Back with you letter" or the "Peek through the pines" card, the giant sucking sound that you hear will be me flushing my Zodiac hobby down the toilet.

--Jake
www.ZodiacSpeaking.com

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 11:49 am:

Geez, Jake...what's with the axe grinding?

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc1502e.ipt.aol.com - 172.193.80.46) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 11:53 am:

Unfortunately, they didn't mention in the KTVU segment which letter they obtained the DNA from.

By Nick (Nick) (216.52.215.232) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 11:54 am:

I hear ya. If the DNA they're alluding is from the '78 letter, then this is a total rehash and complete waste of time. If it's not, they should compare the new partial sig with the '78 sample. Not much effort or cost in doing that. If there's a match, then either the '78 letter was an authentic Z missive, or Toschi was in deeper than thought.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (sdn-ap-009scfairp0442.dialsprint.net - 63.189.145.188) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 01:52 pm:

Jake:

Nice to hear from you again. Of course, if funding gets in the way of more testing then that will likely stall the investigation again, but I would say it would be mighty irresponsible to go ahead and draw conclusions that shouldn't be drawn based on the slim chance of getting any further testing authorized. Of course, now that they have some results, I'd say that in and of itself should be some impetus for funding approval for more tests.

My previous reply was merely in response to the attitude that we should eliminate Allen now and move on. My question is then, "Why is it so important to eliminate Allen now?" Is it so nobody has to read anymore posts about someone they don't think it is?

Ray

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (207.233.36.252) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 04:27 pm:

Today on Fox, the investigative crime reporter said that prime suspect Allen has been definitively eliminated as SanFrancisco's Zodiac, there was nothing vague in his statement whatsoever. Cable bravado or fact?
I had this strange suspicion at the end of Graysmith's interview with Ashleigh Banfield that he was looking for a bit of save face when he concluded that - well it could really turn out to be someone else.
Finally, in 1969 the thought of DNA testing was right up there with buying lakefront property on Mars, no reason to obtain a substitute tongue.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (132.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.16.132) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 04:46 pm:

Yes, even the wiley Kaczynski licked his stamps and envelopes. The idea that he might have been traced through DNA would have been the farthest thing from Zodiac's mind. Even if by some stretch of the imagination he had considered it, nothing would have been simpler than to have moistened the stamps with water.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-134.al.us.prserv.net - 32.103.46.134) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 04:51 pm:

I don't know about the Fox reporter, but I would guess he's only inferring that Allen has been definitively eliminated. At any rate, Zodiac investigators have been persistently vague, and this is just one more wearisome example. As other folks have already said, we need to know which letter the DNA came from.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) (12-234-233-242.client.attbi.com - 12.234.233.242) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 09:12 pm:

I am not sure if it's been brought up somewhere on the board...but according to the Chronicle the sample was taken from the 7/31/69 cipher letters and were not previously in the SFPD possession. Two of the 7/31/69 letters "remain to be tested." It goes on to say that more work needs to be done including checking the sample against the criminal DNA database. Unfortunately, the time-frame is dictated by the "limited resources" of Dr. Holt as he is in high demand on other cases/projects.

By Jake (Jake) (cache-mtc-ak04.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.96.201) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 10:46 pm:

Tom wrote:
"Geez, Jake...what's with the axe grinding?"

Aw, hey, come on, I was just responding to your post! I mean, you must have selected Pam -- and not, say, Mike Butterfield, Mike Kelleher, or Mike Rodelli -- as your example for a reason, right? Regardless of her character, and regardless of her merits as a warm, kind, and faithful person, I think we both understand your implication. If I misread you, though, please feel free to clarify your point.

Ray wrote:
"My previous reply was merely in response to the attitude that we should eliminate Allen now and move on. My question is then, "Why is it so important to eliminate Allen now?" Is it so nobody has to read anymore posts about someone they don't think it is?"

Good to see you, too, Ray! "Eliminated" is probably too legal/technical a term, given the amateur nature of our collective discourse, but the line of demarcation as regards Allen has been drawn for years now, I think: some of us have long since moved on, and some haven't. As a result of the latest news out of SF, some small number may decide to move on now; a larger number probably won't. This is ultimately no more important or relevant than an informal opinion poll, though: after all, it's SFPD and not the Z-buff community who will decide whether further investigation of Allen is worth the crime lab's time and the city/state's money.

For my part, I've found that the best way to avoid posts about any given suspect is simply to ignore them -- it's a lot easier, and ultimately more productive in terms of hours spent online, than trying to change anyone's mind. Nine times out of ten, one has read it and/or said it before, anyway.

--Jake

By Jake (Jake) (cache-mtc-ak04.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.96.201) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 10:58 pm:

Gregusjay wrote:
"...according to the Chronicle the sample was taken from the 7/31/69 cipher letters .... Two of the 7/31/69 letters 'remain to be tested.'"

I think you might have misinterpreted the report, as I did on the first go-round: according to the Chronicle, they tested one of the cipher envelopes, but to no avail; the other two had not yet been tested. Since SFPD did, obviously, get a usable sample, it couldn't have been from any of those three envelopes.

Let's go to the tape:
"In April, Maloney and Carroll found three other Zodiac letters, all dated July 31, 1969, that had not previously been in possession of the San Francisco Police Department .... One of those envelopes has now been subjected to genetic testing without yielding useable results, and two remain to be tested."

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

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (194.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.16.194) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 03:51 am:

In August of 1996 I had the privilege of seeing some of the actual Zodiac letters in the possession of the SFPD, up-close and personal. Inspector Vince Repetto brought them in a manila file folder (handled a bit too casually for my liking) to the taping of our "Unsolved Mysteries" segment. The only letters he had on hand were the Stine Letter, the Dripping Pen Card and the 7-Page Letter. I'm guessing that these were the only letters SFPD had on hand at that time.

By Gregusjay (Gregusjay) (12-234-233-242.client.attbi.com - 12.234.233.242) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 07:29 am:

Ok, thanks Jake..my bad...
I guess, in sum and with Douglas' helpful input we can say that the sample was taken from the stamp of a letter that was qualified as "bonafide" (presumably by Morrill) and was not one of the cipher letters, but a letter SFPD did not have in it's possession when original testing was done. I am assuming then that the Stine letter, the dripping card letter and the 7 pager are letters that also did not provide DNA samples. Thank god Z was at least, a little prolific in his letter mailings.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-40-57.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.40.57) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 08:32 am:

ott:

I'd like your take: may be an indicator of Jake's hypothesis.

We now have the following among physical evidence:
Shell casings, slugs, partial palm, partial finger, hand writing and DNA. None of it matches ALA's weapons, prints, handwriting or DNA. Do we have reasonable doubt yet?

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-40-57.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.40.57) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 08:34 am:

Oops. I meant Scott. Unless ott would like to chime in

By Kevin (Kevinrm) (ip68-98-108-6.ph.ph.cox.net - 68.98.108.6) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 09:09 am:

Saw a commercial for tonight's show. "New evidence that may be a break in the case" they claim. Must be this DNA evidence.

I wonder how open SFPD would be to simply answering the question on which document the DNA came from? Gosh, that shouldn't be tooooo much to ask!

Free bag of green tea from my web site for the person who scoops that!

Kevin

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-20-116.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.20.116) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 12:38 pm:

Kevin:

I am down with green tea. But how about a link?

By Ray N (Ray_N) (sdn-ap-011scfairp0384.dialsprint.net - 63.189.169.130) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 01:07 pm:

SFPD is not releasing details of the testing, at least not in plainspeak. Fortunately, Jake will not be clogging his toilet anytime soon, as the sample did not come from any of the cards or New York Zodiac letters. It came from under the stamp of a confirmed Z letter. We also know it was not any of the letters accompanying the first cipher. Based on what the lab wanted to do, and certain other criteria such as being sure of the sender of the letter, one letter in their possession was agreed upon by everyone and subjected to testing. It doesn't take a mastermind to figure out that one letter fit this particular bill to a T. The Stine letter was from an individual who not only claimed credit for Paul Stine's murder (SF's only victim), but included evidence that he was present at the crime scene, plus the handwriting was consistent with previous Zodiac letters. Since the writer of this letter would have likely handled the bloody piece of Stine's shirt immediately before sealing the envelope and stamping it, it doesn't seem out of the question for some of Stine's DNA to have found it's way under the stamp. I am not trying to needlessly cling to any one theory, but am offering another possibility which calls for more testing. Not only the SFPD commanders but the police over in Vallejo are all checking in with the same sentiment: This doesn't eliminate Allen as the Zodiac.

Ray

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (sfmhinet.chw.edu - 192.234.76.6) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 01:27 pm:

Wouldn't this evidence, not being stored properly over the years and contaminated by 3 decades worth of SFPD, Chron/Ex staffers (incl. Graysmith) and other researchers be incredibly contaminated? Say for example that sweat on the hands of one of the letters' handlers could have contaminated the stamp area of the letters.

Also, Ray, the point is well taken that the Stine Letter was sent with a piece of a murdered man's bloody shirt. There was dna all over the place.

By Zander Kite (Zk) (dialup-65.57.55.161.dial1.nashville1.level3.net - 65.57.55.161) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 01:52 pm:

(("Since the writer of this letter would have likely handled the bloody piece of Stine's shirt immediately before sealing the envelope and stamping it, it doesn't seem out of the question for some of Stine's DNA to have found it's way under the stamp.")) ((AND>>)) (("The point is well-taken that the Stine letter was sent with a piece of a murdered man's bloody shirt.")) I would like to comment on this, but to be honest I'm not sure if I am reading it correctly. Let's just say that if I am reading it right, then I might have to come up with a stonger label than "Allen-resistance".(Also consider): If Zodiac was honest about using finger-tip guards, then it's possible that DNA(skin cells) was transferred onto the Stine shirt, maybe. I also can't help but think that a really carefully preserved bagged blanket from the Lake B. episode would now yield DNA results.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-20-116.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.20.116) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 02:03 pm:

Zander:

i am not sure if I am reading you right, but here's my take on the Stine's DNA theory. Stines DNA could only have come from his blood, which the test would have detected. it apparently did not: it did detect saliva. So unless Stine licked the stamp, or maybe spit on Z as a last gesture of defiance . . .

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-20-116.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.20.116) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 02:04 pm:

Steve:

Good catch on the article. Great articulation of which investigators believe what, and very balanced on "elimination" or not of ALA.

Scott: Still interested: reasonable doubt or not?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-pb-4550.linkline.com - 64.30.222.109) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 02:10 pm:

Were there two(persons)DNA matches from the stamp or one?One!Either Stine is in or out,we can't have Zodiac in the mix.
We do know the test ruled Allens DNA out-THAT we do know.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-20-116.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.20.116) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 02:11 pm:

Ed:

Even better catch on the SFC article: differentiates among who beleives what. Interesting that the two investigators come to different conclusions re ALA. Kind like what a jury might do.

By Zander Kite (Zk) (dialup-65.57.55.161.dial1.nashville1.level3.net - 65.57.55.161) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 02:25 pm:

No Peter. We are in agreement. I was just offering other DNA possibilities. I knew from the article that the DNA was taken from saliva under the stamp of a confirmed Zodiac letter. That would be pretty perverse if Zodiac brought along the envelope and had Stine lick the stamp. But we all know that "anything's possible". Allen as a suspect is apparently gonna die real hard.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (207.233.36.186) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 02:58 pm:

Peter,
I hate to act as Scott's assisitant here but he already said now there is reasonable doubt for him (read his recent posts.)
I always assumed it would be the Stine letter,
certainly hoped they were not using the Bates must die letters or what not.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (sdn-ap-011scfairp0110.dialsprint.net - 63.189.168.110) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 03:29 pm:

One should ask themselves, if all of this evidence is so cut and dried as to significance, then why is the opinion of law enforcement not so quick to dismiss Allen? Maybe it's because they know things not only about the case, but about the specific tests that were done that they aren't making public?

Also, a saliva test on the stamp was what was first performed. A positive result here would be expected, and there would be no reason for the technician to perform a test for blood on the back of a stamp. The saliva test is a reagent test for the saliva enzyme Amylase. That being positive, it does indicate the presence of saliva, but it does not indicate the absence of blood or other contaminates. In fact there is DNA in the mucelage on the stamp there is DNA in fibers that might be stuck on there. The point is all of this has to be deliberately separated out by complex processes. Unless positive steps are taken, contamination is possible. Another person's blood would not normally be searched for any more than say, a second person's saliva in a situation such as this. So, to answer whether more than one person's profile was developed, it can't even be said. In fact, not even one person's complete profile was developed, only a few markers which could be anything. They can't even enter it into a database with the few numbers that they have.

This is why Maloney wants to go back and test everything they have, and see how it all lays out side by side. That is the only way to determine for sure what we do or do not have here. Of course, it took 2 years to get the lab to produce this result. More testing will not happen this year he says, and it probably won't happen until they get another analyst in the lab, unfortunately. But the good thing is, this kind of result naturally calls for more funding and manpower for additional tests.

Interestingly enough, other departments are calling up SF wanting to send results over for comparison. They are handling these requests, so the comparison process is not over yet.

I fear some of you skeptics are being skeptical here just for the sake of being skeptical. You go from not believing that an investigator would talk to Daijove and that (s)he made up a correspondence, to SFPD wouldn't use mindspring.com, to there are no DNA tests underway, to the police don't even know what the results of their own tests mean, never wavering from your continual displays of not knowing what you're talking about even when proven wrong time and again. Since when was reasonable doubt ever grounds for discontinuing an investigation? According to Doug, TK's DNA profile is public record, at least his DQ-A numbers are. Zander, why don't you put your money where your mouth is and get TK's info and send it to SF? It wouldn't cost more than a few stamps. C'mon I challenge you to get involved and take this one simple action. Of course, it would mean you could never post again about the possible involvement of Kaczynski if there was no match. Are you that sure of these fragmentary results? I wonder.

Ray

By Classic (Classic) (cache-dr05.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.209.169) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 08:53 pm:

Allen is out. No two ways around it. I mean, really...Allen got someone else to lick the envelopes and stamps? Puuuhhhllleessse. Ok, so Allens buddy gets nabbed for the crimes. Someone who would have solid, concrete alibi's for at least some of the crimes, otherwise totally ruling this pawn out of being the perp. So the cops ask this person they know absoulutly not to be z, how did your dna get on the stamps? Duh! What is he going to say? So Allen was smart enough to forsee technology 30 years in the future, but could not see that scenario?

Allen is finished. The two perp theory didn't have much weight, if any before, it shouldn't be used just to keep Allen in the picture now.

The first thing that came to mind after watching the show was "Let the spin begin"! Where is Bill O'Reilley when you need him. Classic

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup-63.214.109.197.dial1.boston1.level3.net - 63.214.109.197) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 02:40 am:

Scott: I missed the post on your rethinking of Allen. I have to say hear, hear, to Bruce's paean: You the Man!

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup-63.214.109.197.dial1.boston1.level3.net - 63.214.109.197) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 02:47 am:

Ray: Along the same lines, re: your Wednes day post: "With the condition of everything, offhand I'd say 2 or three would satisfy me".

We have three, both stamps and flaps, including two from the Chronicle/Examiner/Vallejo Times "matched set". Plus the bonus hair.

QED, man.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (sdn-ap-009scfairp0139.dialsprint.net - 63.189.144.139) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 08:47 am:

Here's what I got from watching the show:

1) 3 new letters were recovered - the first cipher letters. No material has yet been recovered from them.

2) A hair was found behind the Dripping Pen cipher card stamp that had no follicle attached.

3) One DNA sample was found under a stamp, they didn't say from whence it came, but it looked like they had taken the clipping from a Roosevelt stamp. This is consistent with the Dripping Pen card, but Insp. Maloney said it came from a "letter". Maybe there was no distinction intended there, but irrespective, a swatch of Paul Stine's shirt was also included in this mailing, which for the moment keeps my "desperate" contamination theory alive.

4) Dr. Holt said Arthur Leigh Allen did not contribute the DNA material on the sample she tested. Carroll said, "This is a step forward in the investigation." John Quiniones steps up to the mike and says, "Arthur Leigh Allen is eliminated!" ABC just had to go for the big conclusion based on flimsy evidence. They couldn't just let it be for now. I wonder why both VPD and SFPD are still saying, as of yesterday, that Allen is not eliminated?

5) There is no montage of samples. There was ONE strip laid out from ONE sample taken from under ONE stamp from an unnamed letter, possibly the 340 cipher card. It had four of the nine possible markers filled in. It is not my understanding that more than one sample was found and that there were any matches affected between samples. Wouldn't that would be impossible anyway since the profile is incomplete? Doesn't a match require a two complete sets of data? Think I gotcha there.

What I understood from this and Maloney is that they are glad to have the other letters, and that hopefully additional funding will allow them to be tested in the future.

Now, granted, I was on the edge of my seat trembling with excitement. It is possible that I missed something. If so, I'd like someone to let me know. Something that big like multiple samples that match each other I don't think I would have missed. And I think I would be saying something different than I am now.

Here's my deal. This case is old, like anybody needs to be told that. I am a patient guy. Why should I be in a hurry to eliminate a dead suspect? This doesn't do the investigation any harm by keeping him in the maybe pile, especially when the spectre of much better DNA results looks highly promising. In short, I'll wait before passing final judgement.

Ray

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar16-4-47-008-191.lsanca1.elnk.dsl.genuity.net - 4.47.8.191) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 10:03 am:

Ray, with respect to your observations re the source of the DNA extracted which compared negatively to Allen's, unless I was guilty of selective hearing, Dr. Holt said more than once that it was from the "stamp" (singular), and even though she had earlier described efforts at isolating additional, comparable samples from the stamps and envelope flaps of other mailings, the source of the comparison was the only successful extraction. The manner in which the program displayed several envelopes with sections cut out, including the envelope in which the dripping pen card was mailed, gave the erroneous impression that Dr. Holt based her conclusions on results gleaned from more than one source.

I may be wrong, and I haven't reviewed my tape of the program, but thus far it doesn't seem to me that there was any successful cross-comparison confirmation matching one or more of the mailings with another. According to what I heard Dr. Holt say, the negative finding was based on one stamp and one stamp only. That's certainly compelling in and of itself, but it does fall short of the quantum of proof that you are seeking.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar16-4-47-008-191.lsanca1.elnk.dsl.genuity.net - 4.47.8.191) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 10:19 am:

From what I've heard and seen, Inspectors Carroll and Maloney, with presumed equal knowledge of all aspects of the investigation, have differing opinions as to the viability of Allen as a suspect. A kind of microcosmic representation of this board's conflicted positions, I suppose. I would dearly love to hear Dave Toschi's and Bill Armstrong's take on this recent development.

By Nick (Nick) (216.52.215.232) on Sunday, October 20, 2002 - 01:51 am:

Bruce says...........
"(2) Tom . . . Well, some things never change. I have said it before and I'll say it again: you are as detrimental to your cause as you are helpful--like a Graysmith, you are married to your conclusion to the point of hostility to any and all contrary physical evidence."

I think Tom has kept an open mind. To quote Tom on the KOVR 13 Sacramento news on 4-30-01, "Testing should have been done a long time ago. I'm glad they're doing it, I'm not complaining. I'm excited, and hopefully, if this ends the mystery, great, or if it clears the top suspect, that's great too. It's a step in the right direction."