10-18-02 Napa Sentinel story


Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Zodiac Media: 10-18-02 Napa Sentinel story

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acad4d8e.ipt.aol.com - 172.173.77.142) on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 04:43 pm:

The Zodiac Serial Killer

TIME VINDICATES ANOTHER SENTINEL ARTICLE FROM 1991

In 1991, the Napa Sentinel published a 19-part series on the Zodiac killings. The lengthy report contradicted sleuth writers and Vallejo and San Francisco law enforcement officials who insisted that Arthur Leigh Allen was the infamous Zodiac killer. The Sentinel series attracted a lot of attention nationwide resulting in newspaper articles and television interviews.

The series commenced on the 25th anniversary of the first alleged Zodiac murder in Vallejo. The starting source of the Sentinel series came from the Napa County Sheriff's Department as the then twice-weekly newspaper investigated scores of unsolved murders in Napa County. As a result of the Sentinel's research, two homicide cases were reopened resulting in two convictions. During this investigation the Sheriff's Department tipped off the Sentinel that a new search warrant had been issued by the Solano Court system to enter Allen's Vallejo home. For years Allen had been a suspect, though he did not match the description of the Zodiac nor did his handwriting match Zodiac letters.

The Sentinel clearly stated early on that Allen was not the Zodiac and no evidence collected over a quarter of a century could prove that Allen was the Zodiac. Now 11 years later, the Sentinel was proved correct. Recent DNA testing genetic traces of the envelopes and stamps used by the taunting Zodiac have cleared Allen - who died in 1992.

In the third segment of the Sentinel 19-part series, the newspaper headline read: “Team Zodiac”, outlining that in Zodiac-connected murders, one person did the actual killing and the other wrote the letters. This has baffled law enforcement for years because the finger prints on the letters do not match the bloody fingerprint in a San Francisco cab drivers car. Now Robert Graysmith, who has written two books on the Zodiac says, “I've always wondered if there wasn't more than one person involved.” Graysmith has long been emphatic that Allen was the Zodiac.

The Sentinel article 11 years ago suggested that law enforcement test the envelopes and stamps for DNA and also suggested that the Riverside Police check the DNA of skin they preserved from under the fingernails of 18-year-old Cheri Jo Bates who was murdered at Riverside City College on October 30, 1966. She was later claimed by the alleged Zodiac as one of his victims years later.

The Sentinel articles in 1991, which were scrutinized by law enforcement officials who had worked on the case in the past - including the FBI - were found highly credible. The newspaper referred to the Zodiac hoax, meaning that the letter writer never actually killed anyone - but his partner was responsible for only two murders. The other murders, according to the 1991 Sentinel articles, were done by other individuals but claimed by the Zodiac in a complex scheme to actually have one woman murdered.

The Sentinel investigation included checking the background of each victim, something law enforcement officials admitted they did not do. The evidence gathered by the Sentinel included the alleged knife used in a Lake Berryessa murder, handwriting samples obtained from one of its prime suspect by going through the alleged victim's garbage can, and definite links to the Riverside murder - which he did not commit but claimed credit for to divert attention from just a local investigation.

The 19th article in the series named names - something no other publication in America has attempted to do - listing alleged killers and the background of the victim and their relationship. The Sentinel was even threatened by a powerful San Francisco law firm with a potential libel suit over its articles - but they backed off, recognizing that the man named by the Sentinel as the letter writer would face even more intense investigation by law enforcement officials.

Recently, the Sentinel and its publisher have been attacked in letters to the editor in the Napa Valley Register claiming sloppy reporting. The allegations were made by Peter Mott, a drop-out Mayoral candidate, and Joe Turner, husband of Kate King who is the executive director of the Napa Chamber of Commerce. Yet throughout the history of the Sentinel challenges have been made and vindication has come forth - sometimes taking 10 or 11 years. The new revelation concerning Allen is just another vindication.

Copies of the 19-part Zodiac series are still available for $20 each.

The Napa Sentinel

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acad4d8e.ipt.aol.com - 172.173.77.142) on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 05:53 pm:

Several points of interest that indicate that Harry Martin just loves to toot his own horn despite the fact that he lacks credibility and that the evidence from his own paper indicates that his research is still sloppy after all these years:

The [19-part] series commenced on the 25th anniversary of the first alleged Zodiac murder in Vallejo.

Not true. Part one was actually published on 11-5-1991 and not 12-20-1991.

The Sentinel clearly stated early on that Allen was not the Zodiac...

In reality, Harry Martin did focus on Allen as a Z suspect in at least five articles dated between May 17 and August 9, 1991. Starting on 10-18-1991 (11 years to the day before this latest story), he switched gears and started looking at Robert Hunter Jr. instead.

Recent DNA testing genetic traces of the envelopes and stamps used by the taunting Zodiac have cleared Allen - who died in 1992.

Not true. SFPD has not definitively eliminated Allen as a suspect, despite the DNA results.

The Sentinel articles in 1991, which were scrutinized by law enforcement officials who had worked on the case in the past - including the FBI - were found highly credible.

This is news to me. I didn't know anyone regarded Martin as being credible.

The evidence gathered by the Sentinel included... handwriting samples obtained from one of its prime suspect by going through the alleged victim's garbage can... (emphasis mine)

Hmmm... he doesn't appear to know the difference between a suspect and a victim, and seems unable to construct a coherent sentence, as per typical Harry Martin. Was the sample from a "prime suspect" or from an "alleged victim?"

So... it doesn't appear that time has vindicated anything Z-related for Martin or his rag yet, if the preceding examples are anything to go by. He apparently has not followed the recent Z news very closely, he's heard only what he wanted to hear, and is still incapable of getting his own story straight.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar16-4-47-005-056.lsanca1.elnk.dsl.genuity.net - 4.47.5.56) on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 06:55 pm:

Ed, the 25th anniversary of the first killing in Vallejo would have been in 1993, not 1991. He probably meant to say Riverside, but then again, I suppose oversights are permissable in his pursuit of truth, justice and the American way.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (12.81.120.136) on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 07:28 pm:

Not to mention his unwillingness to let the facts get in the way of a good story...

No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up with the world.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc0a3b0.ipt.aol.com - 172.192.163.176) on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 12:02 am:

Oops, you're correct Bill, thanks for pointing out the typo. If Martin meant the 25th anniversary of Riverside as you suggested, he missed it by 6 days and over 400 miles. If he meant Vallejo, he was 2 years and 45 days early. But, as Alan said, "Not to mention his unwillingness to let the facts get in the way of a good story..."

In any case, I'll keep an eye on him and see what else he can manage to screw up.