Two New Theories Message Board: Theories: Two New Theories

By Mike Cole ( - on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 01:22 am:

I've finally consolidated some of my thoughts regarding the Zodiac case into a document. In it I propose two new theories regarding the methodology used by the Zodiac.

If you're interested, it's at:


By Tom_Voigt ( - on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 01:37 am:

Everyone, I haven't had time to scrutinize Mike's work, however the link is safe for those interested.

By Tim Allen ( - on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 08:45 pm:

mike, these theories seem very plausable. I commend you on the time and thought put into them.
These new theories bring more to light on the subject of radians and I beleive you may be right,
in regards to the way zodiac was thinking,and trying to committ his murders to fit his methods.
Using the zodiac circle as a signature and a methodology for killing is more than likely right.
he could have very well killed ms. johns right there with fire, but I dont think he saw the kid when he pulled her over.Kinda threw a wrench in the gears, so to speak, when he saw there was a kid in the car. I believe he was going to leave the baby somewhere to be found and take her back to the car and kill her...possibly by fire..if your theories are right...nice work.

By Mike Cole ( - on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 10:31 pm:


Thanks for taking the time to read the analysis. I'm glad you liked it. Yeah, I've also thought perhaps the Zodiac didn't realize the baby was in the car when he chose Johns' car to pull over.


By George ( - on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 03:02 am:

The below is mainly FYI.
If you are new or newer to the board, you'll need to know some detail about the following Zodiac items in order to fully understand Mr. Cole's two theories: The Halloween Card, Lake Berryessa, Mt. Diablo, The Bus Bomb letter, knowledge of the locale of the Blue Rock Springs and especially the Stine murder sites.

Additionally, knowledge of: The Phillips 66 map, and you need to know (and believe in, for the theories to work) about Kathleen Johns almost certainly being a Zodiac victim, (her faulty memory, among other things, may cause serious debate) and believe that Cheri Jo Bates was not a Zodiac victim. (I could not agree more, re: Bates not being a Z victim!)

As the author writes, the first theory is stronger than the second. In the second theory, "Quadrants..", the Halloween Card is paramount. I have a problem with the "by rope" aspect in the quadrant around the cruciform Paradice (sic)/ Slaves on the Halloween card. I am unaware of a Zodiac murder by rope, and can't link "rope" to LB. (Any unsolved murders during Z's killing season via garrote?).
I accept "fire" as the intent to kill was there.

The first theory, "..Circle." is compelling, reasonable, and should be studied by those with the advanced math brainpower I lack. The only glitch for me is Kathleen Johns and her faulty memory. But I am not close-minded on the subject.
Also, the 1963 SB attack is not used, but is also not a positive Zodiac crime to many, though it is to me. I thank Mr. Cole for his sincere work. I hope I have done him justice in this post.

By tim allen ( - on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 08:53 am:

Bates may have come across the zodiac's plans somehow, his plans for the future or maybe she new he had killed the 2 in 63. He did state "Bates had to die." He may have tried to impress her with his knoledge of codes or told her in too much detail about the 63 killings,when she shrugged his advances he knew she had to be dealt with. A long shot,but who knows? This case is full of long shots who knows which one will lead to his capture.

By Mike Cole ( - on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 09:54 pm:



Thanks for taking the time to read the analysis and comment. I also appreciate you pointing out the pieces of evidence that are relevant. Here are links to some of the key components: Phillips 66 Map, X'ed Zodiac Signature, Halloween Card, Halloween Card Envelope, Radians postscript, & The Zodiac regarding Johns.

By Mike Cole ( - on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 09:58 pm:

Part 2

I have to disagree slightly on one point. While the Kathleen Johns evidence certainly helps both theories, I believe both are still relatively compelling even without Johns. If Johns wasn't a Z victim, the biggest problem is that the mapping of the "fire" and "rope" quadrant would be ambiguous.

I may be in a minority, but I believe the Zodiac was responsible for: the Kathleen Johns incident, Cheri Jo Bates' murder, & the '63 SB murders. However, I don't believe he started using the methodologies I describe until he took on the persona of "The Zodiac", i.e. Lake Herman Road.

I think you may have slightly misunderstood some of QOM (Quadrants of Method). I do claim that the Halloween card is a deliberate attempt to imply the Zodiac Circle is being divided into quadrants. However, to actually infer the quadrant layout, we have to look at the geographic location of the Zodiac crime scenes. When we do this, they turn out to be different than the layout shown on the Halloween card. Specifically, we end up with gun(8-9-10), knife(11-0-1), fire(2-3-4), & rope(5-6-7). With this layout, Lake Berryessa is in the "by knife" quadrant. The rope quadrant is basically to the south of Mt. Diablo.

As I write this, an interesting thought just occurred to me. The postscript regarding radians is in the same letter that I claim is intended to associate "fire" with the geographic location of the Johns incident. This is another clustering of information that may indicate the Zodiac was attempting to be understood...


By George ( - on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 12:21 am:


Thanks. First let me name your entire theories:
The first is "The Zodiac Circle Theory" the second
"The Quadrant Of Method Theory." I abbreviated to get my post in the alloted space. I am sure I misunderstood parts of the QOM, although for the most part I was surprised I followed your theories as well as I did. (Very weak "right-brain," mathematical concepts, have I--or is it "left-brain?") But those involved with engineering, or anything related to advanced math
SHOULD carefully study your theories, as some already have. I hope many more do.

Last night I read the archives here for a few hours. K. Johns: A clear-cut minority doesn't seem to exist either way.

Bates murder: Whoa! I did misread on that one. I don't consider it a Z crime, there was a superb thread I remember reading, I think Peter H. asked
some poets/ poetry lovers to analyze the desk-top poem, which I seriously doubt was written by Zodiac. Their conclusions were that the poem seemed more like late-adolescent (non-violent) angst. That desk-top poem is my biggest Zodiac pet peeve. The non-violent (toward others) angst observation makes the most sense to me. (I'm off to recheck it right now.)

You may well NOT be in the minority re: Johns, Bates, and SB. Thanks again!

By MikeR ( on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 07:56 am:

Hi Mike-

First of all, my congratulations on a very well-researched and professionally presented argument. A gift for you: I am reading this quickly in a library, since I do not have Acrobat 5.0 but I did not see where you may have mentioned this fact: On the L.A. Times letter, Z states "[zodiac symbol] - 17+". This is interesting with respect to magnetic north in 1969. (I have a different explanation for this notation, but it does clearly work in your own theory.)

You may also want to read my handwriting analysis theory on Jake's site re: Johns. I think you'd find something I say in Section Two to be of interest in determining if Z had Highway 132 in mind as early as November 1969.

Thirdly, you should not be so quick to throw out all the suspects with respect to this theory. There are at least two who were well-schooled in math and angles.

I am also interested in whether or not the SB crime fits this pattern. It is in the wrong quadrant for "fire" but does it fit "gun"? It looks to me in just eyeballing it that it is too far to the south and west for the "gun" quadrant. Of course, if it were part of the pattern then the Bates murder should fit, too, since SB took place in 1963.


By MikeR ( on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 07:59 am:


Actually, you are assuming that this is a "Zodiac circle" per se, so the angles are incidental to the positions of the astrological signs. Therefore, I do see why you are throwing out the pure mathematicans.


By Mike Cole ( - on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 01:46 pm:

Hi MikeR,

Thanks for reading the analysis and commenting. I've read most of the pieces you've written, including the handwriting analysis you mention. I appreciate your input.

The "17+" point is interesting. Although, in the end, I don't think it's related to magnetic north. I could be wrong. My feeling is that the map instruction "0 is to be..." & the X'ed Zodiac signature are so explicit, the Zodiac probably didn't feel compelled to provide more, subtle clues... Additionally, the "+" is probably related to the statement: "there are a hell of a lot more down there."

Regarding suspects, it's not that I think all the suspects have an insufficient mathematical background. Honestly, it's more subjective. Basically, the theories (which I obviously buy into) give me an intuition about the Zodiac and none of the common suspects fit this intuition (except possibly Kaczynski, but I don't think it's him for other reasons).

Interestingly, the SB location aligns relatively well with the 5 vector, which lies in my "rope" quadrant. However, I still feel the killer didn't commit to the described methodologies until he assumed the persona of "The Zodiac", i.e. Lake Herman Road. Also, since the victims attempted to flee and were shot in the process, it's hard to conclusively determine what killer's real intentions were.

Finally, I do think the Zodiac was an analytical person with some non-trival background in mathematics. My speculation regarding the evolution of the Zodiac is this. He committed some murders and got away with them. He felt dissatisfied and wanted to take things to a new level. He comes up with the notion of varying his method of murder based on some sort of geographic mapping. He then goes in search of some kind of unifying concept to tie all of this together. And, of course, he finds "The Zodiac"...

Thanks again,

By Mike Cole ( - on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 04:38 pm:

BTW, sorry you had trouble reading the pdf. I've added an html version. Both pdf and html are accessible from:


By Mike Cole ( - on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 11:20 pm:

I have to correct myself... The SB crime scene is actually between vectors 4 & 5. This location is near the boundary of the "by fire" quandrant (2-3-4) and the "by rope" quandrant (5-6-7). Neither vector is X'ed in the X'ed Zodiac signature.

By mikebell ( - on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 03:31 am:

Interesting theories Mike, particularly the first one.

Not having a good map to check this, I ask the following, potentially idiotic question:

Is it not reasonable to assume Z is simply defining in his description a basic polar cooordinate system (r,theta)?

Hence, what are the rough # of inches along each murder site vector? (eg r). I guess one must assume the scale of inches on the 66 map is the definitive one (although relative ratios would be unitless)...

By Mike_Cole (Mike_Cole) ( - on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 10:55 am:

Hi Mike,

It's certainly a possibility. The exact same thoughts have occurred to me. This interpretation fits well with the postscript quote: "...radians + inches along the radians".

I did look at these values quite a while back (maybe 1.5 years?). At the time, I couldn't find any obvious pattern or consistency. Maybe I'll take a look at them again...

Strictly speaking, the radian postscript refers to the Mt. Diablo code which relates to the intended location of the bus bomb. So, assuming these are polar coordinates and the Zodiac is being truthful (in this limited context), the only thing guaranteed to adhere to the polar coordinates is the location of the bus bomb. Therefore it's hard to know what to think if other pieces of evidence don't fit this idea (Does it fit and we're just not "seeing" it? Does it only refer to the bus bomb? Is the idea itself wrong? etc.)

Another interesting point is that both LHR and BRS basically align along vector 10. So, we end up with 2 values of 'r' along 1 effective theta. I've considered theories that could account for this (such as adding a dimension for time, i.e. theta changes per unit time), but none work...


By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 06:08 pm:

Mike Cole,
Very interesting work !It shows not only careful attention to detail,but a willingness to derive and presnt some fresh perspectives.
You mention Penn.As an FYI,he did draw two lines-one through the Death Valley area and one through London England.This is rarely,if ever, mentioned.
I firmly believe both Johns and Bates were Zodiac strikes as given in my posts and book.
Dave Peterson, a Police Reporter and Zodiac Expert,who was with the Zodiac case from 12/20/68 until just before his death a few short years ago, expressed his conviction to me, many times by phone and letter,that he believed these two were Z victims.He could never believe why anyone couldn't ,at least, hold the door open to this proposition.I say all the facts aren't in at present,but there are indications they were Z victims.Even Zodiac said so!
Have you read my old posts on the hanging victim- Pam Tan in 4/18/70?Z sent the bus bomb letter a day after the story broke of her discovery.She was found hanging on MT Tamalpais(called "MT Tam")which is near the S.F. area.We know Z displayed an interest in MT Diablo,another significant mountain in that region.This is certainly "By Rope."
Cartesian product does have or use an X as it pertains to sets.
It probably doesn't fit your radian/Quadrant presentation,but it could be a Zodiac attack.It is a mysterious unsolved case.They have never been able to find her family inspite of knowning her name and other facts about her past!Peterson believed she could have been a Z victim.All FYI
Keep up your investigations and research.

By Tom Stout (Tom_Stout) ( - on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 07:33 pm:

"Even Zodiac said so".
He also took credit for shooting the pig in the park.
Z was as credible as the National Enquirer.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 11:30 pm:

Where does Zodiac say he killed a cop in a park or a car for that matter?
I was only refering to Zs statement in that post-I was NOT saying he actually did kill Bates and attacked Johns.

By Biff Byrum ( - on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 03:30 pm:

Mike: Great job. That is one thorough look at the
Phillips map. There are too many people on this
site who display an utter lack of knowledge of the
engineering profession. I had only one drafting
class when I started working as an Eng Aide. In
less than a year I was writing full legals. I can
assume that ALA or whoever could have obtained the
experience in mapping that he displays through
serving on a ship, even if it was only by being
friends with some one in the chart room.
For now I have one question: What do you think
about Penn's drawing's? Have you debunked the part
about bench mark 53? I have been looking at this
recently and will get back to you later. Again,
great job, everyone on this site should read this
right of way

By Mike_Cole (Mike_Cole) ( - on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 08:23 pm:

Hi Howard,

Thanks for reading the analysis and commenting. I'm 100% with you regarding Johns and Bates. I was inclined to believe they were Z victims prior to coming up with these two theories. The theories have significantly strengthened my belief. I know Z used lies as part of a campaign to confuse law enforcement. However, I suspect he also derived significant satisfaction out of telling the truth when it suited him. I personally feel the reference to CJB was honest.

I'm not too up on Pam Tan. I'll try to read more about her. Mt. Tamalpais appears to fall within my "by gun" quadrant, which, as you mentioned, doesn't fit my theory. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to learn more.


By Mike_Cole (Mike_Cole) ( - on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 09:00 pm:

Hi Biff,

Thanks for reading the doc and making the recommendation. To be honest, I don't have any direct knowledge of Penn's work except for seeing his interview on "Case Reopened". Of course, I've read numerous pieces that have referenced his work (and/or him...). Although, I'm not quite sure what "bench mark 53" refers to (I searched the MB but didn't find anything). However, based on what I know, I doubt I would buy into much of what Penn proposes...


By PamHuckaby ( - on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 12:22 pm:

Mike Cole please e-mail me I would like to talk with you.

Thank you, Pam

PS Iam Darlene's sister