An odd coincidence from 1946 Message Board: Theories: An odd coincidence from 1946

By Mhoward (Mhoward) ( - on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 09:24 am:

I'm not trying to imply that this case has any relation to the Zodiac case, but the similarities are rather striking.

In Texarkana during the spring of 1946, a man dubbed by the local newspaper as "The Phantom Killer" emerged from out of nowhere. He struck on nights when the moon was full, earning his handiwork the title "The Moonlight Killings." It seems his favorite targets were young couples parked in isolated areas. He would emerge from the darkness with his .32 caliber pistol and blast away, only to return back into the darkness from which he came. The only known description, describes him as wearing a white to light gray hood with two slits cut out for eyes.

Interesting similarities shared with zodiac:

1. The Killer stalked his prey.
2. He struck random victims of opportunity.
3. The killer wore a costume with a hood.
4. He killed with similar weapons. (At times, he used a knife)
5. The bodies were left at the crime scenes, unconcealed.
6. Some victims were found purposely turned on their stomachs.
7. The killer was suspected to wear navy boots.
8. A boot print was found and judged to be 101/2 inches.
9. The killer always struck at night, usually on a weekend.
10. One of the top 3 suspects was thought to have been in the Navy.

"Graduate student from the University of Texas,
having displayed homosexual/homicidal tendencies and dismissed from the U.S. Navy."
--Texarkana Gazette 1946

11. The Killer was driven by astrology. (He only struck on nights when the moon was full.)
12. On one account, the man killed under the cops noses and managed to elude them.
13. The man killed five people. (possibly 6)
14. Texarkana was a border town and shared jurisdiction between two counties. (Miller and Bowie.)
15. The case officially remains, unsolved.

Foot note: During the fall of that same year, 5 more were killed in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The killer displayed the same modus operandi as Texarkana and also used a .32 caliber pistol. The killings ceased at 5 and the killer was never heard from again. That case too, remains unsolved.

Didn't Z claim to have killed up to 37 people?

M. Howard

By Hurley (Hurley) ( - on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 10:10 am:

Where did you find this info?

By Mhoward (Mhoward) ( - on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 11:17 am:

Hurley, I've been aware of this case for years. You can find info at the crime library "Phantom Killer" or visit here

Or, there's a movie called "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" that depicts the case.

M. Howard

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Sunday, December 31, 2000 - 03:35 am:

M. Howard-I hope the Board people don't have us confused!Anyway,I think that the 87s you mention are/were inspiration to Z. This is a possibility only. I pointed out that the 66' Batman Zodiac crimes on t.v. were possible inspiration/ideas.Dr. Zodiac ,one of the Charlie Chan flicks, could have been another,etc.I posted(click howard)some time back that Ned Kelly the Australian/Irishman bad guy was a possible inspiration for Zodiac.He wore a costume, at times ,that looked very much like Zs 69'Berry' getup.Anyone that wants to see the kelly sites, just click Ned Kelly on my fav' Direct Hit-you will be impressed!My suspect loved all things Irish. Robert Emmet was an Irish revolutionary and some, as you know, have seen the name at the tail of the first cipher.In reference to your mention of the Texarkana pyscho; this fits with my suspect Bruce Davis as he was Southern and may have heard/read of the Tex' slayer and other serial killer doings of the 40s and later sought to emulate them.Just musing-good posts, keep them coming.

By Matt Howard (Mhoward) ( - on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 04:36 am:


My deepest apologies for any inconveniences my name may have caused you. I'll drop Tom a letter and see if I can change it. I'd use my first name, but I see that too, is in use at the moment.

As for our man, Z, I believe he was a real student of the game. I believe he studied his predecessors with great detail. There are only 2 serial killers, that I'm aware of, who used astrology and weekend murders in their MO's, before Z did. One used a gun and knife on unsuspecting young lovers, while the other knifed prostitutes and wrote letters to generate public fear. Like Z, both killed near full moons and on weekends. Also, each were known to write graffiti near a crime scene. Those two were, Jack the Ripper and The Phantom Killer. Though Z may have been inspired from other things for his costume and pen name, I see both, JTR and TPK in his MO.

I will definitely check out the Ned Kelly sites, thanks for the info.


By Matt Howard (Mhoward) ( - on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 05:34 am:

One of the top 3 suspects of the Moonlight Killings.

"Graduate student from the University of Texas,
having displayed homosexual/homicidal tendencies and dismissed from the U.S. Navy."
--Texarkana Gazette 1946

Through months of waiting, I finally received this suspects name and age. There was a fire and most of the records have been lost, so I was only able to get his last name, "Chapman," he was 22 years old at the time. Which would put him at 42 years old in 66. I'm not sure if this will help anyone on the many theories floating about, but I thought I'd share it just in case.

By Chrissy (Chrissy) ( - on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 10:58 pm:

Dear M Howard:

Excellent work! I think, given the time span and the reported age of the killer in the z linked cases, one can rule out z as the perp, but I think it shows that the pattern z lived and killed by was NOT original and that the pathologies in each of these cases demonstrate that z was merely a type of serial killer and not a special case as some claim.

There are the cases after z that show the same pattern. I don't know if these guys feed off the news of the ones who came before them, but I certainly am convinced(right along with John Douglas) that these guys come out of a mold there are so many similarities in a particular class of serial killers. What also strikes me in a horrific way, is that the majority of this fashion of serial killer seems also to lead the pack in avoiding capture.

Berkowitz was in this class and it was simply a screw up on his part that opened up his work. He also constructed a bogus defense regarding voices and a dog which he later recanted upon. Z, and others in this small type-group seem to be prepared to launch a defense and build a defense as they go along. It may well be that part of the reason for the communications to authorities is simply an insurance policy in case of arrest.

Out of any serial killer group, these are the most flamboyant and it would seem they are risking much by presenting conclusive evidence directly to the public, but they also seem to be much more adept at avoiding capture, so perhaps in ways not yet understood, the exaggerated actions at attention also serve as a shield. Both z and Berkowitz had close calls, z was successful, thought faster on his feet, but he too came close to capture.

The other thing that strikes me in these unrelated cases compared to z's, is that the numbers of claimed victims prior to the perp vanishing off the media screen seems consistent. I will venture a guess that there is a learning curve for this type of perp that requires a certain level of actual experience to reach--beyond which communication is then deemed too risky. I bet the IQ in this group is above average overall and that the way these fellows approach problem solving is nearly identical.

Chrissy Shaw

By Alanc (Alanc) ( - on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 12:18 am:

What makes the Ripper (assuming the Gull theory is wrong), the Texarkana Phantom, and the Zodiac unique is their remarkable level of impulse control. Where most serial killers seem to have a deficit in that area, these cases exhibit tremendous restraint.

Despite the obvious absurdity of Maury Terry's ravings, there is too much evidence that the Son Of Sam case was the work of a group for me to feel comfortable placing SOS in this particular set. SOS seems more like a refined version of the Manson episode.

By Chrissy (Chrissy) ( - on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 04:53 pm:

Dear Alanc:

I simply feel the FBI behaviorists did an excellent job with Son of Sam. I always wondered if we had ought not to have looked at Berkowitz's real father in regards to z, since z used "sam" in his writings. Though it is highly liable to be coincidence, it is as valid as some of the directions others have gone regarding z.

I think it is vital to recall that despite what popular fiction would have us to believe, conspiracies(especially those concocted by criminals)seldom last and do not expose themselves in short order. Most dedicated killers are very egotistical in nature. I doubt that Charles Manson's people would have killed at all if Tex Watson did not pose a power threat to Manson himself. Conspiracies between fragile egos are thin as egg shells. Even in military organizations(where structure is premium)there often is a tipping of the hand.

I am not aware of any "hard" evidence pointing the way to consider anyone outside of Berkowitz. What evidence do you speak of?

Chrissy Shaw

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 05:39 pm:

Dear Chrissy:

I think you are thinking of the "Sam" from Napa State Hospital who called during the Jim Dunbar show on 10-22-1969. Otherwise, I don't recall Z ever using the name "Sam" in any of his writings, but correct me if I'm wrong.

By Alanc (Alanc) ( - on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 06:44 pm:

The "hard" evidence pointing to a group in the SOS case begins with the eyewitness descriptions of the shooters. There are three very distinct, very different descriptions. Maury Terry makes a very good case for the multiple perp SOS theory in THE ULTIMATE EVIL. He then proceeds to go over the high side with it when he gets into areas he knows nothing about.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) ( - on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 07:02 pm:

Maybe someone will please start a "Son of Sam/Zodiac" thread? In the meantime, this thread is "An odd coincidence from 1946".

By Alanc (Alanc) ( - on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 10:33 pm:

For sure. I have very little interest in the SOS case at this point. What I am interested in is Matt Howard's research into the 1946 event. Is "Chapman" a dead end, or can this go further? That's a real bombshell, actually getting to a possible perp on the Texarkana killings.

Good work, Matt.

By Edward (Edward) ( - on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 10:49 pm:

"...student...having displayed homosexual/homicidal tendencies and dismissed from the U.S. Navy."

Where have I heard that before?

By Matt Howard (Matthoward) ( - on Saturday, February 03, 2001 - 06:18 am:


Based on what information I've received, Chapman is most likely a dead end in the Moonlight Killings. (Swinney, has always been the top suspect) He was never proven to be in the Texarkana area near the times of the killings, though he did have a sister who lived there. He was brought to the attention of the detectives working the case by a psychiatrist at the University of Texas. Young Mr. Chapman appears to have loathed women, but enjoyed engaging his male counterparts in violent sexual acts. (Hence his dismissal from the Navy) He was also a thief who stole constantly. Overall, it was his shrink's opinion that he displayed no conscience whatsoever that made him a suspect. He never admitted to any of the thefts, even though he was caught red handed many times. He became violent whenever he was presented with evidence of his guilt, and fellow students were afraid to testify against him. Though the detectives could not account for his whereabouts during the times of the killings, they could not place him in Texarkana either.

Not too much is known about this man, he appeared to be a loner. The reason I brought him up is because he was known to have followed the case of the Moonlight Killings rather closely. I believe Z was a student too, there are just too many similarities between the Moonlight Killings and the Z Killings. Tiny things like posing a victim on their stomach after a kill, seem like much more than coincidence to me. We know Z was a fan of the Phantom, and now we see where a 22 year old man was closely following the case at the time and was even a suspect. Talk about grasping at straws, oh my! If nothing else, I believe Z was a lot like this man, Chapman. I suppose I'll leave it at that.

Matt Howard

By Matt Howard (Matthoward) ( - on Wednesday, February 07, 2001 - 02:52 am:


After receiving further information about this suspect, I've found that he used the name CONWAY at the time of the murders. Not CHAPMAN. He was not in college at the time of the 1946 murders and did list his address in Texarkana at the time. Oddly enough, he served in the Navy at San Francisco up until February of 46.

I've received a few documents on this man, I will share this one with the board. To spare Tom any trouble, I must only give out the last names of the suspect and his family member. If anyone needs the full name(s) e-mail me, and I'll get them to you asap.


January 15, 1950

M. T. Gonzaullas, Captain
Commanding Company "B"
Texas Rangers
Box 7607
Dallas, Texas

In view of the apparent Character of subject, and the information that the home of subject was Texarkana, Arkansas, Mr. Christian immediately suggested to the writer that Subject might be considered a possible suspect in the murders occurring in and around Texarkana during the spring of 1946, known as the "Phantom killings."

In light of the above, the writer ascertained the following facts concerning subject:

Subject entered the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, in September of 1941, and continued to June of 1942. In September of 1942 he entered Harvard University and continued through to ,June of 1942. On August 10, 1944 subject was comissioned as an Ensign in the U. S. Navy, and served on board the USS WEIGHT from 11-44 to 2-3-46 as Communications Officer,
1st Lieutenant and Welfare Officer. On January 23, 1946 subject was detached from the Personnel Separation Center, San Francisco, California, with orders granting him 9 days leave and ordering him released to inactive duty on February 3, 1946. At this time subject gave as his address, 2600 Locust St., Texarkana, Arkansas. During the summer of 1946 subject entered Columbia University, New. York City, and continued until June of 1947, and in the following summer he entered 1he University of Texas, where he has continued his studies to date. Subject received his law degree in May of this year, and is currently doing graduate work. He allegedly aspires to entering the United States State Department. In June of 1947 he gave as his guardian, Mrs. ** CONWAY, 2600 Locust St., Texarkana, Arkansas. In June of this year he submits his guardian as Mrs.** CONWAY, c/o Still-Hildreth Sanatorium, Route #6, Tulsa, 0klahoma. (It is not known to the writer whether MRS. ** CONWAY, believed to be his mother, is a patient of the above sanatorium, or affiliated with it in some other way).

The results of the above preliminary check conducted by the writer reflects that subject was released from the Navy, and not apparent registered in any school at the time of issue. Therefore the above information is hereby submitted to you for your disposition. If either this office, or Mr. Christian can be of any service in this matter, it is trusted that you will not hesitate to call.

Very truly yours,

Homer Garisson, Jr.
Director, Texas Rangers

By Obaz (Obaz) ( - on Friday, February 09, 2001 - 11:52 am:

This is old hat. I brought up the Red River killer ages ago. If you look at one letter Zodiac wrote in 1974 to count marco he signed the letter the Red Phantom-in 1946 the Texarkana killer was also refered to as the Red Phantom. I dont belive Zodiac just pulled this name out of the air. If Zodiac is the Red river killer and lets say was just 17 then he may if ever apprehended be the Granddaddy of all serial killers. Also in 1952 there was a killing of a young couple at lake Poncetrain, Louisana. Then in 1980 at Bakerfield California 2 teenages were found dead in an orchard field. They has been tied and shot on the tennis shoe of the girl someone had written Robert is a fox. In Kermit Texas in the 80's a mother and 2 young daughters were kidnapped and taken to a field and tied with short white rope. One of the girls escaped. Both the mother and daughter were killed. In the 70's and 80's there were a series of killings around Odessa Texas and Arlingon Texas all these killings matched the Zodiac profile. But of course we cannot place all these killings on Zodiac but one might assume there might be a Texas connection to the Zodiac killings. Didn't Darlene Ferrin have relatives in Texas? One wonders if Cheri Jo Bates had any Texas connection?

By Bill Baker (Billbaker) ( - on Saturday, February 10, 2001 - 04:21 am:

Obaz, your missives would be far more readable, and therefore more credible, if you'd pay just a little more attention to punctuation. You may have a valid and promising point to make, but your presentation detracts considerably from whatever you are trying to say. I'm not a nitpicker, but your grammar is deplorable and your message is consequently getting lost, along with your credibility. Slow down and make yourself understood.

By Obaz (Obaz) ( - on Saturday, February 10, 2001 - 06:11 am:

Bill, I am sorry but I was in a rush. OK, lets ASSUME that Zodiac was either the Red River killer or he copied him. Given the time frame and the fact that Zodiac was described many times as a middle-age man then it may be possible he was a teenager at the time and if he is indeed from the south then he surely read about the Red Phantom. What I am interested in is the fact that Zodiac may have killed in more than one state. I have tracked down all the killings related to the south that seems to match the Zodiac MO. First the killings in Texas. If Zodiac was from Texas and had relatives there then it is reasonable to assume he visited there. Mrs. Oleta fuller Feb. 10th 1971-Odessa Texas-full moon-found dead. Thurs. July 16, 1970 Eula Mae Rogers 2 days before full moon-found dead-Odessa area. Tues. Sept. 15th 1970-Nancy Silver Mitchel-full moon-found dead-Odessa Kermit area, Saturday Oct. 19th 2 days before full moon Linda Cougat, On Friday June 11th 1982 31 year old Brenda Kay Broadway & Christi Elms & Selena Kay Elms were abducted at 1:30 am at Kermit Texas in a blue ford pickup with a crew cab. White Cotton rope was used to bind them. One girl escaped- a man named Michael Eugene Sharp was arrested in the case even tho the girl described a man older and heaver than he is. The girl also described the man as having a bird tatto on his shoulder. Michael Sharp has always protested his innocence. On the slimest of evidence he was convicted. During this period there were a series of killings in Arlington Texas that seemed to match the killings in the Odessa-Kermnit area. In Bakerfield California in 1980 two teenagers were found dead in an Orchard field. They had been bound and shot. On the tennis shoe of one girl was written Robert is a Fox. A man was arrested in San Jose California for the killings but for some strange reason Unsolved Mysteries did a show on these killings. The gun had been found in a pawn shop. My question is about the Bakerfield killings is the lettering on the tennis shoe. Was it ever compared to the Zodiac printing? Also the gun used in the killings was it ever compared to any of the Zodiac killings? I am sorry I have to be so abstract in what I say. Once again I ask did Darlene Ferrin have relatives in Texas? I also ask did Cheri Jo Bates or her dad have relatives in Texas? Time and time again the names Robert and Bob come up. If Zodiac did kill in other states then it is possible he may have left evidence that could ultimately tie him into the California cases. Once again I do not think it is a lark that Zodiac used the name the Red Phantom in his 1974 letter to the Count Marco. As for the Texarkana killings it is my opinion that Zodiac was the killer and killed the young people out of frustration and rage because of his inadequacies as a man. I feel Zodiac has a charming personality and was a model citizen who did nothing to bring suspicion upon himself. I also feel he picked up hitchhikers on highway101 in California. Because of his non-threating personality I feel sure no one would hesistate to get in a car or pickup with him.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 11:54 pm:

I was told by Darlenes sister Pam a long time ago,that they did have family in Texas.On one return trip from Texas,two men came back with them. Pam was not sure of the names, she thought the names were Carl Proctor,and --- Key. (I don't remember the first name of Key.) Pam please correct me if I am wrong.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 02:04 am:

Obaz-The account of those 2 teens that were found in Bakersfield was in an LA Times edition some time ago.You can request it. A detective Davis of the Bakersfield PD worked the case and is fully convinced the killer is in prison for their murders.The perp will not tell the authorities where he picked them up,as this would help greatly in locating.It was not the 'Foxey Robert or 'Robert is a fox',but the class ring one of the girls wore -it was Walnut high and they located the owner,but they informed the PD the ring had been stolen!The perp has confessed to his priest concerning the 87s,but the priest is under oath not to reveal a confession. I am sorry,in cases like this it is more of a 'sacred duty' to help the police and their family to find their deceased children!How did the show go?Did they find the parents of the girls?I have said that Z had a southern background and that he or a close friend knew of the murders by the Red Phantom.My suspect was friends with Tex Watson who was raised in Texas . My guy was born in LA. and later moved to TN.They were featured in lurid detective magazines for years.I speculate that the young Zodiac read these kinds of magazines and was influenced by them.See my postabout Jack the Ripper and Z.

By Obaz (Obaz) ( - on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 05:07 am:

Howard thanks for the info. I am almost positive Unsolved Mysteries said "Robert is a Fox" was written on one tennis shoe. Could you check this out further. Sandy just where in Texas did Darlene have relatives. What town. This is important.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 11:10 am:

Sandy,is that Lee Key,the guy who was mentioned as being the person who brought Darlene gifts from Mexico?

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 09:06 pm:

Obaz, she didn't say.Pam reads the board,maybe she will help out here? Lapumo,yes that's the name, I wasn't sure. I didn't want to look foolish using the name "Lee". Again I thought Pam would tell us. I did a lot of research on those names, nothing came up as I recall.How did you get the names?

By TX Cowboy (Txcowboy) ( - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 05:52 pm:

I've got a few questions and thoughts on this subject. First off, Matt, how do you see any similitaries between JTR and Zodiac? Second,isn't there any way to trace Chapman's movement during the 60s? There are some interesting similarities between the Phantom Killer and Zodiac, and I think it is viable that they could be one in the same. I know I'm probably wrong, but it's just a thought

By Alan Cabal (Alan) ( - on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 08:14 pm:

I share your interest, TX.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 - 09:09 am:

I have just come upon this thread and find it very interesting for 2 reasons:

1. I also have an interest in the Texarkana case, and have noted similarities between The Phantom Killer and Zodiac. (I've seen The Town That Dreaded Sundown numerous times; indeed, a copy of it resides in my video collection.)

2. However, having said that, I must note that "killing beneath a full moon" was not one of the things that these cases shared in common. In fact, this entire notion is a myth with regard to both killers. Cases in point:

The Phantom Killer's attack/murder dates:
2/22/46: Moon was 2 days from last quarter.

3/24/46: Moon was 1 day from last quarter.

4/14/46: Full Moon, beginning 4/16/46.

5/03/46: New Moon.

Zodiac's known attack/murder dates:
10/30/66*: 1 day after Full Moon.

12/20/68: New Moon.

07/05/69: 1 or 2 days following Full Moon.

09/27/69: Last quarter.

10/11/69: New Moon.

Although there are some similarities between the two elusive killers, killing on a Full Moon certainly wasn't one of them. As you can see, out of the 8 confirmed Zodiac/Phantom dates, only 2 of the dates were on a Full Moon. Also, note the fact that the "Phantom Killer" also sexually molested at least two of his female victims. Zodiac, as we know, never sexually molested any of his victims.



*I included CJB for the sake of curiosity.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - 08:12 pm:

Scott:I don't have all my books unpacked after my move, but I think that 9/27/69 was an eclipse of the full moon two days INTO a FULL moon. In astrology two days after a full moon can still be considered a "full" moon. I carefully consulted professionals over the years and studied diligently concerning this and other Zodiac astro/events and this is what they told me and I learned on my own.It matters what Zodiac thought in this regard not what an ephemeris states.Good observation on the '46 killings.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Thursday, July 26, 2001 - 02:21 pm:

The oddest thing happened . . . I was looking through my notes with regard to the moon's phase on 09/27/69, to verify if what I said about that night was true. Sure enough, it stated that the moon that night was in its last quarter. However, knowing that Howard is rarely prone to errors, I checked the following website: and noted that the moon was full that particular evening. I apologize for the error.

What strikes me strange, is the fact that this is the same website that I received the information from to begin with. I honestly do not know how that happened. Perhaps that month was wrong the first time I saw it, and has since been updated. I clearly have it drawn (although wrong) in my notes as a last quarter moon.

However, that still only amounts to 3 Full Moons out of the 8 known murder dates. Therefore my point, though originally flawed, remains the same.

Thanks Howard,


By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 02:29 am:

Scott:Now we look at another attack time and that was the new moon. Zodiac did NOT just consider FULL moons but NEW moons as well.Dave Peterson understood this and we discussed this many times.In astrology this is a favorable time.

Even kings including the Roman Emperors, etc.,after consulting with their personal astrologers,attacked on new moons as the battle would most likely go in their favor or so they believed.

In business the great tycoon J.Pierpont Morgan after consulting his personal astrologer would purchase stock or sign contracts,etc. on a new moon.

The 12/20/68 Zodiac "kick off" attack (one is supposed to BEGIN new plans, etc. on a new moon)was on a NEW moon. Paul Stine was murdered on a new moon.What I am saying is that new or full they would be considered CO EQUAL!The number/%'s go up considerably.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 02:17 pm:


"Two days into a full moon" may have some meaning astrologically, but astronomically it is a contradiction in terms. The full moon occurrs at that moment in the lunar cycle when the moon is closest to alignment with earth and sun. The day on which this moment occurrs is what is indicated on accurate calendars as the full moon. A lunar eclipse certainly can't happen other than at the very _moment_ of the full moon, when the sun, earth and moon are in their closest possible alignment.

Scott: shows the new moon clearly on Sept 11, 69 and the full moon somewhat less clearly on Sept 25, possibly the 26, but certainly not on the 27. It is approaching full and receding from full for two days before and after that, so Sept 27 is the last day on which it appears nearly full, but that's still almost nearly not quite hardly.

I you use the astrological leeway, you get what about 7 days for each phase? Assuming the moon is always either full, new, first quarter or last quarter. Thus you have a random chance of exactly 50/50 that any given event will occurr in one of any two of the phases. So if Z struck either at random or at least without regard to phases of the moon, you would expect half of any given group of dates to fall in the full or new phases.

By The Fife (Thefife) ( - on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 07:00 pm:

U.S. Naval Observatory Phases of the Moon page:

This even gives the hour and minute of the event.

My understanding:
It has been a long time for me, but I remember that anciently and in astrology there is a unique name for each day of the moon. There is a period on each side of the event of a full moon that is considered to be under the influence of the full moon. The period defined as the event of the full moon +/- 24 hours is usually considered to be the "full moon" proper. An extra 24 hours each way is considered to be "under the full moon." [This makes 6:30 of 9/27 about event + 46 hours -- 2 hours to go.] This gives about 4 days under the full moon and 4 days under the new moon or about 27% of the month. This is IF you are following this astrological system.

I never thought of this before, but if you want to follow this line of reasoning, that would be a reason he was in a hurry to attack. But here again, just because you know something doesn't mean Z knew it.

Tom F

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 02:15 am:

Good post Fife.If one followed astrology it was a "full" moon on the 27th and about to leave.About each 2.5 days in astrology(stay with astro' reasoning here Pete we are not trying to bust astrology but to see if Z was a follower) the moon is said to change signs and when in this sign it portrays a certain kind of energy, etc.This goes into the mix also.

There are other aspects and positions in astrology that come into play when one is using astrology to plan events, etc.The Z letters were sent during significant astro' times too.

I had an astrologer carefully examine each kill time from the stand point of astrology( NOT astronomy-it is not part of this discussion) or astrology as we know it,and he came to the conclusion Zodiac was a follower of astrology. Peterson came to the same conclusion and this is many years before we contacted each other!

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Sunday, July 29, 2001 - 06:04 pm:

In many cultural constructs that have no connection with "astrology", the full mnoon is considered to have certain powers and effects. Ask any ob-gyn nurse or EMS worker. Establishing a connection or correlation with Z-events and the supposed or real effects of the full moon does not necessarly establish any correlation with astrology. Maybe he struck on the full moon or under its effects, without being aware of the phases of the moon. Like anyone else under the influence of the phases of the moon. If it was consciously connected astrologically, e could have got it a lot more accurately by looking up the day of the event and striking on that day.

Perhaps he was just influenced by the moon itself, without any reference to the cultural constructs.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 11:09 am:

"Perhaps he was just influenced by the moon itself, without any reference to the cultural constructs."

Peter: That's a really good point, and something which may warrant further discussion. It seems salient, at least to me, that tides and certain tidal phenomena are greatly affected by the phases of the moon. Now, a rhetorical question: What percentage of the human body is comprised of water? It would be somewhat naive to think that there isn't a possible correlation between the moon and the human body, don't you think? I'm really looking for some feedback on this idea because I'm not actually aware of any scientific research that has drawn such a conclusion. Anybody have a bone they're willing to throw to an ol' dog?

I appreciate all of the responses, because they serve to prove my original point: "Although there are some similarities between the two elusive killers (Zodiac & Phantom Killer), killing on a Full Moon certainly wasn't one of them."


By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 11:31 am:

The percentage of water to body weight is irrelevant. All mass on the earth is affected by the moon's gravity, not just water. Water can be observed to react to lunar gravity globally because it is both heavy and a fluid. The tidal effect is due to a differentiation between the lunar gravitational effect on one side of a body and the other. The near side of the earth, for example is 12,000 miles closer to the moon than the far side, so the water on the near side is drawn to the moon more strongly than on the other side. The result is a bulge on the near side, ironically balanced by a somewhat lesser bulge on the other side: hence diurnal tides. Same effect caused that comet to break up before plunging into Jupiter a few years ago. The tidal effect on the human body , however, is negligible, since one end of the body is only infinitesimally farther from the moon than the other. The simple gravitational effect on a single human body (that of being slightly lighter in effect on the night of the full moon) may not be negligible.

By The Fife (Thefife) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 12:15 pm:


It has long been remarked (as in centuries if not millennia) that a woman's menstrual period tends to align with the lunar month, about 28 days. Mensis = Latin for month. A pregnancy is also sometimes described as being 10 lunar months.

That is about the only lunar alignment that I know of with Man, which could be just an accident of evolutionary fate. I rather doubt causality.

Speaking of causality: often what appears to be a cause is just a collateral effect, or the actual cause is at the end of a cause/effect chain from a particular event.

Tom F

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 12:44 pm:

I've read certain studies on serial killers and other forms of violent criminals that indicate that many of these offenders claim to be affected by the phases of the moon. The best example I can think of off the top of my head is Bobby Joe Long. Certain researchers, such as Dr. Joel Norris, for example, have hypothesized that Long may very well have been affected -- hormonally -- by the moon. I'm quite aware of the menstrual cycle/moon connection. What I'm wondering is if a "menstrual cycle" of sorts can also be ascribed to the male gender as some scientists (ala, Joel Norris) seem to suggest? And, if so, is it possible that the moon may affect criminal behavior? Certainly an argument can be made that the moon affects certain criminals psychologically. But what about physiologically?


By The Fife (Thefife) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 01:40 pm:


The body is an elegant thing. It seems to choose a middle-of-the-road version for itself and then specializes from there. For example, men and women have nipples as default equipment, but they only develop to a full purpose in women while some men purposelessly develop larger than normal breasts perhaps from a hormonal response. This seems like a situation where some side effects have come into play. I have heard this talk of "male menstruation," "male PMS" and "male menopause" but I have not actually got my hands onto a real document on the subject.

Is this leading to Z having a "bad day?"

Tom F

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 03:16 pm:

What is going on here?
Can we please stick to the thread???

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 05:11 pm:

That is funny--Z with PMS. But it obviously goes a whole lot deeper than that. Z plotted and planned. Though the Texarcana murders bear much similiarity with Zodiac, there are major differences. I believe they had the right man in Youell Swinney, but instead of going for the conviction, the powers that were just went for the habitual offender -- in for life situation. Naturally the murders ceased when he was put away --
a scenario I've always believed was very likely with Z. The big difference is the sexual molestation, or lack thereof with Z. Question:
couldn't it be just as posssible that there were no sexual crimes because the acts were totally void of any sexual motivation whatsoever. In other words, Zodiac had a normal or even overactive sex life. Take Bruce Davis for one, the male members of the Manson Family were oversaturated with sex with multiple partners, but had plenty of other reasons of their own to murder.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 05:22 pm:

I have read that the crime rate increases during full and new moons, and that in hospitals, more blood is used for transfusions because people bleed more at that time. It was many years ago, however, and I don't remember the source.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 05:43 pm:

Tom F wrote: "Is this leading to Z having a 'bad day?'"

Sylvie wrote: "That is funny--Z with PMS. But it obviously goes a whole lot deeper than that."

Both of you are missing the point -- AGAIN!

This has come to be expected from Sylvie, but Tom F, I don't know. It's obvious that neither one of you are familiar with the Bobby Joe Long case, so I'll just drop this line of reasoning altogether.

Sylvie also wrote: "The big difference is the sexual molestation, or lack thereof with Z."

Gee, this almost sounds like something that was posted close to a week ago on this very same thread. Thanks for the reiteration.


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 06:03 pm:

I think Scott gets PMS!
Or could it be the "angry white male board rage syndrome"? Thrown any poodles out of cars onto the freeway lately, Scott?
Don't abuse those of us on this board because you're not getting any at home or whatever your problem is.

By Bruce (Bruce_D) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 06:12 pm:

Sylvie, Why do you react so angrily???!!!. You seem like a very intelligent person, but your previous post was not handled rationally. All it does is make people lose respect for you and also for the positions you take.
You have a lot on the ball. If you so desire, here's what I do when I see a post that irritates me. I add the message-get all my frustrations out in my rage filled post- Then I delete it!-and repost showing reason without emotion.
Bruce D.

By Boojum (Boojum) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 07:12 pm:

Relax, Bruce. It's been my observation here that the women just come for the attention they can get.

They want to be stalked.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 07:35 pm:

EdN:There was a book called Moon Madness which discussed people and their reactions to the full/new moon.The net is rich with such info.

In 1973, a young researcher spoke to police officers about activity during full moons and he was told that they had a lot more difficulties with offenders, etc, during the full moon. I was told this by some officers ; nurses had their fair share of stories too.What the researcher found -and he went through police files for dates/criminal or bizarre events-was that the incidences sharply increase during the 'friction' part or as the moon is becoming full.

The basic reasoning is that since the brain is about 75% water and there is a strong gravitational pull from the moon(witness the high tide!)then irrational behavior in susceptible(like researchers!)people is exaggerated.

A person that uses astrology is attempting to utilize that "extra" energy to more effectively bring their project or plan to pass.

Mansons idol (this is where he got at least part of his inspiration to use astrology)Hitler had astrologers and they planned his attacks -except they told him not to invade Russia as the 'Saturn cycle was going in December '41' and it was at this time that they fell into disfavor with Hitler and some fled- others were placed in concentration camps.It is an interesting study. Hitler got into astrology in his younger years and read occult books and met at least one well known astrologer

Mansons old guard told me that M would talk to him about the 'power of the full/new moon' and that he would predict an event-even death-in the Yard during the full moon.The guard told me "and he would be right"on many occasions!M even wanted to do an astrology chart on the guard but he refused!

I know you know a lot of this info but it was for FYI purposes.I believe Zodiac followed the moon as well as the planetary cycles, etc. and attacked on those days-this according to my astro experts and Dave Peterson.

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Sunday, February 17, 2002 - 04:06 am:

I woke up at 3:30am and turned on the tube. "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" is on right now on The Movie Channel. It should be on all weekend. It's a pretty good flick and worth watching if you haven't seen it yet. Dawn Wells from "Gilligan's Island" plays the leading role.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Sunday, February 17, 2002 - 01:19 pm:

Yeah I saw that movie. I'm not sure if there is more then one version of that movie. The one I saw near the very end there is the scene by the train, and you can easily see the camera crew on the train for about 5 seconds in slow motion. Good for a laugh.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 02:24 am:

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is on yet again, this time on SHOWXP (as I type). I imagine it'll be on again soon (it started an hour ago, but I was watching Batman instead on TVLand). In addition to the yummiest female castaway (Dawn Wells), Andrew Prine is in it too; he was, as I recall, a suspect in the mysterious death of a woman in the late 1960's (I believe she was an actor as well). I came across the newspaper story some time ago while doing Z research, and I have a copy of it somewhere. Rather interesting that he'd be in a movie about a serial killer; even more interesting is that I got his autograph several months back at the Grand Slam X Star Trek convention in Pasadena.

I also noticed that Jason's hood in Friday the 13th Part 2 appears to have been based directly on the Phantom Killer's hood in this flick. Jason didn't get his infamous hockey mask until Part 3 (interestingly enough, from his 13th victim during his rampage in parts 2-4).

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 03:13 am:

Andrew Prine played Deputy Norman Ramsey. It's also interesting to note that some of the production crew had small parts in the movie (except Bud Davis, the stunt coordinator, who had a somewhat larger role as he played the Phantom Killer).

By Brian_D (Brian_D) ( - on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 06:06 am:

Ed, the woman was Karyn Kupcinet, the daughter of a popular radio talk show host in Chicago named Irv Kupcinet. She was found dead 11/30/63 and you're right, Prine was a susppect in the case. Unfortunately, the autopsy was botched and her hyoid bone was dammaged. Therefore, it couldn't be conclusively proven she was strangled.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 06:39 pm:

Some interesting theorizing here about Karyn Kupcinet. She was dating Andrew Prine, and was friends with Mark Goddard (Major Don West in Lost in Space) and Earl Holliman (from Policewoman), but to suggest she was murdered to silence her because she knew something about the JFK assassination??? Hmm...

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 06:41 am:

Let's not wander off to Dallas...

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 05:24 pm:

According to ,a film about Ned Kelly is to come out this year.See old Kelly posts.