Bullitt


Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Theories: Bullitt

By Tom Voigt (Admin) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Wednesday, November 06, 2002 - 10:28 pm:

Recently I was informed that a suspect in the Zodiac crimes was acquaintances with actor Steve McQueen during the 1960s. Since the Zodiac was apparently a movie buff, immediately I remembered McQueen's 1968 San Francisco-based cop movie Bullitt. Searching for possible connections to the Zodiac case, I scrutinized Bullitt and found the following:

*Filming began in San Francisco in late April 1968, approx. seven months before the first Zodiac murders

*Solar Productions was actor Steve McQueen's production company

*SFPD's Inspector Dave Toschi was a consultant to McQueen

*A key scene was filmed at a house on San Francisco's Vallejo Street, only 1.14 miles from the Zodiac's only San Francisco murder

*Theatrical release was Oct. 17, 1968

*Robert Duvall portrayed a cabbie who drove cab number 6912.

*Approx. one year after the film was released, Zodiac killed Paul Stine, a cabbie who drove cab number 912

*Stine was killed by one "bullitt"

By Socal (Socal) (66-27-106-7.san.rr.com - 66.27.106.7) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 12:03 am:

Very interesting.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acad72fa.ipt.aol.com - 172.173.114.250) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 12:18 am:

One thing also: Duvall's cab in Bullitt was, as Tom pointed out, #6912, while we know that Stine's was #912, with the only difference being the number 6. Or was there really a difference? After all, Z murdered Stine exactly one year less 6 days after Bullitt was first released. Some food for thought...

By Armchair_Sleuth (Armchair_Sleuth) (bgrcvx043074.prexar.com - 142.167.43.74) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 07:28 am:

Very interesting theory ,Z if he had this flick in
mind he probly doing this not only to amuse himself and to continue his cat-and-mouse game with the law . Serial killers dont usually have a
plan when they embark on their respective careers.
But however Z wasnt your garden -variety sociopath
with each drepedation his ego grew and he started developing this 'supercriminal' persona for himself , therefore he sought to enhance his status in the annals of crime. But in reality was as derivitive as they come.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (12.81.120.154) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 10:32 am:

Thus demonstrating in an exemplary fashion the schizomimetic nature of this pursuit. Z draws us down the rabbit hole of paranoid ideation with his/their studied ambiguity. Once you start thinking in paranoid-schiz constructs, how easy is it to keep those constructs from overtaking your everyday life? Philip K. Dick would have a field day with this message board.

By Jim (Jim) (216-102-76-92.scoe.org - 216.102.76.92) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 12:49 pm:

wait a minute, don't you think that people are reading way too much into this?
how could Z guarantee that Stine would be driving the cab of such a number so close to a movie?
there could be such a thing as coincidence here to you know.
jim

By Len (Len) (gw1.edeltacom.com - 216.248.176.30) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 01:11 pm:

Jim: Even though I happen to agree with you that it was a coincidence, the number of the cab was printed on the light atop the roof. It can be seen in one of the pictures that Tom has posted as link from the Paul Stine page.

Even then, though, we are left with the Zodiac standing on the corner of Geary and Mason looking for a cab--any cab--that had that or a similar number. It strikes one as unlikely.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - 208.211.19.90) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 01:25 pm:

In San Francisco, especially the area where Zodiac was, one can choose from a zillion available cabs. All I'm suggesting is that Zodiac might have remembered the cab number from Bullitt when choosing Stine's cab.

By Len (Len) (gw1.edeltacom.com - 216.248.176.30) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 01:30 pm:

Tom: He certainly seems to have been influenced by popular culture enough to make that plausible.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (12.81.120.160) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 03:48 pm:

And I submit that the idea is psychotic.

By J Eric (J_Eric) (dsl081-238-156.lax1.dsl.speakeasy.net - 64.81.238.156) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 03:51 pm:

Are any taxis in S.F. actually given 4-digit numbers, i.e., "6912"? Cabs shown in movies are likely to be "studio rentals," look-alike cars with made-up numbers and company names on them. But it's possible that a real taxi was hired for the filming. Still, I agree with "Len," above; don't see Zodiac as standing on a corner at night waiting for any particularly-numbered taxi to cruise by...so he could commit his murder. He'd be more likely to want to hail any cab and get his work done with.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar16-4-47-001-051.lsanca1.elnk.dsl.genuity.net - 4.47.1.51) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 04:00 pm:

Vivid imaginations do not hallucinations make. I think, Alan, that psychotic is a bit harsh; even fashionably neurotic is probably not descriptive. More likely than not, mere zynchronous* coincidence, but it does make for interesting speculation.

*copyright Ed N.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 04:56 pm:

Here's a link to a picture of Stine's cab w/number:

http://www.zodiackiller.com/StineScene.html

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) (66.138.8.231) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 07:14 pm:

As I recall the movie Bullitt, the killings involved had more to do with mob killings than a
crazed lunatic killer, but it has been years since I saw the movie. I will try and rent it as I would love to see it again.
BTW, I would not characterize any of the ideas about Zynchronicity as psychotic or neurotic, merely over-inconclusive jumping to conclusions.
Other boaard members, help me with a memory check:
I could find no references to Vic Tayback on a keyword search but I swear I recall a discussion to the effect that someone had once mentioned Vic Tayback (the late actor) as a Zodiac suspect! Was this merely another experience of a fever dream or
did such a discussion exist? At any rate, Mr. Tayback WAS a member of the cast of Bullitt. I await enlightenment.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acc27fa9.ipt.aol.com - 172.194.127.169) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 08:55 pm:

Mike: no, it was not a feverish dream at all, there was some discussion about Vic Tayback as a Z "suspect," but it was all tongue-in-cheek. Tom started the board in late March 1999 and changed the format twice early on to it's present form (2 to 3 years ago), and all messages posted prior to the current format were unfortunately lost (nothing could be done about that). The whole Vic Tayback discussion must have occurred before then if a keyword search did not turn it up.

BTW, as I recall, it was jokingly said that he had mentioned something about black hoods and radians in quick succession in some movie, which is why he became a "suspect." That never really happened.

By Warren (Warren) (w205.z064002105.hou-tx.dsl.cnc.net - 64.2.105.205) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 07:43 am:

By all means, if you haven't seen Bullitt, go out an rent it. It is classic McQueen and my generation was constantly trying to affect his look. He was the epitome of cool. This is an interesting subject and I wonder if there weren't other McQueen influences on the Z. BTW, McQueen packed heat to Sharon Tate's funeral, according to an article in Vanity Fair. Real fear at that time. In later years McQueen was running with a very tough Biker crowd because of his love of motorcycles.

By Len (Len) (gw1.edeltacom.com - 216.248.176.30) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 07:45 am:

Alan: One of the intriguing facets of the human mind is way that it tries to impose order where none is to be found. We see this in the way that people will look at clouds and swear that they can see the image of Aunt Maisie being crushed by a Panzer. However, perception often has no relation to fact.

This is why I used the word "unlikely." It is the difference between what is possible and what is probable.

I'm reminded of a line from the Firesign Theatre's album "Everything You Know Is Wrong." Do dogs come from outer space? Did the Aztecs invent the vacation? Did the Zodiac choose Paul Stine's cab because of the number? "Could be! Could be!"

By Len (Len) (gw1.edeltacom.com - 216.248.176.30) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 07:51 am:

Warren: If the composite sketch is correct, Z and McQueen had similar haircuts.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-23.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.18.23) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 08:13 am:

"All I'm suggesting is that Zodiac might have remembered the cab number from Bullitt when choosing Stine's cab."

The cab numbers were on the rear of the roof light 1nthe 60's. The front of SF taxi roof lights read "Metered Taxi". I believe the number is also on the rear doors. As hard as it is to flag a cab in SF to begin with, I think it extremely unlikey that Z could see the cab number, at night, and then successfully flag it down.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (cache-ntc-af07.proxy.aol.com - 198.81.26.172) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 10:44 am:

Personally, I think it is an interesting theory.

How do we know that Z ever intended to kill a cabbie in the first place? Isn't it possible that, while venturing in SF that evening, Z simply happened upon the cab and decided, right then and there, to murder the cabbie simply because of the number on his cab?

Something has to account for Z's change in MO when he murdered Stine. Perhaps if Stine's cab number hadn't coincidentally resembled that of the cab in the movie, Zodiac would never have murdered him.

If we can't be certain of Zodiac's intentions prior to murdering Stine that evening, then how can anyone assert that the cab number is only coincidental in retrospect? It seems to me that it could have just as easily been a matter of coincidence that led to Stine's murder.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - 208.211.19.90) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 12:51 pm:

Before drawing a conclusion, I'd strongly suggest everyone first rent Bullitt and pay attention to Duvall's cab (the number is displayed in many scenes), then take a look at the link below:

http://www.zodiackiller.com/StineScene.html

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (cache-ntc-af07.proxy.aol.com - 198.81.26.172) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 01:10 pm:

Also, if you count Cheri Jo Bates as a Zodiac victim, then Stine would have been Zodiac's "6th" known murder victim. '6th' victim, in cab number '912' = "6912"? Weirder things have happened.

By Len (Len) (gw1.edeltacom.com - 216.248.176.30) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 01:56 pm:

Tom: I'll take your word for it that the cab number is prominently displayed in the movie. Also, I looked at the photo at the link before my first post and will gladly agree that the cab number is visible on the lighted sign--from behind. If Peter H's assertion that the only other place the cab number would visible on the exterior of the cab is on the rear door is correct, can we then assume that the Zodiac would have been able to note the number on a moving vehicle, make the connection to the movie, and then flag it down before it passed?

Do we know whether Stine was parked or moving when the Zodiac got in? I know that Stine had received a call to get a fare at 500 9th Ave, but was he already in transit or not? The probability that the Zodiac chose that cab for that number goes up, IMO, if the cab was parked when he got in.

By Warren (Warren) (w205.z064002105.hou-tx.dsl.cnc.net - 64.2.105.205) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 02:05 pm:

Scott:
Regarding change in MO: Paul Stine's murder has perplexed me for years. All of Z's murders were cowardly and heinous to say the least, but Stine's strikes a nerve for the sheer callousness of the act (not to lessen the callousness of any murder). It seems that the prior murders were for Z's personal gratification, whereas Stine's murder was for what Z perceived, or desired, to be the public's infatuation of his growing notoriety. Doubly heinous, in my opinion.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (pdx-cfi-90.navi.net - 208.211.19.90) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 02:28 pm:

Maybe Stine was parked when Zodiac approached...I don't know. I also don't know if the cab number was visible from the front.

By Socal (Socal) (66-27-106-7.san.rr.com - 66.27.106.7) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 03:39 pm:

I'm having trouble figuring out why anyone would think this theory is crazy. Not saying I it is right on, but definatly worth looking at.

By J Eric (J_Eric) (dsl081-238-156.lax1.dsl.speakeasy.net - 64.81.238.156) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 04:36 pm:

Millions might disagree, but I still think that something happened in the cab AFTER Zodiac got in that set off the murder. Perhaps the unfortunate Mr. Stine mentioned something about the Zodiac killings, or saw Z starting to disguise himself in some way, and got suspicious...in which case the Cab Number Theory goes out the window...

Not meaning to slam our Webmaster Host!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 05:39 pm:

Socal, I agree with you (obviously!). As a test, let's see how long it takes for one of us to spot a cab with the same number.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar16-4-47-001-051.lsanca1.elnk.dsl.genuity.net - 4.47.1.51) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 05:46 pm:

It's not my intention to discourage the practice of theorizing, appreciating that many unsolved mysteries have been resolved through free association, escaping from the constraints of complacency and traditional thinking. However, sometimes I notice a tendency here, when posing a new theory, to not take into consideration Z's penchant for detail and planning.

For one thing, I feel it would have been out of character for him to have ventured out in public, to downtown SF at night, armed with a handgun, without already having planned out what he intended to do, in detail. That he was just slumming around town with some vague murderous notion, waiting for some inspiration as to what he would do and to whom. He almost certainly had a plan. This would have included an escape plan, which would have factored in how he got to where he hailed the cab, and where the shooting would occur. It's also unlikely that taking the section of Stine's shirt was a spur-of-the-moment decision. And if he had intended to kill someone else, taking a cab being necessary to his plan, but deciding enroute to kill the driver instead, why would he have taken a cab in the first place, thereby creating a witness that could possibly ID him later? Compounding that already untenable stretch of logic, saying that Z killed Stine so he wouldn't be a potential witness in another killing before or after the cab ride, where is the other victim?

If we are to assume, then, that Z had a plan in place when he hailed a cab, it seems very unlikely that he would have predicated the execution of his plan on locating one that had those particular numbers in common with the cab in Bullitt. I can't fathom how it could have been anything other than coincidence, unless Stine had been targeted well in advance for whatever reason, which is equally unlikely.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 06:00 pm:

The only suspect who might have wanted to target Stine is Allen. (The two shared the same middle name and birthdate.)

I guess the cab-number detail is probably just zynchronicity. But man...

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acad2795.ipt.aol.com - 172.173.39.149) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 11:05 pm:

I just watched Bullitt for the first time today (too bad it wasn't yesterday, the 22nd anniversary of Steve McQueen's untimely death, as it would have been awesome synchronicity!). Before we actually see the cab's number in the movie, it is mentioned by one of the characters. Later on, there are a couple of scenes where we can see the number on the side of the cab, but not on the front of the light on the roof (which read "metered cab" or something to that effect). It belonged to the "Sunshine Cab" company (presumably a change from "Yellow Cab").

Also, Robert Vaughn's character, Chalmers, decided on Frank Bullitt to protect his "organization" (ie, mafia) witness, because he made good copy and was apparently well-liked in the city, presumably because he was oft-mentioned in the papers (shades of Deputy Dave!!!).

Of course, we know from Zodiac (p. 96) that McQueen met Toschi prior to filming Bullitt, and based his character on him as well as using a duplicate of his holster (seen maybe three times in the movie).

One thing I found remarkable was how little violence there was, and, although I didn't count them, I figure there was probably less than a dozen shots fired (correct me if I'm wrong). Pretty amazing for a cop movie!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 11:15 pm:

Ed:
"Before we actually see the cab's number in the movie, it is mentioned by one of the characters."

Thanks, Ed. I knew I wasn't dreaming! (I watched the Bullitt dvd on my computer. In my excitement after noticing the possible Stine connection, I searched but couldn't find that scene again to verify the audio.)

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acad2795.ipt.aol.com - 172.173.39.149) on Saturday, November 09, 2002 - 01:04 am:

Tom: it was right at the very beginning, when Ross is in the hotel checking for messages.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Sunday, November 10, 2002 - 08:03 pm:

The route from the Stine murder scene to the movie location at Vallejo and Divisadero Streets forms a giant Z.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (pluto.cds1.net - 216.174.197.132) on Sunday, November 10, 2002 - 10:15 pm:

You can also see the cab number on the rear of the roof light when Bullitt has the cabbie take him on the same route he took Ross the day before. "Sunshine Cab" company was not Yellow cab renamed, there were one or two Yellow cabs to be seen on the road. Also, Bullitt was on AMC last night, and probably will be again soon.

P.S. Keep an eye out for the green VW during the car chase. They pass it three or four times (it must have been a very fast car!!!).

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup-67.30.191.33.dial.boston1.level3.net - 67.30.191.33) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 05:32 am:

Tom:

The simplest route between any two points on a grid forms a Z.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (11.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.16.11) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 06:36 am:

Is that how the crow flies?

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-19-90.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.19.90) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 07:37 am:

As the dog walks. Actually, the simplest would be an "L", but I think the one that Mapquest spits out is usually a Z.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 10:27 am:

Peter:
"The simplest route between any two points on a grid forms a Z."

Your condescension is getting really old, Peter. I suggest you either take a break from posting or freshen your act a bit.

By Tom Voigt (Admin) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 10:42 am:

Peter:
"Actually, the simplest would be an "L", but I think the one that Mapquest spits out is usually a Z."

If Zodiac was heading to Vallejo/Divasadero and wanted to go back the way he came, an "L" shape would have been easiest but most risky.

By Sandy (Sandy) (12-233-103-176.client.attbi.com - 12.233.103.176) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 12:47 pm:

The chase in Bullitt was the actual speed! Three camera men riding on the camera car quit it was so fast. If the green VW was keeping up with it ,it would have one heck of a engine!

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-202.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.18.202) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 01:12 pm:

Zigged while SFPD Zagged?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 01:36 pm:

Earlier I posted:
"The route from the Stine murder scene to the movie location at Vallejo and Divisadero Streets forms a giant Z."

Peter added:
"Tom: The simplest route between any two points on a grid forms a Z. Actually, the simplest would be an "L", but I think the one that Mapquest spits out is usually a Z."

Just in case anyone besides Peter is confused by my post, I was using Zodiac's route of escape: N. on Cherry, E. on Jackson. Therefore, Mapquest's default settings are not relevant to this discussion.

IF he was heading to the movie location at Vallejo and Divasadero Streets he had already formed half of the Z. All he would need to do is continue on Jackson a few more blocks and then take a left.

Yes, I'm aware this is pure theorizing; that's why I started the thread in the Theories topic.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-2.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - 159.134.50.2) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 03:17 pm:

Another Zynchronicity in relation to the number on the cab 912....In ZU there is a report of Bawart taking down the liscence number of Allen's boat...9127F. Also the "7" and "F" joined resemble the symbol on the Halloween card.

By Sandy (Sandy) (12-233-103-176.client.attbi.com - 12.233.103.176) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 04:00 pm:

Would you believe I again have a connection, this time to Steve McQueen and the movie Bullitt? Steves best friend Pat Hustis is a friend of mine,he built the camera car for that movie, he was also the stunt man in the movie.I have a picture of that car. You must think I take a camera with me all the time,I try. I am sure if my suspect is truly the Z ,when you find my body it will have a camera planted where the sun don't shine. Anyone know where I can find a real small camera?

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar16-4-47-008-057.lsanca1.elnk.dsl.genuity.net - 4.47.8.57) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 04:35 pm:

I wouldn't touch that last line with Tom's pole.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) (acbfafb5.ipt.aol.com - 172.191.175.181) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 11:36 pm:

Lapumo: is that zynchronicity or what??? I'm almost at the point where there's too much of it to be zynchronicity... great observation!

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p51-140.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - 159.134.51.140) on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 11:14 am:

Of course Zodiac also took Stines I.D and Liscence.I think the main purpose of the written communications was mostly about identifying himself.There not many other exlanations for using the shirt.None that I've seen yet anyway.

By Socal (Socal) (66-27-66-97.san.rr.com - 66.27.66.97) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 10:56 pm:

The End.

By Sandy (Sandy) (12-233-103-176.client.attbi.com - 12.233.103.176) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 10:34 am:

I feel that he wanted to be seen at the Stine site, he wanted to confuse the police about his size. At Lake B. he was thought to be 6ft and over weight. The torn shirt was to prove that either two z's were acting as one, or Hartnell was wrong about the size of the killer. The deep foot print I think ,was from a suspect who had a limp and put more pressure on his good foot. Kane (Or what ever his real name is) has a limp when he first stands up and takes a few steps,he seems to walk better the further he walks. If the police saw more than one print,I wonder if they could tell that the right foot pointed outward? I read that it is a Jewish ritual to take a piece of the shirt,also that leaving a window open is to insure that the sole leaves for Paradice.Anyone out there who can conferm this?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 10:40 am:

Meanwhile, back to Bullitt...

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (sfmhinet.chw.edu - 192.234.76.6) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 01:29 pm:

Remember that there weren't home use vcr's or dvd players in 1968. Although it is possible for people to become very obsessed with little details in a movie today with being able to watch films over and over again at home, back then Z would have had to see the film in the theatre everytime he wanted to view it. Unless he had a photographic memory or something it would have meant he had to take notes. If the film was already in a tv syndication package it would have only played about once or twice a year in the Bay Area back then as well. Viewing a movie with the kind of scrutiny that we take for granted today would have really only been possible for people who worked at film studios in 1968.

It is also unlikely that Zodiac would have had his choice on which cab he hailed. San Francisco is a cab town. There are lots of them and waiting on one cab in particular would be like finding that needle in the haystack unless the murderer knew his intended victem.

Call me crazy but I still believe that Vallejo and not San Francisco and not Hollywood holds the key to Z's identity whether it is ALA or someone else.

By Mcgarrett2000 (Mcgarrett2000) (sfmhinet.chw.edu - 192.234.76.6) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 01:34 pm:

Another thing, Vallejo St. may only be 1.4 miles away from the SF Z murder but SF is a small city and it is only 7 miles by 7 miles total. If you take any two points in this city they are most likely only going to be a short distance away from each other in miles. I wouldn't really read anything in to that.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 01:40 pm:

"If you take any two points in this city they are most likely only going to be a short distance away from each other in miles. I wouldn't really read anything in to that."

True, although Zodiac was seemingly headed in that direction...