Sheriff Striepeke's Victims Message Board: Other Possible Zodiac Victims: Sheriff Striepeke's Victims

By Tom Voigt (Admin) ( - on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 05:17 pm:

San Francisco Examiner
Wednesday, April 23, 1975

Zodiac Theory: Witchcraft in 30-40 Slayings

SANTA ROSA -- There is a pattern to some 30 to 40
random slayings of young women in California and five
other western states, pointing to one of the most
terrifying and destructive mass killers in history,
lawmen here believe.

Sononma County Sheriff Son Striepeke says this is
a killer who "makes Juan Corona look like a piker."

(Corona was convicted in 1973 of killing 25
migrants in the Yuba City area.)

Striepeke has called representatives of 50
Northern California news agencies here Friday morning
and intends to divulge details of the killer's
pattern then.

The sheriff believes the killer of young women
may be the Zodiac, chalking up victims as he claimed
he would in taunting messages to the police.

In his last letter, mailed in January, 1974,
Zodiac claimed 37 victims. Police have accounted for

San Francisco cab driver Paul Stine was the last
victim that Zodiac ever idenitified. He said after
that killing that he would go on killing but would
not help police by indentifying his victims.

The killer, whoever he is, is a maniac, may be
a student of witchcraft and may believe, as the
Zodiac, that his victims will be his slaves in the
afterlife, the sheriff said.

Striepeke has prepared a press kit which includes
a photograph of a symbol found at a remote site
where three of six victims were dumped near Santa
Rosa in 1972 and 1973.

Detective Sergeant Erwin (Butch) Carstedt, the
investigator who developed the mass-murder theory for
the sheriff, claims the symbol is from ancient English

Formed with twigs and rocks at the side of a
narrow road, the mark consisted of a rectangle
(with two rocks inside) and a square, side by side,
connected by a line.

This is a sign meaning "to carry the souls away,
to take them into paradise," Carlstedt said.

Striepeke says the symbol used to be put on the
hearth in the homes of the deceased in England "to
speed the deceased to the afterlife."

Zodiac has written of his intended victims as
"slaves I will collect for my afterlife," Striepeke
pointed out.

Carlstedt, who was assigned to investigate the
six unsolved female homicides in Sonoma County in 1972
and 1973, has found a trail of killings which he
believes may be the Zodiac's ultimate taunt at

He sees a striking similarity between some
28 Northern California murders of girls and women
aged 12-24, he said.

He has traveled to the Seattle area where 10
young women, most of them college and university
students, disappeared in 1974.

Skeletal remains of seven were found recently,
dumped in two remore forested sites some 25 miles from

"There's no doubt in my mind," he said, that the
same man who killed the six in Sonoma County killed
the young women in Washington state.

Yesterday, Carlstedt was in Salt Lake City, where
two young women have been found dead, apparently
victims of a random killer, and where two others are
still missing.

He planned to go from there to Grand Junction,
Vail and Aspen, Colo., and to Santa Fe, N.M., where
there have been similar murders.

Carlstedt is obsessed by the trail of lifeless
young bodies and skeletons and has speculated that
the killer is sketching an enormous clue across a
map of the western states.

When traced on a map the trail forms the first
two-thirds of a giant "Z", perhaps the signature of
the Zodiac killer, called "Mr. Z" by Carlstedt.

If the detective is right, the trail will soon
point north once more.

Four of the murders Carlstedt and Striepeke
include in their pattern occurred in San Francisco
between May and July 1973.

San Francisco homicide inspectors, though, are
not prepared to accept the theory of a lone killer.
There are similarities, they say, but there are also

"I just can't go that strong with it," said
Inspector Al Podesta.

Seattle authorities, who have 11 detectives on
the random killings there, have sent a team to Sonoma
County to compare their killings with those near
Santa Rosa.

They have not been able to establish any direct
connection between the two series of crimes, they

Carlstedt includes murders in 11 Northern
California counties, dating back to the Judith
Williamson murder in Albany in 1963, in his list of
killings that fit a pattern.

The detective claimes to have noted patterns in
area and periods of time for unsolved female homicides
in Northern California.

For a time in 1969 and early 1970, there were a
number of killings and disappearances in Contra
Costa County.

In March, September, October and November of 1970
and June and October of 1971, there were a series of
killings or disappearances in an area stretching from
Sacramento to the Lake Tahoe area.

Sonoma County and San Francisco had a
proliferation of such unsolved cases in 1972 and 1973.

The last known Sonoma County killing was in
December, 1973, Carlstedt noted, and the first
disappearance in the Seattle area was the next month.

The first there was Linda Marie Healy. Her
remains were found with those of young women
apparently abducted in April, May and June of that

Carlstedt notes striking similarities among the
victims he includes on his list:

They were found nude. With the exception of an
occasional piece of jewelry, their clothing and
belongings were not found. They were killed at one
place, then dumped elsewhere.

The bodies were found in remote areas and often
appeared to have been thrown from the side of the

The killer is believed to be strong, capable of
lifting a woman above his head and tossing her over
several yards of bushes.

Inspector John Mckenna of San Francisco's
homicide bureau, a non-believer in the theory,
described in awe the finding of Rosa Vasquez's nude
body atop some bushes in Golden Gate Park May 29,

"The thing that hit me about Vasquez was that the
guy must have been an awfully powerful person to
have thrust her this far into the shrubs. She was
seven feet off the road and it was as if she had
sailed through the air and just came sprawling down."

The bodies of the six Somona County victims were
disposed of in the same fashion. The sixth may have
been thrown into the creek in which her body was

Edmund Kemper, the Santa Cruz giant convicted
of the dismemberment slayings of six co-ed
hitchhikers, his mother and her best friend, has been
eliminated by Carlstedt as a suspect in these

In Sonoma, two victims were found Dec 28, 1972,
off the side of Franz Valley Road.

Seven months later, a third was found in the
same spot. She had been dead two weeks.

Carlstedt notes the similarity between this
re-use of a dumping site and the case in Seattle.

One of the most chilling questions of all is
what happened to the victim's clothing and property.

In Seattle, lawmen spent 1,300 man hours on a
hands and knees search of 4 million square feet around
the spot where the remains of four women where found.

They found nothing but the four sets of skulls
and jawbones.

In Sonoma, officers searched 100 miles of
isolated roadway one day looking for the belongings
of a victim.

"We didn't even find a shoe or a sock," said

What is the killer doing with the belongings of
the young women?

"Putting them in a shrine somewhere," suggested
the sheriff.

By Tom Voigt (Admin) ( - on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 05:18 pm:

San Francisco Examiner
Thursday, April 24, 1975

Maniac-Killer Theory Backed

Sonoma County authorities who believe a lone,
maniacal killer is stalking young women in western
America, perhaps collecting slaves for the afterlife,
received some qualified support from other law
enforcement officers today.

An investigator for the State Department of
Justice, who has met with Sonoma lawmen and discussed
patterns of similarity between unsolved female
homicides in the state, said he believes in the lone
killer theory.

Dave Struve, of the special projects office of
the Criminal Identification branch of the Justice
Department, said he has studied "numerous" murders
in California and surrounding states.

"Based on the method of operation used, the way
the bodies were found, I think it is probably the
same guy and no more than two," Struve said.

"My feeling is that it is one man. It's been
going on so long, with no word out," he added.

The state investigator said that at first he
believed, with Sonoma lawmen, that the killer might
be the Zodiac, who has taunted police with claims of
37 murder victims.

Zodiac has indicated he is saving up victims who
will be his slaves in paradise.

Sonoma lawmen found a symbol they claim dates
from old English witchcraft and means "to carry the
souls away, to take them into paradise" where the
bodies of three young girls were dumped.

"I did think in terms of the Zodiac at the
start," Struve said. "But I don't think so now
because in the past the Zodiac wasn't a molester
of females."

"Some of these gals were raped, and that doesn't
really fit his little profile," he said.

Detective Sergeant Erwin (Butch) Carlstedt of
the Sonoma Sheriff's office lists 28 killings or
disappearances of girls and women dating back to
1963, which he thinks could be the work of one killer.

Struve says his list of like killings contains
only 14 names, but does not include women who
disappeared under circumstances fitting the pattern.

Carlstedt, originally assigned to investigate
the like killings of six young women near Santa
Rosa and the disappearance of a seventh, has
broadened the investigation considerably.

He has traveled to the Seattle area and says
"there's no doubt in my mind" that 10 women who
disappeared there are victims of the man who killed
the girls in his county.

He is now on a trip through Utah, Colorado and
New Mexico, studying similar killings in those

In Salt Lake City, Sheriff's Sergeant Riley B.
Cannon, with two unsolved killings and two
mysterious disappearances on his hands said he
accepts Carlstedt's lone killer theory, in part.

"It's very possible our cases could have been
committed by the same person or person's as
Sonoma's. There are too many similarities to deny
it," he said.

He added, though, that "the possibility that the
Zodiac is involved here is remote."

Carlstedt said he believes the Zodiac -- he calls
him "Mr. Z" -- may be the killer.

[Giant Z theory mentioned...]

The detective said one reason he believes the
same person killed the girls in his county and the
women in Washington state is the similarity of
psychological profiles produced for his office and
lawmen in Seattle.

"They had a psychological profile done up there
on their suspect and you can take it and almost
overlap it with ours down here," he said.

But in Washinton state, Capt. Nick Mackie of
the King County Sheriff's Office said his officers
discussed with Carlstedt the similarities between
their cases and his and rejected the theory they
were connected.

"We came to the definitive conclusion that
there was no relationship between his murders and
our murders," he said.

Sonoma County lawmen actually had two profiles
drawn of their killer -- by a psychiatrist and a
behavioral scientist who examined crime records and
crime scenes.

San Francisco psychiatrist Edward Shev noted the
killer in Sonoma County never left the clothing,
jewelry or other belongings of his victims behind.

He has a compulsion to keep those items, Dr. Shev
said, perhaps "for the purposes of worship" or as
"notches on his gun."

Dr. Shev suggested the killer has extremely low
regard for his female victims and may believe he "can
resolve and cleanse the world of these inferior
fallen women."

The killer may regard himself as a messiah, may
be similar to religious fanatics of the Manson
family type, said Dr. Shev.

The psychiatrist noted one of the Sonoma victims
was strangled 30 minutes before she died and another
was committed to the agonizing death which comes from
strychnine poisoning.

The murderer kills slowing for
he said, and considers his victims "garbage to be
dumped alongside the road."

By Tom Voigt (Admin) ( - on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 05:21 pm:

San Francisco Examiner
Satuday, April 26, 1975

Profile of a Killer: He Sees Women as Garbage


The Sonoma County sheriff Don Striepeke held
a crowded news conference here yesterday to ask the
public's help in finding the killer.

A privately donated $10,000 reward will go to
anyone providing information leading to his capture
and conviction, Striepeke said.

The killer may be a student or practitioner of
witchcraft, Striepeke said.

A witchcraft instructor, whom the sheriff refused
to identify, told investigators a symbol formed in
twigs where three bodies were dumped. [sic] It comes
from witchcraft practices. It means to "speed the
deceased to the afterlife."

The psychiatrist, Dr. Edward Shev, has told him
the killer wants to be caught. Striepeke said.

"The symbolic things that were left behind would
make one feel that he is challenging you to capture
him," the doctor wrote.

The killer tosses the bodies of his young female
victims off the road into the bushes. But he expects
them "eventually to be found in order for the game of
cat and mouse to continue," said Dr. Shev.

The killer is probably "intellectually quite
cunning and probably selects his victims by picking
up girls and questioning them and talking to them
before he decides to act," said the psychological

"He selects his victims quite carefuly, after
first interviewing them when he picks them up," it

All of the victims, Striepeke said, were of small
to medium build and had long hair parted in the
They had pierced ears and wore casual street clothing.

Their bodies were all in similar areas -- usually
dumped over the side of a remote road, near water.
Their clothing and other belongings were never found.

Police agancies in California and other states
have said they doubt Striepeke's theory of a lone
killer being responsible for 30 to 40 murders. Almost
to a man they reject his theory that the killer is the
Zodiac, who claimed 37 killings in taunting messages
to San Francisco police.

By yesterday, the sheriff had toned down his
public statements regarding the Zodiac.

At one point he said: "We have never ruled out
the possibility of it being the Zodiac. I never said
it was Zodiac. It could be Zodiac and it could not

But when reporters suggested some of the
circumstances of his killings were out of the Zodiac's
pattern, Striepeke was defensive. Just because Zodiac
was never known to strangle a victim, he said, does
not mean he hasn't done it.

"It may or may not tie back to Zodiac," he said.
"He said he would kill by different means."

And don't forget the witchcraft symbol referring
to the afterlife, he said.

"Zodiac said he would continue to kill and add to
his slaves for the afterlife. He's also used some
strange symbols," he said.

He also denied that his investigators believe
that the killer is sketching a giant clue across the
map of the western states, by leaving a trail of
bodies that forms the letter "Z".

By Valentine Smith (Valentinesmith) ( - on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 07:44 pm:

And of course Z always said he would change his M.O. Surprising that they never mentioned that Z specifically said that.

Nice finds, Tom. Very informative.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 09:44 pm:

In the 4-24-1975 story, did anyone catch:

But in Washinton state, Capt. Nick Mackie of the King County Sheriff's Office (emphasis mine) said his officers discussed with Carlstedt the similarities between their cases and his and rejected the theory they were connected.

King's County??? Wasn't that Gary Ridgeway's old stomping/dumping grounds??? I wonder if they've bothered to even look at those old cases with GRK in mind. It might be illuminating... but considering that the Keystone Kops had information pointing to Ridgeway's culpability almost since day one and chose to ignore it, I won't hold my breath.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 11:37 pm:

Ed N: Ditto my thoughts on the Green River Killer. The cases in the articles are not all listed in chronology or real specific locations but several elements (dumped like garbage, in isolated areas or areas where trash dumping occurs, dismemberment of the body and finding of only skeletal remains or parts of a skeleton) are all the calling card of Green River Gary! I would not be surprisd if such an investigation as you propose would find solid links to a number of the murders. I also wonder if some of the murders in Oregon, Northern California or Washington might be some still unknowns of Mr. Bundy getting started?

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 12:40 am:

I seem to recall it being mentioned somewhere that Bundy is a possible suspect for the SR coed murders. It's interesting though: wasn't there speculation at some point that GRK might have been Z? While Striepeke seemed to want to pin as many unsolved murders on Z as possible (maybe that's where Graysmith got the idea for his list of possible Z victims in Zodiac), he kinda got his wish if they turned out to be GRK's victims instead.