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The Zodiac Killer: The Case Reviewed

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posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 02:46 PM
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome back to the Fifth Edition of the Case Reviewed. In this case review we will be delving deeply into the mind of a serial killer. A killer that has gone unpunished and a killer that will go unpunished until he dies. This killer was a notorious murderer in the Northern California area. He taunted police, sent ciphers and tortured the minds of all of everyone.

So without further wait. I present to you:

The Zodiac Killer: The Case Reviewed

Since the Zodiac Killer was never caught, his early biography is unknown, his psychological state is unknown to the point of his killings, and the Zodiac is just as mysterious as when he was killing. The Truth of Zodiac is something that no one knows and he used his unknown status to frighten everyone. He was a master at Psychological Fear. And for the lack of background we have to start backwards, analyzing what the killer did and the possibilities of who he was.

The Location

Vallejo and Benicia lie just north of the San Pablo Bay and the Carquinez Strait, about 20 miles northeast of San Francisco. In the late 1960s, the area abutting the two rough-and-tumble, working-class cities was practically uninhabited, and even now only a few paved surfaces cross the barren expanses of southern Solano County above the Vallejo-Benicia Freeway. One of these is Lake Herman Road, running from eastern Vallejo to northern Benicia by way of the unincorporated area between them. LINK

This is the Zodiacs territory and his place of killing. Now that we have an area to go on. Lets investigate the Victims:

The Victims

Cheri Jo Bates was 18 years old when she had been killed by the Zodiac. She is considered his very first kill. On the night October 30, 1966, Cheri had left the College Library and went straight to her car. She attempted to start it to no avail. It would be later found out that the killer had disabled her lime green Volkswagen by pulling out the distributor coil and the condenser, then disconnecting the middle wire of the distributor, the zodiac killer had apparently waited for Bates to return to her car and try to start it, whereupon he made a pretense of unsuccessfully tinkering with the engine. It is then speculated that he offered her a ride, she accepted. He then drove to an alley between to abandoned houses, both owned by the college. Now comes the odd part, apparently the killer and Cheri had spent an hour and a half together, what they were doing is unknown.

Eventually the man attacked her, slashing her three times in the chest area, once in the back, and seven times across the throat. Police determined that the murder weapon was a small knife with a blade about 3 1/2" long by 1/2" wide, but the wounds to Bates' throat were so deep and brutal as to nearly decapitate her, severing her larynx, jugular vein, and carotid artery. She had also been choked, beaten, and slashed about the face. LINK

Although the library closed at 9:00 p.m. (and books found in her car verify that she had been inside before then), two separate witnesses reported hearing an "awful scream" at around 10:30, followed by "a muted scream, and then a loud sound like an old car being started up" about two minutes later. This time matches an estimation given by the coroner, and is generally accepted as the time of her death. Of course a small conjecture can be made here, the person who killed her knew her. Hence that is why they spent so much time together in the car. Perhaps this was a crime of passion? Well according to the official police report: Neither rape nor robbery seemed to have been a motive, as her clothes were undisturbed and her purse was present and intact. So that rules out rape, sexual assault, robbery. What does that leave? A door pretty wide open for the Zodiac. And sure enough he would be taunting the police with this message:

On November 29, 1966 the Riverside Police recieved this letter about the murder of Cheri Bates:


BY _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _




Eventually, the Police would recieve another letter stating:


The way it is written is in the shape of a Z, the Zodiacs signiture on many things. However, many people are unsure if the Zodiac really killed her or not. I personally think he did. I think that was the beginning, why would a note be sent in the Form of a Z? Why would things add up to a killer that has not yet been named? It just does not make sense. The Zodiac was her killer....

Eventually, the killer would brandish a name: The Zodiac and he would begin by terrorizing California and he would claim two couples lives to officially begin his murderous run....

December 20, 1968, a light-colored hardtop four-door, possibly a Chevrolet Impala, was seen parked near the gated entrance to the pumping station off Lake Herman Road just east of Lake Herman. The same car was also seen there at about 10:00 by a different witness. Between these two sightings, a young man and his girlfriend were parked in the same spot when a car heading west toward Vallejo slowed to a stop several yards past their car, then began to slowly back up toward them. The car gave them both such a bad feeling that they immediately pulled out of the gravelly area and drove off toward Benicia. The other car followed them until the first exit, which they took, watching the stranger continue east on Lake Herman Road

At 11:10 p.m., David Arthur Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen were parked in the same place when they were shot to death near Faraday's brown Rambler. Having told Betty Lou's parents that they were going to a Christmas concert, they had instead driven to the isolated lover's lane and had been there for less than an hour when someone pulled in with them, exited his vehicle, and began firing into their car.

The killer was armed with either a .22 caliber rifle or, more likely, a handgun loaded with .22 LR ammunition. From light footprints and ballistic evidence, it appeared that the killer started from behind the car, shooting out the right rear window, then the left rear tire, then coming around to the front left. The two teenagers scrambled out the passenger's side door. LINK
Now something interesting is here, the Zodiac uses a handgun. This is important because it would become, his signiture weapon.

Jensen, 16, left the car alive and must have started to run toward the road; her body was found less than 30 feet from the rear bumper. The shot pattern — five rounds along the right side of her back, ranging from the space between the fifth and sixth ribs all the way down to the pelvis —suggested that the killer was either competent with firearms or had fired into her body as she lay wounded by a previous shot, as a coroner's report states that the shots had come from no more than 10 feet away. LINK

Continued Next Post.

[edit on Jun 26th 2009 by TheMythLives]

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 02:46 PM
Faraday was killed by being shot in the head. A minute to minute timeline was achieved when several witnesses driving by the area between 9:00 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. One of these witnesses, Stella Borges, may even have seen the killer's car, described as a light-colored Chevrolet, headed toward Benicia just before she discovered Jensen's and Faraday's bodies. The Zodiac has made his first official attack and has claimed two victims. His murderous rampage would begin again and he would be playing all sorts of games with the police and worst of all, he enjoyed what he did....

The Zodiac Killer would wait until six months later, shortly after 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 5, 1969 to strike and add fear once again. Again it was a couple, Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, 22, and Michael Renault Mageau, 19, were shot as they sat in Ferrin's car in the parking lot of the Blue Rock Springs Golf Course. However, this time something was different. The Zodiac did not finish the job, he assumed he killed both of them, but that was not the case. Mageau lived athough he recalls the incident with chilling detail... The Following is from Mageau's own words:

"Ferrin and Mageau were left alone ( Are you seeing the pattern? good because its important) until about midnight, when another car, alone this time, pulled into the lot from the direction of Vallejo. Its lone occupant turned off the car's headlights and pulled up next to Ferrin's car, six to eight feet away on her left.

The car, a brown Ford Mustang or Chevy Corvair, idled there for a moment, and Mageau asked Ferrin if she knew the driver, to which she responded, "Oh, never mind." Mageau later said that he wasn't sure whether this meant that she did or didn't know the driver, but before he could inquire further the car pulled out and drove off at high speed back toward Vallejo.

After about five minutes, the brown car returned to the parking lot and pulled up behind and to the right of Ferrin and Mageau, about 10 feet back. Leaving his headlights on this time, the driver exited his vehicle with a bright lamp or flashlight. Obscuring his face by holding the light at arm's length and shining it directly at them, he walked silently up to the passenger's side door.

From his manner, Mageau thought he might be a policeman, and was reaching for his ID when the man raised a handgun and fired five 9mm rounds through the window. He shot first at Mageau, hitting him in the face and body: at such close range, several of the slugs tore through his flesh and entered Darlene.

Fueled by pain and adrenaline, Michael kicked himself into the back seat, catching another bullet in his left knee. The attacker then fired at Ferrin, hitting her in each arm and in the back as she turned away. Mageau thought that the shots sounded quiet, perhaps fired through a silencer, but nearby resident George Bryant heard both the earlier firecrackers and the shots, and described the shots as much louder.

The killer was walking back to his car after this volley of shots when he heard Mageau begin to yell, either in pain or in rage. He returned to Ferrin's car, fired two additional shots at each of the victims, then turned around casually and got back in his own car. LINK

Mageau was able to catch a look at the man's face in profile, and described him as short, about 5'8" tall, but extremely heavyset. Though "not blubbery fat" the man was at least 195 pounds and had a large face. In terrible pain but still conscious, Mageau managed to turn the car's blinkers on in an attempt to summon aid, then opened the passenger's side door and tumbled to the pavement. (This is HIGHLY Important, now we have an identity) So lets remember this!

The following is also highly important, so pay attention to the Killers psychological state.

From there, he watched the attacker peel out, turn his car around, and drive back in the direction of Vallejo. Though the Zodiac would later claim that he remained under the speed limit after the attack, both Mageau and George Bryant reported that he left the scene at a high rate of speed." ~End of Mageau's Personal Account.

Several police cars and an ambulance soon arrived, summoned by more late-night teenaged drivers who had discovered the car and victims, but the aid they could offer was too little and too late for Darlene, who died in the ambulance with Mageau and Officer Richard Hoffman of the Vallejo PD. Mageau went straight into surgery, but Darlene was not so lucky: she was pronounced Dead on Arrival at Kaiser Foundation Hospital at 12:38 a.m. LINK

The indication that Ferrin may have known her killer — or may have been known to him — was a pair of calls made to Darlene's home shortly after the murder. And lets not forget that she apparently seemed to know his car! Do not forget that either. When the calls were answered by Ferrin's friends at the house, there was no voice on the other end. One source close to the family claims that the calls were made by Darlene's brother, Leo, who was waiting to hear from Darlene about an unrelated matter. I do not believe that source, as harsh as that seems it appears that someone was trying to make it appear that they were not afflianted with the Zodiac. To give the family some peace. Thats the reason I would do that, to give some disinfo and get the peace of mind that my family and I need.

At 12:40, a pay phone call was made through the operator to Vallejo Police Headquarters. According to the police dispatcher, the caller's voice was mature and without accent, and he spoke evenly and consistently as if reading from a script. This is also important and needs to be brought into attention! All for a psychological analysis.

At one point, the dispatcher tried to ask the caller's identity and location, but he would not be interrupted and said, "I want to report a double murder. If you go one mile east on Columbus Parkway to the public park, you will find kids in a brown car. They were shot with a 9 mm Luger. I also killed those kids last year. Good bye" .

Here you can listen to the Zodiac Killer…

and if that does not work, here you go: ATS Media. The Zodiacs Voice

A few weeks later, on July 31, 1969, the San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, and Vallejo Times-Herald each received letters laying claim to the Vallejo murders. Enclosed with each letter was one-third of a cryptogram, to be published on each newspaper's front page by August 1.

Not only were the author's claims bolstered by an intimate knowledge of the two crime scenes, he also promised another murder spree if his request was not met. Though worded slightly differently, each letter shared the same salient facts, and each was closed with the crossed-circle design that would become the Zodiac's signature. The first to be transcribed in its entirety was the one sent to the Vallejo Times-Herald: LINK

The Chronicle:

The Examiner:

(The Last 18 symbols have never been solved)

And of course his threatening letter:

Dear Editor

I am the killer of the 2 teenagers last Christmass at Lake Herman and the Girl last 4th of July. To Prove this I shall state some facts which only I+ the police know.

1 Brand name of ammo Super X
2 10 shots fired
3 Boy was on back feet to car
4 Girl was lyeing on right side feet to west

4th of July
1 Girl was wearing patterned pants
2 Boy was also shot in knee
3 Brand name of ammo was Western

Here is a cyipher or that is part of one. The other 2 parts of this cipher have been mailed to the S.F. Examiner + the S.F. Chronicle.

I want you to print this cipher on your frunt page by Fry Afternoon Aug 1-69, If you do not do this I will go on a kill rampage Fry night that will last the whole week end. I will cruse around and pick off all stray people or couples that are alone then move on to kill some more untill I have killed over a dozen people.

By August 2, all three cipher blocks had been printed. Just as the Zodiac had asked for. But wanting more proof that this was actually the Zodiac The Chief made a public statement: "We're not satisfied that the letter was written by the murderer, but it could have been," said the Vallejo Chief of Police Jack E. Stiltz, requesting another letter "with more facts to prove it". It was in this three-page letter that the killer first referred to himself as "The Zodiac." They asked for him to prove it with better facts and he sure provided. Here is the letter in which the Killer refers to himself as the Zodiac.

[edit on Jun 26th 2009 by TheMythLives]

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 02:47 PM

This is the Zodiac speaking. In answer to your asking for more details about the good times I have had in Vallejo, I shall be very happy to supply even more material. By the way, are the police having a good time with the code? If not, tell them to cheer up; when they do crack it, they will have me.

On the 4th of July: I did not open the car door. The window was rolled down all ready. The boy was origionaly sitting in the frunt seat when I began fireing. When I fired the first shot at his head, he leaped backwards at the same time, thus spoiling my aim.

He ended up on the back seat then the floor in back thashing out very violently with his legs; that's how I shot him in the knee. I did not leave the cene of the killing with squealing tires + raceing engine as described in the Vallejo paper. I drove away quite slowly so as not to draw attention to my car.

The man who told police that my car was brown was a negro about 40-45 rather shabbly dressed. I was in this phone booth having some fun with the Vallejo cop when he was walking by. When I hung the phone up the damn thing began to ring & that drew his attention to me + my car.

Last Christmass In that epasode the police were wondering how I could shoot + hit my victims in the dark. They did not openly state this, but implied this by saying it was a well lit night + I could see silowets on the horizon. Bull# that area is srounded by high hills + trees. What I did was tape a small pencel flash light to the barrel of my gun.

If you notice, in the center of the beam of light if you aim it at a wall or ceiling you will see a black or darck spot in the center of the circle of light about 3 to 6 inches across. When taped to a gun barrel, the bullet will strike in the center of the black dot in the light. All I had to do was spray them as if it was a water hose; there was no need to use the gun sights. I was not happy to see that I did not get front page coverage.

No address

The Following is another first hand account. Hartnell is describing his story:

Cecelia Ann Shepard and Bryan Calvin Hartnell, two college students who had also made a spontaneous trip from Angwin, were picnicking at Twin Oak Ridge, a peninsula on the western shore of the lake, at twilight when they were approached by a man later described as 5'8" to 6' tall, dark-haired, and heavyset, wearing a dark jacket and dark clothing that seemed sloppy or dishevelled. Again we have yet another description that seems to match up with the first.

Cecelia, who saw the man first, noted that he was wearing glasses. Yet another clue, now we know that he wears glasses. A highly important clue. He seemed to Hartnell at the time to be "in his thirties and fairly unremarkable", though the young man would describe a larger and possibly younger individual after getting a closer and more dangerous look.

Before getting too close to the couple, he ducked behind one of the two nearby trees, put on an unusual four-cornered hood, and emerged about 20 feet away. The hood was well sewn, black, and had a bib that fell almost to the man's waistline. Embroidered on it was the crossed-circle design that had appeared in the 3-Part Cryptogram and its cover letters and would serve as the Zodiac's signature in most of his letters to come.

Holes had been cut for the eyes and mouth, and though clip-on sunglasses had been added to further protect the killer's identity, Hartnell caught a glimpse of greasy brownish hair through the holes in the mask. On his belt, he wore a long knife in a wooden sheath and an empty leather holster. A large semiautomatic pistol was in his right hand and he pointed it at Shepard and Hartnell as he spoke.LINK

Hartnell continues to recount his story with grizzly detail.

"I want your money and your car keys," he said in a calm monotone. "I want your car to go to Mexico". Hartnell handed him the keys to his Volkswagen and all the change from his pockets. The man pocketed the coins and dropped the keys on the picnic blanket, then holstered his weapon. Hartnell made a vague offer of help to the man in order to escape injury, to which the man responded, "No. Time's running short." The man then stated that he was an escaped convict from the Pacific Northwest, that he had killed a prison guard there, and that he had "a stolen car and nothing to lose. I'm flat broke."

Though the town mentioned by the killer is generally given as Deer Lodge, Montana, a reliable source reports that the state was not Montana but Colorado. An early interview with Hartnell has the badly wounded student saying that he can't remember the exact name of the town, but that it "had some double name, like Fern Lock or something."

His interviewer suggests "Lodge," and Hartnell agrees. "Deer Lodge" was then suggested as a northwest city with a federal penitentiary, and the victim said, "That could be it, I guess". Subsequent inquiries to the northwestern authorities revealed that there had been no such jailbreak or murder. Hartnell, who survived the attack, said that the man's voice was unremarkable, sounding neither educated nor illiterate, and though Hartnell could not detect an accent, he said the killer did have a slight lilt or drawl to his voice.]LINK

Still hoping for a peaceful resolution, Hartnell tried to relax the man by talking to him, and they spoke for a few minutes about his car before the man removed some of the clothesline from his belt and ordered Shepard to hogtie her friend. Hartnell balked at the idea, and the man began to shout, "Get down! Right now!"

Shepard acquiesced, and as she did so, she took out her wallet and tossed it to the man, who ignored it. When she was finished, the hooded man tied her up and tightened the knots that she had used on Hartnell. It was at this point that the young man noticed that his attacker's hands were shaking, and that he seemed very nervous. "I'm going to have to stab you people," the stranger told them.

"I couldn't stand to see her stabbed," Hartnell responded. "Stab me first".

"I'll do just that," the killer replied.

Hartnell was stabbed six times, and a retired police source confirms a fatal ten times for Shepard, who died of her wounds two days later. Leaving them both for dead, the attacker walked to Hartnell's nearby car and, using a black magic marker, inscribed his crossed-circle logo and the dates of his Bay Area attacks on the door. LINK

And as the Zodiac did before he went to a pay phone and stated:

"I want to report a murder -- no, a double murder. They are two miles north of Park Headquarters. They were in a white Volkswagen Kharmann Ghia." When the switchboard operator asked where he was calling from, he said quietly, "I'm the one that did it."

On the night of Saturday, October 11, 1969, San Francisco cab driver Paul Stine picked up a fare at the corner of Mason and Geary Streets in Union Square headed for the Presidio, which lies at the northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula. The destination that Stine entered in his log and called in to his dispatcher was at the corner of Washington and Maple Streets in Presidio Heights.

The cab was parked one block west, however, at the intersection of Washington and Cherry Streets, when the passenger shot Stine point blank in the right side of the head. Whether the killer had made the trip in the front seat or got in front after the murder is uncertain, but witnesses saw him in front as he removed the dead man's wallet and keys, and then cut a large piece from the back of his shirt which he soaked in blood and took with him as he walked slowly north on Cherry Street.

However, this time there were witnesses. But they were after the crime witnesses. Meaning they saw him after the cab driver was dead. For instance there were:

Three teenage siblings on the second floor of 3899 Washington, directly across the street from the cab, happened to spot the killer as he cut Stine's shirt and suspected foul play. They watched him exit the cab and wipe down parts of the cab's interior and exterior, briefly leaning on the driver's side door frame.


Continued Next Post.

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 02:47 PM

Consequently, when patrolmen Donald Foukes and Eric Zelms responded in a radio car and noticed a heavyset white man sauntering east on Jackson Street, they made no effort to apprehend him.

Foukes police statment is as follows:

Foukes made a statement about his recollection of the incident, recorded in an SFPD memo dated November 12,1969: "The suspect that was observed by Officer Foukes was a WMA 35-45 Yrs about 5' 10", 180-200 lbs. Medium heavy build -- Barrel chested -- Medium complexion -- Light-colored hair possibly greying in rear (May have been lighting that caused this effect.) (Navy or royal blue) Elastic cuffs and waistband zipped part way up. Brown wool pants pleated type baggy in rear (Rust brown). May have been wearing low cut shoes.

"Subject at no time appeared to be in a hurry walking with a shuffling lope, Slightly bent foreward head now. The subject's general appearance to classify him as a group would be that he might be of Welsh ancestry."

Again, as we can see the person is that of the same person. All these people are seeing the same man.

And again the Zodiac would taunt police again:

This is the Zodiac speaking. I am the murderer of the taxi driver over by Washington St + Maple St last night, to prove this here is a blood stained piece of his shirt. I am the same man who did in the people in the north bay area. The S.F. Police could have caught me last night if they had searched the park properly instead of holding road races with their motorcicles seeing who could make the most noise. The car drivers should have just parked their cars and sat there quietly waiting for me to come out of cover. School children make nice targets, I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning. Just shoot out the frunt tire + then pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out.

In November the Zodiac would send some of the Taxi drivers shirt which he cut from the cab driver (Took a rag size). He then sent this letter:

This is the Zodiac speaking I though you would need a good laugh before you get the bad news you won't get the news for a while yet

PS could you print this new cipher on your frunt page? I get awfully lonely when I am ignored, so lonely I could do my Thing!!!!!!

Des July Aug Sept Oct = 7

A few days later, he sent a longer letter that included a schematic drawing of a "death machine" that he claimed to have rigged and ready. It was designed to blow up buses. The Chronicle received both of these letters on Monday, November 10, 1969.

The entire letter states:

This is the Zodiac speaking up to the end of Oct I have killed 7 people. I have grown rather angry with the police for their telling lies about me. So I shall change the way the collecting of slaves. I shall no longer announce to anyone. When I committ my murders, they shall look like routine robberies, killings of anger, + a few fake accidents, etc.

The police shall never catch me, because I have been too clever for them.

1 I look like the description passed out only when I do my thing, the rest of the time I look entirle different. I shall not tell you what my descise consists of when I kill

2 As of yet I have left no fingerprints behind me contrary to what the police say in my killings I wear transparent fingertip guards. All it is is 2 coats of airplane cement coated on my fingertips -- quite unnoticible + very efective

3 my killing tools have been boughten through the mail order outfits before the ban went into efect. Except one & it was bought out of the state. So as you can see the police don't have much to work on. If you wonder why I was wipeing the cab down I was leaving fake clews for the police to run all over town with, as one might say, I gave the cops som bussy work to do to keep them happy. I enjoy needling the blue pigs. Hey blue pig I was in the park -- you were useing fire trucks to mask the sound of your cruzeing prowl cars. The dogs never came with in 2 blocks of me + they were to the west + there was only 2 groups of parking about 10 min apart then the motor cicles went by about 150 ft away going from south to north west

p.s. 2 cops pulled a goof abot 3 min after I left the cab. I was walking down the hill to the park when this cop car pulled up + one of them called me over + asked if I saw anyone acting suspicious or strange in the last 5 to 10 min + I said yes there was this man who was runnig by waveing a gun & the cops peeled rubber + went around the corner as I directed them + I disappeared into the park a block + a half away never to be seen again. [This section has been marked off with the note "must print in paper."]

Hey pig doesnt it rile you up to have your noze rubed in your booboos?

If you cops think I'm going to take on a bus the way I stated I was, you deserve to have holes in your heads. Take one bag of ammonium nitrate fertilizer + 1 gal of stove oil & dump a few bags of gravel on top + then set the # off + will positivily ventalate any thing that should be in the way of the blast.

The death machine is all ready made. I would have sent you pictures but you would be nasty enough to trace them back to developer + then to me, so I shall describe my masterpiece to you. The nice part of it is all the parts can be bought on the open market with no questions asked.

1 bat. Pow clock -- will run for aprox 1 year
1 photoelectric switch
2 copper leaf springs
2 6V car bat
1 flash light bulb + reflector
1 mirror
2 18" cardboard tubes black with shoe polish inside + oute

the system checks out from one end to the other in my tests. What you do not know is whether the death machine is at the sight or whether it is being stored in my basement for future use. I think you do not have the manpower to stop this one by continually searching the road sides looking for this thing. + it wont do to re roat + re schedule the busses because the bomb can be adapted to new conditions.

[Here the Zodiac's crossed-circle has been modified with five Xs drawn along the symbol's left side]

Have fun!! By the way it could be rather messy if you try to bluff me.

PS. Be shure to print the part I marked out on page 3 or I shall do my thing.

To prove that I am the Zodiac, Ask the Vallejo cop about my electric gun sight which I used to start my collecting of slaves.

The Following is a first hand account:

Early in the evening of Sunday, March 22, 1970, Kathleen Johns, 23, was driving with her infant daughter Jennifer on Highway 132 in San Joaquin County, several miles west of Modesto, when a man in a light-colored American car started honking his horn and blinking his lights at her. Driving alongside her car, he said that one of her wheels was wobbling and volunteered to fix it. He followed her as she pulled over at Bird Road, a turn-off just west of Interstate 5, then got out with a lug wrench and pretended to tighten the nuts on her right rear wheel. In fact, he removed them, and when Johns tried to drive off, the whole wheel spun loose. Again, the man offered help, this time in the form of a ride to a nearby service station. LINK

She accepted, and they continued in the man's car westward on 132 until he pulled into a Richfield station at Chrisman Road. It was closed, and there followed an hour and a half or more of silent and apparently aimless driving through the city of Tracy and its rural environs. As they passed occasional other service stations, she asked a few times "What's wrong with this station," or "Why can't we go in that station," to which he replied that it was not the right one. A police report states, "she said she was very scared of this man, did want to get out, but did not tell him to stop the vehicle or let her out".

Ms. Johns soon realized that the stranger wasn't taking her to any service station, and asked him if he always went around helping people like this. The man responded, "By the time I get through with them, they won't need my help". Finally, he stopped the car short at a stop sign, and Johns took the opportunity to escape. She held her baby tightly and jumped from the car, running across a nearby field and up an embankment where she hid in the shadows. The man turned his headlights off, moved his car a few feet, and waited silently without leaving the car. After about five minutes, he turned his lights back on and drove away. LINK

Now history was going to be made. A sketch and not just a sketch, but an accurate representation of what the past victims and witnesses stated that they saw. And here it was:

And there it was the Sketch, that matches with all of the witnesses and victims. But who was the Zodiacs name? and was it the Zodiac? However, a bad thing happened when she was older a person attempted to ask her questions, however, she could no longer remember details of the event.

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 02:48 PM
April 20th:

This is the Zodiac Speaking By the way have you cracked the last cipher I sent you? My name is --

I am mildly cerous as to how much money you have on my head now. I hope you do not think that I was the one who wiped out that blue meannie with a bomb at the cop station. Even though I talked about killing school children with one. It just wouldn't doo to move in on someone else's teritory. But there is more glory in killing a cop than a cid because a cop can shoot back. I have killed ten people to date. It would have been a lot more except that my bus bomb was a dud. I was swamped out by the rain we had a while back.

The new bomb is set up like this

PS I hope you have fun trying to figgure out who I killed

[crossed-circle] – 10 SFPD - 0

The latest bus threat went unreported until later that month, when a note arrived at the Chronicle demanding its publication. Postmarked 28 April 1970, the note was written on a "Jolly Roger" brand greeting card featuring a cartoon prospector riding a dragon and the pun "Sorry to hear your ass is a dragon." The note stated:

I hope you enjoy your selves when I have my Blast

P.S. on back

If you don't want me to have this blast you must do two things. 1 Tell everyone about the bus bomb with all the details. 2 I would like to see some nice Zodiac butons wandering about town. Every one else has these buttons like, [peace symbol], black power, Melvin eats bluber, etc. Well it would cheer me up considerably if I saw a lot of people wearing my buton. Please no nasty ones like Melvin's

Thank you

On June 26, the Zodiac would send this letter:

This is the Zodiac Speaking

I have become very angry with the people of the San Fran Bay Area. They have not complied with my wishes for them to wear some nice [crossed-circle] buttons. I promiced to punish them if they did not comply, by anilating a full School Buss. But now school is out for the summer, so I punished them in another way. I shot a man sitting in a parked car with a .38.

The Map coupled with this code will tell you where the bomb is set. You have untill next Fall to dig it up.

However, there was no man killed with a .38, except for a cop. But the police had already arrested a suspect 5 days beforehand and witnesses stated that it was black man who shot the cop. The Zodiac was just trying to steal one...

And Here any doubts that anyone had about Kathleen Johns Story was quickly washed away, with this letter that the zodiac sent:

This is the Zodiac speaking

I am rather unhappy because you people will not wear some nice [crossed-circle] buttons. So now I have a little list, starting with that woeman + her baby that I gave a rather interesting ride for a coupple howers one evening a few months back that ended in my burning her car where I found them.


As someday it may happen that a victom must be found. I've got a little list. I've got a little list, of society offenders who might well be underground who would never be missed who would never be missed. There is the pestulentual nucences who whrite for autographs, all people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs. All children who are up in dates and implore you with im platt. All people who are shaking hands shake hands like that. And all third persons who with unspoiling take thos who insist. They'd none of them be missed. They'd none of them be missed. There's the banjo seranader and the others of his race and the piano orginast I got him on the list. All people who eat pepermint and phomphit in your face, they would never be missed. They would never be missed And the Idiout who phraises with inthusiastic tone of centuries but this and every country but his own. And the lady from the provences who dress like a guy who doesn't cry and the singurly abnomily the girl who never kissed. I don't think she would be missed Im shure she wouldn't be missed. And that nice impriest that is rather rife the judicial hummerist I've got him on the list All funny fellows, commic men and clowns of private life. They'd none of them be missed. They'd none of them be missed. And uncompromising kind such as wachamacallit, thingmebob, and like wise, well-nevermind, and tut tut tut tut, and whatshisname, and you know who, but the task of filling up the blanks I rather leave up to you. But it really doesn't matter whom you place upon the list, for none of them be missed, none of them be missed.

Again the Zodiac would send another letter:

Two days later, exactly one month after the Mount Diablo letter, the Zodiac sent his thirteenth mailing, devoted to the tortures that his slaves would undergo in the afterlife. The penultimate sentence is another corruption of The Mikado.

This is the Zodiac speaking

Being that you will not wear some nice [crossed-circle] buttons, how about wearing some nasty [crossed-circle] buttons. Or any kind of [crossed-circle] buttons you can think up. If you do not wear any type of [crossed-circle] buttons, I shall (on top of everything else) torture all 13 of my slaves that I have waiting for me in Paradice. Some I shall tie over ant hills and watch them scream + twich and squirm. Others shall have pine splinters driven under their nails + then burned. Others shall be placed in cages + fed salt beef untill they are gorged then I shall listen to their pleass for water and I shall laugh at them. Others will hang by their thumbs + burn in the sun then I will rub them down with deep heat to warm them up. Others I shall skin them alive + let them run around screaming. And all billiard players I shall have them play in a darkened dungen cell with crooked cues + Twisted Shoes. Yes I shall have great fun in flicting the most delicious of pain to my slaves

[Giant crossed circle, about half the length of the page] = 13

SFPD = 0

And yet again:

This is the Zodiac speaking

Like I have allways said, I am crack proof. If the Blue Meannies are evere going to catch me, they had best get off their fat asses + do something. Because the longer they fiddle + fart around, the more slaves I will collect for my after life. I do have to give them credit for stumbling across my riverside activity, but they are only finding the easy ones, there are a hell of a lot more down there. The reason I'm writing to the Times is this, They don't bury me on the back pages like some of the others.

SFPD-0 [crossed-circle]-17+

The letters suddenly stopped. The zodiac would not make contact again until 3 years later.

I saw and think "The Exorcist" was the best saterical comidy that I have ever seen. Signed, yours truley:
He plunged himself into the billowy wave and an echo arose from the suicide's grave
titwillo titwillo titwillo
PS. If I do not see this note in your paper, I will do something nasty, which you know I'm capable of doing.

Me-37 SFPD-0

And he would write about 4 more and then stop again for another 4 years.


Put Marco back in the, hell-hole from whence it came -- he has a serious psychological disorder -- always needs to feel superior. I suggest you refer him to a shrink. Meanwhile, cancel the Count Marco column. Since the Count can write anonymously, so can I --

The Red Phantom
(red with rage)

And this is the Zodiacs last known letter (which faces controversy as to whether its a fake or not).

Dear Editor
This is the Zodiac speaking I am back with you. Tell herb caen I am here, I have always been here. That city pig toschi is good but I am bu [crossed out] smarter and better he will get tired then leave me alone. I am waiting for a good movie about me. Who will play me. I am now in control of all things.
yours truly:
[crossed circle] guess
SFPD - 0

And this concludes the victims. However, now that we have worked this far backwards we can now head off to the Zodiacs Psychological State.

The Zodiac Killer Psychological State

1) The Zodiacs writing and the way he writes, is that of a person who believes himself to be in control of a situation.
2) The Zodiac is a taunter, meaning he wants someone to challege him.
3) The Zodiac counts his victims.
4) He mocks the police and puts them down, while raising himself above them.
5) He threatens childrens lives.
6) He killed 2 people who were alone. Police stated that those killings were random. However, were they really random? I mean seriously lets look at it. So far he has killed nothing but couples, so in retrospect he was completing the cycle. He killed one girl, so he would have to kill one guy.
7) The Zodiac is a person that likes puzzles
8) The Zodiac is a person who kills for the game
9) He thinks that he is a type of superhero or god, in his writing he states that MY Slaves and MY buttons and he also draws his symbols. Which is characteristic of bad/good guys in a superhero comicbooks.
10) The Zodiac believes that his victims have a purpose, that purpose is to be his slaves in the afterlife.
11) The Zodiac is a killer of couples, whcih would mean that either A) He does not know LOVE B) He was never loved. Again as we continue to see LOVE and emotion is a HUGE fcator in these killings.
12) The Zodiac makes mistakes, but he does not reference these mistakes.
13) He never stutters in his phone call to the police.
14) He sounds that of a confident man, who has only one mission.

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 02:48 PM
So in conclusion we can make some attempts at what kind of person he is:

A) He is a Perfectionist
B) He was adopted, abused, or never loved by someone else
C) He has a huge sense of being god
D) He is a person who is a problem maker, meaning that he can create puzzles and riddles with such complexity.
E) The Zodiac loves attention
F) Hates Police

And now that we know what type of person we are after lets look at some suspects and come up with a conclusion.

Now the Suspects come directly from the Police Reports and the over 2500 people that they investigated as the killer. The following is from evidence and collaborating family and friends who shed some light on what the killers did.

The Suspects

Arthur Leigh Allen, 1933-1992, was a leading candidate in part do to him being near all the killings.

Oct. 30, 1966 - Riverside, CA - Cheri Jo Bates Murder

At the time of the murder Allen was a school teacher in Calaveras County, Cal. -- about 400 miles away. But nearly every weekend he traveled to Riverside where he was a car club member. On the Monday following Bates' murder, Allen did not go to work. If Allen did commit the murder, he might have needed to allow time for scratches on his face to heal.

About a month after the murder, typewritten confession letters were mailed to a local paper and to police. Analysis revealed that typewriter was a Royal model with either Elite or Pica type. In 1991, police seized a Royal typewriter with Elite type from the home of Arthur Leigh Allen.

Dec. 20, 1968 - Lake Herman Road, Vallejo, CA - Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday

Shortly after Bates' murder, Allen was fired as a school teacher after he molested a student. He moved in with his parents in Vallejo, Cal. Friends and neighbors report that Allen spent a lot of time alone, driving in nearby rural areas -- such as Lake Herman Road

July 4, 1969 - Blue Rock Springs - Vallejo, CA -- Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau

Allen was still living in Vallejo -- in fact just minutes from the murder scene. Mike Mageau survived the attack and described the killer's escape in a brown Corvair. Allen reportedly had access to a friend's brown Corvair.

Sept. 27, 1969 - Lake Berryessa - Napa, CA - Cecile Shepard and Bryan Hartnell

Lake Berryessa is a recreational are about 40 miles north of Vallejo. It's an area the avid outdoorsman would have frequented for SCUBA diving and camping.

Bryan Hartnell survived the attack and described the weapon as a 12-inch long knife in a sheath with rivets. During the 1991 search of Allen's home, police found a a 12-inch long knife with a sheath and rivets.

Arthur Leigh Allen died in his home in Vallejo, California on August 26, 1992 of coronary heart disease. He went to his grave proclaiming his innocence. LINK

For a more detailed version of events and Allens connection to teh Zodiac, visit this website:

The Zodiac Killer. The Ongoing Investigation

More evidence for Allen as teh Zodiac:

According to his brother, Ron, Allen was given a Zodiac watch as a Christmas gift from their mother in 1967. (Allen's estimation of when he received the watch was July or August 1969.) The logo for the Zodiac watch is a cross-circle symbol, the same as eventually used by the Zodiac killer.

According to police statements, within days of receiving the watch, Allen is alleged to have made these claims to his friend, Don Cheney:
(Allen used the premise of writing a novel to communicate this fantasy. Cheney estimates the conversation took place on Jan. 1, 1969.)
He would like to kill couples at random.
He would taunt the police with letters detailing his crimes.
He would sign the letters with the cross-circle symbol from his watch.
He would call himself "Zodiac."
He would wear make-up to change his appearance.
He would attach a flashlight to the barrel of his gun in order to shoot at night.
He would fool women into stopping their cars in rural areas by claiming they had problems with their tires, then loosen their lug nuts and eventually take them captive.

Jack Tarrance is not a name is often associated with the Zodiac murders. In fact, he was not even considered a suspect until the summer of 2000, when his stepson, Dennis Kaufman, watched a Zodiac Killer documentary. Dennis became convinced that Jack Tarrance is the Zodiac. His research has produced some intriguing and complex clues.

Sept. 27, 1969 - Lake Berryessa - Napa, CA - Cecile Shepard and Bryan Hartnell

The killer left footprints with a size 10 ½ Wing Walker -- a fairly obscure military boot. While employed as an Aircraft Supply Sergeant in the US Airforce, Jack would have had access to the Wing Walkers.


During Tarrance's time as a ham radio operator he would have to have been very familiar and skilled with different types of codes and coding schemes.

Mt. Diablo

Jack Tarrance was an avid camper and geographer who liked to pinpoint exact locations. Zodiac's June 26, 1970 letter to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paul Avery included a map with Mount Diablo marked off. The letter also included a cipher that has never been solved.

Many years later a Zodiac enthusiast drew a line connecting the murder of cabbie Paul Stine and the Vallejo murders to the tip of Mt. Diablo. The connection displayed an angle that measured 57.3 degrees - a precise radian angle. Dennis took the radian concept a step further and mapped the locations of Zodiac victims' bodies, and discovered that numerous body locations fell along the radian line. In 2001, Dennis found many letters and other documents that Jack was keeping in storage. Among the items found were formulas relating to radians and measurements.

Zodiac's Last Verified Letter

In what seems to be another coincidence, Zodiac sent his last letter on July 8, 1974. Two days later, Jack appeared in a California court and was sentenced for poaching. He was taken directly into custody and spent the next 30 days in jail; it was his first time behind bars.

All of the documents and evidence Dennis collected was given to the FBI and then forwarded to the San Francisco Police Department. LINK

Rick Marshall was a known film projectionist and movie poster creator. Rick Marshall's movie poster's that he drew and the handwriting in the Zodiac letters seem to have some sort of similarity between them. Marshall's association to classic films (old movies were played weekly at the Avenue Theater where he worked) could also link him to the Zodiac, whose costume at Lake Berryessa was similar to the costume worn by Dr. Zodiac in the 1933 film Charlie Chan at Treasure Island. In the movie, the killer sends messages to local police and news media. Like the real-life killer, the character also wears the symbols of the Zodiac around his neck. In addition to this classic film, the Zodiac signed one of his letters as "the Red Phantom," which was also the title of a silent film that Rick Marshall had at one time invited guests at his apartment to watch. LINK

Robert Graysmith a VERY Well known investigator to the Zodiac killer and victims wrote a book known as the ZODIAC and even had a movie come out entitled Zodiac. He did many investigations and had this confirmed story about Marshall which appeared in the movie:

In the movie, Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) visits the home of a man who supposedly knew Zodiac suspect Rick Marshall. He goes there in search of film canisters that may contain Zodiac murder footage. When Graysmith is in the man's home, he asks him about the movie posters that Rick Marshall drew. The man tells Graysmith that it wasn't Marshall who drew the movie posters, it was him. He then takes Graysmith into the basement where Graysmith hears footsteps above him, even though the man had told him they were alone. This is all true and really happened to Graysmith, even the footsteps. Some investigators who have researched the case believe that this man and Rick Marshall may have been working together.

Here is a Movie Poster that was designed by Marshall:

For more information visit:

And now for the final suspect and my theory.

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 02:49 PM

My Theory

According to the official sketch:

The person who we are after is a person who wore glasses, had short hair, and was of pretty good build (By Build, I do not mean fat or buff, but in between). Lets see why I believe that this man is the Zodiac Killer:

According to our Psychological Profiler that we were able to create. The Zodiac Hates police and guess what this man was an editor for an anti-police paper, called: Good Times. All of the Zodiacs victims were young (except for the cab driver) and guess what this Good Times paper did? It promoted the killing of young white suburban youth. Richard also seems to match the man in the Composite Sketch pretty damn good. Ranging from his glasses to his hair. The Zodiac Stated that his name was in the Cypher, that does not necessarily mean that you have to SOLVE the Cypher to get his name. Richards nickname was Gyke and guess what!

On March 13, 1971 the Zodiac sent a letter to the Los Angeles Times. Coinciding closely with the mailing, Gaikowski was involuntarily committed to the Napa State Hospital after "going berzerk." He was then diagnosed with a mental illness and began treatment at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco. The Zodiac didn't write again for almost three years. LINK

Coincidences of this magnitude do not happen so "luckily". He stopped writing for three years. And then began writing again, probably after

Nancy admits that she knows the voice of the Zodiac is Gyke

And this piece of Evidence from:

Stines house and the Good Times Switchboard, in which Gyke worked. Odd, isn't it? To much a coincidence. Zodiac

As far as I know this is the best match for the Zodiac killer, however, I cannot help but be compelled to say that Jack Tarrance seems to match that Sketch exceptionally well. I mean if you look at Jack and you look at the Sketch they do match better than Gyke. However for me, it comes down to the Dispatch Nancy, the Cypher name and of course his Psycho profiler of hating cops. It seems to me that he is the killer. And I believe this concludes my theory and yet again closes another case review. But before we officially leave I will leave with these:


Is this the Zodiac Killer? Jack Tarrance. This needs to be watched.

And this Documentary:

And here's an AWESOME website that you should look into if you are interested in the Zodiac.

Jack Tarrance: The Zodiac Killer

Evidence against my theory

Allen,The Zodiac?

For Past Case Reviews:

Marilyn Monroe: The Case Reviewed

OJ Simpson: The Case Reviewed

Anna Nicole Smith: The Case Reviewed

The Black Dahlia: The Case Reviewed

I hope you enjoyed the new layout and presentation of the Evidence.

Thank You for Reading,

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 02:52 PM
I've always been fascinated by this case and often check for any updates.

There have been a few threads on the ZK on ATS..... glad you brought it up again though as I'm always interested to hear new views and ideas and theories.

Good thread

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by blupblup

Yes, the case is definately one that is intriguing as it is graphic.. But hey we cannot forget the victims, we must keep trying to solve their cases. That Zodiac website is awesome, I referenced

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 03:03 PM
somebody appears to have done their homework.

ive always been under the impression gaikowsky did it.

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 03:13 PM
reply to post by ELECTRICkoolaidZOMBIEtest

Thanks for the kind words. I to think he did it, to me thats where the evidence leads and I am content with that, unless someone changes my mind..

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 03:53 PM
reply to post by TheMythLives

i was also baffled at why he wasnt arrested. it would seem like there is enough to convict him.

and i gave you a star and a flag btw

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 04:15 PM
reply to post by ELECTRICkoolaidZOMBIEtest

Apparently, they stated he was not in the areas of two of the killings at the time. Or so they saw, I have not seen official documents saying this except for the FBI case brief in the last OP, which refutes my theory. But I think thats what they based it off of. Him not being in the area of two of the killings, but hey the Zodiac was smart. Smarter than the police at the time, what did they expect? Thanks for the S and F.

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 04:33 PM

Once again you have pulled out all the stops...
S & F

Now this and many of your other posts should be viewed as the way to write posts.

I'm envious.
Great JOB!!!

[edit on 26-6-2009 by SLAYER69]

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 04:38 PM
reply to post by SLAYER69

Thank you for the Kind words Slayer, they mean a lot and are much appreciated! Thanks for the star and flag as well.

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 05:06 PM
know anything about gaikowskis death? who he left behind that wouldve inherited his stuff, that most definitely would include vital information?

theres an uncoded cipher. i think it would be awesome to solve it. haha

im going to give it a shot. doubt ill make any progress but it cant hurt

ok major question. on it has 4 ciphers (i think) the first 3 are solved. the 4th supposedly isnt.

in the first 3 all the symbols (that ive checked so far) are equivalent to the same letter

for example, a backwards "k" always turns into an "I" in the first 3. wouldnt it follow that the 4th words the same?

[edit on 26-6-2009 by ELECTRICkoolaidZOMBIEtest]

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 06:07 PM
reply to post by ELECTRICkoolaidZOMBIEtest

I don't know anything baout his death nor who inherited his belongings. I will look some more an dsee what I can find.

Personally, they BELIEVE that they solved it. However, many people are unsure and believe that they have not solved it correctly. So I would personally go back and attempt to solve them with fresh eyes. Would be cool to see if different results yield to more info. Perhaps the Zodiac left the Ciphers to be solved 2 ways, after all he attacked couples so why would that escape his mindset?

Good luck let me know what you find.

[edit on Jun 26th 2009 by TheMythLives]

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 06:23 PM
Good thread, S+F. I've always been intrigued by the Zodiac, I was given a book on him as a kid and out of all the serial killers I've heard about he seems the most interesting.

Reading through was very engaging, yet there's a few of things that occured to me:

1) In the 1st killing there seems to be a discrepancy between the time of the murder, the police put it that she might have spent up to an hour and a half with the Zodiac, but the Zodiacs' letter implied a much quicker encounter - this may have been an effort to obfuscate some kind of evidence, although I think the victim in this case did know her killer.

2) It gave me the very strong impression, nothing more, just my feeling, that the Zodiac may well have been more than 1 person.

3) Is it possible that the Zodiac may have been in a Japanese P.O.W. camp? Some of his gloating messages related "details" of his fantasies that seemed linked to tortures that took place in Japanese P.O.W. camps - which may or may not lend creedence to him being a military man.

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 06:29 PM
reply to post by jokei

Excellent questions and I think I can give some answers. According to the Zodiacs letters he lied a lot during his writings and would often exagerate and gloat about what he did. So I tend to go along with the police, but I did see that discrepancy.

The Zodiac could have been two people. I recomend the movie ZODIAC which hints and nearly all the theories while staying true to the TRUE story of the murders, victims and of course the main character.

As far as the military thing, I am not sure, however, it was rumored that he could have been a military man. But their is not enough evidence to say so for certain. Excellent questions and thanks for the kind words!

[edit on Jun 26th 2009 by TheMythLives]

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 07:24 PM
what bothers me about the ciphers is the seemingly superfluous letters...

For example

the "V-E-S-M-E" at the beginning seems not to fit.
maybe that was to throw people off....but i wonder if the leftover letters mean something.

i have some knife smithing to do, i will finish deciphering the last message later.

[edit on 26-6-2009 by ELECTRICkoolaidZOMBIEtest]

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