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"School Children Make Nice Targets"

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Tahoe27
(@tahoe27)
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A while back, "Solar Pons" wrote about this article (on the old mb) and it being (what she thought) was the reason Zodiac wrote about school children making nice targets. I couldn’t agree more. Wier brought this up in another thread, but I think it’s worthy of its own discussion.

The article mentions "youngsters" which would mean "school children"….

10/12/69 – SF Chronicle …and the next day, Zodiac’s letter


…they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs–other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac’s doorstep. L.A. Times, 1969

 
Posted : May 11, 2013 9:45 pm
(@luke68)
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Couple of things:

"T.L. Stine"?

ALso interesting that the article says .38.

 
Posted : May 12, 2013 12:46 am
Tahoe27
(@tahoe27)
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Couple of things:

"T.L. Stine"?

ALso interesting that the article says .38.

They apparently had Paul’s name written incorrectly in the police report as well. They have it xxxxx’d out and his correct name is typed in. I do wonder what they thought it was. http://zodiackiller.com/StineReport1.html

I’m also thinking the .38 was just a guess by someone in LE at the time the reporter received the info. ?? I often thought maybe this is what Zodiac referred to when he wrote about killing someone in a parked car with a .38. Maybe (yet again) mocking bad police work (or even bad reporting)….more sarcasm and/or fake clues.


…they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs–other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac’s doorstep. L.A. Times, 1969

 
Posted : May 12, 2013 7:38 am
smithy
(@smithy)
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As you all probably know 9mm and .38 slugs look very similar indeed, they’re a very similar size, and I BELIEVE that the 9mm cartidge found at the Stine scene was mis-identified at the outset as being from a .38.
But please don’t quote me.

Yes, I suppose the "schoolkids" idea could have sprung from that article.
The concept of "escalation" (both in terms of psychology and in respect to warlike activities) might give us a clue as to what the guy was doing in his writings I guess – he was constantly trying to "up the ante".
Interestingly, if we look back to The Confession letter, where the threat was directed at "Sisters Daughters and Wives" – "I am stalking your girls now", it hadn’t seem to occur to him to threaten children at that juncture, even though he threw in a lot of elements to try and be extra-scary.

Trying to tie-in a crime already perpetrated against a child would also have been difficult.
He did what he could to keep the pot boiling.
No?

 
Posted : May 13, 2013 11:50 pm
traveller1st
(@traveller1st)
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Couple of things:

"T.L. Stine"?

ALso interesting that the article says .38.

They apparently had Paul’s name written incorrectly in the police report as well. They have it xxxxx’d out and his correct name is typed in. I do wonder what they thought it was. http://zodiackiller.com/StineReport1.html

They thought it was Thomas. http://www.zodiackiller.com/StineReport2.html


I don’t know Chief, he’s very smart or very dumb.

 
Posted : May 15, 2013 9:36 am
Tahoe27
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^^Thanks Trav! A much better copy.


…they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs–other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac’s doorstep. L.A. Times, 1969

 
Posted : May 15, 2013 8:24 pm
Welsh Chappie
(@welsh-chappie)
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My own opinion on why Zodiac wrote about ‘school children make nice targets’ can be see in the document below…

I don’t think his intent ever was to attack school children in general, I think this was a specific threat at a ‘school child’, the one refered to above. After SFPD started putting patrol cars behind every school bus and Cheif Lee going public in the Chronicle saying they take this threat by Zodiac as ‘serious’, Zodiac wrote "If you cops think i’m going to take on a school bus the way I stated I was, you deserve to have holes in your heads". Zodiac is, it seems, telling them that this wasn’t ever on the agenda with him, and that the threat was symbolic (the school children representing the child in the document above).
Thats my own personal theory, anyway. No way of proving it without asking Z himself :-)

"So it’s sorta social. Demented and sad, but social, right?" Judd Nelson.

 
Posted : June 1, 2013 11:37 pm
 Soze
(@soze)
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I was looking for some dates to add to a post I will make on the Phillips 66 map when I came across this post. I had initially thought to address this issue when I wrote about the map because, this incident, is really what drove the Zodiac to discuss the bomb to begin with. I had thought, since there is some information here that could be a separate topic, I would leave it out and make a new topic. Seeing there already is a topic on the subject I will just post it here.

I have to agree with Welsh Chappie’s stance. I don’t think the Zodiac ever intended to attack school children. I think his words were taken literally and out of context.

About October 17th the media begins to publicize the threats made by Zodiac with headlines such as "Zodiac Killer After School Bus", " Zodiac Threatens School Bus Deaths". They will include the Zodiac’s threatening statementt:

"School children make nice targets. I think i will wipe out a school bus some morning. Just shoot out the front tire and then pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out."

Can you imagine, given what we see today, how much this topic would have been in the news?

Panic ensues. The public is in fear their children’s bus could be a target. Three weeks pass with nothing but school bus threats. The Zodiac should be lapping it up like a dog. He is a killer who LOVES hunting humans. He LOVES the media attention given to his murdering ways. He is media killer! Make everything about me, me, me! We should, in future letters, see a killer capitalizing on the fear that is gripping at the hearts of every concerned parent in San Francisco. Instead, we see this in the November 9, 1969 letter:

"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 when I commit my murders. They shall look like routine robberies, killings of anger, and a few fake accidents, etc."

Where are the children? Why isn’t he capitalizing on the mass hysteria? Are they not human? Did he not mean what he said?

No, he didn’t and, he is offended by the suggestion. So offended that he states:

"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."

Many people think the Zodiac is referencing his open statement of taking out a bus and law enforcements view that he would actually do what he said he would. Sure. I can see that. I mean really. Why would he say he was going to do something and then actually do it the way he described? So he could get caught?

But the fact of the matter is the Zodiac can’t even bring himself to use the word "school" in his statement now. When, he goes to draft his bomb diagram, there is no mention of the word "school" nor are there any pictorials of "school" children. He leaves the word "school" completely out of the equation. He could have added this information if he truly wanted the media attention. He clearly had it in the palm of his hand. He is a cold blooded killer hell bent on hunting humans. No. He avoids it all together.

I think what is truly striking here is that he does, seem, to care. He cares enough to leave children out of his deathcapades. Why? Did the panic hit a little too close to home?

I know that the Zodiac mentions school children again in his June 26, 1970 letter. But if you look at his letters beginning with the April 28, 1970 letter you will find that he is seeking attention. He wants everyone wearing his button but, please, no nasty ones. By July 26, 1970 he is practically begging for people to wear his button and, this time, he doesn’t care if its nasty or not. Hell, now, "any type of Zodiac button you can think up" will do. But remember, if you don’t, " I shall, on top of everything else, torture all 13 of my slaves that I have waiting for me in paradice". He just has so many pressing things, what with his bus bomb being a dud, his urgent need to take out a bus, the slaves he has to collect and torture and now, no one feeding his need to feel important. His need to mention school children this go around was to grab ahold of the attention he could have had but let go a long time ago. He reevaluated his standards for ego.

I think we should probably be questioning how he was affected by the mass hysteria concerning a school bus threat.

Soze

 
Posted : April 6, 2015 3:12 am
Tahoe27
(@tahoe27)
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I think it was Zodiac simply acknowledging the kids who saw him. A…"I know you saw me…keep quiet" sort of thing.


…they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs–other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac’s doorstep. L.A. Times, 1969

 
Posted : April 6, 2015 9:35 am
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