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Electric Gun Sight

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Seagull
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Zodiac wrote about his "electric gun sight" in this letter.

I found a gun online, or I should say it found me!, that came stock with an electric gun sight, used during WWII.

Not saying that Zodiac could have used this particular pistol as it seems like it was pretty rare but it shows that the technology was there in the late ’60’s for having a decent light on one.

www.santarosahitchhikermurders.com

 
Posted : May 2, 2013 10:35 pm
Tahoe27
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Wow! Great find. I have never seen a gun like this. I wonder how good it worked?


…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 2, 2013 11:04 pm
Seagull
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Not sure how good it worked but here is a site that explains more about the pistol and how the light operated.

http://collectorebooks.com/jamesauction/luger/36120.htm

www.santarosahitchhikermurders.com

 
Posted : May 2, 2013 11:38 pm
Zamantha
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Interesting find, thanks Seagull for sharing. Made me wonder just how many serviceman brought guns home from the war?
One of my friends, fathers took a Lugar away from a Japenese guy in the war. This gun is locked up in a safe. Wonder how many old guns are locked up without family members knowing their worth or history.
Of course the Luger you posted seems to be almost one of a kind. Very cool!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If Zodiac ever joined a Z forum, I’m sure he would have been banned for not following forum rules. Zam’s/Quote
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MODERATOR

 
Posted : May 3, 2013 12:09 am
Seagull
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My father had a gun that he took from a German soldier in WWII. My brother got it when dad died, I don’t know what kind of gun it was though. I bet that people turn in some old valuable guns at the gun buy backs the police sponsor. I sure hope someone looks into each one and resells the valuable collectable ones to a responsible collector. It would be a little money going back into the departments that do the buy backs. It would be a shame if they destroyed the good old ones.

www.santarosahitchhikermurders.com

 
Posted : May 3, 2013 12:21 am
smithy
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Yes, glurk posted about this a while back, too. I think the fact that it’s a production made thing and a heavier model gives it a chance to actually work, too, at least at short range.
It’s a long way from duct-taping a pencil flashlight to a .22 "plinker" though. I still don’t hold out much hope for that idea, personally….

 
Posted : May 3, 2013 12:13 pm
Tahoe27
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Yes, glurk posted about this a while back, too. I think the fact that it’s a production made thing and a heavier model gives it a chance to actually work, too, at least at short range.
It’s a long way from duct-taping a pencil flashlight to a .22 "plinker" though. I still don’t hold out much hope for that idea, personally….

We know it can be done, but how far would the light go? Might be good for close-up, but certainly not for distance.

It pissed Zodiac off when the cops said it was light enough to see outside. And I’m not sure what the point of making it up would be.

We know people would hunt with regular flashlights attached…it does work.

Odd.


…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 3, 2013 8:42 pm
smithy
(@smithy)
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It got his attention when the police said he could see his targets in silhouette, didn’t it.
(August 4th letter):
"In that epasode the police were wondering as to how I could shoot + hit my victoms in the dark. They did not openly state this, but implied this by saying it was a well lit night + I could see the silowets on the horizon. Bullshit 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 believe he killed them, then that serves as some kind of an explanation I suppose. Although 28 feel with a pencil flash still doesn’t sound all that believable to me. Phoooey.
Say – are there many trees around there, really, and does anyone know where the police where wondering about this? Might be important.

 
Posted : May 3, 2013 10:00 pm
Welsh Chappie
(@welsh-chappie)
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Yes, glurk posted about this a while back, too. I think the fact that it’s a production made thing and a heavier model gives it a chance to actually work, too, at least at short range.
It’s a long way from duct-taping a pencil flashlight to a .22 "plinker" though. I still don’t hold out much hope for that idea, personally….

We know it can be done, but how far would the light go? Might be good for close-up, but certainly not for distance.

It pissed Zodiac off when the cops said it was light enough to see outside. And I’m not sure what the point of making it up would be.

We know people would hunt with regular flashlights attached…it does work.

Odd.

Well all we can do is speculate as to whether he definitely used any light source taped to the gun to use as a sight at LHR, but what we do know is that 7 Months later in his next attack, the MO is almost identical. Secluded spot. Late at night. Dark with no roadside lights. 1 lone vehicle parked there. Assailant approaches, shines bright blinding beam of light into Mike’s eyes, opens fire aiming at Mike’s head as he had with David. Mike was half a second away from the same fate as David, but saw the gun pointed at his head and leapt back just as Z squeezed the trigger and, as Z later went on to say, "Thus spoiling my aim."

So my own opinion, he did the same at Lake Herman probably, just used a standard flashlight. If memory serves me, not all the shots he fired actually hit Betty, wasn’t there 6 shots fired with 5 finding their target? Maybe the unaccounted 6th round wasn’t intended to impact anything and was a deliberate warning shot as she attempted to run and the shot served it’s intended purpose and frightened Betty in stopping dead in her tracks, thus allowing Z to pump 5 rounds into a now stationary target? Just speculation, I know. But one of a number of scenarios that may or not have played out in and around that gravel entrance that night.

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

 
Posted : January 31, 2014 8:01 pm
Marshall
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Zodiac wrote about his "electric gun sight" in this letter.

First, Zodiac brags about how clever he was, taping a flashlight to his gun barrel. This explanation implies he had to explain it because the police were not in possession of the weapon, so he needed to tell them how it was rigged. In the Bus Bomb letter, he says the above. "Ask the Vallejo cop about my electric gun sight….." How would that statement in the letter be considered "proof" unless the cop (notice, not plural) could verify an electric gun sight was used?

Do the police have the gun used at LHR? If not, how does this sentence make sense? And for that matter, are a flashlight taped to a gun barrel and an "electric gun sight" the same thing? If not, why did he lie?

 
Posted : January 10, 2020 10:21 am
Richard Grinell
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The Bus Bomb letter was a response to Chief of Police Martin Lee who disbelieved that Zodiac entered the park as he claimed, and claimed Zodiac had left fingerprints. The last time Zodiac was disbelieved was when Vallejo Police Chief Jack E. Stiltz stated after the July 31st letters that he was "still is not convinced the letters and codes were written by the actual killer". The police chief "urged the writer to send more letters, with more facts to prove his connections to the crimes". The Zodiac duly obliged by sending the August 4th 1969 ‘Debut of Zodiac’ letter in response to Jack E. Stiltz, writing about his gun sight. Therefore, when Zodiac is writing "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". he is effectively saying "To prove that I am the Zodiac, Ask Jack E. Stiltz, the Vallejo cop about my electric gun sight which I used to start my collecting of slaves".

The statement in the Bus Bomb letter began "To prove that I am the Zodiac". He wrote this because when he declared he was "Zodiac" in the Debut letter, Jack E. Stiltz wasn’t convinced that Zodiac (letter writer) was actually the killer, hence why he referred to the gun sight in the Bus Bomb letter to Martin Lee. The Zodiac supplied the extra details of the gun sight in the August 4th communication as "extra details" to prove how he was able to shoot his victims in the dark. So, the Vallejo cop in the Bus Bomb letter is Vallejo Police Chief Jack E. Stiltz.

https://www.zodiacciphers.com/

“I simply cannot accept that there are, on every story, two equal and logical sides to an argument.” Edward R. Murrow.

 
Posted : January 10, 2020 1:44 pm
Marshall
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Thanks Richard. I suppose, if the first letter was not made public, then the "proof" would be the author of the bus bomb letter knowing about his previous description (in a confirmed Z letter) of the gun sight. So what Z would be saying is: You know the letter I previously sent describing the gun sight was from the killer, and to prove that person is me, I am telling you what I wrote about in that letter, i. e. the gun sight I used.

If the first letter was not made public, then it is proof. At the same time, there still is no actual proof Z used a flashlight or any other type of gun sight.

Richard, is that basically as you see it, or am I missing it?

 
Posted : January 10, 2020 8:00 pm
Richard Grinell
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Posts: 717
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The Zodiac is simply telling Chief of Police Martin Lee on November 9th not to disbelieve the contents of the Bus Bomb letter as Jack Stiltz had previously done, when he proved to him he was the Zodiac Killer by giving extra details to him (including the gun sight description) when he backed up the July 31st letters with the August 4th letter.

Jack Stiltz stated he was not satisfied that the July 31st letters proved the writer was the killer. In order to prove he was the killer the Zodiac sent extra details by explaining how he managed to shoot the couple in the dark by way of a gun sight. Because Martin Lee also disbelieved Zodiac’s claims in the Bus Bomb letter, Zodiac effectively referred back to Stiltz, stating "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". That in essence was all he was saying.

https://www.zodiacciphers.com/

“I simply cannot accept that there are, on every story, two equal and logical sides to an argument.” Edward R. Murrow.

 
Posted : January 10, 2020 8:40 pm
BDHolland
(@peaceandlove)
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Did the Eureka guy who owned the post box keys say that the object like a pencil attached to the keys was his also? While it looks like a modern magnet maybe it also has attributes of a pen light.

Top black one below has some commonalities.

www.zodiachalloweencard.com has a 400 paged book for free containing the super solution with an overarching explanation of the cards and more.

 
Posted : July 29, 2020 11:42 am
(@replaceablehead)
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By process of elimination alone it seems doubtful that that image could be of anything other than a small pencel flashlight. How many other things the size of a pencil are even made in keyring form? It is even shaped closer to a pencil than a pen in many respects. Having said that I think it’s likely the light described by Z would have been a small light with a "pencil beam", because something this small would surely be too low in output, unless it was really well made.

My thought would be, how common was something like this before the advent of high output LED lights? It would seem to me that small pencil lights with enough output to be useful would have been rare a few decades ago.

These lights are everywhere now, but if they were more uncommon it might mean less manufacturers and therefore it might be easier to track down what this object is if it is indeed a light.

 
Posted : July 29, 2020 1:14 pm
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