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 Wier
(@wier)
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Have a couple of thoughts regarding this letter but I’d first like to gauge opinion with a couple of questions…..

1. What was the purpose of this letter/what was Z trying to achieve?
2. Was he still Z?
3. Was he attempting to "slip" one passed LE or had he an expectation that the connection would be made?
4. Could he be confident either way? ie… that he could slip it by or that it would be recognised?

Thanks!

 
Posted : August 8, 2013 3:49 am
traveller1st
(@traveller1st)
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I couldn’t really say what his purpose was. I could always guess.

"Was he still Z"? Yes, that one’s tempting. For me though I think he was. I think what we are seeing in this letter and others, not signed as himself are just a twisted evolution of the imagined comradery that he built up in his head. Kind of like a nutjob having a nutjob hobby outside his regular nutjob hobby, but still very similar. A serial killer’s busmans’s holiday. I toyed with the idea that he may have been shedding his killer self but has that ever been done? If it has wouldn’t it need professional intervention? I can’t see "write some more letters, just not as the killer this time" ever being advised.

As for attempting to slip one by – again tempting so what we have to wonder here is, did he want these found or not. No way of knowing I guess, just speculation. I do find it interesting though that the citizen letter, sla and marco letters all turn up quite soon after the exorcist letter. Now, since I think they are all him, I have to imagine that the exorcist letter was a lead in. Something to make people pay attention so that there was a greater likelihood that the citizen, marco and sla letters might be spotted (ie. he’s writing again, keep an eye out). Back to was he still Z? Well he ends the exorcist letter with a threat. So yeah I think he was. If he were somehow "rehabilitated" then I don’t see how that fits, even if it were just a reference to the past…..nah, it’s a threat. Still him IMO.

Now point 4. could he be confident that he could slip it through? Based on my previous points I don’t think he cared. Part of me thinks that these slightly anonymous and anonymous letters were just another little game. Following on quite soon after Sherwood Morrills statements in the press that "he would recognise Zodiac’s handwriting anywhere"

So was there another purpose? I think I wondered this myself recently? Was he again testing the water to see just how ‘clued’ in LE were to his writing. One last roll of the dice perhaps to decide if letter writing would be part of some future ‘activities’? or was that too transparent now, even when he tried to disguise it?

Then there’s the content of the letter itself. I always found it curious that he choose ‘Badlands’ to complain about. Was this another, slightly obscure and in bad taste hint. He was essentially complaining about, violence, murder, a teenage couple. Almost echoes that weird diatribe about saying how there was more glory in killing a cop than a cid [sic] – contradictory since he himself had killed kids and couples. It may also echo the Belli letter where he ‘appears’ to want help.

It’s really weird actually now that I think about it. On one hand they are letters from a killer taunting police, but they aren’t just that, that are also genuine letters to the editor, despite the author and the content they all carry that nature of the ‘type’ of letters that people write to newspapers. It’s almost like he’s writing them in the character of the person he’s purporting to be in writing them.


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

 
Posted : August 8, 2013 4:47 am
(@theforeigner)
Posts: 821
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One possible reason for Zodiac to choose the movie "Badlands":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrence_Malick

The director of "Badlands", Terrence Frederick Malick, wrote an early draft of the movie Dirty Harry (1971), which is said to be based on the Zodiac Killer case.

To Trav:
Interesting observations, which I agree on.
But concerning wheter Zodiac was able to stop killing etc.
I belive it depends entirly on what his driving force was, what his motive/motives were for his Zodiac killings.
I do NOT belive Zodiac was a "classic" serial killer driven by the urge to kill, I belive his motive/motives were of a different nature.

Hi, english is not my first language so please bear with me :)

 
Posted : August 8, 2013 5:35 am
morf13
(@morf13)
Posts: 7527
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Good question. I don’t know what to think. He certainly hadno guarantee that police would intercept the letter and link it to him, so I think that if he wanted them to know he sent it, he would have made himself known.

I for one think that Zodiac wrote letters to the editors of local papers BEFORE his first letter of August,69, maybe he even used his name in those letters. I would love to read all of the letters to the editors of those papers for a year prior to Zodiac’s first confirmed letter, and also, the letters to the editors immediately following the LHR murders

There is more than one way to lose your life to a killer

http://www.zodiackillersite.com/
http://zodiackillersite.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/Morf13ZKS

 
Posted : August 8, 2013 5:39 am
Tahoe27
(@tahoe27)
Posts: 5315
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It’s almost like his mother made him write it. lol


…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 : August 8, 2013 6:53 am
(@nachtsider)
Posts: 367
Reputable Member
 

I think that what we’re reading here are the thoughts of a psychologically-changed Zodiac – one who, be it via therapy, religion or what-not, renounced violence and, like the overzealous reformed alcoholic, rails against alcohol as the fount of all sin.

Stranger things have happened.

 
Posted : August 8, 2013 7:15 am
morf13
(@morf13)
Posts: 7527
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That sounds good NACH,but that would be the exception,not the rule. Most serial killers,even if they try to occupy themselves, or fight it, wind up killing again,even if long stretches go by with no killings.

There is more than one way to lose your life to a killer

http://www.zodiackillersite.com/
http://zodiackillersite.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/Morf13ZKS

 
Posted : August 8, 2013 2:53 pm
smithy
(@smithy)
Posts: 955
Prominent Member
 

It’s almost like his mother made him write it. lol

How I laughed!

As an experiment, it might be fun to give this letter to people not interested in the case, so they can judge the sincerity level. Hmmm?

 
Posted : August 8, 2013 5:54 pm
 Wier
(@wier)
Posts: 240
Reputable Member
Topic starter
 

traveller1st » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:47 pm

I couldn’t really say what his purpose was. I could always guess.

"Was he still Z"? Yes, that one’s tempting. For me though I think he was. I think what we are seeing in this letter and others, not signed as himself are just a twisted evolution of the imagined comradery that he built up in his head. Kind of like a nutjob having a nutjob hobby outside his regular nutjob hobby, but still very similar. A serial killer’s busmans’s holiday. I toyed with the idea that he may have been shedding his killer self but has that ever been done? If it has wouldn’t it need professional intervention? I can’t see "write some more letters, just not as the killer this time" ever being advised.

As for attempting to slip one by – again tempting so what we have to wonder here is, did he want these found or not. No way of knowing I guess, just speculation. I do find it interesting though that the citizen letter, sla and marco letters all turn up quite soon after the exorcist letter. Now, since I think they are all him, I have to imagine that the exorcist letter was a lead in. Something to make people pay attention so that there was a greater likelihood that the citizen, marco and sla letters might be spotted (ie. he’s writing again, keep an eye out). Back to was he still Z? Well he ends the exorcist letter with a threat. So yeah I think he was. If he were somehow "rehabilitated" then I don’t see how that fits, even if it were just a reference to the past…..nah, it’s a threat. Still him IMO.

Now point 4. could he be confident that he could slip it through? Based on my previous points I don’t think he cared. Part of me thinks that these slightly anonymous and anonymous letters were just another little game. Following on quite soon after Sherwood Morrills statements in the press that "he would recognise Zodiac’s handwriting anywhere"

So was there another purpose? I think I wondered this myself recently? Was he again testing the water to see just how ‘clued’ in LE were to his writing. One last roll of the dice perhaps to decide if letter writing would be part of some future ‘activities’? or was that too transparent now, even when he tried to disguise it?

Then there’s the content of the letter itself. I always found it curious that he choose ‘Badlands’ to complain about. Was this another, slightly obscure and in bad taste hint. He was essentially complaining about, violence, murder, a teenage couple. Almost echoes that weird diatribe about saying how there was more glory in killing a cop than a cid [sic] – contradictory since he himself had killed kids and couples. It may also echo the Belli letter where he ‘appears’ to want help.

It’s really weird actually now that I think about it. On one hand they are letters from a killer taunting police, but they aren’t just that, that are also genuine letters to the editor, despite the author and the content they all carry that nature of the ‘type’ of letters that people write to newspapers. It’s almost like he’s writing them in the character

In considering purpose I would look to his last 4 letters (only one signed Z, the Exorcist) , I believe there is a common denominator and perhaps a reason to believe they were all authored by Z,other than handwriting.

1. The SLA letter was written 10 days after Patty hearst was kidnapped.
2. The Exorcist in response to the controversy it was creating.
3. The Citizen I believe was mainly a response to the Zebra Murders. (Interesting too how they became to be called that)
4. Count Marco

All demanded and were successful, in capturing the public’s attention…taking him out of the limelight. So there is some of the same Zodiac there but I also do feel a shift
that I can quite put my finger on.

Whether he was trying to slip the Citizen letter in, whether he expected it to be connected or whether he cared either way, I couldn’t say. But I think it’s worth scrutinizing this further. Four things have come together….he has signed off as Z, there is a change in the writing style, it’s now a run of the mill letter to editor and most interesting for me, has chosen to post away from san Francisco in Alameda county. So at least there is an argument that he was trying something different and maybe expected to slip it by. While still not convinced one way or the other, the question that came to mind is…if he thought this would go unnoticed/accepted a face value, then perhaps he didn’t need to do what he been doing all along (as Z)….posting all from san Francisco.
I think it’s interesting that he did this before with the LA times letter, posting from pleasanton (alameda county)…he was finished dealing with the Chronicle because they were burying him on the back pages. This is all in the context of a big change after the halloween card…for one reason or another it seems Z had decided to pack it in.
Personally I doubt we would even have got that letter, had the CJB connection not been discovered…all told I just wonder if there isn’t a link to Alameda.

It might also go someway to explaining the further changes in the Count Marco and his need to post away from both S.f and Alameda, this time going north to san Raphael.
Then again, I accept there are plenty of alternative explanations

 
Posted : August 8, 2013 6:40 pm
(@entropy)
Posts: 491
Honorable Member
 

Good post, Wier. I suppose you could ask the same question about any of Z’s later communications, confirmed and questioned. Your point about it being in response to something or someone grabbing the "supervillian limelight" is a great one.

It’s not hard to imagine why this letter came to someone’s attention and it does seem to fit Zodiac’s sense of humor but what was the point when it would more than likely not even be recognized as his work? My issue with it is that it DOES make sense taken at face value as a slightly loony rant from an actual random citizen. Big city newspaper editors surely get plenty of those crossing their desks. Are we reading Zodiac’s humor and desire for anonymity into this? The writing does look familiar but I honestly don’t trust Morrill’s opinions completely. Count me as undecided on this one but I honestly find it the least interesting or useful of any confirmed communications.

 
Posted : August 8, 2013 8:07 pm
morf13
(@morf13)
Posts: 7527
Member Admin
 

I also would not be surprised if Z lived in Alameda County, isn’t that sort of in between SF & Vallejo?? (Killing in Vallejo,Mailing letters in SF)

I strongly suspect Zodiac in this June 1967 Alameda County double murder,it has Zodiac’s M.O. all over it-
viewtopic.php?f=37&t=21

There is more than one way to lose your life to a killer

http://www.zodiackillersite.com/
http://zodiackillersite.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/Morf13ZKS

 
Posted : August 8, 2013 10:11 pm
 Wier
(@wier)
Posts: 240
Reputable Member
Topic starter
 

by entropy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:07 am

Good post, Weir. I suppose you could ask the same question about any of Z’s later communications, confirmed and questioned. Your point about it being in response to something or someone grabbing the "supervillian limelight" is a great one.

It’s not hard to imagine why this letter came to someone’s attention and it does seem to fit Zodiac’s sense of humor but what was the point when it would more than likely not even be recognized as his work? My issue with it is that it DOES make sense taken at face value as a slightly loony rant from an actual random citizen. Big city newspaper editors surely get plenty of those crossing their desks. Are we reading Zodiac’s humor and desire for anonymity into this? The writing does look familiar but I honestly don’t trust Morrill’s opinions completely. Count me as undecided on this one but I honestly find it the least interesting or useful of any confirmed communications.

I think in many ways ( and it was probably inevitable) he became a victim of his own writing campaign. When he wasn’t killing anymore,(and proving it) the media side became pointless and he ended up looking foolish. He wasn’t front page anymore,and at the end he even looked like he was begging for attention. As I said earlier, I think it was more or less over after the halloween card. The bigger question is probably why he stopped killing. By the time the Exorcist came along,I think he did his best to sign off on his terms as best he could.
I’m still intrigued by the Citizen because it was the first after the Exorcist. If proven to be Z, I think there are potential leads or at least questions that could be answered.

It looks to me like a more natural hand (same author) than the know Z letters and possibly the closest to his natural handwriting..( Sla and Marco obviously contrived)but even if not, there are things to be learned.

morf13 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:11 pm

I also would not be surprised if Z lived in Alameda County, isn’t that sort of in between SF & Vallejo?? (Killing in Vallejo,Mailing letters in SF)

I strongly suspect Zodiac in this June 1967 Alameda County double murder,it has Zodiac’s M.O. all over it-
viewtopic.php?f=37&t=21

Vallejo would be 30 miles approx to the north of S.F and Pleasanton 40miles to the south east.
Again it’s just one idea among many possibilities, but if Zodiac….you would have to ask why he didn’t post from S.F as per usual or what would make him drive 40 miles to post this. On the other hand, he may have just viewed it as a letter to editor,not signed by him and not saying anything about him and IF he lived in Alameda county, why he would bother driving to S.F to post it.
Interesting case….will have to study it more

 
Posted : August 9, 2013 4:10 am
morf13
(@morf13)
Posts: 7527
Member Admin
 

I for one think that Zodiac wrote letters to the editors of local papers BEFORE his first letter of August,69, maybe he even used his name in those letters. I would love to read all of the letters to the editors of those papers for a year prior to Zodiac’s first confirmed letter, and also, the letters to the editors immediately following the LHR murders

I don’t believe I have ever read you saying what drove you to look at the "to editor " letters, so, I would be very interested in knowing. I do hope that you have not stopped because I believe that you may have hit on something. Do you think that you would be interested in describing other writers in the future?

Soze

My hunch is that Zodiac wrote to the SF Bay area papers, maybe SF Chron,Examiner, Vallejo Times, etc,and maybe Riverside area papers back in the mid 60’s. I don’t have access to any of those papers however, to read letters to the editor. Maybe one of the people from CA can check? If you were to find a person who repeatedly wrote to the papers, they may be a person worth looking at closer. Maybe something in their letters would sound like Z? I think Z wanted his opinion heard, and wanted to feel important, which is why I bet he wrote the papers prior to his Zodiac letters. This method is sort of how Mike Rodelli found his suspect with the help of Ed Neil.

There is more than one way to lose your life to a killer

http://www.zodiackillersite.com/
http://zodiackillersite.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/Morf13ZKS

 
Posted : August 25, 2013 2:54 am
(@anonymous)
Posts: 1772
Noble Member
 

…,
In considering purpose I would look to his last 4 letters (only one signed Z, the Exorcist) , I believe there is a common denominator and perhaps a reason to believe they were all authored by Z,other than handwriting.

1. The SLA letter was written 10 days after Patty hearst was kidnapped.
2. The Exorcist in response to the controversy it was creating.
3. The Citizen I believe was mainly a response to the Zebra Murders. (Interesting too how they became to be called that)
4. Count Marco

All demanded and were successful, in capturing the public’s attention…taking him out of the limelight. So there is some of the same Zodiac there but I also do feel a shift that I can quite put my finger on.

One thing that each of these 4 items have in common is each puts the focus on a female (or females) as a central character. Not sure if those are the best words to use, but what I mean is this:

1) The SLA issue was a real life drama involving Patty Hearst, a young heiress to a newspaper fortune, who was kidnapped by the SLA, who while in captivity transformed into "Tania", then finally was returned to society and transformed back into Patty Hearst, heiress.
2) The Exorcist was a movie that centred an innocent young girl child who had been transformed into a horrifying satanic creature because of having been possessed by a demon (or was it Satan himself?), then is eventually exorcised and is transformed back into her original innocent self.
3) Badlands is a movie about an innocent young girl–she (Holly) narrates the story–who is transformed into a murder participant through her association with her boyfriend Kit. I have not actually seen the movie, so I will leave it at that–other than to note that Kit and Holly’s story is largely based on the true Starkweather-Fugate murders.
4) Count Marco wrote a column that centered on the everywoman of his day. He provided advice on how women should behave, dress, etc. in other words, he told women how to be women. (FWIW, I don’t exactly disagree with the Red Phanthom’s message–Marco was not a progressive force in society, to make a huge understatement–but Marco would have likely had many fans who thought his nonsense advice made perfect sense.)

So these letters seem to me to highlight 2 key factors:
1) The transformation from the Zodiac to something, or somebody else–a different identity–and,
2) This transformed individual’s fascination with themes centering on the transformation and reshaping of women.

Regards,

G

 
Posted : August 25, 2013 5:40 am
(@anonymous)
Posts: 1772
Noble Member
 

Hi,

At the risk of going off topic, I would like to add that, with respect to the Count Marco letter, Mike Cole did an amazing post awhile back on this topic on his Zodiac Revisited website:

http://zodiacrevisited.com/ten-days-of-count-marco/
http://zodiacrevisited.com/ten-days-of- … nclusions/

He does some great detective work that allows him to suggest a particular article by Count Marco that likely triggered the author of the Red Phantom letter to write his outraged missive to the editor.

Thanks,

G

 
Posted : August 26, 2013 8:03 am
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