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Zodiac and MUNI: To Union Square and Back Again

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(@tegean)
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This will be fairly detailed and there will be no shocking surprises or hot takes, so forgive me if this ends up being dense, dry and in large part not very interesting.

 

I’ve been puzzling over this business of Zodiac being in the theater district when picked up by Stine.  I know there have been similar discussions before, but I have not seen a topic that specifically explores the possible use by Zodiac municipal transportation on October 11, 1969.

To begin, operating from the assumption that his escape from Presidio Heights would involve his automobile. That would be consistent with his other three canonical crimes whereby his car was the means of escape. In order for this to be a credible supposition, it follows that his car would need to be within a reasonable distance of his destination, reachable by foot in a relatively short period of time. As we know, the final location of Paul Stine’s cab was the corner of Washington and Cherry street in Presidio Heights. We also know there are conflicting reports as to whether the final destination that Stine input to his fare sheet was Washington and Maple or Washington and Laurel.

In attempting to address this issue, again under the assumption that his car was within reasonable walking distance of the final destination, the question arises as to how Zodiac got to the Theater District, regardless of whether that means precisely the intersection of Mason and Geary or elsewhere in the vicinity of Union Square. That Stine picked up his fare in that area is also, as far as I can tell, an assumption based on an estimated distance traveled from Stine’s taximeter reading at 10:46pm and the estimated time of death, 9:55pm. In other words, it’s a guess based on Stine’s previous fare, delivered to San Francisco International Airport, presumably some time after 9pm, his likely return route from this fare, US-101 northbound, and locations that would account for the charge shown on his taximeter at 10:46pm.

*Note: I am aware of a source that cites the Westin Hotel on Powell Street. I am also unaware of any other source that independently makes this claim. The source in question is Detective Harvey Hines, specifically a report he compiled promoting Lawrence Kane as a credible Zodiac suspect. This same document states that, according Dave Toschi, a phone call was placed to the cab company at a payphone next to the Westin by Zodiac and therefore Stine was responding to this call from dispatch at the Westin Hotel. If this is a true fact, then it would make the taximeter estimate redundant and definitively locate the pickup in the theater district. Unfortunately, these are exactly the sorts of convenient facts that have made unresolved evidentiary issues appear to be settled when they actually aren’t, and that’s why I think it’s important to preface arguments with the assumptions on which they are predicated. Therefore, while I hold that the starting location of Zodiac’s cab ride is not a resolved issue, I am operating from the assumption that the pickup was generally in the area of Union Square or Mason and Geary, which are only a block apart in the theater district.

 

Consequently, if we presume that his car was near Presidio Heights, bearing in mind that presumption does not preclude the possibility that the Stine murder was extemporaneous, then I see two options for how he got downtown.

The first is that he took a cab.

That would mean he called the cab company from somewhere in Presidio Heights, a cab was dispatched to the address he provided, he waited for it to arrive, it did, and then took him downtown. It could have happened at any time of the day and in any area of Presidio Heights. Naturally, one would hope there would be a record of this and certainly if Stine had a half hour or more of downtime in the theater district without a call from dispatch, it doesn’t sound as if there was a particularly large volume of traffic in northern San Francisco that night. Unfortunately, 50 years on, I think that’s beyond the scope of what we can ever really know.

There is at least one problem with a cab, though. If another cabbie picked up Zodiac and took him up to the Union Plaza area, then there is a possibility that he would remember picking up a fare that fit the description released by SFPD in the days after Stine was killed, particularly given Stine was also a cab driver. That’s not to suggest it’s impossible that this hypothetical cabbie would be aloof or indifferent to the ramifications of a cab driver being targeted and murdered, only that the alternative would be more likely.

 

*Note: there is a parallel example of this exact sort of thing in the investigation of the JFK assassination, specifically a cab driver named William Whaly had occasion to take Lee Harvey Oswald as a fare from downtown Dallas to Oak Cliff on November 22, 1963. Within a day of taking this fare, despite there being little of note to occur during that fare, Mr. Whaly reported his to the Dallas Police, picked out Oswald in a line-up, submitted an affidavit and would later testify to the Warren Commission about this fare. The amount of detail he provided in the affidavit is truly astounding if you a skeptical of the notion that a cab driver could be able to recall details about a passenger even if there was no immediate occasion for him or her to mark that fare in their memory.

https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth340509/m1/1/

That leaves the second option; that Zodiac took a bus from somewhere in the rough vicinity of where he parked his car and ultimately arrived by bus in the theater district.

The San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI) has a long a storied history that is every bit as interesting as you might imagine. For the first half of the 20th Century, much of developing San Francisco was accessible by street car service, and a merger in 1939 between MUNI and the Market Street Railway Company brought the total fleet of trolleys to just under 700. In the coming decades, however many of these streetcars would be replaced by buses, and by 1969 the city was constructing a new subway system called BART.

However, despite the steady disappearance of streetcar based public transportation from MUNI, the routes for the buses that would ultimately replace them remained largely the same and, hence, those routes retained the same name. For Presidio Heights, the MUNI route, active up until 2020, was called 3-Jackson. It was called that because the farthest leg of that route took the bus up to Presidio Avenue and Jackson Street. This was its last stop before circling California Street and Sacramento street and heading back towards the main Market Street thoroughfare, terminating at Bush and Sansome, at least in its most recent iteration. It was the 3rd line of the 4 Sutter St. Lines.

https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/3_jackson_pdf_map.pdf

As far as I can tell, it is in no way appreciably different from what was used in 1969 for the 3-Jackson route.

http://libraryarchives.metro.net/DPGTL/munioperators/1973-municipal-railway-survey-1969-1970.pdf

(see pg. 26)

So, in 1969, if someone wanted to get from Presidio Heights to the theater district or Union Square using MUNI, then there is a bus stop at Powell and Post that would put you directly in front of the Westin Hotel.

I have seen no evidence of a bus stop at either Mason and Geary of Mason and Post. That’s not a huge deal since it’s just a single block, but it is noteworthy in my opinion.

More interesting is the other end of the route, specifically Presidio and Jackson, which is exactly two blocks east and one block north of Washington and Laurel. In contrast, it is five blocks from Maple Street and six blocks from Cherry Street.

Naturally there are a million “possible” ways for Zodiac to get to the relevant spot in the theater district including an accomplice or literally legging it the entire way either before the murder, to a parking place downtown where he left his car, or all the way back to Vallejo or wherever he was from. However, those options are also either highly speculative, needlessly convoluted or completely ridiculous. I think the two scenarios above represent the most straightforward scenarios for the timeline preceding the Presidio Heights murder based on evidence to which we have access, and in particular the use of a MUNI bus to get to Union Square seems the most likely to have culminated in the vacuum of citizen witnesses that we ended up with. I can more credibly believe Zodiac could go unnoticed on a bus than I could being forgotten in a cab. As for whether he spent any appreciable time downtown is an open question and we may never know. Again, that’s assuming that he did actually go to the theater district. I am completely open to alternatives and am not married to this notion.

This topic was modified 1 year ago by Teg>Ean
 
Posted : December 20, 2022 8:28 am
Quicksilver
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Interesting…..Oswald took a bus and a cab to flee the scene….

 
Posted : December 20, 2022 3:58 pm
(@tegean)
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Posted by: @quicksilver

Oswald took a bus and a cab to flee the scene

And there were very few witnesses on the bus.  One was a chance encounter with someone he knew previously; a former landlady who did not like him.  He went so unnoticed that, later on, he was confused with another young man by witnesses.  We might not even know about it if the Dallas Police didn’t find a transfer ticket in his pocket when he was arrested at the Texas theater.

 
Posted : December 20, 2022 4:14 pm
Quicksilver
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That’s true….he had the transfer and $13.87 in his pockets…..not much of an escape plan……

 
Posted : December 20, 2022 6:35 pm
Quicksilver
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You bring up a subject that has always intrigued me. I have pondered the possibility he stayed there for a while in hiding if one believes his letter about the racing motorcycles is true. I think he got away as quickly as possible and got the hell out of there in a car. To me, that would be in keeping with his other murders. However, your thoughts are very plausible and I hope this thread will get this forum jump started again…..

 
Posted : December 20, 2022 7:59 pm
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Posted by: @quicksilver

I have pondered the possibility he stayed there for a while in hiding if one believes his letter about the racing motorcycles is true.

That would be my guess.  I don’t like to rely on suspectology or gut checks it does seem to me that the Zodiac writer included a lot of sensory detail and tactile illustrators when describing events that actually took place, like the darkness in the area of Lake Herman road or taking issue with the speed of his car when fleeing Blue Rock Springs.  There are natural details that lay out the geography and sensation of the memory that you don’t find in other places like when he talks about being spotted by an African American guy that supposedly saw him at a phone booth after Blue Rock Springs.  In that case, all he offers is an age and describes the man’s clothes as “shabby.”  I don’t think that person existed (unless someone know different) and I think Zodiac said that to encourage people to believe his car was brown, which I don’t think it was.

 

Posted by: @quicksilver

I think he got away as quickly as possible and got the hell out of there in a car.

I agree, but I also think he was trapped in the woods up to a certain point, possibly hiding in his car or a public bathroom.  I doubt the police had a scent to give the dogs so it might have been they were trying to flush him out rather than track him.  There were dogs though and his description of that night in the bus bomb letter is broadly consistent with the geography of that area and where many people think he was hiding.

Posted by: @quicksilver

I hope this thread will get this forum jump started again…..

Yeah I don’t know why it slowed down but I hope people get a chance to catch their wind and come back.  I find it is difficult not to get burned out on Zodiac, unfortunately, so I understand if traffic ebbs from time to time.  It is a truly frustrating case and there’s a ton of not great information floating around, and there are some dialectic controversies even over basic facts that makes it difficult for new people to get into the case past a summary level.  I know it’s been that way for me.

 
Posted : December 20, 2022 11:28 pm
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Posted by: @quicksilver

I think he got away as quickly as possible and got the hell out of there in a car.

I apologize, I completely misread this sentence, Quicksilver.  You’re saying that you think he bounced immediately and the bus bomb story is just made up.  I have a hard time arguing with that supposition, honestly.  My natural inclination would be to say, given how quickly police arrived in that area, turning his car on would run the risk of alerting them, but we don’t actually know where exactly in the Presidio he actually parked.  I also didn’t realize until bumbling around in streetview how much of a tangled mess the roads are in the Presidio.  It’s way more complicated than I realized to get to the Golden Gate bridge and many paths just go straight under the roadway.  Unfortunately, I cannot decide which is more plausible based on the information we have.  I personally tend to believe that he did hide in the Presidio for some uncertain period of time, but that is not something I can substantiate with a fully probative argument.

Whatever ended up happening, however, I think that an immediate escape in his car was the plan.  If he got stuck hiding in the Presidio, then it stands to reason based on his execution of the other three crimes that sticking around would be a major detour from his typical workflow.  Not proof, but it requires fewer qualifiers than a scenario where he actually planned to hide in the Presidio.

 
Posted : December 21, 2022 7:50 am
Quicksilver
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In my true crime research, I have always put myself in the perps shoes and tried to figure out what he was thinking during the time of the crime….I was drawn to your post about the Oswald comparison…..I have been mesmerized for close to 50 years about the JFK assassination…..I know more about that case than any other other I have looked at…..I feel very comfortable in discussing that case…..with Zodiac, I have more questions than answers….I have mainly focused on the Presidio Heights activity as I believe it provides the best chance at solving the case…I have walked the area multiple times looking for escape routes….one main issue that I don’t understand is why if his plan was to kill a cabbie, why would he park his car there and then go back downtown to find one….surely other options were available…why did he choose the Presidio?…..to me, there is more to the location than we know….

 
Posted : December 21, 2022 4:30 pm
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Posted by: @quicksilver

I have been mesmerized for close to 50 years about the JFK assassination…..I know more about that case than any other other I have looked at…..I feel very comfortable in discussing that case

You and me both.  I actually live in Dallas and used to work over by the TBD.  It makes a huge difference when you can actually go to the place.

There are many harmonies between the Oswald case and the Zodiac case I find, not the least of which is the commodification of the research and the way it has introduced some pretty major distortions into general milieu of pop culture.  A perfect example; Some time ago I was studying Oswald’s movements after the shooting and came across a map that showed Oswald’s cab dropping him off several blocks south of his boarding house.  Of course, if you actually pull up the Warren Commission volumes it quickly becomes clear that he was dropped off right in front of his residence, but that’s a pretty inconvenient fact when someone wants to claim that Oswald didn’t have time to make it to the Tippit shooting so therefore he was a patsy.

I find the question of where Oswald was going to be far more interesting than any of that nonsense and that’s because like you, I like to try and get in the guys head, figure out what his plan is at any given moment and explore how the successes and failures of those plans might have resulted in the outcome we ultimately got and the evidence they left behind.  By the way, today, in the direction Oswald was going, just a few blocks from where he shot Tippet, there is a bus depot that specializes in transportation to and from Mexico.  I have not yet figured out what was there in 1963.

Posted by: @quicksilver

one main issue that I don’t understand is why if his plan was to kill a cabbie, why would he park his car there and then go back downtown to find one

I can think of a few ideas, all speculative of course. 

Richard Grinell posed the question a few days ago as to why not call a cab to exactly where you are planning to escape from and then shoot him when he arrives?  The obvious answer is that if he calls a cab, he has to wait for it to show up, and so in that scenario, the place he will be waiting is the future scene of the crime he is going to commit.  The longer he waits there, the more likely he is to be witnessed by people in that area and they will have quite a bit of time to get a pretty detailed look to commit to memory. 

That’s also a reason that I don’t believe he lived in Presidio Heights.  One, if he did, his neighbors have a massive advantage in identifying him either around the time that the crime was committed or based on a description.  Two, there is a big trade off that must occur between his choice of a murder location being close enough to his house for him to get off the street without being seen by his neighbors, who again have a familiarity advantage, or being far enough away that the police aren’t immediately knocking on his front door when they get to the scene of the crime.

As for why he picked Presidio Heights; I don’t have a great answer, but I do have some thoughts.  First, it looks like a pain in the ass to get into the Presidio by car coming from anywhere on the border.  The nearest access for vehicle traffic is either Presidio Avenue or Arguello Street and if his plan was to drive off through the Presidio to get to either highway 80 or the Golden Gate bridge then it might take some extra time for police vehicles to get in there and on his tail.  Second, he may have felt he needed a place to put his car where it was not likely to be noticed or seem out of place.  Any house he could conceivably park in front of is a house where his car does not belong.  I know that parking in San Francisco is weird, but in Dallas I always notice when there’s an unfamiliar vehicle parked out front.  That’s just good common sense.  The Presidio, however, has all kinds of public parking for people looking to use the trails or go to a playground or use the tennis courts.  On a Saturday in particular, in the middle of the Fall, I would not be surprised to see the shoulder of W Pacific Ave completely packed with cars, which would make it very difficult for anyone to notice and remember having seen your car.

As for why he would decide to go all the way to the theater district to procure a cab driver to murder, let me first point out that it is a presumption by police that he did actually do that.  It’s not a completely baseless assumption since Paul Stine’s taximeter was running when the killer left and investigators could calculate the distance travelled by his last fare based on the time he is presumed to have gotten to Washington and Cherry.    Based on that information and the end destination of Stine’s previous fare, it’s possible to make a pretty compelling case that Stine would have gone to the theater district to find an unscheduled fare. Specifically, that math suggested that the taximeter was started in the area of Mason and Geary streets.  Alternately it has been suggested he was picked up one block east of there at Union Square in front of the Westin Hotel.  Beyond that process of deduction, this conjecture about Zodiac being picked up in the theater district or specifically at Mason and Geary or Union Square is still to my knowledge, not a settled fact.  

So with that understood, you and I are asking, based on the assumption that Stine even picked up Zodiac in the theater district, why would Zodiac go all the way downtown to get his victim?  That is a question I do not have any answer for, at least not without first trying to answer the question of how. That’s the question I endeavored to tackle in my first post of this topic.

If he hailed a cab, then he would have to wait for it somewhere, and that somewhere was near where he parked his car, which would be near Presidio Heights then he runs a similar gambit to what I described before.  Even if he doesn’t kill the cabbie who comes to pick him up, if he is spotted later in that same area then it is possible for the police to piece their way chronologically back through his afternoon and find someone with a potentially better description of him and even that would be redundant because the first cab driver would probably be able to describe him down to the beltbuckle and the color of his shoelaces.

He could maybe wait somewhere, catch a movie or grab a bite to eat in order to hide the fact that one cabbie dropped off a guy that another cabbie picked up immediately afterwards and in the same location, but remember, the longer he is in the city, the longer his car is sitting in one place near the scene of the murder he is planning to commit.

That leaves the bus, which is really my whole point with this thread.  As illustrated above, the 3-Jackson route would get him right to the Westin Hotel and Union square.  There’s no rule, of course, that says he has to take that bus to the end of the line.  That said, how many of the people that board a bus from upscale Presidio Heights on a Saturday are going to get off at any of the stops prior to the downtown theater district, where all the entertainment is?  I genuinely don’t know, but if that route works like any other bus route that transverses a downtown area, then the trip downtown will mostly consist of picking up passengers, and most of those passengers will get off when they get downtown, at which point it will also pick up a ton of passengers who live down that route and who will subsequently trickle out as the bus makes its way out of the downtown area.

So if you’re looking to get off of a bus while keeping the risk of being noticed and remembered at the absolute minimum, then the stop an Union Square seems to me like the place to do that.  Everyone will be getting off.  There will also be a bunch of people looking to get on.  There will be lots of people, hopefully most of them in a hurry to get to a theater before a show starts, bumping into each other and being too preoccupied to notice anyone else.

That to me seems like a sensible if not completely hypothetical answer to both how and why Zodiac might have decided to travel all the way down there to snag a cabbie.  I have no idea whether it is what actually happened, and I would not be surprised to learn that it wasn’t, but at the very least I think it makes sense.  Without something like that, like you said, it just doesn’t make that much sense.

Posted by: @quicksilver

why did he choose the Presidio?…..to me, there is more to the location than we know….

Do you have thoughts on this?  

 
Posted : December 22, 2022 2:58 am
Quicksilver
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I’ll start by answering your question about the Presidio…..I have don’t have an answer or a set idea as to why he chose the Presidio….as you said, he probably didn’t live in the area because he may be recognized….however, he had stated that he looked different when he did his “thing”….not sure I believe that….I think there was a lot of dis-information in his correspondences….some of his statements may have been true, but which ones?…..I’m also sure that you have run across the speculation that he was actually stationed at the Presidio and escaped there….many theories abound….I don’t have a favorite suspect….I just try to sift through all this massive information and search for facts and keep reading and researching….as for the JFK assassination, I have been to the 6th floor at least 5 times…..last time about 5 years ago….the previous trips were before they marked the corner off with plexiglass….I stood holding an imaginary rifle, trying to re-create the event….hiding in the corner as the motorcade came straight toward me….then, turning to the right and kneeling as the motorcade turned, moving away…at that time, I realized how close he was and what an easy target and shot it was……I believe that he hurried the first shot and it glanced off a tree limb or the light signal that was there at the time…..second shot, the so called “magic” bullet was not magic at all…..to me, the trajectory proves that it caused all of the injuries to JFK and Connally…..then, the head shot……I could have done it…..I mentioned that the last time I was there was 5 years ago…..I drove my wife up to  Alvarado while she was working there for a week….I arranged a private tour with Andrew Moyer who is an expert on the JFK assassination and he took me through the entire day, recreating all of his movements that day…..Ruth Paine’s house ( now a museum), Wesley Buell Frazier’s house, even got into Oswald’s room where he lived in Oak Cliff and took photos…the only reason I got in there was that they knew Mr. Moyer and of course, I left a donation…..all of his prior residences in Dallas (one had been torn down)…..took my photo in the exact spot that Marina took the famous photo of Lee with his rifle and pistol, went to where J.D. Tippit was shot and walked the route that Oswald took to get to the Movie Theater……there were many more stops even where Jack Ruby wired money to one of his strippers and where Oswald was shot by Ruby…being there and seeing all those places was so enlightening….

 
Posted : December 22, 2022 11:29 pm
Quicksilver
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In regards to the Warren Commission Report, you brought up the inconsistency with the report about Oswald being let out in front of his room in Oak Cliff…..I am convinced that he got out of the cab further down the street……I believe he wanted to see if the police had figured out where he lived…..as for his getting his jacket and pistol, what perplexes me is why did he walk to the area Tippit was shot?….the route that he is theorized to have taken was not that far away….that direct route was blocked off years ago by a school….he shot Tippit and then fled the opposite way that he was walking……

More on the WCR…..the problem I have is that they went in with Oswald is guilty and we are going to prove it…..I think that did a great job of proving it, but took liberties at disregarding some testimonies and not pursuing some of the leads…..looking forward to hearing your thoughts……

This post was modified 1 year ago by Quicksilver
 
Posted : December 23, 2022 12:26 am
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Posted by: @quicksilver

why did he choose the Presidio?…..to me, there is more to the location than we know….

I have always believed Zodiac walked to Letterman Army Hospital and clocked in for work at 11 p.m.  His vehicle could’ve been “disabled” when he left work so he caught a ride home with a co-worker. Or maybe took a bus home. Whatever the excuse, he had the perfect justification for being in the area if he was merely going to work.

 

 
Posted : December 23, 2022 2:53 am
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Posted by: @quicksilver

as you said, he probably didn’t live in the area because he may be recognized

Posted by: @quicksilver

I’m also sure that you have run across the speculation that he was actually stationed at the Presidio and escaped there

You’re right.  I don’t find this idea to be particularly attractive even if it has some neat circumstantial things going for it.  I don’t know this to be the case at present, but I can’t think of a single military installation that doesn’t have checkpoints or a roll call.  That isn’t automatically a problem, especially if he hid in the presidio grounds for a while and reported for duty at the same time as a bunch of people.  That would be another crowd for him to disappear into, so without looking into it more I consider that to be an affirmative data point for the credibility of that notion.

I came across a contemporary article from the Desert Sun when researching the Haight Park bombing in February 1970 to which the Zodiac makes reference in the “My Name Is” letter received April 20, 1970 which said that a US Army bomb squad was dispatched from the Presidio to help police investigate that attack.  So one might conclude, therefore, that an attached bomb squad at the Presidio constitutes opportunity for Zodiac if he was stationed on the base, particularly since, in that very letter, he makes the first bomb threat against a school bus.  That would be a very strong data point if there were elements of the Haight Park bombing case that conformed to other established points of evidence from Zodiac’s other crimes, but that does not appear to be the case. 

A vehicle associated with that crime, a pink VW bus or a pink van, is completely distinct from any other sighting of Zodiac’s car, and while there are some contradicting reports, there was at least one witness who said that there were two men spotted in or around that vehicle prior to its departure from the scene and hence prior to the explosion.  Add to that Zodiacs vehement denial of his own involvement in the bombing and my feeling is that it was most likely someone else. 

It is a hard pill for me to swallow that his last confirmed crime, which is arguably his most audacious given how much more public it was, would also be the closest one to home (I mean a location central to his everyday life).  Given how much effort he put into obfuscating details about himself, it is not my impression that his primary motivation was a risk derived adrenaline high.  In other words, I really don’t think he wanted to be caught.  Instead, I think he was more like a terrorist who got off on the notoriety he was able to generate without being caught. 

I’m of the opinion that, if he was actually apprehended at the time, that notoriety would completely evaporate.  While his crimes were horrible, they were not particularly brutal, ingenious or otherwise noteworthy compared to even other homicides, even contemporary ones.  Once he was found, arrested and taken to trial, once everyone knows his name and sees how mundane, not particularly special of a person he actually was, there’s just nothing to really generate interest in the developing story.  That seems to be the worst possible outcome for someone willing to take that risk for nothing other than prestige.

So, I’m inclined to think he picked and planned murders based on what he was most likely able to get away with, and which would yield the maximum possible reaction for the least risk.  Then, eventually he hit a ceiling of risk beyond which he had to decide whether to escalate the crimes, thus escalating the risk, or pull back and try to salvage what he could and ride the credibility he had attained up to that point to try and con as much notoriety and attention as he could out of the papers by claiming responsibility for crimes he didn’t actually commit and which would do nothing to increase the likelihood if his apprehension.  

I very much agree with you when you said:

Posted by: @quicksilver

I think there was a lot of dis-information in his correspondences….some of his statements may have been true

I think the letter in which he said his car was brown (after Blue Rock Springs) is emblematic of this type of disinformation, and I don’t buy it at all.  My feeling, as has been stated by many other people, is that much of what he said in the 11/9/69 letter following the Stine killing was damage control.  I would be open to considering that part of the motivation for the whole bomb thing was to try and divert as many police resources across as many jurisdictions as possible to responding to that threat.  Indeed, that is part of the reason I feel that his section in which he says,

“I have grown rather angry with the police for their telling lies about me…I shall no longer announce to anyone when I commit my murders”

might as well be a tacit admission that he was giving up on actual crime because he was angry at the police, but not because they were telling “lies” about him, rather because the description they had provided was essentially accurate and they were closer to catching him than they ever had been.  That makes me really struggle with his account in that same letter about his interaction with a police officer namely officer Fouke.  I’m inclined to think that this interaction or something similar probably did actually occur (based more on the witnesses than anything Zodiac said) and, because of that, he might have demanded specifically for that section to be printed in the paper so as to make it public knowledge and not exclusively privileged information known only to him and the police. 

While, as a strategy to muddy the waters surrounding his description, that seems fairly unlikely to achieve his ends, it would be consistent with what I think he was doing in trying to validate the color description of his car as seen at Blue Rock Springs.  In the simplest way, these types of misinformation tactics seem designed to undermine the police’s ability to democratize the best evidence in the Zodiac case and to effectively appeal to the public for help in identifying him.

Posted by: @quicksilver

.I am convinced that he got out of the cab further down the street……I believe he wanted to see if the police had figured out where he lived

I’m not sure I agree with that.  I did a lot of soul searching specifically on that point and I think the confusion started with Will Whaly’s testimony to the Warren Commission, where he has sort of a unique idea of what “500 North Beckley” actually means, and that he considers this to essentially be at the intersection of Zangs and Beckley.  That is an extremely convoluted intersection, and one which, at that point, had street names that changed over the years.  One possible explanation is that that “500” might have corresponded to the sheet number assigned by the Sanborn Fire Insurance company for that particular section of Oak Cliff in years prior, or that the sheet number corresponded to a different zoning schema used in Dallas.  I made an infographic some months ago collating that argument and I’ll attach it to this post in case the embed is to low-res to see.

It sounds like you’ve put some serious work into the JFK case, probably quite a bit more than I have.  It is a daunting case and I want to address those parts of your post in more detail, I just need some time to collect my thoughts and reconnect with it before I do so if that’s okay.

 
[EDIT] I would be very interesting in hearing your thoughts on the idea that Oswald assembled his rifle using a penny for a screwdriver. 
 
*I ask that with the disclosure that I generally agree with the findings of the Warren Commission with regards to Oswald being the shooter, the ballistic evidence coinciding with three shots from the TBD, there were no other shooters, and that, generally, as much of a shocking act as it was, the mundane explanation does a much better job of co-conforming the evidence at scale.  Anecdotally, I find the deeper you dig, most of the evidence, particularly the important evidence, conforms to the WC explanation.  Because of that, I’m of the opinion that the WC, is at worst, simply incomplete.
This post was modified 1 year ago 3 times by Teg>Ean
 
Posted : December 23, 2022 9:55 pm
Quicksilver
(@quicksilver)
Posts: 76
Trusted Member
 

I have never heard this about Oswald using a penny to assemble his rifle…..as for C2766, that serial # is burned in my brain…..years ago, I searched gun shops for the same rifle with a close serial number…I have a friend who has one and although I did not fire it, it was pretty cool to hold it….my friend swears Oswald couldn’t have done it with “that piece of junk”, but I tell him yeah….it’s 80 years old!….for many years, I have discussed the assassination on quite a few boards……I am really enjoying this discussion with you because you have studied the circumstances…..you are civil and there’s no way that we agree on every aspect…..no one does….there have been times when things got out of hand with some individuals who think every single event is a conspiracy….people who’s only exposure to the assassination is that they watched Oliver Stone’s JFK….I almost got thrown out of the theater twice by laughing and saying out loud that’s not fact!….that never happened!…..LOL……the ultimate question for me, is what happened to the “curtain rods” he took to work that morning….

 
Posted : December 24, 2022 3:19 am
Quicksilver
(@quicksilver)
Posts: 76
Trusted Member
 

What do you guys think about this….Zodiac was not the fare from Mason and Geary……what if it was someone that lived in the area and never came forward….suppose Zodiac was walking down Washington from where the fare was left off and hailed Stine headed toward Cherry…..Stine rolled down the window….that would account for the passenger side window being open….he conversed with Zodiac and he got in….Zodiac then shot Stine from the back seat with Stine having no time to reset the fare meter…..total conjecture, but it would explain some of the circumstances of the murder location…..

 

 
Posted : December 28, 2022 5:45 pm
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