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Best Book on Zodiac?

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mrman7
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Just finished Graysmith’s 1986 Zodiac book. It was definitely a fun read with some interesting insight but I see the issues and errors that his critics have pointed out. The chapters on the thinly-veiled suspects seemed to be out of place in an ostensibly factual account of the murders and subsequent investigations. Still, it seems infinitely better than all of the "my mother’s ex-roommate’s third cousin’s stepfather was the Zodiac!" books out there. I read a few chapters of "Most Evil" and couldn’t believe someone had actually published that garbage. So the question is, are there any books out there that the majority of the research community deem to be objective, fact-based accounts of the Zodiac mystery? I’d like to read something from an author who isn’t looking for fame or a cash grab with claims of "solving" the mystery, but rather a well-respected historian, law enforcement officer or journalist. Any recommendations? Thank you! (If this is something covered in a previous post, my apologies and please direct me to the proper discussion.)

Your dad is not the Zodiac.

 
Posted : January 17, 2018 10:30 pm
(@anonymous)
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Mark Hewitt’s first book is more fact based than most, and Michael Cole’s will definitely be the best book when it’s released. These are two neutral authors not pushing a suspect or agenda.

 
Posted : January 18, 2018 12:37 am
Tahoe27
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Can’t wait for Cole’s!


…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 : January 18, 2018 1:16 am
mrman7
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Mark Hewitt’s first book is more fact based than most, and Michael Cole’s will definitely be the best book when it’s released. These are two neutral authors not pushing a suspect or agenda.

Thanks! I’ll definitely order that one. Any thoughts on Part 2?

Your dad is not the Zodiac.

 
Posted : January 19, 2018 5:09 am
Zresearch
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While not in book format, I highly recommend the following documentaries:

·This is the zodiac speaking (2007)
·His Name Was Arthur Leigh Allen (2008)

These two films were highly informative, plus you get to hear stories from those directly involved and you are able to hear their tone of voice and see their body language, it’s the next best thing to being able to interview these individuals. Plus these films do a great job of outlining the case and those involved with it.

I am guessing that you have already read through the popular publications on this topic, and were looking for some new material, no? Any way, this has been my situation, so I will also be keeping my eyes open for good recommendations.

 
Posted : January 19, 2018 7:03 pm
CuriousCat
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·This is the zodiac speaking (2007)

That is one of the best documentary films ever made, regardless of the subject. Very well done. I like how it merely sticks to the case and doesn’t get into naming or pushing a suspect. It should be required viewing for anyone interested in the Zodiac case.

 
Posted : January 19, 2018 9:18 pm
joku
 joku
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Mark Hewitt’s first book is more fact based than most, and Michael Cole’s will definitely be the best book when it’s released. These are two neutral authors not pushing a suspect or agenda.

Thanks! I’ll definitely order that one. Any thoughts on Part 2?

Read part two (Profiled) a month back. There’s some problems with the book, mostly in that profiling is essentially guesswork so what you read is only that author’s conclusion and not necessarily a correct one. There’s also a lot of repetition and contradictory statements. On the other hand it offers a lot of food for thought and a good base to go through your own conclusions. Hewitt doesn’t offer any definite diagnosis.

Overall a pretty good read, I’d say. Definitely recommend it for anyone interested in the psychological side of Zodiac since there aren’t many books like that.

Then there’s also "This is the Zodiac Speaking" speaking by Kelleher & Van Nyus. Although some of the details in it are not fully correct and the authors operated lacking some of the evidence we have now, it’s in my opinion the most fascinating book that approaches the topic from a psychological perspective.

 
Posted : January 19, 2018 10:18 pm
mrman7
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While not in book format, I highly recommend the following documentaries:

·This is the zodiac speaking (2007)
·His Name Was Arthur Leigh Allen (2008)

Thanks! I’ve actually seen both of those. "This is the Zodiac Speaking" was a bonus feature on the Zodiac DVD yes? (just ordered the Blu-Ray director’s cut so I can listen to Fincher’s commentary) "His Name was Arthur Leigh Allen" was compelling but I’m wary of all the ALA lore. The incident with the fight seems to be verified by police reports but the later revelations by the guy who was avoiding prison time seem specious to me. Allen was an odd character and definitely up to weird stuff. He might have been part of a "Team Zodiac" but I’m not sure if he could be the one and only. I think that disqualifying him through handwriting, prints and DNA could be a flawed process though. I wonder how many suspects were cleared that shouldn’t have been…

Your dad is not the Zodiac.

 
Posted : January 19, 2018 11:53 pm
Zresearch
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While not in book format, I highly recommend the following documentaries:

·This is the zodiac speaking (2007)
·His Name Was Arthur Leigh Allen (2008)

Thanks! I’ve actually seen both of those. "This is the Zodiac Speaking" was a bonus feature on the Zodiac DVD yes? (just ordered the Blu-Ray director’s cut so I can listen to Fincher’s commentary) "His Name was Arthur Leigh Allen" was compelling but I’m wary of all the ALA lore. The incident with the fight seems to be verified by police reports but the later revelations by the guy who was avoiding prison time seem specious to me. Allen was an odd character and definitely up to weird stuff. He might have been part of a "Team Zodiac" but I’m not sure if he could be the one and only. I think that disqualifying him through handwriting, prints and DNA could be a flawed process though. I wonder how many suspects were cleared that shouldn’t have been…

I have found both those films To be highly helpful in my research, essential if you ask me.

I agree about Allen, I am actually far more suspicious of Don Cheney. Cheney describes things zodiac did in great detail, using the pretext "Arthur told me…", yet I never once heard Arthur speak about these things. Zodiac seemed proud of his work and enjoyed telling people about the things he had done, even if he had to do it anonymously through letters, well, it seems cheney does the exact same thing when talking about allen. Cheney will say "Arthur told me you can put a pen light on a gun and it will act as a sight" but he says it with this condescending bragging type tone, like they are his "clever" ideas, and that he feels even more "clever" because he can brag about them openly through other people allen. I found a letter cheney wrote by hand, he never uses a single letter "k", and he forms the majority of his letters with the same penstrokes as zodiac, and finding out Arthur was a childmolester could have been motivation for trying to frame Allen. …this is off topic so I will stop.

Arthur Leigh allen was a creep, surly he had to have been up to some morbid things, but like you, I agree, Arthur is a bad candidate for zodiac for many reasons. I have not fully discounted him, but I have serious doubts. The "his name was Arthur Leigh allen" film gave me better insight into Cheney than allen. I also agree, the guy attempting to avoid prison time likely saw his past encounter with allen as a way out of prison, and I take everything he said with a grain of salt.

…speaking of cleared suspects, there are TONS of leads in my police reports, they will mention a tip and a suspect, and some brief follow up in some cases, but never mention any good reasons for discounting these suspects.

As far as discounting by handwriting, there ARE very simple means of "fooling" a handwriting analyst, like let’s say you start your "j" with a horizontal line starting from left to right, then complete the hook of the "j" from top to bottom, you could simply preform different pen-strokes in forming your letters, start your "j" from the hook and complete it with a horizontal top line from right to left, it’s that simple. And we know zodiac was into "how to get away with murder" comics. So discounting by handwriting alone has always seemed flimsy to me.

Since this is a cold case, in theory, someone could review all the discounted suspects and double check things…

If anybody still has any book recommendations (aside from the well known texts) I would also appreciate it.

 
Posted : January 20, 2018 7:38 pm
mrman7
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Since this is a cold case, in theory, someone could review all the discounted suspects and double check things…

EXACTLY! Every time I hear about the 2,500 suspects who were cleared, I wonder how many of those were cleared on the prints from Stine’s cab, flawed handwriting analysis or just the gut instinct of a cop who may have missed something.

Your dad is not the Zodiac.

 
Posted : January 23, 2018 3:18 am
Zresearch
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Since this is a cold case, in theory, someone could review all the discounted suspects and double check things…

EXACTLY! Every time I hear about the 2,500 suspects who were cleared, I wonder how many of those were cleared on the prints from Stine’s cab, flawed handwriting analysis or just the gut instinct of a cop who may have missed something.

From my review of the police reports, and keep in mind that I am no expert and have only been researching this case for a few months, I gather that the police discounted most of the viable person’s of interest by what I would call insubstantial means.

Like I said, since this is basically a cold case there is really no rush, and since one could use as much time as necessary reviewing these suspects, chances are that a review would turn up something.

…though time is also a downside here, a lot of time has passed, making investigation all the more difficult.

I am certain something must have been missed.

 
Posted : February 1, 2018 6:29 pm
(@mccririck)
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Mark Hewitt’s first book is more fact based than most, and Michael Cole’s will definitely be the best book when it’s released. These are two neutral authors not pushing a suspect or agenda.

Cole’s book still not released?

 
Posted : June 12, 2020 9:23 pm
(@jmc23)
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Cole’s book still not released?

Cole’s book is now due to be released as 3 separate volumes as far I can tell, and should be released really soon. Curious if he will do a small update to include info on the 340 getting solved.

 
Posted : December 21, 2020 6:08 am
(@cremcraw)
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I was able to purchase and download all three parts of Cole’s book on the Kindle today.

Kelleher and Van Nuys’ book (This is the Zodiac Speaking) has been my favorite to this point.

 
Posted : December 22, 2020 3:05 am
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