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Murder Basement

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Chaucer
(@chaucer)
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As many of you are aware, Tom Voigt has a podcast called "Murder Basement" which I think it excellent. Very detailed and very impartial. I’ve listened to everyone.

However, I was recently listening to the episode entitled "Dispatching Zodiac" which focused on Nancy Slover.

I’ve listened twice to the podcast to make sure I was hearing it right, but towards the end of the episode Tom reveals that the operator that took the Zodiac’s call was "Mrs. Johnson", and that Betty Main was her supervisor who authorized the call trace. He says this is revealed in "secret Vallejo police reports".

Does this mean that these "secret reports" have never been released to the public?

Because in the police reports available online, "Mrs. Johnson" only appears as the operator who calls the police and informs them the location of the trace. The trace was initiated by Betty Main. Mrs. Main is never described as Mrs. Johnson’s supervisor. In fact, the only supervisor mentioned is Betty’s – who would not allow Betty to speak to the police.

So, if my reading comprehension is accurate, it was likely Betty who spoke with Zodiac and initiated a trace, and who wasn’t allowed to talk to police by her supervisor. Mrs. Johnson, it seems, was merely the operator who was tasked with calling and informing police.

I’m not disputing Tom’s account, but it is confusing in light of publicly available info. Can anyone – especially Tom – offer any insight?

“Murder will out, this my conclusion.”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

 
Posted : October 14, 2019 7:37 pm
(@tomvoigt)
Posts: 1352
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Mrs. Johnson took the call, and alerted her supervisor, Betty Main, who authorized the trace. Main’s supervisor wouldn’t allow either of them to talk to police.

 
Posted : October 14, 2019 9:10 pm
Chaucer
(@chaucer)
Posts: 1210
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Topic starter
 

OK. That makes sense.

And the police reports that you mentioned in the podcast – are they not available to public?

“Murder will out, this my conclusion.”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

 
Posted : October 14, 2019 9:13 pm
jacob
(@jacob)
Posts: 1266
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Mrs. Johnson took the call, and alerted her supervisor, Betty Main, who authorized the trace. Main’s supervisor wouldn’t allow either of them to talk to police.

That is extraordinary.

 
Posted : October 14, 2019 9:47 pm
Chaucer
(@chaucer)
Posts: 1210
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Topic starter
 

So, again, is this based on the well-known police reports? Or are there secret police reports that were withheld from the public?

“Murder will out, this my conclusion.”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

 
Posted : October 15, 2019 5:50 pm
(@tomvoigt)
Posts: 1352
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The reports are out there now, but I don’t know if that was the case when I recorded the meeting with Leslie.

 
Posted : October 15, 2019 9:55 pm
(@replaceablehead)
Posts: 418
Reputable Member
 

It seems incredible, but there it is. I’ve been enjoying the podcast format Tom, you’re really in your element. It’s odd, but somehow it just seems like your able to build a stronger case in that format, or maybe I’m being lulled by you authoritative voice. Either way I think it’s helping group the key info that you’ve gathered over so many years, rather than having it spread all across the forums.

 
Posted : October 16, 2019 3:20 am
Chaucer
(@chaucer)
Posts: 1210
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Topic starter
 

Thanks, Tom. That’s the same section of police report that I included in my post. Perhaps we are reading it differently? Or are your privy to information that I am not?

Because based on this section of police report alone, I don’t see how any conclusions could be drawn on who spoke to Zodiac. Mrs. Johnson is mentioned as only reporting the location of the traced phone. Betty Main is described as the one who initiated the trace, and Betty’s supervisor rebuffed police. Again, perhaps you have access to information beyond what is there.

I want to underscore that I am not being argumentative, rather I’m just trying to clarify what you’ve said.

I do find it interesting that Betty Main is called "chief operator" which to me indicates that she could have been Mrs. Johnson’s supervisor. It could also indicate that she would have been most likely to receive Zodiac’s call.

“Murder will out, this my conclusion.”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

 
Posted : October 16, 2019 9:21 pm
(@tomvoigt)
Posts: 1352
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I learned info that wasn’t in the VPD report, mostly research on PT&T and their titles, policies, etc.

Mrs. Johnson was the operator who answered the Zodiac’s call when he dialed from the phone booth, before patching it through to Nancy Slover. Betty Main was Johnson’s supervisor who initiated the trace once it became apparent that the caller had committed a crime. The trace was already well in effect by the time Slover got involved.

Main’s supervisor wouldn’t allow anyone to speak with police, citing a policy called "secrecy of communications," which was allowed back then.

God only knows what Zodiac said to Mrs. Johnson to get the trace going so early in the event.

 
Posted : October 17, 2019 12:59 am
Chaucer
(@chaucer)
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Great. Thanks, Tom.

Is there any way to get that information legally now? I know that the parties involved are deceased, but is there a way to petition (now) PacBell for information relating to that call?

“Murder will out, this my conclusion.”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

 
Posted : October 17, 2019 1:49 am
(@tomvoigt)
Posts: 1352
Noble Member
 

Great. Thanks, Tom.

Is there any way to get that information legally now? I know that the parties involved are deceased, but is there a way to petition (now) PacBell for information relating to that call?

Work in progress, believe it or not.

 
Posted : October 17, 2019 2:01 am
Chaucer
(@chaucer)
Posts: 1210
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Topic starter
 

Great. Thanks, Tom.

Is there any way to get that information legally now? I know that the parties involved are deceased, but is there a way to petition (now) PacBell for information relating to that call?

Work in progress, believe it or not.

Cool. By whom? Law enforcement? Or a private citizen like yourself?

“Murder will out, this my conclusion.”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

 
Posted : October 17, 2019 11:55 pm
(@tomvoigt)
Posts: 1352
Noble Member
 

Kind of a joint effort.

 
Posted : October 18, 2019 12:44 am
Chaucer
(@chaucer)
Posts: 1210
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Topic starter
 

Well, if you’re involved somehow, good luck.

“Murder will out, this my conclusion.”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

 
Posted : October 18, 2019 1:03 am
(@themikado90)
Posts: 84
Trusted Member
 

Any luck on tracing what has been said on this call yet?

 
Posted : January 26, 2021 2:43 am
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