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Hal Snook

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smithy
(@smithy)
Posts: 955
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Here’s a straight lift of the obit of Harold "Hal" Snook, from the Napa Valley web site. He’s worth mentioning in connection with the Zodiac case for three reasons, I guess. First, he was on the scene at Berryessa – the phone box he was called to first, then to Bryan’s car – indeed he was one of the first practising forensic detectives in that neck of the woods. Second, he had his own crime lab, access to lots of materials and information, and friends in high places in other crime labs and crime centers – including newsmen (since he was himself an ex-newspaperman.)
Last, his signature’s at the bottom of a report which people often say looks like the same kind of handwriting on The Zodiac’s letters. Well, some do. I can recall Trav and I discussing this a while back, and not being so sure.
http://www.zodiackiller.com/LBReport28.html

Harold K. “Hal” Snook passed away on July 28, 2010. The son of John and Mary Snook, Hal was born on April 21, 1925 at Calpella, Calif., the last of six children.

He is survived by his wife Barbara and sons Keith, Larry and Randy, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Hal served in the Army in the enlisted ranks for three years during World War II in New Guinea and the Philippines. He served another three years as an Air Force officer during the Korean War.

Hal graduated from San Jose State College in 1949, where he met and married Barbara Parker, his wife of 60 years. He worked as editor of the Western Sentinel in Etna, Calif. and as editor of the Napa Journal before being recalled to active duty in 1951.

An avid hunter and fisherman, Hal, after completion of his military service, opened a sporting goods store in Napa.

In 1961 Hal joined the Napa Police Department as a dispatcher and in 1962 became a deputy at the Napa County Sheriff’s Department. He specialized in crime scene and narcotic investigations and was in charge of the crime laboratory. He was recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as an expert in narcotics and fingerprint identification. He also taught scientific crime investigation for the criminal justice department of Napa Community College.

Hal retired in May 1980 and opened a jewelry and fossil business. Hal and his wife cut the stones and did custom metalwork on the jewelry they sold. They also dug and prepared fossil fish from Wyoming and sold them to museums, dealers and collectors worldwide.

Hal was a member of the California Narcotic Officers Association, Napa County Peace Officers Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, National Rifle Association and the Napa Rock and Gem Club.

 
Posted : April 10, 2013 9:01 pm
Seagull
(@seagull)
Posts: 2309
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A photo of Hal Snook, undated, that is from the book "Images of America: Napa County Police" by Todd Shulman.

www.santarosahitchhikermurders.com

 
Posted : April 10, 2013 9:30 pm
smithy
(@smithy)
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Ah yes, Sherlock Holmes.
Thanks Seagull – I wonder where the one of him next to the car door is? I’ll have a hunt round.

Here!

 
Posted : April 10, 2013 9:54 pm
smithy
(@smithy)
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Topic starter
 

This higher resolution copy of a chunk of Hal Snook’s handwriting (from this report) has just popped up.
http://www.zodiackiller.com/LBReport28.html

Anyone think it’s worth a chat?

 
Posted : April 14, 2013 12:31 pm
(@mike_r)
Posts: 838
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Hi-

I am not an expert on Horan’s theory but I can see him noticing this handwriting similarity and then making Snook the letter writer. Is that how it all happened? Sure his writing is similar but there are also some differences. For example, the vertical stroke for a lower case "f" dips below the rest of the writing on a given line with Snook. With Z this is not a trait. Zodiac’s capital "W" is actually shaped like a double "V". Snook’s is curved like a double "U". And, of course, no three-stroke "K’s in Snook’s writing.

I know of a guy from New England who died and after his death his handwriting came to the attention of the authorities. He had something like 19 of the 26 traits of Z’s handwriting in common but they did not make him Z even based on that (even though he had lived in the Bay Area in the 1960s). Can’t give any more details than that to keep confidences. Z’s handwriting is not so unique that there will not be people with similar writing. But to go from Snook’s handwriting looking like Z’s to someone in SFPD’s lab clipping off a piece of Stine’s shirt to send with one of Snook’s letters is a HUGE leap. If I am reading the tea leaves correctly, that is what Horan is implying.

Mike

Mike Rodelli

Author, The Hunt for Zodiac; 3.9 stars on Amazon and
In The Shadow of Mt. Diablo: The Shocking True Identity of the Zodiac Killer, a second edition in print format. 4.3 Amazon stars and great Editorial reviews. Twitter:@mikerodelli

 
Posted : April 15, 2013 2:18 am
traveller1st
(@traveller1st)
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I agree with Mike’s sentiments regarding this and Z’s writing overall. I’ve seen many examples that look like Z but in reality they don’t. I think most of them come under ‘Zodiacesque’ and that is due to many people’s interpretation of what they consider Z-like in their heads. I used to do that too but after looking at Z’s writing closely enough for long enough I find that anything that isn’t Zodiac quite quickly becomes obvious in writing examples.

The real spanner in the works for me is the possibility that Z did write some if not all of the more contentious letters. Even at that, there’s enough variations within the accepted letters, that everytime we have a sample to compare it really does need scrutinized just in case. Most I think can be quickly ruled out, to the best of our amateur abilities, but there are some that, despite the unlikelihood of them actually being Z, need to be prodded at a bit more to be sure.


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

 
Posted : April 15, 2013 5:04 pm
Tahoe27
(@tahoe27)
Posts: 5315
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Yep. Looks darn similar, but not Zodiac (or should I say, letter writer), imo. I still say Ted K. takes the cake for closest match.


…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 : April 15, 2013 10:41 pm
morf13
(@morf13)
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This loser Horan is truly an ass in my book, sorry, just the way I feel. Somebody mentioned that Horan thought I may have sent him a clearer hi def segment of the Napa report, and that’s simply, NOT TRUE. I have no idea where he would get that idea from, as I certainly would NOT give something to Horan to help his efforts to bury an innocent law man’s reputation.

I will ask Horan this, while there are a couple similarities, there are way more differences. Snook’s writing seems shaky, while zodiac’s didnt. Snook uses a 2 stroke K, and Zodiac used a 3 stroke. Snook’s number 2 has a curl at the top,whereas Zodiac’s number 2 looks like a Z. But don’t even make me get my Buddy Traveller1st to do some close up side by side comparisons, that would simply shred Horan’s theory.

I have no idea why this guy insists on bringing me up in so many of his posts,I have tried to ignore him for months, and every time I turn around, he mentions me on his blog, or on Tom’s site. And what’s with the egyptian guy he brought up? Obviously he’s not z,this guy is off his meds and is all over the place. I see Tom is even amused by Horan, and is having a bit of fun with him. Smithy, what is up with your boy Horan?, he has some issues!

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 : April 17, 2013 8:32 pm
(@mike_r)
Posts: 838
Prominent Member
 

Hi-

The other thing about Snook’s handwriting is that (and I’ll place an *asterisk* on this because he was filling out a form) it does not have the spacy quality of Z’s handwriting. Now if someone posts writing from the guy that is not on a page with a constrained area for writing like the box on that form and the writing is actually more spacy, I’ll withdraw this observation. His writing also slants UPWARDS at the end of lines, not downwards.

Mike

Mike Rodelli

Author, The Hunt for Zodiac; 3.9 stars on Amazon and
In The Shadow of Mt. Diablo: The Shocking True Identity of the Zodiac Killer, a second edition in print format. 4.3 Amazon stars and great Editorial reviews. Twitter:@mikerodelli

 
Posted : April 17, 2013 9:56 pm
morf13
(@morf13)
Posts: 7527
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Horan is now really going off the rails, and is now claiming over at Tom’s, that I gave him several documents. This proves he is a liar and fraud, since I gave him ZERO materials or documents.

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 : April 19, 2013 4:52 am
Seagull
(@seagull)
Posts: 2309
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For someone who is trying to convince people about his theory Horan has a strange way of going about it. I have every confidence that you have given Horan nothing in the way of documents, at least not anything that you haven’t shared with everyone who reads your forum. To out and out lie about where he is receiving his information doesn’t give me and I imagine anyone else any confidence that his theory holds any water. He seems to get off on trying to cause friction between the various people who have forums devoted to the Zodiac Killer. He’s like a little kid who doesn’t get his way so tries to spoil things for everyone.

www.santarosahitchhikermurders.com

 
Posted : April 19, 2013 6:02 am
(@anonymous)
Posts: 1772
Noble Member
 

Horan is clearly mentally ill, very immature personality. This man Snook is way much too old to have been Zodiac and his handwriting has some problems matching
that of the Zodiac’s. Why does everyone keep looking for some older guy? Based on what?

 
Posted : April 19, 2013 7:03 am
AK Wilks
(@ak-wilks)
Posts: 1407
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Horan is now really going off the rails, and is now claiming over at Tom’s, that I gave him several documents. This proves he is a liar and fraud, since I gave him ZERO materials or documents.

Morf I did most of the mailings of docs you and I got through FOIA’s and as you, Zam and I agreed I sent them to all the major interested zodiac sites and posted them at true crime sites, but I never mailed anything to Horan that I can recall.

Unless he means he copied or downloaded images from http://www.zodiackillersite.forummotion.com during the brief time that he was a member. He may well have done that. But I would not call that you "giving" him documents.

MODERATOR

 
Posted : April 19, 2013 7:09 am
smithy
(@smithy)
Posts: 955
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Topic starter
 

We appear to be risking a slight slide off-track!
Here are some more comparisons:

http://s1278.photobucket.com/user/Bysta … 7525134519

http://s1278.photobucket.com/user/Bysta … sort=3&o=1

 
Posted : April 19, 2013 3:10 pm
smithy
(@smithy)
Posts: 955
Prominent Member
Topic starter
 

Yep. Looks darn similar, but not Zodiac (or should I say, letter writer), imo. I still say Ted K. takes the cake for closest match.

I agree!
It would be nice to have lots more of Mr Snook’s handwriting in the public domain. :cry:

 
Posted : April 19, 2013 3:17 pm
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