(Scroll down for exclusive pics and video — make sure your audio is on for the videos.)

The evidence room at the Vallejo (Calif.) Police Department is ground zero for hunting the Zodiac killer. So you can imagine the thrill I felt as I entered where no podcast, movie, television show, or civilian, had ever been allowed to venture. (In David Fincher’s 2007 classic film ZODIAC, the cartoonist (Jake Gyllenhaal) is granted access to the evidence room, minus any writing utensils. The scene is 100% fictional.)

At the request of Detective Terry Poyser of the Vallejo Police Dept., I was invited within the department walls all the way to the evidence area. This was my third such experience — the first happened at the San Francisco Hall Of Justice in late 1998, and then a couple of months later, the Napa County Sheriff’s Dept. brought me in. At both San Francisco and Napa, I was allowed to copy crime scene photos, police reports, and pages and pages of Zodiac correspondences which had never been reproduced for the public. And I then shared everything, right here at

In Vallejo, among other intriguing tasks, I was asked to help rummage through all of the many “Zodiac boxes” collected by the department over the last four-plus decades, a mixture of all things Zodiac. Some of what I saw in those boxes was hilarious, some was purely kooky, and some was outright spooky. There definitely could have been something from the Zodiac himself in those boxes; it’s my belief Zodiac wrote to the police under a different moniker offering “help,” and I saw several possible examples in those boxes that I’d one day like to explore further.

The moment I saw Poyser put on a pair of gloves (not the blue/purple kind like on Forensic Files, unfortunately), I knew it was about to get real…especially when he covered the viewing table with protective paper. Then he unpackaged the original ciphers and other amazing pieces of evidence!

I can say that in those boxes are pages upon pages of original Zodiac police reports that have never been made public, as well as intriguing suspects I had never heard of. And of course, the vintage correspondences that could very well be from the Zodiac. I know, because I was fortunate enough to see it all.

Check out the pics and videos below (make sure to turn audio on).

All of this is because of Det. Poyser and I can’t thank him enough.

Below: I asked to see the back of the paper that Zodiac had used to draw his cipher. It was there I noticed that — for some reason — the Zodiac killer used a second pen of a slightly different color, to outline the back of one of the symbols in his code…a potential clue that had apparently been overlooked for decades:

Below: A perfectly preserved portion of the Zodiac killer’s cipher:

Below: Was Zodiac the “CONCERNED CITIZEN?” (The good stuff begins at 0:25):

Below: One of the more humorous moments (video begins at 0:12):
Above: Boxes and boxes of Zodiac materials for me to browse, collected by police over decades
Above: I saw pages and pages of original, vintage police reports never seen outside police headquarters
Above: “New” suspects galore, including this guy who ironically shares his name with the husband of a Zodiac victim
Above: More boxes and boxes of Zodiac materials
Above: The real deal. Yes, three original Zodiac ciphers in total