Zodiac Killer Archives: 2007

Dec. 12, 2007) My library of Zodiac-related video has grown quite large over the years, and some is extremely rare. One such rarity is a campy (but very good) production from around 1979 called Zodiac: Sign Of Death. At just under 10 minutes in length, Zodiac: Sign Of Death is packed with excellent footage and a funky 70s soundtrack. My favorite part is the voice of Zodiac; it’s the same actor who was the voice of the computer “HAL” in the classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Click the numbered links below to listen to select MP3 clips of Zodiac: Sign Of Death.

Click links below to listen!
Click these links to listen to Zodiac: Sign Of Death 1 (146KB) | 2 (200KB) | 3 (99KB) | 4 (127KB) |
5 (181KB) | 6 (83KB) | 7 (83KB) | 8 (58KB) | 9 (133KB)


Dec. 1, 2007) A newspaper based in the United Kingdom recently published a story claiming mega-celeb Britney Spears is a regular user of this website. Could it be true? I’ll never tell. (I make it a habit not to reveal the identities of site users who prefer to remain anonymous.) Click here to read the story.



Nov. 7, 2007) While I prefer to make all Zodiac-related information free for users to access, sometimes financial issues make it necessary for me to offer certain information for sale only. However, I believe the Zodiac case benefits greatly when people are more informed. That’s more rewarding to me than the occasional Internet sale. Therefore, the Zodiac FBI Files, Historical Newspaper Archive and High-Resolution Zodiac Letters — three items that were previously available for purchase only — are now free to download. Click the links below:

FBI Files | Newspaper Archive | Letters


Nov. 4, 2007) In a little more than a year it will be the 40th anniversary of Zodiac’s first-known attack. Since then, much has changed in the locations where Zodiac was active. Click the images below for a high-resolution view of life (circa 1960s) in Vallejo, Lake Berryessa and San Francisco, Cal.


(Images may be saved for free.)


Oct. 11, 2007) Today is the 38th anniversary of Zodiac’s murder of Yellow Cab driver Paul Stine in San Francisco, Cal. While recent details of Stine’s life have recently emerged and are being researched for possible clues (see the Sept. 12, 2007 update below), vintage photos from the files of the San Francisco Police Dept. are available to view. Taken within hours of Stine’s murder, here are: the cab | the crime scene 1 | the crime scene 2


Sept. 26, 2007) It took hours of work, but 30 high-resolution images are finally available to view of top Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh Allen’s 1966-1968 personnel file. Several years ago I obtained the file from the Calaveras County (Calif.) Unified School District where Allen had worked as an elementary teacher. Within the file are many handwriting samples, including his two-page job application. If Allen was the Zodiac, the file might contain important clues.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE IMAGES


Sept. 12, 2007) Recently I learned that Zodiac victim Paul Stine was allegedly hired as a reporter by the San Francisco Chronicle shortly before his murder.
Paul Stine hired at the Chronicle?
If that information is true, Stine — who worked as a reporter for his high school newspaper and was an English major at San Francisco State — was just days away from beginning his new job at the very newspaper Zodiac chose to write a vast majority of his letters.

The potential implications are staggering. However, it’s extremely important that I verify this information as best I can.

If Stine was indeed telling others that he was a reporter for the San Francisco newspaper (even if he was simply exaggerating), it stands to reason that Zodiac may actually have known him and perhaps even targeted him for that specific reason.

If you knew Paul Stine or anyone in his family, circle of friends, classmates, fellow employees, etc, please click here to contact me. You may remain anonymous.


July 21, 2007) In just a few days, David Fincher’s Zodiac will be available to rent and buy on DVD. While not exactly a factual portrayal of the Zodiac case, the film is packed with excellent performances. One of the best was turned in by Robert Downey Jr. in his portrayal of real-life reporter Paul Avery. (Avery was highly instrumental in the evolution of Zodiackiller.com.) In Zodiac, Downey Jr.’s character displays mostly annoyance toward the case. However, the real Paul Avery was very much involved in the Zodiac investigation. Here’s a case report Avery prepared for the police back in 1971.


April 2, 2007) In the last few weeks, an incredible amount of tantalizing information has been collected about the person of interest (“Sam”) this website developed in connection to the recently-discovered Eureka card. Several weeks ago I e-mailed a certain police department and asked if it would be interested in seeing the information compiled about “Sam.” I have yet to receive a response. Quite unfortunate. In my opinion, “Sam” has surpassed Arthur Leigh Allen in terms of interesting Zodiac-related coincidences/circumstances.

It’s now plainly obvious to me that before I again attempt to approach a law-enforcement agency about “Sam,” I will need to have all of the bases covered so that “Sam” can’t simply be ignored. Most likely a trip back to California will be necessary in order to accomplish all of the needed intimate background research and collecting of handwriting samples, as well as for me to approach “Sam” in person (along with a retired homicide detective).

> As expected, March 2007 was the busiest month in the history of Zodiackiller.com, as the March 2 release of David Fincher’s film Zodiac helped boost my hits to a total of almost 30 million. Therefore, I almost feel guilty that Zodiac was such a total bomb at the box office. Of course, had the film spent more time on the Zodiac’s victims, as well as the other aspects of the case that people actually find interesting, I have a feeling things would have turned out much differently for the film.


March 13, 2007) This morning at 9 o’clock (Pacific Time) I’ll be a guest on Eureka (Cal.) Radio Station KSLG-FM to discuss the possible 1990 Zodiac correspondence (see the Feb. 25, 2007 update below). UPDATE: Click here for an MP3 file of the show (approx. 30 min. | 28 MB).

For much more on the Eureka card, including high-resolution scans, visit the all-new Zodiackiller.com message board.

> The 2007 Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting was a huge success, as everyone who attended seemed to have a great time. David Van Nuys did an excellent job of hosting the event. Guest speakers Howard Davis, Nancy Slover and Bill Baker were terriffic. And of course, John Mikulenka’s Hunting The Zodiac documentary definitely lived up to the high expectations.

> Thanks primarily to the heavy marketing campaign for the David Fincher movie Zodiac, so far this month Zodiackiller.com has already received more than 16 million hits! If you’d like to inquire about advertising opportunities, please contact me.


Feb. 25, 2007) In the last week, the San Francisco Chronicle discovered an envelope in its library of Zodiac materials. Inside the envelope was a greeting card. Apparently its importance had never been recognized, or it was thought to be a hoax.

A few days ago I was shown images of the envelope and card to help determine authenticity. I believe it is authentic. (I promised I wouldn’t publish any images until they appear in the Chronicle.)

The Chronicle is busy preparing a huge story about this amazing and important development.

The date of the postmark left me in a state of shock.

> There’s an all-new Zodiackiller.com message board. Click here to check it out.

> I’m departing for San Francisco this evening and won’t be back for more than a week. During that time, I’ll be extremely busy preparing for the upcoming Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting (see the Feb. 14, 2007 update below for details) and I may not have the opportunity to update this site with new information. Therefore I suggest keeping an eye on the new message board, as the board moderators will post when I’m not able to. (I’ll still be checking my e-mail several times a day.)


Feb. 14, 2007) A huge update this time, so make sure you scroll down for everything.

First and foremost, I’m deeply saddened to report the passing of retired San Francisco Police Dept. Inspector Michael Maloney, who died of a sudden heart problem this past weekend. Maloney was a great guy and a big friend of this website. Just last week he e-mailed me and was very excited about attending the upcoming 2007 Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting (see below).

In the few years preceding his 2004 retirement, Maloney had a big involvement in the Zodiac investigation (along with his partner, Inspector Kelly Carroll). Together they gave renewed attention to the Zodiac case and were involved in the important accomplishment of securing the Zodiac’s DNA profile, which may one day prove the key to solving the case. In late 2005, Maloney contributed this special report to Zodiackiller.com.

Meehall, I appreciate your contributions and will miss you. The next pint is on me. (Click above image to enlarge)

> The 2007 Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 3 at the 4 Star theater in San Francisco. The meeting is open to the public and will run from noon until 3 p.m., featuring the debut of John Mikulenka’s documentary film, Hunting The Zodiac.
Special guests at the meeting will include Nancy Slover (the police switchboard operator who spoke to the Zodiac back in 1969), as well as David Van Nuys, the emeritus professor of psychology at Sonoma State University and co-author of This is the Zodiac Speaking.

> I’m happy to announce that my predictions of another delay were wrong. David Fincher’s Zodiac will definitely be in theaters on Friday, March 2. And early reviews have been excellent. I’ll be there for opening night.

> A new feature has been added to Zodiackiller.com! It’s called SHOUTcast and it’s my audio blog of all things Zodiac. So far I’ve only done one, but more are on the way. Hope you enjoy it.

> I haven’t yet seen any ads for it, but apparently, FOX’s America’s Most Wanted will be devoting an hour to the Zodiac case on Saturday, Feb. 24, beginning at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).

Zodiac Killer Archives: 2006

Dec. 20, 2006) Now that the trailer to the upcoming Zodiac movie is finally in theaters, I’ve decided to publish some new documents relating to Arthur Leigh Allen, the movie’s main Zodiac suspect. Guilty or not, Allen was a fascinating guy:

— Allen’s Last Will And Testament | More of Allen’s Favorite Recipes

Reading his recipes, it’s interesting to note the intentional misspellings Allen frequently used, similar to what the Zodiac did. Of particular interest to me was Allen’s habit of frequently spelling “water” as watter (see the Dec. 1, 2006 update below for significance).

> Today is the 38th anniversary of the Zodiac’s double murder at Lake Herman Road in Vallejo, Cal. For those of you who missed it, click here for my special 2003 update.


Oct. 31, 2006) Today is the 40th anniversary of the murder of Cheri Jo Bates.
—–> Click here for a huge update


Oct. 11, 2006) Add the “Zodiac Shack” to the list of Zodiac-related places to change drastically in recent times. As seen in this overhead picture, the shack has been destroyed by fire. Even the barn is gone.


Sept. 27, 2006) On this date in 1969, the Zodiac murdered Cecelia Shepard and wounded Bryan Hartnell at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, Calif. For almost 38 years, the crime scene changed little. However, the last remaining tree recently toppled. Additionally, all picnic tables and barbecue grills have been removed. The scene is now barren.

> The Lake Berryessa crime scene wasn’t the only major Zodiac-related site to recently face drastic changes. The Vallejo (Calif.) Ace Hardware store, long-time workplace of Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh Allen, was torn down just a few days ago.


July 4, 2006) On this 37th anniversary of Zodiac’s murder of Darlene Ferrin in Vallejo, Calif., here’s an audio message from Darlene’s sister, Pam Huckaby.


June 12, 2006) After years of searching, I’ve finally found and interviewed Nancy Slover, the former Vallejo Police Dept. switchboard operator who spoke with the Zodiac early in the morning of July 5, 1969. Believe it or not, our 90-minute conversation was the first time Nancy had been interviewed about the Zodiac case in more than 36 years. It was quite an interesting discussion, to say the least. I’m thrilled she is now willing to go on record for the first time about her roll in the Zodiac mystery.

Much more info is on the way and will be posted asap. For now, here are a few of the more interesting details Nancy provided:
*The call was absolutely not recorded by police
*Zodiac’s taunting “Goodbye” at the end of the call was very bizarre and over-the-top
*The operator who patched the call through to the police station was on the line with Nancy for at least the first few seconds of the call. However, the phone company refused to cooperate with the police and identify the operator
*At the time of the shooting, Nancy was living on the same street as the male victim

Here’s a message from Nancy to all the visitors of Zodiackiller.com. (100K/MP3)

Questions and media inquiries for Nancy can be submitted to nancy@zodiackiller.com.

> Last week’s Zodiac chat with author Mike Kelleher went great, as Mike spent a little more than two hours answering questions from the 60 or so total participants. Hopefully we can schedule another chat in the near future.


June 1, 2006) Mike Kelleher, author of This Is The Zodiac Speaking, will be a special guest in the Zodiackiller.com chat room on Wednesday, June 7 @ 7 p.m. (Pacific Time). For those of you who can’t make it into the room, feel free to send me your questions/comments for Mike and I’ll do my best to pass them along.


April 13, 2006) I’m sad to announce that Wilma Shepard, mother of Zodiac victim Cecelia Shepard, died on March 11, 2006, in Redding, Calif. She was 82. (Read the obituary.)

In 1999, I had the good fortune to speak with Wilma at length. She provided me with many vintage newspaper stories about Cecelia’s murder, as well as other helpful research materials.

Wilma outlived her daughter by more than 35 years and never learned the identity of her killer. I know she wouldn’t want us to stop searching now.

Wilma and Cecelia | A letter from Wilma


April 4, 2006) After some technical difficulties, the Zodiackiller.com Info Line is back in action. If you have any Zodiac-related information to share, call (415) 267-4818. Meanwhile, here are a few of the more interesting/entertaining calls I’ve received over the last year or so, all in MP3 format:

Call 1 (157 KB) | Call 2 (69 KB) | Call 3 (173 KB) | Call 4 (106 KB) | Call 5 (102 KB)


March 17, 2006) Today marks the first time in 35 years that a film about the Zodiac case is in theaters. (See the Feb. 17, 2006 update below for info about where The Zodiac is playing. I’ll be screening the film shortly and will provide a review.)

*1971 saw the release of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, which was based on the Zodiac case, although the villain was called Scorpio
*1971 was also the year of the ultra-low budget The Zodiac Killer, which played in just one theater


Feb. 17, 2006) ShadowMachine Films has provided its much-anticipated theatrical release date for The Zodiac: Opening night is March 17, 2006 in these cities/theaters:
*San Francisco Area — San Francisco (Presidio); Vallejo (Vallejo 14); San Jose (Century 25); Daly City (Daly City 20); Union City (Union City 25)
*Los Angeles (Sunset 5)
*Houston (Greenway Grand 24)
*Dallas (City Place 14)
*Atlanta (Atlantic Station)

Zodiac Killer Archives: 2006

Dec. 20, 2006) Now that the trailer to the upcoming Zodiac movie is finally in theaters, I’ve decided to publish some new documents relating to Arthur Leigh Allen, the movie’s main Zodiac suspect. Guilty or not, Allen was a fascinating guy:

— Allen’s Last Will And Testament | More of Allen’s Favorite Recipes

Reading his recipes, it’s interesting to note the intentional misspellings Allen frequently used, similar to what the Zodiac did. Of particular interest to me was Allen’s habit of frequently spelling “water” as watter (see the Dec. 1, 2006 update below for significance).

> Today is the 38th anniversary of the Zodiac’s double murder at Lake Herman Road in Vallejo, Cal. For those of you who missed it, click here for my special 2003 update.


Oct. 31, 2006) Today is the 40th anniversary of the murder of Cheri Jo Bates.
—–> Click here for a huge update


Oct. 11, 2006) Add the “Zodiac Shack” to the list of Zodiac-related places to change drastically in recent times. As seen in this overhead picture, the shack has been destroyed by fire. Even the barn is gone.


Sept. 27, 2006) On this date in 1969, the Zodiac murdered Cecelia Shepard and wounded Bryan Hartnell at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, Calif. For almost 38 years, the crime scene changed little. However, the last remaining tree recently toppled. Additionally, all picnic tables and barbecue grills have been removed. The scene is now barren.

> The Lake Berryessa crime scene wasn’t the only major Zodiac-related site to recently face drastic changes. The Vallejo (Calif.) Ace Hardware store, long-time workplace of Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh Allen, was torn down just a few days ago.


July 4, 2006) On this 37th anniversary of Zodiac’s murder of Darlene Ferrin in Vallejo, Calif., here’s an audio message from Darlene’s sister, Pam Huckaby.


June 12, 2006) After years of searching, I’ve finally found and interviewed Nancy Slover, the former Vallejo Police Dept. switchboard operator who spoke with the Zodiac early in the morning of July 5, 1969. Believe it or not, our 90-minute conversation was the first time Nancy had been interviewed about the Zodiac case in more than 36 years. It was quite an interesting discussion, to say the least. I’m thrilled she is now willing to go on record for the first time about her roll in the Zodiac mystery.

Much more info is on the way and will be posted asap. For now, here are a few of the more interesting details Nancy provided:
*The call was absolutely not recorded by police
*Zodiac’s taunting “Goodbye” at the end of the call was very bizarre and over-the-top
*The operator who patched the call through to the police station was on the line with Nancy for at least the first few seconds of the call. However, the phone company refused to cooperate with the police and identify the operator
*At the time of the shooting, Nancy was living on the same street as the male victim

Here’s a message from Nancy to all the visitors of Zodiackiller.com. (100K/MP3)

Questions and media inquiries for Nancy can be submitted to nancy@zodiackiller.com.

> Last week’s Zodiac chat with author Mike Kelleher went great, as Mike spent a little more than two hours answering questions from the 60 or so total participants. Hopefully we can schedule another chat in the near future.


June 1, 2006) Mike Kelleher, author of This Is The Zodiac Speaking, will be a special guest in the Zodiackiller.com chat room on Wednesday, June 7 @ 7 p.m. (Pacific Time). For those of you who can’t make it into the room, feel free to send me your questions/comments for Mike and I’ll do my best to pass them along.


April 13, 2006) I’m sad to announce that Wilma Shepard, mother of Zodiac victim Cecelia Shepard, died on March 11, 2006, in Redding, Calif. She was 82. (Read the obituary.)

In 1999, I had the good fortune to speak with Wilma at length. She provided me with many vintage newspaper stories about Cecelia’s murder, as well as other helpful research materials.

Wilma outlived her daughter by more than 35 years and never learned the identity of her killer. I know she wouldn’t want us to stop searching now.

Wilma and Cecelia | A letter from Wilma


April 4, 2006) After some technical difficulties, the Zodiackiller.com Info Line is back in action. If you have any Zodiac-related information to share, call (415) 267-4818. Meanwhile, here are a few of the more interesting/entertaining calls I’ve received over the last year or so, all in MP3 format:

Call 1 (157 KB) | Call 2 (69 KB) | Call 3 (173 KB) | Call 4 (106 KB) | Call 5 (102 KB)


March 17, 2006) Today marks the first time in 35 years that a film about the Zodiac case is in theaters. (See the Feb. 17, 2006 update below for info about where The Zodiac is playing. I’ll be screening the film shortly and will provide a review.)

*1971 saw the release of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, which was based on the Zodiac case, although the villain was called Scorpio
*1971 was also the year of the ultra-low budget The Zodiac Killer, which played in just one theater


Feb. 17, 2006) ShadowMachine Films has provided its much-anticipated theatrical release date for The Zodiac: Opening night is March 17, 2006 in these cities/theaters:
*San Francisco Area — San Francisco (Presidio); Vallejo (Vallejo 14); San Jose (Century 25); Daly City (Daly City 20); Union City (Union City 25)
*Los Angeles (Sunset 5)
*Houston (Greenway Grand 24)
*Dallas (City Place 14)
*Atlanta (Atlantic Station)

Zodiac Killer Archives: 2005

Dec. 20, 2005) On this date in 1968, the Zodiac began his killing spree by murdering a young couple parked along rural Lake Herman Road on the eastern outskirts of Vallejo, Cal. Exclusive to Zodiackiller.com, here are 60 pages of the official Lake Herman police report. (High-res photos included.)


Nov. 9, 2005) Exclusive to Zodiackiller.com, here’s a look at the status of the Zodiac case through the eyes of a recently-retired San Francisco Police Dept. detective.


Oct. 31, 2005) Just in time for Halloween, the Zodiac Magazine Rack has been updated again with two vintage stories.


Oct. 11, 2005) Today is the 36th anniversary of the Zodiac’s only San Francisco crime, the murder of cab driver Paul Stine. In a future update I’ll have exclusive comments from a detective who worked the Stine case for several years. Meanwhile, check out Stine’s page for a rare color pic of the cab.

> A nine-page story (“ZODIAC CASTS A STRANGLER’S SHADOW”) from the March 1970 issue of Startling Detective has been added to the Zodiac Magazine Rack.

> Ironically, the locations where several of the Zodiac’s murders took place are quite beautiful. Here are high-resolution images from two of those locations that may be saved for your desktop:
Desktop Image 1 (Lake Herman Road/1,280 x 960 pixels/455MB)
–From the crime scene looking north across the road to the hills–
Desktop Image 2 (Lake Berryessa/1,280 x 960 pixels/567 MB)
–“Zodiac Island,” as it’s known to the locals. The tree is now gone–

> While Paul Stine was Zodiac’s last-known victim, many believe he continued killing undetected. If so, a possible victim is missing nurse Donna Lass, who disappeared in September 1970. Donna’s page has been updated with a rare reward poster showing the Zodiac’s possible connection to her disappearance.


Sept. 27, 2005) Today is the 36th anniversary of the Zodiac’s attack on a young couple at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, Calif.

> A 14-page story (“HE WANTS SLAVE GIRLS WAITING FOR HIM IN PARADISE”) from the September 1975 issue of Front Page Detective has been added to the Zodiac Magazine Rack.

> Click here for several exclusive new photos from the upcoming ShadowMachine Films release, The Zodiac. Meanwhile, here’s another exclusive: A behind-the-scenes report from the actor who portrayed Zodiac in the film, Marty Lindsey.


Sept. 1, 2005) While one high-profile, in-production Zodiac film barrels forward in an apparent attempt at convincing the world that Arthur Leigh Allen was the Zodiac killer, here’s a look at a few new Zodiac suspects who, unlike Allen, weren’t ruled out long ago by police via fingerprint comparison, handwriting analysis and DNA testing.

> It has long been assumed that Zodiac was a movie buff who was influenced by such 1930s films as The Most Dangerous Game and Charlie Chan At Treasure Island. Here’s yet another possible influence — the 1952 San Francisco-based thriller, The Sniper.

> While it’s a rather large file size (148 KB), this high-quality portrait of possible 1966 Zodiac victim Cheri Jo Bates is definitely worth the download time.

> Here is a recent aerial view of Zodiac’s Lake Herman Road attack site from 1968.


Aug. 3, 2005) After more than two years of anticipation, I am thrilled to be able to bring Zodiac buffs around the world a look at the upcoming ShadowMachine Films release, The Zodiac:
VIEW TRAILER — (QuickTime Player required/2.67 MB) | More about The Zodiac

Comments about the trailer? Click here to share them.

> Zodiackiller.com received a whopping 2.5 million hits in July 2005. (The hits total since the beginning of this year is more than 18 million.)


July 8, 2005) Several Zodiac films are making news. Ulli Lommel’s Zodiac Killer will be available on DVD July 19. Meanwhile, The Zodiac is finished and awaiting a distributor; hopefully it will be showing in a theatre near you by early 2006. Finally, a Zodiac-based film from Warner Bros./Phoenix Pictures is in pre-production and should be released in late 2006.


Feb. 7, 2005) Ulli Lommel, director of the upcoming film Zodiac Killer, sent me this update: “We are in the final stages of completing a US DVD release. Once that is done (we are currently trying to get an R-rating for the film), I will let you know. Probably by middle or end of March.”

> The page about Zodiac suspect Rick Marshall has been updated to include vintage photos of the San Francisco theatre where Marshall worked during the late 1960s/early 1970s.

Zodiac Killer Archives: 2004


Dec. 16, 2004) Welcome, readers of the North Bay Bohemian! Here’s a link to R.V. Scheide’s excellent feature, Killers Club. Meanwhile, here’s a link to my related update: Zodiac: Sonoma Killer?


Nov. 22, 2004) For those of you interested in Zodiac suspect Lawrence Kane, here’s Rider McDowell’s 1994 feature story titled On The Trail Of The Zodiac.


Oct. 31, 2004) With a real-life boogeyman like the Zodiac killer still on the loose, the San Francisco area can be quite spooky…especially this time of year. With that in mind, here is Halloween: Zodiac Style.


Oct. 14, 2004) During the early 1970s, the Zodiac killer was suspected in the murders of several young women in and around Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, Calif. The cases remain unsolved and the Zodiac remains a suspect. However, according to information recently received by Zodiackiller.com, convicted serial killer Ted Bundy was living in nearby Forestville during the period of the murders and was employed at a company called Electro Vector. (Bundy was known to have visited California, but not to have lived, worked, or murdered there.) The Sonoma cases are very similar to Bundy’s known murders.

If you have information about Ted Bundy in California, please e-mail info@zodiackiller.com or call the Zodiackiller.com Info Line at (415) 267-4818.


Sept. 28, 2004) Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of the Zodiac’s attack at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, Calif. Over the weekend, Zodiackiller.com held two public gatherings at the lake to remember the anniversary. Click here for exclusive pictures. Thanks to everyone who participated!


Sept. 3, 2004) If you have Zodiac-related information to share, there is now a phone number to call. The Zodiackiller.com Info Line may be reached at: (415) 267-4818.

> The possibility of recent Sonoma County murder victims Jason Allen and Lindsay Cutshall being the work of the Zodiac was mentioned in this Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle front-page story. On Wednesday I ventured north to check out the crime scene. Was it the Zodiac, a copycat, or just an amazing coincidence? Click here for the report.

> Zodiackiller.com set an all-time record for hits in August with more than 2.1 million.


Aug. 21, 2004) I’ve just added more than 40 pages of vintage Zodiac magazine articles. Check out the Zodiac Magazine Rack.

> Pam Huckaby, sister of Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin, was recently the victim of a knife attack at her home in Sandy, Ore. Her injuries weren’t serious and she’s doing fine.

> Since Wednesday’s discovery of a young couple shot to death on an isolated beach just north of San Francisco, I’ve been swamped with e-mail from individuals concerned the Zodiac has returned from a long hiatus and is the killer of Jason Allen and Lindsay Cutshall. While I’ve seen no evidence to suggest the Zodiac is back, the recent return of Wichita’s BTK Strangler shows that anything is possible.


Aug. 16, 2004) The Riverside Police Dept. (RPD) has closed the unsolved Cheri Jo Bates homicide case, according to RPD’s Lt. John F. Carpenter. Carpenter made the statement in an e-mail forwarded to me by a frequent visitor of this website. Killed Oct. 30, 1966, Bates has long been considered a possible victim of the Zodiac, although RPD is convinced a local youth was responsible for her murder. Ironically, in April 2004 the San Francisco Police Dept. closed its unsolved Zodiac homicide case. Despite DNA being available in both cases, apparently neither police agency made a comparison.

Here’s a look at my Bates case update from late last year. Meanwhile, if anyone has information about Cheri they’d like to share (even anonymously), click here to contact me.


June 27, 2004) The author of the alleged Zodiac letters sent to Zodiackiller.com from Singapore, Atlanta and Thailand in late 2002/early 2003 (see updates below) has recently been identified and is apparently now living in the San Francisco area. (In October 2003 I released custody of the letters to a forensic scientist at a California DNA facility.) If anyone knows the exact whereabouts of the man using the aliases Jacob William Ornstein and Jack Yohiel Alexander, please let me know immediately.
(For additional information on the alleged Zodiac letters received by Zodiackiller.com, scroll down for the updates dated Nov. 22, 2002 and Jan. 15, 2003.)

> If anyone has contact information for the San Francisco informant called “Purple Blaine,” please contact me.


June 22, 2004) Today I spoke with director Alex Bulkley of ShadowMachine Films regarding the status of its upcoming film, The Zodiac. Bulkley said work on the film is essentially completed and a premiere date should be announced soon. The goal is to enter Toronto’s film festival this summer and hopefully be in theatres by early 2005.


June 15, 2004) The Z-Mail page has been updated to include the most interesting and entertaining e-mail I’ve received over the past several months.

> This from Wednesday’s New York Press:
New York’s so-called “Zodiac Killer,” Heriberto Seda, has found love behind bars—but it may be a love he’s not allowed to keep. According to a letter received by the Daily News, Seda has married Synthia-China Blast, a fellow murderer who’s serving a 25-year sentence at Attica. Blast (born Luis Morales) is also suing for the right to get a sex-change operation. While the two are said to have been happily married for a year, officials have decided to move the 29-year-old Blast to another lockup, thus interrupting, at least for quite some time, what Blast described as a “love extravaganza.”

Now if only the original, still-at-large California Zodiac killer would kindly turn himself in, I can guarantee he will also find love in prison.


May 19, 2004) While I can’t go into detail, it appears Zodiackiller.com’s recent security issues are finally a thing of the past. There are those who would very much like to see Zodiackiller.com go away for various reasons, but that’s not going to happen. I’d like to thank everyone who e-mailed their support for the website.

> The last time anyone saw the Zodiac killer, he was fleeing his San Francisco crime scene on foot. But where did he go from there? Here is Zodiac’s likely escape route.


April 27, 2004) Long before Wayne Williams was convicted of the series of child murders around Atlanta, Ga. in the late 1970s/early 1980s, someone claiming to be the Zodiac actually confessed to the crimes. The confession was included in a letter postmarked in Atlanta on March 8, 1981 and taken very seriously by the FBI. Here is part of the FBI’s report on the letter.


April 19, 2004) I’ve added a new page answering many of the frequently asked questions newcomers to the Zodiac case often have. Click here for the answers.

> Thanks to Yahoo! for featuring Zodiackiller.com during the month of March.


April 13, 2004) Director Alex Bulkley of ShadowMachine Films sent me this update on the upcoming film The Zodiac:
“The Zodiac” is out of the editing room and into the sound studio. Michael Suby (“The Butterfly Effect”) has been hired on as the music composer. We’re looking forward to an amazing score and incredible sound design. Completion of the film is expected within the next two months. The Zodiac is coming soon to a theater near you…”

Check out film stills and other information for The Zodiac by clicking here.


April 7, 2004) The front page of today’s edition of the San Francisco Chronicle features a story first reported here at Zodiackiller.com almost a week ago: The San Francisco Police Dept. (SFPD) has closed the Zodiac case. (The term the department now uses is “deactivated.”) Today’s story is only the second time in the last 26 years the Zodiac case has been featured on the Chronicle’s front page. Click here for the story.

Regardless of the official position of SFPD, Zodiackiller.com will continue to pursue leads and archive case-related information in an attempt to identify the Zodiac killer.


April 2, 2004) In a shocking and unprecedented move, the San Francisco Police Dept. has officially closed the Zodiac case. Click here for details.

> For a start-to-finish digital tour of the area of the Zodiac’s October 1969 San Francisco murder of cab driver Paul Stine, here is Presidio Heights 2004.

> After 25 years of silence, a Zodiac-inspired killer calling himself “BTK” has recently reemerged in the Wichita area of Kansas. As the Zodiac did before him, BTK is in the habit of taunting the police and scaring the public by writing detailed letters of his crimes and sending them to his local newspaper. (One of BTK’s letters sent in the 1970s actually chastised the news media for paying too much attention to the Zodiac and not enough to him.)

> On the topic of Zodiac copycats, the Kobe (Japan) Zodiac copycat of the 1990s is actually being considered for early release by Japanese authorities. It seems the Japanese are willing to quickly forgive such horrible crimes as murdering children as long as you behave properly in prison…

> Zodiackiller.com had a record month for hits in March with more than 1.8 million.


March 20, 2004) Today is the sixth anniversary of Zodiackiller.com and I’d like to thank the millions of loyal visitors around the world for making this site so successful. Thanks also to my many great sources who contribute information on a regular basis and help keep the site fresh.


March 1, 2004) Several years ago I obtained a reproduction of Zodiac’s infamous Halloween card from one of the original Zodiac detectives, now deceased. (In 1970 Zodiac had mailed the card to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paul Avery.) After re-examining the card for the first time in a few years, I noticed two stickers within the card that had gone unnoticed. If the stickers were part of Zodiac’s original card, it’s a secret never before revealed to the public. Since my source was impeccable and worked the Zodiac case for several years, I believe the stickers were indeed included by Zodiac with the original card.

> Despite Zodiackiller.com being down for the first six days of the month due to server problems, February was still a record month for hits with more than 1.4 million.

> Several new crime-scene photos have been added to the David Faraday/Betty Lou Jensen page.


Feb. 12, 2004) I’ve added several exclusive photos of Zodiac victim Betty Lou Jensen.
(Special thanks to John Henslin and Sharon.)


Feb. 9, 2004) Zodiackiller.com was recently offline for more than a week, as my website host unexpectedly went out of business. (If you’ve attempted to send me e-mail during that time, it didn’t get through. Please try again.) Thankfully, the problem has been solved — I’ve moved the site to a new, much larger server. As a result, there are several exciting additions/upgrades:

*High-resolution scans of the Zodiac letters are now available to view, several in full color

*An upgraded Chat Room

*A new, state-of-the-art Message Board (Previous users will need to register again)


Jan. 8, 2004) Just added to Zodiackiller.com are 50 pages of material from the producer of the 1989 documentary, Crimes of the Century: The Zodiac Killer. Among the information are 38 pages of notes taken from interviews with several individuals associated with the Zodiac case, including surviving victim Bryan Hartnell, suspect Rick Marshall, investigators Ken Narlow, Jack Mulanax and Dave Toschi, plus much more. Click here for the update.


Jan. 1, 2004) All the major events of the Zodiac case are now available on one page of Zodiackiller.com. A valuable research tool with a few surprises mixed in, here is the Zodiac Calendar.

Zodiac Killer Archives: 2003

Dec. 20, 2003) Today is the 35th anniversary of the Zodiac’s Lake Herman Road murders.
Click here for a special update.


Dec. 18, 2003) Today would have been Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh Allen’s 70th birthday. Here are several exclusive photos of Allen, who died on Aug. 26, 1992.


Dec. 7, 2003) I’ve just added an extremely rare, 10-page top-secret report on the Zodiac crimes. Prepared in 1971, this is the first time the report has been published anywhere; previously it had only been available to detectives working on the case.


Nov. 28, 2003) William Mentzer, who recently convinced the New York Post that he could be the Zodiac (see the Oct. 11, 2003 update below), has apparently admitted he made up his entire story. I guess one just can’t trust convicted murderers these days…

> As mentioned on the recent Cold Case Files episode, the San Francisco Police Dept. (SFPD) is hard at work on the Zodiac case. Homicide inspectors Michael Maloney and Kelly Carroll have been processing leads on potential suspects, coordinating DNA testing and — of course — investigating their many non-Zodiac cases as well. Bottom line: If the Zodiac case is never solved, it certainly won’t be due to lack of effort from SFPD.


Nov. 13, 2003) While recent DNA evidence seems to indicate long-time suspect Arthur Leigh Allen was not the Zodiac killer, one thing is certain; he was quite the cook. If you’re bored with the traditional holiday dishes, step into Allen’s kitchen for some alternative cooking ideas.


Oct. 31, 2003) It was exactly 37 years ago that Cheri Jo Bates was found murdered on the campus of Riverside City College in Riverside, Calif. Click here for a special update.

> Which came first, the Grinch or the Zodiac? He didn’t steal Christmas, but the Zodiac sure ruined Halloween back in 1969.

> On a much lighter note, Count Gore was kind enough to provide Zodiackiller.com with Rock Savage’s Internet movie classic Curse of the Zodiac Killer. (RealPlayer required)


Oct. 20, 2003) For years rumors have circulated that the police have withheld crucial evidence in the Zodiac case. If true, I (and others) had long assumed the evidence would be in the form of a letter from the killer. Thanks to my excellent sources within the Los Angeles Police Dept., here is the alleged top-secret Zodiac letter received by a Los Angeles television station in May 1978. Handwriting experts were apparently unable to rule out the Zodiac as being responsible, although no official statement from law-enforcement officials has ever been issued.

Discussion of the letter can be found at the Zodiackiller.com Message Board and Chat Room.


Oct. 11, 2003) Today is the 34th anniversary of the Zodiac’s last-known crime, the San Francisco murder of cab driver Paul Stine. I’ve updated Stine’s page with several new items.

> The recent Lake Berryessa gathering went even better than expected, as I was finally able to meet message board users Sean O’Brien, Ray Nixon, Mike Cole, Wendy Echols and Scott Norton. Click here for all the details.

> The New York Post recently broke a major story naming convicted murderer William Mentzer as a viable suspect in the Zodiac murders. While in-depth discussion of this development (along with the entire Post story) can be found at the Zodiackiller.com Message Board, my opinion is that Mentzer is as likely to be the Zodiac as O.J. Simpson or Robert Blake.

> I’ve again updated the Z-mail page to include more interesting and entertaining e-mail I’ve received over the past few months. It’s fascinating stuff.


Sept. 1, 2003) At long last, I’ve added several stills from the upcoming Zodiac film, The Zodiac. Click here to check them out.

> Here’s an exclusive photograph of Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh Allen from 1979, complete with his infamous Zodiac watch. As DNA testing begins to play a bigger role in the Zodiac case, Allen is just one of the many suspects concerned citizens are contacting me about.

> For the month of August 2003, Zodiackiller.com received 1,135,885 hits — an all-time record for this site. Actually, the numbers should have been even higher, but my server couldn’t keep track of all the hits in the 24 hours following each showing of A&E’s Cold Case Files episode on the Zodiac.


Aug. 23, 2003) Although DNA recovered from a confirmed Zodiac letter was not a match to suspect Arthur Leigh Allen, at least one law-enforcement agency is still investigating the deceased schoolteacher. Due to Allen’s alleged habit of having others lick his stamps and envelopes (he claimed the taste of glue made him sick), the San Francisco Police Dept. recently obtained a voluntary DNA sample from Allen’s former friend, Don Cheney. The results were negative. Kudos to SFPD for doing such a thorough job. Check out the Zodiackiller.com Message Board for discussion of these interesting developments.


July 4, 2003) After a great deal of research and many discussions with several retired detectives, I’ve added the victims of a 1963 double homicide on the southern California coast to my list of possible Zodiac victims. Click here to learn why Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards just might have been the first victims of the Zodiac killer.

> The 2003 Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting recently concluded after a five-day stay in the San Francisco Bay Area and featured the first-ever meeting between retired homicide detectives Ken Narlow (Napa County Sheriff’s Dept.) and William Baker (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept.). Needless to say, the entire event was a huge success and lots of fun. Click here for pictures and details.


May 13, 2003) Beginning June 1, a major motion picture titled The Zodiac will begin filming in Vallejo, Calif. The film will be a fact-based narrative on the Zodiac case. I will post details as soon as they are available.

> Another Zodiac film, Ulli Lommel’s Zodiac Killer (featuring this site!), will debut at the Cannes Film Festival in just a couple of weeks. Here’s a look at some artwork from the movie. (For more on Zodiac Killer, see the March 20, 2003 update below.)


March 20, 2003) Today is the fifth anniversary of Zodiackiller.com and I’d like to thank these persons for their invaluable contributions to the content of this site (in alphabetical order): William Baker, Brian Banducci, Michael Bates, Sandy Betts, Don Cheney, Howard Davis, Dean Ferrin, Pam Huckaby, Rob Huffman, Ken Narlow, Carolyn Shepard, Howard Stern and John Walsh. (There are others I would like to thank, but they prefer to remain anonymous.)

> The public sure can’t seem to get enough of the Zodiac mystery. There are at least five Zodiac movies scheduled for production this year, including Ulli Lommel’s nearly completed work. Check out this exclusive sneak preview of Ulli’s Zodiac Killer.

> Check out this San Francisco band called The Zodiac Killers.

> After five years, it’s amazing how many details of the Zodiac case are still left to document. For example, many experts consider Cheri Jo Bates to be the Zodiac’s first victim and have been digging for clues ever since she was killed in 1966. However, only after more than 36 years is there finally a clear, detailed photo of the crime scene to cull information from. While graphic, I’ve published the photo because I believe it will be helpful to those experts in crime-scene analysis who visit this site:
New Cheri Jo Bates Crime-Scene Photo
One of the most fascinating elements to the Bates case is the morbid poem found scratched into a desk top at the college where she was killed. Was it the work of her killer, or just a hoax? While reproductions of the poem were published soon after the crime, here’s the first photo available showing the actual scale of the handwriting:
Desk-Top Poem Scale



Jan. 15, 2003) I’ve received another letter from the individual claiming to be the Zodiac killer. Click here for details, including images of the letter and envelope. (See the Nov. 22, 2002 update below for details on the first letter.)


> Changes are in the works for this website as we enter 2003. Please read my mission statement.

> I’ve added 75 pages from the Vallejo Police Department’s official report on Zodiac’s July 4, 1969 attack of Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau.

> Recently added are the following items from my collection of Zodiac documents. This is the first time any have been published:

*12-page interview with surviving victim Bryan Hartnell

*35-page case overview prepared by the California Department Of Justice

*19 pages of victim Darlene Ferrin’s address book

*15-page report on suspect Lawrence Kane

*All 35 pages of the Lake Berryessa police report

*14-page report on suspect Arthur Leigh Allen

*Seven-page report on suspect “Andy Walker”

*San Francisco Police Department report on the murder of Paul Stine

*Informant report on suspect Rick Marshall

Zodiac killer Archives: 2002



Nov. 22, 2002) Today I received a letter from someone claiming to be the Zodiac killer.
Click here for the amazing details.



Nov. 21, 2002) I’ve updated the Z-mail page to include a new batch of the more interesting and entertaining e-mail I’ve received over the past few months. It’s truly fascinating stuff. Click here for Z-mail.


Nov. 7, 2002) A feature film on the Zodiac case is now being filmed in Germany. Here are a few words from the director, Ulli Lommel:

“The lead character is a 22-year-old man who has become so obsessed with the Zodiac that he actually believes he is the Zodiac. He starts executing people just like his idol, until the real Zodiac, who hasn’t killed anybody in 30 years, gets a hold of the copycat. I would like to shoot several scenes where the young and the old Zodiac check out your website for details regarding the 1969-71 murders. I will also send you one of the first video copies once the film is completed approx. February 25, 2003.”

> Recently I was informed that a suspect in the Zodiac crimes was acquainted with actor Steve McQueen during the 1960s. Since the Zodiac was apparently a movie buff, immediately I remembered McQueen’s 1968 San Francisco-based cop movie Bullitt and that San Francisco Police Dept. inspector Dave Toschi was a consultant to McQueen. Tonight I scrutinized the film to see if I could find any connections to the Zodiac. There were several, but none bigger than this:

In Bullitt, Robert Duvall portrays a cab driver who drives cab number 6912. Approximately one year after the film was released, Zodiac killed cab driver Paul Stine. His cab number? 912. Coincidence? (For more information see the Zodiackiller.com Message Board.)


Oct. 14, 2002) This Thursday, ABC’s Primetime Thursday will devote its entire show to the Zodiac case. Over a year in the making, the show should be fantastic.

> Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at 7:30 I will be a guest on Kevin & Bean’s Los Angeles morning show on 106.7 KROQ-FM.


Sept. 27, 2002) Today is the 33rd anniversary of Zodiac’s attack at Lake Berryessa which killed Cecelia Shepard and wounded Bryan Hartnell. Here’s a message Cecelia’s sister, Carolyn, sent Zodiackiller.com:

“Each September, the last week of the month, family and friends are reminded of this tragedy. I am very grateful to the strangers who comforted and attended to Cecelia at the lake, during transport, and the hospital medical team. We know you cared and at times felt powerless to help.

“One to two days before the attack, Cecelia mentioned that if she ever died she wanted to be buried at the St. Helena cemetery! The morning she left for Angwin, she ran back to Mom and hugged her for a second time. Mom said she had never done that before. I believe Cecelia somehow knew her death was coming soon.

“Cecelia was loving, caring, fun, beautiful and talented. Most of all, she was a beloved sister, daughter, and friend.


> The lucky winner of the Lake Berryessa crime-scene photo was Alex Breitler of Redding, Calif. The response was overwhelming; thanks to all of you who participated.


Sept. 1, 2002) I’ve updated the page of Zodiac victims Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau to include a very interesting letter Darlene wrote her future husband, Dean, in 1967. Also included in the update is a three-page transcript of Darlene’s 1967 divorce from her abusive first husband, Jim Phillips. Click here for the update.

> The more information I collect about Zodiac suspect Rick Marshall, the more interesting he becomes. Marshall’s page has been updated with yet another newspaper article the San Francisco Examiner wrote about him in 1968.

> The Zodiac Audio page has been updated with new MP3 sound files, including the comments of former FBI profiler John Douglas. Click here for the MP3s.


Aug. 9, 2002) Most Zodiac-case followers are only familiar with the late-1960s version of the City of Vallejo, Calif. Here’s a look at Vallejo from the early 1950s, more than a decade before Zodiac changed it forever.

> I’ve added a rare crime-scene photo to the David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen page.


July 28, 2002) Sad to report possible Zodiac victim Kathleen Johns died in late April after suffering complications due to a heart condition. She was 54.


July 6, 2002) The 2002 Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting was a big success, as the approximately 100 enthusiasts who attended seemed to have a great time and learn even more about this baffling case. Most amazing of all was the number of reporters and TV cameras. I do appreciate the publicity; however, if I ever organize another event like this, it will be without news-media involvement.

Click here for pictures of the event.

For those of you who missed it, coverage of the event was seen on San Francisco’s KGO-TV, Sacramento’s KCRA, KXTV and KTXL, plus Fresno’s KFSN and Chico/Redding’s KRCR. One of the “Big Three” television networks filmed for several hours in preparation for an hour-long, prime-time special on the case due this fall. Even BBC Radio attempted to broadcast live from the scene, unfortunately to no avail.

Multiple newspapers also covered the event. For those stories, including your in-depth discussion, visit the Zodiackiller.com Message Board.

I thank those who attended. It was great to meet everyone!


May 24, 2002) Got plans this 4th of July? Change ’em!
For the first time ever, a Zodiac task-force meeting exclusively of amateur detectives/case enthusiasts is being held. Organized by this site, it’s an event no Zodiac buff should miss.
Update: The event was a big success. Thanks to everyone who attended. (See the above update.)


May 13, 2002) I recently returned from a few days of research in Riverside, Calif., where I was joined by fellow Zodiac buffs Sandy Betts and Howard Davis. See the Special Reports Archive for a link to the pictures.


April 3, 2002) For decades there has been speculation regarding Zodiac’s potential sources of inspiration, ranging from Charlie Chan movies to Batman comics. However, an unsolved 1930s murder might just be the answer.

The Arthur Leigh Allen File has been updated to include two new items:
1) George Bawart’s 1992 seven-page report on all the reasons Arthur Leigh Allen was the Zodiac.
2) Sherwood Morrill’s 1971 handwriting results on Allen, complete with the actual handwriting samples.

Sick of Allen? Here is information on a new suspect that San Francisco Police Department inspector Dave Toschi sent Vallejo Police Department detective Jack Mulanax in 1972.

Did Zodiac continue killing into the 1970s? Here is an SFPD report containing several potential victims.

Thanks to retired detective William Baker, a transcript of my interview with Arthur Leigh Allen informant Don Cheney is available to download.


March 14, 2002) Congratulations to Wally Farkas of Cypress, Tex. He was the lucky winner of the 8″ x 10″ color photograph of Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin.


Feb. 21, 2002) I’ve added a page featuring some of the most memorable e-mail I’ve received since this site was launched in March 1998. Some of the e-mail featured is touching, some frustrating, some hysterically (and unintentionally) funny. All of them are interesting. Click here to read them.


Jan. 24, 2002) The Zodiac Audio page has been updated with an MP3 of my appearance on The Howard Stern Show from late-1998. Howard and I talked quite a bit about the Zodiac case, but of course things got crazy in a hurry. Click here to hear it.


Jan. 1, 2002) I’ve posted the last page of Zodiac’s Nov. 9, 1969 bus-bomb letter to the San Francisco Chronicle. This is the first time a good-quality reproduction of the page has been published. Click here to see it.

Zodiac Killer Archives: 2001

Dec. 20, 2001) Today is the 33rd anniversary of the Zodiac killer’s Lake Herman Road attack, which killed David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen. The Faraday-Jensen page has been updated with new information, including police and autopsy reports. Click here for the update.


Nov. 11, 2001) The Zodiac Audio page has been updated to include an MP3 of The Doors’ Jim Morrison mentioning the Zodiac killer in a 1970 interview.


Nov. 2, 2001) The lucky winner of the Oct. 30, 1967 Riverside Press was Bo Edlund of Enfield, Conn. The response was overwhelming; thanks to all of you who participated.


Oct. 30, 2001) Today marks the 35th anniversary of the murder of Cheri Jo Bates. In Cheri Jo’s memory, I have updated her page with a confidential police report. Click here for the latest update.

> By popular demand, I have added a search engine to Zodiackiller.com. Click here to search!


Sept. 27, 2001) Today is the 32nd anniversary of Zodiac’s Lake Berryessa attack that killed Cecelia Shepard and wounded Bryan Hartnell. I have updated the Berryessa victims’ page with many new items, including crime-scene pictures.
Click here to check it out.

> The Riverside Police Department still hasn’t acknowledged that DNA testing in the murder of Cheri Jo Bates produced a conclusive non-match to their top suspect. Meanwhile in San Francisco, the results of the DNA comparison between Zodiac and top suspect Arthur Leigh Allen are long overdue. Is anything being done? Let’s hope so.


Sept. 3, 2001) MP3 sound files have been added to the Archive page. Click here for the MP3s.


Aug. 4, 2001) The Arthur Leigh Allen File has been updated to include a two-page letter Allen wrote to a friend in 1975 while Allen was incarcerated at Atascadero State Hospital. Allen’s handwriting in this letter is much different than other samples I’ve collected that strongly resembled Zodiac’s handwriting. However, the content of the letter is very interesting.


July 21, 2001) A source out of the Bay Area has informed me that Zodiac suspect Rick Marshall is in extremely poor health and deteriorating rapidly at a San Francisco care facility. If Marshall is Zodiac, this would be an excellent opportunity for law enforcement officials to obtain a confession. Meanwhile, I’ve updated Marshall’s page to include some new items of interest, including handwriting samples.


July 4, 2001) Today is the 32nd anniversary of Darlene Ferrin’s death at the hands of Zodiac. Yesterday I spoke with Darlene’s sister, Pam, who was hoping to travel to Vallejo for the anniversary. Due to health problems, she will have to stay home in Oregon. However, Pam said she will be planting a yellow rose bush today in Darlene’s memory.


June 12, 2001) According to two sources within the Cheri Jo Bates homicide investigation, recent DNA testing of hairs found in the palm of Cheri’s hand were a conclusive non-match when compared with the Riverside Police Department’s (RPD) top suspect, a man referred to on this website as “Bob Barnett.” While this isn’t proof that “Barnett” didn’t kill Bates. However, it is a strong indication that RPD might be on the wrong track.

What about Allen?
In February 2000, Lt. Tom Bruton of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) said, “When (detectives in Riverside) provide me with those results, I would be happy to compare them.” A DNA comparison would take “about five minutes,” Bruton said, to confirm or deny that the late Arthur Leigh Allen of Vallejo was the Riverside killer. Unfortunately, Bruton retired last year. Let’s hope RPD and SFPD are still willing to share information.

To comment on the DNA results, click here to e-mail.

> The last several updates have come in rapid succession. Make sure to scroll down and check the last few, as there has been a lot going on.


June 8, 2001) The Arthur Leigh Allen File has been given its biggest update yet.

> There has been quite a bit of recent attention in the news media about Zodiac-DNA evidence. However, none of the police departments involved has been very forthcoming about separating fact from fiction. Here is a San Francisco Police Department document detailing DNA evidence relating to Zodiac’s letters.


May 25, 2001) The excitement caused by last week’s San Francisco Examiner story was unfortunately a false alarm, as the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has since stated the Examiner exaggerated immensely when it claimed SFPD was close to determining Zodiac’s identity through DNA testing. SFPD is testing Zodiac evidence, but apparently it is focused on fingerprints rather than DNA.

> I have updated The Arthur Leigh Allen File to include several reports that were contained in his immense Sonoma County file, which I was able to obtain earlier this week while visiting the Bay Area. The update is a must-read, although the subject matter is definitely disturbing.

> The envelope to Zodiac’s bus-bomb letter of Nov. 9, 1969 has been added to Zodiac Letters. I believe this is the first time the envelope has been reproduced.


May 18, 2001) Today’s San Francisco Examiner features a big story on a possible break in the Zodiac case. Additionally, several other Bay Area news-media outlets have stories scheduled, including FOX-TV and KCBS Radio. I’ll be in San Francisco in the next few days and hope to dig up some additional information.


May 15, 2001) New pictures of Betty Lou Jensen and Paul Stine have been added to their pages in The Victims section of this site. Neither picture had been published anywhere prior to this update. (Thanks to John Henslin and Geneva Stine.)

> I’ve spent the last week sifting through a large package of materials I received regarding possible Zodiac victim Cheri Jo Bates, including several Ramona High School yearbooks from the mid-1960s. (Cheri graduated from Ramona in 1966.)
Shockingly, one of the yearbooks contained a cross-circle symbol, Zodiac’s future signature.

> The premiere issue of Forbidden Internet magazine is now available. One of the feature stories is about websites that focus on serial killers. Thankfully, this site was given high marks in the story.


April 30, 2001) KOVR-TV in Sacramento, Calif. featured this site tonight during a segment on DNA testing in the Zodiac case. If you saw the segment and would like to comment, send e-mail to info@zodiackiller.com.

> I’ve added a page to The Arthur Leigh Allen File that documents what is known of his teaching history, as well as a class portrait of Allen from 1966. If you went to public school in California during the late 1950s and 1960s, the Zodiac suspect might have been your teacher. Click here to find out.


April 12, 2001) I often get asked who my sources are and where I get my information. A list of my sources can be found here.

> While there is nothing new to report in the Cheri Jo Bates/DNA investigation, this week I made contact with Michael Bates, brother of possible Zodiac victim Cheri Jo Bates. Michael has been extremely helpful and insightful and I’m looking forward to my future conversations with him.

> Click here to read a couple of vintage newspaper articles about the Cheri Jo Bates murder.


March 11, 2001) Last week I was lucky enough to speak to Lt. JoAnn West of the Vallejo Police Department. While she couldn’t divulge specifics, West made it clear that DNA testing is happening within the Zodiac investigation. Apparently the testing includes, but is not limited to, suspect Arthur Leigh Allen.


March 5, 2001) I’ve published a nearly perfect reproduction of the desk-top poem found in the Riverside City College library in 1967. The writing was eventually attributed to Zodiac. To check it out, visit Zodiac Letters.


Feb. 18, 2001) After viewing video of Arthur Leigh Allen I sent her last week, Kathleen Johns didn’t hesitate to inform me tonight that Arthur Leigh Allen was definitely not the man who abducted her in 1970. (The first segment on the tape features an interview with Allen.) In 1991 Kathleen had been shown a picture of Allen by the Vallejo Police Department, but the video was the first time she had gotten a good look at him and heard his voice.

> Sacramento’s KOVR-TV has a Zodiac feature scheduled for Monday’s evening news. If you’re in that area of California, please e-mail me your thoughts on the segment.


Jan. 29, 2001) During filming of the America’s Most Wanted feature on the Zodiac case (which aired in December 1998), I was flown to San Francisco to act as a consultant for their reenactments. Click here for behind-the-scenes photos.

> Every month I receive e-mail asking if the rumors of a “Zodiac shack” are true. (Ever since 1969, various counties in the San Francisco Bay Area have been rumored to feature Zodiac’s hideout, i.e. the “Zodiac shack.”) While I can’t vouch that Zodiac actually occupied a particular dwelling, I can say for sure that one such rumored place is located here.


Jan. 8, 2001) Just over a week ago I interviewed Don Cheney, the man who was most responsible for Arthur Leigh Allen becoming a Zodiac suspect. (In 1969, Allen allegedly confided in Cheney that he would kill couples at random, write taunting letters to the police and call himself “Zodiac.”) Click here for the details of our meeting.

Zodiac Killer Archives: 2000

Dec. 24, 2000) As a Christmas present for all of the loyal visitors to this site, I’ve posted the first 22 pages of the Lake Berryessa police report.


Dec. 13, 2000) Paul Avery has died.

The former reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle was probably best known for his active involvement in the Zodiac case, including being highly instrumental in the success of this website.


Dec. 6, 2000) Think you know who Zodiac is? Always been suspicious of that weird guy down the street? Click here to report a suspect to Zodiackiller.com.


Nov. 23, 2000) Tuesday I spent almost 90 minutes on the phone with the Riverside Police Department’s (RPD) lead detective on the Cheri Jo Bates murder case, Steve Shumway. According to Shumway, the DNA samples taken from Bates and her suspected killer are back from the FBI’s laboratory in Quantico, Va. and are now “being retested at a lab in Berkeley, Calif.” RPD has believed for 30 years it knows who killed Bates and has been attempting to gather enough evidence to file murder charges against the suspect. Shumway attributed recent delays in the investigation to the fact that “this is California’s first case involving Mitochondrial DNA, so we are moving very carefully.”
(See the October 1999 update below for more details.)

RPD’s diligence is to be commended. Even though Bates was murdered 34 years ago, the department treats her case with great importance, as if it happened yesterday. There’s no statute of limitations on murder and RPD is proving it.

I can’t say the same thing about the Vallejo Police Department (VPD).
In 1991 and 1992, VPD executed search warrants against Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh Allen. Even though VPD found many of the potentially incriminating items it was looking for, including a foot-long knife and Royal typewriter, it has apparently made no attempt at matching the items to Zodiac.

Lt. JoAnn West, spokesperson for VPD, recently told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Tom Zoellner, “All I can tell you is that all of the evidence we’ve recovered is being studied. I can’t get into specifics of what that evidence is. We have sent it to a lab and we are awaiting results.”

The facts, and common sense, seem to contradict Lt. West. In order to determine if the typewriter taken from Allen’s home was used to prepare the anonymous Bates-confession letters, it might make sense to involve the Riverside Police Department. After all, RPD has the original confessions. To date, even after eight years, VPD still has not contacted RPD about Allen’s typewriter. According to my sources, VPD also has not contacted the Napa County Sheriff’s Department regarding comparing the knife recovered from Allen’s home with the wounds of Zodiac’s Lake Berryessa victims.

Luckily, RPD told me it is “more than willing” to cooperate with the typewriter comparison. Will VPD finally do what should have been done years ago? I’ll be contacting the department within the next week or so for comment.


Nov. 20, 2000) The Arthur Leigh Allen File has been updated to include all of the reasons that make Allen the best suspect in the case. It’s a must-read for everybody, as I’ve included facts never published. It’s hard for me to believe that after reading the information anyone could doubt his viability as a suspect, but we shall see.

> Due to the recent media attention on her case and the e-mail I’ve received from people wanting more details about her disappearance, I have decided to add Donna Lass to my list of possible victims. (Although there isn’t much evidence supporting the theory that Zodiac was responsible for her disappearance.)

> Many of you are aware of the involvement former San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paul Avery had in the Zodiac case during the late 1960s-early 1970s. In fact, Zodiac even singled Avery out in a Halloween card sent to the Chronicle in 1970. I’ve put together a page documenting the seriousness of Zodiac’s apparent threat on Avery’s life.


Oct. 2, 2000) Saturday I spent several hours with Dr. Howard Davis, author of The Zodiac/Manson Connection. While we disagree on who was behind the Zodiac crimes, Howard’s a great guy and excellent researcher.


Sept. 18, 2000) The Learning Channel interviewed me today for its upcoming documentary, The Ultimate 10: Unsolved Crime Mysteries. No date has been set, but it might air by the end of this year. I’ll post details when I get them.

> According to Variety, 20th Century Fox will soon be making a feature film of the case called The Zodiac. David Permut (Face/Off) will produce the thriller. No other information has been released.

> The Arthur Leigh Allen File has been updated with a new picture of a young Allen on the high dive, plus a page from Allen’s 1967 teacher evaluation.


July 20, 2000) It’s taken me 13 hours, but I’ve finally finished updating The Victims pages. I’d like to urge everybody to check out the changes. From Bates to Stine, a ton of new information has been added.

> Zodiac Letters has been updated. I’ve added the cipher Zodiac included in his July 31, 1969 letter to the San Francisco Chronicle. If you view the page with 800 by 600 screen resolution, the cipher is almost exactly scale.

> If you need to Contact Zodiackiller.com, I’ve added a page detailing all of the ways you may do so. A USPS address is now available, as well as a way to anonymously send e-mail.


June 13, 2000) This afternoon I was interviewed by Claudia Cowan of Fox News, San Francisco. Mainly we discussed the dilemma I’m facing regarding the handwriting analysis (see the June 12, 2000 post below), but we also talked about the Vallejo Police Department’s apparent dubious handling of potentially crucial evidence taken from suspect Arthur Leigh Allen’s home in 1991 and 1992. VPD’s George Bawart did an excellent job in obtaining the search warrants, but it seems the department dropped the ball with the evidence.


June 12, 2000) A major setback occured just over a week ago, as APB.com essentially went out of business. The site is still up, maintained by volunteers hoping for new investors to save the day. Celebrity news editor Jim Edwards was one of 140 to lose his job. Edwards and APB.com had been responsible for a huge amount of recent exposure for the Zodiac case in general and this site in particular.

Unfortunately, the timing of APB’s demise couldn’t have been worse. The company was financially backing a handwriting comparison between suspect Arthur Leigh Allen and Zodiac, to be conducted by a well-respected expert from San Diego. Needless to say, the project has been dropped. The expert did comment that, based on her initial examination, “there are enough similarities in the samples to require a thorough exam.” Hopefully, that “thorough exam” will still happen…that is, if someone can come up with the necessary funds.

> On a more pleasant note, today is Ken Narlow’s 70th birthday. Narlow, formerly of the Napa County Sheriff’s Department, has been involved in the Zodiac case ever since the murder of Cecelia Shepard on Sept. 27, 1969.

Happy birthday, Ken. (And thanks for all your time and help.)


May 31, 2000) My trip to the San Francisco Bay Area was very successful, as I was finally able to meet with retired Vallejo Police Department detective George Bawart. Bawart is an expert on the Zodiac case, especially concerning suspect Arthur Leigh Allen.


May 25, 2000) For the next few days I’ll be in the San Francisco Bay Area on yet another fact-finding mission. As always, certain trustworthy people have my complete itinerary…just in case.


May 4, 2000) Ever since the San Francisco Chronicle published Paul Avery’s “Zodiac connection” story in November 1970, Riverside murder victim Cheri Jo Bates has been linked to the Zodiac case. However, the Riverside Police Department (RPD) has long maintained that Bates was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in a fit of rage. Until now, a key piece of evidence supporting RPD’s claim has been withheld. With permission from lead detective Steve Shumway, I am revealing a fact that directly points to the Bates murder as being a classic “crime of passion:”

Cheri Jo Bates was stabbed 42 times.

Traditionally, attacks that result in massive trauma to the head and face (or numerous stab wounds) are committed by individuals who had a relationship with their victim. While not impossible, it would certainly be a rarity for a person to exhibit such rage against a complete stranger. While it is a fact that Zodiac used a knife at Lake Berryessa in 1969, he seemed to be only interested in inflicting wounds necessary to kill his victims. Overkill was not exhibited at Berryessa, although the opportunity was certainly available. In fact, one victim survived the attack.

My suspicion is that Zodiac had ties to the Riverside area and knew of the Bates murder, but did not commit it. He typed the “confession” letter, as well as the three subsequent pencilled messages, merely to taunt the police just as he was to do later in the Bay Area.

To the dismay of RPD, it will probably be forever linked to the Zodiac case…even if it is able to solve the Bates murder. But I believe the department is definitely on the right track. I will be stunned if its suspect is ever cleared.


April 25, 2000) Recently I obtained suspect Arthur Leigh Allen’s personnel file from an elementary school where he worked during 1966-68. The file contained original handwritten and typewritten samples, all of excellent quality. Arrangements are being made to have the handwritten samples compared to Zodiac’s handwriting, although the process isn’t as easy as it sounds. I will also attempt to have Allen’s typed letters analyzed in an effort to identify the typewriter. According to a 1966 FBI report, the typewriter used to prepare the Riverside “confession” was a Royal Merit Pica 508.

The most startling discovery in Allen’s file was an absentee slip dated Nov. 1, 1966. Yes, within a day or two of the Cheri Jo Bates murder Allen missed work. While I’m assuming Allen missed Nov. 1, the possibility exists that Allen was absent Oct. 31 and that Nov. 1 was merely the date the slip was filled out. Every attempt will be made to gather more information. However you interpret the date, this is yet another piece of tantalizing circumstantial evidence pointing directly at Arthur Leigh Allen’s involvement in the Zodiac crimes.

> For the second day in a row, Zodiac Letters has been updated. Just added: Zodiac’s envelope from his Dec. 20, 1969 letter to Mel Belli, as well as the envelope used for Zodiac’s May 8, 1974 “Citizen” letter.


March 31, 2000) While I have made plenty of mistakes since I started this site about two years ago, I’ve done my best to get accurate information. That includes making every effort to speak with individuals actually involved with this case, rather than relying on second-hand info. Initially, my relationship with America’s Most Wanted opened a lot of doors that otherwise would have been locked tight. Since then, luckily, the popularity of the Internet has grown to the point that it’s now possible to identify myself as being affiliated with a “.com” without garnering too many blank stares. Unfortunately, even with great sources, miscommunication can occur. That appears to be the case with the Cheri Jo Bates/DNA saga. For the last few weeks (or has it already been months?), I had been posting what I believed to be fact. However, contrary to what has been posted, the Riverside Police Department (RPD) apparently has not received any results regarding DNA comparison between Bates and “Barnett,” her suspected killer. The FBI has all relevant materials and any undue delay is a result of the FBI’s workload and not a result of incompetence or sluggishness on the part of RPD.

UPDATE: The DNA did not match.

> Thanks to everybody who has helped make the new Message Board a huge success. It’s “about time” we all had a convenient place to argue about radians and such. Most of the bugs have been worked out, so there should be no more disappearing posts.


March 20, 2000) The History Channel’s Zodiac episode tonight was about what I expected. (Although I was hoping to look a tad more slender on camera.) You can post your comments regarding the show or any other Zodiac-related subject on the all-new Zodiackiller.com Message Board.


March 11, 2000) The date for The History Channel’s Zodiac documentary has been released. Perfect Crimes? will air March 20 at 9 p.m.

> I have updated the Zodiac Letters page to include Zodiac’s entire Aug. ?, 1969 letter. Postmarked San Francisco, the three-page letter was sent to the San Francisco Examiner and was the first time Zodiac referred to himself by that name. Although the text has been reproduced, this is the first time the entire letter has been made public. The Aug. 4, 1969 Examiner featured a story on the letter, although the date it was mailed is unknown.

Zodiac Killer Archives: 1999

Oct. 11, 1999) Last night I thoroughly enjoyed The Learning Channel’s Case Reopened documentary about the Zodiac case. However, during the show I received a very angry phone call from Bud Kelley, formerly of the Riverside Police Department. Kelley is an expert on the Cheri Jo Bates homicide and was livid that Case Reopened seemed to imply that Zodiac had murdered Bates. Kelley is sure that Bates was murdered by a suspect other than Zodiac. For more information on this suspect, see The Case Against “Bob Barnett”.


Sept. 27, 1999) It has been 30 years since Zodiac’s attack at Lake Berryessa and I have added several exclusive photos of victim Cecelia Shepard. I also added a few other rare photos and composite drawings. More will be added in the next day or two. Click here to see.


Sept. 9, 1999) The Victims page has been updated with new information regarding Kathleen Johns. I have published one of the police reports prepared after her “abduction,” as well as the entire letter Zodiac wrote in an apparent attempt to claim responsibility. (Until now it had been reported that Zodiac had only written a very short letter on July 24, 1970 referring to Johns and that his next letter, mailed July 26, 1970, was several pages. Actually, the July 24, 1970 letter was the longest. The text is nothing new, I have just put the pages in their proper order.)


July 18, 1999) As you might have noticed, this website is no longer called zodiackiller.net. The reason is that AOL has trouble recognizing “.net”. In an effort to be accessible to as many people as possible, this site’s official address is now www.zodiackiller.com.

> For the many of you who have inquired, the Ken Narlow interview is still planned. My questions have been submitted, and I expect the answers within the next few weeks. Unfortunately, a recent attempt to interview former SFPD Inspector Dave Toschi was not successful.


April 10, 1999) In the last few days, I have received 30-plus pages of official documents pertaining to the 1991 and 1992 searches of Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh Allen’s residence in Vallejo, Calif. Police not only found a 12-inch knife like the one used at Zodiac’s Lake Berryessa crime scene, but a typewriter of the same make and model that produced the 1966 Riverside confession. Included in the documents was a quote from former SFPD Homicide Inspector Bill Armstrong, calling Allen “the most viable suspect we ever looked at.”


March 18, 1999) The Learning Channel (TLC) has almost completed its documentary on the Zodiac case. Case Re-opened will air this fall and will be an hour in length. I was a contributor to the project, supplying materials as well as giving an on-camera interview. Hopefully, soon I will be able to obtain a few stills to post. Other contributors to the project included Ed Rust, Harvey Hines and Pam Huckaby.


Feb. 18, 1999) Yesterday I received a copy of Charlie Chan At Treasure Island, yet another film that seemed to have an influence on Zodiac. Click here for some startling details.


Feb. 16, 1999) I finally watched The Most Dangerous Game, the 1932 film that supposedly had an influence on Zodiac. Sure enough, several phrases were used in the movie that later turned up in Zodiac’s letters.


Feb. 9, 1999) As promised earlier in the week, The Arthur Leigh Allen File has been updated with new information on the suspect. I am also still trying to verify the authenticity of an unverified claim that Allen received a speeding ticket leaving the Lake Berryessa area at the time of Cecelia Shepard’s murder.


Jan. 7, 1999) Zodiac Letters has been updated to include several never-released letters and cards, including a portion of the infamous Mikado letter.


Jan. 2, 1999) Check out The Suspects page to see handwriting samples from Lawrence Kane, as well as Bruce Davis. Also, there is a new addition to Kathleen Johns page. See The Victims.