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.

Zodiac Killer Archives: 1998

Dec. 24, 1998) Monday night I returned from a five-day trip to the Bay Area, during which I was able to meet with two of the original Zodiac detectives. Sunday I spent about 20 minutes with former SFPD inspector Dave Toschi. On Monday I had lunch with Ken Narlow, formerly of the Napa County Sheriff’s Department. Both were very friendly and informative. In Vallejo I spent several hours with former Vallejo police officer Steve Baldino searching for surviving Zodiac victim Mike Mageau. Apparently Mageau is back in hiding.

Dec. 2, 1998) Yesterday I was a guest on The Howard Stern Show. Based on the huge number of e-mail I have been receiving, the segment was at least entertaining, if not informative. Thanks to Howard for having me on.

Nov. 26, 1998) Earlier this week I spoke with former Vallejo police officers Ed Rust and Steve Baldino. Rust was involved in the Darlene Ferrin murder investigation and Baldino was a close friend of Darlene’s family. Both were very informative. Rust told me that Darlene was alive after the shooting, which contradicts testimony of officer Richard Hoffman. Hoffman was first at the crime scene and maintains that Darlene was “very much dead.” Both Rust and Hoffman agree, however, that there were no signs of sexual activity between Ferrin and Mike Mageau. When Darlene’s sister, Pam Huckaby, asked if it looked like Ferrin and Mageau were physically involved at the time of the attack, Hoffman said “Hell no!” Rust was equally as adamant during our conversation.

Nov. 20, 1998) Wednesday night I finally watched Zodiac, the low-budget early 1970s film inspired by the case. It was by far the worst movie I’ve ever seen and I’m not exaggerating. At least now I can say that I’ve seen it. Surprisingly, there were only a few scenes that had anything to do with the case, although that was the least of the problems with this movie. The night before, I watched The Limbic Region, an early 1990s film also based on the case. It’s worth seeing, (especially compared to Zodiac) with the plot being the duel between an Inspector Toschi-type character and his suspect, who is based on Arthur Leigh Allen.

Nov. 15, 1998) The America’s Most Wanted feature on Zodiac finally aired last night and I was very happy with the final product. Very gutsy of John Walsh and company to name Lawrence Kane as a suspect on national television. I watched the show with Pam Huckaby, sister of Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin. Pam will post her thoughts on the show at this site in the next few days. Besides a few minor errors, (showing a picture of Donna Lass during the Bates segment, for example) AMW did a good job presenting a general overview on an extraordinary case.

Nov. 13, 1998) Even though I was bumped from The Howard Stern Show due to a couple of segments running long, Howard was nice enough to mention this site and give the web address. He also mentioned the America’s Most Wanted episode airing tomorrow night. I have been rescheduled as a guest on Dec. 1.

Nov. 12, 1998) It seems as if everybody has a theory about what Zodiac’s “My name is-” cipher means. Recent developments indicate the cipher might be a ruse, rather than containing the killer’s identity. Click here for the amazing details.

Nov. 9, 1998) This Friday, Nov. 13, I will be a guest on The Howard Stern Show. One of Howard’s producers called me this morning with the offer. The plan is for Howard to interview me live, via telephone, from the radio station where I work. I will be plugging this website, as well as my appearance on Saturday’s America’s Most Wanted episode on Fox TV.

Nov. 5, 1998) Monday was a big day, as I was able to contact Pam Huckaby, Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin’s sister. We talked for over an hour on the phone and the next night I visited her home. Pam has a wealth of Zodiac-related materials, many of which she has promised to share with zodiackiller.net. Outspoken and devoted to bringing her sister’s killer to justice, Pam has found criticism upon occasion. However, I find her to be very helpful and generous.

Oct. 30, 1998) After much anticipation, last night I was able to speak with one of the original Zodiac investigators, retired Napa County Sheriff’s detective Ken Narlow. The conversation lasted about 35 minutes and was very informative. The most important detail Narlow revealed was that, as far as he knows, Arthur Leigh Allen can’t be placed in the area of the Lake Berryessa murder. To Narlow’s knowledge, Allen was NOT issued a citation in Napa County in late September 1969. (The Allen/citation story was told to me by a since-discredited author a few years ago.)

Oct. 21, 1998) This website was featured on the front page of Sunday’s Vallejo Times-Herald. (Oct. 18, 1998.) I will post the full story within a couple of days. Thanks to the Times-Herald for its acknowledgment.

Oct. 9, 1998) The America’s Most Wanted shoot went great, at least the two days I saw. The segment will air this Nov. 21 and I will post the photos I took as soon as I get permission from Fox TV. Dean Ferrin was on hand for several hours on Thursday, although he wasn’t interviewed on camera. He and I appeared on Fox News San Francisco. I was also interviewed by Fox News from Sacramento.

Oct. 4, 1998) Wednesday I am being flown to San Francisco by America’s Most Wanted. AMW will be spending several days in the Bay Area filming for an upcoming episode on Zodiac. Apparantly I will be interviewed on camera at the crime scenes. The episode will air this November. I will post details of my trip later in the week.

Sept. 23, 1998) Monday I returned from a brief vacation in Vallejo, Calif. I was able to gather many photos and documents relating to this case. The highlight of my trip was the hour I spent with Dean Ferrin. (Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin’s husband in 1969.) Dean was kind enough to answer all of my questions and he even gave me several color photos of Darlene from the late 1960s.

Sept. 6, 1998) Was Zodiac a musician? Based on his letters, we know that he professed a fondness for Gilbert & Sullivan. I recently discovered another possible solution to Zodiac’s cross-circle symbol. It points to Zodiac being more than just a casual music lover. Click here for a look.

Aug. 17, 1998) Big news: I have purchased the domain name “zodiackiller.net.” This site will be located at that address by the end of August. Also, last week I received some exciting materials, including the police report of possible Zodiac victim Kathleen Johns. Another item of interest that I received was the entire Zodiac killer comic book.

May 9, 1998) For years there has been speculation about what, if anything, Zodiac’s cross-circle symbol means. Needless to say, I was quite surprised to stumble upon this possible solution.

May 6, 1998) I spoke with Detective DiStefano of the Vallejo Police Department, who has been in charge of the Zodiac “file” since January. DiStefano informed me that Vallejo considers the case to be unsolved. He was at a loss to explain the comments made by former captain Roy Conway. (See April 16, 1998 post below.)

April 18, 1998) William Beeman, who wrote a book several years ago accusing his brother, Jack, of the Zodiac crimes, is backing off his claim. Over the phone I was informed William “no longer wishes to discuss that” subject. His book, Jack The Zodiac, is no longer available. Jack Steadman Beeman died in Arizona in the mid-1980s and never had a chance to respond to the allegations.

April 16, 1998) It now appears that Roy Conway, former captain of the Vallejo Police Department (VPD), may have been only speculating by telling the San Francisco Chronicle in 1994, “If Allen (Arthur Leigh) were alive today, we would file charges against him as the Zodiac.” I recently learned that VPD still considers the case unsolved and even has a detective assigned to it. I will post results of all my future conversations with this detective.

Roy Conway Speculates

It now appears that Roy Conway, former captain of the Vallejo Police Department (VPD), may have been only speculating by telling the San Francisco¬†Chronicle¬†in 1994, “If Allen (Arthur Leigh) were alive today, we would file charges against him as the Zodiac.” I recently learned that VPD still considers the case unsolved and even has a detective assigned to it. I will post results of all my future conversations with this detective.

Zodiac Letters: 1969 Vallejo Times-Herald Letter and Cipher

In July 1969 a letter was mailed to the Vallejo Times-Herald. It also contained the first of three ciphers. The letters claimed credit for the first two attacks at Lake Herman Road of Betty Lou Jensen and David Arthur Faraday on December 20th, 1968,

Vallejo Times-Herald Letter

(Transcript Below)

Zodiac Killer Letter:  Vallejo Times Letter

Vallejo Times-Herald Letter Transcript

Dear Editor
I am the killer of the 2 teen-agers last Christmass at Lake Herman and the Girl last 4th of July. To Prove this I shall state some facts which only I + the police know.
1 Brand name of ammo Super X
2 10 Shots fired
3 Boy was on back feet to car
4 Girl was lyeing on right side
feet to west
4th of July
1 Girl was wearing patterned Pants
2 Boy was also shot in knee
3 Brand name of ammo was Western
Here is a cyipher or that is part of one. the other 2 parts
have been mailed to the S.F. Examiner + the S.F. Chronicle I want you to print this cipher on your frunt page by Fry Afternoon Aug 1-69, If you do not do this I will go on a kill ram page Fry night that will last the whole week end.
I will cruse around and pick of all stray people or coupples that are alone then move on to kill some more untill I have killed over a dozen people.

Cipher (1/3)

Cipher 1 of 3 Key

Zodiac Killer times-herald-cipher-key-1-of-3

Cipher Key 1 of 3 (transcript below)


I like killing people because it is so much fun. It is more fun than killing wild game in the forrest because man is the most dangerous animal of all. To kill something gi

Vallejo Times-Herald Envelope Front

zodiac killer times-herald-envelope-front

Vallejo Times-Herald Envelope Back

Zodiac Killer times-herald-envelope-back

Zodiac Letters: 1967 April 30th

On April 30th, 1967 the Zodiac Killer mailed three letters. One to Riverside Press-Enterprise, one to Joseph Bates, the victim Cheri Jo Bate’s father, and the Riverside Police department. All three were postmarked from Riverside, Calif.

Letter/Envelope 01:
Sent to Riverside Press-Enterprise

Letter/Envelope 02:
Sent to Joseph Bates, victim’s father

Letter/Envelope 03:
Sent to Riverside Police Department

Zodiac Letters: 1966 December Riverside Desktop Poem

In December of 1966, a desktop poem was discovered at the Riverside City College Library. If the poem is referring to the victim Cheri Jo Bates it would have been written before October 30th, 1966.

Transcript below:

Sick of living/unwilling to die

if red /
blood spurting,
all over her new
oh well
it was red
life draining into an
uncertain death.
she won’t
this time
someone ll find her.
just wait till
next time.