The Zodiac Killer Hoax – 65 – Generation Why

The Zodiac Killer Hoax. Was a serial killer terrorizing San Francisco in the late 1960’s? Why was he never caught, let alone identified? Professor and researcher Thomas Horan joined us to explain just how these murders added up to a “modus operandi” for a serial killer for some in the media, but not for law enforcement. If you have followed this case at all over the years, you’ll likely recognize the names of the players involved. From Zodiac the book to Zodiac the film, the facts of the case have largely remained the same. You might ask yourself, how could a killer be considered a hoax? Tune in and find out just how this story first got started and how it was perpetuated over time.

6 thoughts on “The Zodiac Killer Hoax – 65 – Generation Why

  1. Katy

    I loved this podcast. It always struck me as odd some of the logic leaps that investigators took in linking so-called Zodiac cases together. I’m on board with this theory.

    Reply
  2. K

    My thoughts on this:
    1. Serial Killers were nothing new, even back then. The only people who would make huge profit from some big mysterious serial killer is the press.
    2. Tom Voight takes full advantage of his site to make money, Michael Butterfield does not make a living out of this. What’s even Butterfield’s favorite suspect?
    3. Anyone even mildly familiar with the case knows that Robert Graysmith is a hack. And I believe that plenty of people already know how much of a horrible human being he is.
    4. Did LE just send the letters describing the scenes to the press themselves?
    5. Did Hartnell just imagine a guy with Z’s symbol on his chest?
    6. Did LE just mail people a piece of Paul Stine’s shirt for lols?
    7. LE has already proved that plenty of these letters were written by the same person. I think that the letters received after 1970 are suspect.
    8. Z or whoever shot those people at nearly point-blank range. I imagine that takes a lot of practice.
    9. He changed weapons, big deal. ALA, Graysmith’s favorite suspect, had ammo for several guns.
    10. Where the fuck did you hear all that stuff about Darlene? She was not freaking 007.
    11. So they had a prime suspect for the Lake Berryessa murder, but they never bothered to investigate him?
    12. Anything Mike Mageau says should be taken with a grain of salt. And if someone wanted him dead, why wasn’t he later targeted when they found out he survived?
    13. You believe that Z doesn’t exist, but you’re willing to believe convicts?
    14. You mentioned that there’s plenty of evidence that this is a hoax, where is it?
    15. Thomas Henry Horan is also making money off of pure speculation.

    And I could go on and on… Am I saying that there is no way in hell that you guys are right? No. But you’re gonna have a hard time making me or anyone else believe that so many people(including the police) were in on this elaborate hoax.

    Reply
    1. zodiachoax

      K: Thanks for your comments! Very helpful. I don’t know why people are so allergic to using their actual names, but what the heck, your comments are useful, anyway. Now, I realize that lots of people want to believe in Zodiac, Bigfoot, UFOs, Chupacabra, etc, no matter what. I’m not trying to change your mind or anyone else’s. But lots of people are interested in the truth, so here it is, point by point:

      My thoughts on this:
      “1. Serial Killers were nothing new, even back then. The only people who would make huge profit from some big mysterious serial killer is the press.” Exactly. And not “the press,” but specifically, the San Francisco Chronicle.
      “2. Tom Voigt takes full advantage of his site to make money, Michael Butterfield does not make a living out of this. What’s even Butterfield’s favorite suspect?” Oh, Butterfield has TRIED to be another Tom Voigt and Robert Graysmith, but not as successfully. No matter, except that, like Voigt and Graysmith, he has lied, distorted documents, etc.
      “3. Anyone even mildly familiar with the case knows that Robert Graysmith is a hack. And I believe that plenty of people already know how much of a horrible human being he is.” But until these documents became available, no one realized just how massively he had lied about the WHOLE THING.
      “4. Did LE just send the letters describing the scenes to the press themselves?” Did you listen to the podcasts? Have you read any of the stuff in my books or blogs? It’s tough to answer questions when people don’t bother to read stuff first. I end up retyping 100s of pages over and over and over. I realize that very often, these anonymous comments are coming from Voigt and Butterfield and others and their fans, but what the heck, I’ll point it out again, anyway: ONE COP, and ONE REPORTER. If you’re confused about that, try reading my FREE websites or listening to the FREE podcasts.
      “5. Did Hartnell just imagine a guy with Z’s symbol on his chest?” Again, if you’d bothered to read or listen to ANY of this stuff, you’d know that the Vallejo Times-Herald had published a photocopy of the ENTIRE FIRST LETTER, including the symbol, on their front page August 4. The Times-Herald was distributed in Napa county as well as Solano County. So, ANYONE who read that newspaper could have copied that symbol. And the handwriting. Is there any EVIDENCE to rule out a copycat? Especially since the MO is so different? Nope.
      “6. Did LE just mail people a piece of Paul Stine’s shirt for lols?” Again—ONE REPORTER. Keith Power of the Chronicle apparently, according to HIS OWN STORY, had access to Stine’s trip sheet. Funny thing is, SFPD didn’t, and still don’t. So, where did Keith Power get it? And why Graysmith lie about Power? In 1969, reporters monkeying around with evidence was still shockingly common, so yes, it is more than a little bit possible that Power ALSO made off with a couple pieces of Stine’s shirt. It would not have even been necessary to bribe a cop to get to it. It was lying on a countertop in the lab next to the evidence locker for a couple of hours unattended. In Mel Nicolai’s case summary/bulletin, he clearly indicates that ONLY TWO of those three pieces are considered evidence. The pages detailing WHY are still “missing.” But according the pattern of blots and stains on ALL THREE pieces, they were torn off the shirt sometime AFTER the body was removed from the cab. The only time that could have happened out of the presence of witnesses was when the shirt was in the lab, drying.
      “7. LE has already proved that plenty of these letters were written by the same person. I think that the letters received after 1970 are suspect.” Nope. According the ACTUAL FILES, the “expert” opinions, letter after letter, are, “maybe the same person, maybe not.” That wouldn’t hold up in court. And those expert opinions point out plenty of differences in addition to “similarities.” There is no arcane voodoo in handwriting “analysis.” Anyone can see with the naked eye that the handwriting changes after the fourth letter. What is more obvious, in the available color scans, is that the STROKES clearly change—and that’s pretty strong evidence of a second person. Nicolai seems to have thought that at least one letter containing a piece of Stine’s shirt was a fake, and the most obvious fake is the Belli letter. By far the most obvious person who could have faked the Belli letter is Graysmith himself, but it turns out that all the letters were a hoax.
      “8. Z or whoever shot those people at nearly point-blank range. I imagine that takes a lot of practice.” No, it doesn’t take any practice for a junky with the shakes to accidentally shoot Stine in the face. It does seem as though the shooter at LHR had killed before, but the sloppy work at BRS seems to indicate a first timer. There may have even been two shooters at BRS.
      “9. He changed weapons, big deal. ALA, Graysmith’s favorite suspect, had ammo for several guns.” It’s a big deal because, IF he had used the same weapon at least twice, THAT would prove SOME kind of connection between at least SOME of these murders. But there is NO actual evidence of ANY connection. Except the letters. But according to the ACTUAL files, not only are those letters less than convincing, not only do they show that the letters were a hoax, but by looking for a hoaxer INSTEAD of Zodiac, we find a person whose handwriting IS A PERFECT MATCH FOR THE FIRST THREE LETTERS and a reporter who, IN HIS OWN STORY, claims he had access to evidence in the Stine case. Reporter and evidence that Graysmith happens to lie about in his book. He tells a lot of lies that supposedly substantiates the authenticity of the letters, but for some bizarre reason, he lies about the one piece of evidence that WOULD HAVE substantiated one of Zodiac’s incorrect “facts.”
      “10. Where the fuck did you hear all that stuff about Darlene? She was not freaking 007.” What stuff? It’s clear you haven’t actually listened to the podcasts or read any of my material, so I have no idea how to answer this question. Her OWN BROTHER AND SISTER have said that Darlene went out to buy her brother a bag of weed, and that they lied to cops about that to cover their own asses.
      “11. So they had a prime suspect for the Lake Berryessa murder, but they never bothered to investigate him?” Yes, they investigated him. ACCORDING TO THE ACTUAL FILES THEMSELVES. I’m not saying there’s enough in these files to convict anybody of any of these murders, but a big part of the Zodiac myth propagated by Graysmith is that there were no good suspects. That’s bull. None of the suspects he discusses in his were viable, but there were GOOD suspects in most of these “unsolved” murders. Benicia PD have repeatedly declared the LHR shooting solved, Riverside PD have repeatedly declared the Bates murder solved, and according to their own files, the Ferrin murder looks pretty darned solved. Are they lying? Is there some pan-California police conspiracy to protect Zodiac?
      “12. Anything Mike Mageau says should be taken with a grain of salt. And if someone wanted him dead, why wasn’t he later targeted when they found out he survived?” Again, I don’t know what statements of Mageau’s you’re referring to, but one reason he wasn’t shot up again is that he left the state as soon as he could. Another reason is, he changed his story to corroborate the letters. A third reason is, he spent a good deal of his life in the slam. A fourth reason is, ACCORDING THE FILES, VPD pretty much solved the Ferrin murder. Conviction or not (Mike failed to identify his mug shot. As you yourself pointed out, he may have had a damned good reason,) the suspect knew better than to try again.
      “13. You believe that Z doesn’t exist, but you’re willing to believe convicts?” I don’t “believe” ANYTHING. All I’m doing is pointing out that, according to the ACTUAL FILES, the Zodiac theory has ZERO credibility, and that the letters were a BLATANTLY OBVIOUS hoax by ONE REPORTER and, apparently, ONE COP. Why? I don’t know. The first four letters point straight at some funny business at VPD and SFPD, but what Dear Editor was supposed to do about it, I don’t know. MAYBE they were intended to give someone an alibi for at least one murder, but I don’t think so. But maybe.
      “14. You mentioned that there’s plenty of evidence that this is a hoax, where is it?” IN THE ACTUAL FILES AND NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS. And not just one or two niggling little things. EVERY PAGE adds up to ZERO Zodiacs and one BLATANT hoax. No one has to take my word for ANYTHING. I possess ZERO “secret” evidence. Read the files and clippings FOR YOURSELVES. All I’m doing is pointing out the obvious. If you, or ANYONE ELSE, see anything IN THESE FILES AND CLIPPINGS different from what I see, please let us know. Or, if you or anyone else (and lots of self-proclaimed Zodiac “experts” claim they can) can produce some of these missing pages, like the RESULTS of the ballistics check on Donald Warren ________’s P- P38, then please do. We’re all waiting. But, according to EVERY SCRAP of available documentation, there never was a Zodiac Killer and those letters were a hoax and Graysmith is a straight up fraud. Result: ZERO justice for these victims and their families. There is something wrong with that,
      “15. Thomas Henry Horan is also making money” WHAT MONEY?????? Please, send me some money. “off of pure speculation.” What speculation? READ THESE FILES AND CLIPPINGS FOR YOURSELF. You don’t need secret decoder goggles. It’s OBVIOUS.

      I’ll try again: According to the ACTUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY FILES FROM FIVE POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND THE FBI, there is ZERO evidence to substantiate the Zodiac Myth, and ALL the evidence points straight at ONE COP and ONE REPORTER for creating a hoax consisting of “confession letters” mailed to the Chronicle. Read that stuff for yourself. It won’t kill you.

      I’m scheduled to discuss this with a Zodiac “expert” next month. Maybe HE can point to something, ANYTHING, that saves the Zodiac Myth from oblivion. I, for one, cannot wait.

      Reply
      1. K

        “What stuff? It’s clear you haven’t actually listened to the podcasts or read any of my material, so I have no idea how to answer this question. Her OWN BROTHER AND SISTER have said that Darlene went out to buy her brother a bag of weed, and that they lied to cops about that to cover their own asses.”

        Her being a secret informant for the police(unless I misheard). And everyone knows that her family is known for its credibility *facepalm*

        “But according the pattern of blots and stains on ALL THREE pieces, they were torn off the shirt sometime AFTER the body was removed from the cab”

        This is just ridiculous…

        “What speculation? READ THESE FILES AND CLIPPINGS FOR YOURSELF. You don’t need secret decoder goggles. It’s OBVIOUS. ”

        Your own interpretation of the evidence = speculation. The people who released that evidence don’t look at it the way you do.

        I actually have listened to the podcast, but I will admit that I haven’t looked through absolutely everything because I don’t really think it’s necessary since it will just repeat what you’ve said. And I asked most of those questions because I don’t buy this whole 2 guys were responsible for everything theory and was hoping for a different response, not just a repeat of the same things you’ve said before. Just like absolutely everyone else who claimed to solve this case, your interpretations are the only things that matter.

        If the FBI or anyone else was actually 100% certain that 2 guys were responsible for all of this, then they would have said so and put this mystery to rest. The fact that this case is still being investigated with 1 suspect in mind is the biggest blow to anyone who claims something like this. It’s been over 40 years, why would anyone continue this hoax? And l’ll repeat, the people investigating this case don’t interpret the evidence the way you do. But, just as you accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being uninformed or a fan of whoever, you’re just gonna stick to your own story regardless of what anyone says.

        Reply
        1. zodiachoax

          K: More questions? Good.

          “I actually have listened to the podcast, but I will admit that I haven’t looked through absolutely everything because I don’t really think it’s necessary” Apology accepted. But, if you’re not willing to look at the evidence yourself, then you’re stuck believing the vultures and their fraudulent books and websites.

          “[Darlene] being a secret informant for the police(unless I misheard). And everyone knows that her family is known for its credibility *facepalm*” Speaking of facepalms, I didn’t say she was an informant. Her family and friends have said she might have been. I said, that MIGHT explain why both Hoffman and Villareal said they were there at the time of the shooting (11:55 pm) and yet they both also said they didn’t see her car there. I could see ONE of then being confused about that, but BOTH of them? There are two possible reasons for BOTH of them lying: 1. They killed her, or were otherwise involved. This is not the least bit far fetched. There were very definitely several crooked narcs in Vallejo at that time. 2. They were using either Darlene or Mike or both, and when those two ended up shot, Hoffman and Villareal needed to cover their asses. VPD could be sued for getting their informants shot up. That would be tough on young Hoff’s career. He himself has made several more comments over the years that make him look suspicious, but—and perhaps I did not make myself clear in this particular podcast—that’s NOT MY POINT. My point is, the LETTERS call attention to all this. Why? Did the letter writer THINK Hoffman was guilty somehow? Did the letter writer THINK Hoffman knew who killed Darlene? Villareal arrested Darlene’s “friend” Warren the night of July 20, with a P38 in his pocket, apparently as the result of some kind of setup. Warren was promptly booked for Darlene’s murder. Rust showed Mike a mugshot of this Warren a few days later, but Mike said he didn’t recognize him. (Warren was tall and thin.) A couple of days after that, the first Zodiac letter was mailed the three papers. That letter, and the second letter, call oodles and scads of attention to Hoffman’s report. Coincidence? Maybe. But that doesn’t explain Hoffman’s report, or how a Chronicle reporter got a copy of it, or how Zodiac got a copy of it. I can see why a Chronicle reporter (and then Graysmith) would concoct the Zodiac hoax. But that’s not Power’s handwriting on the first three or four letters—it’s Snook’s. I can see why Snook would want to call attention to what was going on in Vallejo, but you know what’s funny? EVERY cop who ever sneezed on a piece of paper related to one of the “Zodiac” murders gets his name in Graysmith’s book. Even George Schultz, the desk jockey who signed in the Stine evidence in the SFSO evidence room, is mentioned by name in the book. Every cop—except Snook. He collected the fingerprints on the phone booth in Napa. The “Wing Walker” shoe prints. The tire tracks. Etc. But his name is completely absent from the book. You know what’s even more funny? They go way back. Same thing with Power—he turned up a piece of evidence that “proved” Zodiac was “right” about Washington and Maple—but you’d never know that from reading Graysmith’s book. Isn’t that funny? But I’ll point it out AGAIN, in case you have trouble making it all the way through a paragraph before you lose your train of thought: Yes, Pam and Leo are less than 100 percent reliable. But, THAT DOESN’T PROVE THE ZODIAC REALLY EXISTED. The point is, according to the Zodiac Myth, there are no good suspects or motives in the shooting of Mike and Darlene. That’s baloney, and Graysmith knew that when he wrote his book. And it’s not just one or two things that are baloney. The WHOLE THING is baloney, starting with the first letter.

          “But according the pattern of blots and stains on ALL THREE pieces of Paul Stine’s shirt, they were torn off the shirt sometime AFTER the body was removed from the cab This is just ridiculous…” Not only is it not ridiculous, it’s obvious to the naked eye. ANYONE can see that for themselves. IF they bother to look. The point is, not only is there NO LINK between ANY TWO of these murders, there is NO LINK between the letters and any murder–EXCEPT those pieces of the shirt. But the funny thing is, according to his own bulletin, issued to all the other police agencies, Mel Nicolai himself thought that one of those pieces was mailed in a phony letter. What’s even funnier is, Graysmith claims he “studied” that bulletin “while it was being corrected.” Does he explain what he was doing in Nicolai’s office way back in January, 1971? Does he explain that Nicolai thought one of those letters was some kind of fake? Does he explain why he didn’t “correct” Nicolai’s report on that point? Nope, nope, nope. Oh, which letter did Nicolai think was fake? Those pages are still “missing,” but Graysmith once claimed that Belli got TWO letters from Zodiac. A claim he deleted from his book at the last second. So, what? So, Chronicle reporter Baron Muller also claimed that Belli got TWO pieces of Stine’s shirt. Don’t you wonder who Muller’s “source” was for that story? You don’t, but a lot of people do. Let’s just say there was a Chronicle employee handy who had personally “studied” Nicolai’s files. See what I mean? You don’t see, but a lot of people do. What they see is, it isn’t just that the letters MIGHT be a hoax. They see that all of those pages you don’t want to read show quite plainly that the whoooooooooole entire Zodiac Myth is a cheap, if lucrative, fraud.

          “Your own interpretation of the evidence = speculation.” No, it isn’t. ANYONE can read this stuff for themselves. I don’t claim there’s enough to convict anyone of any of these murders, but it’s OBVIOUS that the letters were a shoddy hoax. Stiltz said so. Martin Lee said so.

          “And I asked most of those questions because I don’t buy this whole 2 guys were responsible for everything theory” But, ANYONE who does bother to read the ACTUAL files and clippings will see what I see. It’s not “mysterious” in the slightest. There isn’t any mystery to the “Zodiac” AT ALL.

          “Just like absolutely everyone else who claimed to solve this case, your interpretations are the only things that matter.” I’ll state it AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN. No one has to take my word for ANYTHING. I don’t even have to be a real person. I could be a fictional character created by Siri. Anyone, ANYONE who reads English can read these documents for THEMSELVES. Except you, of course. You’d rather sit in the pumpkin patch night after night waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear. Don’t let me stop you.

          It’s been over 40 years, why would anyone continue this hoax?” It isn’t “anyone” It’s Robert Graysmith and the wannabes Tom Voigt, Michael Butterfield, and Michael Kelleher.

          “And l’ll repeat, the people investigating this case” There aren’t any, unless you mean the “experts.” More on them below.

          “But, just as you accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being uninformed” YOU are the one who admitted you have not read all of the material. How does that make you “informed?” Remember those pages the FBI released in 2012? Six weeks after I sent them a summary of my findings to that date? Why did I have to point out to all the “experts” that all those new Dennis Land pages were in there? (I had pointed out to LE that his brother Ray Land was one of the hoax suspects.) Why didn’t YOU notice? Why didn’t Voigt notice? Why didn’t Butterfield or Zwark or Rodelli or Cole or Kelleher notice? Why didn’t ANY of the self-proclaimed “experts” notice that Hoffman’s OWN REPORT puts him at BRS at the time of her murder? Why didn’t ANYONE notice that the FBI declared, in October 1969, that NONE of the fingerprints from ANY of the crime scenes or letters matched ANY others? Why did I have to point that out? Why did Voigt delete that front page of the Times-Herald from August 4, the one that shows the photocopy of the entire first letter including the symbol, from his website? The front page that proves that a copycat could have attacked Bryan and Cecelia? Etc? Etc? Etc?

          And no, I’m not interested in “what anyone says.” What I’m interested in, and what a lot of other people are interested in, is the EVIDENCE. Let’s count the Zodiac “experts” who shoot their mouths off about their “access.” Um, Voigt. Um, Butterfield. Um, Zwark. Um, Davis. Um, Rodelli. Um, Kelleher. I have asked ALL OF THEM, publicly AND privately, about the conspicuously “missing” pages, like the results of the ballistics check on Warren’s P38. Or Andy Jr’s statement. Or the missing page(s) from Nicolai’s bulletin where he explains why only TWO of the THREE pieces of Stine’s shirt are considered evidence. Or Villareal’s report he promised to type. Or the copy of Morrill’s report of his analysis of the handwriting on Bryan’s car door. Everybody shoots their mouths off about what great experts they are, how much they know, who they know, blah, blah, blah, but when it comes time to put up, they all change the subject, ban me from their sites, ban other people from their sites. But put up? Nope.

          I’m sorry I spoiled the Zodiac party, but this isn’t some harmless Bigfoot fantasy or crop circle jerkoff. It’s four dead kids and a dead cab driver and their families and zero justice. And a sewer crawling with leeches and a King Leech with a seven figure deal. Party’s over.

          No, wait, there’s one last hurrah coming. Next week, someone called “Morf13″ (you can tell he’s an expert by his Superduper Secret Zodiac code name) is supposed to explain to us once and for all just exactly what “evidence” there is that supposedly proves the “Zodiac Killer” is anything more than a shoddy publicity stunt by a sleazy tabloid newspaper and their sleaziest employee. Then, the party will be over, since Voigt and Graysmith don’t even have the guts to try. Kelleher and Cole started to, then chickened out. Wakshull chickened out, on his own Amazon page.

          It’s just as well. Voigt and Graysmith would just start spewing more lies, anyway. But if “Morf” can’t save Zodiac from oblivion . . .

          PS If you, or anyone else, have questions you’d like Morf to ask, or can point him to evidence he can discuss, be sure and message him at his website. Just Google “Morf13.” Don’t snicker when you message him; he’ll think you’re me.

          Reply

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