This is the 50th anniversary of Zodiac’s attack on Dee Ferrin and Mike Mageau at Blue Rock Springs Park on the outskirts of Vallejo. I’m not one for anniversaries, but I will answer some questions sent my way since I have announced %100 matching hand printing between “Steve” and The ‘Zodiac’ Killer.
Q. Do you think Sherwood Morrill could have identified Steve by his hand printing?
A. Your guess is as good as mine. If you follow my updates page on Q Files where I present samples of printing comparisons, you will see to what extent that Zodiac did disguise his printing. Despite Morrill’s claim that Zodiac was using his own handwriting, I find it hard to believe that Morrill could have identified Zodiac from the few letters he had. It took the “Badlands Letter” (1974) added to the corpus to finally match Steve and Zodiac.
In normal communication, Zodiac kept his pen down and made his letters with one stroke like the rest of us. As “Zodiac” in his letters, he didn’t. This is especially noticeable in his b, p, and a few other letters. He made these with 2 strokes. In normal writing, his b and p were made with one stroke. The Badlands Letter shows how he naturally made b and p with 1 stroke. He was trying to “hide” his Zodiac identity in that letter. A few times in Zodiac letters he made mistakes. Below, “speaking” is spelled with a p that is 1 stroke rather than his usual 2 stroke p.
As you will notice, he also wrote a 2 stroke d here. This is very rare. It was usually a 1 stroke. But this letter was one of those that started with him writing very slowly and deliberately. Unless writing very slowly, as above, Zodiac and Steve always wrote on a slant.
Q. Why hasn’t there been a news article about your claims?
A. You have to pander to the news and pitch your story to see if a reporter wants to run with it. I do not do that. That’s how all those stories get published– where a person is lamenting that no one in law enforcement will follow through on his POI. By one route or another the story was brokered. I post matching evidence against Steve on Q Files in order to let my readers know the search has finally ended for me. 6 years looking for admissible evidence. If some people can’t put it together and examine the material, then they can wait for overt declarations when the time has come. I said that the culmination of my case investigation will go through the system. But I keep my readers informed without all the press pandering.
Q. Why is there no official LE news announcement about a heavy duty POI since the printing you showed on Q Files?
A. Again, same as above. I am not within. I am completely independent. There is a difference between identifying and convicting.
Police groupies abound around this case. Their reputation hinges on their appearance that they have insides and represent the infallible amorphous cloud over their shoulder. I do my own investigation and make my own submissions. Outside of that I do not discuss any contact I have with officialdom until the case is over and there is some relevance to write about behind-the-scenes stuff for clarity sake.
Q. Do you think that regardless of any other evidence they are waiting on a DNA match from a genealogical database?
A. My understanding is that Vallejo PD sponsored that. I have no contact with them. If other jurisdictions wait for that, and are not actively investigating other submissions of POIs, then that would be disappointing.
Remember the big hullaballoo when the announcement was made they have identified “perpetrator DNA” and this was taken to be a positive ID. It’s a big assumption that Zodiac licked his own stamps (I would assume he did). Adoption can delay things as well, and I suspect that could be a problem along that line of approach.
Q. Since you have a POI, can you put him in Southern California during the other crimes?
A. Delicate subject. The arguments whether Zodiac (before he became Zodiac) did some of those murders will be presented in HorrorScope. Personally, I never believed he did the Bates murder. But as to writing the April letters as a sort of thrill by proxy, I was not sure. There is a logical progression between the Domingos/Edwards murders and those of the Swindles– and then Faraday and Jensen.
Q. You mentioned he had mental problems in the Air Force. What was the diagnosis?
A. I have a sort of diagnosis that got him put in psychiatric observation for 4 months before being discharged. But the diagnosis at discharge I do not have. Personally, I suspect that his stay at the hospital turned him into something quite antiestablishment. They could have discharged him 4 months before when the board said he was unfit, but perhaps they wanted to experiment. The 1960s was a time of strange psychological theories. Here they had a specimen for free.
I deduce this because the original examination uncovered insomnia, nervousness, and anxiety. But he “denied” everything else. They obviously didn’t believe him. Four months of forced observation and testing at a base hospital might have had some real negative effects on him regarding the “establishment.”
To what extent the mental problems influenced his writing styles, I have no idea. One would need the final diagnosis. It is very intriguing to consider this. But I tend to think that Zodiac naturally had artistic abilities.
Q. What if (even with the printing similarities), your man is not Zodiac? There is a lot of chat that handwriting isn’t even considered evidence.
A. A lot of folklore has sprouted. For whatever bizarre reasons, people have submitted POIs and their hand printing. They were so sure of their POIs that when their POIs were eliminated by LE they decried hand printing as reliable rather than questioning their investigative methods that brought them to their POIs.
The last line of the SFPD handbill remains true today: “Available for comparison: Slugs, Casings, Latents, Handwriting.” Handwriting can identify. And that’s what I did. But there is a much more involved search to find all the evidence and backwork how everything was done.
Personally, I could only suspect Steve for 6 years. It angered a lot of people that I wouldn’t take it beyond that. I had a lot of information that fit. But suspicion doesn’t milk the bullfrog. I waited until I finally obtained one of the pieces of evidence above– handwriting, and contemporary handwriting at that. Steve’s matched. He even made the same variations that Zodiac made– such as with his letters (6 and 9 especially). He slanted his writing. He made the same 2 types of “s” the Zodiac made.
See the Updates page on the Quester Files.
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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.