The ZODIAC Killer At 50

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.

ZodiacneatZ

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.

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The Trial of JJ DeAngelo

My blog has been rather quiet here. I have deleted most of the cold case information since EAR-ONS is largely old cabbage now. However, you may be interested in my last major article on the case, as presented on The Quester Files, my website.

The Trial of JJ DeAngelo and The East Area Rapist

The article is quite long (over 12,000 words) and it organizes (as much as I could in the medium) the evidence for more than one perpetrator in the East Area Rapist and Visalia Ransacker crimes. It is evidence a trial must face.

As far as my Zodiac Killer investigation, you know if you have been following the updates of the snippets of hand writing from “Steve” that the printing matches ZODIAC and I have expressed my certainty that ZODIAC is now identified. Behind the scenes, how all this goes through the system, well, that is another matter from which I have at present excused myself.

But perhaps a look at my Quester Files Update page might be in order.

As I delve deeper into some X Files topics, I recede from posting on my blog. Sorry about that, but these subjects I really don’t present until my investigation is finished and my thesis is written.

More cold cases are pending– The Monster of Florence really needs a good work up. It is not represented well on the web, though a couple of books have done a fairly admirable job of bringing us the details. But analysis needs to be done in order to direct us to a satisfactory answer. We cannot just tick-tock between theories of a fat old Tuscan peasant and the Sardinian Trail.

My next blog post will be on the Il Mostro.

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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.

Signed, Yours Truley– ZODIAC

For 6 years many of you have followed my very quiet investigation of Steve. Since I posted his picture in 2013 and a one page blurb on Q Files, you have been patient. Q Files held results of my crime scene restoration work, but not my own personal investigation.

In my long pursuit to get vintage penmanship samples, I succeeded in 2 stages, beginning in 2016. I’ve shared on Q Files a couple of samples of his penmanship compared to Zodiac’s. Penmanship does match. But that is not just to slanting style and specific letters and numbers. It is also to variations. Sherwood Morrill had said once that he could easily recognize Zodiac’s distinctive hand just from a bank deposit slip. I think more is better, of course, because you can then come across the phenomenon of how Zodiac varied letters. One example:

69-9-compared

The “9” on the left is taken from the Zodiac’s printing on the Karmann Ghia door. On the right is Steve’s notation. A rare moment of writing a “9” like a backward “P”. Zodiac’s “6” undergoes major changes. Sometimes it is very curved, even elegant. Sometimes it is just the product of his excessive slanting.

Sample-July2

From the comparison above, we see that Steve wrote his “6” similarly. He naturally slanted, as seen at the “u” and then slants the “L.”

But Zodiac was a very careful writer at times, writing both his cryptograms and sometimes letters with a rigid, straight style.

Sample-Jan

The above sample is so radically different that I disputed it. But it does, in fact, appear to be Steve’s as well, written at a moment when he was relaxed.

These comparisons below reveal some similarities, but for Steve they also reveal a shaky hand contrasted by a steady hand.
Samples-numerals2

I do know that some psychiatric problems may bear on printing. From what I have discovered I can certainly say that the man or men who wrote the above samples on this page were suffering from some severe mental disorders. One was released from the USAF psychiatric ward one and a half years before the Zodiac crimes began.

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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.

The ZODIAC Killer — Printing Match

Since there is more room here than on my website’s update page, I will use this post for clarifications. I finally posted snippets of printing from my suspect matching the Zodiac Killer’s printing. This printing is not done under supervision, but from 50 + year records where he is casually writing. They date to 1966-1967.

My report goes in next week identifying him to the jurisdiction I promised some time ago when I set out on the arduous trip to find vintage hand printing from a man who lived an obscure life. Once my report has been accepted, the jurisdiction will be identified here in an update.

As to the previous posts on ZODIAC identified by DNA: Again, the term “refining leads” got out and passed around– which in the context of months after a DNA submission to genealogy databases means someone has been arrived at by name. This was reported in various ways. One public source reported that they have DNA, which they have had for a while, so that may have been a mistake of not understanding “refining leads.”

In any case, I took down the posts reluctantly, not because of the belief there was inaccuracy (several out there are insisting that one jurisdiction ((Vallejo)) is vehemently denying  they know anything about any lead or name.) But “refining leads” may have been misused by the original source to merely mean DNA tracing is continuing but has not reached a pool of viable suspects yet.

In any case, for my purposes here it is not relevant anymore. It only confuses two entirely separate paths. So as it stands, if this is all true, I’m the only one turning in a suspect by name based on admissible evidence. You know my views on the old gumshoe, bulldog method.

Since sufficiently matching penmanship samples came into me last week, and more are expected Monday, I will confine myself on here purely to the developments, as I am able, as they pertain to my investigation.

I will probably share some more detailed printing samples later, but for now readers can go to the Updates page on my website The Quester Files and view those already placed up.

For those who have followed my pursuit for so many years, I thank you all for your patience.

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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.

Murder Said Easy- The ZODIAC Killer– HORRORSCOPE

Since there have been delays in HorrorScope, I’m serializing some parts of it here to give everybody a taste. This is an outtake from chapter 4: Murder Said Easy. After recreating the events at Blue Rock Springs . . .

HorrorScope Copyright Gian J. Quasar

 

Every sound in a morgue seems final. Every echo seems to lead to an empty vault. The bland, swinging doors close and the echo leads nowhere. The walls are some faded pale green. It is supposed to be anodyne, but the antiseptic aura of a morgue is a utilitarian one. It is not like a hospital, where the purpose is toward preventing death. Everything in a morgue is utilitarian toward disposal. The surgical tables are stainless steel, cold but clean. All the hardware is stainless steel. Lights on overhead elbow joints lend no warmth— the cold steel simply sparkles. Life is gone. Utilitarian, sterile function takes the beat.
Bodies lie under sanitary sheets of that ugly pale green. A little tag is wrapped round the big toe of the cadaver. It is not even a body now. A shell. The shell is to be processed. It is pushed along on what look like large stainless steel dinner dollies. There to the morgue table they go; a squeak of the wheels, a heft onto the table. Underneath are the channels and the drains for the flow of blood and bodily fluids. Men in masks lean over and logistically “hmmm” before they start with the scalpel.
Such was now the end of vivacious Dee Ferrin.

Before Dr. S. Shirai could even do the coroner’s job he had to play detective and measure the bullet entry and exit wounds to get an idea of trajectory. This could be done fairly easily because of the 17 holes in Ferrin there were 9 entry wounds and 7 exit wounds. The angle between them was very apparent. As he finished, he dictated the following into a microphone:

General: Well developed, well nourished, fully built. Scalp hair is light brown, but dark towards the roots. Irides are blue; pupils equal at 0.5cm. Both eyelashes are false. Rigor mortis is 4 plus. Body is embalmed.

Wounds: There are nine bullet wounds of entry, seven exit wounds, and two bullets recovered from the body, internally. Right arm shows two entry wounds; one at five and one half inches above elbow on right lateral side, going through and fracturing the humeral shaft and exiting anteriorly and medially at one and one quarter distal to elbow. The other is behind forearm, three and one half inches above the wrist, chafing the skin from right to left. Left arm shows two entry wounds; one is medially located in upper arm at three and one quarter inches above the elbow and exiting the opposite side. The other is medially on the forearm located two inches above the wrist, going through and fracturing the radial and ulnar bones, and exiting above and laterally at three inches above wrist.

There are five entry wounds on the right half of the back, mainly on the posterior thoracic cage. From down upward, the first is located half an inch right of T-12, through posterior margin of T-12, the liver, stomach, and exiting through left rib number eight, laterally, on left mid-axillary liner. The second is located three and one quarter inches right of T-10, through posterior margin of T-1- and T-11, the liver, spleen, and bullet is recovered medial margin of left rib number nine. The third is located seven and a half inches to the right of T-7, about posterior axillary line, through the right lung, lacerating posterior-apical area of left ventricle of heart, the left lung, and exiting through the left rib number 7 laterally about the mid-axillary line. The fourth is located two and one quarter inches to the right of T-4, through 4th rib, the right lung, the anterior shaft of right second rib, where the bullet is recovered in subcutaneous tissue here. The fifth is located back of the right shoulder, through the soft tissues, the subcutaneous tissues of the anterior chest wall, and chafing the anterior margin of the sternum at level of 4th rib, and exiting to the left side of left breast, slightly above the level of nipple.

No scalp injuries or skull fractures.

The heart, both lungs are within normal limits, except for hemorrhages around the course of the bullets. The GI tract (track), appendix, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus (not pregnant) are within normal. The stomach is filled with undigested foods. The bladder is filled with clear amber urine. There are no tumors or abnormalities of the organs. The thyroid and adrenal glands are not remarkable.

There are bloody fluid in the thoracic cavity (200cc. each) and abdominal cavity (300cc.).

Dr. Shirai wrote the obvious conclusion under Immediate Cause of Death: “Multiple bullet wounds to chest and abdominal organs.” The attendant finished up and the body was rolled slowly into the cold refrigerator unit and the box door shut.

Hospital rooms are about as humorless as the morgue. The ICU room is painted warmer colors, but the atmosphere of tragedy keeps anyone from embracing it; that terrible limbo that does not exist in a morgue. Here people are fighting to survive, their loved ones praying desperately for them. Despite how intense the battle is, the only movement in such a ward is glowing green lines on dark screens. They beep up and down or shrill a terrible, frantic warning.
I.V. bottles and tubes hung about Sgt. Ed Rust as he sat next to Mike Mageau’s bed. The 19 year old was pale. The drip of blood from the bottle to the tube was the only thing maintaining any color in him. Half of his face was covered in a bandage, sealing the bullet hole in his neck. The blood had been cleaned out of his mouth. His bloodstained clothes had been taken for photographing as evidence. He lay here now covered, stitched, heavily drugged, the residue of what was to have been a late night fun time on the glorious 4th of July.

Ed Rust’s voice is the only thing that disturbed the rhythm of the electronic beeps on the monitors. Dr. Scott said he could have a short time to talk to Mike. The purpose was obvious: “State the facts.”

Mike repeated as best he could the day’s events and how they came to be at the parking lot. He recounted how the car had pulled up earlier and sat next to them on Dee’s side for about a minute. He qualified that Dee was popular, and how when he asked if she knew this driver she just replied “Oh never mind.” Then the car pulled out. Mike now told Rust:

A white man drove up in a car, got out, walked up, shined flashlite [sic] inside and started shooting. Man was older than me, window was down. After stop shooting I got out of car. I tried to get people to come over but they drove off. After finally 10 minutes, the Policeman came.

Continued later . . . .

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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.

The ZODIAC Game is Over–

— Almost . . .

This article came out a couple of weeks ago. I’ve largely glossed over it. But, as you can see, the race is on now.

ZODIAC DNA

You all deserve an update from me, however, regarding my own search since 2012. As for me, the hand printing is still being sought from several sources. It should be obtained within February, and then after appropriate analysis I will make the announcement here.

As for the official investigation, I know little. I have continued on my own, though some retired LE are now helping to trace hand printing for me. We will soon know without doubt that it is Steve. Lake_Berryessa_Suspec sketch

Whatever the DNA results are, investigation must still link the owner of the DNA with evidence in perpetration– which means hand printing examples must be acquired by law enforcement (I hope) before any public conclusion can be drawn. Even though DNA can identify a suspect, and pulling his driver’s license will show similar features to the composites, it still requires matching hand printing and, if SFPD is correct, to fingerprints lifted from Stine’s taxi cab. That alone is evidence in perpetration.  It is not illegal to lick a stamp. It is illegal to make the claims in the letters that ZODIAC made. And remember, he went out of his way to make sure there was no doubt that he, the letter-writer and the killer were one and the same by lettering the door of the Karman Ghia at Lake Berryessa. Lake_Berryessa_Car_door_at_crime_scene

I know there is crankery on the web that claims the letter-writer and the actual killer(s) are not connected, but that it utter rubbish. There was serious doubt all through the end of summer 1969 whether the letter-writer and the killer were one and the same, thanks largely to Vallejo Chief of Police Jack Stiltz. The ZODIAC knew this, and probably hadn’t foreseen such reluctance to accept his word. He rectified that at Lake Berryessa. The writing on the door proves that he the letter writing ZODIAC was one and the same as the killer.

Had it not been for his boasting nature, the crimes never would have been solved. But his hand printing first, then the stamp DNA (maybe) will give his legacy away.

If DNA tags my guy before I can dot the i’s and cross the t’s of hand printing, I will still go ahead with HorrorScope. It is finished anyway. It lays out the old style gumshoe approach to his identity– the connections to a draftsman, the design and building of Humble Oil, small game hunting, his tour in the Air Force, his Texas interlude, his illness and injury, how he knew of Deer Lodge Prison, his various stepfathers, and how he acquired a knowledge of radians, and much more.

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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.

Quietly Unraveling The ZODIAC

I’m sorry once again that my blog has fallen silent for the most part on current cold case investigations. I know this is especially frustrating for those who have been waiting for HorrorScope, which I have delayed more than once.  You all have learned how I have contempt for books that advertise “Solved” when the contents are nothing more than a dangling accusation against yet another suspect (on whatever case the book may be based). That is not the purpose of HorrorScope.

I don’t really classify myself as a writer. I write about some of my real life investigations, and HorrorScope is the result of my investigation into uncovering the true identity of the most boastful slayer in history.

To update you, several avenues are being pursued right now to secure contemporary hand printing examples from my suspect, including help from former law enforcement and private eye’s. Other sources are being sought to locate him during February 1964 and June 1963, to see if he and therefore ZODIAC are truly a viable person of interest in these early double murders.

If the contemporary hand printing sample comes back a match, a sample will be released on Q Files and I will proceed from there with all that is required to present the case appropriately and also let law enforcement take the next steps for their own investigation.

Aside from that no more information will be released until everything is finalized. Thank you again for your patients.

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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.