Calaveras County Ledger-Dispatch
June 2, 2001
By Matthew Hedger
After more than 30 years, the “Zodiac” is still California’s most infamous serial killer.In the late 60s and early 70s, the Zodiac killer terrorized the Bay Area while taunting and frustrating the investigators who tried to catch him and an international media sensation was born. The Zodiac killings have never officially been solved. But decades ago detectives identified a suspect who those closest to the investigation are morally if not absolutely certain is the killer. That suspect was Arthur Leigh Allen.Allen died in 1992 at age 58 from various medical problems. But from 1966 to 1968, Allen was a teacher at Valley Springs Elementary School and lived in a house in Burson. He was fired from the Calaveras Unified School District in 1968 after he allegedly molested a child. Some believe that it was this firing that caused Allen’s life to spin out of control and led to the Zodiac killing spree that officially started in Vallejo in December 1968.
Many investigators believe the Zodiac killed as early as 1966 when a college student named Cheri Jo Bates was stabbed to death in Riverside in Southern California. Some say that Allen can be linked to the Bates killing, partially through personnel records obtained from the Calaveras Unified School District.
More than three decades later the Zodiac case still carries so much notoriety that four Bay Area law enforcement agencies (including Allen’s hometown police department in Vallejo) have created a new task force to try to solve the mysterious murders once and for all. Investigators from that task force were in Calaveras County just last week seeking to interview those who knew Allen when he was a school teacher here and exploring the house and grounds where he once lived. Although the task force leaders will not officially comment on why they are in the area or what exactly they are looking for after so much time has passed, speculation that DNA tests currently being conducted may be providing a long awaited answer to the identity of the infamous Zodiac.
A victim steps forward
One Valley Springs resident, who had extensive contact with Allen as a child, spoke to a reporter on the condition that she not be identified. The Ledger Dispatch has agreed to keep her anonymous.
Cindy Michaels, not her real name, was one of Allen’s students and describes herself as “best friends” with Gwen Cordes, the girl who was allegedly molested, and with whom she kept up a correspondence with long after Cordes left the area. “I want to tell people what I know about him but I’m afraid of copycats or what if it wasn’t him. I don’t want somebody to come up here and start up where the Zodiac left off,” she said.
Michaels recounted several things Allen would do both inside Room 5, where he taught, and outside the classroom that made her, as well as most of the rest of her female classmates afraid of him. “I remember when I first met him,” she said, “I used to go to school every year a couple of days before the start of the new year to meet my new teacher. And while I was there, I’d go and meet my brother’s teacher, too. Mr. Allen was going to be my brother’s teacher and I went into his classroom and met him and when I was on my way out, he showed me to the door. At the door, he reached down and pulled the back of my dress up and patted me on the butt and I thought, gee, why did he do that. I thought it was weird and I went home and I told my parents, I like my new teacher but my brother’s teacher is weird.”
Michaels said after the school year got underway, it was not uncommon for Allen to single out girls from the classroom and call them up to the front of the class where he would take them across his knee and paddle their behinds in full view of the class. “Gwen’s grandmother used to live across the highway from Mr. Allen’s house in Burson and I would sometimes go there for a visit. We were out in the yard playing and Gwen said, “Oh no, he’s looking at us.” and I looked over at his house and he was standing there in his big picture window with a pair of binoculars looking at us. It was really creepy. Gwen said to me, “Let’s go over there,” but I said no and Gwen said, “But he’ll do something bad to us if we don’t.” Now I think he did something bad to Gwen because she did. I know when I got back to school after that, sure enough, that sucker called me up to the front of the class and said to me, “I saw you over at Gwen’s, you should have come to see me,” and he took me across his lap and hiked my dress up and paddled me in front of the whole class. I was so humiliated, I had tears in my eyes but what was I going to do?”
Chance encounter may have saved her life
“One time, Gwen and I were going to ride the bus to Gwen’s house. I only lived a block from the school so I didn’t usually take the bus. Gwen and I were walking to get on it when Mr. Allen called us into his classroom. I remember saying, “No Mr. Allen, we’ll miss the bus,” but he made us come into his room. He took us out of the classroom through the back door and told us to get in his car. I remember it was a big white car but I don’t remember what type. He told us to get down in the floorboard and he drove us to where the dump is out by Paloma. On the way he opened a big 40-ounce bottle of Coors and drank it. I remember by the time we got there he had finished it and it’s really not that far, just a few miles. Anyway, I don’t know what he had in mind by taking us there but when we got there, Shorty, the guy who worked at the dump, was there and he recognized me from times before where I had been at the dump with my dad. So Mr. Allen seemed like he got mad and he throws his empty beer bottle down into the dump and opens up his trunk and the whole thing was full of big empty beer bottles and he throws them all away. Then he orders us back into the car and he drives us down to Gwen’s mother’s house’s driveway and lets us out. I never told my parents about it because I was afraid I would get in trouble.”
Watch owned by teacher featured a zodiac design
Michaels related how she found a Web site about the Zodiac killer recently that brought back memories she is not sure she wants to remember. “I remember the zodiac watch that is talked about on the Web site. I remember having conversations around the dinner table about it with my brother because he would just go on and on about how neat it was. On the website it says there is a sort of controversy about when and where he (Allen) had possession of the Zodiac watch. I know he had the thing back in 1967.”
According to Allen’s brother Ron, the zodiac watch was a gift to Allen from their mother in 1967, but Allen is on record as estimating he did not receive the watch until July or August of 1969. The face on the zodiac watch is a cross-circle symbol, the same symbol used by the Zodiac killer.
Phrase used by Zodiac also used by Allen
Another picture of a letter written by the Zodiac killer to a newspaper in the 60s that was reproduced on the website led Michaels to have little doubt that the killer and Allen are one in the same. “The thing that convinced me that he is the killer is a letter on the website from the Zodiac with a phrase on it, “titwillo, titwillo, titwillo.” Mr. Allen used that phrase a lot in class when he got exasperated. He woul d sit down and say, almost to himself, “titwillow, titwillow, titwillow,” three times like that. We all thought it was a weird thing to say and that’s why I still remember it. So when I saw a picture of the letter with the same phrase on it, I just got chills,” said Michaels.
During the physical education portion of the school day, Michaels revealed how Allen frequently had girls jump on a trampoline and perform tumbling maneuvers during a time when the school dress code required girls to wear dresses to school. “I’ve never seen such a fat man be so graceful, he looked like Hoss Cartwright, but he could really fly on a trampoline, to see that big dude on the trampoline was something I really remember. He made us do tumbling and jump on the trampoline and stand on our heads and in those days we still had to wear dresses, we weren’t allowed to wear pants. Our panties would show when our dresses would fly up and it was so embarrassing. One day a couple of us started wearing shorts under our dresses so the boys couldn’t see our panties and he got mad and said we were little girls and it didn’t matter. He got so irate and made us take the shorts off and said there was nothing there to see. Then we tried to tuck our dresses up so nobody would see but it didn’t work. He got the idea one time to teach all of the girls how to stand on our heads. All the boys just sat there and snickered, you know. It was so humiliating. This guy was just your genuine pervert,” she declared.
Michaels also remembers when Special Agent James Silver, from the San Francisco office of the State Department of Justice, showed up at her doorstep in the summer of 1974 when she was a junior in high school and wanted to ask her questions about Allen. “I remember the first thing I said was, what has he done now and Silver said, “Why would you say that?” “I still don’t know how he got my name, but he asked me about Allen, and what he did, and what I remembered, and afterwards, I remember him saying, “We’ve got him now,” and when he (Silver) left, he gave me his card and told me if I thought of anything else to tell him to give him a call. “I still have the card,” she said, showing it to me.
In 1968, Allen was accused of molesting Gwen and he was forced to leave his teaching position in March, well before the end of the school year. No charges were ever filed against him though, and he was actually able to find employment at another school after the Valley Springs scandal.
Web designer strives to keep case open and active
Cheri Folendorf, director of personnel at the Calaveras Unified School District, said she has been in contact with Tom Voigt, who maintains a website containing the largest collection of information yet compiled about Allen, at www.zodiackiller.com. Folendorf said she has provided several documents to Voigt, including samples of Allen’s handwriting from his long dormant personnel file which, when examined, closely matches samples from letters attributed to the Zodiac.
One of those documents was an absence slip from Nov. 1, 1966, two days after the murder of Cheri Jo Bates in Riverside. Initially, Allen attributed the absence to “school business,” but was later charged by school administrators with a sick day. It was the only one of 19 available sick days ever used by Allen before his termination. In late November of 1966, two anonymous, typewritten letters confessing to the Bates murder were mailed to the local newspapers and the police. The letters were written on the same model of typewriter that was eventually seized from Allen in 1991.
Folendorf said that several other educators who worked with Allen at Valley Springs in the same time period have recently been in contact with her after the renewed interest in Allen as a Zodiac suspect began to circulate. At least one of those educators described Allen as “sloppy in his appearance, as well as in his teaching habits.” Information placing Allen in Riverside at the time of the Bates murder was developed 20 years earlier, in 1971, by the Vallejo Police Department and the California Department of Justice and it is unclear why the investigation stalled.
After Allen was dismissed, Gwen’s family left town when the school year ended in June, and moved to Wisconsin where Michaels began corresponding with her. Michaels said she remembers one letter from Gwen in particular that shocked her. “She wrote me and said, “you’ll never believe who I saw here. I saw Mr. Allen,” It was so weird and I remember being afraid for her.”
Michaels continued to write Gwen for several years, and even exchanged pictures back and forth, until one day the letters started coming back. “I remember her last known address was in Iowa, and suddenly my letters started coming back, no forwarding address. I haven’t heard from her since. I really wish I knew what happened to her,” she said.
In a telephone interview, Tom Voigt, the webmaster who created www.zodiackiller.com and launched it on March 20, 1998, told the Ledger Dispatch his theory of why the current task force into the Zodiac killings was also formed in 1998. “Whenever I’d get an inquiry from the media or someone (about the Zodiac), they (the police) would also get one,” he explained, “But they didn’t have any answers. In 1991 they searched for a knife at Allen’s residence, they found a knife at Allen’s residence. They looked for a typewriter at Allen’s residence. They found a typewriter at Allen’s residence. To the best of my knowledge they have done nothing with the knife or the typewriter and have not ever been able to put two and two together.”
Voigt said he believes the different police agencies with unsolved Zodiac crimes only started the new task force to circle the wagons and fend off questions about why Voigt, a private citizen from Portland, Oregon, had more answers about the Zodiac and the Allen connection in particular, than they did.
“I don’t have any faith in the task force,” said Voigt, “I think it was a defensive move, a public relations move for them. Vallejo and Napa and the others got tired of looking bad so they developed the task force to answer questions. To this day, the Riverside Police has never been contacted about Allen by the Vallejo P.D. We know they (Vallejo P.D.) have DNA from Allen, from his brain tissue, and his DNA has already been processed and is available. I can tell you for a fact the San Francisco Police Department has DNA samples from Zodiac letters but they might not have enough for a good sample. Take that knife and try to find blood and tissue on it and see if it matches Cecelia Shepard, who was killed at Lake Berryessa (a confirmed Zodiac killing). Since they haven’t even done that, why would they bother to see if the typewriter matches any of the letters?
“If I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it and I’ll be glad I’m wrong,” explained Voigt. “I’ve looked and looked for the answers. If the knife was tested in Napa there are no records of it. I understand that when the lead investigator retired up there, he ordered the destruction of a lot of evidence connected to the case. I hope that knife still exists. Vallejo P.D. does not want to be upstaged by a guy that lives in Portland. I’ve been able to put more up on Allen on my website than they have come up with in thirty years. They have taken a beating on other cases in Vallejo and I certainly wouldn’t want to be a police office there, but publicly they look bad and they are just covering their backs,” he added. “My goal has always been to keep the case open and publicize it because I’ve always thought it was solvable.”
In one of his last taunting letters to the news media, Zodiac claimed he had 37 victims to show for his five years of terrorizing the Bay Area. He was only linked conclusively to seven victims, David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen, Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau, Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell, and Paul Stine. His list of possible victims include Cheri Jo Bates, Kathleen Johns and Donna Lass.
Don Cheney met Arthur Leigh Allen in 1962 and maintained a friendship with him through 1968. Their friendship ended in 1969, after a New Year’s Day conversation in which Allen spoke of killing at random and calling himself “Zodiac.” Cheney soon moved to the Los Angeles area and eventually came forward to the police after reading a quote in a newspaper article that spurred his memory. The quote was of the Zodiac killer’s threat to shoot out the tires of a school bus and kill the children inside. Just months earlier, Cheney realized, Allen had talked of doing the same thing.
I interviewed Don on Dec. 30, 2000. He allowed me to record the nearly three-hour encounter. Below are several excerpts of our conversation.
INTERVIEW OF DON CHENEY (D)
BY TOM VOIGT (T)
December 30, 2000
T: Okay, so it’s December 30th, 2000, and it’s 1:00 pm at the Hood River Inn, Hood River, Oregon. Go ahead and say your name.
D: Don Cheney.
T: Don Cheney. I’m Tom Voigt and . . . I guess we can start from, I guess we should probably talk about Arthur Leigh Allen, don’t you think?
D: Might as well. But never heard anybody call him Arthur.
T: Yeah, that’s uh . . . I’ve been trying to . . . Every time there’s a newspaper story about him or something I always tell them, Look, don’t call him Arthur, because nobody will recognize him as Arthur and you’ll lose out on feedback from people. And they always say, OK, OK, we won’t call him Arthur, and then of course they always call him Arthur, so, I wonder how many people with some good information have read stories about him and they didn’t realize who it was. It’s crazy, so . . . but he spelled it L-E-E sometimes I guess.
D: I’m not aware of that.
T: When he worked at Ace Hardware . . . well, they probably didn’t have, they didn’t want to customize the name tag . . .
D: Could be.
T: I guess when he worked there it said L-E-E.
D: Yeah, he would have been called Leigh at a job. He was normally called Leigh or Al. In informal situations, Big Al.
T: When did you meet Leigh?
D: I met him when I was at Cal Poly, in 1962.
T: And he was . . . What was he doing at the time?
D: Well, he was unemployed, and he had, he had spent some time in Riverside, uh, taking a racecar-driving course, and he stopped by to visit Ron, his brother, in the house where we were living.
T: Do you remember the type of car, that he . . . ?
D: He was driving an Austin Healy.
T: And you and Ron were living together, Ron Allen?
T: And this was in, uh, this was in Riverside or Pomona?
D: This was in Pomona.
D: We were going to Cal Poly.
T: And he just came down to visit, or he was taking that class.
D: He was taking that class, and I guess he stopped by there because he was on his, he was en route from Riverside back up to Paso Robles.
T: And what was your impression of him when you first met him? What did you think of him?
D: I thought he was a little flamboyant, uh, Leigh’s a guy that always liked to make a big entry.
T: Well, with his size it’d probably be difficult to make any other type of entry.
D: Well, you know, you can come into a place quietly and be introduced. Or you can come in with a loud voice and, you know, a song and dance routine, or something like that. That was Leigh.
T: So he was a, he liked the attention, or he just had a big ego, or what do you . . . ?
D: Uh, I don’t know . . .
T: He was just an overt personality?
D: He was striving for notice, I suppose.
T: What did you like about him?
D: Well, he was bright, and he was entertaining. He was, uh, he was interesting to talk to. And, uh, and by that time Ron and I had been living together in the house with three other roommates there and, uh, you know, and I was good friends with, with Ron. Leigh was his brother that he looked up to quite a bit, so, I just accepted him.
T: So Ron was younger than Leigh?
D: Right. Yeah, Leigh was the big brother. A hero to Ron, actually.
T: Just because he was his . . . Do you know why he was a hero to Ron?
D: Well, he was big brother and he was a trampoline expert and a diving champion and, uh, you know, all the things a little brother looks up to, right?
T: Now, were you Ron’s age or were you closer to Leigh’s age?
D: No, I’m Leigh’s age. Ron is younger.
T: So Leigh was born I think in ’33?
D: Right. I was born in ’34. Or within a few months.
T: Okay. Were there things you disliked about him? Do you remember what they were?
D: Like I say, he was flamboyant, I thought a little too much so. But after you get to know him, why, he was too interesting for you to let that get in the way.
T: Was he always flamboyant, or was it just initially, when he, when he would first meet somebody?
D: Well, in a first meeting, you’d see that more. But it was part of his nature.
T: What were some of Leigh’s talents that most come to mind?
D: Well, having to do with water sports, swimming and skin diving. And of course the diving and the trampoline thing. He was quite adept at that.
T: What other skills did he have, that he, you know, that, other interests?
D: Well, there were the sports cars. He was a sports car race fan.
T: Was it drag racing, or was it NASCAR?
D: Regular sports car road racing. Ron and Leigh, and sometimes I went with them, we’d go round to the different meets, Laguna Seco (sic), and I went to Riverside with them once. There was another one up around Sacramento that we went to and I forget the name of it.
T: Did Leigh have friends in Riverside, besides your group?
D: Not that I know of, uh, he must have been acquainted around the racetrack group.
T: Trying to figure out where he’d stay, or if he’d stay overnight, or . . .
D: I don’t know.
T: So he was into racing, and was it just mainly cars or motorcycles too?
D: Uh, I don’t, uh, at the time I knew him, he . . . Wait a minute, he may have had a motorcycle during that period, sometime or other, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t a big thing with him.
T: How about hunting, fishing, outdoor activities?
D: We did all of that. Did some fly fishing, and hunting.
T: Was that, Leigh pretty skilled at, did he have some skill in those areas?
D: Well, I saw him catch some trout with a fly rod.
T: Did he have an electric gun sight attached to his fishing pole?
D: (laughs) No, nothing like that. He was a scofflaw, he was prone to poaching and different ways. Out of season, or over limit, or that sort of thing. I didn’t like that part of his nature because I didn’t want to get caught with any illegal meat, anything like that.
T: But as far as his methods of like hunting, what did he, did he use a bow and arrow or a gun, or did he mainly just fish or trap . . .?
D: I don’t know that he was ever into archery at all. We went with rifles during rifle season, for deer. And he wasn’t very good at that because he didn’t walk well.
T: Right. From his weight?
D: Yeah, his weight. And I think he was flat-footed, his feet bothered him with that extra weight, and, and he, on some occasions he was gouty, he had gout, so, or something like it, something that hurt him quite a bit.
T: Now when you went hunting, was he comfortable with knives, and guns, was it something he was comfortable with? Or did he seem uncomfortable?
D: I wouldn’t say he was highly accomplished with either. He wasn’t, he wasn’t that much of a backwoods outdoorsman. He was, you know, he was competent. He could do this sort of thing. But there was a city-guy sort of atmosphere about him.
T: Was he a, how did he, and I’m assuming when you went hunting, did he ever, were you involved in any skinning animals or anything? I’m trying to get an idea of what he was . . .
D: No, we didn’t kill anything.
T: Did he ever give you an inclination if he was squeamish around blood, or if he was . . . ?
D: Oh, I’m sure he was not.
T: Based on the fact that he went hunting?
D: No, just, um, there wasn’t anything like that about him. He cleaned fish competently and he knew how to handle an abalone. Things of that nature.
T: I’ve heard stories about those abalones. Did, uh, and of course I guess if you’re gonna experiment on animals as a student, later in life, you can’t be too, you can’t be too concerned about blood and cutting things up. But you never saw him, he never got a deer, bagged a deer when you were with him.
D: No, we didn’t, uh, we didn’t kill any big game together. Oh, I don’t know, I can’t remember now if we ever shot a rabbit when we were together.
T: What kind of weapons did have, when you knew him?
D: Well, he had a couple of .22 pistols, a Ruger and a Harrington Richards (sic). And, uh, he had some kind of a rifle when we went deer hunting together, but I don’t remember what it was.
T: So just those?
D: That’s all I’m aware of.
T: Would he have had access to other weapons that you knew of, like from his family or other friends?
D: Anybody could go to a hardware store.
T: That’s true. How about knives? Did he have any in particular?
D: Not that I recall. Nothing outstanding. No emphasis on knives at all, that I can remember.
T: What, how would describe him physically, his appearance, you know, during the time you knew him? I guess you knew him for seven, eight years.
D: I knew him for about six years.
T: Six years?
D: And he was a slob. He liked sloppy sweatshirts, and baggy trousers, and shoes that run over. He was definitely a slob.
T: How about his, how would you describe his height and weight, that type of thing?
D: About six feet, and two-fifty.
T: Did he ever go on diets and lose weight, or gain it back?
D: He was always interested in losing weight. He didn’t want to be that fat. I remember one time when we were in Morro Bay, with a friend Norm down there, why they were making bets about who could lose the most weight in the next month, or something like that. Norm didn’t need to lose weight, but he was trying to egg Leigh into it. So, yeah, he dieted and attempted to lose weight, off and on.
T: But you’d say he was usually around two-fifty?
D: Yeah, there usually wasn’t much success in that.
T: And he was, and you said six foot, uh, how about his hair?
D: Uh, light brown, uh, limp, and thin.
T: Would you describe him as bald?
D: Not at that time, no.
T: Did he ever curl his hair? Was there a curl to it? Or was it straight?
T: How about facial hair?
D: Beard and mustache, off and on.
T: Did he ever wear glasses?
D: Not that I’m aware of.
T: Or contacts?
T: How about clothing? Would he, was there a certain style of clothing he wore? Besides just sloppy . . .
D: Mostly the sweatshirt and dungarees. I’d think that was the typical outfit for Leigh.
T: No military clothing, or Navy-type clothing?
T: How about shoes?
D: Sneakers, sandals.
T: You never saw him wear like military-type shoes?
D: No. I don’t remember what he wore for deer hunting.
D: We made that trip together and I just don’t remember what he wore. But I think he was probably wearing sneakers. If he’d been in something different I probably would have remembered it.
T: And Leigh was in the Navy?
D: He was in the Navy before I met him.
T: Right. And did he ever talk about his experience in the Navy?
D: No, only that he was a corpsman. And for some reason they bounced him out. He was discharged.
T: But he didn’t go into specifics?
D: No, he always had an explanation and it always sounded fishy. And he had a lot of resentment about that.
T: About the Navy?
D: About being discharged. Yeah, he resented that quite a bit.
T: Now, when you met him, in ’62?
T: He had, what was he, he was in the process of changing jobs, or . . . ?
D: Yeah, he had recently lost a job at Atascadero, or . . .
T: The mental hospital.
D: Yeah, at the hospital, and apparently he had a teaching job there at the time, too. Which I . . .
T: In that city, you mean? Or at the hospital?
D: Well, I don’t know. I didn’t, all I remember was that he worked at the hospital. So whatever teaching job he may have had, I didn’t, I wasn’t aware, I didn’t know about it.
T: Did you know, did he go into what he did at the hospital?
T: But he got fired from there, too, huh?
D: He got fired, yeah.
T: He actually was, yeah, he was teaching at Santa Rosa Elementary School in the city of Atascadero. He was a grade school teacher, and I guess he ended up, I think he left on good terms, because he ended up using the principal of that school as a reference. I guess it was a good reference because he ended up getting a future, you know, teaching job. So that was maybe one job I guess, Santa Rosa Elementary was maybe one job he didn’t get fired from.
D: Well, okay, but that means that whatever happened to him there happened at the hospital.
T: Yeah. Well, supposedly he suffered some type of serious leg injury, right around that time. Some type of lacerated leg that ended his career, he couldn’t stand up, I guess for a year, or something, he was really injured. Do you ever remember any type of injury that he suffered?
D: No. He didn’t have an injury.
T: Huh, so that was probably a . . .
D: Cause I was up there, I was in Paso Robles with him shortly after that, uh, shortly after might have been a matter of a couple months or something like that . . .
T: After he got fired, from Atascadero?
D: Yeah, after I, see he was fired before I met him, and after that at some point I was in Paso Robles with Leigh and I saw where he had his trailer, where he lived on some people’s lot that were friendly to him, and I think it was in the process that he was getting ready to move that trailer to some other location.
T: How many trailers did he have when you knew him?
D: Just the one. With the exception of boats. He had a catamaran that was on a trailer, and there was a small wooden outboard that he also had, and I think he had a trailer for that, as well.
T: What were Allen’s dislikes, or pet peeves? What did he, whether it is about politics, or anything? What did he, were there things he would comment on disparagingly?
D: Well, the Establishment in general. He thought they were against him. Can’t think of anything, there were other things. He was opinionated, there’s no doubt about that, but I can’t remember all the subjects.
T: So, authority figures would you say?
D: Definitely authority figures were on the list.
T: So, and he blamed others for, uh, when he would get fired, or . . .
D: Yeah, he blamed others for anything unfortunate that happened to him.
T: Would he be the type to hold a grudge?
T: And, so these authority figures carry over from the military into, into his, uh . . .
D: And the school administration, city government, any kind that you could think of.
T: Did he ever comment on law enforcement?
D: Uh, they were in the authority bunch.
T: Do you remember him in particular having any problem with police officers?
D: No, not while I knew him. He had, he told me about the incident where he kicked somebody’s door in, and beat him up. Apparently that happened some, several years before. But I didn’t . . .
T: Before you met him.
D: Yeah, I didn’t have any appreciation for the time element, I thought it was more recent than he was talking about.
T: What cars did he own? When you, during the course that you knew him, do you remember which cars he was driving?
D: Well, he had an Austin Healy that we mentioned, and a Ford.
T: Do you remember what the Ford looked like?
D: It was a two-tone, blue and white, it had a Nash front seat in it, so you could lean back.
T: Was it automatic or stick?
D: I don’t recall.
T: Do you remember what year it was?
D: No. Somewhere in the fifties, I’d say.
T: Oh, okay. Uh, did Leigh ever date?
T: Was he homosexual?
D: I don’t think so. I don’t know if he became that way or not, but he was interested in women, but he didn’t have much luck with them.
T: Did, uh, was there anyone in particular he was interested in?
D: Well, I, there was a waitress one time that he pointed out to me.
T: When was that, do you remember what year it was?
D: I don’t know. It would have been maybe ’66 or in the period when I lived in, I don’t know if I lived in San Francisco or Concord at the time. It’s a vague memory, I can’t give you much detail.
T: Do you remember where the waitress worked?
D: Yeah, at the pancake house. We’d stop there for coffee, or . . .
T: In Vallejo?
D: In Vallejo.
T: Was it the, do you remember which pancake house it was?
D: The one right around the corner.
T: From his house?
T: So that was the IHOP?
T: There’s an IHOP that’s about a tenth of a mile from his front door there at 32 Fresno.
D: Well, it was at the bottom of Fresno and turn right about a block and that’s where it was.
T: And so there was a waitress there that he liked.
D: Yeah, she was friendly to him and he thought he might make some headway with her, but I don’t know if he ever did or not.
T: Did, uh, you remember anything about her, how she looked, if she was young or old or . . .?
D: She was pretty ordinary. Cute, you know, she was attractive.
T: Did he mention why he liked her?
D: Probably because she didn’t sneer at him, you know. She treated him the way a waitress is supposed to treat customers.
T: Did he ever mention her again?
T: He never mentioned a name?
D: No. He may have told me her name, but I don’t remember it.
T: That was the only time he ever mentioned being interested in somebody specific?
D: The only time I can remember.
T: So he wasn’t, he didn’t have girlfriends, then?
D: No, he would have liked to had girlfriends, but he did not.
T: So was it, I mean if, it couldn’t have been anything just inherently bad about him as far as women. Do you think it was just that he didn’t want to make the necessary sacrifices to get a female? Or just that there would have been nothing he could possibly do to have a girlfriend?
D: I think they were just not attracted to him.
T: There was just something instinctual that they felt about, stay away from this guy.
D: I think so, yeah.
T: And that, how did he feel about that?
D: He didn’t like it. If he had feelings about it at all, why, how would you feel?
T: Yeah, did he ever, did he say, okay, well it must be something I’m doing wrong or did he just blame other people?
D: Well, it was never his fault.
T: Okay. So women were against him, that type of thing?
D: Yeah, oh yeah.
T: Do you remember him saying any specifically along those lines?
D: No, but it was a general attitude, it was, you know, it was there, without, without being explained.
T: So he demonstrated that in a lot of different ways.
T: So if he wasn’t successful at getting something then it was, uh, or if he was not achieving what he wanted, and it was nothing he could control . . .
D: It wasn’t his fault. It was always people were against him.
T: Did anybody else in his family demonstrate that, that you know of?
D: No. The rest of the family were perfectly pleasant, normal people. Leigh was a little off.
T: So he had, who was in his immediate family? Then there was Ron, his brother, younger brother . . .
D: And two parents.
T: And that would be it? He never had a sister?
D: No sisters, just the two boys.
T: How did he get along with, uh, I know that Ron looked up to him. Did Leigh like Ron?
D: Oh yeah, they were friends.
T: How about the dad? What was Leigh’s, what was their opinion of each other?
D: Leigh’s dad was a perfectly normal father. He was a decent, nice guy. He treated the boys the way a father does. I never saw any resentment between them. His mother was a little shrewish. She was hard, she was a strong woman.
T: And how did Leigh react to her?
D: He had a degree of resentment about that. About her.
T: Just because she made him do, you know, she was strong with him, or . . . ?
D: Sharp-tongued and she was every bit as opinionated as he was.
T: Did you ever hear him threaten her, or was there anything that was maybe more than just some type of typical parent-sibling . . . ?
T: So it maybe wasn’t . . .
D: No, it was more that there was a little friction there, but there wasn’t any, no outward hostility.
T: Did Allen ever comment on sexuality or promiscuity, in terms of a moral, you know, a moral perspective?
D: Um . . .
T: I know that in the late sixties, the reason I asked is cause in that period of time, you know, there was a lot of the hippies and the free love and all that, if he was opinionated it might be something that he had feelings about.
D: I don’t know, he, uh, I can’t think of anything, at that time.
T: Did Allen ever demonstrate any, uh, being ambidextrous, in any way, writing with either hand, shooting, or . . . ?
D: Yeah, he was ambidextrous. He could write with either hand, and I suppose other things as well as writing.
T: You’ve seen him write with both hands?
D: Oh, yeah. I knew that he could.
T: Did, uh, which did he prefer to write with? Which hand?
D: Left. He was dominantly left-handed, but he could use his right hand.
T: What would be the circumstances where he’d use his right hand?
D: Well, when he was in school they made him.
T: Right. But when you knew him, I mean, why wouldn’t he just write everything with his left?
D: I can’t think of a reason now, but, uh, I didn’t know that that was the case.
T: Did you ever notice a difference, a major difference in the way his handwriting appeared from left to right hand?
D: I can’t remember how his handwriting was.
T: So he could, definitely he was ambidextrous?
D: Oh, yeah.
T: Did you ever see him shoot with both hands, that you remember?
T: Did Leigh ever, how many friends, did he have a lot of friends, or was he somebody that was a loner type?
D: I met some people that were his friends and, uh, he could make friends easily. He could be very charming. The only women that I can think of that were friends were wives of his male friends or, you know, people that felt safe, you know, that weren’t threatened by him.
T: Was it the threatening, or was it something, he was never overtly, you know, aggressive, was he?
D: I can’t think of any time, but, uh . . . Let me give you an example of something that, uh, you know when you’re dealing with a spoiled brat, little kid, uh, they, by their posture and their tone of voice and their general attitude, you know that they’re about to throw a tantrum. And you got that impression about Leigh. It wasn’t what he said, but it was in his, uh, muscle tension and uh . . .
T: Body language.
D: Body language and a little tone of voice, little things like that, that he could be threatening without saying anything.
T: Do remember him ever being violent?
T: Just the incident where he kicked in a door, I guess.
D: Yeah, I heard about that.
T: Did he ever talk about anything else? Or did you ever see anything else?
D: Well, uh, what he talked about, why he would present himself as being the macho guy, so, uh, he didn’t want to appear to be a weakling or a retiring type, he was aggressive in, you know, to that point.
T: Right. Did Leigh have an interest in astrology?
D: I don’t think so. I don’t know.
T: You don’t remember anything like that, then?
D: Astrology is something that, uh, I don’t think that would have appealed to him all that much, as far as being a follower of the, you know, believing in astrology.
T: So you don’t remember him ever talking about it?
D: No. It wasn’t an interest.
T: How about the opera?
D: He liked music.
T: Like The Mikado, or Gilbert and Sullivan-type music?
D: Something like that, maybe. I, uh . . .
T: Nothing specific though that you remember . . . ?
D: I don’t remember specifically what it was he liked, but, um, I think he liked the symphony or an opera. I did, at the time.
T: Did, uh, you remember in particular any songs or any, uh, just whatever music he liked to listen to?
T: How about codes or cryptography? Did he ever express an interest in that, or demonstrate an ability?
D: No. Uh, he liked Mad magazine and Playboy and Hustler, Penthouse.
T: You remember Alfred E. Neuman?
D: I remember Alfred E. Neuman. I think he ran for Vice President this last election.
T: Did Leigh ever, uh, comment on Alfred E. Neuman? Was that something he ever talked to you about, or did he, what was it about Mad magazine in general that he liked, just the humor?
D: He liked the humor. He like that, uh, parody-type of humor. And he used it himself, but uh . . .
T: In, uh, general conversation, or . . . ?
D: Well, when he was cracking a joke, in general conversation, yeah.
T: So, besides Mad magazine, what kind of media, books, movies, TV shows, what was, uh, what were Leigh’s interests that you recall in those areas?
D: Um, I don’t know what he watched on TV or, he had books, but, uh, I don’t know of any preference, I don’t remember any preference that he had.
T: How about TV shows?
D: Don’t know. Didn’t watch TV with him.
T: What books do you know of that he read?
D: Can’t remember, uh, there was that, uh, there was somewhere there was that story about, uh, hunting people. I don’t remember the name of that, or who wrote it, but I do remember we did talk about that one time.
T: Do you remember when that conversation, approximately when that happened?
T: Was it the last time you talked to him?
D: No. I don’t think so. Just sometime during the six years that I knew him.
T: He mentioned, uh, a story about hunting people?
T: What did he, why did he bring it up? You recall what the, uh, what motivated him?
D: No, I don’t.
T: What were his thoughts on that story?
D: Just that, you know, as far as hunting goes, that would take the greatest skill and be the most interesting.
T: Did he express any interest in doing such a thing?
D: Not directly. Only that, you know, that he found the idea interesting, but not that, he wasn’t saying that he was going to go out and do that next week.
D: Anything of that sort.
T: So he, I guess, but you don’t remember the name of the book or the movie that he was . . .
D: No, but it was a classic, and it might have been the movie that we were talking about. Because they did make that into a movie somewhere. I think it was the theme on some television show that I saw back in those days, too. So, I don’t know which source we were talking about, but it was the same . . .
T: I think it was The Most Dangerous Game.
D: Yeah, that’s the name. That’s it.
T: Yeah, in one of those reports, I think from ’71, that’s the name of the movie that was given. That would have been a lot fresher in your mind back then. So, so he brought that up, said that he thought it would be interesting, not interesting, but he said it would definitely be the most, require the most skill and, you’d have, you know, because people are hopefully a little smarter than animals. At least most people are.
D: Yeah. That was the crux of the idea.
T: When was the last time you had contact with Leigh?
D: It was New Year’s Day, was that ’68? 1968? After Christmas ’67? It was New Year’s Day, I remember that.
T: And was this, uh, was it before or after his teaching career ended?
D: Well, it was after he’d come home from Valley Springs.
T: Okay. So he left Valley Springs, it was by April of ’68 he was completely done at Valley Springs. And then he moved back to Fresno Street.
D: Okay, well then, then we had that conversation on, uh, January 1, ’69. Because it was after the Valley Springs.
T: So, the, so your last conversation with Leigh was definitely, it definitely took place after Valley Springs was history.
D: Absolutely, definitely after Valley Springs.
T: Now, how can you be sure that it was after Valley Springs?
D: Because I knew him, I knew that he had come home from Valley Springs. I may even have helped him move.
D: I was well aware of, of the fact that he’d left Valley Springs, and after the following New Year’s I never saw him again.
T: And you’re sure it was New Year’s Day?
D: Uh, yes.
T: How can you be sure it was New Year’s Day?
D: I just simply remember that.
T: Okay. And, uh, so, so New Year’s Day 1969 is the last time that you had any, last time you saw him or talked to him?
T: And, uh, what was the, where did the, uh, where did this take place?
D: In his room at 32Fresno Street.
T: Down in the basement there, on the lower level?
D: That’s right.
T: And, uh, why did you come over?
D: I was having some friction with my wife and I wanted to get out of the house, I just lived in Concord, which is nearby, and just came over and chat with Leigh for a while.
T: You lived in Concord? Where were you working?
D: I was, at that time, I think I was selling life insurance, or trying to, but not successfully.
T: There were some people in Vallejo that could have used it.
D: Suppose so.
T: So, so you came over on New Year’s Day . . .
T: And what was Leigh’s mood?
D: He was surly. Just, you know, pleasant enough to greet with, but he, uh, had something eating at him.
T: And what was it, what was the . . . ?
D: Well, I think he was, he was into, um, kinda resented the present he got from his folks for Christmas. And it was the Zodiac watch.
T: So it was this the Christmas that was a few days earlier, Christmas of ’68?
T: And they gave, and so, his parents, was it his parents that gave him the watch?
D: His parents or his mother. I think his parents together. And it was the watch with the circle logo on it.
T: And, so he showed you the watch?
D: He showed it to me. He wanted my opinion about was it a good watch. I thought it was good enough. It was a good Swiss movement and, uh, you know, there was nothing wrong with it.
T: And what was the name of the watch?
T: And, do you remember what the logo was on the . . .
D: It was the circle with the four points of the compass.
T: And so he got this as a gift and then he showed it to you because he didn’t know if it was a good gift or not, and you reinforced that it was a good gift.
D: I thought it was all right. It was, you know, a decent watch.
T: What happened next, as far as the conversation?
D: I don’t know what happened immediately next, but this was the conversation that I reported to Armstrong and . . .
T: From the San Francisco Police Department.
D: Yeah, where he talked about the, uh, shooting the tires on the school bus, and stuff of that nature.
T: Do you remember how the, uh, conversation went into that direction?
D: Not specifically. I’m, times when I think I remember, but it’s foggy.
T: In one of the reports it said that, uh, he started talking about The Most Dangerous Game.
D: Um, I can’t confirm, that might have been, might have been the one, how it started that, but I, I don’t remember.
T: Do you remember what he was doing for a living at the time, or where he was working, or his career?
D: At that time I think he was unemployed.
D: I don’t recall that he had a job at that time.
T: So, was he, uh, do you know if he was thinking about a new career, since his teaching, he lost, let’s see, his military career, he lost that, and then ten years later he’s out of a teaching career?
D: Yeah, uh, I don’t know what he was thinking about. Um, I think we may have talked about careers, and he’d mentioned, um, something along a Mike Hammer, um, Thin Man, you know, a detective sort of thing.
T: Like that might be interesting to him?
D: Like, yeah, like he could do that and it’d be interesting and, uh . . . I wasn’t thrilled about that. I didn’t how you could, the difficulty is, you know, how do you get based, how do you get started in order to have clients? And I mentioned that to him.
T: Do you think that conversation was on New Year’s Day, or could it have been before?
D: No, that was on New Year’s Day.
T: For sure?
T: So he had talked about what different careers he could do, and then he mentioned being like a private detective like on TV?
T: Had he ever expressed an interest in being a police officer before?
T: Did you think this was a serious interest, or he was just, uh . . . ?
D: I thought he was making conversation.
D: And, specially went into, said well, if you couldn’t get the clients to come to you, you could do the crimes and, uh, then you wouldn’t have to have them come to you.
T: So he brought up being a criminal.
T: Do you think that’s how the conversation turned to the . . . ?
D: I think that was about . . .
T: About the gist of it?
D: Where that happened, uh, about where I started getting uncomfortable.
T: Had he ever talked to you about being, uh, involved in criminal activity before, besides, you know, poaching?
T: Did you notice him, you know, I mean obviously he lost his career and was probably not too pleased with himself, but, uh, did, and he never talked about why he lost his career?
D: No. Uh, they were against him, this and that and the other thing.
T: Was he involved in drugs, or drinking, or anything that could maybe explain why he’d all of a sudden start going off the deep end a bit?
D: Well, I never knew of any drugs, don’t think it was nothing that he would do. I think, uh, drinking, he drank a lot of beer.
T: What kind of beer did he drink?
D: Coors in quarts.
T: Did he, uh, drink and drive?
T: So was it uncommon for him to be, uh, did he get drunk, or just . . . ?
D: No, I never saw him staggering or slurring his words, though he did drink copious quantities of Coors.
T: Did he get, what was his demeanor when he would drink?
D: Pretty much the same.
T: Didn’t get violent or angry?
T: Some people get all obnoxious and want to fight and stuff. So, he brought up being a Mickey Spillane or Mike Hammer, The Thin Man, then all of a sudden he talked about being a criminal. Did he ever say that he was going to call himself The Zodiac Killer and kill people and write letters to the police, or . . . ?
D: He talked about that. Talked about, um, all of that, and these attacks on people. He talked about somehow taking the lugs nut off of a car, of somebody he wanted to stop, and then he could appear to be rendering aid. And of course the statement about the school bus, and picking the little darlings off as they come bouncing off the bus.
T: He said those things on that last day, on New Year’s Day?
D: He said those exact words.
T: On New Year’s Day?
D: Mm-mm (yes).
T: Uh, do you remember how he might have worded the, uh, the part about, about, the specific part about calling himself, you know, that nickname? And why he would, how he worded it and how he worded . . . ?
D: No, I wasn’t too interested in it because I thought it was kind of a, a stupid idea. We were talking about, uh, you know, building a plot or writing a book or, you know, and creating a, a story. I just thought Zodiac was . . . But I wouldn’ta picked it. And he just . . .
T: So, as far as, when you say you were talking about writing a story, was this his idea, or . . . ?
D: Uh, no, but at that point in the conversation, why, uh, I didn’t think we could be talking about reality.
T: Okay. So you just assumed he was . . .
D: It might have been, it might have been the way he presented some of this stuff, as the basis for a story, but I can’t remember now for sure.
T: Right. It has been a long time.
D: I didn’t want it to be real, so maybe that’s just the way I saw it.
T: And this, was this the main factor in your seeing him again, or was it . . . ?
D: Yes. The basis of that conversation, I just, um, I thought, maybe I just don’t want to be around this guy. And then within a couple of months I moved out of the Bay area.
T: So, in your, the statements that you gave the police initially in ’71, I know the details exactly how the conversation unfolded, now the details are going to be hard to remember cause it’s been so long. But would you say that your recollection when you first went to the police would have been accurate? I mean . . .
D: No, it was foggy at that time but I remembered certain specific things about, you know, that phrase about picking the little darlings off, I remembered that, and that’s what forced me to go to the police in the first place.
T: Could you have been mistaken about him saying he’s going to call himself Zodiac and use the symbol?
D: No, I kinda remember that. I believe that that was, that happened.
T: And, then the log nuts?
D: At the time that I spoke to Armstrong, in Torrance, I didn’t remember the watch, at that time. But it, you know, it’s come back.
T: You remember when or what brought back that memory?
D: No, I don’t.
T: I know it was before ’71, because that’s when the stuff was, the reports were made, so, and you mentioned it I guess in those reports, so . . .
D: Armstrong asked me about the watch, but, uh . . .
T: Did he seem to already know about it?
D: Maybe. I’m not sure. I don’t know how that got into the conversation because, right now I think I remember that I had forgotten about the watch at that time. I don’t know it got into the conversation.
T: So, uh, basically when the conversation with Leigh ended, he had talked about these uncomfortable things, these strange things, and you left, you didn’t necessarily, when you left did you think he was going to, you know, actually do these things, or was it just a weird conversation?
D: No, I just thought it was a weird conversation. I thought it was a symptom of a disturbed spirit, you know, somebody that needed some help. But, uh, there was nothing in the news, there was nothing to make you suspect that any of this was real.
T: What else, do you remember if he talked about anything else during that conversation? Any other details?
D: No, I don’t remember any. You know, we were together for a couple of hours, you know, and an afternoon together, and we had a lot of conversation. But I don’t remember what else we might have talked about.
T: This would have been January 1st, ’69, so it would have been eleven, twelve days after the Lake Herman Road . . .
D: Yes, which I didn’t know anything about, and there was no reason to connect that with Leigh at that time. Uh, had no idea.
T: Did he act nervous, or . . . ?
D: Like I say, he was, there was something smoldering underneath, there was, you know, there was something on his mind. I don’t know what it was.
T: You got that feeling from what he was talking about?
D: Partly that. Of course that was his nature most of the time anyway, so, there wasn’t anything that I noticed out of the ordinary at that time.
T: Did he talk about weapons or show you any weapons or anything during this meeting?
D: No. Course that might have been, might have been the day that we talked about using a flashlight for a sight, a penlight, but we may have talked about that some other time. I don’t remember if it was on that day.
T: So that was the last you ever communicated with him, right?
D: Oh yeah, I never talked to him or wrote or had any contact or communication after that day.
T: So, if he talked about connecting a, a flashlight to a gun it would have had to be before. Either that day or before.
D: Either that day or before.
T: So he did talk about such a thing though?
D: Oh, yes.
T: What did he describe doing?
D: Uh, I don’t think that conversation was in connection with doing anything particular. It was just an interesting phenomenon that you could use a penlight to point at things in the dark and shoot.
T: So, but he did talk about that, demonstrated that knowledge?
D: Oh, yeah.
T: Do you know if he just talked about it, or if he demonstrated it or showed it to you?
D: I don’t remember, uh, I don’t remember a demonstration. There may have been, we may have had a penlight on a rifle barrel, or something like that, but, uh, I don’t remember that, I just remember that that’s where I learned that you could do that. Thought it was a novel idea and very interesting.
T: Right. Did he ever talk about, uh, Lake Herman Road or that area? Are you familiar with that area?
D: No, never heard of it before. It came up in newspapers that you . . .
T: Right. But you don’t remember him ever talking about that?
T: How about, uh, Riverside City College? Did he ever mention the . . . ?
D: No. The only, only thing I knew about Riverside and Leigh was the racetrack and the sports car connection.
T: Do you know how long he was involved in going down to Riverside?
D: I don’t know. He was a fan, he probably went every year, course every year is, but I can’t confirm that.
T: Did he ever talk about Blue Rock Springs, the park?
T: How about Lake Berryessa?
D: We, we went to Lake Berryessa, Ron and Leigh and I, uh, were there together on at least one occasion. Uh, I knew that it was a place where the Allens went on occasions, and I was there with them at least once. So I knew that they were familiar with that area.
T: And Leigh was there, Lake Berryessa?
T: How about San Francisco, did Leigh make trips to San Francisco, was he fond of the city, or . . . ?
D: Uh, I’m sure he went there from time to time, but it wasn’t a place he had fond memories of, or place that he liked. He’d like smaller towns and more rural atmosphere.
T: Did he ever mention an animosity towards cab drivers?
T: How about, uh, as far as the, uh, getting back to the codes and the cryptograms because it seems that, based on what you said, Allen was, had a lot of similarities with Zodiac and what Zodiac seems to be best known for was ciphers and cryptograms. And about the same time that Leigh was confiding in you, talking about these strange things, he was apparently also showing other people, he had a gray metal box, I guess, in his basement where you talked to him, I guess he kept some strange things in there, some ciphers, and some weird letters and stuff. Did he ever mention anything like that to you, show you anything like that?
D: I don’t remember it. I connect nothing like that with Leigh, don’t remember anything on that order. I don’t remember him dealing in crossword puzzles or anagrams or any of that sort of word play either.
T: So you may not, you don’t remember the exact circumstances, but you know for sure that he talked about picking off the . . .
T: . . . the school bus? And you know for sure about the lug nuts?
T: You remember those vividly?
D: I remember those two examples and there were a coupla other dirty tricks that he described, that I don’t remember. But I know there were more than two.
T: So those two vividly, and then you remember talking about hunting people, that he thought that would be the be–, the most challenging . . .
D: We talked about that story.
T: Right. And you remember for sure the, uh, the tidbit about, uh, what was the other one, uh, well I’ll think of it in a second. But, as far as, uh, as far as him talking about coming up with a nickname, being a killer and coming up with a nickname . . .
D: He mentioned that. It wasn’t a long part of a conversation, but he did mention that. And I didn’t think much of it, as a best choice for that use.
T: And, those, you’re pretty sure all that was, except for maybe, you told me, except for the talking about the hunting people, you’re pretty sure that all of this took place, conversation took place, the last time you . . .
D: That’s right.
T: Okay. Um, now after that conversation, you went back and did your own thing and, uh, did he ever attempt to contact you?
D: Nope. No, I didn’t hear from him and he didn’t hear from me.
T: Did you ever hear what he was up to through Ron?
D: Uh . . .
T: Seems like you had some mutual friends.
D: Uh, not until, wasn’t until after Leigh was suspected to be the Zodiac, that I had any discussion with Ron, and I can remember an occasion when Ron and Karen and my wife and I sat in Pomona at my house and talked about it. Now, uh . . .
T: So prior to that, though, you didn’t, you didn’t hear . . .
T: . . . that he was involved in the, in any, you know, in case he was doing anything un, you know, strange, or people were worried about his behavior?
D: No, and when I left Concord, shortly after that conversation, had moved to Pomona. Uh, I think Ron was still going to school down there. Some reason or other he was in that area, Ron and Karen were there, that we had some contact with them. Uh, I don’t remember the exact context of his career, what caused him to be in Pomona, but, uh, for some reason we did have some discussion about Leigh after that.
T: Did, uh, did Leigh ever wear a toupee? Or a wig of any kind?
D: Not that I can think of. He wasn’t that vain about his appearance. He would have been embarrassed to put on a toupee just, you know, just as a going out among friends type of thing.
T: Right. Did his father or his brother or anybody that he was close to that you know wear a toupee?
D: They all had hair.
T: He was the one that had the least.
D: Yeah, his hair was thin, well, Ron’s hair was, you know, he wasn’t noted for having a big shock of thick hair, but he, it covered his head.
T: Right. But Leigh was pretty much, it was pretty thin.
D: Yeah, yet though, mine, my hair was a lot less forehead at that time and his was about the same, uh, you wouldn’t have called him bald at that time.
T: So when that conversation ended, on January 1st, ’69, you’re for sure that it was the New Years after he came back from Valley Springs?
D: Absolutely the New Years after Valley Springs.
T: Uh, and after that conversation, then you went, you, you know, went on with your life, you ended up moving down to Torrance?
T: And you were working in Torrance.
D: Yeah, at sometime later I was working in Torrance.
T: Okay. And then, uh, when did you first hear about the Zodiac activity up in the Vallejo area?
D: Okay, before I was working at Torrance I was at Fluor.
T: Is that a city?
D: Fluor is an engineering company.
T: Okay, that’s where you were working.
D: I was a pipe stress analyst at Fluor. And, uh . . .
T: And this is in what city?
D: Well, nominally, it was Los Angeles, but actually it was out a little bit.
D: And that was at the time when the Los Angeles Times, I guess it was, had a lot of Zodiac articles, and that was when it, uh, when I learned that there was a case with notoriety. Somebody had breakfast in the Fluor cafeteria, somebody said, “Doesn’t that guy look like your friend?” And there was a, the artist sketch was in the paper and, yeah, sure did. The only guy at Fluor that could have said that was my brother-in-law, his name was Don Ebersole. There wasn’t anybody else at Fluor that could have met Leigh in my presence. That, it had to be him.
T: Which sketch did he see that, uh . . .
D: It was the one that looked like Leigh, of the, uh . . .
T: There was one with glasses and without glasses.
D: No glasses. This was, uh, this was the, uh, what was that, uh, Blue Rock Road, or whatever’s the name, Blue Lake?
T: Well, there, oh the lake?
D: This was the survivor from one of those first two Vallejo cases. Before the Berryessa.
T: Hmm, cause there wasn’t a sketch about the, the only two sketches that they came up with, one had glasses and then the one didn’t have glasses.
D: This one, I don’t think it had glasses. It was a profile. And it was a picture of Leigh.
T: A profile?
D: Profile, yes.
T: A side view?
D: Side view.
T: Huh. I’ve never seen that one.
D: And I understood it to be a survivor who had seen Leigh. And I expect it’s the guy that picked him out of the lineup.
T: Cause that’s, uh, actually there’s just a little bit of tape left on this side so I’m going to switch it.
D: All right.
[Recorder turned off, tape inverted)
T: Okay, I think it’s working now. Side two.
D: Let’s see, at that time, when we were in the cafeteria at Fluor, um, I hadn’t read any of the newspaper articles about this case, or I was totally unfamiliar with what it was. So I didn’t know where this artist’s conception sketch came from, but, except that it was from a surviving victim.
T: So it was, uh, and you, how sure are you about whether it had glasses or not?
D: No, I’m pretty sure it did not. But it was a profile. And if there were glasses there, it didn’t make much difference. I don’t think there were glasses.
T: I’ve never seen a profile sketch.
D: I’ve seen two.
T: Of profiles?
D: There was one, uh, connected with some killings up around Sacramento or Grass Valley, or somewhere up in that direction, and it was a similar face to Leigh’s, but it had big jowls, and it was altered in some way. But it was suspected that it might be Zodiac-related. I don’t know if it was ever proved to be.
T: So, you’re pretty sure it had no glasses on the sketch.
D: Neither one of those.
T: If I showed you the, uh, the composite, would you remember it, do you think?
D: If it was the same one, I would.
T: The one I’ve seen that looks like Leigh, it was, uh, it was the sketch of a suspect in the Lake Berryessa murder. But it wasn’t a survivor that . . .
D: No, he had a hood in that one, so . . .
T: Right, but it was three girls who saw somebody strange in the immediate area, and that, he had, uh, it looked like Leigh except he had kinda hair, dark hair, and it was parted on the side. Other than that it looks a lot like Leigh, but that’s the only sketch I’ve seen that looked like Leigh. But it was the Lake Berryessa, a suspect in the Lake Berryessa murder.
D: Well, uh, in my mind I had connected this sketch with Lake Berryessa because that was the news that was breaking at that time. But I don’t know if the sketch came from there.
T: How about Blue Rock Springs?
D: I don’t know. I’d never, never heard the name Blue Rock Springs.
T: Okay, it might have been just a, cause you mentioned you thought this, uh, uh, maybe you meant Lake Berryessa then, cause you said Blue Rock Springs earlier.
D: Well I was thinking it was, uh, what’s the other one? Lake Herman Road, and trouble getting them in my mind, but . . .
T: The two in the Vallejo area were Lake Herman and Blue Rock.
D: Okay, now Lake Herman was two deaths, right?
D: And so, it would, if it was from there it was from Blue Rock, uh . . .
T: Right, cause they had a survivor.
D: . . . Springs. The survivor. But I don’t know if that’s where that came from.
T: Now, the, uh, most of the, uh, LA Times articles were, they pretty much started after the Lake Berryessa murder because the victim, the female victim, Cecelia Shepard was from Southern California. So, the articles I have, most of the LA Times articles, they pretty much started right after the Lake Berryessa murder.
D: I can’t tell you this was an LA paper that we were looking at, it might have been a San Francisco paper, because there were a lot of people in that cafeteria and they, you know, papers come from all over.
T: So the, uh, but you’re sure that this was an article about Zodiac?
T: And you’re sure that the composite was of Zodiac?
D: It looked just like him.
T: Did it say, like, Zodiac underneath it . . . ?
D: Yeah, it was in, it was in that article. And there were big headlines, and a lot of lurid, uh, stuff.
T: There’ve been only three sketches, uh, to help you narrow it down, there’ve only been three that I’m aware of, ever, that have been officially, you know, composites, drawings, and two of them were done by the San Francisco Police Department and they both had glasses, and the only other one that I’m aware of, uh, was of the Lake Berryessa suspect, and that had no glasses.
T: So just, just so you know, but I know it’s hard to remember exactly.
D: Okay, and you say that one was not a profile?
T: Wasn’t a profile. It was a whole, it was just like, you know, a full face, but he had a fat face and he had hair kinda parted on the side, and that’s the one I have always thought looked like Leigh.
D: In my memory, in my mind, I connected that sketch with Lake Berryessa, for some reason or other, but what I remember is a profile. I can’t remember a front-on view, but definitely a profile and a darn good likeness.
T: Uh, so you saw this sketch and somebody said that looks like your friend Leigh.
T: And, when you read the story . . . Did you read the story?
D: I didn’t read into it at that time, uh, but in ensuing days I, because of this connection with Leigh in my mind, then, I started to read them in the, probably in the Pomona paper, when I was at home.
T: And when you saw the name Zodiac, did that ring any bells?
D: No. No, when I read the, uh, the quote that came out of one of the letters about the school bus thing, then, then I began to think, not only it looked like Leigh, it must be him.
T: Do you remember an approximate date, when you came into this revelation?
D: No, I have no idea.
T: So, if it was, let’s say, it had to be after September 27th, ’69, because that’s when the, you know, the first sketches were coming out, were in late September. Actually, the first sketches weren’t released until early October of ’69. So that’s when, uh, actually probably mid-October, somewhere around in there was when the composite drawings were finally released, you know, of, uh, of Zodiac. So, and that’s about the time that the LA Times started to, you know, the Southern California papers, that’s about the time they started to get interested in this story too, because, you know, you had a, you had a Southern California victim. So if you saw, if you saw a sketch it woulda had to be October of ’69. Somewhere around there. So it was probably . . .
D: I can’t confirm that, it was at a time when there was a big brouhaha in the newspapers and, uh, but, uh, when I, when I moved from Concord to Pomona, this mighta been in February ’69, and I started working at Fluor, my guess is that I had been at Fluor for a year before, uh, before I saw any of this stuff, because when I started there I was in a different location for a month or so, and then when I came to that location there was no cafeteria there for several months. So, it was after the cafeteria was opened . . .
T: That you saw that.
D: . . . in this building they called the Task Force Center. I have no idea what the date was.
T: And that’s where you saw that picture.
T: And, so you didn’t think, you know, you didn’t really read it or you didn’t make a connection to Zodiac, but then when you saw, in a future article, you saw the quote?
D: Yes. When they were, uh, they were publishing the contents of some of these notes that, uh, letters that (—-) different people (—-) given.
T: Just as a side note, did you ever know Leigh to, did he ever comment on newspapers, or write letters to the editor, that you know of? Was he an avid . . . ?
D: I can’t specifically remember that, but . . . he would have done that, it’s the sort of thing that wouldn’t surprise me. He’d write letters to the editor, I believe. But I can’t remember any specific thing that . . .
T: Was he a Democrat or a Republican? Or was he, didn’t care?
D: I don’t know. Politics wasn’t a thing we talked much about.
T: Was he an, read newspapers though?
D: Yeah, he read papers.
T: Did he ever comment about any particular columnist, or any particular articles, or any particular, anybody that you can think of connected to a paper or story?
T: So, so at some . . .
D: I don’t remember anything like that, it’s just, it’s . . .
T: Been a long time.
D: It’s been a long time, and, uh, I don’t remember any preoccupation with the papers or the news, it was normal about reading newspapers.
T: So, after the, you saw the sketch and your friend commented, “That looks like your friend, Leigh,” and then sometime later there was a, I guess you’re thinking sometime in early ’71, cause it’s, let’s see, a year after, if you moved in February of ’69, what’s the year, if you moved down there in February ’69 and then you worked for about a year before . . .
D: My thought is, that I was there for at least a year before this incident in the cafeteria.
T: Okay, so that would have been about February of ’70.
D: May have been February of ’70, somewhere, could have been a little more into the spring.
T: Okay, and then that’s when you saw the sketch?
T: And then, after you saw the sketch, how much time do you think you could estimate, maybe how much time, or where you were and what the circumstances were when you finally read that quote in one of Zodiac’s letters that brought things back to you?
D: I don’t remember. I, I believe that I was no longer at Fluor when I . . .
T: Made the connection.
D: . . . when I made that connection. Uh, so if I was at Fluor in ’69 and ’70, might have been late ’70 or early ’71. I was operating a paper mill at that time, in my neighborhood in Pomona, and I believe that was when I finally was, assured myself that Leigh was the Zodiac. Because of those quotes.
T: Because you really didn’t remember at that point, because, when I read this, you know, I thought whoa, if Leigh, you know, said in that conversation “I’m going to call myself The Zodiac, and I’m going to pick off people . . .”
D: That was gone out of my mind at that time. The thing that was startlingly clear was the quote about the school bus. And I just . . .
T: So, when you read that . . .
D: When I read that . . .
T: You connected it . . .
D: . . . I remembered where I’d heard it before and connected it.
T: And what did you do next?
D: Um, I stewed on it for a while, and then I, then I went to the Pomona Police Department.
T: Do you remember how long you held it?
D: I don’t know. Seems to me like a long time, but I, finally I just, I couldn’t deny it any more. And I went and talked to the police inspector, or somebody, they sat down and had an interview with me in Pomona, at the police station.
T: How long did that last?
D: I was there for an hour, or two.
T: Did he record it, or just write it and take notes?
D: I think he took some notes.
T: And did he say what he was going to do with that information?
T: Did you tell him basically what you’ve told me?
D: Yes, what I remembered at that time, why I thought it was important and I gave them Leigh’s name and address, to follow up.
T: And did you hear anything from them again?
T: Now when you were, after you made the connection, did you just kinda go into denial and think, no this can’t be?
D: I still thought it was, uh, unbelievable, but yet it was that, with the school bus quote, I thought it couldn’t be a coincidence, I thought it must be. And I . . .
T: Were you scared about coming forward?
D: No, I wasn’t, I wasn’t afraid about that, I wasn’t, I wasn’t even afraid of Leigh making any kind of a, a, attack on me, at that time. I was more worried about making a living. And here I had this scruffy job in the paper mill and didn’t know what I was going to do next and, uh, after, uh, a couple of changes in my career plan, why I started working in Torrance with Panzarella. And we discussed this and then we contacted Armstrong.
T: So after, after you went to Pomona and they didn’t, uh, they didn’t do anything . . .
T: So after, after you went to Pomona and they took the information but nothing was done, did you see, how did you know that nothing was done? I mean, did you still see articles in the paper, and things like that?
D: Yeah. Things just went along as if I had never talked to them. And, uh, I think he just kissed it off as a wild story. Uh, because, you know, I waited and waited, I figured like I always thought is that, if they looked at Leigh and got the survivors to identify him, that the case would be over. So I was waiting for something to happen like that, and nothing did.
T: And then, uh, so some time passed and you ended up moving or changing jobs and you were with Panzarella?
D: Yeah, I didn’t move, but I just, you know, started working in Torrance instead of Pomona.
T: And, uh, Panzarella knew Leigh?
D: Oh, yeah. He met him the same time I did.
T: Did he ever have any suspicions, or what was his opinion of Leigh?
D: Well, uh, he thought he was a spooky guy and, you know, had some quirks. We all did.
T: And when did you first tell Panzarella about what Leigh had told you, and your suspicions?
D: I don’t remember how it came up in conversation, but we did start talking about it.
T: And when you told Panzarella you went to the police, and nothing had happened, was he upset, was he angry, was he . . . ?
D: Well, he was interested, you know, thought that something should happen . . .
[Interrupted by waitress]
T: So then at that point what happened? After you told Panzarella . . .
D: We started discussing it, uh, Panzarella was a man of action, so to speak. He picked up the telephone and dialed the, San Francisco.
T: And you were in his presence?
D: Yes. We were in his office in Torrance.
T: Do you remember what the, uh, who he talked to or what the conversation was?
D: Well, finally he got connected up with Armstrong. He asked for the officer in charge of the Zodiac investigation, and we got connected with Armstrong.
T: Did you ever talk to Armstrong at that point?
D: I may have had some discussion with him on the phone. I don’t remember whether I did or not. But Armstrong and Toschi, uh, made a date to come down and interview us in Torrance.
T: And they did?
D: And they did.
T: Did they interview you too (two), or just Panzarella?
D: Both of us together.
T: Did they, do you know if they recorded that?
D: I’m going to say that Toschi was making notes, while this was going on. I don’t remember a tape recorder, or um, they may have, I just don’t remember it.
T: Were they, were you satisfied at the time that they were handling this the right way?
D: I thought so.
T: They asked the right questions, and they . . .
D: Yeah. I thought that, again, I thought that this would be the end of the case, that, uh, they’ll, they’ll identify Leigh with victims and that’ll be it.
T: Did they pay proper attention to you, since you were the one that heard these things? Cause it sounds like Panzarella was involved in . . .
D: Panzarella was, uh, you know, he was acquainted with Leigh, and knew him, but he, uh, their attention was mostly on me, and because I’m the one that had this, uh, conversation with Leigh.
T: How long did you meet with them, was that a long meeting? With you and . . .
D: They spent at least an hour with us.
T: And after that happened, they went back to San Francisco and . . .
D: Yeah. Same thing. After that, nothing.
T: They never followed up with you, or . . . ?
D: I may have had some subsequent conversation, telephone conversation, but I think all of our, as I remember, all of our conversation took place on that one incident. Uh, yeah at some point, Armstrong asked me if I would be interested in writing a letter to Leigh, or in some way getting him to break cover, or whatever it was they expected to happen. I had a wife and two kids at the time, I thought it would be foolish for me to do that. And I didn’t do it.
T: So he wanted you to write Leigh a letter and say, Hey, remember when you said these things?
D: Something like that. Yeah, I’m not sure exactly what he had in mind, but I, I thought it was a dangerous scheme at the time. If I’d a been single, I mighta gone for it, but I wasn’t that way, I had more responsibility.
T: Where were, in March of ’71, do you think Leigh could have easily figured out where you were?
D: Well, I, yeah, he, he could easily have known where I lived, I was in the phone directory and, you know, I wasn’t hiding.
T: Because, I always thought it was interesting that, uh, Zodiac wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Times in March of ’71, and it was the only time he ever did such a thing, you know, cause his letters were always in the Bay area, unless you count some letters that were sent in the Riverside area, but we’re not sure if those were Zodiac’s writings or not, but I always thought it was interesting that you were in the LA area in March of ’71, and Zodiac wrote to the LA Times in March of ’71, and a few months later this all breaks and Allen becomes a suspect. I thought maybe originally that when Zodiac wrote that letter to the LA Times it might have scared you and Panzarella into maybe thinking, my God, he’s, you know, coming after us.
D: I wasn’t even aware that he had done that. But as far as, uh, you know, it wouldn’t have been any trick for him to look in the Pomona phone directory . . .
D: . . . because my wife was from Pomona and we went to school in Pomona and, uh . . .
T: Did you ever get any weird letters or phone calls or . . . ?
T: Nothing like that? Did Sandy, did Panzarella?
D: Not that I was ever aware of. There was no reason for Leigh to know about Sandy, as far as he wouldn’t have a way of knowing that I worked there.
T: Right. Uh, so this conversation with Armstrong and Toschi ended and then, uh, and you just figured that things were going to progress and you didn’t hear from them again. They might have made some inquiries . . .
D: I was satisfied that Armstrong was the right guy to have that information, and if anything came of it, why, you know, there was no more that I could do.
T: And so after they, they might have followed up with you a couple times, but after that . . .
D: Nothing came of it. No end and no solution to the case.
T: Do you remember being contacted after that by anybody?
D: No, I don’t.
T: Uh, did you follow the case after that? Were you, you know, did you read about, did you . . . ?
D: No, I was never interested in reading about it much, um, I didn’t read books about the Zodiac, and, you know, if I read the paper, once I got through the comics and, then I never read the sports page, but things I read, then I would go to the news and I would read, uh, in politics and I didn’t read the big headline stuff because I didn’t think it was meaningful. But by that time, I would have read a Zodiac article in the newspaper if, you know, whenever they were published.
T: So when, after it ended with Armstrong and Toschi, when did you, when did things start up again? As far as law enforcement being interested in what you had to say?
D: Oh, uh, I didn’t hear anything at all until, um, Bawart tracked me down and talked to me on the telephone. By that time I lived in Benton City, where I do now.
T: And do you know when this was?
D: Was it ’91? Whatever month it was, in ’91. He’d talked to me and made an appointment for me to come down and interview in Vallejo. Bawart met me at the Sacramento airport.
T: They flew you in?
D: They flew me down, uh, he picked me up at the airport and drove me to Vallejo. We had a long discussion, and Bawart drove me back to Sacramento. They put me up in a motel until I could go catch the plane the following day. So . . .
T: Was that recorded?
D: I suspect it musta been, but I don’t remember specifically that it was.
T: Then, did he ask you the right questions and were you satisfied with the way that went?
D: I think we touched all the bases, uh, and then subsequent to that, uh, Bawart and the other officer, Captain, uh . . .
D: Conway’s the name, uh, they came up to Benton City, visited me, and looked at my house. We went to the highway patrol office and I took a lie detector test for them, and then they went home. And then, subsequent to that, they had me take another lie detector test. And that was the last I heard from any of them.
T: Did they share any information with you in Vallejo?
D: Very little, uh . . .
T: Did they have, did it seem they had . . .
D: They told me that Leigh, uh, was either in prison, or had been in prison, and that, uh, and that the period of no Zodiac started when he went to prison, to Atascadero. And, uh, so, they did give me that bit of information.
T: Did they have any files, or did they seem to have any, I mean, when you were meeting with them, did they, did they have reference material, or did they seem to be kind of lacking in . . .
D: I suppose they had Manila folders with something in it on the desk, uh, but all I remember is that we had some conversation. Uh, they had me cooling my heels, waiting for them for a while. Maybe Conway was involved in something else, or they were having discussion outside of my presence . . .
T: So you had to sit there a while, huh?
D: Oh, I sat for a while and I’d walk the halls in the police station there, I looked at the photos on the walls, but I spent quite a bit of time waiting for them.
T: Yeah, sounds like my experiences with them.
D: And, uh, but then, yeah, we did have a long conversation and, uh, both of them very decent, competent guys.
T: Yeah, I’ve been impressed with George Bawart, I haven’t met Conway, but I was really impressed with George.
D: I thought that Conway was sharp. You know, he was on top of . . .
T: They’re both on this tape, this videotape I gave you. Uh, tell me about the lie detector test. You took one initially when George and Conway both came up?
D: Yeah, they both came. And we spent half the day together. And, uh . . .
T: Who performed the . . .
D: He was an expert, I think he came over from Seattle, to meet us there.
T: And how long did the lie detector test take?
D: Not a long time. Surprisingly few questions. All yes or no answers and, uh, didn’t take long.
T: What were the results?
D: I think the results were not definitive. That wasn’t the word they used, but . . .
D: Inconclusive. That’s probably the word they used.
T: Did they think you were lying, or did they accuse you . . .
D: I don’t think they thought I was lying, they just didn’t have, what they were looking for was my reaction to a lie. And they didn’t have that. See, so when they came the second time, we went through the same questions, and then we went through what I thought were extra questions, and then I made a slip of the tongue and I did react. And that’s what they were looking for, they got that.
T: So the second test, what did they say about that?
D: That was conclusive. Their estimate was that I was telling the truth.
T: Okay. And they asked you questions about Allen?
D: Yeah, we talked about all of this that we’ve talked about here, whatever I remembered it, you know, what they had in their notes and, uh, that we didn’t discuss.
T: Well I know they, they served a search warrant on Allen Valentine’s day ’91.
D: That woulda been in, that woulda been after we had the lie detector test, and they . . .
T: Okay, so they based, uh, actually you know, your statements led to two searches on Allen.
D: Well, that, um, search warrant request that you gave me had, it mentioned what I told them. That was in response to this lie detector, uh, meeting that we had.
T: The, uh, now as far as you said you haven’t read a lot about the case, did you ever read the yellow Zodiac book?
D: No. I, I specifically avoided reading that book, because if I knew anything about it, I didn’t want it to be tainted with what I heard from other sources. And whatever was in my memory, I thought, well, I have to more or less keep that clean.
T: Right. Well, I was surprised because the first time we talked, uh, everything was, uh, I mean it was pretty much consistent with what, you know, you’ve been saying. At least what was detailed in those reports. And, there were, as far as I can tell, I mean, the only, the only significant change was I think in the initial reports you thought the conversation with Leigh took place January ’68, but I don’t think they, did they ever give you any reference dates so you could determine in your own mind . . . ?
D: No, uh, I was just trying to count back, you know, from where I lived and what occurred to me and try to count back the years to that date, but I didn’t remember the dates specifically. I specifically remember that it was after the Valley Springs, it was in the winter after Valley Springs. So that was, that’s firm and exact, but I just misremembered the name of the date.
T: And when Allen died, did anyone contact you?
T: When did you hear that he was dead? I mean, when was the first time you heard he was dead?
D: Some people trying to make a television show about him had tracked me down and talked to me, they told me he was dead.
T: How long ago was this?
D: Coupla years.
T: Probably America’s Most Wanted.
D: Probably was, yeah.
T: Did they want you to appear on camera?
D: Yeah, they, they’d asked me if I wanted to appear on camera, but they didn’t offer to pick up expenses or anything, they just thought I wanted to be on camera, and I didn’t.
T: Well, yeah, I, uh, so they wanted you to just pay your way down to . . .
D: I was willing to cooperate with them in any way, but I wasn’t willing to put up expenses to do it.
T: Well yeah, yeah, I know, that’s ridiculous. So, have you, so you haven’t really, I mean, you’ve probably had, if you were looking for it, all the opportunity in the world to, uh, be a media celebrity and . . .
D: I didn’t want to do that. I would have if I thought it would have helped somebody somewhere, I would have done it, but I wasn’t eager to do it, I didn’t want, didn’t want to be publicly connected with this thing, uh, I just thought it was too much bother, like I say, I was willing but I wasn’t eager.
T: What do you think, uh, do you think it’s a possibility that Zodiac was not Arthur Leigh Allen?
D: I’ve thought about that from time to time and I don’t see any way that it could not be Arthur Leigh Allen. Uh, if it was not him, it had to be somebody that looked like him and was a close friend of his. Somebody that, maybe they conspired together or, or that he talked to the way he talked to me, uh, somebody that could have quoted that quote.
T: He could have gotten that from somebody, maybe, or . . .
D: I don’t know where, if there was another source for that, maybe somebody else could have got it from the same source, but, you know, that’s highly unlikely.
T: Uh, so you believe that Zodiac was definitely Arthur Leigh Allen?
D: I’m morally assured that it was Leigh.
T: Now, if he had an accomplice, did you know of anybody in his past that could have been involved?
T: Any suspicions? If I listed you some names, uh, because this comes up quite a bit, uh, some of the higher profiled suspects, uh, if they could have known Leigh, or if they could have been involved. If I, would you potentially, you know your memory better than I do, uh, would you recognize any names do you think if I listed them?
D: Probably not.
T: Ted Kaczynski, does that ring a bell?
D: (laughs) Well, yeah, I remember Ted’s name, but of course he wasn’t associated with Leigh.
T: How about guys like Lawrence Kane, Larry Kane, or William Grant, or Rick Marshall, or Bruce Davis, or Michael O’Hare, or . . . Those are the high profile suspects that people focus on.
D: Just, I got no reaction to any of those names. If I ever heard them before, I don’t remember.
T: Do you know Phil Tucker? Phillip Tucker?
T: Glen Reinhardt?
D: That sounded familiar, but I don’t know, don’t remember any connection, uh . .
T: Those are some of the names that Allen has used over the years, as far as references, and people in his will. Did, uh, do you remember any schools or any jobs that Allen applied for that he did not get? He ever talk about anything like that?
D: He sent out a lot of applications. But I don’t know the details. He was looking for a place like Valley Springs, where he could be in a rural setting. He didn’t apply in the cities. I know that much about it, but beyond that, nothing.
T: Now in the report prepared by Jack Mulanax, uh, I can’t remember who it was, somebody made the allegation that Leigh had made an improper advancement toward your daughter? And Mulanax concluded that if you were lying about Leigh, or if you were exaggerating to get back at him, uh, Mulanax felt that you might be doing it, uh, because of these improper advancements Leigh supposedly made. But he wasn’t saying he thought you were lying, he just said that that could be a possible reason.
D: Who was it, I think Bawart, Bawart mentioned that to me, and, uh, you know, touched on, asked about that question. And it was more that, they had to cover that. Uh, it wasn’t that they thought it could be true. It was something they had to cover. And, uh, never occurred to me.
T: What were the circumstances of that, uh, that incident?
D: Oh, uh, Leigh and myself had been out in the outboard boat on Comanche reservoir, at Valley Springs. And after, my daughter was with us, I don’t know where my wife was, maybe, uh, maybe she was at Leigh’s house, when we went out on the lake she wasn’t with us. But uh, after we got home, maybe the next day, why my daughter just mentioned, “Leigh touched my bottom.”
T: How old was she?
D: She was talking. She mighta been three? It was during the time that Leigh was at Valley Springs, so, uh, I could probably figure that out, but she was a toddler . . .
T: She was young.
D: She was little. And, that’s all there was. “Leigh touched my bottom,” well what do you think about that? I didn’t think much about it. In future visits with Leigh I didn’t take any family with me.
T: Did he ever demonstrate anything before that that would make you think that maybe he was interested in kids, or, you know, sexually, or . . . was this an isolated incident?
D: No, uh, I don’t there was anything else they were, uh, I was present on a couple of occasions when he had some kids, uh, working out on the trampoline. And, uh . .
T: This was in Valley Springs?
D: No, in Vallejo.
T: Where’d he keep the trampoline?
D: Well, he had it set up in the front yard, on that occasion. Um, I don’t know where he kept it, but it was, it was on the front yard . . .
T: Fresno Street?
D: On Fresno Street, yeah. And, uh, it’s not a big front yard, but that’s where the trampoline was. Nice big trampoline.
T: And it got a lot of kids?
D: Yeah, had some teenage girls, and maybe a boy or two, and, you know, they were in shorts and they’re bouncing on the trampoline and, they were fun to watch, you know, nice healthy young kids. So, I enjoyed seeing athletic young kids working out, but I don’t, I didn’t see any sexual interest that, you know, as far as Leigh was concerned, he, as far as I knew at that time, he just liked to be a teacher and work with kids.
T: So, that your daughter was very young, she made the statement, and you didn’t, you had no reason to think that it was anything . . .
D: I, I thought, you know, that was a little suspicious, but, uh, there was no big deal, there was, no harm was done, and I didn’t want to do anything that would make an impression on my daughter.
T: If you thought for sure, though, that something happened . . .
D: Well, I don’t know what I woulda done then. Uh, it just wasn’t, it wasn’t enough of an incident to worry about that much, as far as I could see. Uh, like I say, after, after that, uh, I’d go and visit Leigh but I didn’t take, uh, my wife or kids with me.
T: How long do you think you were friends with Leigh after the incident with your daughter?
D: Possibly a year. Maybe it was, mighta been six months or eighteen months, I . .
T: Somewhere around there.
D: I don’t remember, it was, course that was summer and, and I knew Leigh for six months or a year-and-a-half after that, so, one of those two periods.
T: Is there anything else about his personality or anything you haven’t been asked about that you thought was interesting, or any, any, anything that comes to mind that you think is significant?
D: I think we covered all the significant things and all, or all that I can remember.
T: Where do you think the, uh, if there’s anything that’s ever going to prove that he was involved, where do you think it’s going to be found?
D: Well . . .
T: Oh, that’s what I wanted to ask you, yeah, while I’m thinking about it. The videotape I gave you shows a kitchen. Now in, now when you, the last time you were in his basement was when? Sixty, sixty-nine, right, January 1st?
D: January 1st, ’69 . . .
T: Was there a kitchen down there?
D: There was no kitchen.
T: Okay, so apparently he built this kitchen sometime in the 70’s.
D: Must be.
T: And, uh, cause there’s definitely a kitchen down there in this video from 1991, there’s a kitchen. So, do you know if he had any hiding places in that, in that house, prior to building the kitchen?
D: Well, uh, the only thing that I know for sure was that, uh, uh, when Ron and Leigh made a home brew in their high school days, you know, when they were younger, they hid it under the house. So that, uh, so that’s the only hiding place that I can recall. As far as something in that room, uh, you know, he might have had a stash under the bed or in the bookcase, or, wasn’t anything that I was aware of.
T: Cause he went, uh, built that kitchen, and I guess after Allen died they brought in some building inspector or something, and they didn’t actually look in the walls or anything, they just had the building inspector look around, and I guess he didn’t really do a search or anything, they didn’t take in any, uh, the idea, I guess one of the former detectives thought that they should bring in some kind of sonar equipment and see if he had built a secret room and, none of that was done. But of course if he, you know, if he was, he built a kitchen, he could have easily added a hidden, a false wall or something and, be easy enough to do.
D: Could be, I’m, I just get no impression about that, and uh . . .
T: But there was not kitchen for sure, right?
D: My first guess is that you’re never gonna find a hood or, or the cabbie’s shirt, or, uh, those things are gonna be either destroyed, long ago, or they’ll be someplace where you’ll never connect them with Leigh. Because I don’t think he would have brought them, put them in his bedroom.
T: Did he have any other places that he could have hidden things, that you know of, like trailers, or . . . ?
D: Well, he had boats, and he had, uh, someplace I, I don’t know whatever happened to the trailer that he lived in in Paso Robles. But he moved that up to somewhere in Vallejo, I had an idea that he’d parked it in an auto wrecking yard, or someplace up there. For a while he worked in, in a wrecking yard and then they let him have his trailer there.
T: Did he ever send you any letters, even before, you know, before the, your last time you met him?
D: I might have had a letter, or a note, or something like that from him, or uh . . .
T: Was there anything about the way he, uh, wrote letters that was, Zodiac used to put a couple stamps on each one.
D: Well, he wouldn’ta done that, he, when he did it for Zodiac letters it was because that’s what it was. Uh, he wouldn’t have done that on a Christmas card or a letter to me.
T: Did Allen have any, uh, phrases that he was fond of quoting, or any particular, uh, did he, uh, you know some people have little catch phrases they’re fond of repeating.
D: He had thinks like that and I can’t, I can’t quote any right now, but they would be after the style of, uh, Mad magazine. Uh, he either sent in a letter or gave me, at one time, some recipes and, uh, the recipes would, they’d be good recipes if you’d, if you exchanged chicken for a dead buzzard. Or, you know, that sort of thing. Uh, but uh, um, fact is, the, one of those recipes even became a favorite of ours, my wife and I, we had it on numerous occasions.
T: Did you ever save anything that he, that he gave you or sent you?
D: Well, if any of that exists, it’s in Connecticut, with my wife or my son, or whatever, whatever might exist out of, uh, that household that we had there.
T: Do you think if Ron Allen found anything, uh, pointing to Allen’s, to Leigh’s guilt or innocence, uh, if he found anything after Leigh died, do you think he would come forward to the police with it?
D: I don’t know. I, I think possibly if he had found something like that before Leigh died, he might have. Uh, after Leigh passed on, uh, I think he woulda kept quiet.
T: Yeah, he’s somebody I’ve always wanted to talk to but he, he’s never talk to me. I’ve, I don’t think I’ve ever actually gotten him on the phone. I think I’ve talked to his wife, but she’s really defensive, you know. I understand that . . .
D: I’m sure they’re tired of this, and you know, the last time I saw Karen, I’m sure she was totally convinced, as much as I am, that Leigh was the Zodiac. Or at least he was a good candidate for a serial killer, and uh, and she suspected him of all kinds of things. Uh, but that’s, you know, thirty years ago, or twenty-five years ago, whatever it was, it’s been a very long time, and, uh . . .
T: No sister, though, he didn’t have a sister.
D: No sister.
T: Did he ever wear a ring with a Z on it? Did you ever see anything like that?
D: I don’t know, uh . . .
T: Or Wing Walker shoes, those military shoes?
D: No, I don’t remember anything like that, uh . . .
T: Did he, uh, huh. And he never really demonstrated a violent, uh . . .
D: The violence was in him, and you knew that when . . .
T: You never actually saw him do anything.
D: But he, he didn’t, you know, it was not overt.
T: Do you think you’d recognize that waitress if you saw a picture of her? Been a long time.
D: She was an ordinary looking girl, you know, just, just a pretty waitress and, uh, and nothing outstanding about her, I don’t, I don’t remember at all, I think she had brown hair. Might have been dark brown. That’s the best I can do.
T: But Leigh liked her, huh?
D: Yeah, he, he thought she might, uh, she might be friendly to him.
T: Did he, uh, any other places that you can remember that he frequented in Vallejo? Or Napa, for that matter.
D: I’ve never been in Napa with, uh, let’s see, Leigh and Ron and I were up at the Napa River one time, water skiing, but we weren’t in town. Unless we just were passing through. No, no it’s the only, there were other places, I’m sure, but that’s the only one that I remember.
T: You know the, I guess the Manhattan Beach police report. You’re familiar with that, right?
D: Uh . . .
T: That was dated . . .
D: I, I, I, for some reason I think that report was on Manhattan Beach letterhead. But I don’t think it had anything to do with Manhattan Beach. I think that was the report from Toschi.
T: Hmm, that’s interesting. I wonder where they got it.
D: That was, that was from the, uh, interview that we had in, in San, Panzarella’s office.
T: Because the, I think it’s the date that that report is dated, there was a big story in one of the Southern California newspapers, because that’s when this maniac with a machete went through a campground, cuttin’ people up, and I guess he was kinda heavy set, and roughly matched the description of Leigh.
D: Where was the campground?
T: I think it was in Grass Valley, up around there.
D: Okay, then, was there an artist’s sketch on that?
T: Uh, that I don’t know.
D: If there was, that woulda been the guy with the heavy jowls that only superficially looked like Leigh.
T: Okay, but there was another drawing that looked more like Leigh?
D: Well, the one, the one that I saw in the cafeteria at Fluor.
T: Looked more like Leigh.
D: It looked exactly like Leigh.
T: I think, I think that is definitely the Lake Berryessa sketch because that’s the one we talked about earlier and, uh, I have a, in fact on my website, I have a picture, I have, uh, the young picture of Leigh, where he’s smiling and he doesn’t have facial hair, you saw it a little while ago. That picture, right next to the composite, if you cut it off right above the eyebrows, so you can’t see the different hairlines, they do, I think, look very much alike. But the hair’s different, you know, this, this Napa, the composite, the guy had some, looked like he had a good amount of hair parted on, then it could be a wig, for that matter.
D: Yeah, it could have been a wig, I, um, like I say, when I saw that and in my faulty memory of that period, I associated that sketch that I saw with Berryessa. But I swear I remember a profile. I could be wrong.
T: Or it could be the Grass Valley suspect.
D: No, but that was different.
T: That was different?
D: That was different, that was somebody that coulda matched a police description of Leigh, but the face was altered. It coulda been Leigh under makeup, you know, with a foam rubber appliance, something like that, but you wouldn’ta, the forehead and the eyes, it mighta been Leigh. I don’t know.
T: Did he ever, was he, how close to the coast near Santa Barbara, Lompoc, did he ever get, do you know? Did he ever talk about that? The Pacific Ocean, that area, around the beach?
D: Well, when he was there in Paso Robles and Atascadero, it’s just a hop down the coast to Lompoc, and Santa Barbara.
T: There was a double murder on the beach in about summer of ’63 or so, and I think at that time Leigh was at, working at Santa Rosa Elementary in Atascadero, and, uh, Paso Robles is down the coast?
D: Paso Robles is probably twenty miles from Atascadero.
T: And what was he doing there, again?
D: That’s where he had his trailer. That’s where he lived.
T: When he was working at, uh . . .
D: Yeah. As I understand it, that’s where it was.
T: I’ll have to research that, cause that’s something new to me. And he is, lived in a trailer park?
D: No, he lived in a, how would I describe that, it was, uh, you know, it was kinda on the outskirts of Paso Robles, uh, typical old tiny farm house with a lot of abandoned equipment parked around, trucks and farm equipment, and that sort of thing, chicken coops.
T: And he didn’t even have a TV or anything?
D: I doubt it. I don’t think he had a TV there.
T: Wonder what he did to pass the time, I mean he wasn’t teaching and stuff. Well he was in the asylum, I guess, at Atascadero. Do you remember what he did there? Did he talk about what he did at Atascadero when he worked there? Besides to get ideas for the future?
D: Yeah, I, I suppose you’d call it an orderly, or something like that.
T: Like, helping restrain . . .
D: It wasn’t high on the feeding scale.
T: Did he talk about why he wanted to work there?
D: Cause he could get hired. He wanted to work somewhere, and that’s where he got. They, probably because of his corpsman experience in the Navy, he was able to go there and get a job.
T: Boy, I mean I wouldn’t even consider applying at a place like that, he musta had some interest in it. Maybe he didn’t divulge that, but I would think he, he coulda got a job anywhere. Better than that, I mean, that’s, that’d have to be . . .
D: He had trouble getting jobs.
T: That right?
D: Just like he had trouble getting a date. Uh, he’d, he’d apply, he applied in dozens of places and, uh, a lot of people I think, uh, reacted like the women do, or did.
T: Just something about him.
D: Something about him. They’d talk to him, have an interview with him, and they’d say, “We’ll call you, don’t call us.”
T: Do you remember what type of ammunition he preferred, did he ever mention anything like that?
D: Naw. No, uh . . .
T: Did he have a sewing skill, that you recall?
T: Mm-mm (yes).
D: No, but I think anybody can do that.
T: Yeah, and I think, too, that if you’re in the Navy they require it, don’t they?
T: I think they did at the time. And do you recall his, uh, well I guess, before his father died, were they gone for long periods of time? Cause he died in spring of ’71, the father did, but, uh, my understanding is that Leigh was alone a lot.
D: Yeah, but his folks lived upstairs and he lived downstairs, and I suppose he went up for meals.
T: But did they take trips that you were aware of?
D: I, I, you know, they were retired on a Navy pension, I think his dad was out on a medical, actually, from, from his crash.
T: Right. Plane crash?
D: Yeah. And, uh, so they were, they were comfortable and heck, you know, a very nice house and they were well fixed. They could drive an Oldsmobile and, uh, I think they took vacations. I don’t know much about that, but that’s just my impression.
T: Can you think of anything else you want to add?
D: No, I think we’ve done a thorough job covering this.
T: I think so, I mean, I went over all these and I couldn’t, uh, think of a bunch more, but I can’t think of anything left. Let me make sure I’ve asked you everything. Zodiac seems to keep getting (—-) to Gilbert and Sullivan, and, uh, it could be nothing more than just a ruse to throw people off because if I was going to write letters and risk getting caught, you know, and I could decide whatever content I wanted to have in those letters, I could, I could include details about Garth Brooks or some, you know, artist that I have no contact with, no interest in, but people read the letters and think I’m a big Garth Brooks fan, so it completely takes them in the wrong direction. That could be what Zodiac was doing with The Mikado or Gilbert and Sullivan.
D: Could very well be. I don’t know.
T: You don’t remember him having any . . .
D: I don’t know what that reference is to, even where, why it comes up. Was that something in the letters?
T: Well he quoted, yeah, he would quote, uh, uh, lines from, from The Mikado, and he would, he seemed to be interested in, in like light opera and Gilbert and Sullivan music.
D: Um, he might have liked the music, but I, you know, it’s not outstanding, I don’t recall that. Uh, it might have been just a big red herring.
T: Yeah, that’s true. That’s kind of my feeling, but I’m not sure . . .
D: He, you know, he thought about this, and one thing you can’t say about Leigh is, he’s not stupid. Leigh had an IQ up around 160.
T: Was it that high?
D: Well, it’s quite high, yeah.
T: Did he ever tell you what it was, or, is that where you came up with that number?
D: No, I picked that number out of just having known him for, uh, maybe 150, yeah but he was up there in that range. And, uh, if he set out to, to mislead the police and not get caught, he would have done a pretty good job of it. And he did.
T: Well, yeah. He told you these things, and this was, this woulda been a week, or a week and a half after the Lake Herman Road murder started, but apparently he hadn’t decided to start writing the letters yet. So he would have had, you know, about nine, or about seven, eight months to come up with ideas for the letters.
D: Yeah, I think he was thinking about writing letters at that time, because he had the, the Zodiac symbol in mind already at that time.
T: Oh, he mentioned that, that’s right.
D: Yeah, so, uh, yeah, he was, he was thinking about it, but he didn’t do it rashly.
T: Huh. I wonder how, cause his handwriting was tested and tested and tested. I found a lot of it that looks like Zodiac’s, but I’ve found a ton of it that doesn’t look anything like Zodiac’s, so I’m thinking, either he had somebody write the letters for him, or he found a way to, you know, to disguise his handwriting and I . . .
D: However he did that, uh, I can assure you he wouldn’t have written letters that you could identify him by his handwriting. However he did it. I would have been surprised if he had screwed up on that.
T: Well, yeah, that would be kinda stupid. He didn’t seem to be, he certainly could plan those, I mean . . .
T: Did he ever talk about disguising handwriting, that you recall?
D: Might have. I, I can’t say for sure that he did, but, uh, sure, that might have come up in conversation, uh, prior to that time.
T: Well, if he was going to talk about all those other things, you’d think he would have mentioned that, too. If he was willing to talk about killing people and stuff . . .
D: Well, he didn’t talk to me about everything. And I’ll give you an example. When, uh, when he was talking about taking the lug nuts off and, and getting some gal in a car out in a quiet place, uh, he said, uh, “You know, once you got her there and got her stopped, then you could do what you wanted to her,” and I said, “Well, what would you want to do?” And that conversation shut down right then. He wouldn’t tell me what he wanted to do. What it was that was in his mind. So, he had something in mind but he wasn’t going to tell me.
T: Hmm. You remember any other little details, anything else like that?
D: I don’t know. I know that the police had something in mind that they’ve never published, that that’s what he didn’t tell me.
T: What do you mean?
D: Well, uh, something, something that he did to the bodies, or whether he mutilated them or whatever, whatever it was he did, he didn’t tell me. He came that close to telling me about the lug nut thing, but he shut up, he didn’t tell me about that.
T: Hmm. Did he talk about bombs?
T: Did he ever demonstrate any bomb-making ability, or the interest in bombs?
D: I, I . . . can’t think of it. Um, we might have touched on bombs, you know, when I was a kid I used to, I hung out with some guys that wanted to make firecrackers. Cause we didn’t have legal firecrackers in Bakersfield, course all the kids wanted some. And we made black powder, and we made, we tried to make firecrackers, they, none of them worked very well. But we made rockets that worked very well and were fun.
T: So he could have had that knowledge, but you don’t remember hearing any specifics?
D: Well, you know, like, like I had, uh, it was just something about growing up in the 40’s that you know about black powder and you . . .
T: World War Two . . .
D: . . . that sort of thing. Uh, and bomb making, I’m sure every, every teenage kid has talked about that at some point in their life.
T: I would think so. Well, I mean, it was, Allen was found, in one of the searches they found bombs and bomb-making, uh, diagrams, in his handwriting. But at the time you knew him, you didn’t see anything like that?
D: There wasn’t, uh, there wasn’t anything that I knew about, I don’t think he did that. Uh . . .
T: Did any of, uh, also the possibility exists that if Allen was Zodiac, you know, he was writing these letters, he was copying other people’s handwriting.
D: Possible, or he may have been, uh . . .
T: Using his opposite hand . . .
D: Writing upside down in a mirror or, uh, doing something. But something that would alter the . . .
T: Did you ever see any of the Zodiac’s handwriting that looked like you own? Cause he could have taken writing from his friends.
D: I, I can’t recall ever seeing any of his writing, the Zodiac writing. You know, I’ve read quotes, but, uh, I don’t recall seeing the letters. They may have published a letter once or, I don’t know if they did, and if they, I don’t remember it.
T: Did, uh, did you ever, would Allen have ever been able to get any of your handwriting? Or Panzarella’s, or . . .
D: I, it’s, I suppose he might have had some of my handwriting on, I coulda written something one time or another, but I’m not prone to writing letters, I probably never wrote him a letter. Unless it was, we were planning something and, and, and, uh, he was, you know, at the other end of the state, or something like that, uh, otherwise I’d talk to him on the phone or had gone to visit.
T: My theory is, that if he, if Allen is Zodiac, I mean he wasn’t going to use his real handwriting, if he was copying other people’s handwriting I think he might have, uh, been copying some of the handwriting of kids he used to teach, because I know a lot of teachers, a lot of my old teachers saved all sorts of stuff from their students.
And a lot of Zodiac’s handwriting is, is, uh, some of it is very, very neat and very precise, like a kid, you know, writes when he’s just learning how to do the letters correctly. Usually the beginning of Zodiac letters is very straight up and down, very neat printing, and then it sort of evolves into something a lot more, uh . . .
[END OF TAPE]
Rick Marshall is still considered a strong Zodiac suspect by several investigators.
Marshall’s physical appearance and background match up very well with what is known (and assumed) about Zodiac.
|*Marshall was born in Texas, approximately 1928.
*According to the statements of several acquaintances, Marshall lived in the area at the approximate time of the 1966 murder of possible Zodiac victim Cheri Jo Bates in Riverside, Calif.
*In 1969, Marshall lived in a basement on Scott Street in San Francisco. The location was within a few miles of Zodiac’s only San Francisco crime scene.
*Marshall worked as an engineer for San Francisco Bay Area Radio Station KTIM in the early 1970s. The KTIM call letters resemble the symbols Zodiac included in his “Exorcist” letter from January 1974.
*A big movie buff, Marshall worked as a projectionist at a San Francisco silent-movie theater called the Avenue at the time Zodiac sent his “Red Phantom” letter in July 1974. It was assumed by investigators that Zodiac’s motivation for signing this letter “the Red Phantom” was because he was influenced by a silent film.
As of 1989, Marshall was working for Tektronix and repairing organs in San Francisco’s Castro District.
*Gaikowski was born in Watertown, S.D. on March 14, 1936. He attended nearby Webster High School and then Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen, S.D. He died of cancer in San Francisco on April 30, 2004.
*Gaikowski served a stint in the Army during the 1950s. It is known that Gaikowski was trained as a medic. Medics were trained to tear the clothing of a bleeding victim to use as bandages if they did not have access to the proper equipment. Undershirt first, then shirt, then pants if necessary. That is the order of cleanliness, with the shirttail being preferred if tucked in. (Zodiac tore off a portion of a victim’s shirttail.) Unfortunately, since 80% of such records were destroyed by fire in 1973, not much more is known about Gaikowski’s military career.
*In October 1965, Gaikowski was intentionally arrested for refusing to sign a traffic citation following a routine stop in Contra Costa County (Calif.). As an investigative reporter for the local newspaper, Gaikowski’s goal was to write a story about the conditions within the county jail from the perspective of an inmate. Following his brief stay in jail, Gaikowski’s mugshot was published along with his story. However, by the time Gaikowski became a Zodiac suspect more than 20 years later, records of his fingerprints were long gone, making a comparison to Zodiac’s fingerprints impossible without either Gaikowski’s consent or a court order. There is no evidence either happened.
*Eventual Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin of Vallejo, Calif. got married on Jan. 1, 1966 and moved to Albany, NY. Gaikowski quickly followed, moving across country from Martinez, Calif. (near Vallejo). Ferrin’s husband worked at the Albany Times-Union newspaper; Gaikowski worked in the same building at the rival Albany Knickerbocker News. In August 1973, four years after Ferrin was killed by the Zodiac, the Times-Union received a letter from someone claiming to be the Zodiac. When solved, the cipher that was included with the letter made reference to the Albany Medical Center.
*In 1969, 1970 and 1971, Gaikowski was a member of an anti-police, pro-violence counterculture newspaper and commune in San Francisco called Good Times. During this time, Gaikowski was known to smoke pot regularly and to use heavier drugs such as speed and LSD.
*As early as January 1969, the Good Times newspaper was running violent works of fiction that were nearly a blueprint for Zodiac’s future crimes.
*Wednesday was “production day” for the weekly Good Times newspaper, with the staffers working from early in the morning until very late at night to prepare the new issue. Between Zodiac’s debut in July 1969 until the Good Times folded in 1973, the Zodiac mailed 15 letters. Never did he mail a letter on a Wednesday, although he did on every other day of the week.
*At the time of his murder, the Good Times “switchboard” was located only yards from the residence of Zodiac victim Paul Stine on Fell Street in San Francisco.
*Carol, Paul Stine’s sister, recognized Gaikowski as having attended Paul’s funeral.
*Stine was killed on San Francisco’s Washington Street. Only one Gaikowski was listed in a city directory at that time, Richard’s cousin, and she lived on Washington Street. Her birthday was October 11, the very day Stine was murdered by the Zodiac. Stine — a cab driver — was the one victim whom the Zodiac could choose when and where he would be killed.
*On the very day Zodiac debuted by mailing three “rush to editor” letters to three separate newspapers in the San Francisco area (with each letter containing one third of a code), the Good Times (edited by Gaikowski) just happened to run a cover that was split into thirds. It was the only instance of Zodiac mailing a letter on a Thursday until after the Good Times folded in 1973. Five months later, the Good Times published a three-part code of its own. The Good Times also occasionally ran sensationalistic “Zodiac Killer” headlines that were out of place.
*In articles he published in 1969, Gaikowski had the habit of shortening his last name to four letters and use multiple spellings, such as “Gike” or “Gaik.” Interestingly, “GYKE” can clearly be seen in Zodiac’s three-part cipher mailed on July 31, 1969. What’s more, how Zodiac chose to code the cipher phonetically gives you Gaikowski’s full last name.
*At the very time the Zodiac wrote his only letter to the Vallejo Times-Herald, Gaikowski’s best friend, Bob, worked at that very newspaper.
*Even though the Good Times was a counterculture/hippie newspaper, once Gaikowski came aboard it ran free ads for such unlikely events as performances of The Mikado, a Zodiac favorite. (Zodiac sometimes quoted from The Mikado in his letters.)
*On March 13, 1971 the Zodiac sent a letter to the Los Angeles Times. Coinciding closely with the mailing, Gaikowski was involuntarily committed to the Napa State Hospital after “going berzerk.” He was then diagnosed with a mental illness and began treatment at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco. The Zodiac didn’t write again for almost three years.
*When the Zodiac reemerged in 1974 with letters referring to recent movie releases, Gaikowski was operating a storefront theater in the Mission District of San Francisco. A film buff, Gaikowski eventually became involved with San Francisco’s Roxie Theater.
*Nancy Slover, the police dispatcher who spoke with the Zodiac in July 1969, has identified Gaikowski’s voice as being the same as the Zodiac’s voice.
*In 1986, the Napa County Sheriff’s Dept. briefly investigated Gaikowski. After urging from Goldcatcher and Pam Huckaby (sister of Darlene Ferrin), Detective Ken Narlow did a background check on Gaikowski and put him under surveillance for a few nights. Narlow found nothing to warrant further investigation and the matter was dropped. Meanwhile, the California Dept. Of Justice determined that Gaikowski’s handwriting had consistencies with Zodiac’s handwriting and more samples of Gaikowski’s printing were requested. Goldcatcher found printing that he felt could have belonged to Gaikowski, but those samples were determined to not be a match. There was not enough probable cause for an arrest or search warrant and the investigation ended.
*Pam Huckaby, sister of Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin, claims Kane followed Darlene in the months before her murder. Additionally, possible Zodiac victim Kathleen Johns identified Kane as her abductor.
*In 1969, during the peak of Zodiac’s activity, Kane was 45 years old. He stood 5’9″ and weighed approximately 160 pounds. His astrological sign is Taurus.
*As a result of massive brain damage from a 1962 auto accident, Kane was allegedly diagnosed by a psychologist in 1965 as “losing the ability to control self-gratification.”
*Kane was arrested in Redwood City, Calif. in August 1968. The arrest was just four months before Zodiac’s first San Francisco Bay Area murders of Dec. 20, 1968.
As of early 1999, Lawrence Kane was living in Nevada.