Known as the Christmas Card or American Greetings Card* for obvious reasons, this card is often referred to as the 'Eureka' Card, having been postmarked Eureka, CA, December 1990. This correspondence was mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle sixteen years after the last confirmed Zodiac correspondence and depicts a Christmas scene of a snowman, adorned with a Groucho Marx style face, red bobble hat and a green and white striped scarf, with a small rabbit facing the snowman.
The wording on the card exterior read; 'FROM YOUR SECRET PAL CAN'T GUESS WHO I AM YET? WELL, LOOK INSIDE AND YOU'LL FIND OUT...' and once opened it revealed: '...THAT I'M GONNA KEEP YOU GUESSIN'! HAPPY HOLIDAYS, ANYWAY.'
*The American Greetings Card Company was founded in Brooklyn, Ohio in 1906 by Jacob Sapirstein, a Polish immigrant. It was originally called the Sapirstein Greeting Card Company.
This correspondence was discovered on March 3rd 2007 by editorial assistant of the San Francisco Chronicle Daniel King among some photo files. The David Fincher 2007 Zodiac movie, based on the Robert Graysmith book was released in the USA the day before this correspondence was unearthed, on March 2nd. The movie had its premier in Los Angeles and California on March 1st. The card inner contained a photocopy of two US postal keys, supported by a magnet key-chain, however there was no added text on the card from its sender.
Documents examiner Lloyd Cunningham (see right), declared the handwriting on the envelope not to be of genuine Zodiac authenticity, but as per usual other experts took the opposite stand, believing it to be from the hand of the Zodiac killer.
The envelope to this card, however bore handwriting uncannily familiar to another envelope and card apparently sent to Mrs Irene Preston of Lincoln Montana, by Theodore Kaczynski in 1990, a friend of long standing, wishing her a happy Christmas and new year. This story was fielded by the US News and World Report in 1997.
The 'Eureka' card is reminiscent of the Halloween Card, addressed to Paul Avery of the San Francisco Chronicle on October 27th 1970. The Halloween Card began with the same introduction; 'FROM YOUR SECRET PAL'. On the inside of the Halloween card and pre written it said, 'But, then, why spoil the game! Happy Halloween!'. The author of the card had added two words, firstly 4-TEEN, along with the BOO !, and at the foot of the card he had placed a strange, and to this day, undetermined symbol.
The Eureka Card, if from Zodiac, would be the first time he failed to add any text to his correspondence. The photocopying of the two keys however is curious, in that he could have sent a photograph or a drawing, but chose this form of contact. The photocopy suggests inversion, reversal or a negative as the overriding message in accompaniment to the two US postal keys, but so far no credible reasoning for this communication has come to light. But one would assume an underlying message exists regarding this card.
The 'Little List' letter mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle on July 26th 1970, heavily featured the Gilbert and Sullivan stage play, The Mikado.
One section loosely quotes 'a more humane Mikado', this is followed by the more extensive paraphrasing of Act 1 Part 5a, 'As some day it may happen'.
The curious thing, is that the Zodiac Killer's version of the Little List mimics closer to the Groucho Marx version in the Bell Telephone Hour (1960), than the original Gilbert and Sullivan play. This, along with the Halloween Card connection provides our only credible links to the Zodiac Killer during the 1970's.
Extra reading on the 'Eureka' card.
Postmarked San Rafael, California, the Red Phantom Letter or Count Marco Letter was received by the San Francisco Chronicle on July 8th 1974, but this short letter is considered debatable correspondence, as are several of the later letters attributed to the Zodiac. The Red Phantom Letter references a known film El Espectro Rojo, which had a showing in the Bay Area around the relevant time period.
The letter is aimed at a columnist on the paper, called Marco Spinelli, who quit his job shortly after this letter was received.
On the face of it this letter, if genuine Zodiac material, gives very little away, other than the author appearing irked by Marco Spinelli enough, that he is driven by compunction to reply to the columnist in this short eleven lined note.
But could any of the articles, Spinelli wrote in the run up to this correspondence have ignited something within the Zodiac to generate such a response.
A great article at Zodiac Revisited, details ten columns that went to print at the San Francisco Chronicle in the run up to this letter being mailed, starting from June 25th 1974. Visit http://zodiacrevisited.com/ten-days-of-count-marco/ to review all ten columns.
Lloyd Cunningham, a former documents examiner, first became embroiled in the Zodiac case while a police officer at the time of the Presidio Heights murder of taxi driver Paul Stine, when countless officers flooded the area in the aftermath.
He became a documents examiner in 1980, having scrutinized countless letters during his career, including the JoBenet Ramsey ransom letter and the Leonard Lake and Charles Ng 'sex slaves' victims letters, which he reconstructed. But above all he was captivated by the Zodiac mystery, during which 30 years of careful handwriting analysis of multiple suspects, he has failed to confirm a single match in his opinion. He said "All over the world, people were mesmerized by the Zodiac mystery, and everyone's relative or ex-friend became a suspect."
But he alludes to one stark fact, that the Paul Stine letter with the mailed bloodstained piece of shirt, is in reality, the only confirmed Zodiac letter to have definitely been mailed by the killer.
1963 June 4th-The Domingos/Edwards Murders
1966 October 30th-The Cheri Jo Bates Murder
1966 November 29th -The Confession Letter
1966 December- The Riverside Desktop Poem
1967 April 30th- Bates Had to Die Letter
1968 December 20th-The Lake Herman Murders
1969 July 4th-The Blue Rock Springs Attack
1969 July 31st- Vallejo Times Herald Letter and
408 Cipher Page1 (solved)
1969 July 31st- Examiner Letter and
408 Cipher Page 2 (solved)
1969 July 31st - Chronicle Letter and
408 Cipher Page 3 (solved)
1969 July 31st-The Complete 408 Cipher
1969 August 4th- Debut of Zodiac Letter
1969 September 27th- The Lake Berryessa Attack
1969 October 11th-The Presidio Heights Murder
1969 October 13th-The Paul Stine Letters
1969 October 22nd-Call to Chat Show
1969 November 8th-The Dripping Pen Card and
340 Cipher (unsolved)
1969 November 9th-The Bus Bomb Letter
1969 November 28th-The Betsy Aardsma Murder
1969 December 16th-The Fairfield Letter
1969 December 20th-The Melvin Belli Letter
1970 Feb 21st- The Hood and Garcia Murders
1970 March 22nd-The Modesto Attack
1970 April 20th-"My Name is" Letter,
Cipher 3 (unsolved) and Bus Bomb Diagram
1970 April 28th-The Dragon Card
1970 June 26th-The Button Letter
Cipher 4 (unsolved) and Map
1970 July 4th-The Sleeping Bag Murders
1970 July 24th-The Kathleen Johns Letter
1970 July 26th-The Little List Letter
1970 Sept 6th-The Donna Lass Disappearance
1970 October 5th-13 Hole Postcard
1970 October 27th-The Halloween Card
1971 March 13th-The Los Angeles Letter
1971 March 22nd-The Pines Card
1974 January 29th-The Exorcist Letter
1974 February 14th-The SLA Letter
1974 May 8th-The Citizen Card
1974 July 8th-The Red Phantom Letter
1974 December 27th- Christmas Card
1978 April 24th-The 1978 Letter
1987 October 28th- The 1987 Letter
1990 December-American Greetings Card