The film does provide a good overview of the Zodiac case, although clearly employs a fair degree of artistic license not based in fact. However there is one key scene that we shall focus on here- the scene where the 'Halloween' card arrives at the San Francisco Chronicle headquarters and a piece of Paul Stine's shirt is discovered in the greetings card.
The Zodiac Killer mailed three pieces of Paul Stine's shirt, firstly in the October 13th 1969 letter, secondly in the November 9th 1969 'Bus Bomb' letter and thirdly to Melvin Belli on December 20th 1969, but no mention was ever given to a fourth swatch of Paul Stine's being received with any subsequent correspondence. The film had been accurate in this respect, so why was it necessary to invent this portion of the story when the 'Halloween' card stood on its own merits as a Zodiac correspondence, being perceived as a personal threat to newspaper reporter Paul Avery. With many previous and current investigators involved in the film, this seemed an unnecessary addition of fiction. Unless of course it wasn't.
The Zodiac did not mail the entirety of the shirt section he removed from the taxicab driver on October 11th 1969, and we have come to believe he wasn't a collector of souvenirs. So why didn't he just mail back the remainder of the shirt in later communications, particularly ones he must have realized would be questioned as authentic correspondence from the killer.
There would seem little reason to withhold this from the newspapers when previous pieces received had been fully disclosed. Despite this, in 1970, certain details contained in several correspondences were withheld from publication, most notably the whole of the 'Little List' letter mailed on July 26th 1970, eventually released to the press on October 12th 1970, only two weeks prior to the arrival of the 'Halloween' card. Whether the investigators were trying to force a mistake from Zodiac by 'interfering' with his communications can only be surmised.
The immediate communication after the disappearance of Donna Lass on September 6th 1970 was the Zodiac '13 Hole' postcard containing a pasted red crucifix. In later years a potential burial site was explored by Officer Harvey Hines near Clair Tappaan Lodge, where a rock configuration of 13 stones were positioned in the form of a cross. It was considered that Zodiac may have been pointing us toward the burial site of Donna Lass. The area he had concealed her remains.
Was the 'Halloween' card also pointing us toward an area of concealment in a rather more subtle way. The author of the 'Halloween' card had certainly made great effort in creating additions to this card, in similar fashion to the '13 Hole' postcard, but obviously in a more magnified fashion. What purpose belied the addition of a pumpkin over the pelvis of the first skeleton, as well as adding the second skeleton on the card inner. If indeed this held great purpose, then it was largely missed by most observers. One would like to believe the pumpkin and skeleton were placed on the card for more than just the casual amusement of its creator. That is what we shall investigate.
Peek-a-boo is a form of play, where a parent for example, may cover their face with their hands, and then reveal themselves to the infant, exclaiming peekaboo. Was this Zodiac patronizing his investigators, painting himself as the parent while subtly mocking the police and journalists as children, warning them they were "doomed." In addition, was it suggestive of something hidden that was about to be revealed. The eye in the knothole telling us to look closer.
The Zodiac Killer could have drawn on the 'Halloween' card, but chose to add a cut out pumpkin and skeleton. The inside of the envelope contained the phrase "sorry no cipher" twice, formed into an X formation. There may have been no cipher, but was the X marking a location to be found.
The pumpkin on the card outer was fashioned over the pelvic region of the skeleton, only to be effectively removed from the skeleton on the card inner, to the delight of the author in the form of the word "Boo." Again, an extension of something concealed to the observer, before its unearthing. Everything in the card screams out to something hidden that will be revealed. If the Zodiac Killer didn't place a small piece of Paul Stine's shirt behind the pumpkin, it could be argued he missed a Halloween trick, or treat in his case. He drew a styled red mask on the eyes of the inner skeleton, that likely in the real world would be made of fabric, that once again hints at concealment.
It has also been noted by many observers that the inner skeleton is somewhat posed in the fashion of Paul Stine lying prostrate in the taxicab- the mask on the skeleton's eyes depicting the strategically placed black rectangle over the face of Paul Stine, in respect of dignity and sensitivity. But was a small swatch of shirt, similar in size to the mask, concealed under the pumpkin.
The Bay Area killer certainly was indicating 14 victims, or a potential 14 victims, however he also appeared to be emphasizing the number 4.
He deliberately separated the number fourteen to create 4-TEEN.
He placed four larger eyes close to the pelvic region of the skeleton, as if urging us to see something, along with the four dots around the symbol.
Could the symbol stand for 'Zodiac Four,' or was it still 'Zodiac Victims Fourteen,' with four attachments to date- The fourth piece of Paul Stine's shirt concealed under the pumpkin by the pelvic region of the outer skeleton, highlighted by the four large eyes imploring us to discover.
The Zodiac Killer mailed the 'Halloween' card just after the first anniversary of the Presidio Heights murder, so if he was to send any more pieces of Paul Stine's shirt, this may have been his opportune moment. But we are led to believe he didn't, and nothing presented above can fully convince otherwise.