On April 20th 1970 the killer mailed 'The My Name is..Cipher' and stated "I hope you do not think that I was the one who wiped out that blue meannie with a bomb at the cop station. Even though I talked about killing school children with one. It just wouldn't doo to move in on someone else's teritory. But there is more glory in killing a cop than a cid because a cop can shoot back." The Zodiac Killer was referring to the murder of San Francisco police officer Brian McDonnell on February 16th 1970, two months earlier, when a bomb exploded on an outside ledge of Park Police Station in the Upper Haight neighborhood. See here.
He would back up this correspondence with the 'Dragon Card' just one week later on April 28th 1970 declaring "I hope you enjoy yourselves when I have my blast." This card featured elements of the book Don Quixote, a novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, in which Alonso Quijana, a prolific reader of books, became so mesmerized by the chivalry contained within them, that under the assumed name of Don Quixote, along with his squire Sancho Panza, began a quest to revive this virtue. What the Zodiac Killer was inferring with this particular card can be debated, but the 1899 Waller Street Police Station is situated on the boundary of the San Francisco Golden Gate Park and in close proximity, also situated in the park, is the memorial statue of Miguel de Cervantes, featuring Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Was the Zodiac Killer insinuating an attack close to the police station and park, similar to the murder of police officer Brian McDonnell.
The Zodiac Killer appeared to be heavily centering his focus in the Haight District. The statue in the park, 1899 Waller Street and 643 Waller Street all fall within a 2 mile radius, featured through three consecutive mailings.
It is therefore this locality of San Francisco we shall again turn our attention to, when considering where the Zodiac Killer may be directing his threat towards in the Button letter, using recent history to predict the future.
There is good reason to believe the Zodiac Killer was threatening an attack on Ingleside Station-San Francisco Police Department, located at 1 Sgt John V Young Lane, named in honor of Sgt. John Young, killed by gunmen in 1971 after they stormed the police station. Ingleside Station is 4.6 miles south of 1899 Waller Street. The Zodiac Killer never followed through on many of his claims, but this may very well be the location he was threatening to bomb on June 26th 1970. So here is the evidence.
When the Zodiac Killer mailed the Button letter, it was accompanied by a Phillips 66 road map and his crosshairs, stating they were "to be set to Mag.N." That is magnetic north, calculated at 17 degrees in 1970. Clearly he soon realized that the information or code he supplied, coupled with the Phillips 66 map, was insufficient to crack the cipher or determine a location for the bomb. One month later he rectified the problem with the Little List letter mailed on July 26th 1970, when he incorporated two further crosshairs, with all the clues we needed.
The Zodiac Killer continually taunted police with his running victim total, always attributing the police with zero. This was nothing new. However here he deliberately brings attention to the zero, marking it noticeably darker, as though it has increased significance. It is also placed within the crosshairs, indicating an area within his sights.
Bearing in mind the acronym SFPD, it is clear he has the San Francisco Police Department firmly focused as his target. That police department, we will attempt to show, was Ingleside Station located just off Balboa Park at San Jose Avenue.
The Zodiac Killer sent us a second set of crosshairs in the Little List letter stating "PS. The Mt Diablo code concerns Radians + inches along the radians."
This was the clue we needed.
In a previous article we highlighted a region of San Francisco for particular interest, using the following technique, but with improved map plotting and examining carefully the Phillips 66 map, it has become apparent the amended focus should be squarely over Ingleside Police Station.
The phrase "PS. The Mt Diablo code concerns Radians + inches along the radians," clearly tells us to use radians as our degrees from the north axis and is "to be set to Mag.N." So we are looking for whole radians, to which we then add in the magnetic north value of 17 degrees. This will give us our angle on the Phillips 66 map.
The bold circle above is sitting between the 180 and 270 degree axis. In fact the center of the bold circle is positioned at 246 degrees. This can be confirmed using a compass rose. One radian is valued at 57.296 degrees, so four radians are valued at 4 X 57.296 = 229.184 degrees. Add in the magnetic north value of 17 degrees and our final total is 246.184 degrees.
The Zodiac Killer was indicating four radians + magnetic north. He never incorporated this into the Button letter code and Phillips 66 map, telling us the crosshair was to be set to magnetic north, but a month later in the Little List letter, he added the magnetic north value in for us, seen by the positioning of the bold circle next to SFPD. Four radians and 17 degrees is 246 degrees. This bold circle is also positioned at exactly 246 degrees (see below).
The Zodiac Killer placed 'Diablo', the Spanish word for devil over the 180 degree axis. This may not have any significance, but if we couple the 66 from Phillips 66, with the number 6 on the Phillips map crosshair, we get 666, the number of the beast. By using the same method we can add the number 66 to the 180 degrees and arrive at 180 + 66 = 246 degrees once more.
Whether this was by design however, is open to question.
Let us now go ahead and superimpose the compass rose and SFPD crosshair over the Phillips 66 map (below).
To be completely accurate, both have been tilted by three degrees to match the original Zodiac crosshair. (shown here).
246 degrees takes us, as the crow flies, 31 miles southwest, passing directly over Ingleside Station-San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). The map scale is 6.4 miles to the inch, so if we were traveling inches along the radians, it would be 4.84 inches.
If we round off, the phrase "PS. The Mt Diablo code concerns Radians + inches along the radians," would become: "PS. The Mt Diablo code concerns four Radians + five inches along the radians." That is 229 degrees, but set to magnetic north gives us the 246 degrees shown in the diagrams.
The map crosshair told us to "set to Mag. N", which was 17 degrees. So if the code had an angle within it, this angle would be 229 degrees (before it is coupled with the map).
With 29 unique characters in the 32 symbol code, simple substitution is not an option. Some form of key must be unearthed.
Below are two incorrect examples of what we may be looking for. The first example matches all the repeating characters, even the dotted circle, but makes no sense. The second is more recognizable as a logical sentence, but matches little within the code. You may have a better solution.
Ingleside Police Station may very well have been the target of the Zodiac Killer, but without breaking the code, it will remain a possibility rather than a proven fact. Thank you for your time.