On the right are seven pages of the 'Bus Bomb' letter, mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle on November 9th 1969. Click the image to expand. Once the image has opened click again to magnify further. The wording on the entire correspondence is shown below:
PAGE ONE: "This is the Zodiac speaking up to the end of Oct I have killed 7 people. I have grown rather angry with the police for their telling lies about me. So I shall change the way the collecting of slaves. I shall no longer announce to anyone. When I committ my murders, they shall look like routine robberies, killings of anger, + a few fake accidents, etc.
The police shall never catch me, because I have been too clever for them.
1 I look like the description passed out only when I do my thing, the rest of the time I look entirle different. I shall not tell you what my descise consists of when I kill
2 As of yet I have left no fingerprints behind me contrary to what the police say
(PAGE TWO) in my killings I wear transparent fingertip guards. All it is is 2 coats of airplane cement coated on my fingertips -- quite unnoticible + very efective
3 my killing tools have been boughten through the mail order outfits before the ban went into efect. Except one & it was bought out of the state. So as you can see the police don't have much to work on. If you wonder why I was wipeing the cab down I was leaving fake clews for the police to run all over town with, as one might say, I gave the cops som bussy work to do to keep them happy. I enjoy needling the blue pigs. Hey blue pig I was in the park -- you were useing fire trucks to mask the sound of your cruzeing prowl cars. The dogs never came with in 2 blocks of me + they were to the west + there was only 2 (PAGE THREE) groups of parking about 10 min apart then the motor cicles went by about 150 ft away going from south to north west
p.s. 2 cops pulled a goof abot 3 min after I left the cab. I was walking down the hill to the park when this cop car pulled up + one of them called me over + asked if I saw anyone acting suspicious or strange in the last 5 to 10 min + I said yes there was this man who was runnig by waveing a gun & the cops peeled rubber + went around the corner as I directed them + I disappeared into the park a block + a half away never to be seen again.
Hey pig doesnt it rile you up to have your noze rubed in your booboos?
If you cops think I'm going to take on a bus the way I stated I was, you deserve to have holes in your heads.
PAGE FOUR: Take one bag of ammonium nitrate fertilizer + 1 gal of stove oil & dump a few bags of gravel on top + then set the shit off + will positivily ventalate any thing that should be in the way of the blast.
The death machine is all ready made. I would have sent you pictures but you would be nasty enough to trace them back to developer + then to me, so I shall describe my masterpiece to you. The nice part of it is all the parts can be bought on the open market with no questions asked.
1 bat. Pow clock -- will run for aprox 1 year
1 photoelectric switch
2 copper leaf springs
2 6V car bat
1 flash light bulb + reflector
2 18" cardboard tubes black with shoe polish inside + oute (PAGE FIVE: DIAGRAM)
PAGE SIX: the system checks out from one end to the other in my tests. What you do not know is whether the death machine is at the sight or whether it is being stored in my basement for future use. I think you do not have the manpower to stop this one by continually searching the road sides looking for this thing. + it wont do to re roat + re schedule the busses because the bomb can be adapted to new conditions.
Have fun!! By the way it could be rather messy if you try to bluff me. PS. Be shure to print the part I marked out on page 3 or I shall do my thing.
PAGE SEVEN: To prove that I am the Zodiac, Ask the Vallejo cop about my electric gun sight which I used to start my collecting of slaves."
A lot of people have asked the question, who is the Vallejo cop mentioned at the foot of this correspondence? The answer is Vallejo Police Chief Jack E. Stiltz, who doubted the Zodiac Killer just before the Debut of Zodiac letter arrived at the San Francisco Examiner on August 4th 1969 (three months previous). Chief Jack E. Stiltz wanted more information to corroborate that the murderer and letter writer were the same person. The Zodiac stated above "Ask the Vallejo cop about my electric gun sight which I used to start my collecting of slaves". The person he originally told about his electric gun sight was Vallejo Police Chief Jack E Stiltz in the Debut of Zodiac letter, when he responded to two articles that featured the officer.
These articles were published on August 2nd 1969 and August 3rd 1969 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner respectively. Then on August 4th 1969, a Zodiac letter arrived stating "In answer to your asking for more details about the good times I have had in Vallejo, I shall be very happy to supply even more material. By the way, are the police having a good time with the code? If not, tell them to cheer up; when they do crack it, they will have me." and ended the letter with "What I did was tape a small pencel flash light to the barrel of my gun. If you notice, in the center of the beam of light if you aim it at a wall or ceiling you will see a black or darck spot in the center of the circle of light about 3 to 6 inches across. When taped to a gun barrel, the bullet will strike in the center of the black dot in the light. All I had to do was spray them as if it was a water hose; there was no need to use the gun sights. I was not happy to see that I did not get front page coverage".
In another part of the Bus Bomb letter (on page 3), Zodiac highlighted a section of text (as seen above right), stating "Must print in paper". This was drawing attention to his encounter with police on Jackson Street shortly after the murder of Paul Stine in Presidio Heights on October 11th 1969. He claimed that "two cops pulled a goof" shortly after he had left the scene of the crime, stopping him, then letting him on his way. This claim has been utterly refuted by Donald Fouke, one of the officers on duty that night. The debate on whether Zodiac was questioned or not by Officers Donald Fouke and Eric Zelms rages on. For further analysis of this in greater detail, please visit http://www.zodiacciphers.com/zodiac-news/two-cops-pulled-a-goof
The Zodiac Killer responded to many newspaper articles, including the Debut of Zodiac letter - and the Bus Bomb correspondence was no different. Chief of Police Martin Lee stated in the San Francisco Chronicle article on October 18th 1969, entitled Zodiac Called a Clumsy Criminal, that Zodiac possibly left his fingerprints on the taxicab, allowed himself to be spotted by three teenagers, and failed to kill all his victims. He went on say "His boast of being in the area we were searching is a lie. We had the whole area flooded with lights. We had seven police dogs and a large number of patrolmen searching the area tree by tree and bush by bush. The dogs are the best in the country. A mouse couldn't have escaped our attention".
The Zodiac Killer clearly refuted these claims of Captain Martin Lee by stating "As of yet I have left no fingerprints behind me contrary to what the police say in my killings I wear transparent fingertip guards". Zodiac added "I look like the description passed out only when I do my thing, the rest of the time I look entirle different. I shall not tell you what my descise consists of when I kill". In response to the police doubting he was hiding in the Presidio park he retorted "Hey blue pig I was in the park -- you were useing fire trucks to mask the sound of your cruzeing prowl cars. The dogs never came with in 2 blocks of me".
The day after the Paul Stine murder on October 12th 1969, Keith Power wrote an article in the San Francisco Chronicle (see below), indicating there was a sighting of a man bearing other descriptions of Zodiac, running into the Julius Khan playground. This article details the sighting of a man scurrying into the Julius Khan playground, adjacent to Spruce Street. This event is also covered in Robert Graysmith's Zodiac book: "The detectives heard from neighbors that a stocky figure was seen dashing across Julius Khan playground and into the dense undergrowth of the Presidio. The dog patrol units, seven of the best search dogs in the country, gathered at the front entrance of the Presidio and were deployed one at a time in various directions. Armstrong and Toschi considered the possibilities. Had the killer gone quickly through the dark woods and emerged from the Presidio at Richardson Avenue, and taken Highway 101 past Fort Point onto the Golden Gate Bridge and vanished into Marin County?"
This account, coupled with the San Francisco Chronicle article and Donald Fouke's directional movements that night of "we turned and went down looking for the alleged suspect in the area of Julius Khan playground. Nothing was observed", appears to center the focus squarely over Julius Khan playground. Even the Zodiac Killer alluded to entering the park at Spruce Street, when he remarked in the Bus Bomb letter that "the cops peeled rubber + went around the corner as I directed them + I disappeared into the park a block + a half away never to be seen again". Spruce Street is almost one and a half blocks from the Donald Fouke sighting on Jackson Street.
The question of whether Zodiac entered the park, escaped to a waiting vehicle or took refuge in a house, has run and run for decades - and a likely answer does not appear to be forthcoming. The following, however, picks apart the Zodiac wording on the Bus Bomb letter to analyze if there is any grain of truth regarding his movements that night, starting with the eyewitnesses in the newspaper article above: "The detectives heard from neighbors that a stocky figure was seen dashing across Julius Khan playground and into the dense undergrowth of the Presidio. The dog patrol units, seven of the best search dogs in the country, gathered at the front entrance of the Presidio". The Zodiac would goad the police on November 9th 1969, retorting "the dogs never came within 2 blocks of me + they were to the west". Had this been the truth, the Zodiac had clearly moved in an easterly direction after entering the park, moving down to somewhere opposite Laurel Street or beyond, to an area of very dense coverage. See here.
It is highly unlikely the Zodiac Killer remained in the park for long, because he knew the search was intensifying, the dog units had been deployed, and his options were narrowing. There may be one final clue regarding his exit strategy and direction, as he continued eastwards towards Presidio Boulevard. In the Bus Bomb letter he would say one last thing about his excursion into the park, by stating "the motor cicles went by about 150 ft away going from south to north west". By traveling east across the park he would have arrived close to Presidio Boulevard at this juncture, waiting for his moment to escape the Presidio Park into the Cow Hollow region on the eastern fringes, and thereby completing his separation. It can be seen here on Google Maps that the motorcycles circling the park perimeter, would without question be approximately "150 ft away going from south to north west." Once they pass by, the Zodiac Killer can exit the park and enter the area by the Lyon Steps to any waiting vehicle.
With the Bus Bomb letter Zodiac mailed a second piece of taxicab driver Paul Stine's shirt, in addition to the one he mailed with the October 13th 1969 letter and the one he would mail to Melvin Belli on December 20th 1969. This is detailed in several newspaper articles, a Youtube video and more importantly an FBI document.