Unfortunately, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article on November 16th 1970, using the Dripping Pen card envelope mailed on November 8th 1969. This gave any future hoaxer to the San Francisco Chronicle the perfect opportunity, to mimic not only the handwriting, but the structure and layout of the address. Had this not been done, any significant deviation to known envelope styles could then be challenged, if the content within them contained nothing of any substance regarding the Zodiac Killer. However, the publication of the Dripping Pen card envelope in the San Francisco Chronicle on November 16th 1970, when compared to the questioned April 24th 1978 envelope and letter, may still give us some clues.
Despite being separated by eight years, the 1978 envelope shows extreme similarity to the envelope published in the San Francisco Chronicle. One could be forgiven for believing the author of the 1978 envelope copied the envelope from the November 16th 1970 San Francisco Chronicle. The Zodiac Killer addressed his envelopes to the Chronicle many different ways, using only S.F. Chronicle and San Fran. Chronicle for the name of the newspaper between 1969 and 1974, but used San Fran. Calif., San Francisco Calif, San Fran Calif, San Francisco, Calif., San Fran. Calif, and San Fran. Claif in the remainder of the address. The author of the 1978 letter used the exact wording on the publicized Dripping Pen card envelope (including the not always used "Please Rush To Editor" phrase), which could lead to the assumption that a copycat was mimicking the newspaper publication of this envelope.
It is unfortunate that the 1978 letter used the address style of the publicized envelope, but while this may lead some to the inevitable conclusion it was designed by a hoaxer, it by the same token appears to exonerate David Toschi, who surely wouldn't have been so stupid to mimic a widely publicized envelope in order to pass off the 1978 letter as being penned by the real killer.
Much is made of the 1978 letter being ruled out by DNA in the San Francisco Police Department report of "suspected Zodiac correspondence." The report states next to the 1978 letter: "DNA sample obtained. Not authentic Zodiac letter". However, it does not explicitly state that the letter was ruled out as being from Zodiac by use of DNA. It had long been determined by many handwriting experts that the 1978 letter wasn't penned by the Zodiac Killer - so incorporating the letter in a list of "suspected Zodiac correspondence" with that determination already in place, is not confirmation it was ruled out specifically by way of DNA analysis. Only that DNA was obtained from a doubted Zodiac correspondence. To have ruled out the 1978 letter through DNA, would imply one of three things. The DNA was determined to have come from a female donor, the DNA was matched to David Toschi, or the DNA didn't match known Zodiac DNA (which by all accounts we don't have). There is every chance that the 1978 letter was never ruled out through DNA, only that it was attributed the title of "not authentic Zodiac letter" through previous determination of its handwriting and the spurious claims of Armistead Maupin. The analysis above, along with investigations exonerating David Toschi as being the author of the 1978 letter, opens up the possibility once again, that the 1978 letter originated from the real killer of five in the Bay Area.