In the image top right I have moved the two symbols on the extreme left of the Exorcist letter to the right side as shown without altering their position on the vertical axis. Then I have turned the extreme right symbol on the Exorcist letter 90 degrees clockwise to form the new arrangement, shown in the bottom right image. This can now be compared to certain characters on the fifth, sixth, seventh line of the 340 cipher. The area in the proximity of the corrected sixth line. Five of the six characters on the Exorcist letter now bear a noticeable similarity to this area of the 340 cipher.
The i looking symbol under the K, would be represented by the blacked out region in the 340 cipher. If this was placed into the cipher it would spell the word PIG vertically. Close to this are the FK letters. In the 13 Hole postcard mailed on October 5th 1970 the Zodiac Killer would use these two letters again, as well as the word pig once more. Pasted on the postcard upside down were the words "There are reports city police pig cops are closeing in on me. Fk I'm crackproof. What is the price tag now?"
The following will examine a link between the 'corrected' sixth line of the 340 cipher and the Exorcist letter symbols. The Dripping Pen card and 340 cipher were mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle on November 8th 1969, with the Exorcist letter, widely considered to be the final Zodiac correspondence, mailed just over four years later on January 29th 1974 to the same newspaper. Is it possible a link could have been generated by the killer over such a period of time.
The last confirmed murder of the Zodiac Killer was the cold-blooded execution of Paul Stine near the intersection of Washington and Cherry Streets in the wealthy district of Presidio Heights, on October 11th 1969. Just over a month later a man uttered the words "I'm through. I'm Zodiac That's me" just before he died. On November 21st 1969, he had been shot by an officer as he held a knife to his 11-year-old daughter's throat. That man was 32-year-old David Martin, who lost control in a drug-fueled attack late at night in his San Francisco home, subjecting his family to a terrifying ordeal. He attacked his wife, injuring her with a broken bottle and knife, forcing her to flee from the residence with her 9-year-old son. Police surrounded the house, before eventually gaining entry, from where they were able to facilitate a clear line of sight, incapacitating David Martin shortly before his death on November 21st 1969. .View newspaper article from the Sydney Morning Herald.
Police obviously had a duty to investigate his claims, but although no more confirmed Zodiac attacks occurred after his death, many letters and cards accredited to the Zodiac Killer continued. Subsequent testing showed that David Martin's fingerprints failed to match any of the fingerprints held on file and his characteristics did not resemble the composite sketch of the killer, generated from the three teenage eyewitnesses at Presidio Heights. This alone cannot rule him out entirely, but it is with near certainty he was not the elusive killer law enforcement had strove so hard to capture.
Zodiac Claim Is Discounted By Officers - Desert Sun, 22 November 1969.
SAN FRANCISCO (UPi)- 'Police do not believe that a demented San Francisco father killed by a patrolman as he threatened to slit his daughter's throat is the Zodiac killer who claims to have murdered seven persons. David 0. Martin was killed early Friday by a single shot by officer Thomas Burns. Before he died, he said “I am Zodiac.” His final words to Burns were ‘‘Thank you officer...l am through.” But police said later that they had determined Ihrough fingerprint comparisons that Martin’s claim he was the Zodiac killer was not time. They said Martin had a record of arrests dating back eight years, mostly on narcotics law violations. Martin, a skilled construction worker, had not worked for five years. Police were first alerted when his wife ran with the couple’s 9-year-old son out of the house screaming ‘‘He’s gone crazy..he’s going to kill us.” She was bleeding from where her husband had pricked her with a knife and a broken bottle. She said her husband had suddenly gone berserk, apparently as the result of his daily use of barbiturates and amphetamines. Martin was still clutching his sobbing and frightened daughter. 11, as he died. The girl and her mother were taken to a nearby emergency hospital and treated for their cuts.'
The 'Bus Bomb' letter opened with the words "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.".Since this proclamation on November 9th 1969, the only tangible crimes linked to the Zodiac Killer appear to be the Modesto abduction of Kathleen Johns on March 22nd 1970, and the disappearance of Donna Lass from the Sahara Tahoe Hotel and Casino, Stateline, Nevada, on September 6th 1970. The Zodiac Killer would lay claim to the Modesto abduction on July 24th 1970, but little since. Did he cease his activity, or did he become true to his word, concealing his crimes to appear random attacks, altering his modus operandi to confuse the police investigation?
Disabling the vehicle of Kathleen Johns was central to his plan in the Modesto abduction on Highway 132, close to Bird Road. He chose not to kill Kathleen Johns the moment he approached her vehicle, which he was certainly capable of doing, but may have planned it as an accident. We know the assailant would later set fire to her vehicle, suggesting he could have had a far more sinister ending for Kathleen Johns. Her eventual escape from his clutches and subsequent identification of him as the Zodiac Killer from the composite sketch at the Patterson Police Station, may have forced his hand, to which he reluctantly owned up to a few months later on July 24th 1970. Unless of course he was simply laying claim to a crime he never committed.
Had the Zodiac Killer played a part in the disappearance of Donna Lass on September 6th 1970? The phone call subsequent to the crime, informing people that Donna Lass had been called away due to a family illness, could be telling. The caller was not boasting of murder like the Zodiac Killer exhibited after the Blue Rock Springs and Lake Berryessa attacks, he was seemingly trying to give the impression nothing sinister had happened, suggesting the act of the phone call was simply to 'buy time'. If the abductor was affording himself some extra breathing space, then the real possibility he was local to the area or known to Donna Lass is a credible argument, and he was either holding Donna Lass at this juncture, needed time to dispose of her body, or possibly needed to remove incriminating evidence from his home or vehicle before the police came knocking. This could have suggested that the responsible moved in the circle of Donna Lass, such as friends and work colleagues, who are inevitably the first people to be questioned in most police investigations.. However, the only viable links to the Zodiac Killer have been drawn from the unauthenticated 'Pines' card, mailed six and a half months after her disappearance.
Isobel Watson (33) had just got off the bus on the evening of April 7th 1972, and was walking home along Pine Hill Road, Tamalpais Valley, Marin County at 9.00 pm, when a light colored vehicle veered towards her, knocking her to the ground. The driver exited his vehicle offering to take her home, but after she had refused his offer of apparent help a second time, the concerned citizen suddenly became enraged, pulling out a knife and stabbing the woman in the neck and shoulder. Her screams alerted the neighborhood, forcing the assailant into a hasty retreat from the scene. She was treated at Marin General Hospital and fortunately survived the brutal attack.
Her description of the man alerted investigators to a possible Zodiac connection, that of a man with heavy-rimmed black glasses, in his early 40's, 5' 9" in height and short brown hair. It was not overlooked by police that the killer had attempted to lure the woman into his vehicle, not dissimilar to the method employed in the Modesto abduction of Kathleen Johns. Napa County homicide detective Kenneth Narlow believed in a greater than 50-50 chance of a Zodiac connection, bearing in mind the description given by Isobel Watson - and that April 7th 1972 once again fell on a Friday. The Zodiac crimes of Lake Herman Road, Blue Rock Springs Park, Lake Berryessa and Presidio Heights were on Friday, Friday, Saturday and Saturday respectively.
There may be many crimes associated to the Zodiac Killer that we are unaware of, if we believe his boasts of ME-37 SFPD 0 in the 'Exorcist' letter on January 29th 1974, but equally there may be none. Isobel Watson fortunately rejected the offers of the 'good Samaritan' and lived to tell the tale.
A donation of one dollar a year from regular visitors to this site would help secure its future. Thank you. Richard.