The October 12th 1970 newspaper article was entitled Gilbert and Sullivan Clue to Zodiac, thereby giving the Bay Area murderer about two weeks to find the appropriate reply in the form of a Halloween card beginning "I feel it in my bones you ache to know my name. And so I'll clue you in". The newspaper article detailed "Sheriff's detective sergeant Kenneth Narlow who had fruitlessly followed up another 900 tips as to Zodiac's identity since Sept 27, 1969". So finding a Halloween card teasing us again with his name and offering to clue us in, appeared like the ideal card in response.
The author of the card could have written 14 (similar to the outer skeleton hand) or fourteen, but intentionally separated it to 4-TEEN. David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen were two of Zodiac's confirmed victims, but he had also claimed Deborah Furlong and Kathy Snoozy by the addition of "Aug" in the Dripping Pen card on November 8th 1969, who were both teenagers. The Zodiac Killer had claimed 4-TEENS as victims, hence why he altered fourteen to 4-TEEN, to incorporate them into his running victim total. The addition of four dots (little marks) around ZVF or ZF possibly created for a similar reason. It can be noted that Paul Avery also referred to David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen in the article as teenagers, but he hyphenated the word into teen-agers, just like Zodiac did with his running teenager total of 4-TEEN.
The original card came with one eye peeking from the knothole in the tree, in which the Zodiac Killer circled the words "Peek-a-Boo you are doomed". But notice how "Peek-a-Boo" and "you are doomed" are deliberately separated.
The Mikado is a two-part comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, which opened to the paying public on March 14th 1885 and was hugely successful, running for 672 performances at the Savoy Theatre in London. However, this wasn't the only version of the opera from that time period, In 1888, Ed J. Smith wrote a stage parody of The Mikado called The Capitalist; or, The City of Fort Worth to encourage capital investment in Fort Worth, Texas. In this version, Peek-A-Boo is listed as one of the three sisters and wards of Kokonut (The Lord High Executionist).
The Mikado original featured Peep-Bo: A ward of Ko-Ko and sister of Yum-Yum and Pitti-Sing. Peep-Bo is the British version of Peek-a-Boo. Peekaboo (also spelled peek-a-boo) is a form of play primarily played with an infant. To play, one player hides their face, pops back into the view of the other, and says Peekaboo!, sometimes followed by I see you! There are many variations: for example, where trees are involved, "Hiding behind that tree!" is sometimes added.
Peep-Bo can also be reversed to Bo-Peep, believed to originate from the 16th century practice of concealment, before reappearing to startle or surprise. See here. Little Bo Peep is a popular English nursery rhyme The earliest record of this rhyme is in a manuscript of around 1805, which contains only the first verse. There are references to a children's game called "Bo-Peep", from the 16th century, including one in Shakespeare's King Lear (Act I Scene iv), but little evidence that the rhyme existed. The additional verses are first recorded in the earliest printed version in a version of Gammer Gurton's Garland or The Nursery Parnassus in 1810.
Bearing in mind the newspaper article of Paul Avery, was the Halloween card drawing on the search for Ko-Ko's by its design of inserting Peek-a-Boo around the knothole of the trunk, with the eye "hiding behind that tree"? Was the chalked-up victim count of 4-TEEN above the pilloried skeleton denoting the running total of fourteen, including four teen-agers? The newspaper article of Gilbert and Sullivan Clue to Zodiac may have spawned the choice of Halloween card with the introduction of "I feel it in my bones you ache to know my name. And so I'll clue you in". But did it inspire anything else?