Bearing in mind the wording on the Ripper letter, the 'next job' the Zodiac Killer undertook after the Lake Berryessa attack was the murder of Paul Stine, in the wealthy district of Presidio Heights on October 11th 1969. Despite the callousness of the crime, the Zodiac Killer did refrain from the unthinkable, although he did remove an item from the crime scene, tearing off a section of Paul Stine's shirt and sending it to authorities. Two days after the murder, this letter, not dissimilar to the 'Dear Boss' letter, arrived at the San Francisco Chronicle on October 13th 1969. It said 'The S.F. Police could have caught me last night if they had searched the park properly instead of holding road races with their motorcicles seeing who could make the most noise. The car drivers should have just parked their cars and sat there quietly waiting for me to come out of cover'.
He then backed this up in similar fashion one month later with the 'Bus Bomb' letter on November 9th 1969, stating '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'.
Another letter , purported to have been sent by Jack the Ripper on October 11th 1889 starting with the same introduction 'Dear Boss' was received by the Whitechapel vigilance committee- although it has not been verified.
The Zodiac Killer sent many letters, cards and ciphers during a five year period, starting with the 408 cipher, mailed to three publications on July 31st 1969 and ending with the 'Exorcist' letter on January 29th 1974, or at least this is the widely held consensus.
Not one of these letters signed off with the words 'Yours Truly' Zodiac Killer. But on April 24th 1978, a letter that arrived at the San Francisco Chronicle, declaring 'I am back with you', would change all that.
The letter read:
This is the Zodiac speaking I am back with you. Tell herb caen I am here, I have always been here. That city pig toschi is good but I am smarter and better he will get tired and leave me alone. I am waiting for a good movie about me. who will play me. I am now in control of all things.
yours truly :
Zodiac symbol - guess
SFPD - 0
Then, nine years later, another letter, mailed to the Vallejo Times Herald on October 28th 1987 arrived with wording all too familiar.
Dear Boss, I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn't you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife's so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck. Yours truly
Jack the Ripper
Dont mind me giving the trade name
PS Wasnt good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hands curse it No luck yet. They say I'm a doctor now. ha ha
To view actual letter click here.
This is the first time the Zodiac Killer or indeed a copycat signed off with the words 'yours truly', reminiscent of the 'Dear Boss' letter. In both examples the wording of 'your' is written in lower case and 'yours truly' is placed exactly one line down and central to the main body of text.
In the 1978 letter the author stated 'I am waiting for a good movie about me' and in the 1987 letter the author stated 'Cars make nice weapons. The pigs can catch me if they can find me out there. Just like in the movie The Car'.
The Zodiac Killer, if we take these two letters as genuine, appeared to be reminding the American public that he was definitely far from dead, as some press speculation had considered, due mainly to the Zodiac Killer's lack of correspondence subsequent to the 'Exorcist' letter in early 1974. But now he was back..... in fact he had never gone away.
Yours Truly-Jack the Ripper was a short story by Robert Bloch, published in Weird Tales in July 1943 was made for television on 11th April 1961, directed by Ray Milland and starring Boris Karloff, John Williams and Beverly Powers. See here.
In the story Sir Guy (John Williams) attempts to convince the police that Jack the Ripper is far from dead- in fact he is very much alive and still claiming victims- this time in New York. (see Albany Letter). In one line he says 'Now none of these Ripper murders received the notoriety of those in London, many went almost unnoticed, but they did occur' and went on to elaborate 'I've studied everything about them, especially the dates and the pattern made by those dates, I've studied their rhythm, the solar and lunar rhythm'. See here.
The police thought these new murders were a copycat, attempting to replicate the murders of Jack the Ripper, and poured scorn on the idea he was still around. Could the Zodiac Killer have read the book or viewed this television episode and deliberately signed off these later letters with the phrase 'yours truly' to again ridicule the police and authorities, who thought, that he was dead also.
In the 'Bus Bomb' letter on November 9th 1969 the Zodiac Killer had declared his intention to make his murders look like 'routine robberies, killings of anger, + a few fake accidents, etc'.
This now, was possibly backfiring on him, as nobody could ascertain if he was still killing or even alive for that matter.
Is it credible to believe that the notoriety of Jack the Ripper, that may have inspired his original search for recognition, would now return once more, in the modus operandi of the Zodiac Killer in later years, but this time, concealed in the innocuous line of two simple words- those of 'yours truly'.
Boris Karloff thriller - Yours truly, Jack the Ripper.