On October 19th 1969, the San Francisco Examiner ran an article entitled "Message to the Zodiac Killer". It read:
"Five people are dead. Let there be no more killings. Police say you are intelligent. If you are, then listen to reason. You are being hunted everywhere in the state, and nation. You are alone in this world. You can share your secrets with no one. No friend can help you. You are as much a victim of your crimes as those whose lives you snuffed out. You cannot walk the streets a free man. There is no safety for you, anywhere. And you will be caught, there is no doubt. You face life as a hunted, tormented animal - unless you help yourself. We ask that you give yourself up to the Examiner. We offer you no protection, and no sympathy. But we do offer you fair treatment, the assurance of medical help and the full benefits of your legal rights. And we offer to tell your story. Why have you killed ? How has life wronged you ? Call the City Editor of the Examiner any time, day or night. The telephone number is (415) 781 24 24. Call collect. Your call will not be traced".
The Zodiac Killer's next correspondence was mailed on November 8th 1969, stating "I get awfully lonely when I am ignored, so lonely I could do my thing." Whether or not this was Zodiac's response to 'You are alone in this world' contained in the article is up for debate. There are no follow up reports on any calls to the San Francisco Examiner, but on October 20th, the day after the article, somebody made a threat to the Palo Alto Times saying he intended "to pick the kids off as they get on the school bus". They obviously took the threat seriously as the San Bernardino County Sun reported;
Two days later, on October 22nd 1969, somebody claiming to be Zodiac telephoned the Oakland Police Department in the early morning hours, requesting that either Melvin Belli or Francis Lee Bailey, two high profile lawyers at the time, appear on a chat show hosted by Jim Dunbar later that day. The eventual caller to the show was found to be Eric Weill, a mental patient, but not the Zodiac Killer. The telephone caller to Oakland Police Department earlier that day has never been identified.
"Let there be no more killing. But if you must, try Paul McCartney. Police say you are intelligent. If you are, give yourself up and face execution. You are being hunted everywhere in he state and nation. But don't get jumpy. You are alone in this world. Have you noticed that most of your friends have deserted you? You are as much a victim of your crimes as those whose lives you snuffed out. Of course you do seem to be in better condition. You cannot walk the streets a free man. Of course, we have no idea who you are. But you will be caught, there is no doubt. The police have staked out every school bus in town and Melvin Belli has been made a permanent guest on every talk show in the Bay Area. You face life as a hunted, tormented animal—unless you help yourself. Surrender. We have plenty of cages available. We ask that you give yourself up to The Daily. We offer you no protection, and no sympathy. But we do offer you the best medical help available and all the benefits your legal rights afford. We offer you the opportunity to transfer into our fine institution. We offer you a trailer in Manzanita Park. We offer you a ticket to see Stanford in the Rose Bowl. We offer you all the plastic cups we can produce with your signature and photograph. The food service has consented to feed you chocolate ice cream even if it isn't available. We offer you a plastic dolly. We offer you a seat in the balcony at the flicks. We offer you credit in Professor Erlich's Population Biology course. And best of all we offer to tell YOUR STORY! Why have you killed? We will give you everything. Your horoscope for today says your anger at society is unwarranted, that you will soon come into great fortune. We offer you a subscription to Fortune magazine. We invite you to our staff meeting on Monday at noon. Lunch is free. If you have other things to do, call the Daily anytime. Ask for anyone. We are a community newspaper. The telephone number is 321-2300 x 4632. Call collect, what the hell. Your call will not be traced. We cordially invite our neighborly newspaper The Palo Alto Times to give you a better deal. Just cut your hair and mumble "kk l hate radicals." Chances are they will make a more promising overture. Just remember Mr. Zodiac, you are being hunted everywhere in he state and nation. There is no safety for you, anywhere". http://stanforddailyarchive.com/
The police likely had a difficult task wading through the mass of hoax calls and fallacious accusations in this case, ultimately wasting police time and helping the Zodiac Killer to evade capture. The police had in excess of 2,500 suspects on their books in the early years of the Zodiac investigation, and without the aid of modern day computers, the task was a daunting one. Fast forward nearly 50 years, the accusers are still lining up, and the Zodiac is still being helped every step of the way.