The obituary of Marc H. Spinelli began with "Marc H. Spinelli, better known to Chronicle readers as Count Marco, a columnist who gave outrageous advice to women for 15 years. As Count Marco, Mr. Spinelli was a star performer in a circulation war in the 1960s between The Chronicle and other Bay Area newspapers. At the height of his fame, he wrote his newspaper column, appeared on his own daily television show, wrote three books, won prizes and developed a huge audience that was either amused or appalled by his words" sfgate.. Most of the people dissatisfied with his newspaper column were disgruntled women, appalled with his views they deemed as male chauvinistic and sexist - so a good case can be argued that the author of the Red Phantom letter was likely a woman fighting for women's rights, upset by his perceived superiority complex. On the flip side, it could be the Zodiac Killer angered by the columnist for putting women down, despite the fact he had no problem murdering them.
His book 'Beauty and the Beast' was littered with distasteful comments towards women, such as 'Someone once asked me, "do you really believe a husband should beat his wife?" And I answered "Yes, most emphatically. There are times when she should not only be beaten, but kicked when she's down". Other examples can be readily found in the newspaper columns running up to the Red Phantom letter of May 8th, shown here in the 'Ten Days of Count Marco' by Zodiac researcher Michael Cole. Two such examples are "Female comics, she says, must play the role of ugly duckling or half-wit in order to get laughs. The real uglies of course are the ones who don't make a living at it: the average American housewife who prowls the public streets with her hair in rollers and her stretch pants defying all laws of container control" and "Besides, if a stewardess can't handle a flippant male passenger, then I don't think she's strong enough to open an emergency door".
So, it wouldn't be too surprising if the author of the Red Phantom letter was a woman with aspirations of equal rights and respect, who was familiar with the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper and despised the views of Count Marco, rather than a serial killer known for stabbing women in the back, and widely portrayed in many Zodiac circles as a man who vented most of his anger towards the women he encountered. This dichotomy, however, is largely disregarded, when the overarching desire is to believe the Zodiac Killer resurfaced in 1974 for phase two of his 'escapades'. Having previously poured huge doubt on the February 3rd 1974 S.L.A letter as Zodiac material (likely authored by a female member of the Symbionese Liberation Army), and questioned the authenticity of the Badlands or Citizen card, we shall now examine the Red Phantom letter from a similar perspective. We shall also look at the origin of the anonymous signature "Red Phantom (red with rage)"
The group mailed large quantities of mail to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and various television and radio stations, as well as many other outlets. They ranged from demands and threats, to spouting off Symbionese Liberation Army doctrine. Their membership was progressive, having a high proportion of female members with a staunch feminist ideology.
Therefore, bearing in mind the S.L.A letter, is it possible one of the female Symbionese Liberation Army members took umbrage over the Count Marco, San Francisco columnist's views on women and mailed a correspondence to him, telling him to get "back in the hell-hole from whence it came"? Or was the Zodiac having a mid-life crisis becoming more liberal with his views - rather than his bullets.
Here is a small fraction of the literature composed by female members of the Symbionese Liberation Army and their struggle for equality in the sexes.
The Symbionese Liberation Army women members often referenced a "cell" or "collective", and this leads us nicely on to the meaning behind "Red Phantom (red with rage)".
"The late 60s saw the emergence of the Women’s Movement in Britain. In 1969 in London the Women’s Red Liberation Workshop established itself, developing consciousness raising groups and attempting to articulate and understand the ways in which women felt themselves to be oppressed and exploited. In the same year, a group of socialist women active in the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign started producing a journal called “Socialist Woman”, whose aims were both to impress on the left the importance of the “Woman Question” – to publicise the struggles of women in Britain and internationally and to try to develop a socialist analysis of women’s oppression it was to be distributed through the newly formed Socialist Woman Groups". Redflagwalks. There was also the emergence of the socialist-feminist Red Rag Magazine championing women's rights. These publications inspired women internationally, including female Americans fighting for a better future. Were these publications and the rise of "red feminism", the catalyst for a push-back against the male chauvinist 'pigs' of America, including the Count Marco column of Marc H. Spinelli? Or did the Zodiac Killer undergo a complete transformation after murdering three women (5 people in total) - now rallying for "public sensibilities", despite being attributed with the threatening Exorcist letter just five months earlier?
"the Red Phantom (red with rage)".
S.L.A LETTER NOT ZODIAC - AND HERE IS THE FBI FILE TO PROVE IT