LATEST UPDATE, INCLUDING POLICE REPORTS & PHOTOGRAPHS
Sergeant John Lynch of the Vallejo Police Department received a typewritten card from a "concerned citizen" on August 10th 1969 stating "Dear Sergeant Lynch. I hope the enclosed "key" will prove to be beneficial to you in connection with the cipher letter writer. Working puzzles criptograms and word puzzles is one of my pleasures. Please forgive the absence of my signature or name as I do not wish to have my name in the papers and it could be mentiond by a slip of the tongue. With best wishes. concerned citizen". It also contained a working key to the 408 cipher, which was mailed by the Zodiac Killer in his three "code letters" to the Vallejo Times-Herald, San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner on July 31st 1969. On October 7th 1969, another concerned citizen, this time describing himself as a "good citizen", mailed another cryptic message to Sergeant John Lynch, stating "On occasion, while thinking of the code letters, the pencil wrote:Go to 56 Beach Street. I get the name Jerry, perhaps he knows people or his name is XXXXXXX". The author by mentioning "code letters" is clearly referring to the trinity of communications mailed on July 31st 1969, to which the August 10th 1969 communication provided a key. Despite both the "concerned citizen" and "good citizen" communications being extremely brief in nature, both utilized the word "name" twice. The author of these two communications can be argued to be the Zodiac Killer, who also mailed the April 20th 1970 letter, teasing us with "my name is". Crucially, the "concerned citizen" card and code key had not been released into the public domain by the arrival of the "good citizen" letter.
Recently I have been examining the murder of Robert Michael Salem who was found stabbed in his 745 Stevenson Street, San Francisco apartment on April 19th 1970. The April 20th 1970 Zodiac Killer letter was received at the San Francisco Chronicle the same day the Robert Salem murder was reported in their newspaper. The letter read "This is the Zodiac speaking. By the way have you cracked the last cipher I sent you? My name is", belatedly followed by "I hope you have fun trying to fiygure out who I killed". The Zodiac Killer chose three Christian symbols in his enclosed 13 character code that mirrored the Christian symbolism written in blood on the apartment wall of Robert Salem. Above the Japanese tatami mat where Robert Salem's body lay was the drawing of an Egyptian ankh or "crucified man", along with the wording "Satan Saves" and "Zodiac". The murder of Robert Salem and the April 20th 1970 letter so reeked of Christian symbolism that it was hard to ignore that the two weren't connected, and led me to believe that the wording "Satan Saves" had some biblical meaning with respect to Robert Salem and his homosexual lifestyle. Whether the drawing of the Egyptian ankh or "crucified man" on the wall of Robert Salem were interchangeable in the mind of the killer is unknown, but the San Francisco Chronicle on April 20th 1970 made no mention of the Egyptian ankh - making the appearance of the Christian anchor in Zodiac's 13-Symbol cipher intriguing. Anchor and ankh have the same phonetic root - and when the Zodiac Killer's crude anchor in the code is superimposed over the ankh drawing on Robert Salem's wall - a full and complete Christian anchor is revealed. .
The most unusual and notable features inflicted to the body of Robert Salem were the crucifix style design "drawn" on his stomach and the removal of his left ear. Both of these featured heavily in the crucifixion of Jesus. Simon Peter, a disciple of Jesus, attempted to "save" and protect Jesus from arrest by severing the ear of Malchus, who was a servant of the Jewish High Priest Caiaphas. According to the gospels, Calaphas organized a plot to kill Jesus. The arrest of Jesus was a pivotal event in Christianity recorded in the canonical gospels. It occurred shortly after the Last Supper (during which Jesus gave his final sermon), and immediately after the kiss of Judas, which is traditionally said to have been an act of betrayal since Judas made a deal with the chief priests to arrest Jesus. This event ultimately led, in the Gospel accounts, to the crucifixion of Jesus. Although the right ear of Malchus was severed as opposed to the left ear of Robert Salem, this was the most viable connection I could find that links the two unusual features discovered by investigators on the body of Robert Salem.
I also had to be mindful that the bible verse was relevant to perceived "sins of the flesh". In other words, the murderer of Robert Salem had an issue with homosexuality and believed it to be satanic, wanting to deliver him unto Satan to be saved (see image above). Hence the wording "Satan Saves". 1 Corinthians 5:5 featured Paul, who had commanded the Christians in Corinth to remove from among them a man who was sleeping with his father's wife, a form of sexual immorality that even their own pagan culture condemned. The killer of Robert Salem may have considered his lifestyle the devil's work and a form of sexual immorality that resulted in "destruction of the flesh" as witnessed by investigators at the crime scene. I also took the "Satan" element from the apartment wall and combined it with the "destruction of the flesh" to create a relevant solution to the 13-Symbol cipher of "Skin A Satanist". Not only did the Zodiac Killer encipher the word "skin" twice in the 148 character cipher in 1971, but it was relevant to the Robert Salem crime scene in April 1970.
Three months after this crime, the Zodiac Killer mailed the Little List letter on July 26th 1970 paraphrasing two acts from The Mikado, a Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera set in Japan. The first act he paraphrased was entitled A More Humane Mikado, followed by As Some Day It May Happen, in which victims or society offenders must be found and who would never be missed. His introduction in the communication detailed how he would torture his victims in paradise, stating in one part: "Others I shall skin them alive + let them run around screaming". In the middle of 1971 the Zodiac Killer would again mention the skinning of victims, when he encrypted the following in his 148 character cipher: "If this is not on the front page in a week I will skin 3 little kids and make a suit from the skin", and wrote in accompaniment to the cipher "Next time I will send a patch of human skin". This is why I found the phrase "Skin A Satanist" very interesting, when from a cryptology standpoint it satisfied the 13 character code on April 20th 1970, arriving the same day the Robert Salem story broke in the San Francisco Chronicle detailing the "Satan Saves" on the apartment wall. Robert Salem was effectively skinned, when his left ear was severed and taken from the crime scene. On January 29th 1974 the Zodiac Killer would again recite a section from The Mikado using a verse from Tit-Willow. Not only did he paraphrase the Japanese based opera, but he added some Oriental characters at the foot of the letter. One line in this act reminded me of the introduction in the April 20th 1970 (My Name Is letter). It read "Now I feel just as sure as I'm sure that my name Isn't Willow, titwillow, titwillow",
Robert Salem was a flamboyant character with an interest in the arts, having been the lighting designer for the historic Haslett Warehouse at 680 Beach Street, San Francisco in 1969. Other than the mention of Washington and Maple streets on October 13th 1969, the only other street the Zodiac Killer ever imentioned in his communications (if authentic} was when he mailed a letter to Sergeant John Lynch on October 7th 1969, when he wrote ''Go to 56 Beach Street. I get the name Jerry, perhaps he knows people or his name is XXXXXXX''. So, was the Zodiac Killer in the apartment of Robert Salem in April 1970?
Cragle, an excellent Zodiac researcher who contributes to both forums, sent Michael Morford some invaluable information that he knew I would like (and Mike subsequently added some extra findings). It was fantastic news. A letter was possibly mailed by the Zodiac Killer on October 7th 1969, containing the wording ''Go to 56 Beach Street. I get the name Jerry, perhaps he knows people or his name is XXXXXXX'' (and mentioned code letters). This letter can now be inextricably linked to the Concerned Citizen card postmarked August 10th 1969, which gave us a key to the 408 cipher, mailed by the Zodiac Killer within three "code letters" on July 31st 1969. The 56 Beach Street address never existed in 1969, except for on street planning maps. Cragle found a Carl John Welz (married to Jerry Hatcher) who were working at 680 Beach Street, San Francisco and living at 2529 Union Street, San Francisco in 1969, He had a Batchelor and Master of Arts, taught in many public and private schools and was well known in Christian science circles with a mentioned periodical from him in 1967 (see below).