The Zodiac Killer had a penchant for the theatrical, appearing in costume at Lake Berryessa on September 27th 1969 and citing Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado twice in his July 26th 1970 letter. The 1974 Exorcist letter would feature film and theater, the Citizen card expressed consternation at the 1973 Badlands movie and the Red Phantom letter, likewise, may have been referencing a theatrical release of the film El Espectro Rojo or Red Phantom, as detailed by Tom Voigt on Zodiackiller.com. This provides another avenue of inspiration behind the Red Phantom pseudonym chosen by the July 8th 1974 author. It is certainly in keeping with the film and theater angle, heavily laden in the 1974 communications. Tom Voigt articulates that El Espectro Rojo or Red Phantom played at the Port Theater in Mill Valley, Marin County on the 27th and 28th April 1974, just three months prior to the arrival of the Red Phantom letter. The critical part now, is unearthing the inspiration behind the S.L.A letter from a film or theatrical standpoint, and connecting this to a Symbionese Liberation Army member. In a previous article, it has been shown that a Symbionese Liberation Army member typed a letter to the Hearst Family on February 10th 1974 and signed off with "A friend" - a few days earlier, the San Francisco Chronicle S.L.A letter arrived, also signing off with "a friend".
To examine this possibility we have to examine her background. The S.L.A letter was postmarked "U.S. Postal Service, CA 913 PM 3 FEB 1974". Kathleen Ann Soliah was brought up in Palmdale, Los Angeles County, California, often frequenting the nearby census-designated area of Agua Dulce. In fact, Agua Dulce was the commuter route from Palmdale to 1466 East 54th Street, Los Angeles - the site of the deadly shootout between Symbionese Liberation Army members and law enforcement on May 17th 1974, resulting in the deaths of six urban militants. The Symbionese Liberation Army had its main headquarters in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Agua Dulce had a postal zip code of 91390, tying in nicely with the postmark on the February 3rd 1974 S.L.A letter. It is less than five miles from Palmdale.
Kathleen Ann Soliah, after leaving high school, studied acting at nearby Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, California, near Palmdale. She then moved to study theater at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she met her boyfriend and future Symbionese Liberation Army member, James Kilgore. After graduating in 1969 her radicalization intensified during future years in the Bay Area, eventually becoming friends with the notorious Angela Atwood. This is where a blend of her theatrical leanings, Norwegian-American heritage and a passion for writing may have come into play.
S.L.A member and boyfriend of Kathleen Ann Soliah, James Kilgore, was ultimately jailed in 2002 for his participation in the April 21st 1975 Crocker National Bank robbery that resulted in the murder of bank customer Myrna Lee Opsahl. “I accept full responsibility for my actions on that day,” said Kilgore, a former San Rafael High School honors student and one-time economics major who became an SLA bomb maker and eventually a professor at the University of Cape Town" ReligionNewsBlog. The July 8th 1974 'Red Phantom' letter was mailed from San Rafael, Marin County, and the May 8th 1974 'Badlands' letter was mailed from Alameda County, where the County Coroner's Office received Symbionese Liberation Army threats after the 1973 murder of Marcus Foster. Espectro Rojo or Red Phantom played at the Port Theater in Mill Valley, Marin County.
Symbionese Liberation Army member, Angela DeAngelis "General Gelina" Atwood died in the Los Angeles shootout on May 17th 1974. A year earlier "Kathleen Ann Soliah worked as a cocktail waitress in San Francisco and took small acting roles. She befriended Angela Atwood, the daughter of a New Jersey Teamsters boss who, like Soliah, had grown up in a middle-class home before coming to Berkeley. Atwood, who appeared with Soliah in "Hedda Gabler," helped her friend get a job at the Great Electric Underground, an upscale restaurant in the Bank of America world headquarters". link.
If Kathleen Ann Soliah authored the February 3rd 1974 S.L.A letter referencing her Norwegian heritage of "Old Norse" and signing off with "a friend", then she was likely the author of the February 10th 1974 S.L.A Hearst letter, again signing off with "A friend". Her role in the Norwegian Hedda Gabler theater production would be an influence she carried forward, when we consider the presence of "Old Norse" in the February 3rd 1974 communication. The premiere of Hedda Gabbler opened on January 31st - the same day in history that the San Francisco Chronicle featured the arrival of the Exorcist letter.
"At this period of Ibsen's youth, Norway experienced a nationalist awakening. The new literary generation, after 400 years of Danish rule, sought to revive the glories of Norwegian history and medieval literature. The middle ages were glorified as well because the romantic movement was in full swing throughout Europe. Thus, when Ole Bull, the great violinist, founded a norse theater at Bergen, the project met with enthusiastic approval from all the youthful idealists eager to subvert the influence of Danish culture. Encouraged by the success of Ole Bull’s Norse theater in Bergen, enthusiasts of nationalist poetry in the capital also founded a new theater in direct competition with the conservative, Danish-influenced Christiania Theater. Asked to direct this new venture, Ibsen’s promised salary was twice the amount he received at Bergen, about six hundred specie dollars The problems of Ibsen’s social dramas are consistent throughout all his works. Georg Brandes, a contemporary critic, said of Ibsen, as early as the 1860s, that “his progress from one work to the other is not due to a rich variety of themes and ideas, but on the contrary to a perpetual scrutiny of the same general questions, regarded from different points of view.”
Hedda Gabler, with its emphasis on individual psychology, is a close scrutiny of a woman like Nora Helmer or Mrs. Alving, who searches for personal meaning in a society which denies freedom of expression". link.
The Det norske Theater is a former theater in Bergen, Norway, and regarded as the first pure Norwegian stage theatre. It opened in 1850 by primus motor, violinist Ole Bull, and closed in 1863, after a bankruptcy. Norwegian (norsk) is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is the official language. Along with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional varieties, and some Norwegian and Swedish dialects, in particular, are very close. These Scandinavian languages, together with Faroese and Icelandic as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages. Faroese and Icelandic are hardly mutually intelligible with Norwegian in their spoken form because continental Scandinavian has diverged from them. While the two Germanic languages with the greatest numbers of speakers, English and German, have close similarities with Norwegian, neither is mutually intelligible with it. Norwegian is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. Wikipedia.