The Desert Sun newspaper reported "SAN FRANCISCO (UPI)- A man who said he was Northern California’s "Zodiac killer” of five persons talked with a San Francisco attorney by telephone today while television viewers listened in. Attorney Melvin Belli also talked with the man on another, private line, then said he had arranged to meet with him. Police said they had no way of knowing whether the man was "Zodiac,” who has boasted in notes of five killings in the San Francisco Bay area in the last nine months. But they said they did not consider the caller a prankster. The caller first called a police station at 2 a.m. and said he wanted to get in touch wbth either Belli, the attorney who once defended Jack Ruby in Dallas, or Boston lawyer F. Lee Bailey. He asked that one of them be on the morning talk show of disc jockey Jim Dunbar on KGO-TV. Police contacted Belli, who went to the studio. The man, who said his name was "Sam,” called shortly after 7 a.m and said he was the ‘‘Zodiac killer.” He hung up immediately, but called back a total of 12 more times. While Belli and Jim Dunbar, host of the show, pleaded with him to give himself up, the caller said he suffered from recurring headaches and impulses to kill. Finally, the caller agreed to have Belli go to the San Francisco district attorney’s office to see if prosecutors would assure him they would not ask for the death penalty. Belli said that in another call off camera, the man had agreed to meet him at a secret location after the conference with the district attorney".
In January of 1970, a person claiming to be Zodiac rang the Belli residence, spoke with his housekeeper Erna and requested to speak with the flamboyant lawyer, only to be told he was unavailable and out of the country. The caller replied "I can't wait, today's my birthday". This interaction was detailed in a partially redacted FBI file on January 14th 1970. The phone call would have been placed in the days before this urgent request, labeled "instant date January 14th". On February 18th 1970, the caller to the Jim Dunbar Show was identified by San Francisco Police as Eric Weill. They contacted the FBI with the details, but this information did not appear in the newspapers. Eric Weill was almost certainly the responsible for both the Jim Dunbar Show call and the call to Bellii's residence, stating "I can't wait, today's my birthday". Eric Weill was born on January 10th 1940 and his father's name was "Sam".
But there is a strong possibility that the "birthday call" was placed on January 10th 1970, with Eric Weill likely believing, that being honest about his birthday would never lead to his identification. It didn't, but the resultant tracing of the calls to him and the FBI files detailing the "birthday call" just prior to January 14th 1970, further strengthening the case against him. The choice of "Sam" as his chosen name on the Jim Dunbar Show call may also be very close to home.