The letter is short, reminiscent of much of the Zodiac Killer's later contact with authorities, but as well as mentioning The Exorcist movie, the letter, in rather disjointed fashion, breaks into a Mikado recital once again, recalling memories of the Little List Letter mailed three and a half years previously on July 26th 1970. But this time the foreboding 'Tit Willow' seemed contemplatory in this context, possibly marking the end of the Zodiac reign - and to this day is still often quoted as the murderer's epitaph. The third and final section issued the usual threat of more murders, capped off with Asian style symbols in the form of a cryptic message. Like much of his later correspondence there is little substance here, but we will attempt to delve a little deeper into the Exorcist Letter and find any links that may be relevant or otherwise, as to why he wrote the letter in the first place. This is not a theory, just an examination into where the Zodiac Killer may have been drawing his inspiration.
The Eureka Card was reminiscent of the Halloween Card mailed some 20 years earlier. It begins with the words FROM YOUR SECRET PAL CAN'T GUESS WHO I AM YET? WELL, LOOK INSIDE AND YOU'LL FIND OUT... and once opened stated ... THAT I'M GONNA KEEP YOU GUESSIN'! HAPPY HOLIDAYS, ANYWAY. The scene portrayed on the Christmas card was of a snowman disguised in a Groucho Marx style nose and glasses. In front of the snowman was a rabbit or hare apparently gazing up at the wintry scene. One cannot help thinking the Zodiac Killer chose his cards for a reason.
But can we connect Groucho Marx to the Exorcist Letter? Not directly, but by association. The Zodiac Killer described The Exorcist as, "the best satirical comedy that I have ever seen". Well, this may not be the case, however, the genesis of the movie may well have been born with the help of a comedy genius - that of Groucho Marx. The Exorcist author, William Peter Blatty, was a close friend of Groucho Marx, and there was an intention by Marx to dress as the priest Father Lankester Merrin from the movie and appear on the set of the Exorcist film, but due to scheduling matters the comedic entrance never materialized. But in one episode of the popular You Bet Your Life series, hosted by Groucho Marx, William Peter Blatty was a contestant and walked away with a prize of $10,000. When he was asked what he was going to do with the money, he stated he was to take some time off to work on a novel. That novel was the acclaimed inspiration for the movie The Exorcist.
William Peter Blatty released a novel in 1966, entitled Twinkle,Twinkle Killer Kane. It achieved little commercial or critical acclaim. View accompaniment. The story centers on a psychiatrist, 'Killer Kane' (Hudson L Kane) and explores faith, humanity and irony. He enters a madhouse to determine if its residents, comprised of soldiers and astronauts are actually mad or just putting on an act. This results in extended interaction with resident Manfred Cutshaw on the concept of God. In the story Kane postulates "every man who has ever lived has been born with desire for perfect happiness. But unless there is an afterlife, fulfillment of this desire is a patent impossibility". It was to be later rewritten and published under the new title 'The Ninth Configuration' in 1980, attempting to explore the marginal line of sanity over insanity. It failed to inspire the public on its cinematic release.