The 'Melvin Belli' letter, whether a ruse or not, painted the picture of a Zodiac Killer going off the rails. In the correspondence he stated "I cannot reach out for help because this thing inside me wont let me. I am finding it extremely difficult to hold it in check. I am afraid I will loose all control again and take my nineth and posibly tenth victom. Please help me I am drownding," Later he continues "But if I hold back too long from no nine, I will loose all controol of my self and set the bomb up. Please help me I can not remain in control for much longer."
On January 7th 1946 six year old Suzanne Degnan disappeared from her 5943 North Kenmore residence. A ladder was discovered outside the girl's window, and a ransom note was also found by police. The misspelled note read: "GeI $20,000 Reddy & wAITe foR WoRd, do NoT NoTify FBI oR Police. Bills IN 5's & 10's." Later an anonymous phone call was received instructing police to check the sewers and subsequent searches found dismembered body parts of Suzanne Degnan at various locations.
Considering the Zodiac Killer's apparent fragile state of mind in the 'Melvin Belli' letter and its allusions to the William Heirens murders, was there a possibility the Zodiac Killer's next murder would carry any of these traits, and be referenced in his following communication. That is, writing on the wall, the use of a knife in the murder, possible dismemberment and a San Francisco connection.
On April 19th 1970 the mutilated body of Robert Salem was discovered in his 745 Stevenson Street, San Francisco apartment. In an article by Paul Avery entitled 'The Bloody 'Satan' Murder' it reported that they didn't believe it to be a Zodiac murder "The 40 year old designer of lamps had been repeatedly stabbed with a long-bladed knife. The killer had apparently tried to decapitate his victim and when that failed he cut off Salem's left ear, carrying it away with him when he fled. There was also this bizarre touch: scrawled on the wall in Salem's blood, were the words "Satan Saves." The killer then in larger letters wrote "Zodiac" and drew a strange symbol resembling a crucified man. The same symbol had been drawn on Salem's stomach."
One curious feature in the crime scene, is the killer, had he wrote "Zodiac" similar in size to "Satan Saves", there would have been no need to write Zodiac in such fashion, split into two parts, so he could fit it onto the wall. Unless it was intentional. In the article it stated "An autopsy yesterday morning showed Salem was slain sometime last Wednesday."
This puts the murder on April 15th 1970, five days before the Zodiac Killer mailed the 'My Name is....' letter and '13 Symbol' cipher, postmarked April 20th 1970.
See this article to read more. This effectively splits Zodiac into two halves, shown by the pink line in the diagram on the right. Exactly what the killer did on the wall of Robert Salem's 745 Stevenson Street apartment, situated a mile drive from Union Square, the location where it is believed Paul Stine picked up the Zodiac Killer shortly before his murder. The number 888 in Christian numerology represents Jesus or sometimes more specifically Christ the Redeemer. In view of the killer writing "Satan Saves" rather than "Jesus Saves" is there any connection.
On the April 20th 1970 'My Name is...' letter, the Zodiac signed off with "PS I hope you have fun trying to figgure out who I killed." Look at the way the killer wrote "Zodiac" on Robert Salem's wall. Is that designed to look like the 'figgure' 201.
#1 Stanley Dean Baker confessed to the murder of Robert Salem, despite no evidence linking him to the crime, and he was never charged by police. http://murderpedia.org/male.B/b/baker-stanley-dean.htm.
#2 The crucified image on the wall of Robert Salem's wall, is the Egyptian ankh. The ankh appears frequently in Egyptian tomb paintings and other art, often at the fingertips of a god or goddess in images that represent the deities of the afterlife conferring the gift of life on the dead person's mummy; this is thought to symbolize the act of conception. Wikipedia.