On the inside of the card he places the word BOO in bold letters. Now we have two parts of our puzzle, "Boo" and "ley." To complete the name Boo Radley requires us to search for "Rad," which is not far away. It crosses the "LAV" of "SLAVES" on the Halloween Card paradice and slaves configuration- which rather fortunately was underlined on the envelope containing the reporter's name.
The Zodiac Killer may not have given us a cipher but had he given us "Boo Radley".
Boo Radley was a much misunderstood character in the novel, feared and rumored upon by the local schoolchildren. He was described by Jem (brother of Scout Finch) as "6 1/2 feet tall... dined on all the raw squirrels and cats he could catch... you could never wash the blood off... there was a large scar that ran across his face... his eyes popped and he drooled most of the time." In fact Boo Radley's house and chicken yard backed onto Maycomb School. Funny that- I remember Arthur Leigh Allen slaughtered chickens and squirrels and was never far from schools- but coincidence aside, we shall move on.
The children feared the Radley House and garden, believing the trees were poisoned, however, in one such tree a knot-hole existed, that would ultimately bridge a friendship between Boo Radley, Scout and Jem. Periodically the reclusive Boo Radley would place objects in the knot-hole for Scout and Jem to find. This was his outlet to the world. On various days the two children would find presents he had left- which included carved soap figures, a ball of twine, chewing gum, a broken pocket watch, an Indian medal, and an aluminium knife on a key chain - many deposited in pairs, one for each child.
This was their 'Tree Treasure'. In fact 'Tree Treasure' was one of the tracks created for the musical score accompanying the film, composed by Elmer Bernstein. Two other tracks on the musical score were titled 'Boo Who' and 'Peek-a-boo.'. What a coincidence.
The Halloween Card had a knot-hole in the tree with the words "peek-a-boo" circled around it. Peek-a-boo is the act of concealing ones face behind the hands or other object, before suddenly appearing back into view and uttering the words peek-a-boo. It can be seen in Wikipedia that many variations involve trees, similar to the depiction on the Halloween Card, where 'Hiding behind that tree' is added. See here. That eye was certainly hiding in the Halloween Card tree- was it not.
Didn't the Zodiac Killer hide behind a tree at Lake Berryessa and hide his face behind a mask?. When he eventually came into view his identity was concealed. When the Halloween Card was removed from the envelope, it goaded us with the introduction "I feel it in my bones, you ache to know my name, and so I'll clue you in"- and once opened it revealed the word "BOO". I know what your thinking "Boo Who." Well, I had to squeeze it in.
The Eureka Card, mailed in the December of 1990, was the sister card to the Halloween Card, and was very similar in design. It too began with a message from our 'secret pal', yet this time it had a present from Zodiac- not an aluminium knife and pocket watch on a key chain- but a photocopy of a pair of keys on a key chain.
Facing the snowman was a cute rabbit. I hope Arthur Leigh Allen didn't slaughter rabbits, as well as chickens and squirrels.
Incidentally, Scout and Jem went to a Halloween celebration. In the book on Chapter 28, the schoolchildren are encouraged to dress up in the local agricultural produce of Maycomb for the Halloween night pageant rather than go trick or treating. Scout is dressed as a piece of ham. While traveling home after the pageant, Jem and Scout are attacked by somebody and rescued by Boo Radley. As we all now know, Bob Ewell is later found dead under a tree, with a knife stuck in him. It is curious that the skeleton on the Halloween Card is also wearing agricultural produce. Is that a pumpkin I see? And that tree keeps reappearing.
Was this card based on the Lake Berryessa attack, or could the Zodiac have been peeking out, playing hide and seek in the Julius Khan playground in the Presidio. I feel something in my bones.
Anyway, here ends the story. The only question left to ask is, have I now created a second piece of fiction.
By the way, is that a key in the opening sequence of the film. Most of the gifts offered to Scout and Jem were supposed to be in pairs. Is it under the soap figure? I suppose I'll have to keep looking.