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Darlene Ferrin & the Unknown Man: The Rest of the Story

On February 19, 2011, the popular television series AMERICA’S MOST WANTED aired a repeat of its previous segment regarding the unsolved “Zodiac” murders. At the end of the broadcast, host John Walsh asked viewers for help in identifying an “unknown man” who appears in a photograph with Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin.

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The photograph in question was recently posted online by Tom Voigt, the owner of the website Zodiackiller.com. Voigt claimed that Darlene’s sister Pam had identified the man in the photograph as Voigt’s pet suspect, Richard Gaikowski. Voigt never mentioned that he and many others knew that Pam had suffered from “severe credibility issues” and instead implied that Pam was a credible witness who had made a valid identification of Gaikowski. After many observers noted that the man in the photograph was not Richard Gaikowski, Voigt then suggested that the man was Zodiac victim Bryan Hartnell. Observers also noted that the man in the photograph was not Bryan Hartnell, raising questions about Voigt’s motives for suggesting otherwise.

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Most observers noted that the “unknown man” appears to be Darlene’s ex-husband, to whom she was married at the time that the photograph in question was reportedly taken. The man in the photograph has his arm around Darlene and she has her arm around him, as if they are a couple. The man is wearing what appears to be a wedding band on his left ring finger– the appropriate place for a wedding band. The photograph was apparently taken by someone in Darlene’s family, sometime in 1966 or 1967. According to her family, Darlene left Vallejo in October 1965 after some disagreement with family members. She later met Jim Phillips and the couple married in January 1966. Darlene and Jim lived in various places before returning to Vallejo in October 1966, and remained married until they divorced in June 1967. This timeline coincides with the time period in which the photograph was reportedly taken– sometime in 1966 or 1967. Darlene and Jim were married only during the years 1966 and 1967, so if the man in the photograph is Jim Phillips then the photograph was most likely taken sometime between October 1966 and June of 1967. Darlene and Jim were obviously romantically involved at that time, and Darlene and the man in the photograph appear to be involved in a romantic relationship. The man is wearing what appears to be a wedding ring, and Jim Phillips was married to Darlene at that time. The man in the photograph has the same hairline and facial features as Phillips and he appears to be the same height (a few inches taller than Darlene). Logic, common sense and the facts strongly indicate that the man in the photograph is Jim Phillips and not some “unknown man” who may have been involved in Darlene’s murder.

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In order to believe that the man in the photograph is not Jim Phillips, one must also accept and endorse the following scenario: Darlene is married to Jim Phillips, and she has returned to Vallejo to introduce her husband to her family. While she is in Vallejo and married to Jim Phillips, Darlene poses for a photograph, in front of at least one member of her own family, with a man who looks very much like Jim Phillips but is not Jim Phillips. Despite the fact that she is married to someone else, Darlene poses with this man as if she is romantically involved with him. At the same time, the man is wearing a wedding ring, indicating that he, too, is married but is also willing to pose with Darlene as if he is romantically involved with her and is willing to be photographed with her in such a pose. This scenario may seem reasonable to those who believe that Darlene Ferrin was a promiscuous and immoral woman who flaunted her infidelity with countless men, however, the above scenario will be immediately recognized as implausible, if not laughable, to those who are reasonably intelligent and utilize common sense.

The bogus mystery of the “Unknown Man” is based on the myth that the evidence indicates that Darlene Ferrin had known her killer. While this theory has been spread by Darlene’s sisters, author Robert Graysmith, and others, there is no credible evidence that Darlene had known her killer and there is no legitimate reason to suspect that she was targeted by her killer rather than selected as a random victim. Over the years, a few investigators have made statements that they believed that Darlene may have known her killer but virtually every single one of these individuals will now refute those statements and/or concede that their previous opinions were based largely on the many myths regarding Darlene which have been spread by Darlene’s sisters, Graysmith and others. The hundreds of pages of police reports regarding the Zodiac investigation provide no credible evidence to indicate that Darlene had known her killer. Police did investigate this possibility but found no evidence to support that theory, and the overwhelming consensus among the investigators was that the Zodiac did not know his victims.

In order to believe that the many myths regarding Darlene Ferrin are true, one must also accept and endorse the following scenario: Darlene tells her sisters Pam and Linda, and others, that she is being harrassed, followed and stalked by a mysterious and menacing stranger. Darlene tells Pam that this man is bothering her because she had seen him kill someone. Pam sees this man on eight different occasions, including the now-infamous “painting party” described in Graysmith’s book, when a sinister stranger dressed in a suit scared Darlene. A few months after the party, Darlene is murdered. Police immediately interview Pam, Linda and many others, asking the same questions: Do you know anyone who would have reason to harm Darlene? Do you know of anyone who was bothering her? Pam, Linda, and everyone else who knew about the stalking murderer fail to mention him to police and say nothing about the entire situation. Then, eight years after Darlene’s murder, Pam, Linda and others start talking about the stalker, but they only seem to tell the most troubling stories to reporters and TV crews. This scenario may seem reasonable those who lack critical thinking skills or have suffered a severe head injury, but this scenario will immediately be recognized as absurd to anyone who utilizes common sense. Whenever I am asked about this issue, this is my response: If someone I loved had told me that they were being followed and stalked by a murderer, and then that person was murdered, I would most certainly mention this seemingly important fact when the police asked me if I knew of anyone with reason to harm my loved one. Those who continue to spread the many myths about Darlene Ferrin must also believe that her sisters loved her so much that they would continue to search for the killer decades after her death but, in the hours, days, weeks, months and years after Darlene was killed, Pam and Linda just couldn’t be bothered to tell police that she was terrorized by a murderer– even when police asked for this kind of information.

The facts which debunk the many myths regarding Darlene Ferrin are readily available to anyone who takes the time to study this issue. The actual police reports regarding the investigation of the Ferrin murder are available at the ZodiacKillerFacts Document Gallery, and I have posted new articles on the main site which address these myths. I have also posted several videos which help to explain how and why these myths have endured, including Geraldo Rivera’s tabloid television program NOW IT CAN BE TOLD. The new material can be found at the following links:

Darlene Ferrin MYTHS: The Beginning
The Painting Party, The Stalker and “Andrew Todd Walker”

NOW IT CAN BE TOLD: The Rest of the Story

Darlene Ferrin and the “Unidentified Man”

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Copyright 2011 / Michael Butterfield/ZodiacKillerFacts.com

Remembering the GOOD TIMES and Richard Gaikowski with “Becky Sharp”

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Film maker and writer Richard Gaikowski has been named as a Zodiac “suspect” by an informant known as Blaine Blaine aka “Goldcatcher” aka “Zakatarious,” and by Tom Voigt, owner of the website Zodiackiller.com. Blaine first accused Gaikowski in the late 1980s and he contacted virtually every law enforcement agency involved in the Zodiac investigation– every single agency dismissed his claims and concluded that Blaine was a crackpot with no credibility. Despite Blaine’s obvious and ongoing credibility problems, Tom Voigt and his associate David Morris have chosen to endorse Blaine as a credible and reliable informant while they publicly accuse Gaikowski of the Zodiac crimes.

Blaine worked with Richard Gaikowski in the late 1960s as part of the Good Times newspaper. Blaine wrote a column titled “Copwatch” and Gaikowski worked at the paper from mid-1969 until the paper closed in 1972. The Good Times was one of the most popular underground newspapers in the Bay Area during its run and, like most counter-culture publications, the paper adopted the tone of the times with anti-establishment articles and consistent criticism of police tactics and acts of brutality. As part of his efforts to accuse Gaikowski, Tom Voigt has repeatedly suggested that Gaikowski and others involved in the production of the Good Times promoted a violent, extremist philosophy, and that they used the newspaper itself as a front for such beliefs. On his website, Voigt wrote: “In 1969, 1970 and 1971, Gaikowski was the editor of an anti-police, pro-violence counterculture newspaper in San Francisco called Good Times… As early as January 1969, the Good Times newspaper was running violent works of fiction that were nearly a blueprint for Zodiac’s future crimes.”

Despite Voigt’s theories and claims, the history of the Good Times demonstrates that the newspaper was simply a product of the era and reflected the sentiment popular among those in the counter-culture movement. Voigt’s description of the Good Times as a “pro-violence” publication is an exaggeration, a distortion designed to support his baseless accusations that Gaikowski was somehow responsible for the Zodiac crimes. While Gaikowski and others may have embraced the anti-establishment, anti-police stance of the day, there is no evidence that Gaikowski endorsed the kind of violence committed by the Zodiac, who stabbed a young couple, executed teenagers, and murdered an innocent cabdriver. The issues of the Good Times strongly suggest that Gaikowski and others at the paper did not endorse violence against innocent human beings. In fact, the most pro-violence writings found in the pages of the Good Times were often written by Blaine in the column “Copwatch.”

Virtually every single person who has had any experience dealing with Blaine Blaine will immediately note that he apparently suffers from some form of mental illness and that he has no credibility whatsoever. In his lengthy, recorded “audio confession,” Blaine tells a sensational story, often in direct conflict with the known facts and even contradicting his own, previous accounts. This recording demonstrates, beyond any doubt, that Blaine Blaine is not a credible person and that no honest person could accurately describe him as a reliable informant. In contrast, many people who knew Richard Gaikowski do not believe that he was the kind of person who could or would commit the Zodiac crimes. [Read a transcript of Goldcatcher’s Confession.]

As part of my research into the accusations against Richard Gaikowski, I have gathered information from various sources which provides the important facts regarding the history of the Good Times newspaper and the history of Gaikowski’s chief accuser, Blaine Blaine aka “Goldcatcher” (this information is available by visiting the links listed at the end of this article). I also sent messages and inquiries to various people associated with the Good Times newspaper.

In response to one of my many email inquiries, I received a message from a woman named Becky. She was once a member of the Good Times collective and worked on the Good Times staff, living and working with Richard Gaikowski in the house at 2377 Bush Street in San Francisco. Today, Becky is an instructor of sociology at a public university where she still lives by the beliefs which guided her during the days in the counter-culture movement, and she focuses on issues of race, gender, and even prison reform. In response to my initial email, Becky wrote that she was surprised by the email and that “this was kind of trippy to read, as you can imagine.” After we exchanged more emails, Becky and I finally spoke by phone in a conversation which lasted almost two hours. Becky shared her memories of Richard Gaikowski and provided a portrait which bears little resemblance to the picture painted by Voigt and his associates.

BECKY aka BECKY SHARP

Like many young people in the late 1960s and early 1970s, “Becky” was a free-spirit who wanted to change the world. She left her home in Illinois, traveled to Boston and ultimately wound up in what had then become the Mecca for those drawn to the counter-culture movement– the streets of San Francisco. In August 1970, Becky was traveling with a male companion, and the two were hitchhiking through the Bay Area when a passing driver offered them a ride. The driver was Richard Gaikowski. “Dick picked me up hitchhiking,” Becky said with a fondness in her voice.

Once they were in the car and moving down the road, Gaikowski introduced himself and explained a little about his background, including the fact that he wrote for an underground newspaper and was part of a collective. Becky had some experience working as a paste-up artist, and, hearing that Gaikowski worked for a newspaper, she asked, “You aren’t looking for a paste-up artist, are you?” She explained that she had done such work in the past, and Gaikowski replied that a couple of collective members had recently moved on to other things and the newspaper could use her skills. They shared more about themselves, and Dick eventually invited her to check out the Good Times house and meet the other members of the collective. Becky accepted the invitation.

Dick introduced Becky to the others and, after a thorough process of making sure she was who she claimed to be, she was welcomed into the group. She was given her own large room in the basement down the hall from where the newspaper was prepared. (Dick lived in a smaller room on the second floor). Becky then became one of the principle collective members to paste-up the publication, and she later wrote a few stories of her own.

Everyone shared the responsibilities of the collective: writing and taking photographs for and preparing the newspaper for printing, distributing the published editions, selling ads, cooking meals, cleaning the house and performing whatever household tasks were necessary to ensure the production of the newspaper and the keeping of an orderly existence. Everyone shared the money earned by the newspaper and everyone contributed to the common cause. “Some people specialized in particular tasks if they were especially good at them, but everybody had to do their fair share and there was no avoiding housework or cooking. It was a collective,” Becky recalled, “And all responsibilities were shared.”

Being a member of the Good Times collective and newspaper staff meant being part of a community. Becky remembers that the newspaper was so popular and well respected in San Francisco neighborhoods that the members could enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant and then simply sign for the check. Due to its coverage of the music scene, the house also received copies of the latest releases. “We got all the new music,” Becky said, “We got it for free… and free tickets, too.” Local businesses were also willing to negotiate for advertisements in the Good Times. “A lot of advertising was bartered,” she recalls.

The group members held weekly meetings to discuss collective matters and the upcoming edition of the Good Times. “We started pasting it up on Monday afternoon,” Becky explained, and the edition was taken to the printer “on Wednesday (I think it was) at dawn.” During her time in the collective, Becky did much of the newspaper paste up.

According to Becky, no one was “in-charge” of the newspaper or the collective itself. “There was nobody who called the shots,” she explained, “There was no father figure, no editor.” Becky said that Richard Gaikowski was the only collective member with experience working for a mainstream newspaper, and he was therefore treated with respect and admiration. “He didn’t seem to have anything to prove,” Becky remembered, “and I think that’s one of the reasons people respected him.” Becky described Richard Gaikowski as “a quiet guy… not pushy or aggressive… he had a wry sense of humor…he was very mellow… a quiet, nice guy.”

Becky enjoyed the community spirit and wholly embraced the collective lifestyle, using the pseudonym “Becky Sharp.” Eventually, she even wrote two stories for the newspaper- the first focused on a local con man, and the second was a thorough account of the murders of the Ohta family in the Santa Cruz area at the hands of John Linley Frazier in October 1970. Dubbed “the hippie murderer” by the press and the public, Frazier became a lightning rod of controversy which cast a dark shadow over the counter-culture community, and many members of the movement worked against the negative image created by the killer’s brutal crimes.

Becky joined the collective in August 1970; she stayed through the fall and up to Christmas of that year when she moved on to other things. The Good Times collective eventually disbanded and the popular newspaper published its last issue in August 1972.

Becky

ON THE RECORD

Becky was puzzled by Tom Voigt’s claim that the famous “Haight-Ashbury switchboard” at 1830 Fell Street was somehow known as “the Good Times switchboard” or connected to the newspaper in any manner. Becky said that the Good Times collective and newspaper had no connection with the Haight-Ashbury switchboard or that address. “We had our own telephone and had no need for the switchboard or any need to use its address for any reason that I knew of.” [Read more about Voigt’s attempts to mislead the public on this issue in the article The “Good Times Switchboard” & Revisionist History.]

Becky was also offended by the portrait of the Good Times collective presented by Tom Voigt and Zodiackiller.com. She adamantly refuted claims that collective members promoted or condoned acts of violence and she challenged Voigt’s version of events. “The house was nothing like what has been portrayed,” Becky explained. “I never heard anybody say anything incendiary… I never saw anything that could be misconstrued.” She added that some people in the Haight-Ashbury crowd sometimes spouted violent rhetoric but noted, “They were not in the Good Times collective.” She said that individuals openly promoting a violent philosophy would not have fit in as members of the collective when she was there. Becky was equally adamant that the newspaper was not a front for any twisted or violent philosophy. “The rashest thing I ever knew them to do was publish pictures of undercover cops… There was no bullshit-coverup-foolishness for some weird agenda.”

Becky worked and lived with Richard Gaikowski, and she found it difficult to believe that he could have been the infamous “Zodiac killer.” After reviewing some of the sensational and dubious claims made by Gaikowski’s accuser Blaine Blaine, Becky was even more skeptical. She did not know Blaine, she had no memory of ever meeting him, and Becky did not believe that he was a credible person. “I had a terrible time buying it,” she said, “I mean, if none of the stuff about the collective is true- and you HAVE to believe all of that wild-eyed stuff to believe the rest- then that makes me doubt Blaine’s allegations about Dick as well.” Becky simply saw no legitimate basis for the accusations against Gaikowski. “Was it possible? Living with him, etc., day in and day out? That wasn’t at all consistent with the guy I knew… I never saw anything that would indicate that he was that kind of person.”

Becky made her opinion clear: “Based on what I saw and knew of him for the five months we lived and worked together, I have to believe that Dick was not a murderer.” Tom Voigt and Blaine Blaine have consistently failed to produce any credible evidence to implicate Richard Gaikowski in the Zodiac murders or any other crimes- a strong indication that Becky’s assessment of Richard Gaikowski was correct.

————————————————- Copyright 2011 Zodiackillerfacts.com/Michael Butterfield ——————————————-

You can find more information about Richard Gaikowski, Blaine Blaine, the Good Times newspaper and other related subjects at the following links:

* Richard Gaikowski and Blaine Blaine – The Rest of the Story

* The San Francisco Express Times aka the Good Times

* Tom Voigt, “The Good Times Switchboard & Revisionist History

* Let the Good Times Roll

* San Francisco Chronicle story on the death of Richard Gaikowski

* Samples of Gaikowski’s Handwriting

* Nancy Slover’s Voice Identification

* Tom Voigt, David Morris and MYSTERYQUEST

* A Blaine By Any Other Name

* Blaine Blaine – The Letters

* Goldcatcher’s Audio “Confession”

* Blaine Blaine – The “Copwatch” Columns

Tom Voigt, “The Good Times Switchboard” & Revisionist History

ZKF - San Francisco Good Times 4-9-1969

Writer and film maker Richard Gaikowski has been named as a Zodiac suspect by Tom Voigt of the website Zodiackiller.com. According to Voigt, Gaikowski allegedly assumed the role of editor for the San Francisco Express Times sometime in the spring of 1969; in April of that year, the newspaper changed its name to the San Francisco Good Times.

On his website, Voigt wrote: “At the time of his murder, the Good Times ‘switchboard’ was located only yards from the residence of Zodiac victim Paul Stine on Fell Street in San Francisco.” Voigt apparently based this claim on a paragraph which had appeared in Gaikowski’s Good Times column titled “D gaik’s short bits.”

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Voigt’s site also featured a Google photograph of the two locations in question with Voigt’s captions.

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Paul Stine did live at 1842 Fell Street, and 1830 Fell Street was, in fact, the home of a switchboard. However, Voigt’s attempt to link Stine to the Good Times, and his suspect, Richard Gaikowski, appears to be based on a false assumption. A quick Google search for “1830 Fell Street” and “switchboard” yielded these results.

ZKF-Switchboard-Google

The switchboard located at 1830 Fell Street was actually the famous “Haight-Ashbury Switchboard,” a fixture of the Bay Area counter-culture in the late 1960s and 1970s. Al Rinker founded the Switchboard in 1967 and wrote this mission statement. “The Switchboard is a volunteer service designed to facilitate communication among people throughout San Francisco, and specifically to serve as an informational and referral source for the Haight-Ashbury community.” As noted on the Wikipedia page and other Internet articles, the Switchboard was quickly overwhelmed by the needs of the counter-culture community and subsequently devoted much of its resources to finding “crash pads” for wandering hippies and assisting “runaways” new to the Bay Area while dealing with worried and irate parents. The Switchboard became a focal point in the Haight-Ashbury district and a legend among those in the counter-culture movement.

The Switchboard did not serve as the switchboard for the Good Times newspaper. In fact, the Good Times had no need for a switchboard and had phones in its office at 2377 Bush Street. A page from Steal This Book by famous activist Abbie Hoffman contained the following information:

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Hoffman wrote Steal This Book in 1970 and the popular anti-establishment treatise was published in 1971. The book notes the phone number of the Haight-Ashbury Switchboard as “387-3575,” the same number listed for the Haight-Ashbury switchboard in an August 1969 issue of the Good Times.

Al Rinker ran the Haight-Ashbury Switchboard until 1970 when some of his volunteers assumed control and later moved the operation to 1797 Haight, then to 1921 Hayes St. near Ashbury, and finally to 1539 Haight St. The Switchboard continued to offer services to the citizens of the Bay Area throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s and finally closed in 1986.

In one of his many writings from the late 1980s, Blaine Blaine, Gaikowsk’s only accuser and Voigt’s chief informant, noted the proximity of the Switchboard to the residence of Zodiac victim Paul Stine, writing, On Stine: Did you know Stine lived either in or near the same building where the old Haight Ashbury switchboard was located on Fell Street? The Switchboard then use to sell the GOOD TIMES underground newspaper and Gaikowski used to, with Chris Robeson, deliver them there.

ZKF-Blaine-Switchboard

Given the nature and purpose of the Switchboard, the fact that the Good Times was available there, along with other underground newspapers from the Bay Area, cannot be viewed as evidence linking Gaikowski to Stine. Blaine claims that Gaikowski delivered editions of the Good Times to the Switchboard, but Blaine has a documented history of exaggerating and even inventing his own stories to suit his needs. The facts indicate that the proximity of the Switchboard to the home of Paul Stine is not credible evidence linking Gaikowski to Stine, and that the house on 1830 Fell Street had no legitimate or significant connection to the Good Times or Gaikowski as Voigt claims. Even Blaine, who worked for the Good Times, described the house at 1830 Fell Street as the location of the old Haight Ashbury switchboard and not as the switchboard for the Good Times.

Voigt first posted his claims regarding the switchboard in April 2008. After I posted this information about the Haight-Ashbury switchboard on Monday, July 19th, 2010, Voigt claimed that he did possess evidence to back up his claim that the Good Times newspaper referred to the Haight-Ashbury switchboard as “the Good Times switchboard.” I wrote that Voigt should present this evidence but he refused to do so. In one of his bizarre emails dated Monday, July 19, 2010 8:47 PM Voigt wrote: “It is also irrelevant if eveyone referred to it as the “Good Times” switchboard. What IS relevant is the Good Times newspaper referred to it — IN PRINT — as their own switchboard, and directed people to leave them messages and materials there, since much of their readership lived in the Haight and expecting them to make the trek all the way to Bush Street lugging items to donate wasn’t reasonable.” On Tuesday, July 20, 2010 12:37 AM, Voigt wrote, “I have examples galore of the “Good Times” newspaper referring to the Fell Street switchboard as the “Good Times” switchboard back in 1969 and 1970. But I aint’ gonna scan, upload and post said examples until Muck Bitterfield admits that such an example(s) would be significant with regard to his latest pissy rant.” On Monday, October 18, 2010 3:58:53 PM, Voigt “Tweeted,” “Think I’ll get an apology after I post it? Ne neither. He’ll just dismiss it as not mattering. So… what’s the point of me posting it again?” Voigt never posted even one of his examples galore of the Good Times newspaper referring to the Fell Street switchboard as the “Good Times” switchboard back in 1969 or 1970. Instead, he posted the following message at his Twitter page on November 24, 2010:

“I have been accused of lying when I said — back in April 2008 — that the Good Times newspaper referred to the Haight switchboard as “the Good Times switchboard.” While I didn’t purchase the issue where I saw that reference, I’m sure I’ll get my hands on it again one day. For now, I have found something that clearly demonstrates the close relationship between the Good Times newspaper and that particular switchboard, of which there were many around the Bay Area. Quite simply, by August 1969 the newspaper had adopted the Haight switchboard due to its proximity to a majority of the newspaper’s San Francisco readers. When the newspaper needed its readers to bring donated items to help the Good Times commune, they directed them to the nearby Haight switchboard. In return for that service, the newspaper helped keep that switchboard afloat financially. Obviously the newspaper highly valued that particular switchboard by encouraging people to help them over other services and causes. FROM A 1970 ISSUE: (see “gtstoast.jpg” attachment) Thus, staffers of the Good Times would frequent the switchboard to retrieve said items, thus placing them within yards of the residence of Zodiac victim Paul Stine. I hope nobody still has doubts as to my honesty.

Voigt posted a clipping from the Good Times which read:

“The Haight-Ashbury switchboard would like to thank the Good Times’ readers for coming up with enough bread for us to pay the bills.” 

Voigt claims that he saw an issue of the Good Times which referred to the Haight-Ashbury switchboard as the “Good Times switchboard.” Voigt claims he didn’t purchase this issue yet he cites its alleged content in his attempts to link Gaikowski and the Good Times to the switchboard and, in turn, to the address of Zodiac victim Paul Stine. While Voigt claims that this issue referred to the switchboard as the “Good Times switchboard” he does not quote any text from this alleged reference or even the context. He simply says that the newspaper referred to the switchboard in this manner without providing any proof.

Voigt had written: “I have examples galore of the ‘Good Times’ newspaper referring to the Fell Street switchboard as the “Good Times” switchboard…”  After he claimed that he had “examples galore” proving that the Good Times newspaper referred to the Haight-Ashbury switchboard as “the Good Times switchboard,” Voigt then wrote, “While I didn’t purchase the issue where I saw that reference, I’m sure I’ll get my hands on it again one day.” One has to wonder which version is true: Did Voigt see one newspaper with this reference but didn’t buy it, or, does he possess examples galore of such references?

Voigt does not cite the sources of his information regarding the Good Times, its policies, practices and actions. Voigt claims that the newspaper asked readers to leave donations for the Good Times commune at the switchboard yet Voigt never cites or presents any evidence to support this claim. Was this information also in another issue of the Good Times which Voigt read but apparently did not purchase or transcribe? If Voigt had any clippings from the newspaper which stated that the Good Times was asking its readers to leave donations for the Good Times commune at the Haight-Ashbury switchboard, one wonders why he didn’t present this proof when he made this claim.

Voigt claims that the Good Times newspaper had “adopted“ the Haight-Ashbury switchboard and that the newspaper itself had “helped keep the switchboard afloat financially.” Again, Voigt does not cite any source for this claim and does not provide any clipping or transcription from the Good Times. The statement printed in the Good Times read, “The Haight-Ashbury switchboard would like to thank the Good Times’ readers for coming up with enough bread for us to pay the bills.” The statement does not refer to “our reader” and does not state that the switchboard was the Good Times switchboard. This statement does not indicate that the newspaper was paying the switchboard bills. The switchboard is defined as a separate entity altogether and the word “us” does not specify the newspaper as the payer of switchboard bills. One can argue that the word “us” refers to the Good Times but the text does not suggest this. The text states that the Haight-Ashbury switchboard was the source of the bills in question. The statement could easily read, “All of US at the Haight-Ashbury switchboard would like to thank the readers of the Good Times for coming up with enough bread for US to pay the bills.” In fact, this would appear to be the more logical interpretation of the statement. Since the Haight-Ashbury switchboard was a prominent fixture of the counter-culture community in the Bay Area and the Good Times was one of the most popular counter-culture newspapers in the Bay Area, the notion that the Good Times would solicit help from its readers to aid the switchboard and keep it “afloat financially” seems far more logical and likely. The Good Times newspaper and commune, which sold its issues for as little as a quarter, supported and financed the newspaper and the commune, had to support, feed and care for many people, and had its own financial worries and burdens. The notion that the newspaper and commune would pay the bills for the switchboard seems odd given the facts; the notion that the Good Times would ask its readers to donate in order to help the prominent switchboard makes perfect sense. The statement in the Good Times would appear to be a notice or ad from the switchboard thanking the readers for helping to pay the bills. The statement does not appear to indicate that the switchboard was thanking the Good Times readers for donating items intended for the Good Times commune, or, that the Good Times was thanking its own readers for donating such items.

Voigt said of the items allegedly left at the switchboard location but intended for the Good Times commune: “Thus, staffers of the Good Times would frequent the switchboard to retrieve said items, thus placing them within yards of the residence of Zodiac victim Paul Stine.” Voigt claimed that the Good Times used its newspaper to solicit donations for the commune and asked the readers to leave these items at the switchboard, yet Voigt did not present any evidence to substantiate this claim, and then Voigt added to this claim by stating that Good Times staff frequented the switchboard in order to retrieve these items. Voigt does not cite a source for this information. Blaine Blaine worked at the Good Times and, in the late 1980s, he wrote: “On Stine: Did you know Stine lived either in or near the same building where the old Haight Ashbury switchboard was located on Fell Street? The Switchboard then use to sell the GOOD TIMES underground newspaper and Gaikowski used to, with Chris Robeson, deliver them there.” Blaine did not claim that the Good Times newspaper had referred to the Haight-Ashsbury switchboard as the “Good Times switchboard,” nor did he mention any significant relationship between the switchboard and the newspaper.

Voigt relies heavily on innuendo, distortions, unsubstantiated claims and more in his campaign to promote Richard Gaikowski as a viable Zodiac suspect. Voigt used these methods for years as he promoted suspect Arthur Leigh Allen. On his webpage devoted to Allen titled The Allen-Zodiac Connection, Voigt writes: “Finally, in 1971 Allen’s father, Ethan, died. The date was March 17…Darlene’s birthday. It was yet another occasion when someone close to Allen died on a significant Zodiac date.” Voigt did not name any occasion when “someone close to Allen died on a significant Zodiac date” other than the death of Allen’s father. Ethan Allen died from prostate cancer, and there is no evidence or even the faintest allegation of foul play in the death of Allen’s father so there is no “connection” between the date of his death and the birth date of Darlene Ferrin. Voigt also wrote:

“Later, Allen attempted to use a deceased elderly neighbor as an alibi, claiming this neighbor, William White, had seen Allen the afternoon of the Berryessa attack and that the two had a conversation. (At this time another William White, a ranger from Napa County, was all over the news as a spokesman on the Berryessa attack.) Neighbor White died within a couple of weeks of this alleged encounter. His birthday was Dec. 20.”

According to Voigt, William White was born on a date significant in the Zodiac case and the date of his birth is not a “connection” between Allen and the Zodiac. Voigt’s Allen-Zodiac page seems designed solely to mislead readers into believing that there were “connections” between Allen and the Zodiac when the facts did not establish that such a connection existed.

Voigt recently claimed that he possessed almost one hundred letters written by Arthur Leigh Allen in which Allen had confessed that he was the Zodiac and provided information known only to the killer. “In several letters he confessed to being the Zodiac, and gave details only the killer would know; those letters I have sent to the proper authorities… Written from the mental hospital in 1975, 1976 and 1977, I had a hundred of these letters. Most were passed along to law enforcement recently, and America’s Most Wanted has a show coming out.” Voigt’s ongoing promotion of Richard Gaikowski and Richard Marshall as viable suspects seems strange if Voigt did, indeed, possess letters in which Allen not only confessed but provided information known only to the Zodiac. On Thursday, October 07, 2010 9:52:46 AM, Voigt presented a new theory regarding Marshall, “Was Marshall the Zodiac? Were he and Gaikowski a team?” [Read the original posting.] Voigt posted this veiled accusation two years after he had declared that Richard Marshall had been officially cleared as a Zodiac suspect with the help of Voigt himself. [The excerpt below can be found in the UPDATE section of Voigt’s website known as The NEWS CENTER.]

Sept. 6, 2008) After more than 30 years of scrutiny, Rick Marshall has finally been dismissed as a Zodiac suspect…and Zodiackiller.com played a huge part.

Here’s how it went down:

It all started a couple of months ago when I received a phone tip (415 267-4818) from a woman who worked at a care facility in the Sacramento (Cal.) area. She told me that Marshall was a patient where she worked, and that he had spoken about the Zodiac case. She found him to be extremely suspicious and was not sure what to do. Thinking Marshall might finally be ready to talk due to his advanced age and deteriorating health, I contacted my sources at the Napa County Sheriff’s Dept., the agency that originally investigated Marshall back in the 1970s. Two detectives made the trek to Sacramento and spent a significant amount of time interviewing Marshall. I have yet to find if DNA testing was involved, but whatever data was gleened was enough for investigators to finally dismiss Marshall as a viable Zodiac suspect after more than three decades.

Many observers criticized Voigt’s attempts to resurrect Marshall as a suspect with his posting “Was Marshall the Zodiac? Were he and Gaikowski a team?” On October 18th, 2010, Voigt posted the following response on his Twitter page: “Ummm…when did I accuse Rick Marshall of anything? Trolls gonna troll.”

Voigt publicly speculated that a man seen in a photograph standing with Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin was Richard Gaikowski, yet the man in the photograph was clearly not Gaikowski. Voigt then suggested that the same man in the same photograph was victim Bryan Hartnell, posting this Twitter question:IS THE UNKNOWN MAN ZODIAC VICTIM BRYAN HARTNELL?“ The man was clearly not Bryan Hartnell. The question may have seemed somehow justified and legitimate to some but Voigt’s suggestion was bizarre at best. Bryan Hartnell survived the Zodiac’s attack and is well aware of the other victims in the Zodiac case. Hartnell would undoubtedly have told police if he had known one of the other victims attacked by the Zodiac. Voigt stated that the photograph was taken sometime in 1964 or 1965. Hartnell was 20 years old in 1969, so he would have been approximately 15 to 16 years old at the time the photograph was taken; the man in the photograph appears older. Gaikowski was not the man in the photograph; he was born in 1936 and would have been at least 28 years old at that time. Voigt was suggesting that a 15-16 year old teenager and a 28 year old man could be the same man in the photograph.  The man in the photograph is wearing what appears to be a wedding ring; neither Gaikowski nor Hartnell were married in 1964 or 1965.

Voigt has attempted to create a link between the Good Times newspaper and the Haight-Ashbury switchboard in order to create a link between Gaikowski and Zodiac victim Paul Stine. Voigt had written:

  • At the time of his murder, the Good Times “switchboard” was located only yards from the residence of Zodiac victim Paul Stine on Fell Street in San Francisco.

Echoing his attempts to create a link between suspect Arthur Leigh Allen and victim Darlene Ferrin, Voigt also implies that the birthday and residence of Gaikowski’s relative constitutes a link between Gaikowski and Zodiac victim Paul Stine.

  • Stine was killed on San Francisco’s Washington Street. Only one Gaikowski was listed in a city directory at that time, Richard’s cousin, and she lived on Washington Street. Her birthday was October 11, the very day Stine was murdered by the Zodiac. Stine — a cab driver — was the one victim whom the Zodiac could choose when and where he would be killed.

Voigt is suggesting that Richard Gaikowski and/or his associates at the Good Times newspaper/commune were directly linked to the switchboard address on Fell Street next to Stine’s residence. Based on this claimed link, Voigt further claims that Gaikowski and/or his associates often traveled to the switchboard address, thereby placing him near Stine. The implication is that Gaikowski, as the Zodiac, came into contact with Stine and then decided to kill him. Voigt further implies that Gaikowski may have selected Stine as his victim and then killed Stine on Washington Street because Gaikowski’s cousin lived on Washington Street. The allegations are based on trivia regarding the date of birth and address of Gaikowski’s cousin and Voigt’s theorized yet unsubstantiated link between the Good Times/Gaikowski and the switchboard address.

Richard Gaikowski was first accused by Blaine Blaine in 1986. Despite years of effort, Blaine was unable to produce any credible evidence to implicate Gaikowski. He contacted many different law enforcement agencies and each concluded that his accusations had no merit whatsoever. Since he had failed to produce any credible evidence, Blaine relied instead on a long list of bizarre claims, strained speculation, exaggerations, distortions and fiction. Decades later, Tom Voigt has re-accused Gaikowski using Blaine’s dubious methods and using Blaine’s original accusations to justify the resurrection of Blaine’s already dismissed and debunked theories and claims. Like Blaine, Voigt has failed to produce any credible evidence to implicate Gaikowski in the Zodiac crimes and he relies instead on bizarre claims, strained speculation, exaggerations, distortions and fiction. Richard Gaikowski may have delivered editions of the Good Times to the Haight-Ashbury switchboard on Fell Street yet this possibility does not constitute evidence that Gaikowski had ever met or known Zodiac victim Paul Stine. Even if Gaikowski had met or known Paul Stine that would not constitute evidence that Gaikowski was a murderer, let alone that he killed Stine.

Voigt’s entire presentation seems designed to mislead and manipulate a naive and gullible audience. Voigt aims to convince the public that Richard Gaikowski was a murderous madman responsible for multiple killings and a campaign of terror which lasted several years. Voigt assumes that the public will accept his simplistic and misleading propaganda as legitimate substitutes for good reason to accuse a man of murder. Voigt’s desperate and dubious attempts to create links between Gaikowski and Zodiac victims betray Voigt’s true motives and demonstrate that he is ready and willing to ignore the facts in his quest to convict Gaikowski in the court of public opinion.

In April 2008, Tom Voigt claimed that the Good Times newspaper refererred to the Haight-Ashbury switchboard as “the Good Times switchboard.” The new year 2011 has arrived, and Voigt still has not presented any credible evidence to support this claim. Voigt declared that he will not tap into that collection of “examples galore” in order to vindicate himself until he receives an apology from those who noted his failure to provide that evidence during the last two and a half years.

Anyone making claims regarding an unsolved murder case has a moral and ethical obligation to present the facts which support their claims. Tom Voigt claimed that the Good Times newspaper referred to the Haight-Ashbury switchboard as “the Good Times switchboard” yet he did not provide any evidence to support this claim. Voigt wrote, “I have been accused of lying when I said — back in April 2008 — that the Good Times newspaper referred to the Haight switchboard as ‘the Good Times switchboard.’ I hope nobody still has doubts as to my honesty.” The issues at hand are the facts concerning an unsolved murder case and the evidence used to accuse someone of murder, not Tom Voigt or his hurt feelings. If Voigt had acted as any responsible person would and simply posted the evidence to support his claims then no one would have reason or cause to question his honesty and motives regarding this matter. Anyone who was truly concerned about being perceived as dishonest would provide the evidence which supported their claims rather than withhold that evidence until he received an apology from those who criticized him for failing to provide that evidence in the first place. Most people who were offended at the suggestion that they had made false statements would willingly provide the evidence which proved otherwise, especially if they possessed “examples galore” of that evidence. Voigt wrote, “I have examples galore of the “Good Times” newspaper referring to the Fell Street switchboard as the “Good Times” switchboard…” Voigt then wrote, “While I didn’t purchase the issue where I saw that reference, I’m sure I’ll get my hands on it again one day.” In the first version, Voigt clearly states that he has many examples in his possession and, in the second version, he implies that he had only seen one example. Anyone attempting to reconcile these two statements would be justifiably confused.

The WORLD ACCORDING TO STEVE HODEL

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More than one year ago, Steve Hodel published his book MOST EVIL. Hodel had previously wowed the world with his claim that his father was responsible for the infamous “Black Dahlia” murder, and he took his theory one step further to claim that his father was also the Zodiac killer. Immediately following its release, MOST EVIL was met with skepticism and scrutiny by those who have studied, researched, and investigated the Zodiac crimes.

The “evidence” presented by Hodel was viewed as tenuous at best. Even the oldest estimate of the Zodiac’s age placed the killer somewhere in his late thirties to mid-forties at the time that Hodel’s father was at least sixty years old, and the description of the killer did not match, either. Steve Hodel relied largely on his dubious theories which he claims link his father to the Zodiac crimes and most of these theories are based on his geographic and geometric presentations.

After Hodel’s book hit store shelves, I posted a blog entry about his efforts to exploit the Zodiac case. At the message board of Zodiackiller.com, Zodiac conspiracy theorist Howard Davis asked Steve Hodel about my blog.

HOWARD DAVIS (as timetoresearchz): Steve, Are you aware that Mike Butterfield is calling you a ‘fraud’ and less than honest with the truth? You are a professional-we all know that except him I guess. I am answering his criticisms now as he goes too far. You have done a great work on the BD case! All he has really done is to pick at others like you.

STEVE HODEL: No, I haven’t been following him. As I’m sure you’ve seen over the years there is always a hardcore group filled with venom and agendas. They attack the messenger, not the message. The investigator, not the investigation. Even if we eventually get positive DNA, these types will say, “He was just impersonating Zodiac. It’s been my experience that shut minds rarely open. Equally true with many law enforcement professionals. Re. BDA, most of my critics are still back in 2003 and seemingly unaware of all the new evidence that has built the case in recent years. For anyone who has followed the new evidence, there is really no longer any doubt that George Hodel was in truth- the Black Dahlia Avenger. That fact alone, absent anything else, would be enough to take a hard look at him for the ZODIAC crimes some twenty-years later. But, as you know, we have a lot more than that as summarized in MOST EVIL. Thanks for your and others support. Always appreciated. SKH, Los Angeles

HOWARD DAVIS: No Steve he is attacking you personally as well as your research-both messenger and message- calling it ‘stupidity’,etc. This is extremely disrespectful, especially knowing your background, etc.; but when you are a boundless egotist and sociopath you manifest that behavior… Don’t forget as Guardian and Protector of the Zodiac case he must condemn everyone unless they are following Him. We are giving him far too much attention he may take it wrongLOL

I was not surprised to see the posting by Howard Davis. He had been claiming that his brother-in-law told him of a massive conspiracy to conceal evidence linking Charles Manson and his murderous family to the Zodiac crimes. Davis claimed that the conspiracy involved members of the LA DA’s office, the CA Attorney General, members of law enforcement agencies, a judge, and others. Davis also claimed that Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi endorsed his Manson/Zodiac theory. Davis belittled those who questioned his claims in various message board postings and even chastised anyone who dared to question his knowledge of Bugliosi’s opinions on the matter. I contacted Davis’s brother-in-law and he refuted the entire conspiracy story with far more credibility than Davis. He went so far as to call Davis a “nutjob” with a long history of making ridiculous and false claims. I also contacted Vincent Bugliosi, and he unequivocally stated that he did not endorse the Manson/Zodiac theory and, in fact, he had never said that he did. After I reported this information to the public, Howard Davis began claiming that I attack people because they won’t follow or agree with me. [To learn more about Howard Davis and his Manson/Zodiac cover-up claims, read the Zodiackillerfacts.com article CONSPIRAZ.]

I posted my review of MOST EVIL. Using simple scrutiny, facts, logic, and common sense, I proved, beyond doubt, that virtually all of Hodel’s Zodiac-related map presentations were completely inaccurate regarding the locations of the Zodiac crimes, the angles they formed, and more.

As I noted some time ago, most newspapers, magazines, blogs, newscasters and others would print a retraction after learning of a mistake. Had The New York Times misspelled Steve Hodel’s name, the newspaper would most likely feature an immediate correction in a subsequent issue. Months after Steve Hodel’s entire Zodiac presentation had been thoroughly debunked and discredited, Steve Hodel was still acting as if nothing had changed and his claims still had merit.

On September 7, 2010, Steve Hodel’s website announced the paperback release of MOST EVIL in the following blog entry:

STEVE HODEL: Dutton-Penguin Group imprint, BERKLEY BOOKS has today published the paper-back edition of MOST EVIL: Avenger, Zodiac, and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hill Hodel. Hard to believe its been a year since the original publication, but THERE IT IS! I have to admit to a personal preference for Berkley’s new choice of cadmium orange over Dutton’s original hardback pick of canary “Yellowbook” yellow. (But, what do I know? I’m sure none of my father’s “marketing genius” genes were passed on to the son. *s*) While a few minor corrections have been made from hardcover to this paperback edition, no major changes have occurred. One exception is my revision, update and clarification of the post publication information related to the second suspected “law enforcement composite.” That information was provided in detail on my blogsite in October, 2009 and has been included in the appropriate chapter and as an AUTHOR’S NOTE at the end of this edition. See below:

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Hodel made no attempt to correct any of the important geographic and geometric errors in his book, and, instead, he focused on the dubious “suspect” sketch he had used in the hardback edition of MOST EVIL. Hodel claimed that the sketch in question was produced by authorities when, in fact, the sketch was produced by a professional artist as the cover of a book.

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The sketch in question is obviously the work of a professional artist. This alone should have given Hodel reason to doubt that the sketch originated from law enforcement. The sketch features the same date as another sketch which bears no resemblance whatsoever to the Adams sketch, further indication that the sketch was not produced by police. No honest person can reasonably suggest that police would produce two entirely different sketches meant to depict the same suspect, let alone do so and issue these sketches on the exact same day. The sketch also features a very stylistic portrait of the Zodiac in costume, even further indication that the sketch was not produced by police. The sketch never appeared or was mentioned in any of the official documents. None of the Zodiac witnesses ever described anyone who remotely resembled the man depicted in the Adams sketch, even further indication that this sketch was not produced by police. Anyone who had spent as much time researching the Zodiac case as Hodel claims would have known all of these facts.

Hodel blames former Chronicle reporter Duffy Jennings for the confusion regarding the origins of the sketch– confusion which Hodel himself created where none had previously existed. Hodel claimed that an “anonymous source” contacted Jennings and that Jennings said that the sketch on the cover of the book GREAT CRIMES OF SAN FRANCISCO was produced by law enforcement. While Steve Hodel was happy to concede that he, or, rather Duffy Jennings, had made a mistake regarding the sketch, he noted that no other major corrections had been made to the paperback version of MOST EVIL.

In a recent blog entry, Steve Hodel criticized the statements made by Larry Harnisch, owner and operator of a website devoted to the Black Dahlia case. Hodel criticized Harnisch for “misinforming” readers, explicitly implying that Steve Hodel does not do so. Hodel complained that Harnisch’s statements were factually inaccurate and he seemed preturbed by the fact that Harnisch had made this alleged error long after Hodel had publicly presented the evidence to “prove” that Hodel was correct.

Jan 9, 1947 “Black Dahlia” sighting by Biltmore Hotel Doorman- Fact or Fiction?: … Myth or Fact? For The Record- While I cannot speak to the “tipping of his hat” I can say that Mr. Harnisch is again, misinforming his readers. (He also claimed that the reported burn marks on Elizabeth Short’s body were a myth. They were NOT and I published the photograph to prove it.) THE STORY OF A BILTMORE EMPLOYEE SEEING ELIZABETH SHORT LEAVE THE HOTEL IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE. MORE THAN THAT THE WITNESS ALSO ESTABLISHED THAT A MAN MET HER AT THE OLIVE STREET ENTRANCE. Further, I have a copy of the documentation from Lt. Jemison’s “District Attorney – Black Dahlia Case files.” The witness, Mr. Harold Studholme, was not the doorman, but rather the Biltmore Hotel’s Bell Captain. (Close enough for government work.)

Hodel takes great offense because he believes that Larry Harnisch has been “misinforming his readers.” Steve Hodel portrays himself as a man who cares about the truth and cares about getting his facts straight, yet the facts paint a very different picture of Steve Hodel. Months ago, I posted by my review of Hodel’s book MOST EVIL. In that review, I proved, beyond any doubt, that virtually all of Hodel’s Zodiac-related claims were 100% false. Most of Hodel’s bizarre solution to the Zodiac case is based on geography and geometry, and I proved, again, beyond any doubt, that virtually all of Hodel’s presentations were inaccurate on both counts. Hodel continues to claim that this already-debunked material is still sound and valid, going so far as to boast of his impressive PowerPoint presentations and continuing to post the same material on his site as if it were factually accurate. People like Howard Davis complain that I have unfairly attacked Hodel while Hodel himself complains that people don’t want to accept his truth and that’s why they always “attack the messenger instead of the message.”

An examination of Hodel’s “message” in MOST EVIL and on his website proves that his work is consistently inaccurate and his claims are easily debunked. One of Hodel’s recent blog entries featured his already-debunked presentations as if they are still valid.

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STEVE HODEL: In the above diagram, I have inserted and am using Zodiac’s original hand drawn compass circle and cross. I have followed his precise instructions and have positioned his circle to point to Magnetic North. (Tilting Zodiac’s circle approximately 17 degrees east) Zodiac tells us this will reveal where the bomb is buried. Note that Zodiac himself, moving in a counterclockwise direction from the apex has drawn five small X marks on his circle spacing them approximately 30 degrees apart from each other. I have extended his marks by drawing a black line A outward in a northwesterly direction and line B downward in a southwesterly direction. Magnetic north to Line A is approximately 60 degrees  and Line A to Line B is also approximately 60 degrees. (“Radian – Noun. Mathematics. The measure of a central angle subtending an arc equal in length to the radius: 57.2958 degrees) Zodiac’s specific use of the term radian informs us he is familiar with higher mathematics and is referencing an angle approximating 60 degrees… Note that by extending a line (A) out from Zodiac’s own positioning of his 2nd “X” not only does it approximate an angle of 60 degrees, but it appears to mark the location of Zodiac’s Blue Rock Springs murder site. Line B, Zodiac’s 4th X, completes his second angle, also approximating 60 degrees and when extended goes directly through his Presidio Heights, Paul Stine shooting location. But, where is the buried bomb? As originally presented in my sequel, MOST EVIL, I believe it is also revealed on Line B. This line not only intersects with his Stine victim, but crosses directly through the exact location where the body of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short is buried in Oakland’s, Mountain View Cemetery.

Once again, Hodel’s entire presentation is completely inaccurate. He wrote, “I have followed his precise instructions and have positioned his circle to point to Magnetic North,” yet his placement of Magnetic North is incorrect. Hodel wrote that he had extended his “black lines“ from the peak of Mt. Diablo, yet even his own illustration shows that these lines are not aligned with the peak, and, further, do not even correspond to the apex of the Zodiac’s crossed-circle.

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Hodel wrote that “Magnetic north to Line A is approximately 60 degrees” yet this angle in his illustration measures at least 73-75 degrees.

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/images/Steve%20Hodel%20MOST%20EVIL%20map%20with%20Hodel%20Upper%20Radian.jpg

Hodel wrote that “Line A to Line B is also approximately 60 degrees“ yet this angle in his illustration measures somewhere between 53-55 degrees (perhaps slightly more if one includes the mass of both lines).

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/images/Steve%20Hodel%20MOST%20EVIL%20map%20with%20Hodel%20Lower%20Radian.jpg

Hodel wrote, “Zodiac’s specific use of the term radian informs us he is familiar with higher mathematics and is referencing an angle approximating 60 degrees,” yet, if the Zodiac was at all familiar with mathematics he would not use a reference to a radian, an angle measuring 57.3 degrees to imply an angle which measures 60 degrees.

Hodel wrote, “Note that by extending a line (A) out from Zodiac’s own positioning of his 2nd “X” not only does it approximate an angle of 60 degrees, but it appears to mark the location of Zodiac’s Blue Rock Springs murder site.” In his own illustration, Hodel’s placement of the Blue Rock Springs Park murder site is completely inaccurate and far west of the correct location.

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Hodel wrote, “Line B, Zodiac’s 4th X, completes his second angle, also approximating 60 degrees and when extended goes directly through his Presidio Heights, Paul Stine shooting location… This line not only intersects with his Stine victim, but crosses directly through the exact location where the body of Elizabeth ‘Black Dahlia’ Short is buried in Oakland’s, Mountain View Cemetery.” Hodel’s placement of the cemetery is fairly accurate, however, his own illustration accurately demonstrates that the line created by the Stine murder site does not intersect with the cemetery or the Short grave site.

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/images/Steve%20Hodel%20MOST%20EVIL%20Mountain%20View%20Cemetery%20Short%20Gravesite.jpg

Hodel claimed that the two angles in his illustration each measured approximately 60 degrees. If Hodel’s claim is true then both angles should measure approximately 120 degrees, yet, when combined, the two angles actually measure approximately 128 degrees or more.

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Hodel’s illustration does not match the claims he makes about his own illustration. The diagram below illustrates the number of errors and false claims contained in Hodel’s illustration:

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Steve Hodel recently posted the following announcement on his website: “This coming Saturday, January 8, 2011, just one week before the 64th anniversary of the murder of Elizabeth Short, I will be interviewed by Los Angeles based “super-lawyers,” Tom Girardi and Howard Miller (Law Firm of Girardi/ Keese) on their weekly radio show, CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE. Tom was part of the team of lawyers that won the 333 million dollar class action settlement against PG&E featured in the Erin Brockovich Story. His partner, and co-host, Howard Miller is the 2010 president of the California State Bar Association.” One wonders if Girardi and Miller will ask Hodel to explain the many geographic, geometric and factual errors in his book MOST EVIL. Perhaps someone will call into the show and ask Hodel for an explanation, but I doubt that the author will ever address this issue. To admit that his book is filled with such errors would be admitting that he did not conduct legitimate research, he created his claims without any basis in fact, he never checked his own work, he has no regard for the facts and he has even less respect for the victims in the Zodiac, Dahlia and other cases. Perhaps Girardi and Miller would not be so eager to invite Hodel onto their radio show if they knew that his claims and theories had already been completely debunked

Hodel wrote that his critics “attack the messenger, not the message. The investigator, not the investigation.” I think it’s obvious that I have simply examined Steve Hodel’s claims using logic, common sense, and the facts. One has to wonder just how Hodel could dismiss the debunking of his claims as the biased product of “venoms or agendas.”

Anyone can debunk Steve Hodel’s entire presentation in five minutes using just a copy of MOST EVIL, a protractor, and basic math skills. Howard Davis claimed that the Mormon church was trying to silence and assassinate him as part of its conspiracy to seize control of the U.S. economy. Steve Hodel is thankful for the support of Howard Davis, proving that the old saying is true– birds of a feather flock together.

Cheri Jo Bates: Another Anniversary

 

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Another year has passed and the murder of Cheri Jo Bates remains unsolved. Time marches on but this mystery is still waiting for a solution.

Little has changed in the decades since Cheri Jo was killed. The story of her life and death is told, again and again, year after year. The case is still a source of confusion and the subject of the debate. The theory which links the Zodiac to the murder continues to dominate the discourse. Riverside police insist that the Zodiac was not involved and blame their favored suspect. From the very beginning of the case, investigators believed that the hairs found on the hand of Cheri Jo Bates belonged to the killer. Several years ago, Riverside police ordered a DNA comparison of the hairs found on Cheri Jo’s hand and hair samples taken from the suspect– the hairs did not match.

The theory that the Zodiac was responsible for the murder as well as the writings linked to the Bates is still controversial today. Decades ago, Riverside police, authorities in Northern California, and many other investigators believed that the Zodiac was not only the author of the Riverside writings but that he was also responsible for the Bates murder. [Read a letter written by Riverside authorities.] Handwriting expert Sherwood Morrill concluded that the Zodiac had written the so-called “Confession” letter, the three letters stating that Cheri Jo “had to die,” and the bizarre poem found on a desk stored at Riverside City College. Some experts affirmed Morrill’s conclusions. FBI experts examined the writings and reported that the results were “inconclusive” yet added that the writings were not inconsistent with the handwriting of the Zodiac. John Shimoda, Director of the Crime Laboratory of the United States Post Office, disputed Morrill’s conclusion, as did other experts.

The Zodiac suggested that he was responsible for the murder of Cheri Jo Bates and referred to this savage slaying as one of the “easy ones” in his criminal career. The evidence and even time itself have effectively rejected the theory that Bates was killed by the Riverside suspect, and, decades later, the only logical suspect is the only individual who ever claimed that he was responsible for the murder. Riverside authorities refuse to investigate the possible Zodiac connection and have chosen to stick with the strategy which has repeatedly failed for decades. In this nightmarishly absurd scenario, the story of this unsolved crime can have no ending.

The Riverside police department remains convinced that their favorite suspect killed Bates yet the best evidence which could be used to identify and convict the killer has apparently exonnerated their favorite suspect. Absent a full-confession by the suspect, the investigation has effectively and permanently stalled. The murder weapon is most likely lost to history. The Timex watch found at the crime scene has never yeilded any useful evidence and has not led to a suspect. In a world filled with cold cases, the Bates case seems frozen in time.

The solutions to minor mysteries only serve as cruel reminders that the important questions remain unanswered. No one knows exactly what happened that night or why the killer chose Cheri Jo. No one knows the identity of the killer or if he is the same man who caused so much misery while hiding behind the name “the Zodiac.” The hunt for the murderer continues while the author of the infamous “Hautz” letter has finally been located. A photograph of the watch found at the Bates crime scene proved that the time piece had never stopped running despite the popular myth to the contrary. The only DNA evidence available does not match the long-time suspect; to those waiting for justice in this case, this news was a bit like telling a patient that he is still going to die but that doctors have been able to rule out one possible cause of his impending demise. The mystery remains unsolved, the story has no ending, and the victim has no justice.

Like the Zodiac case itself, the public version of the Bates story is part fact and part fiction, mixed with misinformation, myth and confusion. More than a decade ago, Riverside homicide detective Steve Shumway claimed that Cheri Jo Bates had been stabbed as many as 42 times in what he described as a “rage killing” similar to the violent murder of Nicole Brown Simpson. Shumway’s version of the story favored his theory that the Riverside suspect was responsible for the crime. The autopsy report refuted this version of the story and proved that Bates had not been stabbed dozens of times as Shumway had claimed. This myth has quietly faded into the shadows of history while everyone ignores its curious origins and the disturbing fact that this falsehood was used to accuse the suspect favored by Riverside authorities. Observers are left to read between the lines and navigate the sea of conflicting accounts, contradictory conclusions, and competing claims.

Crime buffs, researchers and others will undoubtedly remain fascinated and captivated by the unsolved murder of Cheri Jo Bates. Those who wish to learn more will find a collection of photographs, documents and other material related to the Bates case at the Zodiackillerfacts.com Document Gallery.

Copyright 2010 – Zodiackillerfacts.com/Michael Butterfield

OCTOBER 11, 1969: The Murder of Paul Stine

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Forty-one years ago today, Paul Stine was murdered by the Zodiac. Witnesses provided the only sketch of the killer’s face, police discovered fingerprints which they believed belonged to the murderer, and the Zodiac himself claimed that two uniformed officers had stopped him near the scene of the crime yet inexplicably let him walk away to escape justice. In the decades since, the events of that fateful night in October 1969 have become the subject of speculation, debate, and controversy. Those seeking information about this unsolved crime can view a collection of crime scene photographs, videos, newspaper articles, official documents, police reports, suspect sketches, and more now available at Zodiackillerfacts.com.

Click on the links below to view the items on the list.

THE VICTIM

* Paul Stine

THE SCENE OF THE CRIME

* Washington and Cherry Streets – October, 1969

THE CRIME SCENE

* Crime Scene Photographs

THE EVIDENCE

* Paul Stine’s Shirt

* The Fingerprints

THE INVESTIGATORS and OTHERS

* San Francisco Investigators and Others

THE SUSPECT SKETCHES

* Sketches of the Suspect

THE ZODIAC’S LETTER

* The Zodiac’s Envelope and Letter

THE ARTICLES

* Newspaper Stories and Other Material

THE JOE STINE FILES

* Paul Stine’s Brother Joe

THE DOCUMENTS

* Paul Stine: Record of Death

* Paul Stine: Certificate of Death

* Report by SFPD Officer Armand Pelissetti

* Excerpt from Dept. of Justice Report on Stine Case

* Memo on the Zodiac Sighting by SFPD Officer Don Fouke

THE VIDEOS

* Paul Stine’s Cab

* The Crime Scene: Washington and Cherry Streets

* A Possible Escape Route

* SFPD Officer Don Fouke on the Zodiac Sighting

* SFPD Captain Martin Lee on the Zodiac’s Threat to Attack a School Bus

* SFPD Captain Martin Lee on the Zodiac’s Crossed-Circle Symbol

* SFPD Captain Martin Lee on the Zodiac’s State of Mind

Zodiackillerfacts.com also provides a collection of photographs, documents, videos and other reference material regarding the Zodiac’s other known crimes, including the shootings at Lake Herman Road and Blue Rock Springs Park as well as the attack at Lake Berryessa.

LAKE HERMAN ROAD: December 20, 1968

THE VICTIMS

* David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen

THE SCENE OF THE CRIME

* The Scene of the Crime: 1968

THE CRIME SCENE

* The Crime Scene: December 20, 1968

* The Crime Scene: Police Sketches

THE EVIDENCE

* Shell Casings and Jensen Dress

* The Rambler

THE INVESTIGATORS and OTHERS

* The Investigators and Others

THE ARTICLES

* Newspaper Articles and Other Material

THE DOCUMENTS

* Death Certificates and Morgue Photographs

* Benicia Police Dept: Report by Capt. Daniel Pitta (2 pages)

* Solano County Sheriff’s Office Report (76 pages)

* CA Dept. of Justice / CII Report – Ballistics (3 pages)

THE VIDEOS

* The Funeral of David Faraday

————————-

BLUE ROCK SPRINGS PARK: July 4, 1969

THE VICTIMS

* Darlene Ferrin and Michael Mageau

THE SCENE OF THE CRIME

* Blue Rock Springs Park

THE EVIDENCE

* Clothing of the Victims and Other Items

THE PAYPHONE

* The Payphone Used by the Zodiac

THE INVESTIGATORS and OTHERS

* Vallejo Police Investigators and Others

THE DOCUMENTS

* Darlene Ferrin Certificate of Death

* VPD Report by Det. Ed Rust: Michael Mageau Interview (4 pages)

* Vallejo Police Department Report (97 pages)

VIDEOS

COMING SOON

 ———–

LAKE BERRYESSA: September 27, 1969

THE VICTIMS

* Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard

THE SCENE OF THE CRIME

* Lake Berryessa, September 1969

The Zodiac’s Message: The Car Door

* Photographs of the car door

* Video of the car door

The Evidence

* The Boot Prints and Clothesline

The Phone Booth

* Photographs of the Phone Used By The Zodiac to Call The Napa Police Department

THE SUSPECT and PERSONS OF INTEREST

* Sketches of the Zodiac in costume and a man seen at the lake

THE DOCUMENTS

* NCSD Report: Ken Narlow and others (19 pages)

* NCSD Report: Hal Snook (4 pages)

* NCSD Report: Collins and Land (6 pages – one page missing)

* NCSD Report: RE: the three girls at the lake (1 page)

* NCSD Report: RE: Gun used by the Zodiac (1 page)

* Napa Police Department: Report by Dispatcher David Slaight re: Zodiac call (1 page)

* FBI Report: re: Fingerprints (3 pages)

* CA Dept. Of Justice/CII Report (2 pages)

* CA Highway Patrol Report: RE: Bryan Hartnell’s car (1 page)

* Transcript: Interview with Bryan Hartnell (13 pages)

* Transcript: Written account by Bryan Hartnell (2 pages)

VIDEOS

* Video of the car door

* Interview with Park Ranger William White

* Interviews with NCSD Capt. Donald Townsend

* Bryan Hartnell’s Hospital Interview for TV News

The Lake Berryessa Files

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Forty-one years have passed since the Zodiac attacked Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard at Lake Berryessa back in 1969. Despite a valiant battle for her life, Cecelia died within days of the brutal stabbing, but Bryan survived to provide a bizarre and horrifying glimpse into the motives and mind of the Zodiac. Many people struggle to comprehend the events of that fateful day and to gather information about this infamous crime.

As part of an ongoing effort to provide official documents, photographs, the Zodiac letters, and other material, this site has been updated with a collection of images and documents regarding the Zodiac’s attack at Lake Berryessa. This collection has been designed to be user-friendly and for easy, reliable access.

The collection includes the following items:

THE VICTIMS

* Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard


THE SCENE OF THE CRIME

* Lake Berryessa, September 1969

The Zodiac’s Message: The Car Door

Photographs of the car door

Video of the car door

The Evidence:

* The Boot Prints and Clothesline

The Phone Booth

* Photographs of the Phone Used By The Zodiac to Call The Napa Police Department


THE SUSPECT and PERSONS OF INTEREST

* Sketches of the Zodiac in costume and a man seen at the lake


THE DOCUMENTS

Read the reports produced by the Napa County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies, including:

* NCSD Report: Ken Narlow and others (19 pages)

* NCSD Report: Hal Snook (4 pages)

* NCSD Report: Collins and Land (6 pages – one page missing)

* NCSD Report: RE: the three girls at the lake (1 page)

* NCSD Report: RE: Gun used by the Zodiac (1 page)

* Napa Police Department: Report by Dispatcher David Slaight re: Zodiac call (1 page)

* FBI Report: re: Fingerprints (3 pages)

* CA Dept. Of Justice/CII Report (2 pages)

* CA Highway Patrol Report: RE: Bryan Hartnell’s car (1 page)

* Transcript: Interview with Bryan Hartnell (13 pages)

* Transcript: Written account by Bryan Hartnell (2 pages)


VIDEOS

* Video of the car door

* Interview with Park Ranger William White

* Interviews with NCSD Capt. Donald Townsend

* Bryan Hartnell’s Hospital Interview for TV News

Riverside and the Murder of Cheri Jo Bates

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The story of the Zodiac saga contains many chapters and mini-mysteries regarding the killer’s possible connection to other unsolved crimes and other strange writings. Perhaps the most enduring and controversial theory links the Zodiac to the 1966 murder of Cheri Jo Bates in Riverside, California.

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/images/Cheri%20Jo%20Bates.jpg

After Bates was killed, someone sent several anonymous messages to the local newspaper, the police, and the father of the victim, and these writings were later attributed to the Zodiac by some handwriting analysts. (View a collection of questioned documents linked to the still-unsolved murder of Cheri Jo Bates at the Zodiac Killer Facts Document Gallery.)

The three envelopes below were postmarked on April 30, 1967, and contained handwritten letters which read in part, “Bates had to die (or, She had to die). There will be more.”

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/images/Three%20Bates%20Had%20To%20Die%20envelopes.jpg

Tom Voigt of the website Zodiackiller.com, and Zodiac-theorist Howard Davis, (in his book The Zodiac/Manson Connection), both state that another envelope was postmarked on the same day, April 30, 1967. No one can account for the possible contents of this envelope or explain why this envelope had been filed away with material related to the Bates case.

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/images/Riverside%20-%20Press%20envelope.jpg

Another odd letter became the subject of debate and controversy and its origins have remained a mystery for more than four decades.

NOV 1 1967

To the Editor,
Your human interest story (Oct. 1, 1967) about Cheri, the RCC girl that was killed, was very interesting. Perhaps a story about the boy that killed her could be more rewarding. If people were to read of the life of a boy that turned killer, they might stop to think about the lives of their own children. “Are we laying the blue print for another killer?” might be one of the questions brought to mind by such a story.

With hope,
Patricia Hautz
Fellow Student

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/images/Patricia%20Hautz%20letter%20dated%20November%201%201967.jpg

Many observers have noted that the postmark on the envelope addressed to “Press“ does not appear to be April 30, 1967, and an examination of this fourth envelope indicates that the postmark is not dated April 30, 1967. When enlarged, this postmark and the postmark from one of the envelopes dated April 30, 1967 do not appear at all similar. The postmark from the fourth envelope appeared more compatible with the date NOV 1, the date of the letter mailed to the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper and signed “Patricia Hautz.”

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/images/Hautz%20postmark%20comparison.jpg

In the years since the Hautz letter was mailed to The Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper, some observers have suggested that the author may have been the same individual who killed Bates, or perhaps even the Zodiac himself. Some theories cited the use of the name “Hautz” with a prominent letter “Z,” while others claimed the tone of the letter reveals the author’s “cold” and insensitive personality. Efforts to locate the Patricia Hautz in question consistently failed, fueling suspicion that the name was simply invented by the author of the letter.

While many people seemed to believe that the letter had sinister origins, I believed there was a simple explanation behind this mysterious message. I suspected that the Hautz letter was exactly what it seemed to be– a letter from a young student who asked the eternal questions: What sort of person could kill and what would drive that person to do so?

Like many others, I had tried to locate Patricia Hautz over the years but my efforts proved fruitless. Several months ago, I spent many hours on the phone with the patient and generous workers who keep the records for various high schools in the Riverside area but I was unable to find the right Patricia Hautz. I had given up my search when I received an email from a man who explained that he had once known a woman named Patricia Hautz, and his recent attempts to locate her using the Internet had led him to my website and the controversy regarding the Hautz letter. He said of the letter, “That sounds like her. She was always commenting on stuff.” The man then provided some background information which helped to explain why so many people had been unable to find Patricia and, using this information, I subsequently located the woman in question.

I spoke with Patricia Hautz by phone. She was very cooperative but concerned about protecting her privacy. Patricia was a student in the Riverside area during the late 1960s, and said that she was “very vocal” on a variety of issues. When asked if she had ever sent any letters to The Riverside Press-Enterprise in 1967, Patricia said, “I did write a few letters to the editor about that time.

Patricia also provided samples of her handwriting and wrote in an email, “I am attaching a scan of my English text from 1967 that shows some of my writing, as well as a note that was also in the book.” Patricia’s handwriting bore an uncanny resemblance to the writing on the fourth envelope, sent to the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper. The lower case cursive “r” and other letters were similar in both writings, and Patricia had a unique way of forming the capital letter “P” which matched the same letter in the word “Press” on the Riverside envelope. Patricia examined the envelope and then stated, “I think you can agree it is my writing.”

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/images/Patricia%20Hautz%20handwriting%20comparsion.jpg

After examining Patricia’s handwriting samples and comparing the writing with that on the envelope mailed to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, common sense, logic, and facts led me to conclude that Patricia Hautz was the author of the Hautz letter.

Patricia Hautz was very generous and helpful, but she has no desire to become swept into the controversy and she wanted to avoid any publicity. Now living in another state under her married name, Patricia asked that I respect her privacy, and she was aware that doing so would be difficult given the circumstances. She wrote, “Since my maiden name is out there, I don’t think there’s much you can do.” I hope that the readers will respect Patricia’s privacy.

The author of the Hautz letter has been identified and, as many suspected, this communication has nothing to do with the Zodiac or the individual who killed Cheri Jo Bates. Inevitably, there will be those who will resist the solution to this mini-mystery as some people have developed elaborate theories involving the Hautz letter. The irony of this bizarre situation was best described by Patricia herself when she wrote, “After reading the weird interpretations of the letter, I can’t help but say that sometimes (this time) it’s like Hemingway stated, “The boy is a boy, and the fish is a fish.”

– Copyright 2010 Zodiackillerfacts.com

– Read more about the unsolved murder of Cheri Jo Bates in the previous blog entry titled CHERI JO BATES and The ZODIAC: Unsolved Crimes and Unanswered Questions.

ZODIAC RADIO

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ZODIAC Radio Shows & Other Recordings

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ROBERT GRAYSMITH: A Closer Look – Shortly after the release of his book AMERITHRAX, Robert Graysmith (author of Zodiac and Zodiac Unmasked) appeared on the radio program, A CLOSER LOOK, broadcast on the Paranet Continuum Network. Known for content devoted almost exclusively to UFO and conspiracy theories and discussions, the network features interviews with guests who tell sensational and often unbelievable tales. During the interview, Graysmith made more than 17 inaccurate, unsubstantiated, exaggerated, distorted or false statements in less than 12 minutes as he attempted to convict his suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen, in the court of public opinion. (A break down of the interview can be read in the article GRAYSMITH: A Closer Look.)

Graysmith Radio Interview : Part 1Part 2

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BILL NELSON: The Paranet Continuum – Bill Nelson, owner of Pen Power Publications, published his own book titled MANSON: Behind the Scenes, as well as The Zodiac/Manson Connection written by his associate, Howard Davis. In this 1997 interview, Nelson discusses his book and the Zodiac/Manson theory.

Bill Nelson Radio Interview
: Part 1Part 2 Part 3

HOWARD DAVIS: The Paranet Continuum – Howard Davis, author of The Zodiac/Manson Connection, discusses his then-newly released book in this interview from 1997. Davis also mentions his original “tip” regarding the alleged law enforcement conspiracy to conceal the fact that the Manson family was responsible for the Zodiac crimes. (An in-depth article examining the Manson/Zodiac theory and the Davis conspiracy claims can be read in the article CONSPIRAZ.)

Howard Davis Radio Interview : Part 1Part 2

Howard Davis on the Manson/Zodiac Cover-Up Conspiracy : The “Original Tip” Clip

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HOWARD DAVIS and “WHITE RABBIT” – The man who claims to have inside knowledge of the Zodiac/Manson conspiracy meets with a man who claims to have known the Zodiac. White Rabbit, an ex-convict and Manson family member who once ran for political office on the “Manson Ticket,” claims that Manson family member Bruce Davis was the Zodiac. White Rabbit sold a Manson letter to Howard Davis which purportedly read, “Don’t talk about Zodiac.” The two men discuss the letter in this audio clip recorded on the streets of San Francisco in 2002. Davis and White Rabbit both appear in the YouTube CONSPIRAZ video clip.

Howard Davis and White Rabbit : Don’t Talk About Zodiac

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GARETH PENN and MICHAEL O’HARE: The Anthony Hilder Show – This 1987 radio broadcast features both the accuser and the accused. Host Anthony J. Hilder lured Michael O’Hare onto the air by asking the Harvard lecturer to discuss public policy but the interview eventually turns to the Gareth Penn’s claims that O’Hare was the infamous Zodiac killer. O’Hare denied the accusations before ending the interview, and Penn then discussed his various mathematical theories. This broadcast also includes questions from callers and is accompanied by an introductory clip from The ART BELL SHOW featuring a caller who claims that the Zodiac murders were part of an elaborate work of earthform art and that the famous artist Christo knows the identity of the killer. In this interview — recorded years before Belli’s caller made this claim — Penn compared his theory of the Zodiac’s earthform art to the work of the famous artist Christo. (The Zodiackillerfacts.com article TIMES 17: The World According to Gareth features an examination of the Penn/O’Hare history, and O’Hare’s article titled HOW A CONSPIRACY THEORIST WHO THOUGHT I WAS THE ZODIAC ALMOST RUINED MY LIFE.)

Penn / O’Hare Radio Show :

Part 1: Introduction w/ Gareth Penn

Part 2: O’Hare on Public Policy

Part 3: Ambushing the Suspect

Part 4: PennPart 5: PennPart 6: PennPart 7: Penn

GARETH PENN: The Radian Theory – In this isolated clip from The Anthony J. Hilder Show, Penn describes his radian discovery and theories. (Penn’s entire “Radian Theory” was debunked in the article GARETH PENN, MT. DIABLO and The RADIAN THEORY.)

Gareth Penn : The Story of the Radian Theory

Goldcatcher and Tom Voigt
The GOLDCATCHER “CONFESSION” Tape – In this 2-hour audio recording from 2009, Blaine Blaine (aka Goldcatcher aka Zakatarious) tells a bizarre and confusing tale of his encounters with his suspect Richard Gaikowski. Blaine claims that he solved the Zodiac’s codes, and that he witnessed and/or participated in several murders. Blaine also explains his many theories linking Gaikowski to many other murders. This audio recording was supplemented by a partial transcript. Blaine’s recorded account conflicts with the original version of events documented in his many writings from the late 1980s.

(An in-depth examination of Blaine’s history and unsubstantiated claims can be read in the article DEFAMING THE DEAD and in the blog-entry titled A BLAINE BY ANY OTHER NAME. Information regarding theories surrounding The San Francisco Good Times newspaper is available in the blog-entry titled LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL.)

(NOTE: The audio recording known as “Goldcatcher’s Confession” is no longer available on the Internet. Tom Voigt, owner of the website www.zodiackiller.com, claimed that he owned the copyright to this and other audio recordings which proved that Goldcatcher was not a credible informant. Desperate to hide the evidence which proved that his informant was a crackpot, Voigt relentlessly harassed those who had posted the audio recordings online and filed complaints against webhosts in order to block access to the recordings. Voigt happily uses his website to promote Blaine as a credible informant while accusing his pet suspect Richard Gaikowski, yet Voigt does not make these recordings available to the public at his website. Voigt also filed several false claims of copyright infringement in a desperate attempt to prevent anyone from posting a photograph depicting Voigt and Goldcatcher together during filming of the History Channel documentary MYSTERYQUEST. The publicity still in question was actually owned by KPI Television, the producers of MYSTERYQUEST, and had been cited as such on the KPI and MysteryQuest websites. Read more about Tom Voigt and his efforts to exploit Blaine Blaine and accuse Richard Gaikowski in the ZodiacKillerFACTS articles Tom Voigt & MysteryQuest: The Rest of the Story and Tom Voigt, The “Good Times Switchboard,” & Revisionist History.

[NOTE: These recordings were compiled from various sources and vary in quality and sound levels. If you have any suggestions for additions to this page, or have audio recordings you would like to add to this collection, please leave a comment here or join the Zodiackillerfacts.com message board and send a private message. Thank you.]

Let The GOOD TIMES Roll…

Let The GOOD TIMES Roll…

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Good Times Vol 5 No 12 June 2 - June 19 1972.jpg

Writer and film maker Richard Gaikowski has been named as a Zodiac suspect by Tom Voigt of the website Zodiackiller.com. Gaikowski reportedly assumed the role of editor for The San Francisco Express Times sometime in the spring of 1969 and, in April of that year, the newspaper changed its name to The San Francisco Good Times.

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The United States Library of Congress website provides the following listing for The SAN FRANCISCO EXPRESS TIMES aka The GOOD TIMES.

Title: Good times. : (San Francisco, Calif.) 1969-197?
Alternative Titles: San Francisco good times
Place of publication: San Francisco, Calif.
Geographic coverage: San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Publisher: Trystero Co.
Dates of publication: 1969-197?
Description: Vol. 2, no. 13 ([Apr. 2], 1969)-[v. 5, no. 19] (Aug. 2, 1972).
Frequency: Semiweekly July 14, 1972-Aug. 2, 1972.
Language: English
Subjects: Counter culture–California–San Francisco–poliscit
Notes: “Bulletin of the Church of the Times.”
Available on microfilm from UMI (Underground newspaper/press collection).
Suspended with Aug. 2, 1972.
LCCN: sn 87060235
OCLC: 1608301
ISSN: 0017-2197

Preceding Titles: San Francisco express times. (San Francisco, Ca.) 1968-1969

An entry on the website Wikipedia.com includes this description of the Express Times.

San Francisco Express Times was a counterculture tabloid underground newspaper edited by Marvin Garson and published weekly in San Francisco, California from January 24, 1968 to March 25, 1969, for a total of 62 issues, covering and promoting radical politics, rock music, arts and progressive culture in the Bay Area. It was a member of the Underground Press Syndicate, and sold for 15 cents. Marvin Garson was a graduate of the University of California and veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, where he edited an FSM newsletter, Wooden Shoe, along with his wife Barbara Garson. He started the Express Times with co-founder Bob Novick and participation by David Lance Goines, Alice Waters and others. Regular contributors included Todd Gitlin and Greil Marcus. Staff photographers were Jeffrey Blankfort followed by Nacio Jan Brown. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Express Times was one of a number of underground newspapers successfully infiltrated by the FBI, which had a paid informant on the staff. Starting in April 1969 the San Francisco Express Times changed its name to Good Times, publishing under that title, with a substantially different editorial policy, until August of 1972.

Todd Gitlin was a writer and regular contributor. In a recent email, Gitlin explained, “I was at the Express Times June ‘68-spring ‘69 but not thereafter– not into the Good Times phase.” Gitlin did not know or remember Gaikowski or his co-worker and friend,  Blaine Blaine aka Goldcatcher aka Zakatarious– the man who now claims that Gaikowski was the Zodiac.

The San Francisco Express Times focused on stories about social issues, racial equality, women’s rights, environmental concerns, literature, film, and music. The all-volunteer staff consisted of various writers, photographers, artists, and others who used pen names such as the “Black Shadow.” Marvin Garson contributed columns, as did max goldcrab, sharon, wayne collins and more. Richard Gaikowski authored several articles, including “dick gaik’s bits.”

David Lance Goines and Alice Louise Waters wrote a cooking column for The Express Times. Goines offered this brief account of his involvement:

In 1968, our frequent dinner guest, Bob Novick, together with Marvin Garson, teamed up with others and founded the San Francisco Express Times, an alternative newspaper with a heavy slant toward anti-war and pro-drug reporting. I designed its masthead, and Alice and I were asked to do a weekly cooking column. Each Friday, I frantically designed, calligraphed and cut the linoleum block for the weeks offering, which was never late but always came close. We only infrequently got the ten dollars that we theoretically earned for each completed column. Although we started out with no particular idea in mind, after a short while the column evolved into a popular blend of Alices early efforts at expressing a culinary philosophy and mine at design. Soon we had enough recipes to consider putting out a cookbook. Although I carted it around to various prospects, even going to the extent of dragging the whole shebang to England, it waited until the Christmas season of 1970 to be published as the red-hot Berkeley bestseller, Thirty Recipes Suitable for Framing… Together with others of her friends, Alice took over a house on Shattuck Avenue, near the Co-op, and on August 28, 1971, opened Chez Panisse. In 1978, after Thirty Recipes had been continuously in print for eight years, Alice felt that the clunky recipes were a disgrace and we ceased production. In 1981, she asked me to design the restaurants first cookbook, the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, which is still in print. Thirty-one years after our cooking column first graced the pages of the San Francisco Express Times, Alice and I have again teamed up and together produced the illustrated Chez Panisse Café Cookbook. Plus ça change, plus cést la même chose.

The San Francisco Express Times was one of many “underground” publications in the Bay Area, including RAT, The Oracle, and more, and, like most counter-culture media, promoted what was referred to as a “radical left agenda” with articles about police brutality and corruption, oppression by the government, the peace movement, life in and around the notorious Haight-Ashbury district, and the rapidly emerging drug scene. Some headlines read, “Goddamn Pigs!” or “Dirty Underwear Girl Strikes In Jail.” The Express Times also featured provocative and controversial art and photographs. One cover showed a woman holding a sign which read, “Every woman secretly wants to be RAPED.” A 1968 photograph by Jeff Blankfort shows activist Marilyn Buck sitting in the offices of The San Francisco Express-Times, 1968. In later years, Buck joined forces with the Black Liberation Army. A Wikipedia entry states: “Along with a number of BLA members and supporters, Buck was convicted of armed robbery in the Brinks robbery of 1981 in which a guard and two police officers were killed.”

Marilyn Buck offices of the San Francisco Express-Times 1968 - Photo by Jeff Blankfort.jpg

Express Times co-founder Marvin Garson was a persistent voice in the counter-culture movement of the 1960s and 1970s. One of Garson’s more bizarre credits was the infamous “Banana smoking” hoax, thanks to his 1967 article for the Berkeley Barb in which he claimed that one could get “high” by smoking the dried scrapings from banana peels. News of Garson’s fascinating yet fictional method of obtaining a banana buzz spread and was soon reported by major magazine such as NEWSWEEK and  TIME. The incident served as a perfect illustration of Garson’s view of the times. “The sixties were staged,” Garson reportedly once said, admitting that much of the public protest and outrageous antics of the radical left were part of a campaign to harness the power of photographs and television. The now-iconic images of anti-war demonstrators, sit-ins, marches, and more fueled public discourse and debate. Garson and other voices in the counter culture movement were aware that the media was a useful propaganda tool. (Listen to Marvin Garson interviews.)

Tom Voigt has selectively cited portions of the SFTE/GT in order to further implicate Gaikowski and paint his suspect as a diabolical murderer using the newspaper to publish cryptic clues. Voigt posted a Good Times cover featuring three photographs depicting actor Peter Fonda, Black Panther Bobby Seale, and guru Satchidananda (who opened the August 15, 1969 Woodstock music festival). According to Voigt’s theory, this three-part cover may have served a sinister purpose. Voigt wrote, “On the very day Zodiac debuted by mailing three ‘rush to editor’ letters to three separate newspapers in the San Francisco area (with each letter containing one third of a code), the Good Times (edited by Gaikowski) just happened to run a cover that was split into thirds. It was the only instance of Zodiac mailing a letter on a Thursday until after the Good Times folded in 1973.” The cover was clearly a product of necessity; the paper was running three different articles about three different people and did not have a photograph which depicted all three men together.

Voigt also wrote: “Even though the Good Times was a counterculture/hippie newspaper, once Gaikowski came aboard it ran free ads for such unlikely events as performances of The Mikado, a Zodiac favorite. (Zodiac sometimes quoted from The Mikado in his letters.)

I recently viewed the issues of The SFTE/GT which are kept on microfilm at the San Francisco public library. Even a cursory examination of various issues reveals that the newspaper consistently printed notices and advertisements for entertainment events which spanned the spectrum from mainstream to underground theater, film, music, literature and more. The SFTE/GT was not the only Bay Area newspaper to print ads for The Mikado.

Voigt wrote: “The Good Times also occasionally ran sensationalistic ‘Zodiac Killer’ headlines that were out of place.” The Zodiac crimes were the subject of ongoing news reports in the Bay Area and the SFTE/GT was only one of many newspapers which printed stories about the case. The Zodiac headline cited by Voigt read, “Zodiac Strikes Again.” The accompanying article was not about the Zodiac case but an astrological horoscope which had nothing to do with the crimes.

San Francisco Express Times Good Times - Zodiac Strikes Again - late 1969.jpg

In an article published in The Village Voice, July 11, 1968, Marvin Garson wrote about a series of bombings and some critics cite his words as proof that he advocated violence:

The series of successful and highly popular bombings which have occurred here recently: The steady bombing of the electric power system from mid-March when the lines leading to the Lawrence Radiation Lab were knocked down, to June 4, when on the morning of the California primary 300,000 homes in Oakland were cut off; the dynamiting of a bulldozer engaged in urban renewal destruction of Berkeley’s funkiest block; three separate bombings of the Berkeley draft board; and finally, last Tuesday night, the dynamiting of the checkpoint kiosk at the western entrance to the University campus, a symbol of the Board of Regent’s property rights in the community of scholars.

Despite its radical agenda and approach, The San Francisco Express Timesfocused on the issues championed by the anti-war and civil rights movements. Marvin Garson’s articles contained words of fierce resistence and even anger, yet his intent was always clear as he tried to shine a spotlight on social injustice. As a staunch advocate of gay rights, Garson wrote of “Queer Power” in January, 1969: “Remember when it was impolite to suggest that a Negro gentleman might have black skin? Now it’s ‘Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud.’ Maybe in a few years the queers will be saying something like, ‘Don’t keep trying to rise above it– kiss me, darling, I’m queer and I love it.’

Voigt has implied that the radical voice of The Good Times indicates that Richard Gaikowski and others who worked for the newspaper were somehow capable of committing extreme acts of violence such as the Zodiac crimes. Those who knew Gaikowski have repeatedly stated that they do not believe that he was capable of such violence or responsible for the Zodiac attacks. The Times frequently complained about police brutality and injustice while parroting the anti-establishment revolutionary tone of the times, yet there is no evidence that Gaikowski advocated the murder of innocent human beings for any reason, let alone for a political cause. The Good Times, like many other counter-culture publications, did adopt a strong anti-police stance which was reflected in its content, yet even this provocative position does not constitute evidence that Gaikowski or anyone else associated with the Times would shoot teenagers at a lovers lane, viciously stab a couple, or murder a cabdriver who was just doing his job.

The most vocal pro-violence writings came from Blaine– the man who first accused Gaikowski as the Zodiac killer. Blaine often advocated acts of violence against members of law enforcement in his regular column titled COPWATCH. In one article, Blaine wrote:

There was a narcotics raid Monday night on Geary Street. A plainclothes cop, known to belong to an ‘elite intelligence unit’ demanded that Gilbert Sauceda ‘open up’ or else. It was the ‘or else’ that did it. This cop was shot in the shoulder blade. Sgt. Christensen fell back bleeding, while other cops– around twenty– broke down the chained door, arresting three people for possession of narcotics, and– get this– ‘attempted murder.’ Since when has self-defense become attempted murder?”

San Francisco Good Times - Copwatch by Blaine August 7 1969.jpgAs editor of The Good Times, Gaikowski may have condoned the publication of Blaine’s opinions and point of view; in fact, he may have shared some of the same sympathies. However, such a stance does not equal condoning the kind of unprovoked and vicious murders committed by the Zodiac. Throughout its history, The Good Times printed many stories which promoted the anti-police stance and described the sometimes-violent philosophies of groups which were responsible for bombings, the murders of police officers, and other crimes. Yet even this political posture cannot be considered evidence that Gaikowski or any other Times contributor would advocate the crimes committed by the Zodiac.

Voigt’s other attempts to link Gaikowski to the Zodiac case are equally dubious. On his website, Voigt wrote: “At the time of his murder, the Good Times ‘switchboard’ was located only yards from the residence of Zodiac victim Paul Stine on Fell Street in San Francisco.” Voigt based this claim on a paragraph which had appeared in Gaikowski’s Good Times column titled “D gaik’s short bits.”

ZKF-GoodTimesGaiksBitsVoigt’s site also features this Google photograph of the two locations in question with Voigt’s captions.

ZKF-Fell-St

Paul Stine did live at 1842 Fell Street, and 1830 Fell Street was, in fact, the home of a switchboard. However, Voigt’s attempt to link Stine to The Good Times, and his suspect, Richard Gaikowski, is based on a false assumption. A quick Google search for “1830 Fell Street” and “switchboard” yielded these results.

1830 Fell Street Switchboard Google search results.jpgThe switchboard located at 1830 Fell Street was actually the famous “Haight-Ashbury Switchboard,” a fixture of the Bay Area counter-culture in the late 1960s and 1970s. Al Rinker founded the Switchboard in 1967 and wrote this mission statement. “The Switchboard is a volunteer service designed to facilitate communication among people throughout San Francisco, and specifically to serve as an informational and referral source for the Haight-Ashbury community.” As noted on the Wikipedia page and other Internet articles, the Switchboard was quickly overwhelmed by the needs of the counter-culture community and subsequently devoted much of its resources to finding “crash pads” for wandering hippies and assisting “runaways” new to the Bay Area while dealing with worried and irate parents. The Switchboard became a focal point in the Haight-Ashbury district and a legend among those in the counter-culture movement.

The Switchboard did not serve as the switchboard for the Good Times newspaper. In fact, the Good Times had no need for a switchboard and had phones in its office at 2377 Bush Street. A page from STEAL THIS BOOK by famous activist Abbie Hoffman contained the following information:

STEAL THIS BOOK page w ref Good Times and Haight Ashbury Switchboard.jpgHoffman wrote STEAL THIS BOOK in 1970 and the popular anti-establishment treatise was published in 1971. The book notes the phone number of the Haight-Ashbury Switchboard as “387-3575,” the same number listed for the Haight-Ashbury switchboard in an August 1969 issue of The Good Times.

In one of his many writings from the late 1980s, Blaine Blaine– Gaikowski’s only accuser and Voigt’s chief informant– noted the proximity of the Switchboard to the residence of Zodiac victim Paul Stine, writing, “On Stine: Did you know Stine lived either in or near the same building where the old Haight Ashbury switchboard was located on Fell Street? The Switchboard then use to sell the GOOD TIMES underground newspaper and Gaikowski used to, with Chris Robeson, deliver them there.

Blaine letter to Ken Narlow NCSO August 20 1986.jpg

Given the nature and purpose of the Switchboard, the fact that The Good Times was available there– along with other underground newspapers from the Bay Area– cannot be viewed as evidence linking Gaikowski to Stine. Blaine claims that Gaikowski delivered editions of The Good Times to the Switchboard, but Blaine has a documented history of exaggerating and even inventing his own stories to suit his needs. The facts indicate that the proximity of the Switchboard to the home of Paul Stine is not credible evidence linking Gaikowski to Stine, and that the house on 1830 Fell Street had no legitimate or significant connection to The Good Times or Gaikowski as Voigt claims. Even Blaine– who worked for the Good Times– described the house at 1830 Fell Street as the location of “the old Haight Ashbury switchboard” and not as the switchboard for The Good Times.

Al Rinker ran the Haight-Ashbury Switchboard until 1970 when some of his volunteers assumed control and later moved the operation to 1797 Haight, then to 1921 Hayes St. near Ashbury, and finally to 1539 Haight St. The Switchboard continued to offer services to the citizens of the Bay Area throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s and finally closed in 1986.

During it run, the Switchboard was also linked to an influential group in the counter-culture movement known as The Diggers. Wikipedia provides the following information about this famous group:

The Diggers took their name from the original English Diggers (1649–50) who had promulgated a vision of society free from private property, and all forms of buying and selling. During the mid- and late 1960s, the San Francisco Diggers opened stores which simply gave away their stock; provided free food, medical care, transport and temporary housing; they also organized free music concerts and works of political art. Some of their happenings included the Death of Money Parade, Intersection Game, Invisible Circus, and Death of Hippie/Birth of Free. The group was founded by Emmett Grogan, [actor] Peter Coyote, Peter Berg (see http://www.planetdrum.org), and other members of the San Francisco Mime Troupe including Billy Murcott, Roberto La Morticella, and Butcher Brooks.

The Diggers launched the “Free Store” concept in the Bay Area. The San Francisco store on Frederick Street became a popular fixture and, later, others stores opened in New York City.

The Diggers Free Store.jpg

Tom Voigt has posted a photograph of unknown origins which depicts a lengthy handwritten notice for the opening of the “Family Store” in Berkeley, California.

Family Store.jpg

The Diggers were responsible for many such stores in the Bay Area, and the organization eventually evolved into a group known by the name “The Free Family.” A handwritten notice from the Diggers, dated 1968, is also similar to the “Family Store” poster. While some of the handwriting samples from The Diggers Papers and announcements may appear somewhat similar to the handwriting of the Zodiac, such similarities are, in fact, common and appear in samples from a variety of sources written by individuals decades apart.

The Diggers A Modest Proposal.jpg

At the height of their influence and notoriety, The Diggers were featured in various counter-culture publications such as The Realist.

The Diggers in The Realist.jpg

The Diggers also published their own propaganda under the title The Digger Papers, which featured a symbol which was a variation on the ancient symbol the swastika. (Despite its use by the German Nazis during World War II, the swastika does not represent hatred and dates as far back in history as 1000 BCE. The word “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit svastika – “su” meaning “good,” “asti” meaning “to be,” and “ka” as a suffix.)

The Diggers Papers.jpg

The Diggers were also the subject of various stories in the mainstream newspapers which echoed the opinions of police and other authorities who viewed the group as a nuisance and perhaps even a dangerous force.

The Diggers article 1.jpg

The Diggers article 2.jpg

The Diggers Announcement.jpg

The Diggers Anti-Rat.jpg

The Diggers Free Lettuce.jpg

The Diggers Sleep In.jpg

The Diggers continued to publish various papers until late 1969, when the era of peace and love had officially come to an end. Thanks to the violent actions of extremist groups such as the Black Liberation Army, The Symbionese Liberation Army, the Weatherman Underground Organization, and even the notorious Manson Family, the image of the counter-culture community was forever stained by the bloody memories of those who represented the most extreme elements of the movement. In December 1969, radical anti-war activist Bernadine Dohrn addressed a crowd in Michigan and referred to the brutal Tate/LaBianca slayings at the hands of Charles Manson’s “Family” when she said, “Dig it! First they killed those pigs and then they put a fork in pig Tate’s belly. Wild!” Dohrn was the wife of Weatherman founder Bill Ayers, who was suspected in several bombings, including the 1970 explosion at the Golden Gate Park police station which killed Officer Brian V. McDonnell and injured several others.

Like the Diggers, the volunteers of the Haight-Ashbury Switchboard, and many others in the so-called “underground” of the Bay Area, the staff of The San Francisco Express Times / The Good Times believed that they could make a difference, and, throughout its short history, from 1967-1972, the Times was home to many different contributors.

The Good Times Collective.jpg

The essay by Jesse Drew, titled, Good Times Collective, is available on the website FoundSF.org.

San Francisco Good Times Collective Aerial.jpg

2377 Bush Street, home of the Good Times Newspaper Collective, the primary underground newspaper of San Francisco during the late sixties and early seventies.

San Francisco Good Times Collective 2377 Bush Street.jpg

Good Times was the paper the radical left depended upon to keep up with the anti-war movement, the trials of political prisoners like the Soledad Brothers and Angela Davis, political corruption in San Francisco, and general communal information like vegetarian recipes and holistic health care. The all-volunteer collective put out Good Times on a regular bi-weekly, weekly, and then twice a week basis until sputtering out in the summer of 1972. In the last issue, a collective member had this to say about Good Times:

‘For the first time in 4 and 1/2 years, the radical movement will not have a regularly printed voice (the Guardian notwithstanding) in San Francisco. We were always defined as an “underground” paper, and for a long time we thought of ourselves that way. We refused to deal with “straight” institutions except when we had to. We had to fight for the right to sell our papers in the streets. We had to struggle for access to the same news that Chron-Exam monopoly reporters were served up. We never were given police press passes. We covered stories from the perspective of the participants, dodging clubs as we took notes. The lines were clear and we knew which side we were on.’

The San Francisco Good Times established itself as one of the most memorable underground newspapers of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and its influence and impact touched even popular celebrities and figures of the times. Filmmakers Allan Francovich and Gene Rosow produced and directed a documentary about the newspaper titled San Francisco Good Times  which featured such notable faces as musician Pete Townsend of the legendary rock band The WHO and famous drop-out and drug advocate Timothy Leary. Neither Richard Gaikowski or Blaine appear in this documentary. The documentary is available on DVD, and can be viewed online.

The history of The San Francisco Express Times aka The Good Times reveals no evidence to indicate that Richard Gaikowski condoned or committed the Zodiac crimes. The evidence demonstrates that Tom Voigt has distorted the facts in order to create the illusion of a connection between Richard Gaikowski and the Zodiac. Despite Voigt’s claims, The Good Times switchboard was not located next to the home of Zodiac victim Paul Stine. This falsehood has now been recorded by Internet archives as a “fact.” In his rush to convict Richard Gaikowski in the court of public opinion, Tom Voigt has spawned yet another in a never-ending series of myths and distortions which continue to cloud the historical record.

[A collection of articles, photographs, and covers from The San Francisco Express Times is available at the Gaikowski page of Zodiackillerfacts.com — scroll halfway down the page to find the collection, which includes an article by Richard Gaikowski.]

One Response to “Let The GOOD TIMES Roll…”

  1. johnny5 Says:
    Damn fine work uncovering the truth behind toms misleading (and outright false) statements Mike!
    Kudos.