ConspiraZ Theory

ConspiraZ-Theory-ZKF-page copy

Of all the claimed Zodiac cover-ups, one story stood above all others as the most elaborate and enduring. In 1997, former secret service agent Bill Nelson published his book Manson: Behind the Scenes and introduced the myth of a Zodiac/Manson conspiracy. On page 339, Nelson wrote:

Allow me to reveal something very important. I have a well respected, reliable source, who told me about an event in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, at the highest level. It was after the Manson family had been convicted, at a cost of more than a million dollars, that quite by accident, authorities found items used by Zodiac in his crimes. There was a secret meeting held and it was decided that since the individual was being convicted for murder on unrelated murders, there would be no trial. Told to me in confidence, “He will not be getting out anyway, we have him on two, we will make sure he never sees the light of day again.”


Manson author Bill Nelson in a television interview and with Geraldo Rivera.

Nelson’s source was fellow conspiracy theorist Howard Davis, author of the book, The Zodiac/Manson Connection. Published by Nelson’s Pen Power Publications in 1997, Davis’ book failed to provide any credible evidence to establish such a connection or support the author’s conclusions. Davis repeated the cover-up claims in his book yet did not provide any credible evidence. According to Davis, he first learned about the alleged cover-up in 1974 during a conversation with a “pristine” source with connections to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. On page 51 of his book, Davis wrote: “Information was received several years ago that the hood and knife used in this attack were inadvertently recovered. The implications in the Manson trial, costs, etc… were such that this discovery had to be suppressed. The hood, knife and ‘other things’ belonged to a male member of the Family.” During a radio interview, Davis said, “That (hood) was one of the clues, or one of the pieces of information that was given to me, uh, that some evidence was uncovered accidentally investigating the Manson case, and this was later covered up. It was based on a lot of different factors I can’t go into. I can’t reveal my source but I can tell you that it’s genuine and that’s what really struck me, really got my interest, and years later it took root and I decided to investigate the Zodiac case.”


Zodiac/Manson conspiracy theorist Howard Davis.

The story of the Zodiac/Manson conspiracy was often repeated as fact in media reports and across the Internet. Tabloid newspaper publisher Harry Martin spread this version of the Davis’ cover-up story.

The murder in Riverside of Cheri Jo Bates on October 30, 1966 and the murder of Cecilia Shepherd on September 27, 1969 at Lake Berryessa show that the victims were stabbed savagely and repeatedly… Now consider that when Bruce Davis, a member of the Charles Manson Family, was arrested in Southern California law enforcement found the hood, weapons and other evidence linking Davis to those two murders. He has always remained the top suspect in the London murder, as well. Because the District Attorney in Southern California had an open and shut case on Davis for two unrelated “Zodiac” murders, the DA decided not to raise the issue of the other murders or the Zodiac issue for fear of complicating the case. After two San Francisco detectives went to Southern California and were confronted with the “Zodiac” evidence, they returned to the Bay Area and announced that they were no longer investigating the “Zodiac” case.  (Note to reader: All spelling errors appeared in the original text and are included here without correction.)


Bill Nelson and Howard Davis display their version of the Zodiac police sketch as altered to resemble their suspect Bruce Davis. Napa Sentinel publisher Harry Martin in a television interview.

Martin never identified the two San Francisco investigators and no credible evidence supported his incredible claims, yet the legend of the Zodiac/Manson cover-up continued to spread and convinced more believers. Private investigator Bill Warner posted more sensational stories under the dubious headline: “Bruce Mcgregor Davis Enforcer for the Manson Family and Zodiac Killer on Charles Manson’s Orders.” Warner then repeated the Davis conspiracy tale as accepted fact.

1974…According to an Asssitant DA for LADA’s Office word had it that a male member of the Charles Manson Family was the Zodiac Killer, he was Bruce Davis second in command in thr Manson family. Bruce Davis has an FBI file and a secret report done by the State Dept in 1970 about his activities in Great Britain, It was requested by the LAPD. he also has a file in CA CII, it is “sealed.” (Note to reader: All spelling errors appeared in the original text and are included here without correction.)


NEXT – ConspiraZ Theory: Origins