In one online posting, Thomas Horan claimed that the descriptions provided by the witnesses in the Stine case were not at all similar.
HORAN: “Fouke’s description of the man he saw in no way resembles the descriptions of Stine’s killer given by witnesses, but years later, Robert Graysmith would claim that in fact, Fouke and Zelms had spotted “the Zodiac” and let him get away.”
In 1969, Fouke wrote a memo detailing the Zodiac sighting, and both Fouke and Zelms talked to investigators about the incident. Fouke, Zelms, and the investigators all believed that the officers had seen the Zodiac. Graysmith merely repeated this story. Some people, including the Zodiac, claimed that the killer had been stopped and questioned by police officers who then let him go. However, virtually everyone agreed that Fouke and Zelms had seen the killer
Witnesses at the crime scene provided this description: “White Male Adult, in his early forties, 5’8″, heavy build, reddish-blond ‘crew cut’ hair, wearing eyeglasses, dark brown trousers, dark (navy blue or black) ‘Parka’ jacket, dark shoes.” This description was subsequently adjusted for the SFPD composite sketch which published this description: WMA 35-45 years old, 5’8″ Reddish brown hair, Crewcut, Heavy Rim Glasses, Navy blue or black jacket.
Officer Don Fouke offered his description:
1969: “The suspect that was observed by officer Fouke was a WMA 35-45 Yrs about five-foot, ten inches, 180-200 pounds. Medium heavy build- Barrel chested- Medium complexion- Light-colored hair possibly greying in rear (May have been lighting that caused this effect.) Crew cut- wearing glasses- Dressed in dark blue waist length zipper type jacket (Navy or royal blue) Elastic cuffs and waist band zipped part way up. Brown wool pants pleated type baggy in rear (Rust brown) May have been wearing low cut shoes. Subject at no time appeared to be in a hurry walking with a shuffling lope, Slightly bent forward. The subject’s general appearance- Welsh ancestry.”
Both Fouke and the witnesses estimated the suspect’s age as somewhere in his early forties, although the age range estimate from the witnesses also spanned to the early thirties. The witnesses described the man as approximately 5’8” while Fouke’s estimate was slightly taller at 5’10”. Both Fouke and witnesses described the man as heavy. Both Fouke and the witnesses described the man as having a crewcut and wearing glasses. Both witnesses described the man as wearing dark pants and a dark jacket. Both Fouke and the witnesses described the man as “white.” The witnesses described the man’s hair as reddish brown while Fouke said “light-colored,” however, Fouke himself conceded that this may have been the result of the lighting at the time. These descriptions are actually very similar on virtually all counts. Horan’s claim that Fouke’s description “in no way resembles” the description by the witnesses is demonstrably false.