1. Thanks for replying.
2. It wasn’t a “conspiracy.” It was a hoax.
3. Most of the detectives assigned to the actual murders knew that. But cops aren’t supposed to comment on open investigations, so they don’t. The SF Chronicle simply let people assume that the relevant police departments had “verified” the information in the letters. But they hadn’t.
In fact, the actual police files show beyond any doubt that the person(s) responsible for writing those letters had no first-hand knowledge of the murders. (Only the first three letters even claim to contain any such information. All the rest of the letters are filled with pure baloney.) But more than that, the letters (and the phone calls, but the phone calls were “pranks” committed by someone else) are filled with WRONG details, and not just wrong, but very specifically wrong. So specific, that the sources can be pinpointed to a very few pieces of paper from one specific place. The “correct” facts in the letters had all been published in contemporary newspaper stories prior to the writing of the letters. Contrary to popular belief.
4. Four cops: Solano County Sheriff’s Deputy/Detective Les Lundblad, Solano County Deputy Sheriff/Coroner Dan Horan (no relation,) and to a lesser extent, Napa County Deputy Sheriff/Detective Ken Narlow, and later, SFPD “detective” Dave Toschi, all liked the media attention that came from working such a famous case. (Lundblad made so many reckless comments so many times to reporters that it would have been very difficult to convict anybody of the murder of David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen.) But their own partners, plus Vallejo PD Chief Jack Stiltz, and the FBI, were sure the letters were a hoax.
Beginning in the 1990s, every page of every PD file, plus all 700-plus pages of the FBI’s files, have been published through FOIA dumps. And those files clearly show that the letters were a hoax. Of course, there goes the “Zodiac” industry, but I’m a professor, not tabloid journalist. I was stunned not only by how little the self-proclaimed Zodiac “experts” knew about the actual murders, but after several months of so-called critique, it has become apparent that they haven’t even read the files.
I was not only able to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the letters were a hoax, I was also able to follow the trail of errors directly to the person whose hand printing turned out to be a 100 percent dead match for the hand printing on the letters. It will be a few months before I can publish the handprinting comparison, but there is no significant difference at all, except that this “Suspect N” seems to have rotated the paper about 90 degrees in order to turn his distinctive leftward slant into a distinctive rightward slant. And yes, Virginia, law enforcement can prove beyond any doubt that Suspect N was in the area of Bryan Hartnell’s car at Lake Beryessa between the time of the stabbing and the time plice discovered the car with the writing on the door. But since Suspect N also had a solid alibi for the murder itself, his handprinting was never checked. But samples of his printing, all from the 1968-1972 time frame, are a dead match. But even without the suspect, the evidence still shows the letter were a hoax.
Suspect N had at least one or maybe two accomplices. I have identified one of them, but again, names will have to wait a few months. Unfortunately, a detective assigned to one of the cases is publising his own book in August 2012, so the edition of my book available on Amazon at this time is partially redacted. But the sentence-by-sentence comparison of the letters and phone calls to the actual facts in each case, and the sources from which the wrong information was obtained, in in this edition. It’s basically an edited copy of the report I made for law enforcement earlier this year.
You can read a free sample at Amazon. “The Great Zodiac Hoax of 1969.”