Pencel flashlight

Re: Discrepancy in Z's own Claims? (Gun Sight)

Postby BuckwheatFlowers » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:01 am

AK Wilks wrote:Ted K wrote that he attached a flashlight to his rifle and used it to successfully hunt rabbits and other game.

I think Mike B first noted an episode of the "Alfred Hitchcock" TV show that had a man with a flashlight attached to a rifle, who shoots a male/female couple. Called "Museum Piece" aired 1961.


Yeah, it should work. It would illuminate whatever you want and then you would use the open sights for aiming. That's different than using the dark center as a sight.

For those not familiar with guns... anytime you attach a scope or sights on a gun... you have to sight it in. Just because it's attached doesn't mean it's lined up. Imagine taping two laser lights together and pointing them towards a wall. Would the two dots line up? No... they would be side by side. So you would have to find a way to converge them at a particular distance. It's the same principal (principle?) as sighting in a gun. If I sight my 30.06 in at 100 meters its not going to be on the money at 50 or 200 meters. I have to compensate for that. So, while in theory, taping a penlight to a pistol might work, sighting it in would be a pita (as I've already mentioned) because you would have to take the tape off and start over from the beginning if it wasn't right. Not like a scope where one fine tunes it up/down left/right with a click of a screw.

Plus, as WC said, I'm not convinced that most penlights made in 1968 were very powerful, so distance would be limited. Plus, the farther out you go, the bigger that dark center is going to get.... meaning that it's going to get harder and harder to tell where the center is the farther the target is away from you. Also, the dark center doesn't show up so well on textured surfaces. Give it a try sometime.

My conclusion... he full of crap.
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Re: Discrepancy in Z's own Claims? (Gun Sight)

Postby onewhoknows » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:24 pm

Well I hate to mention my suspect because it upsets the moderators, but he demonstrated the pen light taped to a rifle for me.
It was dark and he pointed up into trees about 20 or 30 feet away, and pointed out the dark circle, which was visible to me.
How many feet were the victims from the killer at Lake Herman Road? I agree, the pen light is his electric gun sight.
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Re: Pencel flashlight

Postby Seagull » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:59 pm

Here are the posts that I moved !
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Re: Pencel flashlight

Postby Tahoe27 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:05 pm

Seagull wrote:Here are the posts that I moved ! I was not able to change the misspelling in the subject in the posts that I moved once they were moved. I should have done that before I moved them and I am sorry I did not do that.


I fixed it. And for the record, I added (Gun Site) because a lot of topics and new threads are created on subjects that already exist. If we, as posters, create new threads but don't clarify what the subject is truly about, more new threads on the same subject are likely to be created. I just wanted to topic to be clear. I will continue to do this if necessary.


(My apologies for the error in spelling...I have gotten so used to typing "site". I used to reverse it and got accused of being Zodiac. lol)
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"...they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs--other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac's doorstep." L.A. Times, 1969
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Re: Discrepancy in Z's own Claims? (Gun Sight)

Postby AK Wilks » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:16 pm

Getting back on the general topic here of attaching a flashlight to a weapon, was it real or just BS from Zodiac?

This post might have got missed. I wonder if this 1961 TV show could have been an inspiration to Zodiac?

I think Mike B (or maybe it was Graysmith) first noted an episode of the "Alfred Hitchcock" TV show that had a man with a flashlight attached to a rifle, who shoots a male/female couple. Called "Museum Piece" aired 1961. That picture in the bottom right shows it pretty well. Is this were Z got the idea? Either to really do it or claim he did?

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Re: Pencel flashlight

Postby Tahoe27 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:32 pm

I think taping lights to guns probably goes back to early wars too. We know Zodiac didn't come up with this idea on his own. I think the true question lies on whether it would work or not in the manner Zodiac said it did.

Did he really do this and it worked? Maybe...maybe not. Obviously, for David it didn't matter. Did it help him shoot Betty Lou? Could be it did at a closer distance, then he just popped the rest off. "Sprayed"...and that to me sounds like something the guys in war using an automatic rifle would say. It's probably even used in a movie.
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"...they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs--other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac's doorstep." L.A. Times, 1969
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Re: Flashlights on guns

Postby Bayarea60s » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:26 am

It's a night hunters tool....Raccoon, Possum, Rabbit hunters have used it for years. When Z came out with his letter I wondered if that meant he grew up hunting night critters, or he just came upon this information and thought it was unique. I know the light is used to freeze the critters, making them an easy shot. I'm not sure how it is on accuracy, like hitting a moving target....Anyone here on the board a night time hunter, ever used this method? I was with my cousin and his HS friends around 1964-65, they were about 5 years older than me, and went with them once and they pulled out in the middle of the Nev. desert they had flashlights taped to their barrels, but that night just used the headlights from their cars, rabbits came from everywhere. I was more concerned with rattlesnakes, then the rabbits. To me it wasn't anything like hunting, the rabbits just sat there. The kids did take what they shot, and they shot quite a few in about 10 mins time.
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Re: Pencel flashlight

Postby Welsh Chappie » Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:36 pm

Well my opinion is, and it is only that, an opinion, is that a pencil light, or any small and narrow beam of light attached to a gun barrel would be absolutely useless unless at close range because the beam would simply not be strong enough for the light to travel from the source to the target for it to appear as a small circle on whatever it is your aiming at.

Laser beam's would yes, little pencil flashlight, can't see it. I think Zodiac is, umm, how do you say it, oh yeah, full of it. Blue Rock Springs car park is, at night, a dark and unlit lot. In this case we have a survivor to give a statement that yes, the shooter most certainly did use a light, but it was no small pencil beam. Mike Mageau described the moment as Zodiac approached he and Dee saying:

"He got out of his car and he had this blinding light, like a big beamer that blinded my eyes. That's why I thought it was a policeman. That's why I rolled down my window so I could have my ID ready."

Surely Zodiac would use this most practical, tried and tested, of devices again? This device had served him so well at Lake Herman, he felt the need to brag about having used it when telling police how he pulled off the double homicide?
"So it's sorta social. Demented and sad, but social, right?" Judd Nelson.
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