Thomas Horan

Re: Thomas Horan

Postby Norse » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:58 am

Good points on both sides, really - I change my mind about LB every five minutes it seems!

If there is one thing which truly stands out and says "not Zodiac!" to me, it's the conversation he has with BH and CS. I can't quite explain why, be it said. But there is something about this - the details, the very strategy itself - which doesn't sit right with me.

Or so I think now - give me five minutes and I'll tell you something else...
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Re: Thomas Horan

Postby traveller1st » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:25 am

UKSpycatcher wrote:For what its worth I think the Lake Berryessa Attack was definitely Zodiac.
1. Hartnell said the man had a unique way of talking, a slow drawn out speech pattern. Nancy Slover described it as deliberate, monotone, as if reading from a script.
2. The writing on the car door is a good match.
3. But the biggest clue of all, was the Napa receiver was off the hook, the Zodiac had learnt from his mistake at Blue Rock Springs Park, when it rang and alerted the passer by to him + his car, and he wasn't going to make the same mistake twice.
4 He said at the foot of 'The Debut of Zodiac Letter' on August 4th " I was not happy to see that I did not get front page coverage". So what better way to dress up in a dramatic costume and write on the car door in reaction, whether or not he had left somebody alive.
5. Copycat killers are rare and attempting to murder two people in cold blood at 6.30pm, just to imitate another killer in the relevant timeline is highly unlikely.
6. Napa is a near direct route back to the Vallejo/Benicia area.
7. If the Zodiac had not sent the swatch of Paul Stine's shirt, people would have said the MO was not the Zodiac's also and we may still even debating this 45 years later.


Yup. Well considered and explained. The writing on the car is a very good match in not only character shape but also formatting. There are elements of it that are entirely consistent to elements used throughout Zodiac's writing. I would be and am convinced on that alone and since I am convinced that it was the same person who wrote the other letters then he is a killer. Our killer. The Zodiac.

To believe that all of the letters and written material and blood soaked evidence from a crime scene were created/collated/collected and mailed by someone that never actually killed anyone but rather 'borrowed' from crimes and scenes of random killers is ... I don't have any words to describe it. No wait, I do, it's insanity.

Entertain it, yes, consider it, yes, but then come to a rational conclusion. This isn't a Sherlock Holmes novel.
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Re: Thomas Horan

Postby morf13 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:41 am

For me, it's simple. The killer at Berryessa wrote on the car door, that writing is linked to every other z letter by writing experts, and in the Stine letter specifically, zodiac is linked to the crime scene via the shirt piece, therefore, the Berryessa and SFPD crimes are definitely by zodiac, and zodiac wrote all of the confirmed letters. If you wanted to make a case that LHR was not really z, that would be your best shot, but then we would have to believe there are two deranged individuals running around a single small town killing people and writing letters, and I don't buy that personally. For me, the facts are clear z did all the attacks and mailed all of the verified z letters
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Re: Thomas Horan

Postby Tahoe27 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:21 pm

UKSpycatcher wrote:For what its worth I think the Lake Berryessa Attack was definitely Zodiac.
1. Hartnell said the man had a unique way of talking, a slow drawn out speech pattern. Nancy Slover described it as deliberate, monotone, as if reading from a script.
Yet the voice was described by Hartnell and Officer Slaight as young, possibly a student. Slover's guy...not so.
2. The writing on the car door is a good match.
I agree., but I think handwriting has been proven to be a lot like the composite. It fits lots of folks.
3. But the biggest clue of all, was the Napa receiver was off the hook, the Zodiac had learnt from his mistake at Blue Rock Springs Park, when it rang and alerted the passer by to him + his car, and he wasn't going to make the same mistake twice.
Could be, or could be this guy just left it off the hook.
4 He said at the foot of 'The Debut of Zodiac Letter' on August 4th " I was not happy to see that I did not get front page coverage". So what better way to dress up in a dramatic costume and write on the car door in reaction, whether or not he had left somebody alive.
But, if he killed them, there was no one to tell about his dramatic costume. And why didn't he jump all over this? This was his most gruesome, yet fails to ever bring it up? Not only that--Zodiac later claims an AUGUST kill, yet this is not written on the door.
5. Copycat killers are rare and attempting to murder two people in cold blood at 6.30pm, just to imitate another killer in the relevant timeline is highly unlikely.
I'm not sure what 6:30 has to do with anything. I think it's more of making Zodiac look guilty of the crime and not himself.
6. Napa is a near direct route back to the Vallejo/Benicia area.
And the many other bay area cities...not to mention the mental hospital in Napa.
7. If the Zodiac had not sent the swatch of Paul Stine's shirt, people would have said the MO was not the Zodiac's also and we may still even debating this 45 years later.
So true. That is, imo, why he did what he did. To prove he was the killer.


My replies in blue...obviously. :)

To me, it is so out of the realm of everything we know about Zodiac.

Look at how he described LHR and BRS. What he did, how the victims were dressed, how their bodies were left, where he shot them. He was very descriptive with his "proof".

Lake Berryessa---NOTHING, not one mention in his later letters. Some would say proof is on the car door, but what about his bragging rights...his rubbing it in? It was the most brazen, gruesome attack and we get nothing from the man who loves to tell us all about his murders and his diabolical ways. Not in one letter do we get anything that was said about Bryan or Cecelia, their conversation, how scared Cecelia was, his personal experience of that crime--how easy it was, tying them up, how he got away with it.

There are a lot of things about Lake Berryessa that are very much not like Zodiac, but again, I don't classify it as a "hoax".
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Re: Thomas Horan

Postby morf13 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:45 pm

Tahoe, you mentioned that zodiac's voice at Berryessa sounded young like a students and Slover's caller not so much. You could almost go on the other direction and say the caller at BRS was the fake, afterall he didn't leave a writing sample to compare with the later z letters. The Berryessa killer left writing at the scene which matched the zodiac letter writing, so therefore he was indeed the letter writer(unless you don't like the writing expert's opinion that it's a match).
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Re: Thomas Horan

Postby traveller1st » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:49 pm

Tahoe27 wrote:There are a lot of things about Lake Berryessa that are very much not like Zodiac, but again, I don't classify it as a "hoax".


Yup that's true. Or at least I can easily accept that. That there are a lot of things that appear un-Zodiac like.

The thing is though, that may not necessarily be true. That's why I've been 'debating' the aspects of it and on the issue of the 3 girls. I believe it was Zodiac and in that respect I'm quite keen to see what comes out of that and what we can perhaps 'get our heads around'. I think sometimes we need to discuss things for something to occur to us, to maybe see things in a slightly clearer light.

T, as you say above, "not like Zodiac" but what can we be sure is? You give the examples of the letters he sent detailing BRS and then LHR. Notice the order. The LHR letter was in response to the newspapers asking him for more details. In essence, prove it. We can't be certain but he had to be asked for those details and, possibly because it was at the start of his Zodiac campaign, he felt it prudent to comply. If he hadn't been asked would he have sent the details or would he have left it as the almost 'mentioned in passing' reference in the phonecall he made after BRS?

Variation is something that he seems to like to employ. Look at the 'progression' of his letters. Yes they start off with details and written proof but then he starts with the 'victim count' and doesn't elaborate on them much further than that. Even at the start of the 'bus bomb letter' he kicks off with a proposed variation list. So in that respect is LB really out of character? If anything PH is the one that is more different and so he gets pretty solid proof for that one. Quite possibly anticipating the doubt if he didn't. Up until that point it had been 2 victims per attack, a male and a female at LHR, BRS and LB.

Then we get the ciphers, the bomb, the map and even after vanishing for a few years, the letters written in varied styles. Taking all that into account as a behavior then LB really doesn't seem out of place at all.

Even the Halloween Card does it with the 4 methods listed and ... while we're on it, "By Knife" - that was withheld on the images released of the car door, wasn't it? I ask because I can't remember if we decided that it had indeed remained secret or if it was made public prior to the Halloween Card being received. Obviously if it hadn't then not only does it validate the HC (I think it's him anyway) but it also adds another level of confirmation to LB being him.

I think sometimes we need to step back when it comes to Z and see the bigger picture because it seems quite plausible that if he had definable MO it was confusion and misdirection even when he admitted to things. Read my strapline, it seems terribly and spookily relevant. Was he?, is he? what's true, what isn't? Was he too clever after all? or just 'hard to define' lucky?

To quote Paul Avery's character in Fincher's Zodiac. "You can't think of this case in normal police terms". There is a pattern but I suspect it is bigger, spread over many years and more modular than we remember to remember. ;)
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Re: Thomas Horan

Postby UKSpycatcher » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:28 pm

Tahoe27 wrote: Lake Berryessa---NOTHING, not one mention in his later letters. Some would say proof is on the car door, but what about his bragging rights...his rubbing it in? It was the most brazen, gruesome attack and we get nothing from the man who loves to tell us all about his murders and his diabolical ways. Not in one letter do we get anything that was said about Bryan or Cecelia, their conversation, how scared Cecelia was, his personal experience of that crime--how easy it was, tying them up, how he got away with it.

This is very true, but the 340 Cipher has yet to be decoded. This may yet change things, and he does mention the month of September at the foot of the Dripping Pen Card.
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Re: Thomas Horan

Postby Norse » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:25 am

My opinion on the 340 seems to change as frequently as my opinion on Beryessa...

But right now I'm - almost - convinced that nothing will ever be revealed in the 340, for the very simple reason that it's either a complete smoke screen or a complete screw-up on Z's part. What do we positively know about Z, the cipher master? That he constructed a fairly basic cipher which was cracked easily enough by a couple of amateurs. Is it plausible, based on this, that he was capable of constructing a vastly better, more intricate cipher? I don't know.

What is the simplest and safest way to create an unbreakable cipher which - seemingly - affirms that you're a genius beyond the reach of the stupid cops?
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Re: Thomas Horan

Postby UKSpycatcher » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:55 am

That may be the case, but if the cipher was unsolvable or a smokescreen, there would be no need for the correction on line 6.
The correction it has said by people is a double bluff, to make people believe it was real, when it wasn't, but the fun is creating a cipher that people can decipher if they find the right key. The fun you would get by a complete fake cipher would be very short lived. The diversity of 63 symbols and certain patterns within the cipher, suggest a logical solution.
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Re: Thomas Horan

Postby Norse » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:46 am

UKSpycatcher wrote:That may be the case, but if the cipher was unsolvable or a smokescreen, there would be no need for the correction on line 6.
The correction it has said by people is a double bluff, to make people believe it was real, when it wasn't, but the fun is creating a cipher that people can decipher if they find the right key. The fun you would get by a complete fake cipher would be very short lived. The diversity of 63 symbols and certain patterns within the cipher, suggest a logical solution.


Good point - I concede it.

But that still leaves my second possibility - which is that the 340 is, simply, faulty. Z tried to construct a cipher along the general lines of the first one, but he slipped along the way - what made a cipher in his mind is in fact just a meaningless shambles, because the plain text doesn't correspond to the encrypted one in a logical way.

Another theory of mine, as I've stated elsewhere, is that Z inserted a coherent message - using a basic substitution cipher - in a mess of noise: there is an encrypted, meaningful communication there, but it's surrounded by gibberish. Which is easy to do - but extremely hard to decipher.
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