Comparison 9-27-69 vs 7-5-69 phone call

Re: Comparison 9-27-69 vs 7-5-69 phone call

Postby Dag MacLugh » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:55 pm

My wife considers me a fathead but, big as it is, I can't quite wrap it around the copycat scenario. Were I nutty enough to murder someone and advertize it, why would I use someone else's moniker? I can understand someone copying a successful murderer's MO, principally because it proved effective, and the culprit wasn't caught. But, why then attribute it to someone else? A reasonably intelligent killer would simply keep his/her mouth shut, so to speak, to avoid detection. The only purpose in broadcasting one's crime is to garner attention. This being the case, attributing your act of murder to someone else is self-defeating.
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Re: Comparison 9-27-69 vs 7-5-69 phone call

Postby Norse » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:02 pm

Seagull wrote:The thing that strikes me is if LB were done by a copycat why did he change the method of killing?


Yes, the choice of weapon is undoubtedly very odd for a copycat: It's an obvious discrepancy (compared to what was known about Z at the time).

It's an original idea – just like the costume and the writing on the car door are original ideas, not associated with Z prior to LB.

It would seem as though the killer used the Z persona in order to carry out an attack that was more his own making (some kind of fantasy he played out) than an attempt at actually copycatting Z: He wanted to use a knife (part of his murderous fantasy – or whatever it may have been), so he blatantly disregarded the most obvious element any “normal” copycat would make sure to get right.

And yet the above is completely at odds with what he did after the murder, which was to make sure that Zodiac was blamed. It wasn't enough for him to play out his own fantasy, he also had to make sure his crime was attributed to Zodiac (a figure who was nowhere near as infamous as he became later on).

And then there's the costume. He makes a costume with Z's symbol on it – in order to emulate him, for whatever reason – but tries to convince his victims that he's “just” an escaped convict looking for a ride to Mexico (another feature which has nothing to do with Zodiac as he was known at the time). No mention of being Zodiac, the killer he's copycatting (to some extent) or emulating (for whatever reason).

As I've said before, the above is odd enough if we go with Z as the killer – but it nevertheless makes some sense: It ties in with the Mikado business (the idea of an executioner punishing transgressing couples), if nothing else.

ETA:

To make the initial point clearer: If the primary intention was to emulate Zodiac (as he was known at the time), he went about it in a very odd manner.

Strike against a young couple at night, using a gun, then call it in, then write a letter about it afterwards: That would have been the obvious thing to do.

What we have, if we presuppose that a copycat was the killer, is something very different - to the extent where one can legitimately say that simply emulating Zodiac (as he was known at the time) couldn't have been the primary intention. Which makes the idea all the more problematic - because it would seem considerably harder to explain than a "regular" copycat.
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Re: Comparison 9-27-69 vs 7-5-69 phone call

Postby Norse » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:44 pm

Dag MacLugh wrote:My wife considers me a fathead but, big as it is, I can't quite wrap it around the copycat scenario. Were I nutty enough to murder someone and advertize it, why would I use someone else's moniker? I can understand someone copying a successful murderer's MO, principally because it proved effective, and the culprit wasn't caught. But, why then attribute it to someone else? A reasonably intelligent killer would simply keep his/her mouth shut, so to speak, to avoid detection. The only purpose in broadcasting one's crime is to garner attention. This being the case, attributing your act of murder to someone else is self-defeating.


It's a strange phenomenon. I'm not sure how many examples there are of genuine copycats in the sense we're talking about here, but they do exist. Seda, the New York Zodiac, being one fairly high-profile example. In his case the idea of paying some sort of twisted homage to the original Zodiac played some part in it.

Others have been known to emulate the basic method of a known killer – but without actually claiming to be him. Which makes more “sense”, I suppose, for an attention seeker: Some of the original notoriety may rub off on you, so to speak – and you're sure to grab some attention straight away.
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Re: Comparison 9-27-69 vs 7-5-69 phone call

Postby Tahoe27 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:28 pm

Seagull wrote:The thing that strikes me is if LB were done by a copycat why did he change the method of killing? If one wanted to make people believe that the attack on Celia and Bryan was a Zodiac attack wouldn't he also copy the fact that the other two incidents were committed by gun? It did not have to be the same gun either as two different ones were used at LHR and BRS so no worries about ballistics matching. The shooting of the victims as well as the different calibers were very much in the news as was the content of the Vallejo phone call.

You can't say that LB was a spur of the moment crime. A lot of thought and preparation went into making the hood complete with the trademark Zodiac crosshair symbol.


If a "copy-cat", he was a different sort of nut-bag--one who wanted the satisfaction of killing someone by stabbing them to death.

I think, if a copy-cat, he wanted to get the attention of HIS crime and he used Zodiac and his symbol as a way to get HIS actions noticed. What he did didn't have to be an exact match to THE Zodiac crimes....just close enough. --kind of what Norse said. ;)
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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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