Z Handwriting Experiment

Zodiac stuff that doesn't seem to fit anyplace else

Z Handwriting Experiment

Postby Marshall » Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:21 pm

A lot of discussion throughout this site revolves around handwriting analysis. I've seen compelling similarities between the Z letters and the writings of Fred Manalli, TK, Ross, Riverside desktop poem, and others.

Here's what would be a really cool experiment, if someone has the time to put it together: Compile writing samples from the above, plus other POIs, and compare next to unquestioned Z letters. Then let's have a poll to see who's writing most resembles Z. My hypothesis is that we'll have very different opinions... Or maybe not.
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Re: Z Handwriting Experiment

Postby 1doctor » Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:45 pm

I think it's a great idea. Some of us may recognize particular handwriting styles and words, though, having spent many hours observing them. I'll see if I can't compile a little example tonight.
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Re: Z Handwriting Experiment

Postby Tahoe27 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:01 pm

Traveller1st has laid out many excellent comparisons in several different POI threads. And of course, we all share different opinions. Some saw certain things as identical to Zodiac as where I didn't see any such thing. We all just have different perceptions...even the best of the best handwriting experts did when it came to Zodiac. That is why it's just not a good thing to use. It might be icing on a cake, but that's about it.
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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: Z Handwriting Experiment

Postby Marshall » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:39 pm

Tahoe27 wrote:Traveller1st has laid out many excellent comparisons in several different POI threads. And of course, we all share different opinions. Some saw certain things as identical to Zodiac as where I didn't see any such thing. We all just have different perceptions...even the best of the best handwriting experts did when it came to Zodiac. That is why it's just not a good thing to use. It might be icing on a cake, but that's about it.


Actually, that was the conclusion I was thinking this experiment would lead to. I've seen people write that the Riverside writings match Z and were therefore written by the same person. And the desktop poem matches. And the candy-cane "f" on the LB car matches, and therefore it all ties together as being the work of the same person - namely, Z.

Basically, I'm wondering how Morrill could take Riverside and Z and say conclusively it was the same author, when we've identified several distinct authors who each come pretty close to Z in both content, use of phrases, as well as style. I'm wondering if even he could successfully separate a collection of writings into two distinct groups: one being Riverside + confirmed Z, and the other being everything else. I strongly doubt it.

Point is, I don't think the writing on the car door at LB proves anything. I don't think there is a proven connection between Riverside and Z although there might be. Just saying, I don't think, based on writing, that it's near-certain. Nothing about CJB's murder resembles LHR, BRS, or PH. One could point to the fact letters were written in search of attention, but that would be a similarity, not a connection. For one the confession letters could've been from someone other than CJB's killer (like maybe a guy in and out of Patton who knew her, for instance,) and it also could be the Riverside letters gave Z the idea to gain attention by doing his thing and turning it into a media event. There were a lot of murderers active in CA back then...
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Re: Z Handwriting Experiment

Postby 1doctor » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:40 pm

Tahoe27 wrote:Traveller1st has laid out many excellent comparisons in several different POI threads. And of course, we all share different opinions. Some saw certain things as identical to Zodiac as where I didn't see any such thing. We all just have different perceptions...even the best of the best handwriting experts did when it came to Zodiac. That is why it's just not a good thing to use. It might be icing on a cake, but that's about it.



I think that may be the point though. If we have a bunch of different POI's, unnamed, and people had to guess which of the seemingly anonymous samples looked most like a Z sample, my hypothesis is that everyone would eventually select different people, and the person more than likely wouldn't even be their favorite POI
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Re: Z Handwriting Experiment

Postby Tahoe27 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:53 pm

1doctor wrote:
Tahoe27 wrote:Traveller1st has laid out many excellent comparisons in several different POI threads. And of course, we all share different opinions. Some saw certain things as identical to Zodiac as where I didn't see any such thing. We all just have different perceptions...even the best of the best handwriting experts did when it came to Zodiac. That is why it's just not a good thing to use. It might be icing on a cake, but that's about it.



I think that may be the point though. If we have a bunch of different POI's, unnamed, and people had to guess which of the seemingly anonymous samples looked most like a Z sample, my hypothesis is that everyone would eventually select different people, and the person more than likely wouldn't even be their favorite POI


Exactly.
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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: Z Handwriting Experiment

Postby duckking2001 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:52 am

Interesting idea, but what would that prove? I guess the notion is that we have some sort of bias in judging the writing based on who wrote it, so if we had a blind test, the best estimate would be the one that the majority agreed on. Is that it?

Sorry to be a stick in the mud, but from what I've seen the two options are "Maybe" and "No." None of them struck me as a strong match. Of those that fall under "maybe" I don't think I can say one is better than another because we are comparing random samples, not the kind of objective samples using the same phrases that are used in real comparisons. Plus, having already seen them, I could probably tell which ones were written by which person.
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Re: Z Handwriting Experiment

Postby Mr lowe » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:20 am

interesting concept that would need some ground rules. along the lines of. score each 1 to 10.. cannot rate your own poi, and no comments. upon submission of said writing you can nominate two or three major similarities. mmmm
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