Alphabet Killer as Zodiac

Discussion of all other Zodiac suspects should be posted here

Alphabet Killer as Zodiac

Brushbunny
Newbie
Joined: January 8th, 2018, 6:56 pm

January 15th, 2018, 10:24 pm #1

I know the MO was different for the 2, besides murder, but the timeline kind of fits. Has anyone posted about this before on here? I could have missed it as I only recently joined.

Can a person with multiple personality "change" into another person for a period of time psychologically?

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LauraK8
VPD
Joined: December 31st, 2017, 8:32 pm

January 16th, 2018, 1:41 am #2

Brushbunny wrote:I know the MO was different for the 2, besides murder, but the timeline kind of fits. Has anyone posted about this before on here? I could have missed it as I only recently joined.

Can a person with multiple personality "change" into another person for a period of time psychologically?

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I admit to never hearing about this case (either that, or I forgot about it), and while I do see a surface similarity (aliteration being something Z might dig), he neither raped people nor went after 10 year olds. So I personally don’t see it.


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Daniel
Old Newbie
Daniel
Old Newbie
Joined: September 24th, 2009, 12:17 am

January 17th, 2018, 3:55 am #3

 I have thought about this for awhile, is  C C C M M M W W W some type of cipher or puzzle. Besides the timeline and the possible cipher/puzzle, what else makes you think this could have been the Z?
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ericlbecker
Newbie
Joined: January 12th, 2018, 9:43 am

January 19th, 2018, 9:58 am #4

Brushbunny wrote: I know the MO was different for the 2, besides murder, but the timeline kind of fits. Has anyone posted about this before on here? I could have missed it as I only recently joined.

Can a person with multiple personality "change" into another person for a period of time psychologically?

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General criteria for Multiple Personality Disorder now falls under the broader spectrum of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).  The diagnosis is contorversial and it seems like psychiatrists are trying to move away from it, but having a loved one who suffers from the symptomology, while I'm not a doctor of course, I would say that this is definitely possible.

However, there's an issue when it comes to DID in that generally the documented cases involve people who suffered from extremely traumatic events, usually sexual abuse (although other trauma could be at the root of it as well) at a very early age (generally before age 5.)  Call it "confirmation bias," but this is something that is true in the case of my loved one and seems to be true in most accounts I have read online (although, obviously, there are exceptions.)  The theory is that Dissociative Identity Disorder, rather than being a manifest of multiple personalities, is actually a fracturing of a person's main personality and traits at a very formative point of their psychological developments.  The fracturing of the personalities usually occurs as a defense mechanism to protect the "host" from traumatic experiences.  In my loved one's situation, her "host" takes care of certain social and familial tasks while one "alter" handles more complex tasks (school and work-related tasks mostly) and another alter handles child rearing.  However, in stressful situations, there are other, normally-dormant alters that take over....to explain how her system works gets rather complex, but part of the reason why MPD has moved under the heading of "dissociative identity" is because of events such as this, where otherwise-dormant personality alters take over and act on their own, without the knowledge of the host, leaving "blank spots."  My loved one is usually able to interact between the host and the two dominant alters.  But the blackout periods appear to be controlled by another alter or alters and result in her not being in control or aware of these actions.  During these periods, usually brought by high stress, she has wandered off for long periods, as long as 3 months, with no knowledge of her prior life or ability to determine who she is or where she is relative to where she is supposed to be.  In the past, this has been referred to as a "fugue state" or "dissociative fugue."  

Granted, those who do experience DID don't necessarily all experience the same.  Differing levels of "active alters" and tendencies regarding susceptibility to "fugue states" are not going to be consistent.  But based on my (admittedly laymans') understanding of the disorder, this is why I discount multiple personalities causing Z to be two different killers (Alphabet as well) as being highly unlikely.
1.)  Without knowing who Z is, and without him revealing information in his missives, we can't determine whether or not there was a highly traumatic experience or sexual abuse in his early childhood that would increase the likelihood of DID.
2.)  Zodiac seemed to use his missives to terrorize and instill fear.  Nowhere in his missives does he indicate that he does this out of retribution.  The guy seems like a psychopath and probably a narcissist (the two usually go hand-in-hand, I'm yet to meet an altruistic psychopath.)
3.)  Sexual inadequacy doesn't seem to be an issue for Zodiac.  He doesn't sexually assault his victims.  There's no perversion.  The only way I see to try to make the argument that there was a sexual issue somewhere in Z's history is to present Arthur Leigh Allen as a candidate.  And I've long since gotten off that path.  ALA was a pervert and kind of weird.  But I don't believe he was a murderer.

Of course, we can't entirely rule out a DID case, and I'll concede that with these two thoughts off the top of my head.
1.)  Z once wrote that he only appears the way he appears when he kills, and that at other times he looks different.  It has been shown that alters often have different facial expressions and, due to mental tension, may even appear slightly different from other personalities.
2.)  "I have headaches."  People with DID often hear voices...comparable to a schizophrenic except more internalized.  If he had DID and the alters, while inactive, frequently had conversations within his head, it is possible that the "headaches" were a byproduct of having the other personalities.

Ultimately though, even if Z has DID, the odds of him also being Alphabet and the two killers being two separate personalities is slim.  That basically assumes that the system contains two psychopathic killers within its domain.  Possible?  I suppose.  Probable?  Probably not.

It's not the worst thought.  I just think the odds are stacked away against that.  Of course, if someone has information showing that this sort of thing actually does happen with some frequency, that would be great....
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db2010
db2010

January 19th, 2018, 10:39 am #5

This leads to questions that beg answers:

1) "I'm yet to meet an altruistic psychopath." - So you've met more than one "psychopath?" - your thesis here seems to suggest "not an expert" and only dealing with "one loved one with multiple personality disorder" - where then, in your "layman" experiences (as you emphasize very distinctly) have you had opportunity to meet more than one "psychopath"? When you did, how did you deduce that none of them are "altruistic"? This is a very CURIOUS statement that you've made, actually somewhat contradictory, given the fact that you very distinctly want us to understand that you are not a mental health professional. Please explain further! You have peaked my curiosity but caused great confusion!

2) Aren't the criteria for those of a "psychopath" very different from those suffering from "schizophrenia" or "multiple personality disorder?

3) Isn't it true that you can have one, or the other, but never both? 

4) If certain evidence or testimony is indicative of "multiple personality disorder" but certain other evidence is indicative of "pscyhopathic" behavior, wouldn't it seem logical to therefore make the deduction in the timeline that we are dealing with not one, but multiple suspects?

5) If that were the case, wouldn't it then be a logical assumption to put "multiple suspects" on the "white board" of the evidence collected so far, along with the amazing fact that some of the law enforcement agencies and profilers involved thus far have also made a similar deduction, up to and including not wanting to discuss the case, or pursue the leads any further?

6) Adding that to the "white board" of evidence collected thus far, wouldn't it therefore be a logical assumption that if one IS dealing with multiple suspects, it would be an even safer and most logical assumption (facing the lack of any further pursuit into the conclusion, therefore lack of necessary evidence to confirm) that the reason the case is "closed" across multiple agencies and jurisdictions is because the "suspects" are either dead or already incarcerated, or, if not, identities are being withheld, for unknown reason, and therefore it is impossible to pursue the leads given any further?

7) One big question in my mind is, obviously, you can probably tell that I already know the answer to all of these questions, so the big question is, given that this case crosses multiple state lines and jurisdictions, thus necessitating the involvement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and very heavily involved I might add, why do you suppose they have been so "mum" about the "Zodiac" killings? (actually, they've been "mum" about a lot more murders than that, some very high profile). What do you suppose they holding back, and why?
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LauraK8
VPD
Joined: December 31st, 2017, 8:32 pm

January 19th, 2018, 10:04 pm #6

@brushbunny, Well, look, just saying: “I know the MO’s are different, but could it be Z?”

You answered your own question. Trying to fit them together is the equivalent of trying to wedge a round peg in a square hole. If we’re going with that premise, then anyone could do anything because maybe they have a split personality. It’s not really valid criteria and I think you’d get kicked out of Quantico. [sarcasm, joke]


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ericlbecker
Newbie
Joined: January 12th, 2018, 9:43 am

January 19th, 2018, 10:59 pm #7

db2010 wrote: This leads to questions that beg answers:

1) "I'm yet to meet an altruistic psychopath." - So you've met more than one "psychopath?" - your thesis here seems to suggest "not an expert" and only dealing with "one loved one with multiple personality disorder" - where then, in your "layman" experiences (as you emphasize very distinctly) have you had opportunity to meet more than one "psychopath"? When you did, how did you deduce that none of them are "altruistic"? This is a very CURIOUS statement that you've made, actually somewhat contradictory, given the fact that you very distinctly want us to understand that you are not a mental health professional. Please explain further! You have peaked my curiosity but caused great confusion!

2) Aren't the criteria for those of a "psychopath" very different from those suffering from "schizophrenia" or "multiple personality disorder?

3) Isn't it true that you can have one, or the other, but never both? 

4) If certain evidence or testimony is indicative of "multiple personality disorder" but certain other evidence is indicative of "pscyhopathic" behavior, wouldn't it seem logical to therefore make the deduction in the timeline that we are dealing with not one, but multiple suspects?

5) If that were the case, wouldn't it then be a logical assumption to put "multiple suspects" on the "white board" of the evidence collected so far, along with the amazing fact that some of the law enforcement agencies and profilers involved thus far have also made a similar deduction, up to and including not wanting to discuss the case, or pursue the leads any further?

6) Adding that to the "white board" of evidence collected thus far, wouldn't it therefore be a logical assumption that if one IS dealing with multiple suspects, it would be an even safer and most logical assumption (facing the lack of any further pursuit into the conclusion, therefore lack of necessary evidence to confirm) that the reason the case is "closed" across multiple agencies and jurisdictions is because the "suspects" are either dead or already incarcerated, or, if not, identities are being withheld, for unknown reason, and therefore it is impossible to pursue the leads given any further?

7) One big question in my mind is, obviously, you can probably tell that I already know the answer to all of these questions, so the big question is, given that this case crosses multiple state lines and jurisdictions, thus necessitating the involvement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and very heavily involved I might add, why do you suppose they have been so "mum" about the "Zodiac" killings? (actually, they've been "mum" about a lot more murders than that, some very high profile). What do you suppose they holding back, and why?
Look, this is what I'm trying to say.

Zodiac and Alphabet were almost definitely not the same person, and the odds of them being the same person with multiple personalities is even smaller.  You don't need a professional to tell you all that.  Where you would need a professional opinion would be in an analysis of whether or not such a thing is plausible.  Unfortunately, since no forensic psychs have ever worked to determine if Alphabet was also Zodiac, or if Alphabet suffers from DID (which would be a necessary component before we even try to determine if it was possible that, as was suggested, multiple personalities factor into this, let alone whether one personality was Alphabet and the other was Zodiac,) we don't know.  As I stated, if you read my post, no, I don't think Alphabet and Zodiac were the same person (or part of the same personality system.)  So I think we are dealing with multiple suspects.  Not multiple personalities.

I've worked in mental health, spent about 5 years in that field, studied a good amount before switching majors and eventually career paths, but don't have any sort of current position or licensure.  I've dealt extensively with the criminal justice system and dealt with a few psychopaths in the process (female psychopaths mostly, believe it or not,) but I am not law enforcement or any sort of professional forensic anything.  Thus "layman."  I can't tell you that I am something I am not.  I can disclose background, but I can only give a non-professional opinion, albeit one based on experience.  One can be a layman and be fairly knowledgable about a subject without professional degrees or certification.  I assure you, my knowledge on these subjects is more than passing.  So to go on some sort of weird questioning of my credentials (which is how your early questioning comes across) when I've qualified that I don't have any is kind of ridiculous on its face.  I haven't presented that I know the answers.  I have only presented what has been true in my experience, and my experience, while "layman" in defition, is definitely not run-of-the-mill.

But in my experience, as well as in what I've read, and from what I know from both, psychopaths tend to not act in an altruistic manner (although maybe in their minds they're somehow doing the world a favor, the more sane among us know that they are not.)  At their core, they're looking to meet their own needs and wants.  That pretty much is within the definition of a psychopath.

I'm not sure why you don't believe that someone with DID is not able to suffer from Schizophrenia or capable of being a psychopath.  There's no limit on what can be diagnosed across multiple axis.  Actually it is very possible to suffer from both.  And it's also possible, in dissociation of identities, for one identity to be mentally healthy and another identity to be depressed and another identity to be schizophrenic and another identity even to be psychopathic.  Facial expressions and the like change.  Which is why I suggested it's not IMPOSSIBLE for Zodiac to have had multiple personalities and have awareness of this fact.  His statement that he only looks a certain way while killing and not at other times....literally the tension in his facial muscles, his posture, his walk, how he talks, what sort of vocabulary and dialect he elects to use...all that could be associated with one personality while other personalities may lack those traits.  I've seen it in my loved one.  I can pretty much tell which personality she is exhibiting based on those things.  DID, at least in theory, is based around the idea of a fractured core personality.  So unless you are able to successfully re-integrate the personalities into one core personality (which is generally done through cognitive therapy,) you're dealing with a system of personalities that each develop their own independent traits and disorders.

We could theorize that the FBI and other agencies are "holding things back" since we don't know what they know.  Or we could go with the idea that there's no cooperation between agencies regarding Alphabet and Zodiac because they're not the same unsub.  What's the reality?  I'll agree with the notion that a lack of cooperation between LE agencies has hurt the ability to solve a lot of these cases, and the FBI is notorious for holding things back.  I personally don't think there is an Alphabet/Zodiac connection....

Zodiac's 5 known kills involves 3 couples and a seemingly random cab driver, and the last one deviates so far from his usual MO that he was probably the most messy in that instance.  If police weren't looking for a black man for the first several minutes of the search, there's a good chance that he would have gotten caught.

Alphabet sought victims, apparently, based on name, and they were lone females.

To even begin considering that these two were the same suspect....just to sort of humor the situation for a moment, because I don't believe they are, but let's explore the "is it possible?" angle.  Not entirely impossible, but now you have to start including "possible" victims of Zodiac in the count.

The Zodiac crime that appears most like an Alphabet-style crime would be Kathleen Johns.  Johns survives.  Vehicle is burned.

Other parallels would be Cheri Jo Bates (lone female) and Donna Lass (lone female.)  The issue with Lass is her body was never found, whereas with the Alphabet murders the bodies were all found within 48 hours of the killing (and presumably Johns, if murdered, would have been too.)

There is, of course, the Zodiac-related theory to the Santa Rosa Hitch-Hiker Murders.  These, to me, seem more like the Alphabet murderer's MO than Bates/Lass/Johns.

You'll have to kind of excuse me, too, if some of my thought processes are a bit sluggish.  I'm trying to dive back into things around here after about a decade of not being too active, so I'm reading up on a lot of new different theories, examining new evidence, and acquainting myself with new suspects as well as re-acquainting myself with old.  I don't necessarily agree with all the thinking I'm reading, but it's definitely interesting to see how much new information and how many new opinions have formed the last 10 years or so.
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nordwind
DOJ
Joined: April 2nd, 2008, 12:59 am

January 20th, 2018, 12:03 am #8

I think a better fit for the "Alphabet Killer" would be a young Kenneth Bianchi .He lived in Rochester @ the time & his later victims of choice were young girls....also rape & strangulation were his signature as proved first in L.A. & later when he moved to Bellingham ,Washington w/his pregnant girlfriend....he would've been 19 - 22 yrs old when these crimes in Rochester occurred .Bianchi subsequently moved to L.A. 3 yrs after the Alphabet Murders ceased in Rochester in 1973 to live w/his later partner in crime Angelo Buono - the Hillside Strangling's started in 1977 one year after Bianchi's arrival in L.A. Furthermore this M.O. doesn't fit Zodiac whose prime targets were young couples .Also rape & strangulation were not part of Z's known profile which pretty much disqualifies him .
Once you've heard the truth everything else is just cheap whiskey.....R Lee Ermey
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ericlbecker
Newbie
Joined: January 12th, 2018, 9:43 am

January 20th, 2018, 12:06 am #9

nordwind wrote: I think a better fit for the "Alphabet Killer" would be a young Kenneth Bianchi .He lived in Rochester @ the time & his later victims of choice were young girls....also rape & strangulation were his signature as proved first in L.A. & later when he moved to Bellingham ,Washington w/his pregnant girlfriend....he would've been 19 - 22 yrs old when these crimes in Rochester occurred .Bianchi subsequently moved to L.A. 3 yrs after the Alphabet Murders ceased in Rochester in 1973 to live w/his later partner in crime Angelo Buono - the Hillside Strangling's started in 1977 one year after Bianchi's arrival in L.A. Furthermore this M.O. doesn't fit Zodiac whose prime targets were young couples .Also rape & strangulation were not part of Z's known profile which pretty much disqualifies him .
Excellent point, nord, and I have also read the Bianchi connection to Rochester makes for a pretty strong one.  Apparently he was trying to get LE to clear him of these murders at some point...why the insistence on that?

Also makes sense in that there were some potential Alphabet Murder-type murders in Los Angeles before he committed the Hillside Strangler murders.  I like him for Alphabet better than I like Zodiac.

Any thoughts on him and Santa Rosa?  Or does his timeline conflict with that one?
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LauraK8
VPD
Joined: December 31st, 2017, 8:32 pm

January 20th, 2018, 12:10 am #10

I also read about the possible Bianchi connection.


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