Joined: 12:00 AM - Jan 01, 1970

10:28 PM - Nov 26, 2007 #11

I would think that whoever wrote this letter left those prints. It also strikes me that I don't recall any other prints being picked off of other letters- that concerns me as to the authenticity of this letter (despite the fact that I've said previously that I believe it's from Z).If Z was that meticulous as to not leave palm prints on other well-established Zodiac letters, then why would he on this one?
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greygost
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Joined: 12:18 PM - Feb 25, 2007

11:50 PM - Nov 26, 2007 #12

Who says Z was meticulous about not leaving prints? FBI documents talk about fifty or more prints. Many came from the cab and phone but not a few came from the letters. One FBI memo mentions no less than eleven palmprints.
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Slug
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Joined: 1:10 AM - Feb 25, 2007

1:04 AM - Nov 27, 2007 #13

The thing of it is, however, that none of those prints can definitely be ascribed to Zodiac. If you dust a cab or a phone booth for prints (or any other public facility, for that matter) you're going to get quite a few prints.
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greygost
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Joined: 12:18 PM - Feb 25, 2007

1:41 AM - Nov 27, 2007 #14

True Doug.But how do we deduce Z was "meticulous" in not leaving prints on letters before, when we don't know the source of the lifts LE has?
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Slug
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Joined: 1:10 AM - Feb 25, 2007

1:55 AM - Nov 27, 2007 #15

True Doug.But how do we deduce Z was "meticulous" in not leaving prints on letters before, when we don't know the source of the lifts LE has?
I think if he hadn't been meticulous we would have seen a lot of those prints matching up with each other, and we would have seen many more prints on the envelopes and letters.
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Joined: 2:30 PM - Feb 23, 2007

2:05 AM - Nov 27, 2007 #16

It also strikes me that I don't recall any other prints being picked off of other letters- that concerns me as to the authenticity of this letter (despite the fact that I've said previously that I believe it's from Z).If Z was that meticulous as to not leave palm prints on other well-established Zodiac letters, then why would he on this one?
As Bernie mentioned above, a whole slew of prints were recovered from the letters. One set, in particular, was apparently important enough to be singled out by name in the FBI files more than once - I can list all those that I know of if you guys so wish. I've had the opportunity to look at where they were situated on the missives, and from the looks of things - believe it or not - Zodiac appears to have left them when he was folding the documents to put in the envelopes.
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greygost
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Joined: 12:18 PM - Feb 25, 2007

2:22 AM - Nov 27, 2007 #17

Nacht, thanks for chipping into the discussion, because I really don't feel like slogging through the FBI files again to count the print specimens and their origins. My objection to the term "meticulous" is the application to Z when we know no such thing. Kinda like when people used to refer to him as a "well trained killer" (I mean no one in this thread). If he was a well trained killer, I'm James Bond, and if he was meticulous, I'd hate to see what a non-meticulous killer left as evidence in his wake. Because there's enough for a conviction.He was careful enough to not leave an overwhelming amount of evidence behind. That's all can be said about it.
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Slug
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Joined: 1:10 AM - Feb 25, 2007

3:02 AM - Nov 27, 2007 #18

It's not just the dearth of real evidence he might have left behind, but the manner in which he carried out his crimes and composed his correspondences that would lead me to classify him as meticulous. He's certainly very anal-retentive, and picky about his choice of words to the point of pedantry. He made some mistakes because he was also fairly brazen in many regards. But to be honest, examining his personal qualities as we can deduce them leads me to believe that he would have been very careful in point of fingerprints. As an organized killer he was about as organized as they come.
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Joined: 12:00 AM - Jan 01, 1970

5:49 PM - Nov 27, 2007 #19

I'm willing to take back the term "meticulous" if that makes you feel better Grey - I can see your point completely.The facts seem to indicate that he did take make more than a basic effort to cover his tracks pretty thoroughly. There's nothing suggesting that the 50 or so prints recovered from crime scenes and such are matched in any way or can even be ascribed to the murderer. I didn't read about the 11 palm prints recovered, but I believe your fact with that.Regardless, the question really is how these prints contribute to identifying the perp? Despite what I would consider a significant quantity of prints, they haven't really garnered much in the way of pointing investigators in the right direction.
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greygost
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6:56 PM - Nov 27, 2007 #20

Guns:My argument wasn't a personal attack by any means, and I apologize if I came off as too strong.You're right about the lack of progress regarding the prints, both palm and digits. I suspect it's because Zodiac had never been printed before, more than LE not be able to finger someone who had been printed and was in the FBI or State criminal files. Even if all the collected latents don't belong to the murderer.Palm prints are problematical to begin with. Palm prints were never routinely inked when booking people (I'm not sure about now with the various digital systems). They were, and are, referred to as "major case prints". Police typically needed to zero in on a suspect when they know they have a palm or other type print (bottom of foot, areas on hand not usually printed). They get them through suspect cooperation or court order, or if the guy manages to get himself locked up again. Perfect example is Allen. Armstrong got permission to make him submit major case prints when the 1972 Santa Rosa warrant was served.But again, the inherent weakness in palms. You need a suspect.
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