Tracy man think’s he’s cracked Zodiac case

Since the D.B. Cooper case has been solved, maybe we should tackle the Zodiac Killer. Neal Haight of Tracy thinks he has the answer.

“Hi Mike,
          “Great news-I found the Zodiac Killer.
A handwritten note, written by Steven Kent
Hodel, has similarities to letters written by
the Zodiac between 1969 and 1978. The
note is posted on his website, of all places.
          “At first, the ptinting appeared different
than that on the Zodiac’s letters. Closer exam-
ination, however, showed stretching of words,
and gaps in words. I’ve attached Hodel’s note
as well as a Zodiac note, so you can compare
them for yourself.
           ”For example, note the word ‘toschi’ is
printed ‘tosc hi’, in Zodiacs note. In Hodel’s
note, see the words ‘sons’ and ‘laughing’, and
how they’re printed as ‘son s’ and ‘laugh ing’.
           ”If a handwriting expert were to say, “a
lot of people write in that fashion! This proves
nothing!”, then I would refer any to the attach-
ed images of Hodel and composite drawings
of Zodiac.
           ”Steve Hodel is the son of George Hill
Hodel, the Los Angeles doctor, who police
suspect killed Elizabeth Short and cut her
body in half, and dumped it on a vacant lot.
The LA media dubbed her the “Black Dahlia”.
           ”The gruesome murder took place back
in January, 1947, when Steve was just five
years old. In 1950, papa George, fearing arrest,
fled the U.S., leaving Steve and his siblings
to grow up fatherless, though I suspect he
came back to the U.S.prior to the Zodiac
murders, and lived in San Francisco.  Papa
George turned 62 on October 10, 1969. The
following day, cabbie Paul Stine is shot to
death in his cab. An interesting possibility is
that Steve was visiting his dad on his dad’s
birthday. Steve lived in LA, and had to drive
500 miles (+or-). This tends to explain why
there were only five killings, in four attacks.
         ”In the attached Zodiac note, the killer
mentions columnist Herb Caen. Turns out
that Caen was socially involved with George
and his wife back in the 1930′s, when they
lived in San Francisco. The 1940 U.S. Census
had George and his second wife living in LA.
          “I think you’ll find the attachments inter-
esting. If you have any friends in law enforce-
ment, you might want to share this with him
or her. If this all proves to be correct, they
can score a double whammy, first the East
Area Rapist, and then the Zodiac. Hodel is
alive, and turns 77 later this year.”
“Thanks, Mike. All best, Neal A. Haight, Tracy, Ca.”

“Zodiac’s note. In spite of doubts expressed above, this note was penned by the Zodiac.”

“Note written by Steve Hodel, to crime author James Ellroy.”

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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