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Zodiac Movie vs. Zodiac Killer True Story

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Author Topic: Zodiac Movie vs. Zodiac Killer True Story  (Read 1672 times)
Rorschach
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« on: January 03, 2009, 04:08:34 am »

Zodiac (2007)
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr.
directed by David Fincher & based on the books by Robert Graysmith about the Zodiac killer who terrorized San Francisco in the 1960s & 70s




Jake Gyllenhaal
Born:
December 19, 1980
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA





Robert Graysmith
Born:
1944
Birthplace: California, USA
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Rorschach
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 04:11:09 am »



Robert Downey Jr.
Born:
April 4, 1965
Birthplace: New York, New York, USA



Paul Avery
Born: 1934
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Died: December 10, 2000
Orcas Island, Washington, USA (pulmonary emphysema)
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Rorschach
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2009, 04:12:35 am »



Mark Ruffalo
Born:
November 22, 1967
Birthplace: Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA



David Toschi
Born:
1931
Birthplace: California, USA
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2009, 04:13:53 am »



John Carroll Lynch
Born:
August 1, 1963
Birthplace: Boulder, Colorado, USA
 


Arthur Leigh Allen
Born:
December 18, 1933
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii
Died: August 26, 1992, Vallejo, California, USA (kidney failure from diabetes)
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2009, 04:14:11 am »

"I like killing people because it is so much fun. It is more fun than killing wild game in the forest, because man is the most dangerous animal of all ... I will not give you my name because you will try to slow down or stop my collecting of slaves." - Zodiac Killer's Cipher Decoded, 1969
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Rorschach
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2009, 04:14:44 am »

Questioning the Story:

Did suspect Arthur Leigh Allen really wear a watch with the Zodiac's symbol on it?
Yes. The movie shows Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh Allen (John Carroll Lynch) wearing a watch that bares the killer's symbol and the brand name Zodiac. The real Arthur Leigh Allen wore an identical watch, the Zodiac Sea Wolf watch (  pictured here). Robert Graysmith commented on this in an interview, "To use the symbol ... to wear that watch, and to be at the crime scenes and to know the victims ... he would have to be the Zodiac."
« Last Edit: January 03, 2009, 04:15:22 am by Rorschach » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2009, 04:16:57 am »

What prompted Robert Graysmith to begin working on his Zodiac book?
"I saw it going into obscurity," Graysmith said during an MSNBC interview. "And I thought, 'Well, wait a minute. Nobody is sharing, all the different jurisdictions, all this information. They are not going to tell each other, even within departments. What if, as a private citizen, I went around and got all the information?' Well, it took a full 10 years. I put it all together." The initial print of Robert Graysmith's Zodiac book hit store shelves in 1986, and it became a national bestseller.

Did writing the Zodiac book really cost Robert Graysmith his marriage?
Yes. In the movie, we watch as Robert (Jake Gyllenhaal) becomes obsessed with his amateur Zodiac investigation, which eventually results in the destruction of his marriage to Melanie (Chloë Sevigny). In real life, the Zodiac book took Robert ten years to complete, and it cost him his marriage. When asked if he regrets his obsession with the Zodiac killer, Graysmith responded, "it affected my life in one bad way because I got divorced but on the other hand I have the greatest kids ... As far as the personal relationship [with my children] that was not good. Zodiac was number one, that just took over." In a separate interview, Graysmith summed up his staunch devotion to the case, "In the end, it wasn't all bad. I think, had I to do it over again, I probably would do it. Probably would. But it does grip you. It takes over your life."

What circumstantial evidence did Graysmith have against Arthur Leigh Allen?
In an MSNBC interview for the movie, Robert Graysmith responded to criticism that he focused too much on Allen and not enough on the evidence by saying, "Well, if [the killer] leaves a footprint and it's a Wing walker shoe that they only made 169,000 pairs and they are sold only on naval stations and his father is a naval commander. It's a size 10½ shoe, you can only get it if you are a dependent or an enlisted person, if he works across the street from the first victim, if he says two days before the first murder, 'I am going to hunt people, I am going to put a light on the end of my gun, I'm going to taunt the press, I'm going to taunt the police and I'm going to call myself 'Zodiac',' who two days before receives a Zodiac watch, I think at some point when you have a guy who has to be a chemist, who can build electronic bombs, who knows cipher—I don't know if you want to call any of that evidence, but I think if you wear the same-sized gloves and the same-sized shoe and you have a catalog in your basement that advertises a bomb-disposal outfit that has a square hood, then at some point you have to say, 'It is probably this guy.' I am not one of those people. If they catch someone else, that's not going to bother me, but I'm satisfied it's him."

How many people did the Zodiac claim to have murdered?
In his letters, the Zodiac serial killer claimed to have murdered 37 people. However, there are only five known victims:  David Faraday (17),  Betty Lou Jensen (16),
 Darlene Ferrin (22),  Cecelia Shepard (22), and  Paul Stine (29). The attacks occurred as follows: David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen on December 20, 1968 along Lake Herman Road in Vallejo, Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau on July 4, 1969 in a parking lot in Blue Rock Springs Park in Vallejo, Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell on September 27, 1969 at Lake Berryessa near Napa, and taxi driver Paul Stine on October 11, 1969 in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2009, 04:18:13 am »

Did the two Zodiac survivors want the movie to be made?
 Michael Mageau, the lone survivor of the July 4, 1969 Zodiac shooting that killed his friend Darlene Ferrin, expressed strong reservations about viewing director David Fincher's Zodiac movie. "Why would I want to see that?" Mageau said during a phone call interview. "I don't want to remember that time anymore." Darlene Ferrin, 22, and Mike Mageau, 19, were shot in the parking lot of the secluded Blue Rock Springs Park in Vallejo, California. As portrayed in the film, the suspect exited his vehicle and walked towards their car with a flashlight pointed in their direction. He then began shooting a 9mm semi-automatic pistol at them. After firing five shots, the man turned and headed back towards his car. Michael screamed in pain, and the suspect returned and fired two more shots into each of them. Michael was hit four times, Darlene five.

The only other known survivor of the Zodiac attacks, Bryan Hartnell, was also not in favor of the movie being made. Hartnell changed his mind a little after meeting with director David Fincher. "It became pretty clear that he didn't want to do something sensational or inaccurate," Hartnell said. "He was going to recreate things just the way they happened." This included the September 1969 attack at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, California, during which the Zodiac killer hogtied Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard, 22. The Zodiac, who was disguised in a black hooded outfit, stabbed Hartnell seven times in the back, "I was positive I was going to die," said Hartnell. Cecelia Shepard passed away three days later as a result of her injuries from the Zodiac's knife. Hartnell, 57, currently lives in Redlands, Washington. During his time as an advisor on the film, he struggled emotionally with memories of the attack. He has found the movie too difficult to watch. Yet, he admits that David Fincher was the right person to tell the story. "...I knew that, sooner or later, someone was going to tell this story again," he said. "So you want to put it in the hands of someone you trust. David wants to get it right. That's all you can ask a person." Hartnell was especially impressed with David Fincher's re-creation of the attack by the lake, "He went to the same spot on the lake, on the same day it happened."

Did a woman narrowly escape the Zodiac by jumping out of his car while holding her baby?
In the movie, Kathleen Johns (Ione Skye) is driving on the highway when a man starts honking his horn and blinking his lights at her to get her to pull over. He tells her that her wheel is wobbling and that he can fix it. However, instead of tightening the lug nuts on her right rear wheel, he actually removes them. When Kathleen tries to drive away her whole wheel spins off. The man then tells her that he can give her a ride to a nearby service station. In real life, the man took her to the Richfield station at Chrisman Road, but it was closed.
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2009, 04:19:08 am »



Graysmith's Zodiac Sketch
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2009, 04:19:44 am »

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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2009, 04:20:11 am »

According to Kathleen, the man then drove around for an hour and a half or more, passing station after station. Whenever Kathleen would tell him to pull in, he replied by saying that it was not the right one. A police report states, "She said she was very scared of this man, did want to get out, but did not tell him to stop the vehicle or let her out." When Kathleen asked the man if he always went around helping people like this, the man apparently responded as he did in the movie, "By the time I get through with them, they won't need my help." After more driving, Kathleen made her escape when the man stopped the car short of a stop sign. Holding her baby tightly, she ran across a nearby field and up an embankment where she hid in the shadows. After about five minutes, the man drove away. Kathleen was soon picked up by a passing Samaritan and taken to the local police station in Patterson. There she recognized the man from a composite sketch of the Zodiac killer on a WANTED poster. See  Zodiac WANTED Poster 1 (Version 2 is shown above). A Sheriff's Deputy found her car completely burned and still smoldering. In his July 24, 1970 letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Zodiac claimed responsibility for these events, including setting fire to Kathleen's car.  Read the July 24, 1970 Zodiac Letter.

Over the years, Kathleen's account of her experience on the evening of Sunday, March 22, 1970 has varied. Initially, she told two separate police officers shortly after her abduction that the man simply closed the car door and drove away. Eight months later, she changed her story for a San Francisco Chronicle newspaper article written by Paul Avery. His article has the man blatantly threatening the women and her baby, and getting out of the car with a flashlight after her escape. This is the version of Kathleen's story that has since appeared in Robert Graysmith's bestselling 1986 book Zodiac, and in director David Fincher's 2007 film (although the film doesn't recreate Kathleen's escape
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2009, 04:21:14 am »

Did the Zodiac really call Melvin Belli on a KGO-TV talk show?
Yes. A clip from the 1969 program can be viewed in the videos section below. The caller, who is believed to have been the Zodiac, wants to be addressed as Sam. Melvin Belli, who is portrayed by Brian Cox in the movie, was a famous personal injury lawyer.  He can be viewed here talking to the Zodiac killer. His clients included celebrities like Zsa Zsa Gabor, Muhammad Ali, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Lana Turner, Tony Curtis, Mae West, and Sirhan Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. Melvin Belli also appeared in numerous films and television shows, and he was perhaps best known for his 1968 role as the evil being Gorgan on the television series Star Trek.

Did a police officer really spot the Zodiac killer after the Taxi cab murder?
Yes. The officer who was inside the police car, Don Fouke, told ABC's Primetime in 2002, "When the headlights hit him I took a look at him. It was a white male and continued on. He came down ... the north side of the street and turned and went up a flight of stairs into a courtyard." As revealed in the movie Zodiac, Officer Fouke didn't stop the man because the initial police bulletin reported that the suspect was black. Moments after Don Fouke passed the man, the dispatcher corrected her description of the suspect to say that it was a white male. In a letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle approximately one month later on November 9, 1969, the Zodiac murderer confirmed that Officer Fouke had spotted him, "Hey pig! Doesn't it rile you up to have your nose rubbed in your booboos?"

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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2009, 04:21:46 am »

Did the Zodiac murderer really mail a piece of the taxi driver's shirt to the San Francisco Chronicle?
Yes. Three days after the murder of the taxi cab driver on October 13, 1969 in Presidio Heights, the Zodiac killer mailed a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle. Included in the envelope was a piece of the taxi driver's shirttail. "This is the Zodiac speaking. I am the murderer of the taxi driver ... To prove this here is a bloodstained piece of his shirt." On the night of the murder, three young witnesses had observed the killer from a nearby window as he entered the front passenger side of the cab. The police believe that this is when the killer took the pieces of the driver's jersey. He sent two more pieces of the taxi cab driver's shirt to other newspapers.

Did the Zodiac killer really threaten to kill school children?
Yes. In his October 13, 1969 letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Zodiac wrote, "School children make nice targets. I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning. Just shoot out the front tire and then pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out." The 2007 movie's director, David Fincher, grew up in the Zodiac area of San Francisco during the time of the attacks. As a 7-year-old boy, Fincher can remember police escorting his school bus. "I know what it's like to be afraid of your neighbors," Fincher said in a USA Today interview. This same scenario of a serial killer preying on school children was brought to life in the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie Dirty Harry. In the film, a serial killer named Scorpio kidnaps a bus-load of school children and demands a ransom.
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2009, 04:24:31 am »



Did Robert Graysmith really come face-to-face with Arthur Leigh Allen at a hardware store?
Yes, but not exactly how the film portrays it. At the end of the movie Zodiac, Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) comes face-to-face with his prime suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen, inside of a hardware store where Allen works. Graysmith described the real encounter during an interview with RopeofSilicon, "...I'm following [Allen] around in an orange VW Rabbit and I park outside of Ace Hardware and obviously he's seen me from the big window and so I'm parked and he pulls alongside me so I can't get my door open and he gives me this look like you wouldn't believe." In addition to his parking lot encounter with Arthur Leigh Allen, Graysmith attempted to obtain a sample of Allen's handwriting by sending friends in to buy things at the hardware store in Vallejo. Allen worked at the Ace Hardware in Vallejo for over a decade until complications from diabetes forced him to quit prior to his death in 1992.

How can the case ever be solved if Arthur Leigh Allen died in 1992?
In 1992, the health of Robert Graysmith's prime suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen, had begun to deteriorate. Allen quit his job at the hardware store. To earn money, he began renting the upper section of his home to a young woman, while he continued to reside in the basement. Diabetes had caused his kidneys to fail, and he had to undergo renal dialysis on a regular basis. Diabetes complications had also left Allen legally blind and with a large abscess on his foot. This made it hard for Allen to work or to leave his home. On August 26, 1992, Allen's kidneys succumbed to his disease. Brain tissue was preserved from Allen's autopsy, and it remains available for DNA testing.

How does Graysmith explain the 2002 DNA test not matching Arthur Leigh Allen?
While working in a San Francisco crime lab in 2002, Dr. Cydne Holt discovered a fingerprint on a stamp affixed to one of the Zodiac's letters. "I found a partial DNA fingerprint from a male individual who, at some time, has had contact with the stamp," Holt said. When she tested the partial DNA from the stamp against Arthur Leigh Allen's DNA profile, she discovered that Allen was not a match. This result did not convince Robert Graysmith, who believes that the letters may have been tainted by investigators who handled them over the years. Graysmith also believes that the Zodiac letters were not accurately preserved for DNA testing, given that they endured 100-degree summers in plastic envelopes for a duration of approximately 30 years. "Even in those days," Graysmith said, "if I were going to write an anonymous letter, I'm guaranteeing, especially if Zodiac wore gloves, [he] would never lick a letter." Graysmith's reasoning for this is that although there was no DNA test back then, there was a saliva test that could determine a suspect's blood type.
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2009, 04:25:22 am »



What is the current status of the Zodiac case?
Three Zodiac letters that were lost for 20 years surfaced in 2002 during research conducted by ABC for its Primetime news program. The letters are going to be tested for DNA, and if a DNA profile can be built, it will be compared with millions of other profiles in national databases. Detective Mathew Meredith in Vallejo, Ca, believes that the DNA from the lost Zodiac letters could finally lead to some answers. "Hopefully, it will turn something up," Meredith said. "And if it doesn't, this is kinda stirring the pot, and we'll see what floats to the surface."

Are there any other likely Zodiac suspects besides Arthur Leigh Allen?
Yes. As the movie Zodiac emphasized, there were 2,500 suspects in all. What initially drew Robert Graysmith to Arthur Leigh Allen was something that a Stanford professor had told him. Dr. Lunby at Stanford said that whoever the killer is he will have offered to catch himself. When Graysmith called investigator Dave Toschi, he asked Toschi if he had ever received that type of letter. "Toschi replied, 'I only got one, I just got it!' He takes it out and it's from Arthur Leigh Allen from prison and it says, 'Sorry I wasn't your man, blah, blah, blah...'" Circumstantial evidence then began to mount against Allen. David Fincher's movie, which is based on Robert Graysmith's Zodiac books, concludes itself with Graysmith's belief that Arthur Leigh Allen is the man responsible. It should be noted here that other high profile Zodiac suspects have existed since 1968.
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