A Zodiac Killer End-Game Scenario

Broad public interest in the Zodiac case has dwindled significantly over the past few years and morphed into a pattern of intermittent instances of sensational claims and media reports. This is mostly due to uninformed Internet speculation and, in many cases, personal agendas. Ironically, this is a good thing for the case. For some time, two paths of investigation have been carved out. One is the public face of the case that spawns little of importance but garners momentary attention. The other is a quiet path of more objective and meaningful investigation, a path that has been carefully protected. The public noise has, in a strange twist of truth, protected sincere and informed efforts to move the case forward.

Given the current state of the case, this is a good time to outline a Zodiac end-game scenario. Here are some of the key elements of the scenario:

There is viable DNA evidence available. It is maintained and shared by two law enforcement agencies and an independent laboratory. It provides a sufficient profile for exclusion protocols. Information about this aspect of the case has not been made public.

There is physical evidence in the hands of two law enforcement agencies that has never been made public but is definitively linked to the case.

There are at least two Zodiac communications, both believed to be authentic, that have never been made public and almost certainly will never be made public until the case is resolved. Others are uncertain and remain private.

There are at least two experienced, retired law enforcement individuals from the San Francisco Bay Area who continue to pursue the case with great enthusiasm and who have full access to case files and material. These individuals continue to work in the background in a semi-official capacity. Their names do not appear on websites or message boards, nor will they ever appear.

Pertinent law enforcement agencies take a polite posture in relation to unofficial inquiries about the case but will never become genuinely involved with individuals who take a public position on the case or any potential suspects. Although a few law enforcement agencies have, from time to time, interacted with amateur investigators, they have done so to gather needed background information or to exclude persons of interest who arose after the formal investigation came to an end. Some amateurs have been subject to background investigations. Agencies have simply spent too much time and money trying to chase false leads and calm the public waters to have any further official interest in this cold case.

There are a very limited number of suspects who are still of interest to professional investigators. They are all deceased. In at least one case, DNA comparison is a possibility and requires a good deal of time, money, and legal complications with surviving family members to carry out the process. None of these persons of interest has received attention from the Internet/amateur community and they almost certainly will never be known to other than a small group of individuals (until the case is definitely solved and the results are made public).

None of the individuals named as suspects by the Internet/amateur community are considered viable to those who have true knowledge of the case. However, the fact that there is so much banter about these individuals is actually of benefit to the genuine investigation.

When the case is definitely solved, the results will not be made public for quite some time. There is simply no upside in continuing to play out the case in a public venue that wants to keep sensationalism at the forefront of the story.  Once the Zodiac flotsam has lost its energy, which is now in process, there will be time to publish the definitive details of the case and how it was resolved. The announcement will be carefully planned, will be a joint effort, and will use media resources in a professional and informative way. Hollywood will not be on the initial agenda.

The case will not go the way of Jack the Ripper. It will have a more satisfying end-game.


  1. Gabe Harling 20 July, 2012 at 02:52 Reply

    Awesome write up. I appreciate the candor and straightforwardness. It is apparent you have no agenda therefore deserve credibility.

    Thank you very much,
    Gabe Harling

  2. G Gluckman 20 July, 2012 at 03:54 Reply

    You mention the existence of viable DNA, secret letters and unrevealed physical evidence and a parallel investigation.

    Did you intend this in the vein of purely speculative end-game analysis, or are these factual assertions?


  3. Gene K. 20 July, 2012 at 15:03 Reply

    Hi Michael,
    May we assume that the “confluence of fortunate circumstances” that resulted in the decision to close your former website are tied to a currently accelerating, real-life conclusion to this case?

  4. Michael Kelleher 21 July, 2012 at 09:30 Reply

    Thanks for your comments. I have nothing to add at this time. I thought it was important to share the status of the investigation and point out that what appears online and what is happening behind the scenes are very different enterprises. The case is alive and well but it is a far different animal than what is portrayed online. Not so long ago, I was concerned that the case may never be solved. I now believe otherwise. However, as I mentioned in the article, it won’t be solved by the online community.

  5. G Gluckman 22 July, 2012 at 10:10 Reply

    Hi Mike,

    May I respectfully ask you to reconsider?

    I apologize in advance for my presunptuousness: I realize that you have acquired a great deal of respect in the Z-research community over the years, while I am a relative unknown and have not proven myself in anybody’s eyes.

    When I first began to document my own crazy ideas online, you reached out to me and kindly extended an offer to review my theory (ZMT) and provide further guidance if my ideas seemed plausible. Unfortunately, I was still struggling with understanding the structure of my own ideas, so I thought it necessary to focus first on just getting my theory written (dumped) in a quiet corner of the Internet, hoping to seek your guidance when I was better prepared. I have often regretted not having jumped immediately at the offer, since I could have used the guidance.

    Since then, I have made a point to read many of your comments on the various sites and found you to be a very positive force in the Z-community. While I may not have agreed with literally everything you ever said, I was very impressed with the positive effect your words could have in several controversial situations, your emphasis on ending the bickering, and also your posts and advice to newcomers on presenting their claims. I have seen in your words many qualities which I respect and wish to emulate (though I may do so poorly).

    One of the qualities I associate with your name is transparency in the presentation of claims. On your former website, you provided excellent advice on presenting theories, you wrote the “Do, Do Not” article (sorry if I botched the title), you have weighed in on the Horan controversy among others. You have gently reminded the would-be’s of the importance of providing background and substance to their claims.

    Hopefully, you see where I am going with this. It is with great trepidation that I risk seeming to be your critic. I do not wish to be. I do not have the privilege to claim to be your friend either, since we barely know each other. But if I were your friend, I would remind you of your own values. Values that you have stood up for elsewhere, often, and in many ways.

    In this article, you have made the broadest claim ever: that you are aware of the existence of secret information–information that will lead to the solution to the Zodiac Killer mystery without the involvement of the Z-community. In one fell swoop you have stated that the work of all the Z-community is in vain. That’s an extraordinary claim–a bomb bigger than anything Z dreamt of.

    For a clown like me to make such claims would mean nothing. They could be brushed aside like a joke. But when a respected elder statesmen says such a thing, it cannot be swept aside se easily. If your words are true, then we all might as well close shop and go home. For me, that would be good thing: I have only been doing this Z stuff for a short while and I am thoroughly brain damaged already. But for a lot of other people, this may well prove to be their life’s work. Is that what they should do? Close shop?

    Here is the problem. You have made broad, sweeping claims, but have not told us anything substantial. Not even a general sense of the quality of your information. Is your insight supported by concrete facts, by your best estimate of events, or just an opinion?

    You have not explained how you are privvy to special knowledge, and have responded as though you are constrained from providing more info, but have not told us what binds your tongue. A sacred pact? The risk of death? Risk of spoiling the case? Fear of liability? Need to protect a book deal? La Cosa Nostra?

    That’s it. I apologize if I have spoken rashly. I have said my say and will shut up. I hope my words help you find some way to work around the obstacles that prevent you from speaking further.

    Many thanks for all the great things you have said and done.


    • Michael D. Kelleher 22 July, 2012 at 10:36

      Very well said (written), G. I appreciate your comments and I certainly take no offense whatsoever in what you have said. It was presented with care and intelligence, and you raised some good points.

      Let me focus, for a moment, on the online community. My comments have raised issues here and there. Since you have obviously done your research, you probably know that I was a very big supporter of the online community for many years. However, in my view, that community has degenerated so significantly that it has driven many good researchers underground and has spread rumors and nastiness from one side of the net to the other. For the past two years, I tried to step up my efforts to help bring some sanity back into the mix. Actually, I tried a variety of methods. In the end, they were of no use. The community is fixed in its behavior and thrives on things other than the supposed target of their efforts. In the meantime, a handful of individuals continued to work on the case. It is a small collective of professional and non-professional individuals who share a passion about the case and who avoid the chaos of the online situation. These are the individuals that I referred to in my article. Given what has happened to the online community, and in consideration of my rather deep involvement with it over the years, I now believe that it serves little purpose. There are, of course, a few individuals out there who are outstanding, avoid the nonsense, and have good things to say. Sadly, they are muffled by the nonsense that is the daily fare of the group.

      So, I don’t believe that everyone should pack it up and go home. I believe they should find another way to work the case and that they should do it behind the scenes, away from the chaos. There seems to be no significant desire to take an objective approach to the case, for the most part. Obviously, Mike (here) has done so or I wouldn’t have bothered him with my article in the first place. However, this site is, by far, the exception to the general online behavior and direction.

      I have no special knowledge. Whatever knowledge I have can be garnered by others. However, it’s important to realize that those who truly hold important knowledge of the case will certainly never put their foot into the online chaos. The reasons why they avoid it should be obvious to anyone. Overall, this is a good thing for those who want to work the case in a professional way.

      I wanted to make clear that the case can (and likely will) be solved but that won’t happen with the state of affairs in the online community. It really doesn’t take much time (or reading) to work through various sites and message boards to determine agendas and behavior. The number of solid, objective researchers on the case dwindles from the Internet each day. However, that doesn’t mean that they have packed it up and gone home. It simply means, in many cases, they have found more productive, meaningful ways to stay involved.

      Thanks again for your comments. They were well presented.


  6. caresut 26 July, 2012 at 22:09 Reply

    Mike, Why not share the physical evidence and 2 other “supposed authentic” communications? Can you give any more information about this evidence?
    Is there a possible way what you are claiming can be verified by those of us
    in today’s “degenerated” online community?

    • Michael D. Kelleher 27 July, 2012 at 08:35

      The items/information will absolutely be authenticated (nor not) by professionals but not by the online community. Please read the article and comments carefully and you will understand my role in all of this. As to verification, that will be done, again, by professionals and not by the online community. I am certainly not qualified to authenticate this type of material and it should not take place anywhere but with professionals who know how to do this to established forensic standards.

    • Gene K 19 February, 2015 at 16:14

      I’m sure you’re aware that on July 22, 2013, roughly a year after Kelleher’s “End-Game Scenario” was published here, Pamela Hofsass of the SFPD announced at a special screening of Fincher’s “Zodiac”, that a partial DNA profile had been obtained, giving the investigation new hope. I have to assume this is NEW dna evidence and not that which was used to clear Arthur Leigh Allen. Perhaps this a confirmation of some of the behind the scenes work that Michael Kelleher referenced. We can only hope.

  7. Michael D. Kelleher 19 February, 2015 at 17:38 Reply

    Significant DNA enhancements were made in the case. Recent books and Internet chatter have continued to add to the nearly limitless list of unrelated (or very loosely related) flotsam. It has been confirmed that the killer did not disappear in the Bermuda Triangle nor will he likely re-emerge therefrom in the near future.

    Quibus omnibus patet diligenter.

    • David Rayd 26 February, 2015 at 17:06

      I plugged “Quibus omnibus patet diligenter” into Google Translation and all I got was “All of which is carefully”. (I’m more a “Pig Latin” type of guy.)
      Anyway, I brought up Gian Quasar because I’ve read one of his books regarding Jack the Ripper and –shockingly! — he never once claimed to know who Jack the Ripper was. So, if in this perennially upcoming he’s put forth the claim he knows the identity of the zodiac killer, in my outlook he’s got some credibility. His suspect, from what I’ve gleaned from his website, was an Air Force Officer with both a Texas connection (fiddle and fart around?) and a San Francisco connection — high school student. Additionally, if he fell victim to the outbreak of Meningitis that swept through his duty station could that induce/ trigger psychosis?
      Thanks for the reply!!

  8. Stephen Hussey 18 March, 2015 at 15:20 Reply

    Mr. Kelleher,
    Can you tell us if anyone on the remaining short list of suspects is still alive? Someone with a law enforcement source claims that most of the remaining suspects are deceased. And can you tell us if any of the remaining suspects lived in the Presidio Heights neighborhood where Paul Stine was killed?

    • Sandy Betts 28 March, 2015 at 11:21

      There may be one known suspect still alive, but I am not sure about that. He was one of two suspects in the Riverside case Oct 30th 1966. But was not known to live or work near Presidio Heights or Vallejo /Napa areas.
      The man I got away from in Vallejo 1968 ,whom I believe is the best suspect, can be placed in Vallejo in the late 60’s through the 80’s. ( He could still be living in that area , I don’t know) . He is short, stocky, had curly reddish brown hair, talks in a husky mono-toned voice, looks to be 73 to 78 yrs old, has all of the scars that Kathleen John’s said her abductor had. ( Even though some do not believe her abductor was Zodiac) He has shot at me, tried to force me off the road late at night more than once. Sends notes/letters in Zodiac like printing. One expert said one note was too much like the Zodiac’s printing to be his, yet it was done by my suspect at a restaurant and given to a friend of mine. He told my friend he wanted to help me catch the Zodiac and to give the note to me. So it wasn’t some prankster with a light table, who could trace Zodiac’s writing. This person is still alive and was believed to be working in construction in the East Bay area ,at least through the 90’s.

    • sandy betts 1 April, 2015 at 09:16

      The suspect I am looking at is a suspect in the 12 unsolved murders that took place between 1987 and into the early 90’s in the Antioch /Pittsburg areas. The reason he is a suspect is that two victims survived his attacks . I spoke to one of them back in the 90’s. She told me that he pulled a long knife out from under the front seat of his truck, she got away when he had to stop at a red light. She spotted him when I was showing his picture to some other girls, asking if they had ever seen the man ?

      She screamed out when she saw his picture. I handed out several copies to the girls in that area of Pittsburg Ca. I believe that the killer got another one of the girls I gave a picture to.
      I say this because one of those pictures ( No note) was sent in the mail to me, no return address, it had a Oakland postmark with a upside down stamp. My name and address on the envelope ,was printed in Zodiac like printing, no Z logo.

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