Zodiac Killer FBI Document Release

FBI SealIn what has the potential to be one of the more significant developments in the recent history of the case of the Zodiac Killer, Morf13 (yes, the same person from the previous post - he's been busy...) managed to convince the FBI to release another round of documents under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). All told, there are more than 1000 pages. As with documents of this nature, much of it is previously-released information or administrative and effectively useless. However, there are also clearly new and valuable additions to the available case evidence. Have a look. Who knows, maybe the key to the case is just waiting to be found...

Visit the newly-released FBI Documents [original]
https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0Bx2ZxPLdifaoTTJYVHVGOW5HY2s/edit [updated]

And of course, thank you to Morf13 for having the initiative to take up this task and the perseverance to see it through. The entire Zodiac community is benefiting from your hard work.

Michael Cole


  1. morf13 22 August, 2012 at 05:54 Reply

    According to the FBI, they have now released ALL of their files for the Zodiac case, or at least all of the files that they can or will release(some they cant release due to investigations being open, or sensitive info that they dont want released). There were rumored to be a few more unconfirmed Zodiac case letters still in the FBI archive,actually, not really ‘rumored to be’, but previously released files from the FBI name multiple possible Zodiac communications that they examined…some of whih include a threatening letter to a military sergeant, aletter called ‘Zodiac & the Riddler’, a letter sent to the CA Dmv Director, a letter found in a phonebooth alongside an audio tape, and a letter written on graph paper found in restaurant in the southern United States(sorry forget which state it was). Still, all in all, there are some things of interest in this newest FBI release including an odd letter sent to the Draft Board in New York, several samples of Zodiac case POI writings, the contents of a Zodiac POI’s 1973 daily planner, prevously unreleased Berryessa stuff,and if you are a Penn/O’hare fan, lots & lots of previously unreleased Penn theory documents. One item of particular interest wasa set of pages that shed new light on the source & background of a questioned Zodiac document called ‘The Equinox 3:33 letter’, which had always been an interesting questioned document,but there were previously no clues regarding it’s origin or how it came to the attention of the FBI. While there is nothing Earth shattering in this newest release,you never know what there may be in these files that may be of importance to the investigation,and I very much appreciate the FBI’s willingness to finally release all that they have. I called it my ‘Shawshenk Prison moment’…I had sent them so many requests, for so many different files & questioned documents, that they finally notified me that they would be giving me everything they had that was previously not released to the public. (maybe just to get me off their backs)I got a little kick out of that.

  2. Ames 22 August, 2012 at 07:36 Reply

    Excellent work, Mike (Morf)! And other Mike (Cole) for maintaining what is fast becoming a new go-to breaking newswire for Zodiac information. Thank goodness the case has people like you to keep digging up unreleased information like this.

    This first batch of FBI files includes a lot of Gareth Penn stuff — hard to tell some of the context, but he appears to be writing to the FBI about Mike O’Hare and including his ZIK or ZFK — Zodiac Information Kit — which he writes about at length in Times 17.


    I find myself continually amazed at how involved he has been with the case over the years.

    Ray Grant just released a huge load of letters from Gareth, too.

  3. Ames 22 August, 2012 at 15:07 Reply

    Went through all these files and by far, the vast bulk is from or about Gareth Penn. The rest includes police reports, some new, some already published.

    It includes drafts of Penn’s pseudonymous “George Oakes” manuscript for New West Magazine, “Malice in Wonderland: Portrait of the Artist as a Mass Murderer”; Mensa Ecphorizer articles he wrote about Z; letters to and from the family of Joan Webster in Mass., the young woman Penn accused Mike O’Hare of murdering (along with being Z); page after page of material Penn later put into Times 17 and The Second Power; and references to his time in Austin, Texas staying with his friend Ralph Read and sending O’Hare weird Zodiac-like postcards, which the FBI warned him to stop doing after O’Hare complained. So much of it too is Penn praising the killer’s intellect. And begging the police to let him get involved and help solve the case because “he wants to stop the SOB.”

    There’s a bunch of other Penn stuff in earlier FBI FOIA releases, which — with all this new stuff — may now make him the #1 most voluminous contributor (at least as a single identified person) to the FBI Z files. Go figure.

    Had seen some of this stuff before, but not nearly this much. It’s really quite an amazing find — hats off to Morf!

    • Zodiac Revisited 22 August, 2012 at 20:18

      What he lacks in correctness he more than makes up for in volume.

      So much of it too is Penn praising the killer’s intellect.

      Over the years, I’ve noticed certain traps that, again and again, ensnare some people who develop an interest in the case of the Zodiac Killer. Collectively, I refer to these traps as the “Pitfalls of Zodiac Killer Interest.”

      This particular characteristic, the one you are identifying, is the definitive example of a pitfall I refer to as “Comparable Genius.” Basically, the person becomes convinced that: (a) the Zodiac Killer was an evil genius who operated beyond the comprehension of mere everyday people and (b) he or she is the only person who is intellectually capable of understanding – and appreciating – the work of the evil genius.

  4. morf13 23 August, 2012 at 04:18 Reply

    I am not much a fan of Penn’s work, so it was not too much fun weeding thru his stuff, but you’re right, I would guess about 20-25% of the FBI release was regarding Penn’s stuff. I was hoping to find some previously unreleased Zodiac letters, or suspected Zodiac letters. They had originally told me that there was about 1200 pages left that hadn’t been previously released. And they actually sent me about 1000?? That means that they redacted or withheld another 200 pages due to their investigaion, or privacy issues.

  5. Gabe Harling 23 August, 2012 at 14:02 Reply

    Do we know who the 1973 Day Planner belongs to? If not does anyone have an educated guess or idea?

    Thanks again for keeping this site unbiased and extremely professional.

    • Bridget G. 23 August, 2012 at 15:29

      That Day Planner fascinates me. Weird to think we’re reading this man’s private thoughts almost 40 years later. Whoever it was I hope he was able to stop drinking.

      And how about those letters to the draft board? Do you think that guy was really that crazy or just pretending in order to avoid military service?

  6. morf13 23 August, 2012 at 21:26 Reply

    I originally thought that the Weekly planner belonged to William Joseph Grant, who recently passed away ( ‘Andrew Todd Walker’ from the book, Zodiac), but that is not the case since the writer mentions his kids (some inappropriate things indicating he may be a pedohile in addition to a drunk),and Grant didnt have any kids. At first there seemed to be some similar writing to Zodiac, but the longer I looked at it, the more it looked less & less like Zodiac. Still interesting. The Draftboard letter, man, that was all over the place, and I would bet that it was NOT written by Zodiac.

  7. morf13 29 August, 2012 at 17:16 Reply

    On Twitter, Mr. Horan has now accused me of ‘staging’ these recently released FBI files. I am not on Twitter, so I don’t know the details of this alleged staging by me. Maybe he thinks I am part of the hoax even though I was born in 1971….with this Guy, who knows what he is thinking?

    • Zodiac Revisited 29 August, 2012 at 17:45

      As they say, no good deed goes unpunished…

      He’s been tweeting all kinds of BS about others in the Zodiac community also. Certainly, no small measure of his animosity has been directed at me…

      Of course, he’s got all of 11 followers – some of whom are clearly following him purely for the comedic relief. Plus, I’m fairly certain most objective readers will come away thinking he’s got a screw loose somewhere. If he appeared the least bit reasonable, I’d actually worry about what he says. But he doesn’t, so I don’t…

  8. morf13 30 August, 2012 at 06:13 Reply

    In a new post here-

    Mr. Horan has singled me out and attacked my credability.

    Well, this was the original email I got after my last FBI request:
    “We have received several requests from you regarding the Zodiac Killer case. Through our search, we have identified sub-files to FBI file 9-HQ-49911 (our complete investigative file on the Zodiac Killer), WHICH WERE NOT PREVIOUSLY PROCESSED. If you would like, we can process these subfiles for you in their entirety, rather than search for and process individual documents. This way, TOGETHER WITH WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE PUBLIC, YOU WOULD HAVE ALL OF THE RELEASABLE INFORMATION FROM OUR FILES.
    Thus, with your approval, we will consolidate all of your Zodiac-related requests into one, and we will process the remaining responsive sub-files. Please advise if you concur and/or have any questions”

    So I will take the word over the FBI agent as opposed to a whacky guy with whacky theories that has been banned from every message board he has been on. Somebody can forward this email to to Horan if they like. Then again, maybe Horan thinks the FBI was part of the hoax.

    He wants to talk credabilty, how about he shares his suspect names with everybody and shows his proof as opposed to wild theories and accusations with no proof.

    • Zodiac Revisited 30 August, 2012 at 07:43

      Don’t worry morf13, Horan’s post speaks for itself.

      Apparently, he cannot distinguish between a newly-released document and new information (I’m not suggesting there wasn’t new information in the release, because, clearly there was). Nor does he understand the nature of the Freedom of Information Act. Nor does he know how to attribute quotes effectively. Nor does he mind quoting out of context. The list goes on and on.

      I’m still not sure what he thinks you did, create 1000 pages of fake Zodiac Killer FBI documents? To this, I say: oh well, whatever, nevermind…

  9. Gabe Harling 3 September, 2012 at 23:19 Reply

    He doesn’t deserve anymore attention from this site or it’s contributors. If he had any credibility then maybe his rhetoric might warrant some response.

    I personally love his site for the simple reason that very intelligent articles are written with careful thought and are not followed with unnecessary comments based on personal agendas.

  10. Richard 2 June, 2013 at 00:35 Reply

    Great stuff. A lot of info in here that I’ve never seen before. I had one question: does anyone know what the 1973 yearly planner is? Who’s was that? I thought maybe one of the victim’s but it’s a 1973 planner so that would have been too late. Was it one of the suspects?

    Thanks again for the docs. FOIA for the win.

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