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The Skeletons are Dancing


The Zodiac gives us a full name in the halloween card solution

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Tim Holt comics were published between July 1948 and April 1954. There are a total of 41 comics and you can read them all here.

#8 has the name XXXXXX

  #14 has the name XXXXXX

  #22 has the name XXXXXX

   #30 has the Death Wheel   


Phil Sins contacts Riverside PD to tell them that he thinks there is a connection between the murder of Cheri Jo Bates and the Zodiac killer mainly because the letters look similar.

Riverside PD send a memo to Napa PD asking if there is a connection with Bates to the Zodiac. Phil Sins also contacts San Francisco Chronicle writer Paul Avery.


On October 27th, 1970, the Zodiac killer sends a Halloween card to Paul Avery. This card has been reproduced in parts in the photo gallery. Within the card the Zodiac killer claims he has included clues to his real name.

The Halloween card solution was completely solved between May 12th - May 14th, 2019, nearly half a century later. The book has the solution as presented to investigators.


On November 16th 1970, Paul Avery using Phil Sins tips on a connection to Bates publishes, 'New Evidence in Zodiac Killings' in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Zodiac waits 4 months to reply to what was a perfect opportunity to mislead investigators. Why 4 months? Because the Zodiac has already sent Paul Avery his name in code in the Halloween card and thinks he has made a mistake.


On March 13th, 1971, the Zodiac responds with a letter to the Los Angeles Times, 4 months later.

The Zodiac claims he is crack-proof and admits to the Riverside activity.

The Zodiac thinks he has gotten away with it and no one can crack the Halloween card...

... until now.

Real name?

I think YES and give the best reason why.

Considering why the Zodiac would give his real name in his puzzles.

This would be confirmed if the Zodiac is identified, so all I can do for now is to give reasons for my speculation that it is his real name.

Serial Killers mostly do not reveal their names on purpose although there have been cases where serial killers have handed themselves in. Edmund Emil Kemper is one such case. Serial Killers who have given their names have also done so mistakenly. The Kansas serial killer B.T.K., identified as Dennis Rader, made mistakes. He sent Wichita investigators and media, letters and packages and eventually a 3.5” computer disk with his real name inadvertently embedded in the disk’s metadata. Ted Bundy gave his name Ted to some of his targets that got away.

It is possible the Zodiac has given a clue to his real name, never expecting anyone to break the Halloween code because of its obscurity. I doubt very many cryptology cases have depended on kid’s comics. However, we need to keep in mind that serial killers mostly don’t reveal their real names. So the probability of it being the Zodiac’s real name is slim, but there may be good reasons why it is his real name.

A Zodiac communication containing the 408 cipher found in his July 31st, 1969 letters, was sent to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner and Vallejo Times. In these letters, he claimed that “In this cipher is my identity.”

The three-part 408 cipher solution cracked by Donald and Bettye Harden of Salina, California revealed that the Zodiac had not given his real name. Part of the solution reads, “I will not give you my name because you will try to slow down or stop my collecting of slaves for my afterlife.”

Dr. D.C.B. Marsh, president of the American Cryptogram Association, laid down a challenge to the Zodiac which appeared in the article “Cipher Expert Dares Zodiac To ‘Tell’ Name.” by Will Stevens and published by the San Francisco Examiner in October 22nd, 1969. It reads:

Dr. Marsh told the Examiner today: "The killer wouldn't dare, as he claimed in letters to the newspapers, to reveal his name in the cipher to established cryptogram experts. He knows, to quote Edgar Allen Poe, that any cipher created by man can be solved by man. Zodiac has not told the truth in his cipher messages to the Examiner, the Chronicle and the Vallejo Times-Herald. Zodiac has not done this, because to tell the complete truth about his name -in cipher code - would lead to his capture. I invite Zodiac to send The American Cryptogram Association a cipher code - however complicated - which will truly and honestly include his name".

So due to the 408 solution revealing that the Zodiac is a liar and a challenge from Dr. D.C.B. Marsh, the Zodiac may have used his real name.

It is likely the Zodiac Halloween card was not created on the spot but took a long time to make with deep consideration. If the Zodiac Halloween Card was motivated by Marsh, then this is the case for it containing his real name. It could not be a cipher code like any other. The key would have been so ambiguous that he stood an extremely high probability of it never been broken, but also had the capability of being cracked to make it a legit win on his part. It seems, in this case, the key may have been something that had personal meaning to the Zodiac alone, and these violent comics read at a younger age would fit such a personality and choice of key. Hence Tim Holt comics are the key, and he may have actually given his real name.

The fact the Zodiac exclaimed he was crack-proof in his March 13th, 1971 letter to the Los Angeles Times, indicates he believed he had succeeded in this challenge and probably continued to think this for the rest of his life. It seems, that to be crack-proof and therefore unidentified while terrorizing society with his letters, has been his central emotional need all along. His criminal signature may explain why the homicides stopped, and consequently, he seemed satisfied with just writing unbreakable codes.

I also tend to suspect he is connected to Riverside.


Because it's the same killer.

·         The Zodiac made mistakes at the Blue Rock Springs attack because his general description and car were witnessed by Mageau. Mageau survived.

·         The Zodiac had to change his modus operandi for Lake Berryessa. He made a hood to approach his targets masked. He parks his vehicle away from his victims to reduce the chances of linking it to him. He wore sunglasses because he was performing a daylight attack as opposed to his previous night attacks.

·         Brian Hartnell survived and was able to describe the Zodiac wearing a hood. Hartnell also described the Zodiac’s voice. This may be a reason why the Zodiac discontinued phoning in his crimes for the Stine murder. It is a good reason why he withdrew using a hood, as a target now would be more likely suspicious that they are going to be murdered by the Zodiac. It is a good reason why he discontinued attacking in lovers lane type areas switching to urban settings.

·         Since all the above modus operandi had been exposed, the Zodiac may have gotten a crewcut and dyed it red to help hide blood splatter. He selected San Fransico as the city he would commit his next crime in and selected a male taxi driver (maybe because he failed to murder the last two males). His primary motivation was to obtain evidence from the crime scene to prove he was the letter writer, definitively. He took some of Paul Stine’s bloody shirt and sent these with his letters.

·         However, he made mistakes, and his face was likely seen, he left bloody prints, and he could have been stopped by patrol officers passing him by. His composite is a strong reason why he ceased murdering. His signature was letter writing, so it may not have been so hard for him to stop murdering as some other serial killers.

In short, because he was failing.

Zodiac Without Glasses On in 1969

Specs off

I always wanted to know what the composites would like with the glasses off. So I did these.

You can see the original wanted poster with specs on here.



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