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  Columnist: William B Stoecker

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Zodiacs ?

Posted on Friday, 28 May, 2010 | 4 comments
Columnist: William B Stoecker

On 12/20/68 a young couple, Betty Lou Jensen and Arthur Faraday, were parked on Lake Herman Road in Benicia, California, when an assailant approached their vehicle and shot and killed both of them. On 7/4/69, on the outskirts of Vallejo, California, someone, apparently the same murderer, shot Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin and Michael Renault Mageau; she died and he survived. On 9/27/69, at Lake Berryessa, California, an assailant wearing a hood with a Templar/Mason symbol on his shirt, a cross in a circle, held Cecelia Ann Shepard and Bryan Calvin Hartnell at gunpoint, bound them, and stabbed them. Only Bryan survived. Someone claiming to be the killer called a police dispatcher after one of the killings and sent letters, some in a kind of code, to San Francisco Bay Area newspapers. Most of these are considered authentic, as the writer knew details of the killings not made public. He called himself the Zodiac Killer and claimed many more victims, but this was never proven. He may have been the man who abducted Kathleen Johns and her infant daughter near Lompoc, California, and torched their car after they escaped from him. Zodiac may also have killed Donna Lass, last seen 9/6/70 at South Lake Tahoe, California, but her body was never found. Zodiac is believed to be the one who shot and killed cab driver Paul Stine at the intersection of Mason and Geary streets in San Francisco, and then fled toward the Presidio…then an active Army post. Zodiac may have been the one who shot and killed San Francisco Police Sergeant Richard Radetich on 6/19/70. In his letters he claimed that his victims would become his slaves in the afterlife. He sent a newspaper a map showing Mt. Diablo, a high peak in the Coast Range southeast of San Francisco, circled and crossed, with marks on the circle at the twelve, three, six, and nine o’clock positions and a note saying that the map “is to be set to Mag N.” In a 7/26/70 letter Zodiac said “The Mt. Diablo code concerns radians and # inches along the radians.” Gareth Penn, a researcher, believed that the radian lines point to at least two of the killings.

And this is about all that is known about Zodiac, save that he wore a kind of military issue boot during some of the killings, making some suspect that he might have been a current or former member of the military…and he did flee toward the Presidio after killing the cab driver. Fingerprints and DNA were found, but have never been matched to anyone. The occult connection is clear: his name (Zodiac), the Templar/Mason symbol, and his claim that his victims would become his slaves in the next world. The reference to radian angles shows at least some knowledge of mathematics.

And San Francisco was a center of occult activity before, during, and after the time of the Zodiac killings. The city is headquarters for the Bohemian Club, and the Bohemian Grove, where powerful politicians perform strange and rather sinister rituals around a huge stone owl, is in Sonoma County, north of the city. Satanist Anton La Vey operated in San Francisco, and an Army officer named Michael Aquino, a reservist at the Presidio, joined La Vey’s cult but then broke away to found the Temple of Set. He and other officers performed occult rituals at the Presidio, and this was sanctioned to the higher ranking officers including the post commander. Charles Manson, always fascinated by hypnosis and the occult, and having a strange power over his demented followers, began assembling his “family” in San Francisco and Berkeley in 1967, but moved south to the Los Angeles area in 1968. I once interviewed a Manson family member, and consider him to be perhaps the most evil human being I have ever spoken to; he literally radiated hatred and evil. And let us not forget the “Reverend” Jim Jones, who moved to San Francisco in 1975. The liberal Democrats controlling the city made this utterly unqualified bisexual communist the Director of Public Housing, helping him to recruit many of the over 900 victims he would later massacre (most of the victims did not kill themselves) in Jonestown. Jones was also on good terms with President Jimmy Carter, and was rumored to have some connection with the CIA. The beautiful city by the bay has a dark side.

There were several Zodiac suspects, but never enough evidence to indict anyone. A man named Joseph Newton Chandler had lived in California during the time of the killings, and an age-regression sketch of him made long after did resemble Zodiac. The killings in California stopped at about the time he moved to Eastlake, Ohio…and then there were several Zodiac-style killings there. He killed himself in 2002.

Another suspect was Arthur Lee Allen (12/18/33-8/26/92), a homosexual child molester living in Vallejo. He had a criminal record and a penchant for violence, and told police that “The Most Dangerous Game” was his favorite short story…and one of Zodiac’s ciphers, if correctly decoded, refers to this story. Most damning were the bloody knives found in his car after the stabbings at Lake Berryessa; he told his friend Don Cheney that he had used them to kill chickens. One survivor, Michael Mageau, thought Allen resembled Zodiac. On the other hand, although the letters from Zodiac ended in 1974, when Allen went to prison for child molesting, they stopped eight months before his incarceration. Also, Allen passed a polygraph test, and DNA and fingerprint evidence from one of the killings did not match him. But the bloody knives are pretty compelling evidence, and polygraphs are unreliable. As for the prints and DNA, they may indicate that most researchers may have been making a very serious error by making an assumption unsupported by the facts. Most Zodiac researchers have assumed that Zodiac, like most serial killers, acted alone. But suppose that there were two or more Zodiacs, either due to one or more being independent copycats, or due to the fact that there was an organized gang of killers. There is circumstantial evidence that this may be the case and that the Zodiac killings may have been part of a larger pattern.

The modus operandi of the Zodiac murders is strikingly similar to that of the Son of Sam killings in New York City. There, too, a gunman approached couples in cars and shot them with no apparent motive. And there is reason to believe that David Berkowitz, convicted of the killings, may have been but one member of a satanic cult linked to other satanic cults across the nation, and possibly protected by the authorities. David Berkowitz was born (6/1/53) David Falco, and adopted and renamed by a couple named Berkowitz. The known Son of Sam killings began 7/76 and ended with his arrest in 8/77. All of the killings were done with a .44 magnum Bulldog revolver, and at least one killer drove a yellow Volkswagen (like Berkowitz’s car), and some of the survivors and witnesses described the killer as five feet nine inches tall and with blonde hair and dark eyes, or, in one report, the same but with dark hair. These descriptions are a pretty close match for Berkowitz, but another witness described a chubby teenager, and another spoke of an unshaven man with long, dark hair.

Berkowitz confessed to the killings to avoid the death penalty, and also claimed he had set numerous arson fires, and that he had knifed and wounded two women in late 1975…and one of the Zodiac killings, at Lake Berryessa, was done with a knife. But then, while continuing to admit to his guilt, he said that he had not acted alone, but as part of a satanic cult. And police did find satanic graffiti on the walls of his apartment. Berkowitz said that his neighbors John Carr and Michael Carr (both sons of Sam Carr) were also involved, and he made a cryptic reference to “John Wheaties.” Carr’s daughter was Wheat Carr; ironically, she was a police dispatcher. Berkowitz said the cult seemed relatively harmless at first, but that they began doing drugs and killing dogs (over 12 mutilated dogs were found in and around Untermeyer Park and elsewhere in Yonkers) and later killing people. Berkowitz said that a killer was brought in from North Dakota for one of the murders, and there was at least one satanic killing in North Dakota during this period. He also claimed that another killer, referred to as “Manson II,” was brought in from outside New York. Author Maury Terry, who wrote The Ultimate Evil, said Berkowitz once traveled to Houston to meet other Satanists there, and that these various satanic groups were all part of the Process Church. John Carr died in 2/78; it was ruled a suicide. Michael Carr was killed in what was described as a single car accident in 10/79. Adding to the overall strangeness, Berkowitz’s landlord, Jack Cassera, was a co- worker of one Fred Cowan, a neo-Nazi who killed six people and then shot himself in 1977. The Nazi Party was founded by the occult Thule Society, and Berkowitz was fascinated by Nazism.

The nineteenth century saw a kind of occult revival, with the founding of Theosophy by “Madam” Blavatsky, and then the Order of the Golden Dawn, founded in 1888 by Masons, Rosicrucians, and Kabalists. The infamous Aleister Crowley, billed as “666” and “the wickedest man in the world,” joined the Golden Dawn in 1898, but had a falling out with its leaders, and eventually left to join the OTO, or Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of the Temple of the East) in 1910. Anyone familiar with the history of the Templars and the Masons will find these references to “order, “temple,” and “east” very familiar. The OTO was apparently founded in Austria sometime between 1895 and 1906 by Karl Kellner and Theodor Reuss. It was closely related to such other societies as the ONT (Order of the New Templars) which later morphed into the German Order and then into the Thule Society. The Thule Society created the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, better known by their acronym as Nazis, and installed Adolf Hitler as party leader…and the rest, as they say, is history.

So the OTO, from the beginning, appears as a rather sinister organization, a perfect home for a bisexual drug addict like Crowley, who devised the “Law of Thelema,” or “Do what thou wilt.” This is essentially a Satanist credo. Among Crowley’s associates in OTO were Jack Parsons, the rocket scientist who helped to found the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (3/13/11-1/24/86). As a Naval officer in WWII he was twice relieved of his command, but went on to become a science fiction author and found the Church of Scientology. This cult, counting among its members many of the Hollywood elite, was politically active, supporting Bill Clinton. Two of its members, Robert de Grimston (his real name was Robert Marr) and Mary Maclean, branched off and founded the Process Church in London in 1965.

Members of the Process Church, preaching a weird “unity” of Christ and Satan, visited Charles Manson in prison, and Manson and his “family” were also ritual killers, fascinated by the Nazis and by the occult. Manson told them that in Death Valley there was an entrance to an underworld which he regarded as a kind of Heaven, but most of us think his geography was a bit confused. Maury Terry believed that Manson and his followers, Zodiac, and the Son of Sam killers were linked to other Satanist groups, all belonging to or associated with the Process Church. There is no hard proof of this, but there are definitely recurring patterns. And let us not forget Anton La Vey, and Michael Aquino and his Temple of Set. There was a major sexual child abuse scandal at the Presidio day care center while Aquino was stationed there, and several children accused him and his wife of abusing them, but it was never proven. Several other authors and researchers claim that Aquino was linked to other Satanist groups on various military bases, and that sexual child abuse and ritual murder are happening on a huge scale, but, again, there is no hard proof.

It is likely that the truth lies between the extremes, between the views of those who deny any possibility of such crimes and those who claim that hundreds of thousands of children have been ritually murdered. Zodiac was almost certainly a Satanist; there was probably more than one Zodiac killer; and this gang of killers were probably at least loosely connected to the Manson family and the Son of Sam killers. And there are plenty of others like them.

Article Copyright© William B Stoecker - reproduced with permission.

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