Do these three (3) Untested Southern California Evidence Letters Contain Zodiac’s DNA?

zodiac so calif letters fnl 

Southern Calif Zodiac Letters

LAPD and Riverside police departments hold three separate letters believed written by ZODIAC and mailed to the press and police in Southern California.  Each of these letters may contain ZODIAC DNA either under the stamp or on the flap of the envelope. The letters all in police custody and shown above are:

1)  1967 Cheri Jo Bates Letter mailed by Zodiac to “Riverside Police Dept.” (Booked in evidence by Riverside. Suspect used double postage stamps identical to 1947 Black Dahlia Avenger.)

2) 1971 Letter mailed by Zodiac to “The L.A. Times” (Booked in evidence by LAPD. Suspect used double postage stamps identical to 1947 Black Dahlia Avenger.)

 3) 1978 Letter mailed by Zodiac to “KHJ TV Studios” (Believed booked in evidence by LAPD.)


Avenger-Zodiac Mailings A Signature M.O.?

double postage zodiac avenger







“I do have to give them credit for stumbling across my riverside activity, but they are only finding the easy one, there are a hell of a lot more down there.”


To my mind, this letter contains the highest probability of containing actual suspect DNA. It is recognized as being a legitimate letter written by Zodiac. In it, he acknowledges and takes credit for the 1966, Cheri Jo Bates murder, and informs the public that he has killed a lot more victims “down there.” [Southern California] 

la times zodiac 1971 Mar 13

1978 Zodiac Letter To KHJ-TV

When I first viewed this letter, I had mixed reactions as to whether this was/is a legitimate Zodiac Letter. The handwriting in the body of the letter, though apparently disguised, when compared to other known writings, seems a bit off. However, the handwriting on the envelope is much more consistent with known Zodiac samples.  In the past few weeks in focusing my attention on this letter, I have discovered what I believe to be new information that may well strengthen the case for the letter having actually been written by Zodiac. (My apologies if some of the information has been referenced elsewhere by other researchers/investigators. If it has been, I have not come across it.) Here’s what I’ve discovered:

The LetterKHJ TV zodiac 5-2-78004

This letter was received by KHJ-TV in May, 1978 and turned over to the LAPD as evidence. It contains death threats against five individuals: LAPD Chief of Police, Darryl Gates, Ex-LAPD Chief Ed Davis, singer, Pat Boone, Black Activist, Eldridge Cleaver, and Manson Family member, Susan Atkins. Specifically relating to Susan “Zodiac” writes:

“And Susan Atkins-the Judas of the Manson Family. Shes gona get hers now.”


The Envelope-

On the outside of the envelope where the return address should be “Zodiac” has written some backward letters and numbers. The top line reads “CIA” with the letter C reversed

Original 1978 envelope booked in LAPD custodyKHJ1 writing backward orig

Below I have mirror reversed the original printed information which now reads:

“1,2,3,4,5,6,7″ (7 reversed)


KHJ 2 writing reversed


 Helter Skelter – Bugliosi/Manson

 Based on “Zodiac’s” reference to the Manson Family in the text of his letter it becomes obvious that the source of the enigmatic message on the outside of the envelope is also a direct reference to Charles Manson. Further, it is my belief that the person who wrote this letter had also read and was familiar with author Vincent Bugliosi’s bestseller, HELTER SKELTER: The True Story of the Manson Murders, published four-years earlier. (1974)

helter skelter 1ST ED 1974


Read this excerpt from page 294 of the 1974 ED.

  helter skelter bugliosi excerpt

 Photo of the ranch door booked in evidence at LAPD Property

ranchdoor  manson inves

I believe the enigmatic coded reference on the 1978 envelope is classic Zodiac. His message could have been more direct, and spelled out, but wasn’t. He preferred to let the authorities figure it out for themselves. (If they have, I haven’t seen it made public?)

Bottom Line:   

I believe the stamps and flaps on these mailings are all strong potential L.A. sources for ZODIAC DNA. They are separate and apart from the Bay Area DNA evidence. Hopefully, with the recent success of the GRIM SLEEPER DNA match, LAPD and RIVERSIDE PD will be more open to attempting to obtain DNA from these sources to assist SFPD and DOJ in their Zodiac investigation.  Once valid confirmed Zodiac DNA is obtained in can quickly be input into the State and Federal CODIS DNA databanks and hopefully, give us an answer.

SKH Note- I know for a fact that my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel, had read and was familiar with Bugliosi’s bestseller, HELTER SKELTER, because during that time period he expressed an interest in the investigation, and on one of his regular visits to me in L.A. told me he had read it and asked me directly, “What I thought about the book?” My response was, “Sorry dad, I haven’t read it.” 


SFPD Mike Maloney.jpg

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