Newly Discovered Zodiac Halloween Card Findings Suggest a Direct Link to 1952 Western Comic Book and to George Hodel

May 15, 2014
Los Angeles, California

In recent months, new evidence originally unearthed and examined by Zodiac researchers on several Internet websites, including Tom Voigt’s offers a new theory on one of the known Zodiac mailings.

The new evidence focuses on  Zodiac’s Halloween Card, which he mailed to crime-reporter Paul Avery at the San Francisco Chronicle in 1974.

From Black Dahlia Avenger II 2014 revised edition page 454:

Further Investigating the Zodiac’s Halloween Wishes

I had expected to close this 2014 updated investigation with the good Dr. Frischholz’s fascinating analysis and findings on his facial recognition biometrics.

However, in late April, a new investigative door unexpectedly swung open.

During a routine check of the Internet, I noticed there was some new buzz both on Tom Voigt’s website, which I have referred to in earlier chapters as, “Zodiac Central” as well as on the Unresolved Mysteries blog site.

At the reddit site, a blogger known as “septicman” presented new information and publicly asked, Was a 1950s comic book a source of inspiration for the Zodiac Killer ‘Halloween Card’?”

Voigt’s message board then examined the topic under a heading entitled, “Found it! By Fire, By Gun, By Knife, By Rope.”

These new discoveries, combined with material I presented in the earlier Chapter 10, Hollywood Roomers provide us with additional circumstantial evidence pointing to the possibility that Dr. George Hill Hodel reinvented himself in 1969-70 San Francisco as the sadistic killer known as ZODIAC. Here is the 2014 updated evidence:

(SKH Note-The full excerpted summary as presented in my just released Black Dahlia Avenger II 2014 pertaining to this new evidence and how it circumstantially connects directly to Dr. George Hill Hodel is attached in full, below-Pages 454-461) Click on below PDF to read complete summary which includes related photographs:

BDA II by rope by gun by knife by fire  (click to read full summary)

Tim Holt "Red Mask" Comic Book 1952

Tim Holt “Red Mask” Comic Book 1952








  1. Jim Henson on May 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    What an amazing discovery! If you don’t know, there is an alternate version of the Tim Holt #30 edition with a different cover and a comic frame within featuring a stand alone drawing of the wheel.

    Can’t wait to read your new book!


    • Steve Hodel on May 15, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      Hi Jim: No, I didn’t know about the alternate version. Have to see if I can locate it. Thanks for the heads up on that. Steve

  2. tahoe27 on May 21, 2014 at 12:40 am

    You might want to reverse the order of who posted about it first. When I personally discovered this, I posted about it immediately back in December of ’13. Septicman did not present the new information…”and then” It’s unfortunate people cannot credit another site and then take credit themselves.

  3. Tracers on May 21, 2014 at 1:10 am

    For the sake of accuracy, I want to clarify something. This Tim Holt discovery was made by Tahoe27, a poster at and messageboards, in late December, 1913. Septicman posted at in March 2014, and thanked a reddit poster named yul_brynner for the information. Perhaps yul_brynner did not tell septicman that Tahoe27 was the source.

    In any case, I just want to make sure the actual order of events is known. Tahoe27 made the find, posted about it almost five months ago and then a few months later septicman posted the information at thanks.

  4. Chiliagon on June 1, 2014 at 10:51 am

    This has probably been posted at one of the zodiac sites before, but if you want to see the entire book…

    • Steve Hodel on June 1, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Chiliagon: Thank you for posting the entire comic book. Rgds, Steve

  5. Septicman on June 2, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Hello all,

    Have just been made aware of this site. I am /u/septicman who posted the info on reddit.

    As ‘Tracers’ says, in my post I called out /u/yul_brynner for mentioning this to me in the comments of another thread. At no point did I claim that this information was ‘my own’ (as ridiculous as that is). I did not have anything to go on other than /u/yul_brynner’s comment, and made the thread in /r/UnresolvedMysteries purely for discussion.

    Regardless, I apologise to Tahoe27 if he/she feels annoyed/frustrated by the post. There was certainly no intention to claim any discovery, nor to not give credit where due (I would hope my mention of /u/yul_brynner illustrates that).

    Cheers, SM

  6. Jim Henson on June 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    This comic book issue brings to mind the September 27, 1969 attack on Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard. Zodiac wrote “by knife” on the door of Bryan’s car. He had already killed “by gun”, so one wonders whether he had plans to kill by other means. He may have had to cut his terrible plan short after too many close calls.

    • Steve Hodel on June 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Jim: Yes, he killed “By Knife and By Rope” which were both used as part of his MO in the Harnell/Shepard. Ropes (ligature strangulation), knives, and guns were also used in many of my father’s previous killings in Chicago, Manila, Riverside and Los Angeles. I have yet to discover “By Fire” but I’m sure it’s out there. Rgds, Steve

      • BobberBrad on May 13, 2016 at 2:14 pm

        By fire would have been the school bus bomb.

        • Reg on October 30, 2017 at 1:10 pm

          By fire was possibly Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards

  7. Derek Anderson on June 19, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    I have a question if anyone does not mind answering it or at least attempting to… On the wheel there is clearly 4 phrases with Death by…. but there is also a slightly visible phrase on the cover that is obstructed by the Red Mask….That being said what would be the final phrase of Death by….? located behind the mask…..Also I think there is some deeper connections to the cover here and the clues left …maybe others see them also?

    • Steve Hodel on June 19, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Derkek: The one obscured is “BY WATER” and as we know, many of the Zodiac crimes were in fact, “By Water.”

  8. Scott Mercer on September 21, 2014 at 2:04 am


    Your work is tireless. Thanks for all of it. I own the original BDA but will be getting the update.

    Funny that I ended up here, because tonight, I just watched for the first time, a DVD of The Treasure of The Sierra Madre. Which contains a documentary on John Huston. Which got me thinking about BDA. Which brought me here. Where I saw the post about Dorothy writing the scene in the movie featuring Robert Blake. And after more browsing, I am at this post here, featuring – TIM HOLT! Who is in The Treasure of The Sierra Madre! The threads are all woven together. Who knows if George ever saw this comic book, but we know that he knew Tim Holt. Just more evidence for the pile.

    • Steve Hodel on September 21, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Hi Scott: Thanks for the kind words. Yes, the Tim Holt/Carol Foreman (Spider Lady) connections were totally unexpected. The 1970 Zodiac Halloween Card is turning out to be the most important message mailed in by the killer and stand by, more to come.

  9. Ed S on September 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    I’m sure this has been examined, but in case it hasn’t, the artist’s name on the footstool and especially the way the F is dealt with in that rather angled or V shaped monogram, stood out to me as conceptually similar to the Zodiac’s 4 dot and V shaped monogram. Maybe an influence?

    • Steve Hodel on September 22, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      Thanks Ed.

  10. Wildflower30 on January 23, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Updated: My theory is that Arthur Leigh Allen (preferred to go by Leigh Allen) Indeed wrote the Halloween Card. He gives a greater hint on the envelope when he underlined the LAV in Paul Avery and misspelled the last name intentionally as AverLy. L for Leigh, A for Allen, and a V represent the number 5 for the number of letters in his both names (he went by Leigh). Also notice how he intentionally misspells AverLy. He is emphasizing Leigh with how “Ly” sounds. Notice also the Stamp is for the moon Apollo 8 and its a 6 cent stamp. Add 6+8=14. Again the number 14 like the skeletons hand, possibly foreshadowing the disappearance of a woman missing since Nov. 14 – 3 weeks after the letter was sent (possibly indicated by the 3 skeleton fingers). I have an idea of who this victim is and she went missing on a full
    Moon, the 14th 3 weeks after the letter. Stepping back again, in name of the agent on the envelop his name is hidden. finding out what letters would make up the 5 letters in his last name is difficult. LAV makes another appearance as he intentionally brackets in his “cryptogram” of Slaves to make sure LAV is centered in focus as it was when he underlined The LAV in Paul Avery’s name. The cryptogram of Slaves/ParadiCe might actually be a hint to suspected victim Donna Lass who disappeared 9/6 (one month before the letter) after leaving her job at a casino only a 3 minute drive from the Paradice Motel in Lake Tahoe. The “Dice” might -also be a clue to Donna’s workplace as well being a place where people throw dice/gamble. The 13 eyes may represent his fallen victims, the most recent having possibly been Donna Lass. Zodiac had sent a postcard from Lake Tahoe insinuating he left a body or bodies there. The authenticity of this postcard is questionable.

    Working theory.

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