February 3, 2007
Los Angeles, California
Last week I received the following email/comment from a regular contributor to this blog site, Mr. Luigi Warren. He writes:
Steve: Found a couple more possible thoughtprints. These are from Zodiac’s last missive, the 1990 “Secret Pal”/”Gonna Keep You Guessin” Christmas card mailed to the SF Chronicle a few months after GHH repatriated to the US, leasing a penthouse just minutes from the paper’s office (“always needs to feel superior”). One is that the included photocopy of the mailbox keys is quite reminiscent of Man Ray’s celebrated “rayographs” of the 1920s. Then there’s the postmark of Eureka, CA, a logging/Gold Rush town located almost 300 miles north of San Francisco. Apart from the obvious connotations, “Eureka” is the name of Edgar Allan Poe’s last book, in which he purports to solve the riddle of existence. Poorly received on publication, some Poe researchers believe it contains hidden messages. Birds of a feather! LW
For those readers, not familiar with LW’s reference, in my second book, MOST EVIL (Dutton 2009) in Chapter 14, pages 168-173, I included new information on a “Secret Pal Christmas Card” believed mailed by Zodiac in 1990. (The same year George Hodel relocated from the Far East to his penthouse suite in downtown San Francisco.) The card, mailed in December from Eureka, California (240 miles north of San Francisco) like Zodiac’s previous mailings, was addressed, “Editor, San Francisco Chronicle, 901 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94103.”
Included in the card was a Xeroxed paper showing a key chain and keys. See below photographs.
Zodiac’s 1990 Christmas Card read:
FROM YOUR SECRET PAL. CAN’T GUESS WHO I AM YET?
WELL, LOOK INSIDE AND YOU’LL FIND OUT…
(Interior of card)
…THAT I’M GONNA KEEP YOU GUESSIN’!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, ANYWAY
Not only was the handwriting/printing identical to my father’s, but even more remarkable was the fact that the “new” Secret Pal Christmas Card” was not “new” and was manufactured and printed by the same company as a companion card to the 1970 “Halloween Secret Pal” mailed by Zodiac to the SF Chronicle in 1970. The same card that contained the Ogham cipher in which George Hodel as Zodiac signed his real name, HODEL.
Ogham Cipher seen as return address on envelope and as signatory to card spells- HODEL
The above 1970 Halloween Card, mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle contained the identical taunting theme promising that the sender would name himself. (In the above card he actually followed through but as a coded cipher.)
1970 Zodiac card reads:
I FEEL IT IN MY BONES. YOU ACHE TO KNOW MY NAME.
AND SO, I’LL CLUE YOU IN…
(Interior of card)
…BUT, THEN, WHY SPOIL THE GAME! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Yves Person’s solving of the cipher signature as published in MOST EVIL II (Rare Bird Books 2014)
George Hodel’s unique “Saddle M” from personal correspondence shown in comparison to “M” on 1990 Christmas Card.
George Hodel’s 1990 Christmas Card hand printing compared to letters from Gladys Kern (1948 LA Lone Woman Murder) and Cheri Jo Bates(1966 Zodiac Murder) mailed to police by their killer. How many identical letters to you count? (I count 22.)
These revelations with the latest publication of MOST EVIL II in 2014 presenting M. Yves Person’s cracking of the Ogham Cipher leave no doubt that both cards, printed in the 1970s, by the same company, offering the same message (promising, then withholding the name of the “Secret Pal” (one for Halloween and the other for Christmas) were authored and mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle, by Dr. George Hill Hodel. Clearly, based on our new evidence, that is now a given.
As seen above, in his updated 1990 Secret Pal Christmas message, George Hodel included a Xerox photo of a keychain and keys. (Believed belonging to an unknown Post Office Box.)
Was this, as our friend, Luigi Warren has questioned–a Rayograph? Another indirect homage by George Hodel to his fellow surrealist and longtime friend, Man Ray?
I think Luigi has very likely provided us with new keys (pun intended) to George Hodel’s unique method of taunting and announcing his 1990 return to the Bay Area as Zodiac by way of yet another homage to his good friend Man Ray’s art. (I’ve lost count, but this would be about the 12th “Murder as a Fine Art Clew” from GHH specific to Man Ray’s artworks.)
MAN RAY and his RAYOGRAPH aka PHOTOGRAM
Photograms were used in the 20th century by a number of photographers, particularly Man Ray, who called them “rayographs”. His style capitalized on the stark and unexpected effects of negative imaging, unusual juxtapositions of identifiable objects (such as spoons and pearl necklaces). …made by placing leaves and pieces of material onto sensitized paper, then left outdoors on a sunny day to expose. This produced a dark background with a white silhouette of the object used.
Man Ray early rayograph, “THE KISS” (1922)
Keys and key chains (shown above) were one of Man Ray’s favorite objects for use in his Rayographs.