Can DNA Testing of John Walsh America's Most Wanted 1990 “Remember Me? Letters” Link "SCORPION" to San Francisco’s “ZODIAC”?
January 19, 2018
Los Angeles, California
“Scorpion’s” Remember Me?” threatening letters and Cryptograms mailed to America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh in 1990
In Black Dahlia Avenger II (2012 & 2014) Chapter 22, “Touch DNA” I called for the analysis of numerous items currently booked as evidence in various law enforcement agencies, that I believed might contain ZODIAC DNA. This included the confirmed 1978 Zodiac Envelope Letter (stamps) sent to KHJ-TV which remains untested in LAPD Property Division. (Shown below)
Also referenced in that chapter were several threatening letters and cryptograms mailed to John Walsh, the host of America’s Most Wanted television show which he received back in 1990. (The same year George Hodel permanently relocated to the United States.)
July 22, 2011 CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviews John Walsh on “Notorious Crimes” the “Black Dahlia” and “Zodiac”
“When I first profiled the Zodiac killer, I got a letter sent exactly like his code. Sent to me in exactly the same kind of envelope that he sent others. I had to give it to the FBI. It was signed in blood. In human blood. He said, “I will kill you. You will be the ultimate victory. I got away with it. I’ve committed mayhem since I murdered those other people. You will be my ultimate prize. I still have the ability to kill people.”
Walsh went to to say, “ It’s fascinating. We don’t know if it was the Zodiac killer? Nobody knows.”
I now again, in 2018, submit that these “Scorpion Letters”, currently in FBI evidence, need to be tested for Touch DNA. If DNA is obtained it can easily be compared to the new DNA samples in possession of SFPD (Stine gloves).
If the DNA matches and Zodiac DNA is confirmed, then I will provide my father’s full DNA profile for comparison.
DID GEORGE HODEL CHOOSE THE 1990 PSEUDONYM, “SCORPION” AS A TAUNT FROM A VINTAGE COMIC BOOK, JUST AS HE HAD AS “ZODIAC” BORROWING “TIM HOLT/RED MASK” COMIC FOR HIS “ BY ROPE, BY GUN, BY KNIFE, BY FIRE, BY WATER”?
The linkage of George Hodel to his personal acquaintances, actors Tim Holt and Carol Forman (a resident in his home in 1948-9) have been documented in BDA II and need not be represented here.
But, the use of these comic book connections by George Hodel as Zodiac, raises the obvious question:
Was he also for a second time, using a 1940s comic book source for his letter writing threats against John Walsh in 1990? (As I have indicated many times, the key to understanding George Hodel’s M.O. and Crime Signatures is found in HIS PAST.)
Why the name “SCORPION”?
1)It could simply be because that was similar to the name used by the suspect in the copycat Zodiac-like serial killings in the 1971 film, DIRTY HARRY. ( In the film he called himself, “SCORPIO” not “SCORPION”.)
2)Or, perhaps the killer was much more erudite, and decided to go for a double-entendre?
Did GHH plagiarize and was Zodiac’s Costume inspired by the “Scorpion” Character in the 1941 Capt. Marvel comic book?
Reasons for FBI Crime Lab to test the John Walsh AMW “Scorpion Letters” for DNA comparison to current and new unidentified Stine gloves DNA and other samples in LE possession:
Handwriting and cryptograms highly suggestive of being written by Zodiac (Despite an FBI QDE opinion they are not same)
Scorpion’s statement to Walsh, “I still have the ability to kill people” is consistent with what a man of advanced age might say. (GHH was 82 in 1990)
Wording and taunts in letters identical to Zodiac’s “voice” (Read attached letters in full as PDF)
Walsh’s statement that envelopes used to mail Scorpion Letters IDENTICAL to those used by Zodiac twenty years prior
According to John Walsh the letters were “signed in human blood” which may yield further DNA linkage
Requires no additional manpower investigation, and minimal expense. Just a phone call to lab saying, “Test it”.
Typed reproduction of “Scorpion” Letter threats to John Walsh- Click below link.
Scorpion Message to John Walsh
Reproduction of letters/cryptograms mailed to AMW John Walsh in 1990 by “Scorpion”
Steve: My impression is these communications completely lack the allusive, will-o-the-wisp, underdetermined quality that was your father’s hallmark as the Black Dahlia Avenger and the Zodiac. Taken together with GHH’s age at the time and the fact they were sent to the host of a crime show with millions of viewers, I wouldn’t be hopeful that they will yield a useful DNA signature. -LW
LW: Well, I think it’s worth a shot.
To my ear the letter(s) have a certain GHH quality to them. “Remember Me?” Especially Scorpion’s comment, …”My style of handwriting on these cards is verry much altered, and controlled in order to throw off graphologists…”
That is verry reminiscent to Zodiac writing in his Stine Letter, words to the effect, that he wiped down the cab, and “was leaving fake clews…”
No real reason for the FBI not to attempt to obtain DNA even if it isn’t Zodiac could be connected to other crimess?
I think these Scorpion letters are VERY GHH. Have you already offered to pay for the DNA testing to the FBI/SFPD ?
Angel: No haven’t offered to pay for it. Too much testing by too many LE agencies is required. Hopefully, will be able to bring this to a higher degree of public awareness through film or documentary? That is about the only way to get their attention. Only time they listen is when one gets the ear of the public and the public responds with a “Why the hell isn’t LE doing anything?”
Yes, Steve, I think the idea of a documentary or film….thinking of the episodes of “Aquarius” or “The Keepers” is the way to go! I think the crime on “The Keepers” is In a trial situation now due to the documentary. Zodiac has become a worldwide subject in the true crime genre and even talked about by my grandchildren! It is interesting why your very detailed investigations into the Black Dahlia and Zodiac killings are so casually put aside by so many law enforcement agencies up and down the CA coast! I know a production on the killings of BD all the way up to Zodiac would produce a lengthy and well-received audience of all ages! Plus the truth is something sorely needed not only CA but the nation as a whole. The victims deserve more than being made the subjects of campy movies and fantasy fiction! Keep up the momentum, Steve!
I know this isn’t quite germane to this blog post, but I recently watched the episode of Ghost Adventures where the ghost trackers visited the Franklin house where (I believe) you’ve definitely proved your father murdered Elizabeth Short.
I know you’re not a big believer of things that go bump in the night (neither am I–well, mostly), but something on the show really caught my attention. At 22 minutes into the show the ghost detectives are holding a seance with a psychic. The lead ghost detective (Zak Bagans) asks any spirits to identify themselves. Right afterwards, the psychic says “Jean” twice. This immediately brought to mind Jean Spangler–the actress you believe George murdered!
Just out of curiosity, what is your take on this? Did you watch the episode?
Hi Ryan: No, didn’t see the psychic’s response to the paranormal investigator.
One of the problems in these types of shows is that there is so much out there in the public record that it is hard to not have any contamination. Did the psychic hear that Jean was the name of one of the suspected victims? Did someone on the show inadvertently let slip the name? Did she see the name in print as connected to the investigation? What I would be looking for is something that comes from the psychic that is new information and can be factually verifiable. For example, lets say that prior to my discovery of the cement sacks physical evidence, she brought it up “from the other side.” She say’s that cement sacks were used to transport the body parts from the house to the dump site and then later, I discover the receipts in the files at UCLA Special Collections. Now that would be impressive. All Best, Steve
How did Walsh know it was human blood on the envelope? That’s very specific information he couldn’t have had without having tested for it.
Samuel St Lai: I am pretty sure he received that info from the FBI after sending them the letters. Guess they tested it.
I haven’t read your Zodiac book, nor anything about the case, except for the material in BDA 1 and 2 relating to it (I must say, though, the Hitchcock references really piqued my interest), so I’m unaware of the origin of these strange cryptograms excerpted above. Now, having studied Russian for many years and lived in Russia for a couple years, I really must ask the following question–did George Hodel know how to write in Cyrillic (Russia)? If so, cursive or non-cursive? It may be subjective, but I really see a Cyrillic influence.
MB: I don’t know, but doubt it. Dad’s first language was French and of course both parents were from Russia. (Father-Odessa and Mother-Kiev) His grandfather was reportedly a German Russian Jew and a scholar. But, if you read Most Evil I and II you will see how it all comes together and leaves little doubt that the cippher was Celtic. An ancient 4 B.C. “tree alphabet” known as Ogham. In English he mostly wrote in block printing and I have found very few samples of his cursive handwriting. Best, Steve