Prolific (if occasionally prolix) Cipher Mysteries commenter bdid1dr has long wondered whether the Somerton Man was someone in her ex-husband’s family. (She also suspects her ex-husband was the infamous Zodiac Killer, but let’s leave that for another day.)

Even though it at first sounds like an outrageously long shot (and one that would perhaps necessitate a Warren Commission ‘magic bullet’), it does in fact concord with many of the things we know about the Somerton Man, in perhaps surprising ways.

For a start, the aluminum comb, the packet of Juicy Fruit chewing gum found in the Somerton Man’s American-stitched coat and indeed the coat itself have all been taken as suggesting that the Somerton Man was American (or had recently travelled from America).

More specifically, Derek Abbott launched his recent (but unsuccessful) crowdfunding campaign on the back of a fragmentary DNA match between one of the hairs found embedded in the plaster cast bust of the Somerton Man and Thomas Jefferson.

Yet it turns out that the Shackelfords are an old Virginian family… with links to Thomas Jefferson. OK, this is all still very far from proof, but we’re not yet veering into anything like the canonical Lands Of Somerton Nonsense: so please bear with me just a little longer as we take a look at the Shackelfords…

Lee Erwin Shackelford

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he was born on 12th April 1945 to Willian Shackelford and Normaleen (nee Park):

SHACKELFORD (nee Normaleen Park). April 12, King George V Hospital, Camperdown, semi-private, wife of T./Sgt. W. Shackelford, U.S. Air Corps – a son (both well)

And thanks to a little archival magic (big tips of the Cipher Mysteries hat to Eye and Aye for this), we have a photo of Lee Erwin Shackelford from the USS Ticonderoga circa 1964:

He was also bdid1dr’s first husband: she says that he died in New York a few years ago.

He had a brother (Preston Park Shackelford) who was born 10th April 1948 in Vallejo CA: and another brother (Mark) who was born in New Mexico in 1952.

William Jesse Shackelford Jr

Eye and Aye came up trumps here as well, with William Jesse Shackelford Jr’s US Armed Forces registration card (note: image behind a Fold3 paywall). According to this, he was born on 17th May 1922 in Norfolk VA: the “Name And Address Of Person Who Will Always Know Your Address” field is marked up as “Mrs A. B. Shackelford, 1631 Willoughby Ave, Norfolk, VA”. (Willoughby Ave is close to Norfolk’s Lyon Shipyard: #1631’s plot was long since sacrificed to make way for the I-264.)

According to the Registrar’s Report (note: image also behind a Fold3 paywall), William Shackelford Jr was white, 5′ 5″, 125 lbs, hazel eyes, brown hair, and with a ruddy complexion. He received his honourable discharge from the Army on the 30th August 1945 (ref: 13-062-516).

Unless he secretly had access to a Tardis, William Shackelford was not the Somerton Man: he was still very much alive in 1950, 1960, and even 1970.

Misca pointed out that:

On ancestry there is a record of a Normaleen May Shackelford travelling from Brisbane to San Francisco with her son Lee Ervin/Erwin. The name of the friend/relative she states she is visiting is William Shackelford, 835 Oaklette Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia. A 1940 census document shows two William J Shackelfords living on Oaklette. One is 39 and the other is 17. Father and son. Further research shows the son as having been in the US Airforce in WW II. He is William Jesse Shackelford. He married three times. First wife unknown but I suspect it may have been Normaleen. Second wife (married in 1957) Leila Barnes Stewart (who seems to have died), third wife Catherine Anne Garrett.

William Jesse Shackelford Sr

William Jesse Shackelford Sr’s obituary (in the 7th December 1972 Virginia Beach Sun looked like this:

William Jesse Shackelford, 73, of 292 Stancil St., Princess Anne Plaza, an insurance agancy [sic] operator, died in a hospital November 28 after a long illness.
He was a native of Walter Valley, Tex., a son of William J. and Mrs Martha Farley Shackelford, and the husband of the late Mrs Josephine Taylor Shackelford.
He was the owner of William J. Shackelford Insurance Co. He was a member of Norfolk Elks Lodge 38, American Legion, and Commodore FOP Lodge 3.
He was a World War I veteran.
Surviving are two daughters, Mrs Bennie S. Jordan of McLean and Mrs Shirley S. Becker of Virginia Beach; a son, William Jesse Shackelford Jr of Alexandria; two sisters, Mrs Cordelia Willcox of Tuolumne, Calif., and Mrs Sylvia S. Snyde of Corpus Christi, Tex.; a brother, Feilx Shackelford of Odessa, Tex.; 11 grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren.

Might there be a missing Shackelford…?

I hope it’s not construed as unkind of me to note that bdi1d1dr’s handed-down family stories don’t quite add up. At this remove in both time and space, tales about her ex-husband’s family’s life in Australia (he moved to the US at a very young age) are bound to be fragmentary and incomplete.

What is either interesting or just plain Chinese Whispered here is that she was sure that there was also a Lee Irving Shackelford in Australia, who somehow disappeared: and quite how he fits into the whole picture nobody seems to know or remember.

And so my challenge to you fine people is to find out if there was a disappearing relative in William Jesse Shackelford (Jr or Sr)’s immediate family tree. Oh, and who was “Mrs A. B. Shackelford”?

Incidentally, one unusual (but possibly useful) resource here is the Shackelford Clan, a group that published a family history newsletter from May 1945 to April 1957 (scanned issues are listed online here) researching… the history of the Shackelford family. Good hunting! 🙂

193 thoughts on “Reconstructing Lee Erwin Shackelford’s family tree…

  1. Way-out-west on March 3, 2017 at 1:23 am said:

    Nick, when you are finished doing the Shackelford family history, you can do mine for me. 🙂

  2. Way-out-west: do you really want to find out that your aunt is your biological mother, that you’re descended from a particularly evil Pope, and that your dog’s fake pedigree documents were printed in China by the thousand?

    Far be it from me to dissuade you but… 🙂

  3. James R. Pannozzi on March 3, 2017 at 8:58 am said:

    Nick is not bad with ciphers, but WOW what a great cold case detective he would have made !!!

    As with Way-out-west, I could really use you to help me out with my Russo ancestors who were performers to the King of Sicily. My grandmother’s brother Leo Russo (1892-1957) was a puppeteer in the Vaudeville era, or as the Sicilians call it, a master of the Marionettes. When I was about 7 in 1955 I saw his act when he came to Providence, then met him briefly backstage. He told me that he came from a long line of performers going back to the King of Sicily, but gave no additional details and had to run to catch a train to Boston. I never saw him again and so ended up wondering about the details for the last 60 years or so. With the Internet I tried in vain to search Russo’s. Do you have any idea how many Russo’s there are ? I find them in Russia, Iraq, Iran, Saudi-Arabia…everywhere !! Hopeless.

  4. Way-out-west on March 3, 2017 at 9:18 am said:

    Nick, but you never know, my long lost Uncle Jake might have been the Somerton Man? 😉

  5. Way-out-west on March 3, 2017 at 9:21 am said:

    And knowing my luck I would probably turn out to be my own grandpa!

  6. Way-out-west on March 3, 2017 at 9:41 am said:

    But with tomfoolery aside, I must admit I was blown away when I saw that photo of Lee Erwin Shackelford for the first time. This was taken some 5 years before the emergence of “the Zodiac”. Lee is slim in this photo, but lose the mustache, add on some pounds, recede the hairline a bit more, and this fellow would indeed look a lot like those composites. I note the thin features, line for a mouth, rather narrow eyes, small, pointed nose, the ears look right… stern and direct expression but with a noticeable cryptic smile in his expression… this could well be the Zodiac.

    I am not so naive to think a suspect must look exactly like a composite. In fact very few convicted felons ever do look precisely like witness composites. Composites are at best a subjective memory resulting some time “after the fact”, and we need to factor in various factors such as lighting, potential vision problems, clothing – even fear can alter a person’s perception of a culprit, making him seem much bigger than he actually was for instance.

  7. B Deveson on March 3, 2017 at 11:35 am said:

    James, spend a hundred bucks or so, and have a genealogical DNA test ( is probably the best for you). It would probably find your Russo relatives fairly easily.

  8. B Deveson on March 3, 2017 at 2:15 pm said:

    William Jesse Shackelford born 17 May 1922 Norfolk, VA
    His father was William Jesse Shackelford born circa 1899 North Carolina.

    His father was William Arthur Shackelford 1876-1934
    Mother Ida Olivia nee May 1877-?
    His siblings were: John Arthur Shackelford 1900-1968
    Joseph Shackelford 1904-?
    Raymond Shackelford 1905-?
    Paul Shackelford 1907-?
    Plus one daughter

    William Arthur Shackelford 1876-1934
    father was Christopher Cleopus Shackelford 1853-?
    mother Luiza Ahumbeury born 8th October 1876 North Carolina, died 20th October 1934, Hookerton, Greene, North Carolina.

    Christopher Cleopus Shackelford 1853-?
    Father William Hines Shackelford 1922-1914
    Mother Cerlina MNU 1833-?

  9. B Deveson on March 3, 2017 at 2:34 pm said:

    Alice B Shackelford, maiden name Hill, was the wife of William Jesse Shackelford Senior and the mother of William Jesse Junior. US Social Security Index 1936-2007.

  10. B Deveson on March 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm said:

    Alice Bentley Hill married William Jesse Shackelford 16th February 1920 at Norfolk, VA. She was born 9th March 1900 at Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, and died 16th February 1973 at Norfolk, VA. Her father was Jesse Kemper Hill 1857-1910 and her mother was Ida Clayton Crews 1857-1910.
    It is possible that Ida Clayton Crews might be related to Jefferson Pleasants line as one of those Pleasants married a Tabitha Crews in Virginia (at Henrico Co. from memory).

  11. xplor on March 3, 2017 at 3:33 pm said:

    You will find the internet a better source for your ancestors than DNA. All I found out is that I am related to a Neanderthal !

  12. bdid1dr on March 3, 2017 at 4:40 pm said:

    Gentlemen, one and all :

    From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. Yesterday I tried to copy the photo which Nick posted. No luck — the buffer was jammed with St. Louis/Malinckrodt material of several months ago. So, I have bookmarked this discussion until I can clear the buffer.
    Those heavy-framed, thick eyeglasses were necessary for him to pass muster — and become a radioman on the US Navy Ship “Ticonderoga”. He had acute hearing, which was very painful because of the bomber jets constant takeoff and landing on the ‘radio shack’. While on leave, with a couple of his buddies, the truck rolled — minor injuries for the men – and honorable discharge for Lee. At least that is what the Red Cross information officer told me.

  13. Knox on March 3, 2017 at 7:43 pm said:

    Was he ever stationed at Skaggs Island, a Top Secret radio surveillance and cryptologic communications installation (1941-1993)?
    Skaggs Island Naval Communications Center
    Possibly manned by communications technicians.
    Or Treasure Island Electronics Materiel School — (in operation before 1952 and until ?)?
    I think there was, also, a radio operator school or radar school on TI. Ping Jockeys.

  14. B Deveson: thank you very much indeed! 🙂

  15. Way-out-west on March 3, 2017 at 10:16 pm said:

    Hmmm, some things are already not adding up for me.

    A little fly in the ointment keeps bothering me. It is this:

    Was Lee Erwin Shackelford her ex-husband or her sister-in-law’s ex-husband?

    bdid1dr on July 19, 2016 at 10:38 pm said:

    “Nick & friends: The Z killer is, himself, now dead. His daughter went to the morgue in New York City (about two or three years ago) and produced documents and photographs to confirm the dead man’s identity. He is buried near his last home in Marin County. No, I have none of those documents ,to ‘back up’ my side of the story — much less my sister-in-law’s story and her daughter’s story.”

    bdid1dr on February 19, 2017 at 9:42 pm said:

    “@ Nick and friends: Several years ago, the Zodiac was found dead on a street in New York City. His daughter retrieved his remains and buried him in a cemetery not far from her home. I know this because I am acquainted with his ex-wife and their daughter.”

    bdid1dr on February 20, 2017 at 9:35 pm said:

    “Eventually, one of my friends told me that my ex-husband (the Zodiac Killer) had tracked me down. ”

    bdid1dr on July 19, 2016 at 10:38 pm said:

    “All of the so-called translations/decipherments/guessworks/puzzle answers are now buried with the Zodiac’s remains. I’m hoping you will, sooner than later, discontinue attempts to solve the ravings of a seriously damaged once-brilliant mind.

    “Speaking on the behalf of the dead man’s wife and child, and grand children.
    I remain respectfully interested in a whole lot of your other unsolved mysteries.

    “beady-eyed wonder-r”

    Apart from the “convenience” of burying all of the Zodiac’s ciphers with him, here is another fly in the ointment, which suggests the Zodiac killer’s father was still alive at the time of his death!

    bdid1dr on July 19, 2016 at 10:43 pm said:

    “BTW: The Z-Killer’s father outlived all of his children and grandchildren.”

  16. B Deveson on March 3, 2017 at 11:12 pm said:

    It appears that there was another chap with a similar name and birth date that might have been confused with William Jesse Shackelford born circa 1899 North Carolina.
    I note that William Shakelford was not at home when the census was taken. He was a WW1 veteran, so there is probably more archival material relating to him.
    I seem to remember seeing some reference to a Felix Shakelford in some of the Internet discussion of the Zodiac so it would appear that the identities of William Shakelford born Texas or California circa 1900 and William Jesse Shackelford born c1899 North Carolina might have been muddled. Or, just maybe, they are one and the same? Maybe a bigamist, which isn’t a rare event.

    1910 United States Federal Census
    Census Place: San Angelo, Tom Green, Texas; Roll: T624 1592; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 0283; FHL microfilm: 1375605

    Name William Shakelford
    Age in 1910 10
    Birth Year abt 1900
    Birthplace Texas
    Home in 1910 San Angelo, Tom Green, Texas
    Street Seventh St
    Relation to Head of House Son
    Father’s Birthplace California
    Mother’s Name Lizzie Shakelford
    Mother’s Birthplace Missouri
    Household Members
    Lizzie Shakelford 32
    Lily Shakelford 18
    Silva Shakelford 16
    Forrest Shakelford 14
    Cordelia Shakelford 12
    William Shakelford 10
    Felix Shakelford 8

  17. Carly on March 4, 2017 at 12:35 am said:

    Quoting W-O-W’s quote of bdid1dr on July 19, 2016 at 10:38 pm said:

    “All of the so-called translations/decipherments/guessworks/puzzle answers are now buried with the Zodiac’s remains. I’m hoping you will, sooner than later, discontinue attempts to solve the ravings of a seriously damaged once-brilliant mind.”

    I have to pipe into this conversation- Zodiac killed people. Families and lives were destroyed, there were two survivors who I am sure had difficulties, and a baby grew up without their mother. If this man infact turns out to be Zodiac, not only would it provide closure, it can also help with further profiling and understandings of mental illness/sociopathology/psychopathology. It could help find symptoms to look for, triggering events, even genetics.

    To go from “once-brilliant” to whatever turns life took to possible serial killer should be pursued.

    I always do feel compassion for the family of the criminal, too, but never at the expense of the victims.


  18. Byron: Cordelia, Sylvia and Felix would seem to be a pretty unbeatable match. So… maybe it was just two different Sr/Jr pairs?

  19. Lee Errin Shackelford on March 4, 2017 at 9:36 am said:

    My name is Lee Shackelford, son of the one in this article (and bid1dr).

    I have no idea if the Lee Shackelford was Zodiac, but all my life I heard that from her, along with all kinds of paranoid garbage.

    As people, neither Lee, nor bdid1dr were very good.

    I never met Marc, but my uncle Preston seemed nice. I lost contact with Preston years ago. Is he still alive?

    Thanks for the family tree, though. You gave me a couple names I didn’t know.

  20. Lee Errin Shackelford on March 4, 2017 at 9:47 am said:

    Bdid1dr is not logical.

    She states that “The Z killer is, now himself dead. His daughter……”

    Please realize that the daughter identified her FATHER’S body. She in no way identified the person as being the Zodiac Killer.

    That part, is bdid1dr’s thinking only.

    The body of Lee Shackelford is what was identified.

    Before getting too carried away, the vitriol ran thick and fast anytime the topic was either my father, Lee Shackelford, or my uncle, Preston Shackelford.

    The person who paid for the burial of Lee Shackelford was my half-sister.

  21. Lee: thanks very much for dropping by and commenting. Just so you know, one of the things I try to do on this blog is to explore various historical research avenues in an “open source” kind of way: typically by digging up archival evidence and bringing it together into timelines, family trees, or connected blocks of research.

    In this present instance, your mother has claimed (all the Zodiac stuff aside) that she had heard that a male member of the Shackelford family disappeared in Australia at around the same time that the Somerton Man did (1st December 1948): and that she thought the pictures of the Somerton Man reminded her of family photographs she had seen. (Fragmentary DNA matching suggests that the Somerton Man may well have come from the East Coast of America.)

    At this point, I’m far less interested in theories or speculations than in establishing a solid timeline and family tree, because that is normally enough to disprove most claims: and unfortunately there seem to be two pairs of William Jesse Shackelford Sr / Jr in the mix. Could I possibly ask if you know if your part of the family tree has been mapped out?

  22. bdid1dr on March 4, 2017 at 5:57 pm said:

    Thank you, son, for coming forward. So far, your brother’s Vietnamese wife has accused me of (to quote her) “Robert sez you abused ’em”. She hung up before I could respond. Have you been able to contact your brother at all?
    So, I hope you are in contact with Rob. He may be able to explain his wife’s animosity toward me. Have you been able to contact your half-sister (who recovered your father’s remains and had him buried in a private cemetery) ?

    Your mother, aka: bdid1dr

    Many thanks to you, Nick, and to all of the ‘investigator’s who have solved so many mysteries .
    Perhaps my son, Lee , will discuss his adventures with his father, on that side of the world.

  23. bdid1dr on March 4, 2017 at 6:54 pm said:

    ps: I hope you continue to play chess, as taught to you by our Chinese neighbors Bill and Nancy’s relatives (restaurant downstairs). Do you remember (maybe not?) the time I had to call the police to wake you up?

  24. bdid1dr on March 4, 2017 at 7:38 pm said:

    To make things a little clearer: At that particular time, I was working at the Ferry Annex Post Office where huge bags of parcels were coming from military mail posts. Most of the bags were full of cellulose ‘costume’ dolls. Some bags, however, contained cardboard boxes, which were immediately recognizable by their leaking contents (popcorn, candy, Kool-Aid, cartons of cigarettes, and love letters. (DECEASED – RETURN TO SENDER )
    There were times I would be in tears, riding the Muni all the way back to my apartment. (Funston Avenue).

  25. bdid1dr on March 4, 2017 at 9:13 pm said:

    ps: You were absent (whereabouts unknown at that time) when your brother, Rob, and Susan Shackelford, and her daughter Noel, met with me and my husband, Jim, in Golden Gate Park. What brought us all together was a very strange question from a total stranger who read my desktop ID board:
    To quote him: “Hey, are you related to Lee Shackelford who almost killed his wife, Susan, and broke their daughter’s arm? ”

    Several days later, Susan and her daughter, Noel, met with me, my son Robert, and my husband Jim. We met, and spent several hours comparing our lives with that violent “Lee Shackelford” Several years later, after Lee Sr. disappeared, my older son , Lee Shackelford (Jr.) visited with his father in Taiwan (and apparently is still living there) . A couple of years ago, we attempted to send Lee Jr a gift of several books. When we hadn’t heard back from him by a reasonabel time of delivery, we enquired. We got a snotty, vicious, answer. Since then we have made no further efforts to contact him and his current partner.

    b-d-i-d 1 dr

  26. Way-out-west on March 4, 2017 at 10:58 pm said:

    The plot thickens!

    I would however like to reiterate Carly’s earlier wise words: “Zodiac killed people. Families and lives were destroyed, there were two survivors who I am sure had difficulties, and a baby grew up without their mother. If this man in fact turns out to be Zodiac, not only would it provide closure, it can also help with further profiling and understandings of mental illness/sociopathology/psychopathology. It could help find symptoms to look for, triggering events, even genetics.”

    Let us not forget the seriousness of this. This man destroyed many lives. Those lives were very important. They mattered. They were beautiful people whose lives were cut short all to soon. The survivors had to carry on living, trying to cope with the haunting memories of being attacked and watching their loved ones die before their very eyes. These were people who had families, feelings, hopes and dreams for the future. Let us not forget people like Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards (possible early victims), Cheri Jo Bates (yes, I do believe she was a victim of the Zodiac), David Arthur Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen, Michael Renault Mageau and Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, Bryan Calvin Hartnell and Cecelia Ann Shepard, and of course Paul Lee Stine, and there were possibly others, such as Donna Lass.

    The surviving victims and the families of those deceased really deserve some closure on this and a sense that justice has been done, even though the years have passed by.

  27. Perhaps one of our more connected researchers would be kind enought to obtain for us full details of Lee Shakelford’s U.S. naval service history, which will hopefully include all his ship/shore based transfers, his leave records, conduct particulars and ultimate discharge information.

  28. Lee Errin Shackelford on March 5, 2017 at 2:32 am said:

    Mom, AKA bdid1dr,

    This is not the place for washing dirty family laundry.

    I’ll say this last, then drop out of the conversation.

    Up until I was at least 19, my father lived in Marin County. No DA ever had him arrested, tried or convicted of being the Zodiac. At least to my knowledge. I was never shown a newspaper article stating “Trial of the Year: The Zodiac is finally behind bars.”

    Was my dad a good man? No. He was a conman and a thief (firsthand experience of both).

    My mom has been using her (clinically diagnosed) mental problems to receive disability since long before I moved to Taiwan (1994).

    My mom also loves to give half-truths and half of stories. The object to be sent was not books. It was a piece of “supposedly” valuable pottery. After at least 6 “I’ll send”, “I won’t send” waffling, wishy-washy nonsense, I finally said “Keep the darn thing or give it to my brother….and please drop contact.”

    I fled my house, when I was legally able to, and broke contact for 11 years straight, then I helped mom when she had a nervous breakdown. Then I moved to Taiwan to live my dream. I could be wrong, but the pottery nonsense was 6 or so years ago. I dropped contact, not a word since.

    This “Your father was the Zodiac Killer” nonsense is the only reason I wrote on this forum. People who don’t actually know Bobette Shackelford, my mother, might find her believable. She is intelligent, and can be quite logical, up to the point where that “deep end” arrives. The proverbial “She went off the deep end.”

    The Zodiac, we probably will never know who he was. Unfortunately, there are many who give false and/or misleading information in all big-news crimes. I fear that this is just another example.

    I’m sorry for also washing a bit of dirty laundry here. I hope the identity of the Zodiac Killer is determined, and a way to make it easier is to nip misinformation at the bud.

  29. Misca on March 5, 2017 at 3:25 am said:

    BD – I can’t remember exactly now (I will go back and find my notes when I can) but it rings a bell that the two William Shackelford’s were one and the same and bigamy indeed was what I had concluded. I also remember finding a connection to the Thomas Jefferson family line and I believe I left a comment about it.

    Mrs. A B Shackelford is most likely William Jessie (Jr’s) sister, Alice.

    I could be wrong but I don’t think that there is a missing Shackelford. I haven’t had a chance to go back on my research but I spent a fair amount of time on this and felt quite comfortable letting it go.

  30. Way-out-west on March 5, 2017 at 10:46 am said:

    Thank you Lee Errin Shackelford, your comments help to give this whole matter some much needed clarity and perspective. I agree with you about the airing of personal family matters. A public forum is no place for this and I am sure some of the information made most people who write on this blog feel uncomfortable. There were some things we really did not need to know or want to know.

    Having said this, I do however still find some interesting “commonalities” with the Zodiac, particularly the fact that Lee Erwin Shackelford was in the navy and your mother has long had an interest in ciphers. If Lee Erwin also had an interest in ciphers and coding, that alone makes him a person of some interest to Zodiac researchers and investigators, both amateur and professional, given the timing and his proximity to where the crimes took place. There are other things that nag at my inquiring mind as well, such as my belief that the Red Phantom letters were written by a woman who had a somewhat unique style, syntax, and grammar. It was as unique in fact as the linguistic elements found in the Zodiac letters.

    It is often all too easy to dismiss claims just because they at first sound crazy. Sometimes there is a grain of truth in even the craziest-sounding allegations. I am sure this is what Nick is hoping to achieve by this blog page. Basically he wants to sort out the truths from the half-truths from the non-truths, and the family tree seemed like the logical place to start, (correct me if I am wrong Nick.)

  31. bdid1dr on March 5, 2017 at 8:09 pm said:

    @ Nick: Were you able to do much research as to the possible identity of “Somerton Man” being the missing (American ) scientist who disappeared shortly after his last son’s birth (Mark, born at White Sands New Mexico) ?

    @my son, Lee (who once was a serious chess-player) : Did you enjoy your travels with your father? Did you ever meet your step-sister? Did you ever get summoned for US military service? Were you anywhere near the USA when your stepsister recovered your father’s remains? Do you have any communication with your brother and his ‘boat refugee’ wife? Loan’s mother was (is, I hope) a beautiful, benign, person. When Rob and Loan were being interviewed by their priest, Loan’s mother held on to my hand so tightly, that I offered to hold her other hand (a semi-hug).
    You weren’t there. Nor were Loan and Rob. Loan sneered at my wedding gift of a pair of antique bracelets (200 year old set) because they weren’t pure gold.

    Their wedding was a fiasco — because Loan’s father was to have led Jim to the church. Instead, he drove so fast that Jim got lost. Loan never forgave me for leaving the church to find my husband.

  32. bdid1dr on March 5, 2017 at 9:33 pm said:

    Yes, I had a nervous breakdown. One night, after I made you apologize to the man’s wife (whom you had called a ‘whore’), I was raped at knife-point. Less than a week later, my next door neighbor piled all of us into her convertible and headed for Kansas (the Wheatgrowers Hotel). We stayed there for about a week, before heading to Key West, Florida.
    Things didn’t get any better when we lived in Key West. Do I have to remind you of your friendship with Chris Carmona and his family’s frequent visitor ?

  33. bdid1dr on March 5, 2017 at 9:53 pm said:

    My apologies, Nick: I am SO tired of being accusive, and/or abusive, with my two sons. Fortunately, my sons never met my daughter. I had many friends in San Jose, California.

  34. bdid1dr on March 5, 2017 at 10:05 pm said:

    I am fairly certain that Rob has met his half-sister, Noele — and maybe my daughter.

  35. bdid1dr on March 5, 2017 at 10:34 pm said:

    During the AIDS epidemic, I answered the Public Health Service telephone calls (hundreds per day) which callers were desperately praying for answers (yea or nay). I referred them to the PHN downstairs — she gave them their test results. I received many thank you calls, also, right after they had gotten their test results.

  36. Way-out-west on March 5, 2017 at 10:34 pm said:

    bdid1dr, although I have sensed “embellishments” and perhaps even some “exaggerations” in some of the things you have told us, perhaps due in part to the great passing of time and the painfulness of the memories, I do feel that for the most part everything you have related is indeed true.

    As you say above, it is also true that your son “was not there”. So I am sure I am not the only one now thinking the obvious question: “If your son left home at a relatively young age and was not there, how does he know for certain that his father was not the Zodiac?” Clearly he cannot. He can only believe and hope the allegation is false.

    This whole thing really requires more scrutiny – in truth, much more than can be accomplished by an online forum or blog. I only hope that a professional detective will see past all of the “craziness” and bitterness of internal family disputes and attempt to get to the bottom of your allegations about your ex-husband. When we consider the facts about Lee Erwin Shackelford: that he had a high IQ, that he loved codes and ciphers, that he was in the navy, that he showed signs of anti-social (perhaps even sociopathic) behavior, the fact that he was frequently in trouble with the law, the timing/proximity to the murders, the suggestion that he may have fled to Taiwan some time after Paul Stine’s murder, are all highly suspicious. It would be very neglectful of any serious detective to simply write this one off.

    I am sure that most of the online forums that have gotten wind of this story have already written off the claims, which to my inquisitive mind is all too soon and all too sad. There has become a popular tradition of debunking all new theories on many of the Zodiac killer forums, mainly because those forums began with a single suspect in mind and they refuse to consider any other possibilities. Those forums are often rife with trolls who offer no useful information but instead strive solely to belittle any new ideas or theories and bully those making the claims. Also, as soon as mental disorders are mentioned they use this as the sole reason to debunk all of the claims associated with the case.

    I can only say that people need to consider that the Zodiac was in all likelihood very unhinged. He was probably clever and I believe had a very high IQ, but at the same time was sociopathic and/or psychopathic. It is also highly likely that he came from a troubled family background and if he was married, he may have been abusive, manipulative, and very controlling in this environment. The signs of this are certainly clear in his writings as the Zodiac.

  37. milongal on March 5, 2017 at 11:07 pm said:

    it seems the Shackelfords have always had problems with Williams getting mixed up…..

    On the genealogy website linked above, have a look at the Dec 1956 edition – It talks about conusion over 2 Williams – from the 1730s (and refers to the April 1956 one too).

  38. bdid1dr on March 5, 2017 at 11:29 pm said:

    ps: @ Loan and Robert: I am asking you to return the wedding gifts (bracelets) at which Loan sneered . My po box 901 Cobb CA 95426

    I’m hoping to put to an end — to the ‘endless’ interference to my phone calls to Rob. You also have never replied to my written birthday greetings.
    Your Mother,

  39. About fifty years ago, whilst working overseas, I received a belated Christmas card from my mate Don, an old boyhood friend. It was somewhat smaller than the usual festive greeting format and the envelope, although unstamped was certainly of Australian origin whilst the card itself was obviously American. The scene I remember, was of a stylised northern winter panorama which included the usual snowman, but with a little rabbit in the foreground, and whether old ‘frosty’ was wearing round rimmed coca cola glasses, I cannot recall. The caption at front had more to do with rabbits than Xmas and was something along the lines of them having ‘lots of fun, whereupon opening there was a similar scene but with the inclusion of many rabbits and the related caption ‘because there are a lot of them’. Turning the clock forward to about mid 1990s, I happened to make the brief acquaintance of a then serving San Francisco homicide detective and I believe that amongst other things, certain new developments in the Zodiac case were likely discussed, albeit fairly casually. He had another agenda with which he was more concerned at the time and I was his local liason. It was only after he had returned to the states, that I recalled details of my card and its uncanny similarity to that described in the red phantom collection ‘eureka’, excluding the captions of course. I honestly don’t remember being shown a copy of that card and infact I’m almost positive that my first visual contact with it was on the internet. That very astute, interesting old detective, I never saw again and his name sadly evades all my efforts at recall; However there is an occasional poster on this site who would have access to the time line of our meeting and I guess from that we could possibly obtain the fellow’s details if it were deemed to be of any relevance.

  40. Way-out-west on March 6, 2017 at 3:43 am said:

    Somerton Man, clearly the most important issue! *groan*

  41. B Deveson on March 6, 2017 at 9:53 am said:

    I understand that several partial DNA profiles have been obtained from the various Zodiac letters, and a hair was found under a stamp. If this is correct then I would expect that there should be enough DNA data to at least eliminate some suspects. Note that DNA tests of these suspects are not required (although it would make things easier if they were) because everyone has distant relatives and it would be certain that the present DNA data bases would contain profiles for many of Zodiac’s distant relatives, whoever he might be. I my own case my autosomal DNA (Ancestry Illumina chip reporting about 680,000 SNPs) has 7,600 matches out to the 0.1% level (5-8 cousin range). At the 5th to 8th cousin level of detection the accuracy is 70% (ie. 30% false positives). At present most of the 2 million or so Ancestry tests (probably 90%) relate to US citizens and my paper trail genealogy links to the USA are very distant (a couple of my 7-8 cousins migrated to the USA in the 1700s) so I would expect that Zodiac’s DNA would probably give several times as many matches as mine. As there is only a partial DNA profile the number of matches would be reduced but there should still be many hundreds, and possibly thousands, of matches. If my argument is correct then why haven’t the police managed to establish the possible identity of Zodiac? I can think of several reasons, and there are likely to be more that I haven’t thought of. I note that there seem to legal problems in the USA concerning DNA testing in criminal matters. See:

    Turning to the Shackelford matter, I note that the name, unfortunately, isn’t rare in the USA where there are currently about 13,620 people in the USA who bear this surname. See:
    I note that there is at least one Shackelford-Pleasant connection. William Pleasant Shackelford born 29th December 1865 in Mississippi, USA, married Amanda Mary Alice Spivey MNU 1870-1949. The Pleasant(s) family of North Carolina and Virginia is connected by DNA match at the 2nd-3rd cousin level to Robin Thomson who is suspected by some to be the son of Somerton Man (Prof. Abbott’s DNA matching project). At the 2-3rd cousin level of DNA match the possibility of a false positive match is essentially nil (less than 1% for each instance of a match by my calculations, and DA has said there were eight matches). Eight linked matches at the 99% level of probability is essentially a certainty), so the family connection between Robin Thomson and the Pleasant(s) families of North Carolina and Virginia is essentially proven.

    There are currently about 2,554 people in the USA who currently bear the surname Pleasants and 7,884 bearing the surname Pleasant, so an occassional marriage between a Shackelford and a Pleasant(s) is to be expected. However, I think the matter is worthy of some more investigation. It would be interesting to find out if Robin Thomson’s DNA matches link to any Shackelfords and if the number of the links is statistically anomalous.

  42. B Deveson: in the case of the Zodiac, my understanding is that the claimed pieces of DNA and fingerprint evidence are all far from clear-cut, even in the (apparently impulsive rather than pre-planned) murder of Paul Stine. As I recall, there is extensive discussion about this in the police reports and in some of the more police-procedural Zodiac books, but it’s a subject that would need several substantial blog posts to cover in any useful detail.

  43. Way-out-west on March 6, 2017 at 10:45 am said:

    John, that is very interesting about the card and its similarity to the Red Phantom collection. I wonder if there is still a copy to be found online and if anyone can provide a link?

    Folks, please ignore my earlier jest about Somerton Man. I was feeling a tad frustrated. 🙂

  44. Way-out-west on March 6, 2017 at 10:56 am said:

    B Deveson: The fingerprints are apparently quite good. I recall many years ago I wondered if another serial killer may have been the Zodiac, as his MO was similar. I contacted a District Attorney who kindly did a cross reference with the State of California fingerprint’s database. He replied that it was clear from the fingerprints that this man was not the Zodiac. He also added that the man had not been living in California at the time of the Zodiac murders. I took the certainty of his reply to mean that the fingerprints must be quite good.

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that they apparently do have a couple of partials and quite a good palm print off the phone that was still moist with sweat when the police arrived. The phone had been left off the hook and the timing was such that it is reasonably presumed that nobody else had touched the receiver.

    As for DNA, I really have no idea. I have tried to establish just what they do have, but this seems to be shrouded in some secrecy.

    Perhaps they found a hair in one the envelopes or tested the back of stamp and found some secreted DNA there. I am not sure and at this point can only guess how they came by DNA evidence. If anyone ever finds out, I would love to know.

  45. B Deveson on March 6, 2017 at 11:31 am said:

    Thanks WOW, One online source that seemed credible says that partial DNA sequences had been recovered from the stamps (ie. saliva) and a hair (ginger) was found under one of the stamps. I would think that the partial DNA sequences must be OK. Partial, yes, but they will overlap so they will probably add up to a fairly complete sequence.

  46. Lee Shackelford on March 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm said:

    Well, to heck with it:

    I am in contact with BOTH half-sisters…my mom’s daughter…and my dad’s daughter.

    When my half-sister buried my dad, she called me, to let me know.

    My older half-sister has a daughter who sings opera. I regularly receive videos of her in opera competition.

    I have contact with my brother and his wife. (one has to grimace at the unneeded “boat person” part of the description…since actually unneeded detail).

    The breakdown I mentioned was your 1993-1994 collapse, just prior to my moving to Taiwan. (Not the one 20 years earlier…) (I was careful what to mention,

    Military Service: None.

    Due to nerve damage to right hand, a useless right eye, no service would accept, I did talk with a recruitment person. The eye and nerve damage were caused by my skull being fractured when I was what…8 months old…by my parents. (Both give the same story…”Lee (me) was with ___ and I went downstairs to do laundry.) (Same story creates reasonable doubt)

    They both give same story to police, just switch who I was with….but my mom’s sister said it was probably my mom..and my uncle Preston says it was probably my dad.

    I was told of a prior attempt to kill me…just months old, 3 ribs broken, soaked, then put under air conditioner…my grandma (dad’s mom) found me and rushed me to hospital.

    Foster homes, but..when the foster parents divorced, court put me back with my mother.

    Somewhere before 1-year-old, I also acquired a broken arm.

    I left when legally allowed, and when my brother reached legal age, I had him move in with me.

    Honestly, I neither know, nor care if my dad was the Zodiac Killer. I had never heard of this site. I received a note through Messenger, with the link to this thread. A note from a stranger.

    If he was the Zodiac, how did I have anything to do with it? If he wasn’t, same words.

    Oh mom, when I brought my wife to meet you, your new daughter-in-law, instead of a room in the house, you threw her into a camper outside. DINNER was a cold sandwich with cold asparagus topped with mayo. (Our planned 3 day visit lasted less than 1 day. We left with the riding of the sun.

    You might want to reconsider and just drop all thoughts on the bracelets.

    I wrote, because that vitriol was never ending. At least a dozen times a year, I heard it, and it came out again when I reestablished contact, so I cancelled contact.

    My being so far, kept my mother from calling me constantly.California to Taiwan is expensive, not in her budget.

    My brother and his lovely wife, Loan were less fortunate. The phone bill is doable for my mom, and she drove them nuts.

    Yes, mom…in phone conversations with my brother and his wife, your driving them nuts with your vitriolic crap came up. I even acted as a counselor, to help keep them married.

    I have contact with my brother, his wife, both half-sisters, and a couple of old family friends. We all have one thing in common, we do everything to avoid contact with you.

    To the topic, one last repeated point. My mother’s thoughts regarding my dad being the Zodiac Killer, were given to the police several DECADES ago (per my mom, in conversations with me). He was never arrested, never tried and never convicted. All this “high IQ, loves ciphers, pictures….” was in their hands….and there was extreme pressure to catch the Zodiac….my dad was a free man till his death.

    Being an intelligent, clever, violent piece of garbage does not make him the Zodiac Killer. My mom, losing her audience for her vitriolic rants about my dad (hour or more monologues), meaning my brother and me, has found this site to spread her vitriol.

    She chooses her words carefully, mixing fact and half-truths. Remember her “The Zodiac is dead, his body was….” that she posted. (I read someone’s quote, I did not see her actual post).

    A man’s body was found and identified by a daughter….she DID NOT identify the man as the Zodiac…she identified the man as her father.

    Lee Shackelford

  47. bdid1dr on March 6, 2017 at 5:26 pm said:

    @ Mr. Sanders:
    I remember that Police Detective’s efforts quite well. When I tried to contact him, I was told that he had died, and that his files had been sent to the California State Police files. So, way back then, I submitted “my side ” of the “Zodiac” story to their files. I never received a response of any kind. I didn’t really expect a reply; they were overwhelmed.

    My older son, Lee, jeered at me. So, I let the matter go into obscurity. So, here we are, decades later, and still being jeered at by my sons and their spouses. I now quote a very old phrase (excerpt from : “History is the Daughter of Time”.

  48. bdid1dr on March 6, 2017 at 6:18 pm said:

    My apologies, Nick, for using your excellent, informative, website “1-nce” again . One more “tempest in a teapot” ?
    Of course my son Lee would have no memory of his father almost killing him. My son was two months old when he was hospitalized with severe head injuries. His grandmother gained protective custody of him until a foster home (the Graham family) was found.
    I won’t be posting “Shackelford Stuff” on your website any more. I am very tired.

  49. Bumpkin on March 6, 2017 at 8:12 pm said:

    Nick Pelling: For the love of humanity, please make it end.

  50. Bumpkin: just be grateful I edit out the worst ones. 😉

  51. bdid1dr on March 6, 2017 at 10:23 pm said:

    Thanx again, Nick, for letting me tell my side of the story. Until now, neither son had the least inkling of the surgical scar which ran from the base of my rib cage to my umbilicus. There is not even one untruth in what I have posted to you so far.

    A couple of dozen years ago, Susan Shackelford and her daughter met with me and my younger son, Robert Shackelford at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California. Since all four of us compared our lives with the same very violent man, , his oldest son, also named Lee, had not a clue. At least, he didn’t have a clue until the recent discussions on these pages.

  52. Way-out-west on March 6, 2017 at 10:56 pm said:

    I feel like I am trapped inside of an Epimenides Paradox!

    Well if this topic is going to be closed down, I would just like to add this:

    How many family members of serial killers ever knew that a parent was a killer? The answer is very few. The vast majority are totally oblivious and in many cases still refuse to believe it even after the person has been convicted. Even less have family members who may have suspected something about the family member, but were too afraid to bring the topic up for fear of ridicule or condemnation by other family members.

    I would just like to know what the USS Ticonderoga was doing in 1964 and what Lee Erwin’s role was on board? Were they involved in coding? What were their insignia at the time?

    It is in some ways good to know that the Zodiac allegations were all investigated by the authorities many years ago. I did at one time ask the authorities involved if they could tell me of known suspects. All I got were the stock standard ones: Allen Leigh for example, and was told the others can be found online, and there were others that had to be kept private for various reasons, mainly because there were still surviving family members and due to the lack of sufficient evidence the information was too sensitive to give out. I do wonder this: Did the authorities ever compare Lee Erwin Shackelford’s prints with the Zodiac’s? It really would not surprise me if they never did.

    This is the great problem with crimes as old as the Zodiac. People get old, they forget, evidence is lost and eroded. The only proof you end up with is witness testimony and it can become a highly subjective game of “she said, he said”.

    It would be a great shame indeed if 20-50 more years are to go by and suddenly someone solves the 340, only to find the name “Lee Erwin Shackelford” staring back at them. I personally do not think he was the Zodiac, but that is just my personal gut feeling. The circumstantial evidence makes for a very interesting suspect nevertheless.

  53. bdid1dr on March 6, 2017 at 11:19 pm said:

    Cross my heart, no more “Zodiac” ref’s from me.
    Have I ever mentioned my doing a full flying one and a half layout dive from the 60 foot diving tower at Fleischacker swimming pool (next to Fleischacker Zoo) ? While coming to the surface, I had to cross my ankles to keep my bikini bottom on ! I was seventeen y.o. at the time. Champion diver Hal Duhan was a witness. He laughed so hard, my boyfriend at the time had to come behind Hal and thump him hard between his shoulder blades, so he could catch his breath !
    No exageration ! We all kept diving, that day, until closing time, when Jerry drove me back home to Marin County.
    At that time, my folks were working for the Marin County newspaper and San Quentin Prison. We were living, at that time, on the mountain above the Marin Town and Country Club . So, my last summer vacation was at the M T & CC. – free admittance – where Jerry and his friends first met me while I was doing a 1/2 twist (flying) back dive from the high board. We all went dancing at the local Lions Club-and or-the Moose Club. The “Twist” contests: winners got free tickets to the dance occasions .
    If you are following my blather, here is why I am doing so. A week or so previous to my diving adventures, I had met Lee Shackelford and his younger brother, Mark . I think I’ve already described Mark’s reaction when we came to the door.

    My maiden name: Miller

  54. bdid1dr on March 7, 2017 at 5:07 pm said:

    My father taught San Quentin inmates office machine repair. Once a month he would visit Office Machine Retailers who would hire, at full and fair salaries, ‘his guys ‘ who were soon to be released. My Dad was 51 y.o. when he died. Cause of death was the Rheumatic fever which had spread through the newly enlisted soldiers’ bunk houses (quonset huts) in the early 1940’s.
    For a short while before his death, (1960’s) he was a Sheriff’s deputy (Tollycraft boat). His patrol was from San Rafael to Sausalito and the nearby boat harbors.
    So, again take a look at the possible ‘hangouts’ which were available on all sides of Mount Tamalpais (and the nearby islands).


  55. bdid1dr on March 7, 2017 at 6:15 pm said:

    @WoW :

    Before he was even enlisted, he would practice for hours the Morse Code (by tongue: didit- didi- ditdid. Good thing, too! . Once on board, he soon realized that the “Ticonderoga’s radio-shack was the last place he wanted to be. Constant rumbling and screaming of jets taking off and landing (right over “The Shack” ) during the Tonkin Bay ‘incident DID affect his emotional stability. When he and two companions were finally given leave , they promptly rolled their vehicle. The Red Cross person assured me that he suffered a sprained arm and wrist, They were granted temporary leave.

  56. bdid1dr on March 7, 2017 at 6:39 pm said:

    I know very little about Lee’s brothers Preston and Mark. I grieved when I heard of Mark being killed by a hit-and-run driver. As far as I know, ‘somebody” removed his remains to another gravesite. Mark was silly — and challenged me to make the funniest/ugliest ‘faces’. He ‘congratulated’ me on my ‘ugliest’ face — and then thanked me for not mentioning his freckled face.
    A dear soul !

  57. Bdid1dr: I was wondering whether, if during your time with ‘Zodiac Killer’, you ever became aware of him using a name other than his birthname Lee E. Shakelford. This would also apply to documents I guess and perhaps any mean he may have had for concealing his true identity, like disguises.

  58. Way-out-west on March 7, 2017 at 11:40 pm said:

    As I mentioned on a previous blog page, the 340-character Zodiac cipher has an interesting feature. A repeated binary sequence resembling Morse code can be substituted on the first then last lines. So 0-1-0-1-0-1-0-1-0-1-0 etc. becomes the exact opposite on the last line. However 0-1-1-0-1-1-0-1-1-0-1-1 etc. when entered on the first line can then be entered exactly the same on the last line. The rules of the substitution allow this.

    This regular kind of pattern cannot be repeated anywhere else in the 340 cipher as far as I can tell. Of course the 0’s and 1’s can be replaced by dots and dashes. This to my mind is equivalent to Morse Code signs repeated, and if we take my initial sequence of a repeated 0-1, this equates to: AA, “New line” .-.- repeated (for the first line of code), and CT, “Start copying” -.-.- repeated (for the last line of code). The line may also include AR, “End of message” .-.-. repeated.

    This has lead me to believe that if there is a sensible coded substitution with this cipher, it could be in some form of binary (e.g. Morse).

  59. bdid1dr on March 8, 2017 at 1:48 am said:

    To my son Lee: My only daughter was my first child. I saw her for only half and hour before the nurse returned her to the maternity/newborn ward. I left a clue in the adoption papers which I desperately hoped she would understand and follow-up. She did so. The rest of the story is for her to tell. Did you even think, before invading her privacy?

  60. WOW: What was young Lee doing aboard the carrier Ticonderoga is anyone’s guess and its inadvisable to ask ‘Bobby’, though I suspect that at 19, he was a naval rating with fairly limited training and responsibilities. The fleet carrier was in short called to give air support to two US destroyers, Maddox and Turner Joy that had claimed to have been attacked by shore based Nth Vietnamese PT boats. Although the claims were found to have been staged, Ticoneroga’s Crusader aircraft did destroy or damage a number of land targets before going back to its peacetime patrol duties around 5th August 1964… Of some coincidental interest I suppose is the disclosure (wiki) that a radar technician aboard Maddox who proved that no attacks had been made against it, went by the name of Park (fairly uncommon), which so happens to have been Lee E Shakelford’s mother Normaleen’s maiden name….It really irks me when I put a question out there that goes unresponded.

  61. Lee Shackelford on March 8, 2017 at 9:57 am said:


    Take this off forum. You have my email address.

    You love to make assumptions and use aggressive, argumentative language.

    (…like “invade her privacy)

    All I ever knew was my older half-sister’s first name. That would make it quite hard for me to find her, right?

    She knew my family name, and through contact with you or my brother, she had my full name.

    That being true, the most likely reason that there is contact between her and myself, is that SHE ran a search for me. And, that is exactly the way it happened.

    I got a message through facebook one day…”Are you the Lee Shackelford that is the son of…and the brother of…..” I replied, and we contact every couple of months or so.

    Since you are only able to send half-truths, misinformation and now, even when I go quiet, insulting words about me “invading privacy”… should be obvious to all here what your REAL personality is (my choice of the word “vitriol” is apt), and also why I have chosen NO CONTACT.

    I have no interest in contact with you, but if you insist on contact, do it off of here. I love teaching, and when I’m not in the classroom, I work hard at keeping my life simple and peaceful. And, please don’t direct a single damned comment to me on this forum.

  62. Way-out-west on March 8, 2017 at 1:35 pm said:

    John, I believe he worked in Communications as a Morse operator on board USS Ticonderoga in 1964. Unfortunately the “Cruise” books for this Westpac mission were only several pages long, compared to the books for the missions in 1961-2 and 1965 which were hundreds of pages in length. Why the 1964 mission was so poorly reported is anyone’s guess, but it could have had something to do with sensitivity of the information during this phase of the Vietnam campaign.

  63. bdid1dr on March 8, 2017 at 5:07 pm said:

    Lee, I do not have your email address — nor do I want one.

    I’m fairly certain that I inadvertently set off another ‘tempest in a teapot’, Nick. As long as my daughter is safe (she is now under subtle threat), I will be only READING any more posts from my children – I will not be responding to any of my sons posts herein.

  64. bdid1dr on March 8, 2017 at 9:26 pm said:

    Nick and Friends: Sometimes it is hard to sort out malicious remarks from moderate. So, that my son (who has hated me all of his life) has dared to put my daughter into a nervous breakdown, I will not be ‘dwelling’ upon the totally off-the-wall, derogatory, self-centered nonsense that has been imposed on you.
    When I am not online, I spin sheepswool into yarn (even the ounce of Merino which was wrapped as a surprise gift from some one in Colorado. When I’m not spinning yarn, I weave it into small blankets and rugs (Navajo-style). Or just plain knit.

    Otherwise, and only once did my daughter join me at the San Jose Greek Festival. It may have been Sylvia’ (opera singer extraordinaire) who may have met my daughter’s daughter. I can no longer dance (or run) because of shin- splints. Hasapiko , Zonorotiko, Karsilimas, Kalamatiano, Pentozali , and, of course, the Syrtos . I may wrap my legs with elastic bandages (long skirt with many petticoats…….
    Yassou ! Epharisto ! To you, too, Mr. Sanders!


  65. Way-out-west on March 8, 2017 at 10:25 pm said:

    bdid1dr: Are you related to a Mary C. Shackelford who was married on October 29, 1966?

  66. bdiid1dr: And a big yassou to you ; Epharsito for your compliment, it brings back fond memories of my all too brief introduction to that wonderfully quaint language and cuisine. My Greek pal Zorba (Steve K.) was my unit’s bush barber but did his best to impart a little of his Hellenic culture on his fellow ‘jungle killer’s back in the day and with his equally limited knowledge of spoken English he claimed that he could have us conversing ‘effluently’ in no time flatl. Like you, he also had cross vision (uncorrected), but with both eyes open and a converging point of about 500 yards, he could literally shoot the eye out of an eagle as the saying goes. My dad was also somewhat familiar with Greece as he had seen service there during the disasterous campaign of ww2, and having been posted as missing, his lads were eventually found and evacuated to Crete by a British light cruiser Ajax (the hero not bleach).
    I think I recall you talking about your younger days living in Marin County but I’m not sure exactly how long you stayed there and whether you were married to Lee (Zodiac) at that time. Back in the early ’90s the cops may have been interested in the name Paul Murphy or perhaps Murray and I’m wondering if you and the kids were still in Larkspurr then or perhaps whether you ever heard tell of that line of inquiry. Signomi if I’m being intrusive but you must admit you’ve certainly had an adventurous life and I’m sure your revelations will help to give us a better feel for the events with which you may have been witness to in those more interesting times.

  67. Way-out-west on March 9, 2017 at 11:39 am said:

    Apologies on interjecting, but I will try to be brief.

    Some may find it very interesting that “In Caelestis” means “of the sky” or “heavenly”. A lot of religions might even suggest that in heaven there exists a state of paradise. An avid gambler who is winning may even refer to such a blissful state as a “pair-of-dice” – a term that also on occasions formed the pet name of war birds that were sent on dangerous missions.

    “In Mare In CaeLEStis” = In the sea, in the sky.
    “Guardian of Freedom”.

    The number of the USS Ticonderoga was 4-TEEN. The number 14 was painted prominently on the deck and could be clearly viewed from the air.

    And then there is The Mikado. General Douglas MacArthur was appointed as the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific Area, on its creation on 18 April 1942. He created five subordinate commands: Allied Land Forces, Allied Air Forces, Allied Naval Forces, United States Army Forces in Australia (USAFIA), and the United States Army Forces in the Philippines. At the cessation of hostilities, MacArthur took on a new role which earned him the somewhat derogatory title of “Star-Spangled Mikado” of Japan. Ironically, MacArthur had banned performances of the Gilbert and Sullivan play “The Mikado” in Japan during 1947. I am sure the play was sometimes staged on board navy ships for entertainment. The irony of “The Mikado” was undoubtedly not lost on board navy vessels for many years.

    These and other uncanny coincidences continue to taunt me. I will continue to connect the dots!

  68. milongal on March 9, 2017 at 8:51 pm said:

    I saw: ‘“In Mare In CaeLEStis” = In the sea, in the sky.’ and couldn’t help but think ‘Mary Celeste’…..obviously reading too much weird stuff….

  69. According to this 2000 forum post:

    William Jesse Shackelford (Sr) married Martha Elizabeth Farley in 1890 in Irion, Texas. Their six children were:
    * Lillie Margaret Shackelford (m. Cathey)
    * Sylvia Shackelford (m. Snyder)
    * Forest (Forrest) Hatheway Shackelford – who may be John Forest Hatheway Shackelford
    * Mary Cordelia Shackelford (m. Willcoxson)
    * William Jesse Shackelford (Jr)
    * Felix Cronin Shackelford (who married Joe Waldean McDonald, 1910-1985)

  70. Way-out-west on March 9, 2017 at 11:51 pm said:

    I just thought I should pre-warn everyone, when looking at the jet fighters that were on board the USS Ticonderoga we soon find ourselves entering the territory of “Phantoms” and “Spooks”. So please don’t be afraid when I shout BOO!!!

    This fighter jet transitioned to The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II “Spook”.

    Check out the decal of the “Phantom”. Am I the only one who is struck by the Zodiac-esque-ness of this decal???

    If anyone wants to read how harrowing and confusing life aboard ship was in the heat of battle, one only has to read this first hand account of the events over the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 4, 1964. The USS Ticonderoga played a pivotal role.

    One passage really stuck in my mind when reading this account: “The sea “return” (the high waves) could saturate the radarscope by capturing the radar’s energy and reflecting it back as potential targets. That resulted in our getting “ghost” signals on our radar, and could make it impossible to definitively “paint” anything, even something very large — such as a destroyer — let alone a PT boat.”

    And this made me think about the Zodiac’s Halloween card and the big prominent 4-TEEN inside. Was the Zodiac telling us to look behind all the garbled noise and confusing “ghost signals” and see the destroyer that is actually sitting there right in front of you? A sobering thought indeed!

  71. bdid1dr on March 10, 2017 at 2:27 am said:

    Oh dear, guys ! I just finished reading WoW’s posted referral to the aircraft carriers and the fighter Jets extremely perilous activities. I still wonder if my first husband’s relatives had any idea at all of the conditions he was working.
    @Nick: Thanks ‘a million’ for posting WoW’s latest contribution. It cleared up a whole lot of questions !

  72. WOW: Thanks to your recent intervention and most intuitive input, I’m starting to get a somewhat queasy feeling about our ‘secret pal’ and Lee Irwin Shakelford’s possible connection to ‘Zodiac’, ‘the Mikado’ and ‘tit-willow’. This would however necessitate him amongst other things, having been in life, a diminutive little chap, rather like his dad William, and in other words, a ‘chip off the old block’ so to speak. Growing up down New Mexico way, and later living over in more socially conscious California, having a typically old southern conservative name like Lee (as in Bob E.) was surely bound to create real problems for a little goggle-eyed kid in the immediate postwar era. Makes me wonder did this eventually lead to the lad’s unsavory southern moniker being substituted by his family for something a little more locally acceptable like William jnr. for instance, and or consequently to the personally irritating ‘little willy’, ‘wee willie winkie’ or perhaps even the much dispised tit-willow (tit meaning tiny) by his school pals. I wonder also if he got over these insults by ‘secretly’ fantasizing that he was really ‘The Mikado’, based on his initial and somewhat wrongly held belief that he could be the unassailable ruler of both heaven and earth. Upon later ascertain that old Mikado’s rule was not all that impregnable afterall (a mere titular head) and that real authority was destined to be in the hands of the dreaded Shogun, he might then have resigned himself to the one option left open to his, by now demented way of hinking, ie. sweet bloody revenge. Revenge upon all those who had dared to taunt him and put him down from his earliest memories; also those authorities (police & military) who would in later life seek to deny him his rightful ultimate placement as the true king, the unimpeachable master of the heavens and its earthly dominions….Just a bunch of personal meandering thoughts on my part WOW, so don’t pay too much notice, though it might be considered relevant that our other suspect Lee whatsit, who subsequently changed his name’s spelling to the more than acceptable Leigh, still ended up being a sociopathic malcontent. Then at the end of the day I suppose we’re fortunate that they both weren’t saddled with a name like Sue; what additional murder and mayhem might otherwise have transpired, so perhaps we are fortunate in that context, not withstanding of course our remorse for the lives that were forfeited nonetheless.

  73. Way-out-west on March 10, 2017 at 7:53 am said:

    Thanks for your comments John. The only thing I would like to add is that the navy photo was taken some 5 years prior to the emergence of the police composites. I have known plenty of people who have put on a few pounds (often many more) in the distance of a few weeks/months, let alone years. I get the feeling that he may have retained slender facial features, but was possibly quite strong and muscular, perhaps deceptively so. I gather that he was quite tall too. I do not believe he was a weak and puny little fellow, although he may have started out looking this way in his early life. Glasses can give this illusion, especially in photos. I was looking at my old class photos recently and saw a picture of a classmate who wore glasses. In the photo he looks really thin and puny. In reality he was over 6 foot tall and had a muscular build and excelled in school sports. Perhaps bdid1dr can fill us in on her ex-husband’s size and weight and whether or not this changed significantly over time.

  74. At around the time that Normaleen Shackelford was giving birth to her son Lee Erwin in a Sydney hospital on 12th April 1945, both being listed as well, her sister Aileen Murray was also expecting however her delivery on 17th instant did not have a similar joyful outcome. Her child Paul was tragically stillborn and whilst the birth would by law have been accompanied by the issuing of a birth certificate quite similar to that of his older 1st cousin, it would not have been deemed of any future use, unless……On 19th September 1975, a 21 year old Irish national named as Christopher Murray just happened to jump ship in Brisbane off the cruise liner Oronsay out from London and although a warrant, (which quite co-incidently I should have held a copy) was issued for his arrest, no apprehension was reported subsequently. Now the interesting thing about this fellow, apart from his seaman’s card photo taken in 1974 is that on our NAA index, young Chris is unaccountably cross indexed with a Paul Murray without further reference…..In those long gone days it was fairly easy to obtain a passport in another’s name so long as the bogus applicant could produce an original birth certificate. The ideal type to have would be that of a stillborn child for it would be known that procedural checks by the issuing authority would not likely reveal any other reference to the name. It has been noted that Lee Erwin Shackelford was close to the Murray family when they lived in Larkspurr/Marin County and in fact probably resided with them for part of his childhood so obtaining dead Paul’s BC should not have been a problem. Neither should it have been to get a seagoing placement and there is a good chance that he had visited Australia whilst in the US navy…..I’m now almost out of power and my WiFi connection can be problematical at this time of the evening so I’ll post now and get back to y’all later.

  75. Way-out-west on March 10, 2017 at 9:54 am said:

    bdid1dr: I have a question that is a bit personal, so I will leave it up to you if you want to answer it. Can you tell me if your ex-husband (or his father) was ever a member of a Masonic order or an Elks Lodge?
    It would help greatly with the Shackelford family history research.

  76. Chris Murray’s age was actually 28 when photographed for his seaman’s card and that is the only travel document recorded in his name. I have not been able to find anything on a Paul Murray with the given particulars which is no surprise given my lack of resources. Now if you put ten years onto the US Navy comparison photograph, look at the general facial similarity, the thin lips, the hair billowing over the right forehead, then perhaps you’ll agree with my reckoning that they COULD be the same person…I seem to recall from memory that a NSW birth certificate did not in those early days refer specifically to whether the birth was live or otherwise and so the immediate issue of a death certificate would have covered that aspect. In anycase if my supposition is found to be in error, the notation of still birth could be covered quite easily as people with criminal intent are masters when it comes to falsifying government documents. If Lee Shackelford had it in his mind to aquire a foreign passport in another name in 1974 (the drop off year for our secret pal Zodiac), one might reasonably conclude that he had good reason for doing so. It might also be noted of his entitlement to an Australian or even a British passport in his own name, being born in Australia and having an English born grandfather, Joseph Park.

  77. Way-out-west on March 10, 2017 at 1:47 pm said:

    John, I can see where you are going with this, and it does complicate things somewhat and does create another deep rabbit hole. But your suggestion is of course plausible. Personally I think he used his real name when he went to Taiwan as he apparently was not being treated as a serious suspect at the time. If he had been I am sure his sudden absence would have been noticed by the authorities. But he evidently was not missed and returned to the States not having been missed either. He was as invisible as the air we breathe and probably just as free. So apart from paranoia there would have been no reason for him to change his identity. He may have just wanted to get away and lie low until the heat died down, but this is of course speculative. For all we know he may have simply wanted a holiday! As someone once said to me jokingly, “Serial killers take holidays too!” But I am always willing to stand corrected if presented with some good evidence.

  78. bdid1dr on March 10, 2017 at 4:14 pm said:

    About the only things I remember about the Murray family is that Aileen /Eileen was sister to Normaleen Park. Normaleen was married to Shackelford (nuclear scientist at White Sands, New Mexico — who disappeared shortly after their last son, Mark, was born .

    Several days ago, I found online a newspaper which front page photograph was of a dead man. the the reporters were calling him “The Somerton Man”. Perhaps Nick has been able follow up ?

  79. Way-out-west on March 10, 2017 at 11:25 pm said:

    Oh for the love of… !!!

  80. WOW: But where did he go for vacation is what we might then be asking ourselves and more’s to the point, what did he do for kicks when he got to his destination. ‘Lots of fun’ to be had down under around ”74/‘75 , with numerous unresolved child abductions, brutal killings in isolated locations etc., and that’s no lie. With direct flights between Sydney and Taipei for instance, what more could a man of action wish for when planning his holiday itinerary, What sayeth you, pray tell?

  81. Way-out-west on March 11, 2017 at 11:19 pm said:

    John sanders: Or he could have went to Africa. Plenty of unsolved murders there too.

    What I *believe* is ultimately irrelevant. The message of the radarscope in that account of the Tonkin Bay incident is worth recalling.

    To coin another analogy, we can only work with the few pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that we have available in order to form some kind of picture.

    I have often come across stray pieces in a jigsaw puzzle box, that got mixed up by someone from other jigsaw puzzles. These pieces may look the right color and shape, but no matter how hard I’ve tried I can never make them fit. And isn’t it always frustrating to buy a jigsaw box from a secondhand shop and find many pieces are missing? The gaps can be filled in with pieces I’ve cut out and painted, but the finished puzzles just never look the way they should.

    Having been involved in the study of the Zodiac letters and ciphers for some time I am of the *opinion* that the Zodiac wanted to get caught, but he was so vain that he considered himself “uncrackable” and therefore “uncatchable”. I get the *feeling* that if he was to get caught it had to be on his terms, and this meant he only wanted to be caught by someone who could figure out his identity from the obscure clues he left.

    The *fact* is he left clues and lots of them, which were most likely based on his own real life experiences. Perhaps I am wrong and they were all just red herrings designed to lead the police astray, but even when people are lying they still have a natural tendency to base their lies around things that are known to them.

    Ultimately the best we can do is what any good investigator does when presented with a new suspect:

    1) Start at the beginning and try not to waste any time or get too distracted.
    2) Interview the witnesses and see if the available material evidence (in this case the ciphers and letters) fits the suspect in any way in order to establish circumstantial evidence. Try to determine from this evidence the possible motives. Try also to determine the whereabouts of the suspect at the time of the murders to see if they correspond with any of the locations of the crimes. Handwriting samples are essential in this case.
    3) Take fingerprints and conduct a search if the suspect looks “good” (which of course is no longer available to anyone, and, for that matter, never was available to amateur sleuths).
    4) Take DNA samples from the suspect or close family and see if there is a match. Again, this avenue is generally not available to amateur sleuths.

    I hope this answers your question.

  82. WOW: I Can’t really fault any of your reasoning, generally speaking and so I take your points seriously. Of course as you suggest we are afterall mostly amateur sleuths, although for some, that might not have always have been the case. I am a big fan of Harry Bosch and in particular, admire his unrelenting insistence upon always going back over the seemingly tired old notes from the murder book. This in spite of his nemesis, and boss Irvin Irving (name ring a bell?) berating him for not being a team player nor keeping up with the times. But for all that Harry is not put off, relentlessly continuing to follow his leads, collecting, then collating all the relevant FACTS, yet still not discarding other seemingly superfluous details, which at the end of the day, might pull everything together. I’m not big on the technical side of these types of investigations and it shows, but fortunately in my past life, there were other capable people to take care of such SIDE issues. Surprisingly I like to think that I’m rather OK at handwriting analysis and have been called on as an expert witness in that regard, though let me assure you I’m no expert. But alas, as for the Zodiac letters, and in the words of Mrs. McCormick referring to her boy’s ciphers, “Thay’s nothin but bird sritch shit”, to my similar and somewhat ‘ungeekish’ way of thinking…Sorry that the ‘pooh bah’ hint didn’t pan out and I”ll just discreetly add that it’s gonna be a pretty early bird that can catch that ol’ worm, y’hear.

  83. WOW: Your recent mention of Gen. MacArthur and his not permitting that comic opera ‘The Mikado’ to be performed in his presence had more to do with his lack of perceived knowledge of music than about the Mikado being thought of as a slight upon his imperial authority per se. When he had made his rather undignified departure from the Filippinas (as it was known in 1942) and promising to return, to triumph over his ousters, the barbaric Nipponese, the Marine Corps band played the aria ‘One fine Day’ from Madam Butterfly, another popular, though somewhat more refined opera of that era, as he strode up the gangplank at Corridor to board his rescue PT craft. He had rather knowingly considered the parting gesture as a (so you say) taunt, which indeed it was intended to be, and not being cognizant of any difference between the two operas, he detested both from that day forward. And guess what?, to-day just happens to be the 75th anniversary of that sorry annal in American history, how coincidental is that?.

  84. Way-out-west on March 12, 2017 at 10:29 pm said:

    John, I have no idea what you are talking about with “bird scritch” and have never heard of Mrs. McCormick.

    Re The Mikado, it is more the irony than the intent that I am talking about. It was in fact extremely ironic the way it all turned out, although I am sure Gen. MacArthur did not get the joke.

    One thing I actually quite enjoy about the Zodiac letters and ciphers is his obvious sense of irony. A lot of people, like Gen MacArthur, do not appreciate nor understand the complexities of irony. The Zodiac, whoever he may have been, was actually an extremely clever man (“brilliant” would be an apt word to use) and also a wordsmith to a degree. He may however have been a deplorable speller, but as many have speculated these spelling mistakes may actually have been deliberate and intended to offer clues (in much the same way as Theodore Kaczynski’s letters!). It is just such a shame that the Zodiac was also a psychopathic/sociopathic lunatic and murderer. I am of course presuming that the Zodiac wrote the letters. He may well have had a (possibly female) accomplice, hence the rather “effeminate” use of language and syntax that we find in the letters and ciphers.

    Well John it seems that our sole witness is no longer talking and has gone back to “square one” as it were re ponderings about the Somerton Man and the long lost A-bomb scientist from White Sands. Ho hum! So I will depart this rabbit warren of dead ends for another time. I came, I saw, I wrote. I achieved very little, if anything. For a while there the herrings were looking quite golden. But now sadly they are all turning red again. (Please excuse the mixed puns!)

  85. Way-out-west on March 12, 2017 at 10:37 pm said:

    Nick, I would like to depart with just one important question for bdid1dr, which came from Carly’s research originally. I am hoping this time that the question will not get lost in behind other posts and possibly missed. I would be very grateful if bdid1dr can answer it. A simple yes or no will suffice.

    bdid1dr: Are you related to a Mary C. Shackelford who was married on October 29, 1966? She married Richard Hodgin. So you may have known her by her married name, Mary Hodgin.

  86. WOW: I guess it could be said that there is some dubious irony (dubious being the operative word), in that Gen. D. MacArthur was award the Congressional Medal of Honour by being absent from the battle field while brave men were dieing. This being somewhat at odds with the MOH won by his dad Arthur at Mission Ridge during the battle of Chikamauga (sic) in 1863. The fact that the father was somewhat late in receiving his award, and it transpired that he was promoted to Adj. Gen. of the army around the same time, 25 years after Civil War hostilities had ended, may in itself be ironic, although my understanding of the word might not quite tally.

  87. Way-out-west on March 13, 2017 at 10:15 am said:

    Oh dear I meant “mixed metaphors” not “mixed puns” in my post above. It has been a very long day!

    Also several posts back I forgot to include this other little dot on the horizon that possibly forms a connection with the Zodiac. Well at least it suggests the Zodiac, whoever he may have been, was most likely a navy man at some time in his life.

    Those familiar with the Zodiac’s writing will see the connection immediately. For others it may take a bit of additional research.

    Suffice to say It concerns the Zodiac’s crossed “Paradise/Slaves” motif which gives four different manners of death: by knife, by rope, by fire, by gun.

    Apart from the well-known Tim Holt comic book reference, there is another way in which the Zodiac may have come by the references. There is a long-established tradition in the navy to conduct “crossing of the line” ceremonies when crossing the equator. One day while browsing through old navy photos I stumbled upon these photos on a blog site.

    It is worthwhile taking a closer look at the second and fourth photos from the top.

    Check out the guy with “DEATH BY” written on his front, and a knife hanging adjacent to the letters.

    So there it is, “Death by knife”.

    I am sure other Zodiac researchers will also note the remarkable similarities with the Zodiac’s Halloween card.

    Whoever the Zodiac was I still think he was “re-living” his time spent in the navy. I find this very obvious in fact. It just fits him like a glove and makes perfect sense. My guess is the Zodiac was a navy man who cracked due to the stress of his time in the navy and that is what made him “cross the line”.

  88. Way-out-west on March 13, 2017 at 10:19 am said:

    John, I am not sure what your problem is: if you just don’t get what I am saying or I offended you by interjecting before, or of it is your intention to constantly distract and divert the issues being raised, but I am getting rather tired of it. I am wondering if you could please desist.

  89. Way-out-west on March 13, 2017 at 10:31 am said:

    bdid1dr: Are you related to a Mary C. Shackelford who was married on October 29, 1966? She married Richard Hodgin. So you may have known her by her married name, Mary Hodgin.

  90. WOW: If I am being touted as having problems, I am not aware of any specifically, but others may see what I don’t. Your presence and input of recent times have been very informative, rather like a breath of fresh air in my personal view. In future I must consider my offerings very carefully before posting as it would worry me very deeply if I thought my opinions were being offensive in any way, to most people that is.

  91. Seeing those old crossing the line photos, brings back fond memories of my first and only such experience. Having departed Outer Harbor, Adelaide on 17th Dec. 1967, my 19th birthday and coincidently the date our PM Harold Holt went missing forever, we were on our way to only God know’s what lay in store for us. On the 20th we crossed the line somewhere south of Java and so the traditional King Neptune crossing event was enjoyed aboard HMAS Sydney (the Vung Tau ferry). We didn’t have much booze but the usual line crossing dunking and only half serious games or shipboard sporting events were played out in high spirited, youthful bravado. Jeff Worle and I contested the soumo wrestling final and I forget who the victor was as if anyone cared. Five months later on 27th May, our mate Jeff was to die bravely in action and the next day I was seriously wounded which resulted in an early return to Australian and the next four months getting patched up ready for another crack. On or about 20th December, 1968, although in fair shape, though downgraded physically, I returned to my unit which had just completed its tour of duty in Vietnam. That was the day Betty Jensen and David Faraday were accosted by The Zodiac killer at Lake Herman and I was not made aware of the tragedy until at least six years after the event. When your friends die in battle you tend to put on a brave face and say “Don’t mean nothing man”, knowing full well that tomorrow might prove to be your own last roll of the dice, but you signed up for it so more fool you. However when a couple of kids get gunned down for no reason, that just sucks no end and when the killing doesn’t stop there, then something’s seriously wrong somehow. If Zodiac had been a warrior and did this, then something must have gone badly amiss in his past, perhaps during his service life. If he were to have experienced the trauma of battle at a young age for instance, and there must still exist some record of his mental issues at that tIme, let’s find them if we can and bring this thing to a conclusion for the sake of those innocents who suffered so tragically at his hands.

  92. bdid1dr on March 13, 2017 at 3:36 pm said:

    Dear Sirs:
    I don’t recall meeting a Ms Mary C. Shackelford/Hodgkin.

    For a while I commuted with Major Innes (my neighbor on Forrest Avenue in (Fairfax). She dropped me off at the bus stop near the Presidio (where she was Head of the Nursing Unit).

  93. bdid1dr on March 13, 2017 at 5:21 pm said:

    It could be that the Presidio still has archives of files going all the way back to its beginnings (Spanish/California Missions and war posts (Vallejo, for instance). And maybe Hamilton Air Force Base.

  94. bdid1dr on March 13, 2017 at 5:29 pm said:

    ps: When Lee Erwin Shackelford would write notes/letters/etc. his signature would be “Sugar Shack”


  95. bdid1dr on March 13, 2017 at 5:53 pm said:

    Though I have some doubts, “Sugar Shack” may have eventually evolved into “Zodiac”. Over time, his private notes and correspondence deteriorated to the point that he began to sign some capital alphabetical letters backwards :

    S —- Z Years ago, I sent all of that correspondence to the California State Police (now addressing themselves as California State Bureau of Investigations (I think ! ) Can anyone tell me if the CSBI still have any or all of correspondence dealing with the “Zodiac” killings? Included in that older file, were the San Francisco Police Detective’s notes (after his death).


  96. bdid1dr on March 13, 2017 at 6:42 pm said:

    His play on the words “Sugar Shack” had several meanings: 1 : the gawdawful radio man’s shack during the Tonkin Bay standoff of the “Ticonderoga”.
    It now seems that we have a large population of Vietnamese wives of American sailors and soldiers. (In California, anyway.) Some Vietnamese families entered the US via derelict cargo ships which unloaded their “cargo” Vietnamese humans at ports in Texas and California.

  97. Way-out-west on March 13, 2017 at 9:03 pm said:

    John sanders, if you don’t mind me asking, is John Sanders your real name?

  98. Well, it’s two thirds of it and I’m named after my uncle John Edward who sailed away for the big adventure in early 1940. He died somewhere close by the Egyptian/Syrian border during the middle eastern campaign in 1941 and now calls the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery home, Although his younger brother Alex, my father, was stationed nearby at the time, dad never got to say good-bye to his beloved sibling, nor visit his resting place. My father who went on to serve in all three theatres including Lybia, Greece/Crete and Papua New Guinea has been gone for over fifty years, but don’t bother trying to find him or my uncle on any service records, it’s like they never existed. But as the old saying goes, and I’ll risk standing accused of repitition, ‘don’t mean nuthin, service is a privilege’…. On a brighter and more relevant note, its Richard Gaikowski’s 81st birthday to-day and although he may have beaten the Rapp, he didn’t beat the wrath of Our Maker’s vengeance, dieing of lung cancer in the early part of this new century. Another ex serviceman, he had trained as an army corpsman and he was marked for the slaying of taxi driver Paul Stine. A piece of the victims bloody shirt had been sent to authorities by the killer as proof of his deed and it is thought that Richard’s training as a medic might have given him this inspiration. I don’t think he did it, but he liked the suspect notoriety it brought him, so happy birthday anyway Dick you’ve been remembered.

  99. Get a blog up,Sanders, I’ll read it. Beats wasting 400 words a day in comments.

  100. Pete: According to most recent on line polls, I’m found to be lacking in the following fields, perception, insight, judgment, fidelity and tact. Did I mention credibility, shameless inconformity or moral responsibility. My only pass being impudency which I’m strangely in agreement with and humbly proud of, if that’s not being contradictory, and which I’ll also fess to being. So no thanks, I’ll give the blog a pass for now, though you never know, perhaps one fine day if my nerve and internet reception hold out. PS. I’ll just slot in lack perceived integrity and intestinal fortitude for safety’s sake if that’s not being overloading the negativity….Wanna talk about Lee Harvey Whatsisface while your over this way.

  101. No, anything American makes my head hurt. Harold Holt was swallowed by a Russian sub dressed as a great white by the way. I have a photo somewhere, in amongst my treasure maps.

  102. Way-out-west on March 14, 2017 at 11:45 am said:

    John mate, that must have been one heck of a party you had after your 19th birthday, as the days and weeks following must have all blurred together! You said you departed Adelaide on your birthday. You’d better ask the blokes who keep the nominal roll records in Canberra to change the dates online, because they have your birth date wrong. Moreover, not one of the dates you gave us in your earlier post about crossing the line were correct. Well it was a long time ago and no doubt a very stressful time in your life.

  103. Way-out-west on March 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm said:

    BTW, there is about as much proof that Richard Gaikowski was a murderer as there is for the contention that NASA faked the moon landing. In order to believe Gaikowski was the Zodiac you have to first believe the ramblings of a rather obscure character named Blaine. In the 1960s Blaine was a golden calf worshiper who later became a self-exiled writer and desert wanderer. Almost everything I’ve read about Gaikowski on Zodiac sites has been a load of total rubbish. Even the so-called circumstantial evidence they present is extremely flawed, more holey even than a block of Swiss cheese that some house mice have been chewing into, and, in many cases, misrepresented. Well at least they got his birthdate right. LOL!

  104. I’m not too much impressed with the perceived accuracy of the NAA records or their AWM counterpart. Had I have been born on their given date, then I’m ten days closer to my Maker which is heartening to some degree. They also omitted my three months of the second tour with 7 RAR which can be found on the other website, albeit with my name misspelled. We left Adelaide around midnight on the 16th to avoid either the cheering crowd or else the protesters which is more likely. So considering that we made a brief swing by of Fremantle on our cruise, 20th may have been a day or three out for our crossing, then we arrived in country on Boxing Day, which was a blast in more ways than one. Glad you took the time to check it all out, but how about my dear old dad, and uncle John, zilch; their legacy should be more meaningful to us than our chicken shit holiday in Veeetnam eh.

  105. This little, unintended though unapologetic missive might serve as a caution to people researching war records and especially those for ww2 as they can be most misleading, should you tend to rely on their veracity. I would say that they’re nominally out by ten percent and inaccurate by at least 15 or 20 percent which is insulting and degrading to the memories of those whose patriotic service to their country has been misrepresented and denigrated by careless omission. Enough said.

  106. bdid1dr on March 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm said:

    Good morning WoW and JS ! (or good time whatever : morning, noon, or night!)

    When my sons and I were still living in Key West. We discovered that the “Blue Angels” flying team runway was on Boca Chica Island (on the “other side” of Key West . My younger son was sitting in front of me when the ‘Angels” went into hover position about a hundred yards away from the main shipping dock.
    Salt spray in all directions — but beautiful formation! Younger son didn’t leak a drop !


  107. bdid1dr on March 14, 2017 at 9:40 pm said:

    Oh WoW — and any other interested individual (Mr. Sanders?) :
    I just reviewed, minutes ago, the various ‘decommisioned” aircraft carriers:
    The “Ticonderoga” ended up in the ‘scrap yard’ !
    Thanks for lead !

  108. bdid1dr: …as do we all, eventually. 😐

  109. bdid1dr on March 14, 2017 at 10:04 pm said:

    You had severe head injuries. Your grandmother followed the ambulance to the hospital. She sat with me for two hours until we were allowed to see you in the recovery room. She then went looking for your father. He was arrested. Several days later, when she was told that you would be in protective custody, she was able to return home.

  110. B Deveson on March 15, 2017 at 1:10 am said:

    BD, as one BD to another, did you husband Lee have any friends or acquaintances who had spent a significant amount of time in Australia? Did you husband know anything about drafting or technical drawing? Thanks

  111. Way-out-west on March 15, 2017 at 2:12 am said:

    Nick Pelling: That is so funny! I think I was decommissioned to the scrap yard a long time ago! LOL!

  112. B Deveson on March 15, 2017 at 5:15 am said:

    the following is probably old ground, but I have searched and can not find any discussion of the method of writing the Z340 page. Do you know if the available image of the Z340 is an image of the original Zodiac note, or is it a transcript? I ask because the letters and tokens appear to have been copied using a drafting letter guide and the OK quality of the tracings suggests to me that the Zodiac must have used letter guides before. I think that very few people would have owned letter guides in the 1960s, and most of those who did would have been using the guides in their trade or profession. I note that the shapes of some of the letters are unusual and I wonder if somebody might recognise the font – it looks more British/European/Australian than US to me. The neat drafting of Z340 jars with the untidy writing and penmanship of Zodiac’s notes. I understand that the wide spacing between the words in Zodiac’s notes suggest that he was schizoid and this might explain the apparent dichotomy concerning the neatness.

  113. Way-out-west on March 15, 2017 at 10:17 am said:

    B Deveson: I have always assumed the Z340 image with the police stamp on it was from the original police files, but I could be completely wrong. I also recall reading *somewhere* that *someone* was allowed to see the actual ciphers and reported that they are actually incredibly thin, as if they had been used like stencils, to copy writing or dot points from underneath. Again, I may be way off and could have been misled by some online forum or another (there are so many!). I hope someone can answer your question as it is a very good one.
    That is also a very good point about the possibility that he may have used letter guides. Now that you mention it, I can’t recall them in the 70s, although they may have existed, and it was right up until the early 80s that I recall seeing my first blank writing pad with a lift out line guide inside. But I may have just missed seeing them.
    I guess the Zodiac could have simply drawn lines with a pen and ruler and then overlaid this with the intended cipher sheet. Graph paper was readily available in the 1960s. (I have an older relative’s graph book from his school years in the early 60s). So is it possible that he used graph paper as the background “guide”?

  114. Way-out-west on March 15, 2017 at 10:31 am said:

    I mean he may have used the graph paper to help “remember” the shapes of each symbol, as well as the lines and spacing etc.

  115. Bdid1dr: re your thoughts on the old ‘Conder’ CVS 14. I must say its kind of sad when an old war horse like that ends up in the knacker’s yard. She certainly had a long and illustrious career with a couple of unanticipated incidents along the way, like the Tonkin incident in ’64 and her loss of an atom bomb over the side in a strange shipboard accident in ’65. I bet your old man didn’t mention that in his letters home as it would have been top secret at the time. Yep two major wars, 17 battle stars, numerous navy citations and the rest, just to end her days in the San Diego home for old ladies (flat tops). I wonder if you folks were able to be down there for the decommissioning and farewell in late summer of ’73, assuming that your hubby was still with the old girl at the end. Thanks for your reminiscences as always.

  116. Way-out-west on March 15, 2017 at 1:26 pm said:

    John sanders: I owe you an apology. I had you pegged as an imposter. I am sure you will understand, with the availability of data about people on places like the nominal roll, it takes only a small amount of research for somebody to steal another person’s identity. In fact identity theft is all too common on social media sites, and I have been fooled before. But a friend of a friend has advised me that you are indeed the person who you say you are. One of the things that made me suspicious was your use of some American expressions mixed in with Australian ones. This leads me to now wonder, did some of the American slang rub off on you in Vietnam, or did you spend some time in the States after the war? My sincere apologies once again.

  117. Bdid1dr: Please substitute freak for strange, as I wouldn’t wish to misconstrue that the incident in question was any way suspicious. Just a fluke unfortunate accident it seems and with the added loss of a good fine aviator Lt Webster, it must have been quite devastating for all the crew. Seems that your old man was stationed around the Far East more often than not so you would not have had him with you at home for lengthy periods which must have been a strain on you both. I’m wondering what you all thought of Asian folk as opposed to Caucasians in general, especially after the floodgates opened with the boat people and all. You don’t seem to have had such a swell relationship with Loan and perhaps Lee was more tolerant because of his familiarity with the race. No need to answer, just curious that’s all. Cheers.

  118. Sarah The Horse on March 15, 2017 at 3:15 pm said:

    *grabs popcorn*

  119. bdid1dr on March 15, 2017 at 6:54 pm said:

    @ BDev:
    Yes ! His mother (Normaleen Park) and her sister ( Ailene/Eileen Park) immigrated to the US on the same ship. With them were their children. There is a photo (online) of their arrival. Normaleen married a Shackelford, Ailene married a Murray. The sisters and their husbands lived less than 10 miles apart. If you find a map of Marin County , you should be able to find “Murray Lane” (near Sausalito) and the small town of Fairfax (near San Anselmo).
    Normaleen’s son, Lee, and I walked downhill to the high school which was right on the boundary of Fairfax and San Anselmo. Normaleen’s youngest son, Mark, eventually was educated at Marin Junior College. He was killed by a hit & run driver while he was walking home in the dark (no street light).
    This is just the bare facts of my acquaintance with two of Normaleen’s children. I know absolutely nothing about Preston Shackelford.

  120. B Deveson on March 15, 2017 at 8:37 pm said:

    Thanks BD. WOW, I think Zodiac was familiar with light tables (AKA a tracing light box) – all you need is a glass topped table with a light underneath. That would explain why the rows and columns are so precisely laid out. If you look at, say, all the capital “U”s, or capital “X”s or the triangles in the Z340 document you will see that each letter or character has identical shape. They are all too similar in shape to have been drawn free hand. The capital “U”s for example all have the same rather strange shape. It looks to me to be a modern font “N” turned upside down. Two arms of the capital “X”s are longer than the other two and the “X”s are canted over to the right. The triangles are all canted over to the right.
    The capital “O”s, the ones that are not filled in, are all identical ovoids canted to the right. And so on for all the other letters and figures. It appears that Zodiac used two or more letter guides because you will note that the shape of the forward capital “D”s is not the same as the shape of the backward capital “D”s. Also, there appear to be several fonts involved. The shaping of the letters is not consistent with that of a single font – unless the font was designed by somebody with no skill and no eye for beauty. I can remember using letter guides in the mid 1960s and I still have them stored somewhere.

    The Z340 note could be tested non-destructively to see if the ink is a Rapidograph ink, or maybe photocopy ink or whatever. The German company R0tring introduced the Rapidograph pen in 1953 and, from memory, I don’t think that there were any similar pens available until well into the 1970s, but I may be wrong in this. The pens, ink cartridges and letter guides were not cheap and I would think that only people with a need to make professional looking documents at home (rather than make them at a place of work) would have this equipment at home. Maybe architects, surveyors, self employed draftsmen? Who else?

    I have just realised that I have seen that horrible looking lower case “w” somewhere before, maybe in published chemistry papers. I note that the Zodiac spelled “ammonium” correctly so perhaps he had some chemical education and, from memory, the use of ammonium nitrate mixed with diesel was not widely known in the late 1960s.

  121. NP: Seems that ‘uncle Preston’ is the good old boy whose thoughts might lead us out of the wilderness and onto the bunny trail. His name pops up frequently and yet apart from being up to scratch on his basic personals, we know nothing about the fellows life, as if its any of our business, but seems like he might have been the pick of the litter. Any notions on how we might pick up some juicy morsels on the S’fords would indeed be food for thought…..Thanks for your timely intervention on another matter, so the Ides of March has been with us and went, Le Roi est mort. Vive le Roi; as they say and all’s quite on the Western front for now.

  122. Way-out-west on March 15, 2017 at 10:38 pm said:

    bdid1dr: Research from our resident “super sleuth” Carly suggests that your then mother-in-law Normaleen became Normaleen Pexa through marriage, and was using that surname by 1960. This was 4 years before Lee Erwin married Bobette Miller whose father Robert E. Miller (married to Alma C. Miller) was an instructor at San Quentin. Carly can place Lee Erwin Shackelford, “radioman seaman”, on board USS Ticonderoga, involved in training exercises off Hawaii on March 7, 1964. Sadly, Mrs. Pexa died Sept. 3, 1968 in SF, age of 47 – just three months prior to the Zodiac going on his killing spree.
    Carly please correct me if I have got any of this information wrong.

  123. Way-out-west on March 15, 2017 at 10:50 pm said:

    One very minor correction to my post above. Lee Erwin Shackelford was on board USS Ticonderoga off the Hawaiian islands in January of 1964. His placement there is mentioned in an article that appeared in the San Rafael newspaper on March 7, 1964 (page 9).

  124. bdid1dr on March 15, 2017 at 11:46 pm said:

    @ Mr. Sanders: Whether he is still alive or not , he is/was SCARY. He also may have been a friend of the man who offered to me his rifle to strike the gong 500 yards away from where Preston Shackelford and friends were pistol shooting at tomato cans which were quite near their ‘camp’. I left within minutes of ‘ringing the gong.
    I left on foot — at a run, downhill all the way to the bus stop on the road below.

  125. bdid1dr on March 16, 2017 at 12:54 am said:

    My reference to Preston and his friends is because one will find very little biographical information about Preston. He did visit us for a month or so when my husband and I were living at 180 Haight Street. At that time, I moved in with my friends across the street (for a couple of days). until my husband Lee’s brother Preston (who did the cooking) moved out and away .

    Constant turmoil before Preston arrived. Even more turmoil after Preston left. I’m talking gun threats from local neighbors because husband Lee got stinking drunk with some neighbors, and staggered home wearing one of the neighbors leather jackets. I mean gun shots through our steel door.
    Some other time, maybe, I’ll discuss the fights that my husband Lee got into at Rincon Annex Post Office. At that time, I was working in the time section. My husband Lee was fighting with the son of Tour Head’s Secretary. (Calling her a slut.) At that same time, I was pregnant with our son Rob. Over the years I worked for the Post Office, I received many commendations — and a fantastic baby shower for the birth of my second child, Robert Francis Shackelford.
    Aw shucks — now that you know, possibly, what my full married name was, I’ll sign off, now, and let my sons ‘vent’ if they are wont to do so.


  126. WOW: I’fn I’ve picked up a twang, it probably derives from my indulgence in reading one too many Marshal Grover yippies in gaol. Forget the aps. I’m a pretty tough skinned ol’ hombre…..On with the motley what.

  127. Way-out-west on March 16, 2017 at 5:41 am said:

    “Uncle Preston” was evidently no angel as more of Carly’s dedicated research has uncovered. The name is spelt differently but there is a fairly high chance this was “Uncle Preston”.

    “Drunken Driving Hearing Is Held. Preston Park Shackleford. 24, of San Rafael, was arraigned yesterday in Marin Municipal Court on a charge of drunken driving May 14 in San Anselmo and being drunk in public, driving with a revoked license and possessing marijuana, all on May 19 in San Anselmo. During the May 19 arrest, Shackleford reportedly showed police a driver’s license identifying him as a Donald W. Clausen of Novato. Clausen told police he has lost his license three weeks earlier, and did not know Shackleford. Shackleford was ordered to appear today to enter pleas to the charges. A bench warrant had been issued for Shackleford on the May 14 charge after he failed to appear as scheduled in court.” Source: August 5, 1969, Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California. Page 3.

  128. Bdid1dr’s: Cripes Bobbie that’s the first time I’ve been called Mr. Sanders in years but keep it up, makes me feel important. We’ve been giving you lots of nosey queries to ponder of late but you’ve been most convivial and downright generous with your time and the truth is you’re about the only person alive that can provide the answers we need to seal the case against Zodiac. Something that we have not pursued with vigour to date is Lee’s possible dependency on other people, and folks like your good self would be a case in point. For instance was he capable of making the normal elementary decisions regarding day to day menial tasks that required his attention or were they a source of continual frustration for him. From the little we do know, you were older by a couple of years and sometimes this indicates mummy’s boy tendencies in a grown man. Was he good at sport, did he know much about cars, fishing and camping, did he smoke and drink, y’see these are the seemingly trivial things that you might know , but what the investigators have not a clear about. Too many things that you could really write your own book on and I’m sure you could also write your own paycheck and have carte blanche to top billing on the new Michelle Obama show if it comes to town. Enough said for the moment and please don’t turn off the fawcett just yet…and by the way my pals call me sandyman, wish you would too.

  129. B Deveson on March 16, 2017 at 9:53 am said:

    I am struck by the fact that the shapes of the letters and characters in both the Z408 and the Z340 are perfect copies, both within each document and between the two documents.. Too perfect to have been made with a letter guide, although I still think that the originals were made using a letter guide, or perhaps “rub down” Letraset letters. I now think that Zodiac made up a page of letters and symbols and then made many photocopies of this master page. He then cut out the individual letters or characters as he needed them and stuck each letter or character onto a sheet of paper. He possibly used a Tee-square to keep the letters and characters aligned. When Zodiac had finished constructing the Z408 and Z340 pages he photocopied the pages and used white-out ink to remove any extraneous lines etc.. Zodiac then photocopied these two pages. I have seen a comment that the Z340 is on flimsy paper, not standard photocopy paper, but photocopy machines can accept flimsy paper, within limits.
    But all this begs the question as to why Zodiac went to all the trouble involved in the above procedure.

  130. Way-out-west on March 16, 2017 at 10:15 am said:

    John sanders: Sandyman? You didn’t live in Riverside, California during the early to mid 60s by any chance? No, I’m only kidding. The coincidences with names and places continue to amaze me. John, in case you are wondering what I am getting at, there was once an obscure suspect of sorts called “Sandy” that I believe some researchers were trying to identify at one time from old high school photos. And then of course there is the very chatty and enigmatic “Sandy Betts”… just Google her name and you will find her. No, on second thoughts, please don’t. 🙂 But the name Sandy has become strangely omniscient in Zodiac folklore. So be forewarned that someone out there in cyber-space may have already latched on to your nickname and be taking it places you never believed imaginable.

    Back to serious matters, I am concerned to some extent that the Zodiac could have been prone to alcoholism or binge drinking when committing his crimes. This doesn’t really mesh with any of the witness testimonies, but I guess it could account for his God-awful lousy aim. But I guess he could have done his killing whenever he was sober, splitting headache and hangover and all. The thing is, the ciphers, letters, cards are all meticulous in their design and planning, although the “bus bomb” letters were admittedly a bit like something plucked out of the convoluted thought processes of one Charles Manson. (One bomb diagram even came with a very poetic line that would not have been out of place in song lyrics, namely “rainy day disconnect”.) Even the crazy writing on that one Zodiac card looks “artistic” i.e. designed to look that way (being “scary”) as opposed to being the result of random and insane scrawling. Someone with such intense attention to detail and thought, albeit it insane thought, does not strike me as someone who was a raging alcoholic. So far these two things don’t quite mesh for me with these new “suspects”. The only way such a scenario makes sense to me is if someone else was writing the ciphers, letters, cards etc. for the Zodiac, perhaps even under duress.

  131. WOW: It’s gotta be a bum rap, name’s Candy not Sandy an don’t no nothin about no Zodiac murder maniac from Marin County, but keep an eye open for me, I think the IRS might have first tabs on this sorry son. In any case; last thing a feller needs is jail time in a federal pen for not filing, then back to the big SQ an the chair for somit he ain’t as likely done, sides I never kilt a man that didn’t have it come’n y’hear.

  132. milongal on March 16, 2017 at 10:12 pm said:

    @WOW: “But I guess he could have done his killing whenever he was sober, splitting headache and hangover and all.”

    There’s a story about John Daly (the golfer) who suffered a drinking problem. In an interview he once said something like “One morning I awoke with an incredible headache and no motivation to do anything. Then I stopped and thought ‘I used to play golf in this state’. It made me realise I must’ve been one hell of a golfer”.

    It sort of resonates with Conan Doyle’s description of Holmes starving the senses to focus the brain then feeding on illicit substances to become brilliant. I sort of find it interesting that I seem to meet a lot of people who come across incredibly intelligent (or at least seemingly high-performing) and have substance issues – but often seem at their most brilliant when in a partial stupour (and I don’t think it’s an uncommon trait, xkcd talks about it as the ‘Ballmer Peak’ – which the internet tells me is based on the Yerkes–Dodson Law).

  133. bdid1dr on March 17, 2017 at 1:37 am said:

    @ WoW and SanDYman and Milongal ” Shades of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ! !! All that is missing is the large smoking pipe and the hunting cap …..

    @ Our host, Nick : Have you noticed that I get goofy at least once a week ? What would we do without Milongal ? ! Where has Misca gone ?

    Does anyone know where my Mother-in-Law (Normaleen Park Shackelford Pexa is buried? Or where her youngest son, Mark, is buried? Or where her sister Eileen/Aileen Park m. Murray of Murray Lane near Sausalito, is buried? I don’t remember if the Murrays had children. I’m most concerned about Mrs. Pexa. She saved the life of my first born son.

    Green beer anyone ? Orange beer for me (me Dad was an Orangeman).
    Whoever — Hail to St. Patrick !

  134. Just recently I somewhere came across two fine names, Daley & Doyle that happened to remind me of the historical connotations of this great day and what it represents to a lot of people. Who afterall could forget those immortal words of Ziggy Padraigowski that resound somewhat tongue-in-cheek “it’s a great day for the Amish to be sure & begorah” etc. Although I must confess to not having read either of their fine books, the one about the 19th hole and the other about a rampaging maniacal gorilla loose in the slums of Paris?, you can be reasonably certain that there’s a Blarney stone or three somewhere in their respective ancestries. Now speaking more to the point, good old St Padraig was, as we are aware, best known for his wanton destruction of a certain variety of endangered species, and enough said about that, especially on his day which would be quite innapropriate. How many of you know that he was also a renowned pacifist of note and also keen on repartee (whatever that may mean) thus iintuitively realising that if he was ever going to bring the illiterate pagan majority and the even more illiterate Catholic minority of Ireland together into a more homogenous social cohesion, a good bi-partisan catchy kind of logo might just do the trick. And you guessed it, he simply opted for a Cross representing the love of Christ for the tykes and a circle to signify the sun’s all encompassing power, for the other bunch of Irish gits. And there you have it, the ‘Sun-Cross’ was born and it worked fine, that is until the poms stuck their sticky noses in as is their want and stuffed It all up. Then of course other more serious domestic issues unfortunately brought about its local demise. However its popularity did not wane internationally as it spread like a potato famine gone viral in places like the Big Bad Apple and soon enough by natural progression it swung by the decidedly un sunny state of California, or more specifically San Francisco, or even more precisely Marin County, where its popularity was said to rival that of the Beach Boys at one stage in the early ’60s. How our hero the Zodiac killer came to take notice of what the so-called Gaelic Sun Cross represented is anyone’s guess but whatever the connotation it had upon his psyche, the effect was rather interesting to put it mildly…..I’m pretty sure now about what the influence was and why it all went down the way it did but that will have to wait for another day. The morbid bloodletting and gore would only serve to spoil our St. Mick’s Day celebrations so we’ll leave yous all to you’re Eire-inous frivoities & feasting on pickled Guiness and Blarney sandwhiches to be sure, to be sure. js

  135. Milongal. Knut Hamsun’s autobiographical novel, Hunger, I bought the little paperback in a second hand book grotto in the Haymarket about 30 years ago. Still have it. Hamsun travelled Timothy Leary’s path without the chemicals, he starved himself while writing it.

  136. Way-out-west on March 17, 2017 at 6:22 am said:

    milongal: Fiction books and (evidently) very bad Robert Downey Jnr. impersonations aside, I can only say that I’ve known quite a few alcoholics and binge drinkers in my time. The vast majority, when drunk, would have had trouble signing their own names let alone standing upright and being able to talk legibly. One in fact fell through the gauze door of my house many years ago, not once but twice.

    The facts speak for themselves. The Zodiac was a man who wore an elaborate costume, which he may have designed and constructed himself. He had to drive to Lake Berryessa, walk all the way down the hill through the trees to the lake shore, speak to the two people he intended to kill, present a convincing story, tie them up, terrorize them, then attempt to kill or at least badly injure both of them. Afterwards he walked all the way back up the hill, wrote something that made sense on a car door, then got back in his vehicle and fled the scene. I cannot imagine any of the alcoholics or persons adversely affected by alcohol that I have known in my life to be capable of such a feat. Most would not have been able to remember the date.

    It also seems preposterous to me that a person who became enraged and violent due to intermittent substance abuse would possess the ability to calmly sit down afterwards and meticulously construct logical ciphers, letter by letter (as B Deveson describes), often copied or “serialized” for different newspapers, not to mention doing quite meticulous and fancy art work on a card and driving out to a different post box each time.

    But as I said before, being “under the influence” could have accounted for his very poor aim at times, and perhaps the telephone call to Melvin Belli from a man claiming to suffer from bad headaches, which was evidently later traced to a lunatic asylum and subsequently dismissed as a hoax call. Apart from that, it just doesn’t mesh with the material evidence we have. The Zodiac was meticulous, and although obviously angry and suffering from deep-seated psychological problems of some or various kinds, he was always described by witnesses as being extremely self-confident and focused in his intent. He was described by police witnesses after Paul Stine was murdered as having a lumbering gait, but I believe this had nothing to do with drunkenness or the influence of drugs. It perhaps did reflect an old leg injury or some other malady from which he suffered.

  137. Bdid1dr: Hey there Bobbie, just a quick one if your not to busy love. Jeep accident where & when. Nature of specific injuries and any residual effects and I note that he was medically discharged consequently. Thanks for all your fine unselfish efforts. s

  138. Way-out-west on March 17, 2017 at 9:34 am said:

    Why isn’t the Zodiac’s cross the bleeding obvious, i.e. a gun sight?

    bdid1dr: This could be very important. Can you tell us if your ex-husband Lee and Uncle Preston had a slight drawl, like a Texas drawl? I wonder if they may have got this from their parents, particularly if we consider that Grampa Shackelford may have hailed from Texas originally.

  139. Way-out-west on March 17, 2017 at 9:41 am said:

    bdid1dr wrote: “Does anyone know where my Mother-in-Law (Normaleen Park Shackelford Pexa is buried? Or where her youngest son, Mark, is buried? Or where her sister Eileen/Aileen Park m. Murray of Murray Lane near Sausalito, is buried? I don’t remember if the Murrays had children. I’m most concerned about Mrs. Pexa. She saved the life of my first born son.”

    bdid1dr, I will ask Carly to have a look in the records for you.

  140. bdid1dr on March 17, 2017 at 4:19 pm said:

    My husband, Lee, had a mild stammer which was weird words when whomever wanted to have a conversation with him. I never heard him whistle — only the constant di di dit. Actually, we rarely had much conversation. He would be gone for days.

    I won’t be responding any more to any Q’s referring to my sons and their spouses. Especially the one spouse, who shouted into telephone “Rob sez you abused im ! ”
    She hung up, then, and would not answer her phone.

  141. bdid1dr on March 17, 2017 at 5:33 pm said:

    @ Katy, herself: I hope you can remember just how you were able to follow the clues I left in the adoption papers — and the grace with which your adoptive parents showed by answering your questions on my behalf.

  142. bdid1dr on March 17, 2017 at 6:47 pm said:

    @ Sandyman:
    My husband, Lee, was on leave with two or three crewmen in a military (jeep?). It rolled. Apparently they all survived . I was notified by telephone, of the incident, by a Red Cross worker. She assured me that my husband and companions had minor injuries — and that Lee was already given leave to home. Not ten minutes later, Lee came roaring up the stairs and burst the door open (it wasn’t locked).

  143. So tired oF living/unwilling to die. I guess the title of Zodiac’s ‘bloody’ stupid poem for Cheri Jo Bates might be compared to the ‘tired of living/and feared of dieing’ in Jerome Keane’s ‘ol man river song. Look at the text and you’ll find only two sets of upper case letters out of 46 or 47 if you include the sign off initials (?). They can be found side by side in the title, and one above the other further down the passage in the form of SF for San Francisco and SJ for San Jose, two of the major cities in the state of California, and having places like Marin County and Riverside within their ‘Bay Area’ environs which is interesting. Couple of other bits and pieces about the ‘ditty’ are with regard to Zodiac’s assumed knowledge that Cheri was wearing a new dress and his assumption that she would survive her attack which hints of a botched job by an accomplice or surrogate perhaps who proved to be a little over zealous. Lastly we have the sign off in lower case which suggests the possibility that it meant something quite different. Something additional concerning his in-eliquent ‘bloodwork’ description, something perhaps to do with Cheri’s possession of a Rhesus Factor element to her ‘Apos’ blood. How he (?) would know about both the new dress and the monkey blood is beyond my limited abilities for insightive reckoning.

  144. With your red dress on….Mmm you look so fine….Move it nice and easy…Girl you make me lose my mind…Cheri (sic) baby can you come out to-nite…..Or try this one…….Yeah put on your red dress mama cause we’re goin out to-nite…Put on your red dress mama etc etc…Two tunes from the mid sixties that seem to fit nicely enough to form a possible causal effect for the unintended slaying of our pretty little promiscuous 18 year old, music loving, flirtatious all American girl who couldn’t keep her knees together, an all to common trait of decadent youth according to the enforcer’s ‘Sun Cross Creed’ which led to her unfortunate, though possibly unintended demise. How did Zodiac know that her red dress was new?, well it seems likely that he gave it to her for the occasion which he, in all likelihood set up so as to teach her a lesson in good moral behavior, and also to promote himself as the crusader against kids doing indecent things in back seats of cars near public places. This was perhaps his first venture of the kind, bearing in mind he may only have just been discharged from the navy and his recent return from an overseas posting. I don’t think it went according to plan and by Cheri deciding to fight against what was intended as a violent assault at most, her fate was sealed. Zodiac now had little option but to continue his masked moral crusade, but unlike his mentor, ‘chicken man‘ (AFVN), he also had a killing to his credit now and so the others became more or less business as usual and also easier to accomplish. All of them kids up to moral mischief, all caught in fragrent delicto, in their cars and out in public places which he was not going to tolerate. The only exception that we can reasonably concede as being at variance to the norm was the cab driver who attempted to rip him off and he only died because our boy was loaded for bear, nothing more than that. Don’t attempt to find Riverside in your Bay Area map incidently, as its location is a little to the south and west, as opposed to my earlier suggestion, which being my deliberate mistake for the day, I promise not to repeat.

  145. Way-out-west on March 18, 2017 at 6:41 am said:

    This kind of rules Lee Erwin out as the Zodiac. Not one of the witnesses mentioned him having a stammer, as far as I know. My personal feeling is this: Lee Erwin and Preston were a couple of rough necks who were prone to drinking and shooting at stuff out in the woods like sign posts and bottles. They probably were violent towards innocent critters and next of kin, and when intoxicated, they probably would have harassed or intimidated any innocent stranger who happened to cross their paths. They would have engaged in general “loutish” and anti-social behavior and petty crime, including drink driving, fraud, small-time theft and attempts at embezzlement and the like. But to suggest they could have gone from this to being a rather focused and meticulous serial killer is rather a huge leap I feel.

  146. Bdid1dr: Much ado about nothing really Bobbie, but interested in your time line for Haight. Were you up there during ‘the in-crowd time’ like ’67/‘68 with J. Airplane, Big Mama Cass, ‘Diggers’, Bag wan & Nancy etc etc, or was it later. Like to hear some of your reminiscences if you have any as I missed on most of that era. sm.

  147. Nick, you’re being bombed here, these blokes are relentless.

  148. Way-out-west on March 18, 2017 at 9:35 am said:

    John sanders: Extremely perceptive and insightful comments there. The Zodiac did indeed have a kind of skewed moral compass in that he seemed to be attracted to young, pretty people who he may have considered were straying from the path of “good wholesome Christian(?) values”. He in all likelihood sought out couples parked in lover’s lanes and having illicit affairs at night or canoodling by the shores of “lover’s lakes” by day. But he took this idea to the ultimate extreme and became a kind of Medieval judge, juror and executioner. This is what has always made me think that in real life the Zodiac was actually quite an unremarkable, conservative “nobody”, living an everyday existence and possibly even married and employed in some kind of paid work. He may have had psychological problems which were deep-seated but never diagnosed or treated professionally. He may have been unwell physically as well and self-medicated with “upper” drugs like amphetamines, which sometimes affected his mood and aggravated any existing psychological problems. But socially he was in all likelihood the person everybody would have LEAST expected to be a serial killer.

    How Paul Stine fits in with this idea has been the subject of much conjecture on internet forums. Perhaps Paul Stine was secretly gay and propositioned the Zodiac, or the Zodiac may have tried to lure him “out of the closet” so to speak. But this is conjecture and I am sure we may never know why he chose that poor cab driver. Maybe the answer is that Paul Stine was just in the wrong place at the wrong time (= right place, right time for the Zodiac) and therefore just very unlucky. Of course by that time the Zodiac’s moral compass may have been swinging so wildly that he no longer considered himself a mere executioner. By that time he may have considered himself a god.

  149. Pete: what with that and “SOMERTON MAN: NICK PELLING ACKNOWLEDGES MICRO WRITING ON CODE PAGE”, it’s quite the comedic weekend. 😉

  150. WOW: Paul Stine’s murder seems to have been unpremeditated, and I’ve always suspected that that was the crime scene least likely to have been controlled, and hence most likely to be forensically telling.

  151. Way-out-west on March 18, 2017 at 10:41 am said:

    Nick: I’m guessing most of them were not premeditated, except perhaps for Cheri Jo Bates, which has always been the “odd one out”. I think the Zodiac was an opportunist. He just drove around and happened upon people and decided “They are going to be next”. He probably had to psych himself up and may have been indecisive at times, but once he made the decision to attack his focus became fixed intently on his victims. Even at Lake Berryessa, he may have been carting that costume around for days or weeks before actually using it. Why he changed to riding in a taxi and killing the driver is anyone’s guess, but in my opinion something about Stine must have riled him, or maybe he just decided “He’s next”. If he had planned this attack to any degree beforehand, this would suggest he wanted to appear spontaneous and unpredictable to the police and newspapers, i.e. He was saying “You won’t know what I am going to do next until it happens!” With this in mind, the killing of Paul Stine may have simply been an extension of his “bus bomb” idea.

  152. In the meantime I guess I’ll just keep pissing, well dribbling into a gentle North Easter and pray for the southerly buster to get me over the Wallace Line and away from those God awfull rhesus monkeys that seem to have plagued me all of my pathetic life. Are you out there Bobbie? Please bring a bit of reason back into this arena and save my sanity will will ya babe.

  153. bdid1dr on March 18, 2017 at 2:58 pm said:

    @Nick, Pete, & Wow :

    Let it be, for now. The final straw is this: a phrase in the above quotation:
    “put on your pretty red dress” …..

    A cowl neck, sleeveless, knee length red mohair dress he brought home to me after one of his disappearances of several days.

    Also, there was NO murder at Lake Berryessa — but first murder was at Lake HERMAN — a pair of young folk were ‘necking’ . A man (maybe two men) did “wheelies” around their car before killing .

    No, I was not witness. However Lake Herman was where young couples went to view the full moon, so to speak. Take a look at the proximities of Mount Tam, Hamilton AFB, Fairfax, San Anselmo, San Rafael and Sausalito on one side of SF Bay. Consider the several other areas of interest around the bay: many military related activities (gasoline, vehicle maintenance, taxiway/runways,

    My first child was born in the middle of all the chaos. Her father worked in the Military Commander’s office in San Francisco. My neighbor in Fairfax was Head of the Nursing Facility at the Presidio. I commuted with her and continued to take a bus to downtown (Pitney Bowes Mailing Machine operations).

    No, Pete, no relation to you, as far as I can tell !

  154. Way-out-west on March 18, 2017 at 10:38 pm said:

    Rhesus monkeys are one thing, but bdid1dr claims there was no murder at Lake Berryessa??? Tell that to Bryan Hartnell and the family of Cecelia Shepard.

    Oh well, another dead end in the long line of Zodiac suspects. I should be getting use to it by now.

    And still a while to go yet before April 1st.

  155. Way-out-west on March 18, 2017 at 10:57 pm said:

    Lee Errin Shackelford is correct. His mother should stop seeking attention from these blogs and wasting other people’s precious time. She should also stop using these blogs as a platform for airing her own personal family grievances . She should stop spreading malicious tales for which she has no proof whatsoever.

    Sure, there is evidence to suggest that Lee Erwin was a generally “bad” man who could be prone to violence, lying, attempted fraud and theft, but it is becoming quite obvious that he was not the Zodiac. Both myself and others have asked bdid1dr many times for more details, but she has provided only a few vaguely suggestive tidbits, which, as it turns out were always obscured and/or “cherry-picked”. But in the end the truth was revealed. As for Uncle Preston, I am sure the same will turn out to be the case with just a small amount of digging.

  156. Pete: In the eternal pursuit of truth and justice there can be no rest…It’s just the American way, and yes, if it’s unrelenting then so be-it…Somewhere, sometime, some place, Zodiac will slip up and his reign of terror will be torn asunder. Society will thus enter a new era of freedom Independence and happiness for all…Trump and his pal God willing.

  157. Way-out-west on March 19, 2017 at 11:57 am said:

    John: We may well jest but I do understand the irony. Sadly in America cold cases do not get the funding nor attention from the Government that they do in other parts of the world, particularly in countries like Australia which has seen justice served on quite a few “pond scum” who perpetrated their misdeeds many decades ago and wrongly believed they had gotten away with it.

    Whoever the Zodiac was, we may never know. All we know is that he destroyed the lives of many families. Here today in cyber-land this decades-old cold case may seem fanciful to some people, but the victims of the Zodiac and their families were (and continue to be) all too real.

  158. Bdid1dr: By insinuating that NO murder took place AT lake Berryessa, you are absolutely correct and on firm footing in the literal sense and so your assertion is thereby irrefutable. Grievous bodily harm, malicious wounding or even possibly wounding with intent, or similar are the only offences that could be realistically associated with that particular crime scene at the time and place specified. The reporting that Cecilia Shepard succumbed to her wounds some two days after the attack in hospital is in itself further attestation of your claim according to the known facts. Some might say that this is a moot point, but you can be quite certain that any California prosecutor worth his salt would be most carefull in the wording of any resultant charges filed against an alleged purportrater, and moreover I am confident that the indictment would NOT be likely to include words to the effect that, ‘At about the time & date specified, AT Lake Berryessa, in the said county, in the State of California, did felonious kill (murder) one Cecilia Shepard etc.etc….Never give an inch Bobbie, I’ll stick by you so long as you stick to the rules of engagement and remain cool OK. sm.

  159. Bumpkin on March 19, 2017 at 4:27 pm said:

    Nick; I’m done. You’ve allowed your blog regarding both the Somerton Man and the Zodiac killings to be hijacked by mentally unbalanced commentators. Why?

  160. Bumpkin: honestly, I’m deleting more comments than ever before, and that’s obviously still not enough. I’m just hoping that the storm blows itself out. 😐

  161. Way-out-west on March 19, 2017 at 9:20 pm said:

    Bumpkin: Me too! But I decided to stick with it and think it through logically and rationally while there were at least a few hopeful glimmers of “truth”. But it soon became clear that the only bits of truthfulness were a few crazy, highly presumptive ideas built on other crazy ideas and a whole lot of emotional angst. I still admit that the 14 on the ship and some of the other “clues” were for a time “tantalizing”… so be it. Perhaps these things still suggest the Zodiac, whoever he was, may have been an ex-Navy man, just not Lee Erwin Shackelford.

    Nick: I would be happy if you deleted the whole damned thread. But thank you for giving the amateur sleuths out there the chance to dig deeper and get to the bottom of this decades-old gossipy tale. 🙂

  162. John sanders on March 22, 2017 at 6:42 am said:

    On 15/12/64 USS Ticonderoga returned to SD Ca. after a long tour in Sth East Asia which included its participation in the Tonkin Gulf Incident. After the ship’s crew had taken leave, the carrier was taken to Hunter Point Shipyard where it was to undergo a six month overhaul and it was not operational again until late November. Sometime during the Crew’s well earned long break from duty, in far off Sydney Australia three particularly brutal murders took place in its general environs. Each appeared to have been committed by a lone frenzied killer and whilst
    they displayed marked similarities in their stabbing, slashing method of application, no (confirmed) weapon was ever found and the killer to all intents and purposed has not been positively identified…Lee E Shakelford was born in Sydney in 1945 and was taken to California as a child where he grew into adulthood before joining the US navy and becoming a crew member of USS Ticonderoga sometime around 1963/64. His maternal grandparents lived in the inner Sydney suburb of Elizabeth Bay near the red light R & R district known as Kings ‘bloody’ Cross which was a well known haunt of American serviceman on leave. One of the Sydney murder victims Anna Dowlingkoa was last seen leaving a Kings Cross nightclub during the evening of 17/2/65 possibly in company with a young sailor. Two other victims, Marianne Schmidt & Christine Sharrock, both 15, were murdered in the southern beach suburb of Cronulla (Wanda), after having travelled to their destination by Suburban rail, which included a transfer at Redfern Station in the inner suburban area about two miles from Kings Cross. The other death, that of Wilhelmina Kruger, took place at Wollongong, a steel producing port city some sixty kilometers south, a fair distance but easily reached by a rail connection from platform 12 at Redfern, the same as that used by the unnfortunate teenagers when transferring to the main southern Illawarra/Cronulla line on their last fatal outing….Off course we do not know whether Lee Shakelford ever visited with his grandparents, Mr & Mrs Joseph Park, however he was certainly given a fair opportunity to do so from late December 1964 through January and into February of the following year. As we know these murders took place well before the hayday period for Zodiac but there are certain marked similarities in the method and application with the exception of no firearms involvement. It is understood that there is some DNA samples still accounted for and It might be hoped that if we are able to ascertain that Lee Shackelford’s movements are consistent with the Sydney events described, well we then might just have something to give back to the long awaiting families of the victims, and perhaps not only those in Australia

  163. John sanders on March 22, 2017 at 2:09 pm said:

    The Wanda killings took place on 11/1/65 and that of Ms. Kruger on 29/1/65, that is to say, all three separate slayings within the short span of about five weeks. If they had been committed by the same culprit, then that person promptly ceased his or her reign of terror. This would suggest that whoever it was, they probably left town soon after and did not re-offend, which would indicate a transient deviant being more likely than someone of local origin. Could it have been a foreigner like the soon to be Zodiac in the personage of the young US naval rating Lee Erwin/Erving Shackelford, why not?. There is another element to this case scenario which if true might just bring it all together, however, I must hold it in obeyance for the moment because I’m not all ltogether sure of my grounds.

  164. Way-out-west on March 22, 2017 at 10:02 pm said:

    John, seeing I am (very reluctantly) revisiting this thread, I wonder if you can please explain to us exactly what you meant earlier about red dresses and Rhesus monkeys??? You completely lost me. Some of the posters on this page do email one another privately and we could not understand what on earth you were getting at. I wondered if these seemingly crazy ramblings were intended facetiously or as a mere diversion. Whatever the case, an explanation would be helpful.

  165. bdid1dr on March 22, 2017 at 10:30 pm said:

    @ Mr. Sanders: Why do you keep mis-spelling Lee ERWIN SHACKELFORD’s name ? His son’s name was spelled exactly the same as his EXCEPT his mother wrote the middle name as ERRIN . Lee ERRin Shackelford was the son of Lee ErWIN Shackelford. Lee Errin Shackelford suffered severe head injuries because Mom went downstairs to get clean shirts from the French Laundry.
    Mom got only halfway down the stairs before remembering that she had TOLD her husband to snuggle his son. One dared not EVER to tell Lee ERWIN Shackelford to do anything. It is only with the grace of God and my Mother-in-Law that I was able to rest in the waiting room.

    So: ‘shake a leg’ and trot to the nearest US Naval Station. The one near San Diego MAY be the most helpful . Am I remembering that the CARRIER SHIPS
    (Ticonderoga, for sure, departed from San Diego — headed for Vietnam?

  166. John sanders on March 22, 2017 at 11:13 pm said:

    WOW: No I certainly was not being facetious, but can appreciate that my apparent ramblings about new red dresses, rhesus monkeys and the like, may have been seen in that light by some. I can only suggest that you carefully re- analyze Zodiac’s own cryptic message in Cheri’s so called ‘desk top’ poem and endeavour to make sense of its intent within its garbled lines. One thing I’d like to say further is that although we are dealing with mostly morbid doings, having a sense of humour is never misplaced and at times might be seen as a way to ease the tensions brought about by disagreement.

  167. John sanders on March 23, 2017 at 8:17 am said:

    Bdid1dr: Sorry about the misspellings Bobbi and you’ll note that I’ve finally gotten your own shortened name down pat. We’re finally making some headway with Zodiac at last and I’m sure you’ll want to comment on this update because it concerns your late ex’s return visits to AustralIa on at least one occasion and probably more. Surely he must have told you all about his holidays with his grandparents Park in Sydney, and having ‘lots of fun’ at the beach, but did he chance to say anything about gramps possibly working at bld. 64, AAEC and of him being taken there to see the hifar reactor for his ownself. I just happen to be more than familiar with the site and many of its macabre secrets, the so called burial ground, which, with your own distrust of nuclear waste dumps you would be appalled to see the new housing developments. But there is also another burial ground on the reactor side of the road, one without headstones or eulogies, though occasionally we used to find red rose stems, mysteriously placed there by unseen hands. At the time, I’m not sure that I was even aware of pretty Anna Dowlingkoa’s sadistic murder and the subsequent dumping of her body at ‘X marks the spot’. Right there off Menai Road, Lucas Heights, Just above the picturesque Woronora River where we used to get the ‘lunkers’ down stream aways from the dam wall. Fine old times had by me and the kids, but there was always a mysterious forboding about the place…..Is there anything that you would care to add Bobbi; you know that I’m your secret pal and never take your oft times misconstrued thoughts lightly. I would never do that y’hear.

  168. Way-out-west on March 23, 2017 at 10:05 am said:

    John sanders: I am enjoying your latest line of research. Your reasoning is very sound. Could you please provide the sources to confirm your information, e.g. the USS Ticonderoga’s stop over at Sydney? Was it reported in a newspaper clipping from the period?

    Re “Grampa” Shackelford from White Sands, there is still some confusion about his identity. The diligent researcher named “Aye” has found that he appeared to be enlisted as a delivery driver, not a scientist. So if this is the correct Shackelford, that would tend to exclude him from being a high profile research scientist! I do however appreciate that due to the secrecy of operations at this base during that particular era, there may well have been a very good reason for his “official” listing as a delivery boy. So a job that is the highest rung of the ladder is “officially” placed on one of the lower rungs, so to speak.

  169. John sanders on March 23, 2017 at 1:47 pm said:

    WOW: Now you have me at a loss on both counts. If Ticonderoga ever docked in Sydney or not, I have no clue, although it may have done so, having spent quite a lot of its time in our territorial waters. As for grampa William Shackelford, he was never at White Sands as far as I know and it appears that he spent his life after WW1 in his own business as an insurance broker, Elks club and American Legion member in Virginia. Whilst he may have been with Normaleen and the kids when they returned to Sydney in 1955, I rather doubt it, as I have a feeling that she was separated from his son, William Jr. by then. Regarding William Jr., who has never been referred to as grampa Shackelford to my knowledge, during his time of service in Australia during WW2, he was listed as being a T/Sgt., the ‘T’ of which could have stood for either temporary, technical or transport I guess. Regarding his later somewhat more elevated status as a scientific person at White Sands, well all we can attest to is that he certainly spent time in that vicinity but nothing more.

  170. Way-out-west on March 23, 2017 at 10:38 pm said:

    John sanders: More fool me for coming back to this discussion. I can see you are still being a master of confusion, obfuscation and subterfuge. From now on I am going to ignore every single one of your pronouncements that claim “what ifs” in a manner that is so frequently designed to infer, suggest, or imply valid links between two events that are actually totally unrelated in space and time, and moreover totally unproven.

    You seem to be constantly implying that the Zodiac was responsible for many of the unsolved murders in Australia, first by suggesting a Murray or Murphy (perhaps he was the Zodiac or someone like him?) jumped ship and went on a killing spree. Then as if to reinforce this point you make reference to the multiple unsolved killings in Australia while USS Ticonderoga was at Hunters Point dockyard being overhauled. Hunters Point is of course in San Francisco, although it does sound ostensibly Australian. Are you suggesting the Zodiac went on holidays to visit his grandparents in Sydney during that time? Can you prove he was still in Sydney in 1965 when that one murder took place? Really, If you don’t have any proof or cannot at least show clearly how the available evidence fits with your theories, please do us all a favor and stop posting. It is confusing enough already without you constantly muddying the waters with your rambling and out-of-context theories.

    Personally I prefer to work with what is known and trying to prove links with the available evidence first, which I must add is not looking good, unless Lee Erwin suddenly found a cure for his Morse-code like di-dit-diit-di-dit, st-st-st-st stammering. Anything else, such as a possible Australian connection to the crimes, is best left for a much later time. At this time it merely confuses things.

    Perhaps if you wish to pursue this far-flung theory, you could please only post relevant information when you have something that is provable or at least places the suspect at the precise place and time of a murder. I have been on so many forums that have allowed “what-ifs” the space to dominate and proliferate. The “what-ifs” so often descend into the shadowy depths of numerous rabbit holes until the forum becomes about as rabbit holey as the state of South Australia. I personally have grown rather tired of it. Moreover I have run out of candles, so I no longer wish to be tempted down any newly created rabbit holes.

  171. bdid1dr on March 23, 2017 at 11:37 pm said:

    Well, the first mention of Normaleen’s husband being at White Sands and his disappearance was from Normaleen herself. My first acquaintance with her son occurred when I was walking our road to get to our public library down the mountain to the tiny town of Fairfax. A couple of weeks later, her son Lee introduced me to his mother. At that time, I was not aware that her sister married John Murray. Apparently Lee’s older brother, Preston, hung out with the Murrays. If you look at a current map of Marin County, you may still find Murray Lane.
    I recently found my mother’s photograph album and some commentary. For a while, my father was a deputy sheriff — with his own thirty-foot TollyCraft boat. The boat was most often used when mariners, all around the Bay would celebrate holidays: Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween.

  172. John sanders on March 24, 2017 at 5:32 am said:

    SS Orsova was a post war somewhat upmarket cruise liner operating mainly to far eastern destinations for the esteemed P&O Orient Line, originally embarking from Southampton on the migrant run to Australia, then from 1954 onwards it started the more tourist oriented tours out of San Francisco to Sydney via exotic ports like Auckland, Suva and Vancouver. From my understanding the Shackelfords did their Sydney visit aboard the Orsova in 1955, or at least certainly the outward segment and a then 10 year old Lee was probably more than impressed with ship’s logo, it being in the form of a ‘targe & sword motif, displayed prominently on both the funnel and stern of the vessel. The actual design revealed a blue cross inset with a regal crown and placed within an orb, the outside rim of which displayed the SS Orsova name, all of this with a perfectly round, studded warrior shield. Of course he later became a brave young sailor and according to his first wife, always had an obsession for heraldic symbols and such. Apart from bringing such notables as a later to be Prime Minister, two year old Tony Abbott to Australia and pop star David Bowie who was more famous and certainly much more talented, someone else was aboard on its final voyage in 1975. The man was said to be a 28 year old Irishman named Christopher Murray, whom I have alluded to on a previous post, a seaman who jumped ship in Brisbane before the Orsova’s final voyage and its appointment with the scrappers in Taiwan. I am wondering could he have also gone by the name of Paul Murray with which NAA gives a cross reference, or might he have been Lee E. Shakelford who would have been a certain Paul Murray’s five day older cousin, had the latter not been stillborn. Is it also not a realistic possibility that all four names might then be connected in some way to the Zodiac killer?, maybe and then again perhaps not.

  173. John sanders on March 24, 2017 at 8:38 am said:

    WOW: Well, your iniating words of your last outburst speaks volumes, “more fool me…” and I certainly could not hope to improve on that. I trust that you’ll take Hunters Point naval shipyard off of your must visit wish list when next over Sydney way, I believe you’ll find Hunters Hill much more to your liking. Perhaps we can get together over SM way and have more meaningful intercourse on the merits of compulsory DNA sampling or something equally riveting. jes

  174. bdid1dr on March 24, 2017 at 3:44 pm said:

    Gentlemen: Perhaps you may find discussion, somewhere, about a ship which took my parents to Australia (and back?) The SS Oreana. My parents thoroughly
    enjoyed their visit to the Sydney Zoo. M’dad: Polly want a cracker? Parrot:
    Polly want a cookie!
    Parrots are known to be long-lived…..

    ps: @ Pete: When my husband heard me discussing the purchase of your book, he had already gone on line with Amazon. Kinda like “your wish is my command”.

    PS @ Nick: Late last night (our time) we got the TV news of the disaster. Have they been able to capture any of those murderers at the Parliiament ?


  175. bdid1dr on March 24, 2017 at 4:37 pm said:

    ps: In re: Missing scientist/husband of Normaleen (nee: Park) Shackelford: Normaleen, herself, told us that her husband WAS a SCIENTIST who posed as, and drove as a ‘garbage collector’ at WHITE SANDS, New Mexico. His name was ShaCKELford. (I capitalize for emphasizing the correct spelling of the names.

    Their other son, Preston, apparently spent much of his time with Normaleen’s sister Aileen (married to Murray — of Murray Lane — near Sausalito.

    I, PERSONALLY suspected (and still suspect) that it was Normaleen’s SON Preston who killed his younger brother Mark. I still get teary-eyed when reminiscing about Mark. Yes, I have no more proofs to back up my suspicion of Preston. Y’all can find more information about Preston if the “Independent-Journal” newspaper has a still-existing archive.

  176. bdid1dr on March 24, 2017 at 4:57 pm said:

    ps: Gentlemen: Hunters Point was a backwater of San Francisco Bay. For a while It eventually evolved from being the warehousing of milk delivery and other commodities into a Farmers’ Market and upgrading of the ghetto-housing’.

  177. bdid1dr on March 24, 2017 at 9:19 pm said:

    Correction: Van Ness Avenue and Vallejo Street

    A little bit about Lee Shackelford’s rescue of a Chinese family.. We were coming back down Mt. Tam Road when we happened to find a family in distress because they had a flat tire — and had never had to change tires. Lee Sr. very quickly changed their tire. They invited us to have dinner with them that evening.
    OK, when we finally found the address in Chinatown, I was somewhat overwhelmed — The Empress of China Restaurant.
    Even then, I was not a big eater…. but I did my best with a 12-course dinner (and tea rather than the alcohol beverages they were offering…
    This was the one and ONLY time my husband minded his manners. It was no surprise to me that he could speak, fluently, four languages.

  178. bdid1dr on March 25, 2017 at 4:01 pm said:

    My son, Lee Errin Shackelford, survived his father’s attempt to kill him. My Mother-in-Law found her son, and had him arrested — until we could be advised that my son Lee would survive the surgery. I, too, was interrogated, and my son was put into protective custody of the court. He spent the next nine years in three different foster homes . I’m pretty sure that he has been following our discussions herein. He has already made not-so-subtle comments about my daughter.

  179. Way-out-west on March 28, 2017 at 3:28 am said:

    John sanders: You were the first one to use the phrase “more fool you” on this blog age, meaning “more fool me”. You obviously failed to see the irony. So far you are doing such a damn fine job of it yourself that I have no need to comment any further.

  180. Way-out-west on March 28, 2017 at 3:48 am said:

    BD: “It was no surprise to me that he could speak, fluently, four languages.”

    Correction: Don’t you mean he could speak 4 languages fluently… but with a st-st-st-stammer?

  181. bdid1dr on April 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm said:

    ps: @WoW : His stutter was more of Wwwww o ww as in trying to say weeping willow or Wow .
    Or Why do you ask?


  182. Lee Shackelford on April 21, 2017 at 4:50 am said:

    Well, this is actually the first time I visited this site since dropping out of this thread. I deleted the link, and I thought I dumped HISTORY (so I could not reply, if tempted).

    I found link accidentally, just 20 minutes ago.

    Regarding my Uncle Preston. I met him 3 times, while visiting my father (I THINK I was around 19 at the time).

    My uncle was a homosexual, and a very very good cook. He cooked for us on all three occasions. He worked as a Chef, in a restaurant in San Francisco (told to me by Preston, in front of my dad…and comment went unchallenged).

    His homosexuality was obvious by mannerisms, and behind Preston’s back, his homosexuality was sneered at by my dad.

    The “chef”, and “homosexual” are all I can add to the make-up of Preston Shackelford.


    PS My older sister and I chat about once a month. Our topics are mostly about her family or my sister’s interests. We discussed poetry 2 days ago, and she sent me a picture of her daughter’s (my niece) graduation.

  183. bdid1dr on April 21, 2017 at 11:32 pm said:

    @ mysonlee”

    Elsewhere on Nick’s pages I mentioned that your father and I were motorcycling up Mt. Tam. In our path was a limousine which had a flat tire. Your father changed their tire for them, and showed the limo driver how to change tires (just in case). The occupants invited us to have dinner at their restaurant that evening. Turns out it was a twelve-dish meal . I was not able to explain to them that I did not have a full-size stomach capacity any more (surgery for burst spleen and torn breathing diaphragm muscle). So, they plied us with their rice wine. Their chauffeur loaded the motorcycle onto the luggage rack on the back end of the limousine — and drove us home . Their restaurant was the “Empress of China – in San Francisco.


  184. bdid1dr on April 22, 2017 at 2:51 pm said:

    @mysonlee: Quite a long time ago, when your father and I were living on Haight Street, your Uncle Preston came to visit — and cook. I was afraid of him, and did not want to interfere with their reunion. So the ladies across the street invited me to their party (some thirty odd Caribbean friends from all over San Francisco and Oakland/Alameda). The Limbo — I already knew the dance — – but trying to drink beer from paper cup meanwhile ‘did me in’. The ladies weren’t laughing at me; they were laughing at your father and his brother. Both of them were ‘gawking’ at the stream of partygoers who were entering the two-story Victorian house. I slept overnight in their attic (temporary ‘bunkhouse for some 10 or 12 of us). Interesting enough, for me, was that Preston was gone when I returned home (across the street).
    Mum B

  185. bdid1dr on August 18, 2017 at 10:02 pm said:

    Furthermore: My son Robert Shackelford apparently has no memory of his visit to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, where he, his half-sister Noele, Noele’s Mother Susan Shackelford, my husband Jim Douglas, and… me — met so we could compare our lives with a very violent, very near-sighted, KILLER – who identified HIMSELF, as the ZODIAC .

    bd — who has given up trying to give the guessers a coherent discussion of WHO-WHAT-WHEN-WHY- and HOW the “ZODIAC” evolved into a KILLER.


  186. john sanders on August 19, 2017 at 2:21 pm said:

    I’ve often thought about Preston the cordon bleau chef, with apparent sexuality issues that makes him perhaps a more interesting candidate for Zodiac than his older goggle eyed brother Lee in some ways. He seems to have been wild and unrestrainable, having definate tendencies consistent with having a psychopathic propensity for acts of extreme, though absolutely controlled violent behaviour when so aroused. We note also with interest that he died a long way from his sunny California home in dreary old Yorkshire, where Sutton, the modern day “ripper” did his utmost to insult moral standards of human morality and that is also very interesting.

  187. bdid1dr on September 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm said:

    @ J.Sanders: Preston’s (and Mark’s) brother, Lee, spoke with a stammer. He did not drive a car. He rode “Harley Davidson” motorcycles everywhere, until he enlisted with Navy. His name for himself was “Sugar Shack”. Being radioman, smack dab in the middle of the “Vietnam War” , DID make him crazy and murderous.

  188. bdid1dr on September 5, 2017 at 8:43 pm said:

    Can Sumbuddy give us a date for when Preston emigrated to England ? And where in England? Who notified who (whom) of his disappearance from the USA ? AND, if Preston is dead, where was he buried? Did he have a funeral, with any attendees?

  189. instantcheckmate result:
    Preston Park Shackelford, age 69, West Newton, Mass.

  190. john sanders on September 7, 2017 at 8:36 am said:

    Bdid1der: Not England Babs; Yorkshire Mass. U.S.A. is where your ex B.I.Law ended up. At a guess I’d say right about West Newton thanks to Thomas.

  191. This ‘old fart’ just turned 74 y.o.

  192. John sanders on September 10, 2017 at 11:08 pm said:

    Bdid1dr: Many happy returns Bobette, Maintain the rage and don’t mess with those old farts, they tend to become unstable at 74, ask that other old fart Petey.

  193. bdid1dr on January 3, 2018 at 5:38 pm said:

    Happy New Year, Y’all !


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